UPS


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one-up (someone)

To make a point of outdoing, outperforming, outclassing, etc., someone. I hate telling stories around Jack because he always tries to one-up you with some fabulous anecdote of his own.

hang up

1. verb To disconnect a phone call. The term is often used to mean to end the call in the middle of the conversation, but it can also mean to disconnect the call when it is finished. Don't you dare hang up on me, I'm not done issuing my complaint! I can't hear you anymore, it must be a bad signal. I'm going to hang up now, so call me back if you can hear this.
2. noun (usually hyphenated) A disconnected phone call. The phone's been ringing all day, but it's just been a bunch of hang-ups. I think someone's pranking us.
3. noun (usually hyphenated) An impediment of some kind, usually an emotional or psychological insecurity, that prevents a person from making progress in a situation. Jeff's personal hang-up is that he always felt like his parents supported his brother more than they supported him.
See also: hang, up

pick-me-up

Something used to improve a person's mood or level of energy. After a long week, I needed a pick-me-up, so I stopped by the salon to get a pedicure. I was so drowsy on the way to work, so I stopped by the coffee shop for a little pick-me-up.

piss-up

A social gathering at which people drink an excessive amount of alcohol. Bob didn't go to the party because he knew it was going to be nothing but a piss-up.

back up

1. verb To move backwards. This phrase is commonly used to refer to maneuvering a car in reverse. Back up, you're standing too close to me! If you back up a little, then your car will be completely in that parking space.
2. verb To save copies of computer files in another place, in case the original files become inaccessible. If you didn't back up your files before the computer crashed, they may be lost forever.
3. verb To become clogged and impassable. I'm calling the plumber right now because the toilet is backed up again. Traffic is totally backed up, due to all that construction.
4. verb To return to an item previously mentioned. Whoa, back up—Janet and Jim are getting married?
5. verb To support or assist someone. A person's name or a pronoun is used between "back" and "up" in this usage. You didn't see that meeting on the calendar, either? OK, please back me up on this, so the boss doesn't think I'm an idiot.
6. noun An alternate to be used if it becomes necessary for some reason, typically the failure, ineffectiveness, or the absence of the original. The phrase is typically written as one word. I brought an extra pen as a backup, in case this one runs out of ink during the exam. I hope Tony asks me to the prom, but, if not, I have my best friend Bill as a backup. I hope Tony asks me to the prom, but, if not, I have my best friend Bill as a backup date.
7. adjective Available for use as an alternate if it becomes necessary for some reason, typically the failure, ineffectiveness, or the absence of the original. The phrase is typically written as one word. I brought three backup pens, in case this one runs out of ink during the exam. I'm the backup quarterback, but I still have to know all the plays in case I get in the game.
8. adjective Appearing in the background in support of a main act or performer. The phrase is typically written as one word. She's auditioning backup dancers for her world tour today.
See also: back, up

break up

1. verb To come apart in pieces. The house is so old that the plaster on this wall is breaking up—there are bits of it all over the floor.
2. verb To split something into smaller pieces. In this usage, a noun is commonly used between "break" and "up." I know the project is daunting, but let's break it up into manageable parts that each of us can work on. Because there was only one cookie left, I broke it up so that each kid could have a piece.
3. verb To be inaudible or indecipherable, as of a voice on the telephone or a broadcast of some kind. I'm sorry, can you repeat that? You're breaking up. Your father called, but he was breaking up the whole time, and his message was all garbled.
4. verb To disrupt something and induce its end. In this usage, a noun can be used between "break" and "up." When the teacher saw the two boys shove each other, she came running over to break it up. The police have been working hard to break up the drug trade in our city
5. verb To end a partnership of some kind, often a romantic relationship. I'm so sad to hear that Mara and John broke up—I thought those two would be together forever. The Beatles breaking up is considered a pivotal moment in rock history.
6. verb To cause one to laugh or cry intensely. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is commonly used between "break" and "up." That joke broke her up more than I'd anticipated—she thought it was hilarious! My mother was fine this morning, but the funeral really broke her up.
7. verb To laugh or cry intensely. She thought that joke was hilarious and completely broke up at it! My mother was fine this morning, but she really broke up at the funeral.
8. verb To disrupt the monotony of something. I need to walk around and get some coffee—anything to break up a morning of research. You need to inject some humor and break up the dull tone of this speech.
9. noun The end of a partnership of some kind, often a romantic relationship. The phrase is commonly written as one word in this usage. I was so sad to hear of Mara and John's breakup—I thought those two would be together forever. The Beatles' breakup is considered a pivotal moment in rock history.
See also: break, up

