Phrasal Verbs Beginning with “D”

This page contains an extensive list of phrasal verbs beginning with "D". Click one of the letters below for a list of phrasal verbs, definitions, and examples starting with another letter.



























Damp (2)

Damp down

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To calm or reduce emotions or feelings

example: The government tried to damp down public outrage over the new legislation.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To make a fire burn less

example: Good thing they managed to damp down the flames before the fire got out of control.

Damp off

definition: (Intransitive) When a plant is affected by fungal parasites due to too much moistrue

example: Seedlings can damp off if it's too wet during the spring.

Dash (2)

Dash down

definition: (Separable [optional]) To write something down very quickly

example: He always dashes notes down during his lectures.

Dash off

definition 1: (Intransitive) To leave somewhere very quickly

example: She needed to dash off home because they babysitter couldn't stay any longer.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To do something quickly, especially writing

example: He dashed his CV off and quickly sent it out to the company he wanted to apply for.

Dawn (1)

Dawn on

definition: (Inseparable) To finally realise or understand something

example: When i finally dawned on me, it was too late.

Deal (2)

Deal in

definition 1: (Inseparable) To do business or trade

example: They deal in used cars.

definition 2: (Separable [obligatory]) To include or give someone a share

example: I love poker! Deal me in next hand.

Deal with

definition: (Inseparable) To use as a subject matter, to be about

example: This law firm only deals with criminal court cases.

Decide (2)

Decide on

definition: (Inseparable) To choose or decide something

example: I knew which model of car I wanted, I just couldn't decide on which colour.

Decide upon

definition: (Inseparable) To choose or decide something

example: It was really difficult to decide upon where to go for our holiday.

Dial (3)

Dial in

definition: (Intransitive) To join a teleconference

example: I'm sorry I'm late. I had some problems dialing in.

Dial into

definition: (Inseparable) To join a teleconference

example: .We are supposed to dial into teleconference 10 minutes early just in case anyone has technical problems

Dial up

definition: (Intransitive) To connect to a computer with a phone and modem

example: Do you remember back in the day when you had to dial up in order to connect to the internet?

Die (6)

Die away

definition: (Intransitive) To become quieter or inaudible

example: The music died away at the end of the song.

Die back

definition: (Intransitive) When the parts of a plant above ground die but the roots remain alive

example: Some of the plants in our garden Die back during the winter.

Die down

definition: (Intransitive) To decrease or become quieter

example: We waited under the bridge for the storm to die down.

Die for

definition: (Inseparable) To want something really badly

example: We're just dying for our next vacation, we're so burnt out.

Die off

definition: (Intransitive) To become extinct

example: Dinosaurs died off thousands of years ago.

Die out

definition: (Intransitive) To become extinct or disappear

example: Rhinos are on the verge of dying out because of poachers.

Dig (4)

Dig in

definition 1: (Intransitive) To start eating food with enthusiasm

example: After we said grace at Christmas dinner, we dug in.

definition 2: (Intransitive) To establish a fortified position in anticipation of an attack (military)

example: The rebels dug themselves in, anticipating an attack from regime forces.

Dig into

definition: (Inseparable) To reach in to get something

example: The suspect dug into his jacket pocket and produced a knife.

Dig out

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To find something you forgot you had or that you haven't used or seen in a long time

example: I dug up an old photo album in the attic.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To dig or remove something or someone

example: We had to dig our car out of the snow after the storm.

Dig up

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To discover something that is supposed to be a secret

example: The media dug up a lot of dirt on him and destroyed his political career.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To remove something from the ground

example: An old WWII mine was dug up in the national park last weekend.

definition 3: (Separable [optional]) To make a hole in the road, the ground, etc

example: The city always digs the roads up during the summer doing road work in my town.

Dine (3)

Dine in

definition: (Intransitive) To have dinner at home

example: We can't afford to eat at the restaurant this evening so we're dining in.

Dine out

definition: (Intransitive) To have dinner outside your home (usually in a restaurant

example: We don't like cooking so we usually dine out.

Dine out on

definition: (Inseparable) To repeatedly tell a story that is well received

example: Every time we see him, he dines out on the story of the time when he went to the United States.

Dip (3)

Dip in

definition: (Separable [obligatory]) To put something in liquid for a short time

example: When I was younger, I liked dipping my cookies in milk.

Dip into

definition 1: (Inseparable) To read parts of a book but not all

example: She's been dipping into his new novel but hasn't actually started reading it.

definition 2: (Inseparable) To take money out of savings

example: Last month was pretty tough, so we had to dip into our savings account.

Dip out

definition: (Intransitive) To leave a place without telling anyone

example: He quickly dipped out of the conference to take an important call.

Disagree (1)

Disagree with

definition 1: (Inseparable) To not have the same opinion or point of view as someone

example: He disagrees with her and thinks that socialism isn't a good thing.

definition 2: (Inseparable) To make someone feel sick or ill

example: He wasn't feeling so well because the sandwich he had for lunch disagreed with him.

Dish (2)

Dish out

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To serve food

example: She dishes out the best steak I've every tried.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To give something, usually when you shouldn't

example: Doctors are keen to dish out antidepressants in America.

definition 3: (Separable [optional]) To criticise, when you can't take criticism in return

example: She always dishes out her critical opinion of people but doesn't like it when others do the same to her.

Dish up

definition: (Separable [optional]) To serve food

example: In restaurants, the expediter is responsible for dishing out entrées and making sure the right orders go out.

Dive (1)

Dive in

definition 1: (Intransitive) To start doing something, usually without planning or preparation

example: He just dived in without even reading the instructions first.

definition 2: (Intransitive) To start eating

example: Dinner is ready, so dive in before it gets cold.

definition 3: (Intransitive) To jump into water, usually head first

example: I usually just dive in when I go swimming without checking if the water's cold.

Dive into

definition 1: (Inseparable) To quickly reach into something

example: She frantically dived into her purse, looking for her keys.

definition 2: (Inseparable) To jump into water, usually head first

example: You should've have checked if it was safe before diving into the river like that.

Divide (1)

Divide up

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To share

example: At the end of each garage sale, we divide the profits up among each other.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To separate equally

example: They divided us up into three groups.

Divvy (2)

Divvy out

definition: (Separable [optional]) To divide, share

example: The bandits usually divvy out the spoils of their robberies.

Divvy up

definition: (Separable [optional]) To divide, share

example: We divvy up the proceeds and each donate them to our own charity.

Do (7)

Do away with

definition: (Inseparable) To get rid of or abolish

example: It is necessary to do away with negative thoughts if you want to succeed in life.

Do in

definition 1: (Separable [obligatory]) To kill

example: The mob did him in for testifying against one their own.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To exhaust or tire

example: Hiking in the mountains all day really did us in.

Do out of

definition: (Separable [obligatory]) To cheat someone out of something that is rightfully theirs

example: They did him out of his seat on the council by voting for a new chairman.

Do over

definition: (Separable [obligatory]) To do something again, usually because it was done poorly or incorrectly the first time

example: We weren't happy with the way the contractors fixed the porch, so we asked them to do it over.

Do up

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To close or fasten clothes, etc

example: He did up his jacket because it was getting cold.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To renovate or repair

example: She wants to do her kitchen up this summer.

Do with

definition: (Inseparable) To ask or wish for (usually used after "can" or "could")

example: I could do with something to eat, I'm starving!

Do without

definition: (Inseparable) To manage without something

example: We had no milk, so I had to do without and drink my coffee black.

Dob (1)

Dob in

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To report someone to authorities, etc

example: She dobbed him in to the police for his role in the robbery.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To contribute money to something

example: We're asking everyone to dob in ten dollars to buy Tim a new guitar for his birthday.

definition 3: (Separable [optional]) To pressure somebody into doing something

example: My supervisor dobbed us in to working this Saturday because of the deadline.

