Definition of wind someone up in US English:

wind someone up

phrasal verb

  • 1usually be wound upMake tense or angry.

    ‘he was clearly wound up and frantic about his daughter’
    • ‘The suggestion that he is some arty posh boy winds him up.’
    • ‘But it winds me up because everything we have seen today does not have to be like that.’
    • ‘I suppose it's fitting that I rant about religion on Easter Sunday, but this wound me up, and then Steve tipped me over the edge.’
    • ‘I was feeling extremely tense and uncomfortable and the whole thing was winding me up more and more and more.’
    • ‘In a nutshell, if someone comes up to you and winds you up, you don't have to become annoyed, and reply in kind.’
    • ‘His lack of insight winds him up and leads him to write angry and bitter rants like this - it's pretty sad really.’
    • ‘I don't eat because the noise other people make with the munching and the slurping and rattling bags winds me up, so I think it would be hypocritical if I ate, too.’
    • ‘It really sticks in my craw, winds me up, annoys me that he has the views on homosexuality that he has.’
    • ‘There is nothing that will wind me up more than hearing my children cry, at this age in particular.’
    • ‘This happens every six months or so, and really winds me up.’
  • 2British informal Tease or irritate someone.

    ‘she's only winding me up’
    • ‘Then again, his fresh-faced good looks and confident agreeability might only wind them up more.’
    • ‘Asked if he believed teams would try to wind him up to provoke a response, he admitted: ‘Yes, probably, but I'm an experienced player now and I want to prove that.’’
    • ‘The players were shouting at us and trying to wind us up about the result.’
    • ‘Derek winds me up that I have a wee boy who is English because he was born in Carlisle but I get him back because his wee girl was born in Edinburgh.’
    • ‘I admit I respect his body of work but every now and then I'll send him an e-mail just to wind him up.’
    • ‘She was winding me up, teasing me, and I knew it but the pain was still too fresh and the anger wasn't far from the surface and it took everything I had to keep quiet.’
    • ‘She was trying to wind me up and I just snapped.’
    • ‘He teased me and wound me up, without mercy, all day, for my grumpiness.’
    • ‘They wound me up about the result, we had a few drinks and we shared some laughs.’
    • ‘In itself this can be a little irritating if you're trying to wind someone up.’
    tease, make fun of, chaff
    annoy, anger, irritate, exasperate, get someone's back up, put someone's back up, nettle, pique, get on someone's nerves, ruffle someone's feathers
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