Phrasal verbs that start with D

List of phrasal verbs that start with D


Damp down 

(S) to make a feeling calmer
  • None of us could damp down his excitement.


Dangle before/in front of

informal. to try to persuade someone to do something by offering something attractive. 
  • They dangled big money in front of him to reveal the secret.


Dash off 

(S) to write down quickly because you do not have enough time
  • He dashed off a thank-you letter in the car.



Date back

to belong to a particular time in the past
  • The telescope dates back to the 17th century.


Dawn on

(of a situation or fact) to be suddenly seen, understood or realized
  • Suddenly it dawned on me that I haven’t paid my bills. 


Deal in

1. to buy, sell or supply particular goods for money
  • They deal in furs and leathers.


2. to be part of something; interested in something
  • He doesn’t deal in guesswork or hearsay.

3. (S) to include someone in a game
  • I am very good at cards. Deal me in!


Deal out

(S) to distribute cards among players
  • He dealt out five cards to each player. 


Deal with

1. to handle someone successfully
  • He is the right person to deal with reporters.
  • He always deals with difficult customers professionally.

2. to find a satisfactory answer or solution to a problem
  • They established procedures for dealing with complaints.

3. to be about or discuss something
  • The article deals with the subject of racism in America.


Declare for/against

to publicly announce your support or opposition to someone/something
  • He declared for the government's policy on unemployment.


Defer to

to accept something that has been decided because you have great respect for them
  • They will defer to the editor's decision.


Delight in

to get enjoyment from doing something
  • He delights in listening to loud music.


Delve into

to try to find information about something by looking for carefully
  • He delved deeply into the issue of homelessness.


Depart from

to start doing something in a different way from what is usual or accepted
  • I always try not to depart from my usual routine.


Descend on

to make a sudden visit to someone/something
  • Chinese tourists descended on the museum.


Descend into

to go gradually into a worse condition
  • The region was rapidly descending into economic chaos.


Descend to


to behave in a way that will make you less respected
  • He won't descend to abusing his wife.


Dial up/in/into

(S) to get access to a computer network or service using a telephone line


Dictate to

to tell someone how to behave, often in a way that is unpleasant
  • She doesn't like to be dictated to.


Die away

to become quieter or less intense and disappear slowly
  • Voices in the next room gradually died away.


Die back

(of a plant) to gradually stop growing and begin to lose leaves

Die down

to become gradually quieter, weaker or calmer
  • They waited for the storm to die down.


Die off

to die one after another until there are no living members
  • My classmates are slowly dying off.


Dig in

informal. to begin to eat
  • Don't waste time! Dig in!


Dig up 
1. (S) to remove something that was buried or planted in the ground
  • Can you help me to dig that tree up?

2. to discover secret or forgotten information
  • The newspaper has dug up all the facts.


Dine on/off

to have something for dinner
  • We dined on roasted duck


Dine out

to have dinner in a restaurant or hotel rather than at home
  • We dine out all the time.


Dip into

1. to read only certain parts of a book, magazine, report etc
2. to spend some of an amount of money that you have saved
  • He dipped into his savings to pay the hospital bill.


Disagree with

(of food or the weather) to have an ill effect on someone
  • Canned food disagrees with me.


Dish out 
1. informal. (S) to give something to a number of people in a careless or casual way
  • They dished out leaflets to all in the street.

2. to serve food
  • This restaurant dishes out wonderful meals.


Dish up

to put food onto plates so that it is ready to be served

Dispense with

to no longer use or have what is not strictly necessary
  • You can dispense with formalities.


Dispose of

1. to throw something away or get rid of it because it is useless
  • The hazardous materials were disposed of safely and correctly.

2. to succeed in dealing with a task, question, etc.
  • He finally disposed of the problem.


Dive in/into

1. to start doing something immediately and enthusiastically
  • He and his colleague dived into their work

2. to put your hand into your bag or pocket to take something out
  • He dived into his pocket for the key.


Do in 

1. informal. (S) to murder someone
  • He beat me and threatened to do me in.

2. to exhaust 
  • We are completely done in after the long journey. 
    Phrasal verbs with Do


Do up (S)

1. to be fastened or fasten something
  • Can someone help me to do my dress up?

2. to wrap something in soft material such as paper
  • I did the package up in colourful paper.

3. to repair and improve an old house, building, etc.
  • The old farmhouse was done up.


Do down 

(S) to criticize someone or something in a way that makes them seem unimportant
  • He is always trying to do me down.


Do over

(S) to make a room or house more attractive by cleaning or redecorating it
  • We decided to do over the bedroom.


Do without

to manage without something you have or need
  • I can't do without a car.


Do out of

informal. to prevent someone from getting something in a way that is not fair or acceptable
  • He was done out of his fair share.


