Intermediate+ Word of the Day

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: flick

A flick is a light, sudden tap, as with a finger or a whip, and also the sound made by that tap. It is also a rapid movement. As a verb, to flick means ‘to strike with a light and sharp stroke,’ ‘to cause to move with such a stroke,’ or ‘to operate with such a stroke.’ If you flick through something, like pages, it means that you turn them quickly or idly. Unrelatedly, flick is a colloquial word for movie, although this sense is…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: word

This is the 100th week of Word of the Day and we’ve chosen to mark the occasion by exploring the meanings of word. We’re pretty sure you know that a word is a unit of language. However, it has many other meanings, like a ‘short talk,’ ‘a reprimand,’ ‘a promise or pledge,’ or any expression or utterance. News or rumor can also be word, and so can a password and an order or command. Informally, it can be combined with the first letter of…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: tight

If something is tight it means that it is secure and not easily moved, tense, firm, or that it fits too closely. Figuratively, it can also mean ‘something difficult to deal with’ and ‘that allows little time or space in between things.’ If we say some part of our bodies feels tight, that means it feels tense or painful. Informally, if someone is tight, it means that they are not generous with money. As a slang term, it means that…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: spit

To spit means ‘to expel saliva from the mouth’ and also ‘to expel anything from the mouth.’ ‘To throw out or emit something, as if it was saliva’ can also be to spit and, figuratively, so can ‘to express hatred or to speak angrily.’ Spit also means ‘to make explosive sounds.’ As a noun, spit means both the act of spitting and saliva. Unrelatedly, a spit is a bar for thrusting through meat…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: spear

A spear is a long wooden shaft with a sharp pointed head, usually made of metal or stone. It can be used as a weapon or as a fishing tool. Usually in a military context, a spear can also mean ‘a person armed with a spear.’ As a verb, to spear means ‘to stab or pierce with, or as though with, a spear’ and it can also be used figuratively…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: vice

A vice is a habit or practice that’s considered immoral. Immoral or depraved behavior or sexual immorality is also called vice, the latter relating especially to prostitution. A fault or a defect can also be called a vice and so can a personal habit that is not that harmful. As a prefix, it combines with nouns to form…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: toot

As a verb, to toot means ‘to make a horn or whistle make a short sound’ or ‘to make any sound that resembles that of a horn.’ As a noun, a toot is the act of tooting. In US English, as a slang term, toot means ‘cocaine’ and as a verb it means ‘to take a drug by snorting,’ but these meanings are now dated. Also dated, a toot is a period of drunken revelry in US English too. Informally, in Australia, a toot is a toilet, although…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: slay

To slay means ‘to kill violently.’ These days, it is quite a literary term, but it is also used, especially in US English, as a synonym for murder, particularly in newspaper reports. Figuratively, it means ‘to destroy or extinguish.’ Informally, slay is used to mean ‘to impress strongly or to overwhelm, especially with something funny…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hassle

Hassle is an informal word with multiple meanings. As a noun, a hassle can be something that’s difficult to do or that takes time and effort to do or is simply a nuisance, or, mainly in US English it can be an argument or a disorderly dispute. As a verb, to hassle means ‘to annoy or harass’ or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: pursue

To pursue someone means ‘to follow in order to overtake, capture, or kill.’ To pursue something means ‘to continue in order to achieve a goal.’ If you pursue a career, it means that you practice that activity. Pursue also means ‘to continue discussing a question.’ More broadly, pursue means…

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