Meaning of Idiom ‘Warm Up’
1. To warm up, in regards to exercise or athletics means to prepare the body for more vigorous exercise or for competition or a sports event by stretching, practicing, or slowly ramping up one’s activity in order to warm up the body’s muscles.
2. To get ready or prepare to do something.
3. To build enthusiasm or excitement in an audience or crowd; to cause a person or group to become more relaxed and friendly
4. To become more friendly or affectionate toward a person with whom one initially did not get along.
5. To prepare someone to like or accept something, such as a new idea or a change.
6. To reach an effective operating temperature, especially regarding vehicles or other machinery.
7. To reheat leftover food.
8. To near a state of violent confrontation. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
As a phrasal verb, to warm up means to grow warm or to make warm again. As an idiom, warm up is used in exercise and athletics in regards to warming up the body and specifically the muscles, to get ready to exercise or compete vigorously. It is also used idiomatically in many situations, whether or not actual ‘warming’ is required. We might warm up our car before we start our trip, and singers often warm up their voices before performing. A comedian often warms up the audience before another performer comes on stage.
Examples Of Use
“It’s important to warm up before intense exercise. It helps keep you from getting injured.”
“As the athletes warmed up, a man naked man ran onto the field.”
“I’ll be right out, I just need to warm up for my speech.”
“Jackie was great at warming up a crowd. All the other comedians loved following him.”
“It took me a while to warm up to my new partner Greg but now he’s like a brother to me.”
“When are you going to tell your parents we’re moving in together?” asked Mark. “I don’t want to spring it on them, said Laura. “I’m trying to warm them up to the idea slowly.”
“I’m going to go warm up the car. It’s freezing out there,” said Dad.
“I don’t feel like cooking anything tonight,” said Rachael. “I’m just going to warm up the stew from yesterday.”
“Tension is warming up in the region and the recent power outages and food shortages have pushed the people to their breaking point.”
Although this idiom is often assumed to derive from sports, it wasn’t actually used in regards to sports until the late 1800s, while most other uses occurred earlier during the mid-1800s. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
The idiom is based simply on the literal meaning of warming something up, to cause the temperature of something to increase, as explained above. 4Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
More Idioms Starting with W
- When Hell Freezes Over
- What (why, who, how, where) On Earth
- Worried to Death
- Worried Sick (about someone or something)
- Writer’s Block
More Up Idioms
More Warm Idioms
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