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Phrasal Verbs and other multi-word verbs
Phrasal verbs are part of a large group of verbs called "multi-word verbs". Phrasal verbs and other multi-word verbs are an
important part of the English language. Multi-word verbs, including phrasal verbs, are very common, especially in spoken English.
A multi-word verb is a verb like "pick up", "turn on" or "get on with". For convenience, many people refer to all multi-word
verbs as phrasal verbs. These verbs consist of a basic verb + another word or words. The other word(s) can be prepositions
and/or adverbs. The two or three words that make up multi-word verbs form a short "phrase" - which is why these verbs are
often all called "phrasal verbs".
The important thing to remember is that a multi-word verb is still a verb. "Get" is a verb. "Get up", is also a verb, a different
verb. "Get" and "get up" are two different verbs. They do not have the same meaning. So you should treat each multi-word
verb as a separate verb, and learn it like any other verb. Look at these examples. You can see that there are three types of
multi-word verb:
direct your eyes in a certain
You must look before you leap.
prepositional verbs
look after
take care of
Who is looking after the baby?
phrasal verbs
look up
search for and find information in
a reference book
You can look up my number in the
telephone directory.
forward to
anticipate with pleasure
I look forward to meeting you.
single-word verb
In this lesson we look at the three types of multi-word verbs, including phrasal verbs, followed by a quiz to check your
Phrasal Verbs
Prepositional Verbs
Phrasal-prepositional Verbs
Phrasal Verbs Quiz
Like many grammar books, we divide multi-word verbs into:
prepositional verbs
phrasal verbs
phrasal-prepositional verbs
Other grammars, however, call all multi-word verbs "phrasal verbs".
Phrasal Verbs
Phrasal verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to all multiword verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional verbs,
phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at phrasal verbs proper.
Phrasal verbs are made of:
verb + adverb
Phrasal verbs can be:
intransitive (no direct object)
transitive (direct object)
Here are some examples of phrasal verbs:
phrasal verbs
direct object
get up
rise from bed
I don't like to get up.
break down
cease to function
He was late because his car broke down.
put off
We will have to put off
the meeting.
turn down
They turned down
my offer.
Separable Phrasal Verbs
When phrasal verbs are transitive (that is, they have a direct object), we can usually separate the two parts. For example, "turn
down" is a separable phrasal verb. We can say: "turn down my offer" or "turn my offer down". Look at this table:
transitive phrasal verbs are
my offer
my offer.
However, if the direct object is a pronoun, we have no choice. We must separate the phrasal verb and insert the pronoun
between the two parts. Look at this example with the separable phrasal verb "switch on":
must go
the two
parts of
the radio
the radio.
These are all possible.
This is not possible.
Separable or inseparable phrasal verbs? Some dictionaries tell you when phrasal verbs are separable. If a dictionary writes "look (something)
up", you know that the phrasal verb "look up" is separable, and you can say "look something up" and "look up something". It's a good
idea to write "something/somebody" as appropriate in your vocabulary book when you learn a new phrasal verb, like this:
get up
break down
put something/somebody off
turn sthg/sby down
This tells you whether the verb needs a direct object (and where to put
Prepositional Verbs
Prepositional verbs are a group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people refer to all
multi-word verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs: prepositional
verbs, phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at prepositional verbs.
Prepositional verbs are made of:
verb + preposition
Because a preposition always has an object, all prepositional verbs have direct objects. Here are some examples of prepositional
prepositional verbs
direct object
believe in
have faith in the existence of
I believe in
look after
take care of
He is looking after
the dog.
talk about
Did you talk about
wait for
John is waiting for
Prepositional verbs cannot be separated. That means that we cannot put the direct object between the two parts. For example,
we must say "look after the baby". We cannot say "look the baby after":
Who is looking after the baby?
This is possible.
prepositional verbs are inseparable
Who is looking the baby after? This is not possible.
It is a good idea to write "something/somebody" in your vocabulary book when you learn a new prepositional verb, like this:
believe in something/somebody
look after sthg/sby
This reminds you that this verb needs a direct object (and where to put it).
Phrasal-prepositional Verbs
Phrasal-prepositional verbs are a small group of multi-word verbs made from a verb plus another word or words. Many people
refer to all multi-word verbs as phrasal verbs. On these pages we make a distinction between three types of multi-word verbs:
prepositional verbs, phrasal verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs. On this page we look at phrasal-prepositional verbs.
Phrasal-prepositional verbs are made of:
verb + adverb + preposition
Look at these examples of phrasal-prepositional verbs:
phrasal-prepositional verbs
get on with
have a friendly relationship with
direct object
He doesn't get on with
his wife.
put up with
I won't put up with
your attitude.
look forward to
anticipate with pleasure
I look forward to
seeing you.
run out of
use up, exhaust
We have run out of
Because phrasal-prepositional verbs end with a preposition, there is always a direct object. And, like prepositional verbs, phrasalprepositional verbs cannot be separated. Look at these examples:
phrasal-prepositional verbs are
ran out of
ran out of
Now check your understanding »
It is a good idea to write "something/somebody" in your vocabulary book when you learn a new phrasal-prepositional verb, like
get on with somebody
put up with sthg/sby
run out of something
This reminds you that this verb needs a direct object (and where to put it).
Phrasal Verbs Quiz
Phrasal Verbs List
This is a list of about 200 common phrasal verbs, with meanings and examples. Phrasal verbs are usually two-word phrases
consisting of verb + adverb or verb + preposition. Think of them as you would any other English vocabulary. Study them as
you come across them, rather than trying to memorize many at once. Use the list below as a reference guide when you find an
expression that you don't recognize. The examples will help you understand the meanings. If you think of each phrasal verb as a
separate verb with a specific meaning, you will be able to remember it more easily. Like many other verbs, phrasal verbs often
have more than one meaning. As well as learning their meanings, you need to learn how to use phrasal verbs properly. Some
phrasal verbs require a direct object (someone/something), while others do not. Some phrasal verbs can be separated by the
object, while others cannot. Review the grammar lesson on phrasal verbs from time to time so that you don't forget the rules!
Most phrasal verbs consist of two words, but a few consist of three words, which always stay together.
ask someone out
invite on a date
Brian asked Judy out to dinner and a movie.
ask around
ask many people the same question
I asked around but nobody has seen my wallet.
add up to something
Your purchases add up to $205.32.
back something up
You'll have to back up your car so that I can get
back someone up
My wife backed me up over my decision to quit my
blow up
The racing car blew up after it crashed into the
blow something up
add air
We have to blow 50 balloons up for the party.
break down
stop functioning (vehicle, machine)
Our car broke down at the side of the highway in
the snowstorm.
break down
get upset
The woman broke down when the police told her
that her son had died.
break something down
divide into smaller parts
Our teacher broke the final project down into three
separate parts.
break in
force entry to a building
Somebody broke in last night and stole our stereo.
break into something
enter forcibly
The firemen had to break into the room to rescue
the children.
break something in
wear something a few times so that it
doesn't look/feel new
I need to break these shoes in before we run next
break in
The TV station broke in to report the news of the
president's death.
break up
end a relationship
My boyfriend and I broke up before I moved to
break up
start laughing (informal)
The kids just broke up as soon as the clown started
break out
The prisoners broke out of jail when the guards
weren't looking.
break out in something
develop a skin condition
I broke out in a rash after our camping trip.
bring someone down
make unhappy
This sad music is bringing me down.
bring someone up
raise a child
My grandparents brought me up after my parents
bring something up
start talking about a subject
My mother walks out of the room when my father
brings up sports.
bring something up
He drank so much that he brought his dinner up in
the toilet.
call around
phone many different places/people
We called around but we weren't able to find the
car part we needed.
call someone back
return a phone call
I called the company back but the offices were
closed for the weekend.
call something off
Jason called the wedding off because he wasn't in
love with his fiancé.
call on someone
ask for an answer or opinion
The professor called on me for question 1.
call on someone
visit someone
We called on you last night but you weren't home.
call someone up
Give me your phone number and I will call you up
when we are in town.
calm down
relax after being angry
You are still mad. You need to calm down before
you drive the car.
not like (formal)
I don't care for his behaviour.
catch up
get to the same point as someone else
You'll have to run faster than that if you want to
catch up with Marty.
check in
arrive and register at a hotel or airport
We will get the hotel keys when we check in.
check out
leave a hotel
You have to check out of the hotel before 11:00
check someone/something
look at carefully, investigate
The company checks out all new employees.
not care for
check out
look at (informal)
Check out the crazy hair on that guy!
cheer up
become happier
She cheered up when she heard the good news.
cheer someone up
make happier
I brought you some flowers to cheer you up.
chip in
If everyone chips in we can get the kitchen painted
by noon.
clean something up
tidy, clean
Please clean up your bedroom before you go
come across something
find unexpectedly
I came across these old photos when I was tidying
the closet.
come apart
The top and bottom come apart if you pull hard
come down with something
become sick
My nephew came down with chicken pox this
come forward
volunteer for a task or to give evidence
The woman came forward with her husband's finger
come from somewhere
originate in
The art of origami comes from Asia.
rely on
I am counting on you to make dinner while I am
cross something out
draw a line through
Please cross out your old address and write your
new one.
cut back on something
consume less
My doctor wants me to cut back on sweets and
fatty foods.
cut something down
make something fall to the ground
We had to cut the old tree in our yard down after
the storm.
cut in
Your father cut in while I was dancing with your
cut in
pull in too closely in front of another
The bus driver got angry when that car cut in.
count on
cut in
start operating (of an engine or electrical
The air conditioner cuts in when the temperature
gets to 22°C.
cut something off
remove with something sharp
The doctors cut off his leg because it was severely
cut something off
stop providing
The phone company cut off our phone because we
didn't pay the bill.
cut someone off
take out of a will
My grandparents cut my father off when he
cut something out
remove part of something (usually with
scissors and paper)
I cut this ad out of the newspaper.
do someone/something
beat up, ransack (Br.E., informal)
He's lucky to be alive. His shop was done over by
a street gang.
do something over
do again (N.Amer.)
My teacher wants me to do my essay over because
she doesn't like my topic.
do away with something
It's time to do away with all of these old tax
do something up
fasten, close
Do your coat up before you go outside. It's
dress up
wear nice clothing
It's a fancy restaurant so we have to dress up.
drop back
move back in a position/group
Andrea dropped back to third place when she fell
off her bike.
drop in/by/over
come without an appointment
I might drop in/by/over for tea some time this
drop someone/something
take someone/something somewhere and
leave them/it there
I have to drop my sister off at work before I come
drop out
quit a class, school etc
I dropped out of Science because it was too
eat out
eat at a restaurant
I don't feel like cooking tonight. Let's eat out.
end up
eventually reach/do/decide
We ended up renting a movie instead of going to
the theatre.
fall apart
break into pieces
My new dress fell apart in the washing machine.
fall down
fall to the ground
The picture that you hung up last night fell down
this morning.
fall out
separate from an interior
The money must have fallen out of my pocket.
fall out
(of hair, teeth) become loose and
His hair started to fall out when he was only 35.
figure something out
understand, find the answer
I need to figure out how to fit the piano and the
bookshelf in this room.
fill something in
to write information in blanks (Br.E.)
Please fill in the form with your name, address,
and phone number.
fill something out
to write information in blanks (N.Amer.)
The form must be filled out in capital letters.
fill something up
fill to the top
I always fill the water jug up when it is empty.
find out
We don't know where he lives. How can we find
find something out
We tried to keep the time of the party a secret,
but Samantha found it out.
get something across/over
communicate, make understandable
I tried to get my point across/over to the judge
but she wouldn't listen.
get along/on
like each other
I was surprised how well my new girlfriend and my
sister got along/on.
get around
have mobility
My grandfather can get around fine in his new
get away
go on a vacation
We worked so hard this year that we had to get
away for a week.
get away with something
do without being noticed or punished
Jason always gets away with cheating in his maths
get back
We got back from our vacation last week.
get something back
receive something you had before
Liz finally got her Science notes back from my
get back at someone
retaliate, take revenge
My sister got back at me for stealing her shoes.
She stole my favourite hat.
get back into something
become interested in something again
I finally got back into my novel and finished it.
get on something
step onto a vehicle
We're going to freeze out here if you don't let us
get on the bus.
get over something
recover from an illness, loss, difficulty
I just got over the flu and now my sister has it.
get over something
overcome a problem
The company will have to close if it can't get over
the new regulations.
get round to something
finally find time to do (N.Amer.: get around
to something)
I don't know when I am going to get round to
writing the thank you cards.
get together
meet (usually for social reasons)
Let's get together for a BBQ this weekend.
get up
get out of bed
I got up early today to study for my exam.
get up
You should get up and give the elderly man your
give someone away
reveal hidden information about someone
His wife gave him away to the police.
give someone away
take the bride to the altar
My father gave me away at my wedding.
give something away
ruin a secret
My little sister gave the surprise party away by
give something away
give something to someone for free
The library was giving away old books on Friday.
give something back
return a borrowed item
I have to give these skates back to Franz before
his hockey game.
give in
reluctantly stop fighting or arguing
My boyfriend didn't want to go to the ballet, but
he finally gave in.
give something out
give to many people (usually at no cost)
They were giving out free perfume samples at the
department store.
give something up
quit a habit
I am giving up smoking as of January 1st.
give up
stop trying
My maths homework was too difficult so I gave up.
go after someone
follow someone
My brother tried to go after the thief in his car.
go after something
try to achieve something
I went after my dream and now I am a published
go against someone
compete, oppose
We are going against the best soccer team in the
city tonight.
go ahead
start, proceed
Please go ahead and eat before the food gets cold.
go back
return to a place
I have to go back home and get my lunch.
go out
leave home to go on a social event
We're going out for dinner tonight.
go out with someone
Jesse has been going out with Luke since they met
last winter.
go over something
Please go over your answers before you submit
your test.
go over
visit someone nearby
I haven't seen Tina for a long time. I think I'll go
over for an hour or two.
go without something
suffer lack or deprivation
When I was young, we went without winter boots.
grow apart
stop being friends over time
My best friend and I grew apart after she changed
grow back
My roses grew back this summer.
grow up
become an adult
When Jack grows up he wants to be a fireman.
grow out of something
get too big for
Elizabeth needs a new pair of shoes because she
has grown out of her old ones.
grow into something
grow big enough to fit
This bike is too big for him now, but he should
grow into it by next year.
hand something down
give something used to someone else
I handed my old comic books down to my little
hand something in
I have to hand in my essay by Friday.
hand something out
to distribute to a group of people
We will hand out the invitations at the door.
hand something over
give (usually unwillingly)
The police asked the man to hand over his wallet
and his weapons.
hang in
stay positive (N.Amer., informal)
Hang in there. I'm sure you'll find a job very soon.
hang on
wait a short time (informal)
Hang on while I grab my coat and shoes!
hang out
spend time relaxing (informal)
Instead of going to the party we are just going to
hang out at my place.
hang up
end a phone call
He didn't say goodbye before he hung up.
hold someone/something
prevent from doing/going
I had to hold my dog back because there was a
cat in the park.
hold something back
hide an emotion
Jamie held back his tears at his grandfather's
hold on
wait a short time
Please hold on while I transfer you to the Sales
hold firmly using your hands or arms
Hold onto your hat because it's very windy outside.
hold someone/somethingup
A man in a black mask held the bank up this
keep on doing something
continue doing
Keep on stirring until the liquid comes to a boil.
not tell
We kept our relationship from our parents for two
keep someone/something
stop from entering
Try to keep the wet dog out of the living room.
keep something up
continue at the same rate
If you keep those results up you will get into a
great college.
let someone down
fail to support or help, disappoint
I need you to be on time. Don't let me down this
let someone in
allow to enter
Can you let the cat in before you go to school?
take care of
I have to look after my sick grandmother.
think less of, consider inferior
Ever since we stole that chocolate bar your dad has
looked down on me.
hold onto
keep something from
look after
look down on someone
look for
try to find
I'm looking for a red dress for the wedding.
look forward to something
be excited about the future
I'm looking forward to the Christmas break.
look into something
We are going to look into the price of snowboards
look out
be careful, vigilant, and take notice
Look out! That car's going to hit you!
be especially vigilant for
Don't forget to look out for snakes on the hiking
look something over
check, examine
Can you look over my essay for spelling mistakes?
look something up
search and find information in a reference
book or database
We can look her phone number up on the Internet.
look up to someone
have a lot of respect for
My little sister has always looked up to me.
make something up
invent, lie about something
Josie made up a story about about why we were
make up
forgive each other
We were angry last night, but we made up at
make someone up
apply cosmetics to
My sisters made me up for my graduation party.
mix something up
confuse two or more things
I mixed up the twins' names again!
pass away
His uncle passed away last night after a long
pass out
It was so hot in the church that an elderly lady
passed out.
pass something out
give the same thing to many people
The professor passed the textbooks out before class.
pass something up
decline (usually something good)
I passed up the job because I am afraid of change.
pay someone back
return owed money
Thanks for buying my ticket. I'll pay you back on
pay for something
be punished for doing something bad
That bully will pay for being mean to my little
look out for
pick something out
I picked out three sweaters for you to try on.
point someone/something
indicate with your finger
I'll point my boyfriend out when he runs by.
put something down
put what you are holding on a surface or
You can put the groceries down on the kitchen
put someone down
insult, make someone feel stupid
The students put the substitute teacher down
because his pants were too short.
put something off
We are putting off our trip until January because
of the hurricane.
put something out
The neighbours put the fire out before the firemen
put something together
I have to put the crib together before the baby
I don't think I can put up with three small children
in the car.
put clothing/accessories on your body
Don't forget to put on your new earrings for the
meet unexpectedly
I ran into an old school-friend at the mall.
drive a vehicle over a person or thing
I accidentally ran over your bicycle in the driveway.
rehearse, review
Let's run over/through these lines one more time
before the show.
run away
leave unexpectedly, escape
The child ran away from home and has been
missing for three days.
run out
have none left
We ran out of shampoo so I had to wash my hair
with soap.
send something back
return (usually by mail)
My letter got sent back to me because I used the
wrong stamp.
set something up
arrange, organize
Our boss set a meeting up with the president of
the company.
put up with
put something on
run into
run over
run over/through
set someone up
trick, trap
The police set up the car thief by using a hidden
shop around
compare prices
I want to shop around a little before I decide on
these boots.
show off
act extra special for people watching
(usually boastfully)
He always shows off on his skateboard
sleep over
stay somewhere for the night (informal)
You should sleep over tonight if the weather is too
bad to drive home.
sort something out
organize, resolve a problem
We need to sort the bills out before the first of
the month.
stick to something
continue doing something, limit yourself to
one particular thing
You will lose weight if you stick to the diet.
switch something off
stop the energy flow, turn off
The light's too bright. Could you switch it off.
switch something on
start the energy flow, turn on
We heard the news as soon as we switched on the
car radio.
take after someone
resemble a family member
I take after my mother. We are both impatient.
take something apart
purposely break into pieces
He took the car brakes apart and found the
take something back
return an item
I have to take our new TV back because it doesn't
take off
start to fly
My plane takes off in five minutes.
take something off
remove something (usually clothing)
Take off your socks and shoes and come in the
take something out
remove from a place or thing
Can you take the garbage out to the street for me?
take someone out
pay for someone to go somewhere with you
My grandparents took us out for dinner and a
tear something up
rip into pieces
I tore up my ex-boyfriend's letters and gave them
back to him.
think back
remember (often + to, sometimes + on)
When I think back on my youth, I wish I had
studied harder.
think something over
I'll have to think this job offer over before I make
my final decision.
throw something away
dispose of
We threw our old furniture away when we won the
turn something down
decrease the volume or strength (heat, light
Please turn the TV down while the guests are here.
turn something down
I turned the job down because I don't want to
turn something off
stop the energy flow, switch off
Your mother wants you to turn the TV off and
come for dinner.
turn something on
start the energy, switch on
It's too dark in here. Let's turn some lights on.
turn something up
increase the volume or strength (heat, light
Can you turn the music up? This is my favourite
turn up
appear suddenly
Our cat turned up after we put posters up all over
the neighbourhood.
try something on
sample clothing
I'm going to try these jeans on, but I don't think
they will fit.
try something out
I am going to try this new brand of detergent out.
use something up
finish the supply
The kids used all of the toothpaste up so we need
to buy some more.
wake up
stop sleeping
We have to wake up early for work on Monday.
warm someone/something
increase the temperature
You can warm your feet up in front of the
warm up
prepare body for exercise
I always warm up by doing sit-ups before I go for
a run.
wear off
fade away
Most of my make-up wore off before I got to the
work out
I work out at the gym three times a week.
work out
be successful
Our plan worked out fine.
work something out
make a calculation
We have to work out the total cost before we buy
the house.
1. Phrasal Verbs 1-100
1 abide by
To accept and obey the law, rule, etc., e.g. We have to abide by the law even if we don’t agree with it.
2 accede to
To reluctantly agree to a demand, etc.
3 act … out
To perform a past event;
To express one’s feelings through one’s behaviour.
(Children) to behave badly.
(Machine, etc.) Does not work in the way it should.
act up
4 add … in
add … on
add to
add up
add up to
To include something with something else.
To enlarge something, especially a building, e.g. They added on an extension to the museum to house the
fossil collection.
To increase the amount, cost, or degree of something.
To increase by small amounts to reach a total.
To calculate the total of something, e.g. to add up one’s points, marks, scores, etc.
To total up.
To combine small amounts to find out the total, e.g. When the service charges are taken in, the bill adds
up to an amount greater than expected.
5 adhere to
To conduct oneself in accordance to a particular rule, etc.
6 admit of
To accept something as capable of existing or happening.
7 agree with
To have the same view as someone else.
8 aim at
To try to achieve an outcome, e.g. She aims at losing 10 kg by the end of the year.
To point something such as a weapon, camera, etc. at a target, e.g. He aims his camera at his group of
To design something for a specific class or group of people, e.g. The new radio station aims most of its
programs at a teenage audience.
aim … at
9 allow for
allow of
To consider all factors involved so the problem can be resolved, e.g. If we allow for inevitable wastage, the
amount of material needed will be greater to meet the production quota.
To show that something is likely
10 allude to
To refer to someone or something
11 amount to
To equal to something, e.g. The loss through pilferage amounts to at least 3 % of production cost.
To have same effect as something else, e.g. Her remark amounts to an insult.
12 angle for
To request something in an indirect way, e.g. Quite obviously, he’s angling for a date with her.
13 answer for
answer to
14 appertain to
To explain one’s wrong deed or to explain on behalf of someone, e.g. The coach must answer for the
team’s poor performance.
To explain something, especially having done something wrong, to someone, e.g. He answers directly to the
Chief Engineer.
To belong to or concern something
To waste time, e.g. He has been warned not to arse about in the park.
16 ascribe … to
17 ask … for
ask … out
18 attend to
19 attribute to
To accept that an event comes about because of someone or something, e.g. They ascribe the high
unemployment rate to the government’s mismanagement of the economy.
To say that one wants something, e.g. We asked at the counter for free gift vouchers but got none because
we have not spent enough.
To show something as requested, e.g. I was asked for my identity card which I had not brought along, so I
was not allowed into the office.
To invite someone out, e.g. This is the tenth and maybe last time I’ll ask her out after nine unsuccessful
To deal with something or help someone, e.g. He had to attend to more emergency cases today than any
other days.
To say a situation is caused by something, e.g. The residents attribute the increase in burglary cases to lack
of regular patrol of the streets by the police.
To say that someone is responsible for something, e.g. They attribute the short stories to him without
having any clear evidence that he wrote them.
20 average out
To calculate the usual number of times a thing happens.
21 awake to
To be aware of something and its possible effects, e.g. People are starting to awake to the therapeutic
value of herbs.
22 awaken … to To make someone aware of something and its consequences.
23 back away
To move backwards;
To become uninterested or cease participation in something.
back down
back off
back onto
back up
back … up
To concede defeat or stop being confrontational, e.g. The workers planned to go on strike, but backed
down when the employers threaten to sake them.
To move away from someone or something, usually because of danger or to avoid injury, e.g. He was
warned to back off, but he refused and a fight ensued.
(Building, etc.) To have its back facing a particular area.
To make a copy of data on a computer program or disc., e.g. He has cultivated a good habit of backing
up every piece of work he does.
To provide evidence to support one’s statement, claim, etc., e.g. Jack backed up his claim of winning the
jackpot by producing a photocopy of his cheque for the winning amount.
To move or move a vehicle in the reverse direction, e.g. I backed up my car a little in the parking lot
between two cars so we could get out./It was a narrow walkway, so we had to back up a bit to let other
people pass by.
To support someone in a situation by agreeing with them or doing something to help them, e.g. He is
doing it not just for himself, so I’ll back him up.
24 bag … up
To put small items into bags.
25 bail out
To deposit money for someone to be out of prison while awaiting court trial.
To help someone or a financial institution out of financial problem by providing financial help.
26 ball … up
To complicate matters.
27 band together To unite in order to achieve something.
bandy …
To flaunt or say something repeatedly with intention to impress.
29 bang on
To talk incessantly in a boring manner.
bang … out To sing a song or play a tune loudly and badly.
bang … up To wreck something.
30 bank on
To rely on someone or something to produce an outcome.
31 bargain for
To be prepared for something adverse that may happen to one’s plan.
32 barge in
barge in on
To go or dash in uninvited.
To interrupt rudely.
base …
To use something as basis for development of a course of action.
34 bash away at To continue working or hitting hard at something.
bash on
To persist in an activity or process in order to complete something.
bat …
To engage in a discussion about something.
36 bawl … out To scold someone for the wrong they have done.
37 bear down
To appear threatening to someone in the way one behaves.
bear … down To apply pressure on something.
bear … out To deal successfully with a difficult person or something.
To use something to testify to the existence or truth of something else.
bear up
To be undaunted by adverse conditions.
To ask someone to be patient while you are engaged with something. To exercise patience with a difficult
bear with
38 beat
… down
(Sunlight, rain, etc.) To come down in large quantity.
To bargain for or persuade someone to offer a lower price.
To frighten or drive someone or something away.
To extinguish a fire by beating;
To beat out a rhythm on a drum.
beat … out To defeat a competition rival.
To cause injury to someone by physical assault, e.g. Members of the public caught up with the pickpocket
beat up
and beat him up until he pleaded for mercy.
39 beaver away
To be doing some difficult, tiring work.
40 bed down
To make person or an animal comfortable for the night.
41 beef … up
To make something better, e.g. Control in the prison was beefed up after the riot.
42 beg off
To say you cannot do something as agreed.
43 believe in
To feel sure or accept that something exists, either good or bad, e.g. He just doesn’t believe in Nessie.
To feel someone can be trusted, e.g. The children always believe in their father despite adverse rumours
being spread about him.
To have one’s views about something, e.g. We believe in the equality of the sexes in the workplace.
44 belly out
To become larger, greater or full.
45 belong to
To be the property or a member of a group or organization.
46 belt … out
belt up
To sing out loud or play a loud tune from a musical instrument, e.g. The band was belting out all my
To instruct someone bluntly to keep quiet.
47 bind ... over
To restrain someone from causing trouble under threat of legal punishment.
48 bite back
bite into
To retaliate.
To cut against a surface.
To start using up something, especially one’s personal savings.
To use the teeth to cut off a piece from a main part, e.g. He bit off a piece of a pizza and strangely spat
it out.
bite … off
49 black out
To faint, e.g. He blacks out whenever he sees too much blood.
(City, etc.) To turn off all the lights in a wide area.
50 blank out
To cover or erase something so it cannot be seen or recall.
51 blast off
(Rocket, etc.) To leave the ground.
52 blend in
To mix or combine something with its surrounding.
53 block in/out To make a drawing of something that gives a general idea but is not exact.
block … off To completely close a place such as a road, etc.
block … out To prevent light passing through.
To erase, especially a bitter memory.
54 blot … out
blot … up
55 blow away
To cover or hide something completely.
To wipe surface dry with a cloth or other absorbent material.
To shoot someone to death.
To be carried away by the wind, e.g. I put some comic books outside and the wind blew away a couple of
them into the drain.
To cause something to drop on the ground, usually by the wind.
To blow air into something with our mouth.
To treat someone or something as unimportant, e.g. He blew off his overseas assignments by not accepting
To put out a flame by blowing, e.g. A strong gust of wind blew out all the candles in the temple when the
… out
keeper opened a window.
(Car) to blow a tyre, e.g. He just couldn’t figure out what caused a tyre of his car to blow out.
To cease to function, e.g. An electric bulb blew out suddenly while I was reading.
(Storm) to come to an end, e.g. After a few hours the storm blew itself out.
(Electricity) to suddenly stop working, e.g. The fuse of a piece of electrical equipment blows out causing it
to stop working.
To destroy or damage something, e.g. The explosion blew the shelves right out of the wall.
blow up
To be destroyed by an explosion, e.g. A bomb planted by a saboteur exploded, blowing up a power station.
To make something bigger by forcing air into it, e.g. He blew up a balloon but it couldn’t get bigger
because it has a tiny hole.
To make a photograph, picture, etc. larger, e.g. She blew her photograph up so that the mole on her left
cheek is more noticeable.
To become very angry with someone or something, e.g. Jill’s father immediately blew up when he read the
amount on the telephone bill.
56 blurt … out To say something suddenly without thinking.
57 board … out To pay and arrange for an animal to stay with someone.
board … up To cover, e.g. a window, with wooden boards
58 bog down
bog off
To be too deeply involved in something to have time to do other thing.
