Phrasal Verb S

  • sack out|Fall asleep|I SACKED OUT in front of the TV.|1
  • saddle up|Put a saddle on and prepare an animal to ride|She SADDLED UP the horse and rode off.|_
  • saddle with|Give someone a task or responsibility that is difficult or hard work|They SADDLED me WITH preparing the visit.|_
  • sag off|Not go to school or work, or leave early when you shouldn’t|I was bored so I SAGGED OFF work early and went home.|_
  • sail into|Criticise angrily|He SAILED INTO me for turning up an hour late.|_
  • sail through|Pass easily, succeed|He SAILED THROUGH the final test.|1
  • sally forth|Leave somewhere safe or comfortable|The townspeople SALLIED FORTH to fight the invading army.|1
  • sally out|Leave somewhere safe or comfortable|Though it was pouring with rain, we SALLIED OUT to meet her.|1
  • salt away|Save money|She’s making a lot of money, but SALTS it AWAY rather than spending it.|1
  • save on|Reduce or avoid consumption to cut costs|I use Skype to SAVE ON my phone bills.|_
  • save up|For money for a particular purpose|He’s SAVING UP to buy a car.|1
  • saw off|To remove something by cutting it with a saw|He SAWED OFF the legs of the chair.|_
  • saw up|Cut into pieces with a saw|We SAWED the plank UP to make the shelves.|_
  • scale back|Make something smaller than originally planned|They had to SCALE BACK the project because of the costs.|_
  • scale down|Make something smaller than originally planned|They have had to SCALE DOWN the project because of the costs.|1
  • scale up|Increase, make bigger|They are SCALING UP the programme because it has been so successful.|1
  • scare away|Frighten someone some much that they go away|The cat SCARED the birds AWAY.|1
  • scare off|Make someone so frightened that he or she away|The vicious Doberman guard-dog SCARED the burglars AWAY.|1
  • scout about|Look in different places for something|The company is SCOUTING ABOUT for new staff.|_
  • scout around|Look in different places for something|We SCOUTED AROUND to find the best price.|_
  • scout out|Search for something|The researcher spent months SCOUTING OUT the answer.|_
  • scout round|Look in different places for something|I SCOUTED ROUND for a bargain.|_
  • scout up|Try to find someone for a task or requirement|We’d better SCOUT UP a replacement for her.|_
  • scrape along|Manage with little money|I’ve been SCRAPING ALONG on temporary work since I lost my job.|1
  • scrape by|Just manage to pass something|I thought I was going to fail, but SCRAPED BY with 51%.|1
  • scrape in|Just get enough to succeed, pass or be accepted|The government SCRAPED IN with 51% of the votes cast.|_
  • scrape into|Be accepted somewhere, but only just|She got mediocre grades and just SCRAPED INTO university.|_
  • scrape through|Pass a test but only just|I did no revision and only just SCRAPED THROUGH the final exams.|_
  • scrape together|Manage to collect enough of something you need, usually money|I had to search my flat for money to SCRAPE TOGETHER what I needed.|_
  • scrape up|Manage to collect enough of something you need, usually money|It took me ages to SCRAPE UP the money for the tickets.|1
  • scratch around for|Search for something that is hard to find|The press are SCRATCHING AROUND FOR a story to attack him.|_
  • screen off|Separate a part of a room with something like a curtain, screen, etc.|We SCREENED OFF the area where we had the discussion from the rest of the meeting.|1
  • screen out|Exclude|Applicants without the right qualifications were SCREENED OUT.|1
  • screw around|Waste time|He spent the afternoon SCREWING AROUD and got nothing done.|_
  • screw over|Treat harshly or cheat|The IRS really SCREWED him OVER.|_
  • screw up|Do badly or fail|David SCREWED UP his oral exam but still managed to scrape a pass.|1
  • scuzz up|Spiil, ruin, contaminate|Don’t SCUZZ UP the deal.|_
  • see about|Arrange, consider|I’ll SEE ABOUT whether we can manage it.|_
  • see into|Accompany someone into an office|Her secretary SAW me INTO her office.|_
  • see off|Chase somebody or something away|A cat came into the back garden but the dog soon SAW it OFF.|_
  • see out|Accompany a guest to your front door when they are leaving your house|Are you sure you’re going? I’ll get your coats and SEE you OUT.|_
  • see through|Continue with something to the end|They had a lot of difficulties in implementing the project, but the team SAW it THROUGH successfully.|1
  • see to|Deal with something|He SAW TO the arrangements and everything ran smoothly and efficiently.|_
  • seek out|Search for something until you find it|It took her ages to SEEK the answer OUT.|1
  • sell off|Sell a business or part of it|They SOLD OFF their research subsidiary.|1
  • sell on|Convince someone|We managed to SELL him ON the expansion plans.|_
  • sell out|Have no more of something left because it has been bought|The tickets for the Primal Scream concert at the Brixton Academy SOLD OUT in a couple of hours.|1
  • sell up|Sell a house or business to move somewhere or do something different|We want to SELL UP and move to the country.|1
  • send back|Return something|I SENT my food BACK because it was overcooked.|1
  • send for|Ask someone to come and help|I had to SEND FOR a plumber because the radiator was leaking.|1
