Terms in this set (984)
on condition that with the stipulation that : he proposed deep cuts in offensive forces, on condition that an agreement be reached.
on course following the intended route : he battled to keep the ship on course | figurative to get back on course, I relied on one of my stock questions.
on cue at the correct moment : right on cue the door opened.
on demand as soon as or whenever required : he promised us endless coffee on demand.
on (or off) duty engaged (or not engaged) in one's regular work : the doorman had gone off duty and the lobby was unattended.
on edge tense, nervous, or irritable : never had she felt so on edge before an interview.
on end 1 continuing without stopping for a specified period of time : sometimes they'll be gone for days on end. 2 in an upright position : he brushed his hair, leaving a tuft standing on end.
on (or at or in) every corner everywhere : there were saloons on every corner | it's difficult to readjust when the past assaults you at every corner | young executives sprouted in every corner.
on fire in flames; burning. • in a state of excitement : Wright is now on fire with confidence.
on guard on duty to protect or defend something. • (also on one's guard) prepared for any contingency; vigilant : we must be on guard against such temptation.
on impulse (or on an impulse) suddenly and without forethought; impulsively.
on no account under no circumstances : on no account let anyone know we're interested.
on one's (or the) doorstep situated very close by : the airport is on my doorstep, so flying is easy.
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.
on ( or according to) schedule on time; as planned or expected.
on target accurately hitting the thing aimed at. • proceeding or improving at a good enough rate to achieve an objective : the new police station is on target for a June opening.
on the —— side tending toward being ——; rather —— (used to qualify an adjective) : these shoes are a bit on the tight side.
on the agenda scheduled for discussion at a meeting : the rights of minorities would be high on the agenda at the conference. • likely or needing to be dealt with or done : his release was not on the agenda | national problems loomed large on the domestic agenda.
on the alert vigilant and prepared : the security forces must be on the alert for an upsurge in violence.
on the back (or front) burner informal having low (or high) priority : he wants the matter to be put on the back burner.
on the brink of about to experience something, typically a disastrous or unwelcome event : the country was on the brink of a constitutional crisis.
on (or quite) the contrary used to intensify a denial of what has just been implied or stated : there was no malice in her; on the contrary, she was very kind.
on the dot informal exactly on time : he arrived on the dot at nine o'clock.
on the downgrade in decline : profits are on the downgrade.
on the face of it without knowing all of the relevant facts; at first glance : on the face of it, these improvements look to be insignificant.
on the drawing board (of an idea, scheme, or proposal) under consideration and not yet ready to put into practice : there are plans to enlarge the runway, but at present all this remains on the drawing board.
on the horizon just imminent or becoming apparent : trouble could be on the horizon.
on the increase becoming greater, more common, or more frequent.
on the right (or wrong) track acting or thinking in a way that is likely to result in success (or failure) : we are on the right track for continued growth.
on the shelf (of people or things) no longer useful or desirable : an injury that has kept him on the shelf.
on the tip of one's tongue used to indicate that someone is almost but not quite able to bring a particular word or name to mind : his name's on the tip of my tongue! • used to indicate that someone is about to utter a comment or question but thinks better of it : it was on the tip of his tongue to ask what was the matter.
on the whole taking everything into account; in general.
on something is not complete
on thin ice in a precarious or risky situation : you're skating on thin ice.
on tiptoe (or tiptoes) (also on one's tiptoes) with one's heels raised and one's weight on the balls of the feet, esp. in order to move quietly or make oneself taller : Jane stood on tiptoe to kiss him | the children danced on their tiptoes.
on top of 1 on the highest point or uppermost surface of : a town perched on top of a hill. • so as to cover; over : trays stacked one on top of another. • in close proximity to : we all lived on top of each other. 2 in command or control of : he couldn't get on top of his work. 3 in addition to : on top of everything else, he's a brilliant linguist.
all at once 1 without warning; suddenly : all at once the noise stopped. 2 all at the same time : scared and excited all at once. at once 1 immediately : I fell asleep at once. 2 simultaneously : computers that can do many things at once. for once (or this once) on this occasion only, as an exception : He was glad that for once he had not listened.
one after another (or the other) following one another in quick succession : one after another the buses drew up. one and all everyone : well done one and all! one and only unique; single (used for emphasis or as a designation of a celebrity) : the title of his one and only book | the one and only Muhammad Ali. one by one separately and in succession; singly. one day at a particular but unspecified time in the past or future : one day a boy started teasing Grady | he would one day be a great president.
one or another (or the other) denoting or referring to a particular but unspecified one out of a set of items : not all instances fall neatly into one or another of these categories. one or two informal a few : there are one or two signs worth watching for. one thing and another informal used to cover various unspecified matters, events, or tasks : what with one thing and another she hadn't had much sleep recently.
one of those days a day when several things go wrong.
( just) one of those things informal used to indicate that one wishes to pass over an unfortunate event or experience by regarding it as unavoidable or to be accepted.
unfairly giving or dealing with only one side of a contentious issue or question; biased or partial : the press was accused of being one-sided, of not giving a balanced picture.
one step ahead managing to avoid competition or danger from someone or something : I try to keep one step ahead of the rest of the staff.
one thing leads to another used to suggest that the exact sequence of events is too obvious to need recounting, the listener or reader being able to guess easily what happened.
(of a task, duty, or responsibility) involving an amount of effort and difficulty that is oppressively burdensome : he found his duties increasingly onerous.
on (one included) must be done again
a nonparticipating observer; a spectator : a crowd of fascinated onlookers.
2 [with infinitive ] with the negative or unfortunate result that : she turned into the parking car, only to find her way blocked.
only too —— used to emphasize that something is the case to an extreme or regrettable extent : you should be only too glad to be rid of him | they found that the rumor was only too true.
the beginning of something, esp. something unpleasant : the onset of winter.
a fierce or destructive attack : a series of onslaughts on the citadel.
used to refer to something that is one's duty or responsibility : the onus is on you to show that you have suffered loss.
the quality of being exciting, energetic, or sexually attractive : he showed entrepreneurial oomph.
(of a fluid) slowly trickle or seep out of something; flow in a very gradual way : blood was oozing from a wound in his scalp | honey oozed out of the comb. • [ intrans. ] slowly exude or discharge a viscous fluid : her mosquito bites were oozing and itching like mad. • [ trans. ] figurative give a powerful impression of (a quality) : he oozed charm and poise | the town oozes history.
not able to be seen through; not transparent : the windows were opaque with steam. • figurative (esp. of language) hard or impossible to understand; unfathomable : technical jargon that was opaque to her.
• [ predic. ] ( open to) likely to suffer from or be affected by; vulnerable or subject to : the system is open to abuse.
• [ predic. ] ( open to) receptive to : the union was open to suggestions for improvements. • [ predic. ] ( open to) admitting of; making possible : the message is open to different interpretations. • freely available or accessible; offered without restriction : the service is open to all students at the university.
2 spread out; unfold : the eagle opened its wings and circled up into the air | the tail looks like a fan when it is opened out fully.
• make available : the new plan proposed to open up opportunities to immigrants.
close (or shut) the door on (or to) exclude the opportunity for : she had closed the door on ever finding out what he was feeling.
leave the door open ensure that there is still an opportunity for something : he is leaving the door open for future change. open the door to create an opportunity for : her research has opened the door to a deeper understanding of the subject.
close (or shut) one's eyes to refuse to notice or acknowledge something unwelcome or unpleasant : he couldn't close his eyes to the truth—he had cancer.
open someone's eyes enlighten someone about certain realities; cause someone to realize or discover something : the letter finally opened my eyes to the truth.
having no determined limit or boundary : the return invitation was open-ended. • (of a question or set of questions) allowing the formulation of any answer, rather than a selection from a set of possible answers : the interview includes both open-ended and multiple-choice questions.
• figurative clear-sighted; perceptive; fully aware : an open-eyed approach to political manipulation.
expressing or displaying one's warm and kindly feelings without concealment : Betty's open-hearted goodwill.
open-minded adjective willing to consider new ideas; unprejudiced.
open one's mind to be receptive to : he opened his mind to the ways of the rest of the world.
open question noun a matter on which differences of opinion are possible; a matter not yet decided.
open to dispute not definitely decided : such estimates are always open to dispute.
without concealment, deception, or prevarication, esp. where these might be expected; frankly or honestly : he could no longer speak openly of his problems.
• [ intrans. ] be in effect : there is a powerful law that operates in politics. • (of a person or organization) manage and run (a business) : many foreign companies operate factories in the U.S.
1 the fact or condition of functioning or being active : the construction and operation of power stations | some of these ideas could be put into operation. • an active process; a discharge of a function : the operations of the mind. • a business organization; a company : he reopened his operation under a different name. • an activity in which such an organization is involved : the company is selling most of its commercial banking operations.
in or ready for use : the new laboratory is fully operational.
1 functioning; having effect : the transmitter is operative | the mining ban would remain operative.
ophthalmology |ˈɒfθalˈmɒlədʒi| noun the branch of medicine concerned with the study and treatment of disorders and diseases of the eye.
hold and state as one's opinion : [with direct speech ] "The man is a genius," he opined | [with clause ] the critic opined that the most exciting musical moment occurred when the orchestra struck up the national anthem.
be of the opinion that believe or maintain that : economists are of the opinion that the economy could contract. a matter of opinion something not capable of being proven either way.
• ( opinion of) an estimation of the quality or worth of someone or something : I had a higher opinion of myself than I deserved.
• a person who disagrees with or resists a proposal or practice : an opponent of the economic reforms.
(of a time) well-chosen or particularly favorable or appropriate : he couldn't have arrived at a less opportune moment. See note at timely .
a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans : most burglaries are committed by casual opportunists.
exploiting chances offered by immediate circumstances without reference to a general plan or moral principle : the change was cynical and opportunistic.
disapprove of and attempt to prevent, esp. by argument : those of you who oppose capital punishment. • actively resist or refuse to comply with (a person or a system) : off-roaders who adamantly opposed new trail restrictions.
2 diametrically different; of a contrary kind : a word that is opposite in meaning to another | currents flowing in opposite directions.
in opposition in contrast or conflict : they found themselves in opposition to federal policy.
keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, esp. by the unjust exercise of authority : a system that oppressed working people | [as adj. ] ( oppressed) oppressed racial minorities.
unjustly inflicting hardship and constraint, esp. on a minority or other subordinate group : an oppressive dictatorship.
make a choice from a range of possibilities : consumers will opt for low-priced goods | : [with infinitive ] students opting to continue with physics.
opt out choose not to participate in or carry on with something : they had both opted out of the medical plan.
optic |ˈɒptɪk| adjective of or relating to the eye or vision.
1 of or relating to sight, esp. in relation to the physical action of light : optical illusions.
best or most favorable; optimum : seeking the optimal solution.
make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource) : to optimize viewing conditions the microscope should be correctly adjusted.
most conducive to a favorable outcome; best : the optimum childbearing age.
• [in sing. ] the freedom, power, or right to choose something : she was given the option of resigning or being dismissed | he has no option but to pay up.
keep (or leave) one's options open not commit oneself. not be an option not be feasible : traveling by road is not an option here.
available to be chosen but not obligatory : a wide range of optional excursions is offered.
ostentatiously rich and luxurious or lavish : the opulent comfort of a limousine. • wealthy : his more opulent tenants.
or (or and) otherwise indicating the opposite of or a contrast to something stated : we don't want a president, elected or otherwise.
or whatever informal or anything similar : use chopped herbs, nuts, garlic, or whatever.
or worse used to suggest a possibility that is still more serious or unpleasant than one already considered, but that the speaker does not wish or need to specify : the child might be born blind or worse.
1 by word of mouth; spoken rather than written : they had reached an oral agreement.
• the state of being on or moving in such a course : the earth is in orbit around the sun.
(of a celestial object or spacecraft) move in orbit around (a star, planet, or moon) : Mercury orbits the Sun.
2 arrange or direct the elements of (a situation) to produce a desired effect, esp. surreptitiously : the developers were able to orchestrate a favorable media campaign.
2 order or decree (something) officially : equal punishment was ordained for the two crimes.
1 a painful or horrific experience, esp. a protracted one : the ordeal of having to give evidence.
• a state in which the laws and rules regulating the public behavior of members of a community are observed and authority is obeyed : the army was deployed to keep order. • [with adj. ] the overall state or condition of something : the house had just been vacated and was in good order.
• a particular social, political, or economic system : if only the peasantry would rise up against the established order | the social order of Britain. • the prescribed or established procedure followed by a meeting, legislative assembly, debate, or court of law : the meeting was called to order.
2 an authoritative command, direction, or instruction : he was not going to take orders from a mere administrator | [with infinitive ] the skipper gave the order to abandon ship.13 (often orders) a social class : the upper social orders.
3 (often orders) a social class : the upper social orders.
1 [ reporting verb ] give an authoritative direction or instruction to do something : [ trans. ] she ordered me to leave | [with direct speech ] "Stop frowning," he ordered | [with clause ] the court ordered that the case should be heard at the end of August | [ trans. ] her father ordered her back home | the judge ordered a retrial.
3 [ trans. ] arrange (something) in a methodical or appropriate way : all entries are ordered by date | [as adj. in combination ] ( -ordered) her normally well-ordered life.
by order of according to directions given by the proper authority : he was released from prison by order of the court.
in order for so that : employees must be committed to the change in order for it to succeed.
of the order of 1 approximately : sales increases are of the order of 20%. 2 Mathematics having the order of magnitude specified by.
a class in a system of classification determined by size, each class being a number of times (usually ten) greater or smaller than the one before : values might be compared by order of magnitude, a staple in making ballpark estimates. • relative size, quantity, quality, etc. : the new problems were of a different order of magnitude. • the arrangement of a number of items determined by their relative size : the items are arranged in ascending order of magnitude.
neatly and methodically arranged : an orderly arrangement of objects.
ordinal number noun a number defining a thing's position in a series, such as "first," "second," or "third." Ordinal numbers are used as adjectives, nouns, and pronouns. Compare with cardinal number .
1 a piece of legislation enacted by a municipal authority : a city ordinance banned smoking in nearly all types of restaurants.
out of the ordinary unusual : nothing out of the ordinary happened.
1 of, relating to, or derived from living matter : organic soils.
3 denoting a relation between elements of something such that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole : the organic unity of the integral work of art. • characterized by continuous or natural development : companies expand as much by acquisition as by organic growth.
2 make arrangements or preparations for (an event or activity); coordinate : the union organized a 24-hour general strike | social and cultural programs are organized by the committee.
• form (a number of people) into a labor union, political group, etc. : an attempt to organize unskilled workers | [ intrans. ] campaigns brought women together to organize.
• a whole with interdependent parts, likened to a living being : the upper strata of the American social organism.
a wild party, esp. one involving excessive drinking and unrestrained sexual activity : he had a reputation for drunken orgies.
1 [ trans. ] (often be oriented) align or position (something) relative to the points of a compass or other specified positions : the fires are oriented in direct line with the midsummer sunset. • adjust or tailor (something) to specified circumstances or needs : magazines oriented to the business community | [as adj., in combination ] ( -oriented) market-oriented economic reforms.
• familiarization with something : their training and orientation comes out of magazine and newspaper distribution. • a program of introduction for students new to a school or college : she attended freshman orientation. • the direction of someone's interest or attitude, esp. political or sexual : a common age of consent regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
1 the beginning of something's existence : a novel theory about the origin of oil | the name is Norse in origin. • a person's social background or ancestry : they will be asked about their ethnic origin | a voice that betrays his Southern origins.
1 something serving as a model or basis for imitations or copies : the portrait may be a copy of the original | one set of originals and four photocopies.
the ability to think independently and creatively : a writer of great originality. • the quality of being novel or unusual : he congratulated her on the originality of her costume.
have a specified beginning : the word originated as a marketing term. • [ trans. ] create or initiate (something) : he is responsible for originating this particular cliché.
• a quality or person adding grace, beauty, or honor to something : the design would be a great ornament to the metropolis. • decoration added to embellish something, esp. a building : it served more for ornament than for protection.
serving or intended as an ornament; decorative : an ornamental fountain.
made in an intricate shape or decorated with complex patterns : an ornate wrought-iron railing. • (of literary style) using unusual words and complex constructions : peculiarly ornate and metaphorical language.
• a person or thing bereft of protection, position, etc. : radioactive wastes are the main orphan of the nuclear era.
orphanage |ˈɔːf(ə)nɪdʒ| noun a residential institution for the care and education of orphans.
1 authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice : monetarist orthodoxy | he challenged many of the established orthodoxies.
1 move or swing back and forth at a regular speed : a pendulum oscillates about its lowest point. • [with adverbial ] figurative waver between extremes of opinion, action, or quality : he was oscillating between fear and bravery.
stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so : the delay may have a deeper cause than the ostensible reason.
characterized by vulgar or pretentious display; designed to impress or attract notice : books that people buy and display ostentatiously but never actually finish.
exclude (someone) from a society or group : a group of people who have been ridiculed, ostracized, and persecuted for centuries.q
someone (or something or somehow, etc.) or other some unspecified or unknown person, thing, manner, etc. (used to express vagueness or uncertainty) : they were protesting about something or other.
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.
1 in circumstances different from those present or considered : the collection brings visitors who might not come to the college otherwise. • [as conjunctive adv. ] or else : I'm not motivated by money, otherwise I would have quit.
3 in a different way : he means mischief—it's no good pretending otherwise | pretending that they are otherwise engaged.
of or relating to an imaginary or spiritual world : music of an almost otherworldly beauty.
drive out or expel (someone) from a position or place : he ousted a long-term incumbent by only 500 votes. See note at eject .
1 moving or appearing to move away from a particular place, esp. one that is enclosed or hidden : he walked out into the street | watch the stars come out. • situated or operating in the open air, not in buildings : the search-and-rescue team have been out looking for you. • no longer detained in custody or in jail : they would be out on bail in no time. 2 away from one's usual base or residence : the team had put on a marvelous display out in Georgia. • in a public place for purposes of pleasure or entertainment : an evening out at a restaurant. 3 to sea, away from the land : the fleet put out from Cyprus. • (of the tide) falling or at its lowest level : the tide was going out. 4 indicating a specified distance away from the goal line or finishing line : he scored from 70 meters out. 5 so as to be revealed or known : find out what you can. • aloud; so as to be heard : Miss Beard cried out in horror. 6 at or to an end : the romance fizzled out. • so as to be finished or complete : I'll leave them to fight it out | I typed out the poem. • (in various other completive uses) : the crowd had thinned out | he crossed out a word. 7 (of a light or fire) so as to be extinguished or no longer burning : at ten o'clock the lights went out. • (of a stain or mark) no longer visible; removed : try to get the stain out.
1 not at home or at one's place of work : if he called, she'd pretend to be out. 2 revealed or made public : the secret was soon out. • (of a flower) in bloom; open. • published : the book should be out before the end of the month. • informal in existence or in use : it works as well as any system that's out. • not concealing one's homosexuality : I had been out since I was seventeen. 3 no longer alight; extingished : the fire was nearly out. 4 at an end : school was out for the summer. • informal no longer in fashion : life in the fast lane is out. 5 not possible or worth considering : a trip to the seaside is out. 6 in a state of unconsciousness. • Boxing unable to rise before the count of ten. 7 mistaken; in error : he was slightly out in his calculations. 8 (of the ball in tennis and similar games) outside the designated playing area. 9 Baseball & Cricket no longer batting or on base, having had one's turn ended by the team in the field : the Yankees are out in the ninth | Johnson was out at second.q
out-of-body experience noun a sensation of being outside one's own body, typically of floating and being able to observe oneself from a distance.
out of breath gasping for air, typically after exercise : he arrived on the top floor out of breath.
out of bounds |ˈˈaʊd əv ˈbaʊndz| (of a place) outside the limits of where one is permitted to be : his kitchen was out of bounds to me at mealtimes. • Sports outside the regular playing area : he hit his third shot out of bounds at the 17th. • figurative beyond what is acceptable : Paul felt that this conversation was getting out of bounds.
out of context without the surrounding words or circumstances and so not fully understandable : comments that aides have long insisted were taken out of context.
out of control no longer possible to manage : fires burning out of control.
old-fashioned : everything in her wardrobe must be hopelessly out of date | an out-of-date kitchen. • no longer valid or relevant : your passport is out of date.
out of line informal behaving in a way that breaks the rules or is considered disreputable or inappropriate : he had never stepped out of line with her before.
out of order |ˈaʊd əv ˈɔrdər| 1 (of an electrical or mechanical device) not working properly or at all. 2 not in the correct sequence. 3 not according to the rules of a meeting, legislative assembly, etc. • informal (of a person or their behavior) unacceptable or wrong : he's getting away with things that are out of order.
out of place not in the proper position; disarranged. • in a setting where one is or feels inappropriate or incongruous.
out of proportion in the wrong relation to the size, shape, or position of other things : the sculpture seemed out of proportion to its surroundings. • greater or more serious than is necessary or appropriate : the award was out of all proportion to the alleged libel. • wrongly or unrealistically regarded in terms of relative importance or seriousness.
out of (or beyond) reach outside the distance to which someone can stretch out their hand. • beyond the capacity of someone to attain or achieve something : she thought college was out of her reach.
out of service not available for use.
out of shape 1 (of an object) not having its usual or original shape, esp. after being bent or knocked : check that the pipe end and compression nut are not bent out of shape. 2 (of a person) in poor physical condition; unfit.
out of sight 1 not visible : she saw them off, waving until the car was out of sight. 2 (also outasight) [often as exclam. ] informal extremely good; excellent : [as adj. ] these stereophones are an out-of-sight choice.
out of the blue (or out of a clear blue sky) informal without warning; unexpectedly : she phoned me out of the blue. [ORIGIN: with reference to a "blue" (i.e., clear) sky, from which nothing unusual is expected.]
out of the picture no longer involved; irrelevant : hostages were better left out of the picture.
out of the question too impracticable or unlikely to merit discussion.
out of touch lacking knowledge or information concerning current events and developments : he seems surprisingly out of touch with recent economic thinking. • lacking in awareness or sympathy : we have been betrayed by a government out of touch with our values.
outage |ˈaʊtɪdʒ| noun a period when a power supply or other service is not available or when equipment is closed down.
the sudden or violent start of something unwelcome, such as war, disease, etc. : the outbreak of World War II.
a sudden release of strong emotion : "she screamed at him about it one day," said one source who witnessed the outburst. • a sudden outbreak of a particular activity : a wild outburst of applause.
outcast |ˈaʊtkɑːst| noun a person who has been rejected by society or a social group.
outclass |aʊtˈklɑːs| verb [ trans. ] be far superior to : they totally outclassed us in the first half.
the way a thing turns out; a consequence : it is the outcome of the vote that counts.
surpass (someone) in competition : they were outcompeted by their foreign rivals.
an exclamation or shout : an outcry of spontaneous passion. • a strong expression of public disapproval or anger : the public outcry over the bombing.
outdated |aʊtˈdeɪtɪd| adjective out of date; obsolete.
be more successful than : the men tried to outdo each other in their generosity | not to be outdone, Vicky and Laura reached the same standard.
2 drive a vehicle better or faster than (someone else) : he knew he couldn't outdrive the police.
outside; external : the outer door. • further from the center or inside : the outer hall at the museum's main entrance.
a set of clothes worn together, typically for a particular occasion or purpose : a riding outfit.
• figurative outwit : an attempt to outflank the opposition.
grow too big for (something) : babies outgrow their first car seat at six to nine months. • leave behind as one matures : is it a permanent injury, or will the colt outgrow it? • grow faster or taller than : the more vigorous plants outgrow their weaker neighbors.
1 a trip taken for pleasure, esp. one lasting a day or less : they would go on family outings to the movies. • a brief journey from home : her daily outing to the stores.
1 looking or sounding bizarre or unfamiliar : outlandish brightly colored clothes | the most outlandish ideas.
ban; make illegal : Maryland outlawed cheap small-caliber pistols | [as adj. ] ( outlawed) the outlawed terrorist group.
a person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system : less accessible islands and outliers.
• a draft of a diagram, plan, proposal, etc., summarizing the main points : draw up an outline for the essay. • the main features or general principles of something : the main outlines of Elizabeth's career.
(of a person) live longer than (another person) : women generally outlive men. • survive or last beyond (a specified period or expected lifespan) : the organization had largely outlived its usefulness.
a person's point of view or general attitude to life : broaden your outlook on life. • a view : the pleasant outlook from the lodge window. • a place from which a view is possible : emerging onto a cliffy outlook over a river. • the prospect for the future : the deteriorating economic outlook.
predict on the basis of current information : streamflow for the upcoming runoff season is presently outlooked to be much below average.
evade (an opponent) by moving faster or with greater agility : the YF-22 can outmaneuver any fighter flying today. • use skill and cunning to secure an advantage over (someone) : he would be able to outmaneuver his critics.
be more numerous than : women outnumbered men by three to one.
perform better than : an experienced employee will outperform the novice. • (of an investment) be more profitable than : silver has outperformed the stock market.
play better than : they outshot and in general just outplayed us.
exceed in speed, amount, or extent : demand for trained clergy is outracing the supply.
an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation : her voice trembled with outrage. • an action or event causing such a reaction : the decision was an outrage.
arouse fierce anger, shock, or indignation in (someone) : he was outraged at this attempt to take his victory away from him.
1 shockingly bad or excessive : an outrageous act of bribery. • wildly exaggerated or improbable : the outrageous claims made by the previous administration. 2 very bold, unusual, and startling : her outrageous leotards and sexy routines.
have a higher rank than (someone else) : a father figure to many of the junior officers theoretically outranking him. • be better, more important, or more significant than : fishing provided the chief employment, outranking both clothing and canning.
• an organization's involvement with or activity in the community, esp. in the context of social welfare : her goal is to increase educational outreach | [as adj. ] Phoenix's outreach effort to educate renters and homebuyers about their rights.
1 altogether; completely : logging has been banned outright. • without reservation; openly : she couldn't ask him outright. 2 immediately : the impact killed four horses outright. • not by degrees or installments : they decided to buy the company outright.
open and direct; not concealed : an outright refusal. • total; complete : the outright abolition of the death penalty. • undisputed; clear : an outright victory.
be sold in greater quantities than : his first foray into the assassin/thriller area could well outsell his other books.
the start or beginning of something : a field of which he had known nothing at the outset and learned on the job.
• be much better than (someone) in a particular area : it is a shame when a mother outshines a daughter.
outside of informal beyond the boundaries of : a village 20 miles outside of New York. • apart from : outside of his family, nobody cares too much about him.
1 situated on or near the exterior or external surface of something : put the outside lights on.
the outer parts of a town or city : the park was built on the outskirts of New York in 1857. • the fringes of something : he likes to be on the outskirts of a discussion.
defeat or get the better of (someone) by being clever or cunning : content with the illusion that they can outsmart the market.
frank in stating one's opinions, esp. if they are critical or controversial : he has been outspoken in his criticism.
1 exceptionally good : the team's outstanding performance. • clearly noticeable : works of outstanding banality.
extend or stretch out (something, esp. a hand or arm) : I walked with my arms outstretched. • go beyond the limit of : their good intentions far outstretched their capacity to offer help.
1 of, on, or from the outside : the vehicle's outward and interior appearance. • relating to the external appearance of something rather than its true nature or substance : an outward display of friendliness.
away from the center or a particular point; toward the outside : a window that opens outward | the solar wind that rushes outward from the sun.
be heavier than : Bob outweighed him by more than twenty-five pounds. • be greater or more significant than : the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages.
deceive or defeat by greater ingenuity : Ray had outwitted many an opponent.
ovary |ˈəʊv(ə)ri| noun ( pl. -ries) a female reproductive organ in which ova or eggs are produced, present in humans and other vertebrates as a pair.
1 extending directly upward from : I saw flames over Berlin. • above so as to cover or protect : an oxygen tent over the bed | ladle this sauce over fresh pasta. • extending above (a general area) from a vantage point : views over Hyde Park. • at the other side of; beyond : over the hill is a small village. 2 expressing passage or trajectory across : she trudged over the lawn. • beyond and falling or hanging from : it toppled over the cliff. • expressing duration : inventories have been refined over many years | she told me over coffee. • by means of; by the medium of : over the loudspeaker. 3 at a higher level or layer than : watching a television hanging over the bar. • higher in grade or rank than : over him is the financial director. • expressing authority or control : editorial control over what is included. • expressing preference : I'd choose the well-known brand over that one. • expressing greater number : the predominance of Asian over African managers in the sample. • higher in volume or pitch than : he shouted over the noise of the taxis. 4 higher than or more than (a specified number or quantity) : over 40 degrees C | they have lived together for over a year. 5 on the subject of : a heated debate over unemployment. adverb 1 expressing passage or trajectory across an area : he leaned over and tapped me on the hand. • beyond and falling or hanging from a point : listing over at an acute angle. 2 in or to the place mentioned or indicated : over here | come over and cheer us up. 3 used to express action and result : the car flipped over | hand the money over. • finished : the match is over | message understood, over and out. 4 used to express repetition of a process : twice over | the sums will have to be done over again.
be over no longer be affected by : we were over the worst.
do better than is expected, esp. in academic work : David continued to overachieve all through high school.
(of an actor) act a role in an exaggerated manner : a weepy actress with a strong tendency to overact | : [as n. ] ( overacting) there was a certain amount of overacting.
total : an overall cut of 30 percent. • taking everything into account : the overall effect is impressive.
1 excessively; to an unwanted degree : overambitious | overcareful. • completely; utterly : overawe | overjoyed. 2 upper; outer; extra : overcoat | overtime. • overhead; above : overcast | overhang.
• (usu. be overcome) (of an emotion) overpower or overwhelm : she was obviously overcome with excitement.
excessively or unreasonably confident : mistakes made through being overconfident.
fill (accommodations or a space) beyond what is usual or comfortable : [as adj. ] ( overcrowded) overcrowded dormitories | : [as n. ] ( overcrowding) trying to eliminate overcrowding in the downtown area.
carry to excess; exaggerate : dramatic yet never overdone. • use too much of (something) : I'd overdone the garlic in the curry. • ( overdo it/things) exhaust oneself by overwork or overexertion : I'd simply overdone it in the gym.
not yet having arrived, happened, or been done, though after the expected time : reform is now overdue. • (of a payment) not having been made, though required : the rent was nearly three months overdue.
estimate (something) to be better, larger, or more important than it really is : his influence cannot be overestimated.
1 make too long : at nine minutes plus the song is somewhat overextended.
(esp. of a liquid) flow over the brim of a receptacle : chemicals overflowed from a storage tank | [ trans. ] the river overflowed its banks. • (of a container) be so full that the contents go over or extend above the sides : a bath had overflowed upstairs | boxes overflowing with bright flowers | [as adj. ] ( overflowing) an overflowing ashtray.
1 [in sing. ] the excess or surplus not able to be accommodated by an available space : to accommodate the overflow, five more offices have been built. • the flowing over of a liquid : there was some overflow after heavy rainfall | an overflow of sewage.
grow or spread over (something), esp. so as to choke or stifle it : the mussels overgrow and smother whatever is underneath.
a thorough examination of machinery or a system, with repairs or changes made if necessary : a major overhaul of environmental policies.
1 take apart (a piece of machinery or equipment) in order to examine it and repair it if necessary : a company that overhauls and repairs aircraft engines | figurative moves to overhaul the income tax system.
1 situated above the level of the head : the sun was directly overhead | overhead power cables. 2 (of a driving mechanism) above the object driven : an overhead cam four-cylinder engine. 3 [ attrib. ] (of a cost or expense) incurred in the general upkeep or running of a plant, premises, or business, and not attributable to specific products or items.
hear (someone or something) without meaning to or without the knowledge of the speaker : I couldn't help overhearing your conversation.
extend over so as to cover partly : the canopy overlaps the house roof at one end | [ intrans. ] the curtains overlap at the center when closed. • [ intrans. ] cover part of the same area of interest, responsibility, etc. : their duties sometimes overlapped. • [ intrans. ] partly coincide in time : two new series overlapped.
a part or amount that overlaps : an overlap of about half an inch. • a common area of interest, responsibility, etc. : there are many overlaps between the approaches | there is some overlap in requirements.
on the other side of the page : an information sheet is printed overleaf.
load with too great a burden or cargo : [as adj. ] ( overloaded) overloaded vehicles are dangerous. • give too much of something, typically something undesirable, to (someone) : the staff is heavily overloaded with casework. • put too great a demand on (an electrical system) : the wiring had been overloaded.
1 fail to notice (something) : he seems to have overlooked one important fact. See note at neglect . • ignore or disregard (something, esp. a fault or offense) : she was more than ready to overlook his faults.
excessively : she was a jealous and overly possessive woman.
for the duration of a night : they refused to stay overnight. • during the course of a night : you can recharge the battery overnight. • very quickly; suddenly : attitudes will not change overnight.
pay (someone) too highly : many fans think our top players are overpaid.
populate (an area) in too large numbers : the country was overpopulated. • [ intrans. ] (of an animal) breed too rapidly : without natural predators, deer would overpopulate.
charge too high a price for : overpriced hotels.
1 produce more of (a product or commodity) than is wanted or needed : our unplanned manufacturing system continually overproduces consumer products.
overprotective |əʊvəprəˈtɛktɪv| adjective having a tendency to protect someone, esp. a child, excessively.
2 continue beyond or above (an expected or allowed time or cost) : he mustn't overrun his budget.
1 an instance of something exceeding an expected or allowed time or cost : an unexpectedly large cost overrun in the program. • the amount by which this happens : a $2.7 billion overrun on development and production.
have a higher opinion of (someone or something) than is deserved : dismissing the work as pompous and overrated.
respond more emotionally or forcibly than is justified : they are urging people not to overreact to the problem.
1 use one's authority to reject or cancel (a decision, view, etc.) : the legislature's insistence on overriding his budget vetoes. • interrupt the action of (an automatic device), typically in order to take manual control : you can override the cutout by releasing the switch. • be more important than : this commitment should override all other considerations.
3 a cancellation of a decision by exertion of authority or winning of votes : the House vote in favor of the bill was ten votes short of the requisite majority for an override.
reject or disallow by exercising one's superior authority : the Supreme Court overruled the lower court. • reject the decision or argument of (someone) : he was overruled by his senior managers.
supervise (a person or work), esp. in an official capacity : a trustee appointed to oversee Corrie's finances.
• figurative cast a gloom over : it is easy to let this feeling of tragedy overshadow his story. • appear much more prominent or important than : his competitive nature often overshadows the other qualities. • (often be overshadowed) be more impressive or successful than (another person) : he was always overshadowed by his brilliant elder brother.
simplify (something) so much that a distorted impression of it is given : a false and oversimplified view of human personality.
bigger than the usual size : an oversized T-shirt.
sleep longer or later than one intended : we talked until the early hours and consequently I overslept.
spend too much : she overspent on her husband's funeral. • [ trans. ] spend more than (a specified amount) : the department can see that it is going to overspend its budget.
express or state too strongly; exaggerate : I may have overstated my case to make my point.
