[ beef-uhp ]

  1. an act or instance of strengthening or reinforcing.

Origin of beef-up

Noun use of verb phrase beef up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use beef-up in a sentence

  • They smoked the hams in him, and they sometimes put bacon and dried beef up there.

    The House With Sixty Closets | Frank Samuel Child
  • Cut the beef up into tiny bits; pour boiling water over it and let it stand one minute; pour it off and squeeze the meat dry.

    The Fun of Cooking | Caroline French Benton
  • When nearly done, take vegetables out and mash them well, and also cut the beef up fine.

    Housekeeping in Old Virginia | Marion Cabell Tyree
  • D'ye hear, George, carry that big piece of roast beef up to the Lion.

    Fontainbleau | John O'Keeffe
  • "I guess that's why they were so anxious to get the beef up to the pasture to-night," said Kit.

    Ted Strong in Montana | Edward C. Taylor

Other Idioms and Phrases with beef-up


Strengthen, reinforce, as in Mary wants us to beef up her part in the play. This phrase relies on an older slang sense of beef as “muscles” or “power.” [Colloquial; late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.