Terms in this set (689)
of or relating to a star or stars : stellar structure and evolution. • informal featuring or having the quality of a star performer or performers : a stellar cast had been assembled. • informal exceptionally good; outstanding : his restaurant has received stellar ratings in the guides.
1 [ intrans. ] ( stem from) originate in or be caused by : many of the universities' problems stem from rapid expansion.
1 [ trans. ] stop or restrict (the flow of something) : a nurse did her best to stem the bleeding | figurative an attempt to stem the rising tide of unemployment.
a strong and very unpleasant smell : the stench of rotting fish. See note at smell .
1 an act or movement of putting one leg in front of the other in walking or running : Ron took a step back | she turned and retraced her steps. • the distance covered by such a movement : Richard came a couple of steps nearer. • [usu. in sing. ] a person's particular way of walking : she left the room with a springy step.
• a short or easily walked distance : the market is only a short step from the end of the lake.
• a doorstep : there was a pint of milk on the step.
3 a measure or action, esp. one of a series taken in order to deal with or achieve a particular thing : the government must take steps to discourage age discrimination | a major step forward in the fight against terrorism. • a stage in a gradual process : sales are up, which is a step in the right direction. • a particular position or grade on an ascending or hierarchical scale : the first step on the managerial ladder.
1 [ intrans. ] lift and set down one's foot or one foot after the other in order to walk somewhere or move to a new position : Claudia tried to step back | I accidentally stepped on his foot. • [as imperative ] used as a polite or deferential way of asking someone to walk a short distance for a particular purpose : please step this way.
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. step by step so as to progress gradually and carefully from one stage to the next : I'll explain it to you step by step | [as adj. ] a step-by-step guide.
step out of line behave inappropriately or disobediently.
step down withdraw or resign from an important position or office : Mr. Krenz stepped down as party leader a week ago.
step in become involved in a difficult or problematic situation, esp. in order to help or prevent something from happening. • act as a substitute for someone : Lucy stepped in at very short notice to take Joan's place. step out 1 leave a room or building, typically for a short time. 2 informal go out to have a good time : he was stepping out with a redheaded waitress. 3 walk with long or vigorous steps : she enjoyed the outing, stepping out manfully.
stepchild |ˈstɛptʃʌɪld| noun ( pl. -children) a child of one's husband or wife by a previous marriage.
1 not able to produce children or young : the disease had made him sterile.
• lacking in imagination, creativity, or excitement; uninspiring or unproductive : he found the fraternity's teachings sterile. 2 free from bacteria or other living microorganisms; totally clean : a sterile needle and syringes. See note at sanitary .
1 make (something) free from bacteria or other living microorganisms : babies' feeding equipment can be cleaned and sterilized | [as adj. ] ( sterilized) sterilized jars.
(of a person or their manner) serious and unrelenting, esp. in the assertion of authority and exercise of discipline : a smile transformed his stern face | Mama looked stern. • (of an act or statement) strict and severe; using extreme measures or terms : stern measures to restrict growth of traffic. See note at severe . • (of competition or opposition) putting someone or something under extreme pressure : the past year has been a stern test of the ability of local industry.
1 a dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in liquid in a closed dish or pan : lamb stew | : add to casseroles, stews, and sauces.
cook (meat, fruit, or other food) slowly in liquid in a closed dish or pan : a new way to stew rhubarb.
1 (of an official) supervise arrangements or keep order at (a large public event) : the event was organized and stewarded properly.
• a long, thin piece of something : a stick of dynamite | cinnamon sticks.
4 a threat of punishment or unwelcome measures (often contrasted with the offer of reward as a means of persuasion) : training that relies more on the carrot than on the stick.
1 [ trans. ] ( stick something in/into/through) push a sharp or pointed object into or through (something) : he stuck his fork into the sausage | the candle was stuck in a straw-covered bottle. • ( stick something on) fix something on (a point or pointed object) : stick the balls of wool on knitting needles. • [ intrans. ] ( stick in/into/through) (of a pointed object) be or remain fixed with its point embedded in (something) : there was a slim rod sticking into the ground beside me.
