- reach a particular place or condition
- be at the final destination or state
- arrive somewhere eventually, perhaps unexpectedly or by accident
- somebody (or something) finding themselves in a particular state that was unforeseen and not originally intended to happen
- They ate so much that they ended up feeling ill for the rest of the day.
- Sam is going on a gap year and plans to start in Europe and end up in South East Asia.
- The plates all crashed off the table and ended up in pieces on the floor.
- We missed the last train home and ended up getting a taxi.
- He was so promising at college and university. It’s quite a surprise to hear that he ended up working as a barista in a coffee shop.
- David didn’t want to end up working in the family business.
- She is such a reckless driver. She’s going to end up crashing the car one of these days.
This is a popular phrasal verb. You can also use ‘wind up’ in the same way.
‘End’ signifies the finish of a situation and by adding ‘up’ it intensifies and stresses the point.