or warm-up



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



adjective, warm·er, warm·est.

having or giving out a moderate degree of heat, as perceived by the senses: a warm bath.
of or at a moderately high temperature; characterized by comparatively high temperature: a warm oven; a warm climate; a warm summer.
having a sensation of bodily heat: to be warm from fast walking.
conserving or maintaining warmth or heat: warm clothes.
(of colors) suggestive of warmth; inclining toward red or orange rather than toward green or blue.
characterized by or showing lively feelings, passions, emotions, sympathies, etc.: a warm heart; warm interest.
strongly attached; intimate: warm friends.
cordial or hearty: a warm welcome.
heated, irritated, or angry: to become warm when contradicted.
animated, lively, brisk, or vigorous: a warm debate.
strong or fresh: a warm scent.
close to something sought, as in a game.
uncomfortable or unpleasant: His opponents made things so warm that he decided to quit.
British Informal. well off; in easy circumstances.

verb (used with object)

to make warm; heat (often followed by up): to warm one's hands; to warm up a room.
to heat or cook (something) for reuse, as leftovers (usually followed by over or up): to warm up yesterday's stew.
to excite enthusiasm, ardor, cheerfulness, or vitality in (someone): The wine soon warmed the company.
to inspire with kindly feeling; affect with lively pleasure: It warms my soul to hear you say that.
to fill (a person, crowd, etc.) with strong feelings, as hatred, anger, or zeal: Restrictions had warmed the crew to the point of mutiny.

verb (used without object)

to become warm or warmer (often followed by up): The room will warm up when the fire gets going.
to become ardent, enthusiastic, animated, etc. (often followed by up or to): The speaker quickly warmed to her subject.
to grow kindly, friendly, or sympathetically disposed (often followed by to or toward): My heart warms toward him.


Informal. a warming: Sit by the fire and have a nice warm.

Verb Phrases

warm down, to conclude or follow a period of strenuous physical exercise by walking or gentle stretching.
warm up,
  1. to prepare for a game, sports contest, dance, etc., by moderate exercise or practice beforehand.
  2. to increase in excitement, intensity, violence, etc.: The racial situation was warming up.
  3. to become friendlier or more receptive: No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't warm up to that proposal.
  4. Radio and Television.to entertain (an audience) prior to a broadcast to increase receptiveness.


    warm the bench, Sports. to serve as a substitute who rarely plays in a game: The young outfielder warmed the bench for the Yankees last season.

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 formswarm·er, nounwarm·ish, adjectivewarm·ly, adverbwarm·ness, nouno·ver·warmed, adjectivepre·warm, verb (used with object)re·warm, verbun·warmed, adjectiveun·warm·ing, adjectivewell-warmed, adjective

Synonyms for warm

Antonyms for warm

1–3, 5, 8. cool.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for warm up

warm up

verb (adverb)

to make or become warm or warmer
(intr) to exercise in preparation for and immediately before a game, contest, or more vigorous exercise
to get ready for something important; prepare
to run or operate (an engine, etc) until the normal working temperature or condition is attained, or (of an engine, etc) to undergo this process
to make or become more animated or enthusiasticthe party warmed up when Tom came
to reheat (already cooked food) or (of such food) to be reheated
(tr) to make (an audience) relaxed and receptive before a show, esp a television comedy show

noun warm-up

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



characterized by or having a moderate degree of heat; moderately hot
maintaining or imparting heata warm coat
having or showing ready affection, kindliness, etca warm personality
lively, vigorous, or passionatea warm debate
cordial or enthusiastic; ardentwarm support
quickly or easily arouseda warm temper
(of colours) predominantly red or yellow in tone
(of a scent, trail, etc) recently made; strong
near to finding a hidden object or discovering or guessing facts, as in children's games
informal uncomfortable or disagreeable, esp because of the proximity of danger


(sometimes foll by up) to raise or be raised in temperature; make or become warm or warmer
(when intr, often foll by to) to make or become excited, enthusiastic, etc (about)he warmed to the idea of buying a new car
(intr often foll by to) to feel affection, kindness, etc (for someone)I warmed to her mother from the start
(tr) British to give a caning toI'll warm you in a minute


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 Formswarmer, 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

Word Origin and History for warm up



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with warm up

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.


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.