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1. To bend over at the waist, often due to pain or laughter. After eating at that restaurant, I got food poisoning that made me double up from the stomach pain. I doubled up laughing when Jeff told that Joke at the meeting.
2. To cause someone to bend over at the waist, often due to pain or laughter. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "double" and "over." Unfortunately, the food from that restaurant doubled me up with stomach pains for most of the night.
3. To pair people or things up. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "double" and "up." I doubled each of my students up with a buddy for the field trip.
4. For two people to come together as a pair. Have the students double up with a buddy on the field trip.
5. To serve two separate purposes. Because we're understaffed, I have to double up as receptionist and file clerk right now. You wouldn't know it, but this sleeping bag doubles up as a poncho.
6. To do something twice as much as one usually does. If you forget to take a dose of your medication, don't double up when you remember—just wait until your next scheduled dose.
7. To share a particular space or accommodation that is intended for one person. Mom didn't reserve enough hotel rooms for all of us, so we're doubling up, sis.
8. In poker, to double one's amount of chips, typically during a single hand in which one bet all of them and won. Jennifer is short-stacked, so look for her to try to double up here by going all in.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
double up (with laughter)
Fig. to laugh so hard that one bends over. We all just doubled up with laughter. I doubled up when I heard the punch line.
double up (with someone)
to share with someone. We don't have enough books. Tom, will you double up with Jane? When we get more books, we won't have to double up anymore.
(on someone or something) [for people] to deal with someone or something in pairs. We are going to have to double up in this job. We will double up and get it done.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Bend over suddenly, as in pain or laughter. For example, She doubled up with a cramp. [Late 1800s]
2. Share accommodations meant for one person, as in The hotel ran out of rooms, so we had to double up. [Late 1700s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To bend at the waist suddenly, out of pain or intense laughter: We doubled up in laughter watching the old movies.
2. To cause someone to bend at the waist suddenly, as out of pain or intense laughter: That joke absolutely doubled me up!
3. To arrange something in pairs: We doubled up the children in the downstairs bedrooms.
4. To be arranged in pairs: The children doubled up, and each pair took a turn on the swings. If the crew doubles up, they can finish this job in half the time.
5. To do or use twice as much of something as usual: I didn't go to the gym yesterday, so I'm doubling up on my workout today. The clothes are filthy, so double up on detergent.
6. To share between two people something meant for one: There aren't enough beds for everyone, so they had to double up.
7. To perform two functions simultaneously: The new band has a lead singer who doubles up on keyboards. My key ring doubles up as a bottle opener.
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.