Definition of do something up in English:

do something up

phrasal verb

  • 1Fasten something.

    ‘she drew on her coat and did up the buttons’
    • ‘Their top buttons were done up, and stayed that way.’
    • ‘He does his coat up.’
    • ‘She does her coat up and slowly makes for the door then stops.’
    • ‘One day I walked in and my top button wasn't done up, he gave the class and me an entire lecture about appearance.’
    • ‘Barely able to do up his buttons because of the swelling, he nevertheless ‘managed to get through’ that day's matinee and evening show before being strapped up at hospital.’
    • ‘Practise doing up buttons and fastening his shoes, but don't worry or pressure him if this proves too difficult.’
    • ‘It was refreshing to be able to do up clips and buckles and perform tasks without everything becoming mission impossible.’
    • ‘The gist was this: children arriving in primary school are no better than savages - unable to do up buttons, use a knife and fork, sit still or even speak.’
    • ‘Carl studied her for a moment and then nodded ‘You need to do up another button on your blouse and here,’ Carl handed her a security ‘visitor’ identification badge.’
    • ‘I took 30 minutes to put on my shirt and do up the buttons and gave up on the tie and shoelaces.’
    fasten, tie, tie up, lace, knot, make a knot in, tie a bow in
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    1. 1.1Arrange one's hair in a particular way, especially so as to be pulled back from one's face or shoulders.
      ‘her dark hair was done up in a pony tail’
      • ‘Rosalie looked very relaxed and content and was wearing a blue summer halter dress and her hair was done up in a loose chignon.’
      • ‘I did my hair up in a high ponytail and went out to have some breakfast.’
      • ‘The dress went down midway past her knees, and her hair was done up in a complex braid.’
      • ‘Finally ready she slipped on some simple slippers and did her hair up in a loose braid, opting to skip any head pieces for now.’
      • ‘However, we can easily guess his social status from his elaborate coiffure: in the manner of high-ranking men, his hair is done up in a topknot, kept in place by an ornamental hairpin.’
      • ‘After a day of scrubbing, applying make-up, and sitting still while mother did our hair up, we were ready.’
      • ‘She went all out in getting dressed in the mornings, doing up her hair and powdering her face.’
      • ‘Betty was all dressed up in pink, and her hair was done up with fake flowers.’
      • ‘She had several ropes of long black beads around her neck which she absent-mindedly played with in her hand, and her thin hair was done up in an elaborate style.’
      • ‘Ashley even did my hair up in a chignon with hair falling to the sides of my face.’
    2. 1.2Wrap something up.
      ‘unwieldy packs all done up with string’
      • ‘She arrived one snowy day with a shapeless parcel done up in tissue-paper.’
      • ‘The shopkeeper did up the parcel, handed it me across the counter, took the half-dollar coin I gave him, and I left the shop.’
      • ‘She held out a brightly wrapped package done up with gold ribbon and a sparkling golden bow.’
  • 2British informal Renovate or redecorate a room or building.

    ‘Mrs Hamilton did the place up for letting’
    • ‘We were now living in a house that was a building site, with no money to do it up.’
    • ‘They claim to have spent about £115,000 doing up the flat.’
    • ‘I put more than £20,000 of my own capital into buying and doing up a place in Fulham, but I sold it too soon to recoup the outlay, just a year later.’
    • ‘‘We have put so much into doing up this place,’ said Paula, a health visitor.’
    • ‘There has been an explosion of local landscaping and building contractors who are making a very good living from doing up these estates.’
    • ‘Greenwood has bought a small village house that needs doing up.’
    • ‘Tony did building work on houses his father had bought and was doing up to sell on, but he also worked for other construction companies.’
    • ‘After spending a lot of money doing up our house, we decided to remortgage.’
    • ‘For the past fortnight, some builders have been doing up the flat next door.’
    • ‘People here are also spending more than most other parts of the country on doing up their homes.’
    renovate, refurbish, refit, restore, redecorate, decorate, revamp, make over, modernize, improve, spruce up, smarten up, brighten up, prettify, enhance
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