Monthly Archives

August 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: ash

Ash is the gray or black powder that remains after a fire and the color that resembles it as well. When volcanos erupt, they throw out pulverized lava and that is also ash. Ashes, always in the plural, are the remains or ruins of something destroyed, usually used figuratively, and also, literally, the mortal remains of a cremated body. Unrelatedly, an ash is any of various trees of…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: cop

To cop means ‘to seize’ or ‘get’ and, always followed by out, it means ‘to avoid a responsibility’ or ‘to back out of a promise.” Unrelatedly, you might have heard that cop is an informal word for a police officer and, in this sense, the word is sometimes used figuratively about a person who wants to regulate an activity or behavior. In UK slang, often in the expression “a fair cop,” it means capture and, always in the negative…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: linger

To linger means ‘to stay in a place longer than expected’ and also, sometimes followed by on, ‘to remain alive or in existence, but gradually dying or losing strength.’ If you linger over or on something, it means that you take your time over enjoying it or contemplating it. To delay something or to walk or proceed very slowly can also be to linger. Usually followed by away or out, linger means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: spite

Spite is the mean desire to humilliate, annoy, or harm someone else or a particular instance of such feeling. As a verb, to spite means ‘to treat someone with spite’ or ‘to annoy them because of feeling spiteful.’

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: boot

You probably know that a boot is a strong, heavy shoe or a rubber shoe, mostly used when it rains, that also covers part of the leg. In US English, a boot is also a metal device attached to the wheel of car to keep it from moving (in UK English, this is called a wheel clamp). In UK English, the boot is the trunk of a car. Informally, a boot is a kick. As a slang term, the boot is a dismissal or discharge. As a verb, it means ‘to kick’ and ‘to put boots on’ or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: shine

To shine means ‘to glow with light’ or ‘to be bright with reflected light.’ If you shine something at someone or something, it means that you direct the light of it towards that person or thing. Figuratively, if you do very well at something, we say you shine and we also say that if you look particularly lively and happy. To polish shoes is also to shine. As a noun, the brightness…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: spill

To spill means to let something fall accidentally from a container, especially if it is liquid, or to scatter something over a surface. Mainly in the UK, to spill is also to cause to fall from a horse or vehicle. If something flows strongly or in great quantities, that’s also to spill. Figuratively, spill can also mean ‘to move in great numbers,’ as people do. Informally, to spill is to let secrets or information…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: mighty

If something is mighty it means that it has or shows superior power or strength. It can also means that it’s very big in size or amount or that it’s exceptional in some kind of way. As an adverb, informally, mighty is a synonym for ‘extremely.’ As a noun, the mighty, used as a plural, refers to powerful people considered as…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: steal

You probably know that steal means ‘to take something that belongs to someone else without their permission.’ It also means ‘to move or go quietly’ or ‘to happen gradually, without really being noticed.’ In baseball, it means ‘to reach a base safely by running while the ball is being pitched to the player at bat.’ As a noun, a steal is…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: ham

You might know already that ham is ‘a cut of meat that comes from the hind quarter of a hog’ (a pig raised for eating). It is also used for human anatomy, often in the plural form hams, and it means ‘the back of the thigh, or the thigh and the buttock together.’ Unrelatedly, ‘an actor or performer who performs in a exaggerated way or overacts’ is also called a ham and so is ‘an amateur radio operator.’ The verb to ham means…

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