Phrasal verbs that start with C

Here is the list of phrasal verbs that start with C


  • Call at: If a train calls at a place, it means it stops briefly. The train called at the station.
  • Call for: 1. to require something; to need something. This work calls for intense concentration. ‘My plan succeeded’. ‘This calls for celebration!’ 2. to publicly ask for something that should be done; to demand. The protesters are calling for his resignation.
  • Call in: (S) to ask someone to come to you, especially for aid or advice. The bank called in the police to investigate the credit card fraud. 2. to order to return something; recall. The vehicles with safety defects have been called in. 3. If you call in sick, it means you telephone the place where you work and say you are ill.
  • Call off (S): to cancel: to decide that something will not take place. The referee had to call the game off because of bad weather.
  • Call on: 1. to visit someone. You should call on your parents very often. 2. to request a person or organization to do something. The group called on the government to take action to end violence against children. 3. to ask someone in a group to respond. The teacher called on me, but I couldn’t remember the answer.
  • Call out (S): to ask a person or organization to come and do something. I have to call out a plumber.
  • Call up: 1. (S) to make a phone call. He called me up and invited me out for lunch. 2. to officially order someone to serve in the armed forces. My brother was called up for the military service. 3. to bring a memory into your mind. The old tricycle called up memories of her childhood.
  • Calm down (S): to become or make someone less worried, angry or stressful. I need a quiet place to calm down.
  • Camp out: to sleep outside. Tony is camping out for Black Friday.
  • Cancel out: to negate the effects of things that are equally important. The sound waves can cancel each other out.
  • Capitalize on: to use a situation to get something useful. He tried to capitalize on his brother’s fame.
  • Care for: to help and protect someone who is ill or very old. We have to care for our aging parents.
  • Carry on: to continue to do something as before. They will carry on their discussion at home.
  • Carry off (S): to handle successfully something difficult. I tried to remain calm but I couldn’t carry it off.
  • Carry out (S): to do what is required; fulfill. The company regularly carries out surveys to improve the products.
  • Carry over into/to: to have the same effect in a different situation or place. Do not let your personal issues carry over into your work life.
  • Carry through (S): to succeed in completing something. You will have to work hard to carry the project through.
  • Carve up (S): to divide a land or an organization into different parts; to partition. The Ottoman Empire was carved up after the end of WW1.
  • Cash in on: to make a profit from a situation. He is being accused of cashing in on his position.
  • Cash up: to count all the money at the end of the business day. When I entered the shop, he was cashing up.
  • Cast off: 1.(of a boat) to leave the deck or pier; to begin to sail. The ferry cast off at 9 p.m. 2. (S) to get rid of someone or something unwanted. The company tried to cast off its bad reputation.
  • Cast aside (S): to get rid of someone or something as no longer interesting to you. She cannot cast aside the fear of the dark.
  • Be cast down: to feel depressed. She is cast down this morning.
  • Cast about for/around for: to search for something that is difficult to find. She is casting about for a research topic.
  • Catch at: to get hold of someone or something. I tried to catch at the branch.
  • Catch on: 1. to become popular. His novels always catch on quickly. 2. (informal) to understand something. I didn’t catch on to what she’s saying.
  • Catch up (S): to go fast enough to reach someone who is ahead of you. Hurry up! We have to catch them up.
  • Catch up on: to do something that has been delayed. Go home and catch up on your homework
  • Catch up with: 1. to begin to cause a problem for someone who has done something unpleasant. My past mistakes always catch up with me. 2. To finally arrest someone. The police caught up with the jewel thieves in Chicago.
  • Cave in: (of a roof, ceiling or wall) 1. to break and fall down suddenly; to collapse. The ceiling of the room caved in on us. 2. to stop to resist something after people have persuaded you. The store finally carved in and cut the prices.
  • Chance on (formal): to find someone or something accidently. I chanced on the lost book in the basement.
  • Change up: to continue driving in the next higher gear. It is time change up into third.
  • Change back: to return to an original condition. Her name changed back to her maiden name after divorce.
  • Change down: to continue driving in the next lower gear. Slow down and change down from third into second.
  • Change over to: to move to a different condition; to convert to. They decided to change over to LED lighting.
  • Change round (S): to put something such as furniture in different places. My mother will change the living room furniture round.
  • Chase up (S): to remind someone to do something that they have not yet paid or done. I need to case the renter up.
  • Chase out/away/off: to make someone or something unpleasant run away. The buffalos gathered together to chase the lion off.
  • Cheat out of: to dishonestly take something away from someone. He jailed after cheating his brother out of his inheritance.
