wind / wind


 These are actually two different words with one spelling.

When the word refers to the movement of air, it sounds like "wind" (short "i" sound).

  • The wind is blowing pretty hard today.
  • It’s windy today. ("Windy" is an adjective.)
  • There’s a lot of wind in the winter and the spring.
  • The wind blew down a tree outside of our house.
  • wind The wind is very strong.

If you pronounce the vowel with a long "i" sound, this word becomes "wind." When you turn something such as a watch, a timer, or a toy, you "wind" it (long "i" sound).

simplepastpast participle
  • I have to wind my watch.
  • This watch needs to be wound. (passive infinitive)
  • If you wind this toy, it will walk across the room.


The word "wind" is also used to describe roads, pathways, and directions–especially when something is not straight:

  • The highway winds around the mountain.
  • We wound our way through the forest.
  • You’ll have to wind your way through this crowd to reach the front of the stage.

rock concert

As an idiom, "wind up" means to finish in a location or a position:

  • Because we took a wrong turn, we wound up in the wrong place.
  • If you don’t study hard, you’ll wind up getting bad grades.
  • Joe wound up going to law school to become a lawyer instead of medical school to become a doctor.

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This page was first published on August 30, 2012. It was updated on June 27, 2015.