To tell someone to go away.
59 boil away
boil down
To heat liquid so much until it evaporates.
To reduce the quantity of food or liquid due to cooking.
To edit information so that unnecessary detail is not included.
To be concerned only with the significant or essential element, e.g. Her wish to continue living with him
boil down to
despite his abusive behaviour boils down to her fear of loneliness.
boil over
To overflow.
boil up
To start losing one’s temper.
60 bomb … out To completely destroy a structure.
61 bone up
To study hard for an examination.
62 book in
book … on
To check in a hotel.
To make arrangements for someone to travel on a plane or train.
63 boot … out To dismiss or expel someone, especially from a job or organization.
boot up
To get a computer ready for use.
64 border on
To be on the verge of, especially on the verge of tears.
65 bottle out
To withdraw suddenly from an activity you are engaged in.
bottle … up To hide one’s feelings.
66 bottom out
To stop getting worse, especially prices.
67 bounce back
To get better or recover, especially from bad times.
68 bow down
bow out
bow to
To lower your head slightly by bending top part of body forward to show respect.
To withdraw from an activity, etc. which one has been engaged in for a long time.
To accede to a request or demand.
69 bowl along
To move very quickly, especially in a vehicle.
bowl … out To accidentally knock someone down while dashing.
70 box … in
box … off
To feel you cannot act or move freely.
To separate a smaller area from a larger one by partitioning or erecting walls around it.
71 branch off
(Road, river, etc.) to separate from another and go in a different direction.
To talk something else which is not related to what is being discussed, conversed, etc.
72 brave … out To deal bravely with something that causes fear or problem.
73 brazen … out To deal confidently with a difficult or embarrassing situation.
74 break away
To leave a group or political party, usually due to disagreement, to form their own.
To cry, e.g. He broke down instantly when informed that his terminally ill mother had passed away in the
break down
To gain entry, e.g. Firemen had to break the door down to rescue an elderly occupant from the fire.
(Vehicle, machine, etc.) To stop working, e.g. A couple of cars broke down in the midst of a traffic jam,
aggravating the situation.
(Negotiation) to fail, e.g. The negotiation for the exchange of prisoners broke down because one side
remains uncompromising in its demands.
(Total amount) to separate into individual items or amounts.
break for
To leave whatever you are doing for lunch, etc.
To forcibly enter a place such as a building for an illegal purpose, e.g. Thieves broke into an office building
break in/into
by breaking a window.
To discontinue a relationship, diplomatic relations, etc., e.g. Both countries broke off diplomatic relations
break off
after one accused the other’s embassy staff of involvement in espionage.
To separate, especially a piece from a larger one, e.g. He broke off a piece of bun and threw it into a
pond to feed the fishes.
To escape from a place, e.g. After he broke out of jail once, he was transferred to a maximum security
break out
To forcibly go through something, etc., e.g. The burglars broke through a wall to gain entry to the bank
break through
To stop a fight, e.g. They use pails and buckets full of water, and hose to splash and spray water to break
break up
up a fight between two dogs.
To separate a gathering, e.g. Police appeared as usual to break up a peaceful demonstration as expected.
To end a romantic relationship, e.g. Their relationship broke up after they accused each other of being
To cause something to separate into many small pieces, e.g. Someone broke my mug up, but no one owns
75 breathe in
breathe out
To take in air; to inhale.
To send air out from the lungs
76 breeze through To finish or complete something easily, e.g. a task.
77 brew up
To make a drink of tea.
78 brick … off To separate an area from a bigger one by building a wall of bricks.
brick … up To fill or close a space by building a wall of bricks in it.
79 brighten up
brighten …
(Sky) to become brighter.
80 brim over
(A box, container, etc.) to be overfilled until it cannot be covered.
To make something more beautiful or colourful.
81 bring about To cause something to happen, or introduce new ideas.
bring around To make someone regain consciousness.
To persuade someone to agree.
To revive something that was used previously, e.g. More and more people are clamouring for capital
bring back
punishment to be brought back.
To return with something, especially from abroad or shop, e.g. He went to a pet shop and brought back a
couple of terrapins.
To make one remember or recall something, e.g. Listening to these songs brings back fond memories.
bring …
To bring bird, plane, etc. down by shooting.
To stop a government from continuing,
To bring anything high up such as a kite, helicopter, etc. down to the ground.
bring ... down
To cause something bad to happen to someone, especially financial ruin.
bring … forth To display something or make it visible.
bring …
To make something happen sooner rather than later.
bring in
To receive an income or earning, e.g. He works for a large company and brings in a handsome salary.
To include or invite someone to participate in a discussion, etc.
To involve someone in something.
bring ...
To cause something bad to happen to someone, e.g. heavy rain had brought on landslides.
bring out
bring over
bring ...
bring ...
bring ... up
To produce something;
To make a person display his best/worst quality.
To move someone or something from where they are to where one is, e.g. She is bringing her
sister over tonight for a game of cards.
To help someone endure a difficult period of time.
To assemble two or more people for a particular purpose.
To raise a question, subject, etc. at a meeting.
To care for a child until he/she is a grown-up.
82 bristle with
To have a lot of or be full of something.
83 broaden out
To become wider.
bruit …
brush …
brush …
To spread a report or rumour widely.
To deliberately ignore something.
To clean clothes or pet animals with a bush.
To refuse to consider someone’s idea, opinion, etc. by ignoring them or passing unkind remark, e.g. The
brush … off police head brushed the whole thing off when informed that some people are planning a bank robbery
right in the city centre.
To quickly reread work done previously that one has forgotten or to improve one’s knowledge, or to
brush up on practise and improve on an activity, e.g. I think I’d better brush up on my singing and resume my singing
86 buck for
buck up
To attempt at achieving something.
To make or become more cheerful.
87 bucket down
To rain heavily.
build …
build on
To make or include something as a permanent part of something else, e.g. He had a safe built into the
wall of his house.
To add an extension to a building in order to enlarge it.
To improve on something or carry out more development on it
89 bulk … out To treat a product so that it appears bigger or its quantity appears greater than it is.
To laze about doing nothing.
To meet someone you know by chance, e.g. I found it amazing when I bumped into my neighbour in a
shopping centre despite it being packed to capacity.
To accidentally knock into someone or something, e.g. I hurried round the corner of a corridor and
accidentally bumped into a woman carrying drinks on a tray, knocking them all over the floor.
bump … off To murder someone.
bump … up To make something larger or appear to be larger.
91 bump into
92 bundle … off To send someone somewhere in a hurry, e.g. He was handcuffed and bundled off in a police car.
bundle up
To dress in warm clothes.
To tie things together to form a bundle.
93 bung … up
To block something up such as putting something in a hole.
94 bunk off
To leave early and secretly from a place such as school or work.
95 burn away
burn down
burn ... off
burn out
burn up
burn ... up
be burning
burst in
burst into
burst onto
burst out
To be completely destroyed or greatly damaged by fire, e.g. The fire burned away all his valuable personal
To be destroyed by fire, e.g. The whole factory was burned down after an explosion.
(Fire) to become weaker, e.g. The fire burns down as its flame has become weaker and produced less heat.
To get rid of something by burning it, e.g. She burnt off all his photos.
To become exhausted through overwork, e.g. He burned himself out by working three full days with very
little rest and sleep.
To be partially destroyed by fire, e.g. The fire burnt out the kitchen and the adjoining bedroom.
(Fire) to stop burning, e.g. After three hours, the fire burnt itself out.
To be completely destroyed by fire or physical exercises, etc. e.g. The whole building was completely burned
up; physical exercises burn up fat, calories, etc.
To make someone very angry, e.g. It really burned her up when the boss disapproved her application for a
long leave.
To be entirely possessed by (a desire or emotion).
To interrupt something at an embarrassing moment.
intrude into a place suddenly without thinking.
suddenly start to cry or burn, e.g. burst into tears; burst into flames.
appear suddenly in a location.
explode outward.
suddenly begin to cry, laugh, or say something in an assertive manner, e.g. The audience burst
out laughing when the clown’s trousers suddenly dropped revealing a pair of yellow shorts with red polka
97 bust out
bust up
bust … up
98 butt in
butt out
To escape from a place, especially a prison.
To separate as lovers, partners, friends etc;
To disrupt something or prevent it from continuing; to damage or break up something.
To interrupt or intrude rudely on a conversation or activity, e.g. Whenever Jack talked to a girl at the
party, Jill would butt in.
To tell someone to stop interfering.
99 butter … up To flatter someone.
100 buy
… in
… off
… out
buy something in bulk.
withdraw something at auction because it fails to reach the reserve price.
make partial purchase of a business with aim to control it; to accept or believe an idea.
pay someone money to stop them causing trouble or threatening you.
pay someone to give up ownership, interest, or share of a business.
pay for one’s release from the armed services.
buy as much and as quickly as you can of something.
2. Phrasal Verbs 101-200
101 buzz off
be buzzing
To go away or to tell someone to go away.
To have an air of excitement or purposeful activity.
102 calculate on To depend on an essential element in one’s plans to succeed.
103 call at
call back
(Train, coach, etc.) to stop at a station.
To return a telephone call received earlier in one’s absence, e.g. She didn’t leave her number, so I
couldn’t call back.
To be asked to return, e.g. I was on leave but my boss called me back for some urgent matter.
To visit someone when you happen to be in the same area.
To appeal or demand publicly for something, especially equal rights.
To evoke a quality so that it can be used.
To telephone a place to inform about something, e.g. A rescue team was called in to reach the trapped
To telephone one’s working place to inform one is sick.
To ask someone to see you for a particular purpose, e.g. The villagers are considering calling the game
warden in to deal with the elephants which have been trampling and destroying their crops.
To decide officially that something should be stopped after it has already started, e.g. to call off a football
call on/up
call up
calm …
105 camp out
cancel …
match due to heavy rain.
To pay a brief visit to someone.
To request someone to do something for you.
To select someone to play in the national sports team, e.g. He was called up for the game against Brazil.
To call someone by telephone, e.g. He called me up at midnight to wish me happy new year.
To officially order someone to join the armed services, e.g. He was called up for training for a possible
war against a neighbouring country.
To make or become tranquil and quiet, e.g. The doctor had to inject her with tranquilizer in order to
calm her down.
(Situation) to become less confused or violent, e.g. The sea calmed down when the weather ceased to be
windy after a heavy shower.
To sleep outdoors in a tent.
To neutralize or negate the effect of something so that it remains the same.
107 capitalize on To take the chance to gain as much advantage as you can
108 care for
To look after and provide for the needs of someone who is not able to look after themselves, e.g. His wife
has been caring for him since his discharge from the hospital.
To like to have something, e.g. care for a coffee?
(get) carried
To lose self-control.
carry …
To move figures to the next page in accounts.
To keep something to use or deal with at a later time.
To do something difficult successfully.
To forcibly take someone away.
To continue an activity or task despite the difficulty, e.g. She finds it hard to accept the fact that her
husband has left her for another woman, but she still managed to carry on with her life
To continue moving in the same direction, e.g. It’s of great urgency that they carry straight on the
highway to reach their destination by tonight.
To behave in an overemotional way, e.g. She carried on complaining in a bad-tempered way despite her
spouse’s apologies and his insistence that he didn’t mean what she thought he meant.
To be engaged in a love affair with someone.
To perform a planned operation or a task that needs to be done, e.g. They carried out his instructions to
draw up plans for the next phase.
To move or transport someone or something from one place to another, e.g. They carried the injured
carry over
player out of the playing area.
To extend beyond the normal or original area of application.
To be used or dealt with in a new context;
To bring something forward; postpone.
To complete something successfully.
110 cart … off To take someone or something away.
111 carve … out To develop a career, reputation, etc. through painstaking effort.
To divide up something ruthlessly into separate parts for sharing.
To recklessly overtake another driver.
112 cash in
To take advantage of or exploit a situation.
To convert an insurance policy, savings account, etc. into money; to take advantage of or exploit a
cash … in
To total up the day’s takings received in a shop for checking.
113 cast about
cast aside
114 catch at
To try to take hold of something.
(A practice or fashion) to become popular, e.g. A style may catch on in some countries or areas, but not
in others.
To begin to understand something, e.g. When one understands something better, it is easier to catch on.
To discover that someone is lying or has done something wrong.
To put someone in a difficult position because they are not ready to deal with it.
To improve so much that you are now on a par with other people in your class, group, etc., e.g. After a
long absence from class due to illness, he finds it hard to catch up.
To do what needs to be done because you have not done it earlier.
To meet up with someone whom one has not seen for some time.
catch on
search far and wide.
get rid of something or someone whom you no longer like or who are of no more use.
be stranded after a shipwreck.
feel depressed.
get rid of something or someone.
free a boat or ship from its moorings.
take the last stitches off the needle in knitting.
let loose a hunting hound or hawk.
make the first row of a specified number of loops on the needle.
force something or someone to go away, e.g. an exorcist who casts out demons.
bring something (by the sea) onto the shore.
To finally find someone who has done something wrong and on the run.
115 cater for/to To provide with what is needed or required.
cater to
To satisfy a need or demand.
116 cave in
To fall inwards or collapse; to give in.
117 centre around To have something as a major concern or interest.
centre in
To occur mainly in or around something.
To pay more attention on someone or something more than on someone or something else.
118 chalk … up To succeed in getting something, e.g. points in a game; to record something.
To find something or meet someone by accident or unexpectedly.
To shift things from one position to another.
To engage a lower/higher gear in a vehicle.
change into To become something different.
121 chase up
To tell someone do something more quickly because it has been taking too long.
122 chat … up To talk to someone in a way that demonstrates sexual attraction.
123 cheat on
To be unfaithful to one’s spouse by secretly engaging in sexual activities with someone else, e.g. Jill threw
Jack out of her house after she discovered Jack cheating on her.
To act dishonestly to gain a personal advantage, e.g. He was suspended from the exam after he was
caught cheating on it.
124 check in
To arrive and register at a hotel or airport.
check … in To return a book to a library; to have one’s baggage weighed.
To register one’s arrival at a hotel.
To mark an item on a list to show that it has been dealt with.
To monitor and make sure something is accurate or properly done, or that someone is safe and well.
To find out the truth of something, e.g. We checked out a couple of restaurants and confirm their services
are reasonably good and prices reasonable.
check out
To settle one’s hotel bill and leave, e.g. We check out before noon.
To pay for one’s items to the cashier, e.g. I decided not to buy my one item because of the long queues
waiting to check out.
To find out if someone or something is suitable for a particular purpose, e.g. They routinely
checked applicants out before accepting them.
To examine or look closely at someone or something to ensure they are acceptable.
To ascertain the suitability, accuracy or truth of someone or something.
To ensure that someone or something is safe and well.
125 cheer up
To become or make someone less unhappy.
cheer … up To make or become less miserable.
cheer … on To shout encouragement in support of a person or team in a race or competition.
126 chew on
chew out
think about something carefully for a long time.
express strong disapproval to someone of what they have done.
consider carefully about something for a period of time.
bite repeatedly on something, especially to facilitate swallowing.
127 chicken out
To be too scared to do something, e.g. He was invited to speak at the annual dinner, but he chickened
128 chill out
To calm down and relax completely.
chip …
To remove something little by little.
chip away at To gradually and relentlessly make something smaller, weaker or less effective.
To interrupt a conversation to add in more information or detail; to contribute one’s share in a group.
To remove something in small pieces, e.g. chipping old paint off the door.
choke …
choke …
choke off
To eat with difficulty.
To prevent someone from doing something or stop something happening.
To be very unhappy or worried about something.
chop …
To fell a tree by cutting it.
chop … off To separate something from another by cutting it.
chop … up To cut into small pieces, e.g. They chop up some firewood to make a fire.
132 chow down
To suppress one’s emotions, e.g. choke back the tears.
To eat.
To throw something away.
chuck … in To give up or stop doing something, e.g. chuck one’s job in.
chuck …
To expel someone from a place, e.g. got chucked out of the club.
To vomit.
134 churn out
To produce something in large quantities without caring about quality.
To damage the surface of something.
To make someone upset, nervous or angry.
135 clam up
To suddenly stop talking because of some reason.
136 clamp down To take firm action to prevent something happening.
137 claw at
138 clean … out
139 clear away
clear up
clear ... up
To scratch or tear at someone or something with the claws or fingernails.
To gradually regain something by working very hard.
To make a place tidy and free from dirt, e.g. We cleaned our new house out thoroughly before we moved
To steal all the contents from a place, e.g. Burglars completely cleaned our glass cases out of all the
antique jewellery.
To cause someone to spend all their money, e.g. My medical bill really cleaned me out.
To take all of someone’s money or possessions.
To make something completely clean and tidy.
To make a substantial gain or profit.
To make a place look tidy by removing remains of a meal from the table or putting things back where
they belong.
To go away quickly from a place.
To leave a place quickly, e.g. Police cleared people out of the cinema after receiving a call that a bomb
had been planted inside.
To tidy a place by disposing of something, e.g. We haven’t cleared the storeroom out for ages.
(Something) to get better or disappear, e.g. when weather clears up, it gets better or if an illness clears
up, it disappears.
To make a place tidy by removing unwanted items, e.g. The child has been warned repeatedly to clear his
toys up after his father stepped on one and broke it into pieces.
To explain something that is hard to understand, e.g. Most find the instructions difficult to understand, but
further explanations cleared everything up.
To cure something such as an infection, etc., e.g. The regular intake of medicine has cleared my sore
throat up.
(Weather) to become clear, e.g. The sky had been full of dark clouds since morning, but by afternoon
it cleared up,
140 cleave to
To still regard a belief, etc. as true when it is not.
141 click on
To begin a computer operation by pressing on the computer mouse button.
142 climb down
To make an ignominious withdrawal from a position taken up.
143 cling to
To hold tightly to a belief, idea, etc.
144 clock in/out
145 clog up
146 close down
147 cloud over
To record on a special card using an automatic recording clock one’s time of arrival at or departure from
To reach a particular number or amount, especially the number of flight hours a pilot has attained to
To be become blocked, e.g. The drain was so clogged up that water and material inside flows over its
To stop broadcasting (television station at the end of the day), or doing business permanently (shop,
company, etc.)
To move closer to someone or something, e.g. the police close in to make an arrest or a pack of
wolves closing in to kill their prey.
To close a place for a specified reason, e.g. a road is closed off for repair.
To be closed to the public temporarily, e.g. a building closes up for a particular reason.
(Sky) to become full of clouds or black clouds.
148 club together To share the cost of something by combining with others to collect a sum of money.
149 clue … in
151 clutch at
cobble …
To inform someone about something.
To form a group or solid mass.
To seize something eagerly or in desperation, especially at an idea or when one is in a dangerous
To quickly make or assemble something that is useful but not perfect, e.g. cobbled together a ceasefire
agreement; cobbled together a tent from some pieces of strings and a big sheet.
153 cock … up To spoil or ruin something.
comb …
To search for pieces of information, e.g. Policemen comb out the entire area looking for evidence.
To make hair straight and smooth by combing; to exclude unwanted members from a group.
To search through a wide area or a lot of objects for information, e.g. policemen comb through the field
looking for the murder weapon.
To happen, e.g. How does it come about that he was once my good friend, but now ignores me
(Ship) to change direction.
To meet or find by accident or by chance, e.g. While making a boat trip up the river, we came across a
come across
To exude an emotion or quality, e.g. He comes across as being boastful.
come after To go in search of someone, e.g. the police are coming after him for having involved in a robbery.
To follow someone, e.g. I will come along with you.
To want to go with someone, e.g. “Can I come along with you?”
To break or separate into pieces or parts, e.g. They forgot to staple my papers and when the wind blew
them off my hand, they came apart and flew in different directions.
To make a visit to someone, e.g. You can come around in the evening;
To regain consciousness, e.g. He came around three hours after the accident.
To approach someone in a threatening manner.
To be left with a specified feeling, e.g. He came away feeling satisfied. To become separated from
come at
something, e.g. The lens came away from the spectacle.
come away To reply in a quick and forceful way, e.g. “I am not coming back!”
To return to where one comes from, e.g. Some of the tourists vowed to come back to this beautiful resort
in the near future.
(Physical condition) to recur, e.g. He could hardly sleep at night as his backache has come back.
To become popular again, e.g. Rumour has it that bell-bottoms will come back in the next season.
To appear before a person or group in authority, e.g. He feels nervous when he comes before the judge.
To avoid something from disturbing, e.g. I do not allow anything to come between my study and me.
To obtain something that is hard to get, e.g. I haven’t found a job which is hard to come by these days.
To get lower, e.g. Prices once go up, hardly come down.
To punish or criticize someone severely, e.g. The police have pledged to come down hard on those who
park their cars illegally.
To amount to, e.g. Getting along with people comes down to having a give-and-take attitude.
To get from higher to lower level or from North to South, e.g. He is unable to come down to stay with
his parents this Christmas due to some personal problems.
come down To become afflicted with an illness, e.g. The weather has caused many residents in the area to come down
with influenza.
To arrive to collect someone or something, e.g. I’ve come for my books which I left behind this morning.
To volunteer oneself for something such as to be a vigilante, etc.
To be from a place where one was born or is/was living.
155 come about
come from
come in
come into
come off
To be a source from which something originates.
To arrive, e.g. The ten o’clock train came in ten minutes earlier.
To enter, e.g. As soon as they arrived they came straight in.
To attain a particular position, e.g. She came in first in the race this morning.
(Tide) to rise, e.g. Let’s go to the beach, the tide is coming in.
To be available when needed, e.g. The tool kit has come in handy before, let’s not forget it.
To receive a reaction such as criticism, etc., e.g. The head of police comes in for some criticism for the
way the police conducted the investigation.
To inherit money or property.
To result from something, e.g. The police combed the entire area but nothing came of their attempts to
find the murder weapon.
To separate oneself or itself from something, e.g. The sole came off one of my shoes.
To produce a good or bad result, e.g. The trip didn’t come off the way we expected.
(Something) to take place or happen, e.g. The whole city has been plunged into darkness and the residents
are still waiting for the light to come on.
To meet or discover someone or something by chance, e.g. We came upon a couple of our former
classmates whom we have not seen for a long time.
To begin a television or radio program, e.g. What time does that television documentary come on? I want
to watch it.
To feel an illness, etc. happening, e.g. I can feel a sore throat coming on as my throat is getting itchier
by the minute.
To use it to encourage or correct someone, to hurry them up or tell them not to lie, e.g. Come on, you
can do better than that. / Come on, surely you don’t believe the Earth is flat. / Come on, the train is not
going to wait for you. / Come on, don’t bullshit.
To enquire one’s position, well-being, progress, etc. e.g. How is your journalism course coming on?
To make sexual advances towards someone, e.g. Jack always comes on to Jill whenever he sees her, and
Jill deeply resents it.
To leave a place such as a house, room, etc., e.g. She came out of the room and surprised everyone who
thought she had gone out.
(Facts, information, etc.) to become known to the public, e.g. When the report came out, many were
surprised that it laid the blame on the engineer for the collapse of the bridge.
To make something such as a book, musical recording, movie, etc. available to the public, e.g. A
paperback edition of the book will come out at the end of this month.
To remove dirt and stains, e.g. Stains on his shirt easily came out when he used some detergent.
To attain a placing in an examination.
To say publicly one is for or against something, e.g. More and more people have come out in support of
the ban on smoking in restaurants.
(Sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.) to make their appearance in the sky.
(Skin) to break out in spots, rash, etc.
To suddenly or unexpectedly pass a rude comment.
come out
To make a visit to someone’s house, e.g. They usually come over to granny’s house on weekend.
(Someone) to move to where I am from where they are, e.g. Almost every weekend he comes over to my
place and we go out together.
To suddenly experience a strong feeling, e.g. I have this strange feeling coming over me that violent
argument will erupt in the meeting tomorrow.
To migrate from another country, e.g. Their grandparents came over from the East.
To visit someone, e.g. They regularly come round to a neighbour’s house for a game of cards.
come out in (Event) to recur, e.g. New Year’s day is coming round again.
To change one’s point of view and become agreeable to something.
To regain consciousness, e.g. He coughs slightly, and the others are delighted he is coming round.
(News, information, etc.) to become known, e.g. News of the snowstorm comes through regularly and
people expect the worst as they tune in to it.
To live through a dangerous situation, e.g. The bus he was travelling in swerved into a ravine killing some
passengers but he came through completely unscathed.
To be waiting to receive an important document, approval, etc., e.g. The big cheque we have been waiting
for has finally come through.
To regain consciousness, e.g. He came to hours after he was admitted to the hospital.
To reach a total amount, e.g. The total of these items comes to $60.60.
To have an idea, thought, etc., e.g. The idea came to me when I was in the shower.
To be attacked or shot at, e.g. As soon as the group of commandos landed on the beach, they came
under attack from enemy fire.
To fall within a particular article, section of the law, etc., e.g. the offence comes under Section 34(B) of
the penal code.
To approach someone, e.g. A stranger came up to me and asked for the time.
To draw near, e.g. The annual fun fair is coming up soon.
(Sun, moon, etc.) To rise, e.g. The sun was coming up by the time I woke up.
To move northward, e.g. They come up all the way to Alaska to visit me.
To move up the social ladder, e.g. He has really come up from his early days as an office clerk to his
present position as marketing director.
(Something such as a problem, difficulty, etc.) to happen suddenly, e.g. He couldn’t attend the long-awaited
annual dinner because something important has suddenly come up.
To cope with opposition, difficulty, problems, etc., e.g. Their chances of winning the next round are not
good, having to come up against such a strong opponent.
To produce idea, suggestion, answer, etc., e.g. He was the only one who could come up with all the
correct answers to the questions.
156 complain of To express that one is suffering physically or from an illness.
157 con … into
To trick or deceive someone into doing something, e.g. He was conned into paying excessively for a watch
which was a cheap imitation.
To deceive someone to give one something, e.g. He conned a number of old people out of large sums of
To focus all your attention on something.
159 condole with To express sympathy for someone.
160 conduce to
To help to produce a particular quality or state.
161 cone … off To close part of a road by using traffic cones.
162 confide in
conjure …
To bring an image to one’s mind.
To call upon a spirit to appear by means of a magic ritual.
164 conk out
To tell someone about a personal secret or private matter in confidence.
To entrust something to the care of someone.
(Car, machine, etc.) to break down.
connect …
To join something to something else, e.g. the telephone is connected to the telephone network.
166 consist in
consist of
To be based on or depend on something.
To be composed of.
167 contend for To engage in a struggle or campaign to achieve something.
contend with To deal with difficulties or an unpleasant situation.
168 contract in To choose to be involved in.
contract out To choose not to take part in something.
contract …
To arrange for work to be done by a person or company outside your own organization.
169 cook … up To prepare a quick meal; to invent a clever or devious story or excuse.
170 cool down
cool off
become cool or cooler.
return to normal temperature after being hot, e.g. It usually cools off in the evening.
make someone or something cooler, e.g. He had a cold shower to cool off his body.
become calm after being angry, e.g. His temper should have cooled off by now.
171 coop … up To confine someone in a small space.
172 cop off
cop out
cop to
To meet and start a sexual relationship with someone.
To avoid doing something that one is supposed to do.
To accept or admit to something.
173 copy … out To write exactly the same thing as it is written somewhere else.
cordon …
To seal off an area to prevent access to it by the public.
175 cotton on
cotton to
To begin to understand.
To begin to like or have a liking for someone or something.
176 cough up
To give something, especially money, unwillingly.
177 count … as To consider or regard someone or something in a particular way.
To record the time passing until an important event happens.
To include/not include someone in a planned activity.
To depend on someone or something, e.g. He is counting on his secretary to prepare a good acceptance
speech for him.
To count up to ten seconds when a boxer is knocked down to conclude defeat.
To put in or take out items one by one as you count them for recording.
To determine the total of something or someone.
178 couple with To combine to produce a particular result
179 cover for
To temporarily take over the duties or role of someone.
cover oneself To take precautions against future blame or liability.
To hide or protect something by putting something on top of it, e.g. Look at the fly on the buns, why are
cover up
they not covered up?
To prevent a wrongful act or crime from being known by denying or hiding the evidence, e.g. The whole
affair was covered up to protect certain important people.
To wear thick clothing or use blanket to keep warm, e.g. I need to buy an electric blanket
to cover me up in this cold weather.
crack down
To take stricter measures to deal with certain problems, e.g. The local authority has decided to crack down
hard on illegal parking.
To work incessantly in order to complete a job.
To burst or cause someone to burst into laughter.
To become mentally disturbed.
crank …
To produce something regularly and routinely.
crank … up To increase the intensity of something.
182 cream … off To choose and take away the best people or things from a group.
183 crease up
To burst or make someone burst out laughing.
184 creep up on To surprise someone by appearing behind them suddenly.
To seem to come sooner than expected, especially an anniversary.
(A feeling for someone, idea, etc.) to gradually increase when it creeps on you.
185 crop out
crop up
186 cross … off
crowd …
(Rock) to appear or be exposed at the surface of the earth.
To appear or occur suddenly and unexpectedly.
To delete an item on a list, e.g. Jill crossed a wrong item off the shopping list and ended up short of one
vital ingredient.
To delete a word, etc. by drawing a line through it.
To take the place of someone or something by forcing them out.
188 crush up
To squeeze with others into a small space
189 cry off
cry out
To break a promise to do something.
To shout out in pain or of fear.
190 cuddle up
To lie or sit very close to someone or something.
