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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
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.

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"We've just got to dust ourselves off very quickly, get on the bus back home and go again with a new preparation for Leicestershire on Wednesday.
"We just have to dust ourselves off very quick and go again against Leicestershire on Wednesday." The Kiwi added: "There was still good stuff, from the batting particularly.
"We just have to dust ourselves off very quickly and go again against Leicestershire on Wednesday."
We've just got to dust ourselves off, look after ourselves and we've got a really important game against Salford next Friday, so we'll be really driven for that."
'But we will dust ourselves off and come back strong.'
"We have just had to dust ourselves off and seek out more work as we have always done.
We have to dust ourselves off and come back stronger, look at things we can improve.
"Now we have to dust ourselves off and look forward to winning football matches, and to have half an eye on next season, in a tough division."
Graham (above) told Irish Sunday MirrorSport: "Look, it'll be a mental blow to deal with if we go down but we'll dust ourselves off and we'll sit down and talk about it, see where we want to go.
We must be willing to accept its Sisyphean nature and, yet, have the stamina to get back up each day, dust ourselves off and start rolling our rock once again.
"We've got that, so we've got to dust ourselves off quickly and get rid of the disappointment."
"I thought the first half was our worst even compared to Stranraer but we've got to dust ourselves off as we've another game tonight.
We have to dust ourselves off, get back on the field and come away with a win."
We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get on with it, thinking even bigger than before.