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English Phrasal Verbs

Alphabetical list U-Z of commonly-used phrasal verbs.

Phrasal Verbs beginning with the letters 'U' to 'Z'

  • use up
    • Finish a product or a supply of something ( so that there's none left).
      "What a nuisance! The kids have used up all the toothpaste. "

  • usher in
    • To welcome, initiate or be the beginning of something new.
      "A party is a joyful way to usher in the New Year."
      "Her appointment as marketing director ushered in fresh ideas."

  • veer away from
    • Avoid, stay away from.
      "I veer away from hypochondriacs if I can."

  • vouch for
    • Express confidence in, or guarantee something.
      "You can give the keys to Andy. I can vouch for him. "

  • wake up
    • Stop sleeping.
      "Wake up! It's eight o'clock!"

  • ward off
    • Keep away or repel (something dangerous or unpleasant).
      "I take plenty of vitamin C in winter to ward off colds."

  • warm up
    • Reheat something. 
      "She didn't have time to cook so she warmed up some left-over soup."

    • Make more lively or more relaxed.
      "He told a few jokes to warm up the atmosphere."

  • wash up
    • Wash the dishes after a meal.
      "Who's going to help me wash up?"

  • wash up
    • Be carried onto the land or shore.
      "Items from the boat were washed up on the beach."

  • watch out
    • Be careful.
      "Watch out! There's a car coming."

  • water down
    • Dilute or make weaker by adding water.
      "If you water down the medicine it will be easier to take."

    • Make less severe or less forceful.
      "He watered down his remarks so as not to offend anyone."
      "The proposal was watered down after it was rejected the first time."

  • wear away
    • Disappear after use or over time.
      "The words printed on the cover had worn away."

  • wear down
    • Make someone feel weary or tired.
      "Kim is exhausted. The baby's constant crying is wearing her down."

  • wear off
    • Gradually disappear.
      "The effect of the painkiller began to wear off."

  • wear out
    • Become unusable.
      "During the trip Julie wore out her shoes sightseeing.

    • Become very tired
      "At the end of the every day Julie was worn out."

  • whip up
    • Prepare quickly.
      "I can whip up something to eat if you're hungry."

  • wind up
    • Finish or put an end to something.
      "Before winding up his speech he thanked everyone for their presence."
      "Larry decided to wind up his business and retire."

    • Arrive finally in a place.
      "After a long drive we finally wound up in a village with a spectacular view."

  • wipe off
    • Clean (board, table).
      "The teacher asked one of the children to wipe off the board."

  • wipe out
    • Destroy or eliminate something completely.
      "One bad harvest could wipe out all of the producer's profits."
      "Several villages were wiped out by the earthquake.

  • wolf down
    • Eat greedily and quickly.
      "The boys wolfed down the whole cake in no time!"

  • work out
    • Do physical exercise.
      "Tanya works out twice a week at the gym club."

    • Find a solution or calculate something.
      "It's going to be expensive but I haven't worked out the exact cost yet."

  • work up
    • Develop
      "A good walk will work up an appetite."

  • wrap up
    • Cover; enclose.
      "She's busy right now. She's wrapping up her Christmas presents."

    • Complete (a task, a discussion).
      "The salesman hoped to wrap up a few deals at the end of  the demonstration."

  • write back
    • Reply to a letter.
      "Lucy and Steve sent me an invitation and I wrote back to accept it."

  • write (something) down
    • Note something on a piece of paper.
      "Richard wrote down the address of the hotel."

  • write off
    • Cancel a debt or accept a loss.
      "When XYZ company went bankrupt, we had to write off our investment."

  • zero in (on)
    • Direct or focus attention on a target and move towards it.
      "The police have zeroed in on the escaped prisoner. "

  • zip up
    • Fasten a piece of clothing such as a jacket.
      "It’s windy outside. You’d better zip up your anorak."

  • zoom in (on)
    • Focus more closely on something
      "The camera zoomed in on the crowd to show some famous faces."

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