  • send in|Order people into a place to handle a problem|The police were SENT IN to quell the riot as the protesters had started burning cars and wrecking shops.|1
  • send off|Expel a sports player from a match|The football striker was SENT OFF for arguing with the referee’s decision.|1
  • send off for|Order something by post|I SENT OFF FOR some jeans that I liked in the catalogue.|_
  • send out|Send something to a lot of people|They SENT OUT a mailshot to all their existing customers.|1
  • send out for|Order takeaway food by phone|We couldn’t be bothered to cook, so we SENT OUT FOR a pizza.|_
  • send up|Imitate/impersonate for comic effect|The mischievous schoolboy was standing at the front of the class, SENDING the teacher UP, when the teacher opened the door behind him.|_
  • set about|Start doing something|We SET ABOUT the cleaning and got it done before lunchtime.|1
  • set apart|Distinguish, be better than or different from others|The quality of their work SETS them APART from their rivals.|1
  • set aside|Overturn a court verdict or decision|The Appeal Court SET ASIDE the guilty verdict because the evidence was unsatisfactory and declared her not guilty.|1
  • set back|Cost|The car repairs SET me BACK eight hundred pounds.|1
  • set forth|State or outline an opinion|He SET FORTH his ideas in his autobiography.|1
  • set in|Change season noticeably|Winter has SET IN; it’s started snowing.|1
  • set off|Explode a bomb|Terrorists SET OFF a car bomb in the city centre last night. Fortunately, no-one was hurt or killed.|1
  • set on|Attack|He was SET ON when he left the bar.|1
  • set out|Display, show|The figures are SET OUT in the council’s annual report.|1
  • set to|Work hard or enthusiastically|If we all SET TO, we should be able to finish this in a few hours.|_
  • set up|Prepare equipment, software, etc., for use|The technician SET UP the computer network perfectly.|1
  • set upon|Attack|They SET UPON her when she was in the car park.|1
  • settle down|Start living a fixed and routine life|After years of partying and drinking, she finally got married and SETTLED DOWN.|1
  • settle for|Accept whatever is available|We were upset not to win and had to SETTLE FOR the second prize.|_
  • settle in|Get used to|It took him a while to SETTLE IN when he moved to Japan.|_
  • settle on|Agree|They couldn’t agree at first on a name for their daughter, but finally SETTLED ON Alice.|1
  • settle up|Pay a debt|Let’s SETTLE UP for the dinner the other night.|_
  • sex up|Change information to make it more attractive to the reader or listener|The government denied that they had SEXED UP the report to make the front page.|1
  • shack up|Live with someone when you are in a relationship.|They SHACKED UP a few months after they started going out.|1
  • shade in|Make a part of a picture darker|She SHADED IN the area under the tree.|_
  • shade out|Leave a place without saying goodbye|The party was so dull that I decided to SHADE OUT.|_
  • shake down|Search|The police SHOOK the house DOWN looking for drugs.|_
  • shake off|Get rid of an illness|It took me ages to SHAKE OFF the cough.|1
  • shake out|Shake clothes, cloths, etc to remove dirt or creases|He took the tablecloth outside and SHOOK it OUT after dinner.|_
  • shake up|Upset or shock|The news of her death really SHOOK me UP.|1
  • shape up|Develop in a positive way|Things are SHAPING UP at work- everything’s going well again.|1
  • share in|Have a part in a project, activity, etc|A number of firms will SHARE IN the development.|_
  • share out|Divide and distribute|I SHARED the money OUT equally.|_
  • shave by|Reduce by a certain amount|Prices have been SHAVED BY ten percent.|_
  • shave from|Remove, cut off|She SHAVED a bit FROM the window so it would open.|_
  • shave off|Shave completely|He has SHAVED OFF his moustache and looks much younger.|_
  • shell out|Spend money on something, especially when you think it’s too expensive|I had to SHELL OUT a hundred pounds on the dinner.|1
  • ship off|Send someone away, often because of a problem|He was causing a lot of trouble, so they SHIPPED him OFF to another branch|_
  • ship out|Send goods to a place|We SHIPPED the order OUT two days ago.|_
  • shoot away|Leave somewhere quickly|He SHOT AWAY as soon as the bell rang for the end of the lesson.|_
  • shoot back|Return quickly|I’m SHOOTING BACK home to pick up some things I forgot to bring with me.|_
  • shoot for|Have as a goal|I’m SHOOTING FOR nothing less than the presidency.|1
  • shoot off|Leave promptly and quickly|I’ll have to SHOOT OFF as soon as the lesson finishes, otherwise I’ll miss my train.|_
  • shoot out|Go out for a short time|I’m SHOOTING OUT to the shops for a paper.|_
  • shoot up|Increase quickly|The share prices of internet companies have been SHOOTING UP lately.|1
  • shop around|Look around for the best price, quality, etc.|If you SHOP AROUND, you can find some real bargains for air tickets.|_
  • shore up|Support something to make it stronger|The central bank is trying to SHORE UP the currency to stop it from sliding further.|1
  • short out|Short circuit|The battery SHORTED OUT when it got wet.|_
  • shout down|Make so much noise to stop someone being heard|His efforts to raise the issue were SHOUTED DOWN.|1
