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Lag behind (insep) When you lag behind, you move more slowly than others.

  • We seem to be lagging behind the rest of the country in these new initiatives.
  • Women's wages still lag behind.

Lap up [Lap something up] Accept (attention, admiration, information, praise) When you lap something up, you believe or accept it with great pleasure.

  • They lapped up all his lies.
  • She lapped up all the attention she was receiving.
  • He told them the most ridiculous story I've ever heard but they lapped it up.

Lash out [Lash out, lash out at somebody] (insep) Criticize. When you lash out or lash out at somebody, you criticize or speak to them angrily. Hit out

  • He lashed out at those making accusations against him.
  • I started to get really angry and started lashing out at people.

Lay down [Lay something down] (the law, rules, conditions, price limits, speed limits, arms) When you lay something down, you establish what must be done.

  • The Directives lay down the hygiene conditions under which wild game meat is to be obtained, processed and inspected, in order to prevent food poisoning.

Lay off [Lay somebody off] Sack (workers, staff, men, employees) When you lay somebody off, you tell a worker to leave their job because there is no work for them to do anymore.

  • The company is not doing well. We may have to lay some of our staff off.
  • Larger companies are finding they have to lay off workers to meet their profit levels.
  • They will have to lay off some of their staff.

Very common & useful phrasal verb Let down [Let somebody down] Disappoint When you let somebody down, you disappoint them.

  • You can rely on me; I'll never let you down.
  • We're relying on you to do it. You won't let us down, will you?

Let down [Let something down] (bucket, rope, plane, tyre, balloon) When you let something down, you lower it or deflate it.

  • Hang on! I'll let down a rope so that you can come up.

An idiom is a fixed combination of words having a particular meaning, usually different from the words on their own Let your hair down: When you let you hair down, you relax and enjoy yourself freely.

Let in [Let somebody in] When you let somebody in, you allow them to come into a place.

  • Her father let me in.
  • Let yourself in!
  • Lock the door and don't let anyone in.

Let off 1 [Let somebody off] When you let somebody off, you give them a light punishment or no punishment at all.

  • He was let off lightly.
  • She was let off with only a reprimand.
  • I'll let you off this time if you promise not to do it again.
  • He was lucky to be let off with only a warning.
  • She was let off with a fine.

2 [Let something off] (gun, rifle, bomb, fireworks, cracker, rocket, steam) When you let something off, you fire or make something explode. Go off

  • They let off some fireworks to celebrate the occasion. 

Let on [Let something on] (secret) When you let something on, you reveal a secret.

  • I'm going to have a baby, but please don't let on, will you
  • She let on that her husomebodyand was in trouble with the police.
  • Don't let on about this. It must remain a secret.

Let out [Let somebody out, let something out] 1 Release When you let somebody or something out, you release them; you allow them to leave a place, usually by unlocking the door.

  • They're letting him out because he's been a model prisoner.
  • Did you let the dog out? 

2 (scream, yell, sigh, cry, gasp) When you let something out, you make a loud sound.

  • She let out a sigh of relief when she heard the news.
  • Most animals let out a cry when they are wounded.
  • I let out a scream and he came running.

3 (dress, skirt, trousers) When you let clothes out, you make clothes wider.

  • This skirt is too tight. I'll have to let it out at the waist.

4 (room, house) When you let a place out, you rent it.

  • She lets out rooms to students.

Lie down (insep) When you lie down, you put your body in a flat position to rest or sleep.

  • He said he was going to lie down on the sofa.
  • I started feeling breathless and lay down in bed.
  • He finally became so weak that he had to lie down.

Light up 1 When you light up, you start smoking.

  • Lighting up is increasingly regarded as an antisocial activity.

2 When something lights something else up, it makes bright or full of light.

  • Fireworks lit up the sky in the middle of the event, which gave the night a special touch.

Line up [Line somebody up, line something up] When you line somebody or things up, you put people or things in a row.

