adjective, warm·er, warm·est.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to prepare for a game, sports contest, dance, etc., by moderate exercise or practice beforehand.
- to increase in excitement, intensity, violence, etc.: The racial situation was warming up.
- to become friendlier or more receptive: No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't warm up to that proposal.
- Radio and Television.to entertain (an audience) prior to a broadcast to increase receptiveness.
Origin of warm
Synonyms for warm
Antonyms for warm
Word Origin for warm
Old English wyrman "make warm" and wearmian "become warm;" from the root of warm (adj.). Phrase warm the bench is sports jargon first recorded 1907. Warm up (v.) "exercise before an activity" is attested from 1868. In reference to appliances, motors, etc., attested from 1947. Noun phrase warm-up "act or practice of warming up" is recorded from 1915. Related: Warmed; warming.
SCOTCH WARMING PAN. A wench. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1788]
Old English wearm, from Proto-Germanic *warmaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Old High German, German warm, Old Norse varmr, Gothic warmjan "to warm"), from PIE *gwher- (cf. Sanskrit gharmah "heat;" Old Persian Garmapada-, name of the fourth month, corresponding to June/July, from garma- "heat;" Armenian jerm "warm;" Greek thermos "warm;" Latin formus "warm," fornax "oven;" Old Irish fogeir "heated;" Hittite war- "to burn"). The root also may be connected to that of Old Church Slavonic goriti "to burn," varu "heat," variti "to cook, boil;" and Lithuanian verdu "to seethe."
The distinction, based on degree of heat, between "warm" and "hot" is general in Balto-Slavic and Germanic, but in other languages one word often covers both (cf. Latin calidus, Greek thermos, French chaud, Spanish caliente). In reference to feelings, etc., attested from late 15c. Sense in guessing games first recorded 1860, from earlier hunting use in reference to scent or trail (1713). Warm-blooded in reference to mammals is recorded from 1793. Warm-hearted first recorded c.1500.
warm the bench
Also, ride the bench. Be a secondary or substitute participant; wait one's turn to participate. For example, I can't wait till the head of accounting retires; I've been warming the bench for years. This expression comes from such sports as baseball and football, and their standard practice of having substitute players sit on a bench in case they are needed in a game. [Slang; early 1900s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with warm
- warm as toast
- warm heart
- warm the bench
- warm the cockles of one's heart
- warm up
- warm welcome
- cold hands, warm heart
- look like death (warmed over)