Did you know?

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

strike up

 - definition

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 entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theystrike up
he/she/itstrikes up
present participlestriking up
past tensestruck up
past participlestruck up
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to start to play or sing a piece of music

    We could hear the band striking up the bridal march.

    The musicians struck up and people began to dance.

    strike up with:

    They struck up with Happy Birthday to You.

    strike up the band (=begin playing music):

    The announcer called out, 'Strike up the band!'

  2. 2
    strike up a friendship/conversation etc (with someone) to start something such as a relationship or conversation with someone in an informal way

    The barman seemed to have already struck up a friendship with Jane.

    Anna had struck up a conversation with a girl at the pool.

See also main entry: strike


a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

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