dust up

dust up

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.
See also: dust, up

dust-up

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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
He isn't expecting any dust ups despite the chequered disciplinary history of the series.
I'm quite happy with where I'm at." Local fight fans will also be quite happy to fork out for what is already bubbling up to be one of the domestic dust ups of the year.
It must start in attack, where the Cumbrians' early-season incisiveness has deserted them in their top-of-the-table dust ups. They weren't helped by a halftime injury that forced the withdrawal of top scorer Danny Graham, but even before then Carlisle's considerable attacking arsenal was backfiring.
And while they're hugely inventive, sometimes funny and eyewateringly quick at times, it's not really what the film's all about and after a couple of kung fu dust ups they start to feel rather out of place.
With Martinez ranked just one place behind boxing's big two in the greatest fighter on the planet rankings there has been talk of pound-for-pound dust ups.
"How only one fella got red carded after all the dust ups that were there beggars belief in my opinion," added the Galway star.