Monthly Archives

July 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: cap

As you probably know a cap is something we use to cover our head or a hat that signals someone’s occupation or rank. The lid or top of a bottle or container is also a cap and a cap can also be a summit. The upper limit of something is called a cap. As a verb, to cap means ‘to provide with a cap’ or ‘to cover as if with a cap’ and also ‘to complete.’ To put an upper limit on something is also to cap and…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: thread

A thread is a long, thin cord or fiber. In a narrative or in speech, it is something that connects parts of a sequence, running through the whole thing, you might know that meaning from emails or Internet posts as well, meaning ‘a series of messages dealing with the same topic.’ Threads, always in the plural, is an informal term for clothes, although this is a little dated now. As a verb, to thread means ‘to fix something on a thread’ and ‘to pass the…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: tow

To tow means ‘to pull or haul with a chain, rope, or other device’ and the noun tow refers to the act of towing, to the thing being towed (especially when it is a boat or boats), and also to the vehicle that tows something. More broadly, a rope, chain, or metal bar used for towing can also be called a tow. Unrelatedly, tow is the fiber of flax, hemp, or jute prepared for spinning, or any synthetic filaments prepared for spinning. As an adjective, tow refers…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: nibble

To nibble means ‘to bite off a small piece of something’ or ‘to eat or chew in very small bits.’ It also means ‘to bite lightly’, as some animals do when they’re playing or as people might do affectionately. As a noun, a nibble is a small piece of food and the act of nibbling. In fishing, the nibble is the response of a fish to bait. Figuratively, and related to this sense, a nibble is also a show of…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hitch

To hitch means ‘to tie or fasten something with a rope or strap’ and, more specifically, to put a harness on an animal and tie it to a vehicle. Hitch also means ‘to move up or raise.’ As an informal term, if you get hitched it means that you marry someone. As a noun, a hitch is a knot to hitch something. An unexpected problem can also be called a hitch. Informally, in US English, a hitch is also a period of military service, though…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: calf

A calf is a young domestic cow, or the young of other animals like elephants, seals, and whales. In clothing, calf refers to calfskin leather. Informally, a silly man or boy can also be called a calf, although this meaning is rarely heard now. Unrelatedly, a calf is also the fleshy part of the back of the leg below the knee…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: gauge

To gauge means ‘to determine the exact dimensions, size, force or quantity of something.’ However, it also means ‘to estimate’ and ‘to judge.’ As a noun, a gauge is an instrument for taking measurements and also a criterion used to make an estimation.’ In military terms or when we talk about guns, gauge means ‘a unit of measure of the inner diameter of a shotgun barrel’…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: lift

To lift means ‘to move from a lower to a higher position,’ ‘to raise,’ ‘to hold high,’ and also ‘to stop or put an end to something.’ It can also mean ‘to remove pain, sadness, or a burden’ and, informally, ‘to plagarize’ or ‘to steal.’ A lift is the act of raising and the weight, load, or quantity of the thing lifted. A ride in a vehicle is also lift, especially in UK English, and a short feeling of happiness or…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bully

A bully is someone who intimidates, bothers, mocks, or hurts others, usually smaller or weaker people. The verb to bully is what bullies do, intimidate, bother, mock, and hurt others. It also means ‘to be arrogant and overbearing.’ However, despite its negative connotations, in US English, as an adjective, and informally, bully means ‘very good’ or ‘high spirited,’ though this use is now dated. As an interjection, usually in the expression…

Continue Reading

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: fork

A fork is an agricultural or gardening tool with a long handle and two or more sharp prongs, used for lifting, carrying, throwing, or digging. From this, we also get the name for the implement with two or more prongs that we use for holding food while it is being cut and carrying it to our mouths (usually, the one you eat with will have three or four prongs and one with two prongs is likely to have a longer handle and be used to hold meat while it is being carved). A fork is also the point at which something…

Continue Reading