• [ trans. ] insert, thrust, or push : a youth with a cigarette stuck behind one ear | she stuck out her tongue at him. • [ intrans. ] protrude or extend in a certain direction : his front teeth stick out | Sue's hair was sticking up at all angles. • [ trans. ] put somewhere, typically in a quick or careless way : just stick that sandwich on my desk. • informal used to express angry dismissal of a particular thing : he told them they could stick the job—he didn't want it anyway.
• informal cause to incur an expense or loss : she stuck me for all of last month's rent. • stab or pierce with a sharp object : [as adj. ] ( stuck) he screamed like a stuck pig. 2 [ intrans. ] adhere or cling to a substance or surface : the plastic seats stuck to my skin. • [ trans. ] fasten or cause to adhere to an object or surface : she stuck the stamp on the envelope.
• [ trans. ] fasten or cause to adhere to an object or surface : she stuck the stamp on the envelope. • be or become fixed or jammed in one place as a result of an obstruction : he drove into a bog, where his wheels stuck fast. • remain in a static condition; fail to progress : he lost a lot of weight but had stuck at 210 pounds. • (of a feeling or thought) remain persistently in one's mind : one particular incident sticks in my mind.
• informal be or become convincing, established, or regarded as valid : the authorities couldn't make the charges stick | the name stuck and Anastasia she remained.
3 ( be stuck) be fixed in a particular position or unable to move or be moved : Sara tried to open the window but it was stuck | we got stuck in a traffic jam | the cat's stuck up a tree. • be unable to progress with a task or find the answer or solution to something : I'm doing the crossword and I'm stuck. • [with adverbial of place ] informal be or remain in a specified place or situation, typically one perceived as tedious or unpleasant : I don't want to be stuck in an office all my life.
• ( be stuck for) be at a loss for or in need of : I'm not usually stuck for words. • ( be stuck with) informal be unable to get rid of or escape from : like it or not, she and Grant were stuck with each other. • ( be stuck on) informal be infatuated with : he's too good for Jenny, even though she's so stuck on him.
stick around informal remain in or near a place : I'd like to stick around and watch the game.
stick out be extremely noticeable : many important things had happened to him, but one stuck out.
stick to 1 continue or confine oneself to doing or using (a particular thing) : I'll stick to bitter lemon, thanks. • not move or digress from (a path or a subject). 2 adhere to (a commitment, belief, or rule) : the government stuck to its election pledges. stick together informal remain united or mutually loyal : we Europeans must stick together.
stick with informal 1 persevere or continue with : I'm happy to stick with the present team. 2 another way of saying stick by above.
1 tending or designed to stick to things on contact or covered with something that sticks : her sticky bubblegum | sticky tape. • (of a substance) glutinous; viscous : the dough should be moist but not sticky.
2 (of the weather) hot and damp; muggy : it was an unusually hot and sticky summer. • damp with sweat : she felt hot and sticky and changed her clothes.
1 not easily bent or changed in shape; rigid : a stiff black collar | stiff cardboard. • not moving as freely as is usual or desirable; difficult to turn or operate : a stiff drawer | the faucet in the shower is a little stiff. • (of a person or part of the body) unable to move easily and without pain : he was stiff from sitting on the desk | a stiff back. • (of a person or their manner) not relaxed or friendly; constrained : she greeted him with stiff politeness. • viscous; thick : add wheat until the mixture is quite stiff.
2 severe or strong : they face stiff fines and a possible jail sentence | a stiff increase in taxes. • (of a wind) blowing strongly : a stiff breeze stirring the lake. • requiring strength or effort; difficult : a long stiff climb up the bare hillside.
1 make (someone) unable to breathe properly; suffocate : those in the streets were stifled by the fumes | [as adj. ] ( stifling) stifling heat. 2 restrain (a reaction) or stop oneself acting on (an emotion) : she stifled a giggle | she stifled a desire to turn and flee | [as adj. ] ( stifled) she gave a stifled cry of disappointment. • prevent or constrain (an activity or idea) : high taxes were stifling private enterprise.
1 a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person : the stigma of mental disorder | to be a nonreader carries a social stigma.
1 (usu. be stigmatized) describe or regard as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval : the institution was stigmatized as a last resort for the destitute.
not moving or making a sound : the still body of the young man. • (of air or water) undisturbed by wind, sound, or current; calm and tranquil : her voice carried on the still air | a still autumn day.
