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
To expect something as planned,
e.g. She plans on achieving grade A in all her subjects in
the final examination.
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.
plan ... out
To make a careful plan after considering
all relevant factors.
plant … out
To place a young plant to grow
plaster … over
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
play … along
To deceive or mislead someone in
order to gain an advantage.
To assume a role playfully.
play ... back
To listen to one’s own recording
play ... down
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 outcome.
play ... off
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.
play ... up
To exaggerate the importance of
someone or something.
play up to
To behave in a way that brings
benefit to oneself.
To tamper with something.
To treat someone inconsiderately
for one’s own amusement.
plough … back
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.
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 ... up
To break up the surface of the
ground by repeated walking on it.
To pull something quickly and
repeatedly with the fingers.
To keep working hard at
plug … in/into
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
To block or become blocked with
something, e.g. Someone threw potato peelings down the drain, and
they plugged up the pipe.
To make a selection after proper
plump … up
To make something such as
pillows, cushions, etc. bigger and softer by shaking them.
To act quickly and rashly on a
course of action.
To act suddenly without a
To push something forcibly and
deeply into something else, e.g. plunging a dagger into the
To experience an unpleasant
situation, e.g. the whole building was plunged into darkness.
ply … with
To keep providing someone food
To direct numerous questions at
point … out
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.
point ... up
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.
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 better.
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.
To stop functioning.
To discontinue or not
participate in an activity.
To die suddenly.
To come/go briefly without
pop … on
To quickly put on a piece of
To appear suddenly and
To be absorbed in the reading or
study of something.
To divide something into parts
pot … on
To transplant a growing plant
from a small pot to a large one.
pot … up
To transplant a seedling into a
To spring or seize something
To notice a mistake and take
swift advantage of it by expressing a critical assessment of it.
pour … out
To express one’s feelings to
someone in an unrestrained way.
To be in charge of a situation.
press … for
To persist in asking for
To strive hard to achieve
To continue doing something in a
press … on/upon
To insist on someone accepting
an offer or gift.
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
To persuade someone to do
(Animals and birds) to hunt and
kill other animals and birds for food.
To exploit, influence or deceive
To cause constant worry or
distress to someone, e.g. the problem has been preying on my mind.
prick … out
To place a young plant in a
specially prepared hole in the earth.
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.
prize … out
To get or by using force to get
information from someone.
To take legal action against
To originate from something.
To learn from something that
happens or to benefit from a situation.
prop … up
To support or assist someone or
something that would otherwise fail or decline.
To lean against something.
To make plans in order to
forestall a bad situation happening.
To prepare or arrange for the
needs of someone.
psych … out
To intimidate an opponent by
appearing overly confident or say things that will make him feel worried,
nervous and less confident.
psych ... up
To get mentally prepared in
order to build up one’s confidence for something challenging.
puff … out
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.
(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.
To withdraw from an undertaking,
e.g. to pull back from a joint venture due to an unsettled
pull ... down
To demolish a building, e.g. had
to pull that pre-war building down as it
had fallen into disuse.
pull ... in
(Vehicle) to stop at the side of
the road, e.g. The driver pulled in as directed by a
(Train) to arrive at a station,
e.g. As the train pulled in, more people move onto the
(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.
pull ... off
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.
pull ... out
(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 considerably.
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
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
pump … into
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.
pump … up
To fill something with air,
liquid, gas, etc.
To play a piece of music louder.
To increase someone’s enthusiasm
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.
To carry on persistently with
what one is doing.
To go from a place.
To order someone around without
due respect for his feeling.
To cease thinking about an
To insist on making a request
for something, or for something to be done which is felt to be necessary.
To advance or make progress
constantly despite difficulties.
To dispense unasked for advice
or join in a conversation, etc. which does not concern one.
To jump queue.
To leave or to tell someone
rudely to leave.
To carry on with what one is
push ... over
To cause someone or something to
fall to the ground by pushing them.
push ... through
To get a bill accepted for
discussion in parliament by an opposition member.
push ... up
To cause an increase in
something such as demand, prices, investment.