191 culminate in To reach a climax or the highest point of development.
192 curl up
To sit or lie with arms and legs bent close to body.
193 cuss … out To swear and shout at someone out of anger.
194 cut across
cut back
To take the shortest way, e.g. If we cut across this terrain we’ll arrive there before dusk.
To remove what is irrelevant or unnecessary, e.g. Just cut away all those unnecessary details and come to
the point will you?
To reduce on something such as money, time, etc., e.g. We have to cut back on the number of days we
are away on holiday as it is getting more expensive.
To do or use something less, e.g. Jack was advised to cut back the number of hours he spends at the gym
and concentrate more on his study.
To reduce one’s consumption of something.
cut down
To bring down a tree, etc. by cutting, e.g. It should be made compulsory to acquire an official permit
to cut down a tree.
To kill or injure someone with a sword or gun.
To shorten the length of something such as a piece of writing, etc.
To reduce the importance of someone, e.g. Jack is a self-important, pompous little man; let’s think of a
way to cut him down to size.
To suddenly drive too closely into the space in front of another vehicle.
To interrupt someone who is speaking.
To include someone in a deal with share of the profits.
To block access to a place, e.g. Heavy snowfall has cut off access to many areas in the countryside.
To stop supply of something such as electricity, water, etc., e.g. The electricity supply company has sent
me a warning to pay within a week, failing which my electricity will be cut off.
cut off/cut ...
To abruptly disconnect a telephone call.
To separate a piece from the main part by cutting, e.g. She cut off a piece of cake for her guest.
To disinherit someone, e.g. My parents threatened to cut me off their will unless I go to college.
To stop having a good relationship with someone due to some reason, e.g. After she recovered from a
severe nervous breakdown, she cut herself off from her circle of close friends.
To rudely interrupt someone, e.g. I was relating a story to friends when he came in and cut me off.
To remove something or someone, e.g. The editor cut out an offending remark in a piece of news report.
/ The parents decided to cut him out of their will.
To remain healthy, e.g. He cuts sugary snacks and fizzy drink out of his list of items for consumption
To remove something by cutting, e.g. He’s always cutting out articles from newspapers to assist in his
writing course.
(Engine) to suddenly stop working, e.g. The engine of my car suddenly cut out when I stopped at the
traffic lights.
To cut something into smaller pieces, e.g. Jill is cutting an apple up to feed her birds.
To sustain multiple injuries in a road accident.
To behave in an unruly manner.
195 dally with
To think but not seriously about something.
To be involved in a casual romantic or sexual relationship with someone.
196 damp … up To dam a river, etc.
damp …
To make a fire burn less strongly.
To control or reduce something such as a feeling.
198 dash off
To leave very quickly.
dash … off To write something hurriedly and without much thought.
To have existed since a particular time.
from/back to
200 dawn on
To realize something for the first time.
3. Phrasal Verbs 201-300
201 deal in
deal … in
deal out
To buy and sell a particular product.
To bring in a new player in a card game.
To distribute something, e.g. deal out cards to players in a card game.
To do business with someone, e.g. I’ve been dealing with him for the past several years.
To take appropriate measures to solve one’s problem, e.g. I’m on medication to deal with my depression
To deal with a particular subject, e.g. The book deals wholly with acupuncture.
202 decide on
To select one thing from many, e.g. to decide on a wedding date.
To state publicly you support or oppose someone or something.
204 defer to
To agree or accept someone’s opinion or decision.
205 delight in
To take great pleasure in something.
206 deliver up
To give or pass over something to someone.
207 delve into
To search for more evidence about someone or something.
208 depart from
To deviate from the normal or usual course of action.
To rely on others for their help and support.
210 deprive … of To prevent someone from having something they want or need.
211 derogate from To reduce the worth or value of something so as to make it seem less impressive.
212 descend from To have developed from something or to be related to someone who existed in the past.
To be able to feel or know when something descends on you, e.g. when darkness descends, it begins to
get dark.
To pass by inheritance.
descend to
To behave in an unacceptable manner.
213 detract from
To underrate the value or importance of something.
To entrust responsibility, duties, etc. to someone at a lower level.
To entrust responsibility, duties, etc. to someone at a lower level.
To transfer property to someone when the owner dies.
215 die away
To become weaker, less loud or strong, e.g. light, sound, or wind.
(Plant) to remain alive at the roots but dead above the ground.
To becomes less active, strong or loud.
To become extinct.
To become extinct
216 dig in
(Soldiers) to protect themselves by making a trench; to begin eating;
To mix fertilizer with soil by digging.
To make use of what one has, e.g. to dig into one’s energy or strength.
To unearth something from the ground.
To find something that one has been searching for, e.g. to dig out the photo one has been looking for.
To find something in the ground by digging.
To discover something after investigating or searching, e.g. to dig up information about someone.
217 dilate on/upon To write or speak fully or in detail about something.
218 din … into
To firmly instil in someone’s mind by continuous repeating.
219 dine on/off
dine out
dine out on
To eat a particular kind of food, especially expensive food.
To eat outside the home, e.g. at the restaurant.
To entertain friends and others at meal by telling anecdotes
220 dip into
To put one’s hand into a bag, container, etc. in order to take something out.
To have to use something that one has such as one’s savings.
221 disagree with (Weather, seafood) to have a bad effect on someone.
223 dish … out
To make a long speech about something;
To serve food to people.
To distribute something indiscriminately.
224 dispense with To discontinue using something because it is no longer required.
225 dispose of
To get rid of something.
To deal effectively with a difficult problem or situation.
226 dive in
To begin to take part in an activity with enthusiasm.
227 divest … of To remove oneself of whatever clothing one is wearing.
To rid oneself of an interest or investment under obligation.
To deprive someone of power, rights, etc.
228 do away with To get rid of something, e.g. Kissing the hand of women should be done away with.
To kill someone, e.g. Some neighbours believe she did away with her husband while others believe he ran
do by
To treat or deal with something in a specified way.
do ... down To criticize someone, especially behind his or her back.
To do something to something else, e.g. what is to be done for the leak?
To ruin or kill someone.
To improve the quality or appearance of someone or something.
To kill someone;
do … out
To make someone feel very tired.
To cheat or do a secretly dishonest thing to someone.
To decorate or furnish a room or building in a particular way.
To attempt again at doing something, e.g. My homework is so full of mistakes that the teacher has no
choice but to tell me to do all over.
To decorate a wall, room, etc.
To injure someone by beating him up.
To ransack and steal from a place.
To fasten or fix something, especially one’s clothing.
To improve an old car, building, etc. by repairing or redecorating it.
To make oneself look attractive by dressing and making up.
To need or would like to have something, e.g. I could do with a drink.
To connect one thing to another, e.g. When questioned by police about a robbery case, he said he had
nothing to do with it.
To have to manage on one’s own without something or someone, e.g. Her husband has just passed away,
so she has to do without.
To have to tolerate someone or something, e.g. I can do without all her endless grumbling.
229 dole … out
To distribute something such as money, food, etc. to people.
230 doll … up
To dress and make oneself up attractively.
231 doss down
To sleep somewhere which is not the usual place or one’s bed.
To do very little work.
232 dote on/upon To have a very strong affection or liking for and is clearly demonstrated by one’s actions.
233 double as
double back
double up
234 doze off
To fall asleep unintentionally, e.g. Each time he listens to the same speaker, he dozes off.
235 drag down
To cause someone to feel upset, lose confidence or enthusiasm.
To involve someone in something with which he has nothing to do.
To get someone unwillingly involved in something such as a discussion, conversation, etc.
(Meeting, etc.) to last longer than is necessary.
To prolong a meeting, argument, etc. unnecessarily.
To raise unpleasant or embarrassing subject without regard to the feelings of the persons involved.
To improperly bring up a child.
drag ... up
dragoon …
have a second use, job, or purpose.
return the way you have come.
share something such as a room.
use the winnings from a bet as stake for another bet.
bend one’s body due to excessive laughing, pain, etc.
play another or different role in a play, etc.
To force someone into doing something.
237 drain … off To cause liquid in something to run off, leaving it empty or dry.
238 draw back
draw in
draw into
draw ... off
To recoil or to withdraw from doing something.
To get dark earlier in the evening and so there are fewer hours of daylight.
To get someone involved in something.
To cause someone to participate in, especially criminal, activities
To extract some liquid from specific holder of liquid.
To suck in smoke from a cigarette, cigar, etc.
To make use of expertise, savings, resources, etc. for a particular purpose.
(Winter, spring, etc.) to come nearer when it is drawing on.
(Days) to become longer due to the changing seasons.
To induce someone to open up by being more willing to talk.
To prolong or extend something such as an event, meeting, etc.
(Vehicle) to reach a place and stop there.
To prepare an official document such as a list of appointees, etc.
To pull one’s legs closer to the body, e.g. knees drawn up to the chest
dream …
To idle by thinking about something that one would like to happen.
To be used to tell someone that what they are hoping for may most likely not happen, e.g. “You think
of striking the jackpot? Dream on!”
To imagine or mentally invent something, e.g. Who could have dreamed up those ideas of how the
dinosaurs became extinct?
240 dredge … up To bring out something from the distant past.
To remove whatever there are from the bottom of a river, harbour, etc.
241 dress down
dress …
To wear informal clothes.
To express disapproval that something someone has done is very wrong.
To put on clothes, e.g. She always dresses up to appear younger than her age.
To wear a special costume appropriate for a formal occasion, e.g. At every costume party he attends,
he dresses up like Popeye.
242 drift apart
drift off
(Relationship) to end gradually.
To doze off.
243 drill … into To continuously impress something on someone’s mind to produce a lasting effect.
244 drink … in
drink to …
To enjoy taking in all the sights and sounds.
To wish someone success, good luck, good health, etc. before drinking alcohol.
To finish up all the rest of a drink.
245 drive at
The point that one is attempting to make.
drive … away To behave in a way that forces someone to leave him/her.
drive off
To leave in a vehicle.
To cause an enemy, animals, etc. that are threatening or attacking you, to flee.
drive … out To force someone or something to leave.
drive … up To cause rapid rise in prices, costs, etc.
246 drone on
To speak at length in a boring way.
247 drop away
To become lower in level or amount.
To visit someone without appointment, e.g. Jack dropped in on Jill and almost couldn’t recognize her as
she had not had her usual make-up on.
To doze off or begin to sleep, e.g. He dropped off while watching television.
To move someone or something to another place, e.g. He dropped me off at the Post Office.
drop in
drop off
To become lower in level, interest, amount, etc., e.g. Readership of the magazine has been dropping
off since early last year.
To abandon an activity, course, etc. before completing it, e.g. dropped out of school.
(A term or phrase) to be no longer in use if it drops out of a language.
248 drum … into To drive something into someone by constant repetition.
drum … out To remove or expel someone from, or force someone to leave employment, office, school, etc.
To attempt to obtain support by meeting a large number of people.
249 dry off
To become dry or to make something dry, e.g. He rubbed his head vigorously with a towel to dry off his
wet hair.
To become or make something, such as washed clothing, very dry after it has been very wet.
To succeed in dealing with alcoholism.
To deprive a place of water, e.g. The rivers and lakes completely dry up in areas that suffer severe
(Supply) to diminish with no addition, e.g. research fund has dried up. To dry plates, dishes, etc. with a
250 duck out of
To avoid doing what you have to do or promised to do.
251 duff … in
duff … up
To fight someone and injure them.
To beat someone up.
252 dump on
To treat or criticize someone badly or harshly.
To unload all of one’s problems onto someone else.
253 dust … down To remove dust from surface of one’s clothes by brushing with hands.
To clean something by brushing or wiping it with a cloth.
To use something again after a long period of disuse.
254 dwell on/upon To think, speak, or write at length about something.
ease …
ease off /up
To slacken a rope or sail slowly or gently.
To do something with more moderation;
(Situation) to get better.
(Vehicle) to slowly move forward into the traffic.
To deliberately try to make someone leave office.
To take it easy after working too fast or too hard.
eat … away To erode or destroy gradually; to worry someone constantly, e.g. the thought of contracting a serious
illness is eating away at her.
eat into
reduce something over time such as money, time, etc.
damage or destroy something gradually, e.g. rust is eating into the metal door.
use resources excessively.
finish eating all of something, e.g. Our uncle ate all the donuts up, leaving us none.
257 edit … out
To remove harmful, objectionable, or unpleasant material in preparing a recording or broadcast.
258 egg … on
To encourage someone to do something foolish or risky.
259 eke … out
To make something last longer by using or consuming it sparingly, e.g. to eke out a living/existence.
260 emanate from To emit or come from a source.
262 empty out
To begin a new course of action.
To discharge the contents from a container, e.g. I empty out a container by holding it upside down and
let all the sweets drop out.
To discharge itself of someone or people, e.g. As soon as a movie ends, the people head for the exit and
soon the cinema empties out.
To intrude on someone’s rights, time, territory, possessions, etc.
To advance on more and more land, e.g. housing development encroaching on farmland.
264 end in
end up
To have a particular result, or finish in a particular way.
To come to be in a particular situation or place, e.g. We took a wrong turn and ended up in an
unknown place.
265 endear … to To make someone popular or liked.
endow …
To naturally have a good feature or quality.
To give something to someone.
endue …
To endow someone with a good quality or ability
268 engage in
To participate or become involved in an activity.
270 enter into
To speak or write about in greater detail.
To begin to be involved in something.
To impose an obligation on oneself to do something.
To begin something such as job, an activity, etc.
271 even out
even up
To make equal in number, amount, value, etc.
To make a situation or competition more equal.
272 eventuate in
To result in.
To give more details about something.
To speak or write in detail about a particular subject.
explain …
To minimize the significance of something embarrassing by giving an excuse or justification.
To excuse or justify one’s behaviour.
276 eye … up
To look at someone with sexual interest.
277 face … down To deal with someone in a strong and confident way.
face up to
To face fact however objectionable it is.
face … with To provide someone with evidence of their guilt.
278 factor … in To include something as a relevant element when making a decision or an estimate.
fade …
To perform some useless task.
To make a picture or sound appear/disappear or be heard/become quieter gradually.
281 fake … out
To deceive someone.
282 fall about
fall apart
To have a good laugh about something.
To break into pieces;
(System) to stop working or become ineffective;
To suddenly develop a lot of, especially personal, problems.
(Machine, car, etc.) to be in very bad condition.
(Noise, feeling, scenery, etc.) to recede as you move through it.
To separate from the main part.
(Soldiers) to retreat.
To make sudden backward movement caused by fright, pain, surprise, etc.
fall away
fall back
fall behind
fall to
To have a source of help in a difficult situation when needed.
To slacken so that others move ahead or finish, e.g. In long distance running competitions, runners try to
keep pace with the leader, but increasingly they fall behind due to a variety of reasons.
To become less successful than someone else, e.g. Industrial disputes have caused production to fall
behind schedule.
To fail to keep up with schedule for payments, e.g. I fell behind with the payments on the car and it
was repossessed, and now I move around on a bicycle.
To drop onto the ground, e.g. All the onlookers were shocked to see a monkey fall down from a tree.
(Plan, system, etc.) to fail to work or to become ineffective.
To feel strongly attracted to someone or something.
To be deceived by someone, e.g. The seller claims it is a magic stone that can cure all illnesses, yet
there are people who fall for it.
To drop within, e.g. part of the ceiling falls into the sitting room.
(Soldiers) to form neat lines behind each other.
To form a line behind someone.
To belong to a part, section, etc.
To move down somewhere, e.g. fall into the drain;
To develop a particular feeling, e.g. fall into despair or holiday mood.
To meet by chance and become involved with someone.
To agree or accept someone’s suggestions, decisions, etc.
To drop to the ground from a higher place, e.g. He fell off his horse and landed in a ditch.
To become detached or disconnected from the main body.
(Demand, prices, quality, amount) to drop or become less.
To launch a sudden or unexpected attack on someone.
To delegate a duty or responsibility to someone.
To have one’s gaze directed towards someone or something.
(Hair, tooth, etc,) to drop out, e.g. Did your tooth fall out or you pull it out?
To have a misunderstanding, disagreement or quarrel with someone, e.g. Jack fell out with his best friend
as both have fallen in love with the same girl.
(Soldiers) to leave one’s place in a military formation.
(Someone) to fall onto the ground or (something) to fall from an upright position onto its side.
To not end or complete a plan, meeting, project, etc. successfully, e.g. The commercial venture fell
through after one party decided to withdraw.
To drop through something, e.g. A meteorite fell through the roof of a cottage and landed on the floor
in the living room.
To be entrusted with a duty or responsibility.
(Property) to revert to the ownership of someone.
283 fan out
To walk forwards while spreading over a wide area.
284 farm … out To subcontract work to others instead of doing it yourself.
To waste time not doing very much or on trivial things.
286 fasten … off To secure the end of a thread with stitches or a knot.
fasten on/upon To quickly single out an idea, etc. as the best one and concentrate firmly on it.
To follow and stay with someone.
287 father … on To assign paternity of a child to someone, or the source or originator of something to someone.
288 fatten … up To become fat or fatter, or make someone or an animal fat or fatter.
favour …
To give someone something such as a smile, salute, reply, etc.
290 fawn on/over To give an excessive display of exaggerated flattery or affection to someone.
291 feed off/on
292 feel for
feel … out
feel … up
feel up to
fence …
To eat a particular food, or obtain regular nourishment from a substance; to make a feeling stronger,
e.g. jealousy feeds on insecurity.
To have a sympathetic feeling towards someone.
To ask someone’s opinions or feelings.
To fondle someone for one’s own sexual stimulation.
To have the strength and confidence to do something, e.g. I would like to go canoeing too, but I
don’t feel up to doing it.
To enclose an area with a fence.
To make someone feel restricted.
294 fend … off
To defend oneself from an attack or attacker.
To avoid answering difficult questions directly, e.g. to fend off reporters’ provocative questions.
295 ferret … out To search out a desired piece of information.
296 fess up
To confess to committing a minor wrong.
297 fetch up
To arrive at a place unintentionally, especially because of having fallen asleep in a public vehicle.
To vomit.
298 fiddle around To waste time doing unimportant things.
To keep playing around with something.
To play around with somebody else’s thing in an annoying way.
299 fight back
fight ... off
fight ... out
300 figure on
struggle violently against an attacker, e.g. They chose to fight back until reinforcements arrive.
wage a campaign against something such as unfair discrimination.
hide one’s feelings, e.g. to fight back tears.
defend oneself against an attack by someone or something
engage in violence until the dispute is resolved.
To expect or plan for something, e.g. I didn’t figure on such massive traffic jam; I would have stayed at
To ponder over something until a solution is found or one has gained an understanding of it, e.g. He
can’t figure it out why his wife is behaving strangely.
Related Links
4. Phrasal Verbs 301-400
301 fill in
fill out
fill up
To provide answers or information on an official document.
To block up a hole, etc. with something.
To do someone else’s work for a specified reason.
To write down all the required information on an official document, e.g. Many people hate filling
out forms, but most of the time they have to do it.
To fill a place such as a cinema, church, container, etc. with people, things, etc., e.g. As soon as the
doors are opened, the cinema quickly started to fill up.
To write down required details on an official document, e.g. I had to fill up everything on the form
before I could submit it for approval.
To eat something in excess, e.g. He has a strong liking for cookies and when any are available he
will fill up on them.
To keep refilling a glass, etc., e.g. Do you have to keep filling up my glass? I’m feeling a bit tipsy
302 filter … out To pass liquid or gas through a device to remove impurities or other particles.
303 find against/for (Court) to make a decision against/in favour of someone.
To discover information or a fact about someone or something, e.g. They no longer remained friendly to
find out
him when they found out he had been a prisoner.
304 fine … down To improve something by making it thinner, smaller, more exact, etc.
305 finish off
finish up
finish with
306 fire back
fire off
kill someone or animal, or decisively defeat someone in a match, etc.
finish eating all of something;
do the final thing before breaking up or dispersing, e.g. finish off the evening by having a drink.
end up at a particular place or doing one final thing.
eat or drink all the rest of something.
no longer need to use something.
end a relationship with someone.
shoot back with gun, etc.
respond promptly and angrily to a question or remark.
use a weapon to shoot.
send something quickly, e.g. a fax, letter.
307 firm … up
To make something such as an agreement, ideas, plan, arrangements, etc. more definite and explicit.
308 fit
… in
… out
… up
309 fix on
fix … up
310 fizzle out
adapt to a group
find time to see someone or do something.
meet the requirements of someone.
make someone appear guilty of a crime or wrongdoing by falsifying evidence against them.
To decide or settle on a suitable person, thing, etc. for a particular purpose.
To provide someone with something, e.g. They fix us up for a night’s stay at their place.
To arrange a date for someone with a member of the opposite sex, e.g. Jack brought Jill along, hoping
his friends will find someone to fix her up with.
To improve on a place to make it more attractive or suitable, e.g. They intend to fix up their house to
look more like a palace than a house.
To enhance one’s appearance, e.g. She has fixed herself up gorgeously for it’s her birthday party tonight.
To gradually end in a disappointing way.
311 flag … down To wave or signal to a driver to stop.
312 flake out
To fall asleep because of exhaustion.
313 flare out
flare up
To suddenly say something angrily.
To suddenly become angry or violent.
flash …
To flaunt one’s wealth in order to gain admiration.
315 flesh … out
To add more details to something in order to improve it.
316 flick through
To look quickly through a book, magazine, set of photographs, etc.
317 fling … into To get wholeheartedly engaged in an activity or enterprise.
fling … off To quickly remove something such as a piece of clothing, cover, etc.
To dispose of unwanted things.
fling … out To suddenly make someone leave a place or organization.
318 flip … off
flip out
flip over
flip through
319 flirt with
320 float around
To rudely show your middle finger to someone.
To suddenly become very angry or upset or start to behave in a crazy way, e.g. Jack flipped out when
Jill called to say she couldn’t turn up for the appointment as she was very tired.
To turn something from one side onto the other.
To look quickly through something such as a book, magazine, etc.
To behave as though one is sexually attracted to someone but not in a very serious way.
To willingly risk danger, death, etc. without worrying about it.
(Something) to be somewhere, e.g. Everyone knows the spreadsheet file is floating around but no one
knows exactly where it is.
(Rumour, information, etc.) to be circulated and talked about, e.g. The latest gossip about the manager’s
private affair is floating around in the office building.
321 flood … out To force someone to leave their home or to be evacuated because of floods.
322 flunk out
To be expelled from school or college for failing examinations.
323 fly at/into
To attack verbally or physically.
To suddenly go into a rage or other strong emotion.
324 fob … off
To satisfy someone by making excuses to deceive them or make them receive something of low quality.
fob … off on To make someone accept something inferior by trickery.
foist …
326 fold … in
To force to accept someone or something that they do not want.
To mix an ingredient with another when preparing food.
327 follow around To keep following someone everywhere they go.
follow through To continue an action after the main task is completed in order to ensure a successful conclusion.
To continue the arm movement of a stroke after the ball has been struck as in sport.
To conduct further investigation or probe, e.g. The police follow up the investigation with new
follow up
information leading to the arrest of the wanted man.
To put in additional efforts to attain a desired aim, e.g. He follows up his doctor’s diagnosis by seeing
another specialist for a second opinion.
To waste time behaving in a silly way, e.g. He’s fooling around in the library when he should be reading
or doing some writing.
To act in an irresponsible way, e.g. Someone must have fooled around with this telephone, now the
public can’t make calls with it.
To engage in a casual or extramarital sexual activity, e.g. A doctor is fooling around with one of his
patients and nobody knows about it.
329 force … back
force … down
force …
force … out
To refrain from displaying one’s emotions.
To forcibly swallow something that one does not want.
330 forge ahead
To make progressive and successful headway.
331 fork out
To unwillingly pay money for something.
332 foul up
To spoil something or do something wrong by making mistakes.
333 freak out
To become or cause someone to become very upset, angry or irrational, e.g. She freaked out when she
was stopped by traffic policemen for speeding.
To impose something on someone.
To force information out of someone by repeated questioning or threat, etc.,
334 freeze … out To deliberately exclude someone by adopting a hostile or obstructive attitude.
freeze over
To turn the surface of pool, lake, etc. into ice.
335 freshen … up To wash oneself or changing one’s clothes to feel clean and comfortable.
To waste time doing unnecessary or unimportant things.
To treat someone badly or unfairly.
frighten …
To make an animal or someone go away by making them feel afraid.
frighten … off To drive someone away by frightening them.
fritter …
To waste time, money, or effort on something unimportant or trivial.
339 front for
To act as the person or organization serving as a cover for illegal activities.
340 frost up
To become covered in frost.
341 frown on/upon To disapprove of something, especially someone’s behaviour.
342 fuck
... off
… over
... up
behave in a silly way or waste time or other people’s time.
go away.
anger or annoy someone.
treat someone very badly.
make someone confused or unhappy.
make a mistake or do something badly.
343 function as
To fulfil the purpose or task of something.
344 fuss over
To treat someone with excessive attention or affection.
345 futz around
To idle or occupy oneself without purpose.
346 gad
To go to different places in search of pleasure.
347 gain on/upon To gradually get closer to a person or thing pursued.
348 gallop through To proceed at great speed in doing something.
gamble …
To lose money or other things by gambling.
350 gang up on
To join together into a group to intimidate or attack someone.
351 gas … up
To fill petrol in a car.
352 gather … in To collect things such as crop, clothes, etc. together.
gather … up To pick up lots of things from different places.
353 gee up
To encourage someone to work harder and quicker.
354 gen up
gen … up
To learn a lot about something for a specific purpose.
To provide someone with information about something.
355 get … across To successfully convey a message, an idea, etc. to someone.
To have achieved success in one’s life or career, e.g. He comes from a wealthy family and getting
get ahead
ahead seems easy to him.
To manage to live or survive, or interact with people, e.g. He never seems to get along with anybody.
get along
To be able to do something, e.g. He is getting along fine in his new job.
To finally do something after some time, e.g. He didn’t get around to preparing for his exam until the
get around to
last moment.
get at
To be able to reach something.
To criticize someone repeatedly.
To succeed in leaving a place; escape, e.g. The robbers managed to get away through the back exit just
get away
before the police arrived.
To have not been punished or criticized for a wrongful act, e.g. He has been shoplifting for a
get away with
considerable time, and he always gets away with it.
To take a holiday, e.g. I have been working very hard and long hours, but still have no plan to get
away for a week or two.
get back
get back at
get back to
get behind
get by
get down
get down to
get in
get into
get off
To escape blame or punishment for a wrongful act.
To return a place, e.g. I think we can get back in time for dinner.
To have something returned to one, e.g. I lent him my umbrella two days ago and I haven’t got it back.
To move away from danger, etc., e.g. The onlookers were told to get back as the firemen battled the
To move back to the real discussion, e.g. He was told to get back to the main point of the discussion as
his comments seemed irrelevant.
To plan to retaliate, e.g. Jill cannot forget what Jack said about her and intends to get back at him.
To take revenge on someone, e.g. He swears he would get back at his step-father who ill-treated him
while they were living together.
To talk to someone later, e.g. He said he would get back to me, and after two days I’m still waiting.
To have not done what one should have done earlier, e.g. He has gotten far behind with his work which
should have been finished one week ago.
Manage to live but with difficulty or accomplish something.
To move from higher to lower level, e.g. I got down to the beach by walking down a flight of steps.
To move someone or something from a higher to lower level, e.g. Someone called a fireman to get a
cat down from a tree.
To cause unhappiness, depression, etc. to someone, e.g. The prolonged illness of her mother is beginning
to get her down.
To start work on something.
To try to enter a place, e.g. It was very crowded at the stadium, and those without tickets also tried
to get in.
To engage someone to do something, e.g. We have to get the plumber in as the tap isn’t working
To enter a place, e.g. We got into the stadium for the match as soon as we arrived there.
To put something into something else, e.g. We tried quite unsuccessfully to get all the things into the
To come into an adverse situation, e.g. They had to sell off their house when they got into financial
To form a habit, routine, etc., e.g. She has gotten into the habit of biting her nails.
To escape punishment or be acquitted, e.g. The lucky murderer got off scot-free when the sole witness
suddenly passed away.
To alight, e.g. When a train arrives at a station and stops, a lot of people get off it.
To end a telephone conversation, e.g. She started a lengthy telephone conversation and got off it only
after being told to do so for the third time by her angry father.
To leave one’s workplace after a day’s work, e.g. Jill is always very punctual getting off the workplace
after the day’s work.
To have difficulty removing something, e.g. He has already spent hours trying to get the lid off a drum.
To send something such as a letter, parcel, etc., e.g. The clerk has to get the parcels off by courier
get off on
get on
get out
get out of
get over
get ... Over
get round
get round to
get through
service before evening.
To find something enjoyable or be excited by something, e.g. He gets off on skydiving and has been
doing it for many years.
To continue doing something, e.g. We had to get on with it until it’s completed because there isn’t
much time left.
To have a friendly relationship with each other, e.g. Having known each other for only a short while we
seem to get on very well.
To make progress in one’s activity, e.g. How are you getting on with writing the book?
To climb on to an animal, bicycle, etc., e.g. They have to use a ladder to get on an elephant.
To enter a vehicle, etc. e.g. As soon as the bus opened its door, people rushed to get on it.
To put on something such as clothes, etc., e.g. Those shoes are sure too small for me, I
can’t get them on.
To leave or escape from a place, e.g. Visitors to the zoo rushed out for their life when they heard a
tiger get out from its enclosure.