• violate (a rule or standard of behavior) : he has overstepped the bounds of acceptable discipline.
(esp. in a manufacturing or retailing context) a supply or quantity in excess of demand or requirements : factory overstock | publishers' overstocks and remainders.
subject to an excessive demand on strength, resources, or abilities : there was a risk he might overstrain his heart.
done or shown openly; plainly or readily apparent, not secret or hidden : an overt act of aggression | in untreated cases, overt psychosis may occur.
1 remove forcibly from power : military coups which had attempted to overthrow the king. • put an end to (something), typically by the use of force or violence : their subversive activities are calculated to overthrow parliamentary democracy.
1 [in sing. ] a removal from power; a defeat or downfall : plotting the overthrow of the government.
force (a body of rock) over another : [as n. ] ( overthrusting) the increased overburden resulting from overthrusting. • (of a body of rock) be forced over (another formation) : the shales are overthrust by Carboniferous rocks.
in addition to normal working hours : they were working overtime to fulfill a big order | figurative his brain was working overtime.
1 catch up with and pass while traveling in the same direction : the driver overtook a line of vehicles. • become greater or more successful than : Germany rapidly overtook Britain in industrial output. 2 (esp. of misfortune) come suddenly or unexpectedly upon : the pattern of economic ruin overtook them. • (of a feeling) affect (someone) suddenly and powerfully : weariness overtook him and he retired to bed.
1 an introduction to something more substantial : the talks were no more than an overture to a long debate.
1 tip (something) over so that it is on its side or upside down : the crowd proceeded to overturn cars and set them on fire. • [ intrans. ] turn over and come to rest upside down, typically as the result of an accident : a large housetrailer overturned in the middle of the road. 2 abolish, invalidate, or turn around (an established fact, system, etc.) : the results overturned previous findings. • reverse (a legal decision) : he fought for eight years to overturn a conviction for armed robbery.
use too much : young children sometimes overuse "and" in their writing.
• fix the value of (something, esp. a currency) at too high a level : sterling was overvalued against the dollar.
a general review or summary of a subject : a critical overview of the scientific issues of our time.
above a weight considered normal or desirable : he's forty pounds overweight.
• Finance invest in (a market sector, industry, etc.) to a greater than normal degree : we have overweighted the banking sector | [as adj. ] we were overweighted in technology last year.
bury or drown beneath a huge mass : the water flowed through to overwhelm the whole dam and the village beneath. • defeat completely : his teams overwhelmed their opponents. • (often be overwhelmed) give too much of a thing to (someone); inundate : they were overwhelmed by farewell messages. • (usu. be overwhelmed) have a strong emotional effect on : I was overwhelmed with guilt. • be too strong for; overpower : the wine doesn't overwhelm the flavor of the trout.
exhaust with too much work : executives who are overworked and worried | [as adj. ] ( overworked) tired, overworked, demoralized staff. • [ intrans. ] (of a person) work too hard : the doctor advised a complete rest because he had been overworking.
1 write on top of (other writing) : many names had been scratched out or overwritten.
• be under a moral obligation to give someone (gratitude, respect, etc.) : I owe it to him to explain what's happened | [with two objs. ] I owe you an apology. • ( owe something to) have something because of (someone or something) : he owed his success not to chance but to insight. • be indebted to someone or something for (something) : I owe my life to you.
owe someone one informal feel indebted to someone for a favor done : thanks, I owe you one for this.
owing to because of or on account of : his reading was hesitant owing to a stammer.
2 consistent and continuous speed in walking, running, or moving : most traffic moved at the pace of the riverboat | [in sing. ] walking at a comfortably fast pace. • the speed or rate at which something happens, changes, or develops : the children work separately in the classroom at their own pace | the poor neighborhoods fester at an increasingly rapid pace.
walk at a steady and consistent speed, esp. back and forth and as an expression of one's anxiety or annoyance : we paced up and down in exasperation | [ trans. ] she had been pacing the room.
• [ trans. ] move or develop (something) at a particular rate or speed : the action is paced to the beat of a perky march | [as adj. in combination ] ( -paced) our fast-paced daily lives.
change of pace a change from what one is used to : the magenta is a change of pace from traditional red. keep pace with move, develop, or progress at the same speed as : fees have had to be raised a little to keep pace with inflation.
set the pace be the fastest runner in the early part of a race. • lead the way in doing or achieving something : space movies have set the pace for the development of special effects.
quell the anger, agitation, or excitement of : he had to pacify angry spectators. • bring peace to (a country or warring factions), esp. by the use or threatened use of military force : the general pacified northern Italy.
1 a small cardboard or paper container and the items contained within it : a pack of cigarettes.
• a collection of related documents, esp. one kept in a folder : an information pack.
• (often be packed) cram a large number of things into (a container or space) : it was a large room, packed with beds jammed side by side. • [often as adj. ] ( packed) (of a large number of people) crowd into and fill (a room, building, or place) : the waiting room was packed.
• a packet : a package of peanuts. • (also package deal) a set of proposals or terms offered or agreed to as a whole : a package of economic reforms.
put into a box or wrapping, esp. for sale : choose products that are packaged in recyclable materials | [as adj. ] ( packaged) packaged foods.
pact |pakt| noun a formal agreement between individuals or parties.
1 a thick piece of soft material used to reduce friction or jarring, enlarge or change the shape of something, or hold or absorb liquid : sterile gauze pads.
1 [ intrans. ] move through the water in a boat using a paddle or paddles : he paddled along the coast.
paddy |ˈpadi| noun ( pl. -dies) (also rice paddy) a field where rice is grown.
secure with such a lock : a padlocked door.
pagan |ˈpeɪg(ə)n| noun a person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions.
leaf through (a book, magazine, or newspaper) : she was paging through an immense pile of Sunday newspapers.
page-turner noun informal an exciting book.
1 physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury : she's in great pain | those who suffer from back pain.
• (also pain in the neck or vulgar slang pain in the ass) [in sing. ] informal an annoying or tedious person or thing : she's a pain.
cause mental or physical pain to : it pains me to say this | her legs had been paining her.
not causing or suffering physical pain : a painless death. • involving little effort or stress : a painless way to travel.
a set of two things used together or regarded as a unit : a pair of gloves.
• two people related in some way or considered together : a company run by a pair of brothers | every naughty thing the pair of them did made their faces look worse | students work alone or in pairs.
join or connect to form a pair : a cardigan paired with a matching skirt. • [ intrans. ] (of animals) mate : they bought a rooster to pair with the hen. • [ intrans. ] ( pair off/up) form a couple : Rachel has paired up with Tommy.
(of food or drink) pleasant to taste : a very palatable local red wine. • (of an action or proposal) acceptable or satisfactory : a device that made increased taxation more palatable.
1 become pale in one's face from shock or fear : I paled at the thought of what she might say. 2 seem less impressive or important : all else pales by comparison | his own problems paled into insignificance compared to the plight of this child.
• (of a person's face or complexion) having less color than usual, typically as a result of shock, fear, or ill health : she looked pale and drawn.
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.
able to be touched or felt : the palpable bump at the bridge of the nose. See note at tangible . • (esp. of a feeling or atmosphere) so intense as to be almost touched or felt : a palpable sense of loss. • clear to the mind or plain to see : to talk of dawn raids in the circumstances is palpable nonsense.
(of the heart) beat rapidly, strongly, or irregularly : it wakened him in the night with a palpitating heart. • shake; tremble : she was palpitating with terror.
(of an amount) small or meager : she would earn a paltry $33 more each month. • petty; trivial : naval glory struck him as paltry.
• an amount of something contained in such a container : a pan of hot water.
pan out (of gravel) yield gold. • turn out well : Harold's idea had been a good one even if it hadn't panned out. • end up; conclude : he's happy with the way the deal panned out.
a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases : the panacea for all corporate ills | the time-honored panacea, cod liver oil.
2 informal flatten or become flattened : [ intrans. ] the hotel had pancaked into a heap of concrete.
pane |peɪn| noun a single sheet of glass in a window or door.
• a thin piece of metal forming part of the outer shell of a vehicle : body panels for the car business. • a flat board on which instruments or controls are fixed : a control panel. • a decorated area within a larger design containing a separate subject : the central panel depicts the Crucifixion.
2 a small group of people brought together to discuss, investigate, or decide on a particular matter, esp. in the context of business or government : we assembled a panel of experts.
a sudden sharp pain or painful emotion : Lindsey experienced a sharp pang of guilt | the snack bar will keep those hunger pangs at bay.
be affected by panic : the crowd panicked and stampeded for the exit. • [ trans. ] cause to feel panic : talk of love panicked her.
sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior : she hit him in panic | [in sing. ] he ran to the library in a blind panic. • widespread financial or commercial apprehension provoking hasty action : he caused an economic panic by his sudden resignation | [as adj. ] panic selling.
affected with panic; very frightened : the panic-stricken victims rushed out of their blazing homes.
a complete or impressive collection of things : a deliciously inventive panoply of insults. • a splendid display : all the panoply of Western religious liturgy.
an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer : the tower offers a wonderful panorama of Prague.
express or represent (something) by extravagant and exaggerated mime : the clown candidates pantomimed different emotions.
breathe with short, quick breaths, typically from exertion or excitement : he was panting when he reached the top. • [with adverbial of direction ] run or go in a specified direction while panting : they panted up the stairs. • [with direct speech ] say something breathlessly : "We'll never have time," she panted.
extremely thin or insubstantial : paper-thin pancakes | her sophistication was
on a par with equal in importance or quality to; on an equal level with : this home cooking is on a par with the best in the world.
above (or below or under) par better (or worse) than is usual or expected : poor nutrition can leave you feeling below par.
parable |ˈparəb(ə)l| noun a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.
parabola |pəˈrab(ə)lə| noun ( pl. -las or -lae |-liː|) a symmetrical open plane curve formed by the intersection of a cone with a plane parallel to its side. The path of a projectile under the influence of gravity ideally follows a curve of this shape.
1 drop or cause to drop from an aircraft by parachute : [ intrans. ] airborne units parachuted in to secure the airport | [ trans. ] an air operation to parachute relief supplies into Bosnia.
walk or march in public in a formal procession or in an ostentatious or attention-seeking way : officers will parade through the town center. • [ trans. ] walk or march in such a way along (the streets of a town) : carefree young men were parading the streets.
1 beside; adjacent to : parameter | parataxis | parathyroid. • Medicine denoting a disordered function or faculty: : paresthesia. • distinct from, but analogous to : paramilitary | paraphrase | paratyphoid. • beyond : paradox | paranormal | parapsychology. • subsidiary; assisting : paramedic | paraprofessional.
(of lines, planes, surfaces, or objects) side by side and having the same distance continuously between them : parallel lines never meet | the road runs parallel to the Ottawa River.
1 a person or thing that is similar or analogous to another : a challenge that has no parallel in peacetime this century. • a similarity : he points to a parallel between biological evolution and cognitive development. • a comparison : he draws a parallel between personal destiny and social forces.
(of something extending in a line) be side by side with (something extending in a line), always keeping the same distance : a big concrete gutter that paralleled the road. • be similar or corresponding to (something) : U.S. naval and air superiority was paralleled by Soviet superiority in land-based missile systems.
• render (someone) unable to think or act normally, esp. through panic or fear : some people are paralyzed by the thought of failure | [as adj. ] ( paralyzing) her paralyzing shyness. • bring (a system, place, or organization) to a standstill by causing disruption or chaos : the regional capital was paralyzed by a general strike.
• inability to act or function in a person, organization, or place : the paralysis gripping the country.
paramedic |ˈparəˈmɛdɪk| noun a person who is trained to do medical work, esp. emergency first aid, but is not usually a fully qualified physician.
(of an unofficial force) organized similarly to a military force : soldiers and police have been killed in conflicts with the drug cartels and their paramilitary allies.
more important than anything else; supreme : the interests of the child are of paramount importance. • [ attrib. ] having supreme power : a paramount chief.
of, characterized by, or suffering from the mental condition of paranoia : paranoid schizophrenia. • unreasonably or obsessively anxious, suspicious, or mistrustful : you think I'm paranoid but I tell you there is something going on.
express the meaning of (the writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using different words, esp. to achieve greater clarity : you can either quote or paraphrase literary texts.
q(of an organism) living as a parasite : mistletoe is parasitic on trees. • resulting from infestation by a parasite : mortality from parasitic diseases.
make (something) into a parcel by wrapping it : he parceled up his only winter suit to take to the pawnbroker. • ( parcel something out) divide into portions and then distribute : they will start parceling out radio frequencies for digital cordless telephones.
make or become dry through intense heat : [ trans. ] a piece of grassland parched by the sun | [ intrans. ] his crops parched during the last two summers.
the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense : he obtained pardon for his sins. • a remission of the legal consequences of an offense or conviction : he offered a full pardon to five convicted men.
forgive or excuse (a person, error, or offense) : I know Catherine will pardon me. See note at absolve . • release (an offender) from the legal consequences of an offense or conviction, and often implicitly from blame : he was pardoned for his treason.
beg someone's pardon express polite apology : I beg your pardon for intruding. pardon me (or I beg your pardon) used to indicate that one has not heard or understood something. • used to express one's anger or indignation at what someone has just said.
1 an outcast : they were treated as social pariahs.
trim (something) by cutting away its outer edges : Carlo pared his thumbnails with his knife. • cut off the outer skin of (something) : pare off the rind using a peeler. • reduce (something) in size, extent, quantity, or number, usually in a number of small successive stages : union leaders publicly pared down their demands | we pared costs by doing our own cleaning.
(in the Christian Church) a small administrative district typically having its own church and a priest or pastor : [as adj. ] a parish church.
1 the state or condition of being equal, esp. regarding status or pay : parity of incomes between rural workers and those in industrial occupations.
relating to, enacted by, or suitable for a parliament : parliamentary legislation.
2 [usu. with adj. ] a shop or business providing specified goods or services : an ice-cream parlor | a funeral parlor.
of or relating to a church parish : the parochial church council.
produce a humorously exaggerated imitation of (a writer, artist, or genre) : his specialty was parodying schoolgirl fiction. • mimic humorously : he parodied his friend's voice.
1 the release of a prisoner temporarily (for a special purpose) or permanently before the completion of a sentence, on the promise of good behavior : he committed a burglary while on parole.
release (a prisoner) on parole : he was paroled after serving nine months of a two-year sentence.
repeat mechanically : encouraging students to parrot back information.
(of two things) move away from each other : his lips parted in a smile. • divide to leave a central space : at that moment the mist parted. • [ trans. ] cause to divide or move apart, leaving a central space : she parted the ferns and looked between them. • leave someone's company : there was a good deal of kissing and more congratulations before we parted.
for my (or his, her, etc.) part used to focus attention on one person or group and distinguish them from others involved in a situation : for my part I was glad when the end of September came.
on the part of (or on my, their, etc., part) used to ascribe responsibility for something to someone : there was a series of errors on my part.
join in (an activity) : visitors can partake in golfing or clay pigeon shooting.
2 favoring one side in a dispute above the other; biased : the paper gave a distorted and very partial view of the situation. • [ predic. ] ( partial to) having a liking for : you know I'm partial to bacon and eggs.
unfair bias in favor of one thing or person compared with another; favoritism : an attack on the partiality of judges. See note at bias . • a particular liking or fondness for something : she spoke openly, not concealing her partiality for him.
1 a minute portion of matter : tiny particles of dust.
the quality of being individual : the central figures of his novels are stripped of their particularity. • fullness or minuteness of detail in the treatment of something : parties must present their case with some degree of accuracy and particularity. • ( particularities) small details : the tedious particularities of daily life | he wanted to disregard the particularities and establish general laws.
partisan |ˈpɑːtɪzan| |ˈpɑːtɪˈzan| noun 1 a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.
(esp. with reference to a country with separate areas of government) the action or state of dividing or being divided into parts : the country's partition into separate states.
divide into parts : an agreement was reached to partition the country. • divide (a room) into smaller rooms or areas by erecting partitions : the hall was partitioned to contain the noise of the computers. • ( partition something off) separate a part of a room from the rest by erecting a partition : partition off part of a large bedroom to create a small bathroom.
to some extent; not completely : the result is partly a matter of skill and partly of chance | you're only partly right.
be the partner of : young farmers who partnered Isabel to the village dance. • [ intrans. ] associate as partners : I never expected to partner with a man like you.
partygoer noun a person attending a party.
1 [ intrans. ] move in a specified direction : he passed through towns and villages | the shells from the Allied guns were passing very low overhead.
• [ intrans. ] die (used euphemistically) : his father had passed to the afterlife | she passed away peacefully in her sleep | a good and decent man has passed on.
2 [ trans. ] go past or across; leave behind or on one side in proceeding : she passed a rest area with a pay phone | the two vehicles had no room to pass each other | [ intrans. ] we will not let you pass.
• happen; be done or said : not another word passed between them | [with complement ] this fact has passed almost unnoticed. • [ trans. ] spend or use up (a period of time) : this was how they passed the time.
4 [ trans. ] transfer (something) to someone, esp. by handing or bequeathing it to the next person in a series : your letter has been passed to Mr. Rich for action | please pass the fish | [with two objs. ] he passed her a cup.
• [ intrans. ] be accepted as adequate; go uncensured : she couldn't agree, but let it pass | her rather revealing dress passed without comment. • [ intrans. ] ( pass as/for) be accepted as or taken for : he could pass for a native of Sweden.
6 [ trans. ] (of a legislative or other official body) approve or put into effect (a proposal or law) by voting on it : the bill was passed despite fierce opposition. • (of a proposal or law) be examined and approved by (a legislative body or process) : bills that passed committees last year. • [ intrans. ] (of a proposal) be approved : the bill passed by 164 votes to 107.
9 [ intrans. ] forgo one's turn in a game or an offered opportunity : we pass on dessert and have coffee.
• informal an amorous or sexual advance made to someone : she made a pass at Stephen.
pass someone by happen without being noticed or fully experienced by someone : sometimes I feel that life is passing me by. pass off (of proceedings) happen or be carried through in a specified, usually satisfactory, way : the weekend had passed off entirely without incident.
pass out 1 become unconscious : he consumed enough alcohol to make him pass out
pass someone over ignore the claims of someone to promotion or advancement : he was passed over for a cabinet job. pass something over avoid mentioning or considering something : I shall pass over the matter of the transitional period. pass something up refrain from taking up an opportunity : he passed up a career in pro baseball.
2 (of a route or road) clear of obstacles and able to be traveled along or on : the road was passable with care.
1 the act or process of moving through, under, over, or past something on the way from one place to another : there were moorings for boats wanting passage through the lock. • the act or process of moving forward : despite the passage of time she still loved him.
3 the process of transition from one state to another : an allegory on the theme of the passage from ignorance to knowledge.
4 a short extract from a book or other printed material : he picked up the newspaper and read the passage again.
no longer fashionable; out of date : miniskirts are passé—the best skirts are knee-length.
passerby (also passer-by) noun ( pl. passersby ) a person who happens to be going past something, esp. on foot.
• an intense desire or enthusiasm for something : the English have a passion for gardens.
to or on the further side of : he rode on past the crossroads. • in front of or from one side to the other of : he began to drive slowly past the houses. • beyond in time; later than : by this time it was past 3:30. • no longer capable of : he is past giving the best advice. • beyond the scope of : my hair was past praying for.
an activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work; a hobby : his favorite pastimes were shooting and golf.
1 (esp. of land or a farm) used for or related to the keeping or grazing of sheep or cattle : scattered pastoral farms. • associated with country life : the view was pastoral, with rolling fields and grazing sheep.
touch quickly and gently with the flat of the hand : he patted him consolingly on the shoulder | [ trans. ] a nurse washed her all over and patted her dry.
1 a light stroke with the hand : giving him a friendly pat on the arm, she went off to join the others.
3 informal a period of time seen as a distinct unit with a characteristic quality : he may have been going through a bad patch.
1 mend or strengthen (fabric or an item of clothing) by putting a piece of material over a hole or weak point in it : her jeans were neatly patched.
• (usu. be patched) cover small areas of (a surface) with something different, causing it to appear variegated : the grass was patched with sandy stretches. • ( patch someone/something up) informal treat someone's injuries or repair the damage to something, esp. hastily : they did their best to patch up the gaping wounds. • ( patch something together) construct something hastily from unsuitable components : lean-tos patched together from aluminum siding and planks | figurative they were trying to patch together an arrangement for cooperation.
existing or happening in small, isolated areas : patchy fog. • not of the same quality throughout; inconsistent : your coursework was patchy. • incomplete : my knowledge of Egyptology is patchy.
obtain a patent for (an invention) : an invention is not your own until it is patented.
of or appropriate to a father : he reasserted his paternal authority. • showing a kindness and care associated with a father; fatherly : my elders in the newsroom kept a paternal eye on me.
• the course or direction in which a person or thing is moving : the missile traced a fiery path in the sky | figurative a chosen career path. • a course of action or conduct : an ordered, gradual path toward economic liberalization.
pathogen |ˈpaθədʒ(ə)n| noun Medicine a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease.
pathology |pəˈθɒlədʒi| noun the science of the causes and effects of diseases, esp. the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes.
1 the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset : you can find bargains if you have the patience to sift through the dross.
• a man who is the oldest or most venerable of a group : Hollywood's reigning patriarch rose to speak. • a man who behaves in a commanding manner : Cunningham's authoritative energy marks him out as patriarch within his own company.
2 of, relating to, or characteristic of a system of society or government controlled by men : patriarchal values.
having or expressing devotion to and vigorous support for one's country : the wave of relief and patriotic euphoria that followed the president's cease-fire declaration.
• the action of keeping watch over an area by walking or driving around it at regular intervals : the policemen were on patrol when they were ordered to investigate the incident.
keep watch over (an area) by regularly walking or traveling around or through it : the garrison had to patrol the streets to maintain order | [ intrans. ] pairs of men were patrolling on each side of the thoroughfare.
1 the support given by a patron : the arts could no longer depend on private patronage. 2 the power to control appointments to office or the right to privileges : recruits are selected on merit, not through political patronage.
1 [often as adj. ] ( patronizing) treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority : "She's a good-hearted girl," he said in a patronizing voice | she was determined not to be put down or patronized. 2 frequent (a store, theater, restaurant, or other establishment) as a customer : restaurants remaining open in the evening were well patronized. • give encouragement and financial support to (a person, esp. an artist, or a cause) : local churches and voluntary organizations were patronized by the family.
1 [usu. as adj. ] ( patterned) decorate with a recurring design : rosebud patterned wallpapers | violet-tinged flowers patterned the grassy banks.
a temporary stop in action or speech : she dropped me outside during a brief pause in the rain | the admiral chattered away without pause.
interrupt action or speech briefly : she paused, at a loss for words.
give someone pause cause someone to think carefully or hesitate before doing something : public outrage has given him pause.
pave the way for create the circumstances to enable (something) to happen or be done : the proposals will pave the way for a speedy resolution to the problem.
cover (a piece of ground) with concrete, asphalt, stones, or bricks; lay paving over : the yard at the front was paved with flagstones | [as adj. ] ( paved) chrysanthemums provide a cheerful border for the paved area | figurative the streets of the big city are not paved with gold.
(of an animal) feel or scrape with a paw or hoof : the horse rose on its strong haunches, its forelegs pawing the air | [ intrans. ] young dogs may paw at the floor and whine.
• (of work, an investment, etc.) yield or provide someone with (a specified sum of money) : jobs that pay $5 or $6 an hour.
• [ intrans. ] (of a business or undertaking, or an attitude) be profitable or advantageous to someone : crime doesn't pay | [with infinitive ] it pays to choose varieties carefully.
2 [ intrans. ] suffer a loss or other misfortune as a consequence of an action : the destroyer responsible for these atrocities would have to pay with his life.
3 [with two objs. ] give or bestow (attention, respect, or a compliment) on (someone) : no one paid them any attention. • make (a visit or a call) to (someone) : she has been prevailed upon to pay us a visit.
pay its (or one's) way (of an enterprise or person) earn enough to cover its (or one's) costs : some students are paying their way through college.
pay someone back repay a loan to someone : a regular amount was deducted from my wages to pay her back. • figurative take revenge on someone : a terrorist group had decided to pay him back for short-changing them. • reward someone for something done earlier : I took Aunt Shirley a cake to pay her back for solving a problem my grandmother had.
pay off informal (of a course of action) yield good results; succeed : all the hard work I had done over the summer paid off.
pay something off pay a debt in full : you may have saved up enough to pay off your second mortgage.
pay lip service to express approval of or support for (something) without taking any significant action.
1 (of money) required to be paid; due : interest is payable on the money owing | send a check, payable to the ASPCA. 2 able to be paid : it costs just $195, payable in five monthly installments.
1 financial return or reward, esp. profit equal to the initial outlay of an investment : a long time lag between investment and payback.
1 the action or process of paying someone or something, or of being paid : ask for a discount for payment by cash | three interest-free monthly payments. 2 an amount paid or payable : an interim compensation payment of $2500.
a list of a company's employees and the amount of money they are to be paid : there are just three employees on the payroll.
• mental calm; serenity : the peace of mind this insurance gives you.
• freedom from civil disorder : police action to restore peace.
at peace 1 free from anxiety or distress. • dead (used to suggest that someone has escaped from the difficulties of life). 2 in a state of friendliness : a man at peace with the world.
the active maintenance of a truce between nations or communities, esp. by an international military force : the 2,300-strong UN peacekeeping force.
the pointed top of a mountain : the snowy peaks rose against the blue of a cloudless sky. • a mountain, esp. one with a pointed top : the rocky outcrops of peaks such as the Cassongrat offer a challenge to rock climbers.
reach a highest point, either of a specified value or at a specified time : its popularity peaked in the 1940s | the rate of increase peaked at 34 percent last autumn.
greatest; maximum : he did not expect to be anywhere near peak fitness until Christmas. • characterized by maximum activity or demand : at peak hours, traffic speeds are reduced considerably.
peasant |ˈpɛz(ə)nt| noun a poor farmer of low social status who owns or rents a small piece of land for cultivation (chiefly in historical use or with reference to subsistence farming in poorer countries).
pebble |ˈpɛb(ə)l| noun a small stone made smooth and round by the action of water or sand.
a hierarchy of status seen among members of a group of people or animals, originally as observed among hens : the luxurious office accentuated the manager's position in the pecking order.
1 strange or odd; unusual : his accent was a peculiar mixture of Cockney and Irish. • [ predic. ] informal slightly and indefinably unwell; faint or dizzy : I felt a little peculiar for a while, but I'm absolutely fine now. 2 [ predic. ] ( peculiar to) belonging exclusively to : the air hung with an antiseptic aroma peculiar to hospitals.
an odd or unusual feature or habit : for all his peculiarities, she finds his personality quite endearing. • a characteristic or quality that is distinctive of a particular person or place : his essays characterized decency as a British peculiarity.
of, relating to, or consisting of money : he admitted obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. See note at financial .
of or relating to teaching : they show great pedagogic skills.
the method and practice of teaching, esp. as an academic subject or theoretical concept : the relationship between applied linguistics and language pedagogy | subject-based pedagogies.
move by working the pedals of a bicycle : they pedaled along the canal towpath.
• figurative a position in which one is greatly or uncritically admired : the heroes they have created and placed on pedestals.
pedestrian |pɪˈdɛstrɪən| noun a person walking along a road or in a developed area.
pedigree |ˈpɛdɪgriː| noun 1 the record of descent of an animal, showing it to be purebred.
look quickly, typically in a furtive manner : faces peeked from behind the curtains.
1 a quick and typically furtive look : a peek through the window showed that the taxi had arrived.
peekaboo |piːkəˈbuː| (also peek-a-boo) noun a game played with a young child, which involves hiding behind something and suddenly reappearing, saying "peekaboo."
• remove (the outer covering or skin) from a fruit or vegetable : peel off the skins and thickly slice the potatoes. • [ intrans. ] (of a fruit or vegetable) have a skin that can be removed : oranges that peel easily. • ( peel something away/off) remove or separate a thin covering or part from the outside or surface of something : carefully peel away the wax paper.
2 [ intrans. ] (of a surface or object) lose parts of its outer layer or covering in small strips or pieces : the walls are peeling.
look quickly and furtively at something, esp. through a narrow opening : the door was ajar and she couldn't resist peeping in.
expressing contempt or disapproval : permissiveness is used almost universally as a pejorative term.
pelvis |ˈpɛlvɪs| noun ( pl. -vises or -ves |-viːz|) 1 the large bony structure near the base of the spine to which the hind limbs or legs are attached in humans and many other vertebrates.
the pen is mightier than the sword proverb writing is more effective than military power or violence.
a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something : he has a penchant for adopting stray dogs.
awaiting decision or settlement : nine cases were still pending. • about to happen; imminent : with a presidential election pending, it would be wrong to force the changes through now | the pending disaster.
• figurative used to refer to the tendency of a situation or state of affairs to oscillate regularly between one extreme and another : the pendulum of fashion.
succeed in forcing a way into or through (a thing) : the shrapnel had penetrated his head and chest | [ intrans. ] tunnels that penetrate deep into the earth's core.
• infiltrate (an enemy group or rival organization) in order to spy on it : the U.S. media had been penetrated by Soviet stooges. • (of a company) begin to sell its products in (a particular market or area) : Honda has succeeded in penetrating Western motorcycle markets. • succeed in understanding or gaining insight into (something complex or mysterious) : a magician who seemed to have penetrated the mysteries of nature.
1 the action or process of making a way through or into something : the plant grows in clear, still waters where there is strong sunlight penetration. • the ability to do this : a weapon that combines the power and penetration of radiation with the precision of the laser.
penmanship noun the art or skill of writing by hand.
penniless |ˈpɛnɪlɪs| adjective (of a person) having no money; very poor.
engaged in, involving, or reflecting deep or serious thought : a pensive mood.
penthouse |ˈpɛnthaʊs| noun 1 an apartment on the top floor of a tall building, typically luxuriously fitted and offering fine views.
people person noun informal a person who enjoys or is particularly good at interacting with others.
energy and high spirits; liveliness : he was an enthusiastic player, full of pep and fight.
pep talk noun informal a talk intended to make someone feel more courageous or enthusiastic.
sprinkle or season (food) with pepper : [as adj. ] ( peppered) peppered beef. • (usu. be peppered with) cover or fill with a liberal amount of scattered items : the script is peppered with four-letter words.
1 through; all over : percuss | perforation | pervade. • completely; very : perfect | perturb. • to destruction; to ill effect : perdition | pervert. 2 Chemistry having the maximum proportion of some element in combination : peroxide | perchloric | permanganate.
for each year (used in financial contexts) : an average growth rate of around 2 percent per annum.
1 become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand : his mouth fell open as he perceived the truth | [with clause ] he was quick to perceive that there was little future in such arguments. • become aware of (something) by the use of one of the senses, esp. that of sight : he perceived the faintest of flushes creeping up her neck. 2 interpret or look on (someone or something) in a particular way; regard as : if Guy does not perceive himself as disabled, nobody else should | [ trans. ] some geographers perceive hydrology to be a separate field of scientific inquiry.
• any proportion or share in relation to a whole : only a small percentage of black Americans have Caribbean roots.
(esp. of a slight movement or change of state) able to be seen or noticed : a perceptible decline in public confidence. See note at tangible .the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses : the normal limits to human perception. • the state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way : the perception of pain. • a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression : Hollywood's perception of the tastes of the American public | we need to challenge many popular perceptions of old age.
the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses : the normal limits to human perception. • the state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way : the perception of pain. • a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression : Hollywood's perception of the tastes of the American public | we need to challenge many popular perceptions of old age.
having or showing sensitive insight : an extraordinarily perceptive account of their relationship.
of or relating to the ability to interpret or become aware of something through the senses : a patient with perceptual problems who cannot judge distances.
• a place where someone or something rests or sits, esp. a place that is high or precarious : Marian looked down from her perch in a beech tree above the road.
(of a bird) alight or rest on something : a herring gull perched on the mast. • (of a person) sit somewhere, esp. on something high or narrow : Eve perched on the side of the armchair.
lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring : his perennial distrust of the media. • (of a plant) living for several years : tarragon is perennial. Compare with annual , biennial .
make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible : he's busy perfecting his bowling technique.
the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects : the satiny perfection of her skin | his pursuit of golfing perfection. • a person or thing perceived as the embodiment of such a condition, state, or quality : I am told that she is perfection itself.
to perfection in a manner or way that could not be better; perfectly : a blue suit that showed off her blonde hair to perfection.
a fragrant liquid typically made from essential oils extracted from flowers and spices, used to impart a pleasant smell to one's body or clothes : I caught a whiff of her fresh lemony perfume | musk-based perfumes.
1 around; about : pericardium | perimeter | peristyle. 2 Astronomy denoting the point nearest to a specified celestial body : perihelion | perilune. Compare with apo- .
serious and immediate danger : his family was in peril | a setback to the state could present a peril to the regime. • ( perils) the dangers or difficulties that arise from a particular situation or activity : she first witnessed the perils of pop stardom a decade ago.
at one's peril at one's own risk (used esp. in warnings) : neglect our advice at your peril. in (or at) peril of very likely to incur or to suffer from : the movement is in peril of dying. • at risk of losing or injuring : anyone linked with the Republican cause would be in peril of their life.
full of danger or risk : a perilous journey south. • exposed to imminent risk of disaster or ruin : the economy is in a perilous state.
1 the continuous line forming the boundary of a closed geometric figure : the perimeter of a rectangle. • the length of such a line : the rectangle has a perimeter of 30 cm. • the outermost parts or boundary of an area or object : the perimeter of the garden | figurative my presence on the perimeter of his life.
• [with adj. ] a set period of time during which a particular activity takes place : the training period is between 16 and 18 months.
1 appearing or occurring at intervals : the periodic visits she made to her father.
of, relating to, or situated on the edge or periphery of something : the peripheral areas of Europe. • of secondary or minor importance; marginal : she will see their problems as peripheral to her own.
peripheral nervous system noun Anatomy the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord.
peripheral vision noun side vision; what is seen on the side by the eye when looking straight ahead.
suffer death, typically in a violent, sudden, or untimely way : a great part of his army perished of hunger and disease. • suffer complete ruin or destruction : the old regime had to perish.
perjury |ˈpəːdʒ(ə)ri| noun ( pl. -ries) Law the offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court after having taken an oath or affirmation.
money, goods, or other benefit to which one is entitled as an employee or as a shareholder of a company : many agencies are helping to keep personnel at their jobs by providing perks.
