Monthly Archives

April 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: fast

You probably know the meaning of fast as an adjective that describes something or someone that moves, operates, or works quickly. When we’re talking about people, and with a negative connotation, fast can mean ‘lacking morality,’ especially in terms of sexual behavior, although that meaning is a little dated now. Fast also means ‘permanent,’ ‘resistant’ (usually in a combined form with a noun), and ‘loyal.’ As an adverb, it means ‘quickly,’ ‘firmly,’ and also ‘soundly.’ Unrelatedly, to fast means ‘to eat no food,’ especially for religious reasons….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: kit

As you may know, a kit—sometimes used as a suffix—is a set of tools, supplies, or any material used for a particular purpose and also the container to put all these things in. It is also a set of materials for assembling something. Mainly in UK English, clothing used for a particular purpose is also called kit. As a verb, in US English, to kit means ‘to make available as a kit’ and, in UK English, now usually followed by out, ‘to equip.’ Unrelatedly, a kit is an abbreviated form of kit-fox—a type of small fox…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: dash

To dash means ‘to strike or smash violently’ or ‘to break into pieces by striking or smashing,’ ‘to throw violently,’ and, when we’re taking about paint or anything similar, ‘to apply roughly.’ More generally, it also means ‘to ruin or destroy’ and ‘to move with great speed.’ As a noun, a dash is a small quantity of something, a sudden movement, and also a short race. A dash is also the punctuation mark….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: kink

A kink is a twist in anything long and flexible, like a rope or wire, and also a pain or stiffness in a muscle. Figuratively, a kink is any flaw than could cause problems to the functioning of a machine or something that could get in the way of a plan. In slang, a kink is unconventional sexual behavior. As a verb, to kink means ‘to form kinks’ or ‘to make kinks in…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: peck

The verb to peck means ‘to strike with the beak,’ as birds do, and, figuratively, ‘to kiss someone lightly,’ most often on the cheek. As a noun, a peck is a quick stroke with the beak or a light kiss. A peck is also a historical unit of measure for dry goods, equal to a quarter of a bushel. Its modern equivalent is….

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: camp

A camp is, as you probably know, a place where people sleep temporarily. The tents or shelters they sleep in and also the people themselves can be called a camp. Figuratively, people who share beliefs or ideals can be called a camp as well. In US English, a camp is also a recreational area in the countryside with sports facilities, where children go to spend some of their summer vacations. As a verb, to camp means ‘to establish a camp.’ Unrelatedly, camp is something exaggerated or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bind

To bind means ‘to tie or fasten something with string or rope’ or ‘to bandage a wound.’ Figuratively, often in the passive voice, we use it to mean ‘join, unite’ or ‘to be under an obligation.’ In book publishing, to bind means ‘to fasten sheets with a cover.’ As a noun, a bind is a tie that binds, whether literally or figuratively, and it also means ‘a complicated situation,’ although this meaning is now…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: plot

A plot is a secret plan made to achieve some purpose. In literature or film, the plot is the main storyline of a novel or movie. A plot is also a small piece of land and a map or any graphic representation of a piece of land or a building or a nautical chart and, most commonly now, a representation of the movement of a ship or aircraft on such a chart. As a verb, to plot means ‘to plan secretly’…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: beacon

A beacon is a guiding signal, usually a light in a high up position, designed to attract attention or warn people. They were originally large fires used to signal people over long distances in the days before modern communications existed. A tower or hill used for that purpose is also called a beacon and, generally, a lighthouse can be called a beacon as well. Figuratively, a person that inspires or guides…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: flow

Flow is what water does, ‘to move in a stream.’ It also means ‘to rise and advance,’ like tides do, or ‘to circulate,’ like blood does through our veins. Figuratively, it means ‘to proceed continuously and easily,’ ‘to come from a source’ and also ‘to abound.’ In addition, it means ‘to hang loosely.’ As a noun, a flow is the act of flowing, the rise of the tide, and the movement or circulation of things. A flow is also an outpouring of something and, in physics, the transference of energy….

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