To help someone leave or escape from a place, e.g. Gang members helped a prisoner get out from the
To have a regular break from the same environment, e.g. Every weekend we get out of this city for an
activity in the country.
To run away from danger, etc. We managed to get out when a fire started to burn in the building.
To get something from something else, e.g. He couldn’t get any coin out of his piggy-bank no matter
how he tried.
To remove something from something else, e.g. What should I use to get this stubborn stain out of my
To prevent secret information from being known, e.g. If this information gets out we will be directly
To publish something, e.g. The first issue should get out at the end of this month.
To escape from an unpleasant situation, e.g. He got out of visiting his mother-in-law with his wife by
claiming falsely that he had to attend an important office meeting.
To succeed in dealing with an unpleasant or difficult situation, e.g. Many speakers prefer to be the first
or among the earlier ones on the list to get it over with than to be nervous awaiting their turns.
To recover from something such as an illness, a bad experience, etc. Her husband passed away one
month ago and she still hasn’t gotten over it.
To go or be asked to go to a place, e.g. I think I’ll call and ask them to get over here for a drinking
To complete a task.
To resolve a problem; evade something such as a restriction, etc.
To deal with a task in due course, e.g. After we get through painting the house, we can start on tiling
the floor.
To communicate successfully with someone, e.g. He has explained to his family again and again the need
get to
get together
get up
get ... up
get up to
to move house, but he just can’t get through.
To fail in trying to speak to someone by telephone, e.g. He has tried numerous times to call his brother
overseas but he has not been able to get through.
To have undergone a bitter experience.
To annoy or upset someone, e.g. Now he is looking for someone to blame, but don’t let him get to you.
To arrive at a place, e.g. We managed to get to our destination before it gets dark.
To have to do something, e.g. I haven’t finished my homework; I’ll get to it later.
To upset or annoy someone, e.g. The baby’s constant crying is beginning to get to its young mother.
To meet or gather for a specific purpose, e.g. We have agreed to get together tomorrow night to do
some crazy thing like looking for ghosts.
To put things in the same place, e.g. We are getting all the ingredients together to make some cakes.
To rise from bed when awake, e.g. I don’t feel like getting up in this frosty morning.
To make someone wake up and get out of bed, e.g. I think I’ll prepare the breakfast before
I get him up.
To stand up from a sitting position, e.g. Everyone present got up when he entered.
To be involved in something, especially something illicit, e.g. The neighbours all along didn’t know what
he got up to until the police arrived and arrested him.
356 ginger … up To make someone or something full of interest or excitement.
357 give … away
give in
give out
give over
To willingly transfer one’s thing or things to someone, e.g. He has been giving money away to the
various charities.
To unintentionally disclose evidence that implicates someone in a crime, e.g. He told his wife he would
work late but instead went to a party after work, and his colleague gave it away when the wife called
the office.
To hand over a bride to her bridegroom, e.g. The bride’s father was too sad to give her away, and
asked his eldest son to do it instead.
To make a secret known, e.g. The culprit gave himself away by feeling and appearing very nervous when
questioned by the police.
To stop fighting or arguing and concede to their demand.
To distribute something to many people, e.g. Campaign workers give out thousands of leaflets about the
danger and prevention of AIDS to everyone on the street.
To stop functioning properly, e.g. As we get older increasingly more parts of our body can easily give
To have none left, e.g. Explorers ensure their provisions, especially food and drink, do not give out in
the midst of their exploration.
To hand over for a particular purpose.
To delegate the responsibility for someone or something to somebody else.
give up
give ... up
give up on
glance off
To stop doing something before completing it, e.g. He gave up midway in a marathon race because he
felt exhausted.
To willingly admit defeat, e.g. When the soldiers realized they were completely outnumbered by the
enemy, they gave up without fighting.
To hand someone or something to someone else, e.g. give up one’s seat in a bus to an old lady; the
missing men were given up for dead.
To shop hoping that someone or something will change for the better, e.g. The parents have given up
on their drug addict son.
To look at or through quickly, e.g. glance through a photo album.
To strike a surface at an angle and bounce off in another direction.
359 glass … in
To cover something with glass or build a glass structure around something.
360 glory in
To take great pride or pleasure in something, such as praise, people’s attention, etc.
361 gloss over
To prevent something from being known by avoiding talking about them.
362 gnaw at
To make someone feel uneasy or distressed.
363 go about
To begin or continue doing something, e.g. I wish I knew how to go about starting a business.
To do something that you usually do.
To pursue someone, especially to apprehend them, e.g. Having arrested most of the gang members, the
police are going after the leaders.
To oppose or resist something or someone;
To have something such as a judgement, etc. that is unfavourable to you.
To go earlier than other members of the group; to proceed.
To agree with someone or something, e.g. The majority of the members voted for him as they go along
along with
with what he proposed.
(Illness, news, etc.) to pass from person to person, e.g. There’s a rumour going around in the workplace
that the manager is keeping a secret lover.
To be enough for everyone to have a share, e.g. There aren’t enough blankets to go around, and some
of the evacuees may suffer the cold.
To deliberately do something to offend people, e.g. The new manager goes around telling everyone in
sight to put in more effort in their work.
To behave in an unacceptable way, e.g. The cleaner goes around chatting loudly with everyone in the
go away
go back
go back on
go by
go down
go for
go in
go in for
go into
To go from place to place looking for something, e.g. A bargain hunting housewife goes around from
store to store looking for the really cheap, discounted items on sale.
To leave a place or person, e.g. Jack bade his friend farewell and went away leaving his friend alone on
a park bench.
To spend some time elsewhere, e.g. We are going away for a holiday next week.
(Condition, difficulty, etc.) to gradually disappear, e.g. She’s on mediation for her backache and the pain
is slowly going away.
To return to where you have come from, e.g. He has to go back for his wallet which he left behind.
His smoking habit goes back to his early childhood.
To break a promise or an agreement, e.g. He went back on his promise to his wife that he would never
to see his ex-lover again.
To pass near something or place, e.g. Every day I go by his house on my way to work.
(Time) to pass away, e.g. Five years have gone by since she passed away, and memory of her lives on.
To strictly obey or refer to something, or use it as a guide, e.g. Deeply religious people go by their holy
To have an opinion of someone or something, e.g. To choose an employee, would an employer go
by looks?
To get to a lower level e.g. When the doorbell rang, he went downstairs to answer it.
To get down to another place, e.g. After breakfast we went down to the pool for a swim.
To lose in a match, contest, etc., e.g. They went down 2 -1 in the final.
To get an unfavourable reaction or perception, e.g. His critical attitude does not go down well with his
friends and colleagues.
(Something such as computer system, etc.) to stop working, e.g. Long queues formed in the bank as its
computer system went down.
To choose a course of action, e g. The captain chose to go down with the ship.
To become lower, e.g. The price of tomatoes has gone down, attracting many buyers.
To disappear from sight, e.g. We played football until the sun had gone down.
To try to get or gain something or get someone.
To decide on achieving something, e.g. He intends, after completing his education, to go for professional
To have a preference, e.g. She goes for tall men.
To enter a place such as a building, e.g. We went in as soon as they opened the doors of the cinema.
To attack someone physically or verbally.
To enter a contest, etc. or take an examination, etc, e.g. She decided to go in for the quiz show on
To like or do something often, e.g. When he was young, he would go in for any kind of sea sports.
To enter a profession, business, e.g. I decided not to go into that commercial venture with him.
To expend something on doing something, e.g. A great of time, money, and resources have gone
go off
go on
go out
go over
go round
go through
go through
go under
go up
into producing this scientific paper.
To sort out details of something, e.g. They have been going into the details of the draft agreement to
finalize it before the meeting.
(Gun, bomb, etc.) To fire or explode, e.g. Someone planted a bomb in the police station but it didn’t go
(Alarm) to sound, e.g. .Every morning he can only wake up when the second alarm clock goes off.
(Machine, system, etc.) to stop operating, e.g. Every worker leaves the building before the central
heating goes off at 8 o’clock.
To do something, e.g. to go off to sleep.
To continue to do something, e.g. to go on working on it;
To take place, e.g. something goes on in that building.
To talk for a long time.
To go on with the speech after the break.
To take medication, e.g. go on the pill.
To leave the home for some place, e.g. Everyone goes out except me as I have a television program to
(Tide) to ebb, e.g. Tonight we sit at seaside to watch the tide going out to sea.
(Fire) to stop burning, e.g. Firemen battled the forest fire for five straight days before it went out.
To carry on a romantic relationship, e.g. Jack is the only one Jill goes out with, but one cannot be sure
about Jack.
To visit someone at their house, e.g. go over to uncle’s house.
To move to another place, e.g. go over to the kitchen for a drink.
To examine or check something, e.g. We go over the documents and discuss their contents.
To explain something, e.g. Some students don’t understand the passage, so the teacher goes over it.
To change religion, etc, to go over from this religion to that one.
To be enough, e.g. not enough chairs to go round;
To spread, e.g. a rumour goes round that ….
To search through or examine carefully, e.g. to go through the files.
To suffer from an ordeal, bitter experience, etc.
To be officially approved, e.g. the bill has gone through parliament with majority approval.
To look for something, e.g. have to go through this drawer to find it.
To do something despite opposition, danger, difficulty, etc., e.g. The government decided to go through
with its proposal to legalize prostitution despite strong opposition from many quarters.
(Ship, etc.) To sink.
(Business) to become bankrupt.
To burn or explode, e.g. to go up in flames.
To increase in price, quality, etc., e.g. The increase in demand for flour has caused its price to go up.
go ... up
go with
go without
364 goof around
goof off
To reach further up, e.g. He has gone up the hill twice.
To move from lower to higher level, or from south to north, e.g. We seldom go up to his house as the
weather there is so much colder.
To confront another person, e.g. She went straight up to him and told him off.
To have a romantic relationship with someone.
To accept an idea, etc., e.g. We all have decided to go with his proposal.
To escort, e.g. mother goes with her young daughter to the shop.
To match an item of clothing with another, e.g. She is searching her wardrobe for a skirt to go with her
To experience lack or deprivation, e.g. go without food for two days.
To waste time doing silly things, e.g. He goofs around maybe to prove something, but nobody knows
To idle or avoid doing any work.
365 gouge … out To cut or force something out roughly or violently.
366 grab at
To quickly seize something with the hand.
To immediately seize an opportunity that is offered.
367 graft off
To gain money or advantages by dishonest use of influence.
368 grapple with
To strive to cope with a difficult problem.
369 grasp at
To seize and hold firmly on to something.
To accept an opportunity eagerly.
370 grass … over To cover land with grass.
371 grind
… down To
… out To
372 gross … out
work or study hard.
overwhelm someone with long cruel treatment.
continue for an unpleasantly long time.
produce something laboriously.
To make someone feel disgusted by something, e.g. The sight of natives eating cooked rats for a meal
really grossed them out.
To add deductions, etc. to a net amount.
373 ground in
To learn the basics in order to do something.
374 grow apart
grow into
(Relationship) to become less close.
(Child’s clothes) to become big enough to wear when the child grows into clothes.
To develop into a particular kind of person or thing over time.
To learn successfully to do a job or deal with a situation.
(Someone or something) to become more attractive or interesting.
(Child’s clothes) to become too big to wear when the child grows out of clothes, e.g. She has grown out
of her clothes and is not sure to throw or give them away.
To develop into something bigger or more serious.
To no longer do the thing one does when small, e.g. He has grown out of climbing trees.
(Child) to develop to maturity or adulthood.
grow on
grow out of
grow up
grub …
To dig something out of the ground.
376 guard against To take precautions against something happening.
377 gulp … back To refrain from expressing one’s feelings.
378 gum … up
To clog up something and prevent it from working properly.
379 gun … down To shoot someone with a gun.
380 gussy … up
To make someone or something more attractive
381 gutter out
To become gradually weaker and then stops completely.
382 hack into
To use or change someone’s information on their computer system.
383 hail … as
hail from
To acclaim someone or something in newspapers, magazines, etc.
To have been born in a particular place.
384 hammer in/into To instil something into someone forcefully and repeatedly.
hammer out To laboriously work out the details of an agreement, plan, etc.
hand …
To distribute to all members of a group.
To pass back or return something to someone, e.g. The traffic policeman handed my driving
licence back to me after inspecting it.
To leave something to a successor or those who come after oneself, such as a son, daughter, etc.
hand … down To pass or announce something such as a verdict, punishment, etc.
To give something to a person in authority, e.g. to hand in one’s papers at the end of an examination,
hand … in
or to hand in a resignation letter.
hand ... on
To pass something to another person.
hand ... out To distribute something among a group or publicly.
To pass a verdict, punishment or penalty, etc. on someone.
To pass someone or something to someone else for a reason, e.g. He handed his ticket over to the ticket
hand over
hand … back
386 hang about
hang around
To spend time at a place without a good purpose.
To loiter or wait somewhere needlessly, e.g. They like to gather in a group and hang around a shopping
To spend a lot of time with someone.
To remain behind or unwilling to move around and mix with others.
To remain persistent and determined in difficult circumstances.
To hold tightly onto something, e.g. She hung tightly on to the rail to prevent herself from falling.
To continue doing something in spite of difficulties, e.g. He has to hang on until the next shift worker
arrives to take over.
To rely on someone or something, e.g. Does the relay race hang largely on the ability of the last runner
to run very fast?
To ask someone to wait for a short while, e.g. Please hang on. He’ll be taking over in a while.
hang on to
To keep something and reluctant to let go.
To be at some place or with some people for some time, e.g. After he dropped out of school he can be
hang out
seen very often hanging out with a couple of friends at the shopping centre.
To hang something such as clothes, etc. outside to dry them, e.g. I hung out my shoes to dry this
morning and now they have gone missing.
hang together To cooperate and work towards the same goal.
hang up
To put the telephone down, e.g. We had to hang up as we had been talking for more than an hour.
To put something up on a hook, etc., e.g. She is always hanging up several clothes on one hook.
To secretly harbour a strong feeling of wanting to have something.
388 happen by
happen on
happen to
To find a place by chance.
To come across something or meet someone by chance.
To experience a misfortune.
To wonder the whereabouts and wellbeing of someone after a long time, e.g. whatever happened to my
389 hark back
To recall things that happened in the past.
390 harp on
To talk or write continuously and tediously on a topic.
391 haul … up
To officially bring someone to a court of law to be judged.
392 have on
have … on
have … out
393 haze over
To become hazy.
394 head back
head for
head off
be wearing something, e.g. He has on a hat imported from Mexico.
be using something, e.g. Each time he has the radio on it has to be extremely loud.
have something removed, e.g. to have the appendix out by medical operation.
bring someone to court to answer for an alleged offence.
To return to a place where one was before, e.g. I had to head back when I realized I had left my wallet
at home.
To move toward one’s destination, e.g. I am headed for Montreal and have to speed up in order to
arrive there before it gets dark.
To intercept and prevent something from happening.
395 heal over
(Wound) to have new skins grown over it and become healthy again.
396 hear from
To receive news from someone by letter, telephone call, etc.
To have knowledge of something or someone’s existence, e.g. I had never heard of Black Hole until
To listen to all that someone wants to say.
hear of
hear ... out
397 heat up
398 heave to
To become or to make something warm or hot, e.g. By the time I arrived home with the pizza, it had
cooled down so I had to heat it up.
(Situation) to become unstable or dangerous.
(Ship) to turn across the wind in order to stop moving.
399 hedge … in
To be enclosed by something, e.g. a park hedged in with trees.
To feel restricted.
hedge against To protect against possible problems, especially financial loss.
400 heel over
To lean to one side as if going to fall, e.g. ship heels over in the storm.
. Phrasal Verbs 401-500
401 help out
help … out
To assist someone in their work, e.g. On weekends, the husband helps out in the kitchen.
To support someone who has problems, e.g. Jack is a tiger trainer and he needs an assistant, but
nobody dares to help out.
402 hem … in
To surround and restrict the space or movement of someone or something.
403 hike … up
To pull or lift up clothing, e.g. She hiked up her skirt to climb the ladder.
404 hinge on/upon
To depend entirely on someone or something.
405 hire … out
To allow the temporary use of something in exchange for payment.
406 hit back
hit on
hit out
retaliate in kind.
think of a good idea.
discover something by chance.
strike at someone.
express strong disapproval of something or someone.
407 hitch … up
To lift or roll up one’s clothing, e.g. to hitch up one’s trousers.
To harness a draught animal.
408 hive … off
To separate something from a large group, such as to sell a company in a conglomerate.
409 hold … against
hold back
hold ... down
To continue to blame and dislike someone, e.g. Despite the years that have passed, Jack
still holds it against Jill for something she did that caused him embarrassment.
To stop oneself from doing something or expressing an emotion.
To succeed in retaining one’s job.
To keep prices from rising.
hold forth
hold off
hold ... off
hold on
hold on to
hold out
out for
out on
... up
hold with
410 hole up
To talk at length on a subject.
To postpone doing something, e.g. They hold off renovating the house until next year when they can
better afford to pay for it.
(Bad weather) to fail to occur.
To ward off someone or something from harming or affecting one, e.g. They are planning a way
to hold the enemy off while looking for an escape route.
To wait for a short time, e.g. Would you like to hold on or call back? She’s in the toilet.
To persist in doing something despite the difficulty encountered, e.g. They managed to hold on to a
piece of debris until help arrived.
To grasp something firmly, e.g. She held tightly on to the rail as she climbed the stairs.
To extend one’s hand, e.g. We have not met for a long time and when I hold out my hand, he grabs
it tight.
To make something such as money, etc. last, e.g. I’m spending less, so it holds out until my next
To resist something such as attack, pressure, temptation, etc., e.g. They were under siege but managed
to hold out until reinforcements arrived.
To be not prepared to receive less than what is demanded.
To refuse to provide someone with information, an answer, etc. that is needed.
To continue to remain strong, valid, etc.
To delay the progress of someone or something, e.g. work is held up by workers’ strike.
To commit a robbery, e.g. A couple of men succeeded in holding a bank up by using toy guns.
To adopt someone or something as a role model or example.
To approve or agree with something, e.g. Most parents do not hold with using the cane in school.
To hide oneself, especially from the law.
411 hollow … out To remove the inside part of something.
412 home in on
To aim at something and move directly towards it with a purpose, e.g. to identify a problem and home
in to resolving it.
413 hook … up
hook up with
To connect an electronic equipment to an electricity supply.
To get acquainted with someone and become friendly with them.
414 horn in
To interrupt without invitation or necessity.
To fool around or about.
416 hose … down To wash something or someone using a hose.
417 hot up
To become more active, exciting, or dangerous.
418 howl … down To prevent someone or something from being heard by shouting loudly and angrily.
419 hunt … down To search diligently for and capture or kill someone or an animal
To make someone or something move, act, finish or happen more quickly, e.g. If we don’t hurry up, we
Hurry up/hurry
are going to be the last ones in the long queue. / We hurried the waiter up as we had waited almost
… up
half an hour.
421 hush … up
To prevent something from being expressed publicly, especially about something dishonest or immoral.
422 hype … up
To promote or publicize someone or something in an exaggerated way.
423 ice … down
ice over/up
To cover injury with ice to prevent swelling.
To become covered or blocked with ice.
424 identify with
To feel oneself as having the same characteristics, thinking or feelings as someone else.
425 idle … away
To spend time doing nothing.
426 imbue … with To make someone fill with an emotion or quality.
427 impinge on/upon To have an effect on someone or something.
428 improve on/upon To make or do something better than before.
429 impute … to
To regard something, especially something bad, as being caused by someone else.
To give vital information about someone to the police, enemy, etc.
431 infringe on/upon To intrude on someone’s freedom or rights.
432 ink … in
To write or mark something with ink.
433 inquire after
inquire into
inquire … of
To ask someone about their health, well-being, etc.
To investigate about something or someone.
To ask someone about someone else or something.
434 insist on
To firmly continue doing something.
435 interfere with
To prevent something from succeeding or continuing in the way that was planned.
To sexually molest, especially a child.
436 inure … to
To make someone accustomed to something, especially something unpleasant so that they are used to
437 invalid …out
To leave the armed services or to remove someone from active military service because of injury or
438 inveigh against To speak or write about someone or something with great hostility or criticism.
439 inveigle … into To persuade someone to do something, especially by deceit or flattery.
440 invest in
To buy a financial product with a view of making a profit.
invest … with To buy something useful, e.g. a grey winter suit.
To endow someone with power or authority to perform a duty or with a particular quality or character.
441 invite
… along
... back
... in
... over
along to some place such as a cinema, etc.
to one’s house, etc.
into one’s house, office, etc.
over to one’s house, for dinner, etc.
442 iron … out
To resolve a problem.
To remove folds from clothes by ironing them.
443 issue forth
issue from
(Sound, etc.) to emanate or come out from something or a place.
(Smoke, etc.) to emit or come out from somewhere.
444 jack
... in
jack ... up
445 jazz … up
waste someone’s time by causing inconvenience or problems.
stop doing something.
inject oneself with a narcotic drug.
refuse to participate.
raise something, e.g. to jack a car up in order to change its wheels.
increase something considerably such as prices, sales, etc.
To make something more interesting or exciting.
446 jerk … around To deal with someone dishonestly or unfairly.
jerk off
To masturbate.
jerk out
To utter something in a quick and unsteady manner.
447 jib at
To become unwilling to do or accept something.
448 jibe at
To make an insulting or mocking remark.
449 jog along
To continue in the same steady way.
450 join
up with
take part in an activity.
become a member of the armed services.
form a group with other people in order to do something.
do or say something together, e.g. to join with fellow church members say prayers.
451 jolly … along To encourage someone to do something faster.
jolly … up
To make someone or something more lively and cheerful.
452 jot … down
To write something quickly.
453 joy in
To have a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
454 juice … up
To make something more interesting or exciting.
455 jump at
jump in
jump on
To eagerly accept the chance to do something.
To join a conversation suddenly by interrupting.
To criticize or attack someone, usually unfairly.
456 keel over
(Boat, ship) to turn over on its side; to fall over sideways.
457 keep at
keep … at
keep away
keep back
keep ... back
keep ... down
keep from
keep ... from
keep ... in
To continue a course of action, e.g. We kept at it until we completely fitted together all the pieces of
a jigsaw.
To force someone to continue a course of action.
To make someone or something avoid going somewhere or seeing someone else, e.g. We keep
away from this guy who often gets drunk and swears.
To keep someone or something away from someone or something else, e.g. Gun owners should ensure
they keep away their guns beyond the reach of their children.
To refrain from telling someone what you know, e.g. He keeps back when asked how he sustained a
black eye.
To withhold paying or giving something to someone.
To stop something from increasing, e.g. The producer is increasing the supply of its products in order
to keep their prices down.
To refrain from sharing information with someone, e.g. He knows he cannot keep the incident from his
family for very long.
To prevent someone from doing something or something from happening, e.g. We just could
not keep ourselves from buying those big, juicy looking apples.
To protect someone from possible danger or a mishap.
To make someone stay indoors, e.g. His parents keep him in most of the time to prevent him from
mixing with those bad neighbours’ kids.
keep in with
keep off
To remain on friendly terms with someone, especially because this is very advantageous.
To protect something from some other things, e.g. putting things in container to keep vermin off.
To make someone stay away from something or someone else, e.g. The doctor advised the parents
to keep her off sugary stuff.
keep on
To continue doing something, e.g. He keeps on complaining about his parents to me.
To retain someone in employment, e.g. He has attained retirement age but the company
keeps him on because of his immense experience.
keep on about To talk constantly about something, especially about one’s personal problems.
keep on at
To bother someone with repeated requests.
To retain someone or something such as to continue to employ someone, etc., e.g. He is still kept
keep ... on
on the company payroll despite having reached retirement age.
To usually appear on signboard warning people to stay away from a place, e.g. A signboard warns
keep out
passersby to keep out as construction work is still in progress.
To refrain from getting involved in something, e.g. We often discuss current issues but keep out
keep out of
of sensitive ones.
To keep to a particular place, e.g. If motorists keep to their lanes as much as possible when driving,
keep to
the number of accidents might be reduced.
To observe an agreement and do what one promises to do, e.g. I have not been keeping to my work
schedule and now my work is piling up.
To keep something secret, especially something that has been confided in one, e.g. No matter how hard
she tries, she just cannot keep anything to herself.
To keep to the topic one is talking, writing or discussing about which one is supposed to.
To confine or restrict oneself to a particular place, e.g. The nurses tell him to keep to his ward where
he is a patient instead of wandering into other wards to chat.
To maintain something at a certain level, e.g. They have been reminded again to keep their
spending to within the amount allowed in the budget.
keep up
To continue to maintain one’s good performance, e.g. to keep up the good work.
To keep abreast of current affairs by reading and learning, e.g. to keep up with the development in the
field of medicine.
To move or progress at about the same rate as someone or something else, e.g. Some of them were
not able to keep up with others in their class in school that led to their dropout.
To acquire about the same possessions as those of friends and neighbours, e.g. She tries to keep up her
extravagant lifestyle by incurring huge debts through heavy use of her credit cards.
To prevent someone from going to bed, e.g. to drink strong coffee to keep one up the whole night.
To maintain something at a high level, e.g. The suppliers of a product conspire to manipulate its supply
in order to keep up the price.
458 key … in
To enter or work on data by using a computer keyboard.
459 kick against
To express disagreement or frustration with someone or react strongly against something;
To travel from place to place wander with no explicit aim, e.g. He has been kicking around the coastal
area for the past year.
(Place or thing) awaits exploration and exploitation, e.g. Some of the things we need for this project
could be kicking around in the attic.
kick ... around To treat someone badly, unfairly and without respect, e.g. He never seems to kick his workers around.
To discuss an idea with other people casually, e.g. We could kick around the possibility of migrating.
kick back
To be at leisure or relaxing, e.g. He decides to kick back the whole day and call in sick.
kick in
To have an effect, e.g. to begin to feel the pain of the wound kicking in.
kick ... in
To injure someone, e.g. He was sent off for deliberately kicking the other player’s ankle in.
To gain access, e.g. The neighbours had to kick the door in to rescue a child from the fire.
To contribute money, help, etc., e.g. The villagers are all willing to kick in and help with the building
of a new bridge.
To start off a football match, e.g. They decide that the match should not kick off this afternoon due to
kick off
adverse weather conditions.
To remove one’s shoes by shaking the feet, e.g. He habitually kicks off his shoes on arriving home.
kick ... out
To expel or dismiss someone, e.g. got kicked out of the house or kicked out of the club.
460 kid around
To behave in a silly way.
461 kill … off
To kill a lot of lives, e.g. the discharge of chemicals into the river has killed off a variety of fish
462 kiss up to
To be excessively obedient or attentive to someone for a selfish reason.
463 kit … out
To provide someone with the appropriate clothing and equipment for an activity.
To travel, especially without a specific purpose, e.g. He intends to knock around a few countries before
he gets married.
To hit someone, e.g. He used to get knocked around when he was staying with his drinking father.
To be present at a particular place, e.g. There is a hammer knocking about in the attic but I just
couldn’t find it.
knock ... back To drink heavily and quickly, He can easily knock back five bottles when he has the mood.
To spend on costly things, e.g. The air fare has knocked her back by some four hundred pounds, but it
was worth it.
To hurt or kill someone by hitting them accidentally with a car, e.g. He was knocked down by a car as
knock ... down
he was dashing across a road.
To reduce substantially the price of something, e.g. Sale has been poor so the seller knocks down some
of the prices by as much as half.
To destroy something and replace it with something better, e.g. They knock down the garage to build a
bigger one.
knock off
To finish the day’s work, e.g. He does not knock off at the same time every day.
knock ... off
knock ... out
knock over
knock ...
knock ... up
465 know about
know of
To kill someone, e.g. Pictures of him with a reward for information leading to his capture are all over
the country after he knocked off the police chief.
To have sex with someone.
To deduct points from the total, e.g. Each contestant will have one point knocked off for each wrong
To reduce prices.
To accidentally or deliberately strike something onto the ground from a surface, e.g. My arm knocked a
glass ashtray off the table and broke it into pieces.
To tell someone to stop bothering one, e.g. He yelled out, “Knock it off” at someone in a crowded
To produce something quickly, e.g. She knocked off a couple of poems for the school magazine.
To eliminate contestants, e.g. He was knocked out early in the contest. To lose a boxing match, e.g. He
was knocked out by the opponent’s left hook.
To make someone unconscious, e.g. A brick fell on the head of a passerby and knocked him out.
To destroy something, e.g. Aerial attacks have knock out their ammunition factory.
To hit someone or something with a car, e.g. The dog was knocked over when it was running across
the street.
To combine or assemble something from whatever one has, e.g. He knocked together a dinner from last
night’s leftovers.
To awaken someone by knocking at their door, e.g. Every morning she has to knock him up for work.
To make something hurriedly, e.g. They got together and knocked up a big kite for a kite flying
contest the next day.
To be aware of, e.g. There are still many things in this world we don’t really know much about, such
as whether or not Nessie exists, the Bermuda Triangle, UFOs, etc.
To be aware of something but lack knowledge concerning it.
466 knuckle down
knuckle under
To devote oneself diligently to a task.
To unwillingly submit to someone’s authority or orders.
467 ladle … out
To distribute something in large amounts such as advice, praise, compliments, etc.
468 land
… in
up with
… with
cause someone to be in a difficult situation;
speak angrily to someone
finally reach one’s desired place, position, destination, etc. despite the difficulties.
end up with an unpleasant or unwelcome situation.
assign someone with an unpleasant task.
