Monthly Archives

December 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: steer

To steer means ‘to guide the course of something in motion,’ especially a vehicle, and also ‘to follow a particular course.’ Figuratively, to direct the course of anything is also to steer. As a noun, it is used informally, mainly in US English, to mean ‘a suggestion about a course of action.’ In US and Australian English, a steer is a male animal of the cattle family that has been…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: botch

To botch means ‘to spoil something by doing poor or clumsy work’ and also ‘to do or say something clumsily.’ As a noun, a botch is a clumsy piece of work or a mess. Unrelatedly, a botch is a swelling on the skin of an animal. More rarely, botch is a synonym of…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: clip

You might know that a clip is a a metal or plastic clasp that holds papers or other things together or a jewellery piece used as a decoration for clothing. Related to this sense the verb clip means ‘to fasten with, or as if with a clip.’ But clip has another meaning, ‘to cut off, trim or give shape to something,’ as you might do with scissors or shears. Figuratively it means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: surge

A surge is a strong and forward movement, like a wave, and also a sudden and strong burst, generally speaking or, specifically, a burst of electrical current or voltage. As a verb, to surge means ‘to move forward or rise like a wave’ and, figuratively, ‘to rise, as if by a swelling force or a strong feeling.’ In electricity, when we are talking about current and voltage, to surge means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: lag

To lag, often followed by behind, means ‘to fail to keep up’ either with the physical pace of others or with progress towards a goal or it can be a synonym for ‘linger’ or ‘delay. It can also mean ‘to decrease gradually.’ As a noun, a lag is a delay or a lapse of time…

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