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    Phrasal Verb Dictionary: S

    Phrasal Verb Dictionary: S

    Phrasal verbs are a common English verb form that consist of a verb followed by a p-word that functions as a particle. To learn more about some of the most common phrasal verbs in the English language, click on a letter in the following menu to browse the Phrasal Verb Dictionary in alphabetical order.

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    Note: When a word entry includes a p-word enclosed in parentheses, the phrasal verb is a phrasal-prepositional verb.

    Phrasal VerbDefinitionCategoryExample
    saddle upput a saddle on, get readyseparable transitiveHe saddled the horse up.
    sail throughsucceed easilyinseparable transitiveThe little boy sailed through the exam.
    sand downrub with sandpaper, make smoothseparable transitiveHe sanded the board down.
    save onreduce, spend less oninseparable transitiveShe saves on groceries with coupons.
    save upaccumulateseparable transitiveShe saved her tickets up for a big prize.
    scale backreduceseparable transitivePlease scale your excitement back.
    scale downminimizeseparable transitiveCan you scale the party down?
    scare awayfrighten offseparable transitiveHe scared the wolverine away.
    scare offfrighten awayseparable transitiveThe witch scared the children off.
    scare upmanage to get enoughseparable transitiveI think I can scare some supplies up.
    scarf downconsume a lotseparable transitiveShe scarfed the burgers down.
    scoop outremove the insidesseparable transitiveHe scooped the pumpkin innards out.
    scoop uplift, collectseparable transitiveI scooped my daughter up from the pool.
    scoot overmoveseparable transitiveJust scoot my purse over.
    scope outinspect carefullyseparable transitiveThe spy scoped the apartment out.
    score outdraw a line throughseparable transitiveThe editor scored the typo out.
    scout outsearch for, investigateseparable transitiveThe bride scouted a local for the reception out.
    scout upsearch forseparable transitiveI scouted some snacks up for the kids.
    scrape bymanage despite difficultiesintransitiveThe family barely scrapes by.
    scrape throughmanage despite difficultiesinseparable transitiveThe student scraped through the difficult novel.
    scrape togethermanage or accomplish despite difficultiesseparable transitiveI barely scraped the welcome party together.
    scream outshoutseparable transitiveThe crossing guard scream the warning out.
    screen outstop from enteringseparable transitiveShe screens the bad apples out.
    screw aroundtreat badlyseparable transitiveI wish my boss would stop screwing me around.
    screw aroundhave sex with many partnersintransitiveHe screws around.
    screw downconfirm, affixseparable transitiveShe finally screwed the dates for the party down.
    screw overdeceive, trick, conseparable transitiveThe bank screwed me over.
    screw upspoil, mess up, make a mistakeseparable transitiveThe loud noises screwed my concentration up.
    scribble downwrite quicklyseparable transitiveShe scribbled some notes down.
    scrounge aroundlook in multiple placesintransitiveLet me scrounge around a bit.
    scrounge upseek or find despite difficultiesseparable transitiveHe scrounge some snacks up.
    scrub outclean the inside thoroughlyseparable transitiveShe scrubbed the oven out.
    scrub upwash, cleanintransitiveThe doctor scrubbed up before the surgery.
    scrunch upcrush, make smallerseparable transitiveHe scrunched the blanket up.
    seal offencloseseparable transitiveThe police sealed the crime scene off.
    seal upcloseseparable transitiveThe cook sealed the jar up.
    search outseek, look forseparable transitiveThe man searched me out.
    see aboutarrange, considerinseparable transitiveWe will see about taking a vacation next year.
    see offsay goodbye toseparable transitiveMy aunt saw me off at the bus depot.
    see toensure happens, arrangeinseparable transitiveHe see to the hiring of new employees.
    see throughfinishseparable transitiveI always see my projects through.
    see throughknow about a deceptioninseparable transitiveHe saw through my disguise.
    sell offsell allseparable transitiveShe sold all her belongings off.
    sell outsurrender, give upseparable transitiveMy partner in crime sold me out.
    send backreturnseparable transitiveI sent the incorrect order back.
    separate offdivide, separateseparable transitiveThe teacher separated the finished students off.
    set aboutstartinseparable transitiveShe set about her assigned tasks.
    set asidesave for laterseparable transitiveHe set some money aside.
    set backhinder, slow downseparable transitiveThe storm set our plans back.
    set forthstart a journeyintransitiveThe group set forth in the morning.
    set offstart a journeyintransitiveThe hikers set off last night.
    set outstart a journeyintransitiveSome hunters set off yesterday evening.
    set tostart, begininseparable transitiveShe set to her studies.
