Monthly Archives

May 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: slip

To slip means ‘to move smoothly,’ ‘to move quietly without being noticed,’ and also ‘to slide accidentally and fall or almost fall.’ Figuratively, it can mean ‘to fall below standard’ or ‘to become involved in or start doing something.’ If you make a mistake that is also to slip, usually followed by up, and, when we are talking about words, it also means ‘to be said unintentionally,’ usually followed by out. It can also mean ‘to be lost or get away.’ As a noun, a slip is a sudden slide, a small mistake, or a decline or fall in…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: shed

A shed is a small rough structure built up for shelter or storage and also a large structure that is open at the sides. Unrelatedly, the verb to shed means ‘to pour or let fall,’ when we are talking about liquid, especially blood or tears, ‘to drop out or off naturally,’ when we are talking about hair, skin, or leaves or flowers, and ‘to give or send forth,’ when we are talking about light. If we are talking about rain or liquid, it can also mean…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bolt

A bolt is a type of screw used to hold things together, a movable side bar used to lock a door and also the part of the lock drawn back by a key. Informally, a bolt is a sudden escape. It is also a thunderbolt or a lightningbolt. As a verb, to bolt means ‘to fasten with a bolt’ and also ‘to make a sudden escape.’ In US English, in relation to politics, it means to no longer support or participate in something. Informally, it also means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: skirt

You might know already that a skirt is a piece of clothing that hangs downward from the waist and is not joined between the legs, and also the part of a dress that hangs from the waist. As a slang term in US English, a woman can be called a skirt (in UK English, we would say “a bit” or “a piece” of skirt), but this would usually be considered offensive. In the plural, skirts or outskirts are the outlying parts of a place or group. This latter sense relates to the verb to skirt, which means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: slide

To slide means ‘to move smoothly and in contact with a slippery surface,’ ‘to pass smoothly,’ and ‘to move without being noticed.’ To fall gradually into a certain state is also to slide and, when you let something slide, it means that you allow it to proceed naturally without interfering. As a noun, a slide is the act of sliding and also a smooth surface for sliding, especially a kind of chute often found in children’s playgrounds. In photography, a slide is a small…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: haul

To haul means ‘to pull something hard’ or ‘drag it with force’ or to ‘carry or transport something.’ It also means ‘to take someone somewhere forcibly,’ particularly to court. As a noun, a haul is the action of dragging something, the load of something dragged at one time, and also the distance over which things are transported. Something taken or acquired, often illegally,…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hedge

A hedge is a row of bushes or small trees that forms a barrier or boundary or, more generally, anything that forms a boundary or barrier. It is also an action taken to protect something, such as an investment, from risks and a statement that does not commit the speaker to something or does not answer a question directly. As a verb, to hedge means ‘to enclose with a hedge’ or, often followed by in or about, ‘to restrict as if putting up a hedge.’ To hedge is also to reduce the negative effects of a possible loss by favoring or supporting more than one side, most often…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: sop

A sop is a piece of solid food, usually bread, used for dipping in liquid food like soups or gravies. Figuratively, anything completely soaked can be called a sop. Something of little value given to someone to keep them satisfied or quiet is also called a sop. Colloquially, a weak and foolish person is also a sop. As a verb, to sop means ‘to soak in liquid’ and, figuratively,…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: droop

To droop means ‘to hang down loosely or sink,’ as from weakness, exhaustion, or because there’s no proper support. Figuratively, when we talk about spirits or morale, it means ‘to fade or flag’ and, poetically, when we talk about the sun, it means ‘to descend.’ A droop is a sagging, sinking, or hanging down…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bulk

Bulk is great size or weight and also the greatest part of something. We also use it, usually with a possessive adjective, to talk about someone’s body, especially a large and heavy body. As an adjective, it refers to the transportation of cargo in large volumes, rather than individual packages, or anything bought or sold in large quantities. To bulk means ‘to swell or increase in size,’ usually with the adverbs up or out, and, often with large, ‘to be of great…

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