rush about/around




rush into




rush ... out


rush ... through

To do something with urgent haste, e.g. Her family members were rushing around, making preparations on the day of her wedding.


To get hastily involved in something without sufficient consideration, e.g. He was invited to be the manager of a football team, but he does not want to rush into it before careful consideration.


To produce and distribute something very quickly.


To deal with something hurriedly.


rust away

To be gradually destroyed by rust.


rustle … up

To make something quickly.


sack out

To go to sleep or bed.


saddle up

saddle … with

To put a saddle on a horse.

To give someone a difficult or boring task.


sail through

To succeed easily at something, especially a test or examination.


sally forth

To set out to perform a challenging task.


salt … away

To secretly store something, especially money, for the future.


save on

To prevent wastage of something by minimizing the use of it.


savour of

To have a slight trace or indication of something.


saw at

saw … off

saw … up

To use a saw to cut something.

To remove something with a saw.

To use a saw to cut something into pieces.


scale … down

To reduce the size of operations of an organization, plan, etc.


scare … into

scare … away/off



scare up

To frighten or threaten someone into doing something.

To make or keep someone or something away by frightening them.


To make or do something from a limited source.


schlep around

To spend one’s time idling or lazing.


scope … out

To take a look at someone or something to understand their true nature.


score … out/through

To delete something by drawing a ling through it.


scrape by/along

scrape in/into


scrape through



scrape together/up


To manage to survive on the bare minimum.

To just manage to succeed in getting something, e.g. just scraped into a position or college.

To only just succeed in something such as passing an examination, etc.


To manage to accumulate, collect or get something with difficulty.


scratch … out

To cancel or strike out something by drawing a line through it.


scream at

To become blatantly obvious or conspicuous.


screen … out

To protect from something dangerous or harmful entering or passing through.

To investigate someone or something to ascertain their suitability for a job, position, etc.


screw around


screw … out of



screw ... over



screw up



screw ... up

To fool about.

To have sex with different partners.

To act dishonestly or unfairly in order to deprive someone of money or something valuable, e.g. The man was finally arrested after screwing many people out of their savings.


To cheat or treat someone unfairly.


To manage or handle a situation badly, wrongly or ineffectively, e.g. He volunteered to help me in my work but instead screwed it up.


To cause someone to be emotionally or mentally disturbed, e.g. It really screwed her up when her flight was seriously delayed by a bomb hoax.


scrub … out

scrub up

To thoroughly clean something such as a place, objects, etc.

To thoroughly clean one’s hands and arms before doing a surgery.


scrum down

To form a scrum during a game of rugby.


scrunch … up

To crush or squeeze something into a round, compressed mass.


seal … in



seal ... off

To close something securely to prevent what it contains from getting out.


To cut off an area and deny access to and from it.


search … out

To try to find something by looking.


section … off

To divide an area into distinct parts by marking border lines between them.


see about





see around/round



see in







see ... off





see ... out





see over




see through







see to

To attend to someone or deal with something, e.g. I would see about the food and drinks for the guests.

To inform or consult someone about a matter, e.g. I think I had better see someone in the government department about the potholes on the road leading to my house.


To visit a place and move about looking at it, e.g. They would like to see around the cave.


To notice a particular quality in someone or something, e.g. They see in him a young player with great potential.

To show the visitor the way in, e.g. He was told to see in only the members when they arrive.

To celebrate the new year, e.g. Each year millions of people throughout the world see in the new year.


To send someone off at the place of departure such as airport, railway station, etc.

To evict an intruder from a property, e.g. Security guards were notified to see him off the premises.


To accompany a guest to the door when he or she leaves.

To continue with something until it completes, not necessarily with enthusiasm, e.g. He is not enthusiastic but promised to see out the two-week campaign against smoking.


To examine something with a view to acquiring it, e.g. He is seeing over the antique furniture on behalf of a potential buyer.


To discover the truth about someone e.g. She could see through his deviant behaviour that he is not a suitable partner.

To provide help and care to someone who is in need, e.g. A home was set up in the area for the physically handicapped that should see them through the rest of their life.

To persist with something until it is completed, e.g. He allocates time from his busy schedule to see the project through.


To deal with something or do something for someone, e.g. see to the needs of the poor.


seek … out

To look for and find someone or something.


seize on/upon


seize up

To grasp eagerly and take advantage of something such as an opportunity, idea, excuse, etc.

(Machine parts) to become jammed due to lack of oil, etc.


sell off


sell … on



sell oneself


sell out


sell ... out


sell up

To get rid of unwanted things at cheap prices, especially when one needs the money.

To make someone enthusiastic about something such as an idea, new products, novelties, etc.


To offer sex in return for money.


To sell all of a particular product with none left, e.g. The latest model of dishwasher was sold out in the first week.


To desert one’s beliefs, principles, etc. for personal gains.


To betray someone for one’s own financial or material benefit.

To sell one’s assets and other possessions such as house, business, yacht, car, etc.


send away



send … back



send ... down





send for



send ... off









send ... on



send out





send ..,. up

To cause to go or be delivered to another place, e.g. He was sent away to live with his grandmother when he was little.

His duties include sending away numerous brochures.

To return something to where it came from, e.g. The letter was wrongly delivered so I sent it back to the post office.


To make something decreased in value, e.g. The company’s recent performance has sent its rating down.

To send someone to prison, e.g. He was sent down even for a minor offence.

To expel from a university, especially for immoral conduct.


To summon someone to appear before one or order something to be sent to one.


To order a player to leave the field by showing him a red card, as in a football game,  and be excluded from further participation in the match.

To cause to be delivered by post, e.g. He sent off the parcel yesterday.

To arrange someone to go to another place, e.g. They sent the children off to their grandparents for the weekend.

To order something to be delivered to one, e.g. We have sent off an order for some pizza.


To pass on something that has been received to anther place, e.g. The processed food is then sent on to the packing department.


To emit something, e.g. Stars send out gamma rays, radio waves, etc.

To arrange for something to go or be taken to another place, e.g. Most of the invitation cards have been sent out.


To cause something to increase in value, .e.g. Allowing greater foreign participation in the property sector has sent property prices up.


separate … out

To make or become apart or detached.


serve … out




serve ... up


To continue with something until it is complete, e.g. He has served out nearly half of his prison sentence.

To place food onto plates for handing over to someone such as customers, guests, etc.


To place food onto plates for people to eat.


set about


set … against



set … apart




set ... aside




set ... back



set ... down



set forth


set ... forth


set in



set off


set ... off



set on/upon



set out



set ... out



set to


set ... up





Start doing something that requires lots of efforts and time.

To attack someone with fists and legs.

To cause someone to fight or quarrel against another.

To offset something against, especially amount spent against tax in order to reduce the amount of tax payable.

To distinguish someone or something that are more superior compared to others, e.g. the Nobel Prize awards set the laureates apart from other people.


To keep something for a special purpose, e.g. a room in a library is set aside for only reading newspapers.

To annul a legal decision or order, e.g. A verdict of a lower court was set aside by a judge of a higher court.


To hinder the development of someone or something.

To cost someone a lot of money.


To write about something for the record.

To stop a vehicle for someone to get out.


To start a journey, etc.


To explain or describe something in writing or speech.


(Something unpleasant) to begin and seem to continue for a long time.


To go or embark on a journey.


To cause something such as a bomb, alarm, etc, to go off.

To make something such as a piece of clothing, etc. more attractive.


To attack someone violently.


To start a journey.

To begin to do or plan a course of action towards achieving a goal.


To lay something out so that they can be arranged in a particular order.


To start doing something eagerly and seriously.


To deliberately make an innocent person appear guilty or have done something wrong.

To make someone feel healthy and energetic.

To start a company, organization, etc.

To place or erect something such as a signboard, road block, statue, etc.


settle down





settle for




settle in/into


settle on/upon


settle up

To make or become calmer or quieter, e.g. She should settle down as the driving test is not going to cost her life.

To go for a more secure lifestyle, especially in having a permanent job and own house, e.g. He hasn’t decided to settle down and raise a family despite having a house and a secure job.

To accept or agree to something, usually less than satisfactory to either side, e.g. She had stated a sum for her starting salary, but had to settle for a slightly less amount.


To adapt to a new surrounding.


To decide or agree on something, e.g. They haven’t settled yet on the paint colour for the kitchen wall.


To agree on the final settlement on something such as sharing property, etc.

To pay for something such as a bill, account, etc.


sew … up

To remedy a fault by sewing it, e.g. sewing up a tear in a shirt.

To conclude a business transaction in a favourable way.

To have gained overall control over something.


shack up

To move in or start living with someone as a partner.


shade into

To be unable to distinguish where something ends and another begins.


shake down






shake ... off




shake on


shake ... out



shake ... up

To adapt to a new place.

To extort money from someone.

To sleep on the floor, on a seat, etc. instead of in a proper bed.

To search someone or something thoroughly.


To get rid of something such as an illness, problem, etc. that is bothering one, e.g. unable to shake off this gambling habit.

To escape from one’s pursuer.


To conclude something such as an agreement, etc. by shaking hands.


To shake something such as a shirt, cloth, etc. in order to remove any pieces of dirt, dust, etc. from it.


To make someone feel more enthusiastic, energetic and eager.

To make an organization, system, etc. more effective by introducing changes.


shape up

To develop or improve one’s behaviour, performance, physical fitness, etc. to the required standard.


sharpen … up

To improve something to the required standard, quality, etc.


shave … off

To remove hair off part of someone’s body by using a shaver or razor.

To reduce by a very slight amount, e.g. to shave half a second off the world record.


shell out

To pay a seemingly excessive amount of money for something.


shine through

(Personal quality or skill) to be plainly obvious.


shoot for/at


shoot … down

shoot off


shoot through



shoot up

To try to achieve a particular aim, e.g. to shoot for a five percent growth rate for this year.

To bring someone, an aircraft, etc. down by shooting.

To have to leave quickly or suddenly, e.g. He has to shoot off after receiving a telephone call.


To depart hurriedly.


To injure or damage someone or something by shooting them with bullets.

To increase rapidly in prices, number, etc., e.g. The prices of many food items have shot up; tall buildings are shooting up in many major cities across the world.

To inject oneself with a narcotic drug.


shop around

To look for the best price for the available quality goods.


shore … up

To help or support something that is likely to fail or is not working well.


shout … down



shout out

To prevent someone from speaking or being heard by shouting.


To say something suddenly in a loud voice.



shove off


shove up

To go away or to tell someone to go away.

To push a boat away from the shore.

To shift oneself to make space for someone else.


show … around


show off




show … off



show up



show ... up

To take and guide someone round a place and point out the interesting features, especially when he is new.

To display one’s abilities, accomplishments, or possessions in a boastful manner, especially to impress people and gain their admiration, e.g. He shows off his new car by sounding the horn unnecessarily.

To display something to others because one is very proud of it, e.g. His father bought Jack a large flashy car, and he is busy showing it off by driving all over town.


To turn up at a place where one is expected to, e.g. He finally showed up at the restaurant where others are waiting for him.


To expose someone as being bad or faulty.

To embarrass or humiliate someone.


shrink from

To avoid doing something difficult or unpleasant, e.g. shrink from making tough decisions.


shrug … off

To dismiss something as unimportant and without caring about it.


shuck off

To take off a piece of garment, e.g. He shucks off his jacket and plays a game of snooker.


shudder at

To think something is inappropriate or disagreeable, e.g. He shudders at what his parents would say when he tells them he’s dropped out of college.


shut … away




shut down


shut ... in


shut off






shut ... out






shut up

To isolate someone or something from being seen.

To put oneself in a place in order to be alone, e.g. He shut himself away in his room to continue with his work.


To cease or cause to cease business operation


To keep someone indoors or in a room.


To make something such as a machine, etc., stop operating, e.g. Someone accidentally pressed the wrong button on the remote control and shut off the television while everyone was watching it.

To stop or cut off supply, e.g. shutting off a tap, or a strike that closes a coal mine and shuts off coal supplies.


To deliberately prevent someone from participating in an activity, e.g. he felt he was being shut out when he was not invited to the party.

To prevent someone or something from entering a place, e.g. double-glazed windows shut out the cold and noise.

To prevent an opposing team from gaining points by scoring.


To make someone stop talking, e.g. They tried a few times to shut her up but failed.

To tell someone to stop talking, e.g. Wherever she is she tends to dominate the conversation, talking endlessly but no one would dare to tell her to shut up.

To keep someone from other people, e.g. He shut himself up in his room to prevent his cold from spreading to others.

To cease business activities for the day or permanently.


shy away from

To avoid doing something because of nervousness or lack of confidence, e.g. He shied away from an offer to speak at the club meeting.


sick … up

To vomit.


sicken of

To lose one’s desire for or interest in something.


sieve … out

To separate solid from liquid or small objects from large ones by using a sieve.


sift … out

To separate something from other things, e.g. It’s not always easy to sift out genuine products from fake ones.


sign away


sign for


sign in


sign off


sign on



sign ... on


sign out



sign … over



sign up




sign with

To sign a document giving one’s property or legal right to someone else.

To sign a document acknowledging receipt of something.

To sign as a player, especially for a football team.

To write one’s name in a book, sign a book on arrival at, or enter a place such as hotel, office, club, etc.

To end a letter, broadcast, etc. by writing one’s name, bidding farewell, etc.


To sign a document agreeing to work for an employer.

To sign officially that one is unemployed.


To recruit someone into one’s employment.


To write one’s name in or sign a book when leaving a hotel, office, club, etc.


To sign an official document conveying one’s property or rights to someone else.


To sign a document committing oneself to something such as a course of study, employment, specific petition, etc.



To enter legal agreement to play for a particular sports team.


silt up

To become filled with sand, mud, soil or other material.


sing along

sing out

sing up

To join in singing with someone who is already singing.

To sing loudly.

To request someone to sing more loudly.


single … out

To choose someone or something from a group of like people or things for favourable or adverse comment, or unfair treatment.


sink in

(Information, facts, ideas, words, etc.) to gradually become fully understood, e.g. His remark did not sink in immediatetly.


sit around/about

sit back

sit down





sit in




sit on


sit ... out




sit through



sit up

To sit down idling.

To be in a sitting and relaxing position in a comfortable chair.

To be in or get into a sitting position, e.g. I’m so busy I haven’t sat down since I got up from bed this morning.

To try to resolve a problem, e.g. They mutually agreed to sit down for a drink and sort out their disagreement over a certain matter.


To be at but not actively involved in a meeting.

To be temporarily doing something on behalf of someone.

To engage in a silent demonstration of protest.


To delay or fail to deal with something.


To not participate in an event, activity, etc.

To wait without taking action until an unpleasant or unwelcome situation is over.


To stay on until a meeting, talk, speech, performance, etc. ends, even if it is very long and boring.


To get into a sitting position from a lying position.

To stop oneself from going to bed and stay up very late.


size … up

To consider and judge about a person or situation.

To estimate or measure something’s dimensions.


skate over/around

To avoid addressing an issue or problem, or not according it the attention it deserves.


skin up

To make a cannabis cigarette.


skip out/off

To leave quickly and secretly in order to evade something such as paying bill, etc.

A person who defaults or absconds.


slag off

To strongly criticize someone, especially behind their back.


slam into

To crash hard into something, e.g. The car slammed into a tree.


slap … down

slap … on

To unjustifiably criticize someone.

To apply something hastily or carelessly on something else.


slaver over

To show excessive admiration for something in a silly way.


sleep around

sleep in

sleep … off


sleep through



sleep together



sleep with

To have sex with numerous people.

To wake up much later than usual in the morning.

To recover from something by sleeping, e.g. to sleep off the effects of drinking too much alcohol.

To sleep continuously without being awakened by anything that happens.

To sleep continuously at length.


To have sex.


To have sex with someone, especially someone whom one is not married to.


slice … off

To separate something from another by cutting easily with a sharp knife or edge.


slick … down/back



slick ... up

To make one’s hair flat, smooth, and glossy by using oil, or cream, etc.


To make someone or something smart, tidy, or stylish.


slip into




slip ... off


slip ... on


slip out



slip out of



slip up 

To put clothes on quickly.

To pass gradually to a worse condition, e.g. slip into unconsciousness or a coma.


To take clothes off quickly.


To put clothes on quickly.


To move away quickly, or secretly.

To say something without thinking or real intention to say it.


To accidentally slide or move out of position or from someone’s grasp.

To quickly get out of one’s clothes.


To make a careless mistake.


slob around

To idle and behave in a lazy, relaxed and unconcerned manner.


slobber over

To show one’s excessive interest in someone in an annoying way.


slop about/around

slop out

slop through

To wander in an aimless or slovenly manner; mess about.

(Prisoners) to empty out the contents of their chamber-pots.

To wade through a wet or muddy area.


slope off

To leave a place quietly, and inconspicuously in order to avoid work or duty.


slot in/into

To fit someone or something into something else such as a plan, organization, a new role, situation, etc.


slough … off

To get rid of something such as the outer layer of old skin, etc..

To banish one’s feelings, belief, etc., e.g. He was to slough off all feelings of guilt.


slow down

To become or make something such as a vehicle, etc. slower, e.g. Many a time his girlfriend asked him to slow down or she would get out of the car.


smack of

To have a flavour, smell, or suggestion of something, e.g. a piece of writing that smacks of hypocrisy.


smarten up

To make someone or something look neat, tidy and stylish.


smash … down

smash … in

smash … up

To knock something down violently.

To hit or collide with something violently or forcefully.

To deliberately damage or destroy something, e.g. smash the place up.


smell … out

To find something by smelling.

To detect or suspect by means of instinct or intuition.


smoke … out

To force someone or something out of a place by filling it with smoke.


smooth … away

smooth … over

To dispose of something such as problems, difficulties, etc.

To make a situation or the effects of something less unpleasant, harmful, or serious.


snap … on/off

snap out of

snap … up

To turn a light on/off

To get out of a bad or sad state to a better one.

To get or buy something quickly, especially because it is in short supply or very cheap.


snatch at

To seize something quickly.


sneak in/into


sneak on


sneak out


sneak up

To enter a place unnoticed, e.g. The boys managed to sneak past the ticket collector into the circus tent.

To officially inform someone or provide them with information about something or someone else’s misdeeds.

To exit a place unnoticed, e.g. The kids sneaked out of the church by crawling between the empty pews.


To creep stealthily up to someone.


sniff around/round

sniff out

To investigate something in a covert manner.

To find out something by investigation.


snuff … out

To extinguish or put an abrupt end to something.


soak … up

To use something such as a sponge, cloth, towel, etc. to absorb a liquid.

To learn something quickly and easily.


sober … up

To become or make someone become less drunk.


sock in

To be engulfed by adverse weather conditions, reducing visibility.