wind up

Idioms & Phrases

wind up

  1. Come or bring to a finish, as in The party was winding up, so we decided to leave, or Let's wind up the meeting and get back to work. [Early 1800s] Also see wind down.

  2. Put in order, settle, as in She had to wind up her affairs before she could move. [Late 1700s]

  3. Arrive somewhere following a course of action, end up, as in We got lost and wound up in another town altogether, or If you're careless with your bank account, you can wind up overdrawn. [Colloquial; early 1900s]

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