(of a material or membrane) allowing liquids or gases to pass through it : a frog's skin is permeable to water.
spread throughout (something); pervade : the aroma of soup permeated the air | [ intrans. ] his personality has begun to permeate through the whole organization.
permitted; allowed : it is permissible to edit and rephrase the statement.
consent; authorization : they had entered the country without permission | [with infinitive ] he had received permission to go to Brussels. See note at liberty . • an official document giving authorization : permissions to reproduce copyright material.
1 allowing or characterized by great or excessive freedom of behavior : I was not a permissive parent | the permissive society of the 60s and 70s. See note at lenient .
give authorization or consent to (someone) to do something : the law permits councils to monitor any factory emitting smoke | [with two objs. ] he would not permit anybody access to the library. • [ trans. ] authorize or give permission for (something) : the country is not ready to permit any rice imports. • [ trans. ] (of a thing, circumstance, or condition) provide an opportunity or scope for (something) to take place; make possible : some properties are too small to permit mechanized farming | [ intrans. ] when weather permits, lunches are served outside.
permit me dated used for politeness before making a suggestion or expressing an intention : permit me to correct you. —— permitting if the specified thing does not prevent one from doing something : weather permitting, guests can dine outside on the veranda.
1 at an angle of 90° to a given line, plane, or surface : dormers and gables that extend perpendicular to the main roofline. • at an angle of 90° to the ground; vertical : the perpendicular cliff.
a straight line at an angle of 90° to a given line, plane, or surface : at each division, draw a perpendicular representing the surface line.
carry out or commit (a harmful, illegal, or immoral action) : a crime has been perpetrated against a sovereign state.
1 never ending or changing : deep caves in perpetual darkness. • [ attrib. ] denoting a position, job, or trophy held for life rather than a limited period, or the person holding it : a perpetual secretary of the society.
2 occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted : their perpetual money worries.
(of something complicated or unaccountable) cause (someone) to feel completely baffled : she was perplexed by her husband's moodiness | [as adj. ] ( perplexing) a perplexing problem.
subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, esp. because of their race or political or religious beliefs : Jews who had been persecuted by the Nazi regime.
1 steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success : his perseverance with the technique illustrates his single-mindedness | medicine is a field which requires dedication and perseverance.
continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success : his family persevered with his treatment.
continue firmly or obstinately in an opinion or a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure : the minority of drivers who persist in drinking | we are persisting with policies that will create jobs for the future. • continue to exist; be prolonged : if the symptoms persist for more than a few days, contact your doctor.
firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition : companies must have patience and persistence, but the rewards are there. • the continued or prolonged existence of something : the persistence of huge environmental problems.
1 continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition : one of the government's most persistent critics. • [ attrib. ] characterized by a specified habitual behavior pattern, esp. a dishonest or undesirable one : they accused officials of persistent discrimination. 2 continuing to exist or endure over a prolonged period : persistent rain will affect many areas. • occurring repeatedly over a prolonged period : persistent reports of human rights abuses by the military.
the aspect of someone's character that is presented to or perceived by others : her public persona. In psychology, often contrasted with anima .
2 cause (something, esp. an issue, argument, or debate) to become concerned with personalities or feelings rather than with general or abstract matters : the mass media's tendency to personalize politics.
in (or out of) perspective showing the right (or wrong) relationship between visible objects. • correctly (or incorrectly) regarded in terms of relative importance : these expenses may seem high, but they need to be put into perspective.
2 a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view : most guidebook history is written from the editor's perspective.
give out sweat through the pores of the skin as the result of heat, physical exertion, or stress : Will was perspiring heavily.
the process of sweating : it causes perspiration and a rapid heartbeat. • sweat : perspiration ran down his forehead.
• [ trans. ] cause (someone) to believe something, esp. after a sustained effort; convince : they must often be persuaded of the potential severity of their drinking problems | [ trans. ] he did everything he could to persuade the police that he was the robber.
good at persuading someone to do or believe something through reasoning or the use of temptation : an informative and persuasive speech.
be appropriate, related, or applicable : matters pertaining to the organization of government. • chiefly Law belong to something as a part, appendage, or accessory : the premises, stock, and all assets pertaining to the business.
relevant or applicable to a particular matter; apposite : she asked me a lot of very pertinent questions | the unreleased section of tape was not pertinent to the investigation.
1 (often be perturbed) make (someone) anxious or unsettled : they were perturbed by her capricious behavior | [ trans. ] they were perturbed that the bank had begun switching some of its problem loans. 2 subject (a system, moving object, or process) to an influence tending to alter its normal or regular state or path : nuclear weapons could be used to perturb the orbit of an asteroid.
read thoroughly or carefully : the pursed lips of an auditor perusing an unsatisfactory set of accounts.
(esp. of a smell) spread through and be perceived in every part of : a smell of stale cabbage pervaded the air. • (of an influence, feeling, or quality) be present and apparent throughout : the sense of crisis that pervaded Europe in the 1930s.
(esp. of an unwelcome influence or physical effect) spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people : ageism is pervasive and entrenched in our society.
alter (something) from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended : he was charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
(of a substance) allowing water to pass through; permeable : pervious rocks.
causing trouble; annoying : pesky mosquitoes.
trouble or annoy (someone) with frequent or persistent requests or interruptions : she constantly pestered him with telephone calls.
pesticide |ˈpɛstɪsʌɪd| noun a substance used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or to animals.
decrease or fade gradually before coming to an end : the storm had petered out.
a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause : she was asked to sign a petition against plans to build on the local playing fields.
make or present a formal request to (an authority) with respect to a particular cause : Americans who moved west petitioned Congress for admission to the Union as states | [ trans. ] leaders petitioned the government to hold free elections soon.
1 make (someone) so frightened that they are unable to move or think : his icy controlled quietness petrified her | [as adj. ] ( petrified) the petrified child clung to her mother.
1 of little importance; trivial : the petty divisions of party politics. • (of behavior) characterized by an undue concern for trivial matters, esp. in a small-minded or spiteful way : he was prone to petty revenge on friends and family.
(of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered : he was moody and petulant | a petulant shake of the head.
1 ( pl. phalanxes ) a group of people or things of a similar type forming a compact body or brought together for a common purpose : he headed past the phalanx of waiting reporters to the line of limos.
a ghost : a phantom who haunts lonely roads | figurative the centrist and conservative parties were mere phantoms in 1943 | [as adj. ] a phantom ship.
pharmacist |ˈfɑːməsɪst| noun a person who is professionally qualified to prepare and dispense medicinal drugs.
• a stage in a person's psychological development, esp. a period of temporary unhappiness or difficulty during adolescence or a particular stage during childhood : you are not obsessed, but you are going through a phase.
• ( phase something in/out) introduce into (or withdraw from) use in gradual stages : our armed forces policy was to be phased in over 10 years.
1 very remarkable; extraordinary : the town expanded at a phenomenal rate.
phlegm |flɛm| noun the thick viscous substance secreted by the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages, esp. when produced in excessive or abnormal quantities, e.g., when someone is suffering from a cold.
rise like a phoenix from the ashes emerge renewed after apparent disaster or destruction.
not genuine; fraudulent : I thought your accent was a bit phony.
photosynthesis |ˈfəʊtə(ʊ)ˈsɪnθɪsɪs| noun the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.
1 [in sing. ] an act or the right of selecting something from among a group of alternatives : take your pick from our extensive menu | Laura should have first pick.
1pick someone's brains (or brain) informal obtain information by questioning someone who is better informed about a subject than oneself.
pick a fight (or quarrel) talk or behave in such a way as to provoke an argument or fight.
pick up speed (or steam) (of a vehicle) go faster; accelerate.
pick someone/something out distinguish someone or something among a group of people or things : Lester picked out two familiar voices. • (of a light) illuminate an object by shining directly on it. • (usu. be picked out) distinguish shapes or letters from their surroundings by painting or fashioning them in a contrasting color or medium : the initials are picked out in diamonds.
pick up the tab informal pay for something : my company will pick up the tab for all moving expenses.q
steal from the pockets of (someone) : she stopped in New Orleans where she skillfully pickpocketed tourists.q1
fastidious, esp. excessively so : she had been a picky eater as a child.
of or expressed in pictures; illustrated : feelings presented in a pictorial form. See note at graphic .
• figurative an impression of something formed from an account or description : a full picture of the disaster had not yet emerged.
• describe (someone or something) in a certain way : the markets in London and New York are usually pictured in contrasting terms.
get the picture informal understand a situation.
visually attractive, esp. in a quaint or pretty style : the picturesque covered bridges of New England. See note at graphic . • (of language) unusual and vivid : his picturesque speech contrasted with his rough appearance.
a portion of an object or of material, produced by cutting, tearing, or breaking the whole : a piece of cheese | the dish lay in pieces upon the floor | she tore his letters to pieces. See note at fragment .
• one of the items that were put together to make something and into which it naturally divides : take a car to pieces.
• an instance or example : a crucial piece of evidence. • a financial share : each employee owns a piece of the company. • a written, musical, or artistic creation or composition : a hauntingly beautiful piece of music.
1 ( piece something together) assemble something from individual parts : the children took turns piecing together each other's jigsaw puzzle. • slowly make sense of something from separate facts and pieces of evidence : Daniel had pieced the story together from the radio.
characterized by unsystematic partial measures taken over a period of time : [as adj. ] the village is slowly being killed off by piecemeal development | [as adv. ] some can only be had as part of a package, while others can be installed piecemeal.
(of a sharp pointed object) go into or through (something) : a splinter had pierced the skin. • prick (something) with a sharp instrument : she pierced the meat with a fork. • make (a hole) with a sharp instrument : I had to pierce another hole in my belt. • make a hole in (the ears, nose, or other part of the body) so as to wear jewelry in them : [as adj. ] ( pierced) kids with pierced noses.
• force or cut a way through : they were seeking to pierce the antiballistic-missile defenses | a shrill voice pierced the air.
piety |ˈpʌɪəti| noun ( pl. -ties) the quality of being religious or reverent : acts of piety and charity.
pigment |ˈpɪgm(ə)nt| noun the natural coloring matter of animal or plant tissue.
a heap of things laid or lying one on top of another : he placed the books in a neat pile. • informal a large amount of something : the growing pile of work.
1 [ trans. ] place (things) one on top of another : she piled all the groceries on the counter. • ( be piled with) be stacked or loaded with : his in-box was piled high with papers. • ( pile up) [ intrans. ] increase in quantity : the work has piled up. • ( pile something up) cause to increase in quantity : the debts he piled up.
pilgrim |ˈpɪlgrɪm| noun a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons.
• steal (something) using violence, esp. in wartime : artworks pillaged from churches and museums.
• a person or thing regarded as reliably providing essential support for something : he was a pillar of his local community.
1 done as an experiment or test before introducing something more widely : a two-year pilot study.
pimp |pɪmp| noun a man who controls prostitutes and arranges clients for them, taking part of their earnings in return.
pimple |ˈpɪmp(ə)l| noun a small hard inflamed spot on the skin.
• fasten (something) with a pin or pins in a specified position : her hair was pinned back.
• hold someone firmly in a specified position so they are unable to move : she was standing pinned against the door.
hear a pin drop used to describe absolute silence.
• grip the skin of a part of the body of (someone) in such a way : Rosa pinched her hard.
1 an act of gripping the skin of someone's body between finger and thumb : he gave her a gentle pinch. • an amount of an ingredient that can be held between fingers and thumb : add a pinch of salt.
• the most successful point; the culmination : he had reached the pinnacle of his career.
a tiny dot or point : a pinpoint of light from a flashlight.
absolutely precise; to the finest degree : this weapon fired shells with pinpoint accuracy. • tiny : a pinpoint laser beam.
find or locate exactly : one flare had pinpointed the target | figurative it is difficult to pinpoint the source of his life's inspiration.
• making a hypocritical display of virtue : there'll be no pious words said over her.
1 [ trans. ] convey (water, gas, oil, or other fluid substances) through a pipe or pipes : water from the lakes is piped to several towns.
pipe dream noun an unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme.
a feeling of irritation or resentment resulting from a slight, esp. to one's pride : he left in a fit of pique.
1 ( pit someone/something against) set someone or something in conflict or competition with : a chance to pit herself against him.
1 the quality of a sound governed by the rate of vibrations producing it; the degree of highness or lowness of a tone : a car engine seems to change pitch downward as the vehicle passes you.
• [ intrans. ] be a pitcher : she pitched in a minor-league game | [ trans. ] he pitched the entire game.
pitch in informal vigorously join in to help with a task or activity. • join in a fight or dispute.
1 the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others : her voice was full of pity. 2 [in sing. ] a cause for regret or disappointment : what a pity we can't be friends.
of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else : the alliance that played a pivotal role in the revolution.
• [usu. in sing. ] a person or thing that plays a central part in an activity or organization : the pivot of community life was the chapel.
placate |pləˈkeɪt| |ˈplakeɪt| |ˈpleɪ-| verb [ trans. ] make (someone) less angry or hostile : they attempted to placate the students with promises. See note at pacify .
• the regular or proper position of something : lay each slab in place.
• [often with negative ] somewhere where it is appropriate or prudent for someone to be or for something to occur : that street at that time was no place for a lady.
• [usu. with negative ] a right or privilege resulting from someone's role or position : I'm sure she has a story to tell, but it's not my place to ask.
• the degree of priority given to something : accurate reportage takes second place to lurid detail.
• the position of a figure in a series indicated in decimal or similar notation, esp. one after the decimal point : calculate the ratios to one decimal place.
1 [ trans. ] put in a particular position : a newspaper had been placed beside my plate. • cause to be in a particular situation : enemy officers were placed under arrest | you are not placing yourself under any obligation. • used to express the attitude someone has toward someone or something : I am not able to place any trust in you.
• ( be placed) used to indicate the degree of advantage or convenience enjoyed by someone or something as a result of their position or circumstances : [with infinitive ] the company is well placed to seize the opportunity.
out of place not in the proper position; disarranged. • in a setting where one is or feels inappropriate or incongruous.
a contagious bacterial disease characterized by fever and delirium, typically with the formation of buboes (see bubonic plague ) and sometimes infection of the lungs ( pneumonic plague): : an outbreak of plague | they died of the plague.
cause continual trouble or distress to : the problems that plagued the company | he has been plagued by ill health. • pester or harass (someone) continually : he was plaguing her with questions.
1 not decorated or elaborate; simple or ordinary in character : good plain food | everyone dined at a plain wooden table. • without a pattern; in only one color : a plain fabric. • bearing no indication as to source, contents, or affiliation : donations can be put in a plain envelope.
4 [ attrib. ] sheer; simple (used for emphasis) : the main problem is just plain exhaustion.
clearly; unequivocally (used for emphasis) : perhaps the youth was just plain stupid.
plain and simple informal used to emphasize the statement preceding or following : she was a genius, plain and simple.
plain-spoken (also plainspoken) adjective outspoken; blunt.
plaintiff |ˈpleɪntɪf| noun Law a person who brings a case against another in a court of law. Compare with defendant .
go according to plan happen as one arranged or intended.
of, relating to, or belonging to a planet or planets : the laws of planetary motion. • of or relating to the earth as a planet : planetary air pollution and climatic change.
2 a place where an industrial or manufacturing process takes place : the company has 30 plants in Mexico.
2 [ trans. ] place or fix in a specified position : she planted a kiss on his cheek. • ( plant oneself) position oneself : she planted herself on the arm of his chair. • establish (an idea) in someone's mind : the seed of doubt is planted in his mind.
• ( plaster something with/in) coat or cover something with (a substance), esp. to an extent considered excessive : a face plastered in heavy makeup.
• an amount of food on such a dish : a plate of spaghetti.
1 cover (a metal object) with a thin coating or film of a different metal : she had already taken the coin to a jeweler to be plated | [as adj., in combination ] ( -plated) the cylinder is nickel-plated.
• figurative a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress : the peace process had reached a plateau.
reach a state of little or no change after a time of activity or progress : the industry's problems have plateaued out.
a remark or statement, esp. one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful : she began uttering liberal platitudes. • the quality of being dull, ordinary, or trite : educators willing to violate the bounds of platitude.
(of an argument or statement) seeming reasonable or probable : a plausible explanation | it seems plausible that one of two things may happen. See note at believable .
• figurative the state of being active, operative, or effective : luck comes into play.
play something by ear perform music without having to read from a score. • ( play it by ear) informal proceed instinctively according to results and circumstances rather than according to rules or a plan.
play by the rules follow what is generally held to be the correct line of behavior.
play it cool informal make an effort to be or appear to be calm and unemotional.
play something down represent something as being less important than it in fact is : he tried to play down the seriousness of his illness.
play hard to get informal deliberately adopt an aloof or uninterested attitude, typically in order to make oneself more attractive or interesting.
play (or play it) safe take precautions; avoid risks.
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.
play the —— card exploit the specified issue or idea mentioned, esp. for political advantage : he saw an opportunity to play the peace card.
fond of games and amusement; lighthearted : a playful tomboy who loves to dress up.
1 a request made in an urgent and emotional manner : he made a dramatic plea for disarmament. • a claim that a circumstance means that one should not be blamed for or should not be forced to do something : her plea of a headache was not entirely false.
1 [ reporting verb ] make an emotional appeal : [ intrans. ] they pleaded with Carol to come home again | [with direct speech ] "Don't go," she pleaded | [with infinitive ] Anne pleaded to go with her. See note at beg .
2 . [ trans. ] present and argue for (a position), esp. in court or in another public context : using cheap melodrama to plead the case for three prisoners.
• [ intrans. ] Law state formally in court whether one is guilty or not guilty of the offense with which one is charged : he pleaded guilty to the drug charge.
1 cause to feel happy and satisfied : he arranged a fishing trip to please his son | [ trans. ] it pleased him to be seen with someone in the news.
• [ intrans. ] wish or desire to do something : feel free to wander around as you please.
as —— as you please informal used to emphasize the manner in which someone does something, esp. when this is seen as surprising : she walked forward as calm as you please. if you please 1 used in polite requests : follow me, if you please. 2 used to express indignation at something perceived as unreasonable : she wants me to make fifty cakes in time for the festival, if you please!
at someone's pleasure as and when someone wishes : the landlord could terminate the agreement at his pleasure.
take pleasure in derive happiness or enjoyment from : they take a perverse pleasure in causing trouble.
with pleasure gladly (used to express polite agreement or acceptance).
1 a solemn promise or undertaking : [with infinitive ] the conference ended with a joint pledge to limit pollution. • a promise of a donation to charity : the company's pledge of 10% of profits to environmental concerns. • ( the pledge) a solemn undertaking to abstain from alcohol : she persuaded Arthur to take the pledge.
1 [ trans. ] commit (a person or organization) by a solemn promise : the government pledged itself to deal with environmental problems. • [with clause ] formally declare or promise that something is or will be the case : the president pledged that 20,000 government buildings would have solar roofs. • [ intrans. ] solemnly undertake to do something : they pledged to continue the campaign for funding.
existing in or yielding great quantities; abundant : the wine is good, cheap, and plentiful. See note at prevalent .
an abundance : the farm boasts a plenitude of animals and birds. • the condition of being full or complete : the plenitude of the pope's powers.
used to emphasize the degree of something : she has plenty more ideas.
an excess of (something) : a plethora of committees and subcommittees.
a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation : we must direct our efforts toward relieving the plight of children living in poverty.
1 [ trans. ] set down heavily or carelessly : she plonked her glass on the table. • ( plonk oneself) sit down heavily and without ceremony : he plonked himself down on the sofa.
1 a plan made in secret by a group of people to do something illegal or harmful : [with infinitive ] there's a plot to overthrow the government.
1 secretly make plans to carry out (an illegal or harmful action) : the two men are serving sentences for plotting a bomb campaign | [ intrans. ] Erica has been plotting against me all along.
1 turn up the earth of (an area of land) with a plow, esp. before sowing : Uncle Vic plowed his garden | [as adj. ] ( plowed) a plowed field. • cut (a furrow or line) with or as if with a plow : icebergs have plowed furrows on the seabed. • (of a ship or boat) travel through (an area of water) : cruise liners plow the long-sailed routes.
2 [ intrans. ] (esp. of a vehicle) move in a fast and uncontrolled manner : the car plowed into the side of a van. • advance or progress laboriously or forcibly : they plowed their way through deep snow | the students are plowing through a set of grammar exercises.
a cunning plan or action designed to turn a situation to one's own advantage : the president has dismissed the referendum as a ploy to buy time.
take hold of (something) and quickly remove it from its place; pick : she plucked a blade of grass | he plucked a tape from the shelf. • catch hold of and pull quickly : she plucked his sleeve | [ intrans. ] brambles plucked at her jeans.
1 an obstruction blocking a hole, pipe, etc. : somewhere in the pipes there is a plug of ice blocking the flow.
1 block or fill in (a hole or cavity) : trucks arrived loaded with gravel to plug the hole and clear the road | figurative the new sanctions are meant to plug the gaps in the trade embargo. • insert (something) into an opening so as to fill it : the baby plugged his thumb into his mouth.
pull the plug 1 informal prevent something from happening or continuing : the company pulled the plug on the deal because it was not satisfied with the terms. 2 informal remove (a patient) from life support : we'll be talking to people who pulled the plug on their mothers.
having a full rounded shape : the berries were plump and sweet.
shake or pat (a cushion or pillow) to adjust its stuffing and make it rounded and soft : she plumped up her pillows. • [ intrans. ] ( plump up) become rounder and fatter : stew the dried fruits gently until they plump up.
1 [ intrans. ] jump or dive quickly and energetically : our daughters whooped as they plunged into the sea. • fall suddenly and uncontrollably : a car swerved to avoid a bus and plunged into a ravine. • embark impetuously on a speech or course of action : overconfident researchers who plunge ahead. • suffer a rapid decrease in value : their fourth-quarter operating profit plunged 25%.
take the plunge informal commit oneself to a course of action about which one is nervous.
an act of jumping or diving into water : we went straight from the sauna to take a cold plunge. • a swift and drastic fall in value or amount : the bank declared a 76% plunge in its profits.
2 an advantage : knowing the language is a decided plus | [as adj. ] on the plus side, the employees are enthusiastic and good-natured.
plus or minus used to define the margin of error of an estimate or calculation : the coral was estimated to be 840 years old, plus or minus 40 years.
plutocracy |pluːˈtɒkrəsi| noun ( pl. -cies) government by the wealthy.
• take or acquire in an unfair or clandestine way : employers risk having their newly trained workers poached by other companies.
evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret : a poignant reminder of the passing of time. See note at moving . • keenly felt : the sensation of being back at home was most poignant in the winter.
3 a particular spot, place, or position in an area or on a map, object, or surface : turn left at the point where you see a sign to Apple Grove | the furthermost point of the gallery | the check-in point. • a particular moment in time or stage in a process : from this point onward, the teacher was completely won over.
• ( the point of) the verge or brink of (doing or being something) : she was on the point of leaving. • [usu. with adj. ] a stage or level at which a change of state occurs : it is packed to the bursting point.
• an argument or idea put forward by a person in discussion : he made the point that economic regulation involves controls on pricing. • an interesting or convincing idea : you must admit he does have a point. • (usu. the point) the significant or essential element of what is intended or being discussed : it took her a long time to come to the point.
• a unit used in measuring value, achievement, or extent : the shares index was down seven points. • an advantage or success in an argument or discussion : she smiled, assuming she had won her point.
1 [ intrans. ] direct someone's attention to the position or direction of something, typically by extending one's finger : the boys were nudging each other and pointing at me | he gripped her arm and pointed to the seat | it's rude to point. • [with adverbial of direction ] indicate a particular time, direction, or reading : a sign pointing left. • [ trans. ] direct or aim (something) at someone or something : he pointed the flashlight beam at the floor. • [with adverbial of direction ] face or be turned in a particular direction : two of its toes point forward and two point back.
beside the point irrelevant.
case in point an instance or example that illustrates what is being discussed : the "green revolution" in agriculture is a good case in point.
get the point understand or accept the validity of someone's idea or argument : I get the point about not sending rejections.
make one's point put across a proposition clearly and convincingly.
the point of no return the point in a journey or enterprise at which it becomes essential or more practical to continue to the end instead of returning to the point of departure.
to the point relevant : his evidence was brief and to the point.
point something out direct someone's gaze or attention toward something, esp. by extending one's finger. • [ reporting verb ] say something to make someone aware of a fact or circumstance : [with clause ] she pointed out that his van had been in the parking lot all day | [with direct speech ] "Most of the people around here are very poor," I pointed out.
a particular attitude or way of considering a matter : I'm trying to get Matthew to change his point of view. • (in fictional writing) the narrator's position in relation to the story being told : this story is told from a child's point of view. • the position from which something or someone is observed : certain aspects are not visible from a single point of view.
1 having a sharpened or tapered tip or end : his face tapers to a pointed chin. 2 (of a remark or look) expressing criticism in a direct and unambiguous way : pointed comments were made about racial discrimination within the army.
• a hint as to what might happen in the future : the figures were a pointer to gradual economic recovery. • a small piece of advice; a tip : here are some pointers on how to go about the task.
1 having little or no sense, use, or purpose : speculating like this is a pointless exercise | [with infinitive ] it's pointless to plan too far ahead.
be or cause to be balanced or suspended : [ intrans. ] he poised motionless on his toes | [ trans. ] figurative the world was poised between peace and war. • ( be poised) (of a person or organization) be ready to do something : [with infinitive ] teachers are poised to resume their attack on government school tests.
1 [ trans. ] jab or prod (someone or something), esp. with one's finger : he poked Benny in the ribs and pointed | [ intrans. ] they sniffed, felt, and poked at everything they bought. • [ trans. ] jab (one's finger) at someone or into something : keep adding water until you can comfortably poke your finger into the soil.
poke one's nose into informal take an intrusive interest in.
3 divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs : [ intrans. ] the cultural sphere has polarized into two competing ideological positions | [ trans. ] Vietnam polarized political opinion.
the property of having poles or being polar : it exhibits polarity when presented to a magnetic needle. • the relative orientation of poles; the direction of a magnetic or electric field : the magnetic field peaks in strength immediately after switching polarity. • the state of having two opposite or contradictory tendencies, opinions, or aspects : the polarity between male and female | the Cold War's neat polarities can hardly be carried on.
• enforce regulations or an agreement in (a particular area or domain) : a UN resolution to use military force to police the no-fly zone. • enforce the provisions of (a law, agreement, or treaty) : the regulations will be policed by factory inspectors.
• improve, refine, or add the finishing touches to : he's got to polish up his French for his job.
• [in sing. ] an act of rubbing something to give it a shiny surface : I could give the cabinet a polish. • smoothness or glossiness produced by rubbing or friction : the machine refines the shape of the stone and gives it polish. • refinement or elegance in a person or thing : his poetry has clarity and polish.
cause (an activity or event) to become political in character : art was becoming politicized | attempts to politicize America's curricula. • make (someone) politically aware, esp. by persuading them of the truth of views considered radical : we successfully politicized a generation of women.
pollinate |ˈpɒlɪneɪt| verb [ trans. ] convey pollen to or deposit pollen on (a stigma, ovule, flower, or plant) and so allow fertilization.
1 (often the polls) the process of voting in an election : the country went to the polls on March 10.
polygamy |pəˈlɪgəmi| noun 1 the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time.
polyglot |ˈpɒlɪglɒt| adjective knowing or using several languages : a polyglot career woman.
polymath |ˈpɒlɪmaθ| noun a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning.
affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important : a pompous ass who pretends he knows everything.
think about (something) carefully, esp. before making a decision or reaching a conclusion : I pondered the question of what clothes to wear for the occasion [ intrans. ] : she sat pondering over her problem.
1 used to convey the suddenness with which someone or something disappears : once you've used it, poof—it's gone. 2 used to express contemptuous dismissal : "Oh, poof!" said Will. "You say that every year."
• a small, shallow patch of liquid lying on a surface : a pool of blood | figurative the lamps cast pools of light on the wet streets.
1 a supply of vehicles or goods available for use when needed : the oldest vehicle in the motor pool. • a group of people available for work when required : the typing pool. • a group of people considered as a resource : a nationwide pool of promising high-school students.
(of two or more people or organizations) put (money or other assets) into a common fund : they entered a contract to pool any gains and invest them profitably. • share (things) for the benefit of all those involved : [as n. ] ( pooling) a pooling of ideas.
1 [ intrans. ] make a sudden, sharp, explosive sound : corks popped, glasses tinkled, and delicate canapés were served. • [ trans. ] cause (something) to burst, making such a sound : they were popping balloons with darts.
2 [ intrans. ] go somewhere, typically for a short time and often without notice : she popped in to see if she could help. • [ trans. ] put or move (something) somewhere quickly : he popped his head around the door.
1 a sudden sharp explosive sound : at first there were just a few pops, perhaps from pistols.
pop up 1 appear or occur suddenly and unexpectedly : these memories can pop up from time to time. 2 hit a baseball high into the air but not deep, providing an easy catch : in three at bats, he struck out twice and popped up.
pop-eyed adjective informal (of a person) having bulging eyes.
cause (something) to become generally liked : his books have done much to popularize the sport.
form the population of (a town, area, or country) : the island is populated by scarcely 40,000 people | [as adj., with submodifier ] ( populated) a densely populated area. • figurative fill or be present in (a place, environment, or domain) : the spirit of the book and the characters who populate its pages.
• figurative not retentive or secure : he ran through a porous defense to score easily.
• a part of something divided between two or more people; a share : she wanted the right to decide how her portion of the allowance should be spent. • an amount of food suitable for or served to one person : a portion of ice cream | burger joints offering huge portions.
divide (something) into shares to be distributed among two or more people : the fish are portioned out to the different families. • [usu. as adj., with submodifier ] ( portioned) serve (food) in an amount suitable for one person : generously portioned lunches.
• a representation or impression of someone or something in language or on film : the writer builds up a full and fascinating portrait of a community.
depict (someone or something) in a work of art or literature : the author wanted to portray a new type of hero. • (of an actor) represent or play the part of (someone) on film or stage : he tossed his affable TV persona aside to portray a merciless mobster. • [ trans. ] describe (someone or something) in a particular way : the book portrayed him as a self-serving careerist.
• divide (a room) into smaller rooms or areas by erecting partitions : the hall was partitioned to contain the noise of the computers. • ( partition something off) separate a part of a room from the rest by erecting a partition : partition off part of a large bedroom to create a small bathroom.
1 [ trans. ] present or constitute (a problem, danger, or difficulty) : the sheer number of visitors is posing a threat to the area. • raise (a question or matter for consideration) : a statement that posed more questions than it answered.
elegant or stylishly luxurious : a posh Munich hotel. • chiefly Brit. typical of or belonging to the upper class of society : she had a posh accent.
1 [ trans. ] assume as a fact; put forward as a basis of argument : the Confucian view posits a perfectible human nature | [with clause ] he posited that the world economy is a system with its own particular equilibrium. • ( posit something on) base something on the truth of (a particular assumption) : these plots are posited on a false premise about women's nature as inferior.
• the location where someone or something should be; the correct place : the lid was put into position and screwed down | make sure that no slates have slipped out of position.
2 a particular way in which someone or something is placed or arranged : he moved himself into a reclining position | a cramp forced her to change position.
3 a situation or set of circumstances, esp. one that affects one's power to act : the company's financial position is grim | [with infinitive ] we felt we were not in a position to judge the merits of the case.
• a person's place or rank in relation to others, esp. in a competitive situation : he made up ground to finish in second position. • high rank or social standing : a woman of supposed wealth and position.
4 a person's particular point of view or attitude toward something : the official U.S. position on Palestine.
put or arrange (someone or something) in a particular place or way : he pulled out a chair and positioned it between them | she positioned herself on a bench. • promote (a product, service, or business) within a particular sector of a market, or as the fulfillment of that sector's specific requirements : a comprehensive development plan that will position the city as a major economic force in the region. • [ trans. ] figurative portray or regard (someone) as a particular type of person : I had positioned her as my antagonist.
of, relating to, or determined by position : the team will be forced to make several positional changes.
• have as an ability, quality, or characteristic : he did not possess a sense of humor | ( be possessed of) a fading blonde possessed of a powerful soprano voice.
1 the state of having, owning, or controlling something : are you in possession of any items over $500 in value? | he had taken possession of one of the sofas | the book came into my possession. • Law visible power or control over something, as distinct from lawful ownership; holding or occupancy : both teams attempting to gain possession of the ball | they were imprisoned for possession of explosives.
1 demanding someone's total attention and love : as soon as she'd been out with a guy a few times, he'd get possessive | she was possessive of our eldest son. • showing a desire to own things and an unwillingness to share what one already owns : young children are proud and possessive of their own property.
display (a notice) in a public place : a curt notice had been posted on the door | the exam results were posted this morning. • announce or publish (something, esp. a financial result) : the company posted a $460,000 loss.
1 [ trans. ] chiefly Brit. send (a letter or parcel) via the postal system : I've just been to post a letter | post off your order form today.
1 a position of paid employment; a job : he resigned from the post of foreign minister | a teaching post.
of or relating to the post office or the mail : increased postal rates | postal services. • chiefly Brit. done through the mail : a postal ballot | a postal survey.
1 chiefly Anatomy, technical further back in position; of or nearer the rear or hind end, esp. of the body or a part of it : the posterior part of the gut
all future generations of people : the victims' names are recorded for posterity. • [in sing. ] archaic the descendants of a person : God offered Abraham a posterity like the stars of heaven.
cause or arrange for (something) to take place at a time later than that first scheduled : the visit had to be postponed for some time | [with present participle ] the judge postponed sentencing a former government spokesman for fraud.
1 suggest or assume the existence, fact, or truth of (something) as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief : his theory postulated a rotatory movement for hurricanes | [with clause ] he postulated that the environmentalists might have a case.
a position of a person's body when standing or sitting : he stood in a flamboyant posture with his hands on his hips | good posture will protect your spine.
• figurative a particular way of dealing with or considering something; an approach or attitude : labor unions adopted a more militant posture in wage negotiations. • figurative a particular way of behaving that is intended to convey a false impression; a pose : despite pulling back its missiles, the government maintained a defiant posture for home consumption.
• the contents of any of such containers : a pot of coffee.
1 a container, typically rounded or cylindrical and of ceramic ware or metal, used for storage or cooking : clay pots for keeping water cool in summer | a cooking pot.
potbelly (also pot belly) noun a large, protruding, rotund stomach.
1 having great power, influence, or effect : thrones were potent symbols of authority | a potent drug | a potent argument.
1 a small bag or other flexible receptacle, typically carried in a pocket or attached to a belt : a tobacco pouch | webbing with pouches for stun grenades.
poultry |ˈpəʊltri| noun domestic fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese.
