- a revolution (in an engine or the like).
- to accelerate sharply the speed of (an engine or the like) (often followed by up).
- (of an engine) to accelerate; become revved (often followed by up).
- rev up, to increase in strength or accelerate sharply: The economy is beginning to rev up.
Origin of rev
- revolution per minutethe engine was doing 5000 revs
- (often foll by up) to increase the speed of revolution of (an engine)
Word Origin and History for rev up
1916, from earlier noun (1901), shortening of revolution, in reference to the internal combustion engine. Related: Revved; revving.
Idioms and Phrases with rev up
Increase the speed or rate of, enliven, stimulate, as in Bill revved up the motor, or They looked for ways to rev up the ad campaign. The verb rev is an abbreviation for revolution, alluding to the rate of rotation of an engine. The idiom dates from about 1920 and has been used figuratively since the mid-1900s.