Pining for colourful ways to spice up what you write or say? Brush up on compound (multi-word) verbs so you won’t have to paper over holes in your vocabulary. Here is our list of verbs that start with the letters P, Q, R and S.
To stop doing, give up
Example: After hiking for two hours, the kids were ready to pack it in.
To be friendly, spend time with someone
Example: The two of us palled around all through grammar school.
To persuade to accept an untruth, to trick or dispose of by misrepresentation
Example: He tried to palm that problem off on me.
To gloss over, conceal, explain away, superficially hide or disguise
Example: They tried to paper over all their mistakes.
To work hard and long, to persist
Example: I pegged away for weeks before my exams.
To lose impetus and stop, to dwindle to nothing
Example: Everyone was keen at first, but the enthusiasm petered out when they saw the number of people standing in line.
To miss or long for
Example: The dog pined for his owner at the entrance to the store.
To exploit a weakness
To pay money
Example: I had to pony up fifty dollars for the meal.
To finish or consume
Example: The child polished of the pudding in no time at all!
To trick, to achieve by deceit
Example: The dishonest dealer tried to put one over on me when he lied about the painting’s worth.
To present or deliver convincingly
Example: Jennifer got the job because she was able to put her innovative ideas across clearly and effectively.
To be extremely eager to do or have something
Example: People are queuing up to buy gifts online before the big sale ends.
To stop helping or working with someone
Example: He quit on us just when we were about to build a human pyramid.
To make silent, calm
Example: The congregation quieted down when the worship service began.
To report wrongdoings, to tattle
Example: He ratted on his neighbours to the police because they were making their own moonshine and beer.
To move higher, out of position
Example: Her skirt rode up when she sat down.
To uncover, find and remove
Example: No matter how long the initiative lasts, it will never be able to root out corruption.
To encounter, or meet by chance
Example: In London, we unexpectedly ran across an old friend.
To repeat, practise or examine quickly
Example: The actors ran through the scene one last time before the dress rehearsal.
To be absent from school or work without an excuse, to leave early
Example: I was bored so I sagged off work and went home.
To manage or survive with difficulty, to succeed narrowly
Example: She scraped through high school and applied to a junior college.
To make more attractive or interesting
Example: The police shook down the hippies looking for drugs.
To be visible or evident
Example: His anger showed through despite his smile.
To imply, have a negative characteristic or quality
Example: The government’s decision smacks of hypocrisy.
To continue with determination
Example: Life got hard for my father when he went blind, but he just soldiered on and never complained.
To leave quietly or secretly
Example: We didn’t want to wake them, so we stole away in the middle of the night.