Monthly Archives

January 2018

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: muck

Muck is farmyard waste, which is often used as fertilizer, or animal excrement. More generally, mud, dirt, or fitlh can be called muck as well. Mainly in UK English, something of poor quality, especially food, can be called muck. As a verb, to muck means ‘to make dirty’ or, now usually followed by out, ‘to clear the…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: clam

A clam is a soft-bodied edible shellfish with two connected shells. Informally, a very silent and secretive person can be called a clam. As a slang term in the US, a clam is a dollar, though this is now a bit dated. As a verb, mainly used in US English, to clam means ‘to dig for or gather…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: click

A click, you might know, is a sharp sound. The related verb means ‘to make such a sound’ and, informally and figuratively, ‘to become suddenly understood or clear.’ Figuratively if things click, it means that they go well together or if two people click, it means that they like each other immediately. More literally, to click means ‘to strike together with a clicking sound.’ We’re sure you know that in computing, to click means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: toil

As an uncountable noun, toil is hard and exhausting work or, by extension, the result of such work. As a countable noun, it is a period of intensive work or a task requiring hard work. The verb to toil means ‘to engage in continuous hard work,’ but it can also mean ‘to move or travel with great effort or difficulty.’ Unrelatedly and usually in the plural form, toils are a net or series of nets in which a wild animal is trapped, and so,…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: blob

A blob is a lump of thick, liquid substance or any other small lump, drop, or splotch. An object with no distinct shape or definition is also a blob, especially if it’s a large one. Informally and always quite pejoratively, we use blob to talk about people. A person who’s boring and uninteresting can be a blob, and so can…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: cram

To cram means ‘to fill something by force with more than it can easily hold’ or ‘to force or stuff something.’ When we are talking about people going into a limited space, it means ‘to crowd.’ Informally, if you study for an exam at the very last minute trying to memorize facts, then you’re cramming. Cram is not used often as a noun, but when it is, informally, a cram is…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: clasp

A clasp is a device that fastens two or more things together. It is also a firm grasp of the hand or a tight hug or embrace. As a verb, to clasp means ‘to fasten with a clasp.’ It also means ‘to grasp with the hands’ or ‘to hug or embrace…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: slant

To slant means ‘to turn away from a straight line,’ especially a horizontal line. Figuratively, it means ‘to distort information by presenting it from a particular viewpoint’ or ‘to present something in such a way as to interest a particular group.’ As a noun, a slant is a slope, an oblique direction or angle, or, figuratively, a mental leaning or distortion or a point of view or opinion. Informally, in US English, a slant can be…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: wriggle

To wriggle means ‘to twist from one side to the other’ or ‘to move along with twisting movements,’ like worms or snakes do, or ‘to make something move with such movements.’ Figuratively, it means ‘to contrive a way out of a difficulty.’ As a noun, a wriggle is a twisting…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: hob

In UK English, a hob is the flat top part of a cooking stove or a separate flat surface with burners that we use for cooking. It is also a projection at the back or side of a fireplace used for keeping food or other things warm, although this sense is not much used anymore. In games like quoits, a hob is a rounded peg or pin used as target and also the name of a game in which these things are used. In folklore, hob is…

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