Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

blow up

 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyblow up
he/she/itblows up
present participleblowing up
past tenseblew up
past participleblown up
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if something blows up, or if someone blows something up, it explodes and is destroyed

    Terrorists had threatened to blow up the embassy.

    The boiler blew up, wrecking the whole house.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to fill something with air or gas

    We blew up lots of balloons and hung them around the room.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if a storm or strong wind blows up, it suddenly starts

    The race had to be cancelled when the storm blew up.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] if a serious argument or problem blows up, it begins suddenly

    A political row has blown up over the minister’s remarks.

  5. 6
    [transitive] to make a photograph bigger

    They had blown up the picture to make a huge poster of his face.

See also main entry: blow


… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog