\ 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

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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 Among the loose ends the Trump administration is trying to tie up this month are the executions of three federal prisoners. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Lisa Montgomery Does Not Deserve Special Treatment," 11 Jan. 2021 Once the human resources portion of the project is complete in mid-2021, Rhyne intends to use the remainder of the year to tie up loose ends and give staff a breather, as many have been working overtime for months, Rhyne told cleveland.com. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County’s IT system overhaul delayed again as consultant predicts more cost overruns," 3 Dec. 2020 Don’t invest in anything that requires you to tie up funds for any length of time. orlandosentinel.com, "Keep cash reserve, invest extra assets," 26 Nov. 2020 Streveler still has loose ends to tie up from his CFL days. Star Tribune, "Chris Streveler goes from Gophers afterthought to NFL quarterback," 15 Sep. 2020 For weeks afterward, the workers will tie up loose ends, making sure everything is back in order and arranged neatly in the warehouse. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "In San Antonio’s super-busy election season, they all ‘call Joe’," 2 Nov. 2020 But the Bruins scored three straight of their own to tie up the match. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Timpview beats rival Mountain View in 5 thrilling sets for 5A volleyball title," 8 Nov. 2020 Unfortunately, Tevis never wrote a sequel to the novel, and the Netflix adaptation ends where the book ends, leaving few loose ends for the source material to tie up. Lauren Puckett, Harper's BAZAAR, "Will There Be A Season 2 of The Queen’s Gambit?," 30 Oct. 2020 A few days ago, one man threatened to kidnap, tie up and torture his young son. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Breonna Taylor shooting 'had nothing to do with race,' officer says in exclusive interview," 21 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tie-up

Time Traveler

The first known use of tie-up was in 1530

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Statistics for tie-up

Cite this Entry

“Tie-up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tie-up. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for tie-up


How to pronounce tie up (audio)

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

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