\ 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 But over the last 6:28 in regulation, St. John’s went on a 21-11 run to tie up the game. Shreyas Laddha, courant.com, 12 Jan. 2022 Another court hearing is planned for Dec. 9, presumably to tie up loose ends and financial concerns. Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec. 2021 The Spartans intercepted Montiel to take possession with nine minutes left and a chance to tie up the game, but the Pirate defense was able to stop Marist from scoring again. oregonlive, 27 Nov. 2021 The remaining five episodes also tie up several loose ends and most notably reveal why the Professor loves the thrill of a heist. Pamela Avila, USA TODAY, 8 Dec. 2021 Officials are urging people who need testing not to tie up emergency rooms, but to instead seek out testing sites and pharmacies. Jeff Amy, ajc, 28 Dec. 2021 The Competition and Markets Authority found that last year’s $315 million tie up with the GIF search engine will reduce competition between social media platforms, according to a statement Tuesday. Time, 30 Nov. 2021 There’s also a pile-up of empty containers, which tie up port space and truck chassis. Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, 5 Nov. 2021 While the acquisition will help Global Payments in expanding its reach in the business-to-business (B2B) cloud payments market, the tie up with Virgin Money will enable the company to offer payments solutions in the U.K. Trefis Team, Forbes, 16 Sep. 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 23 Jan. 2022.

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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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