Definition of top something up in English:

top something up

phrasal verb

British
  • 1Add to a number or amount to bring it up to a certain level.

    ‘a 0.5 per cent bonus is offered to top up savings rates’
    • ‘To pay for the scheme the EU would put up £500,000 and Swindon Council would top it up with £350,000.’
    • ‘Miss Foster said: ‘We are hoping to break the £10,000 barrier this year and hopefully the company might top it up but we will have to wait and see.’’
    • ‘Virgin Money director Gordon Maw says: ‘Child Trust Funds need to become the central focus of our savings for our children, so the key is how we encourage parents to top them up regularly.’’
    • ‘Scottish and Southern Energy's deputy chairman Ian Grant topped his holding up with a £12,680 buy.’
    • ‘Jones, he said, gets disability living allowance of £155 every two weeks with a further £30 to top it up.’
    • ‘They raised £460,000 on their own and topped it up with a bank loan from the Bank of Scotland, but were still £40,000 short.’
    • ‘The maximum contribution each year is £3,600, which means that you pay £2,808 and the Inland Revenue tops it up by the standard tax rate of 22%.’
    • ‘But the government only tops it up to that level if you are on a full state pension.’
    • ‘Mr Warren said Carter then proceeded to help herself to the building society money, topping it up from the bank account when it ran low.’
    • ‘The government will top it up with 1 per cent of GDP every year between now and 2025.’
    1. 1.1 Fill up a glass or other partly full container.
      ‘he topped up our glasses and filled his own’
      • ‘She drank almost half of it in one swig and then topped it up again and Mr. Hamilton didn't bat an eyelid.’
      • ‘He used to take nearly empty marmalade jars, top them up with hot water, and put them outside the kitchen window to attract wasps away from the house.’
      • ‘He filled the canteen, drank half of it, and topped it up again.’
      • ‘Somewhere between the boiler (at the front door) and the radiator in the bathroom, water leaks out of our supposedly closed system, so we have to top it up regularly.’
      • ‘He swallowed half of it immediately; sighing as it warmed his stomach, before topping the glass back up again and slowly putting the bottle away.’
      • ‘Neil Hinton, defending, said during the evening her glass had been topped up several times.’
      • ‘They fill their own Thermoses, top them up with coffee.’
      • ‘With every handshake my glass was topped up with a nip of whisky and by 1am I was feeling rather wobbly.’
      • ‘She gave a chuckle and joined them at the table with a half cup of coffee, topping it up with milk until it was almost full.’
      • ‘I woke to find Graham out in the garden carrying out some much needed maintenance on the fish pond, topping it up with fresh water and pulling out some weed.’
      fill, refill, refresh, freshen, replenish, recharge, resupply
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Add credit to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone account.