    set uparrange a relationshipseparable transitiveMy friend set him up with her sister.
    set upfalsely incriminateseparable transitiveHis neighbor set him up.
    set uparrangeseparable transitiveWe set an appointment up to see the fertility doctor.
    settle downcalm, relax, stabilizeseparable transitiveThe mother settled the crying baby down.
    settle foraccept (often begrudgingly)inseparable transitiveHe settled for the smaller wage.
    settle inacclimatize, get comfortableintransitiveThe new puppy has already settled in.
    settle onmake a decision (usually after a long time)inseparable transitiveShe settled on the blue tulips for her bouquet.
    settle uppay debtseparable transitiveThe gambler never settled up his bets.
    sew upclose, repair, sewseparable transitiveThe doctors sewed the incision up.
    shack uplive togetherintransitiveThe two students shacked up.
    shake downthreatenseparable transitiveThe criminals shook the man down for money.
    shake offget rid off, ignore, leave behindseparable transitiveShe shook the criticism off.
    shake outclean by shakingseparable transitiveHe shook the blanket out.
    shake upmix up, make big changesseparable transitiveThe new singer shook the music business up.
    shape upimproveintransitiveHe needs to shape up or leave.
    sharpen upimproveseparable transitiveShe sharpened her hunting skills up.
    shave offreduce minimallyseparable transitiveHe shaved a few pounds off.
    shell outgive, payseparable transitiveI can shell a few bucks out.
    ship offget rid of, sendseparable transitiveHe shipped the package off yesterday.
    ship outget rid of, sendseparable transitiveShe shipped the books out in the mail.
    shoot downdeny, refuse to considerseparable transitiveMy boss shot my proposal down.
    shoot downkill, destroy, or injure by shootingseparable transitiveThe enemy shot the helicopter down.
    shoot fortry to achieveinseparable transitiveYou should shoot for a loftier goal.
    shoot offleave quicklyintransitiveShe shot off after lunch.
    shoot upincreaseseparable transitiveThe storm shot food prices up.
    shoot upuse intravenous drugsseparable transitiveHe shoots up heroin.
    shop around (for)compare prizes, look and compareintransitiveShe shopped around for a new apartment.
    shore upstrengthenseparable transitiveI shored the house up before the hurricane.
    show offboast, flauntseparable transitiveI showed my new haircut off.
    show upmake seem inferiorseparable transitiveHe showed me up during the contest.
    show uparriveintransitiveOur lost package finally showed up.
    shrivel upbecome dried out and smallerintransitiveThe fruit shriveled up in the heat.
    shrug offnot worry aboutseparable transitiveShe shrugged the bad advice off.
    shut offstopseparable transitiveThe gas company shut our heat off.
    shut upquietseparable transitiveA snack shut the whining boy up.
    sidle up (to)approach slowly and nervouslyintransitiveThe shy man sidled up to the pretty lady.
    sift outseparate, sieveseparable transitiveThe librarian sifted the popular titles out.
    sift throughexamine, look throughinseparable transitiveShe sifted through the recipes.
    sign inlog in (usually to a computer program), announce an arrivalintransitiveHe signed in at the start of his shift.
    sign offlog out (usually from a computer program)separable transitiveShe signed off the computer.
    sign off onagree, assent, give approvalinseparable transitiveHer boss signed off on her new project.
    sign onlog in (usually to a computer program)intransitiveShe signed on when she arrived at the desk.
    sign outlog off (usually from a computer program), announce a departureintransitiveHe signed out after his shift.
    sign uparrange to take partseparable transitiveMy mom signed me up for dance classes.
    simmer downbecome less angry or excited, calmintransitiveThe child needs to simmer down.
    single outchoose one from a large group (usually to praise or criticize)separable transitiveThe teacher always singles me out during class.
    sink inenter, penetrate, permeateintransitiveThe calamity finally sunk in.
    siphon offdraw off, emptyseparable transitiveHer charm siphoned votes off her opponent.
    sit byfail to act, be idleintransitiveYou will not sit by while chaos ensues.
    size upconsider carefullyseparable transitiveThe puppy sized up the situation.
    skate aroundavoid discussinginseparable transitiveHe skated around the subject.
    sketch outgive a general descriptionseparable transitiveShe sketched the directions out for me.
    skim offremove a small amountseparable transitiveHe skimmed some icing off.
    skim overread quicklyinseparable transitiveThe students skimmed over the instructions.
    skim throughread quicklyinseparable transitiveShe skimmed through the essays.
    skimp onnot buy or have enoughinseparable transitiveGrandma always skimps on napkins.
    skip outleave suddenlyintransitiveThe couple skipped out before dessert.
    skip out onleave suddenly and without warninginseparable transitiveThe man skipped out on his wife and kids.
    skirt aroundavoid discussinginseparable transitiveWe skirted around the issue.
    skive offavoid workingintransitiveHe skives off in the afternoon.
    slack offdo less, go slowerintransitiveShe slacked off after midterms.
    slave awaywork hard and for a long timeintransitiveSome students slave away all semester.
    sleep aroundhave sex with many partnersintransitiveShe sleeps around.
    sleep insleep later than usualintransitiveI sleep in on the weekends.
    sleep onconsider at a later timeinseparable transitiveLet me sleep on the idea.
    sleep togetherhave sexintransitiveThe friends slept together last weekend.
    sleep withhave sex withinseparable transitiveHe slept with her best friend.
    slice offremove a pieceseparable transitiveThe doctor sliced the wart off.
    slice upcut into piecesseparable transitiveShe sliced the cucumber up.
    slick upmake more appealing or attractiveseparable transitiveHe slicked his apartment up before his date.
    slim downlose weight, become thinner, become smaller, minimizeseparable transitiveShe slimmed her hips down by eating healthier.
    slip awayslowly disappearintransitiveShe saw her dreams slip away.
    slip bypass quickly, move or progress easilyintransitiveTime just slipped by today.
    slip ininsertseparable transitiveHe slipped the proposal in.
    slip intoput oninseparable transitiveLet me slip into something more comfortable.
    slip offremove, take off, leaveseparable transitiveShe slipped her shoes off.
    slip onput on, get dressedseparable transitiveHe slipped his shoes on.
    slip outleave quicklyintransitiveWe slipped out after dinner.
    slobber overshow a lot of interest ininseparable transitiveHe slobbered over the hot woman.
    slough offremove, get rid of, shedseparable transitiveThe magazine is trying to slough its old image off.
    slow downmake go a slower speedseparable transitiveThe speed bumps slow traffic down considerably.
    slow upmake go a slower speedseparable transitiveMy injured teammate slowed me up in the race.
    smack ofevoke, hint at, conjure upinseparable transitiveYour essay smacks of plagiarism.
    smarten uprevamp, improve, make smarterseparable transitiveThe company smartened their ad campaign up.
    smash updamage badlyseparable transitiveThe baseball played smashed his knee up.
    smell outsearch for and findseparable transitiveThe teacher smelled the cheater out.
    smell upmake smelly or stinkyseparable transitiveYour cooking smelled the house up.
    smoke outforce out, succeed in finding a problemseparable transitiveShe smoked the culprit out of her shed.
    smooth awayremove, eliminateseparable transitiveMom always smoothed my problems away.
    smooth downflattenseparable transitiveShe smoothed her frizzy hair down.
    smooth outflatten, reduce changes or difficultiesseparable transitiveHe smoothed the bad situation out.
    smooth overmake less seriousseparable transitiveShe smoothed the argument over.
    snack oneat a small quantityinseparable transitiveHe snacked on raisins and nuts.
    snap out offorce to stop a feelinginseparable transitiveShe cannot snap out of her bad mood.
    snap upgrabseparable transitiveHe snapped the new phone up.
    sniff outlook for, discover, findseparable transitiveShe sniffs the best deals out.
    snow inget trapped due to snowseparable transitiveThe blizzard snowed us in.
    snow under (with)overcome with workintransitiveI was snowed under with grading essays.
    snuff outstop, killseparable transitiveShe snuffed the candle out.
    snuggle upmove into a warm and comfortable positionintransitiveThe kittens snuggled up for the night.
    soak upabsorbseparable transitiveA paper towel soaked the spilled grease up.
    sober upbecome soberseparable transitiveBoot camp sobered her up for good.
    soften upmake more malleableseparable transitiveShe softened her boss up with cookies.
    soldier oncontinue despite difficulties or unpleasantnessintransitiveHe soldiered on despite his illness.
    sort outresolve, deal withseparable transitiveShe sorted her problems out.
    speed upincrease speedseparable transitiveCan you speed your husband up?
    spell outexplain in detailseparable transitiveCan you spell your plan out again?
    spice upmake more interestingseparable transitiveShe spiced the party up with some music.
    spiel offsay or list quicklyseparable transitiveHe spieled his accomplishments off.
    spiff upmake fancierseparable transitiveHe spiffed his wardrobe up for his date.
    spill overtransferintransitiveHer stress at home spilled over to her job.
    spirit awayremove quicklyseparable transitiveThe morgue spirited the victim away.
