What Does Boost Someone Up Mean?

Boost Up Meaning

Definition: To give a helpful lift up to someone, either physically or emotionally.

This phrasal verb means to lift someone up to reach a higher point. This can be physically, if someone cannot reach something, or emotionally, if someone needs a boost, or increase, in confidence or morale.

You typically boost someone over an obstacle, and a boost of either kind is beneficial rather than harmful.

Origin of Boost Someone Up

meaning of boost upBoost someone up is an American English expression from the mid-1800s, though its exact origin is unknown.

By 1912, we can see its literal meaning in The Plunderer by Roy Norton,

  • Two men holding the torches climbed up on them and they saw two others boosting the doctor upward.

Examples of Boost Someone Up

boosting up and boosted upIn the modern day, people use this phrasal verb when giving someone physical or moral support.

For example,

  • She boosted me up so I could have a better view.

This is an example of a physical boost.

Another example,

  • Their encouragement boosted me up when I was feeling low.

This is an example of an emotional boost.

Let’s look at an example dialogue between two friends on a hike,

Stacy: What do you see?

Michelle: I can’t quite see over the ridge. I need a boost.

Stacy: Here, stand on my back.

Michelle: Now I can see everything. The river is definitely this way.

Stacy: That’s great! We’re headed in the right direction.

Michelle: Exactly. I’m glad we double-checked. We don’t want to get lost in this kind of weather. Thanks for the boost.

More Examples

  • But when I heard the crowd’s “ooh and ahh,” it really boosted me up and I knew I had this one in the bag. –Herald-Mail Media
  • That song boosted me up for months and made me happy, so I did this painting for me. –Toronto Life


The phrase to boost someone up means to assist someone in reaching a point he is not able to on his own; this can be a physical boost up or an emotional boost from low morale.