Intermediate+ Word of the Day

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: prime

You might know that as an adjective, prime means ‘of top quality,’ ‘of great importance,’ ‘of great value,’ and ‘first in order.’ It also means ‘basic, fundamental.’ As a noun, prime is the most flourishing state of something or someone or the time of early adulthood. As a verb, to prime means ‘to prepare someone for something’ and also ‘to supply a gun with powder.’ When painting, prime means’…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: scramble

To scramble means ‘to climb using both your hands and your feet’ and also ‘to compete with others’ and ‘to move quickly, with a purpose.’ Scramble also means ‘to organize or mix things in a hurried and disorderly way’ and, when talking about eggs, ‘to cook them while stirring them constantly.’ As a noun, a scramble is a climb or any movement over irregular ground. It’s also a struggle to obtain something or a disorderly and hurried way…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: pawn

To pawn is ‘to deposit something valuable with a pawnbroker,’ a person who takes objects as a deposit and, in exchange, lends money, keeping the object until the money is repaid. Figuratively, it means ‘to pledge or stake,’ although this meaning is rather literary. As a noun, a pawn is the act of pawning, the state of being deposited, and the object being deposited with a pawnbroker. It can also mean ‘hostage.’ Unrelatedly, a pawn is a chess piece,…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: ground

The ground is the surface of the earth, soil, or any piece of land put to a purpose. Also, a subject for discussion and usually plural, grounds are the foundations for certain acts or beliefs, left over material that has been brewed, like coffee, or a garden surrounding a building. As an adjective, ground means ‘operating on land.’ As a verb, to ground means ‘to place an argument on a solid foundation,’ ‘to instruct someone in the principles of something,’ and…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stout

You probably know the noun meaning of stout, a dark and sweet beer. As an adjective, stout means ‘heavily built, thickset’ or ‘sturdy.’ When applied to opinions, character traits, or actions it can mean ‘firm, stubborn’ and, when applied to objects, ‘heavy, solid.’ It can also mean ‘brave, courageous’ or ‘forceful, vigorous’…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: puff

A puff is a short blast of air or smoke, as well as the sound made when giving off a puff, and the act of inhaling and exhaling on a cigarette or pipe. It is also a ball of choux pastry baked and filled with something sweet, often whipped cream and jam. Figuratively, a puff is a flattering review. To puff means ‘to blow with a short blast,’ as wind sometimes does, ‘to give or let out in a puff,’ and ‘to move with a puff.’ To puff is also…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bank

A bank is an institution that receives, lends, and keeps money safe, or it is a storage facility for a particular thing. The related verb to bank means ‘to have an account with a bank’ or ‘to use that bank’s services.’ Unrelatedly, a bank is a pile or heap, a slope, and, in particular, the slope of land on the sides of a river or stream. To bank means ‘to border with a bank,’ ‘to form into a bank,’ and also ‘to cover a fire with ashes or fuel to make it burn slowly.’ A bank is also a group of objects….

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hash

In cooking, hash is a dish of cooked meat and potatoes cut up into small pieces and browned together. A hash is also a synonym for mess or jumble and it also refers to the reworking of old material used for a new purpose. As a verb, to hash means ‘to chop into small pieces,’ ‘to discuss something thoroughly,’ usually with “over,” and, in US English, “to mess something up”….

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: fast

You probably know the meaning of fast as an adjective that describes something or someone that moves, operates, or works quickly. When we’re talking about people, and with a negative connotation, fast can mean ‘lacking morality,’ especially in terms of sexual behavior, although that meaning is a little dated now. Fast also means ‘permanent,’ ‘resistant’ (usually in a combined form with a noun), and ‘loyal.’ As an adverb, it means ‘quickly,’ ‘firmly,’ and also ‘soundly.’ Unrelatedly, to fast means ‘to eat no food,’ especially for religious reasons….

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: kit

As you may know, a kit—sometimes used as a suffix—is a set of tools, supplies, or any material used for a particular purpose and also the container to put all these things in. It is also a set of materials for assembling something. Mainly in UK English, clothing used for a particular purpose is also called kit. As a verb, in US English, to kit means ‘to make available as a kit’ and, in UK English, now usually followed by out, ‘to equip.’ Unrelatedly, a kit is an abbreviated form of kit-fox—a type of small fox…

Continue Reading