If someone uses the phrase ‘sync up,’ what do they mean? There are five different definitions for the phrase ‘sync up’ with related meanings, and we’ll go over each of them in this article.
In a nutshell, though, ‘sync up’ means:
‘Sync up’ is a phrase that has a number of different meanings. These are:
The final two definitions here have to do with the way that digital devices will ‘sync up’ with one another.
In order to understand which definition is being used, you will want to use the larger context in which it is said.
For instance, if you and your group of friends are planning on meeting downtown on Saturday, you could say that you want to have a group chat beforehand to ‘sync up’ your plans. This is an example using the definition in our third bullet point above.
For the first two definitions, you might say that the audio and visuals of a movie you are watching aren’t ‘synced up’ or that you want to troubleshoot the problem so you can ‘sync them up.’
The word ‘sync’ dates back to 1929 as a shortened form of the word ‘synchronization.’
‘Synchronization’ is a noun form of the verb ‘synchronize,’ which dates back to the 1620s, meaning “to occur at the same time.” It actually comes from a Greek word that means “be of the same time.” The use of the word in the transitive sense, as in to “make synchronous,” first appeared in the early 1800s.
The shortened version of the word was originally used in reference to matching the visuals of a movie and the soundtracks. The shortened verb form of ‘synchronize’– ‘sync’ – started being used by 1945. The idea of being ‘in sync’ that uses the term to mean “harmony, an agreement” was first recorded in 1961.
Using the Google Ngram Viewer, we see that the phrase ‘sync up’ wasn’t really used until the 1950s and grew in popularity to the present day.
How would you use ‘sync up’ in a sentence? Let’s look at some examples.
Now that we have a firm grasp of the meaning of ‘sync up,’ where it comes from, and how to use it in a sentence, let’s look at some other ways to convey a similar meaning.
Looking to learn more English phrases to expand and enrich your vocabulary? Don’t forget to check out our idioms blog!