Monthly Archives

February 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: crush

Most commonly, to crush means ‘to press or squeeze with force,’ ‘to wrinkle into tiny folds,’ and ‘to break in small particles.’ Figuratively, if you give someone a big, tight hug, they might say that you’re crushing them and, if you beat or destroy something or someone, you can use crush as well. Crush also means ‘to upset or shock.’ As a noun, a crush is obviously the act of crushing and the state of being crushed. Informally, a crush is a crowd and also an intense infatuation with someone….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: shaft

A shaft is long stick used on weapons like arrows or lances. Figuratively, a shaft is something aimed at someone in order to attack them. A ray of light is also called a shaft. In construction, a shaft is ‘a vertical passage or other enclosed space,’ like the one for an elevator or going down into a mine. In US slang, shaft means ‘hard or unfair treatment.’ The verb sense is related to this…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: lump

A lump is a mass without a particular shape, and in medical terms, it is a swelling or a part of the body that is bigger than usual. Informally, a lump is a multitude of people and also a dull person. As an adjective, lump means ‘as a united whole’ and the verb sense related to this, usually with the adverb together….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: fling

To fling means ‘to throw with violence or without care’ or ‘to move yourself violently.’ It means ‘to send or put something or someone somewhere without preparation’ and ‘to involve yourself in something.’ As a noun, a fling is the act of flinging, and also a short period of pursuing desires without restraint….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: log

A log is a piece of wood cut from the trunk or a large branch of a tree, most often used for firewood, and, figuratively, anything heavy that doesn’t move. A log is also a record of the progress of an activity. Related to this, the verb to log means ‘to keep a record of something.’ The verb log also relates to the first noun and means ‘to cut down a tree to get logs.’…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: beef

We’re sure you know that the beef is the flesh of the cow raised and killed for meat. However, beef has another meaning, informally, it means ‘strength, power’ and also ‘the weight of a person.’ It can also mean ‘human flesh,’ especially when muscular. Unrelatedly, as a slang term, a beef is a complaint or an argument. The verb to beef is related to this last sense and it means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stiff

Stiff means ‘rigid’ or ‘not working or not moving.’ When related to drinks, it means ‘strong ‘ and, referring to wind, it means ‘strong and powerful.’ When a task is stiff, it means that it is difficult and when a demand or punishment is stiff it means that it is severe. Stiff also means ‘very formal or unfriendly’ and also ‘lacking ease and grace.’ When talking about a price, stiff means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hip

The hip is the part on each side of our bodies where where the thigh bone meets the pelvis and also the joint of this area. Unrelatedly, the hip is the ripe fruit of a rose. As an adjective, hip is a slang word and when we say that someone is hip we mean that they are aware of the latest ideas, developments and styles–in other words they are “cool.” We can also say they are hip to something, which means that they know about it…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: fail

Fail is the opposite of succeed, so when you fail, it means that you didn’t succeed in what you were trying to do. In school, when you fail an exam, it means that you didn’t get a good enough grade to pass and, if you’re a teacher and you fail a student, it means that you don’t give them a good enough grade. Fail can also mean ‘to run out or be exhausted’ and when someone or something fails someone it means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: sharp

When something is sharp it means that it has a thin cutting edge or that its ends have edges or points. Figuratively, sharp means ‘clearly defined,’ ‘involving a sudden change in direction,’ or ‘intense.’ Related to intensity and being more specific, sharp can mean ‘angry,’ ‘violent,’ or ‘harsh’. When talking about people, sharp means ‘mentally quick’ or ‘clever.’ As an adverb, sharp means ‘carefully or alertly’ or…

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