add up

Idioms & Phrases

add up

  1. Amount to an expected or correct total, as in These figures don't add up, meaning they are not correct. [Mid-1800s]

  2. Be consistent, make sense, as in I'm not sure that all this testimony will add up. [First half of 1900s]

  3. Assess, form an opinion of, as in He looked across the track and added up the competition. Also see add up to.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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