blow up

blow up

  1. (intransitive) To explode or be destroyed by explosion.
    Why do cars in movies always blow up when they fall off a cliff?
  2. (transitive) To cause (something or someone) to explode, or to destroy (something) or maim or kill (someone) by means of an explosion.
    We had to blow up the bridge before the enemy army arrived.
    More civilians than soldiers have been blown up by anti-personnel mines.
  3. (transitive) To inflate or fill with air, either by literally blowing or using an air pump.
    For the school science project, each student will blow up a balloon and then tie it closed.
  4. (transitive) To enlarge or zoom in.
    Blow up the picture to get a better look at their faces.
  5. (intransitive) To fail disastrously.
  6. (slang, intransitive) To become popular very quickly.
    This album is about to blow up; they’re being promoted on MTV.
    • 1999, Eminem, My Name Is (song)
      You know you blew up when the women rush your stands
      And try to touch your hands like some screaming Usher fans […]
  7. (slang) To suddenly get very angry.
    Dad blew up at me when I told him I was pregnant.
  8. (slang, intransitive) To become much more fat or rotund in a short space of time.
  9. (transitive, dated) To inflate, as with pride, self-conceit, etc.; to puff up.
    to blow someone up with flattery
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 4”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      blown up with high conceits engendering pride
  10. (transitive, dated) To excite.
    to blow up a contention
  11. (transitive, dated) To scold violently.
    to blow up a person for some offence
    • I have blown him up well — nobody can say I wink at what he does.
  12. (sports) To blow the whistle.
  13. (cycling) To succumb to the oxygen debt and lose the ability to maintain pace in a race.
  14. (slang, transitive) To bombard with a large number of telephone calls, texts, etc.
    • 2015, Kacey Musgraves
      They're blowing up our phones, asking where we are / Just say we're almost there; we ain't even in the car
  15. (slang, colloquial) To cause a malodorous smell by flatulation or defecation
    Don't go in there...I really blew it up.
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