Monthly Archives

December 2016

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: fringe

A fringe is a decorative border of short threads, loops, or other material, used on fabric. A fringe is also a marginal part of something, the outer edge of something, or a group with extreme views on something. In the UK, a fringe is a section of hair cut straight across the forehead (called bangs in the US). To fringe, as a verb, is ‘to furnish or arrange with a fringe’…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: perk

To perk, followed by up, means ‘to become cheerful and lively again after being sad for a bit’ and also ‘to rise quickly.’ Informally, still with up, it means ‘to make smart.’ Informally, to perk also means ‘to brew, or prepare’ in reference to coffee, as a shortened version of percolate. As a noun, a perk is a perquisite….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: mess

A mess is a disorderly or dirty state or thing. When we call someone a mess, we mean that his or her life is in a state of confusion or disorganization. A mess is also an untidy jumble of things, and it can mean ‘trouble or an unpleasant situation.’ As a verb with the adverb up, to mess means ‘to make something dirty or untidy’ and also ‘to ruin something’ or ‘to make something fail’…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: sheer

When we say something is sheer, we mean that it’s so thin that it looks almost transparent. Sheer also means ‘absolute’ or ‘utter’ and ‘extending up or down very steeply.’ As an adverb, it means ‘vertically’ or ‘steeply,’ but also ‘quite’ or ‘completely.’ An unrelated verb meaning is ‘to move away from a course’ ….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: huddle

To huddle means ‘to gather together closely’ and ‘to get together to discuss something’ in a close group, normally so that you can talk to each other in low voices to avoid being overheard. It also means ‘to crouch or curl up.’ As a noun, a huddle is a closely gathered group of people or a group of people conferring or discussing. It can also mean ‘a heap or mass of things.’ In sports, a huddle is a group of…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: scrap

A scrap is a small piece or fragment of something or something that has been thrown away but can be reused. Scraps, usually in the plural, are food leftovers. As an adjective, scrap refers to something thrown away or made up of scraps. To scrap means ‘to break up or make into scraps’ and ‘to get rid of.’ There’s another unrelated meaning of scrap…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: dip

To dip means ‘to immerse something quickly in a liquid’ and also ‘to scoop up.’ It also means ‘to go downward’ or ‘to decrease temporarily.’ In addition, to dip means ‘to lower something and then raise it again.’ A dip is the act of dipping and the substance in which something is dipped, especially when we talk about food. It’s also a temporary decrease in prices and a downward slope or movement. A dip is also a quick…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hop

To hop is ‘to make a short jump or bounce,’ like birds or some animals do, and also ‘to jump on one foot,’ ‘to jump over something’ or ‘to move quickly,’ as if jumping. Informally, to hop means ‘to go frequently from one place or situation to another’ and, in US English, ‘to ride on a vehicle.’ A hop is short leap with one foot, a short movement in general, and, in US English, a short bounce, as of a ball. Hop is also a short trip,…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stroke

A stroke is an instance of hitting or striking and the sound produced by something striking. It’s also a sudden and strong movement or a sudden occurrence. In Medicine, a stroke is a cerebrovascular accident, a blockage or hemorrhage of a blood vessel leading to the brain, causing inadequate oxygen supply. In sports, a stroke is a hit of the ball and, in the arts, it is the movement of a pencil or brush. As a verb, it means ‘to mark with a stroke of a pen or pencil’ and ‘to hit a ball.’ To stroke also means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: crank

Informally, a crank is a bad-tempered person or someone that supports bizarre causes or has strange ideas. A crank is also an arm or lever that makes a rotating part move in a machine. Therefore, to crank means ‘to rotate or move with a crank’ and ‘to start a machine using a crank.’ As an adjective, crank means ‘eccentric’ and also ‘done by an unbalanced person’….

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