Dictionary: letter B
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- Neither side seems willing to back down.
- The company only backed down after a worldwide campaign by activists.
- British Airways has backed down from its policy of not allowing staff to wear jewellery.
back out withdraw [back out, back out of something] (insep) (agreement, deal, arrangement, contract) avoid doing something when you have promised to pull out
- He backed out at the last moment.
- The company is thought to have become suspicious and backed out of the deal.
- You can't back out of the deal now -you signed your name on the contract.
- Four witnesses backed him up.
- Make sure that you have some examples to back up your arguments.
- The claims in the ad are not backed up by research.
2 make a copy as a precaution
- For more information about how to back up your data, see Help and Support Center.
- Back up your files, so that you can restore them if a virus damages them.
3 [back up, back something up] move backwards in a vehicle
- We had to back up a long way and try a different route.
- I backed the car up several hundred yards.
- He called his father to bail him out knowing that he had quite a bit of influence in the city.
2 help someone who is in trouble
- He drew on his family name and family connections to help bail him out of failed ventures in the oil industry.
- Faced with bankruptcy, he turned to a shadowy Mafia-controlled finance company to bail him out.
- He does what he wants and ignores the consequences, usually because his parents are there to bail him out.
bandy about/around mention [bandy something about/around] (word)mention something, especiall without considering it carefully
- It's a word being bandied about a lot.
- He was banged up for drug dealing.
- He has been banged up for a decade now, but becomes eligible for parole this year.
- It might work, but I wouldn't bank on it.
- It's probably best not to bank on it.
- What time will you be back?
- I'll be back in a minute.
- I'm just off to see the solicitor. I should be back around lunchtime.
- She's caught the travel bug now - she's off to Barbados this year.
- Where's she off to then?
2 (insep) be disconnected or not working
- The power was off for about 3 hours.
3 (insep) be cancelled
- Due to the many last minute cancellations tonight's party is off.
- He said no one had told them officially that the concert was off.
4 (insep) (milk, fish) not be good to eat any more go off
- I think this milk is off.
- When is the new magazine out?
- They tried to keep it secret but the story is out now.
2 (insep) not be at home or work
- The manager is out at the moment.
- I'm sure he's up to no good.
- I wonder what they're up to now.
2 (insep) be doing something
- What have you been up to lately?
- To learn more about what she is up to, please visit her blog.
- His argument for this claim doesn't bear up under examination.
- This story doesn't bear up to the truth.
- That just doesn't bear up to the facts.
2 (insep) stay calm despite facing difficulties
- He' bearing up well under the circumstances.
- He's bearing up extremely well.
- He was beaten up by inmates while on remand at a top-security jail.
- Once he beat me up when he was drunk.
2 [beat yourself up] criticize or blame oneself too much
- Will you stop beating yourself up?
- You can't beat yourself up. You didn't know this was gonna happen.
- I have been beavering away on a project all year.
- The company has beefed up security at the facility since the robbery.
black out faint (insep) lose consciousness pass out come round, come to bring round, bring to
- I blacked out and when I woke up I was in hospital.
- Music blared out from a loudspeaker.
- The loudspeakers were blaring out the latest hits.
- I blew out the candles and we ate cake.
- The politician is keeping a low profile until the scandal blows over.
- Terrorists intended to blow up the parliament when the president was speaking there, but police foiled the plans.
2 get angry (insep) get angry
- I've been under a lot of pressure lately. I didn't mean to blow up like that.
- I don't understand. It's not like her to blow up over a silly little row like that.
3 exaggerate (incident, affair) exaggerate something
- The media blew up the incident.
4 fill (tyre, dinghy, balloon, airbed) fill something with air pump up
volunteers are needed to blow up balloons and distribute posters and
balloons to all the houses early in the morning before the event.
- Don't blurt out answers without thinking.
- Every parent, at least once, has had the little darling blurt out something that was said in private that was never intended for others to hear.
- A lot of this boils down to lack of education.
- It all boils down to you and the decisions you make.
- He felt the anger boil up in him.
- I felt the rage boiling up inside me.
- The new manager made a big mistake when he started bossing the staff about.
- Stop bossing me around, will you?
- He bottled out because he was scared.
- She likes to bottle up her feelings and does not show her true emotions.
- Bottling things up is not the answer.
- Gold prices appear to have bottomed out.
- The company went bankrupt, but managed to bounce back with a new management.
- I'm brassed off.
- Far-left rebels in the party have broken away to form a new party.
break down 1 (insep) (car, system, machine, talks, negotiations, marriage, argument, plan, relations) stop working because it has a serious problem pack up, conk out
- The elevators in this building are always breaking down.
- Sorry I'm late. The car broke down on the way here.
- Diplomatic relations have broken down between the two countries.
2 lose control and start crying crack up
- When he told her he didn't love her anymore, she broke down.
3 destroy [break something down] (door, wall, barrier, resistance, opposition, reserve) destroy something
- The police got into the house by breaking the door down.
- Thieves broke into the studio of the artist and stole around 30 paintings.
- The hackers broke into the servers of a variety of organizations.
- An unemployed programmer has been accused of breaking into a large number of US military computers.
2 [break someone in] (employee, recruit) help someone get used to a new situation or job or train them
- I'll bring my wife with me, but this is all new to her so I'll have to break her in gently.
3 [break something in] (boots, shoes, car, horse) use something until it's comfortable, it works properly or does what it's supposed to do
- I've been breaking the boots in since yesterday, and except for some lower shin pressure, they haven't bothered me at all.
- I was extremely stunned when Mac and Brumby broke off their engagement.
- Riots broke out in the streets of Los Angeles.
- I was only 12 when the war broke out.
- Do you know what to do if a fire breaks out at home?
2 escape (insep) escape
- The two criminals broke out of prison yesterday.
- Three policemen were needed to break up the fight.
- The meeting broke up around 10 o'clock.
- In the dream, I was in a classroom, taking some sort of test, and I just breezed through it, like it was nothing.
- At last the weather brightened up!
- As the morning brightened up I decided to give the area a look.
2 [brighten something up] (day, Saturday, morning, wardrobe, life) make something more colourful or cheerful
- Hair pro, Marcy Cona, shows you how to brighten up your hair with this diy kit.
- Follow these simple steps to brighten up your life and make yourself much happier.
- This bill, together with that concerning private pensions, will bring about the reform of the pension system in Romania.
- Looking at the photos brought back a lot of memories of my visit to the place.
- How much will it cost to bring in a technician?
- I need to bring in an expert for that.
2 [bring something in] (bill, law, regulation, rule, system, scheme) introduce something
- They want to bring in a law to stop car manufacturers advertising speed as one of the main attributes of new models.
- I didn't think you'd be able to bring it off.
- He's bringing out a new novel.
- Madonna has just brought out a new record.
- The publisher wants to bring out a new edition of the book soon.
2 develop a quality
- We all have met people who bring out the best in us.
- Good people bring out the good in people.
- The doctor was desperately trying to bring him round.
- It isn't easy to bring up children nowadays.
- My parents brought me up to be polite.
2 [bring something up] (issue, matter, point, subject) mention a subject or topic come up, drag up
- I feel these programmes bring up issues they're too young to deal with.
- He brushed aside the controversy surrounding the substitution of the player.
brush up [brush something up, brush up on something] (English, French, subject) study something to try and revise or improve it a little polish up
- I'm looking for a short course to brush up my English before I go on holiday.
- They are ready to buckle down to work.
- He told me to bugger off and then stopped talking to me.
- Over the years the company built up a reputation for technological innovation.
- A little practice will soon build up your confidence.
- It is important to have a daily exercise routine to build up your muscles, weakened by a long period of illness.
- I bumped into her one evening, and she invited me down to her place near the river.
- He burst in on us by mistake.
- He burst in on the meeting.
- He burst in on us by mistake.
- He burst in on the meeting.
- I am sorry to butt in on your conversation, but I have specific information from my own experiences on this subject.
- Even if he was just buttering her up, the compliment thrilled her.
- The reverend had to buzz off for an afternoon service, but returned about three-thirty.