deal in

deal … in

deal out



deal with

To buy and sell a particular product.

To bring in a new player in a card game.

To distribute something, e.g. deal out cards to players in a card game.


To do business with someone, e.g. I’ve been dealing with him for the past several years.

To take appropriate measures to solve one’s problem, e.g. I’m on medication to deal with my depression problem.

To deal with a particular subject, e.g. The book deals wholly with acupuncture.


decide on

To select one thing from many, e.g. to decide on a wedding date.


declare for/against

To state publicly you support or oppose someone or something.


defer to

To agree or accept someone’s opinion or decision.


delight in

To take great pleasure in something.


deliver up

To give or pass over something to someone.


delve into

To search for more evidence about someone or something.


depart from

To deviate from the normal or usual course of action.


depend on/upon

To rely on others for their help and support.


deprive … of

To prevent someone from having something they want or need.


derogate from

To reduce the worth or value of something so as to make it seem less impressive.


descend from



descend on/upon



descend to

To have developed from something or to be related to someone who existed in the past.


To be able to feel or know when something descends on you, e.g. when darkness descends, it begins to get dark.


To pass by inheritance.

To behave in an unacceptable manner.


detract from

To underrate the value or importance of something.


devolve on/upon



devolve to

To entrust responsibility, duties, etc. to someone at a lower level.


To entrust responsibility, duties, etc. to someone at a lower level.

To transfer property to someone when the owner dies.


die away



die back


die down


die off


die out

To become weaker, less loud or strong, e.g. light, sound, or wind.


(Plant) to remain alive at the roots but dead above the ground.


To becomes less active, strong or loud.


To become extinct.


To become extinct



dig in



dig into




dig … out




dig … up

(Soldiers) to protect themselves by making a trench; to begin eating;


To mix fertilizer with soil by digging.

To make use of what one has, e.g. to dig into one’s energy or strength.


To unearth something from the ground.

To find something that one has been searching for, e.g. to dig out the photo one has been looking for.


To find something in the ground by digging.

To discover something after investigating or searching, e.g. to dig up information about someone.


dilate on/upon

To write or speak fully or in detail about something.


din … into

To firmly instill in someone’s mind by continuous repeating.


dine on/off

dine out

dine out on

To eat a particular kind of food, especially expensive food.

To eat outside the home, e.g. at the restaurant.

To entertain friends and others at meal by telling anecdotes


dip into

To put one’s hand into a bag, container, etc. in order to take something out.

To have to use something that one has such as one’s savings.


disagree with

(Weather, seafood) to have a bad effect on someone.


discourse on/upon

To make a long speech about something;


dish … out

To serve food to people.

To distribute something indiscriminately.


dispense with

To discontinue using something because it is no longer required.


dispose of

To get rid of something.

To deal effectively with a difficult problem or situation.


dive in

To begin to take part in an activity with enthusiasm.


divest … of

To remove oneself of whatever clothing one is wearing.

To rid oneself of an interest or investment under obligation.

To deprive someone of power, rights, etc.


do away with




do by


do ... down 



do for


do … for


do … in



do … out



do ... out of


do ... over








do ... up





do with





do without

To get rid of something, e.g. Kissing the hand of women should be done away with.

To kill someone, e.g. Some neighbours believe she did away with her husband while others believe he ran away.


To treat or deal with something in a specified way.


To criticize someone, especially behind his or her back.


To do something to something else, e.g. what is to be done for the leak?


To ruin or kill someone.


To improve the quality or appearance of someone or something.


To kill someone;

To make someone feel very tired.


To cheat or do a secretly dishonest thing to someone.


To decorate or furnish a room or building in a particular way.

To attempt again at doing something, e.g. My homework is so full of mistakes that the teacher has no choice but to tell me to do all over.

To decorate a wall, room, etc.

To injure someone by beating him up.

To ransack and steal from a place.


To fasten or fix something, especially one’s clothing.

To improve an old car, building, etc. by repairing or redecorating it.

To make oneself look attractive by dressing and making up.


To need or would like to have something, e.g. I could do with a drink.

To connect one thing to another, e.g. When questioned by police about a robbery case, he said he had nothing to do with it.


To have to manage on one’s own without something or someone, e.g. Her husband has just passed away, so she has to do without.

To have to tolerate someone or something, e.g. I can do without all her endless grumbling.


dole … out

To distribute something such as money, food, etc. to people.


doll … up

To dress and make oneself up attractively.


doss down



doss around/about

To sleep somewhere which is not the usual place or one’s bed.


To do very little work.



dote on/upon

To have a very strong affection or liking for and is clearly demonstrated by one’s actions.


double as

double back


double up

To have a second use, job, or purpose.

To return the way you have come.


To share something such as a room.

To use the winnings from a bet as stake for another bet.

To bend one’s body due to excessive laughing, pain, etc.

To play another or different role in a play, etc.


doze off

To fall asleep unintentionally, e.g. Each time he listens to the same speaker, he dozes off.


drag down



drag ... in



drag ... into


drag on


drag ... out


drag ... up

To cause someone to feel upset, lose confidence or enthusiasm.


To involve someone in something with which he has nothing to do.


To get someone unwillingly involved in something such as a discussion, conversation, etc.


(Meeting, etc.) to last longer than is necessary.


To prolong a meeting, argument, etc. unnecessarily.


To raise unpleasant or embarrassing subject without regard to the feelings of the persons involved.

To improperly bring up a child.


dragoon … into

To force someone into doing something.


drain … off

To cause liquid in something to run off, leaving it empty or dry.


draw back

draw in




draw into


draw ... off



draw on




draw out


draw … out




draw up

To recoil or to withdraw from doing something.

To get dark earlier in the evening and so there are fewer hours of daylight.

To get someone involved in something.


To cause someone to participate in, especially criminal, activities


To extract some liquid from specific holder of liquid.


To suck in smoke from a cigarette, cigar, etc.

To make use of expertise, savings, resources, etc. for a particular purpose.

(Winter, spring, etc.) to come nearer when it is drawing on.


(Days) to become longer due to the changing seasons.


To induce someone to open up by being more willing to talk.

To prolong or extend something such as an event, meeting, etc.


(Vehicle) to reach a place and stop there.

To prepare an official document such as a list of appointees, etc.

To pull one’s legs closer to the body, e.g. knees drawn up to the chest


dream … away



dream on



dream ... up

To idle by thinking about something that one would like to happen.


To be used to tell someone that what they are hoping for may most likely not happen, e.g. “You think of striking the jackpot? Dream on!”


To imagine or mentally invent something, e.g. Who could have dreamed up those ideas of how the dinosaurs became extinct?


dredge … up

To bring out something from the distant past.

To remove whatever there are from the bottom of a river, harbour, etc.


dress down

dress … down



dress up




To wear informal clothes.

To express disapproval that something someone has done is very wrong.


To put on clothes, e.g. She always dresses up to appear younger than her age.

To wear a special costume appropriate for a formal occasion, e.g. At every costume party he attends, he dresses up like Popeye.


drift apart

drift off

(Relationship) to end gradually.

To doze off.


drill … into

To continuously impress something on someone’s mind to produce a lasting effect.


drink … in

drink to …



drink up

To enjoy taking in all the sights and sounds.

To wish someone success, good luck, good health, etc. before drinking alcohol.


To finish up all the rest of a drink.


drive at

drive … away

drive off




drive … out

drive … up

The point that one is attempting to make.

To behave in a way that forces someone to leave him/her.

To leave in a vehicle.

To cause an enemy, animals, etc. that are threatening or attacking you, to flee.


To force someone or something to leave.

To cause rapid rise in prices, costs, etc.


drone on

To speak at length in a boring way.


drop away

drop in




drop off







drop out

To become lower in level or amount.

To visit someone without appointment, e.g. Jack dropped in on Jill and almost couldn’t recognize her as she had not had her usual make-up on.


To doze off or begin to sleep, e.g. He dropped off while watching television.

To move someone or something to another place, e.g. He dropped me off at the Post Office.

To become lower in level, interest, amount, etc., e.g. Readership of the magazine has been dropping off since early last year.


To abandon an activity, course, etc. before completing it, e.g. dropped out of school.

(A term or phrase) to be no longer in use if it drops out of a language.


drum … into

drum … out


drum … up

To drive something into someone by constant repetition.

To remove or expel someone from, or force someone to leave employment, office, school, etc.

To attempt to obtain support by meeting a large number of people.


dry off



dry out




dry up

To become dry or to make something dry, e.g. He rubbed his head vigorously with a towel to dry off his wet hair.


To become or make something, such as washed clothing, very dry after it has been very wet.

To succeed in dealing with alcoholism.


To deprive a place of water, e.g. The rivers and lakes completely dry up in areas that suffer severe drought.

(Supply) to diminish with no addition, e.g. research fund has dried up. To dry plates, dishes, etc. with a cloth.


duck out of

To avoid doing what you have to do or promised to do..


duff … in

duff … up

To fight someone and injure them.

To beat someone up.


dump on

To treat or criticize someone badly or harshly.

To unload all of one’s problems onto someone else.


dust … down



dust … off

To remove dust from surface of one’s clothes by brushing with hands.


To clean something by brushing or wiping it with a cloth.

To use something again after a long period of disuse.


dwell on/upon

To think, speak, or write at length about something.


ease … away/off

ease off /up


ease out

ease … out

ease up

To slacken a rope or sail slowly or gently.

To do something with more moderation;

(Situation) to get better.

(Vehicle) to slowly move forward into the traffic.

To deliberately try to make someone leave office.

To take it easy after working too fast or too hard.


eat … away at




eat into



eat … up

To erode or destroy gradually; to worry someone constantly, e.g. the thought of contracting a serious illness is eating away at her.


To reduce something over time such as money, time, etc.

To damage or destroy something gradually, e.g. rust is eating into the metal door.


To use resources excessively.

To finish eating all of something, e.g. Our uncle ate all the donuts up, leaving us none.


edit … out

To remove harmful, objectionable, or unpleasant material in preparing a recording or broadcast.


egg … on

To encourage someone to do something foolish or risky.


eke … out

To make something last longer by using or consuming it sparingly, e.g. to eke out a living/existence.


emanate from

To emit or come from a source.


embark in/upon

To begin a new course of action.


empty out

To discharge the contents from a container, e.g. I empty out a container by holding it upside down and let all the sweets drop out.

To discharge itself of someone or people, e.g. As soon as a movie ends, the people head for the exit and soon the cinema empties out.


encroach on/upon

To intrude on someone’s rights, time, territory, possessions, etc.

To advance on more and more land, e.g. housing development encroaching on farmland.


end in

end up

To have a particular result, or finish in a particular way.

To come to be in a particular situation or place, e.g. We took a wrong turn and ended up in an unknown place.


endear … to

To make someone popular or liked.


endow … with

To naturally have a good feature or quality.

To give something to someone.


endue … with

To endow someone with a good quality or ability


engage in

To participate or become involved in an activity.


enlarge on/upon

To speak or write about in greater detail.


enter into


enter on/upon

To begin to be involved in something.

To impose an obligation on oneself to do something.

To begin something such as job, an activity, etc.


even out

even up

To make equal in number, amount, value, etc.

To make a situation or competition more equal.


eventuate in

To result in.


expand on/upon

To give more details about something.


expatiate on/upon

To speak or write in detail about a particular subject.


explain … away


explain oneself

To minimize the significance of something embarrassing by giving an excuse or justification.

To excuse or justify one’s behaviour.


eye … up

To look at someone with sexual interest.


face … down

face up to

face … with

To deal with someone in a strong and confident way.

To face fact however objectionable it is.

To provide someone with evidence of their guilt.


factor … in

To include something as a relevant element when making a decision or an estimate.


fade … in/out


To make a picture or sound appear/disappear or be heard/become quieter gradually.


faff about/around

To perform some useless task.


fake … out

To deceive someone.


fall about

fall apart





fall away




fall back



fall back on



fall behind








fall down




fall for




fall in




fall in behind


fall into





fall in with




fall off




fall on/upon




fall out






fall over



fall through






fall to

To have a good laugh about something.

To break into pieces;

(System) to stop working or become ineffective;

To suddenly develop a lot of, especially personal, problems.

(Machine, car, etc.) to be in very bad condition.


(Noise, feeling, scenery, etc.) to recede as you move through it.

To separate from the main part.


(Soldiers) to retreat.

To make sudden backward movement caused by fright, pain, surprise, etc.


To have a source of help in a difficult situation when needed.


To slacken so that others move ahead or finish, e.g. In long distance running competitions, runners try to keep pace with the leader, but increasingly they fall behind due to a variety of reasons.

To become less successful than someone else, e.g. Industrial disputes have caused production to fall behind schedule.

To fail to keep up with schedule for payments, e.g. I fell behind with the payments on the car and it was repossessed, and now I move around on a bicycle.


To drop onto the ground, e.g. All the onlookers were shocked to see a monkey fall down from a tree.

(Plan, system, etc.) to fail to work or to become ineffective.


To feel strongly attracted to someone or something.

To be deceived by someone, e.g. The seller claims it is a magic stone that can cure all illnesses, yet there are people who fall for it.


To drop within, e.g. part of the ceiling falls into the sitting room.

(Soldiers) to form neat lines behind each other.


To form a line behind someone.


To belong to a part, section, etc.

To move down somewhere, e.g. fall into the drain;

To develop a particular feeling, e.g. fall into despair or holiday mood.


To meet by chance and become involved with someone.

To agree or accept someone’s suggestions, decisions, etc.


To drop to the ground from a higher place, e.g. He fell off his horse and landed in a ditch.

To become detached or disconnected from the main body.

(Demand, prices, quality, amount) to drop or become less.


To launch a sudden or unexpected attack on someone.

To delegate a duty or responsibility to someone.

To have one’s gaze directed towards someone or something.


(Hair, tooth, etc,) to drop out, e.g. Did your tooth fall out or you pull it out?

To have a misunderstanding, disagreement or quarrel with someone, e.g. Jack fell out with his best friend as both have fallen in love with the same girl.

(Soldiers) to leave one’s place in a military formation.


(Someone) to fall onto the ground or (something) to fall from an upright position onto its side.


To not end or complete a plan, meeting, project, etc. successfully, e.g. The commercial venture fell through after one party decided to withdraw.

To drop through something, e.g. A meteorite fell through the roof of a cottage and landed on the floor in the living room.


To be entrusted with a duty or responsibility.

(Property) to revert to the ownership of someone.


fan out

To walk forwards while spreading over a wide area.


farm … out

To subcontract work to others instead of doing it yourself.


fart around/about

To waste time not doing very much or on trivial things.


fasten … off

fasten on/upon


fasten onto

To secure the end of a thread with stitches or a knot.

To quickly single out an idea, etc. as the best one and concentrate firmly on it.

To follow and stay with someone.


father … on

To assign paternity of a child to someone, or the source or originator of something to someone.


fatten … up

To become fat or fatter, or make someone or an animal fat or fatter.


favour … with

To give someone something such as a smile, salute, reply, etc.


fawn on/over

To give an excessive display of exaggerated flattery or affection to someone.


feed off/on

To eat a particular food, or obtain regular nourishment from a substance; to make a feeling stronger, e.g. jealousy feeds on insecurity.


feel for

feel … out

feel … up

feel up to

To have a sympathetic feeling towards someone.

To ask someone’s opinions or feelings.

To fondle someone for one’s own sexual stimulation.

To have the strength and confidence to do something, e.g. I would like to go canoeing too, but I don’t feel up to doing it.


fence … in/off

To enclose an area with a fence.

To make someone feel restricted.


fend … off

To defend oneself from an attack or attacker.

To avoid answering difficult questions directly, e.g. to fend off reporters’ provocative questions.


ferret … out

To search out a desired piece of information.


fess up

To confess to committing a minor wrong.


fetch up

To arrive at a place unintentionally, especially because of having fallen asleep in a public vehicle.

To vomit.


fiddle around


fiddle with

To waste time doing unimportant things.

To keep playing around with something.

To play around with somebody else’s thing in an annoying way.


fight back






fight ... off


fight ... out

To struggle violently against an attacker, e.g. They chose to fight back until reinforcements arrive..

To wage a campaign against something such as unfair discrimination.

To hide one’s feelings, e.g. to fight back tears.


To defend oneself against an attack by someone or something


To engage in violence until the dispute is resolved.


figure on


figure … out

To expect or plan for something, e.g. I didn’t figure on such massive traffic jam; I would have stayed at home.

To ponder over something until a solution is found or one has gained an understanding of it, e.g. He can’t figure it out why his wife is behaving strangely.