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bone up on (something)
To learn more about a particular topic, usually in preparation for something. I need to bone up on factorials before attempting to teach them on Monday. Be sure to bone up on the key points before the debate.
bone up (on something)
to study something thoroughly; to review the facts about something. I have to bone up on the state driving laws because I have to take my driving test tomorrow. I take mine next month, so I'll have to bone up, too.
Study intensely, as in I'll have to bone up on my Spanish if I'm to pass the language requirement. The verb bone alone was used in this sense from the mid-1800s on, up being added later. [Slang; late 1800s]
To improve or hone some skill or ability in preparation for some event: The candidate boned up on foreign policy for the big debate. I wanted a decent grade, so I boned up for the final exam. Before visiting Paris, he boned up on his French.