English Phrasal Verbs

Browse our list of English phrasal verbs, providing meanings and example sentences for a total of 3,603 phrasal verbs.

What is a Phrasal Verb?

Phrasal verbs (also called multi-word verbs) are idiomatic expressions, combining verbs and prepositions to make new verbs whose meaning is often not obvious from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. They are widely used in both written and spoken English, and new ones are formed all the time as they are a flexible way of creating new terms.

A phrasal verb consists of a verb and a preposition or adverb that modifies or changes the meaning; 'give up' is a phrasal verb that means 'stop doing' something, which is very different from 'give'. The word or words that modify a verb in this manner can also go under the name particle.

Phrasal verbs can be divided into groups:

Intransitive verbs

These don't take an object

  • Example: They had an argument, but they've made up now.

Inseparable verbs

The object must come after the particle.

  • Example: They are looking after their grandchildren.

Separable verbs

With some separable verbs, the object must come between the verb and the particle:
The quality of their work sets them apart from their rivals.

In our phrasal verb list, we classify these as Separable [obligatory]

With some separable verbs, the object can before or after the particle, though when a pronoun is used it comes before the particle:

  • Example: Turn the TV off.
  • Example: Turn off the TV.
  • Example: Turn it off.

In our phrasal verb list, we classify these as Separable [optional]

Our Phrasal Verb List

Click on the A-Z menu to browse our phrasal verb list alphabetically. 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 dictionary includes 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.

The latest 30 entries added to our Phrasal Verbs database:

Meaning: Examine, investigate
Added: 7th Apr
Meaning: Spend your own money
Added: 8th Feb
Meaning: If you knock someone back, you reject them emotionally or sexually.
Added: 31st Jan
Meaning: If you key out a plant, you identify it by using binary choices like whether it has needle leaves or doesn't.
Added: 21st Jan
Meaning: Become less attractive
Added: 25th Nov
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

Search the Dictionary

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.