\ 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

Verb an accident is tying up traffic at 5th and Broadway
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The members of this oligopoly will continue to compete fiercely to tie up the best talent with extravagant long-term contracts. Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, "Big agencies and studios have a lock on Hollywood. It’s high time to apply antitrust law.," 9 Sep. 2019 Machines could work together in rounds, with all the loose ends tied up before each round ended. Cal Newport, The New Yorker, "Was E-mail a Mistake?," 6 Aug. 2019 The next night, Manson himself led a handful of followers to the home of wealthy grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, tying up the couple and leaving the others to butcher them with knives. John Rogers, The Denver Post, "Manson prosecutor: Keep them all locked up forever," 6 Aug. 2019 After Cruz put the Twins ahead with a two-run shot in the first, the Royals (40-72) had rallied back to tie up the game in the second with a Jorge Soler home run and another run on a Meibrys Viloria single. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Nelson Cruz hits three home runs in Twins’ win — again," 3 Aug. 2019 The state appeals court delayed Austin's ordinance last year while parts of the case are tied up in court. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "Texas Public Policy Foundation plans to sue Dallas over its new paid sick leave law," 23 July 2019 Additionally, Phillips was indicted on a first-degree kidnapping charge because the Holts’ 3-year-old granddaughter was tied up with a phone cord and put in a bathtub while her grandparents were slain. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Prosecutors seek death penalty for both suspects in stabbing deaths of Birmingham grandparents," 16 July 2019 The Dynamex ruling left a few loose ends, some of which would be tied up by AB 5. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Uber and Lyft try to blunt a court ruling that their drivers are employees," 11 July 2019 Boston struck back quickly, tying up the game in the first inning, only for the Yankees to once again take the lead thanks to a two-run homer from Brett Gardner. CBS News, "Yankees' Aaron Hicks hits MLB's first home run in Europe," 29 June 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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Statistics for tie-up

Time Traveler for tie-up

The first known use of tie-up was in 1530

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on tie-up

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tie-up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tie-up

Comments on tie-up

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a calculated move

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