  • Check in/into: to arrive at a hotel or airport, etc. and register in order to enter. She arrived in town at midnight and promptly checked in at the hotel.
  • Check on/up on: to look at someone or something in order to determine condition. The doctors check on the patients regularly.
  • Check into: to examine something carefully. She is checking into the tours.
  • Check off (S): to put a tick () beside something on a list to show that it has been done. Please check names off as the people pay.
  • Check over (S): to inspect something closely. I want to check the contract over before signing it.
  • Check out: to pay the bill before leaving hotel etc. I checked out of the hotel yesterday.
  • Cheer up (S): to make someone happier; to become happier. Only you can cheer her up.
  • Chew over (S): to think carefully about something in order to make a decision. Chew it over before answering.
  • Chill out (informal): to relax and calm down. We decided to chill out at the nightclub. 
  • Chime in: to interrupt a conversation by making a remark or saying your opinion. “That’s terrible,” he chimed in.
  • Chime in with: to go together well. I think your drawings chime in with my blog.
  • Chip in: 1. (informal) to interrupt a conversation with a remark. “That’s interesting”, Nancy chipped in. 2. If a group of people chip in, it means they contribute money to buy something together. We all chipped in with $3 for dinner.
  • Chip away at: to gradually make something less powerful or effective. I start to chip away at my credit card debt.
  • Chop off (S): to remove a part of something, using a sharp tool such as an axe. In some countries the fingers of thieves are chopped off as punishment.
  • Chop down (S): to cut through a tall plant and make it fall to the ground. Use the chainsaw to chop down the large trees.
  • Chuck away/out (S) (informal): to throw something away because you no longer need it. I will chuck out all my old DVDs.
  • Claim back (S): to ask to get your money back. You can claim back tax that you’ve overpaid.
  • Clamp down on: to take preventive measures to stop an illegal activity. The company is clamping down on cyberattacks.
  • Claw back (S): 1. to get something again after a period of difficulty. The company has clawed back its brand.
  • Clean out (S): 1. to tidy something by removing unwanted objects. I have to clean out my drawer. 2. (informal) to rob, to steal everything. A burglar cleaned me out while I was on holiday.
  • Clear up (S): 1. to find a solution or explanation to something. He tried to clear up the misunderstandings. 2. (of the weather) to become sunny. I think the sky will clear up this afternoon.
  • Close in: to come nearer to someone. The leopard closed in and seized its kill.
  • Clue in (S) (informal): to give someone useful or recent information. He clued me in on the bad news.
  • Cobble together: to make something in haste and without taking enough care. She cobbled together delicious dinner from very few leftovers.
  • Come at: 1.  to move towards someone in an angry or violent way. He came at me with a gun. 2. to think about or deal with something such a problem. He’s not sure how to come at these problems
  • Come about: to happen, usually without being planned. I don’t know how the accident came about.
  • Come along: 1. to go with someone. Would you like to come along on my trip? 2.to get to a place. You wait for a bus and then two come along at once. 3. to improve. My Russian is coming along.
  • Come across: 1. to meet someone or find something unexpectedly. I came across my childhood toys in the attic. 2. to create an impression. You need to come across as confident in the interview.
  • Come by: 1. to manage to obtain something. A good car mechanic is hard to come by in this city. 2. to visit a place for a short time, in order to see someone or take something. He’ll come by the house next Monday
  • Come apart: to fall to pieces because of being in bad condition. My old coat is coming apart at the seams.
  • Come away (also come off): If something comes away from something, it stops being fixed to it. The cornice came away from the wall.
  • Come down: 1. to rain or snow. Snow came down heavily. 2. to decrease. House prices  are  coming down again.  3. to land. The plane came down safely.
  • Come in: 1. (also come into) to enter a room. I woke up, when he came in. 2. to finish a race. His horse always comes in first. 3. (train, bus, plain or ship) to arrive. What time will your train come in?
  • Come off: 1. to suddenly fall from something that you are riding. He came off her horse. 2. to stop using alcohol, medication or other drugs. He is trying to come off psychiatric drugs. He successfully came off antidepressants. 3. to take place (informal). The Festival came off as planned. 4. to have a result that you want; to succeed. I think the plan will come off easily. 5. to become popular or fashionable. Go-go boots came in in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Come on: 1. (illness) to begin to affect. I’ve got a stomach ache coming on. 2. to start to rain or snow. It came on to snow. 3. used to encourage someone to hurry. Come on – We’ll be late for school if you don’t hurry up.  4. to start to operate. The heating comes on automatically.
  • Come out: 1. (of the sun, moon or stars) to start to be seen in the sky. The sun came out after heavy rain. 2. to be published; to become available to the public. Her new album is coming out next month. 3. to be revealed. The details finally came out.
  • Come up: 1. to approach someone in order to speak to them. He came up and asked me to dinner. 2. to be talked about. The economic plan came up at the meeting. 3. (of the sun/moon) to be seen in the sky; to rise. I like to watch the sun come up. 4. to happen. Something’s come up at work.  A vacancy has come up for a shop assistant.
  • Come up with: to find an answer, explanation, solution etc. Who came up with that idea?
  • Come into: 1. to receive money or property from someone who has died. He came into a house after when his grandfather died. 2. to enter a place. 3. to be an important part of a situation. Money never came into our decisions.
  • Come round/around: 1. to regain consciousness, usually after an operation or accident. When I came round I was in a clinic. 2. to go to see someone. Come around this weekend. 3. to happen as usual. The school holidays come around so quickly  
  • Cone off (S): to temporarily close a road to traffic by putting a row of safety cones. 45 kilometres of the road will be coned off for the marathon.
  • Conjure up (S): to bring a picture or idea into someone’s mind; to evoke. This song conjured up memories of my youth.
  • Contend with: to deal with something that is not pleasant. They had to contend with the severe weather conditions.
  • Contract in: to agree by a formal agreement to become involved in something. He decided to contract in the savings plan.
  • Cook up (informal) (S): to invent a false story in order to deceive someone.  He cooked up an elaborate excuse quickly.
  • Copy in (S): to send someone a copy of an e-mail or letter you are sending to someone else. Can you copy me in on the sales emails?
  • Count in (S): to include someone in an organized activity. 'Do you want to go on a trip to the zoo?' 'Yes! Count me in!'
  • Count on: to depend on someone or something or expect that that person or thing will help you. We are counting on him to save the match.
  • Count down: to wait with a lot of excitement and interest for a particular moment or event to happen. He is counting down to his holiday.
  • Count against: to cause someone or something to be less effective or successful. My lack of experience will count against me.
  • Cover up: to prevent the truth from being known. They tried to cover up the bribery scandal.
  • Cover for: 1. to protect someone by providing an excuse or deceiving. She covered for her husband in court. 2. to take the place of someone temporarily. Can you cover for me until I return?
  • Crack down: to become stricter in preventing something that is illegal. The school is cracking down on smoking.
  • Crash out: to have to leave a sports competition after losing a game. The Turkey football team crashed out of the World Cup.
  • Creep in/into: to start to cause a change on something. Some errors crept in despite all my efforts.
  • Creep up: to slowly become greater in number or amount. The petrol prices are creeping up quickly.
  • Crop up: 1. to happen unexpectedly. I’ve got to go – a problem’s cropped up at home. 2. to be mentioned in conversation or something you read. Your name cropped up in the letter.
  • Cross out/through (S): to mark a word with a line or X to show that it is wrong. He crossed out several typing errors in the text.
  • Crowd in: If questions, thoughts or memories crowd in on you, it means you overthink and worry about them. Bad memories were crowding in on me again.
  • Cry off (informal): to say that you do not want to do something that has been agreed. We do not why he cried off at the last minute.
  • Cry out: to make a loud noise in pain or fear. She cried out in alarm.
  • Cry out for (informal): to urgently need something. The house is crying out for painting.
  • Curl up: to lie or sit in a position with your arms and legs pulled toward your body and your head bowed. He lay curled up in bed.
  • Cut in: 1. to interrupt someone by something you say.  “I have a question,” he cut in. 2. to start operating without human control. The heating system cut in. 3. to go past a car by dangerously moving in front of it. You should not cut in front of trucks.
  • Cut back on (also cut down on): to reduce or lessen. The doctor advised me to cut back on my smoking.
  • Cut down (S): 1. to cut through a tall plant and make it fall to the ground. He cut down the apple tree in the garden. 2. to kill someone. Thousands of people were cut down by biological weapon.
  • Cut off (S): 1. to interrupt someone by something you say. She cut my speech off. 2. to stop the supply of water, electricity or gas etc. Someone has cut off our electricity supply. 3. to shorten or remove something by cutting. The extra length of the rope was cut off. 4. to block something. The new building cuts off our view of the sea.
  • Cut out: 1. to suddenly stop operating. My car’s engine cut out while driving. 2. (S) to use scissors to remove something from its main part. He cut this picture out of the newspaper.
  • Cut across/through: to get a place by a quicker and shorter route than the usual one. Let’s cut through the woods.


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