• figurative (of a proposal or plan) having failed to develop or succeed; unrealized : the proposed wealth tax was stillborn.
prevent or hinder the progress of : the changes must not be allowed to stymie new medical treatments.
raise levels of physiological or nervous activity in (the body or any biological system) : the women are given fertility drugs to stimulate their ovaries. See note at quicken . • encourage interest or activity in (a person or animal) : the reader could not fail to be stimulated by the ideas presented | [as adj. ] ( stimulating) a rich and stimulating working environment.
• encourage development of or increased activity in (a state or process) : the courses stimulate a passion for learning | tax changes designed to stimulate economic growth.
• a sharp tingling or burning pain or sensation : I felt the sting of the cold, bitter air. • [in sing. ] figurative a hurtful quality or effect : she smiled to take the sting out of her words.
1 [ trans. ] wound or pierce with a sting : he was stung by a jellyfish | [ intrans. ] a nettle stings if you brush it lightly. 2 feel or cause to feel a sharp tingling or burning pain or sensation : [ intrans. ] her eyes stung | [ trans. ] the brandy stung his throat | [as adj. ] ( stinging) a stinging pain. • [ trans. ] figurative (typically of something said) hurt or upset (someone) : stung by her mockery, Frank hung his head.
unwilling to give or spend; ungenerous : his employer is stingy and idle | he was stingy with his information.
1 have a strong unpleasant smell : the place stank like a sewer | his breath stank of drink. See note at smell . • [ trans. ] ( stink a place up) fill a place with such a smell : I hope they are not going to stink up the house with curry. 2 informal be very unpleasant, contemptible, or scandalous : the industry's reputation stinks. • ( stink of) be highly suggestive of (something regarded with disapproval) : the whole affair stinks of a setup.
1 a strong unpleasant smell; a stench : the stink of the place hit me as I went in. 2 informal a commotion or fuss : we go to the Four Seasons where Brad makes a big stink about getting a fountainside table.
having a strong or unpleasant smell : stinky cigarette smoke.
supply an ungenerous or inadequate amount of (something) : stowage room hasn't been stinted. • [ intrans. ] be economical or frugal about spending or providing something : he doesn't stint on wining and dining.
1 a person's fixed or allotted period of work : his varied career included a stint as a magician. 2 limitation of supply or effort : a collector with an eye for quality and the means to indulge it without stint.
demand or specify (a requirement), typically as part of a bargain or agreement : he stipulated certain conditions before their marriage | [as adj. ] ( stipulated) the stipulated time has elapsed.
1 [ trans. ] move a spoon or other implement around in (a liquid or other substance) in order to mix it thoroughly : stir the batter until it is just combined. • ( stir something in/into) add an ingredient to (a liquid or other substance) in such a way : stir in the flour and cook gently for two minutes. 2 [ intrans. ] move or begin to move slightly : nothing stirred except the wind. • [ trans. ] cause to move or be disturbed slightly : a gentle breeze stirred the leaves | cloudiness is caused by the fish stirring up mud.
• begin or cause to begin to be active or to develop : [ intrans. ] the 1960s, when the civil rights movement stirred | [ trans. ] a voice stirred her from her reverie | he even stirred himself to play an encore. 3 [ trans. ] arouse strong feelings in (someone); move or excite : they will be stirred to action by what is written | he stirred up the sweating crowd. • arouse or prompt (a feeling or memory) or inspire (the imagination) : the story stirred many memories of my childhood | the rumors had stirred up his anger.
1 a slight physical movement : I stood, straining eyes and ears for the faintest stir. • a commotion : the event caused quite a stir. • an initial sign of a specified feeling : Caroline felt a stir of anger deep within her breast.
2 an act of mixing food or drink with a spoon or other implement : he gives his chocolate milk a stir.
stir something up cause or provoke trouble or bad feeling : he accused me of trying to stir up trouble.
• a loop of thread used to join the edges of a wound or surgical incision : a neck wound requiring forty stitches. • [usu. with adj. ] a method of sewing, knitting, or crocheting producing a particular pattern or design : basic embroidery stitches. • [in sing., usu. with negative ] informal the smallest item of clothing : a man answered the door without a stitch on. 2 a sudden sharp pain in the side of the body, caused by strenuous exercise : she ran with a stitch in her side.
make, mend, or join (something) with stitches : stitch a plain seam with right sides together | they stitched the cut on her face | [as adj. ] , [in combination ] ( stitched) hand-stitched English dresses.
