Definition of strike up (or strike something up) in US English:

strike up (or strike something up)

phrasal verb

  • 1(of a band or orchestra) begin to play a piece of music.

    ‘they struck up the “Star-Spangled Banner.”’
    • ‘It began when a band struck up the opening hymn and a huge screen unfurled with a little bouncy ball popping across the words so everyone could sing along.’
    • ‘Almost every church in the area was represented, and there were half a dozen bands striking up a tune for the event.’
    • ‘In the hall the girls lined up on one side and the men on the other, but as soon as the band struck up, it was a race over to the girls to choose a partner.’
    • ‘The band struck up a catchy, fast-paced jazz beat, and Victoria began to sing.’
    • ‘After an impromptu jazz band struck up in the canteen marquee at about 9pm it was three hours of dancing on the tables, in the aisles and on the bar.’
    • ‘Just when the stars were beginning to appear, the band struck up a slow, romantic tune.’
    • ‘The band struck up a favourite tune of mine from the latter album.’
    • ‘There was an awkward silence and then the band began to strike up.’
    • ‘Outside the Canongate Kirk, a Celtic band had struck up, and at 10 in the morning, a spontaneous country dance was taking place on the pavement.’
    • ‘A pipe band struck up on the field to celebrate the first game of this league and there were a huge number of supporters present to cheer on their sides.’
    begin to play, start to play, begin playing, commence playing, start playing, embark on
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    1. 1.1strike something up Begin a friendship or conversation with someone in a casual way.
      ‘he struck up a conversation with her in the lobby’
      • ‘We struck up an instant rapport and I speak to him regularly.’
      • ‘They struck up a rapport, and the two now frequently share a meal together.’
      • ‘You could always strike up a conversation with someone on the mall bench next to you.’
      • ‘While waiting at a gas station Simon and Mack strike up a friendship.’
      • ‘We might strike up a friendship, become pen pals, visit each other.’
      • ‘Basically it's cool to strike up a rapport with anyone English speaking.’
      • ‘Strike up a conversation if necessary and look very interested in their ideas.’
      • ‘They were boisterous but friendly, delighting in striking up friendships with the locals.’
      • ‘Strike up a conversation with the person next to you at a local gathering.’
      • ‘Then the strangest thing happens - Will and Marcus strike up an unusual friendship.’
      begin, start, embark on, set going, initiate, instigate, establish
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