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to kick (something) around: to discuss informally (over a period of time) (S) (also: to toss around)
◆At first my friends were reluctant to consider my suggestion, but they finally were willing to kick it ground for a while.
◆Herb thought that we should kick around the idea of establishing a special fund for supporting needy members of the club.
on the ball: attentive, competent, alert
◆Jim was the only one who caught that serious error in the bookkeeping statements. He's really on the ball.
◆Ella was certainly on the ball when she remembered to reconfirm our fight arrangements. All the rest of us would have forgotten.
to make up: to meet or fulfill a missed obligation at a later time (S); to create, to invent (an idea) (S); to apply cosmetics to (S); to comprise, to be composed of
Note that all of the definitions are separable except the last one.
◆The teacher allowed several students who missed the exam to make it up during the next class.
◆The little boy made up a bad excuse for wearing his dirty shoes in the house, so his mother punished him.
◆Dee was able to make her face up in half the normal time because she didn't use much makeup.
◆Two separate bodies --- the House of Representatives and the Senate --- make up the Congress of the United States.
to make up with: resolve differences with
This idiom is used for differences of opinion between friends and lovers.
◆Gundula made up with her roommate after their serious misunderstanding about arrangements for the party.
◆After the bad quarrel the two lovers kissed and made up with each other.
to pull together: to gather, to collect (information) (S); to gain control of one's emotions (S)
A reflexive pronoun must e used for the second definition.
◆The reporter pulled together information from several sources in preparing the newspaper article.
◆Mr. Simpson was so frightened when he heard footsteps behind him on the lonely, dark street that it took several minutes to pull himself together.
to be looking up: to appear promising or optimistic, to be improving
This idiom is used in a continuous tense, very often with the subject things.
◆The board chairman is glad to report that things are looking up for the company after several years of declining sales.
◆Prospects for building that new library in the downtown area are looking up.
to kick the habit: to stop a bad habit
◆Once a child becomes accustomed to chewing his nails, it's difficult kick the habit.
◆The doctor advised the heavy cigarette smoker that her heart had become damaged and that she should kick the habit right away.
to cover up: to conceal, to hide (S)
This idiom is used for events which are potentially embarrassing to one's reputation, as well as against the law. The noun coverup can be formed.
◆The office worker tried to cover up his crimes, but everyone knew that he had been stealing office supplies all along.
◆The political coverup of the bribery scandal failed and was reported by all the major media.
to drop off: to fall asleep; to take to a certain location (S); to decrease (for the third definition, also: to fall off)
◆My mother dropped off during the boring television show; her head was nodding up and down.
◆I don't mind dropping you off at the store on my way to work.
◆Business has been dropping off rapidly recently, but fortunately it hasn't been falling off as quickly as for our competitors.
to turn over: to place upside down (S); to flip, to turn upside down; to pass or give control to someone (S)
◆the teacher asked the students to turn the answer sheet over and to write a short essay on the back.
◆The car was going too fast around the corner and turned over twice.
◆Mr. Collins has decided to turn over his jewelry store to his son at the end of the year.
to go through channels: to send a request through the normal way
This idiom can be used with the adjective proper.
◆If you go through proper channels in this company, it's sometimes impossible to get anything done quickly.
◆The police told the important civic leader that even she had to go through channels in reporting the burglary of her house.
last straw: the final event in a series of unacceptable actions
This idiom is always used with the definite article the.
◆When John asked to borrow money from me for the fourth time, it was the last straw. I finally told him that I couldn't lend him any more.
◆I can't believe that my roommate left the door to our department unlocked again. It's the last straw; I'm moving out.