1,000 terms

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move (troops) into position for military action : forces were deployed at strategic locations. • [ intrans. ] (of troops) move into position for such action : the air force began to deploy forward. • bring into effective action; utilize : they are not always able to deploy this skill.
remove from political activity or influence : we have to depoliticize sex education.
1 [ trans. ] expel (a foreigner) from a country, typically on the grounds of illegal status or for having committed a crime : he was deported for violation of immigration laws.
• an act of placing money in a bank account : I'd like to make a deposit.
2 a sum payable as a first installment on the purchase of something or as a pledge for a contract, the balance being payable later : we've saved enough for a deposit on a house.
1 [ intrans. ] diminish in value over a period of time : the pound is expected to depreciate against the dollar.
the damaging lack of material benefits considered to be basic necessities in a society : low wages mean that 3.75 million people suffer serious deprivation. • the lack or denial of something considered to be a necessity : sleep deprivation.
deny (a person or place) the possession or use of something : the city was deprived of its water supplies. • archaic depose (someone, esp. a clergyman) from office : Archbishop Bancroft deprived a considerable number of puritan clergymen.
cause (a train or trolley car) to leave its tracks accidentally : a train was derailed after it collided with a herd of cattle.
• [ trans. ] figurative obstruct (a process) by diverting it from its intended course : the plot is seen by some as an attempt to derail the negotiations.
remove regulations or restrictions from : a law that would deregulate cable TV prices.
in a very poor condition as a result of disuse and neglect : the cities were derelict and dying. • (of a person) shamefully negligent in not having done what one should have done : he was derelict in his duty to his country.
express contempt for; ridicule : critics derided the proposals as clumsy attempts to find a solution.
• originating from, based on, or influenced by : Darwin's work is derivative of the moral philosophers. • [ attrib. ] (of a financial product) having a value deriving from an underlying variable asset : equity-based derivative products.
obtain something from (a specified source) : they derived great comfort from this assurance. • ( derive something from) base a concept on a logical extension or modification of (another concept) : Marx derived his philosophy of history from Hegel. • [ intrans. ] ( derive from) (of a word) have (a specified word, usually of another language) as a root or origin : the word "punch" derives from the Hindustani "pancha" | ( be derived from) the word "man" is derived from the Sanskrit "manas."
1 [ trans. ] disparage (someone or something) : it is typical of Pirandello to derogate the powers of reason. 2 [ intrans. ] ( derogate from) detract from : this does not derogate from his duty to act honestly and faithfully.
showing a critical or disrespectful attitude : she tells me I'm fat and is always making derogatory remarks.
1 move or fall downward : the aircraft began to descend. • [ trans. ] move down (a slope or stairs) : the vehicle descended a ramp. • (of stairs, a road or path, or a piece of land) be on a slope or incline and extend downward : a side road descended into the forest | [ trans. ] a narrow flight of stairs descended a steep slope. • come or go down a scale, esp. from the superior to the inferior : [as adj. ] ( descending) the categories are listed in descending order of usefulness.
a person, plant, or animal that is descended from a particular ancestor : Shakespeare's last direct descendant.
1 [usu. in sing. ] an action of moving downward, dropping, or falling : the plane had gone into a steep descent. • a downward slope, esp. a path or track : a steep, badly eroded descent. • a moral, social, or psychological decline into a specified undesirable state : the ancient empire's slow descent into barbarism.
abandon (a person, cause, or organization) in a way considered disloyal or treacherous : he deserted his wife and daughter and went back to England. • [usu. as adj. ] ( deserted) (of a number of people) leave (a place), causing it to appear empty : the lobby of the hotel was virtually deserted.
decide upon the look and functioning of (a building, garment, or other object), typically by making a detailed drawing of it : a number of architectural students were designing a factory | [as adj. with submodifier ] ( designed) specially designed buildings. • (often be designed) do or plan (something) with a specific purpose or intention in mind : [ trans. ] the tax changes were designed to stimulate economic growth.
appoint (someone) to a specified position : he was designated as prime minister. • officially assign a specified status or ascribe a specified name or quality to : [ trans. ] | certain schools are designated "science schools" | a personality disorder that Adler designates the Ruling Type. • signify; indicate : the term "brainstem" designates the medulla, pons, and mesencephalon.
the choosing and naming of someone to be the holder of an official position : a leader's designation of his own successor.
the complete loss or absence of hope : driven to despair, he throws himself under a train | in despair, I hit the bottle.
deserving hatred and contempt : a despicable crime.
feel contempt or a deep repugnance for : he despised himself for being selfish.
despite (or in despite) of archaic in spite of.
despot |ˈdɛspɒt| noun a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.
upset the stability of; cause unrest in : the discovery of an affair can destabilize a relationship.
(of a person's future) developing as though according to a plan : she could see that he was destined for great things | [with infinitive ] they were destined to become diplomats. • ( destined to) certain to meet (a particular fate) : she was destined to become a life-long friend.
1 disengage (something or part of something) and remove it : he detached the front lamp from its bracket | figurative federal strings need to be detached to restore parental authority. • [ intrans. ] be easily removable : the screen detaches from the keyboard. • ( detach oneself from) leave or separate oneself from (a group or place) : a figure in brown detached itself from the shadows. • ( detach oneself from) avoid or put an end to any connection or association with : the newspaper detached itself from the political parties.
1 the state of being objective or aloof : he felt a sense of detachment from what was going on.
1 an individual feature, fact, or item : we shall consider every detail of the bill | her meticulous attention to detail.
keep (someone) in official custody, typically for questioning about a crime or in politically sensitive situations : she was detained without trial for two years. • keep (someone) from proceeding; hold back : she made to open the door, but he detained her.
detective story (also detective novel) noun a story whose plot revolves around the investigation and solving of a crime.
the action of detaining someone or the state of being detained in official custody, esp. as a political prisoner : he committed suicide while in police detention. • the punishment of being kept in school after hours : he has made students fear after-school detention | arbitrary after-school detentions.
discourage (someone) from doing something, typically by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences : only a health problem would deter him from seeking reelection. • prevent the occurrence of : strategists think not only about how to deter war, but about how war might occur.
become progressively worse : relations between the countries had deteriorated sharply | [as adj. ] ( deteriorating) deteriorating economic conditions.
1 a factor that decisively affects the nature or outcome of something : pure force of will was the main determinant of his success.
having exact and discernible limits or form : the phrase has lost any determinate meaning.
• firmly decide : [with infinitive ] she determined to tackle Stephen the next day | [ intrans. ] he determined on a withdrawal of his forces.
deterrent |dɪˈtɛr(ə)nt| noun a thing that discourages or is intended to discourage someone from doing something.
dislike intensely : democratic socialism was feared and detested by doctrinaire Marxists. See note at despise .
deserving intense dislike : I found the film's violence detestable. See note at offensive .
• figurative remove from a position of authority or dominance : he dethroned the defending title-holder.
explode or cause to explode : [ intrans. ] two other bombs failed to detonate | [ trans. ] a trigger that can detonate nuclear weapons.
a long or roundabout route taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way : he had made a detour to a cafe.
take a long or roundabout route : he detoured around the walls. • [ trans. ] avoid or bypass (something) by taking such a route : I would detour the endless stream of motor homes.
1 [ intrans. ] ( detract from) reduce or take away the worth or value of : these quibbles in no way detract from her achievement. • [ trans. ] deny or take away (a quality or achievement) so as to make its subject seem less impressive : it detracts not one iota from the credit due to them. 2 [ trans. ] ( detract someone/something from) divert or distract (someone or something) away from : the complaint was timed to detract attention from the ethics issue.
tending to cause harm : releasing the documents would be detrimental to national security | moving her could have a detrimental effect on her health.
the state of being harmed or damaged : he is engrossed in his work to the detriment of his married life. • a cause of harm or damage : such tests are a detriment to good education.
reduce or underestimate the worth or importance of : I resent the way people seem to devalue my achievement. • (often be devalued) Economics reduce the official value of (a currency) in relation to other currencies : the dinar was devalued by 20 percent.
2 start to exist, experience, or possess : [ intrans. ] a strange closeness developed | [ trans. ] I developed an interest in law | [ trans. ] AIDS patients often develop a rare type of cancer.
departing from usual or accepted standards, esp. in social or sexual behavior : deviant behavior | a deviant ideology.
depart from an established course : you must not deviate from the agreed route. • depart from usual or accepted standards : those who deviate from society's values.
1 the action of departing from an established course or accepted standard : deviation from a norm | sexual deviation | deviations from standard English.
a person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments : the interviewer will need to play devil's advocate to put the other side's case forward.
of, like, or appropriate to a devil in evil and cruelty : devilish tortures. • mischievous and rakish : a wide, devilish grin. • very difficult to deal with or use : it turned out to be a devilish job.
1 showing a skillful use of underhanded tactics to achieve goals : he's as devious as a politician needs to be | they have devious ways of making money. 2 (of a route or journey) longer and less direct than the most straightforward way : they arrived at the town by a devious route.
1 plan or invent (a complex procedure, system, or mechanism) by careful thought : a training program should be devised | a complicated game of his own devising.
entirely lacking or free from : Lisa kept her voice devoid of emotion.
eat (food or prey) hungrily or quickly : he devoured half of his burger in one bite. • (of fire, disease, or other forces) consume (someone or something) destructively : the hungry flames devoured the old house. • read (something) quickly and eagerly : she spent her evenings devouring the classics.
having or showing deep religious feeling or commitment : she was a devout Catholic | a rabbi's devout prayers. • totally committed to a cause or belief : the most devout environmentalist.
demonstrating neat skill, esp. with the hands : dexterous accordion playing. • mentally adroit; clever : power users are dexterous at using software, rather than creating it.
diabetes |ˈdʌɪəˈbiːtiːz| noun a disorder of the metabolism causing excessive thirst and the production of large amounts of urine.
belonging to or so evil as to recall the Devil : his diabolical cunning.
• (usu. be diagnosed) identify the nature of the medical condition of (someone) : she was finally diagnosed as having epilepsy | 20,000 men are diagnosed with skin cancer every year.
1 the identification of the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms : early diagnosis and treatment are essential | a diagnosis of Crohn's disease was made.• (of a line) straight and at an angle; slanting : a tie with diagonal stripes.
• (of a line) straight and at an angle; slanting : a tie with diagonal stripes.
• a slanting straight pattern or line : the bars of light made diagonals across the entrance | tiles can be laid on the diagonal.
1 relating to the logical discussion of ideas and opinions : dialectical ingenuity. 2 concerned with or acting through opposing forces : a dialectical opposition between social convention and individual libertarianism.
diaper |ˈdʌɪəpə| noun 1 a piece of absorbent material wrapped around a baby's bottom and between its legs to absorb and retain urine and feces.
unpredictable and potentially dangerous : the lot of a wanderer is always dicey.
regard or represent as divided or opposed : these rules dichotomize love and sex.
exhibiting or characterized by dichotomy : a dichotomous view of the world.
1 lay down authoritatively; prescribe : the tsar's attempts to dictate policy | [ intrans. ] that doesn't give you the right to dictate to me. • control or decisively affect; determine : choice is often dictated by availability | [ intrans. ] a review process can be changed as circumstances dictate.
intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive : a didactic novel that set out to expose social injustice. • in the manner of a teacher, particularly so as to treat someone in a patronizing way : slow-paced, didactic lecturing.
1 (of a person, animal, or plant) stop living : she died of cancer | the sheep died from the heat | [ trans. ] the king died a violent death. • ( die for) be killed for (a cause) : they were prepared to die for their country.
• [with adverbial ] become less loud or strong : after a while, the noise died down | at last the storm died away.
of or relating to diets or dieting : dietary advice for healthy skin and hair. • provided by one's diet : the average dietary calcium intake was 140 milligrams per day.
spread or cause to spread over a wide area or among a large number of people : [ intrans. ] technologies diffuse rapidly | [ trans. ] the problem is how to diffuse power without creating anarchy. See note at scatter .
spread out over a large area; not concentrated : the diffuse community centered on the church | the light is more diffuse.
the spreading of something more widely : the diffusion of Marxist ideas.
• [ trans. ] ( dig something in/into) push or poke something in or into : he dug his hands into his pockets.
• [ trans. ] ( dig something out) bring out something that is hidden or has been stored for a long time : they dug out last year's notes.
• engage in research; conduct an investigation : a professional digging for information | he had no compunction about digging into her private affairs. • [ trans. ] ( dig something up/out) discover information after a search or investigation : have you dug up any information on the captain?
digest verb |dʌɪˈdʒɛst| |dɪ-| [ trans. ] break down (food) in the stomach and intestines into substances that can be used by the body. • understand or assimilate (new information or the significance of something) by a period of reflection. • arrange (something) in a systematic or convenient order, esp. by reduction : the computer digested your labors into a form understandable by a program.
1 a compilation or summary of material or information : a digest of their findings.
of or relating to the process of digesting food : stomach ulcers and other digestive disorders.
having or showing a composed or serious manner that is worthy of respect : she maintained a dignified silence | a dignified old lady.
the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect : a man of dignity and unbending principle | the dignity of labor. • a composed or serious manner or style : he bowed with great dignity. • a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect : it was beneath his dignity to shout.
leave the main subject temporarily in speech or writing : I have digressed a little from my original plan.
1 make or become wider, larger, or more open : [ intrans. ] her eyes dilated with horror | [ trans. ] the woman dilated her nostrils.
a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge : [as adj. ] a dilettante approach to science.
make (a liquid) thinner or weaker by adding water or another solvent to it : bleach can be diluted with cold water. • make (something) weaker in force, content, or value by modifying it or adding other elements to it : the reforms have been diluted.
• the action of making something weaker in force, content, or value : he is resisting any dilution of dogma.
• (of the eyes) not able to see clearly : his eyes became dim. • (of a sound) indistinct or muffled : the dim drone of their voices. • (of prospects) not giving cause for hope or optimism : their prospects for the future looked pretty dim. 2 not clearly recalled or formulated in the mind : she had dim memories of that time | the matter was in the dim and distant past.
1 an aspect or feature of a situation, problem, or thing : sun-dried tomatoes add a new dimension to this sauce.
make or become less : [ trans. ] a tax whose purpose is to diminish spending | [ intrans. ] the pain will gradually diminish.
dimple |ˈdɪmp(ə)l| noun a small depression in the flesh, either one that exists permanently or one that forms in the cheeks when one smiles.
1 [ trans. ] ( dip something in/into) put or let something down quickly or briefly in or into (liquid) : he dipped a brush in the paint.
2 [ intrans. ] sink or drop downward : swallows dipped and soared | the sun had dipped below the horizon. • (of a level or amount) become lower or smaller, typically temporarily : the president's popularity has dipped | audiences dipped below 600,000 for the series. • (of a road, path, or area of land) slope downward : the path rose and dipped.
3 a brief downward slope followed by an upward one : the road's precipitous dips and turns. • an act of sinking or dropping briefly before rising again : a dip in the share price.
• having or showing an ability to deal with people in a sensitive and effective way : that was a very diplomatic way of putting it.
• ( direct something at/to) address a comment to or aim a criticism at : he directed his criticism at media coverage of the Catholic Church | I suggest that he direct his remarks to the council.
• tell or show (someone) how to get somewhere : can you direct me to the railroad station, please?
• ( direct something at) target a product specifically at (someone) : the book is directed at the younger reader.
3 [ trans. ] give (someone) an official order or authoritative instruction : the judge directed him to perform community service | [with clause ] he directed that no picture from his collection could be sold.
2 the management or guidance of someone or something : under his direction, the college has developed an international reputation.
• an authoritative order or command : to suggest that members of Congress would take direction on how to vote is an affront.
• a point to or from which a person or thing moves or faces : a house with views in all directions | figurative support came from an unexpected direction. • a general way in which someone or something is developing : new directions in painting and architecture | any dialogue between them is a step in the right direction | it is time to change direction and find a new job.
involving the management or guidance of operations : he is seeking a directive role in energy policy.
place in an unfavorable position in relation to someone or something else : we are disadvantaging the next generation.
referring to something that has been done or repeated so often that it has become annoying or tiresome : the inherent risks of nuclear power have been debated ad nauseam.
involving or creating unfavorable circumstances that reduce the chances of success or effectiveness : the system was disadvantageous to the Connecticut merchants | the disadvantageous position in which some people are placed.
lack of consensus or approval : there was some disagreement about the details | the meeting ended in disagreement | disagreements between parents and adolescents.
have or express an unfavorable opinion about something : Bob strongly disapproved of drinking and driving | [as adj. ] ( disapproving) he shot a disapproving glance at her.
1 take a weapon or weapons away from (a person, force, or country) : guerrillas had completely disarmed and demobilized their forces. • [ intrans. ] (of a country or force) give up or reduce its armed forces or weapons : the other militias had disarmed by the agreed deadline.
a state of disorganization or untidiness : her gray hair was in disarray | his plans have been thrown into disarray. See note at jumble .
take (something) to pieces : the piston can be disassembled for transport.
deny any responsibility or support for : does her apology mean she disavows her communist sympathies?
disband |dɪsˈband| verb [ trans. ] (usu. be disbanded) cause (an organized group) to break up.
inability or refusal to accept that something is true or real : Laura shook her head in disbelief.
pay out (money from a fund) : $67 million of the pledged aid had already been disbursed.
get rid of (someone or something) as no longer useful or desirable : Hilary bundled up the clothes she had discarded.
perceive or recognize (something) : I can discern no difference between the two policies | [with clause ] students quickly discern what is acceptable to the teacher. • distinguish (someone or something) with difficulty by sight or with the other senses : she could faintly discern the shape of a skull.
2 allow (a liquid, gas, or other substance) to flow out from where it has been confined : industrial plants discharge highly toxic materials into rivers | [ intrans. ] the overflow should discharge in an obvious place.
1 the action of discharging someone from a hospital or from a job : his discharge from the hospital | offending policemen receive a dishonorable discharge. • Brit. an act of releasing someone from the custody or restraint of the law : four days in jail and one year conditional discharge.
• the quantity of material allowed to flow out in such a way : large volumes of sewage discharge | environmental damage from toxic chemical discharges.
• a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosophy : a disciple of Rousseau.
concerning or enforcing discipline : a soldier will face disciplinary action after going absent without leave.
• the controlled behavior resulting from such training : he was able to maintain discipline among his men.
train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience : many parents have been afraid to discipline their children. • (often be disciplined) punish or rebuke (someone) formally for an offense : a member of the staff was to be disciplined by management.
make (secret or new information) known : they disclosed her name to the press | [with clause ] the magazine disclosed that he had served a prison sentence for fraud.
lack of physical comfort : the discomforts of too much sun in summer. • slight pain : the patient complained of discomfort in the left calf. • a state of mental unease; worry or embarrassment : his remarks caused her discomfort.
disturb the composure of; unsettle : the abrupt change of subject disconcerted her | [as adj. ] ( disconcerted) she was amused to see a disconcerted expression on his face.
break the connection of or between : take all violence out of television drama and you disconnect it from reality.
lack of contentment; dissatisfaction with one's circumstances : popular discontent with the system had been general for several years | the discontents and anxieties of the working class.
cease doing or providing (something), typically something provided on a regular basis : he discontinued his visits | the ferry service was discontinued by the proprietors.
1 disagreement between people : a prosperous family who showed no signs of discord. • lack of agreement or harmony between things : the discord between indigenous and Western cultures.
a deduction from the usual cost of something, typically given for prompt or advance payment or to a special category of buyers : many stores will offer a discount on bulk purchases.
careful and circumspect in one's speech or actions, esp. in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage : we made some discreet inquiries. • intentionally unobtrusive : a discreet cough.
1 the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information : she knew she could rely on his discretion. 2 the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation : it is up to local authorities to use their discretion in setting the charges | a pass-fail grading system may be used at the discretion of the department.
available for use at the discretion of the user : rules are inevitably less flexible than a discretionary policy.
1 digressing from subject to subject : students often write dull, secondhand, discursive prose. • (of a style of speech or writing) fluent and expansive rather than formulaic or abbreviated : the short story is concentrated, whereas the novel is discursive.
the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one's consideration or respect; contempt : her upper lip curled in disdain | an aristocratic disdain for manual labor.
showing contempt or lack of respect : with a last disdainful look, she turned toward the door.
loss of reputation or respect, esp. as the result of a dishonorable action : he left the army in disgrace | if he'd gone back, it would have brought disgrace on the family. • [in sing. ] a person or thing regarded as shameful and unacceptable : he's a disgrace to the legal profession.
• ( be disgraced) fall from favor or lose a position of power or honor : he has been publicly disgraced for offenses of which he was not guilty | [as adj. ] ( disgraced) an officer's sword was broken in half over the head of the disgraced soldier.
give (someone or oneself) a different appearance in order to conceal one's identity : he disguised himself as a girl | Brian was disguised as a priest. • make (something) unrecognizable by altering its appearance, sound, taste, or smell : does holding a handkerchief over the mouthpiece really disguise your voice?
a feeling of revulsion or profound disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive : the sight filled her with disgust | some of the audience walked out in disgust. verb [ trans. ] (often be disgusted) cause (someone) to feel revulsion or profound disapproval : I was disgusted with myself for causing so much misery | [as adj. ] ( disgusted) a disgusted look.
cause (someone) to lose determination or confidence : the farmer was disheartened by the damage to his crops.
behaving or prone to behave in an untrustworthy or fraudulent way : he was a dishonest hypocrite prepared to exploit his family. • intended to mislead or cheat : he gave the editor a dishonest account of events.
a state of shame or disgrace : the incident brought dishonor upon the police.
disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be : enthusiasm for the government evaporated into a more cynical disillusion.
break up into small parts, typically as the result of impact or decay : when the missile struck, the car disintegrated in a sheet of searing flame. • (of a society, family, or other social group) weaken or break apart : the marriage disintegrated amid allegations that she was having an affair.
disturb the normal arrangement or position of (something, typically a joint in the body) : he dislocated his shoulder in training.
remove from an established or fixed position : the hoofs of their horses dislodged loose stones | figurative this gripping race still offers the opportunity to dislodge the leader.
failing to be loyal to a person, country, or body to which one has obligations : she felt that inquiring into her father's past would be disloyal to her mother. • (of an action, speech, or thought) demonstrating a lack of loyalty : disloyal mutterings about his leadership.
depressing; dreary : the dismal weather made the late afternoon seem like evening. • (of a person or a mood) gloomy : his dismal mood was not dispelled by finding the house empty. • informal pitifully or disgracefully bad : he shuddered as he watched his team's dismal performance.
take to pieces : the engines were dismantled and the bits piled into a heap figurative : the old regime was dismantled.
consternation and distress, typically that caused by something unexpected : to his dismay, she left him.
See note at eject . • treat as unworthy of serious consideration : it would be easy to dismiss him as all brawn and no brain. • deliberately cease to think about : he suspected a double meaning in her words, but dismissed the thought. • [ intrans. ] (of a group assembled under someone's authority) disperse : he told his company to dismiss.
feeling or showing that something is unworthy of consideration : he is too dismissive of the importance of the industrialists.
failure or refusal to obey rules or someone in authority : he made no allowances for neglect or disobedience of orders.
refusing to obey rules or someone in authority : Larry was stern with disobedient employees.
fail to obey (rules, a command, or someone in authority) : around 1,000 soldiers had disobeyed orders and surrendered.
a state of confusion : tiresome days of mess and disorder. • the disruption of peaceful and law-abiding behavior : recurrent food crises led to periodic outbreaks of disorder. • Medicine a disruption of normal physical or mental functions; a disease or abnormal condition : eating disorders | an improved understanding of mental disorder.
make (someone) lose their sense of direction : she was so disoriented that Joe had to walk her to her room. • make (someone) feel confused : jet lag leaves you irritable, disoriented, and tired.
regard or represent as being of little worth : he never missed an opportunity to disparage his competitors | [as adj. ] ( disparaging) disparaging remarks.
essentially different in kind; not allowing comparison : they inhabit disparate worlds of thought. • containing elements very different from one another : a culturally disparate country.
a great difference : economic disparities between different regions of the country | the great disparity of weight between the sun and the planets.
1 send off to a destination or for a purpose : he dispatched messages back to base | [ trans. ] the mayor dispatched 150 police officers to restore order. 2 deal with (a task, problem, or opponent) quickly and efficiently : they dispatched the opposition.
1 the sending of someone or something to a destination or for a purpose : a resolution authorizing the dispatch of a peacekeeping force.
make (a doubt, feeling, or belief) disappear : the brightness of the day did nothing to dispel Elaine's dejection.
able to be replaced or done without; superfluous : tiny battlefield robots will be cheap and dispensable.
1 [ trans. ] distribute or provide (a service or information) to a number of people : he dispensed a gentle pat on Claude's back. • (of a machine) supply (a product or cash) : the machines dispense a range of drinks and snacks.
2 [ intrans. ] ( dispense with) manage without; get rid of : let's dispense with the formalities, shall we? • give special exemption from (a law or rule) : the Secretary of State was empowered to dispense with the nationality requirement in individual cases. • [ trans. ] grant (someone) an exemption from a religious obligation : the pope personally nominated him as bishop, dispensing him from his impediment.
distribute or spread over a wide area : storms can disperse seeds via high altitudes | camping sites could be dispersed among trees so as to be out of sight. See note at scatter . • go or cause to go in different directions or to different destinations : [ intrans. ] the crowd dispersed | [ trans. ] the police used tear gas to disperse the protesters. • cause (gas, smoke, mist, or cloud) to thin out and eventually disappear : winds dispersed the bomb's radioactive cloud high in the atmosphere. • [ intrans. ] thin out and disappear : the earlier mist had dispersed.
cause (someone) to lose enthusiasm or hope : the army was dispirited by the uncomfortable winter conditions | [as adj. ] ( dispiriting) it was a dispiriting occasion.
take over the place, position, or role of (someone or something) : in the northern states of India, Hindi has largely displaced English. See note at replace .
• give a conspicuous demonstration of (a quality, emotion, or skill) : the aggressive kind of baseball he displayed as a player.
• a collection of objects arranged for public viewing : the museum houses an informative display of rocks | work by lesser-known artists is also on display | [as adj. ] a display case. • a notable or conspicuous demonstration of a particular type of behavior, emotion, or skill : a display of great virtuosity.
make (someone) feel annoyed or dissatisfied : the tone of the letter displeased him | [as adj. ] ( displeasing) it was not entirely displeasing to be the center of such a drama.
• (of a person or idea) able to be dispensed with; easily dismissed : the poor performer is motivated by the fear that he or she is highly disposable.
1 [ intrans. ] ( dispose of) get rid of by throwing away or giving or selling to someone else : whose responsibility is it to dispose of scrap materials? | people now have substantial assets to dispose of after their death. • informal kill; destroy : her lover came up with hundreds of schemes for disposing of her husband.
deprive (someone) of something that they own, typically land or property : they were dispossessed of lands and properties at the time of the Reformation | [as plural n. ] ( the dispossessed) a champion of the poor and the dispossessed.
an instance of being out of proportion with something else : there is a disproportion between the scale of expenditure and any benefit that could possibly result.
too large or too small in comparison with something else : people on lower incomes spend a disproportionate amount of their income on fuel | their sentences were disproportionate to the offenses they had committed.
a disagreement, argument, or debate : a territorial dispute between the two countries | the question in dispute is altogether insignificant. See note at quarrel .
argue about (something); discuss heatedly : I disputed the charge on the bill | [ intrans. ] he taught and disputed with local poets.
pronounce (someone) ineligible for an office or activity because of an offense or infringement : he was disqualified from driving for six months. • eliminate (someone) from a competition because of an infringement of the rules : he was disqualified after failing a drug test.
a feeling of anxiety or worry : public disquiet about animal testing.
pay no attention to; ignore : the body of evidence is too substantial to disregard. See note at neglect ./the action or state of disregarding or ignoring something : blatant disregard for the law.
lack of respect or courtesy : growing disrespect for the rule of law. verb [ trans. ] informal show a lack of respect for; insult : a young brave who disrespects his elders.
interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem : a rail strike that could disrupt both passenger and freight service. • drastically alter or destroy the structure of (something) : alcohol can disrupt the chromosomes of an unfertilized egg.
not content or happy with something : small investors dissatisfied with rates on certificates of deposit | dissatisfied customers.
dissect |dʌɪˈsɛkt| |dɪ-| verb [ trans. ] (often be dissected) methodically cut up (a body, part, or plant) in order to study its internal parts. • analyze (something) in minute detail : novels that dissect our obsession with cities and urban angst.
spread or disperse (something, esp. information) widely : health authorities should foster good practice by disseminating information. See note at scatter .
hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed : two members dissented from the majority | [as adj. ] ( dissenting) there were only a couple of dissenting voices.
the expression or holding of opinions at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially held : there was no dissent from this view.
a harmful action : you have done a disservice to the African people by ignoring this fact.
a person who opposes official policy, esp. that of an authoritarian state : a dissident who had been jailed by a military regime.
not alike; different : a collection of dissimilar nations lacking overall homogeneity | the pleasures of the romance novel are not dissimilar from those of the chocolate bar.
1 [ intrans. ] disperse or scatter : the cloud of smoke dissipated. See note at scatter . • (of a feeling or other intangible thing) disappear or be dispelled : the concern she'd felt for him had wholly dissipated. • [ trans. ] cause (a feeling or other intangible thing) to disappear or disperse : he wanted to dissipate his anger. 2 [ trans. ] squander or fritter away (money, energy, or resources) : he had dissipated his entire fortune.
1 disconnect or separate (used esp. in abstract contexts) : voices should not be dissociated from their social context. • ( dissociate oneself from) declare that one is not connected with or a supporter of (someone or something) : he took pains to dissociate himself from the religious radicals.
1 [ intrans. ] (of a solid) become incorporated into a liquid so as to form a solution : glucose dissolves easily in water. • [ trans. ] cause (a solid) to become incorporated into a liquid in this way : dissolve a bouillon cube in a pint of hot water. • (of something abstract, esp. a feeling) disappear : my courage dissolved. • deteriorate or degenerate : the community policy could dissolve into chaos.
2 [ trans. ] close down or dismiss (an assembly or official body) : the country's president can dissolve parliament under certain circumstances.
lack of harmony among musical notes : an unusual degree of dissonance for such choral styles | the harsh dissonances give a sound which is quite untypical of the Renaissance./• a tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements : dissonance between campaign rhetoric and personal behavior.
persuade (someone) not to take a particular course of action : his friends tried to dissuade him from flying.
• figurative remote or far apart in resemblance or relationship : a distant acquaintance. • [ attrib. ] (of a person) not closely related : a distant cousin. 2 (of a person) not intimate; cool or reserved : his children found him strangely distant | she and my father were distant with each other.
mild dislike or aversion : Harry nurtured a distaste for all things athletic | his mouth twisted with distaste.
purify (a liquid) by vaporizing it, then condensing it by cooling the vapor, and collecting the resulting liquid : they managed to distill a small quantity of water | [as adj. ] ( distilled) dip the slide in distilled water.
recognize or treat (someone or something) as different : the child is perfectly capable of distinguishing reality from fantasy. • [ intrans. ] perceive or point out a difference : bees are unable to distinguish between red, black, and various grays.
• be an identifying or characteristic mark or property of : what distinguishes sports from games? | [as adj. ] ( distinguishing) a yellow brick house with no distinguishing features. • ( distinguish oneself) make oneself prominent and worthy of respect through one's behavior or achievements : many distinguished themselves in the fight against Hitler.
pull or twist out of shape : a grimace distorted her fine mouth | [as adj. ] ( distorted) his face was distorted with rage. • [ intrans. ] become twisted out of shape : the pipe will distort as you bend it. • figurative give a misleading or false account or impression of : many factors can distort the results | [as adj. ] ( distorted) his report gives a distorted view of the meeting.
prevent (someone) from giving full attention to something : don't allow noise to distract you from your work | [as adj. ] ( distracting) she found his nearness distracting. • divert (attention) from something : it was another attempt to distract attention from the truth. • ( distract oneself) divert one's attention from something worrying or unpleasant by doing something different or more pleasurable : I tried to distract myself by concentrating on Jane.
1 extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain : to his distress he saw that she was trembling. • the state of a ship or aircraft when in danger or difficulty and needing help : vessels in distress on or near the coast.
• the action or process of supplying goods to stores and other businesses that sell to consumers : a manager has the choice of four types of distribution | [as adj. ] an established distribution channel.
an area of a country or city, esp. one regarded as a distinct unit because of a particular characteristic : an elegant shopping district.
the feeling that someone or something cannot be relied on : distrust of Soviet intentions soon followed.
interfere with the normal arrangement or functioning of : being sent to jail had apparently not disturbed his cheerfulness | the site surface had been disturbed by bulldozer activity. • destroy the sleep or relaxation of : he crept in so as not to disturb his sleeping parents. • (often be disturbed) cause to feel anxious : I am disturbed by the document I have just read | [as adj. ] ( disturbing) disturbing unemployment figures.
the interruption of a settled and peaceful condition : a helicopter landing can cause disturbance to residents. • a breakdown of peaceful and law-abiding behavior; a riot : the disturbances were precipitated when four men were refused bail. • the disruption of healthy functioning : her severe mental disturbance was diagnosed as schizophrenia.
• develop in a different direction : howler and spider monkeys diverged from a common ancestor. • (of an opinion, theory, approach, etc.) differ markedly : the coverage by the columnists diverged from that in the main news stories | [as adj. ] ( diverging) studies from different viewpoints yield diverging conclusions.
1 the process or state of diverging : the divergence between primates and other groups.
showing a great deal of variety : a culturally diverse population. • (of two or more things) markedly different from one another : subjects as diverse as architecture, language teaching, and the physical sciences.
make or become more diverse or varied : [ intrans. ] the trilobites diversified into a great number of species | [ trans. ] they seek to diversify their approach to teaching | [as adj. ] ( diversified) a diversified economy. • [ intrans. ] (of a company) enlarge or vary its range of products or field of operation : the company expanded rapidly and diversified into computers.
