Wind up – English Phrasal Verb – Online English Lessons

April 7, 2010 By Angela Boothroyd

1. If you turn the key, handle or dial on a clock or mechanical toy to make it work, you wind it up.

Examples of use:

a) The clock has stopped. Can you wind it up, please?

b)  When my grandmother was a girl her toys didn’t have batteries. She had to wind them up with a key.

c)  Don’t forget to wind up your alarm clock. You don’t want to miss the bus in the morning.

2. To wind up somebody, or wind somebody up, is to tell them something that isn’t true in order to make a joke.

Informal British English.

Examples of use:

a)  Stop winding your brother up.

b)  Don’t believe a word he says. He’s just trying to wind you up.

c)  Let’s wind up Mark and pretend his car has been stolen.

A windup (noun) is an act of tricking or teasing someone as a joke.

Informal British English.

Examples of use:

a)  I don’t believe you. Is this a windup?

b)  He told us that our school has burned down. But we think it’s a windup.

3. If a person is wound up they are nervous or stressed, and not relaxed.

Examples of use:

a)  I’ve had a stressful day at work and I’m feeling really wound up.

b) Don’t upset your father this evening. He’s already wound up about work.

4. To wind up something (or wind something up) is to bring it to a conclusion – to finish it, or prepare to finish it.

Examples of use:

a)  It’s nearly six o’clock so we’ll wind up the meeting now.

b) The police wound up their investigations after catching the criminals.

5. If a business is wound up it is brought to an end by liquidation.

Example of use:

The business had massive debts and was officially wound up last month.

6. To wind up somewhere, is to be in a situation, state or place without having planned it.

Informal English.

a)  If you carry on working so hard you’ll wind up in hospital.

b)  We wound up eating frogs legs because we couldn’t understand the French menu.

c) She wound up walking for miles because she was lost.

d)  Every time he drives the car he winds up with a speeding ticket.

infinitive
wind up
present simple
wind up and winds up
-ing form
winding up
past simple
wound up
past participle
wound up

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