  • shout out|Say something loudly, often to attract someone’s attention|She SHOUTED OUT my name.|1
  • show around|Take someone to a place to show them certain parts|The estate agent SHOWED us AROUND the house but we didn’t like it much.|_
  • show in|Take someone into an office or other room|The secretary SHOWED me IN to speak to the manager.|_
  • show off|Behave in a way so as to attract attention|The children were SHOWING OFF and irritated me.|1
  • show out|Take someone to out of a room or building|Her secretary SHOWED me OUT after the interview.|_
  • show over|Take someone around a site|He SHOWED us OVER the scene of the accident|_
  • show round|Take someone to a place to show them certain parts|The guide SHOWED them ROUND the historic part of the city.|_
  • show through|When a feeling can be seen despite attempts to conceal it|His anger SHOWED THROUGH despite his smile.|_
  • show up|Attend something or arrive somewhere|Very few SHOWED UP at the meeting.|1
  • shrug off|Disregard something, not consider it important or harmful|He SHRUGGED OFF the criticism and carried on the same way.|1
  • shut away|Imprison or remove someone’s freedom|Many people have been SHUT AWAY in psychiatric hospitals for disagreeing with the government.|1
  • shut down|Close a business, shop, etc.|The shop SHUT DOWN when the out-of-town supermarket opened.|1
  • shut in|Prevent someone from leaving|I SHUT the cat IN until it was time to go to the vet.|1
  • shut off|Close, prevent access|They SHUT the water OFF while they did the repairs.|1
  • shut out|Exclude|You have to SHUT your feelings OUT to deal with it.|1
  • shut out of|Exclude someone from an activity, etc|He’s been SHUT OUT OF the discussions.|_
  • shut up|Stop talking or making noise|He told us to SHUT UP and start working.|1
  • shut yourself away|Withdraw from company|She’s SHUT herself AWAY to revise for her exams.|_
  • shy away|Retreat or shrink from something unpleasant or frightening|When they started shouting, we SHIED AWAY.|_
  • shy away from|Avoid doing something because you lack confidence|Many learners SHY AWAY FROM using phrasal verbs.|1
  • side with|Support someone|The lecturer SIDED WITH her students and got sacked for her pains.|_
  • sidle up to|Approach someone discreetly|He SIDLED UP TO me and whispered his name.|_
  • sift through|Examine a lot of things carefully|We had to SIFT THROUGH thousands of files before we found what we were looking for.|_
  • sign away|Give away legal or property rights|He SIGNED AWAY his rights to compensation when he signed the contract.|1
  • sign for|Write a signature on behalf on someone|My boss was out for the day, so I SIGNED her letters FOR her.|_
  • sign in|Register in a hotel|We SIGNED IN and went straight to bed.|1
  • sign into|Open a particular computer program that requires a name and password|I SIGN INTO MSN Messenger automatically when I boot up.|_
  • sign off|End a message|I’ll SIGN OFF now, but will write again next week.|1
  • sign off on|Give official approval|The director SIGNED OFF ON the plans to increase sales.|_
  • sign on|Open a claim for unemployment benefit|I had to SIGN ON when I lost my job.|1
  • sign on with|Sign a document joining or agreeing to something|He’s SIGNED ON WITH Manchester United for the next three years.|_
  • sign out|Close a computer program that requires a name and password|I SIGNED OUT and then shut the computer down.|_
  • sign out of|Close a particular computer program that requires a name and password|I SIGNED OUT OF MSN Messenger and shut the computer down.|_
  • sign up|Give your name to do something|I’ve SIGNED UP as a volunteer.|1
  • sign with|Make a contract with|She’s SIGNED WITH EMI for the next few years.|_
  • simmer down|Become calmer, make less noise|He told them to SIMMER DOWN because they were disturbing the class next door.|1
  • sing along|To sing when a piece of music is being played or performed by someone else.|I SANG ALONG when they played it on the radio.|1
  • sing out|Reply loudly|When you hear your name, SING OUT!|_
  • sing up|Sing louder|We can’t hear you- SING UP.|_
  • single out|Select or choose one from a group|Many people applied for the job but we will SINGLE OUT the best one.|1
  • sink in|Slowly come to be understood|The truth finally SANK IN about her death when it was broadcast on TV.|1
  • sit about|Sit and do nothing, especially when you should be working|We spent the afternoon SITTING ABOUT chatting instead of doing any work.|_
  • sit around|Sit idly, doing nothing|They just SAT AROUND while the others did all the work.|1
  • sit back|Wait for something to happen without making any effort|We SAT BACK and waited for them to make the first mistake.|1
  • sit by|Not try to stop something|I can’t SIT BY while they are punished wrongly.|1
  • sit down|Help someone to sit|The nurse SAT me DOWN in a chair.|1
  • sit for|Pose for an artist or photographer|The Queen SAT FOR another official portrait.|_
  • sit in|Occupy a building to protest about something|The students SAT IN the Library as a protest against the increase in tuition fees.|1
  • sit in for|Take on someone’s responsibilities while they are absent|Her deputy’s SITTING IN FOR her while she’s away.|_
  • sit in on|Attend as an observer|She SAT IN ON the meeting and took notes but said nothing.|_
