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1. To add to something until it is full, especially if it was already close to being full. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "off." I'd like to top the car off with gas before we set out on the road tomorrow. Here, let me top off your glass with a bit more wine.
2. To finish or complete something by adding a final element or flourish to it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "off." The party was great! There was dinner, games, and dancing, and they topped the evening off with a karaoke competition. The cake is almost finished, let me just top it off with a few chocolate strawberries. We topped off our vacation in Greece with a trip to the Acropolis of Athens.
3. To add something unpleasant or difficult to an already troublesome situation. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "top" and "off." I got a flat tire halfway through my bicycle ride, and to top that off, I had left my phone at home so I couldn't call anyone for help! The boss tore me a new one today, and to top it all off, my boyfriend said he was moving out.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
top something off(with something)
1. to end or terminate something with something; to put something on the top of something. They topped the building off with a tall flagpole. He topped off each piece of pie with a heap of whipped cream.
2. to celebrate an end to something with something. They topped the evening off with a bottle of champagne. They topped off the evening with a bottle of champagne.
top something off
to add to the difficulty of something. Jane lost her job, and to top that off, she caught the flu. I had a bad day, and to top it off, I have to go to a meeting tonight.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Fill a container, especially when it is almost full to begin with. For example, I don't need much gas; just top off the tank, please. [First half of 1900s]
2. Finish, especially in a spectacular way, as in They topped off their trip with a visit to the White House. [First half of 1800s]
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 fill some container completely, especially when it is almost full to begin with: Before we returned the rental car, we topped off the gas tank. Every time I took a sip of my water, the server would come back and top it off.
2. To finish something appropriately: The couple topped off the romantic evening with a walk along the river.
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.