• a supply or quantity of something accumulated or available for future use : I need to replenish my stock of wine | fish stocks are being dangerously depleted.
• (also stocks) a portion of this as held by an individual or group as an investment : she owned $3000 worth of stock.
1 have or keep a supply of (a particular product or type or product) available for sale : most supermarkets now stock a range of organic produce. • provide or fill with goods, items, or a supply of something : I must stock up the fridge | [as adj., with submodifier or in combination ] ( stocked) a well-stocked store.
in (or out of) stock (of goods) available (or unavailable) for immediate sale in a store.
accumulate a large stock of (goods or materials) : he claimed that the weapons were being stockpiled.
• bulky or heavy in appearance : this stodgy three-story building.
enduring pain and hardship without showing one's feelings or complaining : he taught a stoical acceptance of suffering.
• encourage or incite (a strong emotion or tendency) : his composure had the effect of stoking her anger. • [often as adj. ] ( stoked) informal excite or thrill : when they told me I was on the team, I was stoked. • [ intrans. ] informal consume a large quantity of food or drink to give one energy : Carol was at the coffee machine, stoking up for the day.
tread heavily and noisily, typically in order to show anger : Martin stomped off to the spare room. • [ intrans. ] ( stomp on) tread heavily or stamp on : I stomped on the accelerator. • [ trans. ] deliberately trample or tread heavily on : Cobb proceeded to kick and stomp him viciously.
• (in metaphorical use) weight or lack of feeling, expression, or movement : Isabel stood as if turned to stone | her face became as hard as stone | the elevator dropped like a stone.
be written (or engraved or set) in stone used to emphasize that something is fixed and unchangeable : anything can change—nothing is written in stone.
leave no stone unturned try every possible course of action in order to achieve something.
1 bend one's head or body forward and downward : he stooped down and reached toward the coin | : Linda stooped to pick up the bottles | : [ trans. ] the man stoops his head. • have the head and shoulders habitually bent forward : he tends to stoop when he walks | [as adj. ] ( stooping): a thin, stooping figure.
2 lower one's moral standards so far as to do something reprehensible : Craig wouldn't stoop to thieving | : she was unwilling to believe that anyone could stoop so low as to steal from a dead woman.
2 [ trans. ] cause (an action, process, or event) to come to an end : this harassment has got to be stopped. • prevent (an action or event) from happening : a security guard was killed trying to stop a raid. • prevent or dissuade (someone) from continuing in an activity or achieving an aim : a campaign is under way to stop the bombers. • [ trans. ] prevent (someone or something) from performing a specified action or undergoing a specified experience : you can't stop me from getting what I want.
• cause or order to cease moving or operating : he stopped his car by the house | police were given powers to stop and search suspects.
3 [ trans. ] block or close up (a hole or leak) : he tried to stop the hole with the heel of his boot | the drain has been stopped up.
1 a cessation of movement or operation : all business came to a stop | there were constant stops and changes of pace. • a break or halt during a journey : allow an hour or so for driving and as long as you like for stops | the flight landed for a refueling stop. • a place designated for a bus or train to halt and pick up or drop off passengers : the bus was pulling up at her stop.
• an object or part of a mechanism that is used to prevent something from moving : the shelves have special stops to prevent them from being pulled out too far.
pull out all the stops make a very great effort to achieve something : the director pulled out all the stops to meet the impossible deadline. • do something very elaborately or on a grand scale : they gave a Christmas party and pulled out all the stops. [ORIGIN: with reference to the stops of an organ.]
stop off (or over) pay a short visit en route to one's ultimate destination when traveling : I stopped off to visit him and his wife | he decided to stop over in Paris.
stop short of not go as far as (some extreme action) : the measures stopped short of establishing direct trade links.
a break in a journey : the one-day stopover in Honolulu.
an instance of movement, activity, or supply stopping or being stopped : the result of the air raid was complete stoppage of production.
