Origin of rev

First recorded in 1900–05; short for revolution
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for rev up

rev

/ (rɛv) informal /

noun

revolution per minutethe engine was doing 5000 revs

verb revs, revving or 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

Idioms and Phrases with rev up

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.

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