Phrasal Verbs J - O

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.


Laugh Off

Try to hide one's responsibility by not acting seriously.
He dropped his wife's favorite vase, then tried to laugh it off. She was really angry.


Lay In

Get a supply of something.
We need to lay in wood for the winter.

Lay Into

(Informal) Attack someone verbally.
My father will really lay into me if I am late.

Lay Off

1. (Informal) To stop annoying someone, something.
Lay off the dog or it'll bite you.
2. Make someone redundant from a job.
The management regrets to inform you that it will have to lay off twenty people next summer.

Lay Out

1. Put out equipment ready for use.
Lay out the tools and we can start then.
2. Plan, arrange.
He has laid out the garden really well.
3. (Informal) Spend.
He laid out a huge amount for the wedding.

Lay Up

Cause someone to stay in bed due to illness.
He has been laid up for four days with the flu.


Lead Off

Start a talk, discussion.
I want to lead off by thanking you for coming today.

Lead On

1. Go in front and be the leader.
You know this part of the forest best Peter so you lead on.
2. Persuade and encourage someone by using false information.
He led her on until she fell in love with him, then he disappeared.

Lead To

Have as a result.
Her dishonesty will ultimately lead to her dismissal from the job.

Lead Up To

Preparations for a final event.
There were a lot of silly arguments between them leading up to the divorce.


Lean On

1. Use as support.
I can always lean on my mother if I am going through difficulty.
2. (Informal) Threaten people for money.
In this area of the city, there are gangs of criminals who lean on the more vulnerable members of the community for protection money.

Lean Towards

Show some support towards something.
I agree with what Bob said but I personally lean more towards Kevin's position on this issue.

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Leave Alone

Not to touch.
Leave that food alone until it's time to eat.

Leave Behind

Cause a person, thing to remain where it was.
In the film "Home Alone", a family leaves their son behind in the house when they go on holiday.

Leave In

Cause to remain in, inside.
Leave that clause in the contract. It could be important later.

Leave Off

(Informal) Stop talking, doing something.
Will she ever leave off talking about her money?

Leave Out

Cause something to be left out, outside.
When you write the letter, leave out any mention of the holiday next month.

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