tie-up

noun
\ 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

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

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Examples of tie-up in a Sentence

Verb

an accident is tying up traffic at 5th and Broadway

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Colbert said the team did not want to potentially tie up millions by placing a tag on Bell, who sat out all of 2018 after declining to sign his one-year tender last spring. Will Graves, The Seattle Times, "Steelers won’t tag Bell; will explore trade for Brown," 20 Feb. 2019 Holding a position means tying up resources, limiting the ability to patrol or respond to other situations. Joe Robertson, kansascity, "SWAT told Olathe police not to go in, body cams show. They did anyway and killed a woman | The Kansas City Star," 5 May 2018 Business was good enough at his insurance company to pay for a five-bedroom house outside Indianapolis, a speedboat tied up at a nearby lake and a closet stuffed with designer suits. Kyle Swenson, chicagotribune.com, "Indiana man missing for decades before being found in Florida thanks to ancestry website now owes abandoned family nearly $2 million," 31 May 2018 Maybe not the biggest in the world, but certainly the biggest to ever tie up at the port's docks at San Pedro. Rosemary Mcclure, latimes.com, "Norwegian Cruise Line sends a really big ship to L.A., and there may be more to come," 30 May 2018 Friends with boats often cruise over and tie up at the Makoids’ dock for a barbecue. New York Times, "For Some in the Hamptons, It’s Not a Home Without a Dock," 18 May 2018 In April, 1931, a stout ship that had endured howling gales, towering waves and the press of polar ice tied up at a Potomac River dock alongside the boats that took sightseers to Mount Vernon and the Marshall Hall amusement park. John Kelly, Washington Post, "In 1931, Washington tourists could visit Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic flagship," 12 May 2018 Alexander, the prosecutor, told the jury that at a minimum, the children were tied up for days and that there was no way Dorch couldn’t have known of the abuse. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "Deputy cries as he describes San Antonio children tied up like dogs," 16 Apr. 2018 That means viewers should make sure to tune in 8/7c and buckle up because this series finale is focused on tying up every loose end imaginable with a lengthy runtime. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "The "Shadowhunters" Final Episode Will Be More Than 2 Hours Long," 28 Mar. 2019

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

Noun

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near tie-up

tie tack

tietick

tie-tie

tie-up

tie up

tie up loose ends

tievine

Statistics for tie-up

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tie-up

The first known use of tie-up was in 1530

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More Definitions for tie-up

tie-up

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tie-up

chiefly US : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on tie-up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tie-up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tie-up

Comments on tie-up

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