Definition of blow up in English:

blow up

phrasal verb

  • 1Explode.

    ‘the car blew up as soon as it hit the wall’
    • ‘One after the other they all blew up - except when cars blow up it's not like in the films with flames, you know, they just sort of sit down.’
    • ‘She thought the car was going to blow up and got out but the smell was actually outside.’
    • ‘The car bomb blew up without hurting anyone in the armoured bus.’
    • ‘All I could think about was getting out in case the car blew up.’
    • ‘Yeah, stuff blows up, and cars crash, but different.’
    • ‘The fear, of course, is that their car might blow up or that they might come under attack themselves.’
    • ‘Within seconds of the opening salvo, the first of the wrecked cars blows up, flying 30 feet into the air and sending a fireball some 200 feet into the sky.’
    • ‘There are times when it would be just great if that car would blow up.’
    • ‘He had to be freed from his car by his son and the smell of petrol led him to fear his car was about to blow up.’
    • ‘On Monday January 21, more than 50 people were killed when a petrol station blew up, the fuel exploding when it came into contact with hot lava.’
    • ‘DNA can teach us about the flaws in the criminal justice system the same way we react when an airplane falls from the sky or a car blows up or there's an unexpected death at a hospital.’
    • ‘The driver also was strolling outside when the car blew up, the newspaper said.’
    • ‘Afraid the car might blow up, my wife and I jumped over the freeway barrier and climbed to safety.’
    • ‘Flames shot out of my test tube and spread over the bench in a way you only ever see when a car blows up in an action movie.’
    • ‘‘We gathered and suddenly a car blew up and turned the area into fire and dust and darkness,’ one of the workers told our news agency.’
    • ‘The astronomers studied the remains of a supernova an exploded star that blew up 1,000 years ago, leaving behind debris twice the diameter of the Moon.’
    • ‘Guardsmen opened fire before the car blew up, said a spokesman for the army.’
    • ‘But by the end, by the time the city falls and you're being driven out in the back of an ambulance in a couple of really bad gunfights, and things, cars are blowing up around us, and things like that.’
    • ‘In the distance, the friends saw a building blow up and explode.’
    • ‘If they can do anything to alert the citizens to prevent a car bombing, a blowing up of a mall or anything else, they have an obligation to do so, no matter how old the information is.’
    explode, detonate, go off, be set off, ignite, erupt, burst apart, shatter
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    1. 1.1 Lose one's temper.
      ‘Mum had blown up at Dad with more than her usual vehemence’
      • ‘Let me first say that the main reason she blows up at Justin has little and I repeat, little to do with trust and talking about her life.’
      • ‘He blows up at little old ladies, but his only response to his wife leaving him is to squeak.’
      • ‘Wonder of wonders, your mom blows up at him the next day in front of the whole school.’
      • ‘Hence, the weird mood swings where Jenny blows up at Brandon and he shrugs it off.’
      • ‘If your pal insists you partake in whatever negativity she is up to, blows up at you or quits calling you, you haven't lost much.’
      • ‘Tristan hides his surprise at the man's honest admission of having been in prison; Dan, meanwhile, blows up at the insult.’
      • ‘After she leaves, Harding asks McMurphy what he thought of her, and McMurphy blows up at him.’
      • ‘10 semi finalists gather in a bar to find out who will be the finalists, and of course there is drinking and smoking and swearing going on, one semi finalist blows up at Dennis after she is not picked as a finalist.’
      • ‘José blows up at a bank's loan officer, his sense of pride spoiling his wife's attempts to get a loan.’
      • ‘Jeanna just has a short temper and she blows up at times.’
      lose one's temper, become angry, get angry, become enraged, become furious, go into a fury, go into a rage, rant and rave, go berserk, flare up, erupt, rage, blow one's cool, lose one's cool
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  • 2(of a wind or storm) begin to develop.

    ‘outside the sky was overcast and a wind had blown up’
    • ‘So yes, whatever's out here when the wind blows up, I start, I start wheezing.’
    • ‘As the autumn winds blow up, crab yolk becomes rich, a Chinese saying goes, indicating it is time to eat the sought-after delicacy.’
    • ‘He added: ‘In the name of sensitivity, the Chapter is blowing up a storm of controversy, when all we had planned together was a church service.’’
    • ‘The winds are blowing up the countryside and we don't wanna go out.’
    • ‘Most nervous moment of trip so far when storm blew up gale force 6 winds.’
    • ‘A dreadful storm blew up, and the spirits curled themselves beneath the ground.’
    • ‘He'll need that gear when a tropical storm blows up, the island is cut off and those stuck in the resorts pass the time wondering what the next sequel would have been called.’
    • ‘Oil: it means horrendous air pollution, especially on days like yesterday, when the wind blows up a sandstorm and the thick air holds petrol fumes and plasters the stink of them onto your skin.’
    • ‘Wind blows up from the southeast as if there's a storm behind it.’
    • ‘It can be totally still there when there's a strong wind blowing up at the house.’
    • ‘It rained either in the morning or late afternoon - simply could not decide to be nor'west or sou'west for any length of time - wind blowing up the valley one minute and down the next.’
    • ‘The wind blows up for a while, dies away and then repeats.’
    • ‘I reckon I'll sleep well tonight even though a storm is blowing up.’
    • ‘By the time we got back home the storm was already blowing up good and hard.’
    • ‘The following day, they were caught in the prelude to the hurricane - without warning the heavens opened, the wind blew up, and they raced for the hotel.’
    • ‘Social life and business will pick up again and hopefully the very cold northeast wind that blew up this morning will be away by the weekend before the festivities.’
    • ‘An occasional crow calls out over the fairy fort near Ennis, and a harsh Atlantic wind is blowing up at the Cliffs of Moher where two local craftsmen will hammer your name in ancient script on a tiny piece of tin.’
    • ‘A little disquietingly, as we finished, a gargantuan electric storm blew up in all directions and we had to run for home.’
    • ‘Just then the full perversity of the British weather system came into play and a brisk wind blew up from nowhere, out of a cloudless blue sky, and the temperature dropped several degrees within minutes.’
    • ‘A disabled man on a moped/electric wheelchair had just gone past our table with a horn that was continually blaring when suddenly a massive wind blew up from nowhere, sending us all scattering inside.’
    1. 2.1 (of a scandal or dispute) emerge or become public.
      ‘a crisis blew up between the two countries in 1967’
      • ‘By 1902, however, he must have suspected something since a relatively minor indiscretion managed to blow up into a public row and marital debacle.’
      • ‘The row blew up during an emergency council meeting.’
      • ‘The dispute blew up in September 2002 when he, then 63, stated that as a single practitioner he was unable to provide out of hours care for his patients.’
      • ‘The blowing up of such ‘scandals’ has become the favoured means for disgruntled sections of the ruling elite to press their case, but the party is incapable of mounting a principled opposition.’
      • ‘Rome had been through this scenario more than once in the past: a crisis would blow up and the Empire seemed on the brink of disaster.’
      • ‘The crisis blew up for Scotland on Monday night.’
      • ‘Every few years in Washington a new scandal blows up, and it usually involves lobbyists, lawmakers, money--and a well-heeled watering hole.’
      • ‘He, on the other hand, was accused of mishandling allegations of mistreatment of children by an order of nuns when that scandal blew up three years ago.’
      • ‘More directly, the Suez Canal crisis also blew up in October.’
      • ‘Farms across Yorkshire were already suffering substantial losses before the foot and mouth crisis blew up, a survey has revealed.’
      • ‘Last night the doctor confirmed his departure which follows an extended period of sick leave after he became embroiled in the controversy which first blew up publicly in the autumn of 2003.’
      • ‘In February, the ‘children overboard’ scandal blew up, followed by the rapid exposure of his smears against the politician.’
      • ‘He was estranged from his fourth wife and a remarkable and acrimonious dispute blew up between the two women.’
      • ‘A safety scandal blew up in May when a leading cardiologist published a statistical study suggesting that a popular drug might increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.’
      • ‘What better way to hurt the credibility of everyone hurling charges at him, than to let a nice big fat juicy scandal blow up in the faces of those pushing it?’
      • ‘But it seems he's saying the president unloaded on him right about the time the story blew up into a serious scandal and spawned a Justice Department investigation.’
      • ‘Territorial spats are less likely to blow up into conflict when officers on either side of the dispute have the home telephone numbers of their counterparts.’
      • ‘The endowment scandal looks set to blow up in the insurance industry's face this week as evidence mounts that the government has entered the fray and is looking for solutions.’
      • ‘Those are tough words, but Congress asked, where were the regulators and lobbyists before the scandal blew up?’
      • ‘Finally, the big scandal blew up and its a doozy.’
      break out, erupt, flare up, boil over, commence suddenly, occur suddenly, start suddenly, emerge, arise
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  • 3Inflate.

    ‘my stomach had started to blow up’
    • ‘When I woke up [Friday], it was blown up like a balloon, twice the size.’
    • ‘The mitochondria and other parts of the cell blow up like balloons and explode.’
    • ‘The inflation theory says that a baby universe blows up very quickly, like a balloon, in the tiniest fraction of a second.’
    • ‘My thumb blew up like a balloon and I think it's out of socket.’
    • ‘When Tushiko came out, his left cheek was blown up and had a huge lump on his head.’