mop up

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mop up

1. To clean something up, such as a spill, often literally with a mop. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "mop" and "up." Hand me a rag so I can mop up this juice.
2. To remedy problems caused by someone or something else. He needs to hire a PR person to mop up the mess he made with those comments.
3. To do the minor, final steps that complete a task. Can you mop up this filing? I have to be in a meeting right now.
4. To remove the final enemy troops from an area that has been reclaimed. There aren't many troops left for us to mop up.
See also: mop, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

mop something up

to clean up something, such as a spill, with a mop or with a mopping motion. Please mop this mess up. I will mop up this mess.
See also: mop, up

mop up

 (after someone or something)
1. Lit. to clean up with a mop a sloppy mess made by someone or something. I am the one who has to mop up after the mess you made!
2. Fig. to rectify a problem that someone or something has created. You made a fuss in the conference and upset everyone. I spent hours mopping up after you in private meetings with all in attendance.
See also: mop, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

mop up

1. Clear an area of remaining enemy troops after a victory, as in They left behind just one squadron to mop up. [c. 1900]
2. Perform the minor tasks that conclude a project or activity, as in Go ahead, I'll mop up these last invoices. [First half of 1900s] Both usages transfer the task of housecleaning with a mop to other kinds of cleanup.
See also: mop, up
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.
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