Phrasal Verbs C - F

This is the phrasal verb reference section. Here there are definitions and examples for hundreds of phrasal verbs found in English.

Don't forget we have a phrasal verb exercise page.


Dole Out

To distribute food, clothes, money - especially to the poor.
Every winter, the local government doles out hot soup and blankets to the homeless.


Double As

Be used for two purposes.
We put the bed in the lounge and it doubles as a sofa.

Double Back

Go back on original path.
We realized we had lost the money so we doubled back to look for it.

Double Up

Begin laughing a lot.
When she saw what her husband was wearing, she doubled up in laughter.


Drag On

Continue for a long time, longer than you would like.
The German opera dragged on for four and a half hours. How boring!!

Drag Out

Make something last longer than necessary.
He drags out meetings because he loves to feel important.

Drag Up

Mention something to someone, usually an embarrassing story, situation.
He humiliated Eric by dragging up that old story about him and his wife.


Draw Ahead

Move in front of someone.
The winning car began to draw ahead with only 5 kilometers left of the race.

Draw Off

1. Attract something away from something else.
We drew off the security guards and robbed the money truck.
2. Remove liquid.
The doctors drew off the excess blood before beginning the operation.

Draw On

Use something as a source for inspiration.
I drew on my experience as a teacher when I had my first child.

Draw Out

1. Make a person less reserved.
Teachers are good at drawing out shy children.
2. Make something last longer than necessary.
I don't want to draw out this argument. Let's agree to disagree!
3. Take something out (esp. money from a bank)
He drew out a thousand dollars to buy the car.

Draw Up

1. Come near and stop (esp. vehicles)
The bus drew up and we all got on.
2. Prepare a report, set of rules, list.
I drew up a list of possible guests for the wedding.


Dream Up

Think of an amazing plan, excuse.
He arrives late every day and always manages to dream up something that the boss believes.


Dress Down

Criticise, discipline someone with angry words or in a humiliating way.
He dressed down his secretary about making personal calls at work.

Dress Up

Put on formal, smart clothes for a special occasion.
I love dressing up for weddings and similar events.

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Drive At

To mean when speaking.
He uses such complicated language that I never understand what he's driving at!

Drive Off

Force someone, something to leave.
He left home at 15, driven off by his violent father he claims.


Drop Away

Become less gradually.
Opposition to the Euro is dropping away in Britain. (this is sarcasm!)

Drop In/By

Pay a call on someone, visit for a short time.
Drop by if you are in the area. I would love to see you.

Drop Off

1. Same as Drop Away.
2. Fall asleep.
My father always drops off in front of the TV.

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