• [ trans. ] [often as adj. ] ( diversified) enlarge or vary the range of products or the field of operation of (a company) : the rise of the diversified corporation. • [ trans. ] spread (investment) over several enterprises or products in order to reduce the risk of loss : a prudent investor should diversify his or her holdings | [as adj. ] ( diversified) a diversified portfolio of assets.
1 cause (someone or something) to change course or turn from one direction to another : a scheme to divert water from the river to irrigate agricultural land. • [ intrans. ] (of a vehicle or person) change course : an aircraft has diverted and will be with you shortly. • reallocate (something, esp. money or resources) to a different purpose : more of their advertising budget was diverted into promotions. 2 distract (someone or their attention) from something : public relations policies are sometimes intended to divert attention away from criticism.
deprive (someone) of power, rights, or possessions : men are unlikely to be divested of power without a struggle. • deprive (something) of a particular quality : he has divested the original play of its charm. • [ intrans. ] rid oneself of something that one no longer wants or requires, such as a business interest or investment : it appears easier to carry on in the business than to divest | the government's policy of divesting itself of state holdings.
• [ trans. ] separate (something) into portions and distribute a share to each of a number of people : Jack divided up the rest of the cash | the property was divided among his heirs. • [ trans. ] allocate (different parts of one's time, attention, or efforts) to different activities or places : the last years of her life were divided between Bermuda and Paris.
1 of, from, or like God or a god : heroes with divine powers | paintings of shipwrecks being prevented by divine intervention. • devoted to God; sacred : divine liturgy. 2 informal dated excellent; delightful : that succulent clementine tasted divine | he had the most divine smile.
1 ( pl. -ies) the state or quality of being divine : Christ's divinity.
capable of being divided : the marine environment is divisible into a number of areas. • Mathematics (of a number) capable of being divided by another number without a remainder : 24 is divisible by 4.
2 disagreement between two or more groups, typically producing tension or hostility : a growing sense of division between north and south | a country with ethnic and cultural divisions.
• [in sing. ] a separation between things that were or ought to be connected : the bitter divorce between the company and its largest shareholder.
• separate or dissociate (something) from something else : we knew how to divorce an issue from an individual. • ( divorce oneself from) distance or dissociate oneself from (something) : he wanted to divorce himself from all contact with the syndicate.
divide up and share : they divvied up the proceeds.
having or involving a sensation of spinning around and losing one's balance : Jonathan had begun to suffer dizzy spells | figurative he looked around, dizzy with happiness.
do (someone) no harm used to indicate that a situation or action will not hurt someone, whether or not it will provide any benefit : the diet of milk and zwieback certainly did him no harm.
do away with informal put an end to; remove : the desire to do away with racism. • kill : he didn't have the courage to do away with her.
do something (or nothing) for informal enhance (or detract from) the appearance or quality of : that scarf does nothing for you.
do without (usu. can do without) manage without : she could do without cigarettes for a day. • informal would prefer not to have : I can do without your complaints first thing in the morning.
do-gooder noun a well-meaning but unrealistic or interfering philanthropist or reformer.
do more harm than good inadvertently make a situation worse rather than better.
do-nothing noun a person who is idle or lacks ambition.
do one's bit informal make a useful contribution to an effort or cause : she was keen to do her bit to help others.
do one's utmost do the most that one is able : Dan was doing his utmost to be helpful.
do someone/something justice (or do justice to someone/something) do, treat, or represent with due fairness or appreciation : the brief menu does not do justice to the food.
do the trick informal achieve the required result.
ready to accept control or instruction; submissive : a cheap and docile workforce. See note at obedient .
a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group : the doctrine of predestination.
1 avoid (someone or something) by a sudden quick movement : we ducked inside our doorway to dodge shrapnel that was raining down.
dishonest or unreliable : a dodgy secondhand car salesman. • potentially dangerous : activities like these could be dodgy for your heart.
• a person who acts rather than merely talking or thinking : I'm a doer, not a moaner.
• used in various phrases to refer to someone who is abject or miserable, esp. because they have been treated harshly : I make him work like a dog | Rob was treated like a dog.
• a ferocious struggle for supremacy between interested parties : the meeting deteriorated into a dogfight.
inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true : he gives his opinion without trying to be dogmatic.
distribute shares of something : the scanty portions of food doled out to them.
1 (usu. the dole) chiefly Brit., informal benefit paid by the government to the unemployed : she is drawing on the dole.
• figurative a time or event of crisis or great danger : [as adj. ] in all the concern over greenhouse warming, one doomsday scenario stands out.
tame (an animal) and keep it as a pet or for farm produce : mammals were first domesticated for their milk.
the country that a person treats as their permanent home, or lives in and has a substantial connection with : his wife has a domicile of origin in Germany. • a person's residence or home : the builder I've hired to renovate my new domicile.
put on (an item of clothing) : in the locker room the players donned their football jerseys.
don't ask me! informal used to indicate that one does not know the answer to a question and that one is surprised or irritated to be questioned : "Is he her boyfriend then?" "Don't ask me!"
don't (or I wouldn't) bet on it informal used to express doubt about an assertion or situation : he may be a suitable companion—but don't bet on it.
don't count your chickens before they're hatched proverb don't be too confident in anticipating success or good fortune before it is certain : I wouldn't count your chickens—I've agreed to sign the contract but that's all I've agreed to.
don't hold your breath informal used hyperbolically to indicate that something is likely to take a long time : don't hold your breath waiting for Congress to clean up political action committees.
don't mention it a polite expression used to indicate that an apology or an expression of thanks is not necessary.
don't put all your eggs in one basket proverb don't risk everything on the success of one venture.
don't start (or don't you start) informal used to tell someone not to grumble or criticize : don't start—I do my fair share.
don't talk to me about —— informal said in protest when someone introduces a subject of which the speaker has had bitter personal experience.
don't you dare used to order someone threateningly not to do something : don't you dare touch me!
done for informal in a situation so bad that it is impossible to get out : if he gets them, we'll all be done for.
scribble absentmindedly : he was only doodling in the margin. • engage in idle activity; dawdle : they could plan another attack while we're just doodling around.
condemn to certain destruction or death : fuel was spilling out of the damaged wing and the aircraft was doomed. • cause to have an unfortunate and inescapable outcome : her plan was doomed to failure | [as adj. ] ( doomed) the moving story of their doomed love affair.
• a drug taken by an athlete to improve performance : [as adj. ] he failed a dope test.
1 administer drugs to (a racehorse, greyhound, or athlete) in order to inhibit or enhance sporting performance : the horse was doped before the race. • ( be doped up) informal be heavily under the influence of drugs, typically illegal ones : he was so doped up that he can't remember a thing. • treat (food or drink) with drugs : maybe they had doped her Perrier.
dork |dɔːk| noun informal a dull, slow-witted, or socially inept person.
(of an animal) having normal physical functions suspended or slowed down for a period of time; in or as if in a deep sleep : dormant butterflies figurative : the event evoked memories that she would rather had lain dormant.
dos and don'ts rules of behavior : I have no knowledge of the political dos and don'ts.
the size or frequency of a dose of a medicine or drug : a dosage of 450 milligrams a day | there are recommendations about dosage for elderly patients.
a quantity of a medicine or drug taken or recommended to be taken at a particular time : he took a dose of cough medicine. • an amount of ionizing radiation received or absorbed at one time or over a specified period : a dose of radiation exceeding safety limits.
administer a dose to (a person or animal) : he dosed himself with vitamins.
a line made up of dots or dashes (often used in reference to the space left for a signature on a contract) : Adam signed on the dotted line.
go over (something) for a second time to ensure that it is accurate or safe : he double-checked our credentials | [with clause ] double-check that all windows are firmly locked.
double date noun a social outing in which two couples participate.
• having two contradictory aspects or possible outcomes : the consequences can be double-edged.
using or able to be used on both sides : double-sided adhesive tape.
a delayed reaction to something unexpected, immediately after one's first reaction : Tony glanced at her, then did a double take.
a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction : some doubt has been cast upon the authenticity of this account | they had doubts that they would ever win. See note at uncertainty .
1 feeling uncertain about something : he looked doubtful, but gave a nod | I was doubtful of my judgment. 2 not known with certainty : the fire was of doubtful origin. • improbable : [with clause ] it is doubtful whether these programs have any lasting effect. • not established as genuine or acceptable : of doubtful legality.
used to indicate the speaker's belief that a statement is certain to be true given what is known about the situation : the company would doubtless find the reduced competition to their liking. • used to refer to a desirable outcome as though it were certain : doubtless you'll solve the problem.
• fit or cause to fit together easily and conveniently : [ trans. ] plan to enable parents to dovetail their career and family commitments [ intrans. ] flights that dovetail with the working day.
1 toward or in a lower place or position, esp. to or on the ground or another surface : she looked down | the sun started to go down | he put his glass down | she flicked the switch up and down | he swung the ax to chop down the tree. • at or to a specified distance below : you can plainly see the bottom 35 feet down. • downstairs : I went down to put the kettle on. • expressing movement or position away from the north : they're living down south. • to or at a place perceived as lower (often expressing casualness or lack of hurry) : I'd rather be down at the villa | I'm going down to the arcade. • Brit. away from the capital or major city : there are eight trains a day, four up and four down. • Brit. away from a university, esp. Oxford or Cambridge. • (with reference to food or drink swallowed) in or into the stomach : she couldn't keep anything down. • so as to lie or be fixed flush or flat : she stuck down a Christmas label. • [as exclam. ] used as a command to a person or animal to sit or lie down : down, boy! • a crossword answer that reads vertically : how many letters in fifteen down? 2 to or at a lower level of intensity, volume, or activity : keep the noise down | the panic was dying down | at night it would cool down. • to or at a lower price, value, or rank : output was down by 20 percent | soup is down from 59 cents to 49 cents. • to a finer consistency, a smaller amount or size, or a simpler or more basic state : I must slim down a bit | a formal statement that can't be edited down | thin down an oil-based paint with spirits. • from an earlier to a later point in time or order : everyone, from the president down to the guy selling hot dogs, is outraged. 3 in or into a weaker or worse position, mood, or condition : the scandal brought down the government | he was down with the flu. • losing or at a disadvantage by a specified amount : the Braves, down 7-6, rallied for two runs in the sixth inning. • used to express progress through a series of tasks or items : one down and only six more to go. • (of a computer system) out of action or unavailable for use (esp. temporarily) : the system went down yesterday. • ( down with ——) shouted to express strong dislike of a specified person or thing : crowds chanted "Down with bureaucracy!" 4 in or into writing : I just write down whatever comes into my head | taking down notes. • on or on to a list, schedule, or record : I'll put you down for the evening shift. 5 (with reference to partial payment of a sum of money) made initially or on the spot : pay $500 down and the rest at the end of the month. 6 (of sailing) with the current or the wind. • (of a ship's helm) moved around to leeward so that the rudder is to windward and the vessel swings toward the wind. 7 Football (of the ball or a player in possession) not in play, typically because forward progress has been stopped. preposition 1 from a higher to a lower point of (something) : up and down the stairs | tears streaming down her face. • at or to a lower part of (a river or stream); nearer the sea : a dozen miles or so down the Mississippi. • at a point further along the course of (something) : he lived down the street. • along the course or extent of : I wandered down the road | an incision down the middle. • informal at or to (a place) : tired of going down the pub every night. 2 throughout (a period of time) : astrologers down the ages. adjective 1 [ attrib. ] directed or moving toward a lower place or position : the down escalator | click on the down arrow. • Physics denoting a flavor of quark having a charge of −1/3. Protons and neutrons are thought to be composed of combinations of up and down quarks. 2 [ predic. ] (of a person) unhappy; depressed : he's been so down lately. • [ attrib. ] informal (of a period of time) causing or characterized by unhappiness or depression : of course, there were up days and down days. 3 [ predic. ] (of a computer system) temporarily out of action or unavailable : sorry, but the computer's down. 4 [ predic. ] chiefly slang supporting or going along with someone or something : "You going to the movies?" "Yo, I'm down." • aware of and following the latest fashion : a seriously down, hip-hop homie. verb [ trans. ] informal 1 knock or bring to the ground : 175 enemy aircraft had been downed | he struck Slater on the face, downing him. 2 consume (something, typically a drink) : he downed five pints of cider. • (of a golfer) sink (a putt). noun 1 Football a chance for a team to advance the ball, ending when the ball carrier is tackled or the ball becomes out of play. A team must advance at least ten yards in a series of four downs in order to keep possession. 2 ( downs) informal unwelcome experiences or events : there had been more downs than ups during his years at the company. 3 informal a feeling or period of unhappiness or depression : everyone gets their downs, their depressive periods.
(of a person) without money, a job, or a place to live; destitute : a down-and-out homeless vagrant.
down payment noun an initial payment made when something is bought on credit.
down the road informal in the future.
with no illusions or pretensions; practical and realistic : a down-to-earth view of marriage.
• figurative a time of reduced activity or inactivity : everyone needs downtime to unwind | downtimes for real estate and construction.
down to the wire informal used to denote a situation whose outcome is not decided until the very last minute : it was probable that the test of nerves would go down to the wire.
pessimistic; gloomy : the assessment of current economic prospects is downbeat.
a loss of power, prosperity, or status : the crisis led to the downfall of the government. • the cause of such a loss : his intractability will prove to be his downfall.
reduce to a lower grade, rank, or level of importance : some jobs had gradually been downgraded from skilled to semiskilled.
toward the bottom of a slope : he ran downhill | follow the road downhill. • figurative into a steadily worsening situation : his marriage continued to slide downhill.
leading down toward the bottom of a slope : the route is downhill for part of the way. • figurative leading to a steadily worsening situation : the downhill road to delinquency.
• figurative without difficulty or challenge : we can take the easy road, the downhill road, or we can put America on the path to greatness again. • of or relating to the sport of skiing or cycling downhill : the world downhill champion.
make (something) appear less important than it really is : this report downplays the seriousness of global warming.
reduce in size, scale, or extent : he was unable to downscale his strongly unionized workforce.
• slow down; slacken off : well before the country slipped into recession, business was downshifting. • change a financially rewarding but stressful career or lifestyle for a less pressured and less highly paid but more fulfilling one : they want to downshift from full-time work.
1 the negative aspect of something, esp. something regarded as in general good or desirable : a magazine feature on the downside of fashion modeling. 2 [often as adj. ] a downward movement of share prices : each fund aims to reduce the downside risk by using futures and options.
• [ intrans. ] (of a company) eliminate staff positions : recession forced many companies to downsize.
downslope noun a downward slope.
a stroke made downward : he writes the figure seven with a line through the downstroke | the blade angles back on the downstroke.
a decline in economic, business, or other activity : a downturn in the housing market.
sleep lightly : he found his mother dozing by the fire. • ( doze off) fall lightly asleep : I dozed off for a few seconds.
drowsy and lazy : he grew dozy at the end of a long day.
1 lacking brightness or interest; drearily dull : the landscape was drab and gray | her drab suburban existence. 2 of a dull light brown color : drab camouflage uniforms.
1 prepare a preliminary version of (a text) : I drafted a letter of resignation. 2 select (a person or group of people) for a certain purpose : he was drafted to make a film about the Iraqi president's life. • conscript (someone) for military service.
1 [ trans. ] pull (someone or something) along forcefully, roughly, or with difficulty : we dragged the boat up the beach | figurative I dragged my eyes away. • take (someone) to or from a place or event, despite their reluctance : my girlfriend is dragging me off to Atlantic City for a week. • ( drag oneself) go somewhere wearily, reluctantly, or with difficulty : I have to drag myself out of bed each day.
• ( drag someone/something into) involve someone or something in (a situation or matter), typically when such involvement is inappropriate or unnecessary : he had no right to drag you into this sort of thing. • ( drag something in/into) introduce an irrelevant or inappropriate subject : politics were never dragged into the conversation. • ( drag someone/something down) bring someone or something to a lower level or standard : the economy will be dragged down by inefficient firms.
3 [ intrans. ] (of time, events, or activities) pass slowly and tediously : the day dragged—eventually it was time for bed. • (of a process or situation) continue at tedious and unnecessary length : the dispute between the two families dragged on for years. • [ trans. ] ( drag something out) protract something unnecessarily : he dragged out the process of serving them.
• [in sing. ] a person or thing that impedes progress or development : Larry was turning out to be a drag on her career.
2 [in sing. ] informal a boring or tiresome person or thing : working nine to five can be a drag. 3 informal an act of inhaling smoke from a cigarette : he took a long drag on his cigarette.
drag one's feet walk slowly and wearily or with difficulty. • (also drag one's heels) figurative (of a person or organization) be deliberately slow or reluctant to act : the government has dragged its heels over permanent legislation.
1 cause the water or other liquid in (something) to run out, leaving it empty, dry, or drier : we drained the swimming pool. • cause or allow (liquid) to run off or out of something : fry the pork and drain off any excess fat. • make (land) drier by providing channels for water to flow away in : the land was drained and the boggy ground reclaimed. • (of a river) carry off the superfluous water from (a district) : the stream drains a wide moorland above the waterfall. • [ intrans. ] (of water or another liquid) flow away from, out of, or into something : the river drains into the Pacific | figurative Polly felt the blood drain from her face. • [ intrans. ] become dry or drier as liquid runs off or away : dishes left to drain | the plant should be watered well and allowed to drain. • (of a person) drink the entire contents of (a glass or other container) : he seized the Scotch set before him and drained it. • [ intrans. ] figurative (of a feeling or emotion) become progressively less strongly felt : gradually the tension and stress drained away. 2 deprive of strength or vitality : his limbs were drained of all energy | Ruth slumped down in her seat, drained by all that had happened. • cause (money, energy, or another valuable resource) to be lost, wasted, or used up : my mother's hospital bills are draining my income. • [ intrans. ] (of such a resource) be lost, wasted, or used up : votes and campaign funds drained away from the Republican candidate.
2 [in sing. ] a thing that uses up a particular resource : nuclear power is a serious drain on the public purse. • the continuous loss or expenditure of a particular resource : the drain of our heritage.
the action or process of draining something : the pot must have holes in the base for good drainage | : the drainage of wetlands.
arrange (cloth or clothing) loosely or casually on or around something : she draped a shawl around her shoulders. • (usu. be draped) adorn, cover, or wrap (someone or something) loosely with folds of cloth : the body was draped in a blanket. • let (oneself or a part of one's body) rest somewhere in a casual or relaxed way : he draped an arm around her shoulders.
2 pull or drag (something such as a vehicle) so as to make it follow behind : a cart drawn by two horses. • [ trans. ] pull or move (something) in a specified direction : I drew back the blanket and uncovered the body. • [ trans. ] gently pull or guide (someone) in a specified direction : "David," she whispered, drawing him aside. • [ intrans. ] move in a slow steady way : the driver slowed as he drew even with me | the train drew into the station. • [ intrans. ] come to or arrive at a point in time or a specified point in a process : the campaign drew to a close | the time for the parade itself is drawing near. • pull (curtains, blinds, or other such coverings) shut or open : do you want me to draw the drapes? | she drew back the curtains and looked out. • make (wire) by pulling a piece of metal through successively smaller holes.
3 extract (an object or liquid) from a container or receptacle : he drew his gun and peered into the gloomy apartment | the children went down to the pond to draw water | the syringe drew off most of the fluid | [as adj. ] ( drawn) he met them with a drawn sword.
draw back choose not to do something that one was expected to do : the government has drawn back from attempting reform.
draw the short straw be the unluckiest of a group of people, esp. in being chosen to perform an unpleasant task.
1 a feature that renders something less acceptable; a disadvantage or problem : the main drawback of fitting catalytic converters is the cost.
1 a feature that renders something less acceptable; a disadvantage or problem : the main drawback of fitting catalytic converters is the cost.
1 great fear or apprehension : the thought of returning to New Jersey filled her with dread | [in sing. ] I used to have a dread of Sunday afternoons.
causing or involving great suffering, fear, or unhappiness; extremely bad or serious : there's been a dreadful accident. • extremely disagreeable : the weather was dreadful.
reflecting a preoccupation with pleasant thoughts that distract one from one's present surroundings : a dreamy smile. • (of a person) not practical; given to daydreaming : a dreamy boy who grew up absorbed in poetry.
dull, bleak, and lifeless; depressing : the dreary routine of working, eating, and trying to sleep.
1 (usu. be drenched) wet thoroughly; soak : I fell in the stream and got drenched | [as n. ] ( drenching) a severe drenching would kill his uncle. • figurative cover (something) liberally or thoroughly : cool patios drenched in flowers | [as adj., in combination ] ( -drenched) a sun-drenched clearing.
• put on clothes appropriate for a formal occasion : we dressed for dinner every night.
dress down dress informally : Sue dressed down in old jeans and a white blouse.
dress something up present something in such a way that it appears better than it really is : the company dressed up the figures a little.
1 [ intrans. ] (of a liquid) fall slowly in drops or a thin stream : rain dribbled down the window figurative : refugees from central Europe dribbled into Britain.
• [ intrans. ] allow saliva to run from the mouth : his mouth was open and he was dribbling. 2 [ trans. ] (chiefly in soccer, field hockey, and basketball) take (the ball) forward past opponents with slight touches of the feet or the stick, or (in basketball) by continuous bouncing : he attempted to dribble the ball from the goal area | [ intrans. ] he dribbled past a swarm of defenders.
1 be carried slowly by a current of air or water : the cabin cruiser started to drift downstream | figurative excited voices drifted down the hall. • [with adverbial of direction ] (of a person) walk slowly, aimlessly, or casually : people began to drift away. • [with adverbial ] move passively, aimlessly, or involuntarily into a certain situation or condition : I was drifting off to sleep | Lewis and his father drifted apart. • (of a person or their attention) digress or stray to another subject : I noticed my audience's attention drifting. 2 (esp. of snow or leaves) be blown into heaps by the wind : fallen leaves start to drift in the gutters | [as adj. ] ( drifting) drifting snow.
1 [in sing. ] a continuous slow movement from one place to another : there was a drift to the towns.
2 instruction or training in military exercises : parade-ground drill. • intensive instruction or training in something, typically by means of repeated exercises : tables can be mastered by drill and practice | language-learning drills.
1 produce (a hole) in something by or as if by boring with a drill : drill holes through the tiles for the masonry pins.
• ( drill something into) cause (someone) to learn something by repeating it regularly : his mother had drilled into him the need to pay for one's sins.
drink like a fish drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
( dripped , dripping ) [ intrans. ] let fall or be so wet as to shed small drops of liquid : the faucet won't stop dripping | his hands were dripping with blood. • [with adverbial ] (of liquid) fall in small drops : water dripped from her clothing. • [ trans. ] cause or allow (a liquid) to fall in such a way : the candle was dripping wax down one side. • figurative display a copious amount or degree of a particular quality or thing : the women were dripping with gold and diamonds | [ trans. ] her voice dripped sarcasm.
1 a small drop of a liquid : she put the bucket on top of the dresser to catch the drips.
1 [ intrans. ] operate and control the direction and speed of a motor vehicle : he got into his car and drove off | they drove back into town.
• [ trans. ] (of a source of power) provide the energy to set and keep (an engine or piece of machinery) in motion : turbines driven by steam. • Electronics (of a device) power or operate (another device) : the interface can be used to drive a printer.
4 [ trans. ] (usu. be driven) (of a fact or feeling) compel (someone) to act in a particular way, esp. one that is considered undesirable or inappropriate : he was driven by ambition | [ trans. ] some people are driven to murder their tormentors | [as adj. ] ( driven) my husband is a driven man. • [ trans. ] bring (someone) forcibly into a specified negative state : the thought drove him to despair | [ trans. ] my laziness drives my wife crazy.
1 a trip or journey in a car : they went for a drive in the country.
2 Psychology an innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need : her emotional and sexual drives. • the determination and ambition of a person to achieve something : her drive has sustained her through some shattering personal experiences.
drive (or hammer or press or ram) something home make something clearly and fully understood by the use of repeated or forcefully direct arguments.
1 [in combination ] operated, moved, or controlled by a specified person or source of power : a chauffeur-driven limousine | : wind-driven sand. • motivated or determined by a specified factor or feeling : a market-driven response to customer needs.
light rain falling in very fine drops : Boston will be cloudy with patchy drizzle | [in sing. ] a steady drizzle has been falling since 3 a.m.
rain lightly : it's started to drizzle | [as adj. ] ( drizzling) the drizzling rain.
make a continuous low humming sound : in the far distance a machine droned. • speak tediously in a dull monotonous tone : he reached for another beer while Jim droned on. • [with adverbial of direction ] move with a continuous humming sound : traffic droned up and down the street.
1 a low continuous humming sound : he nodded off to the drone of the car engine. • informal a monotonous speech : only twenty minutes of the hour-long drone had passed.
drop saliva uncontrollably from the mouth : the baby begins to drool, then to cough.
bend or hang downward limply : a long black cloak drooped from his shoulders. • sag down from or as if from weariness or dejection : his eyelids drooped and he became drowsy | : figurative the scenes are so lengthy that the reader's spirits droop.
2 [ intrans. ] fall vertically : the spoon dropped with a clatter from her hand. • (of a person) allow oneself to fall; let oneself down without jumping : they escaped by climbing out of the window and dropping to the ground. • (of a person or animal) sink to or toward the ground : he dropped to his knees in the mud.
3 make or become lower, weaker, or less : [ trans. ] he dropped his voice as she came into the room | [ intrans. ] pretax profits dropped by 37 percent | tourism has dropped off in the last few years. 4 abandon or discontinue (a course of action or study) : the charges against him were dropped last year | drop everything and get over here! • discard or exclude (someone or something) : they were dropped from the team in the reshuffle.
1 a small round or pear-shaped portion of liquid that hangs or falls or adheres to a surface : the first drops of rain splashed on the ground. • [often with negative ] a very small amount of liquid : there was not a drop of water in sight. • [usu. with negative ] a drink of alcoholic liquor : he doesn't touch a drop during the week. • ( drops) liquid medicine to be measured or applied in very small amounts : eye drops. 2 [usu. in sing. ] an instance of falling or dropping : they left within five minutes of the drop of the curtain. • an act of dropping supplies or troops by parachute : the planes finally managed to make the drop. • a fall in amount, quality, or rate : a significant drop in consumer spending. • an abrupt fall or slope : standing on the lip of a sixty-foot drop.
• [usu. with adj. ] figurative a prolonged absence of something specified : he ended a five-game hitting drought.
• [ trans. ] (of a sound) make (another sound) inaudible by being much louder : his voice was drowned out by the approaching engine noise.
be half asleep; doze intermittently : he was beginning to drowse in his chair.
sleepy and lethargic; half asleep : the wine had made her drowsy. • causing sleepiness : the drowsy heat of the meadows.
a person made to do hard, menial, or dull work : she was little more than a drudge around the house.
drunk driving (also drunken driving) noun the crime of driving a vehicle with an excess of alcohol in the blood.
1 become dry : waiting for the paint to dry | come in out of the rain and dry off | do not let the soil dry out | pools are left as the rivers dry up.
2 figurative bare or lacking adornment : the dry facts. • unexciting; dull : by current tastes the text is dry. • unemotional, undemonstrative, or impassive : Ralph gave me a dry, silent wave.
1 [ attrib. ] consisting of two parts, elements, or aspects : their dual role at work and home.
serving two purposes or functions : a dual-purpose hand and nail cream.
1 [ trans. ] give an unofficial name or nickname to (someone or something) : the media dubbed anorexia "the slimming disease."
1 hesitating or doubting : Alex looked dubious, but complied. See note at doubtful . 2 not to be relied upon; suspect : extremely dubious assumptions. • morally suspect : timesharing has been brought into disrepute by dubious sales methods. • of questionable value : she earned the dubious distinction of being the lowest-paid teacher in the nation.
1 [ intrans. ] lower the head or the body quickly to avoid a blow or so as not to be seen : spectators ducked for cover | she ducked into the doorway to get out of the line of fire | [ trans. ] he ducked his head and entered.
• [ trans. ] avoid (a blow) by moving down quickly : he ducked a punch from an angry first baseman. • [ trans. ] informal evade or avoid (an unwelcome duty or undertaking) : a responsibility which a less courageous man might well have ducked | [ intrans. ] I was engaged twice and ducked out both times.
duct tape noun strong, cloth-backed, waterproof adhesive tape.
1 a thing that fails to work properly or is otherwise unsatisfactory or worthless : a high-grade collection, not a dud in the lot | : all three bombs were duds. • an ineffectual person : a complete dud, incapable of even hitting the ball.
1 [ predic. ] expected at or planned for at a certain time : the baby's due in August | he is due back soon | [with infinitive ] talks are due to adjourn tomorrow. • (of a payment) required at a certain time : the May installment was due. • (of a person) having reached a point where the thing mentioned is required or owed : she was due for a raise | you're more than due a vacation. • (of a thing) required or owed as a legal or moral obligation : he was only taking back what was due to him | you must pay any income tax due. 2 [ attrib. ] of the proper quality or extent; adequate : driving without due care and attention.
due date noun the date on which something falls due, esp. the payment of a bill or the expected birth of a baby.
2 lacking brightness, vividness, or sheen : his face glowed in the dull lamplight | his black hair looked dull. • (of the weather) overcast; gloomy : next morning dawned dull. • (of sound) not clear; muffled : a dull thud of hooves. • (of pain) indistinctly felt; not acute : there was a dull pain in his lower jaw. • (of an edge or blade) blunt : a lot more people are cut with dull knives than with sharp ones.
greatly astonish or amaze : they were dumbfounded at his popularity.
• [usu. with adj. ] a place where a particular kind of waste, esp. dangerous waste, is left : a nuclear waste dump.
1 deposit or dispose of (garbage, waste, or unwanted material), typically in a careless or hurried way : trucks dumped 1,900 tons of refuse here | [ intrans. ] an attempt to prevent people from dumping on vacant lots. • put down or abandon (something) hurriedly in order to make an escape : the couple dumped the car and fled. • put (something) down firmly or heavily and carelessly : she dumped her knapsack on the floor. • informal abandon or desert (someone) : his girlfriend dumped him for being fat. • send (goods unsalable in the home market) to a foreign market for sale at a low price : other countries dump steel in the U.S. at below-market prices. • informal sell off (assets) rapidly : investors dumped shares in scores of other consumer-goods firms.
deceive; trick : the newspaper was duped into publishing an untrue story.
make or be an exact copy of : a unique scent, impossible to duplicate or forget | figurative they have not been able to duplicate his successes. • (often be duplicated) make or supply copies of (a document) : information sheets had to be typed and duplicated | [as adj. ] ( duplicating) a duplicating machine. • multiply by two; double : the normal amount of DNA has been duplicated thousands of times.
able to withstand wear, pressure, or damage; hard-wearing : porcelain enamel is strong and durable | figurative a durable peace can be achieved.
the time during which something continues : the subway stop has been closed for the duration of the convention | a flight of over eight hours' duration./ for the duration until the end of something, esp. a war : he was in the navy for the duration plus six. • informal for a very long time : some stains may be there for the duration. threats, violence, constraints, or other action brought to bear on someone to do something against their will or better judgment: : confessions extracted under duress. the darker stage of twilight : dusk was falling rapidly | working the land from dawn to dusk.
1 fine, dry powder consisting of tiny particles of earth or waste matter lying on the ground or on surfaces or carried in the air : the car sent up clouds of dust | they rolled and fought in the dust.
1 remove the dust from the surface of (something) by wiping or brushing it : I broke the vase I had been dusting | pick yourself up and dust yourself off | [ intrans. ] she washed and dusted and tidied. • ( dust something off) bring something out for use again after a long period of neglect : a number of aircraft will be dusted off and returned to flight.
covered with, full of, or resembling dust : dusty old records | a hot, dusty road. • (of a color) dull or muted : patches of pale gold and dusty pink. • figurative staid and uninteresting : a dusty old bore.
conscientiously or obediently fulfilling one's duty : a dutiful daughter. See note at obedient . • motivated by duty rather than desire or enthusiasm : dutiful applause | a dutiful visit.
1 a moral or legal obligation; a responsibility : it's my duty to uphold the law | she was determined to do her duty as a citizen | a strong sense of duty.
• a payment levied on the import, export, manufacture, or sale of goods : a 6 percent duty on imports | goods subject to excise duty.
on (or off) duty engaged (or not engaged) in one's regular work : the doorman had gone off duty and the lobby was unattended.
morally or legally obliged to do something : legitimate news stories that the press is duty-bound to report.
cause to seem small or insignificant in comparison : the buildings surround and dwarf All Saints Church.
2 ( dwell on/upon) think, speak, or write at length about (a particular subject, esp. one that is a source of unhappiness, anxiety, or dissatisfaction) : I've got better things to do than dwell on the past. • ( dwell on/upon) (of one's eyes or attention) linger on (a particular object or place) : she let her eyes dwell on them for a moment.
diminish gradually in size, amount, or strength : traffic has dwindled to a trickle | : [as adj. ] ( dwindling) dwindling resources.
• informal an extremely energetic person : she was a dynamo in London politics.
a line of hereditary rulers of a country : the Tang dynasty. • a succession of people from the same family who play a prominent role in business, politics, or another field : the Ford dynasty.
abnormality or impairment in the function of a specified bodily organ or system : bowel dysfunction. • deviation from the norms of social behavior in a way regarded as bad : inner-city dysfunction.
not operating normally or properly : the telephones are dysfunctional. • deviating from the norms of social behavior in a way regarded as bad : an emotionally dysfunctional businessman | dysfunctional families.
dyslexia |dɪsˈlɛksɪə| noun a general term for disorders that involve difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols, but that do not affect general intelligence.
• [in sing. ] an ability to recognize, appreciate, and reproduce sounds, esp. music or language : an ear for rhythm and melody.
early adopter noun a person who starts using a product or technology as soon as it becomes available.
early (or earlier) on at an early (or earlier) stage in a particular time or period : they discovered early on that the published data were wrong.
early retirement noun the practice of leaving employment before the statutory age, esp. on favorable financial terms.
early warning system noun a network of radar stations established at the boundary of a defended region to provide advanced warning of an aircraft or missile attack. • a condition, system, or series of procedures indicating a potential development or impending problem.
1 (usu. be earmarked) designate (something, typically funds or resources) for a particular purpose : the new money will be earmarked for cancer research.