  • sit on|Be on a committee|She’s SAT ON the finance committee from the beginning.|_
  • sit out|Not take part|I had to SIT the game OUT because I was ill.|1
  • sit over|Eat or drink slowly|WE SAT OVER dinner discussing the plans.|_
  • sit through|Stay till the end of something dull|I was bored and wanted to leave halfway through, but we SAT THROUGH the film.|_
  • sit up|Suddenly take notice or pay attention|They SAT UP when I told them I was closing the company.|1
  • sit with|Reconcile different positions|It’s hard to see how their new plan SITS WITH the promises they made.|_
  • size up|Assess a situation or person carefully.|The doorstaff SIZED UP everyone entering the club.|1
  • skin up|Make a cannabis joint|She SKINNED UP a fat spliff.|_
  • skive off|Avoid doing work or other duty|I pretended I was ill and SKIVED OFF on Monday.|_
  • slack off|Reduce one’s effort, perform with less enthusiasm and energy|Students usually begin the term well, then SLACK OFF near the end of the semester.|1
  • slacken off|Become less busy or intense|Work SLACKENS OFF during the holiday period.|1
  • slag off|Criticise heavily|The concert was terrible and all the papers SLAGGED the band OFF.|_
  • slant toward|Favour one viewpoint, bias|That travel magazine is totally SLANTED TOWARD the ultra-rich.|_
  • sleep around|Be sexually promiscuous|He’s SLEPT AROUND a lot since his divorce.|1
  • sleep in|Sleep longer than usual|Let’s SLEEP IN tomorrow morning- we won’t have another chance for weeks.|1
  • sleep off|Sleep in order to recover from excess alcohol, drugs, etc.|She went to bed TO SLEEP OFF the effects of the tequila.|1
  • sleep on|Think about something|My boss said she’d have to SLEEP ON it when I asked her for a raise.|_
  • sleep over|Spend the night at someone else’s house|The au pair made tea for the friends who were SLEEPING OVER.|1
  • sleep through|Not wake up|I SLEPT THROUGH the storm even though the wind blew some slates off the roof.|_
  • sleep together|Have sex|If people SLEEP TOGETHER, they have sex.|1
  • slice off|Cut, remove an amount or part of something|They CUT 10% OFF the original price.|_
  • slice up|Cut completely into pieces or slices|I SLICED the cake UP and handed it round to the people there.|1
  • slip away|Lose an opportunity or the chance of winning, succeeding, etc|Their hopes of getting back into the game SLIPPED AWAY after the second goal.|1
  • slip by|Pass quickly (time)|The years SLIP BY as you get older.|1
  • slip down|Be enjoyable to drink or eat|The cold beer SLIPPED DOWN a treat after the walk.|_
  • slip in|Try to include something discreetly when speaking|He SLIPPED IN a mention of his exam results to remind us how well he did.|1
  • slip into|Put clothes on quickly|I got out of my suit and SLIPPED INTO my pyjamas.|_
  • slip off|Leave a place discreetly|It was very boring so we SLIPPED OFF before it finished.|1
  • slip off to|Go somewhere discreetly|We SLIPPED OFF TO the pub.|_
  • slip on|Put clothes on quickly|I SLIPPED my coat ON and rushed outside.|1
  • slip out|Leave discreetly|The party was really dull so we SLIPPED OUT and went to the pub instead.|_
  • slip through|Escape notice and be approved|The committee let the application SLIP THROUGH even though it was incomplete.|_
  • slip up|Make an error|The waitress SLIPPED UP and didn’t bring us what we had ordered.|1
  • slob about|Be lazy, do nothing|I SLOBBED ABOUT all day as I couldn’t be bothered to do any work.|_
  • slob around|Be lazy, do nothing|I spent the day SLOBBING AROUND at home.|_
  • slope off|Leave somewhere without letting others know|The lecture sounded really boring, so I SLOPED OFF and went to the pub.|_
  • slough off|Get rid of, dispose|The government is increasing its powers but is SLOUGHING OFF responsibility for its failures.|1
  • slow down|Reduce speed|The car SLOWED DOWN when they saw the police.|1
  • slow up|Slow the progress of something|The negotiations were SLOWED UP by the arguments.|1
  • slug it out|Fight or argue|They SLUGGED IT OUT for hours but never came to an agreement.|_
  • smack of|Appear to have a negative quality|The government’s decision SMACKS OF hypocrisy.|_
  • smash down|Demolish or break something down|The police SMASHED the door DOWN to get into the house.|_
  • smash in|Break something by hitting it repeatedly|He SMASHED the windscreen IN.|_
  • smash up|Destroy, break into many pieces|The burglars SMASHED UP the office as there was no money to steal.|1
  • smoke out|Force someone out of a place they’re hiding in|The police SMOKED the gang OUT and arrested them.|1
  • snaffle up|Consume, take, buy something other people may want|They SNAFFLED UP all the food before we got there.|_
  • snap off|Break a piece off something|He SNAPPED OFF a bit of chocolate from the bar and gave it to me..|1
  • snap out of|Control negative emotions|I was feeling depressed and knew I had to SNAP OUT OF it.|_
  • snap to it!|Do something quickly|He had taken ages so I told him to SNAP TO IT and get it finished.|_
  • snap up|Get, acquire or buy something quickly|Collectors SNAPPED UP every copy the day it was released.|1
  • snarl up|Entangle|My line was all SNARLED UP after I caught that last fish.|1
