Monthly Archives

April 2018

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: rim

A rim is the outer edge of border of something, especially of a circular object such as a glass, bowl, vase, or pan. Any edge or frame added to a circular object for decoration or other purposes is also a rim and so is the outer circle of a wheel, attached to the hub by spokes. In basketball, the rim is the metal ring from which the net is suspended to form the basket. As a verb, to rim means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: skid

A skid is a low moveable platform on which goods are placed so that they’re easy to move or handle or a plank or bar, especially one of a pair, on which something heavy may be slid along. A skid is also an unexpected slide on a smooth surface and this is why the verb to skid means ‘to slip or slide’ mostly sideways, like vehicles sometimes do because of ice or wet, slippery…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: loom

As a verb, to loom means ‘to come into view in an enlarged and indistinct form’ or ‘to rise before your eyes with an appearance of great size,’ usually in a threatening and intimidating way. Figuratively, ‘to assume form as something that’s about to happen,’ usually something worrying or unpleasant, is also to loom. Unrelatedly, a loom is a manual or power-driven device…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: till

As a preposition, much like until, till means ‘up to the time of’ or, when used with a negative phrase, ‘before.’ As a conjunction, again, like until, till means ‘up to the time that.’ As a verb, till is used in agriculture and it means ‘to work the soil’ in order to grow crops. Unrelatedly, and now mostly used in the UK, a till is a box or a drawer used in shops or…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: snag

A snag is something sharp that sticks out of something else. A hole or tear in a piece of fabric caused by catching on something that sticks out is called a snag as well and, figuratively, anything that gets in the way, particularly in the way of progress, is a snag. As a verb, related to this last sense, to snag means to impede or get in the way.’ It also means ‘to catch on a snag’ and…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: chin

The chin, you might know already, is the lowest part of our face, below the mouth. Did you know that chin is also the verb for a gymnastics exercise? Chin, mostly in the UK, is what you do when you grasp an overhead bar and pull yourself upward until your chin is above or level with the bar—it is often used in the phrase “chin the bar” or reflexively, as “chin yourself.” This is why…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: crest

The crest is the highest part of a hill or a mountain and, more generally, the top of anything. Figuratively, it is the highest point or level of something. In a river, the crest is the point of highest flood and, in the ocean, it is the foamy top of a wave. In zoology, the crest is a natural growth on the top of an animal’s head. It can also be a…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bump

To bump means ‘to collide or to come violently into contact with’ and also ‘to cause to collide.’ As an informal term, to bump is to deny a passenger his/her place on a flight or, in US English, to dismiss someone from a position or to take another person’s position. Also informally, to raise or force upwards is to bump too (in UK English, this is always used with up, but in US English you might…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: fetch

To fetch means ‘to go and get something and bring it back’ or ‘to cause someone to come.’ In financial terms, fetch means ‘to sell for.’ Informally, it can mean ‘to strike or deliver a blow.’ As a noun, fetch is the act of fetching, although this is rarely used. Unrelatedly, a fetch is…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: chunk

A chunk is a thick mass, lump, or piece of anything and also a large or significant amount of something. Informally, in US English, a strong, sturdy person can also be called a chunk, though this sense is a bit dated. In US English, chunk can also be used as a verb meaning ‘to cut or break into chunks’ or ‘to disintegrate into chunks.’ Only in the South of the USA, chunk is …

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