dust off

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Related to dust off: leave in the dust


1. Fine, dry particles of matter.
2. A cloud of fine, dry particles.
3. Particles of matter regarded as the result of disintegration: fabric that had fallen to dust over the centuries.
a. Earth, especially when regarded as the substance of the grave: "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" (Book of Common Prayer).
b. The surface of the ground.
5. A debased or despised condition.
6. Something of no worth.
7. Chiefly British Rubbish readied for disposal.
8. Confusion; agitation; commotion: won't go back in until the dust settles.
v. dust·ed, dust·ing, dusts
1. To remove dust from by wiping, brushing, or beating: dust the furniture.
2. To sprinkle with a powdery substance: dusted the cookies with sugar; dust crops with fertilizer.
3. To apply or strew in fine particles: dusted talcum powder on my feet.
4. Baseball To deliver a pitch so close to (the batter) as to make the batter back away.
1. To clean by removing dust.
2. To cover itself with dry soil or other particulate matter. Used of a bird.
Phrasal Verb:
dust off
To restore to use: dusted off last year's winter coat.
in the dust
Far behind, as in a race or competition: a marketing strategy that left our competitors in the dust.
make the dust fly
To go about a task with great energy and speed.

[Middle English, from Old English dūst.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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To scatter or release in drops or small particles:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

w>dust off

vt sep dirtabwischen, wegwischen; table, surface, personabstauben; to dust oneself offsich (dat)den Staub abklopfen; (fig)sich reinwaschen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
And that sort of faithful and proud devotion went so far as to make him go about flicking the dust off the varnished teak-wood rail of the little craft with a silk pocket-handkerchief - a present from Mrs.
"These?" said Wemmick, getting upon a chair, and blowing the dust off the horrible heads before bringing them down.
Immediately each of the recruits, who understood the summons, took his hat, brushed the dust off his clothes, and followed D'Artagnan.
Bow your head in prayer; sing all the hymns, but not too loud and bold; ask after Mis' Strout's boy; tell everybody what awful colds we've got; if you see a good chance, take your pocket handkerchief and wipe the dust off the melodeon before the meetin' begins, and get twenty-five cents out of the sittin' room match-box in case there should be a collection."
Clarke laid up his barge and canoes in a sheltered place, on the banks of a small bay, overgrown with shrubs and willows, confiding them to the care of the Nez Perce chief, who, on being promised an ample compensation, engaged to have a guardian eye upon them; then mounting his steed, and putting himself at the head of his little caravan, he shook the dust off his feet as he turned his back upon this village of rogues and hard dealers.
Pierre, the Slaughterer, if you look at me like that again, I'll fillip the dust off your nose for you."
Without looking at anyone, "Uncle" blew the dust off it and, tapping the case with his bony fingers, tuned the guitar and settled himself in his armchair.
And yet, marvellous to consider, it has come to pass, in these days, that Express Trains don't think Cloisterham worth stopping at, but yell and whirl through it on their larger errands, casting the dust off their wheels as a testimony against its insignificance.
Pickwick, in his enthusiasm for discovery, fall on his knees before the little stone, and commence wiping the dust off it with his pocket-handkerchief.
He's pretty particular: look at the strips of paper to keep the dust off his precious books!"
Miss Pross was a pleasant sight, albeit wild, and red, and grim, taking off her darling's bonnet when she came up-stairs, and touching it up with the ends of her handkerchief, and blowing the dust off it, and folding her mantle ready for laying by, and smoothing her rich hair with as much pride as she could possibly have taken in her own hair if she had been the vainest and handsomest of women.
Bread turned away and began to blow the dust off the statue, as if this might be mockery.