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…

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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….

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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”….

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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….

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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…

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