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come up - definition and synonyms

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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.

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phrasal verb [intransitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theycome up
he/she/itcomes up
present participlecoming up
past tensecame up
past participlecome up
  1. 1
    to move towards someone, usually because you want to talk to them
    come up to:

    Strangers come up to him in the street and say how much they enjoy his books.

  2. 2
    if something such as a job comes up, it becomes available

    She’s hoping a vacancy will come up at the local college.

  3. 3
    if a problem comes up, it happens and needs to be dealt with immediately

    I’m going to have to cancel our lunch – something’s come up.

    1. b.
      [always progressive] to be about to happen soon

      We’ve got a busy period coming up in a couple of weeks.

  4. 4
    to travel to a place that is further north or is larger or more important than the place you are leaving

    My mother’s coming up from England for the weekend.

  5. 5
    if information about something comes up on something such as a computer screen, it appears there

    Our flight hasn’t come up yet.

  6. 6
    if food that you have eaten comes up, your stomach forces it out through your mouth
  7. 7
    to be tall, deep, or long enough to reach a particular higher point or level
    come up to/as far as:

    The grass in the garden came up to her knees.

  8. 8
    if the sun, moon, or stars come up, they start to appear in the sky
  9. 9
    if your ticket or name comes up in a lottery or similar game, it is chosen as a winner
    Synonyms and related words
  10. 10
    if a plant comes up, it starts to appear above the ground
  11. 11
    to be judged in a court of law

    His case comes up next week.

  12. 12
    come up in the world to become richer, more powerful, or more successful than before
  13. 13
    coming (right) up used for saying that you will bring what someone has asked for very soon
See also main entry: come
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