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(insep) Accept another person's point of view
or argument instead of your own or decide not to do something after all. Climb down, give in
- Yesterday, he backed down on his campaign pledge
to cut carbon dioxide emissions, one of the major causes of global warming.
- The company only backed down after a worldwide campaign by activists.
- British Airways has backed down from its policy of not allowing staff to wear jewellry.
Back out [Back out, Back out of something] (insep) withdraw (agreement,
deal, arrangement, contract) Avoid doing something when you have promised to. Pull out
backed out at the last moment.
- The company
is thought to have become suspicious and backed out of the deal.
- You can't back out of the deal now -you signed your name on the contract.
Back up support [Back somebody/something up] 1 Support somebody.
- Four witnesses
backed him up.
- Make sure that you have some examples to back up your arguments.
2 Make a copy as a precaution.
- For more information about how to back up your data, see Help and Support Center.
- Back up your files, so that you can restore them if a virus damages them.
3 [Back up, back something up] Move backwards in a vehicle.
- We had to back up a long way and try a different route.
- I backed the car up several hundred yards.
Bail out [Bail somebody out] 1 Pay a deposit
so that somebody who has been arrested can be released.
called his father to bail him out knowing that he had quite a bit of
influence in the city.
2 Help somebody who
is in trouble.
- He drew on his family
name and family connections to help bail him out of failed ventures
in the oil industry.
- Faced with bankruptcy,
he turned to a shadowy Mafia-controlled finance company to bail him
- He does what he wants and ignores
the consequences, usually because his parents are there to bail him
Bang up [Bang somebody up] Put somebody in prison. Lock up
was banged up for drug dealing.
- He has been banged up for a decade now, but becomes eligible for parole this year.
Be back (insep) Return. Come back
- What time will
you be back?
- I'll be back in a minute.
Be off 1 (insep) Leave a place. Go away
- I'm just off to see the solicitor. I should be
back around lunchtime.
- She's caught the
travel bug now - she's off to Barbados this year.
- Where's she off to then?
2 (insep) Be disconnected or not working.
- The power was off for about 3 hours.
3 (insep) Be cancelled.
- Due to the many last minute cancellations tonight's party is off.
- He said no one had told them officially that the concert was off.
4 (insep) (milk, fish) Not be good to eat any more. Go
- I think this milk is off.
Be out 1 (insep) Be available to the public; appear. Come out
is the new magazine out?
- They tried to
keep it secret but the story is out now.
2 (insep) Not be at home or work.
- The manager
is out at the moment.
Be up to [Be up to something].- 1 (insep) Be doing or planning something bad.
- I'm sure he's up to no good.
- I wonder what they're up to now.
2 (insep) Be doing something.
- What have you been up to lately?
- To learn more about what she is up to, please visit her blog.
Bear up 1 [Bear up to something] (insep)(insep) Accept another person's point of view
or argument instead of your own or you decide not to do something after all.
- His argument for this claim doesn't bear up under examination.
- This story doesn't bear up to the truth.
- That just doesn't bear up to the facts.
2 (insep) Stay calm despite facing difficulties.
- He' bearing up well under the circumstances.
- He's bearing up extremely well.
Beaver away (insep) Work hard. Slog away
- I have been beavering away on a project all year.
Black out (insep) faint Lose consciousness. Pass out Come round, come to Bring round, bring to
- I blacked out and when I woke up I was in hospital.
Blow out [Blow out, blow something out] (insep) (match, candle, flame, lamp) Be extinguished. Put out
- I blew out the candles and we ate cake.
Blow over (insep) (scandal, problem, troubles, issue, controversy,
affair, row, argument) Be forgotten.
politician is keeping a low profile until the scandal blows over.
Blow up 1 explode [Blow up, blow something up] Explode.
- Terrorists intended to blow up the parliament when the president was
speaking there, but police foiled the plans.
2 get angry (insep) Get angry.
been under a lot of pressure lately. I didn't mean to blow up like that.
- I don't understand. It's not like her to blow up over a silly little row like that.
affair) Exaggerate something.
- The media blew up the incident.
4 (tyre, dinghy, balloon, airbed) Fill something with air. Pump up
volunteers are needed to blow up balloons and distribute posters and
balloons to all the houses early in the morning before the event.
Blurt out [Blurt something out] (news,
answer, secret) Say something without thinking.
- Don't blurt
out answers without thinking.
- Every parent,
at least once, has had the little darling blurt out something that was
said in private that was never intended for others to hear.
Brighten up 1 (insep) (weather, morning) Become happier or better.
- At last the weather brightened up!
- As the morning brightened up I decided to give the area a look.
2 [Brighten something up].- (day, Saturday, morning, wardrobe, life) Make something more colourful or cheerful.
- Hair pro, Marcy Cona, shows you how to brighten up your hair with this diy kit.
- Follow these simple steps to brighten up your life and make yourself much happier.
Boil down [Boil down to something]
question, issue) Be the
most important thing.
- A lot of this boils down
to lack of education.