  • sneak out|Depart furtively|Although the thieves tried to SNEAK OUT after dark, we were ready for them.|1
  • sneak up on|Approach someone furtively|Dave tried to SNEAK UP ON the guard, but was seen anyway.|_
  • sneeze at|To dismiss casually, usually used negatively|We shouldn’t SNEEZE AT their offer- it’s the best we have received.|_
  • sniff around|Look around to see how good something is or to try to find something better|I SNIFFED AROUND to see if I could find a better deal.|_
  • sniff at|Disapprove or be scornful|A job opportunity like that is not to be SNIFFED AT.|_
  • sniff out|Find something by smell (usually for dogs)|Customs use dogs to SNIFF OUT illegal drugs being smuggled in.|1
  • snitch on|Divulge secrets, inform authorities about someone|Reggie was caught after someone SNITCHED ON him to the teacher.|_
  • snuff out|Extinguish a small flame by covering it|I SNUFFED OUT the candles before I went to bed.|1
  • soak up|Absorb|They SOAK UP everything the teacher says.|1
  • sober up|Stop showing the effects of alcohol or drugs|Keith SOBERED UP a bit when we left the pub and walked home.|1
  • sock away|Save money in a bank account, investment, etc|She’s SOCKED a fortune AWAY over the last few years.|_
  • sock in|Close access to a place because of bad weather|The airport’s been SOCKED IN because of the fog.|_
  • soften up|Weaken|The bombardment SOFTENED UP their defenses; I think we can move in tomorrow.|_
  • soldier on|Continue even when things get difficult|Life got hard for my dog when he went blind, but he just SOLDIERED ON and never complained.|_
  • sort out|Resolve a problem|Has the firm SORTED OUT its tax problems yet?|1
  • sound off|To express your opinions forcefully|He SOUNDED OFF about the quality of the food.|1
  • sound out|Check what someone thinks about an issue, idea, etc.|You should SOUND her OUT to get her opinion before you go ahead with the plan.|1
  • space out|Become detached from reality and unaware of what is happening around you, usually through drug use|The skunk they smoked completely SPACED them OUT.|_
  • spaff away|Waste (money, time, resources, etc)|The council is SPAFFING AWAY our taxes on bonuses and consultants.|_
  • spark off|Cause something, usually unpleasant, to happen|The riot was SPARKED OFF by the police raid on the club.|1
  • spark up|Light a cigarette or joint|They SPARKED UP in a no smoking area.|_
  • speak out|Talk openly and freely|People are afraid to SPEAK OUT in oppressive political regimes.|1
  • speak up|Talk more loudly|They couldn’t hear the speaker and asked him to SPEAK UP a bit.|1
  • speed up|Move faster|The car SPEEDED UP when the police car drew near.|1
  • spell out|Explain something in great detail|He won’t understand you unless you SPELL everything OUT for him.|1
  • spew out|Expel, throw out|The volcano is SPEWING OUT lava and hot gases.|1
  • spew up|Vomit|He SPEWED UP when he was drunk.|_
  • spice up|Add spices or herbs to increase flavour|You could SPICE it UP by adding cumin.|1
  • spiff up|Make something smart or more presentable|They has to SPIFF their house UP before they could put it on the market.|1
  • spike up|Increase sharply|Interest rates SPIKED UP after the news.|_
  • spill out|When large numbers of people leave a place at the same time|The crowd SPILLED OUT onto the streets after the match had ended.|1
  • spill over|When something bad has a wider impact on other people or situations|The protests and demonstrations have SPILLED OVER into neighbouring states.|1
  • spin off|Produce an unexpected additional benefit|The research SPUN OFF a number of new products as well as solving the problem.|1
  • spin out|Lose control (vehicle)|The car hit the water and SPUN OUT.|1
  • spirit away|Remove someone secretly from a place|They SPIRITED her AWAY before the police arrived.|1
  • spirit off|Remove someone secretly from a place|They SPIRITED him OFF before any trouble started.|1
  • spit it out|An informal way of telling someone to say something they are unwilling to say|Hurry up, SPIT IT OUT! I can’t wait all day for the truth.|_
  • spit out|Say something angrily|He SPAT her name OUT when he saw her arrive.|1
  • splash down|Land in the sea (space capsules)|Apollo 13 SPLASHED DOWN after a harrowing flight.|_
  • splash out|Spend a lot of money on something that is not essential|We went to an expensive restaurant and SPLASHED OUT to celebrate|_
  • splash out on|Spend a lot of money on something|I SPLASHED OUT ON a new camera.|_
  • split up|Divide into groups|The teacher SPLIT the class UP into groups of four.|1
  • spoil for|Really want something|He’s been SPOILING FOR an argument all day.|_
  • sponge down|Clean something with a sponge|I’ll SPONGE it DOWN before putting it away.|1
  • sponge off|Accept free food and support without any shame or qualms|Let’s go to New York, we can always SPONGE OFF my brother there.|1
  • sponge on|Accept or get money without doing any work|A lot of people are SPONGING ON the state by claiming benefits they’re not entitled to.|1
  • spring back|Return to original position after being bent, forced or when pressure is removed|The lock SPRINGS BACK when the key is turned.|_
  • spring for|Pay for, often generously|She is going to SPRING FOR all their medical bills.|_
