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 ?
Now they have a bit of time to dust themselves off, have a little break and then we've basically got a two-week build up for the Leicester Tigers game.
And when they fail, like their Pyeongchang counterparts, these Olympians pick themselves up, dust themselves off and try again.
They've got to dust themselves off, as we all have to, and turn up strong against Essex and play some solid cricket against a side which has had a great season.
The Crues must dust themselves off quickly with a North Belfast derby against Cliftonville at Solitude next weekend.
Make them get back on their feet, dust themselves off and start all over again.
They pick themselves up, dust themselves off and look to their healthcare team and ask, "Where do I go from here?
BALA Town will look to quickly dust themselves off after suffering a tough afternoon at Park Hall as The New Saints made it seven straight wins to further stamp their authority on the league.
Billingham need to dust themselves off and come out fighting in front of their home fans after a frustrating and disappointing weekend saw them come up short against early season favourites Solway Sharks as well as the Hawks.
They will dust themselves off, go back to the clubs and they will be a few months away from Mayo set-up and when it comes to next spring, they will come again - have no doubt about that.
With the play-offs just around the corner, the Eagles will have to pick themselves up and dust themselves off following backto-back defeats to Cheshire Phoenix and Leicester Riders.
We all have heard the stories of people who have been terribly knocked down by misfortune only to rise, dust themselves off and go on to accomplish great things.
Similarly, if Steven Fletcher (pictured below) had retained the sharpness that persuaded Ellis Short to write Wolverhampton Wanderers such a large cheque last summer, Sunderland might at least have bought themselves an extra 30 minutes to dust themselves off and go again.
India will dust themselves off and prepare for a rematch with Olympic gold medallists Germany, who lost 1- 2 to the Dutch.
As long as they can dust themselves off and bounce back there won't be too much harm done.