Dole (1)

Dole out

definition: (Separable [optional]) To distribute, give out

example: The teacher doled out an exam to each student in the class.

Doss (3)

Doss about

definition: (Intransitive) To spend a lot of time unproductively or doing very little

example: My brother is very lazy, he usually just dosses about for most of the day.

Doss around

definition: (Intransitive) To spend a lot of time unproductively or doing very little

example: We didn't do much, just dossed around all weekend.

Doss down

definition: (Intransitive) To temporarily sleep somewhere because you are away from home

example: Julie had a couple of drinks at her friend's house and couldn't drive, so she dossed down until the morning.

Double (7)

Double as

definition: (Inseparable) To have a second purpose or function

example: We bought a couch that folds out and doubles as a bed.

Double back

definition: (Intransitive) To go back the way you came

example: We took a wrong turn and had to double back.

Double down

definition: (Intransitive) To increase commitment to something, especially when it is risky

example: In light of the recent terror attacks, the local police have had to doubled down.

Double down on

definition: (Intransitive) To increase commitment to something, especially when it is risky

example: Our neighbourhood has doubled down on on it's watch programme due to the recent burglaries.

Double over

definition: (Intransitive) To bend over at the waist

example: He doubled over in pain because he couldn't take it anymore.

Double up

definition 1: (Intransitive) To bend over at the waist

example: He doubled up in pain because of his acid indigestion.

definition 2: (Intransitive) To share accommodation because there are too many people

example: The hotel only had one vacancy, so we had to double up in one room together.

Double up as

definition: (Inseparable) To have a second purpose or function

example: We painted the wall white, so that it could double up as a screen for our projector.

Doze (1)

Doze off

definition: (Intransitive) To fall asleep

example: I dozed off during the film because it was so boring.

Drag (1)

Drag on

definition: (Intransitive) To be unnecessarily long

example: Her presentation dragged on for hours.

Draw (9)

Draw back

definition: (Separable [optional]) To move back or retreat

example: The rebel forces had to draw back during the siege of the town.

Draw down

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To reduce levels

example: The company wants to draw down on unnecessarily expenses.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To get funding

example: We want to draw down some start up funds to get our company off the ground.

definition 3: (Separable [optional]) To deplete by heavy spending or consumption

example: The government has drawn down it's financial reserves due to the war.

Draw even

definition: (Intransitive) To make one's competitive position equal

example: It was an intense game but in the end both teams drew even.

Draw in

definition 1: (Intransitive) To get dark earlier

example: The nights always draw in during the winter.

definition 2: (Intransitive) To arrive (for trains)

example: We gathered all of our stuff as the train drew in the station.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To entice an animal or someone into a place (usually a trap or ambush)

example: The hunters used a piece of raw meat to draw the bear in.

Draw into

definition: (Inseparable) To get involved in something unpleasant

example: I was drawn into their argument, even though I didn't want to get involved.

Draw on

definition 1: (Intransitive) To pass slowly (time)

example: The lecture was so boring that it seemed to draw on for hours and hours.

definition 2: (Intransitive) To inhale smoke from a cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc

example: She drew on her cigarette one last time before putting it out in the ash tray.

definition 3: (Inseparable) To exploit or use skill, knowledge or information for a specific aim or purpose

example: The course draws on the experience and knowledge of people who have been in the field for years.

Draw out

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To cause something to continue longer than necessary

example: The committee drew the meeting out for as long as possible in order to get more attention from the press.

definition 2: (Separable [obligatory]) To make a shy person more outgoing

example: She was quite shy and kept to herself at first but we managed to draw her out and she really enjoyed the party afterwards.

Draw up

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To prepare a contract or agreement

example: Before we employ your services, we must first draw up a contract.

definition 2: (Intransitive) When a vehicle stops

example: The fire engine drew up next to the burning building to put out the tear.

Draw upon

definition: (Inseparable) To exploit or use skill, knowledge or information for a specific aim or purpose

example: He drew upon the skills he had learned from his previous job to overcome the challenge.