  • spring from|Appear suddenly and unexpectedly|He SPRANG FROM the bushes when I walked past.|_
  • spring on|Surprise someone|They SPRUNG a birthday party ON me at work.|_
  • spring up|Appear suddenly|Charity shops are SPRINGING UP in the recession.|1
  • spruce up|To smarten, make something neat and tidy|We SPRUCED the flat UP before we put it on the market.|1
  • spur on|Encourage someone to continue|The thought of the bonus SPURRED her ON to complete the work on time.|_
  • square away|Finish or sort something out|There are few things I have to SQUARE AWAY before I can leave.|1
  • square off|Confront someone or prepare to fight them|The two drunks SQUARED OFF and the barman had to intervene before a fight broke out.|1
  • square off against|Confront someone or prepare to fight them|They SQUARED OFF AGAINST the police when they arrived.|_
  • square up|Pay back a debt|Can I SQUARE UP with you for last night?|1
  • square up to|Accept responsibility or guilt|They need to SQUARE UP TO what they did wrong if we are to make any progress.|_
  • square with|Match, conform to|What he said doesn’t SQUARE WITH what the others said.|_
  • squeeze up|Get more people into a space than normal or comfortable|Four of us had to SQUEEZE UP in the back of the car.|_
  • stack up|Put things in a pile|I STACKED UP the boxes.|1
  • stack up against|Be as good as something|The new model doesn’t STACK UP AGAINST the old one.|_
  • staff up|Employ someone for something specific|They haven’t STAFFED the project UP yet.|_
  • stamp out|Get rid of something|The government has started a campaign to STAMP OUT drugs in schools.|1
  • stand about|Spend time in a place waiting or doing nothing or very little|We STOOD ABOUT drinking coffee before the lecture.|_
  • stand around|Spend time in a place waiting or doing nothing or very little|We STOOD AROUND for an hour waiting for them to turn up.|_
  • stand aside|Leave a position so that someone else can take it|The prime minister should STAND ASIDE and let a new leader head the party.|_
  • stand back|Keep a distance from something|We STOOD BACK while he lit the firework.|1
  • stand by|Support someone|He STOOD BY her throughout the trial as he believed her to be innocent.|1
  • stand down|Leave a job or position so that someone else can take it|The minister announced her intention to STAND DOWN at the next election.|_
  • stand for|Accept or tolerate behaviour|I’m not going to STAND FOR their rudeness any longer.|1
  • stand in for|Substitute someone temporarily|She had to STAND IN FOR the editor while he was on holiday.|_
  • stand out|Be extraordinary and different|She STOOD OUT from the crowd in selection and was offered the job.|1
  • stand up|Move from a sitting or lying down to a vertical position|Everybody STOOD UP when the judge entered the court.|1
  • stand up for|Defend, support|He’s the kind of manager who will always STAND UP FOR his staff.|_
  • stand up to|Keep your principles when challenged by an authority|She STOOD UP TO the police when they tried to corrupt her.|_
  • stare down|Look at someone until they cannot look at you|He was angry but I STARED him DOWN and he left without saying much.|1
  • start off|Make something start|They STARTED OFF the meeting with an attack on our performance.|_
  • start off on|Help someone to start a piece or work or activity|I STARTED her OFF ON the project then left her to finish it.|_
  • start on|Begin to use or consume|It’s time to START ON that bottle of wine.|_
  • start on at|Criticise or nag|He STARTED ON AT me for being late.|_
  • start out|Begin a journey|We STARTED OUT early in the morning.|1
  • start out as|Begin life, existence or a career|What had STARTED OUT AS a protest quickly turned into a full-blown rebellion.|_
  • start out to|Intend, plan|I didn’t START OUT TO become the boss- it just happened.|_
  • start over|Begin something again|It’s a mess- I think we should just START OVER.|_
  • start up|Open a business|The firm STARTED UP on a shoestring budget.|1
  • stash away|Store or hide something in a safe place|I STASHED some money AWAY behind some books.|1
  • stave in|Push or break something inwards|The police STOVE the front door IN and arrested them.|1
  • stave off|Delay, prevent something from happening|The medicine STAVED OFF the worst of the disease.|1
  • stay away|Not come|He said he didn’t like them coming and wanted them to STAY AWAY.|1
  • stay away from|Avoid, not come|He told them to STAY AWAY FROM him.|_
  • stay in|Not go out|I’m going to STAY IN and chill tonight; I can’t be bothered to go out.|_
  • stay on|Remain longer than anticipated|She STAYED ON after she graduated to do a Master’s degree.|1
  • stay out|Not go home|We STAYED OUT all night.|_
  • stay over|Stay overnight|I STAYED OVER at a friend’s house last night because of the train strike.|1
  • stay up|Not go to bed|The children STAYED UP until way past their bedtime.|1
  • steal away|Leave a place quietly or secretly|We didn’t want to wake them, so we STOLE AWAY in the middle of the night.|1
  • steal out|Leave in a stealthy or quiet manner|Not wanting to attract attention, she STOLE OUT early.|_
  • steal over|Be gradually overcome by an emotion or feeling|A feeling of pride STOLE OVER me as I watched.|_
