Definition of windup in US English:



  • 1An act of concluding or finishing something.

    ‘the windup of the convention’
    • ‘And we've just seen the windup of the more than $1 billion in a federal health-aid program that's been bolstering the system since 1995.’
    • ‘I will look briefly at clause 25, which deals with the wind-up of a club.’
    • ‘The July wind-up coincides with the launch by Eircell of the country's first controlled pilot project on the recycling of disused mobile phones, batteries and chargers.’
    • ‘We will help the victims of pension wind-ups.’
    • ‘Bill is a victim of a pension wind-up after his company went bust.’
    • ‘The issue in Peet involved a determination of entitlement during the notice period when the employee had elected to receive early benefits under a partial wind-up.’
    • ‘In his opinion, the wind-ups are the result of Bulgaria's pending EU accession.’
    • ‘‘The Apprentice,’ the windup of the third season is Thursday night on NBC.’
    • ‘Incidentally, victims of pension scheme wind-ups plan to stage a rally in London on Sunday, June 8.’
    • ‘This seminar will provide an overview of the income tax issues related to wind-ups and amalgamations.’
    • ‘Frank Buckley, if you have an additional question or a windup to the report, we'll turn it back to you.’
    • ‘But then came the steaming bowls of bozbashi, and, contrary to all logic, this hearty lamb soup was the perfect wind-up to the feast.’
    • ‘In the windup of your book, you have a segment called ‘Seven Lessons of Leadership for the President’ based on your experience of working for four presidents.’
    • ‘The bill provides for disclosure and consultation before finalisation of scheme wind-ups occurring from June 1, 2002.’
    • ‘Had the company stayed, it would almost certainly have become just another forgotten statistic in the vast list of company wind-ups and failures.’
    • ‘Any surplus is identified only for this purpose and is not related to identifying amounts that may be attributable to members on a wind-up of the entire plan.’
    • ‘So what we may be seeing, in part at least, here is just part of the wind-up of a political campaign.’
    • ‘All summer long the tour had traversed the county and played 22 times on Kerry courses and this was the wind-up.’
    • ‘Howie, we're in New York with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to look back at the windup of the presidential primary season and to look ahead to Gore versus Bush.’
    • ‘The small workforce never challenged the wind-up.’
    end, ending, finish, close, closure, termination, wind-up, cessation
    View synonyms
  • 2Baseball
    The motions of a pitcher immediately before delivering the ball, in which they take a step back, lift the hands over the head, and step forward.

    • ‘The 28-year-old Burnett, whose across-the-body delivery has concerned scouts for years, tinkered with a new windup this spring before going back to his old motion.’
    • ‘This hurler has cultivated an elaborate windup.’
    • ‘Break the windup into segments - such as stepback, leg kick, release and follow-through - that allow pitchers to isolate each of the steps.’
    • ‘Rule 8.01 says that once a pitcher starts his windup he must continue ‘without interruption or alteration.’’
    • ‘Even Tiant's repertoire of pace-changing wind-ups did little to confuse the Reds' batters.’
  • 3British informal An attempt to tease or irritate someone.