469 lap … up
To accept something with considerable pleasure and enjoyment
470 lapse into
To pass gradually into a different, often worse, state or condition.
472 lash out
473 latch on
latch onto
474 laugh at
laugh … off
To have fun by behaving in a playful way.
To attack someone verbally, e.g. He lashed out at his critics for their derogatory remarks.
(Animals) to react violently using, typically their paws, or other parts of its body such as their mouths,
tails, etc.
To understand the meaning of something, e.g. It wasn’t easy for him but finally he managed to latch
To have full affection for someone and aim to be their steady companion, e.g. He has been looking for
a long time for an attractive lady whom he can latch onto.
To develop a keen interest in something.
To ridicule someone or something.
To treat something as unworthy of serious consideration, e.g. All his friends have been trying to
convince him that he is putting on a lot of weight, but he just laughs it off.
475 launch into
launch out
To start something with great energy and interest, or criticism of someone or something.
To undertake something new and risky on one’s own such as a business enterprise.
476 lay about
To attack someone violently.
To put something away for future use, e.g. He has been laying a small sum of money aside in his
savings account to meet future needs.
To defer doing something, e.g. The developer has decided to lay aside a major construction project until
the economy improves.
To put down weapons, tools, etc., e.g. The gang members were ordered to lay down their weapons and
surrender to the police.
To introduce a regulation, law, etc., e.g. The local authority laid down a by-law against owners letting
their dogs loose in the streets.
To store a large supply of something for future use.
To attack someone physically or verbally, e.g. She would lay into her partner whenever she feels she is
To discharge workers from employment, either for a temporary period or permanently due to shortage
of work, e.g. My brother was one of those who were laid off during the recent recession.
To give up something, e.g. He just couldn’t lay off betting no matter how hard he tries.
To stop doing, having, or using something, e.g. I advised her to lay off eating excessively as she is
putting on weight by the minute.
To stop bothering someone, e.g. You have been annoying me and if you don’t lay off, I’m going to
thump you hard on the head.
To provide service such as food, entertainment, etc.
lay … aside
lay ... down
lay ... in
lay into
lay off
lay ... on
lay ... out
lay over
lay to
lay ... up
477 lead into
lead off
lead to
lead up to
To entrust someone with a responsibility to tackle a problem, task, etc., e.g. They think he was the
best man to lay the responsibility on to organize the weekend jumble sale.
To spread something out such as a map, carpet, etc.
To arrange or plan the construction of something such as a building, garden, town, etc.
To spend a large sum of money for a particular purpose, e.g. Together, they laid out a vast sum for
interior decoration of their house.
To prepare a dead body for burial.
To knock someone unconscious.
To sojourn somewhere before resuming one’s journey.
(Ship) to stop moving.
To be unable to do anything due to illness or injury.
To take a ship, vehicle, etc. out of service.
(Something) to happen and then followed by another as there is a close connection between them.
To connect directly to another place, e.g. The corridor leads off to the backyard.
To be a route or means of access to a particular place, e.g. This road leads to the park.
To be the result of an action, e.g. The Police offer a reward for any information leading to the arrest
of the wanted man.
(Events, etc.) to lead to a final outcome, e.g. No one knows what were the preceding events that led
up to the manager’s dismissal.
To say or write something that supports your intention which is not mentioned, e.g. Jack didn’t directly
say he wanted to be captain of the team, however he led up to it by talking about his ability to lead.
478 leaf through
To turn the pages of a book, magazine, etc. casually.
479 leak out
To intentionally make secret information known to people.
480 lean on
To rely on someone or something for support, encouragement, etc.
To influence someone to act in a certain way.
To have a tendency to support a view, belief, idea, opinion, etc.
lean towards
481 leave … behind To forget to bring someone or something along, e.g. He left his cell phone behind in his car.
To move faster than someone else, e.g. He is certain to win the gold medal as he leaves the other
marathon runners far behind.
To go away from someone or something, e.g. He left his wife and kids behind and sought employment
To be slow and make less progress than others, e.g. I watch television more than I work hard; not
surprisingly, I’m left behind by others.
leave ... off
To omit to add or put on something.
To discontinue doing something, e.g. I use a bookmark to help me remember where I leave off when I
leave ... out
leave over
482 lech after/over
stop reading.
To deliberately or accidentally overlook the inclusion of someone or something, e.g. They have
to leave him out from participating in any of the athletic events because he is far too fat.
To exceed a desired amount, e.g. I’ll leave the remaining food over for tomorrow.
To show excessive or offensive sexual desire for a woman.
To disappoint someone by not meeting their expectations, e.g. He assured me that he would come in
first in the race, but he let me down by not turning up for the race.
let ... in/let ... To open the door of a building, house, etc. for someone to enter, e.g. She was still angry with me and
would not let me in when I arrived.
(Light, air, etc.) to enter a place, e.g. Whenever it rained a crack on the roof let water seep in.
To share a secret with someone, e.g. Is it wise to let him into our secret plan to smuggle cigarettes?
To reveal a secret to someone with the understanding that they keep it to themselves, e.g.
let ... in on
He let me in on how he acquired his wealth.
To fire a gun or make bomb, firework, etc. explode, e.g. Despite the official ban on firecrackers, people
let … off
nationwide are letting them off to usher in the new year.
To decide not to punish someone, e.g. The victim’s family was furious when the judge let the
offender off with only a warning.
To release someone from public transport, etc., e.g. The bus driver let the elderly passenger off in front
of her house.
let on
To make known secret information to someone.
To make a sound such as a scream, cry, etc., e.g. Her nightmare caused her to let out a scream of
let out
To allow someone or something to leave a confined area, building, etc., e.g. The zoo attendant opened
let ... out
a cage door and let some monkeys out to roam freely.
To make an item of clothing larger or looser as its owner has put on weight, e.g. This is the second
time she is letting her dress out as she has put on more weight.
To allow someone else occupy a room, building, etc, in return for periodic payments.
(Storm, high winds, etc.) to become less intense, e.g. It looks like the rain is not going to let up any
let up
time soon.
To do something continuously, e.g. to grumble without letting up.
483 let … down
484 level at
level off/out
level with
485 lick … up
publicly accuse or criticize someone, e.g. level an accusation at.
aim a weapon at someone.
become level, e.g. the steep road begins to level off.
have a frank talk or discussion with someone.
To drink or eat something by licking it.
486 lie about/around To leave something untidily somewhere, e.g. She can really tolerate the sight of old newspapers,
lie behind
lie down
lie in
lie with
487 lift off
lift up
488 light up
lighten up
lighten ... up
magazines, books, etc. lying around her.
To lie down and not doing anything, e.g. He is lying around watching television.
To be the real reason for a change of behaviour, e.g. something lies behind his sudden heavy drinking.
To accept unfair treatment without complaining, e.g. how long is he going to take this lying down?
To put oneself in a sleeping position.
To remain in bed longer than usual.
To have power, authority, etc., e.g. the responsibility to deal with the problem lies with the local
To have sex with someone.
(Aircraft, spacecraft, etc.) to rise into the air.
To raise something from a surface, e.g. I lifted up an overturned can and a big insect hopped away.
To provide light to a place or shine light on something, e.g. They light up trees in the city with multicoloured light bulbs for the festive season.
(Face or eyes) to show pride, liveliness or joy;
To light something such as a cigarette, cigar, etc., e.g. He has no lighter or matches and so goes
around borrowing them to light up his cigarettes.
To treat someone in a particular way, e.g. You have been grumbling at me for hours, aren’t you going
to lighten up soon?
To be or to tell someone to be less serious about something, e.g. If she had realized it was just a joke,
it would have lightened her up.
489 liken … to
To resemble someone else or something.
490 limber up
To warm up in preparation for an exercise or activity.
491 line up
line … up
To form a queue with others.
To form a line of people or things, e.g. They line up for inspection.
To have someone or something prepared for a specific purpose, e.g. to line up a number of speakers
for the rally.
492 link up
To form a link between or connection with something or someone.
493 listen for
listen in
listen out
494 live in
live off
pay one’s attention to a sound;
listen to a radio broadcast.
listen carefully for something.
To reside at the place where one works or studies.
To depend on a source of income or support from another person, e.g. to live off the interest from
live on
live out
live through
live up to
live with
495 liven up
one’s investment or live off the money regularly given by a relative such as a son or daughter.
To remember someone after they have died, e.g. the memory of their parents still lives on.
To live away from the place where one works or studies.
To continue to live one’s life in a particular place until one dies.
To fulfil one’s dreams or wishes, e.g. eventually they were able to live out their dreams.
To feel a horrific experience, e.g. the ordeal she had lived through.
To fulfil their obligation as a trustworthy financial, etc. institution, e.g. a bank has to live up to its
To make one’s home with someone, e.g. Despite my age, I’m still living with my parents.
Endure someone or something that is disagreeable, e.g. I was born with a face marred by a big
aquiline nose, sunken cheeks and sleepy eyes, and I have to learn to live with it.
To become or make something more lively or interesting, e.g. the place livens up when more guests
496 load … down To entrust someone with excess authority.
To make someone or something carry or hold a large amount of heavy things, e.g. she struggles to
push her trolley loaded down with a great deal of purchases.
lobby …
498 lock … away
lock ... in
lock onto
lock ... out
lock up
To seek to influence a legislator.
To put someone in prison.
To keep something in a safe place and fasten its door with a lock, e.g. she places her valuables in a
safe and locks it away.
To ensure no one leaves by locking the door, e.g. Closing the car door automatically locks the
driver in.
When a missile locks onto a target, it heads for the target.
To keep someone out of a place by locking the door, e.g. My God, I’ve locked myself out but luckily
I’m a locksmith, so I have ways to unlock the door without the key.
To make all the doors of the building locked when the day’s work ends.
To imprison a criminal after he was officially found guilty.
To keep something in a safe place such as a safe, etc. and lock its door.
499 log in/on
log off/out
To take the required actions to begin the use of a computer system.
To take the required actions to conclude the use of a computer system.
500 look after
look ahead
To take care of someone or something;
To plan for the future.
To try to find something or someone by looking, e.g. We heard a sound, and we looked around but
there was nothing and nobody, and we started running through the dimly lit alley.
look at
To focus one’s eyes on someone or something, e.g. We look at each other when we talk to each other.
To examine something and consider what action to take.
look back
To recall something that occurred in the past.
look down on To view others with a feeling of superiority, e.g. She looks down on me just because I’m jobless.
look for
To find something, or something that has been lost or someone who is missing.
To wait eagerly for something that is going to happen, e.g. He looks forward to playing in the next
look forward to
look in
To make a short visit to someone.
To try to find out what happened and take the necessary actions, e.g. Police, investigating a bank
look into
robbery, are looking into the possibility of an inside job.
look on
To watch something without getting involved in it.
look out
To keep a close watch on and be aware of someone or something.
look ... out
To search for and find a particular thing.
To keep careful watch for possible danger or difficulties, e.g. Look out for snakes when you take that
look out for
path, or you may step on one like I did.
To examine something quickly, without paying much attention to detail, e.g. We looked over the inside
look ... over
of a newly-opened store and left.
look through
To look for one person or thing among many.
look to
To rely on something or someone to do something.
(Situation) to improve, e.g. Now that oil has been discovered off the coast of the country, things
look up
are looking up.
To try to find a piece of information in a dictionary, reference book, etc, e.g. Every time he comes
look ... up
across an unknown word, he looks it up in a dictionary.
To renew contact with someone, e.g. My bother always looks me up whenever he is in town on
look up to
To have a great deal of respect for someone.
Related Links
6. Phrasal Verbs 501-600
loose …
To allow something dangerous and destructive to begin to affect a situation or other people.
502 loosen up
To warm up the body, especially the muscles and joints, in preparation for a physical activity.
503 lop … off
To cut off, especially a branch or limb, from a tree or body.
To make a slight reduction in a price or charge.
504 lose out
To fail to get something, e.g. to lose out on a job, business contract, etc. which go to a rival.
505 louse up
To spoil, or to do something badly, or to make something worse.
506 luck out
To succeed due to good luck, e.g. We both bought lottery tickets and he, not me, lucked out when he
discovered he hit the jackpot.
lump …
To combine into an indiscriminate mass or group.
508 lust after
To feel strong sexual desire for someone or something.
509 luxuriate in
To relax and consciously enjoy something.
510 magic … away To use magic to make someone or something disappear.
magic … up To make something appear suddenly and unexpectedly.
511 make after
To pursue someone or something.
make away with To steal something, e.g. The thieves made away with a safe.
To kill someone or something.
make for
To move towards someone or something, e.g. We made for the railway station as quickly as we could.
To have a particular result or make something possible, e.g. Proper training makes for smooth
operation of the machinery.
make ... into
To change the form or purpose of something, e.g. Jack planned to make the attic into a study.
To change someone’s character, etc., e.g. A road accident has made him into a careful driver.
To express an opinion of something, e.g. We do not know what to make of the ultimate consequences
make ... of
of climate warming.
To use opportunities to achieve an outcome, e.g. I want to make use of whatever money I have for my
higher education.
To give someone a new job or position in a group, organization, etc., e.g. He was made captain of the
make off
To leave hurriedly.
make off with To take something away illegally, e.g. he made off with my bicycle while I was not looking.
To manage with difficulty to see, etc., e.g. On that foggy night the driver could barely make out what
make out
was in front of him until his car rammed into it.
make ... out
To issue payment by means of a cheque, e.g. He makes a cheque out in favour of one of his creditors.
To have sufficient evidence to effect a conviction, e.g. The police feel they have made out a case to
make ... over
make up
make ... up
512 map … out
charge the culprit.
To have individual opinions on something or someone, e.g. The horror movie is not as scary as
you made it out to be.
To survive a difficult situation, e.g. His wife has run away, he will make out somehow.
To find good reasons to prove or explain something, e.g. The police believe they have made out a
strong case against the accused.
To give money or legally transfer ownership of property to someone else, e.g. His father made over the
whole factory to his son.
To change one’s own appearance with cosmetics, hairstyling, new clothes, etc.
To be reconciled after a quarrel, etc., e.g. They make up every now and then after an angry argument
or disagreement.
To make a choice, e.g. I haven’t made up my mind to give up smoking or lose weight, or do both at
the same time.
To improve one’s appearance, e.g. The regular use of cosmetics has made her up much younger than
her actual age.
To invent a story, etc. in order to deceive someone, e.g. He made a fictional happening up to escape
To add an amount that is enough for a particular purpose, e.g. I don’t have enough money to buy her
a birthday present, so I borrowed to make up the difference.
To plan a course of action carefully.
513 mark … down To write something down in order to keep a record.
To reduce the indicated price of an item.
To judge someone to be a potential leader, etc.
To reduce the marks awarded to a candidate or for their work, e.g. He was marked down as his work
has missed the point by not understanding the main meaning of the questions.
To isolate an area such as a building, road, etc. by putting a rope, tape, cones, etc. around it, e.g. the
mark ... off
murder scene has been marked off with police tape.
To tick off items on a list for a purpose, e.g. She has marked off the items that she has already
To distinguish someone from others, e.g. Her ability to debate in class has marked her off as a
potential representative debater of her school.
mark ... up
To increase the profit margin, e.g. Cell phones may be marked up by as much as 60%.
514 marry into
marry … off
To become a member of a family by marriage, e.g. She married into a very wealthy family.
To look for a spouse for someone, e.g. They married her off to the first young man who came along.
515 match up
match … up
To match a report, piece of information, etc. with another to see if they are the same.
To find something that is similar to or suitable for something else.
516 max out
To do something with as much effort and determination as one can.
517 measure against To judge someone or something by comparing them with another person or thing.
measure … off To measure the required amount of material and cut it off a larger piece.
measure ... out To take out a certain amount of liquid, powder, etc. from a larger quantity.
To determine whether one is good enough for a particular job, position, etc., e.g. The new manager has
measure up
not measured up to his responsibilities.
518 meet up
meet with
519 melt down
To come and do something together, e.g. We used to meet up on weekend to go fishing.
To mutually agree to come face to face for a purpose.
To have a particular reaction to something, e.g. The star’s emergence from a car was met with a loud
To heat metal until it becomes liquefied and reuse it, e.g. His hobbies include melting down unwanted
metal objects to make souvenirs for sale.
To behave in a silly way that lacks purpose.
To cause problems for someone.
mess around
mess up/mess
… up
mess with
To have an affair with someone that one should not have.
To make something dirty or untidy, e.g. The puppies have really messed up the sitting room.
To interfere with something and turn it into a confused state, e.g. I’ve arranged my CDs in alphabetical
order, but someone has messed it up.
To handle a situation wrongly or ineffectively, or to spoil something.
To ruin one’s own personal life, e.g. She feels she has messed up her whole life by running up massive
credit card debts.
To get involved in or interfere with something or someone.
521 mete … out
To dispense justice, punishment, etc. to someone.
522 mike … up
To equip someone with a microphone so that his voice can be made louder.
523 militate against To stop something from happening or stop someone from doing something
(A lot of people) to move around a place in different directions.
525 minister to
To attend to the needs of someone.
526 minor in
To study a subsidiary subject in addition to the main one.
527 miss out
To fail to use an opportunity to do something enjoyable.
To fail to include someone or something, e.g. to miss out some punctuation marks in one’s essay.
528 mist over
mist up
(Eyes) to become filled with tears.
To become covered with tiny water droplets or condensed vapour, e.g. one’s glasses have misted up.
529 mistake for
To wrongly identify someone or something as someone or something else, e.g. mistook a cheetah for a
530 mix … up
531 mock … up
532 monkey around
monkey with
To confuse someone or something with someone or something else, e.g. The teacher often
mixes him up with his twin brother.
To combine two or more things together, e.g. A good way to mix the ingredients up thoroughly is to
use an electric mixer.
To disrupt the order or arrangement of something, e.g. He unknowingly mixed up those arranged
papers which are not numbered, and now they have to sort and rearrange them.
To become confused or make someone feel confused, e.g. They really mixed me up, telling me different
stories about the same person.
To replicate or imitate something.
To behave in a silly, careless or playful way, e.g. The children monkey around in the park and cause
damage to some of the exotic plants.
To tamper with something without authority or the required skill, e.g. My kid monkeyed around with
my cell phone and now it can’t make any call.
To interfere with something so as to cause damage.
To move around without any apparent purpose.
moon over
535 mop … up
To spend time in a relaxed, lazy manner.
To miss and long for someone.
To wipe or soak up liquid with a mop, cloth, etc. from a surface.
To complete or put an end to something by dealing with the remaining parts.
To feel sad or dispirited.
537 mount up
To gradually increase in size or amount.
538 mouth off
To talk in a conceited way.
539 move along
move away
move in
To go further to the front or back of something.
To change one’s place of residence.
To start living with someone, e.g. Jill moved in with her boyfriend despite her parents' objection.
To start living in a place, e.g. Jack and Jill are planning to move into a rural area of the country for
some peace and quiet.
(Vehicle or crowd) to start to move away.
To carry on with one’s journey.
To start talking a new part of the subject under discussion or start talking a new subject.
To stop living in a place in order to live somewhere else, e.g. We are looking for a house somewhere
and move out of our apartment.
To shift someone or something out of a place, e.g. The villagers move their belongings to higher
ground in anticipation of a flood.
To shift position and so create more space for others.
To get a promotion in the place where one works.
move into
move off
move on
move out
move to
move over
move up
540 mow … down To
muck around
muck in
kill a large group of people at one time by shooting them.
recklessly knock someone down with a car.
behave in a silly way without purpose.
spoil something by interfering with it.
share accommodation or tasks with others in order to complete a job
muck ... out
muck ... up
clean a place, especially where an animal lives, e.g. to muck a stable.
spoil a plan.
fail to achieve something.
dirty a place or something such as one’s clothes, etc.
542 muddle along To engage aimlessly in an activity.
muddle through To cope satisfactorily with something despite not having the know-how.
muddle … up To confuse two or more things with each other.
543 mug up
To study intensively in preparation for an examination.
544 mull … over
To think and consider about something at length.
545 muscle in
To force one’s way into another’s affairs to gain control.
546 nail … down
To elicit a firm commitment from someone.
To decide or identify something precisely.
547 narrow down
To reduce, e.g. In the second round, the number of finalists will be narrowed down to five.
548 nibble away at
To keep taking small amounts out of a large amount.
549 nip … off
To remove something by pinching or squeezing tightly between finger and thumb.
550 nod off
To begin to fall asleep.
551 nose … out
To discover something after a long search.
552 notch … up
To achieve something such as a victory, total, score, etc.
553 number off
(Soldiers) to call out their number when their turn comes.
554 occur to
(Thought, idea, etc) to come into the mind.
555 open up
(Crack, hole, etc.) to appear and become wider.
To begin shooting with a weapon, e.g. The gangsters opened up with small arms, but all of them were
soon shot dead by the police.
(Land) to make it available for development, e.g. The developer is opening up a jungle area for a
housing project.
(Office, shop, cinema, etc.) to begin operation, e.g. The new cinema is expected to open up soon.
(Box, container, etc.) to remove or unfasten the cover, e.g. She opened up her jewellery box and
showed us the contents.
(Door, window, etc.) to make them open, e.g. The supermarket here opens up at 10:00 every day.
556 opt out
To decide not to participate in a group, activities, etc.
To avoid performing a duty.
557 order … about To use one’s power or authority to tell someone to do something.
To deploy soldiers, police, etc. for a particular action such as crowd control, dealing with natural
order ... out
disaster, etc.
558 own up
To admit to having done something wrong or embarrassing.
559 pack
… away
… in
... off
put something back in its box, case, container, etc.
cram a lot of things into a space, place, period of time, etc.
send someone away.
stop working or close early in business.
560 pad … out
To lengthen a speech or piece of writing with unnecessary material.
561 page through
To turn over the pages of a book, magazine, etc. and read them quickly or casually.
562 paint … in
paint … out
paint … over
To make additional painting to a picture.
To erase something with paint so that it is no longer visible.
To cover something with new paint.
563 pair off
pair up
To become or form a couple.
To form a couple to work together or start a relationship.
564 pal around
pal up
To go around or do things together with a friend or with someone as a friend.
To form a friendship with someone.
565 palm off
To sell someone something by deceiving them.
566 pan out
To end up in a particular way.
567 pander to
To give or allow oneself to enjoy the desired pleasure of an immoral habit.
568 pant for
To long for or to do something.
569 parcel … out
parcel …off
parcel … up
To separate something into parts and hand them out.
To separate something into parts for sale.
To make something into a parcel by wrapping it.
570 pare … down To make or become less, or reduce gradually.
571 part with
To unwillingly hand over possession of something to someone else.
572 partake of
To have certain characteristic.
573 partition … off
To divide or separate a room, floor, etc. into parts by erecting a structure such as a light interior wall,
574 partner up/off
To become or make people become partners.
575 pass around
To offer something to each member of a group.
To hand something over from one person to the next in a group.
To die.
To go past someone or something.
To hand over something such as knowledge, traditions, etc. to people who are younger, those who live
after one, to the next generation, etc.
To be mistaken as someone else, e.g. with her dressing she could have passed for a wealthy woman.
To try to deceive someone that someone else or something is much better, e.g. trying to pass these
fake watches off as genuine.
To give something such as information, message, disease, etc. to someone else.
To make consumers bear higher costs.
To faint.
pass away
pass by
pass ... down
pass for
pass off
pass on
pass out
pass over
pass up
patch …
patch … up
577 pay … back
pay for
pay ... for
pay in/into
pay off
pay out
pay up
To distribute.
To select someone instead of the expected person for a promotion, etc.
To fail to make use of something such as an opportunity, etc.
To make something hastily from different components.
To restore friendly relations after a quarrel or dispute.
To repair damage to something.
To treat someone’s injuries.
To settle one’s debt with someone, e.g. He is always slow in paying back the money he owes.
To pay back with something bad, e.g. Jack swore he would pay Jill back for what she did to him.
To give someone money in exchange for something, e.g. He paid for his new car in cash.
To suffer the consequences of one’s actions or be punished for them, e.g. He’ll pay the
price for habitually drinking excessively someday.
To put money in one’s bank account.
To settle the outstanding balance for something, e.g. pay off the balance owing for purchase of a car.
To produce good results.
To give someone money to keep quiet about something such as an illegal act.
To dismiss someone with a final payment.
To hand over money, especially a large sum, for something such as compensation, etc.
To settle or be forced to settle one’s debts, e.g. I have already received their third legal letter
demanding that I pay up.
578 peck at
To eat food slowly due to lack of hunger.
579 peel off
To remove a thin outer layer of something.
To take one’s clothes off.
To leave a moving group such as a convoy, etc. by changing direction.
580 peg away
peg out
581 pen … up/in
To keep an animal or animals in an enclosed area or confine someone in a restricted space.
work hard over a long period.
use pegs to fix wet clothes to a washing line to dry.
mark a piece of ground with wooden sticks.
582 pencil … in
583 pension … off
To temporarily compile a list of something that is subject to change later.
To terminate someone’s employment, usually because they are officially considered too old to continue
working, and pay them a pension.
To dispose of something that is not useful any more or outdated.
584 pep … up
To make someone or something more active, energetic or exciting.
585 perk up
To make or become more cheerful or lively.
586 pertain to
To be directly related or applicable to something.
587 peter out
To diminish or come to an end gradually.
588 phase … in
phase ... out
To introduce something such as a law, rule, etc. in gradual stages.
To gradually withdraw something from use.
589 phone in
To telephone someone or a place such as one’s workplace, a radio or television station, police station,
590 pick at
pick ... off
pick on
pick ... out
pick over
pick through
pick up
To criticize someone in a petty way.
To pull something slightly and repeatedly with one’s fingers.
To eat something taking small bites due to lack of appetite.
To shoot people or animals one by one from a distance.
To repeatedly single out someone for unfair criticism or treatment, e.g. It does appear my teacher’s
hobby is picking only on me.
To choose someone or something from a group, e.g. Despite the vast array of dresses on sale, she
couldn’t pick out any one she liked.
To examine a number of items and carefully choose some.
To look carefully through a number of items and select one.
To take something from a surface or floor, e.g. to pick up something one has dropped.
To go somewhere and fetch someone; e.g. I’m now on my way to pick up my child from school.
To find something by accident, e.g. to pick up a purse, dropped by someone, from a pavement.
To learn a skill while working, e.g. pick up the skill of baking while working at the bakery.
To collect something from somewhere, e.g. Remind me to pick up my clothes from the laundry on our
way home.
To go and buy something, e.g. I just remember I’ve to pick up a magazine at the newsagent.
To acquire a skill, manner, etc., e.g. Since when have you picked up the disgusting habit of picking
your nose?
To make an arrest, e.g. He was picked up by the police for attempting to make an illegal entry into a
To pay for something, e.g. His girlfriend’s father picked up the tab for the sumptuous dinner.
To improve something, e.g. With an improvement in the economy, sale of consumer goods is expected
to pick up.
To try to get someone of the opposite sex, e.g. Jack attended the party hoping to pick up a girl, but
ended with none.
591 piddle around
piece …
To spend time doing unnecessary thing.
To assemble all the facts or information about a situation in order to form a suitable conclusion.
593 pig out
To eat a large amount of food greedily.
594 pile
get into a place, vehicle, etc. in a disorganized manner.
exaggerate something
leave a place, vehicle, etc. in a disorderly manner.
make or become increasingly larger in quantity or amount.
595 pin … down
To make someone specific about their aim or plan.
596 pine for
To miss and long for someone or something.
597 pipe up
To say something suddenly, especially after having been quiet all along.
piss … away
piss off
piss … off
To spend time doing things aimlessly.
To waste something very stupidly.
To tell someone to go away.
To annoy someone very much, e.g. He really pisses me off when he blows that flute out of tune for
hours on end.
599 pit … away
pit … out
To set something or someone in competition with something or someone else.
To sweat profusely.
600 pitch in
pitch into
pitch up
To work enthusiastically within a group
To attack someone physically or verbally.
To arrive at a particular place.
7. Phrasal Verbs 601-700
601 pivot on
602 plan ahead
plan for
plan on
plan ... out
To depend on something such as an event, idea, etc.
To decide on or arrange something in advance, e.g. She has planned ahead so that if she falls ill,
there’ll be someone to do her work.
To make preparation for something, e.g. He planned for a big turnout at the evening’s outdoor
performance but it was a total disaster due to heavy rain.
To expect something as planned, e.g. She plans on achieving grade A in all her subjects in the final
To intend to do something as planned, e.g. We plan on going to Niagara Falls this Summer and take at
least one hundred photographs there.
To make a careful plan after considering all relevant factors.
603 plant … out To place a young plant to grow outdoors.
plaster …
play along
play … along
play at
play ... back
play ... down
play off
play ... off
play on
play up
play ... up
play up to
To apply plaster to a hole, an old surface, etc.
To behave in an irresponsible manner; to have a casual relationship with someone.
To pretend to cooperate for a selfish reason.
To deceive or mislead someone in order to gain an advantage.
To assume a role playfully.
To listen to one’s own recording of something.
To make something appear less important or serious than it really is.
To compete between two rivals in an extra match to determine their final positioning or decide an
To involve another person in a dispute for a selfish purpose.
To exploit someone’s weak and vulnerable point so as to gain selfishly.
To fail to work or operate properly or to cause problems.
To devote all of one’s physical and mental powers in a particular activity.
To exaggerate the importance of someone or something.
