1. To remove dust and dirt from someone or something by patting, brushing, or wiping. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "up." After sliding into third base, I got up and dusted myself up. Here, take this rag and dust up the TV stand before Grandma gets here.
2. To begin to use something that has been dormant or unused for a long time, as if it were covered in dust. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "up." I decided to dust up the novel I started writing in college and finally try to finish it.
3. To cover something with dust or a dust-like substance. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "up." I like to finish the cake by dusting it up with powdered sugar.
4. To pass someone very quickly or handily, as on a trail or in a race. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "up." I thought I would be a faster climber, but Jack completely dusted me up to the summit. The younger runner dusted up all of his competitors.
5. To make someone or oneself ready to continue trying to do something or begin something again, especially after something unpleasant or demoralizing has happened. A noun or pronoun is used between "dust" and "up" I know you struggled last season, but it's time to dust yourself up and start fresh this season. I really struggled after losing my job, but my wife helped dust me up and start looking for a new career.
6. To punch or beat someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "up." I ran to get a teacher when I heard the school bully threaten to dust up another kid in our class. The detective dusted the suspect up a bit when he refused to admit to the crime.
A fight or argument. I'm glad to see that you guys made up after your little dust-up the other night.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.