Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

wind(-)up

wind upwind-up
Meaning(s)
1) to irritate or annoy, (to play) a trick or joke
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • he really winds me up, it was all a wind-up
  • Analysis

    'Wind up' is a phrasal verb meaning to end something, to arrive or find yourself in a particular place or situation to trick someone with lies or to annoy someone else, or to make a clock or watch work by turning a dial or key. If you find yourself somewhere unexpectedly or without planning to you can say you 'wound up' there. If you manage to convince someone something is true even though it is not you might say you are 'winding them up'. Usually, this involves telling someone lies in order to distress someone else or as a joke. You might also say someone is 'winding you up' if they are annoying you, especially deliberately. With old clocks and watches, you need to 'wind them up' in order for them to work, wind up toys were also popular in the past. As a noun a 'wind up' can be something that is not true told to someone else in order to make a joke. As an adjective, it can describe a clock, toy or something that needs to be wound before it is able to operate.


  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Johnathan changed my screensaver to an embarrassing picture to wind me up. I was so annoyed.
    2. Spelling mistakes get me so wound up - they're just unacceptable.
    3. The children had hidden their clothes and they were laughing at the babysitter trying to find them. They were always winding her up.
    4. Bob couldn't believe that his flight had been cancelled, and he was angry. Is this a wind-up? he asked. You can't be serious!
    5. The students were laughing because their teacher had fallen for the joke. She didn't realise that it was all a wind-up.
  • Further Suggestions
2) to end or finish
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • let's wind up at 7, we hope to wind up after lunch
  • Analysis
    'Wind up' is a phrasal verb meaning to end something, to arrive or find yourself in a particular place or situation to trick someone with lies or to annoy someone else, or to make a clock or watch work by turning a dial or key. You can use 'wind up' to talk about ending or finishing something. You might hear it used in expressions such as 'should we wind up for the day?' or 'I think it's time for us to wind up until tomorrow.' This use can also be applied to a business which stops operating or which has to close. Although this is a casual use of the phrase you can find it used in both social and professional contexts.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. I was up all night working on the essay, I didn't wind up until after 3 am.
    2. The class will wind up by 2 pm and then you can go home.
  • Further Suggestions
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