\ 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 To help tie up those loose ends, a listener might end up going to realtor.com itself, where the show notes for each episode contain a tidy list of links, such as for professional photos of the properties mentioned. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, "Spotify Has Its Own Clubhouse Now," 30 Mar. 2021 Use it to tie up your hair or pair with overalls for running around town. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "Madewell and Parks Project’s new sustainable collab helps to preserve national parks," 30 Mar. 2021 Budget cuts have forced the ferry system to tie up ships because the state lacks the money to maintain them. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska could deliberately sink a laid-up ferry to save money for its ailing Marine Highway," 25 Mar. 2021 With the game winding down, the Chiefs made a last-ditch attempt to get on the scoreboard and tie up the game. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "Fry Bowl tradition lives on in Pompano Beach," 19 Feb. 2021 Conspiracy theories also tie up lots of little loose threads this way, just like a satisfying whodunit. Faye Flam, Star Tribune, "Social media is fertile soil for conspiracy," 2 Feb. 2021 And after all of Georgia’s secrets explosively unfurl in Ginny’s face, there’s no question that there’s quite a few loose ends that the show simply must tie up in future episodes. Zoe Guy, Marie Claire, "'Ginny & Georgia' Season 2: Everything We Know," 24 Feb. 2021 Schumer, never one to take on quixotic causes, has obviously been worried that witnesses, subpoenas, and depositions would tie up the Senate for weeks. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Botched Democratic Effort to Convict Donald Trump," 13 Feb. 2021 Republicans need to win just one seat in order to hold a slim majority in the Senate, while Democrats need to win both seats in order to tie up the chamber with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris becoming the tiebreaking vote. Washington Examiner Staff, Washington Examiner, "WATCH LIVE: Trump holds Georgia rally for Perdue and Loeffler on eve of Senate runoff elections," 4 Jan. 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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Cite this Entry

“Tie-up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tie-up. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for tie-up



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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