Intermediate+ Word of the Day

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: ham

You might know already that ham is ‘a cut of meat that comes from the hind quarter of a hog’ (a pig raised for eating). It is also used for human anatomy, often in the plural form hams, and it means ‘the back of the thigh, or the thigh and the buttock together.’ Unrelatedly, ‘an actor or performer who performs in a exaggerated way or overacts’ is also called a ham and so is ‘an amateur radio operator.’ The verb to ham means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: nap

To nap means ‘to sleep for a short period of time,’ especially during the daytime. Figuratively, it means ‘to be off your guard.’ As a noun, a nap is a short period of sleep. Unrelatedly, a nap is the raised fuzzy end of fibers on the surface of cloth and the verb to nap means ‘to raise the nap.’ Nap is also used as a shortened version of…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hint

A hint is ‘a clue or an indirect or helpful suggestion.’ It is also ‘a very small amount of something’ or ‘an indication of something.’ As a verb, it means ‘to give a hint of something,’ ‘to imply,’ or ‘to suggest indirectly.’

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: draft

You might know from your email account, a draft is ‘the first version of a piece of writing, a drawing, or a sketch.’ In US English, a draft is also ‘a current of air in a closed space’ and ‘a device for regulating air in a fireplace’ (in the UK, we use draught, but the pronunciation is the same). It is ‘the act of inhaling or drinking’ as well (UK: draught). ‘A portion of something to be drunk or a beer from a keg’ are also called a draft (UK: draught). As a verb, spelled as draft in both US and UK English, it means ‘to sketch’ or ‘to compose.’ As an adjective, still with the same spelling in both UK and US English, it refers to…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: wag

To wag means ‘to move up and down or from side to side,’ as dogs do with their tails when they’re happy. When we are talking about someone’s tongue, we mean that they are moving it in idle chatter. If you shake your finger at someone in reprimand, you’re also wagging it, as you are your head if you shake or nod it. To wag also means ‘to travel or get along,’ although this sense is rarely heard these days, and, originally in British English, but now mainly used in Australian English, it means ‘to be absent from school…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: sit

To sit is, of course, to rest your body on your buttocks or to be located somewhere. Used as a suffix, it means ‘to take care of something or someone’ and, if birds sit, they cover their eggs with their bodies. If clothes sit on someone in a certain manner, it means they fit or hang in that way, and if you let something sit, it means that you let it go or accept it. Informally, we use sit to talk about food that is well accepted, or not, by out stomachs. If a court sits, it means it is in session and to have an official…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: flush

A flush is a sudden rush of emotion, a glowing vigor, or a reddening of the skin. As a verb, to flush means to redden, or to become red, and to inflame or animate. It is also, as you probably know, ‘to flood or wash away with water,’ as we do with toilets. Unrelatedly, as an adjective it means ‘level with the surface of’ or ‘immediately next to.’ It can also mean ‘prosperous, well-supplied with money.’ As an adverb, it means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: dub

When you dub someone, you give them a name or title. This comes from an older use of dub, meaning ‘to make someone a knight by lightly touching him on the shoulder with a sword.’ It also means ‘to poke or thrust’ and in golf, in US English, to hit a ball poorly or to miss a shot. As a noun, mainly in US English and now dated, a dub is an awkward or unskillful person. You might know as well that dub is a style of music…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hoot

To hoot means ‘to cry or shout’, especially in a mocking way. When we are talking about owls, it means ‘to cry’ and it can also be used if anyone or anything makes a similar sound to an owl’s cry. In British English, it also means ‘to sound the horn of a motor vehicle.’ As a noun, the cry of an owl or any similar sound is a hoot and so is a shout, especially if it’s a mocking shout. Informally, hoot means ‘the least bit of concern or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: mud

Mud is what results from mixing earth and water, like what we find on the ground after rain or along the bank of a river. Informally, mud is also scandalous or false and harmful claims or information about something or someone, most often in the expression “to sling (or: to throw) mud,” or something regarded as worthless. Informally, strongly brewed coffee can be called mud. As a verb, although quite rare, to mud means ‘to smear with mud’ and ‘to stir up…

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