English Phrasal Verbs

Browse our reference of English Phrasal Verbs (also called multi-word verbs) containing 3,598 verb definitions and example sentences.

Our comprehensive phrasal verb dictionary contains 3,598 phrasal verbs. Click on the A-Z menu to browse our phrasal verbs alphabetically, or access our full phrasal verb list. Click on a verb to see the definition, example sentences, whether it is British or American English, and whether it is separable or not.

Our phrasal verbs include entries from around the world submitted by numerous contributors. It covers both modern language and older phrases. If you know of a phrasal verb that you feel should be included here, please use our online form to let us know about it. Please note that all submissions are reviewed for validity and accuracy by our Editor.

Common Phrasal Verbs

Below we've highlighted 46 of the most popular and common phrasal verbs, with meanings and example sentences:

Phrasal Verb Common Meaning Example
Act up Behave badly or strangely My computer's ACTING UP; I think I might have a virus.
Add up to Have a certain result Trains delays are getting worse and with the high fares, it all ADDS UP TO misery for the commuters.
Agree with Affect- usually used in the negative to show that something has had a negative effect, especially is it makes you feel bad I feel terrible- that food didn't AGREE WITH my stomach.
Amount to Total Their rent bills AMOUNTED TO ten thousand a year.
Answer back To reply rudely to someone in authority Her mother was shocked when she started ANSWERING her BACK and refusing to help.
Answer for Be held responsible for a problem The government should be made to ANSWER FOR their failure to sort out the problem.
Ask about Ask how someone is doing, especially professionally and in terms of health He ASKED ABOUT my father.
Ask after Enquire about someone's health, how life is going Jenny rang earlier and ASKED AFTER you, so I told her you were fine.
Ask around Ask a number of people for information of help I have no idea, but I'll ASK AROUND at work and see if anyone can help.
Ask around Invite someone We ASKED them AROUND for dinner.
Ask for To provoke a negative reaction You're ASKING FOR trouble.
Ask for Request to have or be given I ASKED FOR the menu.
Ask in To invite somebody into your house 'Jon's at the door.' 'ASK him IN.'
Ask out To invite someone for a date He wanted to ASK her OUT but was too shy.
Ask over Invite They have ASKED us OVER for drinks on Friday.
Ask round Invite someone We ASKED John ROUND for diner.
Call off Cancel The concert had to be CALLED OFF because the singer went down with a bad case of flu.
Calm down Stop being angry or emotionally excited When I lose my temper, it takes ages for me to CALM DOWN again.
Catch up Reach someone who was ahead of you He started well, but I CAUGHT him UP on the third lap.
Do over Do something again from the beginning, especially because you did it badly the first time OK, we'll DO it OVER, but try to sing the right words this time.
Eat out Eat in a restaurant We couldn't be bothered to cook so we ATE OUT last night.
Eat up Consume This car EATS UP petrol.
Figure out Find the answer to a problem The police couldn't FIGURE OUT how the burglars had got into the warehouse.
Give up Surrender, stop trying I can't think of the answer; I GIVE UP.
Go over Look at something, revise We WENT OVER our notes before the exam.
Hack into Break into a computer system He HACKED INTO the government database and stole a lot of data.
Hang around Stay in a place They HANG AROUND the station most of the day.
Hang out Spend time socially He HANGS OUT in the pub The Monarch; he's there most nights.
Hold on Wait Could you HOLD ON for a minute; she'll be free in a moment.
Keep on Continue doing something He KEPT ON trying and succeeded in the end.
Keep up Maintain a continuous action, persist First I phoned you and left a message that you should phone me; then you phoned and I was out, so you left a message; then...! How long can we KEEP this UP without ever speaking to each other directly?
Look for Try to find I've been LOOKING FOR all their hidden files, but I can't find them anywhere.
Make do with Accept something less satisfactory because there's no alternative There's no coffee, so we'll have to MAKE DO WITH tea.
Pass out Faint, lose consciousness He got so drunk that he PASSED OUT.
Put off Postpone The concert's been PUT OFF until next month because the singer's got a throat infection.
Put on Start wearing I PUT my coat ON before we went out.
Take off When a plane departs or leaves the ground The flight for Dublin TOOK OFF on time.
Throw away Discard something when no longer needed I THREW the alarm clock AWAY because it had stopped working.
Turn down Reduce volume, temperature, etc. The room was too hot, so she TURNED the heating DOWN.
Turn off Stop a machine I TURNED the TV OFF and went to bed.
Turn on Start a machine I TURNED the radio ON to get the weather forecast.
Turn up Increase volume, temperature, etc. I TURNED the music UP full blast.
Wake up Stop sleeping I WOKE UP at half past six this morning.
Walk off with Win easily He WALKED OFF WITH the award.
Work out Find the answer or solution I couldn't WORK OUT all the answers to the crossword puzzle.
Work out Exercise She went to the gym three times a week to WORK OUT

Haven't found what you were looking for? Browse our full list of 3,598 phrasal verbs.

The latest 30 entries added to our Phrasal Verb dictionary:

Meaning: Fill an area with plants or seeds
Added: 7th Oct
Meaning: Exercise
Added: 17th Sep
Meaning: Criticise
Added: 24th Aug
Meaning: Force someone to confess or tell the truth
Added: 26th Jul
Meaning: Make something last longer than necessary
Added: 26th Jul
Meaning: Form a support group with people when contact is restricted
Added: 10th May
Meaning: Be likely to be popular or successful in the near future
Added: 10th May
Meaning: Fail to get attention in the media
Added: 1st May
Meaning: Be full of something
Added: 17th Jan
Meaning: Be too full and overflow
Added: 17th Jan
Meaning: Make something worse, when you are meant to be making things more equal
Added: 9th Nov
Meaning: Surrender
Added: 5th Nov
Meaning: Give someone the information they need
Added: 30th Oct
Meaning: vomit
Added: 5th Oct
Meaning: Get ready for something exciting or challenging
Added: 15th Sep
Meaning: Skip, not attend
Added: 29th Apr
Meaning: Abandon a plan
Added: 29th Apr
Meaning: End a relationship
Added: 29th Apr
Meaning: Restrict people's movements to reduce the spread of a disease
Added: 7th Apr
Meaning: Go away (command)
Added: 9th Jan
Meaning: Leave a vehicle
Added: 9th Jan
Meaning: Enter a vehicle
Added: 9th Jan
Meaning: Enter a vehicle
Added: 9th Jan
Meaning: Clean, repair, make work again
Added: 6th Jan
Meaning: Delay
Added: 9th Dec
Meaning: Delay, postpone
Added: 9th Dec
Meaning: Leave a place or a relationship to marry or have a relationship with someone
Added: 28th Nov
Meaning: Take or steal something
Added: 28th Nov
Meaning: Change subject to talk about something different
Added: 6th Nov
Meaning: Disgust, unsettle
Added: 28th Oct

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Enter single words here. Use the infinitive without 'to' for a verb. If you enter 'go', it will list all the phrasal verbs with 'go'. If you enter a preposition or particle in the box, like 'up', you can look at all the phrasal verbs containing 'up'.

If you have any suggestions for phrasal verbs that are not listed here, you can submit them to us using our online form.