Share this entry

Share this page

tie someone up

Definition of tie someone up in English:

1Bind someone’s legs and arms together or bind someone to something so that they cannot move or escape: robbers tied her up and ransacked her home
More example sentences
  • He tied him up before attacking and binding the two other members of staff.
  • Miss Lees was tied up but managed to escape and hid from the gunman for several hours while he searched for her with his dog.
  • The robbers held them at gunpoint and tied them up before escaping with a substantial amount of jewellery.
1.1 (usually be tied up) informal Occupy someone to the exclusion of any other activity: she would be tied up at the meeting all day
More example sentences
  • They don't take part in all the trial proceedings not because they are lazy but because they are tied up with other engagements.
  • So you would be tied up in legal proceedings, rather than attending to a very serious health issue?
  • I didn't get a chance to dance with you last night; you were tied up with some man all evening.
Synonyms
occupy, engage, keep busy
See parent entry: tie

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence