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curl up

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verb (adverb)

(intr) to adopt a reclining position with the legs close to the body and the back rounded
to become or cause to become spiral-shaped or curved
(intr) to retire to a quiet cosy settingto curl up with a good novel
British informal to be or cause to be embarrassed or disgusted (esp in the phrase curl up and die)

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The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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

Idioms and Phrases with curl up

curl up

1

Assume a position with the legs drawn up; settle down for sleep in this posture. For example, I love to curl up with a good book. [c. 1900]

2

curl up and die. Retreat, collapse, die, as in At first the horse was ahead but in the home stretch she curled up and died, or I'll just curl up and die if he shows up. This colorful expression for collapsing or dying is often used hyperbolically (second example). [Early 1900s]

3

curl someone up. Kill someone, as in The sheriff said he'd curl up that outlaw. This usage originated as cowboy slang in the second half of the 1800s.

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