add up

added up; adding up; adds up

Definition of add up

intransitive verb

1a : to come to the expected total the bill doesn't add up
b : to form an intelligible pattern : make sense her story just doesn't add up
2a : amount sense 1b used with tothe play adds up to a lot of laughs
b : to amount to a lot just a little each time, but it all adds up

transitive verb

: to form an opinion of added him up at a glance

Examples of add up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Flu shots are relatively cheap compared with most health services, but considering the tens of millions of Americans who get vaccinated each year, those prices add up. Phil Galewitz,, "‘Free’ flu shot costs can be startlingly high," 22 Nov. 2019 That and a bowl of chicken soup will, one morning soon, add up to a brisk impeachment and a healthy lunch. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Trump’s Impeachment Will Be Trump’s Fault," 23 Oct. 2019 To solve the problem, most people are taught to multiply each individual number together, and then add up the sums: 9 is multiplied by 4, 1, and 3; then 5 is multiplied by 4, 1, and 3, and so on. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Guy Just Found a Faster Way to Multiply," 18 Oct. 2019 Taste and add up to ¼ cup more lemon juice to taste. Los Angeles Times, "Jitlada’s chef shares her family recipe for nam prik goong," 15 Oct. 2019 Two bonus points and a clean sheet extra add up to an impressive score for ya boi., "Fantasy Premier League: The Dream Team From Gameweek 4," 3 Sep. 2019 Lewis notes that the Duchess's charity initiatives can raise questions, but can rarely address the underlying systemic causes of a social issue: All of this adds up to a form of activism in which there are problems, but no villains. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Could Fly Commercial—But It Won't Stop the Backlash," 22 Aug. 2019 In reality, a grand jury indicted her in 1974 for receiving payments adding up to a grand total $7,608.02, later increased to $8,865.67. Bryce Covert, The New Republic, "The Myth of the Welfare Queen," 2 July 2019 Jonathan Prime—Universal Pictures While most of the strange aspects of Tom’s personality are easily explained once the twist is revealed, a few things never quite add up. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "Let's Talk About That Last Christmas Twist," 8 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'add up.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of add up

1850, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2

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The first known use of add up was in 1850

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Add up.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with add up

Nglish: Translation of add up for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of add up for Arabic Speakers

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What made you want to look up add up? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to constrict the range or activity of

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