Do away with

to put an end to something that you do not want

Doze off

to fall asleep, especially during the day
  • He dozzed off during the show.


Drag on

to last for a long period of time
  • The conflict over ownership dragged on for years.


Drag out 

(S) to cause to last for a long period of time
  • They dragged the process out for so long.


Drag up 

(S) to start talking about an unpleasant fact or story from the past
  • Don't keep dragging up that old story.


Drag down 
(S) to cause someone to feel unhappy or ill
  • The financial stress really dragged him down.


Drag into

to involve someone in an unpleasant situation that they are not connected with
  • to drag someone into argument/war


Drag out of

to make someone say something when they are unwilling to say
  • It is not easy to drag information out of him.


Draw down

to reduce something in number or amount; to use up the supply of something
  • Natural gas supplies were drawn down.


Draw in

to start to get dark earlier in the evening because winter is approaching
  • The days are drawing in.


Draw off

(S) to take some liquid from a supply source
  • The nurse drew off some blood with a butterfly needle.


Draw on

1. to come near in time
  • Evening was drawing on.

2. to use the knowledge or skill that you have gradually gained in order to do something
  • Jessica draws on her professional experience to translate the book.


Draw out

1. to start to get lighter in the evening because summer is approaching
  • The days are beginning to draw out.

2. (S) to cause something last or continue longer than usual
  • The two-day conference was drawn out.

3. (S) to give someone confidence to speak
  • He is very shy and quiet. Can we draw him out?


Draw up

1. to come to a halt; to stop
  • The taxi drew up outside the bus station.

2. to prepare a document, list or plan carefully
  • I'll draw up a shortlist of candidates.


Draw back

to move back or away from someone or something
  • He drew back in fear.


Draw into

(S) to make someone get involved in a situation when they do not want to
  • Don't draw me into your argument.


Dream up

(S) to produce a new idea or plan by using your mind
  • I dreamed up a new way of expanding our business.


Dream away

(S) to spend time dreaming and thinking about things that you want to do
  • She lay on the bed and dreamed away the hours.


Dress up

1. to wear your best clothes for a special or formal event
  • It is a special occasion. You have to dress up.

2. to wear special clothes to appear to be a different character
  • They dressed up as super heroes for the fancy-dress party.

3. (S) to make something seem different from what it really is
  • He is an expert at dressing up cheap food.


Dress down

to wear casual clothes
  • He dressed down in blue jeans and white T-shirt.


Drift off


to begin to sleep
  • I was drifting off to sleep when you came in.


Drift apart

to gradually lose personal contact with each other
  • Unfortunately, my childhood friends and I drifted apart.


Drill into

to tell something to someone repeatedly until they learn it very well
  • My parents had drilled it into me to knock on closed doors before entering.


Drink in

(S) to pay attention to something and enjoy it fully
  • They stood drinking in the mountain view.


Drink to

to express respect or good wishes for someone or something before taking a drink
  • Let's drink to the bride and groom.


Drink up

to drink something until it is finished

Drive away

(S) to force someone to go away by behaving badly 
  • Poor attitude is driving customers away.


Drive down/up

to cause a quick fall/rise in something such as a price or value
  • Economic recession drove down house prices.


Drive off

(S) to force someone/something to go away from you when they are trying to attack you
  • He used pepper spray to drive off the attacking dog.


Drive out

(S) to cause or force something to leave or stop operating
  • The supermarkets and large rivals are driving corner shops out of business.


Drone on

to keep talking about something in a boring manner
  • John was droning on and on about himself.


Drop by/in/round


to visit a person or a place informally
  • We dropped in on Tom on the way.


Drop off

1. to fall asleep
  • He dropped off to sleep again.


2. to become less in amount or number
  • Retail sales dropped off in November.


Drop out

1. to leave school, college or university, etc. without completing your studies
  • He dropped out of school in 9th grade.

2. to stop being a member of a particular group
  • We dropped out of the golf club.


Drop away

1. to become gradually less, smaller or weaker
  • Support for the party has dropped away over recent years.

2. to fall behind someone in movement
  • After the seventh mile he started to drop back


Drum out

to force someone to leave a place or organization because they have done something against the rules
  • He was drummed out of the armed forces.


Drum up

to get support, interest, business, etc. by effort
  • They are trying hard to drum up support for the proposal.


Drum into

to make someone learn something by repeating it often

Dumb down

(S) to make or become less detailed or accurate, and easier for people to understand
  • These books have been dumbed down for the college students.


Dump on

1. informal. to criticize someone heavily
  • He was shouting and dumping on everyone.

2. to give someone some work or responsibility, especially when this is unfair
  • He dumped the job of clearing up on me.


Dwell on/upon

to spend time thinking or talking about something, especially something unpleasant has happened to you
  • Do not dwell upon your misfortunes.

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