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transitive verb

big-upped; big-upping; big-ups
US slang
: to praise (someone or something)
But "Thank You," which big-ups the Lord, and "Greetings From NY," which features his 12-year-old son, show Badlands focused on religion and home rather than thug life.Justin Hampton, Spin, March 2006
Then he gets around to big-upping the city's (and, as of two days prior, America's) favorite Democratic son.Josh Modell, Spin, August 2008
Celebs … big-up her clothes.Alexandra Phanor, Vibe, June 2002
A natural charmer, Drake … big-ups the kinds of details most men miss: perfectly done hair and heel-and-handbag combos.Josh Eells, Rolling Stone, 24 June 2010

big up

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US slang
: an expression of thanks or praise
The love has indeed come in the States, via sheer word of mouth, big ups from artists … and heavy airplay …Kimberly Chun, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Feb. 2011
Give kudos where kudos due, and no one will object to big ups being given to you for your part in a joint endeavor.Chicago Daily Herald, 19 Sept. 2010
All season long we've given Smith big ups for erasing such unsavory shot selection from his barren offensive repertoire.Peter Vecsey, New York Post, 30 Apr. 2010

Word History

First Known Use

Transitive Verb

1943, in the meaning defined above


1992, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of big-up was in 1943

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Dictionary Entries Near big-up

Cite this Entry

“Big-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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