To behave in a way that brings benefit to oneself.
play with
plough …
To tamper with something.
To treat someone inconsiderately for one’s own amusement.
To use profit made in a business for business purposes, usually to expand it.
(Vehicle, etc) to be driven violently into something or someone such as a crowd, etc., especially by a
driver who loses control of the vehicle.
plough on
To continue doing something that requires considerable time and effort.
To persist in something such as studying a textbook, etc. despite the considerable time and effort
plough through
plough ... up To break up the surface of the ground by repeated walking on it.
plough into
607 pluck at
To pull something quickly and repeatedly with the fingers.
608 plug away
plug …
To keep working hard at something.
To connect a piece of electrical equipment to another or into a socket, e.g. Why do you turn on the
new television? I haven’t plugged it into the socket.
To block or become blocked with something, e.g. Someone threw potato peelings down the drain, and
they plugged up the pipe.
plug up
609 plump for
To make a selection after proper consideration.
plump … up To make something such as pillows, cushions, etc. bigger and softer by shaking them.
610 plunge in
plunge into
To act quickly and rashly on a course of action.
To act suddenly without a careful thought.
To push something forcibly and deeply into something else, e.g. plunging a dagger into the victim’s
To experience an unpleasant situation, e.g. the whole building was plunged into darkness.
611 ply … with
To keep providing someone food and drink.
To direct numerous questions at someone.
612 point … out
point to
point ... up
To make someone aware of a fact, e.g. A witness pointed out to the police the scene where the incident
took place.
To indicate to someone a particular direction, e.g. Someone in response pointed out to me the road that
leads to the hotel.
To draw one’s attention to something, e.g. He pointed out a spelling mistake on the signboard to me.
To use a finger, usually the forefinger, to indicate a particular direction, e.g. The child pointed to the
woman on the photo as her mother.
To cite something as evidence, e.g. All the evidence pointed to him as the culprit.
To make known the truth or importance of something, e.g. the high drug abuse figures point up the
need for more vigorous enforcement of the existing laws on drugs.
poke at
To look or search around a place for something or information about someone’s life, etc., e.g. poking
about in the warehouse looking for something to steal.
To jab repeatedly with something sharp or pointed, e.g. to poke at a fire with a poker to make it burn
614 polish … off To finish something such as food, work, etc. quickly.
To kill or defeat someone.
polish … up To improve a skill or an ability by practising it.
To move or behave in an idle, weak or effeminate manner.
616 poop out
To stop functioning.
To discontinue or not participate in an activity.
617 pop
… on
die suddenly.
come/go briefly without advance warning.
quickly put on a piece of clothing.
appear suddenly and unexpectedly.
618 pore over
To be absorbed in the reading or study of something.
619 portion out
To divide something into parts for distribution.
620 pot … on
pot … up
To transplant a growing plant from a small pot to a large one.
To transplant a seedling into a flowerpot.
621 pounce on
To spring or seize something suddenly.
To notice a mistake and take swift advantage of it by expressing a critical assessment of it.
622 pour … out
To express one’s feelings to someone in an unrestrained way.
623 preside over
To be in charge of a situation.
624 press … for
To persist in asking for something.
To strive hard to achieve something.
press on/ahead To continue doing something in a determined way.
press …
To insist on someone accepting an offer or gift.
625 presume
To unjustifiably regard something such as a good relationship with someone, etc. as entitling one to
privileges, e.g. presuming on the relationship to borrow a large sum of money.
626 prevail on/upon To persuade someone to do something.
627 prey on
(Animals and birds) to hunt and kill other animals and birds for food.
To exploit, influence or deceive weaker people.
To cause constant worry or distress to someone, e.g. the problem has been preying on my mind.
628 prick … out
To place a young plant in a specially prepared hole in the earth.
629 print … out
To produce a printed paper copy of information or document stored on a computer, e.g. I can’t print
this document out now because my printer has no ink.
630 prize … out
To get or by using force to get information from someone.
631 proceed against To take legal action against someone.
proceed from To originate from something.
632 profit by/from To learn from something that happens or to benefit from a situation.
633 prop … up
To support or assist someone or something that would otherwise fail or decline.
To lean against something.
634 provide against To make plans in order to forestall a bad situation happening.
provide for
To prepare or arrange for the needs of someone.
635 psych … out
psych ... up
To intimidate an opponent by appearing overly confident or say things that will make him feel worried,
nervous and less confident.
To get mentally prepared in order to build up one’s confidence for something challenging.
636 puff … out
puff up
To make something such as one’s cheeks, etc. swollen by filling them with air.
(Arm, leg, etc.) to swell due to injury or infection.
To make something swell by filling them with air.
637 pull ahead
(Vehicle) to get in front of another, especially by moving faster.
To separate people or animals when they are fighting, e.g. Their argument suddenly developed into a
fight and the others had to pull them apart.
To hold something and pull more than once; e.g. The wife pulled at the husband’s shirt as he was
walking faster.
To draw in smoke while smoking by inhaling deeply.
To start a car, etc. and drive away; e.g. I waved to the driver as the car was pulling away.
To overtake another vehicle and leave it behind by driving faster, e.g. the ambulance is pulling
away from the other vehicles on the highway.
pull apart
pull at
pull away
pull back
pull ... down
pull ... in
pull ... off
pull ... out
pull over
pull through
pull together
pull up
638 pump … into
pump out
pump … up
639 punch in
punch out
To withdraw from an undertaking, e.g. to pull back from a joint venture due to an unsettled dispute.
To demolish a building, e.g. had to pull that pre-war building down as it had fallen into disuse.
(Vehicle) to stop at the side of the road, e.g. The driver pulled in as directed by a traffic policeman
(Train) to arrive at a station, e.g. As the train pulled in, more people move onto the platform.
(Show) attracts a lot of people, e.g. the circus has been pulling in big audiences daily.
To earn money, e.g. His new business has been pulling in a lot of money.
To succeed in doing something or winning something difficult, e.g. his sculpture pulled off the highest
bid in the auction.
To drive to the side of the road or a side road, e.g. We pulled off the road for a bite before resuming
our journey.
(Train) to depart from a station, e.g. There was much waving among the people as the train started
to pull out of the station.
To retreat from an area, e.g. Most of the troops have been pulled out as the situation has improved
To withdraw from an undertaking, e.g. One of the partners has decided to pull out of the venture as it
is no longer profitable to carry on.
To be ordered to drive a vehicle to the side of the road, e.g. The policeman waved to the driver to pull
To drive a vehicle to the side of the road, e.g. I pulled over and waited for them in the car.
To get through an illness or a difficult situation, e.g. He has managed to pull through from a recent
bout of depression.
To work hard together in a task or undertaking, e.g. If they all pull together, they could easily finish
the work ahead of schedule.
To bring a vehicle to a halt, e.g. The driver pulled up when signalled to do so by the policeman.
To shoot someone several times, e.g. A motorcyclist rode aside his car, pumped bullets into the driver
and sped off.
To produce or emit something in large quantities or amounts, e.g. In a supermarket, prices after prices
of the products on sale are pumped out of a speaker for the benefit of shoppers.
To fill something with air, liquid, gas, etc.
To play a piece of music louder.
To increase someone’s enthusiasm or excitement.
To record the time of arrival at the workplace on a card by making use of a special machine, e.g. As
I’m late most of the time, I asked my closest trustworthy mate to punch in for me without anyone
noticing it.
To record the time of departure from the workplace on a card, e.g. Some of my colleagues leave early
and when the day’s work ends I punch out for them carefully without anyone noticing it.
To strike someone so hard with the fist that they fall over.
640 push ahead
push along
push aside
push for
push forward
push in
push off
To carry on persistently with what one is doing.
To go from a place.
To order someone around without due respect for his feeling.
... over To
... through To
... up
cease thinking about an upsetting event.
insist on making a request for something, or for something to be done which is felt to be necessary.
advance or make progress constantly despite difficulties.
dispense unasked for advice or join in a conversation, etc. which does not concern one.
jump queue.
leave or to tell someone rudely to leave.
carry on with what one is doing.
cause someone or something to fall to the ground by pushing them.
get a bill accepted for discussion in parliament by an opposition member.
cause an increase in something such as demand, prices, investment.
641 put about
To spread false information or unfounded rumours.
put … aside To save money regularly for a future purpose.
To keep someone in a prison or mental hospital, e.g. He was put away for good for a series of murders
put … away
he committed.
To eat or drink large quantities of food or drink, e.g. Every day the child puts away twice the amount
of his father.
To save money, e.g. Every month he puts away a moderate sum of money as saving for the future.
To return things to their storage space, e.g. The father nearly fell when he stepped on a toy that should
have been put away.
To return something to its original place, e.g. The children have been taught to put back their toys
put back
when they have finished playing with them.
To postpone something, e.g. The football matches have to be put back due to adverse weather
To delay something, e.g. Heavy rains and flooding for the past weeks have put the construction
work back by at least a month.
put ... down To lay something or someone on a surface, e.g. She put the baby gently down in the cot.
To criticize or belittle someone, e.g. Nobody wants to be around him as all he does is
putting others down.
To put an end to an insurgency, revolt, etc., e.g. Reinforcements were called in to put down a regional
To kill an animal in order to end its suffering, e.g. His dad’s job is to put down severely diseased
To pay a specified sum as a deposit, e.g. The sales agent asked if I could put $10,000down on the
To reason out, e.g. Her friends put her sudden depression down to the passing of her husband.
To stop doing something, e.g. Her father interrupted Jill by asking when she would put the
phone down after she had talked for nearly an hour.
To find something interesting and absorbing, e.g. What a book it was; once I started reading it I
couldn’t put it down until I completed it.
To put something in something else, e.g. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
To put someone somewhere, e.g. The children decided to put their old mother in an old folks’ home.
To invest time, money, effort, etc. into something, e.g. To date we have put $100,000 in the business.
To add permanent equipment to something such as a home, e.g. They are putting in an additional
To request for something, e.g. The stolen wallet was handed over to the police, but the owner has
not put in a claim for it.
... off
To postpone something, e.g. They intend to put off having a baby until they can afford it.
To delay meeting someone, e.g. He’s been calling me day and night to meet him over a matter, but I
keep putting it off.
To lose interest in doing something, e.g. The new assignment is challenging, but the distance he has to
travel every day really puts him off.
To make someone feel offended, e.g. Everyone who knows her is put off by her excessively critical point
of view.
... on
To become fatter and heavier.
To wear a piece of clothing.
To press the brake when the driver wants the vehicle to stop.
To apply make-up, creams, etc.
To pretend to have a particular way of speaking.
out/put ... To extinguish a fire, cigarette, etc., e.g. One of the men helping to put out the forest fire could be the
arsonist responsible for it.
To agree to have sex with someone.
To upset or annoy someone, e.g. Jack borrowed my car and promised to return it the next day, but
now three days later I’m really put out by not having got my car back.
To make extra work for or cause problems to someone, e.g. My neighbour really put me out when he
called in the middle of the night to help push his car as it couldn’t start.
To put something outside the house, e.g. Every night before the elderly lady goes to bed, she puts her
cat out.
To extend one’ arm, hand, leg or foot, e.g. He put out his arms and legs when he lay down; I tripped
over one of his limbs and landed on top of him.
To produce something, e.g. The publisher is putting out a paperback edition of the book at the end of
the month.
To connect someone by telephone to another; to finance one’s child’s education; to be made to undergo
... through
a bad experience.
To ask at a discussion, etc., e.g. Members of the audience were allowed to put questions to the
individual panellists.
To affix one’s signature to a document, letter, etc.
To cause difficulty, inconvenience, etc, to someone, e.g. I would like to ask my friends to help me paint
my house but hesitate to put them to such trouble.
To fit together the component parts of something, e.g. Putting the jigsaw puzzle pieces together is going
put ... together
to take a long time.
To provide accommodation temporarily to someone, e.g. While I was in the city for a week, I put
put ... up
up with my cousin.
To suggest a topic for discussion, etc.
To offer something for sale or auction, e.g. He is putting up his set of antique furniture for auction.
To finance an enterprise, etc., e.g. An unknown donor put up most of the money to build a public
To put something, e.g. Huge tents were put up to house the evacuees.
He intends to put up a real fight all the way despite being regarded as the underdog in the match.
To incite someone to do something stupid, illegal or dangerous, e.g. When Jack was arrested for injuring
put ... up to
Jill’s ex-husband, he accused Jill of putting him up to it by threatening to leave him for good.
To endure an unpleasant situation or tolerate a nasty person, e.g. She’s been thinking how long she is
put up with
going to put up with her husband coming home blind drunk.
put ... to
642 puzzle out
To consider a difficult problem carefully with a view to solving it.
643 quarrel with
To disagree with someone or complain about something.
644 rack … up
To accumulate or increase something.
645 rain down
To fall in large quantities.
646 rake … in
rake … up
To make a lot of money.
To recall a past event that is best forgotten.
To gather someone or something together for a purpose such as forming a sport team, volunteering for
a campaign, etc.
647 rally round
To bring or come together for a worthy cause.
648 ram … home To forcibly inculcate through the process of study and comprehension.
649 ramble on
To talk or write at length in a tedious manner.
650 ration out
To distribute something in small controlled amounts.
651 rattle around
To be in a space that is in excess of what is needed.
rattle … off To say or produce something quickly and easily.
rattle on
To talk quickly and at length.
rattle through To do something very quickly.
652 react against
To respond with an extremely unfriendly attitude or a contrary course of action.
653 read
… out
... through
... up
regard something as having a meaning or importance when this is not the case.
say out what is written on something such as a list, etc. for people to hear.
check for mistakes by careful reading of the whole thing.
acquire information or knowledge by reading a lot about a subject.
654 reason … out To find a solution to a problem by considering all the possibilities.
reason with
To persuade someone to be more sensible with rational argument.
To have an unexpected bad effect on someone.
656 reckon … in To include all relevant data in one’s calculation.
reckon on
To expect anything unforeseen to happen while plans are being made.
reckon with
To take into account all that may happen
657 reconcile … to To make someone able to accept an unpleasant or disagreeable thing or situation.
658 reduce … to To
change something into a shorter simpler form, e.g. the passage can be reduced to four paragraphs.
lower the ranks of an army officer, e.g. to reduce an officer’s ranks to an ordinary soldier.
destroy a building by burning or demolition, e.g. to reduce to ashes or rubble.
degrade someone’s existence, e.g. to reduce one to squat on public land.
659 reel … in
reel ... off
To turn the reel of a fishing rod to draw in the line, e.g. to reel in a fish.
To say something quickly and easily, e.g. to reel off lists of team members.
660 refer to
To arrange someone to see a medical specialist, e.g. His doctor refers him to an ophthalmologist.
To mention or allude to someone, e.g. She was warned not to refer to him again.
To consult a source of information, e.g. He often refers to an encyclopaedia for factual information.
661 reflect on/upon To think deeply or carefully about, e.g. Sooner or later, one has to reflect on one’s future wellbeing.
To expose the good or bad side of someone, e.g. His behaviour reflects on his level of education.
662 regale … with
To entertain someone with conversation or story-telling, e.g. He often regales his friends with stories of
his romantic involvements.
663 rein … in
To have strict control of something, or keep it within limits.
To control the movement of a horse by pulling on its reins.
664 rejoice in
665 relate to
To feel great joy, e.g. he rejoices in his examination success.
To have an extraordinary or strange-sounding name.
To show a direct connection between two things, e.g. Low wages are directly related to low level of
To be able to have a good relationship with others, e.g. He has difficulty relating to older people.
To feel sympathy for or identify with someone or something.
To be concerned with someone or something, e.g. It does not relate to what we are talking about.
666 relieve … of To remove the post, duties, responsibility, command, etc. of someone.
667 rely on/upon
To trust someone or something fully to do what they have to do.
To be dependent on something to survive, e.g. They have to rely on the handicraft for their income.
668 remark on/upon To pass comment on someone or something.
669 remind … of
To make someone remember about something because of a resemblance, e.g. the area
reminds her of her early childhood days.
render …
To purify fat by melting down.
render … up To hand something to someone such as a ruler, enemy, etc.
671 repair to
To go to a place, e.g. to repair to the sitting room.
672 report back
To send or bring something back to someone, e.g. to investigate an incident and report back to one’s
673 reside in
(Power, right, etc.) to be present in someone or something.
674 resolve … into To become or make something into separate parts.
675 resonate with
To be full of something such as meaning, feeling, sound, etc., e.g. a household resonating with incessant
676 resort to
To choose and use a, especially bad, course of action to succeed in something or resolve a problem.
677 rest on/upon
rest with
To depend or be based on something, e.g. the success of the club rests on the number of members it
To direct one’s look on someone or something, e.g. to rest one’s eyes on the scenery.
To be answerable for something, e.g. the responsibility for day-to-day operation rests with the manager.
678 result in
To have a specified end or outcome, e.g. the accident resulted in the death of some passengers.
679 revel in
To take great pleasure in something, such as attention, praise, etc.
680 revert to
To return to a former state, condition, etc.
681 revolve around To treat something as the most important purpose, e.g. her life revolves around her children.
To move in a circular orbit around something.
682 rid … of
To remove someone or something bad from a place such as one’s body, working place, etc.
683 ride … down To knock someone down when riding a horse.
ride on
To travel in or on a vehicle or horse.
To depend on someone or something.
ride … out To come safely through, especially a bad situation.
ride up
(Skirt, etc.) to move upwards exposing the body.
684 rig … out
rig … up
To provide someone with special clothes to wear.
To make something in a makeshift way.
685 ring
... up
make a return call by telephone.
telephone a place, especially one’s working place.
end a telephone call.
have something loud and clear come from something else.
make telephone calls to a group of people for a specific purpose.
make a telephone call to someone.
686 rinse out
To wash something, especially to get rid of soap from it.
687 rip off
rip through
To overcharge, cheat, or steal from someone, e.g. The souvenir shopkeeper really ripped us off.
To move somewhere at high speed and in a really violent way.
To tear something into pieces, e.g. Jill ripped up Jack’s photos when she found out he is dating other
rip ... up
688 rise above
rise against
roll away
roll ... back
To deal with any unpleasant situations without being adversely affected by it.
To be sensible and refrain from immoral acts.
To attempt to seize power and replace the government.
(Something that happens regularly) to happen again.
To stretch up to the horizon, e.g. green pastures rolling away into the distance.
To reduce the influence, importance, etc. of something.
roll … down To
roll in
roll ... out
roll over
roll up
roll ... up
reverse the progress of something.
open in specific cases, e.g. to roll down car’s window to open it.
come in large numbers or quantities;
arrive later than usual or expected without being concerned.
lay out something flat and thin, e.g. to roll out the red carpet.
officially launch a new product.
change bodily position while lying down, e.g. to roll over to the left.
arrive, e.g. to roll up late or unexpectedly.
fold or shorten something, e.g. to roll one’s sleeves up.
close a car’s window, e.g. to roll the window up.
690 romp through To succeed in doing or finishing something quickly and easily.
roof …
692 root for
root … out
root … up
693 rope … in
rope … off
694 rot away
To put a roof over something, e.g. to roof in an area.
To support a sport team by shouting and cheering.
To find and get rid of someone and something.
To dig and pull something such as weeds, etc. up with its roots.
To persuade someone despite their reluctance to participate in something, e.g. to rope in the neighbours
to be vigilantes.
To isolate an area with ropes to prevent access, e.g. police roped off the area where the dead body was
To decay or cause something to decay completely, or break into pieces.
695 rough … in To live in discomfort with only basic necessities.
rough … out To draw out a preliminary sketch without the details.
rough … up To attack someone and beat them up.
round …
To reduce an exact figure to the nearest whole number.
round … off To end something such as an entertainment, discussion, etc. in a satisfying or suitable way.
To smoothen the edges of something.
To reduce an exact figure to the nearest whole number.
To gather up a group of people or things for a specific purpose, e.g. to round up the illegal immigrants
round … up
for detention.
697 rub along
rub down
To cope or get along with a situation or someone without difficulty.
To make something dry, smooth, or clean by rubbing with something else such as a cloth, sandpaper,
rub off
rub ... out
To remove something such as rust, impurities, etc. from a surface by rubbing.
To transfer a feeling, quality, or habit onto someone else, e.g. one’s cheerfulness, enthusiasm, etc. seem
to rub off on everyone else.
To erase something such as writing, stain, mark, etc. from a surface by rubbing it with something else
such as eraser, cloth, sandpaper, etc.
698 ruck … up
To make or form folds, creases, etc. on something such as cloth, coat, etc., e.g. shirt is all rucked up
after washing.
699 rule … out
To conclude that something is not possible, e.g. The unstable political situation rules out any increase in
foreign investments.
700 run
To meet or find someone or something by chance, e.g. I ran across my former classmate this morning.
To chase someone or something, e.g. His dog is very fond of running after cats.
To leave some place, e.g. He has to run along for an appointment.
To run within a particular area, e.g. He likes to run around in the park.
To spend considerable amount of time with someone whom one likes, e.g. Jack has been running
around with his neighbour’s daughter.
run away
To leave or escape from a place, e.g. the child ran away from home because of the abusive parents.
To avoid facing a problem or difficult situation, e.g. He has now learned to face his problem instead
of running away from it.
run away with To go away secretly or illegally with someone, e.g. He ran away with his neighbour’s daughter.
To win something such as a competition, match, etc. easily, e.g. Liverpool ran away with the European
soccer championship again.
To steal something, e.g. the cashier has run away with the whole week’s takings.
run down
To get knocked, and injured or killed by a vehicle, e.g. His dog was run down by a speeding car.
To reduce or become reduced, e.g. Our joint savings is running down.
run ... down To criticize or belittle someone or something, e.g. He has a habit of running others down.
To find someone or something after a long search, e.g. He finally ran me down at my new house in the
same neighbourhood.
To lose or cause to lose power and stops or cause to stop functioning, e.g. The clock has stopped
functioning as its batteries have run down.
To kill someone or something with a vehicle, e.g. He was run down by a speeding motorcycle while
crossing a street.
To move quickly to another area for something, e.g. I’ll run down to the store for a couple of bottles of
To knock someone or something with a vehicle, e.g. The brake of his car failed and the car ran into the
run into
van in front.
To meet someone by chance, e.g. I ran into my former classmate at the library yesterday.
To encounter problem, etc., e.g. They ran into difficulties midway in their climb up the mountain.
To leave hurriedly and secretly, e.g. He ran off from the detention centre without anyone’s notice.
To produce copies of something, e.g. We have to run off some more of this copy to meet additional
To write something such as speech, poem, piece of music, etc. quickly and easily, e.g. He could run off a
long speech in a couple of hours.
off with To go away with someone for a specific reason, e.g. He runs off with his girlfriend’s sister.
To steal, e.g. The villagers know he ran off with one of the horses.
To carry on longer than is expected, e.g. The meeting ran on well past midnight.
To cause none left, e.g. A sudden blackout has caused all shops in the area to run out of candles.
To become no longer valid, e.g. The agreement ran out last month.
To use up or be used up, e.g. The bakery sometimes runs out of sugar before new supply arrives.
To quickly leave a place, building, etc., e.g. He opened the door of the house and ran out
To knock and drive over someone or something with a vehicle, e.g. Our cat was run over by a car and
died instantly.
To overflow, e.g. Someone fills a tank with so much oil that some runs over.
To exceed the expected time, e.g. The show ran over, and I missed the last bus.
To move from where one is to where someone is, e.g. When I saw my mother-in-law, I decided instantly
not to run over to greet her.
To revise one’s lessons, e.g. The students run through the question-and–answer part again.
through To push something through someone, e.g. It is not easy to run a sword completely through someone.
To go over something quickly, e.g. The shopkeeper runs through the list of items with the customer.
To cost a certain amount, e.g. The cost of the damage is estimated to run to five million pounds.
... up
To make something quickly, e.g. They ran this project up well ahead of schedule.
To accumulate something such as bill, etc., e.g. Her parents bar her from using the telephone as she
habitually ran up an enormous phone bill.
To move quickly to a higher level, e.g. They had a fun race to see who would be the first one to run
up and reach the peak of the hill.
To move quickly to someone or something, e.g. When Santa Claus arrived, all the children ran up to
To raise a flag.
To experience or meet an unexpected problem, e.g. We ran up against some unforeseen difficulties when
up against
we built that patio.
8. Phrasal Verbs 701-800
To do something with urgent haste, e.g. Her family members were rushing around, making preparations
on the day of her wedding.
To get hastily involved in something without sufficient consideration, e.g. He was invited to be the
manager of a football team, but he does not want to rush into it before careful consideration.
rush ... out
To produce and distribute something very quickly.
rush ... through To deal with something hurriedly.
rush into
702 rust away
To be gradually destroyed by rust.
703 rustle … up
To make something quickly.
704 sack out
To go to sleep or bed.
705 saddle up
To put a saddle on a horse.
saddle … with To give someone a difficult or boring task.
706 sail through
To succeed easily at something, especially a test or examination.
707 sally forth
To set out to perform a challenging task.
708 salt … away
To secretly store something, especially money, for the future.
709 save on
To prevent wastage of something by minimizing the use of it.
710 savour of
To have a slight trace or indication of something.
711 saw at
saw … off
saw … up
To use a saw to cut something.
To remove something with a saw.
To use a saw to cut something into pieces.
712 scale … down To reduce the size of operations of an organization, plan, etc.
713 scare … into
scare …
scare up
To frighten or threaten someone into doing something.
714 schlep around
To spend one’s time idling or lazing.
715 scope … out
To take a look at someone or something to understand their true nature.
score …
To make or keep someone or something away by frightening them.
To make or do something from a limited source.
To delete something by drawing a line through it.
717 scrape by/along To manage to survive on the bare minimum.
scrape in/into To just manage to succeed in getting something, e.g. just scraped into a position or college.
scrape through
To only just succeed in something such as passing an examination, etc.
To manage to accumulate, collect or get something with difficulty.
718 scratch … out To cancel or strike out something by drawing a line through it.
719 scream at
To become blatantly obvious or conspicuous.
720 screen … out
To protect from something dangerous or harmful entering or passing through.
To investigate someone or something to ascertain their suitability for a job, position, etc.
721 screw around
To fool about.
To have sex with different partners.
To act dishonestly or unfairly in order to deprive someone of money or something valuable, e.g. The
screw … out of
man was finally arrested after screwing many people out of their savings.
screw ... over To cheat or treat someone unfairly.
To manage or handle a situation badly, wrongly or ineffectively, e.g. He volunteered to help me in my
screw up
work but instead screwed it up.
To cause someone to be emotionally or mentally disturbed, e.g. It really screwed her up when her
screw ... up
flight was seriously delayed by a bomb hoax.
722 scrub … out
scrub up
To thoroughly clean something such as a place, objects, etc.
To thoroughly clean one’s hands and arms before doing a surgery.
723 scrum down
To form a scrum during a game of rugby.
724 scrunch … up To crush or squeeze something into a round, compressed mass.
725 seal … in
seal ... off
To close something securely to prevent what it contains from getting out.
To cut off an area and deny access to and from it.
726 search … out To try to find something by looking.
727 section … off
728 see about
To divide an area into distinct parts by marking border lines between them.
To attend to someone or deal with something, e.g. I would see about the food and drinks for the
To inform or consult someone about a matter, e.g. I think I had better see someone in the government
department about the potholes on the road leading to my house.
To visit a place and move about looking at it, e.g. They would like to see around the cave.
see in
To notice a particular quality in someone or something, e.g. They see in him a young player with great
see ... off
see ... out
see over
see through
see to
To show the visitor the way in, e.g. He was told to see in only the members when they arrive.
To celebrate the new year, e.g. Each year millions of people throughout the world see in the new year.
To send someone off at the place of departure such as airport, railway station, etc.
To evict an intruder from a property, e.g. Security guards were notified to see him off the premises.
To accompany a guest to the door when he or she leaves.
To continue with something until it completes, not necessarily with enthusiasm, e.g. He is not
enthusiastic but promised to see out the two-week campaign against smoking.
To examine something with a view to acquiring it, e.g. He is seeing over the antique furniture on
behalf of a potential buyer.
To discover the truth about someone e.g. She could see through his deviant behaviour that he is not a
suitable partner.
To provide help and care to someone who is in need, e.g. A home was set up in the area for the
physically handicapped that should see them through the rest of their life.
To persist with something until it is completed, e.g. He allocates time from his busy schedule to see the
project through.
To deal with something or do something for someone, e.g. see to the needs of the poor.
729 seek … out
To look for and find someone or something.
730 seize on/upon
seize up
To grasp eagerly and take advantage of something such as an opportunity, idea, excuse, etc.
(Machine parts) to become jammed due to lack of oil, etc.
731 sell off
sell … on
sell oneself
To get rid of unwanted things at cheap prices, especially when one needs the money.
To make someone enthusiastic about something such as an idea, new products, novelties, etc.
To offer sex in return for money.
To sell all of a particular product with none left, e.g. The latest model of dishwasher was sold out in
the first week.
To desert one’s beliefs, principles, etc. for personal gains.
To betray someone for one’s own financial or material benefit.
To sell one’s assets and other possessions such as house, business, yacht, car, etc.
sell out
sell ... out
sell up
732 send away
send … back
send ... down
send for
To cause to go or be delivered to another place, e.g. He was sent away to live with his grandmother
when he was little.
His duties include sending away numerous brochures.
To return something to where it came from, e.g. The letter was wrongly delivered so I sent it back to
the post office.
To make something decreased in value, e.g. The company’s recent performance has sent its rating down.