(in hyperbolic use) very important, momentous, or traumatic : tell me this earth-shattering news of yours.
(in hyperbolic use) very important, momentous, or traumatic : tell me this earth-shattering news of yours.
absence of difficulty or effort : he gave up tobacco and alcohol with ease | the guitar's versatility and ease of handling.
1 [ trans. ] make (something unpleasant, painful, or intense) less serious or severe : a huge road-building program to ease congestion. • alleviate the mental or physical pain of : unburdening herself was doing nothing to ease her misery.
• [ intrans. ] ( ease up) relax one's efforts; do something with more moderation : I'd ease up on the hard stuff if I were you.
ease someone's mind alleviate someone's anxiety.
in an easterly direction : they followed an eastward course. adverb (also eastwards) toward the east : the bus rattled its way eastward. noun ( the eastward) the direction or region toward the east : a squall came from the eastward.
be careful : easy, girl—you'll knock me over!
easy (or simple) as ABC extremely easy or straightforward.
easy come, easy go used to indicate that a relationship or possession acquired without effort may be abandoned or lost casually and without regret.
relaxed and tolerant in approach or manner : an outwardly easygoing but fiercely competitive youngster.
easy money noun money obtained by dubious means or for little work. • money available at relatively low interest.
eat away at something (or eat something away) erode or destroy something gradually : the sun and wind eat away at the ice | prevents bone from being eaten away. • use up (profits, resources, or time), esp. when they are intended for other purposes : inflation can eat away at the annuity's value over the years.
eat dirt informal suffer insults or humiliation : the film bombed at the box office and the critics made it eat dirt.
eat one's words retract what one has said, esp. in a humiliated way : they will eat their words when I win.
eating disorder noun any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (such as anorexia nervosa).
secretly listen to a conversation : she opened the window just enough to eavesdrop on the conversation outside.
the movement of the tide out to sea : I knew the tide would be on the ebb | [as adj. ] the ebb tide.
(of tidewater) move away from the land; recede : the tide began to ebb. Compare with flow . • figurative (of an emotion or quality) gradually lessen or reduce : my enthusiasm was ebbing away.
ebb and flow a recurrent or rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth.
1 (of a person or their behavior) unconventional and slightly strange : my favorite aunt is very eccentric.
1 a level or rank in an organization, a profession, or society : the upper echelons of the business world.
1 (of a sound) be repeated or reverberate after the original sound has stopped : their footsteps echoed on the metal catwalks.
• figurative have a continued significance or influence : illiteracy echoed through the whole fabric of society.
1 deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources : her musical tastes are eclectic.
• figurative a loss of significance, power, or prominence in relation to another person or thing : the election result marked the eclipse of the traditional right and center.
• poetic/literary obscure or block out (light) : a sea of blue sky violently eclipsed by showers. • deprive (someone or something) of significance, power, or prominence : the state of the economy has eclipsed the environment as the main issue.
giving good value or service in relation to the amount of money, time, or effort spent : a small, economical car.
spend less; reduce one's expenses : I have to economize where I can | people on low incomes may try to economize on fuel.
1 an overwhelming feeling of great happiness or joyful excitement : there was a look of ecstasy on his face | they went into ecstasies over the view. See note at rapture .
• [in sing. ] the point or state immediately before something unpleasant or momentous occurs : the economy was teetering on the edge of recession.
2 the sharpened side of the blade of a cutting implement or weapon : a knife with a razor-sharp edge.
• [in sing. ] a sharp, threatening, or bitter tone of voice, usually indicating the speaker's annoyance or tension : she was still smiling, but there was an edge to her voice. • [in sing. ] an intense, sharp, or striking quality : a flamenco singer brings a primitive edge to the music. • [in sing. ] a quality or factor that gives superiority over close rivals or competitors : the veal had the edge on flavor.
1 (often be edged) provide with a border or edge : the pool is edged with paving. 2 [ intrans. ] move gradually, carefully, or furtively in a particular direction : she tried to edge away from him | Nick edged his way through the crowd. • [ trans. ] cause to move in such a way : Hazel quietly edged him away from the others | figurative she was edged out of the organization by the director. • [ trans. ] informal defeat by a small margin : Connecticut avoided an upset and edged Yale 49-48. 3 figurative give an intense or sharp quality to : the bitterness that edged her voice.
tense, nervous, or irritable : he became edgy and defensive.
a building, esp. a large, imposing one. • figurative a complex system of beliefs : the concepts on which the edifice of capitalism was built.
• ( edit something out) remove unnecessary or inappropriate words, sounds, or scenes from a text, movie, or radio or television program.
a particular form or version of a published text : a paperback edition. • a particular version of a text that has been revised or created from a substantially new setting of type : a first edition.
1 of or relating to the commissioning or preparing of material for publication : a pillar of scholarly publishing and editorial excellence.
strange and frightening : an eerie green glow in the sky.
eerily |ˈɪr1li| adverb [as submodifier ] : it was eerily quiet.
• used to refer to the state of being or becoming operative : they succeeded in putting their strategies into effect | the ban is to take effect in six months.
• an impression produced in the mind of a person : gentle music can have a soothing effect.
• (esp. of a law or policy) operative : the agreements will be effective from November.
(typically of something inanimate or abstract) successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective : tobacco smoke is the most effectual protection against the mosquito. See note at effective .
put into force or operation : school choice would effectuate a transfer of power from government to individuals.
the ability to produce a desired or intended result : there is little information on the efficacy of this treatment.
(typically of something inanimate or abstract) successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective : the vaccine has proved both efficacious and safe. See note at effective .
Use effective when you want to describe something that produces a definite effect or result (: an effective speaker who was able to rally the crowd's support) and efficacious when it produces the desired effect or result (: an efficacious remedy that cured her almost immediately). If something produces the desired effect or result in a decisive manner, use effectual (: an effectual recommendation that got him the job), an adjective that is often employed when looking back after an event is over (: an effectual strategy that finally turned the tide in their favor).
a vigorous or determined attempt : hammer birdhouses to country fenceposts in an effort to bring back the eastern bluebird.
of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities : a fairer, more egalitarian society.
egghead |ˈɛghɛd| noun informal often derogatory a person who is highly academic or studious; an intellectual.
thinking only of oneself, without regard for the feelings or desires of others; self-centered : their egocentric tendency to think of themselves as invulnerable.
1 outstandingly bad; shocking : egregious abuses of copyright.
the action of going out of or leaving a place : direct means of access and egress for passengers.
one or the other of two people or things : [as adj. ] there were no children of either marriage | [as pron. ] they have a mortgage that will be repaid if either of them dies. • [ adj. ] each of two : the road was straight with fields of grass on either side.
either way whichever of two given alternatives is the case : I'm not sure whether he is trying to be clever or controversial, but either way, such writing smacks of racism.
• compel (someone) to leave a place : angry supporters were forcibly ejected from the court. • dismiss (someone), esp. from political office : he was ejected from office in July.
1 [ trans. ] develop or present (a theory, policy, or system) in detail : the key idea of the book is expressed in the title and elaborated in the text. • [ intrans. ] add more detail concerning what has already been said : he would not elaborate on his news.
(of time) pass or go by : weeks elapsed before anyone was charged with the attack | [as adj. ] ( elapsed) a display tells you which track is playing and its elapsed time.
• able to encompass variety and change; flexible and adaptable : the definition of nationality is elastic in this cosmopolitan country. • springy and buoyant : Annie returned with beaming eyes and elastic step.make (someone) ecstatically happy : I felt elated at beating Dennis. adjective archaic in high spirits; exultant or proud : the ladies returned with elate and animated faces.
make (someone) ecstatically happy : I felt elated at beating Dennis. adjective archaic in high spirits; exultant or proud : the ladies returned with elate and animated faces.
• [ intrans. ] move by pushing past people with one's elbows : people elbowed past each other to the door | furiously, he elbowed his way through the crowd. • figurative get rid of or disregard (a person or idea) in a cursory and dismissive way : his new TV talk show was elbowed aside in the ratings war.
1 a formal and organized process of electing or being elected, esp. of members of a political body : the 1860 presidential election | [as adj. ] an election year | the first of his family to run for election. • the act or an instance of electing : his election to the House of Representatives.
• figurative having or producing a sudden sense of thrilling excitement : the atmosphere was electric.
operating by or producing electricity : an electrical appliance.
charge with electricity; pass an electric current through : [as adj. ] ( electrified) an electrified fence.
• figurative impress greatly; thrill : he electrified the most sophisticated of audiences.
injure or kill someone by electric shock : a man was electrocuted when he switched on the Christmas tree lights.
1 (of a device) having or operating with the aid of many small components, esp. microchips and transistors, that control and direct an electric current : an electronic calculator.
1 primary or basic : elemental features from which all other structures are compounded.
raise or lift (something) up to a higher position : the exercise will naturally elevate your chest and head. • raise to a more important or impressive level : in the 1920s he was elevated to secretary of state | exotic toppings elevate a pizza from fast food to fine food.
1 the action or fact of elevating or being elevated : her sudden elevation to the cabinet.
2 height above a given level, esp. sea level : a network of microclimates created by sharp differences in elevation | a total elevation gain of 3,995 feet. • a high place or position : most early plantation development was at the higher elevations.
evoke or draw out (a response, answer, or fact) from someone in reaction to one's own actions or questions : they invariably elicit exclamations of approval from guests. • archaic draw forth (something that is latent or potential) into existence : a corrupt heart elicits in an hour all that is bad in us.
having the right to do or obtain something; satisfying the appropriate conditions : customers who are eligible for discounts | [with infinitive ] a foreign student is eligible to attend the school.
• (usu. be eliminated) exclude (a person or team) from further participation in a sporting competition following defeat or inadequate results : the Bears were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.
ellipse |ɪˈlɪps| noun a regular oval shape, traced by a point moving in a plane so that the sum of its distances from two other points (the foci) is constant, or resulting when a cone is cut by an oblique plane that does not intersect the base.
• prolong (a sound) : she can sing—notes are elongated and given fullness without a quiver.
run away secretly in order to get married, esp. without parental consent : later he eloped with one of the maids.
• clearly expressing or indicating something : the touches of fatherliness are eloquent of the real man.
: they will offer low prices but little else.
or else used to introduce the second of two alternatives : she felt tempted either to shout at him or else to let his tantrums slide by. • in circumstances different from those mentioned; if it were not the case : they can't want it, or else they'd request it. • used to warn what will happen if something is not carried out : you go along with this or else you're going to jail. • used after a demand as a threat : she'd better shape up, or else.
in, at, or to some other place or other places : he is seeking employment elsewhere.
make (something) clear; explain : work such as theirs will help to elucidate this matter See note at clarify . : [with clause ] in what follows I shall try to elucidate what I believe the problems to be | [ intrans. ] they would not elucidate further.
evade or escape from (a danger, enemy, or pursuer), typically in a skillful or cunning way : he managed to elude his pursuers by escaping into an alley. • (of an idea or fact) fail to be grasped or remembered by (someone) : the logic of this eluded most people.
difficult to find, catch, or achieve : success will become ever more elusive. • difficult to remember or recall : the elusive thought he had had moments before.
make abnormally thin or weak, esp. because of illness or a lack of food : she was so emaciated she could hardly stand.
set free, esp. from legal, social, or political restrictions : the citizen must be emancipated from the obsessive secrecy of government | [as adj. ] ( emancipated) emancipated young women.
an official ban on trade or other commercial activity with a particular country : an embargo on grain sales | the oil embargo of 1973.
1 (usu. be embargoed) impose an official ban on (trade or a country or commodity) : the country has been virtually embargoed by most of the noncommunist world. • officially ban the publication of : documents of national security importance are routinely embargoed.
go on board a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle : he embarked for India in 1817./• ( embark on/upon) begin (a course of action, esp. one that is important or demanding) : he embarked on a new career.
1 the official residence or offices of an ambassador : the Chilean embassy in Moscow. • the staff working in such a building : the embassy denied any involvement in the murder.
make (something) more attractive by the addition of decorative details or features : blue silk embellished with golden embroidery. • make (a statement or story) more interesting or entertaining by adding extra details, esp. ones that are not true : she had real difficulty telling the truth because she liked to embellish things.
steal or misappropriate (money placed in one's trust or belonging to the organization for which one works) : she had embezzled $5,600,000 in company funds.
conspicuously inscribe or display (a design) on something : T-shirts emblazoned with the names of baseball teams. • depict (a heraldic device) : the Cardinal's coat of arms is emblazoned on the door panel.
• ( emblem of) a thing serving as a symbolic representation of a particular quality or concept : our child would be a dazzling emblem of our love.
1 be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling) : a team that embodies competitive spirit and skill.
a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling : she seemed to be a living embodiment of vitality.
hold (someone) closely in one's arms, esp. as a sign of affection : Aunt Sophie embraced her warmly | [ intrans. ] the two embraced, holding each other tightly. • accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically : much of the population quickly embraced Islam.
decorate (cloth) by sewing patterns on it with thread : she had already embroidered a dozen little nighties for the babies | [as adj. ] ( embroidered) an embroidered handkerchief | [ intrans. ] she was teaching one of the girls how to embroider.
• figurative add fictitious or exaggerated details to (an account) to make it more interesting : she embroidered her stories with colorful detail.
• figurative a thing at a rudimentary stage that shows potential for development : a simple commodity economy is merely the embryo of a capitalist economy.
• figurative (of a system, idea, or organization) in a rudimentary stage with potential for further development : the plan is still in its embryonic stages.
• become apparent, important, or prominent : Philadelphia has emerged as the clear favorite | [as adj. ] ( emerging) a world of emerging economic giants. • (of facts or circumstances) become known : reports of a deadlock emerged during preliminary discussions | [with clause ] during the trial it emerged that she had been suffering from a rare personality disorder. • recover from or survive a difficult or demanding situation : the economy has started to emerge from recession.
leave one's own country in order to settle permanently in another : Rosa's parents emigrated from Argentina.
(of a person) famous and respected within a particular sphere or profession : one of the world's most eminent statisticians. • [ attrib. ] used to emphasize the presence of a positive quality : the guitar's eminent suitability for recording studio work.
produce and discharge (something, esp. gas or radiation) : coal-fired power stations continue to emit large quantities of sulfur dioxide. • make (a sound) : she emitted a sound like laughter.
arousing or able to arouse intense feeling : animal experimentation is an emotive subject | the issue has proved highly emotive.
empathy |ˈɛmpəθi| noun the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
showing or giving emphasis; expressing something forcibly and clearly : the children were emphatic that they would like to repeat the experience | an emphatic movement of his hand • (of an action or event or its result) definite and clear : he walked stiffly, with an emphatic limp.
based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic : they provided considerable empirical evidence to support their argument.
• keep occupied : most of the newcomers are employed in developing the technology into a product. 2 make use of : the methods they have employed to collect the data.
give (someone) the authority or power to do something : nobody was empowered to sign checks on her behalf.
the room was empty of furniture.
• figurative (of words or a gesture) having no meaning or likelihood of fulfillment; insincere : his answer sounded a little empty | empty threats. • figurative having no value or purpose : her life felt empty and meaningless.
remove all the contents of (a container) : we empty the cash register each night at closing time | pockets were emptied of loose change. • remove (the contents) from a container : he emptied out the contents of his briefcase. • [ intrans. ] (of a place) be vacated by people in it : the bar suddenly seemed to empty.
having failed to obtain or achieve what one wanted : the burglars fled empty-handed.
match or surpass (a person or achievement), typically by imitation : lesser men trying to emulate his greatness. • imitate : hers is not a hairstyle I wish to emulate.
in a group; all together : the board of directors resigned en masse.
during the course of a journey; on the way : he stopped in Turkey en route to Geneva.
1 (often be enacted) make (a bill or other proposal) law : legislation was enacted in 1987 to attract international companies.
be filled with a feeling of love for : it is not difficult to see why Edward is enamored of her. • have a liking or admiration for : she was truly enamored of New York.
• express the essential features of (someone or something) succinctly : the conclusion is encapsulated in one sentence.
fill (someone) with great delight; charm : Isabel was enchanted with the idea. • put (someone or something) under a spell : [as adj. ] ( enchanted) an enchanted garden.
form a circle around; surround : the town is encircled by fortified walls. See note at circumscribe .
• a secured area within another secured area : the cost of a security service is going to be proportional to the size of the enclave that you must secure. • figurative a place or group that is different in character from those surrounding it : the engineering department is traditionally a male enclave.
1 (often be enclosed) surround or close off on all sides : the entire estate was enclosed with walls | [as adj. ] ( enclosed) a dark enclosed space. See note at circumscribe .
2 place (something) in an envelope together with a letter : I enclose a copy of the job description.
1 [ trans. ] surround and have or hold within : a vast halo encompassing the Milky Way galaxy. See note at circumscribe . • include comprehensively : no studies encompass all aspects of medical care.
• a confrontation or unpleasant struggle : his close encounter with death.
intrude on (a person's territory or a thing considered to be a right) : rather than encroach on his privacy, she might have kept to her room. • advance gradually and in a way that causes damage : the sea has encroached all around the coast.
encrypt |ɛnˈkrɪpt| verb [ trans. ] convert (information or data) into a cipher or code, esp. to prevent unauthorized access.
1 a final part of something, esp. a period of time, an activity, or a story : the end of the year | Mario led the race from beginning to end. • a termination of a state or situation : the party called for an end to violence | one notice will be effective to bring the tenancy to an end. • used to emphasize that something, typically a subject of discussion, is considered finished : you will go to church and that's the end of it. • death or ruin : if she's caught stealing again, it will be the end of her career.
2 the furthest or most extreme part or point of something : a length of wire with a hook at the end | [as adj. ] the end house. • a small piece that is left after something has been used : a box of candle ends. • a specified extreme point on a scale : homebuyers at the lower end of the market.
• a place that is linked to another by a telephone call, letter, or journey : "Hello," said a voice at the other end.
the final stage of a game such as chess or bridge, when few pieces or cards remain : the knight was trapped in the endgame | figurative the retaliatory endgame of nuclear warfare.
end of story informal used to emphasize that there is nothing to add on a matter just mentioned : Men don't cry in public. End of story.
end product noun that which is produced as the final result of an activity or process, esp. the finished article in a manufacturing process.
end result noun the final result or outcome of an activity or process.
end use noun the application or function for which something is designed or for which it is ultimately used.
endanger |ɪnˈdeɪn(d)ʒə| |ɛn-| verb [ trans. ] put (someone or something) at risk or in danger : he was driving in a manner likely to endanger life.
• earnest and industrious effort, esp. when sustained over a period of time : enthusiasm is a vital ingredient in all human endeavor.
1 (of a disease or condition) regularly found among particular people or in a certain area : areas where malaria is endemic | complacency is endemic in industry today. See note at epidemic .
2 (of a plant or animal) native or restricted to a certain country or area : a marsupial endemic to northeastern Australia.
1 declare one's public approval or support of : the report was endorsed by the college. See note at approve .
endoscope |ˈɛndəskəʊp| noun Medicine an instrument that can be introduced into the body to give a view of its internal parts.
give or bequeath an income or property to (a person or institution) : he endowed the church with lands.
• (usu. be endowed with) provide with a quality, ability, or asset : he was endowed with tremendous physical strength.
1 [ trans. ] suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently : it seemed impossible that anyone could endure such pain.
make weak or feeble : [as adj. ] ( enfeebled) trade unions are in an enfeebled state.
• cause (something) to happen by necessity or force : there is no outside agency to enforce cooperation between the players | [as adj. ] ( enforced) a period of enforced idleness.
1 [ trans. ] occupy, attract, or involve (someone's interest or attention) : he plowed on, trying to outline his plans and engage Sutton's attention.
cause or give rise to (a feeling, situation, or condition) : the issue engendered continuing controversy.
design and build (a machine or structure) : the men who engineered the tunnel.
cut or carve (a text or design) on the surface of a hard object : my name was engraved on the ring./• ( be engraved on or in) be permanently fixed in (one's memory or mind) : the image would be forever engraved in his memory.
1 absorb all the attention or interest of : the notes totally engrossed him.
(of a natural force) sweep over (something) so as to surround or cover it completely : the cafe was engulfed in flames | figurative Europe might be engulfed by war.
make or become bigger or more extensive : [ trans. ] recently my son enlarged our garden pond | [ intrans. ] lymph nodes enlarge and become hard | [as adj. ] ( enlarged) an enlarged spleen.give (someone) greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation : Christopher had not enlightened Frances as to their relationship.
give (someone) greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation : Christopher had not enlightened Frances as to their relationship./• figurative illuminate or make clearer (a problem or area of study) : this will enlighten the studies of origins of myths and symbols.
enroll or be enrolled in the armed services : [ intrans. ] he enlisted in the army | [ trans. ] hundreds of thousands of recruits had been enlisted. • [ trans. ] engage (a person or their help or support) : the company enlisted the help of independent consultants.
• used to indicate that one is unwilling to tolerate any more of something undesirable : [as adj. ] we've got enough problems without that | [as pron. ] I've had enough of this arguing | that's enough, pack it in.
2 to a moderate degree; fairly : he can get there easily enough | he seems nice enough.
enough is enough no more will be tolerated.
enough said there is no need to say more; all is understood.
ask for information from someone : [with direct speech ] "How well do you know Berlin?" he inquired of Hencke | [with clause ] I inquired where he lived | [ intrans. ] he inquired about cottages for sale./• [ intrans. ] ( inquire into) investigate; look into : the task of political sociology is to inquire into the causes of political events.
an act of asking for information : the deluge of phone inquiries after a crash | they were following a definite line of inquiry.
make very angry : the students were enraged at these new rules | [as adj. ] ( enraged) an enraged mob screamed abuse.
officially register as a member of an institution or a student on a course : he enrolled in drama school. • [ trans. ] register (someone) as a member or student : the school enrolls approximately 1,000 students.
• preserve (a right, tradition, or idea) in a form that ensures it will be protected and respected : the right of all workers to strike was enshrined in the new constitution.
envelop completely and hide from view : heavy gray clouds enshrouded the city.
• cause (someone) to lose their freedom of choice or action : they were enslaved by their need to take drugs.
catch in or as in a trap : they were ensnared in downtown traffic.
happen or occur afterward or as a result : the difficulties that ensued from their commitment to Cuba | [as adj. ] ( ensuing) there were repeated clashes in the ensuing days. make certain that (something) shall occur or be the case : [with clause ] the client must ensure that accurate records be kept. • make certain of obtaining or providing (something) : [with two objs. ] she would ensure him a place in society. • [ intrans. ] ( ensure against) make sure that (a problem) shall not occur. 1 involve (something) as a necessary or inevitable part or consequence : a situation that entails considerable risks.
cause to become twisted together with or caught in : fish attempt to swim through the mesh and become entangled. • involve (someone) in difficulties or complicated circumstances from which it is difficult to escape : the case of murder in which she had found herself so painfully entangled.
3 write or key (information) in a book, computer, etc., so as to record it : children can enter the data into the computer.
enter into become involved in (an activity, situation, or matter) : they have entered into a relationship. • undertake to bind oneself by (an agreement or other commitment) : the council entered into an agreement with a private firm. • form part of or be a factor in : medical ethics also enter into the question.
capture the fascinated attention of : she had been so enthralled by the adventure that she had hardly noticed the cold | [as adj. ] ( enthralling) an enthralling best seller.
say something that expresses one's eager enjoyment, interest, or approval : [ intrans. ] they both enthused over my new look | [with direct speech ] "This place is superb!" she enthused. • [ trans. ] make (someone) interested and eagerly appreciative : public art is a tonic that can enthuse alienated youth.
attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage : a show that should entice a new audience into the theater | [ trans. ] the whole purpose of bribes is to entice governments to act against the public interest | [as adj. ] ( enticing) the idea of giving up sounds enticing but would be a mistake. See note at tempt .
1 give (someone) a legal right or a just claim to receive or do something : employees are normally entitled to severance pay | [ trans. ] the landlord is entitled to require references. 2 give (something, esp. a text or work of art) a particular title : an article entitled "The Harried Society."
the fact of having a right to something : full entitlement to fees and maintenance should be offered | you should be fully aware of your legal entitlements.
catch (someone or something) in or as in a trap : she was entrapped by family expectations.
1 [ trans. ] (often be entrenched) establish (an attitude, habit, or belief) so firmly that change is very difficult or unlikely : ageism is entrenched in our society. • establish (a person or their authority) in a position of great strength or security : by 1947 de Gaulle's political opponents were firmly entrenched in power.
assign the responsibility for doing something to (someone) : I've been entrusted with the task of getting him safely back. • put (something) into someone's care or protection : you persuade people to entrust their savings to you.
wind or twist together; interweave : they lay entwined in each other's arms | figurative the nations' histories were closely entwined.
mention (a number of things) one by one : there is not space to enumerate all his works.
say or pronounce clearly : she enunciated each word slowly. • express (a proposition or theory) in clear or definite terms : a written document enunciating this policy. • proclaim : a prophet enunciating the Lord's wisdom.
wrap up, cover, or surround completely : a figure enveloped in a black cloak See note at circumscribe . : figurative a feeling of despair enveloped him.
push the envelope informal approach or extend the limits of what is possible : these are extremely witty and clever stories that consistently push the envelope of TV comedy. [ORIGIN: originally aviation slang, relating to graphs of aerodynamic performance.]
contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event : the Rome Treaty envisaged free movement across frontiers. • form a mental picture of (something not yet existing or known) : he knew what he liked but had difficulty envisaging it.
imagine as a future possibility; visualize : she envisioned the admiring glances of guests seeing her home.
envoy |ˈɛnvɔɪ| noun 1 a messenger or representative, esp. one on a diplomatic mission.
lasting for a very short time : fashions are ephemeral. See note at temporary .
• figurative the central point of something, typically a difficult or unpleasant situation : the patient was at the epicenter of concern.
a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time : a flu epidemic.
• a sudden, widespread occurrence of a particular undesirable phenomenon : an epidemic of violent crime./of, relating to, or of the nature of an epidemic : shoplifting has reached epidemic proportions. Compare with endemic , pandemic , epizootic .
epigram |ˈɛpɪgram| noun a pithy saying or remark expressing an idea in a clever and amusing way. See note at saying .
1 ( the epitome of) a person or thing that is a perfect example of a particular quality or type : she looked the epitome of elegance and good taste.
1 be a perfect example of : Hearst's newspapers epitomized bare-knuckle yellow journalism.
• the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of someone or something : Jewish reimmigration to Palestine marked an epoch in the history of Jewry.
epoch-making adjective of major importance; likely to have a significant effect on a particular period of time.
other (or all) things being equal provided that other factors or circumstances remain the same : it follows that, other things being equal, the price level will rise.
make the same in quantity, size, or degree throughout a place or group : incentives to equalize funding for school districts. • [ intrans. ] become equal to a specified or standard level : equal volumes tend to equalize in temperature. • [ trans. ] make uniform in application or effect : the act was structured to equalize the status of a defendant.
consider (one thing) to be the same as or equivalent to another : customers equate their name with quality./• cause (two or more things) to be the same in quantity or value : the level of prices will move to equate supply and demand.
• ( the equation) a situation or problem in which several factors must be taken into account : money also came into the equation.
of, at, or near the equator : equatorial regions.
having all its sides of the same length : an equilateral triangle.
at equal distances : he wants to be equidistant from both political parties.
• mental resources : they lacked the intellectual equipment to recognize the jokes.
1 fair and impartial : an equitable balance of power.
equal in value, amount, function, meaning, etc. : one unit is equivalent to one glass of wine. See note at same . • [ predic. ] ( equivalent to) having the same or a similar effect as : some regulations are equivalent to censorship.
open to more than one interpretation; ambiguous : the equivocal nature of her remarks. • uncertain or questionable in nature : the results of the investigation were equivocal.
• destroy or obliterate (someone or something) so as to leave no trace : over twenty years, the last vestiges of a rural economy were erased.
rigidly upright or straight : she stood erect with her arms by her sides.
construct (a building, wall, or other upright structure) : the guest house was erected in the eighteenth century. • put into position and set upright (a barrier, statue, or other object) : the police had erected roadblocks. • create or establish (a theory or system) : the party that erected the welfare state.
therefore : she was the sole beneficiary of the will, ergo the prime suspect.
(of wind, water, or other natural agents) gradually wear away (soil, rock, or land) : the cliffs have been eroded by the sea.
• figurative gradually destroy or be gradually destroyed : [ trans. ] this humiliation has eroded what confidence Jean has | [ intrans. ] profit margins are eroding.
err on the side of display more rather than less of (a specified quality) in one's actions : it is better to err on the side of caution.
to err is human, to forgive divine proverb it is human nature to make mistakes oneself while finding it hard to forgive others.
be mistaken or incorrect; make a mistake : the judge had erred in ruling that the evidence was inadmissible.
a short journey undertaken in order to deliver or collect something, often on someone else's behalf : she asked Tim to run an errand for her.
• figurative a man who is in the lowest rank of an organization : Louis was Harry's errand boy, a gofer..
1 [ attrib. ] erring or straying from the proper course or standards : he could never forgive his daughter's errant ways.
not even or regular in pattern or movement; unpredictable : her breathing was erratic. • deviating from the normal or conventional in behavior or opinions : neighbors were alarmed by increasingly erratic behavior.
wrong; incorrect : employers sometimes make erroneous assumptions.
• break out or burst forth suddenly and dramatically : fierce fighting erupted between the army and guerrillas | cheers erupted from the crowd. • give vent to anger, enthusiasm, amusement, or other feelings in a sudden and noisy way : the soldiers erupted in fits of laughter.
increase rapidly : the price of tickets escalated | [as adj. ] ( escalating) the escalating cost of health care. • become or cause to become more intense or serious : [ intrans. ] the disturbance escalated into a full-scale riot | [ trans. ] we do not want to escalate the war.
• an act of successfully avoiding something dangerous, unpleasant, or unwelcome : the couple had a narrow escape from serious injury.
deliberately avoid using; abstain from : he appealed to the crowd to eschew violence.
intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest : esoteric philosophical debates.
espionage |ˈɛspɪənɑːʒ| |-ɪdʒ| noun the practice of spying or of using spies, typically by governments to obtain political and military information.
a thing that is absolutely necessary : we had only the bare essentials in the way of gear./• [ attrib. ] fundamental or central to the nature of something or someone : the essential weakness of the plaintiff's case.
3 show (something) to be true or certain by determining the facts : [with clause ] the police established that the two passports were forgeries.
2 achieve permanent acceptance for (a custom, belief, practice, or institution) : the principle of the supremacy of national parliaments needs to be firmly established. • achieve recognition or acceptance for (someone) in a particular capacity : he had established himself as a film star.
respect and admiration, typically for a person : he was held in high esteem by colleagues.
an approximate calculation or judgment of the value, number, quantity, or extent of something : at a rough estimate, our staff is recycling a quarter of the paper used./ ( estimated) an estimated cost of $140,000,000.
infinite or unending time : their love was sealed for eternity | this state of affairs has lasted for all eternity.
• ( an eternity) informal a period of time that seems very long, esp. on account of being tedious or annoying : a silence that lasted an eternity.
1 extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world : her ethereal beauty | a singer who has a weirdly ethereal voice. • heavenly or spiritual : ethereal, otherworldly visions.
eugenics |juːˈdʒɛnɪks| plural noun [treated as sing. ] the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Developed largely by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, it fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis.
a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone who has just died : his good friend delivered a brief eulogy.
a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing : "downsizing" as a euphemism for cuts. The opposite of dysphemism .
a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness : the euphoria of success will fuel your desire to continue training. See note at rapture .
2 technical remove air, water, or other contents from (a container) : when it springs a leak, evacuate the pond | [as adj. ] ( evacuated) an evacuated bulb.
escape or avoid, esp. by cleverness or trickery : friends helped him to evade capture for a time | he tried to kiss her, but she evaded him. • (of an abstract thing) elude (someone) : sleep still evaded her. • avoid giving a direct answer to (a question) : he denied evading the question.
• [ intrans. ] (of something abstract) cease to exist : the militancy of earlier years had evaporated in the wake of defeat.
the action of evading something : their adroit evasion of almost all questions.
tending to avoid commitment or self-revelation, esp. by responding only indirectly : she was evasive about her phone number. • directed toward avoidance or escape : they decided to take evasive action.
even so in spite of that; nevertheless : not the most exciting of places, but even so I was having a good time.
marked by interesting or exciting events : his long and eventful life.
a possible event or outcome : you must be prepared for all eventualities.
2 at all times; always : ever the man of action, he was impatient with intellectuals | it remains as popular as ever | they lived happily ever after | [in combination ] he toyed with his ever-present cigar.
lasting forever or for a very long time : the damned would suffer everlasting torment | it would be an everlasting reminder of this evening. See note at eternal .
• used before an amount to indicate something happening at specified intervals : tours are every thirty minutes | they had every third week off.
every few once in every small group of (typically units of time) : she visits every few weeks.
every nook and cranny every part or aspect of something : the party reached into every nook and cranny of people's lives.
every now and then (or now and again) from time to time; occasionally : I used to see him every now and then.
every other each second in a series; each alternate : I train with weights every other day.
every so often from time to time; occasionally : every so often I need a laugh to stay sane.
expel (someone) from a property, esp. with the support of the law : he had court orders to evict the trespassers from three camps. See note at eject .
plain or obvious; clearly seen or understood : she ate the cookies with evident enjoyment.
1 plainly or obviously; in a way that is clearly seen or understood : a work so evidently laden with significance. 2 [ sentence adverb ] it is plain that; it would seem that : evidently Mrs. Smith thought differently. • used as an affirmative response or reply : "Were they old pals or something?" "Evidently."
disembowel (a person or animal) : the goat had been skinned and neatly eviscerated. • figurative deprive (something) of its essential content : myriad little concessions that would eviscerate the project.
bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind : powerfully evocative lyrics | the building's cramped interiors are highly evocative of past centuries.
