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1. To inflate something with a gas (or, less commonly, a liquid) using a pump. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pump" and "up." Often used in passive constructions. Would you please pump up the air mattress for when my sister comes to stay with us? They pumped the balloons up with water. Most chicken breasts sold at the supermarket are pumped up with water before being frozen.
2. To increase someone's or one's own excitement, confidence, or mental preparation. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pump" and "up." The coach pumped us all up just before we headed out onto the field. I was pretty nervous before the test, so I took a few minutes to pump myself up before I started.
3. To increase the volume of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pump" and "up." Oh, I love this song—pump it up! Pump up the volume so everyone can hear the music!
4. To exaggerate or falsely inflate the numbers or information about something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pump" and "up." The company has been accused of manipulating cash in its accounts to pump up its profits when reporting to shareholders. I just think the government is pumping these figures up to justify the new legislation.
pump someone up (for something)
Inf. to get someone, including oneself, mentally ready for something. The coach tried to pump the team up so they would win. The coach talked and talked to pump them up.
pump something up
1. to inflate something. Do you have something with which I can pump my basketball up? I pumped up the ball just an hour ago.
2. Sl. to exercise to make muscles get bigger and stronger. The body builder pumped her muscles up in preparation for the competition. She pumped up her muscles.
1. Inflate with gas or air, as in This tire needs pumping up. [Late 1800s]
2. Fill with enthusiasm, strength, and energy, as in The lively debate pumped us all up. Mary Wollstonecraft used this idiom in slightly different form in The Rights of Women (1792): "Lover-like phrases of pumped-up passion."
1. To inflate something with gas by using a pump: We pumped up a new basketball before the game. One of my tires was getting low, so I stopped at a gas station and pumped it up.
2. To force or suck something, as a liquid or gas, from beneath a surface by using a pump: This well pumps up oil from underground. We pump the water up from the lake to tanks on the hillside.
3. Slang To fill someone with enthusiasm, strength, and energy; psych someone up: The crowd's chants pumped up the players. The coach pumped us up for the big game with a rousing speech.
4. Slang To be actively involved in bodybuilding exercises: The football players are always pumping up at the gym.
5. Slang To strengthen something: Pump up the volume on that stereo—I can't hear it. The economy was declining, but investors hoped that a favorable exchange rate would pump it up.
pump (someone) up
tv. & in. to excite someone; to make someone enthusiastic. The coach gave a pep talk to pump the players up for the big game.
pump something up
tv. to flex and tense a muscle until it is expanded to its fullest size, as with thighs and forearms. (Bodybuilding.) She pumped up her thighs and struck a pose.
See pump someone up
mod. excited; physically and mentally ready. (Sports.) The team is really pumped up for Friday’s game.