Intermediate+ Word of the Day

Intermediate+ Word of the Day: dunk

If you like coffee or tea and you also like cookies or croissants, then you probably dunk your food into your coffee before eating it. You can of course dunk any food item into any beverage or into soup. If you push something or someone briefly under water or any other liquid, that is also to dunk. In US English, to dunk also means ‘to submerge yourself in water.’ In basketball, to dunk means to slam a…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: heave

To heave means ‘to lift with great effort’ and also ‘to lift and then throw with effort.’ To utter with effort is also to heave and so is to rise and fall with a swelling motion. In physiology, sometimes followed by up it means ‘to retch, to attempt to vomit’ or ‘to vomit.’ As a nautical term, to heave means…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: dart

You probably know a dart is a small slender object with a sharp point that can be used as a weapon or as a missile in a game. Darts, used with a singular verb, is the name of the game in which you throw darts at a circular board stuck to a wall. Figuratively, a dart is also a sudden, swift movement. Related to this…

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Intermediate+ Word of the Day: bristle

A bristle is, most commonly, a short, stiff coarse hair of certain animals like hogs, which are used in making brushes. A short, stiff hair on other animals or humans, like the hairs that make up the stubble on a man’s chin, can also be called a bristle and, generally, anything resembling such a hair can be called a bristle too. As a verb, and when we are talking about hair, to bristle means ‘to stand or rise stiffly.’ Figuratively,…

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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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