Dream (2)

Dream of

definition 1: (Inseparable) To really want something

example: She dreams of becoming a singer.

definition 2: (Inseparable) To think of, consider, imagine doing something

example: Don't worry, your secret's safe with me, I wouldn't even dream of telling anyone.

Dream up

definition: (Separable [optional]) To have an idea or invent something

example: My friend dreamed up a money making scheme that ended up making him very rich.

Dredge (1)

Dredge up

definition: (Separable [optional]) To discover things about someone's past

example: Reporters managed to dredge up some dirt on the leading presidential candidate.

Dress (2)

Dress down

definition 1: (Intransitive) To dress casually

example: Our boss lets us dress down at the office on Fridays.

definition 2: (Separable [obligatory]) To scold someone

example: My parents used to always dress me down for misbehaving when I was young.

Dress up

definition: (Intransitive) To dress very smartly

example: We always dress up when we go to conferences or other important functions.

Drift (2)

Drift apart

definition: (Intransitive) To slowly stop being close friends with someone

example: Jenny and Sue used to be best friends but drifted apart after high school.

Drift off

definition: (Intransitive) To start to fall asleep

example: I was drifting off, so I called my friends and told them that I wouldn't be able to meet them.

Drill (3)

Drill down

definition: (Intransitive) To search through layers of information on a computer

example: The website isn't very user friendly, we had to drill down several pages to find the information we were looking for.

Drill down through

definition: (Inseparable) To get detailed information, to get to the bottom of something

example: They really had to drill down through a lot of papers to find what they were after.

Drill into

definition 1: (Inseparable) To bore a hole into something

example: They drilled into the ground in order to get an earth sample.

definition 2: (Separable [obligatory] ) To repeat something many times in order to learn it

example: Please drill it your head that you are not allowed to skip class!

Drink (1)

Drink up

definition: (Separable [optional]) To finish a drink

example: Steve drank up his beer and called a cab home after the football match.

Drive (6)

Drive away

definition 1: (Intransitive) To leave a place by car, motorcycle, etc

example: She got in her car and drove away.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To force an animal or someone to leave a place

example: Scarecrows drive pesky crows away from the crops on our farm.

Drive back

definition: (Separable [optional]) To force back

example: The police drove the rioters back with tear gas and water cannons .

Drive by

definition: (Intransitive) To do something out of a car

example: There are many drive by shootings in the east end of town due to gang violence.

Drive off

definition: (Intransitive) To leave a place by car, motorcycle, etc

example: They got in the cab and drove off.

Drive out

definition: (Separable [optional]) To force someone to leave a place

example: The landlord had to drive them out of the apartment because they weren't paying rent.

Drive up

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To make something increase

example: High transport costs have driven prices up recently.

definition 2: (Intransitive) To arrive somewhere in a vehicle

example: Please call up when the taxi drives up to the front door.

Drone (1)

Drone on

definition: (Intransitive) To talk boringly for a long time

example: The speaker droned on about the importance of health and safety for hours.

Drop (12)

Drop around

definition 1: (Intransitive) To visit someone without having made arrangements earlier

example: We dropped around Steve's house, because we hadn't seen him in a while .

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To deliver something

example: The courier dropped around a package for you this morning.

Drop away

definition: (Intransitive) To become smaller in amount or numbers

example: The number of people attending my creative writing course gradually started dropping away after a few months.

Drop back

definition: (Intransitive) To move towards the back of the group

example: She was in the lead at the start of the race but dropped back towards the end.

Drop behind

definition: (Intransitive) To not keep up, move towards the back

example: He started dropping behind in school in his senior year.

Drop by

definition: (Intransitive) To pay someone a brief visit

example: My mother dropped by to visit me last weekend.

Drop in

definition: (Intransitive) To visit someone without having made arrangements earlier

example: My brother was in the area, so he dropped by to see how I was.

Drop off

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To take something or someone to a place and leave it or them there

example: His dad drops him off at school every morning.

definition 2: (Intransitive) To fall asleep

example: The film was so boring that I dropped off in the middle of it.

definition 3: (Intransitive) To decrease in number or amount

example: The number of thefts have dropped off since the shop installed security cameras.

Drop out

definition: (Intransitive) To quit a course or school without finishing

example: He dropped out of high school and started his small business.

Drop over

definition: (Intransitive) To visit someone for a short period

example: I'll drop over on my way home from work.

Drop round

definition 1: (Intransitive) To visit someone, usually without making prior arrangements

example: I think I'll drop round Mark's house, he should be at home.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To deliver something

example: The paperboy usually drops the paper round at 8:30 AM.

Drop someone in it

definition: (Separable [obligatory]) To get someone into trouble

example: She really dropped him in it when she told the police what he had done.

Drop through

definition: (Intransitive) To not produce any results, to come to nothing

example: He had a great idea for a startup business but it dropped through due to the lack of funding.

Drown (2)

Drown in

definition: (Separable [obligatory]) To excessively cover something

example: She likes to drown her pancakes in chocolate sauce.

Drown out

definition: (Separable [optional]) To be so loud that another sound cannot be heard

example: The music at the party was so loud that it drowned out most of the conversation.

Drum (3)

Drum into

definition: (Separable [obligatory]) To make someone learn or believe something through constant repetition

example: Her driving instructor drummed all the rules of the road into her before letting her take her driver's test.

Drum out

definition: (Separable [obligatory]) To force someone out of their position or job

example: The Finance Minister was drummed out of office after the media made his corruption scandal public.

Drum up

definition: (Inseparable) To increase interest or support

example: The company aims to drum up interest in their new product with their advertisement campaign.

Dry (3)

Dry off

definition: (Separable [optional]) To quickly dry something, or dry a surface

example: He dried himself off after getting out of the pool.

Dry up

definition 1: (Intransitive) To stop being supplied with something

example: Her income dried up after she lost her job.

definition 2: (Intransitive) To dry dishes, glasses, silverware, etc after washing them

example: After washing the dishes, I dried them up.

definition 3: (Intransitive) To be unable to speak

example: He dried up when he had to speak in front a public audience for the first time.

Duck (1)

Duck out off

definition: (Inseparable) To avoid doing something

example: It's his turn to clean the house this week, he'd better not try ducking out of it again.

Duff (1)

Duff up

definition: (Separable [optional]) To beat or hit someone repeatedly

example: A bully at school duffed Joey up pretty bad at school today.

Dumb (1)

Dumb down

definition: (Separable [optional]) To reduce the intellectual level of something

example: A lot of TV shows today have been dumbed down, it's like junk food for the brain.

Dump (1)

Dump on

definition 1: (Inseparable) To heavily criticise, often unfairly

example: My dad always used to dump on me for not doing well in school.

definition 2: (Inseparable) To treat someone badly

example: You shouldn't dump onjust because he's short, it's not his fault.

definition 3: (Inseparable) To tell someone your problems

example: She doesn't mean to dump on you with her relationship problems, She just needs someone to talk to.

Dust (2)

Dust down

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To wipe dust off of something

example: I found some old records in the attic, I just need to dust them down first.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To prepare something for use after not being used for a while

example: The company is dusting down some of its old machines in order to sell them.

Dust off

definition 1: (Separable [optional]) To wipe dust off of something

example: She even dusted off the bookshelves.

definition 2: (Separable [optional]) To prepare something for use after not being used for a while

example: He said he wants to dust off his CV before he starts looking for a job.

Dwell (2)

Dwell on

definition: (Inseparable) To spend a lot of time on something

example: What's done is done, you shouldn't dwell on what happened.

Dwell upon

definition: (Inseparable) To spend a lot of time on something

example: My parents tend to dwell upon the past.

Click one of the letters below for a list of phrasal verbs, definitions, and examples starting with another letter.