dust off

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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
References in periodicals archive ?
All the lads are working really hard, and we have got to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and go again.
We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get on with it, thinking even bigger than before.
When luck's not with you, it's not with you, but we have to dust ourselves off and at some point our luck will turn.
We dust ourselves off, we have got another game on Sunday, we are not thinking too far ahead and (will) keep doing what we are doing and see what happens.
We were expected to dust ourselves off and get on with the job of being children.
We have got to dust ourselves off, prepare for the Hurricanes game, and then we have got another Test match.
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America," Obama said.
UKIP will get over these setbacks and the grassroots will as we have in the past dust ourselves off and get on with working for our supporters and their hopes for a better future.
Redfearn added: "We can't get down, we've got to dust ourselves off.
Today is a bittersweet day for us as all pledges are immediately voided from our KickStarter Campaign but we are so fortunate to have a great community here in Colorado to help pick us up, dust ourselves off and start all over again," said Shelpuk.
So now, we've got to get back to the saddle, dust ourselves off, and keep going.
Because, as my old boss used to say, if we become discouraged or dissatisfied with government, we must not simply complain; we must get up off the mat, dust ourselves off and get back in the game.
We have to do what we usually do: dust ourselves off, credit the opponent and perform better.