Did you know?

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

lock up

 - definition
Close

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.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
phrasal verb
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theylock up
he/she/itlocks up
present participlelocking up
past tenselocked up
past participlelocked up

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to lock all the doors and windows of a building so that no one can get in

    I locked up and went to bed.

    The last person to leave locks up the shop.

  2. 2
    [transitive] same as lock away (sense 1)

    The documents were locked up.

  3. 3
    [transitive] same as lock away (sense 2)

    He was locked up for 12 years for armed robbery.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to invest your money in something, so that it is not available for you to spend
    lock up in:

    There are vast sums of money locked up in pension funds.

See also main entry: lock

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

add a word

Blog

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