Meaning of blow up in English:

blow up

See synonyms for blow up

Translate blow up into Spanish

phrasal verb

  • 1Explode.

    ‘the car blew up as soon as it hit the wall’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the distance, the friends saw a building blow up and explode.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Afraid the car might blow up, my wife and I jumped over the freeway barrier and climbed to safety.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fear, of course, is that their car might blow up or that they might come under attack themselves.’
    • ‘There are times when it would be just great if that car would blow up.’
    • ‘She thought the car was going to blow up and got out but the smell was actually outside.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘All I could think about was getting out in case the car blew up.’
    • ‘Guardsmen opened fire before the car blew up, said a spokesman for the army.’
    • ‘The car bomb blew up without hurting anyone in the armoured bus.’
    • ‘The driver also was strolling outside when the car blew up, the newspaper said.’
    • ‘Yeah, stuff blows up, and cars crash, but different.’
    explode, detonate, go off, be set off, ignite, erupt, burst apart, shatter
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    1. 1.1blow something up, blow up somethingCause 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Telephone boxes have been blown up, dustbins destroyed, property targeted by lethal weapons.’
      • ‘Or there's the old Hollywood trick of blowing the asteroid up with a bomb.’
      • ‘They then blew it up, destroying the homes of some 100 people.’
      • ‘If you talk to them and blow our cover, I'll blow this plane up for exchange of our cover.’
      • ‘He knew my parents were aboard that plane and he blew it up on purpose.’
      • ‘The patrol stabilizes the mountain by blowing it up - blasting out windblown drifts and slabs that load up overnight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So it wasn't a black hole, but rather a time bomb waiting for someone to blow it up.’
      • ‘So they cordoned the area off while the bomb squad went to work and blew it up safely.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘She regularly blows up cars, her captures always include some element of mayhem, and she has some serious man issues in her life.’
      • ‘In December 2003, attempts to blow up his car failed when the device fell off as he drove it down the road.’
      • ‘The town has had major problems in recent years with youths using fireworks to blow up cars and phone boxes.’
      explode, bomb, blast, destroy
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  • 2Lose one's temper.

    ‘Mum had blown up at Dad with more than her usual vehemence’
    • ‘Jeanna just has a short temper and she blows up at times.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After she leaves, Harding asks McMurphy what he thought of her, and McMurphy blows up at him.’
    • ‘José blows up at a bank's loan officer, his sense of pride spoiling his wife's attempts to get a loan.’
    • ‘Hence, the weird mood swings where Jenny blows up at Brandon and he shrugs it off.’
    • ‘Wonder of wonders, your mom blows up at him the next day in front of the whole school.’
    • ‘He blows up at little old ladies, but his only response to his wife leaving him is to squeak.’
    • ‘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.’
    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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  • 3Inflate.

    ‘my stomach had started to blow up’
    • ‘The inflation theory says that a baby universe blows up very quickly, like a balloon, in the tiniest fraction of a second.’
    • ‘The mitochondria and other parts of the cell blow up like balloons and explode.’
    • ‘When I woke up [Friday], it was blown up like a balloon, twice the size.’
    • ‘When Tushiko came out, his left cheek was blown up and had a huge lump on his head.’
    • ‘My thumb blew up like a balloon and I think it's out of socket.’
    1. 3.1blow something up, blow up somethingInflate 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.’
      • ‘We blow balloons up for them, do some magic and just remind them what it's like to play again.’
      • ‘And if you're short on cash, you can blow them up and make balloon animals to sell on the street.’
      • ‘Bring balloons, blow them up, start throwing them around like they do before concerts start.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He looks at me, takes a latex glove and blows it up into a balloon so it looks like a crazy beige rooster.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It ended up being a white balloon and he blew it up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then blow up a third balloon and talk about the shape and colour.’
      • ‘When you blow up a balloon the surface will expand, just as our universe is expanding.’
      • ‘He blows up balloons all day, sits on the porch swing watching them fly.’
      • ‘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.’
      inflate, pump up, fill up, swell, enlarge, distend, expand, puff up, balloon, aerate
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    2. 3.2blow something up, blow up somethingExaggerate the importance of something.
      ‘it was a domestic tiff which had been blown up out of all proportion’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Anything that people are going to want to read they blow up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I hate how the media blows up everything to create a story.’
      • ‘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”.’
      • ‘In the trenches, among men facing death minute by minute, chance incidents were blown up and acquired a magical dimension.’
      • ‘I think these incidences are incredibly rare and they have been blown out of proportion and we need to take a measured view.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A couple of incidents were blown out of all proportion.’
      • ‘Pat's comments have been blown out of 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.’
      • ‘That meeting has been blown out of all 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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He keeps himself in good shape, he loves his football, and all the other stuff has been blown out of proportion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We accept that there is a possibility of risk involved in passive smoking, but that it 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.’
      exaggerate, overstate, overemphasize, hyperbolize, overstress, overestimate, magnify, amplify
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  • 4blow something up, blow up somethingEnlarge a photograph or text.

