Monthly Archives

March 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: creek

In US English, a creek is a stream, smaller than a river. In UK English, it’s a place where the sea runs some way inland along a narrow passage or a tidal estuary. Unrelatedly, a Creek, with a capital letter, is a member of a confederacy of North American Indians who, in historical times, occupied the greater part of Alabama and Georgia….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: harbor

As a noun, a harbor is a body of water deep enough to anchor a ship and that protects ships from wind and weather. This can be a natural or an artificial body of water. Figuratively, a harbor is any place that provides shelter or safety. As a verb, therefore, it means ‘to give shelter to’ and also ‘to hide,’ but it can also mean ‘to keep something or hold it in mind,’ like a…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bend

To bend means ‘to force something from a straight to a curved shape’ or ‘to become curved.’ It also means ‘to lean’ or ‘to turn in a particular direction.’ Figuratively, to bend means ‘to give in or submit to something’ and also ‘to relax and make less harsh.’ As a noun, a bend is both the act of bending and the thing that bends…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: crab

A crab is a crustacean, a sea animal with claws and five pairs of legs, and also the flesh of this animal served as food. As a verb, to crab means ‘to fish for crabs’ and also ‘to move sideways,’ resembling the way these animals move. Unrelatedly, and informally, we call an ill-tempered and unpleasant person a crab, and the related verb means ‘to find fault and complain.’ Mainly in US English, if you crab something, it means that…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: stale

When we say that something is stale we mean that it is not fresh and, especially when talking about bread, we mean that it is dry and hard. Stale can also mean ‘smelling of mold.’ If we talk about a joke or an expression, stale means ‘too familiar, lacking freshness.’ This last sense is used more broadly to talk about anything that lacks freshness, such as something or someone that is no longer interesting. As a verb, stale…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: heel

The heel is the back part of the foot, below and behind the ankle, and it is the same part on a shoe or sock or anything that covers the foot. It is also a solid, possibly high, base attached to the sole of a shoe. In the plural, heels are women’s shoes with a high base. The heel is also the end part of a loaf of bread and the part of the palm of the hand near the wrist. As a verb, to heel means ‘to add a heel to a shoe’ and also ‘to perform a dance with the heels,’ often in the expression heel and toe. Unrelatedly, to heel means….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: body

A body is, as you know, the complete structure of a person, animal, plant, or other organism, whether alive or dead, and also the main part of a vehicle. Body also refers to a group or organisation and an object in space. Body can also be the main part of a text and it also means ‘substance or richness” and ‘a mass or quantity of something.’ As an adjective, it means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: dribble

To dribble means ‘to flow in drops’ and, if talking about a person or animal it means they have saliva trickling from their mouth. In sports, to dribble is ‘to move a ball or hockey puck along by bouncing or by giving it a series of short kicks or pushes.’ As a noun, a dribble is a small stream or drop falling and, more broadly, a small quantity of anything. It can also be saliva coming out of the mouth and, in sports, the act of dribbling…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: jive

We think you might know that jive is the name of a kind of dance and music related to swing and jazz. The verb to jive means ‘to dance or play’ this kind of music. However, mainly in US English, jive is a somewhat outdated slang word that means ‘to tease or fool’ or ‘to exaggerate.’ As an adjective, jive refers to something that is meant to deceive or tease and, as a noun, jive is deceptive or exaggerated talk….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: dim

As an adjective, dim means ‘lacking light’ and ‘not seen clearly or in detail.’ It also means ‘not seeing clearly,’ like when our eyes are filled with tears. Dim is also used to mean ‘not likely to happen’ and ‘not clear to the mind.’ Informally, a dim person is a stupid person. As a verb, to dim means ‘to cause to or to become less bright’ and, more broadly, ‘to cause to or to become less intense’…

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