call up

1. verb To call someone or something by phone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." Please call up your mother once in a while. I called up the school to find out the status of my application.
2. verb To call by phone or yell to someone on a higher level of a house or building. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." Call up to the CEO's assistant and tell him that the 3 o'clock interview is here. I called up to my dad to tell him the kitchen sink was still leaking.
3. verb To invite people to move from a lower level in a particular place to a higher one (such as a stage). A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." We will call the graduates up one by one, so be sure to listen for your name.
4. verb To cause one to think of or remember someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." That song calls up many fond memories of my childhood. Can we go somewhere else for dinner? That place just calls my ex-girlfriend up.
5. verb To initiate a discussion on a particular topic or issue. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." You didn't miss much—Betsy just called up budgetary discrepancies as the next topic of discussion.
6. verb To utilize something, often a quality or skill. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." The championship game was so intense that I really had to call up my mental toughness just to get through it.
7. verb To bring someone into active military service. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." With this war intensifying, I'm worried that my son will be called up and sent overseas.
8. verb To retrieve information from a computer. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." Call up the latest budget report for me, please. I'll need a printed copy for my meeting tomorrow.
9. verb To give a minor league player a spot on a major league team's roster. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "up." The pitcher just got called up from the minors, so this will be his first big test.
10. noun A minor league athlete who has been summoned to play for a major league team (perhaps temporarily). This phrase is usually hyphenated when used as a noun. With so many veterans injured, their roster has a lot of call-ups right now, so it's no surprise they're going to miss the playoffs.
11. noun The opportunity for a minor league athlete to play for a major league team. This phrase is usually hyphenated when used as a noun. Because I wasn't a high profile draft pick, I had to start my career in the minors and wait to get a call-up.
See also: call, up

check up

1. verb To check the status, condition, or wellbeing of someone or something through an inspection or visit. We need to check up on grandma and see how she is coping with all this snow. I just checked up on the baby, and he's still sleeping.
2. noun A visit to a doctor for an examination, often as part of routine monitoring (rather than for an acute condition or reason). In this usage, the phrase is often hyphenated. Oh, it's just my yearly check-up, nothing to worry about. Can you check up on the dryer and tell me if it's still running?
See also: check, up

chin up

1. A phrase that encourages one to improve one's mood, especially when sad or discouraged. Come on, the project was not a total failure—chin up! Chin up, honey—tomorrow's another day.
2. noun The act of pulling oneself upward while holding onto a bar, as at a gym. The phrase is often hyphenated in this usage. My arms are already shaking—how many more chin-ups am I supposed to do?
See also: chin, up

close up

1. verb Literally, to shut something that is open. Be sure to close up the oven after you take out the cookies.
2. verb To sew an opening shut at the end of a surgical procedure. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "close" and "up." The procedure is finished. Now we need to close him up.
3. verb To heal, as of a cut or wound. The cut isn't too deep, so it should close up on its own, no stitches needed.
4. verb To become completely closed or sealed shut. After I got hit in the face with a baseball, my eye swelled so much that it actually closed up.
5. verb To cease business operations for any length of time (often permanently). I loved that restaurant, so I'm very disappointed that it closed up permanently. That shop always closes up for two weeks in the summer to accommodate the owner's vacation.
6. verb To close something, typically a place, securely. I hope you closed up the store before you left for the night.
7. noun A shot in which the camera is positioned very close to the subject. In this usage, the phrase is typically hyphenated. I want the next scene to start with a close-up of Caroline standing in the doorway. Her close-ups of flowers are just gorgeous—she's a very underrated photographer.
8. noun A detailed or intimate portrayal or exploration of something. In this usage, the phrase is typically hyphenated. This novel is a close-up of Depression-era America. You need to close up shop and go home—your shift ended an hour ago.
See also: close, up