    ‘I blew the picture up on a colour photocopier’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Use the crop tool to salvage something usable from your obscured photo, and the enlarge wizard to blow it up to a reasonable size.’
    • ‘If the text was blown up and placed on a wall, it could be a powerful installation about our internal lives.’
    • ‘Their fetus pictures have been blown up even bigger.’
    • ‘The advantage of a higher megapixel camera is in the detail it captures and the size you can blow the pictures up to.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Taking the advice of a fellow artist, he blew them up photographically, and they took on physical properties akin to large-scale billboards.’
    • ‘I took a bunch of his pictures, blew them up, and attached them to foamboard.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘I took copies of those pictures home blew them up and stared for ages returning again and again to certain faces, often the women.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Basically, he takes pictures of hot ladies and either blows them up or puts them into this book and builds custom porn, or art.’
    • ‘I photograph some of them just as they are and blow them up.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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 just take the onion from various perspectives,’ he says, but admits to a dramatic touch in the blowing up of sizes.’
    enlarge, magnify, expand, extend, increase in size, make larger, make bigger
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  • 5(of a wind or storm) begin to develop.

    ‘outside the sky was overcast and a wind had blown up’
    • ‘Most nervous moment of trip so far when storm blew up gale force 6 winds.’
    • ‘Wind blows up from the southeast as if there's a storm behind it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So yes, whatever's out here when the wind blows up, I start, I start wheezing.’
    • ‘The wind blows up for a while, dies away and then repeats.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It can be totally still there when there's a strong wind blowing up at the house.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I reckon I'll sleep well tonight even though a storm is blowing up.’
    • ‘The winds are blowing up the countryside and we don't wanna go out.’
    • ‘By the time we got back home the storm was already blowing up good and hard.’
    • ‘As the autumn winds blow up, crab yolk becomes rich, a Chinese saying goes, indicating it is time to eat the sought-after delicacy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A little disquietingly, as we finished, a gargantuan electric storm blew up in all directions and we had to run for home.’
    • ‘A dreadful storm blew up, and the spirits curled themselves beneath the ground.’
    1. 5.1(of a scandal or dispute) emerge or become public.
      ‘a crisis blew up between the two countries in 1967’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Those are tough words, but Congress asked, where were the regulators and lobbyists before the scandal blew up?’
      • ‘He was estranged from his fourth wife and a remarkable and acrimonious dispute blew up between the two women.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By 1902, however, he must have suspected something since a relatively minor indiscretion managed to blow up into a public row and marital debacle.’
      • ‘In February, the ‘children overboard’ scandal blew up, followed by the rapid exposure of his smears against the politician.’
      • ‘The crisis blew up for Scotland on Monday night.’
      • ‘Farms across Yorkshire were already suffering substantial losses before the foot and mouth crisis blew up, a survey has revealed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘More directly, the Suez Canal crisis also blew up in October.’
      • ‘The row blew up during an emergency council meeting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Finally, the big scandal blew up and its a doozy.’
      • ‘Every few years in Washington a new scandal blows up, and it usually involves lobbyists, lawmakers, money--and a well-heeled watering hole.’
      break out, erupt, flare up, boil over, commence suddenly, occur suddenly, start suddenly, emerge, arise
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  • 6blow someone up, blow up someoneBritish informal, dated Reprimand someone severely.

    • ‘she got blown up by her boss for being late’
    • ‘On the Ibrox derby, he referee and a decision which still irks: ‘Obviously with the great benefit of hindsight, Sutton was blown up for a foul against Amoruso which was clearly a penalty.’’
    • ‘He must have said something to him that really blew him up.’
    • ‘So he really blew him up? I'd be holding a grudge if someone blew me up I reckon.’
    • ‘When we arrived a little late, our boss blew us up.’