\ 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 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


an accident is tying up traffic at 5th and Broadway

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Oregon State 14, Cal Poly 7 11:22: Cal Poly answers right back, with the Mustangs hitting on two key pass plays and going 75 yards in eight plays to tie up the game at 7-7. oregonlive, "Oregon State Beavers football drubs Cal Poly Mustangs: Live updates recap," 14 Sep. 2019 While serving down 5-4, Williams fired a 118 miles-per-hour ace, then double faulted, then hit a 119 miles-per-hour ace, then double faulted, but eventually held to tie up the set. Sean Gregory, Time, "Serena Williams Keeps Fighting, But Falls Short in Another Grand Slam," 8 Sep. 2019 The guards — a man and a woman — were found tied up in the back of the van, which the couple allegedly ditched in northeast Arizona. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "New Photos Released of 'Armed and Dangerous' Fugitive Couple Accused of Murdering Veteran," 2 Sep. 2019 With the future of Brazilian attacker Neymar still up in the air, the Paris club viewed Mandzukic as an ideal player to slot into their attacking lineup and were keen to tie up a deal before the French transfer window closes on 2nd September. SI.com, "Juventus Striker Mario Mandzukic Rejects Late Paris Saint-Germain Approach," 29 Aug. 2019 Red tape descends from the use of reddish tape to tie up official documents, a practice that began in 17th-century England. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Weighing the pros and cons of political correctness," 10 Aug. 2019 Landry used an extra lineman to tie up Bears blockers while instructing rookie middle linebacker Sam Huff to shadow Casares. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 36, Rick Casares," 31 July 2019 Cummings does a nice job of tying up the hands and preventing Akhmedov from landing anything. Todd Martin, Los Angeles Times, "UFC 242 live updates: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier," 7 Sep. 2019 As of January, the ACA’s allowance of tying up to 30 percent of premiums to participation has been vacated. Lena Solow, The New Republic, "The Scourge of Worker Wellness Programs," 2 Sep. 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


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 tack




tie up

tie up loose ends


Statistics for tie-up

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Time Traveler for tie-up

The first known use of tie-up was in 1530

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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

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to be made up of

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