wind·​up | \ ˈwīnd-ˌəp \

Definition of windup

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the act of bringing to an end
b : a concluding act or part : finish
2a : a series of regular and distinctive motions (such as swinging the arms) made by a pitcher preparatory to releasing a pitch
b : an exaggerated backswing (as in tennis)



Definition of windup (Entry 2 of 3)

: operated by a spring mechanism wound by hand

wind up


Definition of wind up (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to bring to a conclusion : end
2a : to put in order for the purpose of bringing to an end winds up the meeting
b British : to effectuate the winding up of

intransitive verb

1a : to come to a conclusion
b : to arrive in a place, situation, or condition at the end or as a result of a course of action wound up as millionaires
2 : to make a pitching windup

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Examples of windup in a Sentence


the windup of the negotiations He went into the windup, then threw the pitch. a pitcher with an unusual windup Her brother's act was just a wind-up to get her angry.


She has an old windup record player in her attic.


try to wind up the performance, as we're almost out of time her speeches usually wind up with one last joke
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Taillon had a relatively traditional windup the first two years of his career, but this season starts with his feet parallel to the rubber before taking a short step backward with his left foot and going into his delivery. Michael Beller,, "How the Pirates' Jameson Taillon Reached His Ace Potential Without Changing a Thing," 25 Apr. 2018 The sculptor will capture Hoffman mid-windup, complete with the right-hander’s familiar high leg kick. Dennis Lin,, "Padres to unveil Trevor Hoffman statue at Petco Park this summer," 26 Jan. 2018 The motion on McEnroe’s serve is still the same — the slow windup, the left-handed delivery. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "Cheering John McEnroe in Paris Never Gets Old," 9 June 2018 For another, there’s his delivery, which features a hands-over-the-head windup that feels just as old-fashioned as the mustache. Staff,, "Nine Innings: The Indians' Surprisingly Bad Bullpen, the State of the NL West and Culberson's Magic," 4 June 2018 Three times, Ensberg bluffed down the line with Gillespie timing the pitcher's windup, measuring Ensberg's jumps. Mike Digiovanna,, "For retiring baseball coach Mike Gillespie, it's been a career filled with guts and glory," 18 May 2018 Sandy into his windup and the pitch, a fastball for a strike. Houston Mitchell,, "Dodgers Dugout: The 25 greatest Dodgers of all time, No. 3: Vin Scully," 27 Mar. 2018 Elieser Hernandez stumbled and fell during his windup without the ball ever leaving his hand. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "Mistakes come back to haunt Marlins in loss to Arizona," 26 June 2018 Reus stopped the ball and stepped back as Kroos took his full windup and curled a shot that went over two defenders, around goalkeeper Robin Olsen and then inside the right post. Andrew Das, New York Times, "Germany’s World Cup Is Saved in the Blink of an Eye (and Flick of a Foot)," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Her father wound up taking his own life two years later. Bryan Smith, Los Angeles Magazine, "How Lisa Bloom Bounced Back From Defending Harvey Weinstein," 8 June 2018 But Hall worries that the families who rely on rental assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development might wind up on the streets under a Trump administration proposal. NBC News, "HUD proposal to raise rents on poor could increase homelessness, advocates say," 7 June 2018 Joey Votto had 3,037 plate appearances before beginning what may wind up as a Hall of Fame career. Scott Lauber,, "Johnny Almaraz defends scouting record with Phillies, hopes to find more gems this year," 4 June 2018 Sullivan: Sponsorship issue causes rift between Louisville and major donor Louisville wound up as a high No. 2 seed after a down-the-stretch charge featuring a 23-6 record since a loss to N.C. State in April. Randy Rosetta, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville baseball faces challenge of playing away for NCAA tourney," 31 May 2018 Over time, the FBI managed to track down some of the relatives whose loved ones' remains wound up in Rathburn's possession. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Grosse Pointe cadaver dealer gets 9 years prison in body parts case," 22 May 2018 The auger consists of a 25- to 50-foot-long flexible steel cable that’s wound up inside a metal drum. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Unclog a Drain," 26 Jan. 2019 Was there any reason, beyond proximity, that Jews wound up eating Chinese food, as opposed to some other immigrant cuisine? Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "In the US, Jews have been eating American Chinese food on Christmas for over 100 years.," 21 Dec. 2018 Like Logano, who wound up fourth in the spring, Truex never quite caught up, finishing 5.8 seconds off the lead. Fox News, "Kyle Busch wins NASCAR Richmond race from the back of the pack," 24 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'windup.' 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 windup


1665, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1784, in the meaning defined above


1583, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for windup

The first known use of windup was in 1583

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More Definitions for windup



English Language Learners Definition of windup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the things that are done at the end of something (such as an event or process) : the final part of something
baseball : the movements that a pitcher makes before the ball is thrown
British, informal : something done or said in usually a joking way to make someone annoyed or upset



English Language Learners Definition of windup (Entry 2 of 2)

: having a motor that is given power when someone turns a handle


wind·​up | \ ˈwīnd-ˌəp \

Kids Definition of windup

1 : the last part of something : finish
2 : a swing of a baseball pitcher's arm before the pitch is thrown

wind up

transitive verb
wound up; winding up

Legal Definition of wind up

: to bring to an end by taking care of unfinished business ordered to wind up his practice specifically : to conclude by removing liabilities and distributing any remaining assets to partners or shareholders wind up the business and affairs of a corporation in dissolution wind up a receivership

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More from Merriam-Webster on windup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with windup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for windup

Spanish Central: Translation of windup

Nglish: Translation of windup for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about windup

Comments on windup

What made you want to look up windup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a servile follower or underling

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