warm up

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See also: warmup, Warmup, warm-up, and Warm-up





warm up (third-person singular simple present warms up, present participle warming up, simple past and past participle warmed up)

  1. (intransitive) To become warmer.
    He came inside to warm up.
    • 1944 November and December, A Former Pupil, “Some Memories of Crewe Works—II”, in Railway Magazine, page 342:
      It took a long time for the place to warm up and to counteract the cold and enable their fingers to cope with the delicate task of moulding, the men would often surround themselves with blocks of iron heated in the furnace.
  2. (transitive) To heat or reheat (e.g. food).
    I couldn't be bothered to cook another meal so I just warmed up yesterday's leftovers.
  3. (intransitive, transitive) To reach, or cause to reach, a normal operating temperature (of a car for example).
    These old valve radios take a few minutes to warm up.
  4. (figuratively) To physically or mentally prepare oneself, something or someone for an activity.
    1. (intransitive) To do gentle exercise, stretching etc., in order to prepare the body for more vigorous exercise.
      It is important to warm up properly before your gym session.
    2. (intransitive) To prepare for an activity by carrying out a practice or preparation routine.
      The band were already on stage, warming up for the gig.
    3. (transitive) To make (an audience) enthusiastic or animated before a show.
      Rich knew how to warm up the audience of The Price is Right. His good looks and charming personality made even that special.
      • 2023 March 14, Alexandra Jacobs, “Your Annoying Roommate Is Slaying on TikTok”, in The New York Times[1]:
        It was a dark Saturday night last month on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where Saturday nights can get very dark, but Sabrina Brier, in a rhinestone necklace and strapless plaid pantsuit, was agleam onstage at a basement comedy club called Caveat warming up the crowd.
  5. (intransitive, figuratively) Synonym of warm (to favor increasingly). [with to]

Derived terms










warm up m (plural warm ups)

  1. heat (preliminary race, used to determine the participants in a final race)
  2. warm-up