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[rev] /rɛv/ Informal.
a revolution (in an engine or the like).
verb (used with object), revved, revving.
to accelerate sharply the speed of (an engine or the like) (often followed by up).
verb (used without object), revved, revving.
(of an engine) to accelerate; become revved (often followed by up).
Verb phrases
rev up, to increase in strength or accelerate sharply:
The economy is beginning to rev up.
Origin of rev
1900-05; short for revolution Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for rev up


revolution per minute: the engine was doing 5000 revs
verb revs, revving, revved
(often foll by up) to increase the speed of revolution of (an engine)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rev up



1916, from earlier noun (1901), shortening of revolution, in reference to the internal combustion engine. Related: Revved; revving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for rev up


v,v phr

  1. To speed up a motor; increase the rpms (1916+)
  2. To stir up; stimulate; enliven; JAZZ something UP: seems to think he has to really rev his prose every now and again (1956+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for rev up


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with rev up

rev up

Increase the speed or rate of, enliven, stimulate, as in Bill revved up the motor, or They looked for ways to rev up the ad campaign. The verb rev is an abbreviation for revolution, alluding to the rate of rotation of an engine. The idiom dates from about 1920 and has been used figuratively since the mid-1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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