Intermediate+ Word of the Day: noodle

A noodle is a dried strip of egg or other dough, a bit like pasta, that is boiled and mostly served in soups or with stir fries; it is very common in Asian cuisine. As a slang term and, figuratively, noodle means ‘head’ and it also describes a foolish person. Used originally as a jazz term, to noodle means to play music in improvisatory way, often as a warm-up exercise. Figuratively, in US English, it also means ‘to experiment,’ ‘to think…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: tie

To tie means ‘to bind something with a cord’ or ‘to fasten something by making a knot.’ Figuratively, it can mean ‘to join firmly’ and, with negative connotations, ‘to restrict.’ In games, sports, or contests, when you tie it means that you get the same score as your opponent. As a noun, a tie is a cord or string used for tying, a knot or bow, and broadly, an affectionate bond with someone or something. In games, a tie is a state in which…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: clutch

To clutch means ‘to seize or hold tightly.’ As a slang term, in US English, usually followed by “up,” it means ‘to panic and become tense.’ This use was more common a few decades ago. A clutch, as a noun, is a tight grip or hold and, often in the plural form clutches, it means power or control that is difficult to escape. In US English, clutch can also be used as an adjective to refer to something done in a critical situation or something or someone that…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: pad

A pad is a piece of soft material used for comfort, protection, applying ointments or creams or cleaning, or for stuffing. It is also the soft cushion of flesh under the end of each finger and toe, in humans, or on the underside of an animal’s paw. A number of sheets of paper glued together at one edge is also a pad. As a slang term, pad means the place where you live. To pad means ‘to provide with or have pads or stuffing’ and ‘to expand…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: mop

A mop is a device used for cleaning floors, consisting of an absorbent material, such as a sponge, fastened to a handle. A thick mass of hair is also called a mop. To mop, as a verb, means ‘to clean or wipe with a mop,’ or ‘to clean as if with a mop,’ even if you don’t actually use one. Unrelatedly, to mop means ‘to make an unhappy face,’ usually in the expression ‘to mop and mow,’ and the noun mop is an unhappy face…

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