1 bring or recall to the conscious mind : the sight of American asters evokes pleasant memories of childhood. • elicit (a response) : the awkward kid who evoked giggles from his sisters.
make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse : the forest fire was exacerbated by the lack of rain.
irritate intensely; infuriate : this futile process exasperates prison officials | [as adj. ] ( exasperated) she grew exasperated with his inability to notice anything | [as adj. ] ( exasperating) they suffered a number of exasperating setbacks.
1 make (a hole or channel) by digging : the cheapest way of doing this was to excavate a long trench.
• be better than; surpass : catalog sales have exceeded expectations.
be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject : a sturdy youth who excelled at football.
take (a short extract) from a text : the notes are excerpted from his forthcoming biography.
1 an amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable : are you suffering from an excess of stress in your life? • the amount by which one quantity or number exceeds another : the excess of imports over exports rose $1.4 billion./exceeding a prescribed or desirable amount : trim any excess fat off the meat.
a tax levied on certain goods and commodities produced or sold within a country and on licenses granted for certain activities : excise taxes on cigarettes.
cry out suddenly, esp. in surprise, anger, or pain : "Well, I never," she exclaimed | she looked in the mirror, exclaiming in dismay at her appearance.
a sudden cry or remark, esp. expressing surprise, anger, or pain : Meg gave an involuntary exclamation | an exclamation of amazement.
excommunicate verb |ˈɛkskəˈmjuːnɪkeɪt| [ trans. ] officially exclude (someone) from participation in the sacraments and services of the Christian Church.
torment (someone) physically or mentally : I stand back, excruciated by the possibility.
1 a short journey or trip, esp. one engaged in as a leisure activity : an excursion to Mount Etna | figurative an excursion into theology. See note at journey .
1 attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify : he did nothing to hide or excuse Jacob's cruelty. • forgive (someone) for a fault or offense : you must excuse my sister | he could be excused for feeling that he was born at the wrong time. • overlook or forgive (a fault or offense) : sit down—excuse the mess.
2 release (someone) from a duty or requirement : it will not be possible to excuse you from jury duty. • (used in polite formulas) allow (someone) to leave a room or gathering : now, if you'll excuse us, we have to be getting along.
• perform (an activity or maneuver requiring care or skill) : they had to execute their dance steps with the greatest precision.
1 the carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action : he was fascinated by the entire operation and its execution.
1 serving as a desirable model; representing the best of its kind : an award for exemplary community service. • characteristic of its kind or illustrating a general rule : her works are exemplary of certain feminist arguments.
be a typical example of : rock bands that best exemplify the spirit of the age.
free from an obligation or liability imposed on others : these patients are exempt from all charges | they are not exempt from criticism. See note at absolve ../free (a person or organization) from an obligation or liability imposed on others : they were exempted from paying the tax.
1 use or apply (a faculty, right, or process) : control is exercised by the Board | anyone receiving a suspect package should exercise extreme caution.
breathe out in a deliberate manner : [ intrans. ] she sat back and exhaled deeply | [ trans. ] he exhaled the smoke toward the ceiling. • [ trans. ] give off (vapor or fumes) : the jungle exhaled mists of early morning.
1 drain (someone) of their physical or mental resources; tire out : her day trip had exhausted her | [as adj. ] ( exhausting) it had been a long and exhausting day. 2 use up (resources or reserves) completely : the country has exhausted its treasury reserves. • expound on, write about, or explore (a subject or options) so fully that there is nothing further to be said or discovered : she seemed to have exhausted all permissible topics of conversation.
examining, including, or considering all elements or aspects; fully comprehensive : she has undergone exhaustive tests since becoming ill.
2 manifest or deliberately display (a quality or a type of behavior) : he could exhibit a saintlike submissiveness. • show as a sign or symptom : patients with alcoholic liver disease exhibit many biochemical abnormalities.
2 a display or demonstration of a particular skill : fields that have been plowed with a supreme exhibition of the farm worker's skills | [as adj. ] exhibition games. • [in sing. ] an ostentatious or insincere display of a particular quality or emotion : a false but convincing exhibition of concern for smaller nations.
make (someone) feel very happy, animated, or elated : the children were exhilarated by a sense of purpose | [as adj. ] ( exhilarated) all this hustle and bustle makes me feel exhilarated | [as adj. ] ( exhilarating) riding was one of the most exhilarating experiences he knew.
strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something : the media have been exhorting people to turn out for the demonstration | [with direct speech ] "Come on, you guys," exhorted Linda. See note at incite .
the state of being barred from one's native country, typically for political or punitive reasons : he knew now that he would die in exile.
expel and bar (someone) from their native country, typically for political or punitive reasons : a corrupt dictator who had been exiled from his country | he was exiled to Tasmania in 1849 | [as adj. ] ( exiled) supporters of the exiled king.
having reality or existence : the technique has been existent for some years.
go out of or leave a place : they exited from the aircraft | the bullet entered her back and exited through her chest | [ trans. ] elephants enter and exit the forest on narrow paths.
• leave a particular situation : organizations which do not have freedom to exit from unprofitable markets.
1 (esp. of an official body) absolve (someone) from blame for a fault or wrongdoing, esp. after due consideration of the case : the court-martial exonerated me | they should exonerate these men from this crime. See note at absolve .
(of a price or amount charged) unreasonably high : the exorbitant price of tickets.
• attractive or striking because colorful or out of the ordinary : an exotic outfit | [as n. ] ( the exotic) there was a touch of the exotic in her appearance.
become or make larger or more extensive : [ intrans. ] their business expanded into other hotels and properties | [ trans. ] baby birds cannot expand and contract their lungs./• [ intrans. ] ( expand on) give a fuller version or account of : Anne expanded on the theory.
the action of becoming larger or more extensive : the rapid expansion of suburban Washington | a small expansion of industry. • extension of a state's territory by encroaching on that of other nations, pursued as a political strategy : German expansion in the 1930s. • a thing formed by the enlargement, broadening, or development of something : the book is an expansion of a lecture given last year.
a person who lives outside their native country : American expatriates in London.
• look for (something) from someone as rightfully due or requisite in the circumstances : we expect great things of you.
(of an action) convenient and practical, although possibly improper or immoral : either side could break the agreement if it were expedient to do so. • (of an action) suitable or appropriate : holding a public inquiry into the scheme was not expedient.
make (an action or process) happen sooner or be accomplished more quickly : he promised to expedite economic reforms.
1 a journey or voyage undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose, esp. that of exploration, scientific research, or war : an expedition to the jungles of the Orinoco | informal a shopping expedition. See note at journey . • the people involved in such a journey or voyage : many of the expedition have passed rigorous courses.
the cost required for something; the money spent on something : we had ordered suits at great expense | the committee does not expect members to be put to any expense. • ( expenses) the costs incurred in the performance of one's job or a specific task, esp. one undertaken for another person : his hotel and travel expenses. • a thing on which one is required to spend money : tolls are a daily expense.
• an event or occurrence that leaves an impression on someone : for the younger players it has been a learning experience.
• try out new concepts or ways of doing things : the designers experimented with new ideas in lighting.
• (of a period of time) come to an end : the three-year period has expired.
the end of the period for which something is valid : the expiry of the patent | [as adj. ] an expiry date. • the end of a fixed period of time : the expiry of the six-month period.
stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt : the speaker's intentions were not made explicit. • (of a person) stating something in such a way : let me be explicit.
• (of a person) suddenly give expression to violent and uncontainable emotion, esp. anger : he can explode with anger | [with direct speech ] "This is ludicrous!" she exploded. • (of a violent emotion or a situation) arise or develop suddenly : tension that could explode into violence at any time.
make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource) : 500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology. • use (a situation or person) in an unfair or selfish way : the company was exploiting a legal loophole | accusations that he exploited a wealthy patient. • benefit unfairly from the work of (someone), typically by overworking or underpaying them : making money does not always mean exploiting others.
• [ intrans. ] ( explore for) search for resources such as mineral deposits : the company explored for oil. • inquire into or discuss (a subject or issue) in detail : he sets out to explore fundamental questions. • examine or evaluate (an option or possibility) : he met with Israeli leaders to explore new peace proposals.
able or likely to shatter violently or burst apart, as when a bomb explodes : an explosive device. • likely to cause an eruption of anger or controversy : Marco's explosive temper | the idea was politically explosive. • of or relating to a sudden and dramatic increase in amount or extent : the explosive growth of personal computers in the 1980s.
• (of an increase) becoming more and more rapid : the social security budget was rising at an exponential rate.
• ( expose someone to) introduce (someone) to (a subject or area of knowledge) : students were exposed to probability and statistics in high school.
• [usu. as adj. ] ( exposed) leave or put (someone) in an unprotected and vulnerable state : Miranda felt exposed and lonely. • ( expose someone to) cause someone to experience or be at risk of : he exposed himself unnecessarily to gunfire in the war. • make (something embarrassing or damaging) public : investigations exposed a vast network of illegalities.
• ( express oneself) say what one thinks or means : with a diplomatic smile, she expressed herself more subtly.
• [ predic. ] ( expressive of) conveying (the specified quality or idea) : the spires are expressive of religious aspiration.
1 cause to cover a larger area; make longer or wider : the Forest Service plans to extend a gravel road nearly a mile. • expand in scope, effect, or meaning : we have continued to extend our range of specialist services. • cause to last longer : high schools may consider extending the class day to seven periods. • postpone (a starting or ending time) beyond the original limit : he extended the deadline to 4 p.m. today.
• [ intrans. ] occupy a specified area or stretch to a specified point : the mountains extend over the western end of the island | a fault that may extend to a depth of 12 miles. • [ intrans. ] ( extend to) include within one's scope; be applicable to : her generosity did not extend to all adults./• ( extend oneself) exert or exercise oneself to the utmost : you have to extend yourself to change rather than keep on doing the same thing.
• the action or process of becoming or making something larger : the extension of the president's powers. • an application of an existing system or activity to a new area : direct marketing is an extension of telephone selling.
• the amount to which something is or is believed to be the case : everyone will have to compromise to some extent | they altered the document to such an extent that it contained little in the way of new policy.
1 [usu. as adj. ] ( extenuating) make (guilt or an offense) seem less serious or more forgivable : there were extenuating circumstances that caused me to say the things I did.
forming, situated on, or relating to the outside of something : exterior and interior walls.
destroy completely : leftist ideals had not been totally exterminated. See note at destroy .
cause (a fire or light) to cease to burn or shine : firemen were soaking everything to extinguish the blaze. • (often be extinguished) put an end to; annihilate : hope is extinguished little by little.
praise enthusiastically : he extolled the virtues of the Russian peoples. See note at praise .
obtain (something) by force, threats, or other unfair means : he was convicted of trying to extort $1 million from a developer.
• obtain (something such as money or an admission) from someone in the face of initial unwillingness : I won't let you go without trying to extract a promise from you. • obtain (a substance or resource) from something by a special method : lead was extracted from the copper.
• derive (an idea or the evidence for it) from a body of information : the desire to extract meaningful lessons from a few experiments.
hand over (a person accused or convicted of a crime) to the jurisdiction of the foreign state in which the crime was committed : Greece refused to extradite him to Italy.
extend the application of (a method or conclusion, esp. one based on statistics) to an unknown situation by assuming that existing trends will continue or similar methods will be applicable : the results cannot be extrapolated to other patient groups. | [ intrans. ] it is always dangerous to extrapolate from a sample. • estimate or conclude (something) in this way : attempts to extrapolate likely human cancers from laboratory studies.
of or from outside the earth or its atmosphere : searches for extraterrestrial intelligence.
lacking restraint in spending money or using resources : it was rather extravagant to buy both. See note at profuse . • costing too much money : extravagant gifts like computer games. • exceeding what is reasonable or appropriate; absurd : extravagant claims for its effectiveness.
of, denoting, or typical of an extrovert : his extrovert personality made him the ideal host.
free (someone or something) from a constraint or difficulty : he was trying to extricate himself from official duties.
not part of the essential nature of someone or something; coming or operating from outside : extrinsic factors that might affect time budgets | the idea that power is extrinsic to production and profits.
thrust or force out : lava was being extruded from the volcano.
filled with or characterized by a lively energy and excitement : giddily exuberant crowds | flamboyant and exuberant architectural invention.
• [ intrans. ] (of moisture or a smell) be discharged by something in such a way : slime exudes from the fungus.
• figurative (of a place) have a strong atmosphere of: : the building exudes an air of tranquility.
immediately appealing or noticeable; striking : an eye-catching poster.
the level of the eyes looking straight ahead : pictures hung at eye level.
1 [in sing. ] an event or situation that proves to be unexpectedly enlightening : a visit to the docks can be a fascinating eye-opener.
astonishingly large, impressive, or blatant : the company has doubled its assets to an eye-popping $113 billion.
eye strain noun fatigue of the eyes, such as that caused by reading or looking at a computer screen for too long.
invent or concoct (something), typically with deceitful intent : officers fabricated evidence. See note at lie .
• figurative an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality : her flawless public facade masked private despair.
2 confront and deal with or accept : honesty forced her to face facts | [ intrans. ] the candidates choose not to face up to the pragmatic issues. • ( face someone/something down) overcome someone or something by a show of determination : he faced down persistent hecklers at a noontime rally. • have (a difficult event or situation) in prospect : each defendant faced a maximum sentence of 10 years. • (of a problem or difficult situation) present itself to and require action from (someone) : if you were suddenly faced with an emergency, would you know how to cope?
face down with the face or surface turned toward the ground : he lay face down on his bed.
face off take up an attitude of confrontation, esp. at the start of a fight or game : close to a million soldiers face off in the desert. • Ice Hockey start or restart play with a face-off.
preserving one's reputation, credibility, or dignity : a face-saving solution for both sides.
face up with the face or surface turned upward to view : place the panel face up before cutting.
• figurative the superficial appearance or implication of something : she felt the lie was unconvincing, but he seemed to take it at face value.
(of a person) remote and impersonal; anonymous : the faceless bureaucrats who made the rules.
• (of a person) having a superficial or simplistic knowledge or approach : a man of facile and shallow intellect.
make (an action or process) easy or easier : schools were located on the same campus to facilitate the sharing of resources.
a small, organized, dissenting group within a larger one, esp. in politics : the left-wing faction of the party.
factor something in (or out) include (or exclude) something as a relevant element when making a calculation or decision : when the psychological costs are factored in, a different picture will emerge.
• [with adj. ] figurative a person, group, or institution that produces a great quantity of something on a regular basis or in a short space of time : a huge factory of lying, slander, and bad English.
concerned with what is actually the case rather than interpretations of or reactions to it : a mixture of comment and factual information. • actually occurring : cases mentioned are factual.
1 an inherent mental or physical power : her critical faculties. • an aptitude or talent for doing something : the author's faculty for philosophical analysis.
1 gradually grow faint and disappear : the noise faded away | figurative hopes of peace had faded. • lose or cause to lose color or brightness : [ intrans. ] the fair hair had faded to a dusty gray | [ trans. ] [usu. as adj. ] ( faded) faded jeans. • (of a racehorse, runner, etc.) lose strength or drop back, esp. after a promising start : she faded near the finish. • (of a radio signal) gradually lose intensity : the signal faded away. 2 [with adverbial ] (with reference to film and television images) come or cause to come gradually into or out of view, or to merge into another shot : [ intrans. ] fade into scenes of rooms strewn with festive remains | [ trans. ] some shots have to be faded in. • (with reference to recorded sound) increase or decrease in volume or merge into another recording : [ intrans. ] they let you edit the digital data, making it fade in and out | [ trans. ] fade up natural sound.
an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, esp. one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities; a craze : prairie restoration is the latest gardening fad in the Midwest.
• ( never fail to do something) used to indicate that something invariably happens : such comments never failed to annoy him.
• [ trans. ] desert or let down (someone) : at the last moment her nerve failed her.
2 the omission of expected or required action : their failure to comply with the basic rules. • a lack or deficiency of a desirable quality : a failure of imagination. 3 the action or state of not functioning : symptoms of heart failure | an engine failure.
1 (of a sight, smell, or sound) barely perceptible : the faint murmur of voices. • (of a hope, chance, or possibility) slight; remote : there is a faint chance that the enemy may flee. 2 [ predic. ] weak and dizzy; close to losing consciousness : the heat made him feel faint. • appearing feeble or lacking in strength : the faint beat of a butterfly's wing.
lacking courage; timid : they were feeling faint-hearted at the prospect of war | [as plural n. ] ( the faint-hearted) litigation is not for the faint-hearted.
1 without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage : no one could say he played fair.
3 considerable though not outstanding in size or amount : he did a fair bit of coaching. • moderately good though not outstandingly so : he believes he has a fair chance of success.
fair and square honestly and straightforwardly : we won the match fair and square.
fair enough informal used to admit that something is reasonable or acceptable : "I can't come because I'm working late." "Fair enough."
impartial in judgment; just : a fair-minded employer.
2 [usu. as submodifier ] to quite a high degree : I was fairly certain she had nothing to do with the affair. • to an acceptable extent : I get along fairly well with everybody.
break (or keep) faith be disloyal (or loyal) : an attempt to make us break faith with our customers.
• (of an object) reliable : my faithful compass.
• make (an event) appear to happen : he faked his own death. • accomplish (a task) by improvising : all the experts agree that you can't fake it
• ( fall off) become detached accidentally and drop to the ground : my sunglasses fell off and broke on the pavement.
• [ intrans. ] (of someone's face) show dismay or disappointment by appearing to sag or droop : her face fell as she thought about her life with George. • figurative occur, arrive, or become apparent as if by dropping suddenly : when night fell we managed to crawl back to our lines | the information might fall into the wrong hands.
2 (of a person) lose one's balance and collapse : she fell down at school today. • throw oneself down, typically in order to worship or implore someone : they fell on their knees, rendering thanks to God. • (of a tree, building, or other structure) collapse to the ground : the house looked as if it were going to fall down at any moment. • (of a building or place) be captured or defeated : their mountain strongholds fell to enemy attack. • die in battle : an English leader who had fallen at the hands of the Danes.
3 decrease in number, amount, intensity, or quality : in 1987 imports into Britain fell by 12 percent | we're worried that standards are falling./• (of a measuring instrument) show a lower reading : the barometer had fallen a further ten points.
1 [usu. in sing. ] an act of falling or collapsing; a sudden uncontrollable descent : his mother had a fall, hurting her leg as she alighted from a train.
fall into place (of a series of events or facts) begin to make sense or cohere : once he knew what to look for, the theory fell quickly into place.
fall victim to be hurt, killed, damaged, or destroyed by : many streams have fallen victim to the recent drought.
fall short ( of) (of a missile) fail to reach its target. • figurative be deficient or inadequate; fail to reach a required goal : the total vote fell short of the required two-thirds majority.
fall prey to be hunted and killed by : small rodents fell prey to domestic cats. • be vulnerable to or overcome by : he would often fall prey to melancholy.
fall apart (or to pieces) break up, come apart, or disintegrate : their marriage is likely to fall apart. • (of a person) lose one's capacity to cope : Angie fell to pieces because she had lost everything.
fall behind fail to keep up with one's competitors. • fail to meet a commitment to make a regular payment : borrowers falling behind with their mortgage payments.
fall out 1 (of the hair, teeth, etc.) become detached and drop out. 2 have an argument : he had fallen out with his family. 3 leave one's place in a military formation, or on parade : the two policemen at the rear fell out of the formation. 4 happen; turn out : matters fell out as Stephen arranged.
fall flat fail completely to produce the intended or expected effect : his jokes fell flat.
fall flat on one's face fall over forward. • figurative fail in an embarrassingly obvious way : the president could fall flat on his face if the economy doesn't start improving soon.
a mistaken belief, esp. one based on unsound argument : the notion that the camera never lies is a fallacy.
a quarrel or disagreement : the two of them had a falling-out.
• forge or alter (a document) fraudulently : [as adj. ] ( falsified) falsified documents. 2 prove (a statement or theory) to be false : the hypothesis is falsified by the evidence. • fail to fulfill (a hope, fear, or expectation); remove the justification for : changes falsify individual expectations.
start to lose strength or momentum : her smile faltered and then faded | [as adj. ] ( faltering) his faltering career. • speak in a hesitant or unsteady voice : [with direct speech ] "I c-c-can't," he faltered. • move unsteadily or in a way that shows lack of confidence : he faltered and finally stopped in midstride.
1 the condition of being known or talked about by many people, esp. on account of notable achievements : winning the Olympic title has brought her fame and fortune.
2 in close friendship; intimate : she had not realized they were on such familiar terms.
family man noun a man who lives with his wife and children, esp. one who enjoys home life.
• [ trans. ] brush or drive away with a waving movement : a veil of smoke which she fanned away with a jeweled hand.
• [often with adj. ] informal a person with an obsessive interest in and enthusiasm for something, esp. an activity : a fitness fanatic.
filled with excessive and single-minded zeal : fanatical revolutionaries. • obsessively concerned with something : he was fanatical about security at night.(of a person or their thoughts and ideas) overimaginative and unrealistic : a fanciful story about a pot of gold. • existing only in the imagination or fancy : the Moon Maiden is one of a number of fanciful lunar inhabitants.
(of a person or their thoughts and ideas) overimaginative and unrealistic : a fanciful story about a pot of gold. • existing only in the imagination or fancy : the Moon Maiden is one of a number of fanciful lunar inhabitants.
1 feel a desire or liking for : do you fancy a drink? • find sexually attractive : he saw a woman he fancied.
1 a feeling of liking or attraction, typically one that is superficial or transient : this does not mean that the law should change with every passing fancy. 2 the faculty of imagination : my research assistant is prone to flights of fancy.
3 by a great deal : he is able to function far better than usual | the reality has fallen far short of early expectations.
far gone |ˈˈfɑr ˈgɔn| in a bad or worsening state, esp. so as to be beyond recovery : a few frames from the original film were too far gone to salvage. • advanced in time : the legislative session is too far gone for the lengthy hearings needed to pass the bill.
having important and widely applicable effects or implications : a series of far-reaching political reforms.
• an absurd event : the debate turned into a drunken farce.
used to express good wishes on parting : farewell, Albert!
• parting good wishes : he had come on the pretext of bidding her farewell | I bade him a fond farewell.
1 at, to, or by a greater distance (used to indicate the extent to which one thing or person is or becomes distant from another) : the farther away you are from your home, the better you should behave | figurative his action pushes Haiti even farther away from democratic rule.
• [with negative ] used to emphasize the difference between a supposed or suggested fact or state of mind and the truth : as for her being a liar, nothing could be further from the truth | nothing could be further from his mind than marrying.
• beyond the point already reached or the distance already covered : Emily decided to drive further up the coast | before going any further we need to define our terms.
• [ sentence adverb ] used to introduce a new point relating to or reinforcing a previous statement : Ethnic minorities are more prone to unemployment. Further, this disadvantage extends to other areas of life.
in the manner of something specified: : dog-fashion | castanet-fashion.
a control on a tape or video player for advancing the tape rapidly : [as adj. ] the fast-forward button./• [ intrans. ] figurative move speedily forward in time when considering or dealing with something over a period : the text fast-forwards to 1990.
• a hectic or highly pressured lifestyle : his face showed the strain of a life lived in the fast lane.
accelerate the development or progress of (a person or project); compare with slow track : : the old boys' network fast-tracks men to the top of the corporate ladder.
• [ intrans. ] be closed or done up in a particular place or part or in a particular way : a blue nightie that fastens down the back.
very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail : he chooses his words with fastidious care. • very concerned about matters of cleanliness : the child seemed fastidious about getting her fingers sticky or dirty.
• informal used ironically to express the belief that there is none or very little of something : fat chance she had of influencing him | a fat lot of good that'll do him.
causing death : a fatal accident. • leading to failure or disaster : there were three fatal flaws in the strategy.
1 an occurrence of death by accident, in war, or from disease : shooting was heard and there were fatalities.
1 the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power : fate decided his course for him | his injury is a cruel twist of fate.
• the course of someone's life, or the outcome of a particular situation for someone or something, seen as beyond their control : he suffered the same fate as his companion.
having far-reaching and typically disastrous consequences or implications : a fateful oversight. See note at ominous .
• (also founding father) an important figure in the origin and early history of something : Dorsey should be remembered as the father of gospel music.
1 [usu. with negative ] understand (a difficult problem or an enigmatic person) after much thought : he could scarcely fathom the idea that people actually lived in Las Vegas | [with clause ] he couldn't fathom why she was being so anxious.
working badly or unreliably because of imperfections : a car with faulty brakes. • (of reasoning and other mental processes) mistaken or misleading because of flaws : faulty logic.
faux pas |fəʊ ˈpɑː| |fo pa| noun ( pl. same) an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation.
1 feel or show approval or preference for : slashing public spending is a policy that few politicians favor. • give unfairly preferential treatment to : critics argued that the policy favored the private sector.
2 an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual : I've come to ask you a favor./• support or advancement given as a sign of approval : a struggle between competing aides for presidential favor.
1 expressing approval : the book received highly favorable reviews. • giving consent : their demands rarely received a favorable response. 2 to the advantage of someone or something : they made a settlement favorable to the unions.
disturb or disconcert (someone) : she was not fazed by his show of anger.
1 feeling afraid; showing fear or anxiety : bond traders have remained fearful of inflation | [with clause ] the mothers were fearful that their daughters would marry and move abroad. • causing or likely to cause people to be afraid; horrifying : a fearful accident.
frightening, esp. in appearance : the cat mewed, displaying a fearsome set of teeth.
the state or degree of being easily or conveniently done : the feasibility of a manned flight to Mars.
possible to do easily or conveniently : it is not feasible to put most finds from excavations on public display. • informal likely; probable : the most feasible explanation.
an achievement that requires great courage, skill, or strength : the new printing presses were considerable feats of engineering.
lacking physical strength, esp. as a result of age or illness : my legs are very feeble after the flu. See note at weak . • (of a sound) faint : his voice sounded feeble and far away. • lacking strength of character : she overreacted in such a feeble, juvenile way. • failing to convince or impress : a feeble excuse.
• (of an idea or proposal) lacking in sense or clear direction : a feebleminded policy.
2 supply (a machine) with material, power, or other things necessary for its operation : the programs are fed into the computer. • [with two objs. ] supply (someone) with (information, ideas, etc.) : I think he is feeding his old employer commercial secrets.
• examine or search by touch : he touched her head and felt her hair | [ intrans. ] he felt around for the matches.
• [ intrans. ] give a sensation of a particular physical quality when touched : the wool feels soft. • ( feel one's way) find one's way by touch rather than sight : she plunged into the darkness of the tunnel, feeling her way along the walls. • ( feel one's way) figurative act cautiously, esp. in an area with which one is unfamiliar : she was new in the job, still feeling her way.
feel one's age become aware that one is growing older and less energetic.
feel (or look) small feel (or look) contemptibly weak or insignificant.
pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury) : she feigned nervousness.
make a deceptive or distracting movement, typically during a fight : he feinted left, drawing a punch and slipping it. • [ trans. ] pretend to throw a (punch or blow) in order to deceive or distract an opponent : Feinting a left, I bobbed to the right.
a crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death : he pleaded guilty to six felonies | an accusation of felony.
of, relating to, or involved in crime : they turned their felonious talents to the smuggling trade. • Law relating to or of the nature of felony : his conduct was felonious.
sit on the fence avoid making a decision or choice.
• ( fence something in/off) enclose or separate with a fence for protection or to prevent escape : everything is fenced in to keep out the wolves. • ( fence someone/something out) use a barrier to exclude someone or something : Idaho law requires people to fence out cows.
1 [ intrans. ] ( fend for oneself) look after and provide for oneself, without any help from others : you're old enough to fend for yourself.
• evade someone or something in order to protect oneself : he fended off the awkward questions.
savagely fierce, cruel, or violent : the wolverine is nature's most ferocious and violent animal. • (of a conflict) characterized by or involving aggression, bitterness, and determination : a ferocious argument. • extreme and unpleasant : a ferocious headache.
the state or quality of being ferocious : the ferocity of the storm caught them by surprise.
• [ trans. ] ( ferret something out) search tenaciously for and find something : she had the ability to ferret out the facts.
(of soil or land) producing or capable of producing abundant vegetation or crops : fields along the fertile flood plains of the river | figurative Germany in the 1920s and 30s was fertile ground for such ideas.
• (of a situation or subject) fruitful and productive in generating new ideas : a series of fertile debates within the social sciences.
having or displaying a passionate intensity : a fervent disciple of tax reform. See note at eager .
intense and passionate feeling : he talked with all the fervor of a new convert.
(of a wound or sore) become septic; suppurate : I developed a tropical sore that festered badly | [as adj. ] ( festering) a festering abscess. • (of food or garbage) become rotten and offensive to the senses : a gully full of garbage that festered in the shade
of or relating to a festival : parties are held and festive food is served. • cheerful and jovially celebratory : the somber atmosphere has given way to a festive mood.
1 go for and then bring back (someone or something) : he ran to fetch help.
a state of prolonged mutual hostility, typically between two families or communities, characterized by violent assaults in revenge for previous injuries : the incident rekindled a long-term feud between two ethnic groups. See note at quarrel . • a prolonged and bitter quarrel or dispute : one of the most volatile feuds that currently rock the scientific community.
take part in such a quarrel or violent conflict : these two families have been feuding since the Civil War | Hoover feuded with the CIA for decades.
according to, resembling, or denoting the system of feudalism : feudal barons. • absurdly outdated or old-fashioned : his view of patriotism was more than old-fashioned—it was positively feudal.
a state of extreme excitement : the football crowd was at fever pitch.
having or showing the symptoms of a fever : he suffered from feverish colds. • displaying a frenetic excitement or energy : the next couple of weeks were spent in a whirl of feverish activity.
the minority of people; the elect : a world that increasingly belongs to the few.
a thing that is a complete failure, esp. in a ludicrous or humiliating way : his plans turned into a fiasco.
a lie, typically an unimportant one : parents told little white fibs about out-of-wedlock births. See note at lie .
changing frequently, esp. as regards one's loyalties, interests, or affection : Web patrons are a notoriously fickle lot, bouncing from one site to another on a whim | the weather is forever fickle.
not real or true, being imaginary or having been fabricated : she pleaded guilty to stealing thousands in taxpayer dollars by having a fictitious employee on her payroll. • of, relating to, or denoting the imaginary characters and events found in fiction : the people in this novel are fictitious; the background of public events is not.
2 [ intrans. ] touch or fidget with something in a restless or nervous way : Laura fiddled with her cup. • tinker with something in an attempt to make minor adjustments or improvements : never fiddle with an electric machine that's plugged in.
play second fiddle to take a subordinate role to someone or something in a way often considered demeaning : she had to play second fiddle to the interests of her husband.
faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support : he sought only the strictest fidelity to justice.
make small movements, esp. of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience : the audience had begun to fidget on their chairs. • [ trans. ] make (someone) uneasy or uncomfortable : she fidgets me with her never-ending spit and polish.
extremely cruel or unpleasant; devilish : shrieks of fiendish laughter. • extremely awkward or complex : a fiendish problem.
having or displaying an intense or ferocious aggressiveness : as women, we need to accept that we can be fierce, cunning, and predatory | the fierce air battles that ensued over the Pacific.
consisting of fire or burning strongly and brightly : the sun was a fiery ball low on the hills | [as submodifier ] figurative a fiery hot chili sauce. • having the bright color of fire : the car was painted a fiery red. • (of a person) having a passionate, quick-tempered nature : a fiery, imaginative Aries. • (of behavior or words) passionately angry and deeply felt : a fiery speech.
• quarrel or argue : she didn't want to fight with her mother all the time | they were fighting over who pays the bill.
• [ trans. ] attempt to repress (a feeling or an expression of a feeling) : she had to fight back tears of frustration.
• campaign determinedly for or against something, esp. to put right what one considers unfair or unjust : I will fight for more equitable laws.
fight a losing battle be fated to fail in one's efforts : he was fighting a losing battle to stem the tears.
fight someone/something off defend oneself against an attack by someone or something : well-fed people are better able to fight off infectious disease.
1 departing from a literal use of words; metaphorical : gold, in the figurative language of the people, was "the tears wept by the sun."
• one of a specified number of digits making up a larger number, used to give a rough idea of the order of magnitude : their market price runs into five figures | [in combination ] a six-figure salary.
• an amount of money : a figure of two thousand dollars.
3 [with clause ] informal think, consider, or expect to be the case : I figure that wearing a suit makes you look like a bank clerk | [ trans. ] for years, teachers had figured him for a dullard.
• (of a recent event or newly discovered fact) be logical and unsurprising : well, she supposed that figured.
figure of speech |ˈfɪgjər əv ˈspitʃ| a word or phrase used in a nonliteral sense to add rhetorical force to a spoken or written passage : calling her a crab is just a figure of speech.
figure something out informal solve or discover the cause of a problem : he was trying to figure out why the camera wasn't working.
• submit (a legal document, application, or charge) to be placed on record by the appropriate authority : criminal charges were filed against the firm | [ intrans. ] the company had filed for bankruptcy.
• appoint a person to hold (a vacant position) : the number of high-tech jobs and the people who can fill them. • hold and perform the expected duties of (a position or role) : she fills the role of the "good" child.
• appoint a person to hold (a vacant position) : the number of high-tech jobs and the people who can fill them. • hold and perform the expected duties of (a position or role) : she fills the role of the "good" child.
fill someone in 1 inform someone more fully of a matter, giving all the details : the cab driver filled me in on much important economic and sociological data. 2 Brit., informal dated hit or punch someone : I filled in a chap and took his money. fill something in put material into a hole, trench, or space so that it is completely full : the canal is now disused and partly filled in. • complete a drawing by adding color or shade to the spaces within an outline : incised letters, filled in with gold. • chiefly Brit. add information to complete something, typically a form or other official document : he filled in all the forms.
fill something out add information to complete an official form or document : he filled out the requisite forms. • give more details to add to someone's understanding of something : he filled out the background by going into historical questions.