  • steal up|Approach quietly or secretly|The lights were off and everything was quiet so we STOLE UP as quietly as we could.|_
  • steal up on|Approach a place or someone quietly or secretly|We STOLE UP ON them so that they couldn’t sound the alarm.|_
  • steer clear of|Avoid|He’s trying to STEER CLEAR OF his lecturer because he hasn’t finished his assignment yet.|_
  • stem from|Originate, be caused by|The trouble STEMS FROM their refusal to discuss the matter.|_
  • step aside|Leave a job or position so that someone else can take over|Everyone thinks that the prime minister should STEP ASIDE so that someone new can lead the party into the election.|_
  • step back|Look at something from a different perspective|We should STEP BACK and try to see how our customers will view the scheme.|_
  • step down|Leave a job or position so that someone can take over|The CEO STEPPED DOWN after the share price dropped.|1
  • step forward|Offer help|When I had the accident, a lot of people STEPPED FORWARD to help me.|1
  • step in|Get involved by interrupting something|I had to STEP IN when they started fighting.|1
  • step on it|An imperative used to tell someone to go faster, especially when driving|I told the taxi driver to STEP ON IT as I was late for the meeting.|1
  • step out|Leave a place for a very short time|They’ve STEPPED OUT for a cigarette.|1
  • step to|Confront|Don’t STEP TO those guys; they’ll kill you.|_
  • step up|Increase|The police have STEPPED UP the pressure on beggars working the Underground.|1
  • stick around|Stay in a place for some time|He’s late, but I’ll STICK AROUND for another few minutes before I leave.|1
  • stick at|Continue doing something despite difficulties|She found the course very tough but she STUCK AT it and did well in the end.|_
  • stick by|Support someone when they are having difficulties|No one STUCK BY him when the scandal became public.|1
  • stick down|Write something quickly or without thinking about it|I couldn’t answer the test so I just STUCK anything DOWN that I could remember.|_
  • stick it to|Criticise someone|She STUCK IT TO me for turning up half an hour late.|_
  • stick out|Be easily noticed|He’s so much better than the others that he STICKS OUT.|1
  • stick out for|Demand a salary raise|We’re STICKING OUT FOR a 5% increase.|_
  • stick to|Not change|The Prime Minister decided to STICK TO the original plan despite the criticism in the media.|1
  • stick together|Support each other|If we don’t STICK TOGETHER, things will be much worse for all of us- we need some unity.|1
  • stick up|Stand on end|The static electricity made my hair STICK UP.|1
  • stick up for|Support or defend|You have to STICK UP FOR yourself here, because no one will back you.|_
  • stick with|Not change something|We’d better STICK WITH our original idea.|1
  • stiffen up|Become rigid|My back STIFFENS UP in cold weather.|_
  • stir up|Make trouble for someone else|He STIRRED things UP by complaining to senior management about his line manager.|1
  • stitch up|Sew something so that it is closed|I STITCHED UP the hole in my sleeve.|_
  • stomp off|Leave somewhere angrily|He lost his temper and STOMPED OFF home.|_
  • stomp on|Treat badly or defeat|They STOMP ON their competitors.|_
  • stop around|Visit someone for a short time.|Why don’t you STOP AROUND my place on your way back?|_
  • stop back|Return somewhere|I’ll STOP BACK this afternoon when you’re free.|_
  • stop behind|Stay somewhere when other people leave|I STOPPED BEHIND at the end of the lecture to ask a couple of questions.|_
  • stop by|Visit somewhere briefly or quickly|I must STOP BY the supermarket and pick up some things for dinner.|_
  • stop in|Stay at home|I was feeling tired so I STOPPED IN last night.|_
  • stop off|Break a journey|We STOPPED OFF for lunch about halfway there, then carried on driving.|_
  • stop out|Be out late, especially when you are expected home|Her parents were annoyed because she STOPPED OUT all night.|_
  • stop over|Stay somewhere when on a journey|I STOPPED OVER in Bangkok for a couple of days on my way back from Tokyo.|1
  • stop up|Stay up late|I STOPPED UP last night watching the film.|1
  • store up|Memorise or commit something to memory for later use|I STORED UP a lot of issues they had to make my complaint.|_
  • storm off|Leave a place angrily|They had a row and he STORMED OFF.|_
  • storm out|Leave a place angrily|He lost his temper and STORMED OUT OF the bar. (If you don’t mention the place, you can just say ‘He stormed out’)|_
  • stow away|Hide in a vehicle to travel without people knowing|She STOWED AWAY on the plane but was caught when it landed.|1
  • straighten out|Make something straight|I’m always having to STRAIGHTEN OUT the wires connected to my computer.|1
  • straighten up|Stand straight|She STRAIGHTENED UP when her boss walked in.|1
  • stretch out|Lie down with your limbs extended in a relaxed manner|She STRETCHED OUT on the sofa.|1
  • stretch to|Manage to supply an amount of money even though it is more than you would like to give or pay|I could STRETCH TO a hundred pounds if it is really necessary.|_
  • stretcher off|Carry an injured player off the pitch, field, etc.|He was STRETCHERED OFF with a broken ankle.|_
  • strike back|Attack, take action against someone who has hurt you|At first, he ignored them, but when things got very serious, he STRUCK BACK.|1
