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be boxing clever
To be acting skillfully and cunningly or deceitfully to achieve a desired outcome. Primarily heard in UK. I wasn't boxing clever at the time, so it was easy for the headmaster to see that I had broken the rules.
1. verb To exchange punches with an opponent. I love to box and have been working on my right hook this week.
2. noun, slang A coffin. It was a bad car accident, but no one ended up in a box, thank goodness.
3. noun A very large portable radio or boom-box. It can also be called a "ghetto box." There are so many kids in the neighborhood with boxes that I can barely hear myself think!
4. noun A record player. My parents love playing their old records on the box.
5. noun An accordion. Can also be called a "squeeze box." Most polka music incorporates a box.
6. noun, rude slang The female genitals. He just seems so lecherous—I bet he's after your box.
7. noun, rude slang The male genitals, typically when covered by clothing. Yeah, I noticed his box—how could you miss it?
box (one's) ears
dated To hit one on the head, especially on or around one's ears. Typically used as a threat. The next time you borrow my car without my permission, I'll box your ears!
box (oneself) into a corner
To create a predicament or unpleasant situation for oneself whereby there are no or very few favorable solutions or outcomes. I really boxed myself into a corner by leaving this essay till the last minute! The candidate boxed himself into a corner during the debate, having to take back several things he'd already said.
To act skillfully and cunningly or deceitfully to achieve a desired outcome. Primarily heard in UK. The principal is already on to you, so you're going to have to box clever to avoid a suspension.
1. To physically block and thus prevent someone or something from moving from a certain spot. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "in." Well, I guess I'm not leaving yet because that van is boxing in my car.
2. To limit one's options or cause one to feel restricted or stuck. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "in." I'm a very versatile performer—don't just box me in as a comedic actress.
box it out
To get into a fistfight. We came outside and saw too guys boxing it out in the parking lot.
1. To accomplish some task that one has been meaning to complete or take care of. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "off." We'll need to do the paperwork sooner or later, so let's just box it off this weekend. There are a few things we still need to box off during this meeting.
2. In sailing, to force the head of the boat away from the wind by hauling the jib sheets toward the rear of the boat and the headsail to the windward side. The first mate ordered the crew to begin boxing off.
box on the table
slang To die in surgery. We did everything we could, but the patient boxed on the table.
1. To create or outline the borders of some square or rectangular area. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "out." We'll need to box out an area in the back yard for the new vegetable patch.
2. In basketball, to position and maneuver oneself between the basket and an opposing player so as to intercept a rebound following a shot. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "out." You've got to start boxing him out, or else he's going to keep getting those rebounds all day long!
3. In hockey, to position and maneuver oneself in such a way as to prevent an opposing player from gaining a clear shot on net. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "out." During a power play, when you're down a player, you have to be able to box out the other team.
4. To exclude someone from a situation, especially through deceit or manipulation. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "out." The entire board of directors is trying to box me out of the decision-making process.
1. To force to be in a small or confining space. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "up." Now that Jenny is off at college, can I move into her bedroom? I'm sick of being boxed up in my tiny room. I always take the stairs because I hate boxing myself up in an elevator.
2. To pack objects into a box. A noun or pronoun can be used between "box" and "up." I am in the process of boxing up my entire house for a cross-country move. Please be careful when you box those dishes up.
slang To smoke marijuana in an enclosed space in order to let the smoke accumulate and thus achieve a stronger high. Mom will definitely smell it if we hotbox in her car!
slang The act of smoking marijuana in an enclosed space in order to let the smoke accumulate and thus achieve a stronger high. Look at all that smoke—I bet they're hotboxing in there!
See also: hotbox
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
box someone in
Fig. to put someone into a bind; to reduce the number of someone's alternatives. I don't want to box you in, but you are running out of options. I want to box in the whole staff, so they'll have to do it my way.
box someone or something in
to trap or confine someone or something. He boxed her in so she could not get away from him. They tried to box in the animals, but they needed more space. Don't try to box me in.
box someone up
to confine someone in a small area. Please don't box me up in that little office. The boss boxed up Fred in a tiny office. Why the president boxes himself up in such a little office is beyond me.
box something up
to place something in a box. Please box the books up and put them into the trunk of the car. Please box up four of these for me.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
be boxing cleverBRITISH
If someone is boxing clever, they are being very clever and careful in the way they behave in a difficult situation, so that they can get an advantage for themselves. By boxing clever with your personal tax allowances you could save £900 a year.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
box cleveract so as to outwit someone. British informal
1950 Alexander Baron There's No Home If you box clever and keep your mouth shut…you ought to be able to count on a suspended sentence.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
box ˈclever(British English, informal) act in a clever way to get what you want, sometimes tricking and deceiving somebody: Suzie realized that she had to box clever. She had to let Adam think she trusted him.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To trap or confine someone or something in a limited space or region: We boxed in the left corner of the living room with a new wall and curtains. The enemy forces had boxed us in on all sides.
2. To prevent someone from acting freely, usually by creating restrictions or obstacles: Being too strict will box in your students and prevent them from being creative. I want to make some changes at the office, but my boss has boxed me in with too many rules.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. n. the genitals of the male, especially as contained within a garment, such as underwear. (Usually objectionable.) God, did you see the box on him?
2. n. the genitals of a female; the vagina considered as a container for the penis. (Usually objectionable.) He wants to get in her box.
3. n. a coffin. Put him in a box and put the box in a hole. Then the matter is closed.
4. n. a phonograph player. Yours is old! My box still has tubes!
5. n. a portable stereo radio. Does that damn box have to be so loud?
6. n. a piano. She sure can pound the devil out of that box!
7. in. to die. The old man looks like he’s going to box at any minute.
8. Go to (ghetto) box.
9. Go to (squeeze-)box.
box on the table
mod. die on the (operating) table. (see also boxed.) The surgeon did the best job possible, but the patient boxed on the table.
See ghetto blaster
tv. to fill a small area with marijuana smoke. He “hotboxed” the closet and they both sat there and drifted.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.