To spread false information or
put … aside
To save money regularly for a
put … away
To keep someone in a prison or
mental hospital, e.g. He was put away for good for a
series of murders 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
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 when they have finished playing with them.
To postpone something, e.g. The
football matches have to be put back due to adverse
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
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
To kill an animal in order to
end its suffering, e.g. His dad’s job is to put down severely
To pay a specified sum as a
deposit, e.g. The sales agent asked if I could put $10,000down on
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
To put something in something
else, e.g. Don’t put all your eggs in one
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
To add permanent equipment to
something such as a home, e.g. They are putting in an
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.
put ... 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.
put ... 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.
put out/put ... out
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
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
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
To put something outside the
house, e.g. Every night before the elderly lady goes to bed, she puts her
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.
put ... through
To connect someone by telephone
to another; to finance one’s child’s education; to be made to undergo a bad
put ... to
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
put ... together
To fit together the component
parts of something, e.g. Putting the jigsaw puzzle pieces together is
going to take a long time.
put ... up
To provide accommodation
temporarily to someone, e.g. While I was in the city for a week, I put
up with my cousin.
To suggest a topic for
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
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.
put ... up to
To incite someone to do
something stupid, illegal or dangerous, e.g. When Jack was arrested for
injuring Jill’s ex-husband, he accused Jill of putting him up
to it by threatening to leave him for good.
put up with
To endure an unpleasant
situation or tolerate a nasty person, e.g. She’s been thinking how long she
is going to put up with her husband coming home blind
To consider a difficult problem
carefully with a view to solving it.
To disagree with someone or
complain about something.
rack … up
To accumulate or increase
To fall in large quantities.
rake … in
To make a lot of money.
rake … up
To recall a past event that is
To gather someone or something
together for a purpose such as forming a sport team, volunteering for a
To bring or come together for a
ram … home
To forcibly inculcate through
the process of study and comprehension.
To talk or write at length in a
To distribute something in small
To be in a space that is in
excess of what is needed.
rattle … off
To say or produce something
quickly and easily.
To talk quickly and at length.
To do something very quickly.
To respond with an extremely
unfriendly attitude or a contrary course of action.
To regard something as having a
meaning or importance when this is not the case.
read … out
To say out what is written on
something such as a list, etc. for people to hear.
read ... through
To check for mistakes by careful
reading of the whole thing.
read ... up
To acquire information or
knowledge by reading a lot about a subject.
reason … out
To find a solution to a problem
by considering all the possibilities.
To persuade someone to be more
sensible with rational argument.
To have an unexpected bad effect
reckon … in
To include all relevant data in
To expect anything unforeseen to
happen while plans are being made.
To take into account all that
reconcile … to
To make someone able to accept
an unpleasant or disagreeable thing or situation.
reduce … to
To change something into a
shorter simpler form, e.g. the passage can be reduced to four paragraphs.
To lower the ranks of an army
officer, e.g. to reduce an officer’s ranks to an ordinary soldier.
To destroy a building by burning
or demolition, e.g. to reduce to ashes or rubble.
To degrade someone’s existence,
e.g. to reduce one to squat on public land.
reel … in
To turn the reel of a fishing
rod to draw in the line, e.g. to reel in a fish.
reel ... off
To say something quickly and
easily, e.g. to reel off lists of team members.
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
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.
regale … with
To entertain someone with
conversation or story-telling, e.g. He often regales his
friends with stories of his romantic involvements.
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.
To feel great joy, e.g. he rejoices
in his examination success.
To have an extraordinary or
To show a direct connection
between two things, e.g. Low wages are directly related to low
level of education.
To be able to have a good
relationship with others, e.g. He has difficulty relating to older
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
relieve … of
To remove the post, duties,
responsibility, command, etc. of someone.
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
To pass comment on someone or
remind … of
To make someone remember about
something because of a resemblance, e.g. the area reminds her of her
early childhood days.
render … down
To purify fat by melting down.
render … up
To hand something to someone
such as a ruler, enemy, etc.
