\ ˈtī-ˌəp How to pronounce tie-up (audio) \

Definition of tie-up

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a slowdown or stoppage of traffic, business, or operation (as by a mechanical breakdown)
2 : connection, association helpful financial tie-ups
3a : a cow stable also : a space for a single cow in a stable
b : a mooring place for a boat

tie up

tied up; tying up or tieing up; ties up

Definition of tie up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to attach, fasten, or bind securely also : to wrap up and fasten
2a : to connect closely : join tie up the loose ends
b : to cause to be linked so as to depend on or relate to something
3a : to place or invest in such a manner as to make unavailable for other purposes their money was tied up in stocks
b : to restrain from normal movement, operation, or progress traffic was tied up for miles
4a : to keep busy was tied up in conference all day
b : to preempt the use of tied up the phone for an hour

intransitive verb

1 : dock entry 2 the ferry ties up at the south slip
2 : to assume a definite relationship this ties up with what I told you before

Examples of tie-up in a Sentence

Verb an accident is tying up traffic at 5th and Broadway
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Penny set today as the date for a hearing regarding the forthcoming termination of the conservatorship, followed by another court date Dec. 13 to tie up loose financial threads. Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2021 As part of that tie up, Signa is also buying online bike retailer WiggleCRC from European buyout firm Bridgepoint Group PLC. Ben Dummett, WSJ, 14 Oct. 2021 Think of open interest as the money investors tie up to support the bets on market activity. Javier Paz, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Careful sellers understandably don’t want to give buyers any openings for litigation against them, which could tie up the property for years. Joshua Stein, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 Martinez and Devers hit the two grand slams in Game 2 to help tie up the series at 1-1. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Oct. 2021 The Beatles kept the breakup quiet so their then-manager Allen Klein — who McCartney refused to align with — had to tie up loose ends business-wise. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 10 Oct. 2021 The Paleys will then take the month of December to sell off equipment, tie up loose ends and prepare the restaurant’s 116-year-old building for sale. oregonlive, 4 Oct. 2021 To recap: President Biden wants Congress to shovel out hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure, which the EPA then will tie up in a permitting morass—unless, of course, the projects advance climate or social-justice goals. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 11 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tie-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 tie-up


1851, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Dictionary Entries Near tie-up



tie up

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Cite this Entry

“Tie-up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tie-up. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for tie-up



English Language Learners Definition of tie-up

: a situation in which something (such as traffic) becomes very slow or stops because of a problem, accident, etc.
: a close connection between people or things
: an agreement to do business together


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