up to something
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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈʌp tuː ˈsʌmθɪŋ/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈʌp tə ˈsʌmθɪŋ/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: up to some‧thing
- (idiomatic) Doing something mischievous or scheming.
- He looks like an angel, but I can tell he’s up to something.
- 1871 October 27, Prince McElhannon, witness, “The Ku-Klux Conspiracy”, in Testimony Taken by the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States. Georgia, volume II, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, published 1872, OCLC 30673085, page 649:
- I took my mare and went down to the swamp, for I knew they had been up to something there from the signs I saw.
- 1922 February, L. B. Thoburn-Clarke, “Amid the Swamps. A True Story of New Zealand Life in the Early Days.”, in The Boy’s Own Paper, volume XXXVIII, part 4, London: “Boy’s Own Paper” Office, […], OCLC 870086995, section II, page 212, column 2:
- One or another of them will be poking their heads in and see we have been up to something [...]
- 1955 January 22, S. Roberts, “The Man who Made the Grade: A Short Story”, in Ram Singh and A. K. Mukerji, editors, Thought, volume VII, number 4, air edition, New Delhi: Printed on behalf of Siddhartha Publications Ltd., by R. L. Chadha at Naya Hindustan Press, ISSN 0040-6449, OCLC 1695469, page 10, column 1:
- One day Chander, who was always up to something, took it into his head to ring up one or two customers in regard to bills long outstanding on them.
doing something mischievous or scheming