(of an animal or bird of prey) spring or swoop suddenly so as to catch prey : the wolf pounced on the rat | she looked like a vulture waiting to pounce. • (of a person) spring forward suddenly so as to attack or seize someone or something : the gang pounced on him and knocked him to the ground.
strike or hit heavily and repeatedly : Patrick pounded the couch with his fists | U.S. gunships pounded the capital | [ intrans. ] pounding on the door, she shouted at the top of her voice. • crush or grind (something) into a powder or paste by beating it with an instrument such as a pestle : pound the cloves with salt and pepper until smooth. • [ intrans. ] beat, throb, or vibrate with a strong regular rhythm : her heart was pounding.
• [ trans. ] serve (a drink) in this way : she poured out a cup of tea | [with two objs. ] Harry poured her a drink. • [ intrans. ] (of rain) fall heavily : the storm clouds gathered and the rain poured down [ trans. ] : it's pouring rain. • (of people or things) come or go in a steady stream and in large numbers : letters poured in.
• [ trans. ] ( pour something into) donate something, esp. money, to (a particular enterprise or project) in large amounts : Belgium has been pouring money into the company. • [ trans. ] ( pour something out) express one's feelings or thoughts in a full and unrestrained way : in his letters, Edward poured out his hopes.
when it rains it pours proverb misfortunes or difficult situations tend to follow each other in rapid succession or to arrive all at the same time.
push one's lips or one's bottom lip forward as an expression of petulant annoyance or in order to make oneself look sexually attractive : she lounged on the steps, pouting | [ trans. ] he shrugged and pouted his lips. • (of a person's lips) be pushed forward in such a way : her lips pouted provocatively.
extremely poor : thousands of poverty-stricken people.
• suitable for a particular purpose : a practical, stylish kitchen. • (of a person) sensible and realistic in their approach to a situation or problem : I'm not unfeeling, just trying to be practical.
1 the quality or state of being practical : there are still major doubts about the practicality of the proposal. 2 ( practicalities) the aspects of a situation that involve the actual doing or experience of something rather than theories or ideas : the practicalities of living at sea.
1 virtually; almost : the risk of default was practically zero | the place was practically empty.
1 the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use : the principles and practice of teaching | he put his self-defense training into practice by helping police arrest the armed robber. • the customary, habitual, or expected procedure of something : current nursing practice | modern child-rearing practices.
2 carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly : we still practice some of these rituals today. • actively pursue or be engaged in (a particular profession or occupation) : he began to practice law | [ intrans. ] he practiced as an attorney | [as adj. ] ( practicing) a practicing architect. • observe the teaching and rules of (a particular religion) : non-Muslims were free to practice their religion | [as adj. ] ( practicing) a practicing Roman Catholic.
practice makes perfect used to convey that regular exercise of an activity or skill is the way to become proficient in it, esp. when encouraging someone to persist in it.
dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations : a pragmatic approach to politics.
express warm approval or admiration of : we can't praise Chris enough—he did a brilliant job.
the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something : the audience was full of praise for the whole production.
deserving approval and admiration : they displayed a praiseworthy sense of responsibility.
(of a horse) move with high springy steps : the pony was prancing around the paddock. • (of a person) walk or move around with ostentatious, exaggerated movements : she pranced around the lounge impersonating her favorite pop stars.
prankster |ˈpraŋkstə| noun a person fond of playing pranks. • a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship : I'll say a prayer for him | the peace of God is ours through prayer. practice, as distinguished from theory : the divorce between theory and praxis of Marxism which ensued under Stalinism. • accepted practice or custom : patterns of Christian praxis in church and society.
before (in time, place, order, degree, or importance) : preadolescent | precaution | precede.
deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, typically in church : he preached to a large congregation | [ trans. ] our pastor will preach the sermon. • [ trans. ] publicly proclaim or teach (a religious message or belief) : a church that preaches the good news of Jesus.
a preliminary or preparatory statement; an introduction : what she said was by way of a preamble | I gave him the bad news without preamble.
1 not securely held or in position; dangerously likely to fall or collapse : a precarious ladder. 2 dependent on chance; uncertain : she made a precarious living by writing.
a measure taken in advance to prevent something dangerous, unpleasant, or inconvenient from happening : he had taken the precaution of seeking legal advice.
come before (something) in time : a gun battle had preceded the explosions. • come before in order or position : take time to read the chapters that precede the recipes | [as adj. ] ( preceding) the preceding pages. • go in front or ahead of : he let her precede him through the gate.
the condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank : his desire for power soon took precedence over any other consideration.
an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances : there are substantial precedents for using interactive media in training | breaking with all precedent.
1 a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought : moral precepts | the legal precept of being innocent until proven guilty | children learn far more by example than by precept.
1 cause (an event or situation, typically one that is bad or undesirable) to happen suddenly, unexpectedly, or prematurely : the incident precipitated a political crisis. • [ trans. ] cause to move suddenly and with force : suddenly the ladder broke, precipitating them down into a heap. • ( precipitate someone/something into) send someone or something suddenly into a particular state or condition : they were precipitated into a conflict for which they were quite unprepared.
done, made, or acting suddenly or without careful consideration : I must apologize for my staff—their actions were precipitate. • (of an event or situation) occurring suddenly or abruptly : a precipitate decline in cultural literacy.
1 dangerously high or steep : the precipitous cliffs of the North Atlantic coast. • (of a change to a worse situation or condition) sudden and dramatic : the end of the war led to a precipitous decline in exports.
to be precise used to indicate that one is now giving more exact or detailed information : there were not many—five, to be precise.
the quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate : the deal was planned and executed with military precision.
prevent from happening; make impossible : the secret nature of his work precluded official recognition. See note at prohibit . • ( preclude someone from) (of a situation or condition) prevent someone from doing something : his difficulties preclude him from leading a normal life.
(of an idea or opinion) formed before having the evidence for its truth or usefulness : the same set of facts can be tailored to fit any preconceived belief.
a condition that must be fulfilled before other things can happen or be done : a precondition for peace.
1 (usu. be preconditioned) condition (an action) to happen in a certain way : inquiries are always preconditioned by cultural assumptions.
a person or thing that comes before another of the same kind; a forerunner : a three-stringed precursor of the violin | [as adj. ] precursor cells.
preceding something in time, development, or position; preliminary : precursory seismic activity.
relating to or denoting an animal or animals preying naturally on others : predatory birds. • figurative seeking to exploit or oppress others : a life destroyed by predatory biographers and yellow journalists.
a person who held a job or office before the current holder : the new president's foreign policy is very similar to that of his predecessor. • a thing that has been followed or replaced by another : the chapel was built in 1864 on the site of its predecessor.
defined, limited, or established in advance : predefined styles for tables, outlines, paragraphs, and graphics.
establish or decide in advance : closed questions almost predetermine the response given | [as adj. ] ( predetermined) a predetermined level of spending.
1 a difficult, unpleasant, or embarrassing situation : the club's financial predicament.
relating to or having the effect of predicting an event or result : predictive accuracy | rules are not predictive of behavior.
present as the strongest or main element : its predominant color was white. • having or exerting control or power : the predominant political forces.
the state or condition of being greater in number or amount : the demographic predominance of the Muslims | [in sing. ] there is a predominance of female teachers.
serving or intended to preempt or forestall something, esp. to prevent attack by disabling the enemy : preemptive action | a preemptive strike. • relating to the purchase of goods or shares by one person or party before the opportunity is offered to others : preemptive rights.
1 take action in order to prevent (an anticipated event) from happening; forestall : the government preempted a coup attempt.
provide (a book) with a preface : the book is prefaced by a quotation from William Faulkner.
of or involving preference or partiality; constituting a favor or privilege : preferential interest rates may be offered to employees. • (of regulations or rates) favoring particular countries : preferential trade terms.
of, relating to, or denoting the period before written records : prehistoric man.
without prejudice Law without detriment to any existing right or claim : the payment was made without any prejudice to her rights.
denoting an action or event preceding or done in preparation for something fuller or more important : preliminary talks | the discussions were seen as preliminary to the policy paper.
an action or event preceding or preparing for something fuller or more important : the bombardment was resumed as a preliminary to an infantry attack.
1 an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important : education cannot simply be a prelude to a career.
serve as a prelude or introduction to : the bombardment preluded an all-out final attack.
first in importance, order, or position; leading : Germany's premier rock band | the premier national publication.
a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion : if the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true. • an assertion or proposition which forms the basis for a work or theory : the fundamental premise of the report.
base an argument, theory, or undertaking on : the reforms were premised on our findings. • state or presuppose (something) as a premise : [with clause ] one school of thought premised that the cosmos is indestructible.
before birth; during or relating to pregnancy : prenatal development.
existing or occurring before marriage : prenuptial pregnancy.
(of a matter or subject) dominate or engross the mind of (someone) to the exclusion of other thoughts : his mother was preoccupied with paying the bills | [as adj. ] ( preoccupied) she seemed a bit preoccupied.
serving as or carrying out preparation for a task or undertaking : more preparatory work is needed.
a thing that is required as a prior condition for something else to happen or exist : sponsorship is not a prerequisite for any of our courses.
(of a medical practitioner) advise and authorize the use of (a medicine or treatment) for someone, esp. in writing : Dr. Greene prescribed magnesium sulfate | [with two objs. ] the doctor prescribed her a drug called amantadine.
1 an instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorizes a patient to be provided a medicine or treatment : he scribbled a prescription for tranquilizers | antidepressants available only by prescription | [as adj. ] prescription drugs. • the action of prescribing a medicine or treatment : the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics. • a medicine or remedy that is prescribed : I've got to pick up my prescription.
1 of or relating to the imposition or enforcement of a rule or method : these guidelines are not intended to be prescriptive.
the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing : her presence still comforts me | the presence of chlorine in the atmosphere | the memorial was unveiled in the presence of 24 veterans. • a person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen : the monks became aware of a strange presence. • [in sing. ] a group of people, esp. soldiers or police, stationed in a particular place : the USA would maintain a presence in the Indian Ocean region. • the impressive manner or appearance of a person : Richard was not a big man, but his presence was overwhelming | [in sing. ] he has a real physical presence.
make one's presence felt have a strong and obvious effect or influence on others or on a situation.
1 [ predic. ] (of a person) in a particular place : a doctor must be present at the ringside | the speech caused embarrassment to all those present. • (often present in) (of a thing) existing or occurring in a place or thing : organic molecules are present in comets.
1 ( present something to) give something to (someone) formally or ceremonially : a top executive will present an award to employees who built the F-150.
• formally introduce (someone) to someone else : may I present my wife? • proffer (compliments or good wishes) in a formal manner : may I present the greetings of my master?
2 bring about or be the cause of (a problem or difficulty) : this should not present much difficulty. • exhibit (a particular state or appearance) to others : the EC presented a united front over the crisis. • represent (someone) to others in a particular way, typically one that is false or exaggerated : he presented himself as a hardworking man.
• ( present itself) (of an opportunity or idea) occur and be available for use or exploitation : when a favorable opportunity presented itself, he would submit his proposition.
of or relating to the current period of time : present-day technological developments.
clean, well dressed, or decent enough to be seen in public : I did my best to make myself look presentable.
• the manner or style in which something is given, offered, or displayed : the presentation of foods is designed to stimulate your appetite.
1 after a short time; soon : this will be examined in more detail presently. 2 at the present time; now : there are presently 1,128 people on the waiting list
maintain (something) in its original or existing state : all records of the past were zealously preserved | [as adj. ] ( preserved) a magnificently preserved monastery. • retain (a condition or state of affairs) : a fight to preserve local democracy. • maintain or keep alive (a memory or quality) : the film has preserved all the qualities of the novel. • keep safe from harm or injury : a place for preserving endangered species.
the action of preserving something : the preservation of the city's green spaces | food preservation. • the state of being preserved, esp. to a specified degree : the homestead is in a fine state of preservation.
set or adjust (a value that controls the operation of a device) in advance of its use : the water is heated quickly to a preset temperature.
1 be in the position of authority in a meeting or gathering : Bishop Herbener presided at the meeting | [as adj. ] ( presiding) the sentence imposed by the presiding judge. • ( preside over) be in charge of (a place or situation) : he presided over a period of great budgetary recklessness.
1 move or cause to move into a position of contact with something by exerting continuous physical force : [ trans. ] he pressed his face to the glass | [ intrans. ] her body pressed against his.
• [ intrans. ] ( press on/ahead) figurative continue in one's action : he stubbornly pressed on with his work.
• make strong efforts to persuade or force (someone) to do or provide something : when I pressed him for precise figures, he evaded the subject | [with infinitive ] the marketing directors were pressed to justify their expenditure | [ intrans. ] they continued to press for changes in legislation.
• ( be pressed) have barely enough of something, esp. time : I'm very pressed for time.
3 ( the press) [treated as sing. or pl. ] newspapers or journalists viewed collectively : the press was notified | [as adj. ] press coverage. • coverage in newspapers and magazines : there's no point in demonstrating if you don't get any press | [in sing. ] the mayor has had a bad press for years.
attempt to persuade or coerce (someone) into doing something : it might now be possible to pressure him into resigning | [ trans. ] she pressured her son to accept a job offer from the bank.
2 the use of persuasion, influence, or intimidation to make someone do something : the proposals put pressure on Britain to drop its demand | the many pressures on girls to worry about their looks. • the influence or effect of someone or something : oil prices came under some downward pressure. • the feeling of stressful urgency caused by the necessity of doing or achieving something, esp. with limited time : you need to be able to work under pressure and not get flustered | some offenders might find prison a refuge against the pressures of the outside world.
2 the use of persuasion, influence, or intimidation to make someone do something : the proposals put pressure on Britain to drop its demand | the many pressures on girls to worry about their looks. • the influence or effect of someone or something : oil prices came under some downward pressure. • the feeling of stressful urgency caused by the necessity of doing or achieving something, esp. with limited time : you need to be able to work under pressure and not get flustered | some offenders might find prison a refuge against the pressures of the outside world.
1 [with clause ] suppose that something is the case on the basis of probability : I presumed that the man had been escorted from the building | [ trans. ] the two men were presumed dead when the wreck of their boat was found. • take for granted that something exists or is the case : the argument presumes that only one person can do the work | [ trans. ] the task demands skills which cannot be presumed and therefore require proper training.
used to convey that what is asserted is very likely though not known for certain : the Yakima Indians presumably came from Asia by way of the Bering Strait.
1 an act or instance of taking something to be true or adopting a particular attitude toward something, esp. at the start of a chain of argument or action : the presumption of guilt has changed to a presumption of innocence. • an idea that is taken to be true, and often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain : underlying presumptions about human nature. • chiefly Law an attitude adopted in law or as a matter of policy toward an action or proposal in the absence of acceptable reasons to the contrary : the planning policy shows a general presumption in favor of development.
(of a person or their behavior) failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate : I hope I won't be considered presumptuous if I offer some advice. See note at bold .
1 an attempt to make something that is not the case appear true : his anger is masked by a pretense that all is well | they have finally abandoned their secrecy and pretense. • a false display of feelings, attitudes, or intentions : he asked me questions without any pretense at politeness. • the practice of inventing imaginary situations in play : before the age of two, children start to engage in pretense.
attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed : a pretentious literary device.
a reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason : the rebels had the perfect pretext for making their move.
on (or under) the pretext giving the specified reason as one's justification : the police raided Grand River on the pretext of looking for moonshiners.
pretty much (or nearly or well) informal very nearly : the case is pretty well over.
prove more powerful than opposing forces; be victorious : it is hard for logic to prevail over emotion. • be widespread in a particular area at a particular time; be current : an atmosphere of crisis prevails | [as adj. ] ( prevailing) the prevailing political culture.
widespread in a particular area at a particular time : the social ills prevalent in society today.
designed to keep something undesirable such as illness, harm, or accidents from occurring : preventive medicine.
an inspection or viewing of something before it is bought or becomes generally known and available : you can get a sneak preview of the pictures on sale.
display (a product, movie, play, etc.) before it officially goes on sale or opens to the public : the company will preview an enhanced version of its database.
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.
• a person or thing easily injured or taken advantage of : he was easy prey for the two con men. • a person who is vulnerable to distressing emotions or beliefs : the settlers become prey to nameless fears.
decide the amount required as payment for (something offered for sale) : the watches in this range are priced at $14.50.
at any price no matter what expense, sacrifice, or difficulty is involved : they wanted peace at any price. at a price requiring great expense or involving unwelcome consequences : his generosity comes at a price.
put a price on determine the value of : you can't put a price on what she has to offer.
what price ——? used to ask what has become of something or to suggest that something has or would become worthless : what price justice if he were allowed to go free?
expensive : boutiques selling pricey clothes.
1 make a small hole in (something) with a sharp point; pierce slightly : prick the potatoes with a fork. • [ intrans. ] feel a sensation as though a sharp point were sticking into one : she felt her scalp prick and her palms were damp. • (of tears) cause the sensation of imminent weeping in (a person's eyes) : tears of disappointment were pricking her eyelids.
(of a person's skin or a part of the body) experience a tingling sensation, esp. as a result of strong emotion : the sound made her skin prickle with horror. • [ trans. ] cause a tingling or mildly painful sensation in : I hate the way the fibers prickle your skin.
1 a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired : the team was bursting with pride after recording a sensational victory | a woman who takes great pride in her appearance.
1 the fact of being primary, preeminent, or more important : the primacy of air power in the modern war.
essential; fundamental : for me, writing is a primal urge. • relating to an early stage in evolutionary development; primeval : primal hunting societies.
1 of chief importance; principal : the government's primary aim is to see significant reductions in unemployment. 2 earliest in time or order of development : the country was in the primary stage of socialism. • not derived from, caused by, or based on anything else : the research involved the use of primary source materials in national and local archives.
the chief bishop or archbishop of a province : Cardinal Glemp, the primate of Poland.
1 of first importance; main : her prime concern is the well-being of the patient. • from which another thing may derive or proceed : Diogenes' conclusion that air is the prime matter. 2 [ attrib. ] of the best possible quality; excellent : a prime site in the center of Indianapolis | prime cuts of meat.
1 [in sing. ] a state or time of greatest strength, vigor, or success in a person's life : you're in the prime of life | he wasn't elderly, but clearly past his prime.
1 first in order of importance; main : the country's principal cities. 2 (of money) denoting an original sum invested or lent : the principal amount of your investment.
1 a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning : the basic principles of Christianity. • (usu. principles) a rule or belief governing one's personal behavior : struggling to be true to their own principles | she resigned over a matter of principle. • morally correct behavior and attitudes : a man of principle.
2 a fundamental source or basis of something : the first principle of all things was water. • a fundamental quality or attribute determining the nature of something; an essence : the combination of male and female principles.
in principle as a general idea or plan, although the details are not yet established or clear : the government agreed in principle to a peace plan that included a cease-fire. • used to indicate that although something is theoretically possible, it may not actually happen : in principle, the banks are entitled to withdraw these loans when necessary.
• figurative fix (something) firmly or indelibly in someone's mind : his face, with its clearly drawn features, was printed on her memory.
• produce (text or a picture) in such a way : the words had been printed in blue type. • (of a newspaper or magazine) publish (a piece of writing) within its pages : the article was printed in the first edition.
• write (text) clearly without joining the letters : print your name and address on the back of the check | [ intrans. ] it will be easier to read if I print.
1 the text appearing in a book, newspaper, or other printed publication, esp. with reference to its size, form, or style : squinting at the tiny print | bold print.
• the state of being available in published form : the news will never get into print.
suitable or fit to be printed or published : break photographs up into printable form | few people had a good, or even printable, word for him.
prior to before a particular time or event : she visited me on the day prior to her death.
existing or coming before in time, order, or importance : he has a prior engagement this evening.
• the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important : the safety of the country takes priority over any other matter.
• determine the order for dealing with (a series of items or tasks) according to their relative importance : age affects the way people prioritize their goals | [ intrans. ] are you able to prioritize?
a building (or vessel) to which people are legally committed as a punishment for crimes they have committed or while awaiting trial : he died in prison | both men were sent to prison.
in its original condition; unspoiled : pristine copies of an early magazine. • clean and fresh as if new; spotless : a pristine white shirt.
• the state of being free from public attention : a law to restrict newspapers' freedom to invade people's privacy.
in private with no one else present : I've got to talk to you in private.
in a private way, manner, or capacity : I must insist we speak privately | his research is privately financed.
transfer (a business, industry, or service) from public to private ownership and control : a plan for privatizing education.
• something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing particular pleasure : I have the privilege of awarding you this scholarship.
sharing in the knowledge of (something secret or private) : he was no longer privy to her innermost thoughts.
1 favoring; supporting : pro-choice | pro-life. 2 acting as a substitute or deputy for; on behalf of; for : proconsul | procure. 3 denoting motion forward, out, or away : proceed | propel | prostrate.
before in time, place, order, etc. : proactive | prognosis | program.
for the public good : [as adv. ] the burden they carried pro bono publico. • (usu. pro bono) denoting work undertaken for the public good without charge, esp. legal work for a client with a low income : [as adv. ] the attorneys are representing him pro bono | [as adj. ] pro bono legal services.
opposing abortion and euthanasia : she is a pro-life activist. Compare with pro-choice .
(of a person, policy, or action) creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened : be proactive in identifying and preventing potential problems.
• Mathematics the extent to which an event is likely to occur, measured by the ratio of the favorable cases to the whole number of cases possible : the area under the curve represents probability | a probability of 0.5.
in all probability used to convey that something is very likely : he would in all probability make himself known.
based on or adapted to a theory of probability; subject to or involving chance variation : the main approaches are either rule-based or probabilistic.
likely to be the case or to happen : it is probable that the economic situation will deteriorate further | the probable consequences of his action.
the release of an offender from detention, subject to a period of good behavior under supervision : I went to court and was put on probation.
• an investigation into a crime or other matter : a probe into the maritime industry by the FBI.
physically explore or examine (something) with the hands or an instrument : researchers probing the digestive glands of mollusks. • [ intrans. ] seek to uncover information about someone or something : he began to probe into Donald's whereabouts | [ trans. ] police are probing another murder.
make into or regard as a problem requiring a solution : he problematized the concept of history.
• a series of actions conducted in a certain order or manner : the standard procedure for informing new employees about conditions of work.
begin or continue a course of action : we can proceed with our investigation. • [ intrans. ] move forward, esp. after reaching a certain point : the ship could proceed to Milwaukee. • [with infinitive ] do something as a natural or seemingly inevitable next step : opposite the front door was a staircase, which I proceeded to climb.
• (of an action) be started : negotiations must proceed without delay. • (of an action) be carried on or continued : as the excavation proceeds, the visible layers can be recorded and studied.
be in the process of doing something be continuing with an action already started : a hurricane that was in the process of devastating South Carolina. in the process as an unintended part of a course of action : she would make him pay for this, even if she killed herself in the process.
1 a number of people or vehicles moving forward in an orderly fashion, esp. as part of a ceremony or festival : a funeral procession. • the action of moving forward in such a way : the fully robed civic dignitaries walk in procession. • figurative a relentless succession of people or things : his path was paved by a procession of industry executives.
announce officially or publicly : the joint manifesto proclaimed that imperialism would be the coalition's chief objective [ trans. ] : army commanders proclaimed a state of emergency. See note at announce . • declare something one considers important with due emphasis : she proclaimed that what I had said was untrue | [ trans. ] he proclaimed the car to be in sound condition. • [ trans. ] declare officially or publicly to be : he proclaimed James III as King of England. • [ trans. ] demonstrate or indicate clearly : the decor proclaimed a family history of taste and tradition | [ trans. ] he had a rolling gait that proclaimed him a man of the sea.
a public or official announcement, esp. one dealing with a matter of great importance : Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union.
delay or postpone action; put off doing something : it won't be this price for long, so don't procrastinate.
1 obtain (something), esp. with care or effort : food procured for the rebels | [with two objs. ] he persuaded a friend to procure him a ticket. See note at get . • obtain (someone) as a prostitute for another person : he was charged with procuring a minor.
poke (someone) with a finger, foot, or pointed object : he prodded her in the ribs to stop her snoring | [ intrans. ] a woman prods at a tiger with a stick. • stimulate or persuade (someone who is reluctant or slow) to do something : he has been trying to prod the White House into launching an antipoverty program.
1 a poke with a finger, foot, or pointed object : he gave the wire netting an experimental prod. • an act of stimulating or reminding someone to do something : he'll need a little prod to get back to the task at hand.
a person, esp. a young one, endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities : a Russian pianist who was a child prodigy in his day. • an impressive or outstanding example of a particular quality : Germany seemed a prodigy of industrial discipline.
2 cause (a particular result or situation) to happen or come into existence : no conventional drugs had produced any significant change.
• a person whose character and identity have been formed by a particular period or situation : an aging academic who is a product of the 1960s.
1 the action of making or manufacturing from components or raw materials, or the process of being so manufactured : the production of chemical weapons | it is no longer in production. • the harvesting or refinement of something natural : nonintensive methods of food production. • the total amount of something that is manufactured, harvested, or refined : steel production had peaked in 1974.
2 the process of or financial and administrative management involved in making a movie, play, or record : the movie was still in production | [as adj. ] a production company.
producing or able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities : the most productive employees. • relating to or engaged in the production of goods, crops, or other commodities : the country's productive capacity. • achieving or producing a significant amount or result : a long and productive career | the therapy sessions became more productive.
the state or quality of producing something, esp. crops : the long-term productivity of land | agricultural productivity. • the effectiveness of productive effort, esp. in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input : workers have boosted productivity by 30 percent.
1 relating or devoted to that which is not sacred or biblical; secular rather than religious : a talk that tackled topics both sacred and profane. • (of a person) not initiated into religious rites or any esoteric knowledge : he was an agnostic, a profane man.
blasphemous or obscene language : an outburst of profanity.
1 claim openly but often falsely that one has (a quality or feeling) : he had professed his love for her | [with infinitive ] I don't profess to be an expert | [with complement ] ( profess oneself) he professed himself amazed at the boy's ability.
1 an outline of something, esp. a person's face, as seen from one side : the man turned and she caught his profile.
• a graphical or other representation of information relating to particular characteristics of something, recorded in quantified form : the blood profiles of cancer patients. • a short article giving a description of a person or organization, esp. a public figure : a profile of a Texas tycoon. 2 [in sing. ] the extent to which a person or organization attracts public notice or comment : raising the profile of women in industry.
1 describe (a person or organization, esp. a public figure) in a short article : he was to profile each candidate.
competent or skilled in doing or using something : I was proficient at my job | she felt reasonably proficient in Italian.
obtain a financial advantage or benefit, esp. from an investment : the only people to profit from the entire episode were the lawyers. • obtain an advantage or benefit : not all children would profit from this kind of schooling.
at a profit making more money than is spent buying, operating, or producing something : fixing up houses and selling them at a profit.
• [ trans. ] be beneficial to : it would profit us to change our plans.
1 (of a state, quality, or emotion) very great or intense : profound social changes | profound feelings of disquiet. • (of a disease or disability) very severe; deep-seated : a case of profound liver failure. 2 (of a person or statement) having or showing great knowledge or insight : a profound philosopher. • (of a subject or thought) demanding deep study or thought : expressing profound truths in simple language.
a person or thing from which a person, animal, or plant is descended or originates; an ancestor or parent : his sons and daughters were the progenitors of many of Scotland's leading noble families. • a person who originates an artistic, political, or intellectual movement : the progenitor of modern jazz.
1 ( program) provide (a computer or other machine) with coded instructions for the automatic performance of a particular task : it is a simple matter to program the computer to recognize such symbols.
• (often be programmed) figurative cause (a person or animal) to behave in a predetermined way : all members of a particular species are programmed to build nests in the same way.
forward or onward movement toward a destination : the darkness did not stop my progress | they failed to make any progress up the narrow estuary. • advance or development toward a better, more complete, or more modern condition : we are making progress toward equal rights.
move forward or onward in space or time : as the century progressed, the quality of telescopes improved. • advance or develop toward a better, more complete, or more modern state : work on the pond is progressing.
in progress in the course of being done or carried out : a meeting was in progress.
a movement or development toward a destination or a more advanced state, esp. gradually or in stages : the normal progression from junior to senior status | their mode of progression through the forest. • a succession; a series : counting the twenty-four hours in a single progression from midnight.
1 happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step : a progressive decline in popularity. • (of a disease or ailment) increasing in severity or extent : progressive liver failure.
formally forbid (something) by law, rule, or other authority : laws prohibiting cruelty to animals. • ( prohibit someone/something from doing something) formally forbid a person or group from doing something : he is prohibited from being a director. • (of a fact or situation) prevent (something); make impossible : the budget agreement had prohibited any tax cuts.
2 (esp. of a law or rule) forbidding or restricting something : prohibitive legislation.
1 (usu. be projected) estimate or forecast (something) on the basis of present trends : spending was projected at $72 million. • [often as adj. ] ( projected) plan (a scheme or undertaking) : a projected exhibition of contemporary art. 2 [ intrans. ] extend outward beyond something else; protrude : I noticed a slip of paper projecting from the book | [as adj. ] ( projecting) a projecting bay window. See note at bulge .
• imagine (oneself, a situation, etc.) as having moved to a different place or time : people may be projecting the present into the past. 4 present or promote (a particular view or image) : he strives to project an image of youth.
1 an estimate or forecast of a future situation or trend based on a study of present ones : plans based on projections of slow but positive growth | population projection is essential for planning. 2 the presentation of an image on a surface, esp. a movie screen : quality illustrations for overhead projection. • an image projected in such a way : the background projections featured humpback whales.
increase rapidly in numbers; multiply : the science-fiction magazines which proliferated in the 1920s. • (of a cell, structure, or organism) reproduce rapidly : the Mediterranean faces an ecological disaster if the seaweed continues to proliferate at its present rate. • [ trans. ] cause (cells, tissue, structures, etc.) to reproduce rapidly : electromagnetic radiation can only proliferate cancers already present.
• rapid reproduction of a cell, part, or organism : we attempted to measure cell proliferation. • [in sing. ] a large number of something : stress levels are high, forcing upon them a proliferation of ailments.
1 (of a plant, animal, or person) producing much fruit or foliage or many offspring : in captivity, tigers are prolific breeders. See note at fertile . • (of an artist, author, or composer) producing many works : he was a prolific composer of operas. • (of a sports player) high-scoring : a prolific home-run hitter. 2 present in large numbers or quantities; plentiful : mahogany was once prolific in the tropical forests.
extend the duration of : an idea that prolonged the life of the engine by many years. • (usu. be prolonged) rare extend in spatial length : the line of his lips was prolonged in a short red scar.
continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy : the region suffered a prolonged drought.
1 the state of being important or famous : she came to prominence as an artist in the 1960s | [in sing. ] the commission gave the case a prominence which it might otherwise have escaped.
1 important; famous : she was a prominent member of the city council. 2 projecting from something; protuberant : a man with big, prominent eyes like a lobster's. • situated so as to catch the attention; noticeable : the new housing developments are prominent landmarks.
1 derogatory (of a person) having many sexual relationships, esp. transient ones : she's a wild, promiscuous girl. • (of sexual behavior or a society) characterized by such relationships : they ran wild, indulging in promiscuous sex and experimenting with drugs. 2 demonstrating or implying an undiscriminating or unselective approach; indiscriminate or casual : the city fathers were promiscuous with their honors.
2 [ trans. ] give good grounds for expecting (a particular occurrence or situation) : forthcoming concerts promise a feast of music from around the world | [with infinitive ] it promised to be a night that all present would long remember. • (of a person, publication, institution, etc.) announce (something) as being expected to happen : China yesterday promised a record grain harvest | [with two objs. ] we're promised more winter weather tonight.
I promise (or I promise you) informal used for emphasis, esp. so as to reassure, encourage, or threaten someone : oh, I'm not joking, I promise you.
showing signs of future success : a promising actor | a promising start to the season.
1 further the progress of (something, esp. a cause, venture, or aim); support or actively encourage : some regulation is still required to promote competition. • give publicity to (a product, organization, or venture) so as to increase sales or public awareness : they are using famous personalities to promote the library nationally.
2 (often be promoted) advance or raise (someone) to a higher position or rank : she was promoted to general manager.
1 activity that supports or provides active encouragement for the furtherance of a cause, venture, or aim : disease prevention and health promotion.
2 the action of raising someone to a higher position or rank or the fact of being so raised : majors designated for promotion to lieutenant colonel | a promotion to divisional sales director. •1 (of an event or fact) cause or bring about (an action or feeling) : his death has prompted an industry-wide investigation of safety violations. • cause (someone) to take a course of action : a demonstration by 20,000 people prompted the government to step up security. 2 assist or encourage (a hesitating speaker) to say something : [with direct speech ] "And the picture?" he prompted. done without delay; immediate : the owner would have died but for the prompt action of two paramedics. • (of a person) acting without delay : the fans were prompt and courteous in complying with police requests.
promote or make widely known (an idea or cause) : these objectives have to be promulgated within the organization. See note at announce . • put (a law or decree) into effect by official proclamation : in January 1852, the new constitution was promulgated.
1 [ predic. ] ( prone to/prone to do something) likely to or liable to suffer from, do, or experience something, typically something regrettable or unwelcome : years of logging had left the mountains prone to mudslides | he is prone to jump to conclusions.
• figurative each of the separate parts of an attack or operation : the three main prongs of the new government's program.
pierce or stab with a fork : pronging the bread with a fondue fork.
1 make the sound of (a word or part of a word), typically in the correct or a particular way : Gerry pronounced the hero's name "Cahoolin" | a refugee whose name no one could pronounce. 2 declare or announce, typically formally or solemnly : allow history to pronounce the verdict | [with complement ] she was pronounced dead at the scene | [with clause ] the doctors pronounced that he would never improve. • [ intrans. ] ( pronounce on) pass judgment or make a decision on : the secretary of state will shortly pronounce on alternative measures.
• figurative a person or thing that is a major source of support or assistance : the second institutional prop of conservative Spain was the army.
position something underneath (someone or something) for support : she propped her chin in the palm of her right hand. • position (something or someone) more or less upright by leaning it against something else : a jug of milk with a note propped against it | she propped the picture up on the mantlepiece.
prop someone/something up provide support or assistance for someone or something that would otherwise fail or decline : foreign aid tends to prop up incompetent governments.
1 breed specimens of (a plant, animal, etc.) by natural processes from the parent stock : try propagating your own houseplants from cuttings. • [ intrans. ] (of a plant, animal, etc.) reproduce in such a way : the plant propagates freely from stem cuttings.
drive, push, or cause to move in a particular direction, typically forward : the boat is propelled by using a very long paddle | [as adj. in combination ] ( -propelled) a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. • [ trans. ] figurative spur or drive into a particular situation : fear propelled her out of her stillness.
1 a thing or things belonging to someone; possessions collectively : she wanted Oliver and his property out of her house | the stolen property was not recovered. • a building or buildings and the land belonging to it or them : he's expanding now, buying property | the renovation of commercial properties.
a prediction : a bleak prophecy of war and ruin. • the faculty, function, or practice of prophesying : the gift of prophecy.
