| Definition -
A verb that consists of two or more words.
1. They usually consist of a verb and a preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition, any of which are part of the syntax of the sentence. For example, to rule out a suspect, to put on a coat, to walk across the road, and to look up.
2. They are normally used in informal everyday speech where they replace the more formal Latinate verbs. For example, we are more likely to say that we are going to get together rather than to congregate.
Etymology - According to Tom McArthur: "…the term ‘phrasal verb’ was first used by Logan Pearsall Smith, in “Words and Idioms” (1925), in which he states that the OED Editor Henry Bradley suggested the term to him."
Note: As can be seen from the OED citation below, this is incorrect.
Oxford English Dictionary - The term's first citation is from 1879:
"Modern English has made a new phrasal verb, and one that yet waits for a name. In this new verb the pronoun it, referring to no noun, acts as an objective accompaniment, and runs next after the verb."
(J. Earle Philol. Eng. Tongue (ed. 3) x. 553)