From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishblow up phrasal verb1DESTROYEXPLODEto destroy something, or to be destroyed, by an explosionThe plane blew up in midair.blow something ↔ upRebels attempted to blow up the bridge.2TTCAIR blow something ↔ up to fill something with air or gasCan you blow up this balloon?We’ll blow the tyres up.3IMPORTANTDANGEROUSif a situation, argument etc blows up, it suddenly becomes important or dangerousA crisis had blown up over the peace talks.4TCP blow something ↔ up if you blow up a photograph, you make it larger syn enlarge5ANGRY informal to become very angry with someoneJenny’s father blew up when she didn’t come home last night. atI was surprised at the way he blew up at Hardy.6DNWEATHERif bad weather blows up, it suddenly arrivesIt looks as if there’s a storm blowing up.7blow up in somebody’s face if something you have done or planned to do blows up in your face, it suddenly goes wrongOne of his deals had just blown up in his face. →blow→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
blow up• Some problem had blown up and the PrimeMinister wanted to see me.• We also used it to blow upbunkers and similar things.• He blew up five city blocks, of course.• A briskwind was blowing up from the Tail of the Bank.• And when that songblew up, I was shocked.• A bombblew upnear 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 precioustanks 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 plasticbagblown 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 completedietingfailure.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 atcritics.• 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 presentationblow 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.• Liableblow 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 clothesironblows up in your face.• Auditors some-times miss big potential problems that blow up in the face of bondholders.
blow-upˈblow-up noun1[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 upat blow1