throw up

See also: throwup and throw-up



  • (file)
  • (file)


throw up (third-person singular simple present throws up, present participle throwing up, simple past threw up, past participle thrown up)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see throw,‎ up.
  2. (now colloquial) To vomit.
    The baby threw up all over my shirt.
    That cat is always throwing up hairballs.
  3. To produce something new or unexpected.
    This system has thrown up a few problems.
  4. To cause something such as dust or water to rise into the air.
    The car wheels threw up a shower of stones.
  5. (transitive, chiefly dated) To erect, particularly hastily.
    • 1872, Every Saturday (page 96)
      Every depression in the ground had been utilized; every rise taken advantage of, to dig rifle-pits or throw up a little earthwork, surrounded with sand-bags []
    • 2001, Diane Kennedy, Loop-Holes of the Rich: How the Rich Legally Make More Money & Pay Less Tax, Warner Books, →ISBN, page 70,
      In other words, a business can throw up a huge detour sign in the way of the government.
    • 2007, Marissa Monteilh, Dr. Feelgood, Kensington Books, →ISBN, page 27,
      The deal was that if anyone started catching feelings, he could throw up a stop sign and the other would honor it.
  6. (transitive, intransitive) To give up, abandon something.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities:
      “No!” returned the spy. “I throw up. I confess that we were so unpopular with the outrageous mob, that I only got away from England at the risk of being ducked to death, and that Cly was so ferreted up and down, that he never would have got away at all but for that sham. Though how this man knows it was a sham, is a wonder of wonders to me.”
    • 2011, Alan Bennett, "Baffled at a Bookcase", London Review of Books, XXXIII.15:
      In 1944, believing, as people in Leeds tended to do, that flying bombs or no flying bombs, things were better Down South, Dad threw up his job with the Co-op and we migrated to Guildford.
  7. To display a gang sign using the hands
    • 2005, Brandon Bennett, Moon in Gemini, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 56,
      Why don't you go on and throw up ya gang sign. Represent your hood, homey?
  8. (dated, transitive) To enlarge, as a picture reflected on a screen.




throw up (uncountable)

  1. (colloquial) Vomit.
    We had to scrub the seats for throw up when we left the dog in the car.

Alternative formsEdit

See alsoEdit