cover up

1. verb To place a covering on someone or something, as for protection. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cover" and "up." Let me just cover up these leftovers so you can take them with you. I'm so fair-skinned that I have to cover myself up before spending time in the sun.
2. To clothe oneself. I'll answer the door in a moment, I just need to cover up first.
3. verb To conceal the evidence of one's (usually nefarious) actions. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cover" and "up." I just know that the CEO is covering something up—why else would those documents suddenly go missing? The administration is clearly trying to cover up the scandal.
4. noun The act of concealing the evidence of nefarious actions. When used as a noun, the phrase is typically hyphenated or written as one word. Their cover-up unraveled when the CEO's secretary confessed to his wrongdoing. The administration is clearly engaging in a coverup to hide the scandal.
5. noun An article of clothing worn over other clothing, such as a bathing suit. When used as a noun, the phrase is typically hyphenated. Once it got breezy on the beach, I put my cover-up back on.
See also: cover, up

crack up

1. verb To laugh a lot. We all cracked up at Josh's joke.
2. verb To cause someone to laugh a lot. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "crack" and "up." Josh's joke cracked us all up. That comedian just cracks me up.
3. verb To experience a mental or emotional breakdown. All those days of sleep deprivation finally caused me to crack up. She's terrified to leave the house all of a sudden—I think she's cracking up.
4. verb To destroy something. He drove into a tree and cracked up his car.
5. verb To be in an accident. I cracked up after losing control of my car.
6. noun An accident. When used as a noun, the phrase is typically hyphenated. I was in a crack-up when I lost control of my car and hydroplaned.
See also: crack, up

cut up

1. verb To chop something into smaller pieces. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "up." You need to cut up these onions so we can use them as a garnish.
2. verb To judge or criticize someone or something harshly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "up." I thought I had done a good job on the project, but my boss just cut me up, pointing out every little thing I had overlooked.
3. verb To cause someone to laugh. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "up." His remark cut up the rest of the group, but I just didn't think it was funny.
4. verb To joke or play around. Boys! Stop cutting up and focus on these math problems!
5. verb To behave in an angry and perhaps violent manner. In this usage, "up" is typically followed by "rough." Don't leave those guys alone together—they've been known to cut up rough when they disagree with each other.
6. noun One prone to joking or playing around. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. My son is constantly getting in trouble at school because he's such a cut-up.
7. adjective Anguished. After the funeral, I was totally cut up for the rest of the day.
8. adjective, slang Defined in the abdominal muscles. In this usage, "up" is optional. Did you see that lifeguard with his shirt off? He's totally cut!
See also: cut, up

up sticks

To relocate from one's current residence. Primarily heard in UK, Ireland. The more I think about how much we love the coast, the more I think we should just up sticks and find a place near the beach.
See also: stick, up

meet up

1. verb To meet at a location, typically not either person's home. Hey, let's meet up at the coffee shop later. I have to run to an appointment now. Can I meet up with you later?
2. noun An organized gathering of some kind, usually of people with similar interests. In this usage, the term is usually spelled as one word. There's a sci-fi meetup in the library later. Are you coming?
See also: meet, up

back someone up

to provide someone with help in reserve; to support someone. Don't worry. I will back you up when you need me. Will you please back up Nancy over the weekend?
See also: back, up

back something up

 
1. Lit. to drive a car backwards. Will you back your car up a little? I will back up the car.
2. Lit. to cause objects to obstruct a pathway or channel and cause a slowdown in the flow. The wreck backed the cars up for a long way. Some dead branches and leaves backed the sewer up.
3. Fig. to give additional support or evidence about something. (To support or strengthen the facts.) My story of the crime will back your story up. That backs up my story, all right.
See also: back, up

back up

 
1. Lit. [for objects] to obstruct and accumulate in a pathway or channel. Something clogged the sewer and it backed up.
2. Fig. to refuse to go through with something; to back out (of something). Fred backed up at the last minute, leaving me to do the job alone.
See also: back, up