1 pass (a liquid, gas, light, or sound) through a device to remove unwanted material : the patient is hooked up to a dialysis machine twice a week to filter out the cholesterol in the blood | figurative you'll be put through to a secretary whose job it is to filter calls.
disgustingly dirty : a filthy hospital with no sanitation. • obscene and offensive : filthy language. • informal used to express one's anger and disgust : you filthy beast./• Brit., informal (of weather) very unpleasant : it looked like a filthy night.
to an extreme and often disgusting extent : he has become filthy rich.
a liquid that has passed through a filter : filtrates of bacterial cultures | drops of clear filtrate.
complete (a transaction, esp. in commerce or diplomacy) after discussion of the terms : the two countries had yet to finalize a peace treaty. • produce or agree on a finished and definitive version of : efforts intensified to finalize plans for postwar reconstruction.
provide funding for (a person or enterprise) : the city and county originally financed the project.
• ( find oneself) discover oneself to be in a surprising or unexpected situation : phobia sufferers often find themselves virtual prisoners in their own home.
• summon up (a quality, esp. courage) with an effort : I found the courage to speak.
• ( find one's way) reach one's destination by one's own efforts, without knowing in advance how to get there : he found his way to the front door. • ( find one's way) come to be in a certain situation : each and every boy found his way into a suitable occupation.
find a way discover a means of obtaining one's object.
anything you want is fine by me, Linda
2 (of a thread, filament, or person's hair) thin : I have always had fine and dry hair. • (of a point) sharp : I sharpened the leads to a fine point.
• (of something abstract) subtle and therefore perceived only with difficulty and care : the fine distinctions between the new and old definitions of refugee.
do fine be entirely satisfactory : an omelet will do fine. • be healthy or well : the baby's doing fine. • do something in a satisfactory manner : he was doing fine acquiring all the necessary disciplines in finance.
• [ intrans. ] ( finish with) have no more need for or nothing more to do with : "I've finished with Tom," Gloria said.
1 [usu. in sing. ] an end or final part or stage of something : a bowl of raspberries was the perfect finish to the meal | I really enjoyed the film from start to finish.
• a point or place at which a race or competition ends : he surged into a winning lead 200 meters from the finish.
finish up complete an action or process : he hadn't finished up the paperwork on it. • end a period of time or course of action by doing something or being in a particular position : Tony started out running the back elevator and finished up as bell captain | we finished up with a plate of meats.
a final detail or action completing and enhancing a piece of work : now they're putting the finishing touches to a new album.
4 stimulate or excite (the imagination or an emotion) : India fired my imagination. • fill (someone) with enthusiasm : in the locker room they were really fired up.
• direct (questions or statements, esp. unwelcome ones) toward someone in rapid succession : they fired questions at me for what seemed like ages.
catch fire begin to burn. • figurative become interesting or exciting : the show never caught fire.
fire away informal used to give someone permission to begin speaking, typically to ask questions : "I want to clear up some questions that have been puzzling me." "Fire away."
go through fire ( and water) face any peril.
set fire to (or set something on fire) cause to burn; ignite.
set the world (or Brit. the Thames) on fire do something remarkable or sensational : the film hasn't exactly set the world on fire.
under fire being shot at : observers sent to look for the men came under heavy fire. • being rigorously criticized : the president was under fire from all sides.
2 strongly felt and unlikely to change : he retains a firm belief in the efficacy of prayer. • (of a person) steadfast and constant : we became firm friends. • decided upon and fixed or definite : she had no firm plans for the next day.
• solidly in place and stable : no building can stand without firm foundations | figurative he was unable to establish the store on a firm financial footing. • having steady but not excessive power or strength : you need a firm grip on the steering. • (of a person, action, or attitude) showing resolute determination and strength of character : he didn't like being firm with Larry, but he had to.
in a resolute and determined manner : she will stand firm against the government's proposal.
first off informal as a first point; first of all : first off, I owe you a heck of an apology.
first offender noun a person who is convicted of a criminal offense for the first time.
first things first used to assert that important matters should be dealt with before other things.
2 informal arousing feelings of doubt or suspicion : I'm convinced there is something fishy going on.
the action of dividing or splitting something into two or more parts : the party dissolved into fission and acrimony.
1 [ predic. ] (of a thing) of a suitable quality, standard, or type to meet the required purpose : the meat is fit for human consumption | [with infinitive ] is the water clean and fit to drink? • (of a person) having the requisite qualities or skills to undertake something competently : he felt himself quite fit for battle | [with infinitive ] Ted was ghastly pale and fit to do no more than switch channels.
2 in good health, esp. because of regular physical exercise : I swim regularly to keep fit | figurative the measures would ensure a leaner, fitter company.
• join or cause to join together to form a whole : [ intrans. ] it took a while to figure out how the confounded things fit together | [ trans. ] many physicists tried to fit together the various pieces of the puzzle.
3 be in agreement or harmony with; match : the punishment should fit the crime. • (of an attribute, qualification, or skill) make (someone) suitable to fulfill a particular role or undertake a particular task : an MS fits the student for a professional career.
fit in (of a person) be socially compatible with other members of a group : he feels he should become tough to fit in with his friends. • (of a thing) be in harmony with other things within a larger structure : produce ideas that fit in with an established approach. • (also fit into) (of a person or thing) constitute part of a particular situation or larger structure : where do your sisters fit in?
fit someone/something in (or into) find room or have sufficient space for someone or something : can you fit any more books into the box? • succeed in finding time in a busy schedule to see someone or do something : you're never too busy to fit exercise into your life.
a sudden uncontrollable outbreak of intense emotion, laughter, coughing, or other action or activity : in a fit of temper | he got coughing fits. • a sudden attack of convulsions and/or loss of consciousness, typical of epilepsy and some other medical conditions : he thought she was having a fit.
have (or throw) a fit informal be very surprised or angry : my mother would have a fit if she heard that.
active or occurring spasmodically or intermittently; not regular or steady : a few hours' fitful sleep | business was fitful.
2 ( fix something on/upon) direct one's eyes, attention, or mind steadily or unwaveringly toward : I fixed my attention on the tower. • [ intrans. ] ( fix on/upon) (of a person's eyes, attention, or mind) be directed steadily or unwaveringly toward : her gaze fixed on Jess.
• ( fix something up) do the necessary work to improve or adapt something : we want to fix up the house before we sell it. • make arrangements for (something); organize : he's sent her on ahead to fix things up | I've fixed it for you to see him on Thursday.
4 decide or settle on (a specific price, date, course of action, etc.) : no date has yet been fixed for a hearing | the rent will be fixed at $600 a month | [ intrans. ] their thinking then seemed fixed on conventional projects. • discover the exact location of (something) by using radar or visual bearings or astronomical observation : he fixed his position.
3 informal a solution to a problem, esp. one that is hastily devised or makeshift : representatives trying to find cheap fixes to meet their obligations. See also quick fix .
1 (usu. be fixated on/upon) cause (someone) to acquire an obsessive attachment to someone or something : she has for some time been fixated on photography. • [ intrans. ] ( fixate on/upon) acquire such an obsessive attachment to : it is important not to fixate on animosity.
(of a liquid) produce bubbles of gas and make a hissing sound : the mixture fizzed like mad. • make a buzzing or crackling sound : lightning starts to crackle and fizz.
surprise (someone) greatly; astonish : this news has left me totally flabbergasted.
(of a part of a person's body) soft, loose, and fleshy : this exercise helps to flatten a flabby stomach.
1 (often be flagged) mark (an item) for attention or treatment in a specified way : "greatfully" would be flagged as a misspelling of "gratefully." • Football charge (a player) with a penalty by dropping a penalty flag : a play in which he was flagged for being offside.
• the best or most important thing owned or produced by a particular organization : this bill is the flagship of the administration's legislative program | [as adj. ] their flagship product.
1 [ intrans. ] come or fall away from a surface in thin pieces : the paint had been flaking off for years. • lose small fragments from the surface : my nails have started to flake at the ends.
1 breaking or separating easily into small thin pieces : a tree with flaky bark. • (esp. of skin or paint) tending to crack and come away from a surface in small pieces : the skin on the shins is often very flaky and dry. 2 informal crazy or eccentric : flaky ideas about taxes.
1 (of a person or their behavior) tending to attract attention because of their exuberance, confidence, and stylishness : a flamboyant display of aerobatics | she is outgoing and flamboyant, continuously talking and joking.
• a thing compared to a flame's ability to burn fiercely or be extinguished : the flame of hope burns brightly here. • a very intense emotion : the sound of his laughter fanned the flame of anger to new heights.
• figurative (of an intense emotion) appear suddenly and fiercely : hope flamed in her.
burst into flame (or flames) suddenly begin to burn fiercely : the grass looked ready to burst into flame. • the side of something large, such as a mountain, building, or ship : the northern flank of the volcano. 2 the right or left side of a body of people such as an army, a naval force, or a soccer team : the left flank of the Russian Third Army. be situated on each side of or on one side of (someone or something) : the fireplace is flanked by built-in bookshelves.
(of a bird) move (its wings) up and down when flying or preparing to fly : a pheasant flapped its wings | [ intrans. ] gulls flapped around uttering their strange cries. • [ intrans. ] (of something attached at one point or loosely fastened) flutter or wave around : the tent bent with the gale, and the corners flapped furiously. • move (one's arms or hands) up and down or back and forth : she began flapping her arms to drive away the permeating cold. • [ trans. ] strike or attempt to strike (something) loosely with one's hand, a cloth, or a broad implement, esp. to drive it away : they flap away the flies with peacock tails.
2 a movement of a wing or an arm from side to side or up and down : the surviving bird made a few final despairing flaps.
1 a sudden brief burst of bright flame or light : the flare of the match lit up his face.
• [in sing. ] a sudden burst of intense emotion : she felt a flare of anger within her.
1 burn with a sudden intensity : the blaze across the water flared | the bonfire crackled and flared up. • (of a light or a person's eyes) glow with a sudden intensity : her eyes flared at the stinging insult. • (of an emotion) suddenly become manifest in a person or their expression : alarm flared in her eyes | tempers flared. • ( flare up) (of an illness or chronic medical complaint) recur unexpectedly and cause further discomfort : Tracy's pain has flared up again, this time almost beyond enduring. • (esp. of an argument, conflict, or trouble) suddenly become more violent or intense : in 1943 the Middle East crisis flared up again. • ( flare up) (of a person) suddenly become angry : she flared up, shouting at Jeff.
• (of a person's nostrils) dilate : his head lifted, his nostrils flaring.
a sudden outburst of something, esp. violence or a medical condition : a flare-up between the two countries.
1 [ intrans. ] (of a light or something that reflects light) shine in a bright but brief, sudden, or intermittent way : the lights started flashing | [as adj. ] ( flashing) a police car with a flashing light. • [ trans. ] cause to shine briefly or suddenly : the oncoming car flashed its lights. • [ trans. ] shine or show a light to send (a signal) : red lights started to flash a warning. • [ trans. ] give (a swift or sudden look) : Carrie flashed a glance in his direction | [with two objs. ] she flashed him a withering look. • express a sudden burst of emotion, esp. anger, with such a look : she glared at him, her eyes flashing.
2 [ trans. ] display (an image, words, or information) suddenly on a television or computer screen or electronic sign, typically briefly or repeatedly : suddenly the screen flashes a message. • [ intrans. ] (of an image or message) be displayed in such a way : the election results flashed on the screen. • informal hold up or show (something, often proof of one's identity) quickly before replacing it : she opened her purse and flashed her ID card. • informal make a conspicuous display of (something) so as to impress or attract attention : they all flash their money around.
• (of a thought or memory) suddenly come into or pass through the mind : another stray thought flashed through her mind.
• a sudden instance or manifestation of a quality, understanding, or humor : she had a flash of inspiration.
flash back (of a person's thoughts or mind) briefly and suddenly recall a previous time or incident : her thoughts immediately flashed back to last night.
a scene in a movie, novel, etc., set in a time earlier than the main story : in a series of flashbacks, we follow the pair through their teenage years.
ostentatiously attractive or impressive : he always had a flashy car.
2 lacking interest or emotion; dull and lifeless : "I'm sorry," he said, in a flat voice | her drawings were flat and unimaginative. • (of a person) without energy; dispirited : his sense of intoxication wore off until he felt flat and weary. • (of a market, prices, etc.) showing little activity; sluggish : cash flow was flat at $214 million | flat sales in the drinks industry. • (of a sparkling drink) having lost its effervescence : flat champagne. • (of something kept inflated, esp. a tire) having lost some or all of its air, typically because of a puncture : you've got a flat tire. • (of a color) uniform : the dress was a deadly, flat shade of gray.
3 [ attrib. ] (of a fee, wage, or price) the same in all cases, not varying with changed conditions or in particular cases : a $30 flat fare. See also flat rate . • (of a denial, contradiction, or refusal) completely definite and firm; absolute : his statement was a flat denial that he had misbehaved.
1 in or to a horizontal position : he was lying flat on his back | she had been knocked flat by the blast./• so as to become smooth and even : I hammered the metal flat. 2 informal completely; absolutely : I'm turning you down flat | [as submodifier ] she was going to be flat broke in a couple of days.
flatten out 1 (of an increasing quantity or rate) show a less marked rise; slow down
display (something) ostentatiously, esp. in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance : newly rich consumers eager to flaunt their prosperity.
• a mistake or shortcoming in a plan, theory, or legal document that causes it to fail or reduces its effectiveness : there were fundamental flaws in the case for reforming local government.
a very small patch of color or light : his blue eyes had gray flecks in them | flecks of sunshine. • a small particle or speck of something : brushing a few flecks of dandruff from his suit.
• [usu. as adj. ] a person or organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped : the fledgling democracies of eastern Europe.
• [ trans. ] run away from (someone or something) : he was forced to flee the country | figurative all remaining doubt that he was a guerilla began to flee my mind.
the largest group of naval vessels under one commander, organized for specific tactical or other purposes : an invasion fleet.
the soft substance consisting of muscle and fat that is found between the skin and bones of an animal or a human : she grabbed Anna's arm, her fingers sinking into the flesh.
in the flesh in person rather than via a telephone, a movie, the written word, or other means : they decided that they should meet Alexander in the flesh.
used to emphasize that a person is a physical, living being with human emotions or frailties, often in contrast to something abstract, spiritual, or mechanical : the customer is flesh and blood, not just a sales statistic | [as adj. ] he seemed more like a creature from a dream than a flesh-and-blood father.
flex one's muscles give a show of strength or power.
propel (something) with a sudden sharp movement, esp. of the fingers : Emily flicked some ash off her sleeve. • ( flick something on/off) turn something electrical on or off by means of a switch : he flicked on the air conditioning. • [ intrans. ] make a sudden sharp movement : the finch's tail flicks up and down.
bend (a limb or joint) : she saw him flex his ankle and wince.
• the sudden release of a bent finger or thumb, esp. to propel a small object : he sent his cigarette spinning away with a flick of his fingers.
flip through look or search quickly through (a volume or a collection of papers) : just flip through the phone book and pick a lawyer.
1 (of light or a source of light) shine unsteadily; vary rapidly in brightness : the interior lights flickered and came on. • (of a flame) burn fitfully, alternately flaring up and dying down : the candle flickered again | [as adj. ] ( flickering) the flickering flames of the fire. • [with adverbial of place ] figurative (of a feeling or emotion) be experienced or show itself briefly and faintly, esp. in someone's eyes : amusement flickered briefly in his eyes. 2 make small, quick movements; flutter rapidly : her eyelids flickered | [with complement ] the injured killer's eyes flickered open.
• [with adverbial ] (of a facial expression) appear briefly : a look of horror flickered across his face.
1 an unsteady movement of a flame or light that causes rapid variations in brightness : the flicker of a candle flame caught our eyes.
• a faint indication of a facial expression : a flicker of a smile passed across her face. • figurative a very brief and faint experience of an emotion or feeling : she felt a small flicker of alarm.
flicker out (of a flame or light) die away and go out after a series of flickers. • figurative (of a feeling) die away and finally disappear : the swift burst of curiosity and eagerness flickered out.
comparatively light and insubstantial; easily damaged : voyagers who crossed the sea in flimsy boats. • (of clothing) light and thin : I wore flimsy clothes and needed warming. • (of a pretext or account) weak and unconvincing : a pretty flimsy excuse.
make a quick, nervous movement of the face or body as an instinctive reaction to surprise, fear or pain : she flinched at the acidity in his voice | he had faced death without flinching. See note at wince .
throw or hurl forcefully : he picked up the debris and flung it away | figurative I was flung into jail. • move or push (something) suddenly or violently : he flung back the bedclothes | [ trans. ] Jennifer flung open a door. • ( fling oneself) throw oneself headlong : he flung himself down at her feet with a laugh. • ( fling oneself into) wholeheartedly engage in or begin on (an enterprise) : the producer flung himself into an ugly battle with the studio.
1 turn over or cause to turn over with a sudden sharp movement : [ trans. ] the yacht was flipped by a huge wave | [ intrans. ] the plane flipped over and then exploded. 2 [ trans. ] move, push, or throw (something) with a sudden sharp movement : she flipped off her dark glasses | she flipped a few coins on to the bar. • [ trans. ] turn (an electrical appliance or switch) on or off : he flipped a switch and the front door opened. • [ trans. ] toss (a coin) to decide an issue : given those odds, one may as well flip a coin | [ intrans. ] you want to flip for it?
1 a sudden sharp movement : the fish made little leaps and flips. • ( a flip through) a quick look or search through a volume or a collection of papers : a quick flip through my cookbooks.
• ( flirt with) experiment with or show a superficial interest in (an idea, activity, or movement) without committing oneself to it seriously : a painter who had flirted briefly with Cubism. • ( flirt with) deliberately expose oneself to (danger or difficulty) : the need of some individuals to flirt with death.
move swiftly and lightly : small birds flitted about in the branches | figurative the idea had flitted through his mind.
2 [with adverbial of direction ] move or hover slowly and lightly in a liquid or the air; drift : clouds floated across a brilliant blue sky | figurative through the open window floated the sound of traffic. • ( float about/around) (of a rumor, idea, or substance) circulate : the notion was floating around Capitol Hill. • (of a sight or idea) come before the eyes or mind : the advice his father had given him floated into his mind.
a number of birds of one kind feeding, resting, or traveling together : a flock of gulls. • a number of domestic animals, esp. sheep, goats, or geese, that are kept together : a flock of sheep. • ( flocks) large crowds of people : flocks of young people hung around at twilight.
congregate or mass in a flock or large group : students flocked to spring break sites.
2 [ intrans. ] arrive in overwhelming amounts or quantities : congratulatory messages flooded in | his old fears came flooding back. • [ trans. ] overwhelm or swamp with large amounts or quantities : our switchboard was flooded with calls.
(esp. of a fluid) move along or out steadily and continuously in a current or stream : from here the river flows north | a cross-current of electricity seemed to flow between them.
• [with adverbial of direction ] (of clothing or hair) hang loosely in an easy and graceful manner : her red hair flowed over her shoulders. • circulate continuously within a particular system : ventilation channels keep the air flowing | an electric current flows through it. • [with adverbial of direction ] (of people or things) go from one place to another in a steady stream, typically in large numbers : the firm is hoping the orders will keep flowing in.
go with the flow informal be relaxed and accept a situation, rather than trying to alter or control it.
rise and fall irregularly in number or amount : trade with other countries tends to fluctuate from year to year | [as adj. ] ( fluctuating) a fluctuating level of demand.
• (of speech, language, movement, or style) smoothly graceful and easy : his style of play was fast and fluent. • able to flow freely; fluid : a fluent discharge from the nose.
1 make (something) appear fuller and softer, typically by shaking or brushing it : I fluffed up the pillows.
1 soft fibers from fabrics such as wool or cotton that accumulate in small light clumps : he brushed his sleeve to remove the fluff.
1 of, like, or covered with fluff : fluffy white clouds | a fluffy towel. • (of food) light in texture and containing air : cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
• smoothly elegant or graceful : her movements were fluid and beautiful to watch.
unlikely chance occurrence, esp. a surprising piece of luck : their triumph was no fluke.
obtained or achieved more by chance than skill : a fluky goal. • subject to chance; unpredictable : sailing conditions are generally good, although winds can be fluky.
fall or sit down heavily : he went off to flump into a chair. • [ trans. ] set or throw (something) down heavily : Ellie flumped her hands down on her sewing.
the action or sound of such a heavy fall : the rocks hit the ground with a flump.
fail to reach the required standard in (an examination, test, or course of study) : I flunked biology in the tenth grade | [ intrans. ] I didn't flunk but I didn't do too well../• [ intrans. ] ( flunk out) (of a student) leave or be dismissed from school or college as a result of failing to reach the required standard : he had flunked out of college.
a small swirling mass of something, esp. snow or leaves, moved by sudden gusts of wind : a flurry of snow. • a sudden short period of commotion or excitement : there was a brief flurry of activity in the hall. • a number of things arriving or happening during the same period : a flurry of editorials hostile to the administration.
(esp. of snow or leaves) be moved in small swirling masses by sudden gusts of wind : gusts of snow flurried through the door. • (of a person) move quickly in a busy or agitated way : the waiter flurried between them.
1 [ intrans. ] (of a person's skin or face) become red and hot, typically as the result of illness or strong emotion : Mr. Cunningham flushed angrily | [as adj. ] ( flushed) her flushed cheeks. • [ trans. ] cause (a person's skin or face) to become red and hot : the chill air flushed the parson's cheeks.
• [ trans. ] remove or dispose of (an object or substance) in such a way : I flushed the pills down the toilet | the kidneys require more water to flush out waste products.
3 [ trans. ] drive (a bird, esp. a game bird, or an animal) from its cover : the grouse were flushed from the woods. • figurative cause to be revealed; force into the open : they're trying to flush Tilton out of hiding.
1 a reddening of the face or skin that is typically caused by illness or strong emotion : a flush of embarrassment rose to her cheeks. • an area of warm color or light : the bird has a pinkish flush on the breast.
(of a bird or other winged creature) fly unsteadily or hover by flapping the wings quickly and lightly : a couple of butterflies fluttered around the garden. • (with reference to a bird's wings) flap in such a way : their wings flutter and spread | [ trans. ] the lark fluttered its wings, hovering.
1 the action or process of flowing or flowing out : the flux of men and women moving back and forth | a localized flux of calcium into the cell.
2 continuous change : the whole political system is in a state of flux.
• (of a report) be circulated among many people : rumors were flying around Chicago.
• figurative informal be very angry : the audience was foaming at the mouth, venting their outrage.
• the center of interest or activity : almost every sizable city can have a junior college that can act as a focal point for cultural activity.
2 the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition : his face is rather out of focus.
an enemy or opponent : join forces against the common foe.
• [in sing. ] an opaque mass of something in the atmosphere : a whirling fog of dust.
1 cause (a glass surface) to become covered with steam : hot steam drifted about her, fogging up the window. • [ intrans. ] (of a glass surface) become covered with steam : the windshield was starting to fog up. • figurative bewilder or puzzle (someone) : she stared at him, confusion fogging her brain. • figurative make (an idea or situation) difficult to understand : the government has been fogging the issue.
• unable to think clearly; confused : she was foggy with sleep. • indistinctly expressed or perceived; obscure : exactly what the company hopes to achieve is still foggy.
prevent (something considered wrong or undesirable) from succeeding : a brave policewoman foiled the armed robbery.
with complement ] the deck chair folds flat | [as adj. ] ( folding) a folding chair.
• bend or rearrange (a piece of furniture or equipment) in such a way : he folded up his tripod.
1 informal people in general : some folk will do anything for money | an old folks' home. • a specified group of people : some city folk cringe at the notion of consuming these birds.
• happen after (something else) as a consequence : raucous laughter followed the ribald remark | [ intrans. ] retribution soon followed.
• [ intrans. ] be a logical consequence : it thus follows from this equation that the value must be negative. • [ trans. ] (of a person) do something after (something else) : he follows his surprise hit movie with a paranoid thriller. • (often be followed by) have (a dish or course) after another or others in a meal : turkey was followed by dessert.
• understand the meaning or tendency of (a speaker or argument) : I still don't follow you.
follow in someone's footsteps (or steps) do as another person did before, esp. in following a particular career.
follow suit (in bridge, whist, and other card games) play a card of the suit led. • conform to another's actions : Spain cut its rates by half a percent but no other country has followed suit.
follow something up pursue or investigate something further : I decided to follow up the letters with phone calls.
• an activity carried out as part of a study in order to monitor or further develop earlier work : [as adj. ] follow-up interviews. • further observation or treatment of a patient, esp. to monitor earlier treatment : patients who require proper medical follow-up. • a piece of work that builds on or exploits the success of earlier work : she is writing a follow-up to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
1 lack of good sense; foolishness : an act of sheer folly. • a foolish act, idea, or practice : the follies of youth.
1 instigate or stir up (an undesirable or violent sentiment or course of action) : they accused him of fomenting political unrest. See note at incite .
food for thought something that warrants serious consideration.
food chain noun a hierarchical series of organisms each dependent on the next as a source of food.
trick or deceive (someone); dupe : he fooled nightclub managers into believing he was a successful businessman | she had been fooling herself in thinking she could remain indifferent. • [ intrans. ] act in a joking, frivolous, or teasing way : I shouted at him impatiently to stop fooling around.
incapable of going wrong or being misused : a foolproof security system.
2 the lower or lowest part of something standing or perceived as standing vertically; the base or bottom : the foot of the stairs.
reluctance or deliberate delay concerning a decision or action : bureaucratic foot-dragging has continued to delay the project.
9 in relation to the expected norm of (something) : she was tall for her age | warm weather for this time of year.
for a change contrary to how things usually happen; for variety : it's nice to be pampered for a change.
for a start informal used to introduce or emphasize the first or most important of a number of considerations : this side is at an advantage—for a start, there are more of them.
for all —— in spite of —— : for all its clarity and style, the book is not easy reading.
for all someone knows used to express the limited scope or extent of one's information : she could be dead for all I know.
for better or ( for) worse whether the outcome is good or bad : ours, for better or for worse, is the century of youth.
for certain without any doubt : I don't know for certain.
for crying out loud informal used to express one's irritation or impatience : why do you have to take everything so personally, for crying out loud?
for fear of (or that) to avoid the risk of (or that) : no one dared refuse the order for fear of losing their job.
for good ( and all) forever; definitively : the experience almost frightened me away for good.
for nothing 1 at no cost; without payment : working for nothing. 2 to no purpose : he died anyway; so it had all been for nothing.
for old times' sake in memory of former times; in acknowledgment of a shared past : they sat in the back seats for old times' sake.
for one thing used to introduce one of two or more possible reasons for something, the remainder of which may or may not be stated : Why hadn't he arranged to see her at the house? For one thing, it would have been warmer.
for openers informal to start with; first of all : for openers, the car is roomier than the old model.
for real informal used to assert that something is genuine or is actually the case : I'm not playing games—this is for real! • used in questions to express surprise or to question the truth or seriousness of what one has seen or heard : are these guys for real?
( up) for sale offered for purchase; to be bought : cars for sale at reasonable prices.
for starters informal first of all; to start with.
for sure informal without doubt : I can't say for sure what George really wanted.
for that matter used to indicate that a subject or category, though mentioned second, is as relevant or important as the first : I am not sure what value it adds to determining public, or for that matter private, policy.
for the benefit of 1 in order to help, guide, or be of service to : a man who has spent his life fighting evil for the benefit of the community. 2 in order to interest or impress someone : it was all an act put on for his benefit.
for the love of God used to express annoyance, surprise, or urgent pleading : for the love of God, get me out of here!
for the most part in most cases; usually : the older members, for the most part, shun him.
for the time being for the present; until some other arrangement is made.
for what it is worth used to present a comment, suggestion, or opinion without making a claim as to its importance or validity : for what it's worth, she's very highly thought of abroad.
(of a person or animal) search widely for food or provisions : gulls are equipped by nature to forage for food.
a sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, esp. to obtain something; a raid : the garrison made a foray against Richard's camp | figurative he made another foray to the bar. • an attempt to become involved in a new activity or sphere : my first foray into journalism.
• order (someone) not to do something : I was forbidden from leaving Russia | [ trans. ] my doctor has forbidden me to eat sugar. • refuse (someone or something) entry to a place or area : all cars are forbidden. • (of a circumstance or quality) make (something) impossible; prevent : the cliffs forbid any easy turning movement.
2 coercion or compulsion, esp. with the use or threat of violence : they ruled by law and not by force.
• the state of being in effect or valid : the law came into force in January. • the powerful effect of something : the force of her writing is undiminished.
• [ trans. ] drive or push into a specified position or state using physical strength or against resistance : she forced her feet into flat leather sandals | figurative Fields was forced out as director. • achieve or bring about (something) by coercion or effort : Sabine forced a smile | she forced her way up the ladder.
in effect; valid : the U.S. has over $8 trillion worth of life insurance in force.
force (or shove or ram) something down someone's throat force ideas or material on a person's attention by repeatedly putting them forward.
(of a situation or occurrence) act as a warning of (something bad) : this lull foreboded some new assault upon him.
omit or decline to take (something pleasant or valuable); go without : she wanted to forgo the dessert and leave while they could. • refrain from : we forgo any comparison between the two men.
the most prominent in rank, importance, or position : one of the foremost art collectors of his day. adverb before anything else in rank, importance, or position; in the first place : O'Keefe's work was, foremost, an expression of the feelings of a woman.
of, relating to, or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime : forensic evidence.
for the sake of argument as a basis for discussion or reasoning.
a person or thing that precedes the coming or development of someone or something else : the icebox was a forerunner of today's refrigerator. • a sign or warning of something to come : overcast mornings are the sure forerunners of steady rain.
the ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future : he had the foresight to check that his escape route was clear.
cannot see the forest for the trees fail to grasp the main issue because of overattention to details.
prevent or obstruct (an anticipated event or action) by taking action ahead of time : vitamins may forestall many diseases of aging. • act in advance of (someone) in order to prevent them from doing something : she started to rise, but Erica forestalled her and got the telephone.
predict (the future or a future event) : as he foretold, thousands lost their lives | [with clause ] a seer had foretold that she would assume the throne. See note at predict .
lose or be deprived of (property or a right or privilege) as a penalty for wrongdoing : those unable to meet their taxes were liable to forfeit their property. • lose or give up (something) as a necessary consequence of something else : she didn't mind forfeiting an extra hour in bed to get up and clean the stables.
• figurative create (a relationship or new conditions) : the two women forged a close bond | the country is forging a bright new future.
apt or likely not to remember : I'm a bit forgetful these days | she was soon forgetful of the time.
• (usu. be forgiven) stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for (an offense, flaw, or mistake) : they are not going to pat my head and say all is forgiven | [ intrans. ] he was not a man who found it easy to forgive and forget.
1 [ intrans. ] (esp. of a road or other route) divide into two parts : the place where the road forks. • [ intrans. ] take or constitute one part or the other at the point where a road or other route divides : a minor road forked left.
8 the state of an athlete or sports team with regard to their current standard of performance : illness has affected his form | they've been in good form this season.
• ( form people/things into) organize people or things into (a group or body) : peasants and miners were formed into a militia.
• [ intrans. ] gradually appear or develop : a thick mist was forming all around.
• [ intrans. ] ( form into) be made or fashioned into a certain shape or form : his strong features formed into a smile of pleasure.
• give (something) a definite structure or shape : we became able to formalize our thoughts.
the rigid observance of rules of convention or etiquette : he retained the formality of his social background. • stiffness of behavior or style : with disconcerting formality, the brothers shook hands.
• ( a formality) something that is done as a matter of course and without question; an inevitability : her saying no was just a formality, and both of them knew it.
inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable : a formidable opponent.
without a clear or definite shape or structure : a dark and formless idea.
constituting or containing a verbal formula or set form of words : a formulaic greeting. • produced in accordance with a slavishly followed rule or style; predictable : much romantic fiction is stylized, formulaic, and unrealistic.
make (something) formulaic or predictable : their stage shows have become a little formularized.
create or devise methodically (a strategy or a proposal) : economists and statisticians were needed to help formulate economic policy. • express (an idea) in a concise or systematic way : the argument is sufficiently clear that it can be formulated mathematically.
1 the action of devising or creating something : the formulation of foreign policy.
abandon (someone or something) : he would never forsake Tara | [as adj. ] ( forsaken) figurative a tiny, forsaken island. • renounce or give up (something valued or pleasant) : I won't forsake my vegetarian principles.
1 [in sing. ] a thing at which someone excels : small talk was not his forte.
out from a starting point and forward or into view : the plants will bush out, putting forth fresh shoots. • onward in time : from that day forth he gave me endless friendship.
1 planned for or about to happen in the near future : the forthcoming baseball season. 2 [ predic. ] [often with negative ] (of something required) ready or made available when wanted or needed : financial support was not forthcoming. • (of a person) willing to divulge information : their daughter had never been forthcoming about her time in Europe.
courage in pain or adversity : she endured her illness with great fortitude. See note at courage .
• figurative a person or thing not susceptible to outside influence or disturbance : he had proved himself to be a fortress of moral rectitude.
happening by accident or chance rather than design : the similarity between the paintings may not be simply fortuitous. See note at accidental . • informal happening by a lucky chance; fortunate : from a cash standpoint, the company's timing is fortuitous. See usage below.
make a (or one's) fortune acquire great wealth by one's own efforts.
serving to form something, esp. having a profound and lasting influence on a person's development : his formative years. • of or relating to a person's development : a formative assessment.
fortune-teller noun a person who tells people's fortunes.
1 toward the front; in the direction that one is facing or traveling : he started up the engine and the car moved forward | Lori leaned forward over the table.
• in the normal order or sequence : the number was the same backward as forward.
2 onward so as to make progress; toward a successful conclusion : there's no way forward for the relationship. • into a position of prominence or notice : he is pushing forward a political ally. 3 toward the future; ahead in time : from that day forward, the assembly was at odds with us.
• to an earlier time : the special issue has been moved forward to winter.
forward-looking adjective favoring innovation and development; progressive.
1 encourage or promote the development of (something, typically something regarded as good) : the teacher's task is to foster learning. See note at encourage . • develop (a feeling or idea) in oneself : appropriate praise helps a child foster a sense of self-worth.
1 offensive to the senses, esp. through having a disgusting smell or taste or being unpleasantly soiled : a foul odor | his foul breath. • informal very disagreeable or unpleasant : the news had put Michelle in a foul mood.
a tendency to use bad language : he had a foul mouth and an even fouler disposition.
2 (usu. be founded on/upon) construct or base (a principle or other abstract thing) according to a particular principle or grounds : a society founded on the highest principles of religion and education. • (of a thing) serve as a basis for : the company's fortunes are founded on its minerals business.
2 an underlying basis or principle for something : specific learning skills as a foundation for other subjects. • [often with negative ] justification or reason : distorted and misleading accusations with no foundation.
• a small or tiny part, amount, or proportion of something : he hesitated for a fraction of a second | her eyes widened a fraction.
a small part broken or separated off something : small fragments of pottery, glass, and tiles. • an isolated or incomplete part of something : Nathan remembered fragments of that conversation.
the process or state of breaking or being broken into small or separate parts : the fragmentation of society into a collection of interest groups.
a pleasant, sweet smell : the fragrance of fresh-ground coffee | the bushes fill the air with fragrance. See note at smell .
(of a person) weak and delicate : a frail voice | she looked frail and vulnerable. See note at weak . • easily damaged or broken; fragile or insubstantial : the balcony is frail | the frail Russian economy.
3 create or formulate (a concept, plan, or system) : the staff have proved invaluable in framing the proposals.
4 informal produce false evidence against (an innocent person) so that they appear guilty : he claims he was framed.
frame of mind a particular mood that influences one's attitude or behavior.
an essential supporting structure of a building, vehicle, or object : a conservatory in a delicate framework of iron. • a basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text : the theoretical framework of political sociology.
• grant a franchise for the sale of (goods) or the operation of (a service) : all the catering was franchised out.
wild or distraught with fear, anxiety, or other emotion : she was frantic with worry. • conducted in a hurried, excited, and chaotic way, typically because of the need to act quickly : frantic attempts to resuscitate the girl.
wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain : he was convicted of fraud | prosecutions for social security frauds.
obtained, done by, or involving deception, esp. criminal deception : the fraudulent copying of American software.
1 [ predic. ] ( fraught with) (of a situation or course of action) filled with or destined to result in (something undesirable) : marketing any new product is fraught with danger.
(of a fabric, rope, or cord) unravel or become worn at the edge, typically through constant rubbing : cheap fabric soon frays | [as adj. ] ( frayed) the frayed collar of her old coat.
bizarre or grotesque; abnormal : freakish and mischievous elves. • capricious or whimsical; unpredictable : freakish weather.
cover or become covered with freckles : [ intrans. ] skin that freckles easily | [as adj. ] ( freckled) a freckled face.
free of or from : smoke-free | tax-free. • from captivity, confinement, or slavery : they were freed from jail. • from physical obstruction, restraint, or entanglement : I had to tug hard and at last freed him. • from restriction or excessive regulation : his inheritance freed him from financial constraints. • from something undesirable : free your mind and body of excess tension. • so as to become available for a particular purpose : this will free up funds for development elsewhere. downward movement under the force of gravity only : the path of a body in free fall.
freedom of religion/freedom of speech (also free speech)
4 [ trans. ] hold (something) at a fixed level or in a fixed state for a period of time : new spending on defense was to be frozen. • prevent (assets) from being used for a period of time : the charity's bank account has been frozen. • stop (a moving image) at a particular frame when filming or viewing : the camera will set fast shutter speeds to freeze the action.
fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way : a frenetic pace of activity.
a state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behavior : Doreen worked herself into a frenzy of rage.
occurring or done on many occasions, in many cases, or in quick succession : frequent changes in policy | the showers will become heavier and more frequent. • [ attrib. ] (of a person) doing something often; habitual : a frequent visitor to New England.
1 not previously known or used; new or different : the court had heard fresh evidence.
1 [ trans. ] make (something) newer, cleaner, or more attractive : it didn't take long to freshen her makeup.
1 [ intrans. ] be constantly or visibly worried or anxious : she fretted about the cost of groceries | [with clause ] I fretted that my fingers were so skinny.
feeling or expressing distress or irritation : the baby was crying with a fretful whimper.
• conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments, or opinions : a considerable amount of friction between father and son.
the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another : a lubrication system that reduces friction.
1 a sudden intense feeling of fear : I jumped up in fright. • an experience that causes one to feel sudden intense fear : she's had a nasty fright | I got the fright of my life seeing that woman in the hotel.
very unpleasant, serious, or shocking : there's been a frightful accident. • informal used for emphasis, esp. of something bad : her hair was a frightful mess.
very cold in temperature : frigid water.
3 (often the fringes) the outer, marginal, or extreme part of an area, group, or sphere of activity : his uncles were on the fringes of crooked activity. • ( the fringe) the unconventional, extreme, or marginal wing of a group or sphere of activity : the lunatic fringe of American political life | rap music is no longer something on the fringe.
fry or grill with a sizzling noise : Elsie had the fat frizzling in the frying pan. • [ trans. ] fry until crisp, shriveled, or burned : [as adj. ] ( frizzled) add diced frizzled salt pork to taste.
in a constant movement backward and forward or from side to side : she cradled him, rocking him to and fro.
• indicating one extreme in a range of conceptual variations : anything from geography to literature.
from A to Z over the entire range; completely : make sure you understand the subject from A to Z.
from all angles from every direction or point of view : they come shooting at us from all angles | looking at the problem from all angles.
from bad to worse into an even worse state : the country's going from bad to worse.
from cover to cover from beginning to end of a book or magazine.
from dawn to dusk all day; ceaselessly : day after day from dawn to dusk, they drove those loaded canoes.
from day one from the very beginning : children need a firm hand from day one.
from first to last from beginning to end; throughout : it's a fine performance that commands attention from first to last.
from head to toe (or foot) all over one's body : I was shaking from head to toe.
from memory without reading or referring to notes : each child was required to recite a verse from memory.
from (or out of) nowhere appearing or happening suddenly and unexpectedly : he materialized a taxi out of nowhere.
from scratch from the very beginning, esp. without utilizing or relying on any previous work for assistance : he built his own computer company from scratch.
from side to side 1 alternately left and right from a central point : I shook my head frantically from side to side. 2 across the entire width; right across : the fleet stretched four miles from side to side.
from the bottom up 1 completely and thoroughly : Paul understands me from the bottom up. 2 by progressing from a lower or more fundamental starting point : we began to study history from the bottom up.
from the ( very) first from the beginning or the early stages : he should have realized it from the first.
from the ground up informal completely or complete : they needed to learn the business from the ground up.
from time to time occasionally.
from top to bottom completely; thoroughly : we searched the place from top to bottom.
from top to toe completely; all over : she seemed to glow from top to toe. • from captivity, confinement, or slavery : they were freed from jail. • from physical obstruction, restraint, or entanglement : I had to tug hard and at last freed him. • from restriction or excessive regulation : his inheritance freed him from financial constraints. • from something undesirable : free your mind and body of excess tension. • so as to become available for a particular purpose : this will free up funds for development elsewhere. downward movement under the force of gravity only : the path of a body in free fall.
freedom of speech (also free speech).freedom of religion
4 [ trans. ] hold (something) at a fixed level or in a fixed state for a period of time : new spending on defense was to be frozen. • prevent (assets) from being used for a period of time : the charity's bank account has been frozen.
a state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behavior : Doreen worked herself into a frenzy of rage.
occurring or done on many occasions, in many cases, or in quick succession : frequent changes in policy | the showers will become heavier and more frequent. • [ attrib. ] (of a person) doing something often; habitual : a frequent visitor to New England. • found at short distances apart : frequent army roadblocks.
1 [ trans. ] make (something) newer, cleaner, or more attractive : it didn't take long to freshen her makeup.
1 [ intrans. ] be constantly or visibly worried or anxious : she fretted about the cost of groceries | [with clause ] I fretted that my fingers were so skinny. • [ trans. ] cause (someone) worry or distress.
feeling or expressing distress or irritation : the baby was crying with a fretful whimper.
• conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments, or opinions : a considerable amount of friction between father and son.
1 a sudden intense feeling of fear : I jumped up in fright. • an experience that causes one to feel sudden intense fear : she's had a nasty fright | I got the fright of my life seeing that woman in the hotel.
very cold in temperature : frigid water.
3 (often the fringes) the outer, marginal, or extreme part of an area, group, or sphere of activity : his uncles were on the fringes of crooked activity. • ( the fringe) the unconventional, extreme, or marginal wing of a group or sphere of activity : the lunatic fringe of American political life | rap music is no longer something on the fringe.
fry or grill with a sizzling noise : Elsie had the fat frizzling in the frying pan. • [ trans. ] fry until crisp, shriveled, or burned : [as adj. ] ( frizzled) add diced frizzled salt pork to taste.
• indicating one extreme in a range of conceptual variations : anything from geography to literature.
from A to Z over the entire range; completely : make sure you understand the subject from A to Z.
from all angles from every direction or point of view : they come shooting at us from all angles | looking at the problem from all angles.
from bad to worse into an even worse state : the country's going from bad to worse.
from cover to cover from beginning to end of a book or magazine.
from dawn to dusk all day; ceaselessly : day after day from dawn to dusk, they drove those loaded canoes.
from day one from the very beginning : children need a firm hand from day one.
from first to last from beginning to end; throughout : it's a fine performance that commands attention from first to last.
from memory without reading or referring to notes : each child was required to recite a verse from memory.
from head to toe (or foot) all over one's body : I was shaking from head to toe.
from (or out of) nowhere appearing or happening suddenly and unexpectedly : he materialized a taxi out of nowhere.
from scratch from the very beginning, esp. without utilizing or relying on any previous work for assistance : he built his own computer company from scratch.
from side to side 1 alternately left and right from a central point : I shook my head frantically from side to side. 2 across the entire width; right across : the fleet stretched four miles from side to side.
from the bottom up 1 completely and thoroughly : Paul understands me from the bottom up. 2 by progressing from a lower or more fundamental starting point : we began to study history from the bottom up.
from the ( very) first from the beginning or the early stages : he should have realized it from the first.
from the ground up informal completely or complete : they needed to learn the business from the ground up.
from top to bottom completely; thoroughly : we searched the place from top to bottom.
from top to toe completely; all over : she seemed to glow from top to toe.
1 the side or part of an object that presents itself to view or that is normally seen or used first; the most forward part of something : a page at the front of the book had been torn out | he sealed the envelope and wrote on the front.
the military line or part of an army that is closest to the enemy : [as adj. ] the front-line troops. • the most important or influential position in a debate or movement : it is doctors who are on the front line of the euthanasia debate.
front office noun the management or administrative officers of a business or other organization.
• the extreme limit of understanding or achievement in a particular area : the success of science in extending the frontiers of knowledge.
• a period of cold weather when such deposits form : when the hard frosts had set in.
1 (of the weather) very cold with frost forming on surfaces : a cold and frosty morning. • covered with or as if with frost : the dog crouched in the frosty grass. 2 cold and unfriendly in manner : Sam gave her a frosty look.
a mass of small bubbles in liquid caused by agitation, fermentation, etc.; foam : leave the yeast until there is a good head of froth. • impure matter that rises to the surface of liquid : skim off any surface froth.
form or contain a rising or overflowing mass of small bubbles : he took a quick sip of beer as it frothed out of the can | [as adj. ] ( frothing) scooping salmon out of the frothing gorge.
full of or covered with a mass of small bubbles : steaming mugs of frothy coffee.
• ( frown on/upon) disapprove of : the old Russian rural system frowned on private enterprise.
sparing or economical with regard to money or food : he led a remarkably frugal existence. See note at economical . • simple and plain and costing little : a frugal meal.
• producing good or helpful results; productive : years of fruitful collaboration | the two days of talks had been fruitful.
1 the point at which a plan or project is realized : the plans have come to fruition sooner than expected. • [in sing. ] the realization of a plan or project : new methods will come with the fruition of that research.
1 failing to achieve the desired results; unproductive or useless : his fruitless attempts to publish poetry.
present or deal with (something) in a vague, noncommittal, or inadequate way, esp. so as to conceal the truth or mislead : a temptation to fudge the issue and nudge grades up.
• a thing that sustains or inflames passion, argument, or other emotion or activity : the remuneration packages will add fuel to the debate about top-level rewards.
1 supply or power (an industrial plant, vehicle, or machine) with fuel : the plan includes a hydroelectric plant to fuel a paper factory | figurative a big novel that is fueled by anger and revenge.
add fuel to the fire (or flames) figurative cause a situation or conflict to become more intense, esp. by provocative comments.
a person who has escaped from a place or is in hiding, esp. to avoid arrest or persecution : fugitives from justice [as adj. ] : fugitive criminals. • [as adj. ] figurative quick to disappear; fleeting : he entertained a fugitive idea that Barbara needed him.
2 carry out (a task, duty, or role) as required, pledged, or expected : some officials were dismissed because they could not fulfill their duties. • satisfy or meet (a requirement or condition) : goods must fulfill three basic conditions.
1 satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one's abilities or character : she did not believe that marriage was the key to happiness and fulfillment.
• involving a lot of activities : he lived a full life.
• (often used for emphasis) reaching the utmost limit; maximum : he reached for the engine control and turned it up to full power | John made full use of all the tuition provided. • having all the privileges and status attached to a particular position : the country applied for full membership in the European Community.
• used to emphasize an amount or quantity : he kept his fast pace going for the full 14-mile distance.
full of oneself very self-satisfied and with an exaggerated sense of self-worth.
• the upper edge or lip of a cup, bowl, or other container : tankards frothing to the brim.
in full with nothing omitted : I shall expect your life story in full. • to the full amount due : their relocation costs would be paid in full. • to the utmost; completely : the textbooks have failed to exploit in full the opportunities offered.
to the full to the greatest possible extent : enjoy your free trip to Europe to the full.
fully developed : the onset of full-blown AIDS in persons infected with HIV.
occupying or using the whole of someone's available working time, typically 40 hours in a week : a full-time job.
completely developed or established; of full status : coldlike symptoms that never quite develop into full-fledged colds.
use the hands clumsily while doing or handling something : she fumbled with the lock.
• ( fumble around/about) move clumsily in various directions using the hands to find one's way : Greg fumbled around in the closet and found his black jacket. • [ trans. ] use the hands clumsily to move (something) as specified : she fumbled a cigarette from her bag.
1 emit gas, smoke, or vapor : fragments of lava hit the ground, fuming and sizzling.
2 feel, show, or express great anger : he is fuming over the interference in his work.
for fun (or for the fun of it) in order to amuse oneself and not for any more serious purpose.
not much (or a lot of) fun used to indicate that something strikes one as extremely unpleasant and depressing : it can't be much fun living next door to him.
1 of or having a special activity, purpose, or task; relating to the way in which something works or operates : there are important functional differences between left and right brain. • designed to be practical and useful, rather than attractive : she had assumed the apartment would be functional and simple. • working or operating : the museum will be fully functional from the opening of the festival.
provide with money for a particular purpose : the World Bank refused to fund the project | [in combination ] government-funded research.
forming a necessary base or core; of central importance : the protection of fundamental human rights | interpretation of evidence is fundamental to the historian's craft.
(of goods contracted for without an individual specimen being specified) able to replace or be replaced by another identical item; mutually interchangeable : money is fungible—money that is raised for one purpose can easily be used for another.
guide or channel (something) through or as if through a funnel : some $12.8 billion was funneled through the Marshall Plan. • [no obj., with adverbial of direction ] move or be guided through or as if through a funnel : the wind funneled down through the valley.
1 [as adj., often in combination ] ( furred) covered with or made from a particular type of fur : silky-furred lemurs.
give a fresh look to (something old or shabby); renovate : the newly furbished church.
roll or fold up and secure neatly (a flag, sail, umbrella, or other piece of fabric) : he shouted to the crew to furl sails | [as adj. ] ( furled) a furled umbrella.
make a rut, groove, or trail in (the ground or the surface of something) : gorges furrowing the deep-sea floor. • (with reference to the forehead or face) mark or be marked with lines or wrinkles caused by frowning, anxiety, or concentration : [ trans. ] a look of concern furrowed his brow | [ intrans. ] her brow furrowed | [as adj. ] ( furrowed) he stroked his furrowed brow.
• [usu. as adj. ] ( furrowed) use a plow to make a long narrow trench in (land or earth) : furrowed fields.
1 wild or violent anger : tears of fury and frustration | Rachel shouted, beside herself with fury. • ( a fury) a surge of violent anger or other feeling : in a fury, he lashed the horse on. • [in sing. ] violence or energy displayed in natural phenomena or in someone's actions : the fury of a gathering storm | she was paddling with a new fury.
1 [ trans. ] join or blend to form a single entity : intermarriage had fused the families into a large unit. • [ intrans. ] (of groups of atoms or cellular structures) join or coalesce : the two nuclei move together and fuse into one nucleus. • melt (a material or object) with intense heat, esp. so as to join it with something else : powdered glass was fused to a metal base.
blow a fuse use too much power in an electrical circuit, causing a fuse to melt. • informal lose one's temper : it was only a suggestion—there's no need to blow a fuse.
the process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity : a fusion of an idea from anthropology and an idea from psychology | malformation or fusion of the three bones in the middle ear.
(of a person) fastidious about one's needs or requirements; hard to please : he is very fussy about what he eats. • showing excessive or anxious concern about detail : Eleanor patted her hair with quick, fussy movements.
incapable of producing any useful result; pointless : a futile attempt to keep fans from mounting the stage.
future-proof adjective Brit. (of a product) unlikely to become obsolete.
a fluffy or frizzy mass of hair or fiber : a fuzz of black hair | his face was covered with white fuzz.
1 make or become blurred or indistinct : [ trans. ] snow fuzzes the outlines of the signs | [ intrans. ] tiny detail can be enlarged to poster size without fuzzing out. 2 [ intrans. ] (of hair) become fluffy or frizzy : her hair fuzzed out uncontrollably in the heat.
1 having a frizzy, fluffy, or frayed texture or appearance : a girl with fuzzy dark hair. 2 difficult to perceive clearly or understand and explain precisely; indistinct or vague : the picture is very fuzzy | that fuzzy line between right and wrong. • (of a person or the mind) unable to think clearly; confused : my mind felt fuzzy.
an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder : an unforgivable social gaffe.
make a sharp change of direction : a long path zigged and zagged through the woods.
2 [ trans. ] cause to move suddenly and rapidly in a specified direction : the boat zapped us up river. • [ intrans. ] move suddenly and rapidly, esp. between television channels or sections of videotape by use of a remote control : video recorders mean the audience will zap through the ads.
having or showing zeal : the council was extremely zealous in the application of the regulations. See note at eager .
great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective : his zeal for privatization | Laura brought a missionary zeal to her work.
• the time at which something is most powerful or successful : under Justinian, the Byzantine Empire reached its zenith of influence.
zero in take aim with a gun or missile : jet fighters zeroed in on the rebel positions. • focus one's attention : they zeroed in on the clues he gave away about.
zero gravity
1 great enthusiasm and energy : they campaigned with zest and intelligence | [in sing. ] she had a great zest for life.
a sharp change of direction in a zigzag course : he went round and round in zigs and zags. verb ( zigged, zigging) [ intrans. ] make a sharp change of direction : we zigged to the right.
a line or course having abrupt alternate right and left turns : she traced a zigzag on the metal with her finger. • a turn on such a course : the road descends in a series of sharp zigzags.
an extremely large number of people or things : we had zillions of customers.
• ( zip someone up) fasten the zipper of a garment that someone is wearing : he zipped himself up.
2 [ intrans. ] informal move at high speed : swallows zipped back and forth across the lake. • [ trans. ] cause to move or be delivered or dealt with rapidly : he zipped a pass out to his receiver.
bright, fresh, or lively : a zippy, zingy, almost citrusy tang. • fast or speedy : zippy new sedans.
1 a whizzing or buzzing sound : there's a nasty zizz from the engine.
1 make a whizzing or buzzing sound : the crane whirred and zizzed.
2 (of a camera) change smoothly from a long shot to a close-up or vice versa : the camera zoomed in for a close-up of his face | zoom out for a wide view of the garden again.
1 (esp. of a car or aircraft) move or travel very quickly : we watched the fly zooming about | he jumped into his car and zoomed off.
pull with a jerk : her hair was yanked, and she screamed | [ trans. ] he yanked her to her feet | [ intrans. ] Liz yanked at her arm./a sudden hard pull : one of the other girls gave her ponytail a yank.
• [usu. as adj. ] ( yawning) be wide open : a yawning chasm.
year in and year out continuously or repeatedly over a period of years : they rented the same bungalow year in and year out.
have an intense feeling of loss or lack and longing for something : [with infinitive ] they yearned to go home | [as n. ] ( yearning) he felt a yearning for the mountains.
a short sharp cry, esp. of pain or alarm : she uttered a yelp as she bumped into a table.
2 still; even (used to emphasize increase or repetition) : snow, snow, and yet more snow | yet another diet book | the rations were reduced yet again.
1 [ trans. ] produce or provide (a natural, agricultural, or industrial product) : the land yields grapes and tobacco. • (of an action or process) produce or deliver (a result or gain) : this method yields the same results. • (of a financial or commercial process or transaction) generate (a specified financial return) : such investments yield direct cash returns.
2 [ intrans. ] give way to arguments, demands, or pressure : the Western powers now yielded when they should have resisted | he yielded to the demands of his partners.
• Finance the amount of money brought in, e.g., interest from an investment or revenue from a tax; return : an annual dividend yield of 20 percent.
you-know-who (or you-know-what) used to refer to someone (or something) known to the hearer without specifying their identity : the minister was later to be sacked by you-know-who.
you bet informal you may be sure; certainly : "Would you like this piece of pie?" "You bet!"
you bet your ass you can be very sure : [ with clause ] you can bet your ass I'll go for it every time.
you can't win them all (or win some, lose some) informal said to express consolation or resignation after failure in a contest.
you name it informal whatever you can think of (used to express the extent or variety of something) : easy-to-assemble kits of trains, cars, trucks, ships ... you name it.
you never know informal you can never be certain; it's impossible to predict.
3 ( Your) used when addressing the holder of certain titles : Your Majesty | Your Eminence.
your humble servant archaic or humorous used at the end of a letter or as a form of ironic courtesy : your most humble servant, George Porter.
messy or disgusting : yucky green-gray slushy cabbage.
a person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge and skill in some field, typically in medicine : [as adj. ] quack cures.
quadrangle |ˈkwɒdraŋg(ə)l|/quadrant |ˈkwɒdr(ə)nt|quadruple |ˈkwɒdrʊp(ə)l| |kwɒˈdruːp(ə)l|//quadruplet |ˈkwɒdrʊplɪt| |kwɒˈdruːplɪt|
attractively unusual or old-fashioned : quaint country cottages | a quaint old custom.
• be or make properly entitled to be classed in a particular way : [ intrans. ] he qualifies as a genuine political refugee.
• [ trans. ] officially recognize or establish (someone) as a practitioner of a particular profession or activity : the courses qualify you as an instructor of the sport | [as adj. ] ( qualified) qualified teachers.
2 the action or fact of qualifying or being eligible for something : they need to beat Poland to ensure qualification for the World Cup finals.
an uneasy feeling of doubt, worry, or fear, esp. about one's own conduct; a misgiving : military regimes generally have no qualms about controlling the press.
• a certain, usually specified, amount or number of something : a small quantity of food | if taken in large quantities, the drug can result in liver failure.
a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed : many animals die in quarantine.
an angry argument or disagreement, typically between people who are usually on good terms : he made the mistake of picking a quarrel with John. • [usu. with negative ] a reason for disagreement with a person, group, or principle : we have no quarrel with the people of the country, only with the dictator.
1 each of four equal or corresponding parts into which something is or can be divided : she cut each apple into quarters | a page and a quarter | a quarter of a mile.
1 [ attrib. ] done, produced, or occurring once every quarter of a year : a quarterly newsletter is distributed to members./1 once every quarter of a year : interest is paid quarterly.
seemingly; apparently but not really : quasi-American | quasi-scientific. • being partly or almost : quasicrystalline.
1 strange; odd : she had a queer feeling that they were being watched.
put an end to (a rebellion or other disorder), typically by the use of force : extra police were called to quell the disturbance.
• suppress (a feeling, esp. an unpleasant one) : he spoke up again to quell any panic among the assembled youngsters.
• satisfy (a desire) : he only pursued her to quench an aching need. 2 extinguish (a fire) : firemen hauled on hoses in a desperate bid to quench the flames. • stifle or suppress (a feeling) : fury rose in him, but he quenched it.
a question, esp. one addressed to an official or organization : a spokeswoman said queries could not be answered until Monday.
ask a question about something, esp. in order to express one's doubts about it or to check its validity or accuracy : [with clause ] many people queried whether any harm had been done | [ trans. ] he queried the medical database. | [with direct speech ] "Why not?" he queried. • [ trans. ] put a question or questions to (someone) : when these officers were queried, they felt unhappy.
a long or arduous search for something : the quest for a reliable vaccine has intensified.
ask questions of (someone), esp. in an official context : four men were being questioned about the killings | [as n. ] ( questioning) the young lieutenant escorted us to the barracks for questioning. • feel or express doubt about; raise objections to : members had questioned the cost of the scheme.
• the raising of a doubt about or objection to something : Edward was the only one she obeyed without question | her loyalty is really beyond question.
bring something into question raise an issue for further consideration or discussion : technology had brought into question the whole future of work. come into question become an issue for further consideration or discussion : our Sunday Trading laws have come into question.
in question 1 being considered or discussed : on the day in question, there were several serious emergencies. 2 in doubt : all of the old certainties are in question.
doubtful as regards truth or quality : [with clause ] it is questionable whether any of these exceptions is genuine. See note at doubtful . • not clearly honest, honorable, or wise : a few men of allegedly questionable character.
1 take one's place in a queue : in the war they had queued for food | [with infinitive ] figurative companies are queuing up to move to the bay.
argue or raise objections about a trivial matter : they are always quibbling about the amount they are prepared to pay.
2 (of a person) prompt to understand, think, or learn; intelligent : it was quick of him to spot the mistake.
quick-witted adjective showing or characterized by an ability to think or respond quickly or effectively.
1 make or become faster or quicker : [ trans. ] she quickened her pace, desperate to escape | [ intrans. ] I felt my pulse quicken.
a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something : the pardon was a quid pro quo for their help in releasing hostages.
2 carried out discreetly, secretly, or with moderation : we wanted a quiet wedding | I'll have a quiet word with him.
the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class : he was the quintessence of political professionalism. • the aspect of something regarded as the intrinsic and central constituent of its character : we were all brought up to believe that advertising is the quintessence of marketing.
representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class : he was the quintessential tough guy—strong, silent, and self-contained.
quintuple |ˈkwɪntjʊp(ə)l| |kwɪnˈtjuːp(ə)l| adjective [ attrib. ] consisting of five parts or things./quintuplet
make a witty remark : [with direct speech ] "Flattery will get you nowhere," she quipped.
1 a peculiar behavioral habit : his distaste for travel is an endearing quirk. • a strange chance occurrence : a strange quirk of fate had led her to working for Nathan. • a sudden twist, turn, or curve : wry humor put a slight quirk in his mouth.
characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits : her sense of humor was decidedly quirky.
characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits : her sense of humor was decidedly quirky.
tremble or shake with a slight rapid motion : the tree's branches stopped quivering. See note at shake . • (of a person, a part of their body, or their voice) tremble with sudden strong emotion : Bertha's voice quivered with indignation.
exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical : a vast and perhaps quixotic project.
(of a person's expression or behavior) indicating mild or amused puzzlement : she gave me a quizzical look.
• figurative a person's share of a particular thing, quality, or attribute : an Irishman with a double ration of blarney and a treble quota of charm.
1 repeat or copy out (a group of words from a text or speech), typically with an indication that one is not the original author or speaker : he quoted a passage from the Psalms | [with direct speech ] "The stream mysterious glides beneath," Melinda quoted | [ intrans. ] when we told her this she said, and I quote, "Phooey!" • repeat a passage from (a work or author) or statement by (someone) : the prime minister was quoted as saying that he would resist all attempts to "sabotage" his government | he quoted Shakespeare, Goethe, and other poets.
• mention or refer to (someone or something) to provide evidence or authority for a statement, argument, or opinion : they won't be here at all in three years time— you can quote me on that.
• used to indicate the speaker's verbatim recitation of written words : on page three, the second sentence says, quote, There has never been a better time to invest in the commodities market, unquote. • used to repeat a spoken passage, esp. to emphasize the speaker's detachment from or disagreement with the original : I swear to you, this is exactly what they told me: quote, You cannot bring a wheelchair into this restaurant during the dinner rush, unquote.
1 [ trans. ] (often be gagged) put a gag on (someone) : she was bound and gagged by robbers in her home.
• figurative (of a person or body with authority) prevent (someone) from speaking freely or disseminating information : the administration is trying to gag its critics.
1 obtain or secure (something desired, favorable, or profitable) : a process that has gained the confidence of the industry | [with two objs. ] their blend of acoustic folk pop gained them several chart hits. See note at get .
• [ intrans. ] ( gain on) come closer to (a person or thing pursued) : a huge bear gaining on him with every stride.
a social occasion with special entertainments or performances : [as adj. ] a black-tie gala that begins with a cocktail reception.
a very strong wind : it was almost blowing a gale | [as adj. ] gale-force winds.
• ( a gale of/gales of) figurative a burst of sound, esp. of laughter : she collapsed into gales of laughter.
1 bold, impudent behavior : the bank had the gall to demand a fee. See note at temerity .
the fastest pace of a horse or other quadruped, with all the feet off the ground together in each stride : the horse broke into a furious gallop | riding at full gallop.
• [ trans. ] make (a horse) gallop : Fred galloped the horse off to the start.
• ( the gallows) execution by hanging : saved from the gallows by a last-minute reprieve.
1 shock or excite (someone), typically into taking action : the urgency of his voice galvanized them into action. 2 [often as adj. ] ( galvanized) coat (iron or steel) with a protective layer of zinc : an old galvanized bucket.
play games of chance for money; bet : she was fond of gambling on cards and horses.
ahead of the game ahead of one's competitors or peers in the same sphere of activity.
• ( gang up) (of a number of people) join together, typically in order to intimidate someone : he is being unfairly ganged up on.
gaol noun Brit. variant spelling of jail .
stare with one's mouth open wide, typically in amazement or wonder : they gaped at her as if she were an alien. • be or become wide open : [with complement ] a large duffel bag gaped open by her feet | [as adj. ] ( gaping) there was a gaping hole in the wall.
dress in distinctive clothes : she was garbed in Indian shawls.
garbage in, garbage out (abbr.: GIGO) used to express the idea that in computing and other spheres, incorrect or poor quality input will always produce faulty output.
enormous : a gargantuan appetite.
wash one's mouth and throat with a liquid kept in motion by exhaling through it : instruct patients to gargle with warm water.
an act or instance or the sound of gargling : a swig and gargle of mouthwash.
gather or collect (something, esp. information or approval) : the police struggled to garner sufficient evidence.
provide (a place) with a body of troops : troops are garrisoned in the various territories. • [ trans. ] station (troops) in a particular place : Soviet forces were garrisoned in Lithuania.
run out of gas informal run out of energy; lose momentum.
of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a gas : gaseous emissions from motor vehicles | gaseous oxygen. 1 a long deep slash, cut, or wound : a bad gash in one leg became infected. • a cleft made as if by a slashing cut : the blast ripped a 25-foot gash in the hull. make a gash in; cut deeply : the jagged edges gashed their fingers.
inhale suddenly with the mouth open, out of pain or astonishment : a woman gasped in horror at the sight of him. • [ trans. ] say (something) while catching one's breath, esp. as a result of strong emotion : Jeremy gasped out an apology | [with direct speech ] "It's beautiful!," she gasped, much impressed. • strain to take a deep breath : she surfaced and gasped for air.
a convulsive catching of breath : his breath was coming in gasps.
one's (or the) last gasp the point of exhaustion, death, or completion : the last gasp of the Cold War.
1 of, like, or full of gas : the carbonated water has a gassy, soda-pop character | gassy planets like Jupiter.
• pick up from the ground or a surface : they gathered up the dirty plates and cups.
3 [ trans. ] infer; understand : her clients were, I gathered, a prosperous group. 4 [ trans. ] develop a higher degree of : the green movement is gathering pace. 5 [ trans. ] summon up (a mental or physical attribute such as one's thoughts or strength) for a purpose : he lay gathering his thoughts together | he gathered himself for a tremendous leap.
gather (or collect) one's wits allow oneself to think calmly and clearly in a demanding situation.
• figurative a means of estimating something; a criterion or test : emigration is perhaps the best gauge of public unease.
1 estimate or determine the magnitude, amount, or volume of : astronomers can gauge the star's intrinsic brightness. • form a judgment or estimate of (a situation, mood, etc.) : she is unable to gauge his mood. 2 measure the dimensions of (an object) with a gauge : when dry, the assemblies can be gauged exactly and planed to width.
stare openly and stupidly : they were gawking at some pinup.
nervously awkward and ungainly : a gawky teenager.
look steadily and intently, esp. in admiration, surprise, or thought : he could only gaze at her in astonishment.
a very large number or quantity (used jocularly or for emphasis) : I'd like to sell gazillions of books.
• a particular function or state of adjustment of engaged gears : he was tooling along in fifth gear.
design or adjust the gears in (a machine) to give a specified speed or power output : it's geared too high for serious off-road use.
in gear with a gear engaged : the captain revved the engines and put them in gear. • figurative done with more energy or effort : I've got to get my act in gear.
gear down (or up) change to a lower (or higher) gear.
gear up equip or prepare oneself : the region started to gear up for the tourist season.
gear for make ready or prepared : a nation geared for war.
geezer |ˈgiːzə| noun informal an old man (used as a disparaging term).
a jellylike substance containing a cosmetic, medicinal, or other preparation : try rubbing some teething gel onto sore gums.
• a person or thing considered to be outstandingly good or special in some respect : this architectural gem of a palace.
in general 1 usually; mainly : in general, Alexander was a peaceful, loving man. 2 as a whole : our understanding of culture in general and of literature in particular.
