Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

wind up - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theywind up
he/she/itwinds up
present participlewinding up
past tensewound up
past participlewound up
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to be in a particular place or situation not because you choose to, but because of other things that have happened

    There were no hotels available in San Francisco, so we wound up in Oakland.

    Ted wound up owing almost $50,000 in loans for graduate school.

    People are winding up in debt.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to end something

    I’d like to wind up the meeting soon.

  3. 3
    [transitive] informal to make someone angry or upset

    Please don’t wind him up, he causes me enough trouble.

  4. 5
    [transitive] British informal to trick someone by telling them something that is not true
  5. 6
    [transitive] same as wind
See also main entry: wind
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play