  • Could you line up according to your age? The oldest should stand at the front, and the youngest at the back.

Live down [Live something down] When you live something down, you try to behave in such a way that people forget about some unpleasant thing you did in the past.

  • Jake has spent his life trying to live down his father's reputation.

Live in (insep) When you live in, you live in the same place you work or study.

  • Live-in nanny needed for family with 15 month old girl and newborn due in February.

Live off/on 1 [Live off/on somebody/something] (insep) (interest, land, money, savings, ) When you live off/on something, that's your main source of money.

  • I invested some money and now I live off the interest.
  • He's living off the money he'd made from selling his ranch.
  • For the past four years, our family has been living off the land.
  • The documentary explores the lives of those living on benefits.

2 survive on When you live on some kind of food, you eat a lot of it.

  • My husband and I could literally live on fish tacos

3 continue existing [Live on] (insep) (dream, memory) When something lives on, it continues to exist, usually after somebody's death or some difficulty.

  • Richard Branson insists space dream lives on despite Virgin Galactic crash.
  • Martin Luther King's dream lives on 40 years after his death.
  • His memory will live on through the many lives he touched.

Liven up [Liven something up] (party, flat, kitchen, meeting) When you liven something up, you make it more interesting or exciting. Jazz up

  • This party's a bit boring. But it'll soon liven up once everyone has had a drink or two!
  • If you're looking to liven up your Mondays, sign up for salsa classes.
  • A good way to liven up your casual wardrobe is with a few stylish t-shirts.

Live up to [Live up to something] (expectations, reputation, name, principles, promises, ideals) When you live up to something, you are or you do what people expect. Match up to

  • The Government has failed to live up to its promises.
  • I'm just dying to know if he lives up to his reputation.
  • I think the movie was quite good although it didn't live up to my expectations.

Log off [Log off, Log off something] When you log off or log off something, you exit a computer system.

  • Before you log off, close any programs and documents you have open, ensuring that you save any changes you make.

Log on [Log on, Log on to something] When you log on or log on to something, you enter a computer system.

  • When I logged on, I was asked to change my password.

Look after [Look after somebody] (insep) (children, baby, patient) When you look after somebody, you take care of them.

  • The nurses in this hospital are great. They really look after their patients.
  • One of the most difficult jobs in the world is looking after a new baby.

Look round, look around When you look round, you turn to look at something behind you or look in different differections.

  • She looked around and saw him.
  • I looked around the place but I didn't see it.

Look round, look around 1 [Look round something, look around something] When you look round a place, you visit it.

  • We can look around the castle later.

2 (job, flat) When you look round for something, you go to different places looking for it.

  • Have you started looking arond for a job.

Look back When you look back, you try to remember the past.

  • That was ten years ago and we'ver never looked back.

Look for [Look for somebody, look for something] (insep) When you look for somebody, you try to find them.

  • I'm looking for my keys. Have you seen them?

Look foward to [Look forward to something].- (insep) When you look foward to something, you can't wait for it to happen because you know you will enjoy it.

  • I'm looking forward to the concert.

Look up 1 (things, business, trade) When something is looking up, it's improving.

  • I'm so glad that things are all looking up for you.

2 [Look somebody up].- When you look somebody up, you contact them and pay them a visit after not having seen them for some time or because you happen to be where they live.

  • Do look up and see us next time you are in the area.
  • Look me up next time you are in town.

3 [Look something up] (word, number, information, time) When you look something up, you find the information in a dictionary or reference book.

  • Can you look up this word in the dictionary?
  • We looked it up in our records but we weren't able to find where the ship was built.

Look up to [Look up to somebody] When you look you to somebody, you admire and respect them.

  • When I was a child I always looked up to my grandparents, who were wonderful people.

Lump together [Lump something together] When you lump things together, you put them in one group or treat them in the same way.

  • Sudan was created by lumping together different desert nations.



For other verbs and to get more examples search the Generator.