Phrasal Verbs/L

Phrasal verbs beginning with L. Select a phrasal verb for more details.

lash out

to verbally or physically attack someone or something

laugh off

to joke about something in order to make it seem less serious

launch into

to start off something, like a speech or a song, in an energetic way

lay aside

to keep something for the future, such as money

lay down

to officially state something like a policy, or rules, regulations, conditions, guidelines, etc.

lay into (1) INFORMAL

to attack someone and repeatedly punch and kick them

lay into (2) INFORMAL

If you lay into someone, you criticize them in an angry way.

lay off

If you lay someone off, you stop employing them and tell them they no longer have a job.

lay out (1)

If you lay things out, you spread them out so they're easy to see or easy to use.

lay out (2)

to explain an idea or a plan clearly and in detail

laze around

to relax and do very little

lead to

to cause something to happen

lead up to

If a period of time or a series of events leads up to a particular event, it happens just before it.

leave behind

If you left something behind, you forgot to bring it with you.

leave in

If you leave something in, you don't take it out or cut it out.

leave out

If you leave something out, you don't include it or count it.

leave to

to give someone responsibility for dealing with something or making a decision about something

leave up to

If you leave something up to someone, you let them do it or you give them responsibility for it.

let down (1)

If you let someone down, you disappoint them by not doing what they expect you to do.

let down (2) British and Australian English

to release the air from something like a tyre or a blow-up mattress

let go of

to stop holding something or someone

let in

If you let someone in, you allow them to enter a room or a building.

let off (1)

to give someone little or no punishment for doing something wrong

let off (2)

to make something explode

let out (1)

to allow somebody or something to leave a place

let out (2)

to make a particular sound or noise

let out (3)

to rent a room or a building to somebody

let up

to become weaker or to become less intense

level with INFORMAL

If you level with someone, you tell them the truth about something.

lie down

to lie on a flat surface, such as a bed, usually to have a rest

lift up

to move something to a higher position

light up

If something lights up, it becomes full of light or colour.

lighten up INFORMAL

to become less serious or more easy-going

line up

If you line up, you join a line of people standing one behind the other, or side by side.

listen in

to try to hear what people are saying when they don't know you're listening

live down

to have people forget about something embarrassing or silly that you've done

live for

to believe that something or someone gives your life meaning, or gives you a reason to live

live off

to depend on something for the money or food you need to live

live on

If you live on a certain amount of money, you spend that much on your usual living expenses.

live together

If two people live together, they live in the same place and are in a sexual relationship without being married.

live up to

to be as good as expected

live with

to accept something in your life that you cannot change, even though you don't like it or want it

lock up

to lock the doors and windows of a building or a car to make it secure

log in

to do certain things, like typing in a user name and password, in order to access an online application or a computer network

log out

to stop accessing a computer system, or to stop using an online application

long for

to want something you miss very much

look after

to make sure something or someone has everything they need and is healthy

look at (1)

to focus your eyes on something

look at (2)

to think carefully before doing something

look back on

If you look back on something, you think about a period of time in the past or an event in the past.

look down on

to think that someone is not as good as you are, or not as important as you are

look for

If you are looking for something, you're trying to find it.

look forward to

If you're looking forward to something that's going to happen, you feel excited or happy about it.

look into

If you look into something, you investigate it or you try to find out more about it.

look on

to watch an event or an activity without being involved in it

Look out!

If someone is in immediate danger, you can warn them by shouting "Look out!".

look up (1)

to try to find out something by looking in a reference book or on a reference website

look up (2)

If a situation is looking up, it seems to be getting better.

look up to

If someone looks up to another person, they respect or admire them.

lose out

If you lose out, you fail to benefit from something that others are benefitting from.

Contributor: Matt Errey