Definition of blow something up in English:

blow something up

phrasal verb

  • 1Cause something to explode.

    ‘they blew the plane up on the ground with dynamite’
    • ‘Because you're not just bombing people or blowing things up or destroying enemy forces in large formations.’
    • ‘Or there's the old Hollywood trick of blowing the asteroid up with a bomb.’
    • ‘So they cordoned the area off while the bomb squad went to work and blew it up safely.’
    • ‘He knew my parents were aboard that plane and he blew it up on purpose.’
    • ‘The militants are believed to have executed the victims, stolen computers and other property from the consulate, before detonating a bomb to blow it up.’
    • ‘Passengers were released before the planes were blown up.’
    • ‘If you don't call it a war you can't send your planes to blow things up and your troops to shoot people.’
    • ‘Let's face it, when kids are blowing up telephone kiosks and cars, and when rockets can blow a child's hand off, isn't there something wrong?’
    • ‘In December 2003, attempts to blow up his car failed when the device fell off as he drove it down the road.’
    • ‘Later, when a second smaller explosion went off on the other side of the city, authorities say that second blast was likely the attackers blowing up their getaway car.’
    • ‘Lots of them thought it completely natural to blow cities up with atomic bombs.’
    • ‘This guy knew about blowing things up, and for us bomb obsessed twerps, that was good enough for us.’
    • ‘The patrol stabilizes the mountain by blowing it up - blasting out windblown drifts and slabs that load up overnight.’
    • ‘They then blew it up, destroying the homes of some 100 people.’
    • ‘Telephone boxes have been blown up, dustbins destroyed, property targeted by lethal weapons.’
    • ‘So it wasn't a black hole, but rather a time bomb waiting for someone to blow it up.’
    • ‘If you talk to them and blow our cover, I'll blow this plane up for exchange of our cover.’
    • ‘Also to destroy the bomb you have to blow it up, but make sure you use a concealing bomb on it because if you don't it will trigger the bomb and it will explode sending radiation through the air.’
    • ‘The town has had major problems in recent years with youths using fireworks to blow up cars and phone boxes.’
    • ‘She regularly blows up cars, her captures always include some element of mayhem, and she has some serious man issues in her life.’
    explode, bomb, blast, destroy
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  • 2Inflate something.

    ‘a small pump for blowing up balloons’
    • ‘Auto inflation is a technique where a special balloon is blown up by the child using their nose.’
    • ‘Like the Rube Goldbergian contraptions that start by pushing over a domino that turns on a fan that blows up a balloon, there's a satisfaction in getting it right.’
    • ‘Sometimes, after the balloon has been blown up, a device called a stent is left in the artery.’
    • ‘What would happen to a balloon if it was blown up in a classroom and then taken to the top of Mount Everest?’
    • ‘It ended up being a white balloon and he blew it up.’
    • ‘I blew up my old inflatable pool and put in in the backyard under the shade of a willow tree and put on Dylan's swim pants and let him fool around in the water.’
    • ‘He blows up balloons all day, sits on the porch swing watching them fly.’
    • ‘If one paints dots onto the surface of the balloon and then blows it up, each dot sees all the other dots moving away as if it were the centre of expansion.’
    • ‘And if you're short on cash, you can blow them up and make balloon animals to sell on the street.’
    • ‘It makes you wonder if they buy a bag of balloons, sit blowing them up then stick a pin in them just to get their buzz and to satisfy their feeble minds.’
    • ‘You blow the bag up with a hair dryer which fills it with enough hot air to make it float.’
    • ‘Start blowing them up the day before - a lot of balloons takes a lot of puff.’
    • ‘Guys seem to dig the chicks posing with, popping, riding, and blowing up balloons and inflatable toys!’
    • ‘He looks at me, takes a latex glove and blows it up into a balloon so it looks like a crazy beige rooster.’
    • ‘Then blow up a third balloon and talk about the shape and colour.’
    • ‘Bring balloons, blow them up, start throwing them around like they do before concerts start.’
    • ‘We blow balloons up for them, do some magic and just remind them what it's like to play again.’
    • ‘Sitting anonymously in the crowd, he gets up, takes out a red balloon, blows it up, then lets the air out in sporadic farting sounds.’
    • ‘When you blow up a balloon the surface will expand, just as our universe is expanding.’
    • ‘When you blow a balloon up, the reason it gets easier as you keep blowing is because the larger the balloon gets, the easier it is for the balloon, because there's pressure on it so expand.’
    inflate, pump up, fill up, swell, enlarge, distend, expand, puff up, balloon, aerate
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    1. 2.1 Exaggerate the importance of something.
      ‘it was a domestic tiff which had been blown up out of all proportion’
      • ‘In hindsight, perhaps it was blown out of proportion: it's really no more than an expression of her belief in affirmative action as a way of righting the injustices of the past.’
      • ‘Pat's comments have been blown out of proportion.’
      • ‘Unfortunately the house was still there in December which is why we had to consider enforcement action and why the story has been blown out of proportion.’
      • ‘After all, ‘I'd rather play at the Millennium Stadium’ is not open to too many interpretations, but he does say that the whole episode was blown out of all proportion.’
      • ‘But arriving back home yesterday, after an eight-hour coach journey, the Celtic fans criticised the airline and claimed yesterday's events had been blown out of proportion.’
      • ‘A couple of incidents were blown out of all proportion.’
      • ‘I think these incidences are incredibly rare and they have been blown out of proportion and we need to take a measured view.’
      • ‘But, the media does have a tendency to look at sales as much (perhaps more) than they look at truth, and so the media has a tendency to blow up the negative side of the athlete and lay low on the positive side.’
      • ‘It would have been easy to overstate these contexts and blow them up disproportionately, but the film just drops hints and reminders here and there to keep the focus on his own mind.’
      • ‘In the trenches, among men facing death minute by minute, chance incidents were blown up and acquired a magical dimension.’
      • ‘He has told friends that his comments had been blown out of proportion and that he was not talking specifically about British values but about all nations that valued the rule of law and democracy.’
      • ‘She insists the spat has been blown out of proportion: ‘However it comes off, I believe that everyone is as grateful to be on the show as I am.’’
      • ‘As far a statistics go, I agree and think the media blows up the "internet predator" story to make it seem every other person on the internet is a “bad guy”.’
      • ‘So the whole situation has been blown out of proportion, and I feel guilty at having involved my son, who has problems of his own and says he will not apologise.’
      • ‘That meeting has been blown out of all proportion.’
      • ‘This is another glowing example of the media blowing things out of all proportion on a slow news day.’
      • ‘Anything that people are going to want to read they blow up.’
      • ‘I hate how the media blows up everything to create a story.’
      • ‘We accept that there is a possibility of risk involved in passive smoking, but that it has been blown out of all proportion.’
      • ‘He keeps himself in good shape, he loves his football, and all the other stuff has been blown out of proportion.’
      exaggerate, overstate, overemphasize, hyperbolize, overstress, overestimate, magnify, amplify
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  • 3Enlarge a photograph or text.

