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1. To become warmer in temperature. You can put your coat away because the weatherman says it's going to heat up this week. I'm just waiting for the water to heat up before I get in the shower.
2. To cause something to become warmer in temperature. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "heat" and "up." I'll heat up my lunch when you're done with the microwave.
3. To intensify. The competition will heat up as we get closer to the playoffs.
4. To make one angry. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "heat" and "up." Please calm down, I didn't mean to heat you up. This whole situation heats me up so much—it's amazing that I haven't screamed at the whole staff today.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
heat someone up
Fig. to make someone angry. (One old [now folksy] past tense is het.) This kind of nonsense really heats me up. Mean talk heats up the kids.
heat something up (to something)
to raise the temperature of something to a certain level. Please heat this room up to about seventy degrees. Can you heat up the room a little more?
1. Lit. to get warmer or hot. It really heats up in the afternoon around here. How soon will dinner be heated up?
2. Fig. to grow more animated or combative. The debate began to heat up near the end. Their argument was heating up, and I was afraid there would be fighting.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Become acute or intense, as in If inflation heats up, the interest rate will surely rise, or The debate over the budget was heating up. [Early 1200s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To become hotter: As stars heat up, they expend more energy.
2. To cause something to become hotter: He heated the water up on the stove. She heated up the pizza in the microwave.
3. To become acute or intense: The baseball game heated up in the last inning.
4. Slang To make someone angry: That incompetent umpire really heated me up. The newscaster's outlandish comments heated up the audience.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.