List Of IDIOMS with UP and DOWN!

idioms with up

idioms with down

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on 19/05/2016. Edit Delete

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These are the most common IDIOMS with UP and DOWN used in English:


act up = to misbehave

  • My son used to act up every day when he was little. 


bottle up = stay hidden

  • He would rather bottle up rather than solve the problems at work. 

[Tweet “Bottle up = stay hidden”]

break up = end a relationship

  • Jessica just broke up with her boyfriend.


back up = to copy something as a security measure

  • My computer crashes three times this week, so I need to back up all my data now. 


blow up = to get angry very fast

  • Mr. Moore blows up almost every class because Jack is always late. 

[Tweet “Blow up = to get angry very fast”]

brighten up = to make cheerful, happy

  • My sister tried to brighten up my day when I was feeling said. 


butter up = to flatter

  • She always butters up her boss when the new job position is available. 


catch up = to share news with someone

  • I haven’t seen him for such a long time, and it was great to catch up.

[Tweet “Catch up = to share news with someone”]

chat up = to have a light, friendly conversation

  • She went to that bar only because she liked chatting up with the handsome bartender.


come up with = think of something, a plan or an idea

  • We have to come up with a plan!


cover up = to hide, conceal

  • Even in court, he still tried to cover up everything that he did. 

[Tweet “Cover up = to hide, conceal”]

doll up = to dress formally, to dress for a special occasion

  • My mom needs to doll up before her birthday party.


dress up = to have very nice clothes on

  • Alicia always liked to dress up for her dates. 


eat up = to believe immediately

  • He ate up everything that his psychologist told him.

[Tweet “Eat up = to believe immediately”]

end up – to turn out, conclude

  • He ended up working at his father’s company. 


fix up = to make right, adjust

  • Melissa fixed up her dress before going out. 


give up = surrender, admit failure

  • I will never give up.

[Tweet “Give up = surrender, admit failure”]

head up = to lead, to take charge

  • You have to head up all the meetings today.


hold up = to wait, to delay

  • What’s holding up the presentation?


hung up = thinking or worrying about someone/something

  • She was too hung up about her wedding.

[Tweet “Hung up = thinking or worrying about someone/something”]

juice up = to charge

  • I have to juice up my laptop because the battery is dead.


keep up = to continue

  • Keep up the good work everyone!


kiss up to = to show false flattery

  • Everyone knew she was kissing up to the boss to get a better job.

[Tweet “Kiss up to = to show false flattery”]

line up = have something/someone ready

  • Do you have any food lined up?


loosen up = to relax

  • You have been very stressed lately – you have to loosen up.


make up = to reconcile after a quarrel/fight

  • I can’t stay mad at you anymore, let’s make up?

[Tweet “Make up = to reconcile after a quarrel/fight”]

mess up = to make a mistake, to ruin

  • He totally messed up the cake.


roll up one’s sleeves = to prepare to work

  • He rolled up his sleeves, and started packing.


round up = to collect or gather something

  • Round up the employees for the meeting!

[Tweet “Round up = to collect or gather something”]

screw up = to ruin, to make a mess

  • He totally screwed up on his exam.


sign up = to commit oneself to a period of employment/education

  • Kevin signed up for his first Psychology course online. 


speed up = to make something go faster

  • You have to speed up your car if you want to be there on time.

[Tweet “Speed up = to make something go faster”]

split up = to separate, to break apart from the group

  • They had to split up in order to find Jimmy.


sign up = to commit oneself to a period of employment/education

  • Kevin signed up for his first Psychology course online. 


suck up = flatter someone excessively

  • He sucked up to the teacher only to get a better grade.

[Tweet “Suck up = flatter someone excessively”]

take up = occupy time, space, attention

  • It’s going to take up too much time.


tied up = very busy

  • He is always tied up with work.


think up = to invent or imagine something

  • We have to think up an excuse for why we didn’t go to school.

[Tweet “Think up = to invent or imagine something”]

up the creek = to be in serious trouble

  • If I don’t pay the bill by tomorrow, I will be up the creek


wind up = end up in a specific situation, place

  • I never thought I would wind up in Australia. 


Read more:
Warm-up Activities for English Class
How many different ways can ‘pick up’ be used?
Other ways to say “Keep up the good work!”



back down = to take a less aggressive position

  • I was about to win the argument, but I had to back down.


break down = to become unstable due to stress

  • She broke down today at work, so she took a day off.

[Tweet “Break down = to become unstable due to stress”]

calm down = to become less excited

  • Please, calm down before you hurt somebody.


clamp down on = to end something

  • We have to clamp down on illegal businesses.

[Tweet “Clamp down on = to end something”]

close down = to stop trading as a business

  • Their company will close down soon.


cool down = to become less agitated

  • Wait till he cools down, and then apologize to him.

[Tweet “Cool down = to become less agitated”]

dress down = to scold

  • Jessica was just dressing down the employees.


dumb down = to convey something in simple words

  • She couldn’t understand the teacher, so he had to dumb down the explanation for her.


flag down = to get someone’s attention

  • You really have to flag down; otherwise, she won’t even look at you.

[Tweet “Flag down = to get someone’s attention”]

go down = to change from greater value to lesser

  • The prices really went down this month.


hands down = easily, without too much effort

  • He finished the test in 10 minutes hands down.


hunt down = to find with difficulty

  • It was hard to hunt down all the suspects.

[Tweet “Hunt down = to find with difficulty”]

jot down = to make a note

  • Can you jot down the main ideas from the meeting, please?


keep down = to stay quiet

  • Jack, can you keep it down, we are trying to sleep?


man down = to lose courage

  • You cannot man down when it comes to you family.

[Tweet “Man down = to lose courage”]

narrow down = to make more specific

  • I cannot understand your main idea, can you narrow it down, please?


settle down = to establish a lifestyle, to marry

  • Julie and Jack finally settled down.


shut down = to end, to close

  • We have to shut down the party, because it’s getting late.

[Tweet “Shut down = to end, to close”]

turn down = to refuse, to decline

  • Unfortunately, they turned down our offer.


Read more:
The Difference Between BURN UP and BURN DOWN
Difference between EVERYDAY and EVERY DAY!
List Of Phrasal Verbs with GET!
List Of Phrasal Verbs With PUT!

Editor Answered on 11/01/2015.
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