To send someone to prison, e.g. He was sent down even for a minor offence.
To expel from a university, especially for immoral conduct.
To summon someone to appear before one or order something to be sent to one.
send ... off
send ... on
send out
send ... up
To order a player to leave the field by showing him a red card, as in a football game, and be
excluded from further participation in the match.
To cause to be delivered by post, e.g. He sent off the parcel yesterday.
To arrange someone to go to another place, e.g. They sent the children off to their grandparents for
the weekend.
To order something to be delivered to one, e.g. We have sent off an order for some pizza.
To pass on something that has been received to another place, e.g. The processed food is then sent on
to the packing department.
To emit something, e.g. Stars send out gamma rays, radio waves, etc.
To arrange for something to go or be taken to another place, e.g. Most of the invitation cards have
been sent out.
To cause something to increase in value, .e.g. Allowing greater foreign participation in the property
sector has sent property prices up.
733 separate … out To make or become apart or detached.
734 serve … out
serve ... up
735 set about
To continue with something until it is complete, e.g. He has served out nearly half of his prison
To place food onto plates for handing over to someone such as customers, guests, etc.
To place food onto plates for people to eat.
Start doing something that requires lots of efforts and time.
To attack someone with fists and legs.
set … against To cause someone to fight or quarrel against another.
To offset something against, especially amount spent against tax in order to reduce the amount of tax
To distinguish someone or something that are more superior compared to others, e.g. the Nobel Prize
set … apart
awards set the laureates apart from other people.
To keep something for a special purpose, e.g. a room in a library is set aside for only reading
set ... aside
To annul a legal decision or order, e.g. A verdict of a lower court was set aside by a judge of a higher
set ... back
To hinder the development of someone or something.
set ... down
To cost someone a lot of money.
To write about something for the record.
set forth
To stop a vehicle for someone to get out.
set ... forth
To start a journey, etc.
set in
To explain or describe something in writing or speech.
set off
(Something unpleasant) to begin and seem to continue for a long time.
set ... off
To go or embark on a journey.
set on/upon
set out
set ... out
set to
set ... up
736 settle down
settle for
settle in/into
settle on/upon
settle up
cause something such as a bomb, alarm, etc, to go off.
make something such as a piece of clothing, etc. more attractive.
attack someone violently.
start a journey.
begin to do or plan a course of action towards achieving a goal.
lay something out so that they can be arranged in a particular order.
start doing something eagerly and seriously.
deliberately make an innocent person appear guilty or have done something wrong.
make someone feel healthy and energetic.
start a company, organization, etc.
place or erect something such as a signboard, road block, statue, etc.
To make or become calmer or quieter, e.g. She should settle down as the driving test is not going to
cost her life.
To go for a more secure lifestyle, especially in having a permanent job and own house, e.g. He hasn’t
decided to settle down and raise a family despite having a house and a secure job.
To accept or agree to something, usually less than satisfactory to either side, e.g. She had stated a sum
for her starting salary, but had to settle for a slightly less amount.
To adapt to a new surrounding.
To decide or agree on something, e.g. They haven’t settled yet on the paint colour for the kitchen wall.
To agree on the final settlement on something such as sharing property, etc.
To pay for something such as a bill, account, etc.
737 sew … up
To remedy a fault by sewing it, e.g. sewing up a tear in a shirt.
To conclude a business transaction in a favourable way.
To have gained overall control over something.
738 shack up
To move in or start living with someone as a partner.
739 shade into
To be unable to distinguish where something ends and another begins.
740 shake down
To adapt to a new place.
To extort money from someone.
To sleep on the floor, on a seat, etc. instead of in a proper bed.
To search someone or something thoroughly.
To get rid of something such as an illness, problem, etc. that is bothering one, e.g. unable to shake off
this gambling habit.
To escape from one’s pursuer.
To conclude something such as an agreement, etc. by shaking hands.
shake ... off
shake on
shake ... out
shake ... up
741 shape up
To shake something such as a shirt, cloth, etc. in order to remove any pieces of dirt, dust, etc. from
To make someone feel more enthusiastic, energetic and eager.
To make an organization, system, etc. more effective by introducing changes.
To develop or improve one’s behaviour, performance, physical fitness, etc. to the required standard.
742 sharpen … up To improve something to the required standard, quality, etc.
743 shave … off
To remove hair off part of someone’s body by using a shaver or razor.
To reduce by a very slight amount, e.g. to shave half a second off the world record.
744 shell out
To pay a seemingly excessive amount of money for something.
745 shine through
(Personal quality or skill) to be plainly obvious.
746 shoot
To try to achieve a particular aim, e.g. to shoot for a five percent growth rate for this year.
To bring someone, an aircraft, etc. down by shooting.
To have to leave quickly or suddenly, e.g. He has to shoot off after receiving a telephone call.
To depart hurriedly.
To injure or damage someone or something by shooting them with bullets.
To increase rapidly in prices, number, etc., e.g. The prices of many food items have shot up; tall
buildings are shooting up in many major cities across the world.
To inject oneself with a narcotic drug.
… down
747 shop around
To look for the best price for the available quality goods.
748 shore … up
To help or support something that is likely to fail or is not working well.
749 shout … down To prevent someone from speaking or being heard by shouting.
shout out
To say something suddenly in a loud voice.
750 shove off
shove up
751 show … around
show off
show … off
To go away or to tell someone to go away.
To push a boat away from the shore.
To shift oneself to make space for someone else.
To take and guide someone round a place and point out the interesting features, especially when he is
To display one’s abilities, accomplishments, or possessions in a boastful manner, especially to impress
people and gain their admiration, e.g. He shows off his new car by sounding the horn unnecessarily.
To display something to others because one is very proud of it, e.g. His father bought Jack a large
flashy car, and he is busy showing it off by driving all over town.
show up
show ... up
To turn up at a place where one is expected to, e.g. He finally showed up at the restaurant where
others are waiting for him.
To expose someone as being bad or faulty.
To embarrass or humiliate someone.
752 shrink from
To avoid doing something difficult or unpleasant, e.g. shrink from making tough decisions.
753 shrug … off
To dismiss something as unimportant and without caring about it.
754 shuck off
To take off a piece of garment, e.g. He shucks off his jacket and plays a game of snooker.
755 shudder at
To think something is inappropriate or disagreeable, e.g. He shudders at what his parents would say
when he tells them he’s dropped out of college.
756 shut … away
shut down
shut ... in
shut off
shut ... out
shut up
To isolate someone or something from being seen.
To put oneself in a place in order to be alone, e.g. He shut himself away in his room to continue with
his work.
To cease or cause to cease business operation
To keep someone indoors or in a room.
To make something such as a machine, etc., stop operating, e.g. Someone accidentally pressed the
wrong button on the remote control and shut off the television while everyone was watching it.
To stop or cut off supply, e.g. shutting off a tap, or a strike that closes a coal mine and shuts off coal
To deliberately prevent someone from participating in an activity, e.g. he felt he was being shut
out when he was not invited to the party.
To prevent someone or something from entering a place, e.g. double-glazed windows shut out the cold
and noise.
To prevent an opposing team from gaining points by scoring.
To make someone stop talking, e.g. They tried a few times to shut her up but failed.
To tell someone to stop talking, e.g. Wherever she is she tends to dominate the conversation, talking
endlessly but no one would dare to tell her to shut up.
To keep someone from other people, e.g. He shut himself up in his room to prevent his cold from
spreading to others.
To cease business activities for the day or permanently.
757 shy away from
To avoid doing something because of nervousness or lack of confidence, e.g. He shied away from an
offer to speak at the club meeting.
758 sick … up
To vomit.
759 sicken of
To lose one’s desire for or interest in something.
760 sieve … out
To separate solid from liquid or small objects from large ones by using a sieve.
761 sift … out
To separate something from other things, e.g. It’s not always easy to sift out genuine products from
fake ones.
762 sign away
sign for
sign in
sign off
sign on
sign ... on
sign out
sign … over
sign up
sign with
To sign a document giving one’s property or legal right to someone else.
To sign a document acknowledging receipt of something.
To sign as a player, especially for a football team.
To write one’s name in a book, sign a book on arrival at, or enter a place such as hotel, office, club,
To end a letter, broadcast, etc. by writing one’s name, bidding farewell, etc.
To sign a document agreeing to work for an employer.
To sign officially that one is unemployed.
To recruit someone into one’s employment.
To write one’s name in or sign a book when leaving a hotel, office, club, etc.
To sign an official document conveying one’s property or rights to someone else.
To sign a document committing oneself to something such as a course of study, employment, specific
petition, etc.
To enter legal agreement to play for a particular sports team.
763 silt up
To become filled with sand, mud, soil or other material.
764 sing along
sing out
sing up
To join in singing with someone who is already singing.
To sing loudly.
To request someone to sing more loudly.
765 single … out
To choose someone or something from a group of like people or things for favourable or adverse
comment, or unfair treatment.
766 sink in
(Information, facts, ideas, words, etc.) to gradually become fully understood, e.g. His remark did not
sink in immediately.
767 sit around/about To sit down idling.
sit back
To be in a sitting and relaxing position in a comfortable chair.
To be in or get into a sitting position, e.g. I’m so busy I haven’t sat down since I got up from bed
sit down
this morning.
To try to resolve a problem, e.g. They mutually agreed to sit down for a drink and sort out their
disagreement over a certain matter.
sit in
To be at but not actively involved in a meeting.
To be temporarily doing something on behalf of someone.
sit on
To engage in a silent demonstration of protest.
sit ... out
sit through
sit up
768 size … up
delay or fail to deal with something.
not participate in an event, activity, etc.
wait without taking action until an unpleasant or unwelcome situation is over.
stay on until a meeting, talk, speech, performance, etc. ends, even if it is very long and boring.
get into a sitting position from a lying position.
stop oneself from going to bed and stay up very late.
To consider and judge about a person or situation.
To estimate or measure something’s dimensions.
To avoid addressing an issue or problem, or not according it the attention it deserves.
770 skin up
To make a cannabis cigarette.
771 skip out/off
To leave quickly and secretly in order to evade something such as paying bill, etc.
A person who defaults or absconds.
772 slag off
To strongly criticize someone, especially behind their back.
773 slam into
To crash hard into something, e.g. The car slammed into a tree.
774 slap … down
slap … on
To unjustifiably criticize someone.
To apply something hastily or carelessly on something else.
775 slaver over
To show excessive admiration for something in a silly way.
776 sleep
… off
sleep together
sleep with
777 slice … off
slick …
slick ... up
779 slip into
have sex with numerous people.
wake up much later than usual in the morning.
recover from something by sleeping, e.g. to sleep off the effects of drinking too much alcohol.
sleep continuously without being awakened by anything that happens.
sleep continuously at length.
have sex.
have sex with someone, especially someone whom one is not married to.
To separate something from another by cutting easily with a sharp knife or edge.
To make one’s hair flat, smooth, and glossy by using oil, or cream, etc.
To make someone or something smart, tidy, or stylish.
To put clothes on quickly.
slip ... off
slip ... on
slip out
slip out of
slip up
pass gradually to a worse condition, e.g. slip into unconsciousness or a coma.
take clothes off quickly.
put clothes on quickly.
move away quickly, or secretly.
say something without thinking or real intention to say it.
accidentally slide or move out of position or from someone’s grasp.
quickly get out of one’s clothes.
make a careless mistake.
780 slob around
To idle and behave in a lazy, relaxed and unconcerned manner.
781 slobber over
To show one’s excessive interest in someone in an annoying way.
slop out
slop through
To wander in an aimless or slovenly manner; mess about.
(Prisoners) to empty out the contents of their chamber-pots.
To wade through a wet or muddy area.
783 slope off
To leave a place quietly, and inconspicuously in order to avoid work or duty.
784 slot in/into
To fit someone or something into something else such as a plan, organization, a new role, situation,
785 slough … off
To get rid of something such as the outer layer of old skin, etc.
To banish one’s feelings, belief, etc., e.g. He was to slough off all feelings of guilt.
786 slow down
To become or make something such as a vehicle, etc. slower, e.g. Many a time his girlfriend asked him
to slow down or she would get out of the car.
787 smack of
To have a flavour, smell, or suggestion of something, e.g. a piece of writing that smacks of hypocrisy.
788 smarten up
To make someone or something look neat, tidy and stylish.
789 smash … down To knock something down violently.
smash … in To hit or collide with something violently or forcefully.
smash … up To deliberately damage or destroy something, e.g. smash the place up.
790 smell … out
To find something by smelling.
To detect or suspect by means of instinct or intuition.
791 smoke … out To force someone or something out of a place by filling it with smoke.
792 smooth …
To dispose of something such as problems, difficulties, etc.
smooth … over To make a situation or the effects of something less unpleasant, harmful, or serious.
793 snap … on/off To turn a light on/off
snap out of
To get out of a bad or sad state to a better one.
snap … up
To get or buy something quickly, especially because it is in short supply or very cheap.
794 snatch at
795 sneak in/into
sneak on
sneak out
sneak up
sniff out
To seize something quickly.
To enter a place unnoticed, e.g. The boys managed to sneak past the ticket collector into the circus
To officially inform someone or provide them with information about something or someone else’s
To exit a place unnoticed, e.g. The kids sneaked out of the church by crawling between the empty
To creep stealthily up to someone.
To investigate something in a covert manner.
To find out something by investigation.
797 snuff … out
To extinguish or put an abrupt end to something.
798 soak … up
To use something such as a sponge, cloth, towel, etc. to absorb a liquid.
To learn something quickly and easily.
799 sober … up
To become or make someone become less drunk.
800 sock in
To be engulfed by adverse weather conditions, reducing visibility.
hrasal Verbs 801-900
801 soften … up To become or make someone soft or softer.
To make someone less powerful or effective, especially in a gradual or insidious way so that they will be
vulnerable or more vulnerable.
802 sop … up
803 sort … out
sort through
To soak up liquid by using something such as a cloth, sponge, etc.
To deal with someone who causes difficulty or annoyance, e.g. We sorted out a misunderstanding over
the terms of an agreement by discussing in great detail.
To deal with something such as a problem, difficulty, etc., e.g. The staff stayed on late to sort the pile
of printed documents out into individual reports.
To classify or categorize or arrange things into an order.
804 sound off
To express one’s opinions in a loud or forceful way.
sound … out To seek the opinions of others before undertaking something.
805 soup … up
To improve something by making it more interesting or impressive.
806 space … out
To feel disorientated or confused, e.g. He doesn’t seem to concentrate on what he is saying; he’s spaced
out because it doesn’t make sense.
807 speak for
speak of
speak out
speak to
speak up
808 speed by
speed up
To express one’s opinions, thoughts, feelings, position, beliefs, etc.
To be a clear indication of the existence of an incident or event, e.g. the large presence of policemen
spoke of trouble.
To publicly protest by expressing one’s opinions frankly, especially when this could be a risk to oneself.
To talk to someone in order to advise, inform about something, etc.
To express one’s views publicly or speak in favour of someone or something.
To ask someone to speak loudly or more loudly.
To pass very quickly, e.g. The months and years speed by and soon we are not young any more.
To move or work, or make something move or work faster, e.g. They have to speed up to meet the
809 spell … out
To say or write the letters that made up a word.
To explain something clearly and in detail.
810 spill over
(Conflict, etc.) to spread and affect other places or people.
811 spin … off
spin out
(A parent company) to turn a subsidiary into a new and separate company.
(Vehicles) to be out of control, e.g. fast-moving car spins out of control on the wet road.
To make something such as money, food, etc. last as long as one possibly can, especially because one
has limited amount of it.
spin ... out
812 splash down (Spacecraft) to return to Earth by landing in the sea.
splash out on To spend vast sum of money on something, e.g. They splash out on more decoration of their house.
813 split off
split on
split up
separate or break away from someone or something.
commit betrayal by informing on someone.
end a marriage or a relationship.
divide into groups, parts, sections, etc.
814 spread out
(People) to move apart from each other so as to occupy a bigger area.
To open out something on a flat surface such as a table.
815 spring from
To originate or come from somewhere.
spring … on
spring up
To present or give something such as information, etc. to someone suddenly or unexpectedly that causes
surprise or shock.
To suddenly appear or start to exist.
816 spruce up
To make someone or something neater, tidier or smarter.
817 spy … out
To seek out secret information on someone or something.
… off
up to
To finish something in a satisfactory way.
assume an aggressive attitude.
calm or pacify someone.
face and deal with a difficult situation or person.
reconcile two ideas, situations, facts, etc. to show that they can exist together.
819 stack up
To measure up or compare.
820 stake … out
To keep someone or some place under close observation, especially because of suspected criminal
821 stamp … out To forcibly put an end to something.
822 stand against
stand alone
stand around
stand by
stand down
stand for
stand in
stand off
stand out
To contest against another candidate in an election.
To be unequalled.
To stand somewhere and not do anything, e.g. He grumbles that the supervisor has nothing to do but
stands around watching him every minute.
To look on without getting involved.
To stay loyal and support someone, e.g. will always stand by him.
To maintain the validity of one’s words or action, e.g. He stands by what he said earlier.
To be ready to do what is required, e.g. A lifeguard always stands by at the swimming pool.
To leave one’s position or office.
To leave the witness box in court after giving evidence.
To represent something in the form of abbreviation, symbol, etc., e.g. I think most people know what
UN stands for.
To not tolerate or endure something, e.g. More and more people the world over will not stand for
To support a particular set of ideas, values, or principles, e.g. Voters should demand that candidates
state what they stand for so that they (voters) know what they are voting for.
To temporarily take over the work of someone who is away.
To move or keep away.
To be conspicuous or clearly noticeable.
stand out
stand over
stand to
stand up
stand ... up
stand up for
stand up to
stare …
824 start in
start in on
start off
start on
start on at
start out/up
start over
start up
To be clearly better than someone else.
To be strongly opposed to an idea, plan, etc.
To watch someone closely to ensure they work properly.
To move to a position, ready for action.
To be in a standing position, e.g. As soon as she finished singing, everyone stood up to give her a
standing ovation.
To be able to withstand close scrutiny, test, etc.
To fail to keep an appointment, etc., e.g. I was supposed to go fishing with Jack today, but he stood
me up
To speak or act in support or defence of someone or something.
To defend oneself against or refuse to be unfairly treated by someone.
To look at someone at length until they feel forced to look elsewhere.
To begin doing something.
To begin to do or deal with something.
To attack someone or something verbally.
To begin in a certain way, e.g. The event started off in fine weather but midway through it began to
To begin a journey, e.g. We will start off as soon as they arrive.
To begin doing some of the things, e.g. We will start on the mowing first before we proceed to the
To start to talk by criticizing someone and their behaviour, e.g. She started on at him for always
returning home late from work.
To begin a business enterprise or undertaking.
To restart doing something in order to do it better.
To begin operation, e.g. I usually start up the car’s engine to warm it up before driving it.
To begin something, e.g. He started up a restaurant in the neighbourhood, but closed down after six
825 starve … into To force someone to do something by denying them food.
starve … out To force someone out of a place by denying them food.
826 stave in
stave ... off
To break something inwards or be broken inwards by something.
To avert something bad or dangerous happening to one.
827 stay off
To keep away from, e.g. Visitors to the temple were advised to stay off the grass whenever or wherever
they walk.
stay on
stay out
stay up
steam …
steam up
To continue doing something such as working, studying, etc. after the usual time or the others have left,
e.g. He decides to stay on in the library while the others leave for home.
To decide to return home late, e.g. On weekend, Jack stays out late boozing with his mates.
To not get involved in a situation, especially a bad one, e.g. The neighbour’s wife and mine have been
quarrelling for the past days, I choose to stay out of it.
To go to bed later than normal, e.g. He is a night owl who enjoys staying up late.
To make use of steam to do something such as opening and removing a stamp from an envelope, etc.
To cover or become covered with steam.
To be or become extremely agitated or angry.
829 stem from
To originate in or be caused by something.
830 step down
step forward
step in
To resign from one’s official position.
To volunteer one’s services.
To get involved in a difficult situation in order to help.
To act or serve in place of someone.
To place one’s foot on something, e.g. My big fat auntie accidentally stepped on my toe; it’s terribly
painful that tears roll down my cheeks.
To go out of a room or building, etc., usually for a short time, e.g. He steps out for a smoke.
To increase something such as amount, speed, etc. of something.
step on
step out
step ... up
831 stick around
... on
stick out for
stick to
stick together
To stay for a while longer, e.g. We were asked to stick around for a while so as to have a drink
together, but we’ve already waited for half an hour.
To continue to do what one is doing with the same determination.
To continue to support someone.
To blame someone for a mistake or wrongdoing.
To be particularly noticeable, e.g. His two oversized ears stick out more than usual.
To extend from a surface, e.g. Be careful when you handle that plant, it has sharp thorns sticking out.
To extend a part of one outward, e.g. This dog certainly looks rather tired, with its tongue sticking out
dripping with saliva and body shaking.
To tolerate an unpleasant or difficult situation, e.g. I found the roller coaster ride more scary than
exciting, but I stuck it out.
To refuse to accept less than what one wants
To continue to do what one thinks or believes is proper, e.g. He always considers very carefully before
making a decision, and once a decision is made he sticks to it.
To talk or write relevantly, e.g. A speaker or writer should stick to the subject in question, and not
wander off to something else.
To cooperate or remain united for mutual benefit.
stick ... .up
stick up for
stick with
To rob someone at gunpoint, e.g. No one was aware that a couple of men were sticking up a store until
police arrived.
To put up something such as a sign, notice, etc., e.g. Someone stuck a picture of Popeye up on the
public toilet wall.
(Something) to point out from a surface.
To defend oneself or someone else when others will not.
To stay close to someone physically or romantically.
To do something as planned despite the difficulty.
(Something) to remain in one’s memory, e.g. The nightmare I had has stuck with me since.
832 sting … for
To overcharge someone for something, e.g. The mechanic stung him for a big amount for a minor repair
to his car.
833 stink … out
To fill a place with a particularly unpleasant smell, e.g. The new coat of paint is stinking out the whole
834 stir … up
To deliberately cause conflict between people by spreading rumours or gossip, etc.
To cause something to rise, e.g. The strong wind stirs up a lot of dust.
835 stitch up
To apply stitches to cloth or wound in order to fasten or cure.
To satisfactorily finalize a deal or agreement.
To handle a situation in such a way as to disadvantage someone.
stitch ... up
836 stock up
To accumulate a supply of something, e.g. They stock up on whisky for the forthcoming celebration.
837 stoke up
838 stoop to
To lower one’s dignity so far as to commit a morally wrongful act.
839 stop
To return to a place one has previously been.
To visit a place or person briefly when on one’s way to somewhere else.
To reduce the lens aperture in a camera to allow less light in when one is photographing.
To visit a place or person briefly when on one’s way to somewhere else.
To make a brief visit to a place, especially to rest or visit someone, en route to one’s destination, e.g.
We stopped off at our parents’ house for a day on our way to the island.
To stay out later than usual.
To make a short stay somewhere before resuming one’s journey, e.g. We stopped over at our
grandparents’ house for a drink on our way home.
… down
stop off
stop out
stop over
add coal or wood to a fire.
stir up strong emotions among people
eat a large amount of food to get the energy required for sustained activity.
stock something such as clothing, etc. for one’s needs.
stop up
840 stow away
To stay up late.
To hide oneself on a ship, aircraft, etc. in order to travel secretly or without paying.
straighten …
To make something straight, e.g. The workers are working to straighten out the winding road.
To deal with the causes of a difficult problem with a view to resolving it, e.g. They meet for discussion
to straighten out the remaining issues.
To help someone overcome their bad behaviour or personal problems, e.g. We don’t condemn the kids’
behaviour or punish them, instead we try to understand them and help them to straighten out.
straighten up To decide to change one’s way of behaving and become a better person.
842 stretch out
To lie down in order to rest or sleep.
843 strike back
strike …
To retaliate.
To cause someone to fall by hitting them very hard.
(Disease) to make someone die or seriously ill.
To stop doctors, lawyers, etc. from practising their profession by removing their names from the official
strike off
list of those who are allowed to practise.
strike on/upon To discover something such as a good idea, etc.
strike out
To remove an item from a list by drawing a line through it.
To do something new on one’s own such as living alone, starting a business, etc.
strike up
To begin to play a piece of music.
To start a friendship or conversation with someone.
844 string along
To deceive someone over a length of time.
string … out To prolong something.
To be anxious or tense over something.
string together To be joined or spread in a straight line, e.g. pearls, islands.
To be able to put two things such as words, sentences, etc. together to make sense to other people, e.g.
Can a drunk string two words together to make sense?
To put someone to death by hanging, e.g. He was finally strung up for the multiple murders he
string ... up
845 strip away
strip ... of
To gradually get rid of something such as habits, customs, etc.
To deprive someone of something such as rank, power, property, citizenship, etc.
846 struggle on
To continue obstinately a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
847 stub … out
To snuff out a cigarette butt by pressing the lighted end against something.
849 stump up
To find something or meet someone by chance and unexpectedly.
To pay a sum of money.
850 subject … to To cause or force someone to undergo something unpleasant or difficult.
851 subscribe for
subscribe to
852 suck up
To accept to hold shares in a company.
To agree to receive something, especially a periodical, regularly by paying in advance.
To believe and support an idea, view, belief, etc.
To be completely obedient and attentive to the comfort or wishes of others in order to gain a personal
853 sucker … into To fool or trick someone into doing something.
854 suffer from
To be affected by an illness, especially one that lasts a long time.
To have a problem that hinders success.
855 suit … to
To make something appropriate for someone.
856 sum up
To summarize something briefly such as a report, speech, etc.
857 suss … out
To understand or realize the true character or nature of something.
858 swallow … up
To take in and cause to disappear, e.g. rise in earning being swallowed up by increases in food and
other prices.
859 swarm with
To be crowded or overrun with people, animals, etc., e.g. the beach is swarmed with people.
860 swear by
To have great confidence in something, e.g. He swears by the quality of the new model of a product.
To admit someone to a position or office by having them take an oath, e.g. the person elected as
president having to take the presidential oath on assuming office.
To promise to refrain or abstain from doing something.
To make a formal declaration that something is true.
swear … in
swear off
swear to
861 sweat out
sweat off
sweep …
To continue doing something difficult until completion.
To do strenuous physical exercise.
To get rid of something such as bodily fat, illness, etc. by sweating through doing something such as
aerobic exercises, etc.
To remove someone or something quickly.
To ignore what someone says.
sweep …
sweep up
swing by
864 switch off
switch on
switch over
To cause the death of someone and/or completely destroy something, e.g. floods sweep people and
houses away.
To clean a place by using a brush, broom, etc.
To turn or make something turn around quickly.
To make a short visit to a place or someone for a particular purpose.
To use a switch to turn off something such as television, etc., e.g. It often happens here that no one
switches off the television when no one is watching it.
To cease paying attention or listening to someone.
To turn on something such as electric light, television, machine, etc. by using a switch.
To change from something such as a system, dress, television station, etc. to another.
865 swot up
To study intensively and with perseverance, e.g. Students just have to swot up in order to pass their
866 tack … on
To add something to something else later when needed.
867 tag along
tag … on
To accompany someone uninvited.
To add something thought of later to something else.
868 tail away
To gradually become less and less in amount, intensity, etc.
(Traffic) to become more and more congested until it forms a long queue that is very slow in moving or
not moving at all.
To become less, smaller, weaker, etc.
tail back
tail off
869 take
... apart
To be very surprised about something, e.g. She was really taken aback by what he had just said.
To bear a close resemblance to an older relative such as a parent, etc.
To begin to develop a feeling of dislike of someone.
To dismantle something.
To easily defeat an opponent in something, such as a game, sport, etc.
take away from To reduce the worth or belittle the quality of something.
To withdraw what one has said or written, e.g. If it is not true, I’m sorry and I take back what I’ve
take back
To return something that is unsatisfactory back to a shop for exchange or refund, e g. The sales
assistant said I could take it back within a week if there is any problem with it.
To bring back what one owns, e.g. Visitors are advised to take back their umbrellas when they leave the
take ... down To jot or write down something spoken.
take in
To include something, e.g. The bill has not yet taken in the additional charges of transporting it.
take ... in
take off
take ... off
take on
take ... on
take ... out
take over
take to
take up
To be cheated or deceived by someone, e.g. Many were taken in by the vendor’s claim that the craft
products were handmade.
To let someone stay in one’s house, e.g. Our cousin has no place to stay, so we take him in.
To understand and retain something such as facts, ideas, etc.
(Aircraft, etc.) To leave the ground for the air.
(Business) to become more and more successful.
To remove a piece of or all of one’s clothing.
To make a deduction of an amount.
To be absent from work, e.g. I’ll take the whole of next week off.
To leave hastily without informing anyone.
To assume a quality or appearance without any specific reason, e.g. to take on a very upset, worried,
etc. look.
To engage new workers.
To be ready or willing to meet an opponent in a contest, competition, etc.
To undertake a task or responsibility.
To remove something from a container, etc., e.g. He took out a hundred dollar bill from his wallet and
gave it to the cashier.
To bring someone with one to some place such as a restaurant, beach, cinema, etc. Every weekend my
dad takes me out to the park or some other place.
To vent one’s feelings on others, e.g. He takes it out on his children wherever he gets angry.
To kill someone, or destroy something, e.g. The police sharpshooter took out the hostage-taker with a
single shot.
To get an official service, e.g. taking out an insurance policy.
