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Phrasal Verbs

64 Phrasal Verbs beginning with B

Click on any phrasal verb for more information, including example sentences, collocations, notes and quizzes.

Phrasal Verbs

back down

to decide not to do something because of opposition, or because of pressure from authorities

back out

If you back out of something like an agreement or a deal, you decide not to follow through on it.

back up (1)

to make an extra copy of digital information on disc, flash drive, external hard drive, etc. in case the original data is lost

back up (2)

If you back up what you say, you use evidence or examples to show that it's true.

bail out (1)

to help out someone or something that's in serious trouble, especially financial trouble

bail out (2)

to give money to a court so that an accused person doesn't have to stay in jail until their trial begins

bank on

If you bank on something happening or someone doing something, you depend on it or count on it.

base on (1)

to use specific information, ideas or past experiences as a basis for making a decision

base on (2)

to use something as source material

bear on

to have relevance to, or influence on, something

bear out

to show that someone is correct or that something is true

beat up

to hurt someone by punching, kicking or hitting them with a hard object

become of

If you ask what has become of someone you haven't seen or heard from for a long time, you want to know what's happened to them.

beef up

to make something stronger or more powerful

begin with

If an activity or an event begins with something, that's the first thing that happens.

believe in

If you believe in something, you're sure that it's true or it really exists.

belong to

If something belongs to a person, it is owned by that person.

bend down

to move the upper part of your body forwards and downwards

bet on

to be sure that something will happen

bite off

to separate something from whatever it's attached to by biting it

black out

to lose consciousness

blow away

to surprise or amaze someone

blow out

If a flame blows out, it goes out because someone blows on it or because of the wind.

blow up (1)

If you blow up something, you use explosives to damage or destroy it.

blow up (2)

to fill with air or gas in order to inflate something

blow up (3)

to make a photograph larger

border on

If something like an action or an attitude borders on something more extreme, it is close to being that extreme.

bow out

to resign from a job, or to end a career, usually after a long time

break down (1)

If a machine or a vehicle breaks down, it stops working because of a mechanical problem.

break down (2)

If someone breaks down, they start crying.

break into

If someone breaks into a building or a vehicle, they force their way in, usually to steal something.

break out

to escape from somewhere like a jail or a detention centre

break up

If you break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you end your relationship with him or her.

breathe in

to fill your lungs with air by drawing it in through your nose or mouth

breathe out

to push air out from your lungs through your nose or mouth

brighten up (1)

to make a place or a thing look more cheerful and more lively

brighten up (2)

to become happier and feel more cheerful

bring about

If you bring about something, you cause it to happen or you make it happen.

bring back (1)

to bring something with you when you return from somewhere

bring back (2)

to make something from the past come back, such as a memory, a feeling, an idea, etc.

bring down

to cause a government or a leader to lose power

bring forward

to change the date or time of an event so that it happens earlier than originally planned

bring off

to succeed in doing something that's difficult

bring on

to cause something like an illness or a painful emotion

bring out (1)

to release a new product

bring out (2)

to make a quality in someone or something show itself

bring up (1)

If you bring somebody up, you raise them from childhood to young adulthood.

bring up (2)

to raise a new topic for discussion, or to mention a particular subject or issue in a conversation

brush up

to revise your knowledge of something that you learned in the past

buckle up

to fasten a seatbelt in a car or on a plane

bugger off British and Australian English Informal Offensive

If you tell someone to bugger off, you're telling them to go away in a very impolite and aggressive way.

build on (1)

to add to what you've already succeeded in doing

build on (2)

to add a new section to a house or a building

build up (1)

to work at something and make it get stronger or bigger

build up (2)

to gradually increase

bump into

to meet somebody by chance

burn down

If something like a building or a forest burns down, it's completely destroyed in a fire.

burn out (1)

If a fire burns out, it slowly dies down until it stops burning altogether.

burn out (2)

to work too hard and suffer from physical and mental exhaustion

butt in

to start talking when somebody else is already talking

butt out American English Informal

If you want to tell someone quite forcefully to mind their own business, you can tell them to butt out.

butter up

to say nice things to someone before asking them to do something for you or to give you something

buy out

to buy somebody's share of a company or a partnership in order to take control of it

buy up

to buy all or a lot of something that is in limited supply

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