back up (to something)

to go back to something said in a conversation. Wait—back up a little. What did you say that phone number was? Let's back up to what you just said and go over that point again.
See also: back, up

back up (to something)

to go back to something said in a conversation. Wait—back up a little. What did you say that phone number was? Let's back up to what you just said and go over that point again.
See also: back, up

break someone up

to cause a person to laugh, perhaps at an inappropriate time. John told a joke that really broke Mary up. The comedian's job was to break up the audience by telling jokes.
See also: break, up

break something up

 
1. Lit. to destroy something. The storm broke the docks up on the lake. The police broke up the gambling ring.
2. Fig. to put an end to something. The police broke the fight up. Walter's parents broke up the party at three in the morning.
See also: break, up

break something up (into something)

to break something into smaller pieces. We broke the crackers up into much smaller pieces. Please break up the crackers into smaller pieces if you want to feed the ducks.
See also: break, up

break up

 
1. Lit. [for something] to fall apart; to be broken to pieces. (Typically said of a ship breaking up on rocks.) In the greatest storm of the century, theship broke up on the reef. It broke up and sank.
2. Go to break up (with someone).
3. [for married persons] to divorce. After many years of bickering, they finally broke up.
4. [for a marriage] to dissolve in divorce. Their marriage finally broke up.
5. to begin laughing very hard. The comedian told a particularly good joke, and the audience broke up. I always break up when I hear her sing. She is so bad!
See also: break, up

break up (with someone)

to end a romantic relationship with someone. Tom broke up with Mary and started dating Lisa. We broke up in March, after an argument.
See also: break, up

call someone or something up

to call someone, a group, or a company on the telephone. I will call them up and see what they have to say. Please call up the supplier.
See also: call, up

call someone up

to request that someone or a group report for active military service. (See also call someone or something out.) The government called the reserve units up for active service. They called up another battalion.
See also: call, up

call something up

to summon information from a computer. John used his laptop to call the information up. With a few strokes on the computer keyboard, Sally called up the figures she was looking for.
See also: call, up

check up (on someone or something)

to determine the state of someone or something. Please don't check up on me. I can be trusted. I see no need to check up.
See also: check, up

close someone up

to close a surgical wound at the end of a surgical procedure. Fred, would you close her up for me? Fred closed up the patient.
See also: close, up

close something up

 
1. to close someone's business, office, shop, etc., temporarily or permanently. Tom's restaurant nearly went out of business when the health department closed him up. The health department closed up the restaurant.
2. to close something that is open, such as a door or a box. Please close the door when you leave.
See also: close, up

close up

 
1. Lit. [for an opening] to close completely. The door closed up and would not open again. The wound will close up completely in a day or so.
2. Fig. [for a place of business] to close for business. The store closed up and did not open until the next day.
See also: close, up

cover someone or something up

to place something on someone or something for protection or concealment. Cover the pie up, so Terry won't see it. Cover up Jimmy so he doesn't get cold.
See also: cover, up

cover something up

 
1. Lit. to place some sort of cover on something. Please cover up that mess with a cloth. Cover it up.
2. Fig. to conceal a wrongdoing; to conceal evidence. They tried to cover the crime up, but the single footprint gave them away. She could not cover up her misdeeds.
See also: cover, up

crack someone or something up

to damage someone or something. (See also crack someone up.) Who cracked my car up? Who cracked up my car? Who was driving? The accident cracked him up a little.
See also: crack, up

crack someone up

to make someone laugh very hard; to make someone break out laughing. You and your jokes really crack me up. That comedian really knows how to crack up an audience.
See also: crack, up

crack something up

to crash something; to destroy something (in an accident). The driver cracked the car up in an accident. The pilot cracked up the plane.
See also: crack, up

crack up

 
1. to have a wreck. The plane cracked up and killed two of the passengers. Whose car cracked up on the expressway?
2. to break out in laughter. The whole audience cracked up. I knew I would crack up during the love scene.
3. Sl. to have a mental or emotional breakdown. The poor guy cracked up. It was too much for him. You would crack up, too, if you had been through all he went through.
4. an accident; a wreck. (Usually crack-up.) There was a terrible crack-up on the expressway. There were four cars in the crack-up.
See also: crack, up

