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 English Phrasal Verbs 


A phrasal verb is a verb followed by a preposition or an adverb; the combination creates a meaning different from the original verb.

Alphabetical lists of commonly-used phrasal verbs in English.

 Alphabetical List - D 


  • deal with
    • Handle, take care of, address (problem, situation).
      "The manager is good at dealing with difficult customers."

  • deck out (in/with)
    • Dress; decorate.
      "The women were all decked out in beautiful dresses."
      "The exhibition hall will be decked out in the colours of Europe."

  • die down
    • Calm down, become less strong.
      "When the applause died down, she started to sing."

  • dig into
    • Plunge your hands deep inside something, especially to look for something.
      "He dug into his pocket and found the key."

    • Press hard into something.
      "The strap of her bag dug painfully into her shoulder."

    • Start to do something.
      "It was time to dig into the work that had accumulated on her desk."

    • Take from something.
      "Dad had to dig into his savings to repair the roof."

  • dig up
    • Break up the soil/remove by digging.
      "Tom tried to dig up the tree by its roots."

    • Discover or reveal information.
      "Some newspapers often try to dig up scandalous information."

  • dish out
    • Distribute or give away a lot.
      "He spent the day dishing out invitations to tourists."

  • dispense with
    • Decide to do without something. 
      "They've dispensed with the paper version so you'll have to download it."

  • do away with
    • Get rid of;  abolish.
      "Some people think it's time to do away with the monarchy."

  • do over
    • Clean or redecorate.
      "My parents will need to do over their living-room soon. The paintwork needs refreshing."

  • do up
    • Fasten (a garment).
      "Good boy Charlie! You know how to do up your coat now!"

  • do without
    • Manage without.
      "The shops are closed so I'm afraid we'll have to do without sugar."



  • drag on
    • Last longer than expected.
      "We expected a short speech but it dragged on and on!"

  • drag out
    • Make something longer than necessary.
      "Let's decide quickly and not drag out this discussion."

    • Make someone reveal information that they are unwilling to give.
      "The police finally dragged out a confession from the suspect. "

  • draw back
    • Move backwards; retreat
      "The burglar drew back when he saw the big dog."

  • draw down
    • Take money from a reserve or
      "We can draw down on the loan when necessary."

  • draw down
    • Reduce in number or amount
      "The US intends to draw down its forces considerably."

  • draw even
    • Equalize in a competition or race
      "The two horses drew even at the finish line."

  • draw in
    • Become dark earlier or be shorter
      "The days are drawing in as we approach Christmas."

  • draw in/up
    • Arrive and stop
      "A taxi drew in and the famous couple stepped out."
      "A police car drew up beside him and he was asked to show identification."


  • draw into
    • Get involved in something
      "I didn’t want to get drawn into their argument."

  • draw on
    • Inhale
      "He drew on his cigarette before continuing to speak."

  • draw on/upon
    • Use knowledge and information for a specific purpose
      "Amy drew upon her experience to prepare a lesson."

  • draw out
    • Take money from your bank account
      "I need to draw out some money before we go to the market."

  • draw out
    • Make a shy person more willing to speak or participate.
      "The teacher managed to draw out the shy child."

  • draw out
    • Make something continue longer than necessary.
      "The chairman made a speech that was long and drawn out."

  • draw up
    • Move something closer.
      "It's warmer by the fire. Let me draw up a chair for you."

  • draw up
    • Write (contract, agreement, document, plan).
      "An agreement was drawn up and signed by the two parties."

  • draw (oneself) up
    • Bring oneself into an erect position
      "Jack drew himself up when his name was called"

  • dress up
    • Wear elegant clothes.
      "Do people dress up to go to the opera in your country?"

    • Disguise oneself.
      "You know how children love to dress up at Halloween. It's part of the fun!"

  • drift apart
    • Become less and less close.
      "We were childhood friends but we drifted apart over the years."

  • drift off
    • Gradually fall asleep.
      "Once he was on the train he sat back, closed his eyes and drifted off."

  • drive at
    • Insinuate;  be trying to say.  
      "I'm not sure I understand. What exactly are you driving at?"

  • drop behind
    • Fall into a position behind others.
      "Our sales have dropped behind those of our competitors."

  • drop by/in
    • Pay a brief visit, usually on the way somewhere.
      "I don't see her often but she promised to drop by one day for a cup of coffee."
      "Jimmy sometimes drops in to see his grandparents on his way home from school."

  • drop off
    • Deliver someone or something.
      "I'll drop you off at the bus stop if you like. I'm going that way."

    • Fall asleep.
      "Granddad often drops off in front of the television."

  • drop out
    • Stop going to classes before finishing a course of study or the school year.
      "Emily decided to go to art school, then dropped out after the first term."

  • drown out
    • Be louder in order to cover another sound.  
      "They turned up the music to drown out the noise of the children outside."

More Phrasal Verbs: 



Phrasal Verb Exercises  English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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