From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishblow up phrasal verb1 DESTROYEXPLODEto destroy something, or to be destroyed, by an explosion The plane blew up in midair.blow something ↔ up Rebels attempted to blow up the bridge.2 TTCAIR blow something ↔ up to fill something with air or gas Can you blow up this balloon? We’ll blow the tyres up.3 IMPORTANTDANGEROUSif a situation, argument etc blows up, it suddenly becomes important or dangerous A crisis had blown up over the peace talks.4 TCP blow something ↔ up if you blow up a photograph, you make it larger SYN enlarge5 ANGRY informal to become very angry with someone Jenny’s father blew up when she didn’t come home last night. at I was surprised at the way he blew up at Hardy. 6 DNWEATHERif bad weather blows up, it suddenly arrives It looks as if there’s a storm blowing up.7 blow up in somebody’s face if something you have done or planned to do blows up in your face, it suddenly goes wrong One of his deals had just blown up in his face. → blow→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusblow up• Some problem had blown up and the Prime Minister wanted to see me.• We also used it to blow up bunkers and similar things.• He blew up five city blocks, of course.• A brisk wind was blowing up from the Tail of the Bank.• And when that song blew up, I was shocked.• A bomb blew up near his truck.• The gunners had to blow up some of their own artillery pieces to keep them from being turned on themselves.• At 0400 she blew up with the loss of fifty-seven of the precious tanks and ten of the even more precious Hurricanes.blow up ... balloon• But there are two ways of blowing up a balloon.• There was a game where you blew up balloons and sat on them.• Work quickly or keep the cutting material in a plastic bag blown up like a balloon and sealed.• Tell the students to blow up the balloon and then tape the straw to the balloon.• You look like you have blown up like a balloon and you feel that you are a complete dieting failure.blow at• Both cars blew up at Aintree, but the start money saw us through.• Privately, Diamandopoulos, as mercurial as he is erudite, is said to have blown up at critics.• She simply blew up at him.• Well, she blew up at me last Saturday for no reason.blow up in somebody’s face• It was kind of funny watching the presentation blow up in Harry's face.• Kristin knew that if anyone found out, the whole thing could blow up in her face.• But I also fear that this encryption stuff is so powerful it could blow up in my face.• Having opted for a formation that he thought would beat Leicester, David O Leary saw it blow up in his face.• Liable blow up in their faces.• Not only could be, but would be, and the whole thing would blow up in my face.• Nothing of its kind had ever been done before, and it could have blown up in his face.• When the clothes iron blows up in your face.• Auditors some-times miss big potential problems that blow up in the face of bondholders.blow-upˈblow-up noun 1 [countable]TCP a photograph, or part of a photograph, that has been made larger2 [countable usually singular] American EnglishANGRY a sudden big argument or disagreement → blow up at blow1
Examples from the Corpusblow-up• Mr O'Sullivan filled an enormous cavity completely painlessly, while a video screen showed a blow-up of the tooth being worked on.• It is possible to find safe harbor but nearly impossible to do so without a few blow-ups.• Few of us are comfortable with confrontations because they frequently lead to full-fledged blow-ups.• Walls are covered with grainy blow-ups of sleek-jawed Latin athletes.• Kirov had used his services before, to produce false papers, touch up prints or produce blow-ups from microfilm.• It was a job of the utmost precision, and even a large-scale blow-up might not reveal that it was not genuine.• But a day after the blow-up, the committee assigned to seek a compromise won a three-month reprieve.