Monthly Archives

March 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: gripe

To gripe means ‘to complain constantly about something’ and, in US English, also ‘to annoy or irritate.’ As a noun, a gripe is an annoyance or complaint. Gripes, usually in the plural, is spasmodic pain in the intestines.

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: train

A train is, as you probably know, a group of railroad cars connected together. Figuratively, any line or procession of people or anything drawn along is also called a train. As a verb, to train is to teach and make someone develop behavior, habits, or skills in a particular topic. It also means ‘to become fit by exercising.’ When talking about plants, to train means ‘to make grow in a particular direction by bending or cutting’ and, if talking about guns, cameras, telescopes, or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: batter

As a verb, to batter means ‘to pound something repeatedly or continuously’ and also ‘to beat someone up’ or ‘to abuse physically on an ongoing basis.’ As a noun, batter is a thin mixture of flour, eggs, and milk or water, used in cooking. In this sense, to batter means ‘to coat food with this mixture.’ In sports, like cricket or baseball, the batter is the player who swings the bat…

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Basic+ Word of the Day: though

Though is a word that we can use by itself or as part of a phrase. When we use it by itself, though often comes at the end of a sentence, and it has a similar meaning to but.

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: prick

To prick is ‘to pierce or make a puncture,’ with something sharp and tiny, like a needle, and also ‘to cause to feel a sharp pain, as from piercing.’ Figuratively, we use it to talk about mental pain as well. A prick is a small puncture made by a needle or something similar, the sharp pain felt when pricking, and also the act of pricking itself. Vulgarly, a prick is a penis and, informally, we call a nasty…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: shanty

A shanty is a poorly built house or hut and the adjective shanty refers to anything that’s roughly built. More broadly, in US English, it refers to a low economic or social class, but this meaning is pejorative and now dated. Unrelatedly, a shanty is a type of song that sailors used to sing while they worked…

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