or warm-up

[ wawrm-uhp ]
/ ˈwɔrmˌʌp /


an act or instance of warming up: The spectators came early to watch the players go through their warmups. The dancers went through a quick warmup.
the period before a radio or television broadcast when the audience is entertained so that it will be more receptive to the actual program.
Also warm up. the time lapse between turning on the power in an electronic component or device and the time it is operable.
Often warmups. any apparel, especially a sweat suit, worn over other clothing for warmth, chiefly in sports or during preliminary exercise.

Origin of warmup

First recorded in 1840–50; noun use of verb phrase warm up

Definition for warm up (2 of 2)

Origin of warm

before 900; (adj.) Middle English werm, warm, Old English wearm; cognate with German warm, Old Norse varmr; (v.) Middle English warmen, wermen, Old English werman, wirman (transitive), wearmian (intransitive), both akin to the adj.; (noun) derivative of the v.

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for warm up (1 of 2)

warm up

verb (adverb)

noun warm-up

the act or an instance of warming up
a preparatory exercise routine

British Dictionary definitions for warm up (2 of 2)


/ (wɔːm) /




informal a warm place or areacome into the warm
informal the act or an instance of warming or being warmed
See also warm over, warm up

Derived Forms

warmer, nounwarmish, adjectivewarmly, adverbwarmness, noun

Word Origin for warm

Old English wearm; related to Old Frisian, Old Saxon warm, Old Norse varmr
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 warm up (1 of 2)

warm up


Prepare for exercise or an athletic event by stretching or practicing beforehand, as in It's important to warm up before you play any sport. The idiom is also applied to musicians getting ready to perform. [Late 1800s]


Make enthusiastic, excited, or animated, as in He was good at warming up an audience for the main speaker. [Mid-1800s]


Also, warm up to. Become friendlier or more receptive toward, as in I had a hard time warming up to my mother-in-law. [Early 1800s]


Reach a temperature high enough to work efficiently, as in I'll go out and warm up the car. [Mid-1900s]


Reheat food, as in If we warm up the leftovers, we'll have enough for everyone. [Mid-1800s]


Approach a state of violence or confrontation, as in Racial tension was rapidly warming up. Also see heat up.

Idioms and Phrases with warm up (2 of 2)


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

also see:

  • cold hands, warm heart
  • look like death (warmed over)

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