1 a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God : the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah.
a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or project : a collection of essays by both critics and proponents of graphology.
a part, share, or number considered in comparative relation to a whole : the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is rising. • the relationship of one thing to another in terms of quantity, size, or number; the ratio : the proportion of exams to schoolwork | the bleach can be diluted with water in the proportion one part bleach to ten parts water. • ( proportions) the comparative measurements or size of different parts of a whole : the view of what constitutes perfect bodily proportions changes from one generation to the next. • ( proportions) dimensions; size : the room, despite its ample proportions, seemed too small for him.
in proportion according to a particular relationship in size, amount, or degree : each region was represented in proportion to its population. • in comparison with; in relation to : the cuckoo's eggs are unusually small in proportion to its size. • in the correct or appropriate relation to the size, shape, or position of other things : her figure was completely in proportion. • correctly or realistically regarded in terms of relative importance or seriousness : the problem has to be kept in proportion. out of proportion in the wrong relation to the size, shape, or position of other things : the sculpture seemed out of proportion to its surroundings. • greater or more serious than is necessary or appropriate : the award was out of all proportion to the alleged libel. • wrongly or unrealistically regarded in terms of relative importance or seriousness.
corresponding in size or amount to something else : the punishment should be proportional to the crime.
1 a plan or suggestion, esp. a formal or written one, put forward for consideration or discussion by others : a set of proposals for a major new high-speed rail link.
1 [ trans. ] put forward (an idea or plan) for consideration or discussion by others : he proposed a new nine-point peace plan | [with infinitive ] we propose to be away for six months | [with clause ] I proposed that the government should retain a 51 percent stake in the company. See note at intend .
propose a toast ask a group of people at a social occasion to drink to the health and happiness of a specified person : I hereby propose a toast to the bride and groom.
1 a statement or assertion that expresses a judgment or opinion : the proposition that all men are created equal.
2 a suggested scheme or plan of action, esp. in a business context : a detailed investment proposition.
of or relating to an owner or ownership : the company has a proprietary right to the property. • (of a product) marketed under and protected by a registered trade name : proprietary brands of insecticide.
the action of driving or pushing forward : they dive and use their wings for propulsion under water.
1 written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure : a short story in prose | [as adj. ] a prose passage.
1 institute legal proceedings against (a person or organization) : they were prosecuted for obstructing the highway. • institute legal proceedings in respect of (a claim or offense) : the state's attorney's office seemed to decide that this was a case worth prosecuting | [ intrans. ] the company didn't prosecute because of his age.
1 the institution and conducting of legal proceedings against someone in respect of a criminal charge : Olesky faces prosecution on charges he spied for Russian intelligence | they lacked the funds to embark on private prosecutions. • ( the prosecution) [treated as sing. or pl. ] the party instituting or conducting legal proceedings against someone in a lawsuit : the main witness for the prosecution.
prosecutor |ˈprɒsɪkjuːtə| noun a person, esp. a public official, who institutes legal proceedings against someone.
1 the possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring : there was no prospect of a reconciliation | training that offered a prospect of continuous employment. • [in sing. ] a mental picture of a future or anticipated event : this presents a disturbing prospect of one-party government. • (usu. prospects) chances or opportunities for success or wealth : the poor prospects for the steel industry.
(of a person) expected or expecting to be something particular in the future : she showed a prospective buyer around the house. • likely to happen at a future date; concerned with or applying to the future : a meeting to discuss prospective changes in government legislation.
successful in material terms; flourishing financially : prosperous middle-class professionals. See note at wealthy . • bringing wealth and success : we wish you a prosperous New Year.
prostate |ˈprɒsteɪt| (also prostate gland) noun a gland surrounding the neck of the bladder in male mammals and releasing prostatic fluid.
1 an artificial body part, such as a leg, a heart, or a breast implant : his upper jaw was removed and a prosthesis was fitted.
• the main figure or one of the most prominent figures in a real situation : in this colonial struggle, the main protagonists were Great Britain and France. • an advocate or champion of a particular cause or idea : a strenuous protagonist of the new agricultural policy.
keep safe from harm or injury : he tried to protect Kelly from the attack | [ intrans. ] certain vitamins may protect against heart disease.
the action of protecting someone or something, or the state of being protected : the B vitamins give protection against infection | his son was put under police protection. • a person or thing that prevents someone or something from suffering harm or injury : the castle was built as protection against the Saxons | [in sing. ] a protection against the evil eye.
capable of or intended to protect someone or something : protective gloves are worn to minimize injury. • having or showing a strong wish to keep someone or something safe from harm : I felt protective toward her | Marco wrapped a protective arm around her shoulder.
a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person : he was an aide and protégé of the former Tennessee senator.
an emphatic declaration that something is or is not the case : her protestations of innocence were in vain | no amount of protestation to the contrary made any difference. • an objection or protest : he was warned by the referee for his loud protestations.
1 a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something : the Hungarian team lodged an official protest | two senior scientists resigned in protest.
1 [ intrans. ] express an objection to what someone has said or done : she wouldn't let him pay, and he didn't protest. • publicly demonstrate strong objection to a policy or course of action adopted by those in authority : doctors and patients protested against plans to cut services at the hospital. • [ trans. ] publicly demonstrate such objection to (a policy or course of action) : the workers were protesting economic measures enacted a week earlier.
2 [ reporting verb ] declare (something) firmly and emphatically in the face of stated or implied doubt or in response to an accusation : [with direct speech ] "I'm not being coy!" Lucy protested | [ trans. ] she has always protested her innocence.
original; primitive : prototherian | prototype. • first; anterior; relating to a precursor : protomartyr | protozoan.
1 the official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions : protocol forbids the prince from making any public statement in his defense. • the accepted or established code of procedure or behavior in any group, organization, or situation : what is the protocol at a conference if one's neighbor dozes off during the speeches?
1 prolong : he had certainly taken his time, even protracting the process.
lasting for a long time or longer than expected or usual : a protracted and bitter dispute.
extend beyond or above a surface : something like a fin protruded from the water. See note at bulge .
do someone proud informal act in a way that gives someone cause to feel pleased or satisfied : they did themselves proud in a game that sent the fans home happy. • treat someone very well, typically by lavishly feeding or entertaining them.
1 [ trans. ] demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument : the concept is difficult to prove | [as adj. ] ( proven) a proven ability to work hard.
• [ trans. ] demonstrate by evidence or argument (someone or something) to be : innocent until proven guilty.
• ( prove oneself) demonstrate one's abilities or courage : a new lieutenant, very green and very desperate to prove himself.
(of a word or phrase) referred to in a proverb or idiom : I'm going to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. • well known, esp. so as to be stereotypical : the Welsh people, whose hospitality is proverbial.
on the condition or understanding that : cutting corners was acceptable, provided that you could get away with it.
• present or yield (something useful) : neither will provide answers to these problems. 2 [ intrans. ] ( provide for) make adequate preparation for (a possible event) : new qualifications must provide for changes in technology. • supply sufficient money to ensure the maintenance of (someone) : Emma was handsomely provided for in Frank's will.
1 a principal administrative division of certain countries or empires : Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.
1 of or concerning a province of a country or empire : provincial elections. • of or pertaining to a style of architecture or furniture in fashion in the provinces of various European countries : French Provincial furnishing.
1 the action of providing or supplying something for use : new contracts for the provision of services. • ( provision for/against) financial or other arrangements for future eventualities or requirements : farmers have been slow to make provision for their retirement.
3 a condition or requirement in a legal document : a key provision in civil rights law | an appraisal under the provisions of the National Housing Act.
1 arranged or existing for the present, possibly to be changed later : a provisional government | a provisional construction permit.
1 action or speech that makes someone annoyed or angry, esp. deliberately : you should remain calm and not respond to provocation | he burst into tears at the slightest provocation.
causing annoyance, anger, or another strong reaction, esp. deliberately : a provocative article | his provocative remarks on race.
stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone : the decision provoked a storm of protest from civil rights organizations | [as adj., in combination ] ( -provoking) anxiety-provoking situations. • stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, esp. by arousing anger in them : a teacher can provoke you into working harder. See note at incite .
1 skill or expertise in a particular activity or field : his prowess as a fisherman.
(of a person or animal) move around (a place) in search of or as if in search of prey : black bears prowl the canyons. • [ intrans. ] (of a person or animal) move stealthily or restlessly as or like a hunter : committee members prowling around the offices at night with flashlights.
nearness in space, time, or relationship : do not operate microphones in close proximity to television sets.
1 the authority to represent someone else, esp. in voting : they may register to vote by proxy.
acting with or showing care and thought for the future : no prudent money manager would authorize a loan without first knowing its purpose. See note at economical .
• cut away (a branch or stem) in this way : prune back the branches. • reduce the extent of (something) by removing superfluous or unwanted parts : reduction achieved by working harder or pruning costs. • remove (superfluous or unwanted parts) from something : Elliot deliberately pruned away details.
inquire too closely into a person's private affairs : I'm sick of you prying into my personal life | [as adj. ] ( prying) she felt there was no place where she could escape from the prying eyes.
1 supposed or purporting to be but not really so; false; not genuine : pseudonym | pseudoscience. 2 resembling or imitating : pseudohallucination | pseudo-French.
pseudonym |ˈsjuːdənɪm| noun a fictitious name, esp. one used by an author.
variant spelling of pseudo- reduced before a vowel (as in pseudepigrapha).
1 [ trans. ] informal mentally prepare (someone) for a testing task or occasion : we had to psych ourselves up for the race.
1 relating to or denoting faculties or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws, esp. involving telepathy or clairvoyance : psychic powers. • (of a person) appearing or considered to have powers of telepathy or clairvoyance : I could sense it—I must be psychic.
having a psychological origin or cause rather than a physical one : psychogenic ill health.
psychopath |ˈsʌɪkəpaθ| noun a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.
go public 1 become a public company. 2 reveal details about a previously private concern : Bates went public with the news at a press conference.
the preparation and issuing of a book, journal, piece of music, or other work for public sale : the publication of her first novel. • a book, journal, etc. issued for public sale : scientific publications. • the action of making something generally known : the publication of April trade figures.
make (something) widely known : use the magazine to publicize human rights abuses. • give out publicity about (a product, person, or company) for advertising or promotional purposes : Judy had started to publicize books and celebrities.
the notice or attention given to someone or something by the media : the case attracted wide publicity in the press. • public exposure; notoriety : the only passage that has been found worthy of nationwide publicity. • the giving out of information about a product, person, or company for advertising or promotional purposes : head of publicity and marketing | [as adj. ] publicity photographs.
(esp. of a person's face or a facial feature) tightly gather or contract into wrinkles or small folds : her brows puckered in a frown. • [ trans. ] cause to do this : the baby stirred, puckering up its tiny face.
1 a small pool of liquid, esp. of rainwater on the ground : splashing through deep puddles | figurative a little puddle of light.
1 a short, explosive burst of breath or wind : a puff of wind swung the weathervane around. • the sound of air or vapor escaping suddenly : the whistle and puff of steam. • a small quantity of vapor or smoke, emitted in one blast : the fire breathed out a puff of blue smoke. • an act of drawing quickly on a pipe, cigarette, or cigar : he took a puff of his cigar.
1 [ intrans. ] breathe in repeated short gasps : exercises that make you puff. • [with adverbial ] (of a person, engine, etc.) move with short, noisy breaths or bursts of air or steam : the train came puffing in. • smoke a pipe, cigarette, or cigar : he puffed on his pipe contentedly. • [ trans. ] blow (dust, smoke, or a light object) in a specified direction with a quick breath or blast of air : he lighted his pipe and puffed forth smoke. • move through the air in short bursts : his breath puffed out like white smoke.
2 ( puff something out/up or puff out/up) cause to swell or become swollen : [ trans. ] he suddenly sucked his stomach in and puffed his chest out | [ intrans. ] when he was in a temper, his cheeks puffed up and his eyes shrank.
1 (esp. of part of the body) unusually swollen and soft : her eyes were puffy and full of tears. • soft, rounded, and light : small puffy clouds. • (of a garment or part of a garment) padded or gathered to give a rounded shape : a puffy blue ski jacket.
1 exert force on (someone or something), typically by taking hold of them, in order to move or try to move them toward oneself or the origin of the force : he pulled the car door handle and began to get out | [ intrans. ] the little boy pulled at her skirt. • (of an animal or vehicle) be attached to the front and be the source of forward movement of (a vehicle) : the carriage was pulled by four horses. • [ trans. ] take hold of and exert force on (something) so as to move it from a specified position or in a specified direction : she pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket | he pulled on his boots | I pulled up some onions. • informal bring out (a weapon) to attack or threaten someone : it's not every day a young woman pulls a gun on a burglar.
2 [ intrans. ] (of a vehicle or person) move steadily in a specified direction or to reach a specified point : the bus was about to pull away | the boy pulled ahead and disappeared around the corner. • [with adverbial of direction ] ( pull oneself) move in a specified direction with effort, esp. by taking hold of something and exerting force : he pulled himself into the saddle. • [ intrans. ] move one's body in a specified direction, esp. against resistance : she tried to pull away from him.
1 an act of taking hold of something and exerting force to draw it toward one : give the hair a quick pull, and it comes out by the roots. • a handle to hold while performing such an action : the Cowboy Collection offers hand-forged iron drawer pulls. • a deep draft of a drink : he unscrewed the cap from the flask and took another pull. • an act of sucking at a cigar or pipe : he took a pull on his cheroot.
pull someone's leg deceive someone playfully; tease someone.
pull the plug 1 informal prevent something from happening or continuing : the company pulled the plug on the deal because it was not satisfied with the terms. 2 informal remove (a patient) from life support : we'll be talking to people who pulled the plug on their mothers.
pull strings make use of one's influence and contacts to gain an advantage unofficially or unfairly. pull the strings be in control of events or of other people's actions.
pull back (or pull someone/something back) retreat or cause troops to retreat from an area : the pact called on the rival forces to pull back and allow a neutral force to take control. • ( pull back) withdraw from an undertaking : the party pulled back from its only positive policy.
pull someone/something in 1 succeed in securing or obtaining something : the Reform Party pulled in 10% of the vote. • informal earn a sum of money : you could pull in $100,000. 2 informal arrest someone : I'd pull him in for questioning. 3 use reins to check a horse. pull something off informal succeed in achieving or winning something difficult : he pulled off a brilliant first round win. pull out 1 withdraw from an undertaking : he was forced to pull out of the championship because of an injury. • retreat or cause to retreat from an area : the army pulled out, leaving the city in ruins | ( pull someone out) the CIA had pulled its operatives out of Tripoli. 2 (of a bus or train) leave with its passengers. 3 (of a vehicle or its driver) move out from the side of the road, or from its normal position in order to pass : as he turned the corner, a police car pulled out in front of him.
a soft, wet, shapeless mass of material : boiling with soda will reduce your peas to pulp.
beat (or smash) someone to a pulp beat someone severely.
a rhythmical throbbing of the arteries as blood is propelled through them, typically as felt in the wrists or neck : the doctor found a faint pulse.
• the rate of this throbbing, used to ascertain the rate of someone's heartbeat and so their state of health or emotions : the idea was enough to set my pulse racing.
take (or feel) the pulse of determine the heart rate of (someone) by feeling and timing the pulsation of an artery : a nurse came in and took his pulse. • figurative ascertain the general mood or opinion of : he hopped around the country to visit stores and take the pulse of consumers.
strike repeatedly, typically with the fists : Bob did not fight back for the fifteen minutes that the half-dozen men pummeled him. • informal criticize adversely : he has been pummeled by the reviewers.
• [in sing. ] an instance of moving something or being moved by or as if by such a machine : the pump of blood to her heart.
1 [ trans. ] force (liquid, gas, etc.) to move in a specified direction by or as if by means of a pump : the blood is pumped around the body | [ intrans. ] if we pump long enough, we should bring the level up. • [ intrans. ] move in spurts as though driven by a pump : blood was pumping from a wound in his shoulder. • fill with something : my veins had been pumped full of glucose. • shoot (bullets) into a target. • ( pump something in/into) informal invest a large amount of money in (something) : he pumped all his savings into building the boat. • [ trans. ] informal try to elicit information from (someone) by persistent questioning : she began to pump her friend for details.
pump out produce or emit (something) in large quantities or amounts : that little printing press pumped out our brochures for more than twenty years. pump up inflate (a tire, balloon, etc.) • informal increase : she needs to read and pump up her political grip. • informal turn up the volume of (music) : let's pump up those tunes, man. • informal give inappropriate support and encouragement to : we let them pump up our egos.
make a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word : his first puzzle punned on composers, with answers like "Handel with care" and "Haydn go seek" [as adj. ] ( punning): a punning riddle.
a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings : the pigs were a squeal (if you'll forgive the pun).
1 strike with the fist : he punched her in the face and ran off. • drive with a blow from the fist : he punched the ball into his own goal.
• [in sing. ] informal the power to impress or startle : photos give their arguments an extra visual punch.
1 having an immediate impact; forceful : his style is journalistic, with short punchy sentences.
a small hole in a tire resulting in an escape of air : she was on her way home when she had a puncture. • a small hole in something such as the skin, caused by a sharp object : surgeons operate through small punctures in the skin | [as adj. ] a puncture wound.
make such a hole in (something) : one of the knife blows had punctured a lung. • [ intrans. ] sustain such a small hole : the tire had punctured and it would have to be replaced.
1 an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called on to give opinions about it to the public : a globe-trotting financial pundit.
having a sharply strong taste or smell : the pungent smell of frying onions.
inflict a penalty or sanction on (someone) as retribution for an offense, esp. a transgression of a legal or moral code : I have done wrong and I'm being punished for it.
inflicting or intended as punishment : he called for punitive measures against the Eastern bloc. • (of a tax or other charge) extremely high : a current punitive interest rate of 31.3%.
• figurative a person, party, or state under the control of another person, group, or power : the new Shah began his reign as an Anglo-Soviet puppet.
1 the action of buying something : the large number of videos currently available for purchase | we carefully make our purchases after consulting each other.
pure and simple and nothing else (used for emphasis) : it was revenge, pure and simple.
• mental anguish or suffering : this was purgatory, worse than anything she'd faced in her life.
rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release : Bob had helped purge Martha of the terrible guilt that had haunted her.
• remove (a group of people considered undesirable) from an organization or place, typically in an abrupt or violent manner : he purged all but 26 of the central committee members.
remove contaminants from : the filtration plant is able to purify 70 tons of water a day | [as adj. ] ( purified) purified linseed oil. • make ceremonially clean : a ritual bath to purify the soul. • rid (something) of an unwanted element : Mao's campaign to purify the Communist Party hierarchy.
freedom from adulteration or contamination : the purity of our our drinking water. • freedom from immorality, esp. of a sexual nature : white is meant to represent purity and innocence.
appear or claim to be or do something, esp. falsely; profess : she is not the person she purports to be.
having or showing determination or resolve : the purposeful stride of a great lawyer. • having a useful purpose : purposeful activities. • intentional : if his sudden death was not accidental, it must have been purposeful.
• a person's sense of resolve or determination : there was a new sense of purpose in her step as she set off.
• having no aim or plan : his purposeless life.
tighten (or loosen) the purse strings restrict (or increase) the amount of money available to be spent.
1 the action of following or pursuing someone or something : the cat crouched in the grass in pursuit of a bird | those whose business is the pursuit of knowledge.
provide or supply (food, drink, or other goods) as one's business : shops purveying cooked food | figurative this magazine feels like a concerted effort to purvey gloom and doom.
the scope of the influence or concerns of something : such a case might be within the purview of the legislation. • a range of experience or thought : social taboos meant that little information was likely to come within the purview of women generally.
1 [ trans. ] exert force on (someone or something), typically with one's hand, in order to move them away from oneself or the origin of the force : she pushed her glass toward him | he pushed a card under the door | [ intrans. ] he pushed at the skylight, but it wouldn't budge. • [ trans. ] hold and exert force on (something) so as to cause it to move along in front of one : a woman was pushing a stroller. • move one's body or a part of it into a specified position, esp. forcefully or with effort : she pushed her hands into her pockets. • [ trans. ] press (a part of a machine or other device) : he pushed the button for the twentieth floor. • figurative affect (something) so that it reaches a specified level or state : they expect that the huge crop will push down prices. 2 [ intrans. ] move forward by using force to pass people or cause them to move aside : she pushed her way through the crowded streets | he pushed past an old woman in his haste. • (of an army) advance over territory : the guerrillas have pushed south to within 100 miles of the capital. • exert oneself to attain something or surpass others : I was pushing hard until about 10 laps from the finish. • ( push for) demand persistently : the council continued to push for the better management of water resources. • [ trans. ] compel or urge (someone) to do something, esp. to work hard : she believed he was pushing their daughter too hard. • ( be pushed) informal have very little of something, esp. time : I'm a bit pushed for time at the moment. • ( be pushing) informal be nearly (a particular age) : she must be pushing forty, but she's still a good looker. 3 [ trans. ] informal promote the use, sale, or acceptance of : the company is pushing a $500 asking price. • put forward (an argument or demand) with undue force or in too extreme a form : he thought that the belief in individualism had been pushed too far.
1 an act of exerting force on someone or something in order to move them away from oneself : he closed the door with a push.
push (or press) someone's buttons informal arouse or provoke a reaction in someone : stay cool and don't allow them to push your buttons.
push on continue on a journey : the light was already fading, but she pushed on.
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.]
• [usu. with adj. ] a playful or coquettish girl or young woman : you old snuggle puss.
1 move to or place in a particular position : Harry put down his cup | I put my hand out toward her | watch where you're putting your feet! • cause (someone or something) to go to a particular place and remain there for a time : India has put three experimental satellites into space. • [ intrans. ] (of a ship or the people on it) proceed in a particular direction : she stepped into the boat and put out to sea. • write or print (something) in a particular place : they put my name on the cover page. • [ intrans. ] archaic (of a river) flow in a particular direction. 2 bring into a particular state or condition : they tried to put me at ease | a large aid program was put into effect | he is putting himself at risk. • ( put oneself in) imagine oneself in (a particular situation) : it was no use trying to put herself in his place. • express (a thought or comment) in a particular way, form, or language : to put it bluntly, he was not really divorced. 3 ( put something on/on to) cause (someone or something) to carry or be subject to something : commentators put some of the blame on Congress. • assign a particular value, figure, or limit to : it is very difficult to put a figure on the size of the budget. • ( put something at) estimate something to be (a particular amount) : estimates put the war's cost at $1,000,000 a day. 4 throw (a shot or weight) as an athletic sport : she set a women's record by putting the shot 56′ 7″.
put something behind one get over a bad experience by distancing oneself from it : they have tried to put their grief behind them and rebuild their lives. put the clocks back (or forward) adjust clocks or watches backward (or forward) to take account of official changes in time.
put something across (or over) communicate something effectively. put something aside 1 save money for future use. 2 forget or disregard something, typically a feeling or a past difference.
put someone forward recommend someone as a suitable candidate for a job or position : he put me forward as head of publicity. put something forward submit a plan, proposal, or theory for consideration.
put someone in appoint someone to fulfill a particular role or job : he was put in to rescue the company by the stockbrokers. • (in team sports) send a player out to participate into a game. put something in/into 1 present or submit something formally : the airport had put in a claim for damages. • ( put in for) apply formally for : Adam put in for six months' leave. 2 devote time or effort to something : employed mothers put in the longest hours of all women. 3 invest money or resources in. put someone off 1 cancel or postpone an appointment with someone : he'd put off Martin until nine o'clock. 2 cause someone to lose interest or enthusiasm : she wanted to be a nurse, but the thought of night shifts put her off. • cause someone to feel dislike or distrust : she had a coldness that just put me off. 3 distract someone : you're just trying to put me off my game. put something off postpone something : they can't put off a decision much longer.
put something on 1 place a garment, glasses, or jewelry on part of one's body : Julie had put on a cotton dress. • attach or apply something : she put on fresh makeup. 2 cause a device to operate : shall I put the light on? • start cooking something : she was moaning that he hadn't put the dinner on. • play recorded music or a video. 3 organize or present a play, exhibition, or event. • provide a public transportation service : so many people wanted to visit this spot that an extra flight had to be put on. 4 add a specified amount to (the cost of something) : the news put 12 cents on the share price. • increase in body weight; become heavier by a specified amount : she's given up her diet and put on 20 lbs. 5 assume a particular expression, accent, etc. : he put on a lugubrious look. • behave deceptively : she doesn't feel she has to put on an act. 6 bet a specified amount of money on : he put $1,000 on the horse to win.
put someone out 1 cause someone trouble or inconvenience : would it put you out too much to let her visit you for a couple of hours? • (often be put out) upset or annoy someone : he was not put out by the rebuff. 2 (in sports) defeat a player or team and so cause them to be out of a competition. 3 make someone unconscious, typically by means of drugs or an anesthetic. put something out 1 extinguish something that is burning : firefighters from Georgetown put out the blaze. • turn off a light. 2 lay something out ready for use : she put out glasses and paper napkins. 3 issue or broadcast something : a limited-edition single was put out to promote the album. 4 dislocate a joint : she fell off her horse and put her shoulder out. 5 (of a company) allocate work to a contractor or freelancer to be done off the premises. 6 (of an engine or motor) produce a particular amount of power : the new motor is expected to put out about 250 h.p.
put someone through 1 connect someone by telephone to another person or place : put me through to the mayor, please. 2 subject someone to an unpleasant or demanding experience : I hate Brian for what he put me through. 3 pay for someone to attend school or college. put something through initiate something and see it through to a successful conclusion : he put through a reform program to try to save the regime.
put something to 1 submit something to (someone) for consideration or attention : we are making a takeover bid and putting an offer to the shareholders. • 2 devote something to (a particular use or purpose) : they put the land to productive use.
put something together make something by assembling different parts or people : he can take a clock apart and put it back together again | they decided to put a new band together. • assemble things or people to make something : a carpenter puts together shaped pieces of wood to make a table.
put something up 1 construct or erect something : I put up the tent and cooked a meal. 2 raise one's hand to signal that one wishes to answer or ask a question. 3 display a notice, sign, or poster. • present a proposal, theory, or argument for discussion or consideration. 4 chiefly Brit. increase the cost of something : I'm afraid I've got to put your rent up. 5 provide money as backing for an enterprise : the sponsors are putting up $5,000 for the event. 6 (often be put up for) offer something for sale or auction. 7 archaic return a sword to its sheath.
put a good (or brave or bold) face on something act as if something unpleasant or upsetting is not as bad as it really is : he tried to put a good face on the financial picture.
put a (or the) lid on informal put a stop to or be the culmination of : it's time to put the lid on all the talk.
put (or place) a premium on regard or treat as particularly valuable or important : he put a premium on peace and stability.
put a price on determine the value of : you can't put a price on what she has to offer.
put an end to cause someone or something to stop existing : injury put an end to his career.
put into action put into effect; carry out.
put on (or lose) weight become fatter (or thinner).
put (or lay) one's cards on the table be completely open and honest in declaring one's resources, intentions, or attitude.
put one's hands up raise one's hands in surrender.
put (or set) one's mind to direct all one's attention to (achieving something) : she'd have made an excellent dancer, if she'd have put her mind to it.
put someone to shame disgrace or embarrass someone by outdoing or surpassing them : she puts me to shame, she's so capable.
put (or set) someone's mind (or doubts or fears) at rest relieve someone of anxiety or uncertainty; reassure someone.
put someone/something out of one's mind deliberately forget someone or something.
put something into words express something in speech or writing : he felt a vague disappointment which he couldn't put into words.
put something behind one get over a bad experience by distancing oneself from it : they have tried to put their grief behind them and rebuild their lives.
cause (someone) to feel confused because they without any reduction in intensity or strength : the storm was raging unabated. understand or make sense of something : one remark he made puzzled me | [as adj. ] ( puzzling) that was the most puzzling aspect of the whole affair. • [ intrans. ] think hard about something difficult to understand or explain : she was still puzzling over this problem when she reached the office.
denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing : an uberbabe | the uberregulator.
being or happening at the end of a process; final : their ultimate aim was to force his resignation. • being the best or most extreme example of its kind : the ultimate accolade. • basic or fundamental : the ultimate constituents of anything that exists are atoms.
a final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations : the UN Security Council ultimatum demanding Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait | a "Marry me or else" ultimatum.
1 beyond; on the other side of : ultramontane. Often contrasted with cis- . 2 extreme; to an extreme degree : ultramicroscopic | ultraradical.
1 (added to adjectives, participles, and their derivatives) denoting the absence of a quality or state; not : unabashed | unacademic | unrepeatable. • the reverse of (usually with an implication of approval or disapproval, or with another special connotation) : unselfish | unprepossessing | unworldly.
not embarrassed, disconcerted, or ashamed : he was unabashed by the furor his words provoked.
without any reduction in intensity or strength : the storm was raging unabated.
(of a text) not cut or shortened; complete : an unabridged edition.
not satisfactory or allowable : unacceptable behavior.
having no companion or escort : no unaccompanied children allowed. • (of a piece of music) sung or played without instrumental accompaniment : an unaccompanied violin elegy.
1 unable to be explained : a strange and unaccountable fact.
not included in (an account or calculation) through being lost or disregarded : a substantial amount of money is unaccounted for.
not recognized as having attained an acceptable standard : a mail-order degree from an unaccredited correspondence school.
not familiar or usual; out of the ordinary : they finished their supper with unaccustomed speed. • [ predic. ] ( unaccustomed to) not familiar with or used to : the visitors were unaccustomed to country roads.
not adapted : animals unadapted for surviving shocks.
(esp. of figures or statistics) not adjusted or refined : the unadjusted jobless total increased last month.
1 not considered or dealt with : wider questions remain unaddressed.
not mixed or diluted with any different or extra elements; complete and absolute : pure, unadulterated jealousy. • (of food or drink) having no inferior added substances; pure : unadulterated whole-milk yogurt.
1 feeling or showing no effects or changes : the walks are suitable only for people who are unaffected by vertigo. 2 (of a person) without artificiality or insincerity : his manner was natural and unaffected.too expensive to be afforded by the average person : medical care has become unaffordable.
too expensive to be afforded by the average person : medical care has become unaffordable.
needing or having no assistance; without help : she can no longer walk unaided.
remaining the same; unchanged : many buildings survive unaltered.
not responding in a positive way to something intended to be amusing; feeling somewhat annoyed or disapproving : she was unamused by some of the things written about her.
(of two or more people) fully in agreement : the doctors were unanimous in their diagnoses.
not made known; not publicized : the company has justified its recent unannounced addition of chlorine to its water. • without previous notice or arrangement and therefore unexpected : he arrived unannounced.
unable to be answered : unanswerable questions concerning our own mortality. • unable to be disclaimed or proved wrong : the case for abolishing the fee is unanswerable.
not answered or responded to : unanswered letters.
not acknowledging or expressing regret : he remained unapologetic about his decision.
not fully understood, recognized, or valued : she had been brought up in a family where she felt unappreciated and undervalued.
not officially accepted or sanctioned : they deposit waste on unapproved sites.
not open to disagreement; indisputable : unarguable proof of conspiracy. •not equipped with or carrying weapons : he was shooting unarmed civilians. not mentioned or coherently expressed : repressed hurt and previously unarticulated anger are explored.
expressed or acting openly and without guilt or embarrassment : an unashamed emotionalism.
unable to be attacked, questioned, or defeated : an unassailable lead.
not allocated or set aside for a specific purpose : as cellular phones proliferate, the number of unassigned numbers is being exhausted.
not helped by anyone or anything : medically unassisted births | I could never find the place unassisted. • (of a play in a team sport) done by one player, without an assist from another player : he made two unassisted tackles.
not able to be reached or achieved : an unattainable goal.
not noticed or dealt with : her behavior went unnoticed and unattended to. • not supervised or looked after : it is not acceptable for parents to leave children unattended at that age.
not able to be avoided, prevented, or ignored; inevitable : the natural and unavoidable consequences of growing old.
having no knowledge of a situation or fact : they were unaware of his absence.
• upset or disturb the equilibrium of (a state of affairs or someone's state of mind) : this sharing can often unbalance even the closest of relationships.
• (of an account) not giving accurate, fair, or equal coverage to all aspects; partial : this may give an unbalanced impression of the competition.
not able to be endured or tolerated : the heat was getting unbearable.
not able to be defeated or exceeded in a contest or commercial market : the shop sells bikes at unbeatable prices. • extremely good; outstanding : views from the patio are unbeatable.
not defeated or surpassed : they were the only team to remain unbeaten.
unbiased |ʌnˈbʌɪəst| (also chiefly Brit. unbiassed) adjective showing no prejudice for or against something; impartial.
unbundle |ʌnˈbʌnd(ə)l| verb [ trans. ] 1 market or charge for (items or services) separately rather than as part of a package.
not able to be relied on; not known or definite : an uncertain future. • (of a person) not completely confident or sure of something : I was uncertain how to proceed.
not disputed or questioned : the report's findings did not go unchallenged. • (esp. of a person in power) not opposed or defeated : a position of unchallenged supremacy.
(esp. of something undesirable) not controlled or restrained : unchecked population growth.
not arranged in or assigned to classes or categories : many texts remain unclassified or uncatalogued.
not easy to see, hear, or understand : the motive for this killing is unclear. • not obvious or definite; ambiguous : their future remains unclear. • having or feeling doubt or confusion : users are still unclear about what middleware does.
out of the ordinary; unusual : prostate cancer is not uncommon in men over 60 | an uncommon name. • [ attrib. ] remarkably great (used for emphasis) : an uncommon amount of noise.
(of a person or expense) not compensated or reimbursed : the plaintiff remained uncompensated for his original injuries. • (of an action) not compensated for : uncompensated exploitation of the Third World. • (of work) unpaid : workers who performed uncompensated "off-the-clock" work for Ernst in violation of the law.
showing a lack of worry or interest, esp. when this is surprising or callous : Scott seemed unconcerned by his companion's problem.
not subject to any conditions : unconditional surrender.
not conscious : the boy was beaten unconscious. • done or existing without one realizing : he would wipe back his hair in an unconscious gesture of annoyance. • [ predic. ] ( unconscious of) unaware of : "What is it?" he said again, unconscious of the repetition.
too many to be counted (usually in hyperbolic use) : she'd spent uncountable nights in this very bed.
remove a cover or covering from : he uncovered the face of the dead man. • discover (something previously secret or unknown) : further evidence has been uncovered.
(of a person) not having made a decision : the jury remained undecided. • not settled or resolved : the match was still undecided.
not publicly announced, admitted, or acknowledged : his undeclared candidacy, which surged in the polls last spring.
not clear or defined : undefined areas of jurisdiction | he felt an undefined longing.
1 below; beneath : underclothes | undercover. • lower in status; subordinate : undersecretary. 2 insufficiently; incompletely : undernourished.
