get up

Idioms & Phrases

get up

  1. Arise from bed; also, sit or stand up. For example, Once I get up and have coffee, I'm ready to work. One of Irving Berlin's earliest hit songs was "Oh! How I hate to Get Up in the Morning" (1918). [Mid-1300s]

  2. Ascend, mount, as in I hate to get up on a ladder. [First half of 1500s]

  3. Create or organize, as in She got up the petition against zoning. [Late 1500s]

  4. Dress or adorn, as in She plans to get herself up in a bizarre outfit. This usage is most often put in the form of the past participle (got up), as in The wedding albums were got up with ruffles and lace. [Late 1700s]

  5. Draw on, create in oneself, as in I finally got up the nerve to quit, or Joe got up his courage and told the boss he was leaving. [Early 1800s] Also see get someone's back up; also see the subsequent idioms beginning with get up.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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