cut someone or something up

Fig. to criticize someone or something severely. Jane is such a gossip. She was really cutting Mrs. Jones up. The professor really cut up my essay.
See also: cut, up

cut someone up

Fig. to make someone laugh. That comedian's routine really cut me up. Tommy's rude noises cut the whole class up, but not the teacher.
See also: cut, up

cut someone up

Fig. to make someone laugh. That comedian's routine really cut me up. Tommy's rude noises cut the whole class up, but not the teacher.
See also: cut, up

cut up (about someone or something)

Sl. emotionally upset about someone or something. She was all cut up about her divorce. You could see how cut up she was.
See also: cut, up

hang something up

to return the telephone receiver to its cradle. (See also hang it up.) Please hang this up when I pick up the other phone. Please hang up the phone.
See also: hang, up

hang up

 .
1. [for a machine or a computer] to grind to a halt; to stop because of some internal complication. Our computer hung up right in the middle of printing the report. I was afraid that my computer would hang up permanently.
2. to replace the telephone receiver after a call; to terminate a telephone call. I said good-bye and hung up. Please hang up and place your call again.
See also: hang, up

hang up

 (on someone or something)
1. and hang up (in someone's ear) to end a telephone call by returning the receiver to the cradle while the other party is still talking. She hung up on me! I had to hang up on all that rude talk.
2. to give up on someone or something; to quit dealing with someone or something. Finally, I had to hang up on Jeff. I can't depend on him for anything. We hung up on them because we knew we couldn't make a deal.
See also: hang, up

(someone's) ups and downs

a person's good fortune and bad fortune. I've had my ups and downs, but in general life has been good to me. All people have their ups and downs.
See also: and, Downs, UPS

back up

1. Move or drive a vehicle backward, as in He told her to back up into the garage. [First half of 1800s]
2. Bring or come to a standstill, as in The water had backed up in the drains, or The accident had backed up traffic for miles. [First half of 1800s]
3. Support or strengthen, as in The photos were backed up with heavy cardboard so they couldn't be bent, or I'll back up that statement of yours. [Second half of 1700s]
4. Duplicate a file or program so that the original is not lost. For example, Every computer manual warns you to back up your work frequently in case of a power outage or computer failure . [Second half of 1900s]
See also: back, up

break up

1. Divide into many pieces; disintegrate. For example, Now break up the head of garlic into separate cloves. [Mid-1700s]
2. Interrupt the continuity of something, as in A short walk will break up the long morning.
3. Also, break it up. Scatter, disperse, as in The crowd broke up as soon as they reached the streets. [Late 1400s] This phrase is also used as an imperative, as in "Break it up!" shouted the police officer. [c. 1930]
4. Bring or come to an end, as in His gambling was bound to break up their marriage.
5. Also, break someone up. Burst into or cause one to burst into an expression of feeling, such as laughter or tears. For example, His jokes always break me up, or That touching eulogy broke us all up, or I looked at her and just broke up. The precise meaning depends on the context. This sense grew out of a usage from the early 1800s that meant "upset" or "disturb." [Colloquial; early 1800s]
See also: break, up

call up

1. Summon to military service, as in He was called up for active duty. [Late 1600s]
2. Cause to remember, bring to mind, as in These stories call up old times. [c. 1700] Also see call to mind.
3. Telephone someone, as in I'll call up the theater and find out about tickets. [Late 1800s]
4. Retrieve data from a computer memory, as in I asked him to call up the last quarter's sales figures. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: call, up

check up

see under check on.
See also: check, up

close up

Also, close up shop. Stop doing business, temporarily or permanently; also, stop working. For example, The bank is closing up all its overseas branches, or That's enough work for one day-I'm closing up shop and going home. [Late 1500s]
See also: close, up

cover up

1. Wrap up or enfold in order to protect. For example, Be sure to cover up the outdoor furniture in case of rain, or It's cold, so be sure to cover up the baby. [Late 1800s]
2. Conceal something, especially a crime, as in The opposition accused the President of covering up his assistant's suicide. [c. 1920]
See also: cover, up