1 extending or directly below : vast stores of oil under Alaska | the streams that ran under the melting glaciers. • below (something covering or protecting) : under several feet of water | a hot plate under an insulated lid. 2 at a lower level or layer than : the room under his study. • behind (a physical surface) : it was written on the new canvas under a gluey coating. • behind or hidden behind (an appearance or disguise) : he had a deep sense of fun under his quiet exterior. • lower in grade or rank than : under him in the hierarchy. 3 used to express dominance or control : I was under his spell. • during (a specified time period, reign, or administration) : it occurred under the pontificate of Paul II. • as a reaction to or undergoing the pressure of (something) : the sofa creaked under his weight | certain institutions may be under threat. • as provided for by the rules of; in accordance with : flowers supplied under contract by a local florist. • used to express grouping or classification : file it under "lost" | published under his own name. • Computing within the environment of (a particular operating system) : the program runs under DOS. 4 lower than (a specified amount, rate, or norm) : they averaged just under 2.8 percent. 5 undergoing (a process) : under construction. • in an existent state of : children living under difficult circumstances. • planted with : fields under wheat.
under way |ˈəndər ˈweɪ| having started and making progress. • (of a boat) moving through the water : no time was lost in getting under way. [ORIGIN: mid 18th cent. (as a nautical term): from Dutch onderweg.]
under attack subject to aggressive, violent, or harmful action : his paintings have come under attack for their satanic content.
under consideration being thought about : a bird under consideration for being listed as endangered.
under control (of a danger or emergency) being dealt with successfully and competently : it took two hours to bring the blaze under control.
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.
under the impression that believing, mistakenly or on the basis of little evidence, that something is the case : he was under the impression that they had become friends.
under the influence informal affected by alcoholic drink; drunk : he was charged with driving under the influence.
underachieve |ʌndərəˈtʃiːv| verb [ intrans. ] do less well than is expected, esp. in schoolwork.
cook (something) insufficiently : undercooked meats.
(of a person or their activities) involved in or involving secret work within a community or organization, esp. for the purposes of police investigation or espionage : an undercover police operation.
1 offer goods or services at a lower price than (a competitor) : these industries have been undercut by more efficient foreign producers. 2 cut or wear away the part below or under (something, esp. a cliff). • figurative weaken; undermine : the chairman denied his authority was being undercut.
not fully developed : underdeveloped kidneys | the community services are underfunded and underdeveloped.
underdog |ˈʌndədɒg| noun a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.
un and under
place insufficient emphasis on : history is underemphasized in the curriculum.
estimate (something) to be smaller or less important than it actually is : the administration has grossly underestimated the extent of the problem. • regard (someone) as less capable than they really are : he had underestimated the new president.
experience or be subjected to (something, typically something unpleasant, painful, or arduous) : the baby underwent a life-saving brain operation.
beneath the surface of the ground : miners working underground. • in or into secrecy or hiding, esp. as a result of carrying out subversive political activities : many were forced to go underground by the government.
1 a group or movement organized secretly to work against an existing regime : I got involved with the French underground.
place something under (something else), esp. to support or raise it : the green fields are underlaid with limestone | figurative a whine underlaid by an occasional choking sob.
• be the cause or basis of (something) : the fundamental issue that underlies the conflict | [as adj. ] ( underlying) the underlying causes of poverty and drug addiction.
• figurative damage or weaken (someone or something), esp. gradually or insidiously : this could undermine years of hard work.
1 situated directly below (something else) : [as prep. ] our bedroom is right underneath theirs | [as adv. ] his eyes were red-rimmed with black bags underneath | [as adj. ] on longer hair, the underneath layers can be permed to give extra body. • situated on a page directly below (a picture or another piece of writing) : [as prep. ] four names written neatly underneath one another | [as adv. ] there was writing underneath. 2 so as to be concealed by (something else) : [as prep. ] money changed hands underneath the table | figurative underneath his aloof air, Nicky was a warm and open young man | [as adv. ] paint peeling off in flakes to reveal grayish plaster underneath. • partly or wholly concealed by (a garment) : [as prep. ] she could easily see the broadness of his shoulders underneath a tailored white shirt | [as adv. ] I wear button-downs, and my T-shirts show underneath.
having insufficient food or other substances for good health and condition : undernourished children.
• [ trans. ] increase in value less than : the shares have underperformed the market.
• support, justify, or form the basis for : the theme of honor underpinning the two books.
underestimate the extent, value, or importance of (someone or something) : a very underrated film.
provide (an organization) with too few staff members to operate effectively : [as adj. ] ( understaffed) the department is understaffed and overworked.
understandably |-blē| |ˈəndərˈstøndəbli| adverb : [ sentence adverb ] understandably, Richard did not believe me.
the ability to understand something; comprehension : foreign visitors with little understanding of English. • the power of abstract thought; intellect : a child of sufficient intelligence and understanding. • an individual's perception or judgment of a situation : my understanding was that he would try to find a new supplier. • sympathetic awareness or tolerance : a problem that needs to be handled with understanding. • an informal or unspoken agreement or arrangement : he and I have an understanding | he had only been allowed to come on the understanding that he would be on his best behavior.
describe or represent (something) as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is : the press has understated the extent of the problem.
commit oneself to and begin (an enterprise or responsibility); take on : a firm of builders undertook the construction work. • [usu. with infinitive ] promise to do a particular thing : the firm undertook to keep price increases to a minimum.
rate (something) insufficiently highly; fail to appreciate : the skills of the housewife remain undervalued in society. • underestimate the financial value of (something) : the company's assets were undervalued in its balance sheet.
apply too little weight to (something) : we feared the hot-air balloon had been underweighted. | figurative clinicians tend to overweight parent and underweight child information when deriving diagnoses.
• undertake to finance or otherwise support or guarantee (something) : they were willing to underwrite the construction of a ship.
not wanted or desirable because harmful, objectionable, or unpleasant : the drug's undesirable side effects.
1 unfasten, untie, or loosen (something) : the knot was difficult to undo.
2 not having the appropriate legal document or license : undocumented immigrants.
not questioned or doubted by anyone : her undoubted ability.
take off one's clothes : she undressed and climbed into bed | I went into the bathroom to get undressed.
unwarranted or inappropriate because excessive or disproportionate : this figure did not give rise to undue concern.
move with a smooth wavelike motion : her body undulated to the thumping rhythm of the music. • [usu. adj. ] ( undulating) have a wavy form or outline : delightful views over undulating countryside.
unwarranted or inappropriate because excessive or disproportionate : this figure did not give rise to undue concern.
• discover (something hidden, lost, or kept secret) by investigation or searching : they have done all they can to unearth the truth.
1 unnatural or mysterious, esp. in a disturbing way : unearthly quiet. 2 informal unreasonably early or inconvenient : a job that involves getting up at an unearthly hour.
anxiety or discontent : public unease about defense policy.
causing or feeling anxiety; troubled or uncomfortable : she felt guilty now and a little uneasy | an uneasy silence.
wasteful of money or other resources; not economical : the old buses eventually become uneconomical to run.
not having or showing strong feelings : a flat, unemotional voice.
not able to be tolerated or endured : cries of unendurable suffering.
1 not equal in quantity, size, or value : two rooms of unequal size | unequal odds. • not fair, evenly balanced, or having equal advantage : the ownership of capital is unequal in this country. 2 [ predic. ] not having the ability or resources to meet a challenge : she felt unequal to the task before her.
superior to all others in performance or extent : a range of facilities unequaled in Chicago | trout of unequaled quality.
leaving no doubt; unambiguous : an unequivocal answer | he was unequivocal in condemning the violence.
not morally correct : it is unethical to torment any creature for entertainment.
not level or smooth : the floors are cracked and uneven. • not regular, consistent, or equal : the uneven distribution of resources. • (of a contest) not equally balanced : Fran struggled briefly but soon gave up the uneven contest.
not out of the ordinary; usual : an unexceptional movie.
not expected or regarded as likely to happen : his death was totally unexpected | [as n. ] ( the unexpected) he seemed to have a knack for saying the unexpected.
(of resources) not used to maximum benefit : unexploited reserves of natural gas.
not based on or behaving according to the principles of equality and justice : at times like these the legal system appears inhumane and unfair. • unkind, inconsiderate, or unreasonable : you're unfair to criticize like that when she's never done you any harm.
not known or recognized : his voice was unfamiliar to her. • unusual or uncharacteristic : the yellow taxicab was an unfamiliar sight on these roads.
1 expressing or showing a lack of approval or support : single mothers are often the target of unfavorable press attention. 2 adverse; inauspicious : it would be unwise to sell the company while the economic circumstances are so unfavorable.
genuine; sincere : a broad smile of unfeigned delight.
release from restraint or inhibition : his imagination is unfettered by the laws of logic.
1 not having been filtered : unfiltered tap water.
not finished or concluded; incomplete : her last novel is unfinished.1 [ predic. ] (of a thing) not of the necessary quality or standard to meet a particular purpose : the land is unfit for food crops. • (of a person) not having the requisite qualities or skills to undertake something competently : she is unfit to have care and control of her children.
open or spread out from a folded position : [ trans. ] he unfolded the map and laid it out on the table | [ intrans. ] a Chinese paper flower that unfolds in water. • [ trans. ] reveal or disclose (thoughts or information) : Miss Eva unfolded her secret exploits to Mattie.
• [ intrans. ] (of information or a sequence of events) be revealed or disclosed : there was a fascinating scene unfolding before me.
impossible to forget; very memorable : that unforgettable first kiss.
so bad as to be unable to be forgiven or excused : losing your temper with him was unforgivable.
having no foundation or basis in fact : her persistent fear that she had cancer was unfounded.
1 not producing good or helpful results; unproductive : the meeting was unfruitful.
not carried out or brought to completion : it was his unfulfilled ambition to write.
1 (of a house or apartment) without furniture, esp. available to be rented without furniture : an unfurnished apartment.
not or no longer stuck : grease particles come unglued from the plate. | figurative it was only a matter of time before the whole operation came unglued. • informal (of a person or state of mind) confused and emotionally strained : it had been a long day, and tempers were becoming unglued.
1 not polite or friendly : after Anna's kindness I wouldn't want to seem ungracious.
not feeling or showing gratitude : she's so ungrateful for everything we do. • not pleasant or acceptable : he turned to the ungrateful task of forming a police cordon.
1 having no basis or justification; unfounded : ungrounded fears.
without protection or a guard : the museum was unguarded at night. • not well considered; careless : an unguarded remark.
harmful to health : an unhealthy diet. • not having or showing good health : his face looked pale and unhealthy.
not heard or listened to : my protests went unheard. • ( unheard of) not previously known of or done : sales tax was unheard of in Kansas up until 1937 | wines from unheard-of villages.
• not holy; unconsecrated : an unholy marriage. • denoting an alliance with potentially harmful implications between two or more parties that are not natural allies : an unholy alliance between economic and political power. • informal awful; dreadful (used for emphasis) : she was making an unholy racket.
not clean or sanitary : damp, unhygienic accommodations.
one; having or consisting of one : unicellular | unicycle.
make or become united, uniform, or whole : [ trans. ] the government hoped to centralize and unify the nation | [ intrans. ] opposition groups struggling to unify around the goal of replacing the regime | [as adj. ] ( unified) a unified system of national education.
1 not changing in form or character; remaining the same in all cases and at all times : blocks of stone of uniform size | the decline in fertility was not uniform across social classes. • of a similar form or character to another or others : a uniform package of amenities at a choice of hotels.
1 the distinctive clothing worn by members of the same organization or body or by children attending certain schools : airline pilots in dark blue uniforms | an officer in uniform.
the quality or state of being uniform : an attempt to impose administrative and cultural uniformity.
1 (of an action or decision) performed by or affecting only one person, group, or country involved in a particular situation, without the agreement of another or the others : unilateral nuclear disarmament.
difficult or impossible to imagine or comprehend : lives of almost unimaginable deprivation.
not weakened or damaged : unimpaired mobility.
not eligible for insurance coverage : some risky activities are uninsurable at any price.
not interested in or concerned about something or someone : I was totally uninterested in boys | an uninterested voice.
without a break in continuity : an uninterrupted flow of traffic.
(of a person) attending somewhere or doing something without having been asked : their privacy was disrupted by a series of uninvited guests.
1 simultaneous performance of action or utterance of speech : "Yes, sir," said the girls in unison.
1 an individual thing or person regarded as single and complete, esp. for purposes of calculation : the family unit. • each of the individuals or collocations into which a complex whole may be divided : large areas of land made up of smaller units | the sentence as a unit of grammar. • a device that has a specified function, esp. one forming part of a complex mechanism : the gearbox and transmission unit.
1 single; uniform : a sort of unitary wholeness. • of or relating to a system of government or organization in which the powers of the separate constituent parts are vested in a central body : a unitary rather than a federal state.
come or bring together for a common purpose or action : [ intrans. ] he called on the party to unite | [ trans. ] they are united by their love of cars. • come or bring together to form a unit or whole, esp. in a political context : [ intrans. ] the two Germanys officially united | [ trans. ] he aimed to unite Italy and Sicily under his imperial crown | his work unites theory and practice.
1 the state of being united or joined as a whole, esp. in a political context : European unity | economic unity. • harmony or agreement between people or groups : their leaders called for unity between opposing factions. • the state of forming a complete and pleasing whole, esp. in an artistic context : the repeated phrase gives the piece unity and cohesion. • a thing forming a complex whole : they speak of the three parts as a unity.
by everyone; in every case : progress is not always universally welcomed.
not based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair : resistance to unjust laws.
(esp. of a person) having an untidy or disheveled appearance : they were unwashed and unkempt.
inconsiderate and harsh to others : you were terribly unkind to her | he was the butt of some unkind jokes | it was unkind of her to criticize.
not knowing or aware : the lions moved stealthily toward their unknowing victims.
unknown to without the knowledge of : unknown to Miller, the police had taped their telephone conversation.
release from a leash or restraint : we unleashed the expose the true character of or hidden truth about : the trial unmasked him as a complete charlatan. and carried it down to our car | figurative the failure of the talks could unleash more fighting.
not having an official license : unlicensed weapons.
not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent : the range of possible adaptations was unlimited.
1 remove goods from (a vehicle, ship, container, etc.) : she hadn't finished unloading the car. • remove (goods) from a vehicle, ship, container, etc. : the men unloaded the wheat into the bays. • [ intrans. ] (of a vehicle, ship, container, etc.) have goods removed : the street was jammed with trucks unloading.
• make (something previously inaccessible or unexploited) available for use : the campaign has helped us unlock rich reserves of talent among our employees.
difficult or impossible to manage, manipulate, or control : his behavior was becoming unmanageable at home.
not manly; weak or cowardly : unmanly behavior.
expose the true character of or hidden truth about : the trial unmasked him as a complete charlatan.
not matched or equaled : he has a talent unmatched by any other politician.
not able to be measured objectively : the unmeasurable qualities of a scientist.
(of a requirement) not achieved or fulfilled : an unmet need.
not able to be mistaken for anything else; very distinctive : the unmistakable sound of his laughter.
absolute; unqualified : the tour had been an unmitigated disaster. See note at severe .
make (someone) lose courage or confidence : the bleakness of his gaze unnerved her | [as adj. ] ( unnerving) an unnerving experience.
not easily observed or noticed : the reverberation will be so slight as to be unnoticeable.
not objectionable; acceptable : he thought he would become a storyteller, an unobjectionable hobby.
not conspicuous or attracting attention : corrections should be neat and unobtrusive.
open and remove the contents of (a suitcase, bag, or package) : she unpacked her suitcase | [ intrans. ] he unpacked and put everything away. • remove (something) from a suitcase, bag, or package : we unpacked the sandwiches. • figurative analyze (something) into its component elements : let us unpack this question.
having no parallel or equal; exceptional : the sudden rise in unemployment is unparalleled in the postwar period.
causing discomfort, unhappiness, or revulsion; disagreeable : an unpleasant smell | the symptoms are extremely unpleasant. • (of a person or their manner) unfriendly and inconsiderate; rude : when drunk, he could become very unpleasant.
1 disconnect (an electrical device) by removing its plug from a socket : she unplugged the fridge. • sever the connection between a peripheral device and a computer : the only thing you can do is to unplug the RJ45 | Why do I have to unplug the mouse to get the printer to work?
not liked or popular : unpopular measures | Luke was unpopular with most of the teachers.
not able to be predicted : the unpredictable weather of the Scottish islands. • (of a person) behaving in a way that is not easily predicted : he is emotional and unpredictable.
not ready or able to deal with something : she was totally unprepared for what happened next | the transformation caught them unprepared.
not producing or able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities : unproductive land must be reforested. • (of an activity or period) not achieving much; not very useful : unproductive meetings.
below or contrary to the standards expected in a particular profession : a report on unprofessional conduct.
not giving hope of future success or good results : the boy's natural intellect had survived in unpromising circumstances.
not protected or kept safe from harm or injury : a high, unprotected plateau | health care workers remained unprotected against hepatitis B infection.
unable to be demonstrated by evidence or argument as true or existing : the hypothesis is not merely unprovable, but false.
(of an attack, or a display of aggression or emotion) not caused by anything done or said : acts of unprovoked aggression.
• [usu. with infinitive ] not competent or sufficiently knowledgeable to do something : I am singularly unqualified to write about football.
not able to be disputed or doubted : his musicianship is unquestionable.
• [ intrans. ] (of twisted, knitted, or woven threads) become undone : part of the crew neck had unraveled. • unwind (something wrapped around another object) : he unraveled the cellophane from a small cigar. 2 investigate and solve or explain (something complicated or puzzling) : they were attempting to unravel the cause of death.
not able to be achieved or made to happen : the summit might generate unrealizable public expectations.
not particularly interesting or surprising : his early childhood was unremarkable | an unremarkable house.
not reported : many human rights abuses went unreported.
1 without reservations; complete : he has had their unreserved support. • frank and open : a tall, unreserved young man.
a state of dissatisfaction, disturbance, and agitation in a group of people, typically involving public demonstrations or disorder : the very worst years of industrial unrest. • a feeling of disturbance and dissatisfaction in a person : the frenzy and unrest of her own life.
not restrained or restricted : a display of unrestrained delight.
better than everyone or everything of the same type : the paper's coverage of foreign news is unrivaled.
open or cause to open out from a rolled-up state : [ intrans. ] the blanket unrolled as he tugged it | [ trans. ] two carpets had been unrolled.
disorderly and disruptive and not amenable to discipline or control : complaints about unruly behavior.
not said or uttered : the rest of the remark he left unsaid.
unacceptable because poor or not good enough : an unsatisfactory situation.
not able to be scaled or climbed : a prison with unscalable walls.
not scarred or damaged : he did not escape unscarred.
without suffering any injury, damage, or harm : I came through all those perils unscathed.
remove or break the seal of : she slowly unsealed the envelope.
not seen or noticed : it seemed she might escape unseen. • not foreseen or predicted : unseen problems.
cause to feel anxious or uneasy; disturb : the crisis has unsettled financial markets | [as adj. ] ( unsettling) an unsettling conversation.
release from shackles, chains, or other physical restraints : his feet were unshackled.
not having or requiring special skill or training : unskilled manual workers.
not enjoying or making an effort to behave sociably in the company of others : Terry was grumpy and unsociable. • not conducive to friendly social relations : watching TV is a fairly unsociable activity.
(of an item) not sold : numerous copies of the book remained unsold | please return any unsold tickets by November 9.
not asked for; given or done voluntarily : unsolicited junk mail.
• not complicated or highly developed; basic : unsophisticated computer software. • not artificial : the village has remained unspoiled and unsophisticated.
not safe or robust; in poor condition : the tower is structurally unsound.
not specific; vague : he was unspecific about his relationship with Marian.
not expressed in speech; tacit : an unspoken assumption. •not provided with a staff or official personnel : the kitchen on the seventh floor is an unstaffed facility. not stated or declared : a series of unstated assumptions.
1 liable to fall or shake; not firm : he was very unsteady on his feet. 2 not uniform or regular : a soft unsteady voice.
impossible to stop or prevent : an unstoppable army.
1 not forced or produced by effort : a lovely warm unstrained smile.
• release (someone or something) by undoing straps : they unstrapped themselves.
come (or get) unstuck become separated or unfastened. • informal fail completely : all their clever ideas came unstuck.
not fitting or appropriate : the display is unsuitable for young children.
not celebrated or praised : Harvey is one of the unsung heroes of the industrial revolution.
(of a structure, object, or person) not supported physically : a toddler who can stand unsupported. • not borne out by evidence or facts : the assumption was unsupported by evidence.
not feeling, showing, or done with confidence and certainty : she was feeling nervous, unsure of herself | [with clause ] she was unsure how to reply.
not able to be overcome; insurmountable : unsurmountable problems.
as good as or better than any other : the quality of workmanship is unsurpassed.
unsurprisingly, recession is the theme of most reports.
1 not likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing : infants are relatively unsusceptible to infections. 2 [ predic. ] ( unsusceptible of) not capable or admitting of : their meaning is unsusceptible of analysis.
not known or thought to exist or be present; not imagined possible : the actor displays an unsuspected talent for comedy.
not able to be maintained at the current rate or level : macroeconomic instability led to an unsustainable boom. • Ecology upsetting the ecological balance by depleting natural resources : unsustainable fishing practices. • not able to be upheld or defended : the old idea was unsustainable.
(of a person) not influenced or affected : investors are unswayed by suggestions that the numbers are overblown.
free from a tangled or twisted state : fishermen untangle their nets.
1 (of a resource) not yet exploited or used : a huge, untapped market for bagels.
• figurative not made less valuable or respected : his ministers enjoyed an untarnished reputation.
(esp. of a position or view) not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection : this argument is clearly untenable.
release or free from a tether : I reached the horses and untethered them.
(of a situation or event) too unlikely or undesirable to be considered a possibility : it was unthinkable that John could be dead | [as n. ] ( the unthinkable) the unthinkable happened—I spoke up.
not having a hostile or frightening quality or manner; not causing someone to feel vulnerable or at risk : a quiet and unthreatening place.
not arranged neatly and in order : the place was dreadfully untidy.
undo or unfasten (a cord or knot) : she knelt to untie her laces. • undo a cord or similar fastening that binds (someone or something) : Morton untied the parcel.
until further notice used to indicate that a situation will not change until another announcement is made : the museum is closed to the public until further notice.
(of an event or act) happening or done at an unsuitable time : Dave's untimely return. • (of a death or end) happening too soon or sooner than normal : his untimely death in military action.
1 not able or allowing to be touched or affected : a receptionist looking gorgeous and untouchable. • unable to be matched or rivaled : we took the silver medal behind the untouchable U.S. team.
unable to be found, discovered, or traced : many use false addresses and are untraceable.
not found or discovered by investigation : patients with untraced records.
not having been trained in a particular skill : self-styled doctors untrained in diagnosis | to the untrained eye, the two products look remarkably similar.
1 (of a patient, disease, or other condition) not given medical care : untreated cholera can kill up to half of those infected. 2 not preserved, improved, or altered by the use of a chemical, physical, or biological agent : untreated sewage is pumped directly into the sea.
(of a surface) not having been walked on : untrodden snow.
1 not in accordance with fact or reality; false or incorrect : these suggestions are totally untrue | a malicious and untrue story.
not feeling, showing, or affected by anxiety or problems : a man untroubled by a guilty conscience | an untroubled gaze.
not able to be relied on as honest or truthful : Thomas considered her to be devious and untrustworthy | these untrustworthy impressions were instinctive.
saying or consisting of something that is false or incorrect : companies issuing untruthful recruitment brochures.
not fit to be used : the steps were overgrown and unusable.
1 not considered to be important or beneficial : he felt unvalued.
not changing; constant or uniform : the unvarying routine of parsonage life.
remove a veil or covering from, esp. uncover (a new monument or work of art) as part of a public ceremony : the mayor unveiled a plaque | [as n. ] ( unveiling) the unveiling of the memorial. • show or announce publicly for the first time : the manufacturer unveiled plans for expanding into aviation.
not capable of working successfully; not feasible : the commission found the plan to be financially unviable.
not violated or desecrated : the ground above the stone was undisturbed, the stone unviolated.
1 not expressed in words; unuttered : a person's unvoiced thoughts.
not or no longer desired : affairs can lead to unwanted pregnancies | she felt unwanted.
not justified or authorized : I am sure your fears are unwarranted.
steady or resolute; not wavering : she fixed him with an unwavering stare.
not married : an unwed teenage mother.
(of a guest or new arrival) not gladly received : guards kept out unwelcome visitors. • not much needed or desired : unwelcome attentions from men.
not ready, eager, or prepared to do something : he was unwilling to take on that responsibility | unwilling conscripts.
undo or be undone after winding or being wound : [ trans. ] Ella unwound the long woolen scarf from her neck | [ intrans. ] the net unwinds from the reel.
(of a person or action) not wise or sensible; foolish : it is unwise to rely on hearsay evidence | unwise policy decisions.
unwisely, she repeated the remark to her mother.
quite unwittingly, you played right into my hands that night.
(of a person) not aware of the full facts : an unwitting accomplice. • not done on purpose; unintentional : we are anxious to rectify the unwitting mistakes made in the past.
(of a person) not having much awareness of the realities of life, in particular, not motivated by material or practical considerations : she was so shrewd in some ways, but hopelessly unworldly in others. • not seeming to belong to this planet; strange : the unworldly monolith loomed four stories high.
not deserving effort, attention, or respect : he was unworthy of trust and unfit to hold office. • (of a person's action or behavior) not acceptable, esp. from someone with a good reputation or social position : the expression of anger was frowned upon as being unworthy.
remove the wrapping from a package : children excitedly unwrapping and playing with their new presents.
not recorded in writing : documenting unwritten languages. • (esp. of a law) resting originally on custom or judicial decision rather than on statute : an unwritten constitution. • (of a convention) understood and accepted by everyone, although not formally established : the unwritten rules of social life.
(of a mass or structure) not giving way to pressure; hard or solid : the Atlantic hurled its waves at the unyielding rocks. • (of a person or their behavior) unlikely to be swayed; resolute : his unyielding faith.
unfasten the zipper of (an item of clothing) : he unzipped his black jacket.
1 (added to verbs and their derivatives) upward : upturned | upthrow. • to a more recent time; to a newer or better state : upbeat | update | upgrade | upscale. 2 (added to nouns) denoting (direction of) motion up : upriver | uphill | upwind. 3 (added to nouns) higher : upland | upstroke • increased : up-tempo.
1 toward the sky or a higher position : he jumped up | two of the men hoisted her up | the curtain went up. • upstairs : she made her way up to bed. • out of bed : Miranda hardly ever got up for breakfast | he had been up for hours. • (of the sun) visible in the sky after daybreak : the sun was already up when they set off. • expressing movement toward or position in the north : I drove up to Detroit. • to or at a place perceived as higher : going for a walk up to the stores. • Brit. toward or in the capital or a major city : give me a ring when you're up in London. • Brit. at or to a university, esp. Oxford or Cambridge : they were up at Cambridge about the same time. • (of food that has been eaten) regurgitated from the stomach : I was sick and vomited up everything. • [as exclam. ] used as a command to a soldier or an animal to stand up and be ready to move or attack : up, boys, and at ‛em. 2 to the place where someone is : Dot didn't hear Mrs. Parvis come creeping up behind her. 3 at or to a higher level of intensity, volume, or activity : she turned the volume up | liven up the graphics | U.S. environmental groups had been stepping up their attack on GATT. • at or to a higher price, value, or rank : sales are up 22.8 percent at $50.2 million | unemployment is up and rising. • winning or at an advantage by a specified margin : there they were in the fourth quarter, up by 11 points | we came away 300 bucks up on the evening. 4 into the desired or a proper condition : the mayor agreed to set up a committee. • so as to be finished or closed : I've got a bit of paperwork to finish up | I zipped up my sweater. 5 into a happy mood : I don't think anything's going to cheer me up. 6 displayed on a bulletin board or other publicly visible site : he put up posters around the city. 7 (of sailing) against the current or the wind. • (of a ship's helm) moved so that the rudder is to leeward. 8 Baseball at bat : every time up, he had a different stance.
from a lower to a higher point on (something); upward along : she climbed up a flight of steps. • from one end to another of (a street or other area), not necessarily on an upward slope : bicycling up Pleasant Avenue toward Maywood Avenue | walking up the street. • to a higher part of (a river or stream), away from the sea : a cruise up the Rhine. adjective 1 [ attrib. ] directed or moving toward a higher place or position : the up escalator. • Physics denoting a flavor of quark having a charge of +2/3. Protons and neutrons are thought to be composed of combinations of up and down quarks. 2 [ predic. ] in a cheerful mood; ebullient : the mood here is resolutely up. 3 [ predic. ] (of a computer system or industrial process) functioning properly : the system is now up. 4 [ predic. ] at an end : his contract was up in three weeks | time's up. 5 (of a jockey) in the saddle. noun informal a period of good fortune : you can't have ups all the time in football.
something is up informal something unusual or undesirable is happening or afoot.
up against close to or in contact with : crowds pressed up against the police barricades. • informal confronted with or opposed by : I began to think of what teachers are up against today. • ( up against it) informal facing some serious but unspecified difficulty : they play better when they're up against it.
up and down 1 moving upward and downward : bouncing up and down. 2 to and fro : pacing up and down in front of her desk. • [as prep. ] to and fro along : strolling up and down the corridor. 3 in various places throughout : in clubs up and down the country. 4 informal in varying states or moods; changeable : my relationship with her was up and down.
up and running |ˈˈəp ən ˈrənɪŋ| (esp. of a computer system) in operation; functioning : the new computer is up and running.
up (or raise) the ante increase what is at stake or under discussion, esp. in a conflict or dispute : he decided to up the ante in the trade war.
up for it informal ready to take part in a particular activity : Nick wasn't really up for it.
up to 1 as far as : I could reach just up to his waist. • (also up until) until : up to now I hadn't had a relationship. 2 indicating a maximum amount : the process is expected to take up to two years. 3 [with negative or in questions ] as good as; good enough for : I was not up to her standards. • capable of or fit for : he is simply not up to the job. 4 the duty, responsibility, or choice of (someone) : it was up to them to gauge the problem. 5 informal occupied or busy with : what's he been up to?
up for grabs informal available; obtainable : great prizes up for grabs.
up front 1 at or near the front : the floor plan has an open living area up front. 2 in advance : every fee must be paid up front. 3 open and direct; frank : I vowed to be up front with her.
up in the air (of a plan or issue) still to be settled; unresolved : the fate of the power station is up in the air.
up one's sleeve (of a strategy, idea, or resource) kept secret and in reserve for use when needed : he was new to the game but had a few tricks up his sleeve.
the treatment and instruction received by a child from its parents throughout its childhood : she had had a Christian upbringing.
capital letters as opposed to small letters (lowercase) : the keywords must be in uppercase | [as adj. ] uppercase letters.
1 vertical; erect : the posts must be in an upright position.
in or into a vertical position : she was sitting upright in bed.
a loud and impassioned noise or disturbance : the room was in an uproar | the assembly dissolved in uproar. • a public expression of protest or outrage : it caused an uproar in the press.
a succession of both good and bad experiences : I have my ups and downs. • rises and falls, esp. in the value or success of something : the ups and downs of the market.
1 make (someone) unhappy, disappointed, or worried : the accusation upset her | [as adj. ] ( upsetting) a painful and upsetting divorce. 2 knock (something) over : he upset a tureen of soup. • cause disorder in (something); disrupt : the dam will upset the ecological balance.
1 a state of being unhappy, disappointed, or worried : domestic upsets | a legal dispute will cause worry and upset. 2 an unexpected result or situation, esp. in a sports competition : they caused one of last season's league upsets by winning 27-15.
with the upper part where the lower part should be; in an inverted position : [as adv. ] the bar staff put the chairs upside down on the tables | [as adj. ] an upside-down canoe. • in or into total disorder or confusion : [as adv. ] burglars have turned our house upside down.
toward a higher place, point, or level : she peered upward at the sky.
moving, pointing, or leading to a higher place, point, or level : an upward trend in sales.
try earnestly or persistently to persuade (someone) to do something : he urged her to come and stay with us | [with direct speech ] "Try to relax," she urged. • recommend or advocate (something) strongly : I urge caution in interpreting these results | [with clause ] they are urging that more treatment facilities be provided. • [ trans. ] encourage (a person or animal) to move more quickly or in a particular direction : drawing up outside the house, he urged her inside.
(of a state or situation) requiring immediate action or attention : the situation is far more urgent than politicians are admitting. See note at crucial .
able or fit to be used : usable information.
the action of using something or the state of being used for some purpose : a member of staff is present when the pool is in use | theater owners were charging too much for the use of their venues. • the ability or power to exercise or manipulate something, esp. one's mind or body : the horse lost the use of his hind legs. • a purpose for or way in which something can be used : the herb has various culinary uses.
have its (or one's) uses informal be useful on certain occasions or in certain respects. have no use for be unable to find a purpose for; have no need for : he had no use for a single glove. • informal dislike or be impatient with.
use something up consume or expend the whole of something : the money was soon used up. • find a purpose for something that is left over : I might use up all my odd scraps of wool to make a scarf. • ( be used up) informal (of a person) be worn out, esp. with overwork : she was tired and used up.
show or guide (someone) somewhere : a waiter ushered me to a table. • figurative cause or mark the start of (something new) : the railroads ushered in an era of cheap mass travel.
take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force : Richard usurped the throne. • take the place of (someone in a position of power) illegally: supplant : the Hanoverian dynasty had usurped the Stuarts.
1 the state of being useful, profitable, or beneficial : he had a poor opinion of the utility of book learning.
most extreme; greatest : a matter of the utmost importance.
do one's utmost do the most that one is able : Dan was doing his utmost to be helpful.
complete; absolute : Charles stared at her in utter amazement.
1 make (a sound) with one's voice : he uttered an exasperated snort. • say (something) aloud : they are busily scribbling down every word she utters.
• (of a position or office) not filled : the president resigned and the post was left vacant.
1 leave (a place that one previously occupied) : rooms must be vacated by noon on the last day of your vacation. • give up (a position or office) : he will vacate a job in government sales.
treat with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease; inoculate : all the children were vaccinated against diphtheria.
a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease : there is no vaccine against HIV infection.
• [usu. in sing. ] a gap left by the loss, death, or departure of someone or something formerly playing a significant part in a situation or activity : the political vacuum left by the death of the Emperor.
actually supporting the intended point or claim; acceptable as cogent : a valid criticism. See note at believable . • legally binding due to having been executed in compliance with the law : a valid contract. • legally acceptable : the visas are valid for thirty days.
check or prove the validity or accuracy of (something) : these estimates have been validated by periodic surveys. • demonstrate or support the truth or value of : in a healthy family a child's feelings are validated.
an estimation of something's worth, esp. one carried out by a professional appraiser : it is wise to obtain an independent valuation.