    ‘I blew the picture up on a colour photocopier’
    • ‘But he was so impressed by the fan reaction that he took a photo of that scene and blew it up into a magnificent big picture.’
    • ‘And an opposition researcher took a picture, blew it up into a placard and brought it to a rally, which had the effect of instantly ruining the guy's campaign.’
    • ‘I took a bunch of his pictures, blew them up, and attached them to foamboard.’
    • ‘The advantage of a higher megapixel camera is in the detail it captures and the size you can blow the pictures up to.’
    • ‘‘I just take the onion from various perspectives,’ he says, but admits to a dramatic touch in the blowing up of sizes.’
    • ‘Their fetus pictures have been blown up even bigger.’
    • ‘Bits of the video had been blown up and made into photographs.’
    • ‘You also have the choice of leaving the originals as small prints beside the new enlargement, or blowing the old ones up to 10 ‘x8 ‘as well.’
    • ‘Even photography works, take a portrait and blow it up in black and white for a special effect.’
    • ‘Or what about when you posted my yearbook pictures around the school, only they were blown up and had a numerous amount of added zits.’
    • ‘If the text was blown up and placed on a wall, it could be a powerful installation about our internal lives.’
    • ‘I took copies of those pictures home blew them up and stared for ages returning again and again to certain faces, often the women.’
    • ‘The latest wall treatment is photographic wallpapers, where digital images are blown up and used across a whole wall - so you can have your own pictures on display.’
    • ‘Taking the advice of a fellow artist, he blew them up photographically, and they took on physical properties akin to large-scale billboards.’
    • ‘Use the crop tool to salvage something usable from your obscured photo, and the enlarge wizard to blow it up to a reasonable size.’
    • ‘Can't you take my picture now and then blow it up and then stick my head on a stick and then hold it up when the picture is taken?’
    • ‘In a series of works ranging from small to enormous, he took the photos, double exposed them with his own photos of Cameron's Corner, blew them up, painted over them, and presented them for our consideration.’
    • ‘The artworks have been blown up and erected on buildings around the city, and those in Newtown have already transformed the area, bringing colour and excitement to a once drab area.’
    • ‘I photograph some of them just as they are and blow them up.’
    • ‘Basically, he takes pictures of hot ladies and either blows them up or puts them into this book and builds custom porn, or art.’
    enlarge, magnify, expand, extend, increase in size, make larger, make bigger
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