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

Tesla’s fourth Gigafactory will likely wind up in Europe. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla will live and die by the Gigafactory," 30 Nov. 2018 As issuance increases, funds that use the Bloomberg Barclays aggregate index as a guidepost for portfolio composition will wind up owning increasingly large amounts of Treasury debt. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "Bond Indexes Bend Under Weight of Treasury Debt," 28 Nov. 2018 Not sleeping well: Some people can sleep great and still get persistent headaches while others will wind up with headaches after one instance of subpar rest, Dr. Sachdev point out. Korin Miller, SELF, "When to See a Doctor About Those Persistent Headaches," 29 Aug. 2018 Variations in national bankruptcy laws mean that different procedures can apply when winding up stricken banks in different countries. The Economist, "Why the euro zone hasn’t seen more cross-border bank mergers," 12 July 2018 North Korea may already have nuclear missiles capable of striking anywhere in the U.S., and there is no way to know whether Trump’s negotiations with Kim Jong-un will wind up increasing or decreasing the prospect of nuclear war. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018 Eventually, the larger chunks wind up in extreme orbits, just like Sedna. Nola Taylor Redd,, "No Need for Planet Nine? Small Objects' Gravity Could Explain Weird Orbits," 5 June 2018 Sometimes, kicking your dishwasher winds up fixing it. T.a. Frank, The Hive, "The Real Horror Of the Trump Doctrine: There Is No Method to the Madness," 15 May 2018 If Murray can use this test against the Warriors the same way, then maybe the Spurs — whose season remains almost certainly doomed — will wind up getting something important and lasting out of this postseason after all. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "For Murray, Spurs’ rough series could be start of something big," 23 Apr. 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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Statistics for windup

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

wind-up : 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

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