Add up

to unite or join so as to increase the number, quantity, size, or importance:
to add two cups of sugar; to add a postscript to her letter; to add insult to injury.
to find the sum of (often followed by up):
Add this column of figures. Add up the grocery bills.
to say or write further.
to include (usually followed by in):
Don’t forget to add in the tip.
to perform the arithmetic operation of :
children learning to add and subtract.
to be or serve as an (usually followed by to):
His illness added to the family’s troubles.
Journalism. copy added to a completed story.
add up to, to signify; indicate:
The evidence adds up to a case of murder.
add up,

to make the desired, expected, or correct total:
These figures don’t add up right.
to seem reasonable or consistent; be in harmony or accord:
Some aspects of the story didn’t add up.

Contemporary Examples

Laura Colarusso on how the numbers could add up to a GOP win in 2012.
Obama’s Swing-State Cash Problem Laura Colarusso October 29, 2011

Young says, “From a psychiatric perspective … it could all add up to explain how he could have performed such a horrid act.”
The Trials of Nancy Lanza Diane Dimond January 6, 2013

Members Project recognizes that small steps can add up to big strides, and your level of involvement is up to you.
Make the World Better, One Step at a Time Daily Beast Promotions March 15, 2010

He is charged with a range of arson-related felony counts that could add up to a maximum sentence of more than 24 years in prison.
Did This Professor Go Crazy? Christine Pelisek January 29, 2013

Unfortunately, your foods plus your partner’s foods can often add up to an increase in variety that encourages weight gain.
The Diet Killer Susan B. Roberts August 10, 2009

Historical Examples

Rose made a last frantic struggle to induce her figures to add up, but they were getting more meaningless every minute.
The Real Adventure Henry Kitchell Webster

They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

Perhaps in the meantime I shall be able to add up my accounts!
Nursery Comedies Lady Florence Eveleen Eleanore Bell

Unlike those of Dora Copperfield, their accounts will “add up.”
History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III) Various

Do it four times, then add up all the four totals of those that went in; that gives your aim or control number.
Woodland Tales Ernest Seton-Thompson

verb (adverb)
to find the sum (of)
(intransitive) to result in a correct total
(intransitive) (informal) to make sense
(intransitive) foll by to. to amount to
to combine (two or more numbers or quantities) by addition
(transitive) foll by to. to increase (a number or quantity) by another number or quantity using addition
(transitive) often foll by to. to join (something) to something else in order to increase the size, quantity, effect, or scope; unite (with): to add insult to injury
(intransitive) foll by to. to have an extra and increased effect (on): her illness added to his worries
(transitive) to say or write further
(transitive) foll by in. to include
(informal) an instance of adding someone to one’s list of contacts on a social networking site, esp MySpace: Thanks for the add!
attention deficit disorder

late 14c., “to join or unite (something to something else),” from Latin addere “add to, join, attach, place upon,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + -dere comb. form meaning “to put, place,” from dare “to give” (see date (n.1)). Meaning “to do sums, do addition” also is from late 14c. Related: Added; adding. To add up “make sense” is from 1942.

ADD abbr.
attention deficit disorder
Abbreviation of attention deficit disorder
Administration on Developmental Disabilities
attention deficit disorder
Amount to an expected or correct total, as in These figures don’t add up, meaning they are not correct. [ Mid-1800s ]
Be consistent, make sense, as in I’m not sure that all this testimony will add up. [ First half of 1900s ]
Assess, form an opinion of, as in He looked across the track and added up the competition . Also see add up to


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