    • ‘And, when a spokesman from the breakfast show phoned to tell him the good news, John put the phone down thinking it was a wind-up.’
    • ‘I'm sure Sergen meant well and simply wanted to share his pleasure with the widest possible audience, yet there is a dark interpretation of these events: namely, that the Besiktas players were attempting some kind of wind-up.’
    • ‘I thought it was a wind-up but when I looked there was no-one there.’
    • ‘‘I thought it was a wind-up when I got the invitation,’ said Oscar.’
    • ‘‘We thought the text message was a wind-up,’ said Mr Grimes.’
    • ‘But with Grady, it's hard to know what's true and what's a wind-up.’
    • ‘Kerry will be presenting a show of wind-ups and pranks.’
    • ‘I thought it was a wind-up when I first got back to the coach and discovered my backpack was missing.’
    • ‘‘Sewing a squash ball into the back of their pyjamas or nightie might sound like a wind-up but it's effective because it stops people from sleeping on their back,’ he said.’
    • ‘But, to be honest, when I first found out Accrington had made enquiries about me, I thought it was a wind-up.’
    • ‘"We thought the text message was a wind-up, " said Mr Grimes.’
    • ‘It is not that he is without humour or fun - friends in Sweden such as Bengt Skoog, the freelance journalist based in Larsson's home town of Helsingborg, regularly tell of his wisecracking and wind-ups.’
    • ‘Its one of the best wind-ups of all to suggest to an ultra-left group that they might be a front for some security service or other.’
    • ‘This report is not a wind-up: A firm of burly bailiffs have failed in their bid to evict a wheelchair-bound nun from her home.’
    • ‘Donal gave a sparkling performance with his version of ‘The Roast,’ essentially a good windup of a colleague, delivered, of course, in the true spirit of Toastmasters with wit and humour.’
    • ‘At first we thought it was a wind-up but it really is a tremendous honour and we're absolutely bowled over.’
    • ‘When Downing Street phoned to tell him, he thought it was a wind-up.’
    • ‘We all came up with the idea of The Naked Gardener and my friend put it on a website as a wind-up.’
    • ‘The build-up has the atmosphere of a phoney war as the rivals perfect the various practical jokes and wind-ups that will help unsettle their enemy's preparations.’
    • ‘Perhaps not surprisingly, Paul refused to believe them and fearing he was the victim of a cruel wind-up fired some insults down the phone to Walwyn, who was trying to say just how much he enjoyed the song.’


  • (of a toy or other device) functioning by means of winding a key or handle.

    ‘a windup clock’
    • ‘Fully dressed, she lay atop the bedclothes clutching a windup alarm clock with double brass hemispheres on top, registering its hypertensive ticktock like the pulse of a mechanical hummingbird.’
    • ‘Whatever she's doing seems more fun than chasing a wind-up toy in the woods.’
    • ‘A wind-up Batz Maru can be snagged for $4 in Chinatown.’
    • ‘Wheeled and windup toys are also well represented in the collection he assembled.’
    • ‘Oh, we have two old wind-up clocks, sure we do.’
    • ‘What is the value of a portable wind-up gramophone I have?’
    • ‘A windup alarm clock, for example, uses a tension spring as a drive mechanism, an escapement wheel, and the gear driven mechanical hands moving across the clock face as a display of the time.’
    • ‘I have seen wind-up radios and flashlights, but I was surprised to read about a wind-up cellphone charger.’
    • ‘One pilot is depicted as a video nut, compulsively filming everything in the attack with a wind-up Kodak, and no one bothers to tell him to throw away the damn camera.’
    • ‘It was an interesting snapshot of the time - I bought a radio that could be powered by batteries, a solar charge, AND a wind-up crank.’
    • ‘Most of the once vociferous campaigners were too busy to talk as they listened to the latest news on a wind-up radio.’
    • ‘Mr Movies looks increasingly like a wind-up toy with a screw loose; one senses another marketing opportunity here - Mad Tom dolls as a merchandising spin-off from War of the Worlds.’
    • ‘People with joie de vivre are like windup dolls that never run down.’
    • ‘So why don't you just come with me to the store and at least take a look at the wind-up clocks.’
    • ‘Inventor Trevor Baylis had spent years trying to raise finance for his wind-up clockwork radio.’
    • ‘At other times, women looked like windup dolls or birds or apes.’
    • ‘The equipment she uses means Nashashibi only has 28 seconds for each shot, filming mainly on 16 mm film on a wind-up Bolex camera.’
    • ‘The spined micrathena, common in the U.S., vibrates with such gusto that if you picked one up, you'd think it was a wind-up toy.’
    • ‘Other wind-up gramophones from the period have brass finished horns which are equally desirable; however, it is important that the machines are in good working order and in as original condition as possible.’
    • ‘Also ubiquitous is your standard wind-up mouse.’