To go to a place, e.g. to repair
to the sitting room.
To send or bring something back
to someone, e.g. to investigate an incident and report back to
(Power, right, etc.) to be
present in someone or something.
resolve … into
To become or make something into
To be full of something such as
meaning, feeling, sound, etc., e.g. a household resonating
with incessant shouting.
To choose and use a, especially
bad, course of action to succeed in something or resolve a problem.
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
To be answerable for something,
e.g. the responsibility for day-to-day operation rests with the
To have a specified end or
outcome, e.g. the accident resulted in the death of some
To take great pleasure in
something, such as attention, praise, etc.
To return to a former state,
To treat something as the most
important purpose, e.g. her life revolves around her
To move in a circular orbit
rid … of
To remove someone or something
bad from a place such as one’s body, working place, etc.
ride … down
To knock someone down when
riding a horse.
To travel in or on a vehicle or
To depend on someone or
ride … out
To come safely through,
especially a bad situation.
(Skirt, etc.) to move upwards
exposing the body.
rig … out
To provide someone with special
clothes to wear.
rig … up
To make something in a makeshift
To make a return call by
To telephone a place, especially
one’s working place.
To end a telephone call.
To have something loud and clear
come from something else.
To make telephone calls to a
group of people for a specific purpose.
ring ... up
To make a telephone call to
To wash something, especially to
get rid of soap from it.
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.
rip ... up
To tear something into pieces,
e.g. Jill ripped up Jack’s photos when she found out he is
dating other girls.
To deal with any unpleasant
situations without being adversely affected by it.
To be sensible and refrain from
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.
roll ... back
To reduce the influence,
importance, etc. of something.
To reverse the progress of
roll … down
To open in specific cases, e.g.
to roll down car’s window to open it.
To come in large numbers or
To arrive later than usual or
expected without being concerned.
roll ... out
To lay out something flat and
thin, e.g. to roll out the red carpet.
To officially launch a new
To change bodily position while
lying down, e.g. to roll over to the left.
To arrive, e.g. to roll
up late or unexpectedly.
roll ... up
To fold or shorten something,
e.g. to roll one’s sleeves up.
To close a car’s window, e.g. to
roll the window up.
To succeed in doing or finishing
something quickly and easily.
roof … in/over
To put a roof over something,
e.g. to roof in an area.
To support a sport team by
shouting and cheering.
root … out
To find and get rid of someone
root … up
To dig and pull something such
as weeds, etc. up with its roots.
rope … in
To persuade someone despite
their reluctance to participate in something, e.g. to rope in the
neighbours to be vigilantes.
rope … off
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.
rough … in
To live in discomfort with only
rough … out
To draw out a preliminary sketch
without the details.
rough … up
To attack someone and beat them
round … down
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
To reduce an exact figure to the
nearest whole number.
round … up
To gather up a group of people
or things for a specific purpose, e.g. to round up the
illegal immigrants for detention.
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, etc.
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.
rub ... out
To erase something such as
writing, stain, mark, etc. from a surface by rubbing it with something else
such as eraser, cloth, sandpaper, etc.
ruck … up
To make or form folds, creases,
etc. on something such as cloth, coat, etc., e.g. shirt is all rucked up
rule … out
To conclude that something is
not possible, e.g. The unstable political situation rules out any increase
in foreign investments.
To meet or find someone or
something by chance, e.g. I ran across my former classmate
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.
To leave or escape from a place,
e.g. the child ran away from home because of the abusive
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
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.
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 beer.
To knock someone or something
with a vehicle, e.g. The brake of his car failed and the car ran into the
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
To leave hurriedly and secretly,
e.g. He ran off from the detention centre without anyone’s
To produce copies of something,
e.g. We have to run off some more of this copy to meet
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.
run 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
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
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
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
To cost a certain amount, e.g.
The cost of the damage is estimated to run to five million
run ... up
To make something quickly, e.g.
They ran this project up well ahead of
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.
run up against
To experience or meet an
unexpected problem, e.g. We ran up against some unforeseen
difficulties when we built that patio.