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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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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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: warp

To warp means ‘to bend or twist out of shape’ or ‘to become twisted or bent.’ Figuratively, it means ‘to distort from the truth’ and also ‘to bend away from what is right.’ As a noun, a warp is a twist on something that used to be flat or straight and, figuratively, a mental twist, a bias, or a moral deviation…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: tilt

To tilt means ‘to incline or lean something’ and, figuratively, to tend towards something in terms of your opinion or feelings. Tilt is also ‘to attack with a lance,’ like knights on horseback used to do in olden days. In cinematography, to tilt is ‘to move a camera up or down’ in order to film a moving character or object. As a noun, a tilt is the action of tilting or an inclined…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: punt

In rugby and American football, a punt is a kick in which the ball is dropped and kicked before it touches the ground. To punt therefore means ‘to kick a ball before it touches the ground.’ In soccer, goalies also punt when they send the ball back into play. Informally, in US English, punt means ‘to delay or stall for time’ while thinking of an answer to a question or problem and, in UK English, ‘to sell or promote something in an insistent manner.’ Unrelatedly, a punt is a small boat propelled…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stump

A stump is the lower part of a tree trunk that’s left standing after the upper part is cut down or falls. It’s also the part of a limb of the body that remains after the rest of the limb is cut off. Unrelatedly, in US English, a stump is a campaign tour for political speechmaking. The related verb means ‘to make political campaign speeches.’ To stump also means

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: green

Green is, as you know, the color made up of yellow and blue and we also call a plot of grassy land, especially one in the center of a village, a green. Greens, always in the plural, are edible green leaves such as lettuce, cabbage, or spinach. Figuratively, in US English, money can be called green as well. As an adjective, green refers to anything of the color green, anything covered with leaves, or anything consisting of edible leaves. However, green also means ‘not fully developed,’ when talking about fruit, and, figuratively, it means ‘unexperienced, inmature’…

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