blow up


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blow someone or something up

 
1. Lit. to destroy someone or something by explosion. The terrorists blew the building up at midday. They blew up the bridge.
2. Fig. to exaggerate something [good or bad] about someone or something. I hope no one blows the story up. The media always blows up reports of celebrity behavior. The press blew the story up unnecessarily.
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blow something up

 
1. to inflate something. He didn't have enough breath to blow the balloon up. They all blew up their own balloons.
2. to have a photograph enlarged. How big can you blow this picture up? I will blow up this snapshot and frame it.
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blow up

 
1. Lit. [for something] to explode. The bomb might have blown up if the children had tried to move it. The firecracker blew up.
2. Fig. to burst into anger. I just knew you'd blow up. So she blew up. Why should that affect you so much?
3. Fig. an angry outburst; a fight. (Usually blowup.) After the third blowup, she left him. One blowup after another from you. Control your temper!
4. Fig. an enlarged version of a photograph, map, chart, etc. (Usually blowup.) Here's a blowup of the scene of the crime. Kelly sent a blowup of their wedding picture to all her relatives.
5. Fig. the ruination of something; the collapse of something. (Usually blowup.) The blowup in the financial world has ruined my chances for early retirement. After the blowup at the company, the top managers called one another to compare notes.
6. Fig. to fall apart or get ruined. The whole project blew up. It will have to be canceled. All my planning was blown up this afternoon.
7. [for a storm] to arrive accompanied by the blowing of the wind. A terrible storm blew up while we were in the movie theater. I was afraid that a rainstorm was blowing up.
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blow up

to become suddenly very angry He may blow up when he finds out how much money I spent.
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blow up something

also blow something up
to make something larger Could you blow this picture up to 8 by 10?
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blow up

1. Explode or cause to explode. For example, The squadron was told to blow up the bridge, or Jim was afraid his experiment would blow up the lab. The term is sometimes amplified, as in blow up in one's face. [Late 1500s]
2. Lose one's temper, as in I'm sorry I blew up at you. Mark Twain used this metaphor for an actual explosion in one of his letters (1871): "Redpath tells me to blow up. Here goes!" [Colloquial; second half of 1800s]
3. Inflate, fill with air, as in If you don't blow up those tires you're sure to have a flat. [Early 1400s]
4. Enlarge, especially a photograph, as in If we blow up this picture, you'll be able to make out the expressions on their faces. [c. 1930]
5. Exaggerate the importance of something or someone, as in Tom has a tendency to blow up his own role in the affair. This term applies the "inflate" of def. 3 to importance. It was used in this sense in England from the early 1500s to the 1700s, but then became obsolete there although it remains current in America.
6. Collapse, fail, as in Graduate-student marriages often blow up soon after the couple earn their degrees. [Slang; mid-1800s]
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blow up

v.
1. To destroy something or someone by explosion: The soldiers will blow the bridge up. The dynamite blew up the abandoned building.
2. To explode: I pressed the red button, and the bomb blew up.
3. To start suddenly and with force: A storm blew up as we were walking home.
4. To fill something with air or gas; inflate something: We need to blow up the tires of this old bicycle. The clown blew some balloons up for the kids to play with.
5. To increase the size or scale of an image of something, as for display or in order to view it more closely: We blew up the document to make a poster out of it. If we blow the photograph up we can see more detail.
6. To become very angry: My date blew up when I suggested we leave the party early.
7. To exaggerate something: Don't blow the story up into such a great disaster; it wasn't that bad. It may sound impressive, but I'm sure they're blowing up what really happened.
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blow up

1. in. to burst into anger. So she blew up. Why should that affect you so much?
2. n. an angry outburst; a fight. (Usually blowup.) After the third blowup, she left him.
3. n. an enlarged version of a photograph, map, chart, etc. (Usually blowup.) Kelly sent a blowup of their wedding picture to all her relatives.
4. n. the ruination of something; the collapse of something. (Usually blowup.) The blowup in the financial world has ruined my chances for early retirement.
See also: blow, up