• not specialized or limited in range of subject, application, activity, etc. : brush up on your general knowledge.
having a range of potential uses; not specialized in function or design : a general-purpose detergent.
1 [ intrans. ] infer general principles from specific cases : it is tempting to generalize from these conclusions. • make general or broad statements : it is not easy to generalize about the poor. • make or become more widely or generally applicable : [ trans. ] most of what we have observed in this field can be generalized to other fields | [ intrans. ] many of the results generalize to multibody structures.
1 a statement or principle having general rather than specific validity or force : he confined his remarks to generalities. • the quality or state of being general : policy should be formulated at an appropriate level of generality.
a general statement or concept obtained by inference from specific cases : he was making sweeping generalizations. • the action of generalizing : such anecdotes cannot be a basis for generalization.
cause (something, esp. an emotion or situation) to arise or come about : changes that are likely to generate controversy | generate more jobs in the economy.
• able to produce : the generative power of the life force.
1 characteristic of or relating to a class or group of things; not specific : chèvre is a generic term for all goat's milk cheese. See note at universal .
(of a person) showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected : she was generous with her money. • showing kindness toward others : it was generous of them to ask her along. • (of a thing) larger or more plentiful than is usual or necessary : a generous sprinkle of pepper.
the origin or mode of formation of something : this tale had its genesis in fireside stories.
of or relating to the human or animal reproductive organs : conditions of the lower genital tract.
2 moderate in action, effect, or degree; not harsh or severe : a little gentle persuasion | a gentle breeze.
truly what something is said to be; authentic : each book is bound in genuine leather. • (of a person, emotion, or action) sincere : she had no doubts as to whether Tom was genuine | a genuine attempt to delegate authority.
• an initial stage from which something may develop : the germ of a brilliant idea.
• figurative come into existence and develop : the idea germinated and slowly grew into an obsession.
manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class. • achieve (a result) by such manipulation : a total freedom to gerrymander the results they want.
a movement of part of the body, esp. a hand or the head, to express an idea or meaning : Alex made a gesture of apology | so much is conveyed by gesture. • an action performed to convey one's feelings or intentions : Maggie was touched by the kind gesture. • an action performed for show in the knowledge that it will have no effect : I hope the amendment will not be just a gesture.
make a gesture : she gestured meaningfully with the pistol. • [ trans. ] express (something) with a gesture or gestures : he gestured his dissent at this. • [ trans. or infinitive ] direct or invite (someone) to move somewhere specified : he gestured her to a chair.
• [ trans. ] succeed in making (someone or something) come, go, or make progress : my honesty often gets me into trouble.
be out to get someone be determined to punish or harm someone, esp. in retaliation : he thinks the media are out to get him.
get in there informal take positive action to achieve one's aim (often said as an exhortation) : you get in there, son, and you work.
get ahead become successful in one's life or career : how to get ahead in advertising.
get along 1 have a harmonious or friendly relationship : they seem to get along pretty well. 2 manage to live or survive : don't worry, we'll get along without you. get around 1 coax or persuade (someone) to do or allow something that they initially do not want to. 2 deal successfully with (a problem). • evade (a regulation or restriction) without contravening it : the company changed its name to get around the law.
informal imply (something) : I can see what you're getting at.
get away escape : Stevie was caught, but the rest of us got away | he was very lucky to get away with his life. • leave one's home or work for a time of rest or recreation; go on a vacation : it will be nice to get away.
get away with escape blame, punishment, or undesirable consequences for (an act that is wrong or mistaken) : you'll never get away with this.
get back at take revenge on (someone) : I wanted to get back at them for what they did. get back to contact (someone) later to give a reply or return a message : I'll find out and get back to you. get by manage with difficulty to live or accomplish something : he had just enough money to get by.
get down to begin to do or give serious attention to : let's get down to business.
get into (of a feeling) affect, influence, or take control of (someone) : I don't know what's got into him.
get out 1 (of something previously secret) become known : news got out that we were coming. 2 (also get out of here) informal [in imperative ] used to express disbelief : get out, you're a liar. • [usu. in imperative ] informal go away; leave.
get something out succeed in uttering, publishing, or releasing something : we need to get this report out by Friday.
get something out of achieve benefit from (an undertaking or exercise) : we never got any money out of it.
get something over 1 manage to communicate an idea or theory : the company is keen to get the idea over. 2 complete an unpleasant or tedious but necessary task promptly : Come on, let's get it over with.
get through 1 (also get someone through) pass or assist someone in passing (a difficult or testing experience or period) : I need these lessons to get me through my exam. • (also get something through) (with reference to a piece of legislation) become or cause to become law. 2 make contact by telephone : after an hour of busy signals, I finally got through. • succeed in communicating with someone in a meaningful way : I just don't think anyone can get through to these kids.
get a grip [usu. in imperative ] informal keep or recover one's self-control : get a grip, guys! get a grip on take control of : the Fed will have to act to get a grip on inflation.
get (or be) even informal inflict trouble or harm on someone similar to that which they have inflicted on oneself : I'll get even with you for this.
get hold of grasp (someone or something) physically. • grasp (something) intellectually; understand. • informal obtain : if you can't get hold of ripe tomatoes, add some tomato purée. • informal find or manage to contact (someone) : I'll try and get hold of Mark.
get into shape (or get someone into shape) become (or make someone) physically fitter by exercise : if you're thinking of getting into shape, take it easy and build up slowly.
get (or go) nowhere make no progress : I'm getting nowhere—maybe I should give up | the project was going nowhere fast.
get (or start) off on the right (or wrong) foot make a good (or bad) start at something, esp. a task or relationship.
get off the ground (or get something off the ground) start or cause to start happening or functioning successfully : he doesn't appreciate the steps he must take to get the negotiations off the ground.
get on someone's nerves informal irritate or annoy someone.
get one's hands dirty do manual, menial, or other hard work : unlike most chairmen, he gets his hands dirty working alongside the other managers. • informal become involved in dishonest or dishonorable activity : they can make a lot of money, but fat cats don't get their hands dirty.
get one's head around (or round) [usu. with negative ] informal understand or come to terms with something : I just can't get my head around this idea.
get (or have) one's ( own) way get or do what one wants in spite of opposition.
get real! informal used to convey that an idea or statement is foolish or overly idealistic : You want teens to have committed sexual relationships? Get real!
get someone wrong misunderstand someone, esp. by falsely imputing malice.
get something into one's (or someone's) head come or cause (someone) to realize or understand : when will you get it into your head that it's the project that counts not me?
get something off one's chest informal say something that one has wanted to say for a long time, resulting in a feeling of relief.
get something out of one's system informal get rid of a preoccupation or anxiety : she let her get the crying out of her system.
get something straight make a situation clear, esp. by reaching an understanding.
get somewhere informal make progress; achieve success.
get the best of overcome (someone) : his drinking got the best of him and he was fired.
get the better of (often of something immaterial) win an advantage over (someone); defeat or outwit : curiosity got the better of her.
get the hell out ( of) informal escape quickly from (a place or situation) : let's all get the hell out of here.
get the message informal infer an implication from a remark or action.
get the picture informal understand a situation.
get the point understand or accept the validity of someone's idea or argument : I get the point about not sending rejections.
get to the bottom of find an explanation for (a mystery) : he hopes to get to the bottom of the scam.
get wind of informal begin to suspect that (something) is happening; hear a rumor of : Marty got wind of a plot being hatched. [ORIGIN: referring originally to the scent of game in hunting.]
of or like a ghost in appearance or sound; eerie and unnatural : a ghostly figure with a hood.
speak rapidly and unintelligibly, typically through fear or shock : they shrieked and gibbered as flames surrounded them | [as adj. ] ( gibbering) a gibbering idiot.
unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing; nonsense : he talks gibberish.
• a job, esp. one that is temporary or that has an uncertain future : he secured his first gig as an NFL coach.
of very great size or extent; huge or enormous : a gigantic concrete tower.
laugh lightly in a nervous, affected, or silly manner : they giggled at some private joke | [as adj. ] ( giggling) three giggling girls.
gimmick |ˈgɪmɪk| noun a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity, or business.
in a careful or cautious manner : Jackson sat down very gingerly.
showing great care or caution : with strangers the preliminaries are taken at a gingerly pace.
a gadget, esp. one whose name the speaker does not know or cannot recall : the latest multimedia gizmo.
1 the substance or essence of a speech or text : she noted the gist of each message.
• allot or assign (a score) to : I gave it five out of ten. • sentence (someone) to (a specified penalty) : for the first offense I was given a fine. • concede or yield (something) as valid or deserved in respect of (someone) : give him his due.
• informal predict that (an activity, undertaking, or relationship) will last no longer than (a specified time) : this is a place that will not improve with time—I give it three weeks.
3 [ trans. ] carry out or perform (a specified action) : I gave a bow | [with two objs. ] he gave the counter a polish. • utter or produce (a sound) : he gave a gasp.
• pledge or assign as a guarantee : [with two objs. ] I give you my word.
5 [ intrans. ] alter in shape under pressure rather than resist or break : that chair doesn't give. • yield or give way to pressure : the heavy door didn't give until the fifth push | figurative when two people who don't get on are thrust together, something's got to give. • [ intrans. ] informal concede defeat; surrender : I give!
give as good as one gets respond with equal force or vehemence when attacked.
give me a break informal used to express exasperation, protest, or disbelief.
give or take —— informal to within —— (used to express the degree or accuracy of a figure) : three hundred and fifty years ago, give or take a few.
not give a damn (or hoot, etc.) informal not care at all : people who don't give a damn about the environment.
give someone away 1 reveal the true identity of someone : his strangely shaped feet gave him away.
give in cease fighting or arguing; yield; surrender : he reluctantly gave in to the pressure.
give out be completely used up : her energy was on the verge of giving out. • stop functioning; break down : he curses and swears till his voice gives out.
give something out distribute or broadcast something : I've been giving out leaflets.
give oneself up to 1 surrender oneself to law-enforcement agents. 2 dated allow oneself to be taken over by (an emotion or addiction) : he gave himself up to pleasure.
give something up part with something that one would prefer to keep : she would have given up everything for love. • stop the habitual doing or consuming of something : I've decided to give up drinking. give up on stop having faith or belief in : they weren't about to give up on their heroes so easily.
give (or lend) a hand assist in an action or enterprise.
give credence to accept as true.
give (or lose) ground retreat or lose one's advantage during a conflict or competition : he refused to give ground on this issue.
give it one's best shot informal do the best that one can.
give one's life for die for.
give someone a hard time informal deliberately make a situation difficult for someone.
give someone credit for commend someone for (a quality or achievement), esp. with reluctance or surprise : please give me credit for some sense.
give someone the creeps informal induce a feeling of revulsion or fear in someone.
give someone the shudders informal cause someone to feel repugnance or fear : it gives me the shudders to hear you use words like that.
give way 1 yield to someone or something : he was not a man to give way to this kind of pressure. • (of a support or structure) be unable to carry a load or withstand a force; collapse or break. • ( give way to) allow oneself to be overcome by or to succumb to (an emotion or impulse) : she gave way to a burst of weeping. 2 allow someone or something to be or go first : give way to traffic coming from the right. • ( give way to) be replaced or superseded by : Alan's discomfort gave way to anger.
the attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing or special : the glamour of Monte Carlo | [as adj. ] the glamour days of Old Hollywood. • beauty or charm that is sexually attractive : George had none of his brother's glamour. • archaic enchantment; magic : that maiden, made by glamour out of flowers.
having glamour : one of the world's most glamorous women.
1 take a brief or hurried look : Ginny glanced at her watch. • ( glance at/through) read quickly or cursorily : I glanced through your personnel file last night. 2 hit something at an angle and bounce off obliquely : he saw a stone glance off a crag and hit Tom on the head. • (esp. of light) reflect off something with a brief flash : sunlight glanced off the curved body of a dolphin.
at a glance immediately upon looking : she saw at a glance what had happened. at first glance when seen or considered for the first time, esp. briefly : good news, at first glance, for frequent travelers.
1 stare in an angry or fierce way : she glared at him, her cheeks flushing. • [ trans. ] express (a feeling, esp. defiance) by staring in such a way : he glared defiance at the pistols pointing down at him. 2 [with adverbial ] (of the sun or an electric light) shine with a strong or dazzling light : the sun glared out of a clear blue sky.
shine brightly, esp. with reflected light : light gleamed on the china cats | her eyes gleamed with satisfaction. • (of a smooth surface or object) reflect light because well polished : Victor buffed the glass until it gleamed | [as adj. ] ( gleaming) sleek and gleaming black limousines. • (of an emotion or quality) appear or be expressed through the brightness of someone's eyes or expression : a hint of mischief gleaming in her eyes.
a faint or brief light, esp. one reflected from something : the gleam of a silver tray. • a brief or faint instance of a quality or emotion, esp. a desirable one : the gleam of hope vanished. • a brightness in a person's eyes taken as a sign of a particular emotion : she saw an unmistakable gleam of triumph in his eyes.
extract (information) from various sources : the information is gleaned from press clippings. • collect gradually and bit by bit : objects gleaned from local markets.
1 great delight : his face lit up with impish glee.
exuberantly or triumphantly joyful : she gave a gleeful chuckle.
(of words or the person speaking them) fluent and voluble but insincere and shallow : she was careful not to let the answer sound too glib. See note at talkative .
1 [ intrans. ] move with a smooth continuous motion, typically with little noise : a few gondolas glided past.
shine faintly with a wavering light : the moonlight glimmered on the lawn | [as adj. ] ( glimmering) pools of glimmering light.
• a faint sign of a feeling or quality, esp. a desirable one : there is one glimmer of hope for Becky.
a momentary or partial view : she caught a glimpse of the ocean | a glimpse into the world of the wealthy.
(of something wet or greasy) shine; glitter : his cheeks glistened with tears | [as adj. ] ( glistening) the glistening swimming pool.
a sparkling light reflected from something wet : there was a glisten of perspiration across her top lip.
a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or irregularity of equipment : a draft version was lost in a computer glitch. • an unexpected setback in a plan : this has been the first real glitch they've encountered in a three months' tour.
shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light : trees and grass glittered with dew. • shine as a result of strong feeling : her eyes were glittering with excitement.
• figurative an attractive, exciting, often superficial, quality : he avoids the glitter of show business. • a glint in a person's eye indicating a particular emotion : the scathing glitter in his eyes.
extravagant but superficial display : the glitz and sophisticated night life of Ibiza.
1 partial or total darkness : he strained his eyes peering into the gloom.
2 a state of depression or despondency : a year of economic gloom for the car industry | his gloom deepened.
2 be or look depressed or despondent : Charles was always glooming about money.
doom and gloom (also gloom and doom) a general feeling of pessimism or despondency : the national feeling of doom and gloom.
dark or poorly lit, esp. so as to appear depressing or frightening : a gloomy corridor. • feeling distressed or pessimistic : I am by no means gloomy about the prospects for domestic industry. • causing distress or depression : a gloomy atmosphere.
1 reveal or make clearer the glory of (God) by one's actions : God can be glorified through a life of scholarship.
2 describe or represent as admirable, esp. unjustifiably or undeservedly : a football video glorifying violence.
1 having, worthy of, or bringing fame or admiration : the most glorious victory of all time. 2 having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration : a glorious autumn day.
1 high renown or honor won by notable achievements : to fight and die for the glory of one's nation.
a time in the past regarded as being better than the present : his glory days as a high school basketball star | the glory days of tourism.
• ( gloss over) try to conceal or disguise (something embarrassing or unfavorable) by treating it briefly or representing it misleadingly : the social costs of this growth are glossed over.
shiny and smooth : thick, glossy, manageable hair./• superficially attractive and stylish, and suggesting wealth or expense : glossy TV miniseries and soaps.
give out steady light without flame : the tips of their cigarettes glowed in the dark.
a steady radiance of light or heat : the setting sun cast a deep red glow over the city. • a feeling of warmth in the face or body; the visible effects of this as a redness of the cheeks : he could feel the brandy filling him with a warm glow. • a strong feeling of pleasure or well-being : with a glow of pride, Mildred walked away.
fasten or join with or as if with glue : the wood is cut up into small pieces which are then glued together. • ( be glued to) informal be paying very close attention to (something, esp. a television or computer screen) : I was glued to the television when the Olympics were on.
an excessively abundant supply of something : there is a glut of cars on the market.
• a person who is excessively fond of or always eager for something : a glutton for adventure.
grind (one's teeth) together, typically as a sign of anger : no doubt he is gnashing his teeth in rage. • [ intrans. ] (of teeth) strike together; grind : the dog's jaws were primed to gnash.
bite at or nibble something persistently : picking up the pig's foot, he gnawed at it. • [ trans. ] bite at or nibble (something) : she sat gnawing her underlip. • figurative (of something painful to the mind or body) cause persistent and wearing distress or anxiety : the doubts continued to gnaw at me | [as adj. ] ( gnawing) that gnawing pain in her stomach.
• ( go into/to/toward) (of a thing) contribute to or be put into (a whole); be used for or devoted to : considerable effort went into making the operation successful. • pass a specified amount of time in a particular way or under particular circumstances : sometimes they went for two months without talking. • used to indicate how many people a supply of food, money, or another resource is sufficient for or how much can be achieved using it : the sale will go a long way toward easing the huge debt burden | a little luck can go a long way. • (of a thing) lie or extend in a certain direction : the scar started just above her ankle and went all the way up inside her leg.
• (of time) pass or elapse : the hours went by | three years went past. • come to an end; cease to exist : a golden age that has now gone for good | 11,500 jobs are due to go by next year.
• (of money) be spent, esp. in a specified way : the rest of his money went into medical expenses.
4 [ intrans. ] pass into a specified state, esp. an undesirable one : the food is going bad | her mind immediately went blank | he's gone crazy. • ( go to/into) enter into a specified state, institution, or course of action : she turned over and went back to sleep | the car went into a spin.
• (of a song, account, verse, etc.) have a specified content or wording : if you haven't heard it, the story goes like this. 6 [ intrans. ] be harmonious, complementary, or matching : rosemary goes with roast lamb | the earrings and the scarf don't really go. • be found in the same place or situation; be associated : cooking and eating go together.
1 an attempt or trial at something : I thought I'd give it a go.
go ( to) it Brit., informal act in a vigorous, energetic, or dissipated way : Go it, Dad! Give him what for!
have a go at 1 make an attempt at; try : let me have a go at straightening the rim. 2 chiefly Brit. attack or criticize (someone) : she's always having a go at me.
go against oppose or resist : he refused to go against the unions. • be contrary to (a feeling or principle) : these tactics go against many of our instincts. • (of a judgment, decision, or result) be unfavorable for : the tribunal's decision went against them. go ahead proceed or be carried out without hesitation : the project will go ahead.
go along with give one's consent or agreement to (a person or their views) : the group has decided to go along with the committee's proposal.
go down 1 (of a ship or aircraft) sink or crash : he saw eleven B-17s go down. • be defeated in a contest : they went down 2-1. 2 (of a person, period, or event) be recorded or remembered in a particular way : his name will now go down in history. 3 be swallowed : solids can sometimes go down much easier than liquids. 4 (of a person, action, or work) elicit a specified reaction : my slide shows went down reasonably well. 5 informal happen : you really don't know what's going down?
1 take up in study or as an occupation : he went into bankruptcy law. 2 investigate or inquire into (something) : there's no need to go into it now.
go on 1 [often with present participle ] continue or persevere : I can't go on protecting you. • talk at great length, esp. tediously or angrily : she went on about how lovely it would be to escape from the city. • continue speaking or doing something after a short pause : [with direct speech ] "I don't understand," she went on. • informal said when encouraging someone or expressing disbelief : go on, tell him! 2 happen; take place : God knows what went on there. 3 [often with infinitive ] proceed to do : she went on to do postgraduate work.
examine, consider, or check the details of (something) : I want to go over these plans with you again.
1 undergo (a difficult or painful period or experience) : the country is going through a period of economic instability. 2 search through or examine carefully or in sequence : she started to go through the bundle of letters. 3 (of a proposal or contract) be officially approved or completed : the sale of the building is set to go through
go without suffer lack or deprivation : I like to give my children what they want, even if I have to go without.
go according to plan happen as one arranged or intended.
go astray (of an object) become lost or mislaid : the money had gone astray.
go belly up informal go bankrupt.
go down the drain informal be totally wasted : the government must stop public money from going down the drain.
go down the tubes (or tube) informal be completely lost or wasted; fail utterly : we watched his political career go down the tubes.
go (or be) easy on someone informal refrain from being harsh with or critical of someone.
go into detail give a full account of something.
go off the rails informal begin behaving in a strange, abnormal, or wildly uncontrolled way.
go one's way 1 (of events, circumstances, etc.) be favorable to one : I was just hoping things went my way. 2 leave : each went his way singing hallelujahs.
go someone's way travel in the same direction as someone : wait for Owen, he's going your way.
go (or turn) sour become less pleasant or attractive; turn out badly : the case concerns a property deal that turned sour.
go the extra mile be especially assiduous in one's attempt to achieve something.
go through the roof informal 1 (of prices or figures) reach extreme or unexpected heights. 2 another way of saying hit the roof .
go (or take something) to extremes take an extreme course of action; do something to an extreme degree : we may go to extremes to find peace and quiet.
go to waste be unused or expended to no purpose.
go with the flow informal be relaxed and accept a situation, rather than trying to alter or control it.
go without saying be obvious : it goes without saying that teachers must be selected with care. [ORIGIN: translating French (cela) va sans dire.]
• the destination of a journey : the aircraft bumped toward our goal some 400 miles to the west.
eat (something) hurriedly and noisily : one man gobbled up a burger. | [ intrans. ] they don't eat, they gobble. • use a large amount of (something) very quickly : these old houses just gobble up money. • (of a large organization or other body) incorporate or take over (a smaller one) : he amassed his packaging empire by gobbling up National Can Corporation.
received from God : the God-given power to work miracles. • possessed without question, as if by divine authority : the union man's God-given right to strike.
God (or goodness or heaven) knows 1 used to emphasize that one does not know something : God knows what else they might find. 2 used to emphasize the truth of a statement : God knows, we deserve a glass of bubbly after all these years. a very helpful or valuable event, person, or thing : this highway is a godsend to the local community. look with wide open eyes, typically in amazement or wonder : "What in the world are you goggling at "?
a basic principle that should be followed to ensure success in general or in a particular activity : one of the golden rules in this class is punctuality.
goner |ˈgɒnə| noun informal a person or thing that is doomed or cannot be saved.
as good as —— very nearly —— : she's as good as here. • used of a result which will inevitably follow : if we pass on the information, he's as good as dead.
be any (or no or much) good have some (or none or much) merit : tell me whether that picture is any good. • be of some (or none or much) help in dealing with a situation : it was no good trying to ward things off.
do someone good be beneficial to someone, esp. to their health : the walk will do you good.
God help ( you, him, etc.) used to express the belief that someone is in a difficult, dangerous, or hopeless situation : God help anyone who tried to cheer me out of my bad mood.
in God's name used in questions to emphasize anger or surprise : what in God's name are you doing up there?
(of a person) worthless : his good-for-nothing son.
good-hearted adjective kind and well meaning.
good nature noun a kind and unselfish disposition : your boy has a good nature.
1 friendly, helpful, or cooperative feelings or attitude : the plan is dependent on goodwill between the two sides | [as adj. ] a goodwill gesture.
1 a mistake : he made one of the most embarrassing goofs of his tenure. See note at mistake ./1 spend time idly or foolishly; fool around : I was goofing around and broke my arm. • ( goof off) evade a duty; idle or shirk : he was goofing off from his math homework. • ( goof on) make fun of; ridicule : Lew and I started goofing on Alison's friend.
eat a large amount greedily; fill oneself with food : the river comes alive during March when fish gorge on caddisworms | we used to go to all the little restaurants there and gorge ourselves.
• control, influence, or regulate (a person, action, or course of events) : the future of Jamaica will be governed by geography, not history.
1 grasp or seize suddenly and roughly : she grabbed him by the shirt collar | she grabbed her keys and rushed out.
• [ intrans. ] ( grab at/for) make a sudden snatch at : he grabbed at the handle, missed, and nearly fell.
up for grabs informal available; obtainable : great prizes up for grabs.
• courteous goodwill : at least he has the grace to admit his debt to her.
• ( graces) an attractively polite manner of behaving : she has all the social graces.
having or showing grace or elegance : she was a tall girl, slender and graceful.
1 courteous, kind, and pleasant : smiling and gracious in defeat.
1 arrange in or allocate to grades; class or sort : they are graded according to thickness | [as adj. ] ( graded) carefully graded exercises.
1 an inclined part of a road or railway; a slope : fail-safe brakes for use on steep gradients. • the degree of such a slope : the path becomes very rough as the gradient increases.
• [ trans. ] confer a degree or other academic qualification on : the school graduated more than one hundred arts majors in its first year.
writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place : the walls were covered with graffiti | [as adj. ] a graffiti artist.
• a small hard particle of a substance such as salt or sand : a grain of salt. • the smallest possible quantity or amount of a quality : there wasn't a grain of truth in what he said.
1 magnificent and imposing in appearance, size, or style : a grand country house | the dinner party was very grand. • designed to impress through scale or splendor : a grand gesture. • (of a person) of high rank and with an appearance and manner appropriate to it : she was such a grand lady. • large or ambitious in scope or scale : his grand design for the future of Europe | collecting on a grand scale.
splendor and impressiveness, esp. of appearance or style : the austere grandeur of mountain scenery. • high rank or social importance : for all their grandeur, the chancellors were still officials of the household.
impressive or magnificent in appearance or style, esp. pretentiously so : the court's grandiose facade. • excessively grand or ambitious : grandiose plans to reform the world.
1 agree to give or allow (something requested) to : a letter granting them permission to smoke. See note at give . • give (a right, power, property, etc.) formally or legally to : the amendment that granted women the right to vote. 2 agree or admit to (someone) that (something) is true : he hasn't made much progress, I'll grant you that.
• formal the action of granting something : we had to recommend the grant or refusal of broadcasting licenses.
1 [ intrans. ] engage in a close fight or struggle without weapons; wrestle : passersby grappled with the man after the knife attack.
• ( grapple with) struggle with or work hard to deal with or overcome (a difficulty or challenge) : other towns are still grappling with the problem.
• [ intrans. ] ( grasp at) try to seize hold of : they grasped at each other with numbed fingers | they had grasped at any means to overthrow him. • get mental hold of; comprehend fully : the way in which children could grasp complex ideas. • act decisively to the advantage of (something) : we must grasp the opportunities offered.
a firm hold or grip : the child slipped from her grasp. • a person's power or capacity to attain something : he knew success was within his grasp. • a person's understanding : meanings that are beyond my grasp | his grasp of detail.
grasp (or clutch or catch) at straws (or a straw) be in such a desperate situation as to resort to even the most unlikely means of salvation. [ORIGIN: from the proverb a drowning man will clutch at a straw.]
the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence proverb other people's lives or situations always seem better than one's own.
the most basic level of an activity or organization : the whole campaign would be conducted at the grass roots. | [as adj. ] trying to improve the sport's image at the grass-roots level. • ordinary people regarded as the main body of an organization's membership : you have lost touch with the grass roots of the party.
1 [ trans. ] reduce (something, esp. food) to small shreds by rubbing it on a grater : peel and roughly grate the carrots | [as adj. ] ( grated) grated cheese. 2 [ intrans. ] make an unpleasant rasping sound : the hinges of the door grated. • ( grate against) rub against something with such a sound : his helmet grated against the top of the door. • have an irritating effect : he had a juvenile streak that grated on her nerves.
feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful : I'm very grateful to you for all your help.
give (someone) pleasure or satisfaction : I was gratified to see the coverage in May's issue | [as adj. ] ( gratifying) the results were gratifying.
without charge; free : a monthly program was issued gratis.
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness : she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support.
2 given or done free of charge : solicitors provide a form of gratuitous legal advice.
turn (also turn over) in one's grave used to express the opinion that something would have caused anger or distress to someone who is now dead : Bach must be turning in his grave at the vulgarities of the twentieth century.
giving cause for alarm; serious : a matter of grave concern. • serious or solemn in manner or appearance; somber : his face was grave.
dignity, seriousness, or solemnity of manner : a post for which he has the expertise and the gravitas.
move toward or be attracted to a place, person, or thing : they gravitated to the Catholic faith in their hour of need.
• figurative movement toward or attraction to something : a tentative gravitation toward the prices that we saw before the announcement.
2 extreme or alarming importance; seriousness : crimes of the utmost gravity. • seriousness or solemnity of manner : has the poet ever spoken with greater eloquence or gravity?
(of cattle, sheep, etc.) eat grass in a field : cattle graze on the open meadows. • [ trans. ] (of an animal) feed on (grass or land covered by grass) : llamas graze the tufts of grass. • [ trans. ] put (cattle, sheep, etc.) to feed on land covered by grass : shepherds who grazed animals on common land. • informal (of a person) eat small quantities of food at frequent but irregular intervals : advertisers should not encourage children to graze on snacks or sweets.
grease the wheels help something go smoothly : it is inadequate to grease the wheels of recovery.
a good (or great) many a large number : a good many of us./a good (or great) deal a large amount : I don't know a great deal about politics. • to a considerable extent : she had gotten to know him a good deal better.
to a great extent in a substantial way; largely : we are all to a great extent the product of our culture.
• figurative permission to go ahead with a project : the commission has given the green light for a wind-farm development.
• [ trans. ] receive or acknowledge (something) in a specified way : everyone present greeted this idea warmly. • (of a sight or sound) become apparent to or be noticed by (someone) on arrival somewhere : flowers and cheers greeted the shipyard workers.
a polite word or sign of welcome or recognition : Mandy shouted a greeting. • the action of giving such a sign : she raised her hand in greeting. • (usu. greetings) a formal expression of goodwill, said on meeting or in a written message : warm greetings to you all.
(of a person) fond of company; sociable : he was a popular and gregarious man.
1 a framework of spaced bars that are parallel to or cross each other; a grating : the metal grids had been pulled across the foyer.
gridlock |ˈgrɪdlɒk| noun 1 a traffic jam affecting a whole network of intersecting streets.
deep sorrow, esp. that caused by someone's death : she was overcome with grief.
a real or imagined wrong or other cause for complaint or protest, esp. unfair treatment : failure to redress genuine grievances. • an official statement of a complaint over something believed to be wrong or unfair : three pilots have filed grievances against the company.
suffer grief : she grieved for her father. • [ trans. ] feel grief for or because of : she did not have the opportunity to grieve her mother's death.
2 [ trans. ] informal subject (someone) to intense questioning or interrogation : my father grilled us about what we had been doing | [as n. ] ( grilling) they faced a grilling over the latest results.
• (of humor) lacking genuine levity; mirthless; black : some moments of grim humor. • depressing or worrying to consider : the grim news of the murder.
an ugly, twisted expression on a person's face, typically expressing disgust, pain, or wry amusement : she gave a grimace of pain.
make a grimace : I sipped the coffee and grimaced.
smile broadly, esp. in an unrestrained manner and with the mouth open : Dennis appeared, grinning cheerfully. See note at smile .
grin (or smile) from ear to ear smile broadly.
1 [ trans. ] reduce (something) to small particles or powder by crushing it : grind some black pepper over the salad | they grind up fish for fertilizer.
1 a crushing or grating sound or motion : the crunch and grind of bulldozers | figurative the slow grind of the U.S. legal system.
grind to a halt (or come to a grinding halt) move more and more slowly and then stop.
grind something out produce something dull or tedious slowly and laboriously : I must grind out some more fiction.
1 take and keep a firm hold of; grasp tightly : his knuckles were white as he gripped the steering wheel. • [ intrans. ] maintain a firm contact, esp. by friction : a sole that really grips well on wet rock. 2 (of a feeling or emotion) deeply affect (someone) : she was gripped by a feeling of excitement. • (of an illness or unwelcome situation) afflict strongly : the country was gripped by recession.
1 [in sing. ] a firm hold; a tight grasp or clasp : his arm was held in a vicelike grip | figurative the icy grip of winter.
• [in sing. ] an effective form of control over something : our firm grip on inflation. • [in sing. ] an intellectual understanding of something : you've got a pretty good grip on what's going on.
come (or get) to grips with engage in combat with : they never came to grips with the enemy. • begin to deal with or understand : a real tough problem to come to grips with.
lose one's grip become unable to understand or control one's situation : an elderly person who seems to be losing his grip.
make a deep inarticulate sound in response to pain or despair : Marty groaned and pulled the blanket over his head. • [with direct speech ] say something in a despairing or miserable tone : "Oh God!" I groaned. • complain; grumble : they were moaning and groaning about management.
dazed, weak, or unsteady, esp. from illness, intoxication, sleep, or a blow : the sleeping pills had left her feeling groggy.
1 [ intrans. ] feel about or search blindly or uncertainly with the hands : she got up and groped for her spectacles. • ( grope for) search mentally with hesitation or uncertainty for (a word or answer) : she was groping for the words which would express what she thought | [as adj. ] ( groping) their groping attempts to create a more meaningful existence. • move along with difficulty by feeling objects as one goes : she blew out the candle and groped her way to the door. 2 [ trans. ] informal feel or fondle (someone) for sexual pleasure, esp. against their will : he was accused of groping office girls.
a habitually grumpy person : rock's foremost poet and ill-mannered grouch. • a complaint or grumble : my only real grouch was that the children's chorus was far less easy on the ear.
2 an area of knowledge or subject of discussion or thought : third-year courses typically cover less ground and go into more depth | he shifted the argument onto theoretical grounds of his own choosing. 3 ( grounds) factors forming a basis for action or the justification for a belief : there are some grounds for optimism | they called for a retrial on the grounds of the new evidence.
• informal (of a parent) refuse to allow (a child) to go out socially as a punishment : he was grounded for hitting her on the head.
