Monthly Archives

October 2017

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: coast

You probably know that the coast is the land next to and the region near the sea. But did you know that coast, as a verb, means ‘to descend or go down in a car or on a bicycle without using power?’ The related noun coast means ‘a glide down a hill or slope.’ Informally, to coast means ‘to progress or go forward with little effort,’ especially using pre-existing assets, such as…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: prey

Prey, which is an uncountable noun, is an animal or animals hunted for food by other meat-eating animals. A thing or person that is victim to an enemy, affliction, or disease is also prey. As a verb, to prey, always followed by on or upon, means ‘to hunt animals for food,’ ‘to attack in order to destroy or steal,’ or ‘to trouble…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: heat

Heat is the condition or quality of being hot, the sensation of warmth, a period of hot weather, or the degree of hotness of something. It is also a source of warmth and, when we’re talking about food, the spiciness. Figuratively, heat can mean ‘passion’ or ‘the point of greatest intensity.’ Informally, heat means a pursuit or investigation run by the police, intense pressure, or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: trap

As you might already know, a trap is a device used for catching animals or birds or, figuratively, any trick for catching someone by surprise. A situation that’s hard to escape from is also a trap. And did you know that, as a slang term, trap means ‘mouth?’ Traps, always in the plural, are the percussion instruments of a jazz or dance band. As a verb, to trap means to…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bland

Bland is an adjective that is most often used about food to mean ‘non irritating’ or ‘mild and not highly flavored.’ More generally, it means ‘not lively or lacking special interest’ and it can also mean ‘unemotional or indifferent.’ It can also be used to describe something pleasant or agreeable or something soothing or balmy, like a breeze of air, although these meanings…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: pin

A pin is a small piece of metal used as a fastener or support, as well as many different forms of fasteners, badges, or ornaments made with sharp wires. It is also a short metal, wooden, or plastic rod driven through holes in adjacent parts of something, like the hub of a wheel and its axle, in order to hold those parts together. Informally, legs can be called pins, although this is now rather dated. As a verb, to pin means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: reek

If something smells very strongly and unpleasantly, we say that it reeks. People can reek too, usually when they’re covered in sweat. Figuratively, reek means ‘to give off or exude.’ As a noun, a reek is a strong unpleasant smell or, figuratively, a suggestion of something, usually something…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: scale

A scale is one of the very thin plates that form the covering of fish or lizards, or any thin and flat thing that peels off any surface. As an uncountable noun, scale can be a coating that builds up on the inside of something, like a kettle or boiler, due to salts in the water. As a verb, to scale means ‘to remove the scales from something,’ usually a fish. A scale is also one of the pans or dishes of a weighing device or, mainly in the US, the weighing…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: mount

A mount is, as you might have heard, a mountain. As a verb, to mount means ‘to climb or go up,’ ‘to get up on something,’ like a platform or a horse, or ‘to put something in a high position.’ It also means ‘to organize or put in place’ and, when talking about an attack, ‘to organize and launch.’ In show business, it means ‘to prepare for production.’ If an animal mounts…

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