Definition of tie someone up in English:

tie someone up

  • 1Bind someone 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 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, busy, keep busy, book, reserve, commit
See parent entry: tie

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space