dust off


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Related to dust off: leave in the dust
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dust off

1. To remove dust and dirt from someone or something by patting or wiping. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "off." After sliding into third base, I got up and dusted myself off. Here, take this rag and dust off the TV stand before Grandma gets here.
2. To ready something (often by retrieving it from storage) so that it can be used again. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "off." Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it's time to dust off the Christmas decorations!
3. slang In baseball, to throw a pitch at or very close to the body of the batter. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "off." Don't be afraid to dust off the batter a bit if he's crowding the plate.
4. To ready oneself for something that one used to do, often after something unpleasant has happened. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is used between "dust" and "off." I know you struggled last season, but it's time to dust yourself off and start fresh this season.
5. To punch or beat someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "off." I ran to get a teacher when I heard the school bully threaten to dust off another kid in our class.
6. To kill or defeat someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "off." No one expected the highest-seeded team to be dusted off so early in the playoffs.
See also: dust, off

dust someone off

Sl. to punch or beat someone. We dusted them off one by one. We had to dust off all those big guys. dust someone or something off to wipe or brush the dust off someone or something. Dust this vase off and put it on the shelf. Please dust off this vase.
See also: dust, off

dust off

1. Restore to use. For example, I've dusted off last year's menu for the party. This usage alludes to cleaning and thereby renewing some object. [Mid-1900s]
2. Pitch a baseball dangerously close to the batter's head, as in I'm sure he dusted him off on purpose. [Slang; 1920s]
3. Finish off, kill; also, easily defeat. For example, They vowed to dust off the old man, or We'll dust off this team in no time. [Slang; c. 1940]
4. Thrash, beat up, as in If he didn't hand over his wallet, they threatened to dust him off. [Slang; 1920s]
See also: dust, off

dust off

v.
1. To remove dust from something or someone by brushing or wiping: I dusted off the old trunk in the attic. We picked up the antiques and dusted them off.
2. To restore something to use: The mechanic dusted off that old engine and sold it. I dusted off last year's winter coat and put it on.
See also: dust, off

dust someone off

tv. to give someone a good pounding or beating. Bob dusted off Larry; then he started for Tom.
See also: dust, off, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
Event co-organiser John Barratt said: "This is a great way for people to dust off your instrument and join the Walsall Symphony Orchestra for a day of fun.
Make a rule for everyone to shake the sand and dust off clothing and boots before they enter or flying sand and dust will come in the door.
The warm days of summer are here; now is the time to dust off your kayak, lube your bike, take the cobwebs out of your canoe, waterproof your hiking boots, and squeeze your feet back into those climbing shoes.
If you want to be really prepared this season, take a swing around the site before you dust off those clubs.
EVERY now and then archivists dust off obscure 1960s b-sides and repackage them as rhythm and blues rarities.
If we were to shake the dust off our shoes whenever our witness is rejected, we would have the cleanest shoes in the world!
The easiest way to write the biography of a song is to yank it out of the ground and brush the dust off its roots in order to determine what it sounds like, what it says, and how it compares with other songs (or books or poems or plays or movies) that came before it.
It is time for her to dust off the PVC nurse's outfit she wore when she entered the house and book a one-way ticket back to Huddersfield
DUST OFF MIDEAST 'ROAD MAP' (Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles)
3313), has prompted a few congressmen to dust off and read their copy of the U.S.
So, when you're sitting around, crapping your adult diapers, watching your grandkids steal money from your wallet, dust off an old mag and check out the glory days.
Who was he going to dust off or straighten out this time?
THE Lisbon web site has had a bit of a dust off and now reflects the venerable institution's latelicence.
Martian dust storms are powered by solar heating, which whips up the winds that lift dust off the ground.