Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to dusting: Crop dusting, dusting off
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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 out

To remove the dust from a thing or space. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dust" and "out." Hey, dust out that vase and bring it up here so we can put the bouquet in it.
See also: dust, out

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 something out

to brush the dust out of something. Dust this cabinet out and put the china back in. Please dust out this cabinet.
See also: dust, out

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

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 ?
Foam rock dust is indeed currently allowed by MSHA (per Policy Manual reference) as an approved method (tool) to apply rock dust to rib and roof surfaces in the mine face areas and, as stipulated in the MSHA policy manual, followed by an application of dry dusting to "meet applicable standards." DSI feels that the use of the DYWI Dust foam rock dust application technology will make the application of the wet dust more effective and consistent, and enhance the rock dust application process in general.
Specifically related to the limitations of foam rock dusting, MSHA"s program policy manual, updated July 2015\Release V-51 states "wet dusting, such as foam rock dust is limited to rib and roof surfaces in the face areas and shall not be used for redusting mine surfaces.
I applaud DSI's efforts to improve rock dusting technology.
(2) MSHA Program Policy Manual, VOLUME V--COAL MINES, Subpart E, Combustible Materials and Rock Dusting
* Can be used with existing rock dusting equipment.
(6.) NIOSH Report of Investigations 9679, Recommendations for a New Rock Dusting Standard to Prevent Coal Dust Explosions in Intake Airways, K.L.
The PIB emphasized that underground coal mine operators had not been rock dusting in all required areas and were not maintaining the required levels of rock dust applications in compliance with the previous MSHA standard of no less than 65 per centum in intake air courses, and no less than 80 per centum in return air-courses under 30 CFR 75.403.Sh.
It suggested that they use bulk dusters, trickle dusters or high-pressure rock dusting machines to blow the rock dust into inaccessible areas to maintain the 80% TIC in remote areas.