  • strike down|Kill|A hitman STRUCK him DOWN as he entered the building. (This verb is often used in the passive- He was struck down as he entered the building.)|1
  • strike off|Remove someone’s professional licence to practise|The Medical Council STRUCK him OFF for malpractice.|1
  • strike on|Have a good idea|I STRUCK ON the solution when I was out with my dog.|_
  • strike out|Start doing something new and different|After doing the same job for five years, I decided to STRIKE OUT and change careers.|1
  • strike up|Start (conversation, relationship)|He STRUCK UP a conversation with me in the bar.|1
  • strike upon|Have a good idea|It took us a long time to STRIKE UPON a solution.|_
  • string along|Deceive someone for a long time|They kept saying they were interested, but they were just STRINGING me ALONG|1
  • string out|Make something last as long as possible|There was half an hour to go, so I STRUNG the questions OUT as long as I could.|1
  • string together|Put words together into a coherent text|I was so nervous in the interview that I could hardly STRING a sentence TOGETHER.|_
  • string up|Hang somebody|The rebels STRUNG the soldiers UP after they captured them.|1
  • strip away|Reduce or remove|If you STRIP AWAY the rhetoric, their claims have no merit.|_
  • strip down|Remove parts to make something more efficient or basic|They STRIPPED the car DOWN to make it lighter for the race.|1
  • strip down to|Remove clothing to a certain level|I had to STRIP DOWN TO my underwear for the medical examination.|_
  • strip of|Remove a title, award or position|He was STRIPPED OF his honours after the scandal.|_
  • strip off|Remove clothes|We STRIPPED OFF and swam naked in the river.|_
  • strip out|Remove|They STRIPPED OUT the previous bosses policies.|_
  • strip to|Remove clothing to a certain level|I had to STRIP TO the waist for the medical.|_
  • stub out|Extinguish a cigarette|He STUBBED his cigarette OUT in a saucer because he couldn’t find an ashtray.|1
  • stuff up|Make a mistake, do badly, spoil|I STUFFED the exam UP.|_
  • stumble across|Find something accidentally|You’ll never guess what I STUMBLED ACROSS when I was packing my stuff.|_
  • stumble upon|Find something accidentally|I STUMBLED UPON these photos when I was clearing my room up.|_
  • stump up|Pay for something|He didn’t want to pay me back, but I got him to STUMP UP in the end.|_
  • suck in|Become involved in something unpleasant|Everyone around her was taking drugs and she got SUCKED IN.|1
  • suck into|Become involved in something unpleasant|The country got SUCKED INTO the war.|_
  • suck up|Try to ingratiate yourself|He is always SUCKING UP to try to get the boss’s approval.|1
  • suck up to|Ingratiate yourself with someone|He’s always SUCKING UP TO our boss.|_
  • suit up|Get dressed or put on a uniform for an activity or task|They SUITED UP and went to the interview|_
  • sum up|Summarise|At the end of the lecture, she SUMMED UP the main points again.|1
  • summon up|Get the energy or courage to do something|Andrea couldn’t SUMMON UP the enthusiasm to apply for the position.|_
  • suss out|Come to understand|It took her ages to SUSS OUT what was going on.|1
  • swallow up|Take control of something much smaller, like a company or state|The corporation SWALLOWED them UP before they could become a rival.|1
  • swan about|Move in a dramatic or affected manner|He SWANNED ABOUT at the party.|_
  • swan around|Move in a dramatic or affected manner|She SWANNED AROUND trying to impress people.|_
  • swan in|Enter in a dramatic or attention-seeking manner|He SWANNED IN surrounded by photographers.|_
  • swan off|Leave somewhere in a defiant or pompous manner|He didn’t like the way the spoke to him so he SWANNED OFF angrily.|_
  • swear by|Have great confidence in|I SWEAR BY their products- they’re the best on the market.|_
  • swear down|Promise that something is true|He SWORE DOWN that he hadn’t done it.|_
  • swear in|Take an oath to hold a public office|They SWORE her IN as mayor.|1
  • swear off|Decide to stop doing something, usually something harmful|She SWORE OFF alcohol after getting incredibly drunk at her friend’s wedding.|1
  • sweep through|Pass easily, succeed|She SWEPT THROUGH the exams.|1
  • swing around|Change your opinion quickly|They SWUNG AROUND to our idea after reading the press reports.|1
  • swing at|Try to hit|He SWUNG AT me but missed.|_
  • swing by|Visit a person or place on your way somewhere|I will SWING BY this afternoon and pick you up.|_
  • swing round|Change your opinion quickly|They were against it at first then SWUNG ROUND and supported it.|_
  • switch off|Stop a machine or something electrical working|I SWITCHED OFF the lights, locked the door and left.|1
  • switch on|Start a machine or something electrical working|She SWITCHED ON the lights when she entered the room.|1
  • switch over|Change from one provider or source to another|We SWITCHED OVER to solar power.|1
  • syphon off|Take business, support or votes from someone|The candidate SYPHONED OFF a lot of votes because of his anti-war stance.|_

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Log In

Or with username:

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.