Have you taken to colourful compounds yet? Take in these examples to spruce up your vocabulary.



tactackk on

To add something

Example: The mechanic decided to tack on a free car wash to his services.


tail off

To become silent or inaudible; to lessen

Example: The sounds in the forest tailed off around midnight when the temperatures dropped to below freezing.



take after

To resemble, be like

Example: She took after her daughter with her penchant for big necklaces and large parasols.


take in

To fully understand or absorb

Example: We took in the whole experience, staying out all day and talking with all the vendors.



take to

To make a habit of; to like

Example: Despite never having seen snow, she took to skiing in an instant.


take up

To begin to do

Example: The magician took up cardiopulmonary resuscitation to ensure he could revive frightened guests at his shows.


talk back

To reply rudely

Example: After reprimanding Lucy for disrupting the class, the teacher was shocked when she talked back.


talk up

To promote or speak in support

Example: Frank tended to talk up his ability to walk on his hands.think


think up

To contrive or invent

Example: They’d think up the craziest schemes, which they naturally couldn’t pull off.


thrash out

To discuss thoroughly, resolve

Example: Committee members thrashed out policy options until they nearly gave in from exhaustion.


tide over

To sustain or help through

Example: The dozen eggs would tide the household over for the holidays.


tip off

To warn or give information

Example: Will Trump tip off Putin about the next breach of security?


toss off

To write or do quickly

Example: The copywriters tossed off a few headlines, but they weren’t satisfactory.


toy with

To consider, treat casually

Example: She toyed with the idea of eating the whole chocolate cake at one sitting.



trump up

To concoct, charge or accuse falsely

Example: The press secretary felt the media had been trumping up accusations about the president.








urge on

To encourage, impel

Example: Steve urged his horse on although it had galloped for four miles.


use up

To consume completely, exhaust

Example: I used up all my change in the parking meter.


usher in

To signal or mark, inaugurate

Example: “America first!” seemed to usher in a new era – whether or not it’s true.








veer off

To change suddenly

Example: He veered off the subject when she entered the room.


veg out

To relax, do nothing 3D

Example: If you’re going to veg out in front of the TV, put on these 3D glasses and watch Avatar.


vouch for

To support or back, give assurances

Example: I didn’t like his attitude, but I could vouch for what he said in his speech.

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