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
To be gradually destroyed by
rustle … up
To make something quickly.
To go to sleep or bed.
To put a saddle on a horse.
saddle … with
To give someone a difficult or
To succeed easily at something,
especially a test or examination.
To set out to perform a
salt … away
To secretly store something,
especially money, for the future.
To prevent wastage of something
by minimizing the use of it.
To have a slight trace or
indication of something.
To use a saw to cut something.
saw … off
To remove something with a saw.
saw … up
To use a saw to cut something
scale … down
To reduce the size of operations
of an organization, plan, etc.
scare … into
To frighten or threaten someone
into doing something.
scare … away/off
To make or keep someone or
something away by frightening them.
To make or do something from a
To spend one’s time idling or
scope … out
To take a look at someone or
something to understand their true nature.
score … out/through
To delete something by drawing a
line through it.
To manage to survive on the bare
To just manage to succeed in
getting something, e.g. just scraped into a position or college.
To only just succeed in
something such as passing an examination, etc.
To manage to accumulate, collect
or get something with difficulty.
scratch … out
To cancel or strike out
something by drawing a line through it.
To become blatantly obvious or
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.
To fool about.
To have sex with different
screw … out of
To act dishonestly or unfairly
in order to deprive someone of money or something valuable, e.g. The man
was finally arrested after screwing many people out of their savings.
screw ... over
To cheat or treat someone
To manage or handle a situation
badly, wrongly or ineffectively, e.g. He volunteered to help me in my work
but instead screwed it up.
screw ... up
To cause someone to be
emotionally or mentally disturbed, e.g. It really screwed her up when her
flight was seriously delayed by a bomb hoax.
scrub … out
To thoroughly clean something
such as a place, objects, etc.
To thoroughly clean one’s hands
and arms before doing a surgery.
To form a scrum during a game of
scrunch … up
To crush or squeeze something
into a round, compressed mass.
seal … in
To close something securely to
prevent what it contains from getting out.
seal ... off
To cut off an area and deny
access to and from it.
search … out
To try to find something by
section … off
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 guests.
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.
To notice a particular quality
in someone or something, e.g. They see in him a young player with great
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.
see ... off
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.
see ... out
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
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
To deal with something or do
something for someone, e.g. see to the needs of the poor.
seek … out
To look for and find someone or
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.
To get rid of unwanted things at
cheap prices, especially when one needs the money.
sell … on
To make someone enthusiastic
about something such as an idea, new products, novelties, etc.
To offer sex in return for
To sell all of a particular
product with none left, e.g. The latest model of dishwasher was sold out in
the first week.
sell ... out
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.
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
send … back
To return something to where it
came from, e.g. The letter was wrongly delivered so I sent it back to the
send ... down
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
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
To order something to be
delivered to one, e.g. We have sent off an order for some pizza.
send ... on
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
send ... up
To cause something to increase
in value, .e.g. Allowing greater foreign participation in the property
sector has sent property prices up.
separate … out
To make or become apart or
serve … out
To continue with something until
it is complete, e.g. He has served out nearly half of his prison sentence.
To place food onto plates for
handing over to someone such as customers, guests, etc.
serve ... up
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
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
set … apart
To distinguish someone or
something that are more superior compared to others, e.g. the Nobel Prize
awards set the laureates apart from other people.
set ... aside
To keep something for a special
purpose, e.g. a room in a library is set aside for only reading newspapers.
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
To stop a vehicle for someone to
set ... forth
To start a journey, etc.
To explain or describe something
in writing or speech.
(Something unpleasant) to begin
and seem to continue for a long time.
set ... off
To go or embark on a journey.
To cause something such as a
bomb, alarm, etc, to go off.
To make something such as a
piece of clothing, etc. more attractive.
To attack someone violently.
set ... out
To start a journey.
To begin to do or plan a course
of action towards achieving a goal.
To lay something out so that
they can be arranged in a particular order.
set ... up
To start doing something eagerly
To deliberately make an innocent
person appear guilty or have done something wrong.
To make someone feel healthy and
To start a company, organization,
To 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.
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
To move in or start living with
someone as a partner.
To be unable to distinguish
where something ends and another begins.
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
shake ... off
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 ... out
To shake something such as a
shirt, cloth, etc. in order to remove any pieces of dirt, dust, etc. from
shake ... up
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.
sharpen … up
To improve something to the
required standard, quality, etc.
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.
To pay a seemingly excessive
amount of money for something.
(Personal quality or skill) to
be plainly obvious.
To try to achieve a particular
aim, e.g. to shoot for a five percent growth rate for this year.
shoot … down
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
To look for the best price for
the available quality goods.
shore … up
To help or support something
that is likely to fail or is not working well.
shout … down
To prevent someone from speaking
or being heard by shouting.
To say something suddenly in a
To go away or to tell someone to
To push a boat away from the
To shift oneself to make space
for someone else.
show … around
To take and guide someone round
a place and point out the interesting features, especially when he is new.
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.
show … off
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.
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.
show ... up
To expose someone as being bad
To embarrass or humiliate
To avoid doing something
difficult or unpleasant, e.g. shrink from making tough
shrug … off
To dismiss something as
unimportant and without caring about it.
To take off a piece of garment,
e.g. He shucks off his jacket and plays a game of snooker.
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.
shut … away
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
shut ... in
To keep someone indoors or in a
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 supplies.
shut ... out
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
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.
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.
sick … up
To lose one’s desire for or
interest in something.
sieve … out
To separate solid from liquid or
small objects from large ones by using a sieve.
sift … out
To separate something from other
things, e.g. It’s not always easy to sift out genuine products from fake
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
sign ... on
To recruit someone into one’s
To write one’s name in or sign a
book when leaving a hotel, office, club, etc.
sign … over
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,
To enter legal agreement to play
for a particular sports team.
To become filled with sand, mud,
soil or other material.
To join in singing with someone
who is already singing.
To sing loudly.
To request someone to sing more
single … out
To choose someone or something
from a group of like people or things for favourable or adverse comment, or
(Information, facts, ideas,
words, etc.) to gradually become fully understood, e.g. His remark did not
sink in immediately.
To sit down idling.
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 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.
To be at but not actively
involved in a meeting.
To be temporarily doing
something on behalf of someone.
To engage in a silent
demonstration of protest.
sit ... out
To delay or fail to deal with
To not participate in an event,
To wait without taking action
until an unpleasant or unwelcome situation is over.
To stay on until a meeting,
talk, speech, performance, etc. ends, even if it is very long and boring.
To get into a sitting position
from a lying position.
To stop oneself from going to
bed and stay up very late.
size … up
To consider and judge about a
person or situation.
To estimate or measure
To avoid addressing an issue or
problem, or not according it the attention it deserves.
To make a cannabis cigarette.
To leave quickly and secretly in
order to evade something such as paying bill, etc.
A person who defaults or
To strongly criticize someone,
especially behind their back.
To crash hard into something,
e.g. The car slammed into a tree.
slap … down
To unjustifiably criticize
slap … on
To apply something hastily or
carelessly on something else.
To show excessive admiration for
something in a silly way.
To have sex with numerous
To wake up much later than usual
in the morning.
sleep … off
To recover from something by sleeping,
e.g. to sleep off the effects of drinking too much alcohol.
To sleep continuously without
being awakened by anything that happens.
To sleep continuously at length.
To have sex.
To have sex with someone,
especially someone whom one is not married to.
slice … off
To separate something from
another by cutting easily with a sharp knife or edge.
slick … down/back
To make one’s hair flat, smooth,
and glossy by using oil, or cream, etc.
slick ... up
To make someone or something
smart, tidy, or stylish.
To put clothes on quickly.
To pass gradually to a worse
condition, e.g. slip into unconsciousness or a coma.
slip ... off
To take clothes off quickly.
slip ... on
To put clothes on quickly.
To move away quickly, or
To say something without
thinking or real intention to say it.
slip out of
To accidentally slide or move
out of position or from someone’s grasp.
To quickly get out of one’s
To make a careless mistake.
To idle and behave in a lazy,
relaxed and unconcerned manner.
To show one’s excessive interest
in someone in an annoying way.
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
To leave a place quietly, and
inconspicuously in order to avoid work or duty.
To fit someone or something into
something else such as a plan, organization, a new role, situation, etc.
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.
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.
To have a flavour, smell, or
suggestion of something, e.g. a piece of writing that smacks of hypocrisy.
To make someone or something
look neat, tidy and stylish.
smash … down
To knock something down
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.
smell … out
To find something by smelling.
To detect or suspect by means of
instinct or intuition.
smoke … out
To force someone or something
out of a place by filling it with smoke.
smooth … away
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.
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.
To seize something quickly.
To enter a place unnoticed, e.g.
The boys managed to sneak past the ticket collector into the circus tent.
To officially inform someone or
provide them with information about something or someone else’s misdeeds.
To exit a place unnoticed, e.g.
The kids sneaked out of the church by crawling between the empty pews.
To creep stealthily up to
To investigate something in a
To find out something by
snuff … out
To extinguish or put an abrupt
end to something.
soak … up
To use something such as a
sponge, cloth, towel, etc. to absorb a liquid.
To learn something quickly and
sober … up
To become or make someone become
To be engulfed by adverse
weather conditions, reducing visibility.