crack up

1. Suffer an emotional breakdown, become insane, as in He might crack up under the strain. This usage alludes to the result of cracking one's skull; from the early 1600s to crack alone was used in this way. [Slang; early 1900s]
2. Damage or wreck a vehicle or vessel. For example, I'm always afraid that I'll crack up the car.
3. Experience a crash, as in We cracked up on the freeway in the middle of the ice storm.
4. Also, crack someone up. Burst or cause to burst out laughing, as in The audience cracked up, or That joke really cracked me up. [Slang; c. 1940] Also see break up, def. 6. All of these expressions derive from crack in the sense of "break into pieces" or "collapse," a usage dating from the late 1600s. Also see cracked up.
See also: crack, up

cut up

1. Divide into smaller parts, break the continuity of, as in These meetings have cut up my whole day. [c. 1800]
2. Severely censure or criticize, as in The reviewer cut up the book mercilessly. [Mid-1700s]
3. be cut up. Be distressed or saddened, as in I was terribly cut up when she left. [Mid-1800s] Charles Dickens used this idiom in A Christmas Carol (1844): "Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event."
4. Behave in a playful, comic, or boisterous way, as in On the last night of camp the children usually cut up. [Late 1800s]
5. cut up rough. Act in a rowdy, angry, or violent way, as in After a beer or two the boys began to cut up rough. [Slang; first half of 1800s]
See also: cut, up

hang up

1. Suspend on a hook or hanger, as in Let me hang up your coat for you. [c. 1300]
2. Also, hang up on. Replace a telephone receiver in its cradle; end a phone conversation. For example, She hung up the phone, or He hung up on her. [Early 1900s]
3. Delay or hinder; also, become halted or snagged, as in Budget problems hung up the project for months, or Traffic was hung up for miles. [Second half of 1800s]
4. Have or cause to have emotional difficulties, as in Being robbed at gunpoint can hang one up for years to come. [Slang; early 1900s]
5. hung up on. Obsessed with, as in For years the FBI was hung up on Communist spies. [First half of 1900s]
6. hang up one's sword or gloves or fiddle . Quit, retire, as in He's hanging up his sword next year and moving to Florida. The noun in these expressions refers to the profession one is leaving- sword for the military, gloves for boxing, and fiddle for music-but they all are used quite loosely as well, as in the example.
7. hang up one's hat. Settle somewhere, reside, as in "Eight hundred a year, and as nice a house as any gentleman could wish to hang up his hat in" (Anthony Trollope, The Warden, 1855).
See also: hang, up

ups and downs

Good times and bad times, successes and failures, as in We've had our ups and downs but things are going fairly well now. This term was first recorded in 1659.
See also: and, Downs, UPS

back up

v.
1. To move backward: We passed the house we were looking for, so we had to back up a little bit.
2. To move something or someone backward: I backed the car up against the garage wall. Let's back up the car to the curb.
3. To prove something to be true: There was not enough evidence to back up the theory. What I told you is true, and now I have even more evidence to back it up.
4. To support someone by confirming that they are telling the truth: We told our version of the events, certain that the witnesses would back us up. They won't back up anyone who is known for lying.
5. To provide help or support for someone or something: If I decide to take on the job, can I count on you to back me up? The political party backs up any candidate who follows its basic principles.
6. To cause to accumulate, especially due to an obstruction: The accident backed the traffic up for blocks. Something got stuck in the drain, and now the kitchen sink is backed up.
7. To make a copy of a computer program or file for use if the original is lost or damaged: I backed up the disk so that I wouldn't lose any data. Be sure to back your files up before you turn off the computer.
See also: back, up

