From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishtie up phrasal verb1person tie somebody ↔ upTIE to tie someone’s arms, legs etc so that they cannot move syn bindThe intruders tied Kurt up and left him.2object tie something ↔ upTIE to fasten something together, using string, rope etcHe tied up all the old newspapers.3busy be tied upBUSY/NOT AVAILABLE to be very busy, so that you cannot do anything elseI can’t see you tomorrow – I’ll be tied up all day.4traffic/phone/court etc tie something ↔ upTTC especially American English to block a system or use it so much that other people cannot use it or it does not work effectively → tie-upDon’t tie up the phone lines making personal calls.Protesters tied up the traffic for three hours today.5money be tied upMONEY if your money is tied up in something, it is all being used for that thing and is not available for anything elsebe tied up inMy money’s all tied up in the house.6arrangements tie something ↔ upFINISH DOING something to finisharranging all the details of something such as an agreement or a plan syn finalizeWe’d better tie up the details with a solicitor.7be tied up with somethingCONNECTED WITH to be very closely related to something syn be linked toThe shortage of teachers is tied up with the issue of pay.8tie up loose endsFINISH DOING something to do the things that are necessary in order to finish a piece of workI need to tie up a few loose ends before I go on vacation.9animal tie something ↔ up to tie an animal to something with a rope, chain etc syn tethertie something ↔ up toShe left the dog tied up to a tree.10boatTTW to tie a boat to something with a rope, chain etc syn moorWe tied up alongside a barge.tie something ↔ upThere was a boat tied up at the jetty. →tie→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
tie up• Clara tied up all the books again and put the bundle under the desk.• The soldierstied them up and beat them.• Mrs Bennett had been tied up and left in the back of the van.• I put the coins in a piece of cloth, tied it up and put the package in my bag.be tied up• "May I speak to Professor Smithers?" "I'm sorry. He's tied up at the moment."• I'm sorry, he's tied up at the moment. Could you call back later?• I can't see you tomorrow, I'm tied up all day.• No point in fixingdates when television's camerasare tied up elsewhere.• Its fixed-interest bond pays 11.50 percentnetprovided the money is tied up for at least 12 months.. Key move on cards.• Her hairwas tied up in a hair net and the hat was removed and placed to the right of her chest.• Most of this is tied up in grants, salaries and existingprogrammes, some of them five years long.• The Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow are destroyed, and the Lionis tied up in your yard.• Our identityis tied up with being some one who never achieves these goals.• The others were tied up with sickness, specialduties, leave and - a key problem - courtattendance.• On completion day, the legal ends are tied up, you collect the keys and move into your new home.tie in• Her hair was tied up in a hair net and the hat was removed and placed to the right of her chest.• No more than 10 percent of totalinvestment to be tied up in any one company. 2.• Her platinum hair, with its darkroots, was tied up in dozens of tinypigtails.• Most of this is tied up in grants, salaries and existing programmes, some of them five years long.• Traffic was tied up in most of downtown Washington until earlyafternoon.• Our mentalimages of ourselves are tied up in our body image.• The Great Bane was tied up in the yard.• The Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow are destroyed, and the Lion is tied up in your yard.be tied up with something• The trouble is, he's going to be tied up with all this now.• Our identity is tied up with being some one who never achieves these goals.• Christianity in Africa is tied up with its colonialpast.• The others were tied up with sickness, special duties, leave and - a key problem - court attendance.• Some of these are tied up with the conception of crime itself; and will be dealt with in the next section.• For many, aspiration to higher things through promotionwas tied up with the idea of a larger wage-packet.• Apart from that, everyone else is tied up with this extraordinarybusiness at the Savoy.tie up loose ends• There are still a few loose ends to tie up before we have an agreement.• His new movie will tie up some of the loose ends from the last one.
tie-upˈtie-up noun [countable] informal1BBAGREEan agreement to become business partnerstie-up withIBM’s tie-up with Auspex System Inc2British EnglishCONNECTED WITH a strongconnection between two or more thingstie-up betweenthe tie-up between class interests and politics3American EnglishTTC a situation in which traffic is prevented from moving or there is a problem which prevents a system or plan from working → tie upat tie1
Examples from the Corpus
tie-up• It is also contemplatingtie-ups with software houses or large user organisations abroad.• The eight-day tie-up has been an agreedmethod within the Community during the current year.• The Apple/IBM/Novell tie-up will result in ObjectManagement Group-compliant technologydrawn from existing internalprojects.• Indeed the wholecolourmarket is rapidly moving upwardsbeyond the reach of the amateurfollowing Adobe's tie-up with Scitex.• He may consolidate his position by entering into a merger of sorts with Carlton when the Government permits such tie-ups in 1994.• The tie-up could send a chill through BillGates since it gives Novell an interesting point of entry to the enterprise.• The tie-up with petrochemicals is logical.• frustrating traffic tie-upsFrom Longman Business Dictionarytie up phrasal verb [transitive]1tie ↔ something up to use money for something so that it is not easily available to be used for anything elseThese securities could be a good choice for investors who can afford to tie up their money for two to seven years.tie ↔ something up inHer cash is all tied up in real estate.The bank had too high a percentage of its assets, about 20%, tied up in one borrower.2to use a telephoneline so that it cannot be used for anything else or by anyone elseWith broadband, your phone line will never need to be tied up again.3be tied up to be very busy so that you do not have time to see someone or to do somethingI can’t see you tomorrow — I’m going to be tied up all day.4to finish arranging all the details of a contract, deal, or planOur sales team were able to tie up a new contract.5American English to block the movement of vehicles or people so that they cannot move freelyThere’s a free roadside service for stranded vehicles that tie up traffic. →tie→ See Verb tabletie-upˈtie-up noun [countable]COMMERCEan agreement to become business partnerstie-up withThe company says that a tie-up with a foreign major is now on the cards.