Phrasal verbs beginning with L

Here is a list of phrasal verbs beginning with the letter L. Each one is followed by its meaning or definition.

Lay away

To lay something away is to save it for future use.

  • You must lay away some money every month.

Lay down

To lay down rules or laws is to establish them.

  • The government must lay down tough standards for air quality.

To lay something down is to put it down in order to show that you are not going to use it again.

  • The police ordered the militants to lay down their arms.

To lay down one’s life is to die for a cause.

  • He laid down his life for his country.

Lay in on

To lay in on somebody is to criticize them severely.

  • My parents laid in on me when they realized that I had failed my test.

Lay into

To lay into someone is to criticize them severely.

  • My father laid into me when I returned home late last night.

Lay off

To lay off someone is to suspend them from their job because of financial difficulties.

  • The recession forced many companies to lay off hundreds of employees.

Lay out

To lay out is to arrange something according to a plan.

  • The draft document does not lay out the principles clearly enough.
  • The magazine is beautifully illustrated and laid out.

Leave out

To leave something out is to omit it.

  • They have left out many important details.
  • Why did they leave you out of their plans?

Let down

To let somebody down is to disappoint them.

  • I felt let down when my son failed his test.

Let out

To let someone out is to release them.

  • We are upset that the criminals have been let out of prison.
  • She let out a scream when she saw the snake.

Let up

When things let up they weaken in intensity.

  • The rains never let up for a moment.
  • Things haven’t let up at work. I am still working overtime and earning a meagre salary.

Light up

To light up is to smoke.

  • If you want to light up, you need to leave the room.

Live on

To live on is to survive.

  • We have been living on leaves and roots for weeks.

Live up to

  • I have never been able to live up to my parents’ expectations.

Look after

To look after someone is to take care of them.

  • When you are away who looks after your daughter?

Look back on

To look back on is to remember things nostalgically.

  • Whenever I look back on my childhood, tears roll down my cheeks.

Look down on

When you look down on somebody, you see them as inferior.

  • I hate Martha. She always looks down on us.

Look for

To look for something is to search for it.

  • I am looking for my keys.

Look into

To look into something is to investigate it.

  • The police are looking into the matter.

Look out

Be careful.

  • Look out. We are going to crash.


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