3 (usu. be grounded in) give (something abstract) a firm theoretical or practical basis : the study of history must be grounded in a thorough knowledge of the past. • instruct (someone) thoroughly in a subject : they were grounded in the classics, in history, and in literature.
gain ground become more popular or accepted : new moral attitudes are gaining ground.
get off the ground (or get something off the ground) start or cause to start happening or functioning successfully : he doesn't appreciate the steps he must take to get the negotiations off the ground. give (or lose) ground retreat or lose one's advantage during a conflict or competition : he refused to give ground on this issue.
on one's own ground in one's own territory or concerning one's own range of knowledge or experience : I feel reasonably relaxed if I'm interviewed on my own ground.
ground level noun 1 the level of the ground : [as adj. ] ground-level ozone pollution.
a basic principle : some ground rules for assessing new machines.
groundbreaking adjective breaking new ground; innovative; pioneering.
not based on any good reason : your fears are quite groundless.
preliminary or basic work : a manned space station is needed to lay the groundwork for a colony on the moon.
put together or place in a group or groups : three wooden chairs were grouped around a dining table. • put into categories; classify : we group them into species merely as a convenience. • [ intrans. ] form a group or groups : many growers began to group together to form cooperatives.
• (of something abstract) come into existence and develop : the Vietnamese diaspora grew out of their national tragedy. 2 become larger or greater over a period of time; increase : turnover grew to more than $100,000 within three years | [as adj. ] ( growing) a growing number of people are coming to realize this.
(of an animal, esp. a dog) make a low guttural sound of hostility in the throat : the dogs yapped and growled about his heels. • [with direct speech ] (of a person) say something in a low grating voice, typically in a threatening manner : "Keep out of this," he growled. • (of a thing) make a low or harsh rumbling sound, typically one that is felt to be threatening : thunder growls without warning from a summer sky.
2 something that has grown or is growing : a day's growth of unshaven stubble on his chin.
a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury : she held a grudge against her former boss.
• [with two objs. ] [usu. with negative ] feel resentful that (someone) has achieved (something) : I don't grudge him his moment of triumph.
extremely tiring and demanding : a grueling schedule.
causing repulsion or horror; grisly : a most gruesome murder. • informal extremely unpleasant : gruesome working hours.
complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered but typically muted way : [with clause ] his father was grumbling that he hadn't heard a word from him | [ trans. ] he grumbled something about the decision being unnecessary. • [ intrans. ] make a low rumbling sound : thunder was grumbling somewhere in the distance. • [ intrans. ] (of an internal organ) give intermittent discomfort : your stomach is grumbling.
grumpy |ˈgrʌmpi| adjective ( grumpier , grumpiest ) bad-tempered and sulky.
a formal promise or assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled, esp. that a product will be repaired or replaced if not of a specified quality and durability : we offer a 10-year guarantee against rusting. • something that gives a certainty of outcome : past performance is no guarantee of future results.
• [ trans. ] provide such an assurance regarding (something, esp. a product) : the repairs will be guaranteed for three years | [as adj. ] ( guaranteed) the guaranteed bonus is not very high. • [ trans. ] provide financial security for; underwrite : a demand that $100,000 be deposited to guarantee their costs. • [ trans. ] promise with certainty : no one can guarantee a profit on stocks.
• [ intrans. ] ( guard against) take precautions against : farmers must guard against sudden changes in the market.
lower (or let down) one's guard relax one's defensive posture, leaving oneself vulnerable to attack : if you lower your guard or take a step backward, I will throw in the towel. • reduce one's level of vigilance or caution : she was not ready to let down her guard and confide in him. off guard |ˈˈɔf ˈgɑrd| |ˈˈɑf ˈgɑrd| unprepared for some surprise or difficulty : the government was caught off guard by the unexpected announcement.
under guard being guarded : he was held in an empty stable under guard.
• ( guess at) make a conjecture about : their motives he could only guess at. • correctly conjecture or perceive : [with clause ] she's guessed where we're going. • [in imperative ] used to introduce something considered surprising or exciting : guess what I've just seen!
be my guest informal please do : May I choose the restaurant? Be my guest!
laugh in such a way : both men guffawed at the remark.
2 a thing that helps someone to form an opinion or make a decision or calculation : here is a guide to the number of curtain hooks you will need. • a principle or standard of comparison : as a guide, there are roughly six glasses to a bottle.
1 [ trans. ] show or indicate the way to (someone) : he guided her to the front row and sat beside her./2 [ trans. ] direct or have an influence on the course of action of (someone or something) : he guided the team to a second successive win in the tournament.
• a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation : he remembered with sudden guilt the letter from his mother that he had not yet read.
culpable of or responsible for a specified wrongdoing : the police will soon discover who the guilty party is | he was found guilty of manslaughter | he found them guilty on a lesser charge. See also find , plead . • justly chargeable with a particular fault or error : she was guilty of a serious error of judgment.
an external form, appearance, or manner of presentation, typically concealing the true nature of something : he visited in the guise of an inspector | : telemarketing and selling under the guise of market research.
easily persuaded to believe something; credulous : an attempt to persuade a gullible public to spend their money.
• breathe (air) deeply and quickly : we emerged to gulp great lungfuls of cold night air. • [ intrans. ] make effortful breathing or swallowing movements, typically in response to strong emotion : fumes seeped in until she was forced to gulp for air | she gulped back the tears.
• a large mouthful of liquid hastily drunk : Titch took a gulp of beer and wiped his mouth on his sleeve.
• a swallowing movement of the throat : the chairman gave an audible gulp.
1 ( gun someone down) shoot someone with a gun : they were gunned down by masked snipers.
jump the gun informal act before the proper time.
while threatening someone or being threatened with a gun : two robbers held a family at gunpoint while they searched their house.
1 [with adverbial of direction ] (of a liquid) flow out in a rapid and plentiful stream, often suddenly : William watched the murky liquid gushing out | figurative millions of dollars gushed out of that office.
• a burst of something such as rain, sound, or emotion : gusts of rain lashed down the narrow alleys./(of the wind) blow in gusts : the wind was gusting through the branches of the tree/1 characterized by or blowing in gusts : a gusty morning..
2 ( guts) informal personal courage and determination; toughness of character : she had both more brains and more guts than her husband | you just haven't got the guts to admit it.
extremely unpleasant or upsetting : the film is a gut-wrenching portrait of domestic violence.
gutless |ˈgʌtlɪs| adjective informal lacking courage or determination.
showing courage, determination, and spirit : she gave a gutsy performance in the tennis tournament.
eat or drink (something) greedily : we guzzle our beer and devour our pizza | figurative this car guzzles gas.
break (or informal kick) the habit stop engaging in a habitual practice.
habitable |ˈhabɪtəb(ə)l| adjective suitable or good enough to live in.
the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism : wild chimps in their natural habitat.
the state or process of living in a particular place : signs of human habitation.
done or doing constantly or as a habit : a habitual late sleeper | this pattern of behavior can become habitual.
had best do something find it most sensible or well advised to do the thing mentioned : I'd best be going.
had better do something would find it wiser to do something; ought to do something : you had better be careful.
1 looking exhausted and unwell, esp. from fatigue, worry, or suffering : I trailed on behind, haggard and disheveled.
dispute or bargain persistently, esp. over the cost of something : the two sides are haggling over television rights.
• [in sing. ] a large number of things hurled forcefully through the air, esp. with intent to harm : a hail of bullets.
1 [ trans. ] call out to (someone) to attract attention : the crew hailed a fishing boat. • signal (an approaching taxicab) to stop : she raised her hand to hail a cab. 2 [ trans. ] (often be hailed) acclaim enthusiastically as being a specified thing : he has been hailed as the new James Dean.
a hair's breadth a very small amount or margin : you escaped death by a hair's breadth.
either of two equal or corresponding parts into which something is or can be divided : the northern half of the island | two and a half years | divided in half | reduced by half.
the half of it [usu. with negative ] informal the most important part or aspect of something : you don't know the half of it.
without enthusiasm or energy : after two years of halfhearted effort, he dropped out of school.
at or to a point equidistant between two others : [as adv. ] he stopped halfway down the passage | [as adj. ] she reached the halfway point. • in the middle of a period of time : [as adv. ] halfway through the night. • [as adv. ] to some extent : I'm incapable of doing anything even halfway decent.
meet someone halfway compromise; concede some points in order to gain others : I'm willing to compromise and meet him halfway.
Hall of Fame
• a distinctive feature, esp. one of excellence : the tiny bubbles are the hallmark of fine champagnes.
experience a seemingly real perception of something not actually present, typically as a result of a mental disorder or of taking drugs : people sense themselves going mad and hallucinate about spiders. • [ trans. ] experience a hallucination of (something) : I don't care if they're hallucinating purple snakes.
bring or come to an abrupt stop : [ trans. ] there is growing pressure to halt the bloodshed | [ intrans. ] she halted in mid-sentence.
a suspension of movement or activity, typically a temporary one : a halt in production | a bus screeched to a halt.
• reduce or be reduced by half : [ intrans. ] profits are expected to halve after a tail-off in new customers | [ trans. ] his pledge to halve the deficit over the next four years.
• [ intrans. ] strike or knock at or on something violently with one's hand or with a hammer or other object : she hammered on his door.
• [ trans. ] drive or secure (something) by striking with or as if with a hammer : he hammered the tack in | he was hammering leather soles onto a pair of small boots.
• ( hammer something in/into) instill (an attitude, idea, or habit) forcefully or repeatedly : it has been hammered into people's heads that communists are the bad guys.
drive (or hammer or press or ram) something home make something clearly and fully understood by the use of repeated or forcefully direct arguments.
hinder or impede the movement or progress of : their work is hampered by lack of funds. See note at hinder .
• [in sing. ] informal a round of applause : his fans gave him a big hand.
• (usu. a hand) an active role in influencing something : he had a big hand in organizing the event.
1 [with two objs. ] pick (something) up and give to (someone) : he handed each man a glass | I handed the trowel back to him.
at hand nearby : keep the manual close at hand. • readily accessible when needed. • close in time; about to happen : a breakthrough in combating the disease may be at hand.
at (or by) the hands (or hand) of through the agency of : tests he would undergo at the hands of a senior neurologist.
hand in hand |ˈhønd ən ˈhønd| (of two people) with hands joined, esp. as a mark of affection. • figurative closely associated : she had the confidence that usually goes hand in hand with experience.
( from) hand to mouth satisfying only one's immediate needs because of lack of money for future plans and investments : they were flat broke and living hand to mouth | [as adj. ] a hand-to-mouth existence.
hands off |ˈhøn(d)z ˈˈɔf| used as a warning not to touch or interfere with something : hands off that cake! • [as adj. ] ( hands-off) not involving or requiring direct control or intervention : a hands-off management style.
hands-on |ˈhøn(d)z ˈˈɑn| involving or offering active participation rather than theory : hands-on practice to gain experience.
hands up! used as an instruction to raise one's hands in surrender or to signify assent or participation : Hands up! Who saw the program?
in safe hands protected by someone trustworthy from harm or damage : the future of the cathedral is in safe hands.
on someone's hands used to indicate that someone is responsible for dealing with someone or something : he has a difficult job on his hands. • used to indicate that someone is to blame for something : he has my son's blood on his hands. • at someone's disposal : since I retired I've had more time on my hands.
out of hand 1 not under control. 2 without taking time to think : they rejected negotiations out of hand.
set (or put) one's hand to start work on.
1 pass something on to a younger person or a successor : songs are handed down from mother to daughter.
give a share of something or one of a set of things to each of a number of people; distribute : they handed out free drinks to everyone
hand someone/something over give someone or something, or the responsibility for someone or something, to someone else : hand the matter over to the police.
• a small number or amount : one of a handful of attorneys in the Southwest who specialize in water-rights laws.
• drive or control (a vehicle) : where did you learn to handle a boat? • [ intrans. ] (of a vehicle) respond in a specified manner when being driven or controlled : a roadworthy bicycle that also handles well off the pavement.
• have the resources to cope with : more orders than I can handle.
• ( a handle on) figurative a means of understanding, controlling, or approaching a person or situation : it'll give people some kind of handle on these issues | get a handle on your life.
made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality : his expensive handmade leather shoes.
1 suspend or be suspended from above with the lower part dangling free : [ trans. ] that's where people are supposed to hang their wash | [ intrans. ] a chain hanging freely over two pegs.
• attach or be attached to a wall : [ trans. ] we could just hang the pictures on the walls | [ intrans. ] the room in which the pictures will hang.
• [ intrans. ] (of fabric or a garment) be arranged in folds so as to droop in a specified way : this blend of silk and wool hangs well and resists creases.
3 [ intrans. ] remain static in the air : a haze of smoke hung below the ceiling. • be present or imminent, esp. oppressively or threateningly : a sense of dread hung over him for days.
hang by a thread be in a highly precarious state.
hang in the air remain unresolved : the question that has been hanging in the air.
hang on 1 hold tightly : he hung on to the back of her coat. • informal remain firm or persevere, esp. in difficult circumstances : we must hang on as best we can. • ( hang on to) keep; retain : he is determined to hang on to his job. 2 informal wait for a short time : hang on a minute—do you think I might have left anything out? • (on the telephone) remain connected until one is able to talk to a particular person. 3 be contingent or dependent on : the future of Europe should not hang on a referendum by the French. 4 listen closely to : she hung on his every word.
a place one frequently visits : I nursed a beer at a favorite college hangout.
lacking any obvious principle of organization : the kitchen drawers contained a haphazard collection of silver souvenir spoons.
(esp. of a person) unfortunate : if you're one of the many hapless car buyers who've been shafted.
as it happens actually; as a matter of fact : we've got a room vacant, as it happens.
coincidence : it was just happenstance that I happened to be there | an untoward happenstance for Trudy.
haptic |ˈhaptɪk| adjective technical of or relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using the senses of touch and proprioception.
verb [ trans. ] 1 keep (a thought or feeling, typically a negative one) in one's mind, esp. secretly : she started to harbor doubts about the wisdom of their journey.
• (of information) reliable, esp. because based on something true or substantiated : hard facts about the underclass are maddeningly elusive./• (of a subject of study) dealing with precise and verifiable facts : efforts to turn psychology into hard science.
give someone a hard time informal deliberately make a situation difficult for someone. the hard way through suffering or learning from the unpleasant consequences of mistakes : his reputation was earned the hard way. play hard to get informal deliberately adopt an aloof or uninterested attitude, typically in order to make oneself more attractive or interesting. having taken a great deal of effort to earn or acquire : my few hard-earned dollars mean a lot to my family.
the most active, committed, or doctrinaire members of a group or movement : there is always a hard core of trusty stalwarts | [as adj. ] a hard core following.
make or become hard or harder : [ intrans. ] wait for the glue to harden | [ trans. ] bricks that seem to have been hardened by firing. • make or become more severe and less sympathetic : [ trans. ] she hardened her heart.
1 scarcely (used to qualify a statement by saying that it is true to an insignificant degree) : it is hardly bigger than a credit card. • only a very short time before : the party had hardly started when the police arrived. • only with great difficulty : she could hardly sit up straight. • no or not (suggesting surprise at or disagreement with a statement) : I hardly think so.
hardly any almost no : they sold hardly any books. • almost none : hardly any had previous convictions. hardly ever very rarely : we hardly ever see them.
do (someone) no harm used to indicate that a situation or action will not hurt someone, whether or not it will provide any benefit : the diet of milk and zwieback certainly did him no harm.
causing or likely to cause harm : shield the planet from harmful cosmic rays | sugars that can be harmful to the teeth.
2 agreement or concord : man and machine in perfect harmony.
• the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole : delightful cities where old and new blend in harmony.
harpoon |hɑːˈpuːn| noun a barbed spearlike missile attached to a long rope and thrown by hand or fired from a gun, used for catching whales and other large sea creatures.
• (of reality or a fact) grim and unpalatable : the harsh realities of the world news.
• figurative the product or result of an action : in terms of science, Apollo yielded a meager harvest.
• figurative gain (something) as the result of an action : the movie has harvested $105.7 million overseas.
irritating inconvenience : the hassle of losing a high security key | traveling can be a hassle. • deliberate harassment : if they give you any hassle, just tell them it's for me.
excessive speed or urgency of movement or action; hurry : working with feverish haste | : I write in haste.
make haste dated hurry; hasten : I make haste to seal this. more haste, less speed proverb you make better progress with a task if you don't try to do it too quickly.
done or acting with excessive speed or urgency; hurried : a hasty attempt to defuse the situation | hasty decisions. See note at superficial .
take one's hat off to (or hats off to) used to state one's admiration for (someone who has done something praiseworthy) : I take my hat off to anyone who makes it work | hats off to emergency services for prompt work in the wake of the storms.
1 [ intrans. ] (of a young bird, fish, or reptile) emerge from its egg : ten little chicks hatched out. • (of an egg) open and produce a young animal : eggs need to be put in a warm place to hatch. • [ trans. ] incubate (an egg) : the eggs are best hatched under broody hens or in incubators.
2 [ trans. ] conspire to devise (a plot or plan) : the little plot that you and Sylvia hatched up last night.
intense dislike or ill will : racial hatred | his murderous hatred of his brother.
1 [ trans. ] (of a person) pull or drag with effort or force : he hauled his bike out of the shed.
• ( haul oneself) propel or pull oneself with difficulty : he hauled himself along the cliff face.
• be persistently in the mind of (someone) : the sight haunted me for years.
2 be unable to tolerate someone or something any longer : I've had it with him—he's humiliated me once too often!
have it 1 [with clause ] express the view that (used to indicate that the speaker is reporting something that they do not necessarily believe to be fact) : rumor had it that although he lived in a derelict house, he was really very wealthy.
have it both ways benefit from two incompatible ways of thinking or behaving : countries cannot have it both ways: the cost of a cleaner environment may sometimes be fewer jobs.
have a finger in every pie be involved in a large and varied number of activities or enterprises.
have a foot in both camps have an interest or stake concurrently in two parties or sides : I can have a foot in both the creative and business camps.
make an attempt at; try : let me have a go at straightening the rim.
have a thing about informal have an obsessive interest in or dislike of : she had a thing about men who wore glasses.
have a way with have a particular talent for dealing with or ability in : she's got a way with animals.
have a word speak briefly to someone : I'll just have a word with him.
have an eye for be able to recognize, appreciate, and make good judgments about : applicants should have an eye for detail.
have everything informal possess every attraction or advantage : she was articulate, she was fun—it seemed to me she had everything.
have eyes in the back of one's head know what is going on around one even when one cannot see it.
have had one's (or its) day be no longer popular, successful, or influential : power dressing has had its day.
have it your ( own) way [in imperative ] informal used to indicate angrily that although one disagrees with something someone has said or proposed, one is not going to argue further : have it your way-we'll go to Princetown.
have mercy on (or upon) show compassion or forgiveness to : may the Lord have mercy on her soul.
have no business have no right to do something or be somewhere : he had no business tampering with social services.
have no concern with formal have nothing to do with : drama seemed to have no concern with "truth" at all.
have no time for be unable or unwilling to spend time on : he had no time for anything except essays and projects. • dislike or disapprove of : he's got no time for airheads.
have nothing to lose be in a situation that is so bad that even if an action or undertaking is unsuccessful, it cannot make it any worse.
have one foot in the grave informal often humorous be near death through old age or illness.
have one's hands full have as much work as one can do.
have one's hands tied informal be unable to act freely.
have one's (or its) moments have short periods that are better or more impressive than others : thanks to his gently comic performance, the film has its moments.
have only oneself to blame be solely responsible for something bad that has happened.
have (or hold) someone in the palm of one's hand have someone under one's control or influence : she had the audience in the palm of her hand.
have someone or something in mind be thinking of. • intend : I had it in mind to ask you to work for me.
have something to one's credit have achieved something notable : he has 65 tournament wins to his credit.
have something (or nothing) to show for have a (or no) visible result of (one's work or experience) : a year later, he had nothing to show for his efforts.
have the heart to do something [usu. with negative ] be insensitive or hard-hearted enough to do something : I don't have the heart to tell her.
be able to spend the time needed to do something : she didn't have the time to look very closely.
have (or gain) the upper hand have or gain advantage or control over someone or something.
widespread destruction : the hurricane ripped through Florida, causing havoc. • great confusion or disorder : schoolchildren wreaking havoc in the classroom.
1 a danger or risk : the hazards of smoking. • a potential source of danger : a fire hazard | a health hazard.
risky; dangerous : we work in hazardous conditions | it is hazardous to personal safety.
• [in sing. ] figurative a state of mental obscurity or confusion : through an alcoholic haze.
• ( head for) an aptitude for or tolerance of : she had a good head for business.
• the head regarded as the location of intellect, imagination, and memory : whatever comes into my head.
6 a person considered as a numerical unit : they paid fifty dollars a head. • [treated as pl. ] a number of cattle or game as specified : seventy head of dairy cattle.
• be in charge of : an organizational unit headed by a line manager | she headed up the Centennial program.
3 [ intrans. ] (also be headed) move in a specified direction : he was heading for the exit | we were headed in the wrong direction. • ( head for) appear to be moving inevitably toward (something, esp. something undesirable) : the economy is heading for recession.
be hanging over someone's head (of something unpleasant) threaten to affect someone at any moment.
bite (or snap) someone's head off reply sharply and brusquely to someone.
enter someone's head [usu. with negative ] occur to someone : such an idea never entered my head.
get something into one's (or someone's) head come or cause (someone) to realize or understand : when will you get it into your head that it's the project that counts not me?
—— one's head off talk, laugh, etc., unrestrainedly : he was drunk as a skunk and singing his head off.
: I immediately fell head over heels for Don.
a head start an advantage granted or gained at the beginning of something : our fine traditions give us a head start on the competition.
keep one's head remain calm.
keep one's head down remain inconspicuous in difficult or dangerous times.
lose one's head lose self-control; panic.
off the top of one's head without careful thought or investigation.
put their (or our or your) heads together consult and work together : they forced the major banks to put their heads together to sort it out.
an instance of counting the number of people present : a U.S. Marine turns up missing at a head count. • a total number of people, esp. the number of people employed in a particular organization : you may decide that by reducing your head count you can reach this quarter's goals.
with the head in front of the rest of the body : [as adv. ] she dived head first into the water | [as attrib. adj. ] a head-first slide.
headwind |ˈhɛdwɪnd| noun a wind blowing from directly in front, opposing forward motion.
• [ intrans. ] become sound or healthy again : he would have to wait until his knee had healed.
• figurative in a good condition : the family is the basis of any healthy society. • desirable; beneficial : healthy competition. • of a satisfactory size or amount : making a healthy profit.
• be told or informed of : have you heard the news? | [with clause ] they heard that I had moved | [ intrans. ] I was shocked to hear of her death.
• listen or pay attention to : [with clause ] she just doesn't hear what I'm telling her. • ( hear someone out) listen to all that someone has to say : Joseph gravely heard them out but never offered advice.
hear a pin drop used to describe absolute silence.
• courage or enthusiasm : they may lose heart as the work mounts up | Mary took heart from the encouragement handed out | I put my heart and soul into it and then got fired.
2 the central or innermost part of something : right in the heart of the city. • the vital part or essence : the heart of the matter.
at heart in one's real nature, in contrast to how one may appear : he's a good guy at heart.
by heart from memory.
have a heart [often in imperative ] be merciful; show pity.
• (usu. heartbeats) a single pulsation of the heart : her heartbeats steadied.
the floor of a fireplace : the crackling blaze on the hearth.
1 in a hearty manner : she laughed heartily | they dined heartily.
displaying a complete lack of feeling or consideration : heartless thieves stole the stroller of a two-year-old boy.
make or become hot or warm : [ trans. ] the room faces north and is difficult to heat | [ intrans. ] the pipes expand as they heat up.
in the heat of the moment while temporarily angry, excited, or engrossed, and without stopping for thought.
• a source or level of heat for cooking : remove from the heat and beat in the butter.
heat-resistant adjective another term for heatproof . • not easily becoming hot : fondue forks with heat-resistant handles.
1 [ trans. ] lift or haul (a heavy thing) with great effort : she heaved the sofa back into place | he heaved himself out of bed.
2 [ trans. ] produce (a sigh) : he heaved a euphoric sigh of relief.
characterized by or feeling intense excitement and happiness : a euphoric sense of freedom.
1 of heaven; divine : heavenly Father. 2 of the heavens or sky : heavenly constellations. 3 informal very pleasing; wonderful : their shampoos smell heavenly | it was a heavenly morning for a ride.
4 striking or falling with force : a heavy blow to the head | we had heavy overnight rain. • causing a strong impact : a heavy fall.
• feeling or expressing grief : I left him with a heavy heart. • informal (of a situation) serious and hard to deal with : things were getting pretty heavy.
5 needing much physical effort : long hours and heavy work. • mentally oppressive; hard to endure : a heavy burden of responsibility.
heavy-hearted adjective feeling depressed or melancholy.
1 (often be heckled) interrupt (a public speaker) with derisive or aggressive comments or abuse : he was booed and heckled when he tried to address the demonstrators | [ intrans. ] he is merely heckling from the sidelines.
3 protect (one's investment or an investor) against loss by making balancing or compensating contracts or transactions : the company hedged its investment position on the futures market.
pay attention to; take notice of : he should have heeded the warnings.
careful attention : if he heard, he paid no heed | we must take heed of the suggestions.
showing a reckless lack of care or attention : "Elaine!" she shouted, heedless of attracting unwanted attention | his heedless impetuosity.
at the heels of (or at someone's heels) following closely behind : he headed off with Sammy at his heels.
under the heel of dominated or controlled by : the Greeks spent several centuries under the heel of the Ottoman Empire.
large, heavy, and powerful : a hefty young chap. • (of a number or amount) impressively large : a hefty 10 million | hefty Christmas bonuses.
3 the most intense part or period of something : the height of the tourist season | at the height of his career | they took consumerism to new heights. • an extreme instance or example of something : it would be the height of bad manners not to attend the wedding.
• make or become more intense : [ trans. ] the pleasure was heightened by the sense of guilt that accompanied it | : [ intrans. ] concern over CFCs has heightened | : [as adj. ] ( heightened) the heightened color of her face.
(of a person or wrongful act, esp. a crime) utterly odious or wicked : a battery of heinous crimes.
a person legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person's death : his eldest son and heir | she aspired to marry the heir to the throne.
• a state or place of great suffering; an unbearable experience : I've been through hell | he made her life hell.
to hell with informal expressing one's scorn or lack of concern for (someone or something) : to hell with the consequences.
determined to achieve something at all costs : why are you hell-bent on leaving?
of or like hell : an unearthly, hellish landscape. • informal extremely difficult or unpleasant : it had been a hellish week.
• figurative a position of leadership : they are family-run empires whose founders remain at the helm.
2 ( help someone to) serve someone with (food or drink) : she helped herself to a cookie.
3 ( can/could not help) cannot or could not avoid : he could not help laughing | you can't help but agree. • ( can/could not help oneself) cannot or could not stop oneself from acting in a certain way : she couldn't help herself; she burst into tears.
so help me ( God) used to emphasize that one means what one is saying.
henceforth/hitherto
be a sign that (something) is about to happen : the speech heralded a change in policy. • (usu. be heralded) acclaim : the band has been heralded as the industrial supergroup of the '90s.
relating to or made from herbs, esp. those used in cooking and medicine : herbal remedies.
herbivore |ˈhəːbɪvɔː| noun an animal that feeds on plants.
a large group of animals, esp. hoofed mammals, that live, feed, or migrate together or are kept together as livestock : a herd of elephants | large farms with big dairy herds. • derogatory a large group of people, typically with a shared characteristic : I dodged herds of joggers and cyclists | he is not of the common herd.
move in a particular direction : [ trans. ] Nick herded me through the baggage claim and into his Jaguar | [ intrans. ] we all herded into a storage room.
• used to draw attention to someone or something that has just arrived : here's my brother | here comes the bus.
• [with infinitive ] used to indicate one's role in a particular situation : I'm here to help you | we're not here to mess around.
2 (usu. here is/are) used when introducing something or someone : here's a dish that is simple and quick to make | here's what you have to do. • used when giving something to someone : here's the money I promised you | here is my address.
here and now at this very moment; at the present time : we're going to settle this here and now | [as n. ] our obsession with the here and now. here and there in various places : small bushes scattered here and there.
here goes an expression indicating that one is about to start something difficult or exciting. here's to someone/something used to wish health or success before drinking : here's to us! | here's to your safe arrival.
here we go again said to indicate that the same events, typically undesirable ones, are recurring.
as a result of this document or utterance : the Port Authority hereby solicits proposals from developers.
1 the passing on of physical or mental characteristics genetically from one generation to another : few scientists dispute that heredity can create a susceptibility to alcoholism.
in this document or book : the author herein recounts his travel adventures. • in this matter; arising from this : the statues are sensual to the point of erotic and herein lies their interest.
belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (esp. Christian) doctrine : Huss was burned for heresy | the doctrine was denounced as a heresy by the pope. • opinion profoundly at odds with what is generally accepted : cutting capital gains taxes is heresy | the politician's heresies became the conventional wisdom of the day.
hermit |ˈhəːmɪt| noun 1 a person living in solitude as a religious discipline.
having the characteristics of a hero or heroine; very brave : heroic deeds | a few heroic individuals.
tentative, unsure, or slow in acting or speaking : clients are hesitant about buying | her slow, hesitant way of speaking.
• [with infinitive ] be reluctant to do something : he hesitated to spoil the mood by being inquisitive.
the action of pausing or hesitating before saying or doing something : she answered without hesitation.
enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves : a "hands-on" or interactive heuristic approach to learning.
the period of a person's or thing's greatest success, popularity, or vigor : the paper has lost millions of readers since its heyday in 1964.
a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process : there was a brief hiatus in the war with France.
• figurative (of a person) remain inactive or indoors for an extended period : the pilots who have been hibernating during the winter months get their gliders out again.
• ( hiccups) an attack of such spasms occurring repeatedly for some time : he got the hiccups.
kept out of sight; concealed : hidden dangers | her hidden feelings.
the sacred relic had been hidden away in a sealed cavern.
hide-and-seek
a place used as a retreat or a hiding place : an intimate hideaway overlooking the bay.
ugly or disgusting to look at : his smile made him look more hideous than ever. • extremely unpleasant : the whole hideous story.
hideout |ˈhʌɪdaʊt|
• near to the top of a real or notional list in order of rank or importance : financial security is high on your list of priorities.
3 great in rank or status : he held high office in professional organizations. • ranking above others of the same kind : they announced the High Commissioner's retirement.
• intoxicated with drugs : some of them were already high on alcohol and Ecstasy.
it is high time that —— it is past the time when something should have happened or been done : it was high time that she faced the facts.
high court
having strong moral principles : high-minded notions of what good persons want to be.
a position of attracting much attention or publicity : people who have a high profile in the community.
(of a building) having many stories : office towers and high-rise apartments.
scholarly or rarefied in taste : innovatory art had a small, mostly highbrow following.
1 (also highlands) an area of high or mountainous land : the highlands of Madagascar | [as adj. ] a highland region of Vietnam.
1 (often be highlighted) pick out and emphasize : the issues highlighted by the report | speakers at the conference highlighted additional problems faced by women with AIDS.
2 a sharp increase, esp. in price : fears of a hike in interest rates.
. ] walk for a long distance, esp. across country or in the woods : we planned to hike another mile up a steep trail
• increase (something, esp. a price) sharply : some of the local merchants hiked the price of goods.
(esp. of a bodily part) situated at the back; posterior : he snagged a calf by the hind leg.
a thing that provides resistance, delay, or obstruction to something or someone : a hindrance to the development process | : the visitor can wander around without hindrance.
understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed : with hindsight, I should never have gone.
attach or join with or as if with a hinge : the ironing board was set into the wall and hinged at the bottom
• [ intrans. ] ( hinge on) depend entirely on : the future of the industry could hinge on the outcome of next month's election.
a slight or indirect indication or suggestion : he has given no hint of his views. • a small piece of practical information or advice : handy hints about what to buy. • a very small trace of something : Randy smiled with a hint of mockery.
• ( hint at) (of a thing) be a slight or possible indication of : the restrained fronts of the terraced houses only hinted at the wealth within.
take a (or the) hint understand and act on a hint : she tried to put him off but he didn't take the hint.
make a sharp sibilant sound as of the letter s: : the escaping gas was now hissing. • (of a person) make such a sound as a sign of disapproval or derision : the audience hissed loudly at the mention of his name. • [ trans. ] express disapproval of (someone) by making such a sound : he was hissed off the stage. • [ reporting verb ] whisper something in an urgent or angry way : he hissed at them to be quiet | : [with direct speech ] "Get back!" he hissed.
• accidentally strike (part of one's body) against something, often causing injury : she fainted and hit her head on the metal bedstead.
• informal touch or press (part of a machine or other device) in order to work it : he picked up the phone and hit several buttons.
• informal reach (a particular level, point, or figure) : his career hit rock bottom.
• be suddenly and vividly realized by : [ trans. ] it hit her that I wanted to settle down here.
• informal (of a product) become available and make an impact on : the latest board game to hit the market.
• informal used to express the idea that someone is taking up a pursuit or taking it seriously : more and more teenagers are hitting the books.
hit the ground running informal start something and proceed at a fast pace with enthusiasm.
hit the jackpot informal 1 win a jackpot. 2 have great or unexpected success, esp. in making a lot of money quickly : the theater hit the jackpot with its first musical.
hit the nail on the head find exactly the right answer.
hit (or strike) the right (or wrong) note say or do something in exactly the right (or wrong) way.
hit the road (or trail) informal set out on a journey.
1 a temporary interruption or problem : everything went without a hitch.
a stock or store of money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or carefully guarded : he came back to rescue his little hoard of gold. • an ancient store of coins or other valuable artifacts : a hoard of Romano-British bronzes. • an amassed store of useful information or facts, retained for future use : a hoard of secret information about his work.
amass (money or valued objects) and hide or store away : thousands of antiques hoarded by a compulsive collector. • accumulate a supply of (something) in a time of scarcity : many of the boat people had hoarded rations.
(of a person's voice) sounding rough and harsh, typically as the result of a sore throat or of shouting : a hoarse whisper | [as complement ] he shouted himself hoarse.
a humorous or malicious deception : they recognized the plan as a hoax | [as adj. ] he was accused of making hoax calls.
1 [ trans. ] informal keep or use all of (something) for oneself in an unfair or selfish way : he never hogged the limelight.