Phrasal verbs that start with B

Here is a list of phrasal verbs that start with B.


  • Back off: to move backwards because you are in danger. I heard a snake’s hiss and backed off slowly.
  • Back out (of): to withdraw something that has been agreed. Tyler backed out of buying my house.
  • Back up: 1. to drive backwards. There are people behind you, don’t back up. 2. to provide support to someone or something. The army was backed up by the Air Forces. 3. to make a copy of computer data to prepare for unexpected loss. You should back up your important documents regularly.
  • Bail out: to abandon an aircraft using a parachute before an accident. The entire crew successfully bailed out before the plane crashed.
  • Bandy about/around: to mention something frequently, without thinking about it carefully. Big names were being bandied about for this role.
  • Bang on about: to talk a lot about something that is not interesting to other people. He’s always banging on about the secret of his success.
  • Bang up: to cause damage by hitting something. I banged up my car this morning.
  • Bang about/around: to make a load noise while moving. The upstairs neighbor always bangs around.
  • Bang into: to knock against something hard by accident. I banged into the concrete wall.
  • Bank on: to have confidence in someone or something. We can’t bank on his support.
  • Bargain for: If you don’t bargained for something, it means you don’t expect it to happen. We hadn’t bargained on good weather.       
  • Barge in: to go in without invitation; to interrupt rudely. He suddenly barged in to the classroom.
  • Base on (base upon: formal): to use the facts or ideas as a starting point. The film is actually based on a true story.
  • Bash out: (informal) to write something without working hard. He can bash out five novels a year.
  •  Bash up: (informal) to attack and beat. Robbers bashed up a young man in the street.
  • Bash on with: (informal): to keep doing something that is boring or difficult. I bashed on with the History coursework all day.
  • Bash down (S): (informal) to damage something by hitting it many times. The firefighters had to bash the door down.
  • Bask in: to get pleasure from something such as approval and attention. He is basking in the glory of winning the award.
  • Batten on: (formal) to use someone or something to succeed. He always battens on the knowledge of others.
  • Batten down: to fasten something closely and firmly to make it safe. The doors were battened down securely.
  • Batter down (S): to hit something often to open or break it: The police battered the door down to rescue people inside.
  • Bawl out: (informal) to speak severely to someone, especially for doing something wrong: Travis bawled him out for making such a mistake.
  • Beam down (S): to transport someone or something immediately to a planet, using teleportation equipment (in science fiction). They beam down to the surface of a planet.
  • Bear on: (formal) to relate to something or to have an effect on it. We discussed issues bear on employee welfare.
  • Bear out (S): to demonstrate that someone is right or something is true. The evidence bears out this allegation. Several witnesses didn’t bear me out.
  • Bear up: to remain brave during a sad or difficult time. He didn’t bear up under the financial problems.
  • Bear with: to be patient with someone; listen to someone. If you will bear with me a moment, I’ll explain the rules.
  • Bear down on: to move forward towards someone or something in a threatening manner. A strange van bore down on my car.
  • Beat out: 1. to sound a rhythm by hitting a drum or other instrument. Hand drummers beat out a rhythm. 2. (S) to stop a fire by beating. They beat the flames out with a fire blanket.
  • Beat out of (S):  to hit someone to get something such as a  confession. The terrorists were not able to beat confession out of me.
  • Beat to (S): to arrive somewhere before someone else; to finish something more quickly. He always beats me to the finish line.
  • Beat up (S): to injure someone by hitting or kicking many times. He was savagely beaten by a thug.
  • Beat down (S): 1. hit something such as door often to break it: The police had to beat the door down to rescue people inside. 2. (of the sun) to shine with great heat. The sun was beating down on my head mercilessly.
  • Beat down to: to persuade someone to sell something at a lower price. I beat down the price from $50 to $40.
  • Beat up on: to blame for something. It is not my fault. Don’t beat up on me.
  • Beef up (S): (informal): to make something larger or better; to improve. Hungary beefs up the border defences.
  • Beg off: to ask to be allowed not to take part in an organized event. Darren begged off from the meeting.
  • Believe in: to believe that something exists: He always believed in ghosts.