break up

v.
1. To divide something into pieces: He broke up a piece of chocolate and scattered the pieces on top of the cake. She took the damaged table outside and broke it up with an axe for use as firewood.
2. To separate or shatter into pieces: The falling rocket broke up before it hit the ground.
3. To cause a relationship or partnership to end: Personal tensions broke the rock band up. I'm not trying to break up their marriage.
4. To end a relationship or partnership; separate: I thought they would be married by the end of the year, but they broke up instead.
5. To cause a crowd or gathering to disperse: The protest rally was getting very big and noisy when the police came and broke it up. The teacher came outside to break up the group of children that were fighting.
6. To disperse: The crowd broke up after the concert was over.
7. To cause someone to laugh or cry very hard: That story that you told really broke me up!
8. To laugh or cry very hard: She broke up when I told her the joke. He broke up when he heard the sad news.
9. To be unclear because of technical difficulties. Used of radio and telephone signals: My radio started breaking up as I drove through the tunnel. There must be something wrong with your phone; your signal is breaking up!
10. To add variety to something: The vertical stripes break up the horizontal patterns on the wall. I take a short walk after lunch to break up the routine of the workday.
See also: break, up

call up

v.
1. To shout something from a lower level to a higher one: Standing on the sidewalk, I called up to the people on the roof.
2. To summon someone from a lower level to a higher one: The speaker called members of the audience up to the stage to receive a prize. After I climbed to the top of the tower and determined that it was safe, I called up the others who had stayed behind.
3. To telephone someone or something: As soon as I heard the news, I called up my broker and told her to sell the stock. I called him up to ask if he was free for lunch.
4. To summon someone to active military service: The military has called up thousands of reserve troops for active duty. The reservists have begun training in case the military calls them up.
5. To cause someone to remember something; bring something to mind: The view of the river called up a painting I had once seen. The therapist was certain that I had repressed memories and that her therapy would call them up.
6. To bring something forth for action or discussion: At the meeting, the treasurer called up the budget proposal for review. Supporters of the legislation complained that the senator had never called it up for a vote.
7. To summon or draw on something: I called up all my courage and asked the boss for a raise.
See also: call, up

close up

v.
1. To shut something completely: The doctor closed up the cut with stitches. I closed the box up with wire and tape.
2. To become shut completely: My eye closed up because of the infection.
3. To shut and lock a building for a period of time: It's my job to close up the store for the night because I'm always the last one to leave. At the end of August, we'll close the cottage up for the winter.
See also: close, up

cover up

v.
1. To spread or extend something over someone or something in order to protect or conceal: We covered up the furniture with a drop cloth before painting the walls. The children covered themselves up with leaves while playing hide and seek.
2. To conceal something, especially wrongdoing or error: The criminal tried to cover up the crime by destroying the evidence. I accidentally overcharged a customer, and my boss told me to cover it up.
3. To put on or wear clothing: My grandmother covers up before going outside to protect herself from the sun.
See also: cover, up

crack up

v.
1. To damage something or someone, as in an accident: I cracked up the car when I hit a tree. We gave him a remote control plane for his birthday, but he cracked it up on his very first flight.
2. To become damaged or wrecked: The plane cracked up when it hit the ground.
3. To praise someone or something highly, especially incorrectly. Often used in the passive: I am simply not the genius I'm cracked up to be. His friend cracked him up to be a great mechanic, but I thought his work was shoddy.
4. To have a mental or physical breakdown: We were afraid that the pilot might crack up under the stress.
5. To laugh very hard: She cracked up when I told her the joke.
6. To cause someone to laugh very hard: The funny movie cracked us up. The comedian cracked up the audience.
See also: crack, up

cut up

v.
1. To slice or chop something into smaller pieces: The electrician cut up the wires. We cut the newspapers up.
2. To wound someone by cutting or gashing, especially in multiple places: The mobster grabbed a knife and cut up the witness.
3. To behave in a playful, comic, or boisterous way; clown: That clown cut us all up. The new teacher cut up the class.
4. Slang To criticize someone or something severely: The teacher cut up the lazy student. The judge cut me up for arriving late.
See also: cut, up

