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to work out: to exercise; to develop, to devise (a plan) (S)
◆Jane works out at the fitness center every other morning before going to school.
◆The advertising department worked out a plan to increase company sales.
◆We couldn't come up with a good plan for solving the problem, but we agree to work it out at a later date.
to back up: to drive or go backwards (S); to defend, to support (S); to return to a previous thought
◆I couldn't back my car up because there was a bicycle in the driveway behind me.
◆Ursula asked her friends to back her up when she went to court to fight a ticket for an illegal lane change on the highway.
◆Wait a minute. Could you back up and say that again?
to back out: to drive a vehicle out of a parking space (S); to withdraw support, to fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
◆The parking lot attendant had to back another car out before he could get to mine.
◆We were all ready to sign the contracts when one of the parties to the agreement backed out.
to have one's heart set on: to desire greatly, to be determined to
◆She has her heart set on taking a trip abroad. She's been thinking about it for months.
◆Todd has his heart set on going to medical school and becoming a doctor.
to buy up: to buy the complete stock of (S)
◆Before the hurricane struck, residents bought up all the food and water in local stores.
◆The government plans to buy up all surplus grain in order to stabilize the price.
to buy out: to purchase a business or company (S); to purchase all of a person's chares or stock (S)
This idiom is similar in meaning to take over in Lesson 23.
◆Larger companies often buy out smaller companies that are having financial difficulties.
◆Mr. Lee has been trying for come time to buy his partner out so that he can control the company by himself.
to sell out: to sell all items (S); to arrange for the sale of a company or business (S)
◆That store is closing its doors for good and is selling out everything this weekend.
◆If my new business enterprise is successful, I'll sell it out for a few million dollars.
to catch on: to become popular or widespread; to understand, to appreciate a joke
This idiom is often used with the preposition to for the second definition.
◆Fashions of the past often catch on again among young people.
◆When the teacher speaks quickly like that, can you catch on easily?
◆His joke was very funny at the time, but when I told it to others later, nobody seemed to catch on. I had to tell the joke again before anyone could catch on to it.
to be cut out for: to have the necessary skills or talent for
The idiom is most often used in the negative or in questions.
◆John is certainly not cut out for the work of a trial lawyer.
◆Are you certain that you are cut out for that kind of job.
to throw out: to discard (S); to remove by force (S); to refuse to consider, to reject (S)
◆Instead of throwing out our paper waste in the office, we should recycle it.
◆When a fight broke out between two people on the dance floor, the management threw them out.
◆The judge threw the case out because there was insufficient evidence to try the defendant successfully.
to throw up: to erect or construct quickly (S); to vomit (S)
◆The Red Cross threw up temporary shelters for the homeless victims of the earthquake.
◆The ill patient is unable to digest her food properly, so she is throwing all of it up.
to clear up: to make understandable (also: to straighten out) (S); to become sunny
◆The teacher tried to clear up our confusion about the meaning of the difficult paragraph in the reading.
◆It's rather cloudy this morning. Do you think that it will clear up later?