Monthly Archives

January 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: beat

Most commonly, to beat means ‘to strike something or someone repeatedly,’ ‘to smash against,’ and ‘to shape by hitting.’ However, beat also means ‘to stir ingredients vigorously,’ ‘to keep time by strokes,’ ‘to defeat something or someone,’ and, informally, ‘to be better than something or someone.’ Informally, it means ‘to confuse’ and ‘to avoid blame.’ As a noun, a beat is a stroke or blow and the sound it makes, the major rhythm in a music piece and a throbbing or pulsing. As an adjective,…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: blister

A blister is a thin swelling on the skin that contains liquid, like the ones you get from friction or burning. Anything that looks like that—for example, an air bubble in paint—is also called a blister. Blister is also a verb that means ‘to cause to swell’ or ‘to get a blister.’ Figuratively, it means ‘to be subject to really intense heat’ and, informally, to blister means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stag

A stag is an adult male deer and also the male of various other mammals. Informally, we call a man who goes to a party without a female partner a stag. The verb is related to this and, informally and in US English, it means ‘to go to a social gathering without a partner.’ As an adjective, stag means ‘of men or for men only’ and, as an adverb, stag…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: deed

A deed is an act, something that is done or accomplished, and also an achievement. As a legal term, a deed is an official document that records a sale or transfer of ownership. As a verb, in US English, deed is related to this last meaning, ‘to transfer by deed’…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: mash

To mash is what we do when we beat or press something until it becomes soft and pulpy, like we do when cooking, and it also means ‘to crush.’ As a noun, a mash is a soft and pulpy mass and also a mix of grains used to feed horses or cattle. Informally, in UK English, mashed potatoes are often just called mash…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: coach

In the UK, a coach is a bus, a car on a train, and also a large horse-drawn carriage, usually an enclosed one. In US English, coach is also the coloquial name for least expensive class of plane seat, also known as economy or tourist class. In sports, a coach is a person who trains a team or an athlete and, outside sports, a coach is a private instructor. As a verb, to coach means ‘to train, instruct or work as a coach.’ As an adverb…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: sneak

To sneak means ‘to behave as if to be unnoticed or unseen’ or ‘to behave dishonestly or secretively.’ It also means ‘to put something away or to move it in a secretive way.’ In UK English, and rather dated now, to sneak means ‘to inform on someone,’ particularly at school. As a noun, a sneak is a person who is not trustworthy or, again in dated UK English, an informer. As an adjective, sneak…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: clog

To clog means ‘to block or obstruct with a thick substance,’ ‘to fill excessively,’ and ‘to hinder or impede.’ A clog is anything that restricts movement. Unrelatedly, a clog is a type of shoe or sandal with a thick sole, made of wood or cork, or a shoe without a back (ie, there is no material behind the heel). A clog dance is a type of dance performed wearing these shoes and to clog, as a verb, is also to dance…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: mock

To mock means ‘to make fun of someone’ or, more aggressively, ‘to attack someone by treating them with ridicule’ and also ‘to mimic or copy.’ Mock also means ‘to defy or challenge’ and ‘to deceive or disappoint.’ As a noun, a mock is an imitative or ridiculing speech or something fake, though it’s not used this way very often these days. As an adjective, mock refers to…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: burst

To burst means ‘to break suddenly’ or ‘to come forth suddenly and with force and impact.’ When talking about feelings, burst means ‘to suddenly show them.’ Burst also means ‘to appear all of a sudden.’ As a noun, a burst is the act of bursting, a sudden expression of an emotion, and an intense effort or display…

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