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Phrasal Verb Dictionary: B

Phrasal verbs are a common English verb form that consist of a verb followed by a p-word that functions as a particle. To learn more about some of the most common phrasal verbs in the English language, click on a letter in the following menu to browse the Phrasal Verb Dictionary in alphabetical order.



Note: When a word entry includes a p-word enclosed in parentheses, the phrasal verb is a phrasal-prepositional verb.

Phrasal Verb Definition Category Example
back down withdraw from a position intransitive The huge dog backed down.
back down from withdraw from a position inseparable transitive The city council backed down from its original plans.
back off stop being involved intransitive Please just back off.
back out of fail to keep a commitment, promise, agreement, or deal; withdraw from intransitive The shareholder backed out of the deal.
back up accumulate intransitive Traffic got backed up this afternoon.
back up give support separable transitive My boss backed me up at the meeting today.
band together form a group intransitive The disgruntled customers banded together to demand change.
bank on depend on something happening inseparable transitive Never bank on a sure thing.
bawl out criticize, reprimand, scold separable transitive Her supervisor bawled her out.
bear down press or push down intransitive The woman bore down while giving birth.
bear down on use a great amount of effort inseparable transitive You must bear down on your studies.
bear down on approach rapidly inseparable transitive The storm is bearing down on the island.
bear on pertain to inseparable transitive The case bears on the rights of all citizens.
bear out prove the truth separable transitive I will bear your out if you tell the truth.
bear up withstand, endure intransitive She bore up despite the situation.
bear up under withstand inseparable transitive She bore up under the enormous strain.
bear with be patient inseparable transitive Bear with me today.
beat up hurt separable transitive The bully beat him up.
beef up make stronger separable transitive Beef up your image with a new look.
belly up to move in closer inseparable transitive The man bellied up to the woman at the bar.
belt out to sing or play an instrument loudly separable transitive He belted out the song in the shower.
bend over backwards try extremely hard to help or please intransitive She would bend over backwards for me.
black out faint, lose consciousness intransitive The old woman blacked out.
blast off launch intransitive The rocket blasts off tomorrow morning.
blow in visit unexpectedly intransitive Aunt Irma blew in this afternoon.
blow out explode separable transitive The accident blew out a tire.
blow over pass without creating a problem, less intransitive The situation blew over.
blow up explore, make explode, destroy using explosives separable transitive The bomb blew the building up.
blow up suddenly become very angry intransitive My wife blew up at the kids.
boil down to reduce inseparable transitive The problem boils down to one choice.
boil up appear or increase suddenly intransitive All her negative emotions suddenly boiled up.
bolt down eat quickly separable transitive The dog bolted his treat down.
bone up on review inseparable transitive The students boned up on phrasal verbs.
boot out make someone leave separable transitive The librarian booted him out of the building.
bottle up suppress separable transitive She bottles her feelings up.
bottom out reach the lowest point intransitive The market bottomed out.
bounce back (from) rebound intransitive He bounced back from the tragedy.
bowl over surprise separable transitive You always bowl me over.
break down analyze in detail separable transitive Break the problem down into more manageable pieces.
break down malfunction intransitive My car broke down again.
break down become mentally ill intransitive She broke down after the death of her child.
break in wear or use something new until comfortable separable transitive I need to break my new shoes in.
break in on interrupt inseparable transitive She broke in on the conversation.
break into enter unlawfully inseparable transitive The thief broke into the house.
break into interrupt inseparable transitive She broke into the conversation.
break off end separable transitive He broke the relationship off.
break out appear violently or suddenly intransitive The pandemic broke out on the island first.
break out use something extravagant for celebration inseparable transitive Break out the champagne!
break out of escape inseparable transitive The criminal broke out of jail.
break up crumble, fracture into pieces separable transitive Break up the cracker for the baby.
break up disperse, stop separable transitive The warden broke up the fight.
break up end a relationship intransitive The couple broke up last night.
breeze through succeed easily inseparable transitive She breezed through the exam.
bring about cause to happen separable transitive We will bring about change.
bring around cause to happen, convince someone separable transitive She brought him around to her viewpoint on the issue.
bring away learn or gain from an experience separable transitive I brought away a new worldview from my travels to Africa.
bring down reduce separable transitive Try to bring the fever down.
bring on cause something separable transitive A fever can bring on chills.
bring out highlight, stress separable transitive Make sure to bring out the problems with the textbooks.
bring over transport something or someone separable transitive Bring the soda over to me.
bring up raise separable transitive She is bringing up her daughter on her own.
brush off ignore something or someone separable transitive He brushed me off.
buddy up to try to make friends with inseparable transitive My coworker buddied up to our new boss.
build up increase anticipation, hype separable transitive The company built its new product up.
bung up block separable transitive The child bunged the toilet up by flushing socks.
burn down destroy by setting fire to separable transitive The farmer burned down the old barn.
burn up destroy by fire separable transitive The fire burned my files up.
butt in become involved unwantedly intransitive My mother-in-law always butts in.
butt out of stop involvement inseparable transitive Butt out of my business.
buy up purchase all separable transitive The college students bought up all the beer.


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