Definition of add up in English:

add up

phrasal verb

  • 1Increase in amount, number, or degree:

    ‘watch those air miles add up!’
    • ‘Police now are making this suspect a priority, since the occurrences are increasing and the costs are adding up.’
    • ‘The amount of caffeine in these tea extracts can add up quickly, and is often not listed on the label.’
    • ‘A running toilet can be a simple thing to fix, and water savings add up quickly.’
    • ‘Simple actions like turning off the light when we leave a room or boiling only the correct amount of water for a cup of tea all add up.’
    • ‘They all add up, and insurers have a sneaky way of increasing renewal premiums each year, banking on your apathy not to move provider.’
    • ‘That's a lot of money spent on gas and whatever amount can be saved definitely adds up over time.’
    • ‘Although the money from the Government is not a substantial amount, if everyone chips in the total can add up very nicely.’
    • ‘Migoto watched as the fish added up quickly, and then quickly turned, walking down the bank the opposite way of the men.’
    • ‘It takes so long and with so many short stories the cost can add up.’
    • ‘We kept the rifle shooting and the amount of rounds through it started to add up.’
    • ‘Because while all the wicked things he did added up, it still won't equal what I will do.’
    • ‘Companies don't raise their dividends by a huge amount each year, but it adds up over time.’
    • ‘Then there's the work on the sewerage and the water it all adds up.’
    • ‘But don't forget interest adds up quickly on unpaid and underpaid amounts.’
    • ‘Although the expense is only B700 per dog, this amount, multiplied by 1,000, adds up.’
    • ‘As I was watching the money add up I realised I was having to invoke some serious self control.’
  • 2informal [usually with negative] Seem reasonable or consistent; make sense:

    ‘many things in her story didn't add up’
    • ‘Once you start to apply this guiding principle, then a lot of Peel's seemingly baffling eclecticism begins to add up and make sense.’
    • ‘Nothing adds up, nothing makes sense but anyone with any love for the genre will be astounded by its inexplicable energy and consistency (if they don't dismiss it after the first listen).’
    • ‘But on further prodding he realises there's more to this than meets the eye, as their story doesn't quite add up.’
    • ‘Nothing adds up or makes sense and the plot descends into complete mayhem and rage.’
    • ‘But Garner's story doesn't entirely add up on the page, and it doesn't on stage either.’
    • ‘I just wanted to say that your web site and explanation of world news makes sense and adds up at the end of the day.’
    • ‘So, like I said, something does not add up about the nandrolone story.’
    • ‘But this story did not add up and the friend became the chief suspect.’
    • ‘Neither the president's math nor his moral reasoning adds up.’
    • ‘We simply do not believe the story, because the story does not add up.’
    make sense, seem reasonable, seem plausible, stand to reason, stand up, hold up, hold water, bear examination, bear investigation, be verifiable, ring true, be convincing
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