1 a retail establishment selling items to the public : a health-food store. • [as adj. ] store-bought : there's a loaf of store bread. 2 a quantity or supply of something kept for use as needed : the squirrel has a store of food | figurative her vast store of knowledge.
keep or accumulate (something) for future use : a small room used for storing furniture. • retain or enter (information) for future electronic retrieval : the data is stored on disk. • ( be stored with) have a supply of (something useful) : a mind well stored with esoteric knowledge.
• a heavy discharge of missiles or blows : two men were taken by a storm of bullets. 2 [usu. in sing. ] a tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy : the book caused a storm in South America | she has been at the center of a storm concerning payments. • a violent or noisy outburst of a specified feeling or reaction : the disclosure raised a storm of protest.
1 [ intrans. ] move angrily or forcefully in a specified direction : she burst into tears and stormed off | he stormed out of the house. • [with direct speech ] shout (something) angrily; rage : "Don't patronize me!" she stormed. • move forcefully and decisively to a specified position in a game or contest : he barged past and stormed to the checkered flag.
2 [ trans. ] (of troops) suddenly attack and capture (a building or other place) by means of force : Indian commandos stormed a hijacked plane early today | [as n. ] ( storming) the storming of the Bastille. See note at attack . 3 [ intrans. ] (of the weather) be violent, with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow : when it stormed in the day, I shoveled the drive before Harry came home.
the calm (or lull) before the storm a period of unusual tranquility or stability that seems likely to presage difficult times.
take something by storm (of troops) capture a place by a sudden and violent attack. • have great and rapid success in a particular place or with a particular group of people : his first collection took the fashion world by storm.
(of weather) characterized by strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow : a dark and stormy night. • (of the sea or sky) having large waves or dark clouds because of windy or rainy conditions : gray and stormy skies. • full of angry or violent outbursts of feeling : a long and stormy debate | a stormy relationship.
but that's another story informal used after raising a matter to indicate that one does not want to expand on it for now. end of story informal used to emphasize that there is nothing to add on a matter just mentioned : Men don't cry in public. End of story. it's a long story informal used to indicate that, for now, one does not want to talk about something that is too involved or painful.
the same old story used to indicate that a particular bad situation is tediously familiar : are we not faced with the same old story of a badly managed project? the story goes it is said or rumored : the story goes that he's fallen out with his friends. to make (or Brit. cut) a long story short used to end an account of events quickly : to make a long story short, I married Stephen.
1 (of a person) somewhat fat or of heavy build : stout middle-aged men. • (of an object) strong and thick : Billy had armed himself with a stout stick | stout walking boots.
pack or store (an object) carefully and neatly in a particular place : the bathhouse offers baskets in which to stow your clothes | she stowed the map away in the glove compartment.
sit or stand with one leg on either side of : he turned the chair around and straddled it. • place (one's legs) wide apart : he shifted his legs, straddling them to keep his balance.
move along slowly, typically in a small irregular group, so as to remain some distance behind the person or people in front : half the men were already straggling back into the building | [as adj. ] ( straggling) the straggling crowd of refugees.
2 properly positioned so as to be level, upright, or symmetrical : he made sure his tie was straight. • [ predic. ] in proper order or condition : it'll take a long time to get the place straight.
3 not evasive; honest : a straight answer | thank you for being straight with me. • simple; straightforward : a straight choice between nuclear power and penury. • (of a look) bold and steady : he gave her a straight, no-nonsense look.
1 in a straight line; directly : he was gazing straight at her | keep straight on. • with no delay or diversion; directly or immediately : after dinner we went straight back to our hotel | I fell into bed and went straight to sleep. • archaic at once; immediately : I'll fetch up the bath to you straight. 2 in or into a level, even, or upright position : he pulled his clothes straight | sit up straight!
3 correctly; clearly : I'm so tired I can hardly think straight. • honestly and directly; in a straightforward manner : I told her straight—the kid's right. 4 without a break; continuously : he remembered working sixteen hours straight.
a straight face a blank or serious facial expression, esp. when trying not to laugh : my father kept a straight face when he joked.
make or become straight : [ trans. ] she helped him straighten his tie | [ intrans. ] where the river straightened he took his chance to check the barometer. • [ trans. ] make tidy or put in order again : he sat down at his desk, straightening his things that Lee had moved | they are asking for help in straightening out their lives. • [ intrans. ] stand or sit erect after bending : he straightened up, using the bedside table for support.
uncomplicated and easy to do or understand : in a straightforward case no fees will be charged. • (of a person) honest and frank : a straightforward young man.