hang up

v.
1. To suspend something on a hook or hanger: Please hang your jacket up in the closet. I hung up my bathrobe on the hook.
2. To replace a telephone receiver on its base or cradle: I hung up the phone and returned to my chores. Will you hang that phone up and get back to your homework?
3. To end a telephone conversation: I said goodbye to my mother and hung up.
4. To delay or impede something; hinder something: Budget problems hung up the project for months. Squabbling hung the contract talks up for weeks.
5. To become snagged or hindered: The fishing line hung up on a rock.
6. To stop doing or participating in some activity: They are planning to hang up their law practice after 40 years. Trying to find your keys in the snow is a lost cause—you might as well hang it up.
7. Slang To have emotional difficulties or inhibitions. Used passively: If you weren't so hung up about your job, you'd be more fun to be around.
8. Slang To be obsessed or consumed with something. Used passively: I'm still hung up on that sale I missed last week.
See also: hang, up

meet up

v.
1. To come together at a place, especially in order to accomplish something; meet: Let's meet up after the meeting and discuss this further.
2. meet up to To have some required level of quality: I think our performance will meet up to your expectations. I hope my new car will meet up to the demands of all the driving that I have to do for my job.
3. meet up with To come together with someone or something, especially in order to accomplish something; meet with someone or something: We'll meet up with the others later and decide where to eat dinner.
See also: meet, up

back up

in. to refuse to go through with something; to back out (of something). Fred backed up at the last minute, leaving me with twenty pounds of hot dogs.
See also: back, up

crack up

1. in. to have a wreck. The plane cracked up and killed two of the passengers.
2. in. to break out in laughter. I knew I would crack up during the love scene.
3. in. to have a nervous breakdown. The poor guy cracked up. It was too much for him.
4. n. an accident; a wreck. (Usually crack-up.) There was a terrible crack-up on the expressway.
See also: crack, up

cut (up)

mod. having well-defined abdominal muscles. Andy works hard to try to get a gut that’s cut.
See also: cut, up

cut up

verb
See also: cut, up

hang up

1. n. a problem or concern; an obsession. (Usually hang-up.) She’s got some serious hang-ups about cats.
2. in. to say no; to cancel out of something. If you don’t want to do it, just hang up. I’ll understand.
See also: hang, up

high ups

and higher ups
n. the people in charge. One of the higher ups is coming down to talk to you.
See also: high, UPS

higher ups

verb
See also: higher, UPS

jack-ups

n. capsules of a barbiturate drug. (Drugs.) Walter took a few jack-ups and went on to work.

pick-me-up

n. any food or drink that boosts energy, such as a drink of liquor, candy, soda pop. I can’t finish the day without a little pick-me-up at lunch.
References in classic literature ?
The moment Aunt March took her nap, or was busy with company, Jo hurried to this quiet place, and curling herself up in the easy chair, devoured poetry, romance, history, travels, and pictures like a regular bookworm.
There was a titter in the courtroom; the officer who was holding Jurgis put up his hand to hide a smile, and the magistrate smiled without trying to hide it.
And your `gettin' religion,' as you call it, arter all, is too p'isin mean for any crittur;--run up a bill with the devil all your life, and then sneak out when pay time comes
Bob's been carved up some with a bowie, and Tom's been hurt once or twice.
But now we was up a stump, for we couldn't go to bed.
Go up alonger this drivelling sick man,' he says to his wife, 'and Magwitch, lend her a hand, will you?
Will you excuse me if I go on with my rolling, just to keep up appearances?
And then, in that rapid movement, all the fiddles took it up and the conductor's stick seemed to beat it in the air: 'Why not, why not?
Well, last Monday evening I was taking a stroll down that way, when I met an empty van coming up the lane, and saw a pile of carpets and things lying about on the grass-plot beside the porch.
But pick it up, and don't stand idling there like a flamingo.
I'm the head of the noblest branch o' the family, and I ought to live up to it.
And he ups with his boot and--well, the dog hit the far wall.
If you could look with her eyes you might see her surrounded with hundreds of figures performing complex dramas, with tragic and comic issues, long conversations, many characters, many ups and downs of fate,--and meantime it is only puss and her tail.
We've had our ups and downs, we've had our struggles, we've always been poor, but it's been worth it, ay, worth it a hundred times I say when I look round at my children.
As for Allan a Dale and his wife, the fair Ellen, they followed Robin Hood and shared in all his ups and downs of life.