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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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: nut

A nut is a dry fruit consisting of an edible kernel, enclosed in a woody shell. The kernel itself is also called a nut. A nut is also a metal block with a threaded hole allowing it to be screwed down on a bolt to hold the objects the bolt passes through together. Colloquially, if you say someone is a nut, preceded by a noun, it means that he or she is really enthusiastic about that thing. As a slang term, you call someone foolish or crazy a nut. In UK English, informally, nut is used…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: tender

If something is tender, it means that it is soft or delicate in substance, gentle, or delicate or weak in constitution. Something or someone easily moved to compassion is called tender and so is someone sentimental or overly sentimental. Tender also refers to something young or immature. If a matter is tender, it means that it should be handled with care. As a verb, to tender means ‘to present something formally for acceptance.’ The related noun tender refers to the act of tendering, to something offered or tendered, especially…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stray

To stray means ‘to wander,’ ‘to move away from the proper course,’ and also ‘to become distracted and digress.’ As a noun, a stray is a domestic animal, such as a dog or cat, found wandering and without an owner. Figuratively, a homeless or friendless person can also be called a stray (although this is most often in the plural expression “waifs and strays”). As an adjective, stray refers to something or someone straying or having…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: pan

A pan is a metal container, usually shallow, used for cooking things on the stove top or, in US English a shallow metal container for baking (in UK English, these are called “tins”). It is also a dish-shaped container, like you find on kitchen scales or the container in which gold is separated from gravel. As a verb, to pan means ‘to separate gold from gravel’ and informally, ‘to criticize harshly.’ In show business, to pan means ‘to move the camera…

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