    spit outget rid of, say quicklyseparable transitiveSpit the gum out and spit out the truth!
    spit upvomit a small amountseparable transitiveThe baby spit the milk up.
    split off (from)divideintransitiveA few members split off from the rest of the group.
    spoon outserveseparable transitiveShe spooned out some insults of her own.
    spout off (about)talk without knowing or understandingintransitiveShe spouted off about sports again.
    spring backrecoil, rebound, recoverintransitiveShe sprang back after the accident.
    spring fortreatinseparable transitiveI sprang for a new pair of shoes.
    spring frombe caused by, originate from, arise frominseparable transitiveThe conflict sprang from a minor disagreement.
    spring upariseintransitiveA major disaster just sprung up.
    sprout upappear, happenintransitiveA great opportunity has sprouted up.
    spruce upmake cleaner or more attractiveseparable transitiveShe spruced her living room up.
    spur onencourageseparable transitiveHe spurred me on.
    spurt outgushintransitiveBlood spurted out of the wound.
    square awayfinishseparable transitiveShe squared her finances away.
    square offprepare to fightintransitiveThe two chickens squared off.
    square upwork out, settle up, arrangeseparable transitiveHe squared the deal up.
    square withsettle a disagreement, apologizeinseparable transitiveLet me square with you.
    squeak bymanage just barelyintransitiveShe squeaked by in class.
    squeak throughmanage just barelyinseparable transitiveHe squeaked through the exam.
    squeal ontell, tattleinseparable transitiveMy sister squealed on me again.
    squirrel awaysave for laterseparable transitiveI squirreled some money away.
    stack upcompareintransitiveHow do the new employees stack up?
    stamp outstopseparable transitiveThe teacher stamped all creativity in the classroom out.
    stand bywaitintransitivePlease stand by while the internet reboots.
    stand forrepresentinseparable transitiveIRMA stands for Infrequently Requested Materials Area.
    stand fortolerateinseparable transitiveI will not stand for your rudeness.
    stand forsupportinseparable transitiveI stand for equal rights for all.
    stand outbe very noticeableintransitiveShe really stands out in a crowd.
    stand upnot arrive (usually for a date)separable transitiveShe stood him up again.
    stand up fordefendinseparable transitiveHe stands up for the little guy.
    stand up todefend againstinseparable transitiveHe stood up to the bully.
    stare downglare at menacinglyseparable transitiveThe dog stared the cat down.
    start overrepeat, restartseparable transitiveThe musician started the song over.
    start upbeginseparable transitiveI just started a new business up.
    stash awaysave for laterseparable transitiveI stashed some candy away after Halloween.
    stave offprevent from happeningseparable transitiveShe staved the flu off with clean living.
    stay onremain for longer than plannedintransitiveHe stayed on at this job for an extra three weeks.
    stay overspend the nightintransitiveCan you stay over tomorrow?
    stay upnot go to sleepintransitiveHe stayed up all night.
    steady oncontinueintransitiveShe steadied on with her plans.
    steal awayleave by sneaking away quietlyseparable transitiveHe stole me away during the night.
    stem fromarise from, originate frominseparable transitiveYour problems stem from your lack of trying.
    stick bysupportinseparable transitiveHe sticks by my decision.
    stick topreserver, continueinseparable transitiveShe stuck to her studies.
    stick up fordefendinseparable transitiveShe sticks up for her friends.
    stir upkindle, awaken, inciteseparable transitiveSeeing her again stirred old feelings up.
    stoke upmake more excitingseparable transitiveThinking about the concert stoked me up.
    store awaysave for laterseparable transitiveI stored some extra food away in the pantry.
    straighten outset right, settle, rectify, correctseparable transitiveShe straightened our plans out.
    straighten upclean and organizeseparable transitiveI straightened my bedroom up.
    stretch outprolong, lengthenseparable transitiveHe can really stretch a dollar out.
    string alongdeceive for a longer period of timeseparable transitiveShe strung him along.
    string uphangseparable transitiveShe strung the Christmas lights up.
    strip offremoveseparable transitiveHe stripped the old paint off.
    stumble uponfind accidentallyinseparable transitiveI stumbled upon a new recipe.
    suit upput on special clothesintransitiveBarney suited up.
    sum uptotal, conclude, summarizeseparable transitiveYou summed the evening up nicely.
    swear offdecide to stop usingseparable transitiveShe swore carbs off.
    sweep outremove (usually by sweeping)separable transitiveI swept my closets out.
    swell upincrease in sizeintransitiveHis head swelled up from the compliments.
    swing byvisit brieflyinseparable transitiveI can swing by your house later.


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