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[rev] /rɛv/ Informal.
a revolution (in an engine or the like).
verb (used with object), revved, revving.
to accelerate sharply the speed of (an engine or the like) (often followed by up).
verb (used without object), revved, revving.
(of an engine) to accelerate; become revved (often followed by up).
Verb phrases
rev up, to increase in strength or accelerate sharply:
The economy is beginning to rev up.
Origin of rev
First recorded in 1900-05; short for revolution Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for revving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His ears were filled with the sound of the revving aircraft engines.

  • Somewhere down the line a big plane was getting ready to take off, the pilot was checking his magnetos, revving up his engines.

    The Golden Skull John Blaine
  • Now the street noises assailed his ears; the grinding of gears, the revving of motors.

    This Crowded Earth Robert Bloch
  • It was then that Dave suddenly was conscious of the fact that there were sounds of revving aircraft engines.

British Dictionary definitions for revving


revolution per minute: the engine was doing 5000 revs
verb revs, revving, revved
(often foll by up) to increase the speed of revolution of (an engine)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for revving



1916, from earlier noun (1901), shortening of revolution, in reference to the internal combustion engine. Related: Revved; revving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for revving


v,v phr

  1. To speed up a motor; increase the rpms (1916+)
  2. To stir up; stimulate; enliven; JAZZ something UP: seems to think he has to really rev his prose every now and again (1956+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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