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.


Lock On

1. Find and follow a target.
The missile locked on the ship and destroyed it.
2. Follow a plan through with determination.
He is locked on to the idea of becoming a lawyer.

Lock Up

1. Close a house, shop well.
When you finish John, can you lock up and leave the keys with my brother.
2. Put a criminal in jail.
All murderers should be locked up for life.

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Look After

1. Take care of.
Nurses look after patients in hospital.
2. Take responsibility for.
I have to look after the company for a month or so while she's ill.
3. (Informal) Pay a bill.
I will look after this. Don't worry about it.

Look Ahead

Think about the future.
I'm looking ahead to a time when we will travel around in personal flying machines.

Look For

Help me. I am looking for my umbrella and I can't remember where I put it.

Look Forward

Think with anticipation about something in the future.
I'm looking forward to seeing my old friend again. I haven't seen her for nearly five years.

Look Into

The police are looking into a suspicious incident last night.

Look On

Watch as a spectator.
The firemen tackled the blaze while the crowd looked on.

Look Out

1. Be careful.
Look out! There's a policeman coming!
2. Search.
If I go into town, I will look out for some of that wine you want.

Look Over

Carefully inspect something.
We need to look over that report again before submitting it.

Look To

Rely on someone for something.
If you really need help, don't look to him. He is useless!

Look Up

1. Search for information.
Look up his phone number in the directory.
2. Find a person a visit them.
If I come to New York next month, I will look you up.

Look Up To

Show great admiration for someone, usually older, more senior.
He looks up to his mother and follows every bit of advice she gives him.


Lose By

Suffer personally or financially if you do something.
You will lose by selling your house now. Wait a year.

Lose Out

Suffer personally or financially by not doing something. Do especially worse than others.
I lost out because I didn't know you could claim a refund.


Make After

Chase, run after someone.
The police made after the thief but he got away.

Make For

Move, travel towards.
We made for the hotel when it began raining.

Make Of

Understand, interpret.
I can't make anything of his argument. It doesn't make any sense.

Make Off

Escape with.
The thieves made off with the three statues from the museum.

Make Out

1. Claim something is true that isn't.
Stop making out that you were at school when I know you weren't!
2. See clearly.
From the hill, we could make out the old cathedral in the distance.
I can't make out your handwriting. Can you type next time?

Make Over

Transfer ownership.
The house was made over to her husband after the divorce.

Make Up

1. End an argument.
They argued a lot at the party but made up eventually.
2. Put cosmetics on.
It takes me half an hour to make myself up in the morning.
3. Invent a story, lie.
He made up the whole story about him being a fisherman.
4. Prepare food.
We can make up some sandwiches for the journey tomorrow.
5. Recuperate a space in time or distance.
Hurry up. We have two hours to make up if we don't want to be late.
We need a thousand dollars. We have 800 and John said he would make up the rest.

Make Up For

Be a valid substitute.
Can all the money in the world make up for a loveless marriage?

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