Stretching your knowledge: warm-up vs warm up

Ready to loosen up the old brain muscles? Good. Let’s tackle warm up vs. warm-up.

Warm-up is the noun that means the stretching you do before exercising or a game: Jenny did warm-ups before the soccer match. It’s also an adjective: Jenny wondered what would be the best warm-up stretches before the lacrosse match. Increasingly, writers are dropping the hyphen and simply spelling the word as warmup.

Warm up, without the hyphen but with the space, is a verb that shows one increasingly likes an idea or thing: Jenny began to warm up to the idea of going out for field hockey.