To have an air of excitement or
To depend on an essential
element in one’s plans to succeed.
(Train, coach, etc.) to stop at
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 miners.
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 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
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.
calm … down
To make or become tranquil and
quiet, e.g. The doctor had to inject her with tranquilizer in order to calm
(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.
cancel … out
To neutralize or negate the
effect of something so that it remains the same.
To take the chance to gain as
much advantage as you can
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
To like to have something,
e.g. care for a coffee?
(get) carried away
To lose self-control.
carry … forward
To move figures to the next page
To keep something to use or deal
with at a later time.
To do something difficult
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
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 player out of the playing area.
To extend beyond the normal or
original area of application.
To be used or dealt with in a
To bring something forward;
To complete something
cart … off
To take someone or something
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
To take advantage of or exploit
cash … in
To convert an insurance policy,
savings account, etc. into money; to take advantage of or exploit a
To total up the day’s takings
received in a shop for checking.
To search far and wide.
To get rid of something or
someone whom you no longer like or who are of no more use.
To be stranded after a
To feel depressed.
To get rid of something or
To free a boat or ship from its
To take the last stitches off the
needle in knitting.
To let loose a hunting hound or
To make the first row of a
specified number of loops on the needle.
To force something or someone to
go away, e.g. an exorcist who casts out demons.
To bring something (by the sea)
onto the shore.
To try to take hold of
(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
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.
To finally find someone who has
done something wrong and on the run.
To provide with what is needed
To satisfy a need or demand.
To fall inwards or collapse; to
To have something as a major
concern or interest.
To occur mainly in or around
To pay more attention on someone
or something more than on someone or something else.
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
To become something different.
To tell someone do something
more quickly because it has been taking too long.
chat … up
To talk to someone in a way that
demonstrates sexual attraction.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
To become or make someone less
cheer … up
To make or become less
cheer … on
To shout encouragement in
support of a person or team in a race or competition.
To think about something
carefully for a long time.
To express strong disapproval to
someone of what they have done.
To consider carefully about
something for a period of time.
To bite repeatedly on something,
especially to facilitate swallowing.
To be too scared to do
something, e.g. He was invited to speak at the annual dinner, but he chickened
To calm down and relax
chip … away
To remove something little by
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
choke … back
To suppress one’s emotions,
e.g. choke back the tears.
choke … down
To eat with difficulty.
To prevent someone from doing
something or stop something happening.
To be very unhappy or worried
chop … down
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.
To throw something away.
chuck … in
To give up or stop doing
something, e.g. chuck one’s job in.
chuck … out
To expel someone from a place,
e.g. got chucked out of the club.
To produce something in large
quantities without caring about quality.
To damage the surface of
To make someone upset, nervous
To suddenly stop talking because
of some reason.
To take firm action to prevent
To scratch or tear at someone or
something with the claws or fingernails.
To gradually regain something by
working very hard.
clean … out
To make a place tidy and free
from dirt, e.g. We cleaned our new house out thoroughly
before we moved in.
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
To make something completely
clean and tidy.
To make a substantial gain or
To make a place look tidy by
removing remains of a meal from the table or putting things back where they
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
To explain something that is
hard to understand, e.g. Most find the instructions difficult to
understand, but further explanations cleared everything up.
clear ... 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,
To still regard a belief, etc.
as true when it is not.
To begin a computer operation by
pressing on the computer mouse button.
To make an ignominious
withdrawal from a position taken up.
To hold tightly to a belief,
To record on a special card
using an automatic recording clock one’s time of arrival at or departure
To reach a particular number or
amount, especially the number of flight hours a pilot has attained to date.
To be become blocked, e.g. The
drain was so clogged up that water and material inside
flows over its edges.
To stop broadcasting (television
station at the end of the day), or doing business permanently (shop,
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
(Sky) to become full of clouds
or black clouds.
To share the cost of something
by combining with others to collect a sum of money.
clue … in
To inform someone about
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 situation.
cobble … together
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
cock … up
To spoil or ruin something.
comb … out
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. Howdoes
it comeabout that he was once my good friend,
but now ignores me completely?
(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
To exude an emotion or quality,
e.g. He comes across as being boastful.
To go in search of someone, e.g.
the police are coming after him for having involved in a
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
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
To be left with a specified
feeling, e.g. He came away feeling satisfied. To become
separated from something, e.g. The lens came away from the
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
To appear before a person or
group in authority, e.g. He feels nervous when he comes before the
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
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 on
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
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.
To be a source from which
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
To receive a reaction such as
criticism, etc., e.g. The head of police comes infor 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 onto 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
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
To remove dirt and stains, e.g.
Stains on his shirt easily came out when he used some
To attain a placing in an
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,
To suddenly or unexpectedly pass
a rude comment.
To make a visit to someone’s
house, e.g. They usually come over to granny’s house on
(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
To cope with opposition,
difficulty, problems, etc., e.g. Their chances of winning the next round
are not good, having to come upagainst such a
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.
To express that one is suffering
physically or from an illness.
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 money.
To focus all your attention on
To express sympathy for someone.
To help to produce a particular
quality or state.
cone … off
To close part of a road by using
To tell someone about a personal
secret or private matter in confidence.
To entrust something to the care
conjure … up
To bring an image to one’s mind.
To call upon a spirit to appear
by means of a magic ritual.
(Car, machine, etc.) to break
connect … up
To join something to something
else, e.g. the telephone is connected to the telephone network.
To be based on or depend on
To be composed of.
To engage in a struggle or
campaign to achieve something.
To deal with difficulties or an
To choose to be involved in.
To choose not to take part in
contract … out
To arrange for work to be done
by a person or company outside your own organization.
cook … up
To prepare a quick meal; to
invent a clever or devious story or excuse.
To become cool or cooler.
To return to normal temperature
after being hot, e.g. It usually cools off in the evening.
To make someone or something
cooler, e.g. He had a cold shower to cool off his body.
To become calm after being
angry, e.g. His temper should have cooled off by now.
coop … up
To confine someone in a small
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.
copy … out
To write exactly the same thing
as it is written somewhere else.
cordon … off
To seal off an area to prevent
access to it by the public.
To begin to understand.
To begin to like or have a
liking for someone or something.
To give something, especially
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.
To combine to produce a
To temporarily take over the
duties or role of someone.
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
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 on
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 … out
To produce something regularly
crank … up
To increase the intensity of
cream … off
To choose and take away the best
people or things from a group.
To burst or make someone burst
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.
(Rock) to appear or be exposed
at the surface of the earth.
To appear or occur suddenly and
cross … off
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.
crowd … out
To take the place of someone or
something by forcing them out.
To squeeze with others into a
To break a promise to do
To shout out in pain or of fear.
To lie or sit very close to
someone or something.
To reach a climax or the highest
point of development.
To sit or lie with arms and legs
bent close to body.
cuss … out
To swear and shout at someone
out of anger.
To take the shortest way, e.g.
If we cut across this terrain we’ll arrive there before
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
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
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
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 ... off
To abruptly disconnect a
To separate a piece from the
main part by cutting, e.g. She cut off a piece of cake for
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
To remain healthy, e.g. He cuts sugary
snacks and fizzy drink out of his list of items for
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.
To think but not seriously about
To be involved in a casual
romantic or sexual relationship with someone.
damp … up
To dam a river, etc.
damp … down
To make a fire burn less strongly.
To control or reduce something
such as a feeling.
To leave very quickly.
dash … off
To write something hurriedly and
without much thought.