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’
    • ‘This happens every six months or so, and really winds me up.’
    • ‘His lack of insight winds him up and leads him to write angry and bitter rants like this - it's pretty sad really.’
    • ‘I was feeling extremely tense and uncomfortable and the whole thing was winding me up more and more and more.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is nothing that will wind me up more than hearing my children cry, at this age in particular.’
    • ‘It really sticks in my craw, winds me up, annoys me that he has the views on homosexuality that he has.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But it winds me up because everything we have seen today does not have to be like that.’
    • ‘In a nutshell, if someone comes up to you and winds you up, you don't have to become annoyed, and reply in kind.’
    • ‘The suggestion that he is some arty posh boy winds him up.’
  • 2British informal Tease or irritate someone.

    ‘she's only winding me up’
    • ‘In itself this can be a little irritating if you're trying to wind someone up.’
    • ‘He teased me and wound me up, without mercy, all day, for my grumpiness.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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 trying to wind me up and I just snapped.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They wound me up about the result, we had a few drinks and we shared some laughs.’
    • ‘Then again, his fresh-faced good looks and confident agreeability might only wind them up more.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
    View synonyms