Sync up: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
May 24, 2023

The idiom 'Sync up' is a classic expression used primarily in the professional sphere. Its use denotes the action of coordinating, matching, or harmonizing actions, ideas, or schedules with others. In essence, 'Sync up' highlights the importance of everyone being on the same page and moving in the same direction. Whether it's a team in a workplace needing to align their work schedules or two friends trying to meet up for coffee, 'Sync up' is a go-to phrase to express the need for coordinated effort and mutual understanding. 

In short: 

"Sync up" refers to aligning or coordinating actions, plans, or thoughts with others.

What Does "Sync up" Mean?

With its roots in technology and computing, 'Sync up' is an idiomatic expression that conveys the idea of achieving harmony, coordination, or alignment with others. It's used in a variety of contexts, reflecting its versatile nature.

  • It can mean aligning schedules or timings, like syncing up meeting times.
  • It can refer to harmonizing thoughts, like syncing up ideas or plans.
  • It also implies matching actions or movements, like syncing up dance steps or strategies in a game.

Though the idiom 'Sync up' is primarily utilized in professional settings, it has also found its way into everyday conversations. It's a flexible phrase that can be easily adapted to different situations, which enhances its popularity and usage.

Where Does "Sync up" Come From?

The term "sync up" is derived from the word "synchronization," which originated in the mid-19th century from the Greek word 'synkronizein', meaning "to be contemporary with." It was primarily used in the field of physics and engineering to denote the occurrence of two or more events at the same time.

The Tech Age Influence

The tech age, however, saw the usage of this term spike, particularly with the advent of digital technology. As devices become more interconnected, the need to 'synchronize' data across various platforms led to the term 'sync.' As the technology evolved, so did our language, and 'sync' became a standalone verb meaning to make things operate in conjunction (like devices) or to update electronic files between devices.

Historical Example

"Ensure that all systems are synced up before starting the debugging process."

—Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting Guide, 1997

"We need to sync up our watches to ensure we all begin the operation at the same time."

— Tom Clancy, 'Rainbow Six', 1998

10 Examples of "Sync up" in Sentences

Here are ten examples of the idiom "Sync up" used in various contexts:

  • I'm sorry to hear that you and your colleague couldn't sync up on the project timeline.
  • Let's sync up over a call and discuss the project details.
  • I will sync up with Jane and finalize the meeting schedule.
  • I will sync up the report with kind regards before sending it to our clients.
  • Could you sync up with the marketing team and align the campaign launch?
  • She decided to sync up her fitness regime with her friends.
  • After the vacation, we'll sync up our schedules and get back on track with our project.
  • We should sync up our holiday plans to make the most of it.
  • John needs to sync up with his colleagues before implementing changes.
  • During the team meeting, we need to sync up our schedules, but please refrain from freeballing any ideas without proper preparation.

Examples of "Sync up" in Pop Culture

The phrase "Sync up" frequently appears in popular culture, especially in television, movies, books, and websites:

  • In the TV show The Office, a character suggests they must "sync up" to coordinate their prank efforts.
  • In an episode of Friends, Joey tells Chandler, "We need to 'sync up' our schedules."
  • A song by the band Radiohead called "Jigsaw Falling into Place" contains the lyric, "We have to 'sync up' before we can start."
  • In the movie Inception, the team uses a synchronized timer - a literal 'sync up' - to coordinate their shared dream stages.
  • The popular video game Among Us requires players to 'sync up' their tasks and actions to succeed.
  • In the Avengers: Endgame, the superheroes 'sync up' their plans to retrieve the Infinity Stones.
  • In an episode of Grey's Anatomy, surgeons need to 'sync up' their procedures for complicated surgery.
  • Breaking Bad's Walter White tells Jesse, "We need to 'sync up', or the plan won't work."

Other Ways to Say "Sync up"

Here are ten alternative phrases to 'Sync up' that convey similar meanings:

  • We need to align our strategies.
  • Let's get on the same page over a call.
  • I will coordinate with Jane on the schedule.
  • We must harmonize our efforts.
  • Could you match up with the marketing team for the campaign?
  • She decided to get in tune with her friend's fitness regime.
  • It's time for the team to unify and deliver.
  • We should balance our holiday plans together.
  • John needs to consolidate with colleagues before changes.
  • I'm trying to adapt my sleep schedule to work hours.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Sync up"

  • What is the meaning of "Sync up"?

"Sync up" refers to aligning or coordinating actions, plans, or thoughts with others.

  • Where does "Sync up" come from?

"Sync up" originated from the tech world where 'Sync' is short for 'Synchronization'. It has since been adopted in colloquial language to mean coordination or harmony in general.

  • How is "Sync up" used in a sentence?

"Sync up" can be used in sentences like: "We need to 'sync up' our strategies before the presentation."

  • Can "Sync up" be used outside a professional context?

Yes, "Sync up" is flexible and can be used in everyday scenarios, such as planning a meet-up or aligning fitness regimes.

  • Is "Sync up" a formal or informal idiom?

"Sync up" is versatile and can be used in both formal and informal contexts.

  • Can "Sync up" be used in the negative form?

Yes, "Sync up" can be used in the negative form, such as "They failed to 'sync up' their efforts, leading to the project's failure."

  • Are there synonyms for "Sync up"?

Yes, words like "align", "coordinate", "match up", and "harmonize" can be used as synonyms for "Sync up".

  • Is "Sync up" a commonly used idiom?

Yes, "Sync up" is a commonly used idiom, especially in professional and tech-related contexts.

  • Can "Sync up" be used with different tenses?

Yes, "Sync up" can be used in different tenses. For example, "Synced up" in the past tense, or "Syncing up" in the present continuous tense.

  • Can "Sync up" refer to people as well as things?

Yes, 'Sync up' can refer to both people and things that need coordination or alignment.

Final Thoughts About "Sync up"

"Sync up" is an idiom that plays a significant role in expressing the need for coordination and harmony, whether in a professional setting or in everyday life. Its use underlines the importance of collaboration and mutual understanding, making it a valuable addition to one's vocabulary.

  • At its core, "Sync up" emphasizes the need for alignment or coordination.
  • It can be used in a wide range of contexts, demonstrating its versatility.
  • The idiom has roots in technology but has been effectively adapted into everyday language.
  • It promotes effective communication and mutual understanding.

In conclusion, whether you're trying to align your actions with a team, coordinate plans with a friend, or simply express the need for harmony, "Sync up" is an idiom that can succinctly convey your intent.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Copyright © 2024 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy