List of Common English Phrasal Verbs and their Meanings:


Phrasal Verb Common Definition Total Number of Definitions
Aim At To point a weapon at someone or something. 3
Ask For To request something. 2
Ask Out When you ask someone to go with you to a certain place or for a special occasion, to spend time together and have fun. If one or both parties involved are interested in a romantic way, then it is considered a date. 1
Back Down To withdraw your position in a fight, argument, plan, etc. 1
Back Off When you leave an emotional situation, or to allow someone to handle something alone. 1
Back Up To walk or drive a vehicle backwards. 4
Beat Up When someone punches, kicks, or hits someone repeatedly using fists or with an object. 2
Beef Up To make changes or an improvement. 1
Believe In To feel confident about something or someone. 2
Bite Off To use your teeth to bite a piece of something. 2
Blow Away When the wind moves an object or person from where it was. 4
Blow Off When the wind removes something from its place. 3
Blow Out To extinguish or make a flame stop burning. 3
Blow Up To make something explode. 6
Boil Down To To have determined or analyzed the solution or reason for something. 1
Break Down When someone loses self-control and is emotionally and/or mentally agitated. This meaning has a noun form for a situation where someone loses self-control. 6
Break In To enter a place illegally and with the use of force. 3
Break Off To remove a part of something with force. 4
Break Out To escape from a place, situation or way of life. 3
Break Through To make a way through a barrier or a surface. 2
Break Up To stop a fight. 4
Bring Back To return something you’ve borrowed. 4
Bring Over To bring someone or something from one place or area to another. 1
Bring Up To bring something from a lower level/place to a higher level/place. 3
Brush Off To remove something(dust particle, insect, etc) with your hand. 2
Brush Up To practice and review your knowledge or a skill that you haven’t used in a while. 2
Build In/Into To add a fixture or component to a certain area or place through construction. 1
Bump Into When you meet people by accident or unexpectedly. 2
Burn Down When someone uses fire to destroy a structure. 2
Burn Out When a candle stops burning because there is nothing left to burn. 3
Burn Up To destroy something with heat or fire. 4
Burst Out To suddenly do or say something. 2
Butt In To interrupt a conversation or activity. 1
Call Back To call someone again. 2
Call In To request that someone come and help. 3
Call Off To cancel an event that has been previously planned. 2
Call Up To be chosen to take part in a military mission. 2
Calm Down To become less violent, nervous, excited or angry. 1
Care For To nurture or take care of someone or something. 2
Carry Away To do something out of the ordinary due to strong emotions. 2
Carry On To continue doing something or to continue on in life despite an obstacle. 3
Carry Out To move something or someone from one place to another using your arms or an object. 5
Catch On To understand or realize something. 2
Catch Up To move faster to reach someone or something that is ahead of you. 2
Cheat On When you are emotionally and/or sexually unfaithful to your girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse. 2
Check In To register at a hotel or airport upon arrival. 2
Check Out To leave a hotel or other form of an accommodation after your stay there. 5
Chicken Out To refrain from doing something because of fear. 1
Chop Up To cut something into pieces with a knife. 2
Clean Out To clean or clear the inside of something thoroughly. 3
Clear Out To remove things completely from an area or place. 2
Clear Up To do something to solve a problem or a misunderstanding. 3
Clog Up When something in a drain or valve prevents the flow of water or other liquids 1
Close Down When the activities or services of a business permanently end. 3
Close Off To block an entrance or pathway. 2
Come About When something happens or occurs. 1
Come Across The way other people perceive something or someone. 3
Come Apart When something breaks or separates piece by piece. 1
Come Back To return to a place. 3
Come Down To move from a higher to a lower position or from north to south. 2
Come Down To When a situation is reduced to a certain outcome. 1
Come Down With When you start to experience the symptoms of a disease or illness. 1
Come In When someone or something enters a place, building, or room. 7
Come Off When something is removed or breaks off from where it was originally attached to. 4
Come On To appear on television or be heard on the radio. 5
Come Out To leave a place. 8
Come Over To make a visit. 3
Come Through When someone or something expected arrives. 3
Come Up When something appears or happens, either expected or unexpected. 6
Come Up With When you think of a solution, idea, plan, or excuse. 1
Con Into To persuade someone to do something through lies and deception. 1
Con Out Of To persuade someone to give or do something through lies and deception. 1
Cool Off To lose temperature. 2
Count On To rely on someone for support when you need it most. 2
Count Up To count all of something or people in a group. 1
Cover Up  To use something to conceal something else. 2
Crack Down To take more action than usual against wrongdoing. 1
Cross Off To remove or delete someone or something from a list. 1
Cut Back When you spend less money on something. 4
Cut Down To do less of something or to use something in smaller amounts. 3
Cut Off To completely remove or separate a part of something by cutting it with something sharp like a knife or a pair of scissors, etc. 6
Cut Out To remove something using a knife or a pair of scissors. 5
Cut Up When you use a knife or scissors to cut something into several pieces. 2
Deal With When you do everything you must do to solve a problem or complete. 2
Do Away With To dispose of something. 2
Do Over To do something again in order to improve or correct mistakes. 2
Do With To make a connection between two or more things. 1
Do Without To manage well without something or someone. 1
Doze Off To go to sleep unintentionally. 1
Dress Up To wear formal clothes, or a costume for a special occasion. 1
Drop In To visit someone unexpectedly or without making arrangements first. 2
Drop Off To gradually decline/become less. 2
Drop Out To quit a school program or training course. 1
Dry Off To dry something or a surface quickly. 1
Dry Out To remove water or other liquid from a container. 3
Dry Up When all the liquid and/or moisture evaporates. 2
Eat Up When someone consumes all their food. 3
Empty Out To remove everyone or everything from a space. 1
End Up The end result of something planned or unplanned. 1
Fall Apart When something breaks all at once or piece by piece. 3
Fall Behind To move slower than others. 2
Fall Down To fall to the ground. 1
Fall For When you have an intense attraction to something or someone. 2
Fall Off When something drops to a lower level. 2
Fall Out To fall from or through something. 3
Fall Over When someone or something falls from an upright position to the ground. 2
Fall Through If things do not go as planned, or if a plan, deal or agreement fails. 2
Feel Up To When you have/don’t have the energy and confidence to do something. 1
Fight Back When you defend yourself/resist an attack, or make an effort against an opponent in a competition. 2
Figure On To expect or plan for something. 1
Fill In To add personal information in the blank spaces of an official document. 3
Fill Out To complete a form. 2
Fill Up To fill something completely. 3
Find Out To become aware of something or someone. 1
Fix Up To make plans or arrangements with someone or for others. 4
Flip Out To become very mad or lose control over your emotions. 1
Float Around When an object or a person is near, but you cannot pinpoint the exact location. 2
Follow Up To find out more about something, or take further action in regards to it. 1
Fool Around To waste time doing unimportant or silly things. 4
Freak Out When someone becomes irrationally upset or angry, sometimes to the point of confusion. 1
Get Ahead To become successful in the professional environment or make consistent progress in life. 3
Get Along To have good interactions with others. 2
Get Around To To do something that needed to get done at an earlier time. 1
Get Away To escape from something. 2
Get Back To return to a place. 4
Get Back At To get revenge. 1
Get Back To When you talk to someone at a later time either because you are busy or you have obtained additional or new information. 2
Get Behind To learn, work, or progress more slowly than others. 4
Get By To pass someone or something. 3
Get Down To move to a lower place or level. 4
Get In To arrive or enter a place, room, building, etc. 5
Get Off To leave a form of transportation, except a car. 6
Get Off On To be excited or to truly enjoy doing something. 2
Get On When you move your body and either stand, sit, lie, kneel, etc. towards something (non-separable). 6
Get Out To leave or escape. 6
Get Out Of To receive a benefit and/or satisfaction from doing something. 4
Get Over To move past an obstacle to the other side. 3
Get Over With To finish something that needs to get done. 1
Get Through When a message, meaning, or idea is understood or accepted. 6
Get To To arrive to or assist someone to a place. 5
Get Together To meet and spend time together. 3
Get Up To move to a higher level/position. 4
Give Away To give something for free or without expecting anything in return. 4
Give In To surrender to something. 2
Give Out To distribute something. 4
Give Up To stop doing something without completing it. 4
Go About  To take the necessary steps to get something done. 2
Go After When you do your best to get something no matter how difficult it is. 4
Go Ahead To proceed to do something that you were hesitant about. 2
Go Along With to accept or agree with a decision, rule, opinion, etc. 2
Go Around To follow a circular path. 6
Go Away To move or travel from one place to another place. 3
Go Back To return to a place, time, activity, or a person. 2
Go Back On When you fail to fulfill a promise you made to someone. 1
Go Beyond To be more than or better than what is normal or expected. 1
Go By To pass someone or something quickly. 4
Go Down To move to a lower position, place, price, level, etc. 7
Go For To try to obtain. 5
Go In To enter a place, building, room, etc. 3
Go In For To enter a place or area for a specific reason. 2
Go In/Into To enter a place, room, building, etc. usually through a door. 4
Go Off To leave unannounced. 5
Go On When something takes place. 3
Go Out To leave a place or area you’re in. 5
Go Over To review something. 4
Go Through With When you make a decision to do something, and actually do it. 1
Go Up To move or extend to a higher level or farther North. 3
Go With To accompany someone to a place. 6
Goof Around To waste time doing silly or unimportant things. 1
Gross Out To be disgusted with someone or something. 1
Grow Out Of To become too big or too tall for your clothes. 3
Grow Up When you physically change from a child to an adult. 2
Hand Back When you return something to the person who owns it after the person has given it to you 1
Hand In To give something to a person of authority. 1
Hand Out To distribute something free to other people. 1
Hand Over To give upon request or demand. 2
Hang Around To spend time in a place or an area. 1
Hang On When you hold something, often for support of comfort. 3
Hang Out To hang something, usually wet clothes, to dry. 3
Hang Up To hang clothes or an object on a hook, hanger or rod. 3
Have On To wear clothing, cosmetics, perfume, etc. 2
Head Back To go to a place where you’ve been before or where you started from. 1
Head For When a situation becomes more likely. 2
Head Toward To move in the direction where someone or something is. 2
Hear About When you learn details about something or someone. 1
Hear Of When you learn about something or someone. 2
Heat Up To make something warmer or cause a rise in temperature. 2
Help Out To assist people with something. 1
Hit On To suddenly have a solution to a problem or an interesting idea. 2
Hold Against When you don’t forgive or have little respect for someone because of something they did. 2
Hold Off To delay something. 2
Hold On When you wait for a short time. 3
Hold Out To extend your hand or an object in front of you. 3
Hold Up To hold someone or something up in the air. 4
Hook Up When you connect two electrical devices together. 3
Hurry Up To do something quickly. 2
Keep At To continue doing an activity even though it may be difficult. 1
Keep Away To avoid getting close to someone or something. 2
Keep Down To make sound, music and noise minimal. 3
Keep From To stop yourself or other people from doing something. 1
Keep Off To avoid discussing a particular subject or topic. 2
Keep On To continue doing something. 2
Keep To When you don’t share information. 2
Keep Up To continue to do something. 4
Kick Back To illegally pay extra money to someone as part of the price. 2
Kick Out To force someone to leave an organization or place. 1
Knock Off To use force to cause someone or something to fall from its place, whether intentionally or accidentally. 6
Knock Out When someone is struck hard enough to cause them to lose consciousness. 6
Knock Over To make contact with something or someone in such a way it or they fall. 1
Know About To have knowledge of or be familiar with something. 1
Lay Down To place something on a surface or an object. 3
Lay Off When a company or business ends a worker’s employment. 2
Lead Up To When a period of time or a series of events cause an event, situation or conversation to happen. 1
Leave Behind When you don’t take something or someone with you when you leave. 4
Leave Off To accidentally or intentionally not include a person or thing on a list. 2
Leave Out To not include someone or something. 3
Leave Over When you have a portion that still remains from something after you have used or eaten the rest of it. 2
Let Down To disappoint someone. 2
Let In To allow someone or something to enter a place. 2
Let Off To allow someone to leave a car, bus, train etc. 3
Let On To tell something that is a secret or private. 1
Let Out When you give permission for someone to leave or be released from a place. 3
Let Up When someone or something becomes less intense or strong. 1
Lie Around To be lazy or to not do anything. 2
Lift Up To raise someone or something to a higher level. 2
Light Up To illuminate something. 2
Lighten Up When a conversation is changed or a person changes to become less serious. 1
Line Up To form in a row one after another or side-by-side. 3
Live With To share the same residence. 2
Lock In To secure people or things behind a closed door. 3
Lock Out When you don’t have the key or passcode to enter a secured place. 2
Lock Up When you shut the windows and doors of a place or building. 2
Look Around To turn your head to see what or who is around you. 3
Look At  To divert your eyes to someone or something. 4
Look Down On When you consider someone or something as unimportant or with little to no value. The opposite of yesterday’s phrasal verb. 1
Look Forward To To anticipate a future event because it either makes you happy and/or you benefit from it. 1
Look Into To investigate or get more facts about something. 1
Look Out To remain alert. 2
Look Over To examine or inspect something or someone. 1
Look Up When a situation becomes better. 3
Look Up To This particular phrasal verb is used to say you view someone with respect and/or admiration. 1
Luck Out To have exceptionally good luck. 1
Make For  To go in a certain direction, typically in a hurry. 2
Make Of To understand the meaning of something. 1
Make Up To invent a story. 7
Mess Up When something is dirty or unorganized. 2
Mix Up To put or combine different things together so they’ll merge successfully. 3
Monkey Around With To try to play with or repair a device that you have no true knowledge about. 2
Move In When you bring your personal belongings and stuff to a new place where you will live. Yesterday’s phrasal verb, Move Out, has the opposite meaning. 3
Move Out When you permanently remove all your belongings and personal items from a place where you live or stay. 3
Narrow Down To reduce the number of options or possibilities. 1
Pay Back When you return money that you owe someone. 2
Pay For To purchase merchandise. 2
Pay Off To repay money that is owed to a person or entity. 3
Pay Up To pay all the money that is owed or asked for. 1
Pick On To tease and/or criticize someone over a period of time. 1
Pick Out When you are able to recognize something or someone from a group. 2
Pick Up To get someone or something from somewhere. 8
Pile Up  To put things in a pile or heap. 2
Piss Off [Informal] To be angry about something. 1
Plan Ahead To prepare for a future event or situation. 1
Plan For To prepare for a big event or expectation in the future. 1
Plan On When you have the intention to do something. 1
Plug In To connect an electrical device to an electrical outlet. 2
Plug In/Into To connect an electrical appliance/machine to another piece of equipment or to a power source. 1
Plug Up To block a narrow passage such as a hole, drain, or pipe so that nothing can flow through. 2
Point Out To make someone aware of something. 1
Point To When you aim at something or someone using your finger or hand. 2
Print Out To produce a hard copy of a computer document. 1
Pull Off To succeed in doing something difficult or tricky. 2
Pull Out When something or someone leaves a place. 7
Pull Over To drive your vehicle to the side of the road to stop. 1
Pull Through To recover from an injury or illness. 2
Punch In To enter data or record time on a device. 1
Punch Out To record the time you leave the workplace using a special clock. 2
Put Away To place something where it cannot be seen or isn’t in the way of other things. 4
Put Back When something is causing a project to slow down. 4
Put Down To place something on a surface or an object. 6
Put In When you invest or make a deposit. In this example, the amount almost always separates the verb. 7
Put Off To become offended by someone or something. 2
Put Out To extend a part of your body. 6
Put Past To not be surprised by a person’s actions. [Always used with the negative] 1
Put To To cause someone or something to be in a certain state or to do something extra. 2
Put Together To assemble or connect the parts of something. 3
Put Up To move an object to a higher level. 6
Put Up To To encourage or persuade someone to do something. 2
Put Up With To tolerate or accept something that you’d rather not. 1
Ring Up To call someone on the phone. 2
Rip Off When someone asks for a price for something that is too high, when someone cheats or steals. 3
Rip Up To tear something (i.e. paper, cloth, etc.) into pieces. 2
Rule Out When someone or something is excluded as a possibility. 1
Run Across To move or run from one side to the other. 2
Run Around To go from one place to another in a hurry. 3
Run Down To hit someone or something with a vehicle. 4
Run Into When something collides with another object by accident. 4
Run Out When people exit a place very quickly. Run In/ Run Into is the opposite of this meaning. 2
Run Over When someone is injured or killed by a vehicle. 5
Run Up To run from a lower elevation or level to a higher elevation or level. 5
Screw On To ensure the top of a container/bottle is sealed. 2
Screw Out Of To cheat or deceive someone. 1
Screw Up To make a mistake or do something really bad. 1
See About To seriously think about doing something. 1
Sell Out When all the inventory of a particular product has been purchased. 2
Set Up To organize or plan for an activity/event to happen. 6
Settle Down To begin living a stable and routine life. 2
Settle For To accept something even though it’s not what you want or need. 1
Shake Up To mix something in a container by shaking it. 3
Show Off To overly display your skills or what you have. 1
Shut Off To stop the operation of an electrical or mechanical device. 1
Shut Up To stop talking. 1
Sign In To write your name on a list to indicate the day and time you arrived at a certain place. 2
Sign Out To write your name on a list to indicate the day and time of your departure. 2
Sit Down To change from a standing to a sitting position. 2
Slow Down To do something slower. 1
Sneak In/Into To enter a place quietly to avoid being seen or heard. 1
Sneak Out To leave a place without being noticed. 1
Sort Out To arrange or separate things into groups according to similarities. 2
Space Out When someone’s attention is not in the present moment. [Adj.] {spaced out} To describe a person whose attention isn’t in the present moment. 1
Stand Around To stand in one place or area when you should be doing something. 2
Stand For To support or represent an idea, belief, etc. 1
Stand Up To rise from sitting or lying down to a vertical position. 3
Start Off The beginning of an event, activity or time period. 4
Start Out To begin a trip or venture to some place. 3
Start Up To start something. 2
Stay Off To avoid discussing a certain subject or topic. 4
Stay Out To spend time out of your own home. 3
Stay Up To remain in a place that is higher than ground level. 2
Step On To place your foot on something or someone. 2
Stick Around To stay in a place or with someone for any period of time. 1
Stick Out To extend something outward. 4
Stick To When something is attached to another by some form of adhesive. 2
Stick Up To use a weapon, especially a gun, to rob someone. 4
Stick With To continue to use or do something. 3
Stop Off To make a quick stop on your way to a destination. 1
Stop Over To visit someone for a short period of time. 2
Straighten Out To make something straight. 3
Stress Out To feel very worried, nervous or anxious. 1
Switch Off When you move something from the ‘on’ state to the ‘off’ state. Synonymous with “Turn Off.” Yesterday’s “Switch On” is the opposite. 1
Switch On When you move something from the ‘off’ state to the ‘on’ state. Synonymous with “Turn On,” while “Switch Off” is the opposite. 1
Take Apart To disconnect or separate the parts of an object. 1
Take Back To return something or someone. 5
Take In To be successfully tricked or deceived by someone. 5
Take Out To remove an object from an area, place or container. 4
Take Out On To direct your anger towards someone or something when you’re really upset about someone or something else. 1
Take Up On When you accept an invitation or offer from someone. 1
Talk Down To To talk to someone as if they are less intelligent than you by conveying a tone of voice or attitude that says so. 1
Talk Into To convince someone to do something. 1
Talk Out Of To convince someone not to do something. 1
Talk To To have a conversation with someone. 1
Tear Down To deconstruct a building or home. 2
Tear Off To remove with force. 2
Tell Apart To be able to differentiate something or someone from something or someone else. 1
Tell On To inform an authoritative figure about what someone else did. 1
Think About To consider something prior to making a final decision. 2
Think Ahead To think and plan carefully for a future situation or event. 1
Think Up To use your imagination to create a plan, idea, or a solution. 1
Throw Away To dispose of something you no longer find useful in a waste bin, trash, etc. 2
Throw Out When you get rid of something by putting it in a trash can, bin, etc. 2
Throw Up To vomit or puke. 3
Track Down To locate someone or something after a long search 1
Trade In To exchange something old for something new. 2
Trick Into To convince or persuade someone to believe something untrue or to do something for you. 1
Try On To see how something fits or looks before purchasing. 1
Try Out To show that you are qualified to do something. 2
Turn Around When someone or something moves until it faces the opposite direction. 3
Turn Down To decrease the temperature, sound, etc. 2
Turn In To give someone or something to the police or someone of authority. 3
Turn Into To transform. 1
Turn Off To stop a device from functioning. 3
Turn On To cause someone to feel interested and/or attracted. 3
Turn Out To attend an event, meeting, etc. 4
Turn Over To move an object so that the part that is on top becomes the bottom and vice versa. 3
Turn Up To increase the controls of an electronic or mechanical device. 3
Use Up To completely consume or use all of a supply. 1
Wake Up When you are finished sleeping. 2
Wash Off To remove dirt or unwanted markings with soap and water. 1
Wash Up To clean your face, hands, body, etc. 3
Watch Out To be aware of someone or something. 1
Wear Down To make the surface or top of something disappear due to friction. 2
Wear Off To decrease or disappear gradually. 1
Wear Out When something is damaged or weakened from use and age. 2
Wind Up To operate a mechanical device by turning its handle. 4
Wipe Off To completely remove or clean something from a surface or location. 1
Wipe Out To clean the inside of something. 4
Wipe Up To remove liquid from a surface using a sponge, towel or cloth, etc. 1
Work In To make time in a busy schedule for a person or an activity. 2
Work Out When a situation, event, plan, or idea is successful. 6
Work Up To gradually improve at or make progress in something. 3
Wrap Up To cover something with some kind of special paper. 4
Zip Up To close an item that has a zipper. 1
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