Monthly Archives

November 2016

Word of the Day: rout

A rout is a defeat that is followed by a retreat and dispersal, usually a disorderly one, or more generally, any overwhelming defeat or disorderly group of people. As a verb, to rout means to defeat completely and to make a group disperse in a disorderly way. Rout has another unrelated meaning as a verb, ‘to dig up or turn over something’ like animals do with their snouts (a snout is the nose of animals like pigs). More generally, usually followed by out, it means ‘to find or get by searching or…

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Word of the Day: grease

Grease is the melted fat of animals, especially when it’s in a soft state, which can be used for cooking, for example. It is also any oily matter used as a lubricant. As a verb, to grease means to lubricate or to put grease on, and more figuratively, to make something easier and smoother…

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Word of the Day: deal

To deal, always followed by with, means ‘to be concerned or to have to do with something,’ ‘to conduct oneself toward people,’ and ‘to take the necessary action regarding something or someone.’ To deal also means ‘to deliver’ and ‘to do business’ and, particularly with drugs, it means ‘to buy and sell ilegally.’ When talking about playing cards, deal means ‘to distribute.’ As a noun, a deal is an arrangement, a business transaction, and, informally, the treatment received by another…

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Word of the Day: trade

A trade is the act of exchanging goods for money, or without payment, and a business deal. A trade is also an occupation and manual or mechanical work. Trade is also a synonym for ‘market.’ As a verb, to trade means ‘to buy and sell’ or ‘to exchange things.’ Trade also means ‘to use something or someone to your advantage, for illegal or immoral purposes.’ As an adjective, trade refers to anything related to commerce…

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Word of the Day: gobble

To gobble means ‘to swallow or eat quickly,’ especially when you’re very hungry. Figuratively, often with up, and mainly in US English, we use it to talk about reading material or information, meaning ‘to read eagerly and quickly.’ However, to gobble is also ‘to make the sound of a male turkey.’ As a noun, a gobble is the sound turkeys make…

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Word of the Day: blow

A blow is a sudden stroke, shock, or attack. To blow means ‘to be moving’ or ‘to move by a current, or movement in one direction, of air.’ It also means ‘to shape with a current of air’ and ‘to produce a current of air with your mouth.’ Informally, to blow means ‘to waste’ and ‘to ruin’ and also ‘to explode.’…

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Introducing the Basic+ Word of the Day!

Dear Word of the Day readers,

We wanted to let you know that on Monday we launched the Basic+ Word of the Day. The Word of the Day you have been receiving will not change, but to keep things clear, we will now call it the Intermediate+ Word of the Day (yes, we know many of you are advanced; we chose this name because our goal with this Word of the Day is to write content that intermediate users can understand, even though there should always be plenty for advanced speakers of English to learn as well).

The new Basic+ Word of the Day is for people who are learning the foundations of English. Even if you are a more advanced learner, you might enjoy the videos we post, so check it out! To sign up for daily emails for the Basic+ Word of the Day, use the form on the right side of our Word of the Day site. And please, tell your friends! We have big plans for more Word of the Day content at all levels, but we can achieve our goals only with your help.

Thank you for your continued support!


The WordReference Word of the Day Team

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Word of the Day: smooth

As an adjective, smooth means ‘with an even surface’ and ‘not rough’. It also means ‘without lumps’ when talking about a sauce or ‘without hair’ when talking about skin. It means ‘having a calm and even movement’ and, more figuratively, smooth means ‘without problems or difficulties’ and also ‘elegant.’ As an adverb, smooth means ‘in a smooth way’ and, as a verb, to smooth is…

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Word of the Day: drive

To drive, as you probably already know, means ‘to operate a vehicle’ and also ‘to move using force.’ It also means ‘to urge or force to do,’ ‘to rush violently,’ and ‘to move something forward by hitting it.’ As a noun, a drive is a trip in a vehicle, a vigorous action taken to achieve a goal, or an inner urge to satisfy a basic need. Drive is also a synonym for ‘…

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Word of the Day: gross

Gross, as an adjective, means ‘total before deductions,’ when used in reference to money. It also means ‘extreme’ and, colloquially, ‘vulgar or indecent’. As a slang term, it means ‘revolting and disgusting.’ As a noun, the gross is the total income or profits. As a verb, to gross means ‘to earn before deductions’…

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