a liquid food made by boiling or simmering meat, fish, or vegetables with various added ingredients.
Slang. a thick fog.
Slang. added power, especially horsepower.
Slang. nitroglycerin.
Photography Slang. developing solution.

Verb Phrases

soup up, Slang.
  1. to improve the capacity for speed or increase the efficiency of (a motor or engine) by increasing the richness of the fuel mixture or the efficiency of the fuel, or by adjusting the engine.
  2. to give spirit or vivacity to; enliven: a political rally souped up by the appearance of the candidates.


    from soup to nuts,
    1. from the first through the last course of a meal.
    2. from beginning to end; to a complete, encompassing degree; leaving nothing out.
    in the soup, Informal. in trouble: He'll be in the soup when the truth comes out.

Origin of soup

1645–55; 1940–45 for def 6; < French soupe, Old French souppe, sope < Germanic; compare Dutch sopen to dunk. See sop
Related formssoup·less, adjectivesoup·like, adjective

Synonyms for soup Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for souped-up

Contemporary Examples of souped-up

  • And even with the souped-up batteries that power electric cars, those vehicles have limited range.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Adding Vehicles to the Grid

    The Daily Beast

    October 8, 2014

  • But he was said also to love roaring up Interstate 280 in a souped-up Porsche every now and then.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Black Widow of Silicon Valley

    Michael Daly

    July 14, 2014

  • The souped-up scarf comes in a Moroccan black and saffron tile print.

    The Daily Beast logo
    J. Crew’s Best Accessories from Fall 2013

    Misty White Sidell

    February 13, 2013

  • What was a 74-year-old pilot doing in a souped-up World War II fighter flying in an air race?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Reno’s Reckless Air Tragedy

    Clive Irving

    September 17, 2011

  • Can we return the souped-up Bugaboo strollers and turn off the shiny iPhone rattles in favor of simpler tools for raising a child?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Parent Like a Caveman

    Danielle Friedman

    October 11, 2010

Historical Examples of souped-up

  • Trouble was, his fancy, souped-up Lincoln was of no use to him at all.

    Damned If You Don't

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • But the souped-up squad car was coming on fast, too, and it was quite a chase.

    Out Like a Light

    Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for souped-up



a liquid food made by boiling or simmering meat, fish, vegetables, etc, usually served hot at the beginning of a meal
informal a photographic developer
informal anything resembling soup in appearance or consistency, esp thick fogSee also peasouper
a slang name for nitroglycerine
in the soup informal in trouble or difficulties

Word Origin for soup

C17: from Old French soupe, from Late Latin suppa, of Germanic origin; compare Middle High German suppe, Old Norse soppa soup
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

Word Origin and History for souped-up



"liquid food," 1650s, from French soupe "soup, broth" (13c.), from Late Latin suppa "bread soaked in broth," from a Germanic source (cf. Middle Dutch sop "sop, broth"), from Proto-Germanic *sup-, from PIE *sub-, from root *seue- (2) "to take liquid" (see sup (v.2)).

Primordial soup is from a concept first expressed 1929 by J.B.S. Haldane. Soup to nuts "everything" is from 1910. Soup-kitchen, "public establishment supported by voluntary contributions, for preparing and serving soup to the poor at no cost" is attested from 1839. In Ireland, souper meant "Protestant clergyman seeking to make proselytes by dispensing soup in charity" (1854).



"increase the horsepower of an engine," 1921, probably from soup (n.) in slang sense of "narcotic injected into horses to make them run faster" (1911), influenced by supercharge (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with souped-up


In addition to the idiom beginning with soup

  • soup up

also see:

  • duck soup
  • from soup to nuts
  • in the soup
  • thick as thieves (pea soup)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.