1 the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance or preciousness of something : your support is of great value. • the material or monetary worth of something : prints seldom rise in value | equipment is included up to a total value of $500. • the worth of something compared to the price paid or asked for it : at $12.50 the book is a good value. • the usefulness of something considered in respect of a particular purpose : some new drugs are of great value in treating cancer.
1 (often be valued) estimate the monetary worth of (something) : his estate was valued at $45,000. 2 consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of : she had come to value her privacy and independence | [as adj. ] ( valued) a valued friend.
deliberately destroy or damage (public or private property) : stations have been wrecked and vandalized beyond recognition.
a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas : the experimental spirit of the modernist vanguard. • a position at the forefront of new developments or ideas : the prototype was in the vanguard of technical development.
1 excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements : it flattered his vanity to think I was in love with him | the personal vanities and ambitions of politicians. See notes at egotism, pride .
defeat thoroughly : Mexican forces vanquished the French army in a battle in Puebla.
a place or position affording a good view of something : from my vantage point I could see into the front garden | figurative the past is continuously reinterpreted from the vantage point of the present.
a substance diffused or suspended in the air, esp. one normally liquid or solid : dense clouds of smoke and toxic vapor | chemical vapors.
convert or be converted into vapor : [ trans. ] there is a large current which is sufficient to vaporize carbon | [ intrans. ] cold gasoline does not vaporize readily.
a form or version of something that differs in some respect from other forms of the same thing or from a standard : clinically distinct variants of malaria | [as adj. ] a variant spelling.
1 a change or difference in condition, amount, or level, typically with certain limits : regional variations in house prices | the figures showed marked variation from year to year.
incorporating a number of different types or elements; showing variation or variety : a little effort to make life pleasant and varied | a long and varied career.
apply varnish to : we stripped the floor and varnished it. • disguise or gloss over (a fact) : the White House is varnishing over the defeat of the president's proposal.
differ in size, amount, degree, or nature from something else of the same general class : the properties vary in price | [as adj. ] ( varying) varying degrees of success.
of, relating to, affecting, or consisting of a vessel or vessels, esp. those that carry blood : vascular disease | the vascular system.
provide (a building or room) with an arched roof or roofs : a vaulted arcade.
change direction suddenly : an oil tanker that had veered off course. • figurative suddenly change an opinion, subject, type of behavior, etc. : the conversation eventually veered away from theatrical things.
change direction suddenly : an oil tanker that had veered off course. • figurative suddenly change an opinion, subject, type of behavior, etc. : the conversation eventually veered away from theatrical things.
showing strong feeling; forceful, passionate, or intense : her voice was low but vehement | vehement criticism.
2 a thing used to express, embody, or fulfill something : I use paint as a vehicle for my ideas.
cover with or as though with a veil : she veiled her face. • [usu. as adj. ] ( veiled) partially conceal, disguise, or obscure : a thinly veiled threat.
2 [in sing. ] a distinctive quality, style, or tendency : he closes his article in a somewhat humorous vein.
the speed of something in a given direction : the velocities of the emitted particles. • (in general use) speed : the tank shot backward at an incredible velocity.
• a prolonged bitter quarrel with or campaign against someone : he has accused the British media of pursuing a vendetta against him.
a person or company offering something for sale, esp. a trader in the street : an Italian ice cream vendor.
accorded a great deal of respect, esp. because of age, wisdom, or character : a venerable statesman.
regard with great respect; revere : Mother Teresa is venerated as a saint. See note at revere .
seeking to harm someone in return for a perceived injury : a vengeful ex-con. See note at vindictive .
venom |ˈvɛnəm| noun poisonous fluid secreted by animals such as snakes and scorpions and typically injected into prey or aggressors by biting or stinging.
• figurative release or expression of a strong emotion, energy, etc. : children give vent to their anger in various ways.
1 give free expression to (a strong emotion) : he had come to vent his rage and despair. 2 provide with an outlet for air, gas, or liquid : clothes dryers must be vented to the outside.
1 cause air to enter and circulate freely in (a room, building, etc.) : ventilate the greenhouse well | [as adj., in combination ] ( -ventilated) gas heaters should only ever be used in well-ventilated rooms. • (of air) purify or freshen (something) by blowing on or through it : a colossus ventilated by the dawn breeze.dare to do something or go somewhere that may be dangerous or unpleasant : she ventured out into the blizzard. • dare to do or say something that may be considered audacious (often used as a polite expression of hesitation or apology) : may I venture to add a few comments? | I ventured to write to her | [ trans. ] he ventured the opinion that Putt was now dangerously insane.
nothing ventured, nothing gained proverb you can't expect to achieve anything if you never take any risks.
the place where something happens, esp. an organized event such as a concert, conference, or sports event : the river could soon be the venue for a powerboat world championship event.
1 [ trans. ] express (ideas or feelings) in words, esp. by speaking out loud : they are unable to verbalize their real feelings.
using or expressed in more words than are needed : much academic language is obscure and verbose.
a decision on a disputed issue in a civil or criminal case or an inquest : the jury returned a verdict of 'not guilty.' • an opinion or judgment : I'm anxious to know your verdict on me.
an edge or border : they came down to the verge of the lake. See note at border . • an extreme limit beyond which something specified will happen : I was on the verge of tears.
make sure or demonstrate that (something) is true, accurate, or justified : his conclusions have been verified by later experiments | [with clause ] "Can you verify that the guns are licensed?"
used as an intensifier, often to qualify a metaphor : the early 1970s witnessed a veritable price explosion. See note at genuine .
vernacular |vəˈnakjʊlə| noun 1 (usu. the vernacular) the language or dialect spoken by the ordinary people in a particular country or region : he wrote in the vernacular to reach a larger audience. See note at dialect .
1 able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities : a versatile sewing machine | he was versatile enough to play either position.
vertebrate |ˈvəːtɪbrət| noun an animal of a large group distinguished by the possession of a backbone or spinal column, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. Compare with invertebrate . • Subphylum Vertebrata, phylum Chordata: seven classes.
1 at right angles to a horizontal plane; in a direction, or having an alignment, such that the top is directly above the bottom : the vertical axis | keep your back vertical.
1 (usu. the vertical) a vertical line or plane : the columns incline several degrees away from the vertical. 2 an upright structure : we remodeled the opening with a simple lintel and unadorned verticals. 3 short for vertical tasting .
actual; precise (used to emphasize the exact identity of a particular person or thing) : those were his very words | he might be phoning her at this very moment | transformed before our very eyes.
• (chiefly in or alluding to biblical use) a person, esp. regarded as holding or embodying a particular quality : giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.
exercise a veto against (a decision or proposal made by a law-making body) : the president vetoed the bill. • refuse to accept or allow : the film star often has a right to veto the pictures used for publicity.
make (someone) feel annoyed, frustrated, or worried, esp. with trivial matters : the memory of the conversation still vexed him | [as adj. ] ( vexing) the most vexing questions for policymakers.
the state of being annoyed, frustrated, or worried : Jenny bit her lip in vexation. • something that causes annoyance, frustration, or worry : the cares and vexations of life.
capable of working successfully; feasible : the proposed investment was economically viable.
1 (usu. vibes) a person's emotional state or the atmosphere of a place as communicated to and felt by others : a lot of moody people giving off bad vibes. [ORIGIN: abbreviation of vibrations.]
full of energy and enthusiasm : a vibrant cosmopolitan city. • quivering; pulsating : Rose was vibrant with anger.
move or cause to move continuously and rapidly to and fro : [ intrans. ] the cabin started to vibrate [ trans. ] : the bumblebee vibrated its wings for a few seconds. • [ intrans. ] ( vibrate with) quiver with (a quality or emotion) : his voice vibrated with terror.
an instance of vibrating : powerful vibrations from an earthquake | the big-capacity engine generated less vibration.
experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person : I could glean vicarious pleasure from the struggles of my imaginary film friends.
the area near or surrounding a particular place : the number of people living in the immediate vicinity was small.
1 deliberately cruel or violent : a vicious assault.
• poetic/literary immoral : every soul on earth, virtuous or vicious, shall perish.
fall victim to be hurt, killed, damaged, or destroyed by : many streams have fallen victim to the recent drought.
single (someone) out for cruel or unjust treatment : scam artists who victimize senior citizens.
having won a victory; triumphant : a victorious army | the team defied the odds and emerged victorious. • of or characterized by victory : he'd participated in the victorious campaigns of the Franco-Prussian War.
compete eagerly with someone in order to do or achieve something : rival mobs vying for control of the liquor business.
1 the ability to see something or to be seen from a particular place : the end of the tunnel came into view | they stood on the bar to get a better view.
1 [ trans. ] look at or inspect (something) : the public can view the famous hall with its unique staircase.
in view visible to someone : the youth was keeping him in view. • as one's aim or objective : his arrest is the principal object I have in view. • in one's mind when forming a judgment : it is important to have in view the position reached at the beginning of the 1970s.
1 a period of keeping awake during the time usually spent asleep, esp. to keep watch or pray : my birdwatching vigils lasted for hours | as he lay in a coma the family kept vigil.
keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties : the burglar was spotted by vigilant neighbors.
• effort, energy, and enthusiasm : they set about the new task with vigor.
• characterized by or involving physical strength, effort, or energy : vigorous aerobic exercise.
extremely unpleasant : he has a vile temper | vile smells. • morally bad; wicked : as vile a rogue as ever lived.
• the person or thing responsible for specified trouble, harm, or damage : the industrialized nations are the real environmental villains.
clear (someone) of blame or suspicion : hospital staff were vindicated by the inquest verdict. See note at absolve . • show or prove to be right, reasonable, or justified : more sober views were vindicated by events.
having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge : the criticism was both vindictive and personalized.
of, relating to, or denoting wine of high quality : vintage claret. • denoting something of high quality, esp. something from the past or characteristic of the best period of a person's work : a vintage Sherlock Holmes adventure.
break or fail to comply with (a rule or formal agreement) : they violated the terms of a cease-fire. • fail to respect (someone's peace, privacy, or rights) : they denied that human rights were being violated. • treat (something sacred) with irreverence or disrespect : he was accused of violating a tomb.
the action of violating someone or something : the aircraft were in violation of UN resolutions.
using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something : a violent confrontation with riot police. • (esp. of an emotion or unpleasant or destructive natural force) very strong or powerful : violent dislike | the violent eruption killed 1,700 people.
convert (something) to a computer-generated simulation of reality : [ trans. ] traditional universities have begun to virtualize parts of their curricula [ intrans. ] our method makes it easy to virtualize.
by (or in) virtue of because or as a result of.
• a good or useful quality of a thing : Mike was extolling the virtues of the car | there's no virtue in suffering in silence.
• a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person : patience is a virtue.
having or showing high moral standards : she considered herself very virtuous because she neither drank nor smoked. See note at moral .
in relation to; with regard to : many agencies now have a unit to deal with women's needs vis-à-vis employment. • as compared with; as opposed to : the advantage for U.S. exports is the value of the dollar vis-à-vis other currencies.
in a position facing a specified or implied subject : he was there vis-à-vis with Miss Arundel.
of or relating to the viscera : the visceral nervous system. • relating to deep inward feelings rather than to the intellect : the voters' visceral fear of change.
the state of being able to see or be seen : a reduction in police presence and visibility on the streets. • the distance one can see as determined by light and weather conditions : visibility was down to 15 yards. • the degree to which something has attracted general attention; prominence : the issue began to lose its visibility.
• able to be perceived or noticed easily : a visible improvement. • in a position of public prominence : a highly visible member of the royal entourage.
2 an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition : the idea came to him in a vision. • (often visions) a vivid mental image, esp. a fanciful one of the future : he had visions of becoming the Elton John of his time. •• the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom : the organization had lost its vision and direction. • a mental image of what the future will or could be like : a socialist vision of society. 1 (esp. of a person) thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom : a visionary leader.
a pleasing view, esp. one seen through a long, narrow opening : a vista of church spires. • a mental view of a succession of remembered or anticipated events : vistas of freedom seemed to open ahead of him.
of or relating to seeing or sight : visual perception.
1 absolutely necessary or important; essential : secrecy is of vital importance | it is vital that the system is regularly maintained. • indispensable to the continuance of life : the vital organs.
give strength and energy to : yoga calms and vitalizes body and mind. See note at quicken .
the state of being strong and active; energy : changes that will give renewed vitality to our democracy. • the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things : the vitality of seeds.
1 producing powerful feelings or strong, clear images in the mind : memories of that evening were still vivid | a vivid description. See note at graphic .
namely; in other words (used esp. to introduce a gloss or explanation) : the first music reproducing media, viz., the music box and the player piano.
1 of or relating to the human voice : nonlinguistic vocal effects like laughs and sobs.
2 expressing opinions or feelings freely or loudly : he was vocal in condemning the action.
1 utter (a sound or word) : the child vocalizes a number of distinct sounds | [ intrans. ] a warbler vocalized from a reed bed. • express (something) with words : Gillie could scarcely vocalize her responses.
a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation : not all of us have a vocation to be nurses or doctors.
of or relating to an occupation or employment : they supervised prisoners in vocational activities. • (of education or training) directed at a particular occupation and its skills : vocational school | specialized vocational courses.
the prevailing fashion or style at a particular time : the vogue is to make realistic films. • general acceptance or favor; popularity : the 1920s and 30s, when art deco was much in vogue.
popular; fashionable : "citizenship" was to be the government's vogue word.
1 express (something) in words : get teachers to voice their opinions on important subjects.
mute; speechless : how could he have remained voiceless in the face of her cruelty? • not expressed : the air was charged with voiceless currents of thought.
1 not valid or legally binding : the contract was void. • (of speech or action) ineffectual; useless : all the stratagems you've worked out are rendered void. 2 completely empty : void spaces surround the tanks. • [ predic. ] ( void of) free from; lacking : what were once the masterpieces of literature are now void of meaning.
1 a completely empty space : the black void of space. • an emptiness caused by the loss of something : the void left by the collapse of communism.
there it is; there you are : "Voilà!" she said, producing a pair of strappy white sandals.
2 liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, esp. for the worse : the political situation was becoming more volatile.
• figurative an intense suppressed emotion or situation liable to burst out suddenly : what volcano of emotion must have been boiling inside that youngster.q
• figurative (esp. of a feeling or emotion) bursting out or liable to burst out violently : the kind of volcanic passion she'd felt last night.
(in sports, esp. tennis or soccer) strike or kick (the ball) before it touches the ground : he volleyed home the ball.
2 the amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container, esp. when great : the sewer could not cope with the volume of rainwater | a volume of air. • the amount or quantity of something, esp. when great : changes in the volume of consumer spending. • ( a volume of/volumes of) a certain, typically large amount of something : the volumes of data handled are vast.
done, given, or acting of one's own free will : we are funded by voluntary contributions. • working, done, or maintained without payment : a voluntary helper. • supported by contributions rather than taxes or fees : voluntary hospitals.• figurative something regarded as a whirling mass : the vortex of existence.
• an act of expressing such an indication of choice : they are ready to put it to a vote.
give or register a vote : they voted against the resolution | [with complement ] I voted Republican.
• [ trans. or complement ] cause (someone) to gain or lose a particular post or honor by means of a vote : incompetent judges are voted out of office.
assert or confirm as a result of one's own experience that something is true or accurately so described : they say New York is the city that never sleeps, and I can certainly vouch for that. • confirm that someone is who they say they are or that they are of good character : he was refused entrance until someone could vouch for him.
1 [ reporting verb ] solemnly promise to do a specified thing : [with clause ] he vowed that his government would not tolerate a repeat of the disorder | [with direct speech ] one fan vowed, "I'll picket every home game." 2 [ trans. ] archaic dedicate to someone or something, esp. a deity : I vowed myself to this enterprise.
a long journey involving travel by sea or in space : a six-year voyage to Jupiter | figurative writing a biography is a voyage of discovery. See note at journey .
go on a long journey, typically by sea or in space : he has voyaged through places like Venezuela and Peru.
lacking sophistication or good taste; unrefined : the vulgar trappings of wealth. • making explicit and offensive reference to sex or bodily functions; coarse and rude : a vulgar joke.
susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm : we were in a vulnerable position | small fish are vulnerable to predators.
I (or he, she, etc.) couldn't (or informal also could) care less informal used to express complete indifference : he couldn't care less about football.
I dare say (or daresay) used to indicate that one believes something is probable : I dare say you've heard about her.
I don't (or can't) blame you (or her, etc.) used to indicate that one agrees that the action or attitude taken was reasonable : he was becoming impatient, and I couldn't blame him.
I must (or have to) say I cannot refrain from saying (used to emphasize an opinion) : you have a nerve, I must say!
I wouldn't know informal used to indicate that one can't be expected to know the answer to someone's question or to comment on a matter : "It was a lot better than last year's dance." "I wouldn't know about that."
1 a competition between runners, horses, vehicles, boats, etc., to see which is the fastest in covering a set course : I won the first 50-lap race.
• [in sing. ] a situation in which individuals or groups compete to be first to achieve a particular objective : the race for nuclear power.
1 [ intrans. ] compete with another or others to see who is fastest at covering a set course or achieving an objective : the vet took blood samples from the horses before they raced | [ trans. ] | attorneys have to think twice before they race each other to the courthouse.
2 [ intrans. ] move or progress swiftly or at full speed : I raced into the house | figurative she spoke automatically, while her mind raced ahead.
a race against time a situation in which something must be done before a particular point in time : it was a race against time to reach shore before the dinghy sank.
• on the grounds of or connected with difference in race : racial hatred.
vracial profiling noun the practice of substituting skin color for evidence as grounds for suspicion by law enforcement officials.
1 a framework, typically with rails, bars, hooks, or pegs, for holding or storing things : a spice rack | a magazine rack.
rack (or wrack) one's brains (or brain) make a great effort to think of or remember something.
go to rack (or wrack) and ruin gradually deteriorate in condition because of neglect: fall into disrepair. [ORIGIN: rack from Old English wræc [vengeance] ; related to wreak .]
racketeer |rakɪˈtɪə| noun a person who engages in dishonest and fraudulent business dealings.1 light or heat as emitted or reflected by something : the radiance of the sunset dwindled and died. • great happiness, apparent in someone's expression or bearing : the radiance of the bride's smile.
1 sending out light; shining or glowing brightly : a bird with radiant green and red plumage. See note at bright . • (of a person or their expression) clearly emanating great joy, love, or health : she gave him a radiant smile.
1 [ trans. ] emit (energy, esp. light or heat) in the form of rays or waves : the hot stars radiate energy. • [ intrans. ] (of light, heat, or other energy) be emitted in such a way : the continual stream of energy that radiates from the sun.
2 [ intrans. ] diverge or spread from or as if from a central point : he ran down one of the passages that radiated from the room.
cause (someone) to become an advocate of radical political or social reform : I'm trying to mobilize and radicalize the liberals.
emitting or relating to the emission of ionizing radiation or particles : radioactive decay | the water was radioactive.
1 a piece of old cloth, esp. one torn from a larger piece, used typically for cleaning things : he wiped his hands on an oily rag | a piece of rag.
violent, uncontrollable anger : her face was distorted with rage | she flew into a rage. • figurative the violent action of a natural agency : the rising rage of the sea. • [in sing. ] a vehement desire or passion : a rage for absolute honesty informs much western art.
feel or express violent uncontrollable anger : he raged at the futility of it all | [with direct speech ] "That's unfair!" Maggie raged.
a sudden attack on an enemy by troops, aircraft, or other armed forces in warfare : a bombing raid. • a surprise attack to commit a crime, esp. to steal from business premises : an early morning raid on a bank.
conduct a raid on : officers raided thirty homes yesterday. • quickly and illicitly take something from (a place) : she crept down the stairs to raid the larder.
1 [ trans. ] provide or enclose (a space or place) with a rail or rails : the altar is railed off from the nave.
go off the rails informal begin behaving in a strange, abnormal, or wildly uncontrolled way.
it's pouring rain.
take a rain check said when politely refusing an offer, with the implication that one may accept it at a later date : I can't make it tonight, but I'd like to take a rain check.
• the quantity of rain falling within a given area in a given time : low rainfall.
(esp. of a building or garment) impervious to rain : a rainproof coat.
1 lift or move to a higher position or level : she raised both arms above her head | his flag was raised over the city. • lift or move to a vertical position; set upright : Melody managed to raise him to his feet. • construct or build (a structure) : a fence was being raised around the property. • cause to rise or form : the galloping horse raised a cloud of dust.
2 increase the amount, level, or strength of : the bank raised interest rates | the aim was to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless. • promote (someone) to a higher rank : the king raised him to the title of Count Torre Bella.
3 cause to be heard, considered, or discussed : the alarm was raised when he failed to return home | doubts have been raised about the future of the reprocessing plant. • cause to occur, appear, or be felt : recent sightings have raised hopes that otters are making a return.
4 collect, levy, or bring together (money or resources) : she was attempting to raise $20,000. 5 bring up (a child) : he was born and raised in San Francisco. • breed or grow (animals or plants) : they raised pigs and kept a pony.
raise one's eyebrows (or an eyebrow) show surprise, disbelief, or mild disapproval.
raise one's glass drink a toast : I raised my glass to Susan.
raise one's voice speak more loudly. • begin to speak or sing.
collect, gather, or move with a rake or similar implement : they started raking up hay. • make (a stretch of ground) tidy or smooth with a rake : the infield dirt is meticulously raked.
rake in something informal make a lot of money, typically very easily : he was now raking in $250 million a year.
1 (of troops) come together again in order to continue fighting after a defeat or dispersion : De Montfort's troops rallied and drove back the king's infantry. • [ trans. ] bring together (forces) again in order to continue fighting : the king escaped to Perth to rally his own forces. • assemble in a mass meeting : up to 50,000 people rallied in the city center. • come together in order to support a person or cause or for concerted action : conservatives in the GOP rallied behind Goldwater.
• [ trans. ] bring together (forces or support) in such a way : a series of meetings to rally support for the union.
1 a mass meeting of people making a political protest or showing support for a cause : a rally attended by around 100,000 people. • an open-air event for people who own a particular kind of vehicle : a traction engine rally.
roughly force (something) into place : he rammed his stick into the ground.
• (of a vehicle or vessel) be driven violently into (something, typically another vehicle or vessel) in an attempt to stop or damage it : their boat was rammed by a Japanese warship. • [ intrans. ] crash violently against something : the stolen car rammed into the front of the house.
2 talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequential way : he rambled on about his acting career.
a consequence of an action or event, esp. when complex or unwelcome : any change is bound to have legal ramifications. • a subdivision of a complex structure or process perceived as comparable to a tree's branches : an extended family with its ramifications of neighboring in-laws.
form branches or offshoots; spread or branch out : an elaborate system of canals was built, ramifying throughout Britain. • [ trans. ] [often as adj. ] ( ramified) cause to branch or spread out : a ramified genealogical network.
ramp something up (or ramp up) (esp. in reference to the production of goods) increase or cause to increase in amount : they ramped up production to meet booming demand.
(esp. of a large group of people) rush around in a violent and uncontrollable manner : several thousand demonstrators rampaged through the city.
a period of violent and uncontrollable behavior, typically involving a large group of people : thugs went on a rampage and wrecked a classroom.
1 (esp. of something unwelcome or unpleasant) flourishing or spreading unchecked : political violence was rampant | rampant inflation.
• (of a plant) lush in growth; luxuriant : a rich soil soon becomes home to rampant weeds.
at random without method or conscious decision : he opened the book at random.
1 the area of variation between upper and lower limits on a particular scale : the cost is thought to be in the range of $1-5 million a day | it's outside my price range.
• the scope of a person's knowledge or abilities : he gave some indication of his range. • the compass of a person's voice or of a musical instrument : she was gifted with an incredible vocal range.
2 the distance within which a person can see or hear : something lurked just beyond her range of vision. • the maximum distance at which a radio transmission can be effectively received : planets within radio range of Earth. • the distance that can be covered by a vehicle or aircraft without refueling : the vans have a range of 125 miles.
1 [ intrans. ] vary or extend between specified limits : patients whose ages ranged from 13 to 25 years.
at a range of with a specified distance between one person or thing and another : a bat can detect a moth at a range of less than 8 feet.
1 a position in the hierarchy of the armed forces : an army officer of fairly high rank | he was promoted to the rank of Captain.
1 give (someone or something) a rank or place within a grading system : rank them in order of preference | [ trans. ] she is ranked number four in the world. • [ intrans. ] have a specified rank or place within a grading system : he ranks with Newman as one of the outstanding English theologians
rise through (or from) the ranks (of a private or a noncommissioned officer) receive a commission. • advance in an organization by one's own efforts : he rose through the ranks to become managing director.
the ordinary members of an organization as opposed to its leaders : the rank and file of the Labor party are dissatisfied | [as adj. ] rank-and-file members.
go hurriedly through (a place) stealing things and causing damage : burglars ransacked her home. • search through (a place or receptacle) to find something, esp. in such a way as to cause disorder and damage : Hollywood ransacks the New York stage for actors.
speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way : she was still ranting on about the unfairness of it all.
a spell of ranting; a tirade : his rants against organized religion.
rant and rave shout and complain angrily and at length.
1 [ trans. ] strike (a hard surface) with a series of rapid audible blows, esp. in order to attract attention : he stood up and rapped the table | [ intrans. ] she rapped angrily on the window. • strike (something) against a hard surface in such a way : she rapped her stick on the floor. • strike (someone or something) sharply with stick or similar implement : she rapped my fingers with a ruler.
1 a quick, sharp knock or blow : there was a confident rap at the door.
a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well : she was able to establish a good rapport with the children | there was little rapport between them.
1 a feeling of intense pleasure or joy : Leonora listened with rapture. • ( raptures) expressions of intense pleasure or enthusiasm about something : the tabloids went into raptures about her.
the state or quality of being rare : the rarity of the condition. • a thing that is rare, esp. one having particular value as a result of this : to take the morning off was a rarity.
displaying or proceeding from a lack of careful consideration of the possible consequences of an action : it would be extremely rash to make such an assumption | a rash decision.
rat race noun informal a way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power.
• ( ratchet something up/down) figurative cause something to rise (or fall) as a step in what is perceived as a steady and irreversible process : the Bank of Japan ratcheted up interest rates again.
1 [ trans. ] assign a standard or value to (something) according to a particular scale : they were asked to rate their ability at different driving maneuvers | [ trans. ] the hotel, rated four star, had no hot water and no sink plugs. • [ trans. ] assign a standard, optimal, or limiting rating to (a piece of equipment) : its fuel economy is rated at 25 miles a gallon in the city.
at any rate whatever happens or may have happened : for the moment, at any rate, he was safe. • used to indicate that one is correcting or clarifying a previous statement or emphasizing a following one : the story, or at any rate, a public version of it, was known and remembered.
1 ( would rather) used to indicate one's preference in a particular matter : would you like some wine, or would you rather stick to sherry? | she'd rather die than cause a scene | [with clause ] I'd rather you not tell him | "You'd better ask her." "I'd rather not." 2 [as submodifier ] to a certain or significant extent or degree : she's been behaving rather strangely | he's rather an unpleasant man. • used before verbs as a way of making the expression of a feeling or opinion less assertive : I rather think he wants me to marry him | we were rather hoping you might do that for us. 3 on the contrary (used to suggest that the opposite of what has just been implied or stated is the case) : [ sentence adverb ] There is no shortage of basic skills in the workplace. Rather, the problem is poor management. • more precisely (used to modify or clarify something previously stated) : I walked, or rather limped, the two miles home. • instead of; as opposed to : she seemed indifferent rather than angry.
ratify |ˈratɪfʌɪ| verb ( -fies, -fied) [ trans. ] sign or give formal consent to (a treaty, contract, or agreement), making it officially valid. See note at approve .
the quantitative relation between two amounts showing the number of times one value contains or is contained within the other : the ratio of men's jobs to women's is 8 to 1.
a fixed amount of a commodity officially allowed to each person during a time of shortage, as in wartime : 1918 saw the bread ration reduced on two occasions.
a set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or a particular belief : he explained the rationale behind the change.
1 attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate : she couldn't rationalize her urge to return to the cottage. See note at lie .
1 [ intrans. ] make a rapid succession of short, sharp knocking sounds, typically as a result of being shaken and striking repeatedly against a hard surface or object : there was a sound of bottles rattling as he stacked the crates. • [ trans. ] cause (something) to make such sounds : he rattled some change in his pocket.
1 a rapid succession of short, sharp, hard sounds : the rattle of teacups on the tray.
cause severe and extensive damage to : fears that a war could ravage their country.
the severely damaging or destructive effects of something : his face had withstood the ravages of time.
1 talk wildly or incoherently, as if one were delirious or insane : Nancy's having hysterics and raving about a black ghost. • address someone in an angry, uncontrolled way : [with direct speech ] "Never mind how he feels!" Melissa raved.
1 informal an extremely enthusiastic recommendation or appraisal of someone or something : the film has won raves from American reviewers | [as adj. ] their recent tour received rave reviews.
1 each of the lines in which light (and heat) may seem to stream from the sun or any luminous body, or pass through a small opening : a ray of sunlight came through the window.
• figurative an initial or slight indication of a positive or welcome quality in a time of difficulty or trouble : if only I could see some ray of hope.
spread from or as if from a central point : delicate lines rayed out at each corner of her eyes. • [ trans. ] poetic/literary radiate (light) : the sun rays forth its natural light into the air.
1 once more; afresh; anew : reaccustom | reactivate. • with return to a previous state : restore | revert. 2 (also red-) in return; mutually : react | resemble. • in opposition : repel | resistance. 3 behind or after : relic | remain. • in a withdrawn state : recluse | reticent. • back and away; down : recede | relegation. 4 with frequentative or intensive force : redouble | resound. 5 with negative force : rebuff | recant.
out of (or beyond) reach outside the distance to which someone can stretch out their hand. • beyond the capacity of someone to attain or achieve something : she thought college was out of her reach. within (or in) reach inside the distance to which someone can stretch out their hand. • inside a distance that can be traveled : Rocky Mountain National Park is within easy reach of the city of Denver. • within the capacity of someone to attain or achieve something.
1 [ intrans. ] stretch out an arm in a specified direction in order to touch or grasp something : he reached over and turned off his bedside light. • ( reach for) make a movement with one's hand or arm in an attempt to touch or grasp (something) : Carl reached for the phone. • [ trans. ] ( reach something out) stretch out one's hand or arm : he reached out a hand and touched her forehead.
2 [ trans. ] arrive at; get as far as : "Goodbye," she said as they reached the door | the show is due to reach our screens early next year. • attain or extend to (a specified point, level, or condition) : unemployment reached a peak in 1933 | [ intrans. ] in its native habitat it will reach to about 6 m in height. • succeed in achieving : the intergovernmental conference reached agreement on the draft treaty. • make contact or communicate with (someone) by telephone or other means : I've been trying to reach you all morning.
reach for the stars have high or ambitious aims.
respond or behave in a particular way in response to something : Iraq reacted angrily to Jordan's shift in policy | the market reacted by falling a further 3.1%. • ( react against) respond with hostility, opposition, or a contrary course of action to : they reacted against the elite art music of their time.
an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event : Carrie's immediate reaction was one of relief. • ( reactions) a person's ability to respond physically and mentally to external stimuli : a skilled driver with quick reactions.
• a mode of thinking or behaving that is deliberately different from previous modes of thought and behavior : the work of these painters was a reaction against fauvism.
showing a response to a stimulus : pupils are reactive to light. • acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it : a proactive rather than a reactive approach.
read between the lines look for or discover a meaning that is hidden or implied rather than explicitly stated.
• understand or interpret the nature or significance of : he didn't dare look away, in case this was read as a sign of weakness. • [ intrans. ] (of a piece of writing) convey a specified impression to the reader : the brief note read like a cry for help. • [ intrans. ] (of a passage, text, or sign) contain or consist of specified words; have a certain wording : the placard read "We want justice."
• [ intrans. ] (of such an instrument) indicate a specified measurement or figure : the thermometer read 0° C.
a person's interpretation of something : their read on the national situation may be correct.
read someone's mind (or thoughts) discern what someone is thinking. read my lips informal listen carefully (used to emphasize the importance of the speaker's words or the earnestness of their intent).
without hesitation or reluctance; willingly : he readily admits that the new car surpasses its predecessors. • without delay or difficulty; easily : [as submodifier ] illegal fireworks are readily available.
set or adjust (something) again : I readjusted the rear-view mirror. • [ intrans. ] adjust or adapt to a changed environment or situation : [as adj. ] ( readjusted) she wondered if she could ever become readjusted to this sort of life.
• [ attrib. ] immediate, quick, or prompt : those who have ready access to the arts | a girl with a ready smile.
ready and waiting used to emphasize that someone or something is fully prepared or immediately available : the apartment was all ready and waiting for them.
• available straight away; not needing to be specially created or devised : we have no ready-made answers.
state again as a fact; assert again strongly : the prime minister reaffirmed his commitment to the agreement | [with clause ] he reaffirmed that it was essential to strengthen the rule of law.
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? 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!
the real thing informal a thing that is absolutely genuine or authentic : you've never been in love before, so how can you be sure this is the real thing?
4 make (money or a profit) from a transaction : she realized a profit of $100,000. • (of goods) be sold for (a specified price); fetch : the drawings are expected to realize $500,000. • convert (an asset) into cash : he realized all the assets in her trust fund.
2 cause (something desired or anticipated) to happen : our loans are helping small business realize their dreams | his worst fears have been realized. • fulfill : it is only now that she is beginning to realize her potential.
1 able to be achieved or made to happen : such a dream, if it is realizable at all, is one for the far future.
• a thing that exists in fact, having previously only existed in one's mind : the paperless office may yet become a reality.
in reality in actual fact (used to contrast a false idea of what is true or possible with one that is more accurate) : she had believed she could control these feelings, but in reality that was not so easy. the reality is —— used to assert that the truth of a matter is not what one would think or expect : the popular view of the Dobermann is of an aggressive guard dog—the reality is very different.
reality check noun [usu. in sing. ] informal an occasion on which one is reminded of the state of things in the real world.
allocate in a different way : a strong incentive to reallocate their resources overseas.
a kingdom : the peers of the realm | the defense of the realm. • a field or domain of activity or interest : the realm of applied chemistry.
cut or gather (a crop or harvest) : large numbers of men were employed to reap the harvest | figurative in terms of science, the Apollo program reaped a meager harvest.
the back part of something, esp. a building or vehicle : the kitchen door at the rear of the house. • the space or position at the back of something or someone : the field at the rear of the church. • the hindmost part of an army, fleet, or line of people : two blue policemen at the rear fell out of the formation.