  • Bend to: to persuade someone to accept something by using your power. He uses effective ways to bend people to his will.
  • Bind over: (law) to order someone to refrain from something. If you don’t obey you have to pay fine. The magistrate bound over him to keep the peace.
  • Bite back at: (informal) to speak or react angrily to someone who is unpleasant to you. They  bit back at their main competitor with an unique strategy.
  • Bite back: to avoid showing your feelings or saying something; stay calm. I bit back her rude Email.
  • Black out: to become unconscious temporarily, usually due to low blood pressure; to faint. The dancer blacked out on stage. 2. (S) to darken a place. He closed curtains to black out the room.
  • Blank out (S): 1. to try to forget something painful. The therapy helped me blank out the past trauma. 2. to cover or hide something you have written. Some words had been blanked out from the document.
  • Blast off: If a rocket blasts off, it begins to fly; take off. When countdown ends, the space shuttle blasts off.
  • Blend in with: to be similar to a surrounding or background. He wears neutral colors in order to blend in with the crowd.
  • Blink back: try to distract yourself from tears. He didn’t blink back his tears.
  • Blot out: 1. to cover something to make it disappear. Dark clouds covered the sky and blotted out the sun. 2. Try to forget bad memory.  I try to keep myself busy to blot out the incident.
  • Blow into/in: (informal) to arrive at a place unexpectedly. It was late at night when they blew into town.
  • Blow out: to stop a flame by blowing. The kid blew out his birthday candle.
  • Blow up: to explode or destroy something, especially with explosives. The terrorists blew up the building.
  • Bluff your way out/in/into: to get yourself out of hardship by deceiving someone. He always manages to bluff his way out of complicated situations.
  • Blunder about/around/into: to move around carelessly, so that you knock into things. He is blundering around the garage.
  • Board up: to cover a door or window with wooden boards to protect from something. The old pub had been boarded up.
  • Board out (S):  to send a child or an animal to stay with someone. I have to board my dog out with friends.
  • Bog down: to get stuck in mud or wet ground. The car bogged down in snow.
  • Bog off: (slang) to go away. Bog off, I am busy.
  • Boil up: to become more dangerous or intense. The anger inside of me boiled up.
  • Boil down to: to make information shorter; to summarize. I have to boil down research plan to five pages.
  • Boil over: 1. to flow over the sides of its container while boiling. The milk is boiling over the pot. 2. to suddenly become aggressive. The conflict in the region boiled over.
  • Bone up on: (informal) to refresh your knowledge for a special reason.  I boned up on my Russian before travelling to Russia.
  • Book in/into: to check in at a hotel; to announce that you have arrived at a hotel.  We have to book into the hotel at least an hour before departure.
  • Bottle up (S): to keep powerful emotions and feelings inside, especially over a long period of time. I tried to bottle my anger up.
  • Bottom out: If a price bottoms out, it means it has reached at its low point, and is about to rise. Oil prices show no sign of bottoming out.
  • Bounce back: to get well again. He bounced back to good health quickly.
  • Bow out of: to withdraw from an activity. I decided to bow out of the basketball team.
  • Bow down to: to agree to the demands. The government will not bow down to the pressure.
  • Bowl over (S): to make someone fall to the ground. The crowd bowled me over.
  • Branch off: If a road branches off, it means it separates and goes in different direction. The street branches off to the right.
  • Branch out into: to start new business. They decided to branch out into new market.
  • Break in: 1. to enter a building illegally. The thief tried to break in through the window. 2. (S) to interrupt someone. He suddenly broke in to tell me about a telephone call.
  • Break up: to stop dating. Ansley just broke with Anson.
  • Break away from: to get away from someone who is holding you. He managed to break away from his captors.
  • Break down: to fail; to stop functioning. The elevator broke down suddenly.
  • Break into: to start suddenly doing something.  He broke into sweat.
  • Break off (S): to discontinue something. She has broken the relationship off with the married man.
  • Break out: If an unpleasant event such as war  breaks out, it means it starts suddenly. The First World War broke out in 1914.
  • Break with: to discontinue doing something such as tradition or old habits; to start doing something new. We decided to break with tradition to save money.



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