Phrasal verbs beginning with D. Select a phrasal verb for more details.

date back

If something dates back to a certain time, it was made at that time or it started at that time.

date from

If something dates from a certain time, it was made at that time.

dawn on

If something dawns on you, you realize it, or become aware of it, for the first time.

deal in (1)

to buy and sell something in order to make money

deal in (2)

If you say "Deal me in" it means you want to join in an activity.

deal with

If you deal with a problem or a difficult situation, you do what needs to be done to solve or resolve it.

decide against

to decide not to do something you were thinking of doing, or not to choose something or someone you were thinking of choosing

decide on

If you decide on something, you choose one thing from among two or more possible options.

delight in

If you delight in doing something, you get a great deal of pleasure from doing it.

delve into

to try to find information by examining something thoroughly

depend on (1)

If one thing depends on another, it cannot happen without the other, or it is greatly affected by the other.

depend on (2)

If you depend on someone, you rely on them to give you what you need.

describe as

to say that something is a certain kind of thing or that someone is a certain type of person

deter from

to make someone less likely to do something, or to discourage someone from doing something

devote to

to decide to spend a certain portion of your time or money on something

die away

If a sound dies away, it gradually gets softer and softer.

die down

If something dies down, it gradually becomes weaker in strength or lower in volume or magnitude.

die off

If a group of people, animals, or plants dies off, all of them die over a period of time and none are left.

die out

If something like a species of animal or a language is dying out, it is disappearing and could soon be lost forever.


to start eating with enthusiasm, or gusto

dig up

If you dig up something, you get it from under the ground by digging.

dip into

to take money from an amount that has been saved or put aside for a specific purpose

dish out (1) INFORMAL

to give things to people, often without thinking about the effects or the costs of doing so

dish out (2) INFORMAL

If you dish out something like criticism or advice, you give it often and without much thought.

dispose of FORMAL

to get rid of something you don't need or don't want any more

divide up

If you divide something up, you separate it into smaller parts so that everyone gets a share.

do about

If you do something about a problem, you do something to fix it or solve it.

do away with (1)

If you do away with something, you get rid of it.

do away with (2) INFORMAL

to kill or to murder somebody


to cause someone to feel very tired or worn out

do up (1) INFORMAL

If you do up an old building, car, boat, etc., you make it look new again by repairing it, painting it, and so on.

do up (2)

If you do up a zip, a button, or a shoelace, you secure it in some way.

do with (1)

to put something somewhere

do with (2)

to make use of something

do without

If you do without something, you manage to get by without it.

doze off

If you doze off, you fall asleep without meaning to.

drag on

to continue for longer than seems necessary or usual

draw on

to use part of a supply of something, or to utilize something that has been gained over time

draw out

to make something last longer than usual or longer than necessary

draw up

to prepare and write a plan, a contract, guidelines or a list of some sort

dream of

If you dream of something you'd really like to be, to do, or to have, you imagine it becoming a real part of your life.

dream up

to imagine something like a plan or a story in great detail

dress up

If you dress up, you put on formal clothes for a special occasion.

drive away

to cause someone or something to leave a place

drive off

to leave in a car

drive out

to force someone or something out of a place

drop by INFORMAL

to make a short, casual visit somewhere

drop in

If you drop something in somewhere, you stop to leave it there and then keep going.

drop off (1)

to drive someone to a place they need to go to and leave them there

drop off (2)

to fall asleep

drop off (3)

to become fewer in number or less in amount or intensity

drop out

to leave a course of study before completing it

drown out

If a sound is drowned out, it can't be heard because of an ever louder sound.

drum up

to stimulate something like support for a project, enthusiasm for an idea, or sales for a business

dry up

If something like water or oil dries up, or its source dries up, it means it's all gone and there is none left.

dumb down INFORMAL

to make something like a movie or a novel easier to understand so more money can be made from it

dwell on

If you dwell on something bad or unpleasant, you think about it too much or you talk about it too much.

dying for

If you're dying for something, you really feel like it or you want it very much.

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