1 [ trans. ] (usu. be reared) bring up and care for (a child) until they are fully grown, esp. in a particular manner or place : he was born and reared in New York City | a generation reared on video.
provide with a new supply of weapons : his plan to rearm Germany.
move (something) into a more acceptable position or state : she rearranged her skirt as she sat back in her chair. • change (the position, time, or order of something) : he had rearranged his schedule.
ascend again or to a former position : the fallen angel reascends to the upper air.
2 the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic : there is a close connection between reason and emotion. • what is right, practical, or possible; common sense : people are willing, within reason, to pay for schooling. • ( one's reason) one's sanity : she is in danger of losing her reason.
think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic : humans do not reason entirely from facts | [as n. ] ( reasoning) the present chapter will outline the reasoning behind the review.
• ( reason with) persuade (someone) with rational argument : I tried to reason with her, but without success.
beyond ( all) reason to a foolishly excessive degree : he indulged Andrew beyond all reason.
(of a group) gather together again : after lunch the class reassembled. • [ trans. ] put (something) together again : the trucks had to be reassembled on arrival.
consider or assess again, esp. while paying attention to new or different factors : we have decided to reassess our timetable.
appoint (someone) to a different job or task : he had been reassigned to another post. • allocate or distribute (work or resources) differently : a network which continually reassigns costs.
say or do something to remove the doubts and fears of someone : he understood her feelings and tried to reassure her | [ trans. ] Joachim reassured him that he was needed | [as adj. ] ( reassuring) Gina gave her a reassuring smile.
a person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or ruler : Tory rebels | [as adj. ] rebel forces.
rise in opposition or armed resistance to an established government or ruler : the Earl of Pembroke subsequently rebelled against Henry III. • (of a person) resist authority, control, or convention : respect did not prevent children from rebelling against their parents. • show or feel repugnance for or resistance to something : as I came over the hill my legs rebelled—I could walk no further.
an act of violent or open resistance to an established government or ruler : the authorities put down a rebellion by landless colonials | Simon de Montfort rose in rebellion. See note at uprising . • the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention : an act of teenage rebellion.
showing a desire to resist authority, control, or convention : young people with a rebellious streak.
reboot |riːˈbuːt| verb [ trans. ] boot (a computer system) again.
brought back to life or activity : the grand concourse stands reborn as a four-star restaurant. • having experienced a complete spiritual change : a reborn Catholic.
bounce back through the air after hitting a hard surface or object : his shot hammered into the post and rebounded across the goal. • [ intrans. ] recover in value, amount, or strength after a previous decrease or decline : NASDAQ rebounded to show a twenty-point gain.
reject (someone or something) in an abrupt or ungracious manner : I asked her to be my wife, and was rebuffed in no uncertain terms.
an abrupt or ungracious refusal or rejection of an offer, request, or friendly gesture : any attempt to win her friendship was met with rebuffs.
build (something) again after it has been damaged or destroyed : he rebuilt the cathedral church | figurative we try to help them rebuild their lives.
express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions : she had rebuked him for drinking too much | the judge publicly rebuked the jury.
1 claim or prove that (evidence or an accusation) is false : he had to rebut charges of acting for the convenience of his political friends.
1 bring (a fact, event, or situation) back into one's mind, esp. so as to recount it to others; remember : I can still vaguely recall being taken to the hospital | [with direct speech ] "He was awfully fond of teasing people," she recalled | [with clause ] he recalled how he felt at the time. • cause one to remember or think of : the film's analysis of contemporary concerns recalls The Big Chill.
• ( recall someone/something to) bring the memory or thought of someone or something to (a person or their mind) : the smell of a black-currant bush has ever since recalled to me that evening.
1 an act or instance of officially recalling someone or something : a recall of Parliament.
state again as a summary; recapitulate : a way of recapping the story so far | [ intrans. ] to recap, at the end of the Persian Gulf War, he lost control of the northern third of his country.
a summary of what has been said; a recapitulation : a quick recap of the idea and its main advantages.
summarize and state again the main points of : he began to recapitulate his argument with care.
an act or instance of summarizing and restating the main points of something : his recapitulation of the argument.
capture (a person or animal that has escaped) : armed police have recaptured a prisoner who's been on the run for five days. • recover (something previously captured by an enemy) : Edward I recaptured the castle.
go or move back or further away from a previous position : the flood waters had receded | his footsteps receded down the corridor. • (of a quality, feeling, or possibility) gradually diminish : the prospects of an early end to the war receded. • (of a man's hair) cease to grow at the temples and above the forehead : his dark hair was was receding a little | [as adj. ] ( receding) a receding hairline.
1 the action of receiving something or the fact of its being received : I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this letter | this office is already in receipt of your midterm grades.
1 be given, presented with, or paid (something) : most businesses will receive a tax cut | she received her prize from the manager. • take delivery of (something sent or communicated) : he received fifty inquiries after advertising the job. • buy or accept goods in the knowledge that they have been stolen : a man convicted of receiving stolen property. • detect or pick up (broadcast signals) : Turkish television began to be received in Tashkent. • form (an idea or impression) as a result of perception or experience : the impression she received was one of unhurried leisure.
• serve as a receptacle for : the basin that receives your blood. 2 suffer, experience, or be subject to (specified treatment) : the event received wide press coverage | he received an eight-year prison sentence | she received only cuts and bruises. • [ trans. ] (usu. be received) respond to (something) in a specified way : her first poem was not well received. • meet with (a specified response or reaction) : the rulings have received widespread acceptance. • [as adj. ] ( received) widely accepted as authoritative or true : the myths and received wisdom about the country's past. • meet and have to withstand : the landward slopes receive the full force of the wind.
3 greet or welcome (a visitor) formally : representatives of the club will be received by the Mayor. • be visited by : she was not allowed to receive visitors. • admit as a member : hundreds of converts were received into the Church. • be at (or on) the receiving end be the person to whom a telephone call is made. • informal be subjected to something unpleasant : she found herself on the receiving end of a good deal of teasing. 1 the action or process of receiving something sent, given, or inflicted : the reception of impulses from other neurons | the reception of the sacrament. • the way in which a person or group of people reacts to someone or something : the proposal continued to get a lukewarm reception on Wall Street. • the receiving of broadcast signals : a microchip that will allow parents to block reception of violent programs. • the quality of this : I had to put up with poor radio reception.
2 a formal social occasion held to welcome someone or to celebrate a particular event : a wedding reception. 3 the area in a hotel, office, or other establishment where guests and visitors are greeted and dealt with : [as adj. ] the reception desk.
able or willing to receive something, esp. signals or stimuli. • willing to consider or accept new suggestions and ideas : a receptive audience | the institution was receptive to new ideas.
1 a small space created by building part of a wall further back from the rest : a table set into a recess. • a hollow space inside something : the concrete block has a recess in its base.
2 a period of time when the proceedings of a parliament, committee, court of law, or other official body are temporarily suspended : talks resumed after a month's recess | the Senate was in recess.
restore an electric charge to (a battery or a battery-operated device) by connecting it to a device that draws power from another source of electricity : he plugged his razor in to recharge it.
a person or thing that receives or is awarded something : the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1 given, felt, or done in return : she was hoping for some reciprocal comment or gesture. 2 (of an agreement or obligation) bearing on or binding each of two parties equally : the treaty is a bilateral commitment with reciprocal rights and duties.
1 [ trans. ] respond to (a gesture or action) by making a corresponding one : the favor was reciprocated | [ intrans. ] perhaps I was expected to reciprocate with some remark of my own.
repeat aloud or declaim (a poem or passage) from memory before an audience : we provided our own entertainment by singing and reciting poetry. • state (names, facts, etc.) in order : she recited the dates and names of kings and queens.
(of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action : reckless driving.
2 [with clause ] informal conclude after calculation; be of the opinion : he reckons that the army should pull out entirely | I reckon I can manage that. • [ trans. ] (often be reckoned) consider or regard in a specified way : it was generally reckoned a failure.
a —— to be reckoned with (or to reckon with) a thing or person of considerable importance or ability that is not to be ignored or underestimated : the trade unions were a political force to be reckoned with.
1 retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or paid); obtain the return of : he returned three years later to reclaim his title as director of advertising | when Dennis emerged I reclaimed my room. See note at recover .
2 bring (waste land or land formerly under water) under cultivation : little money is available to reclaim and cultivate the desert | [as adj. ] ( reclaimed) reclaimed land. • recover (material) for reuse; recycle : a sufficient weight of plastic could easily be reclaimed.
assign to a different class or category : Hurricane Helene was reclassified as a bad storm.
lean or lie back in a relaxed position with the back supported : she was reclining in a deck chair | [as adj. ] ( reclining) a reclining figure. • (of a seat) be able to have the back moved into a sloping position : all the seats recline.
avoiding the company of other people; solitary : a reclusive life in rural Ireland.
2 acknowledge the existence, validity, or legality of : the defense is recognized in Mexican law | he was recognized as an international authority | [with clause ] it is important to recognize that a variety of indirect forms of discrimination operate. • officially regard (a qualification) as valid or proper : these qualifications are recognized by the Department of Education | [as adj. ] ( recognized) courses that lead to recognized qualifications.
• grant diplomatic recognition to (a country or government) : they were refusing to recognize the puppet regime. • show official appreciation of; reward formally : his work was recognized by an honorary degree from Georgetown University.
• identification of a thing or person from previous encounters or knowledge : she saw him pass by without a sign of recognition | methods of production have improved beyond all recognition. • acknowledgment of something's existence, validity, or legality : the unions must receive proper recognition. • appreciation or acclaim for an achievement, service, or ability : his work was slow to gain recognition | she received the award in recognition of her courageous human rights work.
suddenly spring or flinch back in fear, horror, or disgust : he recoiled in horror. See note at wince . • feel fear, horror, or disgust at the thought or prospect of something; shrink mentally : Renee felt herself recoil at the very thought.
remember (something); call to mind : he could not quite recollect the reason | [with clause ] can you recollect how your brother reacted?
the action or faculty of remembering something : to the best of my recollection no one ever had a bad word to say about him.
combine or cause to combine again or differently : [ intrans. ] carbohydrates can recombine with oxygen | [ trans. ] decompose the calculation into components and recombine them to find the solution.
restore friendly relations between : she wanted to be reconciled with her father | the news reconciled us. • cause to coexist in harmony; make or show to be compatible : a landscape in which inner and outer vision were reconciled | you may have to adjust your ideal to reconcile it with reality.
• ( reconcile someone to) make someone accept (a disagreeable or unwelcome thing) : he could not reconcile himself to the thought of his mother stocking shelves | he was reconciled to leaving.
connect back together : surgeons had to reconnect tendons, nerves, and veins. • [ intrans. ] reestablish a bond of communication or emotion : in order to keep your marriage healthy, it is important to reconnect as mature individuals.
consider (something) again, esp. for a possible change of decision regarding it : they called on the government to reconsider its policy | [ intrans. ] I beg you to reconsider.
• change the form and organization of (an institution) : he reconstituted his cabinet.
build or form (something) again after it has been damaged or destroyed : a small area of painted Roman plaster has been reconstructed. • reorganize (something) : later emperors reconstructed the army.
2 the sum of the past achievements or actions of a person or organization; a person or thing's previous conduct or performance : the safety record at the airport | the team preserved its unbeaten home record.
3 (esp. in sports) the best performance or most remarkable event of its kind that has been officially measured and noted : he held the world record for over a decade | he managed to beat the record | [as adj. ] record profits.
1 set down in writing or some other permanent form for later reference, esp. officially : they were asked to keep a diary and record everything they ate or drank | [as adj. ] ( recorded) levels of recorded crime. • state or express publicly or officially; make an official record of : the coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death. • (of an instrument or observer) show or register (a measurement or result) : the temperature was the lowest recorded since 1926. • achieve (a certain score or result) : they recorded their first win of the season.
for the record so that the true facts are recorded or known : for the record, I have never been to the apartment.
off the record not made as an official or attributable statement.
tell someone about something; give an account of an event or experience : [ trans. ] I recounted the tale to Steve | [with clause ] he recounts how they often talked of politics.
an act or instance of giving an account of an event or experience : one woman's recount of a prolonged battle with "huge centipedes."
regain (something lost) : rains have helped recoup water levels. See note at recover . • regain (money spent or lost), esp. through subsequent profits : oil companies are keen to recoup their investment.
1 [ intrans. ] return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength : Neil is still recovering from shock | the economy has begun to recover. • ( be recovered) (of a person) be well again : you'll be fully recovered before you know it.
2 [ trans. ] find or regain possession of (something stolen or lost) : police recovered a stolen video. • regain control of (oneself or of a physical or mental state) : he recovered his balance and sped on | one hour later I had recovered consciousness.
1 a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength : signs of recovery in the housing market | he's back at home now and he looks all set to make a full recovery. 2 the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost : a team of salvage experts to ensure the recovery of family possessions | the recovery of his sight. • the action of regaining or securing compensation or money lost or spent by means of a legal process or subsequent profits : debt recovery. • an object or amount of money recovered : the recoveries included gold jewelry.
in recovery in the process of recovering from mental illness, drug addiction, or past abuse : support groups for parents whose children are in recovery.
activity done for enjoyment when one is not working : areas used for recreation such as hiking or biking | [as adj. ] athletic and recreation facilities.
the action or process of creating something again : the periodic destruction and recreation of the universe.
relating to or denoting activity done for enjoyment when one is not working : recreational facilities | recreational cycling in the countryside.
enlist (someone) in the armed forces : they recruit their toughest soldiers from the desert tribes | [ intrans. ] the regiment was still actively recruiting. • form (an army or other force) by enlisting new people : a basis for recruiting an army.
a person newly enlisted in the armed forces and not yet fully trained : 3,000 army recruits at Ft. Benjamin.
1 denoting or shaped like a rectangle : a neat rectangular area.
1 put (something) right; correct : mistakes made now cannot be rectified later | efforts to rectify the situation.
morally correct behavior or thinking; righteousness : Maddie is a model of rectitude. See note at goodness .
1 [ intrans. ] recover from illness or exertion : she has been recuperating from a shoulder wound | Christmas is a time to recuperate. 2 [ trans. ] recover or regain (something lost or taken) : they will seek to recuperate the returns that go with investment.
1 recovery from illness or exertion : the human body has amazing powers of recuperation. 2 the recovery or regaining of something : the recuperation of the avant-garde for art.
occur again, periodically, or repeatedly : when the symptoms recurred, the doctor diagnosed something different | [as adj. ] ( recurring) a recurring theme. • (of a thought, image, or memory) come back to one's mind : Steve's words kept recurring to him. • ( recur to) go back to (something) in thought or speech : the book remained a favorite and she constantly recurred to it.
• ( recuse oneself) (of a judge) excuse oneself from a case because of a possible conflict of interest or lack of impartiality : the Justice Department demanded that he recuse himself from the case.
2 (also red-eye flight) [in sing. ] informal an overnight or late-night flight on a commercial airline : she caught the red-eye back to New York.
red in tooth and claw involving savage or merciless conflict or competition : nature, red in tooth and claw. [ORIGIN: from Tennyson's In Memoriam.]
(of a person) having a red face, esp. as a result of exertion, embarrassment, or shame : Steve was left red-faced when a fan tried to rip
make or become red : [ trans. ] bare arms reddened by sun and wind | [ intrans. ] the sky is reddening.
1 compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (something) : a disappointing debate redeemed only by an outstanding speech | [as adj. ] ( redeeming) the splendid views are the one redeeming feature of the center. • ( redeem oneself) do something that compensates for poor past performance or behavior : they redeemed themselves in the playoffs by pushing the Detroit Red Wings to a seventh and deciding game. • (of a person) atone or make amends for (error or evil) : the thief on the cross who by a single act redeemed a life of evil. • save (someone) from sin, error, or evil : he was a sinner, redeemed by the grace of God.
define again or differently : her attempt to redefine postmodernism along more political and sociocultural lines.
1 the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil : God's plans for the redemption of his world. • [in sing. ] figurative a thing that saves someone from error or evil : his marginalization from the Hollywood jungle proved to be his redemption.
assign (troops, employees, or resources) to a new place or task : units concentrated in Buenos Aires would be redeployed to the provinces.
design (something) again in a different way : the front seats have been redesigned.
discover (something forgotten or ignored) again : he was trying to rediscover his Gaelic roots.
distribute (something) differently or again, typically to achieve greater social equality : their primary concern was to redistribute income from rich to poor.
remedy or set right (an undesirable or unfair situation) : the power to redress the grievances of our citizens.
1 make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size : the need for businesses to reduce costs | the workforce has been reduced to some 6,100 | [as adj. ] ( reduced) a reduced risk of coronary disease. • [ intrans. ] become smaller or less in size, amount, or degree : the number of priority homeless cases has reduced slightly.
2 ( reduce someone/something to) bring someone or something to (a lower or weaker state, condition, or role) : she has been reduced to near poverty | the church was reduced to rubble. • ( be reduced to doing something) (of a person) be forced by difficult circumstances into doing something desperate : ordinary soldiers are reduced to begging.
3 ( reduce something to) change a substance to (a different or more basic form) : it is difficult to understand how lava could have been reduced to dust. • present a problem or subject in (a simplified form) : he reduces unimaginable statistics to manageable proportions.
1 [ predic. ] (of a subject or problem) capable of being simplified in presentation or analysis : Shakespeare's major soliloquies are not reducible to categories.
1 the action or fact of making a specified thing smaller or less in amount, degree, or size : talks on arms reduction | there had been a reduction in the number of casualties. • the amount by which something is made smaller, less, or lower in price : special reductions on knitwear. • the simplification of a subject or problem to a particular form in presentation or analysis : the reduction of classical genetics to molecular biology.
no longer needed or useful; superfluous : an appropriate use for a redundant church | many of the old skills had become redundant.
the state of being no longer needed or useful : the redundancy of 19th-century heavy plant machinery.
repeat or copy so as to form another of the same kind : the upper parts of the harmony may be reduplicated at the octave above.
• a length of something wound on to such a device : a reel of copper wire.
• bring something attached to a line, esp. a fish, toward one by turning a reel and winding in the line : he struck, and reeled in a good perch. 2 [ intrans. ] lose one's balance and stagger or lurch violently : he punched Connolly in the ear, sending him reeling | she reeled back against the van. • feel very giddy, disoriented, or bewildered, typically as a result of an unexpected setback : the unaccustomed intake of alcohol made my head reel | figurative the nationalist government is already reeling from 225 percent monthly inflation.
elect (someone) to a further term of office : Wilson was reelected in November 1994.
emerge again; come into sight or prominence once more : nationalism has reemerged in western Europe.
1 act out (a past event) : bombers were gathered together to reenact the historic first air attack.
1 [ intrans. ] ( refer to) mention or allude to : the reports of the commission are often referred to in the media | New York, referred to as the Big Apple. • [ trans. ] ( refer someone to) direct the attention of someone to : I refer my colleague to the reply that I gave some moments ago. • ( refer to) (of a word or phrase) describe or denote; have as a referent : the term "rhetoric" almost invariably refers to persuasion. 2 [ trans. ] ( refer something to) pass a matter to (another body, typically one with more authority or expertise) for a decision : disagreement arose and the issue was referred back to the Executive Committee.
• send or direct (someone) to a medical specialist : she was referred to a clinical psychologist for counseling.
1 the action of mentioning or alluding to something : he made reference to the enormous power of the mass media | references to Darwinism and evolution.
for future reference for use at a later date : she lodged this idea in the back of her mind for future reference.
with (or in) reference to in relation to; as regards : war can only be explained with reference to complex social factors.
fill (a container) again : she paused and refilled her glass with wine before going on. • replenish the supply of (medicine called for in a prescription) : there's nothing he can do but refill his Valium prescription. • [ intrans. ] (of a container) become full again : the empty pool will rapidly refill from rain and snow.
remove impurities or unwanted elements from (a substance), typically as part of an industrial process : sugar was refined by boiling it in huge iron vats.
an industrial installation where a substance is refined : an oil refinery.
1 [ trans. ] (of a surface or body) throw back (heat, light, or sound) without absorbing it : when the sun's rays hit the earth a lot of the heat is reflected back into space | [as adj. ] ( reflected) his eyes gleamed in the reflected light. • (of a mirror or shiny surface) show an image of : he could see himself reflected in Keith's mirrored glasses. • embody or represent (something) in a faithful or appropriate way : stocks are priced at a level that reflects a company's prospects | schools should reflect cultural differences. • (of an action or situation) bring (credit or discredit) to the relevant parties : the main contract is progressing well, which reflects great credit on those involved. • [ intrans. ] ( reflect well/badly on) bring about a good or bad impression of : the incident reflects badly on the operating practices of the airlines.
2 [ intrans. ] ( reflect on/upon) think deeply or carefully about : he reflected with sadness on the unhappiness of his marriage | [with clause ] Charles reflected that maybe there was hope for the family after all.
1 the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it : the reflection of light. • an amount of light, heat, or sound that is thrown back in such a way : the reflections from the streetlights gave us just enough light. • an image seen in a mirror or shiny surface : Marianne surveyed her reflection in the mirror. • a thing that is a consequence of or arises from something else : a healthy skin is a reflection of good health in general.
2 serious thought or consideration : he doesn't get much time for reflection. • an idea about something, esp. one that is written down or expressed : reflections on human destiny and art.
2 relating to or characterized by deep thought; thoughtful : a quiet, reflective, astute man.
1 an action that is performed as a response to a stimulus and without conscious thought : a newborn baby is equipped with basic reflexes. • ( reflexes) a person's ability to perform such actions, esp. quickly : he was saved by his superb reflexes.
1 (of an action) performed without conscious thought as an automatic response to a stimulus : sneezing is a reflex action.
1 make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it : an opportunity to reform and restructure an antiquated schooling model. • bring about a change in (someone) so that they no longer behave in an immoral, criminal, or self-destructive manner : the state has a duty to reform criminals | [as adj. ] ( reformed) a reformed gambler.
the action or process of reforming an institution or practice : the reform of the divorce laws | economic reforms.
1 the action or process of reforming an institution or practice : the reformation of the Senate.
(of water, air, or glass) make (a ray of light) change direction when it enters at an angle : the rays of light are refracted by the material of the lens.
stop oneself from doing something : she refrained from comment.
subject (food or drink) to cold in order to chill or preserve it, typically by placing it in a refrigerator : refrigerate the dough for one hour.
supply (a vehicle) with more fuel : the authorities agreed to refuel the plane.
a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble : he was forced to take refuge in the French embassy | I sought refuge in drink. • something providing such shelter : the family came to be seen as a refuge from a harsh world.
a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster : refugees from Nazi persecution | [as adj. ] a refugee camp.
pay back (money), typically to a customer who is not satisfied with goods or services bought : if you're not delighted with your purchase, we guarantee to refund your money in full. • pay back money to (someone) : I'll refund you for the apples and any other damage.
renovate and redecorate (something, esp. a building) : the premises have been completely refurbished in our corporate style.
indicate or show that one is not willing to do something : I refused to answer. | [ intrans. ] he was severely beaten when he refused. • [ trans. ] indicate that one is not willing to accept or grant (something offered or requested) : she refused a cigarette | [with two objs. ] the old lady was refused admission to four hospitals.
prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove : these claims have not been convincingly refuted.
obtain possession or use of (something) again after losing it : she died without regaining consciousness | the tyrant was able to regain Sicily. See note at recover .
attention to or concern for something : the court must have regard to the principle of welfare | she rescued him without regard for herself. • high opinion; liking and respect; esteem : she had a particular regard for Eliot.
in this (or that) regard in connection with the point previously mentioned : there was little incentive for them to be active in this regard. with (or in) regard to as concerns; with respect to : he made inquiries with regard to Beth.
regardless of without regard or consideration for : the allowance is paid regardless of age or income.
(of a living organism) regrow (new tissue) to replace lost or injured tissue : a crab in the process of regenerating a claw. • [ intrans. ] (of an organ or tissue) regrow : once destroyed, brain cells do not regenerate. • bring into renewed existence; generate again : the issue was regenerated last month.
tending to or characterized by regeneration : natural regenerative processes.
2 a system or planned way of doing things, esp. one imposed from above : detention centers with a very tough physical regime.
1 a prescribed course of medical treatment, way of life, or diet for the promotion or restoration of health : a regimen of one or two injections per day | a treatment regimen.
• a part of the body, esp. around or near an organ : an unexpected clenching sensation in the region of her heart.
in the region of approximately : annual sales in the region of $30 million.
1 enter or record in an official list as being in a particular category, having a particular eligibility or entitlement, or in keeping with a requirement : the vessel is registered as Liberian | her father was late in registering her birth | [as adj. ] ( registered) a registered trademark. • [ intrans. ] put one's name on an official list under such terms : [with infinitive ] 34,500 registered to vote.
the action or process of registering or of being registered : the registration of births, marriages, and deaths | the number of new private car registrations has increased.
1 [ intrans. ] return to a former or less developed state : art has been regressing toward adolescence for more than a generation now. • return mentally to a former stage of life or a supposed previous life, esp. through hypnosis or mental illness : [ intrans. ] she claims to be able to regress to the Roman era | [ trans. ] I regressed Sylvia to early childhood.
1 becoming less advanced; returning to a former or less developed state : the regressive, infantile wish for the perfect parent of early childhood.
a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done : she expressed her regret at Virginia's death | he had to decline, to his regret. • (often regrets) an instance or cause of such a feeling : she had few regrets in leaving the house.q
feeling or showing regret : he sounded regretful but pointed out that he had committed himself.
a regular customer or member, for example of a bar, store, or team : attracting a richer clientele as its regulars.
2 done or happening frequently : regular border clashes | parties were a fairly regular occurrence. • (of a person) doing the same thing or going to the same place frequently : a regular visitor.
1 arranged in or constituting a constant or definite pattern, esp. with the same space between individual instances : place the flags at regular intervals | a regular arrangement. • happening in such a pattern with the same time between individual instances; recurring at short uniform intervals : a regular monthly check | her breathing became deeper, more regular.
• establish (a hitherto temporary or provisional arrangement) on an official or correct basis : immigrants applying to regularize their status as residents.
control or maintain the rate or speed of (a machine or process) so that it operates properly : a hormone that regulates metabolism and organ function.
1 a rule or directive made and maintained by an authority : planning regulations. • [as adj. ] in accordance with regulations; of the correct type : regulation army footwear.
bring (swallowed food) up again to the mouth : gulls regurgitate food for the chicks. • figurative repeat (information) without analyzing or comprehending it : facts that can then be regurgitated at examinations.
restore (someone) to health or normal life by training and therapy after imprisonment, addiction, or illness : helping to rehabilitate former criminals.
practice (a play, piece of music, or other work) for later public performance : we were rehearsing a play | [ intrans. ] she was rehearsing for her world tour. • supervise (a performer or group) that is practicing in this way : he listened to Charlie rehearsing the band.
hold royal office; rule as king or queen : Queen Elizabeth reigns over the UK | figurative the Nashville sound will reign supreme once again. • [usu. as adj. ] ( reigning) (of an athlete or team) currently hold a particular title : the reigning world champion. • (of a quality or condition) prevail; predominate : confusion reigned.
the period during which a sovereign rules : the original chapel was built in the reign of Charles I.
repay (a person who has spent or lost money) : the investors should be reimbursed for their losses. • repay (a sum of money that has been spent or lost) : they spend thousands of dollars that are not reimbursed by insurance.
cause (a horse) to stop or slow down by pulling on its reins : he reined in his horse and waited for her. • cause (a horse) to change direction by pulling on its reins : he reined the mare's head about and rode off.
keep a tight rein on exercise strict control over; allow little freedom to : her only chance of survival was to keep a tight rein on her feelings and words.
cause (someone) to undergo rebirth in another body : a man may be reincarnated in animal form | [as adj. ] ( reincarnated) a reincarnated soul. • [ intrans. ] (of a person) be reborn in this way : they were afraid she would reincarnate as a vampire.
strengthen or support, esp. with additional personnel or material : paratroopers were sent to reinforce the troops already in the area. • strengthen (an existing feeling, idea, or habit) : various actions of the leaders so reinforced fears and suspicions that war became unavoidable.
restore (someone or something) to their former position or condition : the union is fighting to reinstate the fired journalists.
• restore to a position as a part fitting easily into a larger whole : it can be difficult for an offender to be reintegrated into the community.
make a new supply or different form of (a product, esp. a book or record) available for sale : the book was reissued with a new epilogue.
say something again or a number or times, typically for emphasis or clarity : [with clause ] she reiterated that the administration would remain steadfast in its support | [with direct speech ] "I just want to forget it all," he reiterated | [ trans. ] he reiterated the points made in his earlier speech.
dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one's taste : union negotiators rejected a 1.5 percent pay increase. • refuse to agree to (a request) : an application to hold a pop concert at the club was rejected. • fail to show due affection or concern for (someone); rebuff : she didn't want him to feel he had been rejected after his sister was born.
make (someone or something) look or feel younger, fresher, or more lively : a bid to rejuvenate the town center | [as adj. ] ( rejuvenating) the rejuvenating effects of therapeutic clay.
• revive (something that has been lost) : he tried to rekindle their friendship | the photos rekindled memories.
a deterioration in someone's state of health after a temporary improvement : he suffered a relapse of schizophrenia after a car crash.
• ( relate something to) discuss something in such a way as to indicate its connections with (something else) : the study examines social change within the city and relates it to wider developments in the country as a whole. • [ intrans. ] ( relate to) have reference to; concern : the new legislation related to corporate activities. • [ intrans. ] ( relate to) feel sympathy with; identify with : kids related to him because he was so anti-establishment.
1 the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected; a thing's effect on or relevance to another : questions about the relation between writing and reality | the size of the targets bore no relation to their importance. • ( relations) the way in which two or more people, countries, or organizations feel about and behave toward each other : the improvement in relations between the two countries | the meetings helped cement Anglo-American relations.
in relation to in the context of; in connection with : there is an ambiguity in the provisions in relation to children's hearings.
concerning the way in which two or more people or things are connected : power is a relational concept that can only be understood in terms of interactions between individuals and groups.
the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected : the study will assess the relationship between unemployment and political attitudes.
relative to 1 in comparison with : the figures suggest that girls are underachieving relative to boys. • in terms of a connection to : some stars appear to change their position relative to each other. 2 in connection with; concerning : if you have any questions relative to payment, please contact us.
1 considered in relation or in proportion to something else : the relative effectiveness of the various mechanisms is not known. • existing or possessing a specified characteristic only in comparison to something else; not absolute : she went down the steps into the relative darkness of the dining room | the companies are relative newcomers to computers.
in relation, comparison, or proportion to something else : it is perfectly simple, relatively speaking, to store a full catalog entry on magnetic tape. • [as submodifier ] viewed in comparison with something else rather than absolutely : relatively affluent people | the site was cheap and relatively clean.
• [ trans. ] cause (a limb or muscle) to become less rigid : relax the leg by bringing the knee toward the chest.
1 a group of people or animals engaged in a task or activity for a fixed period of time and then replaced by a similar group : the wagons were pulled by relays of horses | gangs of workers were sent in relays.
receive and pass on (information or a message) : she intended to relay everything she had learned. • broadcast (something) by passing signals received from elsewhere through a transmitting station : the speech was relayed live from the White House.
• the action of making a movie, recording, or other product available for general viewing or purchase : the film was withheld for two years before its release.
1 allow or enable to escape from confinement; set free : the government announced that the prisoners would be released. • remove restrictions or obligations from (someone or something) so that they become available for other activity : the strategy would release forces for service in other areas. • allow (information) to be generally available : no details about the contents of the talks were released. • make (a movie or recording) available for general viewing or purchase : nine singles and one album had been released. • allow (something concentrated in a small area) to spread and work freely : growth hormone is released into the blood during the first part of sleep.
consign or dismiss to an inferior rank or position : they aim to prevent women from being relegated to a secondary role.
abandon or mitigate a harsh intention or cruel treatment : she was going to refuse his request, but relented. • (esp. of bad weather) become less severe or intense : by evening the rain relented.
oppressively constant; incessant : the relentless heat of the desert. • harsh or inflexible : a patient but relentless taskmaster.
closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand : the candidate's experience is relevant to the job.
dependence on or trust in someone or something : the farmer's reliance on pesticides.
1 a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress : much to her relief, she saw the door open. • a cause of or occasion for such a feeling : it was a relief to find somewhere to stay.
2 assistance, esp. in the form of food, clothing, or money, given to those in special need or difficulty : raising money for famine relief | [as adj. ] relief workers. • a remission of tax normally due : people who donate money to charity will receive tax relief.
4 the state of being clearly visible or obvious due to being accentuated in some way : the setting sun threw the snow-covered peaks into relief.
1 cause (pain, distress, or difficulty) to become less severe or serious : the drug was used to promote sleep and to relieve pain. See note at alleviate . • (usu. be relieved) cause (someone) to stop feeling distressed or anxious about something : he was relieved by her change of tone. • make less tedious or monotonous by the introduction of variety or of something striking or pleasing : the bird's body is black, relieved only by white under the tail.
3 ( relieve someone of) take (a burden) from someone : he relieved her of her baggage. • free someone from (a tiresome responsibility):: she relieved me of the household chores.
voluntarily cease to keep or claim; give up : he relinquished his managerial role to become chief executive.
1 great enjoyment : she swigged a mouthful of wine with relish. • liking for or pleasurable anticipation of something : I was appointed to a position for which I had little relish.
1 enjoy greatly : he was relishing his moment of glory. • be pleased by or about : I don't relish the thought of waiting on an invalid for the next few months.
move to a new place and establish one's home or business there : if you are relocating here from another state | [ trans. ] distribution staff will be relocated to Holland.
unwilling and hesitant; disinclined : [with infinitive ] she seemed reluctant to discuss the matter.
unwillingness or disinclination to do something : she sensed his reluctance to continue.
continue to exist, esp. after other similar or related people or things have ceased to exist : a cloister is all that remains of the monastery.
• [with complement ] continue to possess a particular quality or fulfill a particular role : he had remained alert the whole time. • be left over after others or other parts have been completed, used, or dealt with : [as adj. ] ( remaining) he would see out the remaining two years of his contract.
remain to be seen used to express the notion that something is not yet known or certain : she has broken her leg, but it remains to be seen how badly.
1 a part, number, or quantity that is left over : leave a few mushrooms for garnish and slice the remainder. • a part that is still to come : the remainder of the year. • the number that is left over in a division in which one quantity does not exactly divide another : 23 divided by 3 is 7, remainder 2.
1 [ reporting verb ] say something as a comment; mention : [with direct speech ] "Tom's looking peaked," she remarked | [with clause ] he remarked that he had some work to finish | [ intrans. ] the judges remarked on the high standard of the entries.
a written or spoken comment : I decided to ignore his rude remarks. • notice or comment : the landscape was not worthy of remark.
giving or intended as a remedy or cure : remedial surgery. • provided or intended for students who are experiencing learning difficulties : remedial education.