Boss around [Boss somebody around]
Treat somebody unpleasantly, giving unnecessary
orders all the time.
- The new manager made a big
mistake when he started bossing the staff about.
bossing me around, will you?
Bounce back Recover from something unpleasant.
company went bankrupt, but managed to bounce back with a new management.
Brass off Be angry, upset or fed up.
Break down 1 (insep) (car,
system, machine, talks, negotiations, marriage, argument, plan, relations) Stop working because it has a serious problem. Pack up,
- The elevators in this building are always breaking
- Sorry I'm late. The car broke down on the way here.
- Diplomatic relations have broken down between the two countries.
2 Lose control and start crying. Crack up
he told her he didn't love her anymore, she broke down.
Break down destroy [Break something down] (door,
wall, barrier, resistance, opposition, reserve) Destroy something.
- The police got into
the house by breaking the door down.
Break in [Break in, break into something]
(insep) (building, house, grounds, computer, system) Enter a place using
force or by breaking the law. Break out
- An unemployed programmer
from Britain has been accused of breaking into a large number of US
Break in [Break somebody in] (employee,
recruit) Help somebody get used to a new
situation or job or train them.
- I'll bring my wife with me, but this is all new to her so I'll have
to break her in gently.
Break in [Break something in] (boots, shoes, car, horse) Use something until it's comfortable, it works properly or
does what it's supposed to do.
- I've been breaking
the boots in since yesterday, and except for some lower shin pressure,
they haven't bothered me at all.
Break off [Break something off] (agreement, engagement, relations, relationship,
alliance) Put an end to something because
of a problem.
- I was extremely stunned when Mac
and Brumby broke off their engagement.
Break out 1 begin (insep) (riots,
violence, row, fire, epidemic, disease, war, rash, spots, sweat, tears,
argument) Begins suddenly or violently.
- Riots broke out in the streets of Los Angeles.
- I was only 12 when the war broke out.
- Do you know what to do if a fire breaks out at home?
2 escape (insep) Escape. Break in
- The two
criminals broke out of prison yesterday.
Break up stop [Break something up] (fight, quarrel, party, crowd, marriage, relationship,
couple, alliance, school, meeting) Stop.
- Three policemen were needed
to break up the fight.
- The meeting broke
up around 10 o'clock.
Breeze through [Breeze through something] (insep) (exam, test) Pass something easily. Sail through, sweep through, walk through
- In the dream, I was in a
classroom, taking some sort of test, and I just breezed through it,
like it was nothing.
Bring about [Bring something about] Cause (reform,
changes) Make something happen.
- This bill, together with that concerning private pensions, will bring
about the reform of the pension system in Romania.
Bring back [Bring something back] (memories) Makes you think about something that happened a long time ago.
at the photos brought back a lot of memories of my visit to the place.
Bring in 1 [Bring somebody in] (doctor, expert, consultant, technician) Ask somebody to come and help. Call in
- How much will it cost to bring in a technician?
2 [Bring something in] (bill, law, regulation, rule, system, scheme) Introduce something.
- They want to bring in a law to stop car
manufacturers advertising speed as one of the main attributes of new
Bring off [Bring something off] accomplish Succeed in something. Pull off
- I didn't think you'd be able to bring it off.
Bring out [Bring something out] (product) Make something available to the public.
bringing out a new novel.
- Madonna has
just brought out a new record.
Bring round, bring to [Bring somebody round, bring somebody to] Help somebody regain consciousness.
- The doctor was desperately trying to bring him round.
Bring up [Bring somebody up]
Look after a child until it has grown up.
- It isn't easy to bring up children nowadays.
- My parents brought me up to be polite.
Bring up [Bring something up] (issue, matter, point, subject) Mention a subject or topic. Come
up, drag up
feel these programmes bring up issues they're too young to deal with.
Brush up [Brush something up, brush up on something] (English,
French, subject) Study something to try and revise or improve it a little. Polish up
looking for a short course to brush up my English before I go on holiday.
Bugger off (insep, taboo) Tell somebody to get lost or leave you alone Fuck off, sod off
- He told me to bugger off and then stopped talking to me.
Build up increase [Build something up] (muscles,
strength, stamina, reputation, sales, speed, collection, profits) Increase the ammount of something.
- Over the years the company built up a reputation for technological innovation.
- A little practice will soon build up your confidence.
- It is important
to have a daily exercise routine to build up your muscles, weakened
by a long period of illness.
[Bump into somebody] (insep) Meet somebody by chance. Come across, run into
- I bumped into her one evening, and she invited
me down to her place near the
Butt in interrupt [Butt in, butt in on somebody] Interrupt. Break in on
- I am sorry to butt in on your conversation,
but I have specific information from my own experiences on this subject.
Butter up praise [Butter somebody up] Praise somebody excessively so that
they will do what you want.
- Even if he was just
buttering her up, the compliment thrilled her.
Buzz off (insep, informal) Go away. Dash off
- The reverend had to buzz off for an afternoon service, but returned about three-thirty.