To take responsibility for something, usually from someone, e.g. Jack takes over the running of the
company while his father is away.
To bring something from one place to another, e.g. I help my colleague take some office files over to
his house.
To gain control of a place, country, town, etc., e.g. The invading army took over the city after the
defending troops abandoned it.
To begin to develop a liking for someone, e.g. He began to take to her after working for six months
To acquire a habit, e.g. He took to drink after his wife left him.
To start a new job or have a new responsibility, e.g. He took up the supervisory post when the former
supervisor left.
To accept a challenge from someone, e.g. He took up the challenge of not smoking for a whole week.
To do selected subjects in school, e.g. She took up history as it is one of her favourite subjects.
To fight using weapons, e.g. Many villagers took up arms and join the rebel group.
To pursue a course of action, e.g. They are taking up this matter with the local authority.
take up on
To occupy one’s time, attention, etc., e.g. Building the kennel may take up two weekends.
To accept an offer, e.g. Jack was disappointed that Jill refused to take him up on his offer of a dinner.
870 talk around
talk back
To convince someone to change their opinion and accept a specific point of view.
To reply defiantly, rudely or disrespectfully.
To belittle or dismiss the good quality or worth of something, e.g. The opposition leader was booed in
talk ... down
parliament when he talked down the government’s economic management of the country.
talk down to To speak condescendingly to someone, e.g. His habit of talking down to others has alienated them.
To persuade someone to do or not to do something, e.g. If you had not talked me into smoking, I
talk ... into
wouldn’t be such a heavy smoker today.
talk ... out
To discuss an issue or problem and how to tackle it.
talk … out of To persuade someone not to do certain things, e.g. They talked her out of taking her own life.
To have a thorough discussion about something before adopting a decision, e.g. They talk it over many
talk ... over
times before deciding to migrate.
To discuss something completely with regard to every detail in order to gain a better or complete
talk ... through
comprehension of it.
talk to
To converse with someone, e.g. He loves talking to people and can talk at length on any subject.
871 tamper with
To interfere with something without authority in order to cause damage to it.
872 tangle with
To get involved in an argument or fight with someone.
873 tank up
To fill the tank of a vehicle with fuel.
874 tap … in
To press buttons or keys on telephone, computer, etc, to begin operating it.
875 taper off
To gradually become less, smaller or fewer in size, amount, intensity, or degree.
876 tart … up
To improve something but only on the surface of it.
To make oneself look attractive by wearing makeup, jewellery, or through better dressing.
877 tax … with
To blame someone for or accuse them of a fault or wrongdoing.
878 team up
To work jointly with someone on an activity or project.
879 tear … apart To be violently broken into pieces, e.g. vultures tearing a carcass apart.
To cause serious conflict between people within a family, group, organization, etc., e.g. Dispute over
family property is tearing the siblings apart.
tear at
To pull violently at someone or something.
To leave suddenly, quickly and in an uncontrolled manner, e.g. The car tore away noisily attracting much
tear away
To leave a person or place despite a strong feeling of wanting to stay.
tear ... down
tear into
tear off
tear ... up
To pull or knock down something, e.g. Some of the buildings will be torn down as the area is
earmarked for redevelopment.
To launch a strong verbal attack against someone.
To attack someone or something fiercely, e.g. two wolves tearing into each other.
To leave suddenly and quickly, e.g. He tore off when he realized he was almost late for a meeting.
To pull or rip apart or to pieces, e.g. He angrily tore up the letter from a company’s lawyer demanding
payment from him.
To damage something, e.g. They tore up the seats in the stadium when their team lost the match.
880 tease … out To extract, obtain or ascertain information from a large amount of material by painstaking effort.
881 tee off
To hit the ball off the tee to begin a game of golf.
882 teem with
To be full of or swarming with people, fish, animals, etc.
883 tell against
tell ... apart
tell of
tell ... off
tell on
884 thin out
885 think about
think ahead
think back
think of
think ... out
think ... over
think ...
To make one unsuccessful in one’s endeavour to achieve, e.g. He wants to be a basketball player but his
height tells against him.
To be able to identify someone or something separately despite their close similarity or resemblance, e.g.
The only way to tell twins apart is to call their names, which are the only thing that makes identical
twins different.
To give a detailed account of someone or something, e.g. The novel tells of a mother’s heroic efforts to
save her family.
To express one’s strong disapproval to someone of what they have or have not done.
To inform someone in authority of someone else’s wrongdoing, e.g. He smoked in the school toilet which
is forbidden, and he is furious that someone has told on him.
To make or become less thick, e.g. As soon as the warehouse fire was put out, the crowd of onlookers
began to thin out.
To consider the possibility or advantages of something, e.g. I have been thinking about migrating for the
past ten years, and I’m still thinking.
To plan for one’s future, e.g. When I think ahead I decide not to get married.
To think of past events, e.g. She couldn’t help thinking back to the day she almost lost her life in a
road accident.
To have an opinion of something, e.g. Many of them think highly of the new President.
To remember things, e.g. Some of them can’t think of the name of the country’s first President.
To have fond memory of someone, e.g. He often thinks of her whenever they are not together.
To think of all the relevant things before making a decision.
To consider carefully all factors before committing oneself, e.g. He prefers to think it over before he
decides to join them in that commercial venture.
To consider carefully the possible consequences of getting involved in an activity.
think … up
To think of new ideas, plans, etc., e.g. He has to think up a way to be a famous magician in order to
fulfil his ambition.
886 thrash out
To discuss something thoroughly in order to reach a decision.
887 throttle back
To control the flow of fuel or power to an engine.
To dispose of unwanted or useless things, e.g. Please threw away the old newspapers including today’s
which I haven’t read.
To waste or fail to seize an opportunity or advantage, e.g. I threw away an opportunity to befriend her
and know her better when I was too shy to approach her at the party.
To include something extra, such as free gifts, with things which are being sold without an increase in
throw ... in
their prices.
To inject a remark in a conversation without forethought.
To start to do something with enthusiasm.
throw ... off To escape from someone or something that is pursuing one.
throw ... open To allow people access to a place that is usually not open to them.
To expel someone from a place such as a school, organization, etc., e.g. A member of the club was
throw ... out
thrown out for misbehaviour.
To dispose of unwanted things, e.g. The old newspapers and magazines are piling up and nobody cares
to throw them out.
To terminate a romantic relationship with someone.
throw ... over To make something quickly without any planning.
throw ...
To cause people to meet and know each other.
throw up
To vomit, e.g. Whenever she is in a moving bus, she feels like she’s going to throw up.
To give up something such as home, job, etc. completely, e.g. He threw up everything and sought
employment overseas.
888 throw … away
thrust …
890 thumb through
891 tick away/by
tick … off
tick over
To refuse to consider about something, e.g. Our petition was thrust aside and we have never heard from
the authority since.
To look through something such as a book, magazine, etc. quickly, e.g. thumbing through a photo
(Time) to pass away.
To express one’s disapproval to someone, e.g. They were ticked off for misbehaviour.
To mark the items on a list to indicate that they have been dealt with.
(Engine of vehicle) to run slowly without moving the vehicle.
892 tide over
To help someone through a difficult period, especially with financial assistance.
893 tidy … away
To maintain tidiness by not allowing things to lie around but returning them to the places where they
are kept.
894 tie … down
tie in
tie up
To restrict someone or something, e.g. Now tied down with a wife and kids, he finds it hard to socialize.
To be or cause to be in harmony with something.
To restrict someone’s movement by binding their arms and legs.
To keep someone so busy that they are unavailable to do something else, e.g. He is going to be tied up
the whole of next week because of the new project.
To invest in something so that the money is not immediately available for use, e.g. All his money is tied
up in shares.
895 tilt at
To attack someone by what one says or writes.
896 tip off
To inform, especially the police, by passing them a piece of information about illegal activities.
897 tire … out
To make someone very tired.
898 tog … up/out To put on clothes for a particular occasion or activity.
899 tone … down To reduce the effect of a speech or piece of writing.
tone … up To give greater strength or firmness to the body or a muscle.
900 tool up
To be or become armed.
10. Phrasal Verbs 901-974
901 top … off
top out
top ... up
To complete something with one last act, e.g. They decide to top off the day’s session with a meal at a
To fill up a partly full tank with fuel.
To reach an upper limit, e.g. No one knows if oil price has topped out.
To add more drink to one’s glass or mug.
To add to an amount, etc. to bring it up to a required level.
To fill up a partly full container.
902 toss off
toss … off
To produce something quickly and effortlessly, e.g. He can toss off a simple meal within minutes.
To drink something rapidly or all at once.
To masturbate.
903 tot … up
To total up amounts, numbers, etc, e.g. She totted up the bill with the use of a calculator.
904 total … up
To find the total of something such as amounts, numbers, etc. by adding, e.g. He totalled up the bill
without using a calculator.
905 touch at
(Ship) to call briefly at a port.
touch down (Aircraft, etc.) to land on the ground.
touch … for To ask someone to lend or give one something, especially money.
To cause something to happen suddenly, e.g. A cut in personal income tax touched off rumours of an
touch ... off
impending general election.
To mention or refer briefly to a subject when talking, writing, etc.
touch ... up To improve something by doing something to it.
To stroke someone gently without their consent for sexual pleasure.
906 toy with
track …
To think of something for a short while and not seriously, e.g. He has been toying with the idea of
working overseas.
To find someone or something that one has been searching very hard for, e.g. The police finally managed
to track down the vandal.
To use a used article, especially a car, as part payment for another, e.g. He traded his car in for a newer
To counterbalance an action against another in order to produce a satisfactory result, e.g. They have
trade ... off to trade off the cost of new machinery to step up production against the possibility of production not
being able to meet the demand.
trade on/upon To take advantage of someone or something.
908 trade … in
909 traffic in
To deal in illegal goods, especially drugs.
910 treat of
treat with
(Book, article, etc.) to be about a particular subject.
To negotiate an official agreement with someone.
911 trespass on
To take advantage of someone or something.
912 trick … into
To deceive someone into doing something, e.g. I was tricked into parting with one hundred pounds by a
so-called friend.
913 trim off
To cut small irregular or unwanted parts or edges off something to make it neater.
914 trip up
To make or cause one to make a mistake, e.g. The questions are designed to trip you up.
To cause someone to fall by blocking his foot with yours while he is walking.
915 trot … out To use same excuses, reasons, etc. repeatedly, e.g. He trots out the same excuses whenever he is late.
916 truckle to
To be or behave excessively obedient to someone.
917 trump … up To falsely accuse someone of something.
918 trust in
To have faith in someone or something.
trust to
To commit someone or something to the protective care or guardianship of someone or something else.
trust … with To have faith in someone to do something.
919 try for
try … on
try ... out
try out for
tuck …
tuck in
tuck into
tuck ... up
921 tucker out
To attempt to achieve or get what one desires.
To put on something to see if it fits or suits one, e.g. Have you counted how many dresses she has tried
on? So many and yet she hasn’t decided on any.
To test the suitability or effectiveness of something or someone by using or testing them, e.g. He tried
out the new car to experience its performance before deciding whether or not to buy it. /
They tried him out to see if he could do the job.
To put oneself forward for selection for a particular role.
To put someone or something in a quiet, concealed or secure place.
eat a lot quickly and in an enjoyable way.
eat in an enjoyable manner.
conceal the edge of a piece of clothing in something, e.g. tuck in one’s shirt.
eat something eagerly.
arrange bedclothes around someone, especially a child, in bed.
To become or make someone very tired.
922 tune in
To watch or listen to a television or radio broadcast.
tune out
To ignore or stop listening or paying attention to someone or something.
tune … up To bring something to the most efficient condition.
923 turf … out To get rid of someone or something.
924 turn against To oppose someone or disagree with something.
turn …
To incite someone to oppose someone else or to disagree with something.
To revive something, especially a company, e.g. The new manager was able to turn the
turn around
company around in less than two years.
To make to face opposite direction, e.g. I thought someone was following me, and I turned around to see
who it was.
turn away
To refuse someone entry to a place such as a stadium, etc. because it is full.
To return, e.g. We had to turn back halfway through the journey because of extreme heavy rain and
turn back
To reduce the level of what something is producing or doing, e.g. Every day he has to be told
turn down
to turn the television down.
To reject someone’s proposal, suggestion, offer, etc., e.g. She has turned down his marriage proposal for
the tenth time.
To go to bed, e.g. We have to turn in now in order to wake up early.
To inform the police the whereabouts of a criminal, e.g. His guilty conscience has certainly played the
chief part in making the murderer turn himself in.
To return something, stolen or missing, etc., to the police or its owner.
To give something, especially a completed piece of work, to someone who requested it, e.g. At the end of
an examination, we have to turn in our exam papers to the person in charge.
To change someone into someone else, e.g. The parents tried unsuccessfully to turn their son into a
teacher like them as the son believed he was not made for it.
To change something into something else, e.g. The freezer has turned water into ice.
To do something repulsive or boring, e.g. His frequent picking of the nose turn his friends off.
To end the supply or operation of something such as water, television, etc. by turning the tap, switch,
etc., e.g. The tap is dripping, can you turn it off tight?
To leave one road and drive into another, e.g. We have to turn off at the next exit to reach our
To start the supply or operation of something such as water, television, etc. by turning the tap, switch,
etc., e.g. Someone turned the television on and nobody is watching it.
To suddenly attack or vent one’s anger on someone, e.g. I’m not responsible for the rumour about her, so
why is she turning on me?
To excite or stimulate someone, especially sexually, e.g. Some guys are easily turned on by a woman who
is busty.
To make someone interested in something, e.g. He was the one who turned me on to that excellent
To produce an unexpected result, e.g. It turned out that he was my classmate at college.
To go somewhere to do something, e.g. Many turn out to cast their votes because of the fine weather.
To expel someone from a place, e.g. They turned him out of the lecture hall for his disruptive behaviour.
To put out an electric light by pushing a switch etc., e.g. He turns out the light and closes his eyes to
To produce something, e.g. The new machine turns out twice as many units as the previous one.
To turn upside down, e.g. The car swung around the bend at a great speed and turned over.
... over To hand someone to the police, e.g. The villagers turn the wanted man over to the police.
To hand something to the police or its rightful owner, e.g. We found a wallet and turned it over to the
To give someone the ownership of or responsibility for something, e.g. He is slowly turning the
business over to his son as he anticipates his retirement.
To do an amount of business in a particular period, e.g. That company has been turning over $4 million
a year for the past five years.
To change television channels, e.g. Can you turn over to the other channels and see what they have?
turn to
turn up
To get help, advice, etc. from someone, e.g. He turned to a consultant for advice on management of his
To go to a particular page in a book, e.g. The students are asked to turn to page 13.
To suddenly appear after having been lost or searched unsuccessfully for, e.g. The villagers were shocked
to suddenly see the long missing man turn up at the market.
To arrive somewhere, e.g. The politician turned up at a public rally late as usual.
To search thoroughly for something, e. g. They searched every inch of the area for the murder weapon
and more evidence, but nothing new turned up.
To increase the volume, heat, power, etc. of television, oven, air-conditioner, etc., e.g. This is the third
time you turn up the television, can you see that I’m reading?
925 urge … on To encourage someone or something to continue to do something.
926 use up
To consume or expend the whole of something, e.g. I bought a bottle of brake oil and
someone used it up.
927 vamp … up To improve something such as making a story more exciting by modifying it.
To do something that involves risks.
929 verge on/upon To be very close or similar to, e.g. His behaviour sometimes verges on madness.
930 vest … with To give someone the legal right to power, property, etc.
931 visit … on
To punish someone.
932 wad … up
To compress soft material such as paper, cloth, etc. into a small lump.
933 wade in
To intervene or become involved in something.
wade through To read or deal laboriously with a lot of boring papers or written work.
934 wait around
wait behind
wait on
wait ... out
wait up
935 wake up
wake up to
To stay where one is and do nothing until an expected event occurs, such as the person one waits for
arrives, etc.
To stay back until all the others have left.
To attend to or serve food to someone, especially customers in a restaurant.
To wait for something to end, e.g. We had to stay back in college where we waited out the heavy rain.
To await the return of someone, e.g. She waited up for her husband’s return so they could go to the
cinema together.
To come out or be caused to come out of a sleep, e.g. He uses two alarm clocks to wake him up every
To become aware or alert to what goes on, e.g. More and more people are waking up to the reality of
climate warming.
936 walk
all over To treat someone thoughtlessly and unfairly.
away To move from and not get involved in a dispute, bad situation, etc.
To win something, e.g. She walks away with the first prize in tonight’s contest.
off with
To enter a place such as a building, etc., especially unexpectedly or uninvited.
To move into something quickly and hard, e.g. He walked into a glass door and slightly hurt himself.
To leave someone by moving away from them.
To take along one’s winning, e.g. She walks off happily with the first prize money.
To steal something secretly and quietly, e.g. Someone walked away with the marble statue at the party
without anyone noticing it.
To take advantage of or treat someone badly, e.g. He allows others to walk all over him by not defending
walk over
his rights.
walk out
To go outside.
To leave a place suddenly or angrily, especially because one is unhappy over something.
To go on strike.
walk out on To leave one’s spouse, e.g. She walked out on her husband after discovering he has a lover.
937 wall … in
wall … off
wall … up
To enclose an area with walls.
To separate an area from another by building a wall.
To turn a window, doorway, etc. into a wall by filling it with bricks, cement, etc.
To take something deliberately without permission or unintentionally, e.g. He waltzed off with the
receptionist’s pen after using it.
To do something such as an exam, test, etc. very well and with ease, e.g. She waltzed through her final
waltz through
examination with flying colours.
938 waltz off with
939 want for
To not have something desirable or essential.
940 ward … off
To prevent someone or something from harming one, e.g. He warded off every blow from his opponent in
a martial art contest.
941 warm to
warm up
warm up to
To become more interested in or enthusiastic about someone or something, especially someone whom one
has just met.
(Food, house, etc) to make warm or warmer by reheating it.
To make engine, etc. reach a required temperature for it to be operational, e.g. I usually warm up the
car before I drive it.
To prepare one’s body for a physical activity, e.g. warming up before a race by doing light stretching
To become more interested in or enthusiastic about someone or something, especially someone whom one
has just met.
942 warn against To advise someone against doing something because it may have bad or dangerous consequences.
warn … off To advise or use threats to tell or order someone to stay away or refrain from doing something.
wash …
wash ... off
wash ... out
wash up
944 waste away
To clean something large with plenty of water, e.g. spent the whole afternoon washing down the garage.
To drink something to facilitate swallowing, e.g. medicine, or food such as steak and chips, washed down
with plain water or red wine.
To clean something such as dirt, dust, stain, etc. from a surface with water, e.g. Jack washed the dirt off
his face and hair after he fell headlong into a muddy drain.
To cause the postponement or cancellation of something, especially a sport event, because of heavy rain,
e.g. The outdoor jumble sale was washed out by a sudden downpour.
To do the dishes after a meal, e.g. Now whose turn is it to wash up?
To clean one’s hands and face, e.g. She habitually washes up before she says her prayers.
To bring something up to the shore, e.g. The waves washed up the dead body of an unknown creature on
the beach.
To become progressively and abnormally weaker and thinner.
945 watch for
To look out for something.
To be careful or to tell someone to be careful, e.g. She ought to be careful when passing comments,
watch out
which are always highly critical of other people
watch out for To keep looking and waiting for someone or something.
To be alert, e.g. watch out for strangers loitering close to one’s house.
watch over To guard or protect someone or something.
water …
To make something less assertive or controversial by modifying certain details, especially to achieve an
wave …
To disregard someone’s opinion, idea, etc.
wave …
To hail the driver of a vehicle to stop.
wave … off To move one’s hand to signal goodbye to someone as they leave.
948 wean … off
wean... on
949 wear away
wear down
To make someone give up a habit or addiction, e.g. Some infants are weaned off their mothers’ milk as
early as at four months.
To be strongly influenced by something from a very early age.
To erode something.
To gradually worsen the condition of something or someone, e.g. The stair carpet has worn down in
wear off
wear on
wear out
To overcome someone or something by persistence, e.g. He is very secretive about his earnings, but
gradually his siblings wear him down.
To gradually lose the effectiveness or intensity of something, e.g. pain, anaesthesia, the effects of drugs or
alcohol, novelty of a product, emotional feelings, etc. gradually wears off.
(Time) to pass very slowly.
To tire someone out completely, e.g. Chasing and catching butterflies the whole afternoon has worn me
To become damaged by constant use, e.g. My right shoe wears out faster than my left shoe.
950 weed … out To get rid of someone or something that is longer effective.
weigh …
weigh in
weigh on
(Load, feelings, etc.) to weigh heavily on someone, e.g. an employed person weighed down with
(Boxer or jockey) to be officially weighed before or after a contest.
To be depressing or burdensome to someone, e.g. Her incurable illness is beginning to weigh on her.
To measure an amount of something by weight, e.g. The seller weighed out a kilogram of sugar and
weigh ... out
handed it over to a customer.
weigh ... up To consider carefully the qualities, importance, etc. of something before making a decision.
952 wheel … out
953 whip through
whip up
To publicly introduce or display someone or something for a specific purpose, e.g. A politician is very fond
of having famous personalities accompanying him in his election campaign.
To finish a job very quickly, e.g. He whipped through the work faster than all the other workers
To deliberately excite, stimulate a particular feeling or provoke a reaction in someone, e.g. to whip up
support for someone.
To make something very quickly, especially a meal.
whisk …
To take or remove something or someone quickly from a place, e.g. On arrival at the airport, the foreign
head of state was whisked away.
To gradually make or become smaller or less in amount, degree, value, size, or weight, e.g. to whittle
away the powers or list of someone or something.
956 wimp out
To cowardly refrain from doing something.
win …
To gain someone’s attention, support, or love.
win … back To regain what one had before, e.g. to win back her love
To manage to succeed or achieve something by effort.
win … over To gain someone’s support, attention or favour
958 wind down
wind up
959 wink at
winkle …
relax after working very hard.
slowly lessen the activities of a business or organization prior to its closure.
close down a company or organization.
end something such as a meeting, activity, etc.
deliberately annoy or tease someone.
be in a bad situation one created, e.g. to wind up in court over something one has committed.
To pretend not to notice something bad or illegal, especially something one tacitly approves.
To obtain something from someone, e.g. winkled secret information out of someone.
wipe …
To completely clean or dry a surface by rubbing with a cloth.
wipe … off To subtract an amount from a value or debt.
To clean or dry by rubbing with a cloth, e.g. He wiped droppings of birds off the windscreen of his car
with a damp cloth.
To completely destroy or eliminate something, e.g. A gigantic swarm of locusts wiped out a huge area of
wipe out
crops within hours.
To ruin someone financially, e.g. His compulsive gambling over the years has wiped out his vast fortune.
To clean or dry something, e.g. He wiped out the sweat on his forehead with a cloth.
To dry or remove moisture, dirt, etc. from the surface of something, e.g. My sick dog vomited on the
wipe up
floor and I had to wipe it all up.
962 wise up
To become or make someone become alert or aware of the unpleasant truth about a situation.
963 wish away
wish for
To desire something unpleasant will not happen.
To secretly want or desire something and hope it will be realized.
964 witness to
To state that something is true or that one actually sees something happened, e.g. to be a witness to a
person’s good character or witnessed the accused loitering near the scene of the murder.
965 work … in To try to include something, e.g. to put washing his car in his list of things to do.
work … off To reduce one’s frustration by venting it on others.
To discharge a debt by working.
work on
To be engaged in doing something, e.g. He spent the whole night working on his research paper.
work out
To calculate something, e.g. have to work out how much they can afford for a new house.
To think about something and solve it, e.g. He managed to work it out without help from anyone.
To understand someone’s character, e.g. No one seems able to work out why he behaves this way every
time he gets back from work.
To plan carefully about doing something, e.g. I have worked out who is going to do what in this project.
To develop in a positive way, e.g. Things begin to work out for them and they find they are happier
To engage oneself in a programme of regular exercises, e.g. He works out twice a week in a gymnasium.
work ... over To beat someone up repeatedly.
To develop a state of excitement, anxiety, etc. over something, e.g. He works himself up into a state of
anxiety about his forthcoming first job interview.
To develop or improve something by putting in hard effort, e.g. He intends to work up some findings to
work up
support a ban on animal research.
To develop a feeling, e.g. Whenever she thinks of him, it really works up her anger and hatred.
To proceed gradually towards doing something, e.g. I don’t want to do it but I am still working up to it
work up to
because it has to be done.
966 worry at/out To think at length about a possible solution to a problem.
967 wrap up
To completely cover up something with wrapping paper, cloth, etc., e.g. to wrap up a birthday present.
To put on warm clothes, e.g. If we know it’s freezing in here, we would have wrapped up warm.
To be engrossed in something, e.g. Work wraps up all his attention that he hardly has time to socialize.
To complete or finish something, e.g. They wrapped up their week-long piece of research work with a
leisurely drink.
968 wriggle out of To avoid doing something by devious means.
969 write back
To reply to someone’s letter, e.g. My grandpa is always prompt in writing back.
To jot something down on a piece of paper for later use, e.g. I wrote down her telephone number on my
write ... down
business card.
To write to an organization, etc. for a purpose, e.g. to write in asking for more information, to complain,
write in
to give one’s view or to comment as requested, etc.
write into
To include someone’s name in the list of candidates in order to vote for them.
To include something in something else such as a document, agreement, etc., e.g. I requested him to have
my occupation written into the document.
To dismiss someone or something as a failure, unnecessary, unimportant, etc., e.g. Some observers have
write off
written it off as another white elephant.
To decide an asset no longer has any value, e.g. The management agreed the machines that were badly
damaged in the fire should be written off.
To cancel bad debts or possible bad debts, e.g. Some of the poor nations’ debts were written off as
apparently they were unable to settle them.
970 x out
To mark out a mistake in a piece of writing.
971 yield … up
972 zero in on
973 zip up
To gradually give out more information, e.g. The ocean depths yield up more and more information as
exploration is stepped up.
To focus all of one’s attention on someone or something.
To aim a gun towards someone or something.
To fasten a piece of clothing with a zip, e.g. I have to change my trousers as I cannot zip up; the zipper
974 zoom in/out (Camera) to change from a picture that is close to one that is distant or vice versa.
A phrasal verb is a verb that is combined with a preposition (at, on, over, etc.) or adverb (back, down, off, etc.), and together
has its own special meaning. For example, get away means escape; and speak up means speak louder.
Some phrasal verbs retain the meaning of the original verb while some others have meaning completely different to the original
EXAMPLE: I asked them to come in. (The phrasal verb come in means enter which is easily understood as we are familiar with
the meaning of the words: come, in.)
EXAMPLE: The deal fell through at the last minute. (The phrasal verb fell through means not completed successfully which is
different in meaning to the verb fell.)
Phrasal verbs can be separable or non-separable. When a phrasal verb is separable, a noun object comes after the participle of
the phrasal verb or comes between the verb and the participle. (A participle is the word that is used in a phrasal verb.
Examples of participle: at, in, on, off, away, etc.) If a phrasal verb is non-separable, a noun or pronoun always comes after the
Phrasal Verbs (Separable)
The nouns come between the verbs and the participles, and the noun objects come after the participles of the
phrasal verbs.
His part-time office job is to put the files away. (The noun files is between verb put and the participle away.)
She wrote my phone number down on a piece of paper.
They called off the match due to bad weather. (Noun object match comes after the participle off.)
He pointed out the accused to the police.
3. Phrasal Verbs (Non-Separable)
In some phrasal verbs, the verb and the participle cannot be separated. An object cannot come between the
verb and the participle. It can come only after the verb and the participle. Usually, the noun or pronoun
comes after the participles.
He will look after my dog while I am away. (INCORRECT: He will look my dog after while I am away.)
They called on her when she was hospitalized. (call on = pay a brief visit. INCORRECT: ... called her on...)
Jack ran into Jill while he was on his way home. (run into = meet by chance)
4. Phrasal Verbs without an Object
Some phrasal verbs do not take on an object.
They told him to hurry up.
We decided that we should get together more regularly.
After what happened, he promised to speak up.
5. Phrasal Verbs with an
Many phrasal verbs take an object.
He turns off the light whenever he leaves the room.
She puts her glasses on each time she goes out.
They looked through the drawer but couldn't find it.
6. Phrasal Verbs - Intransitive
Phrasal verbs that are intransitive are not followed by a noun or an object.
We invited them to join in. (No noun or object follows the phrasal verb.)
When she heard what happened, she broke down. (No noun or object follows the phrasal verb.)
He shouted to them, "Hurry up!" (No noun or object follows the phrasal verb.)
7. Phrasal Verbs - Transitive
Phrasal verbs that are transitive are followed by a noun or an object. The preposition cannot be separated
from the verb.
Put on your cap. (INCORRECT: Put your cap on.)
The adverb participle can be separated from the verb and placed after the noun object.
He takes his jacket off. (OR: He takes off his jacket.)
She tried on a few pairs of shoes but they didn't fit. (Verb + preposition + noun)
He's always looked up to him for his courage. (Verb + participle + preposition + pronoun)
8. Three-word Phrasal verbs
A phrasal verb can be a combination of three words. Three-word phrasal verbs are non-separable. These
phrasal verbs are followed by the noun or pronoun. The three-word phrasal verb can be transitive, that is
followed by an object, or intransitive that is not followed by an object.
EXAMPLE: When we were young, we liked to hang out with each other.
EXAMPLE: Their children grew up in a respectable neighbourhood.