dust off

(redirected from dusting off)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to dusting off: gather dust
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 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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
But now he's dusting off some of his greatest creations for a new tour.
FIRST released last year to rave reviews, Moore's 'covers' album now gets a dusting off with the addition of a bonus seven-song live set, reworking six of its tracks and new tune Barrowland.
Gignac says the core groups, which include prospectors, industry representatives and development officials, are dusting off and re-examining some of the dozen or so proposals put forward during planning sessions and preparing them to take forward to the funding agencies.
Ever since, we all - no matter where you live or who you are -- in this country, have been pulling ourselves from those ruins and dusting off the ashes.
The Aldenham Harriers last held a fixture in 1964 at defunct Friars Wash, but they are dusting off the cobwebs to hold a meeting at Cottenham.
Despite dusting off Giselle and Coppelia from time to time, the company's dancers are much more at ease with technically demanding, plotless ballets, particularly those by European choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Jiri Kylian and William Forsythe.
Rummaging through rubbish bins, crystallographers are taking a fresh look at crystal structure -- dusting off old photographs, retrieving discarded data, remeasuring key paramters.
Time for Openworld staff to start dusting off their CVs, perhaps?
He was also instrumental in bringing the Norgoma to the Sault and dusting off old city plans for the interpretive centre.