• used in reference to something that restricts freedom of action, development, or expression : the government is operating in an economic straitjacket.
• impose severely restrictive measures on (a person or activity) : the treaty should not be used as a tool to straitjacket international trade.
1 [ trans. ] force (a part of one's body or oneself) to make a strenuous or unusually great effort : I stopped and listened, straining my ears for any sound. • injure (a limb, muscle, or organ) by overexerting it or twisting it awkwardly : on cold days you are more likely to strain a muscle | glare from the screen can strain your eyes. • [ intrans. ] make a strenuous and continuous effort : his voice was so quiet that I had to strain to hear it.
• make severe or excessive demands on : he strained her tolerance to the limit. • [ intrans. ] pull or push forcibly at something : the bear strained at the chain around its neck | his stomach was swollen, straining against the thin shirt. • stretch (something) tightly : the barbed wire fence was strained to posts six feet high.
2 [ trans. ] pour (a mainly liquid substance) through a porous or perforated device or material in order to separate out any solid matter : strain the custard into a bowl.
1 a force tending to pull or stretch something to an extreme or damaging degree : the usual type of chair puts an enormous strain on the spine | aluminum may bend under strain.
• an injury to a part of the body caused by overexertion or twisting a muscle awkwardly : he has a slight groin strain. 2 a severe or excessive demand on the strength, resources, or abilities of someone or something : the accusations put a strain on relations between the two countries | she's obviously under considerable strain. • a state of tension or exhaustion resulting from this : the telltale signs of nervous strain. 3 (usu. strains) the sound of a piece of music as it is played or performed : through the open windows came the strains of a hurdy-gurdy playing in the street.
1 (also straits) a narrow passage of water connecting two seas or two large areas of water : [in place names ] the Strait of Gibraltar.
drive or leave (a boat, sailor, or sea creature) aground on a shore : the ships were stranded in shallow water | : [as adj. ] ( stranded) a stranded whale. • leave (someone) without the means to move from somewhere : they were stranded in St. Louis by the blizzard.
2 not previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien : she found herself in bed in a strange place | a harsh accent that was strange to his ears.
the house was strangely quiet | [ sentence adverb ] strangely enough, people were able to perform this task without difficulty.
squeeze or constrict the neck of (a person or animal), esp. so as to cause death : the victim was strangled with a scarf. • [as adj. ] ( strangled) sounding as though the speaker's throat is constricted : a series of strangled gasps. • suppress (an impulse, action, or sound) : she strangled a sob. • hamper or hinder the development or activity of : overrestrictive policies that strangle growth.
• complete or overwhelming control : he broke the union that held a stranglehold on bus service.
1 [ trans. ] fasten or secure in a specified place or position with a strap or seat belt : I had to strap the bag to my bicycle | the children were strapped into their car seats. 2 [ trans. ] beat (someone) with a strip of leather : I expected when my dad walked in that he'd strap him.
1 a layer or a series of layers of rock in the ground : a stratum of flint. • a thin layer within any structure : thin strata of air. 2 a level or class to which people are assigned according to their social status, education, or income : members of other social strata.
form or arrange into strata : socially stratified cities | [ intrans. ] the residues have begun to stratify. • arrange or classify : stratifying patients into well-defined risk groups.
• figurative the very highest levels of a profession or other sphere, or of prices or other quantities : her next big campaign launched her into the fashion stratosphere.
• a stalk of grain or something similar used in drawing lots : we had to draw straws for the food we had.
grasp (or clutch or catch) at straws (or a straw) be in such a desperate situation as to resort to even the most unlikely means of salvation. [ORIGIN: from the proverb a drowning man will clutch at a straw.] draw the short straw be the unluckiest of a group of people, esp. in being chosen to perform an unpleasant task. the last (or final) straw a further difficulty or annoyance, typically minor in itself but coming on top of a whole series of difficulties, that makes a situation unbearable : his affair was the last straw. [ORIGIN: from the proverb the last straw breaks the (laden) camel's back.]
move without a specific purpose or by mistake, esp. so as to get lost or arrive somewhere where one should not be : I strayed a few blocks in the wrong direction | the military arrested anyone who strayed into the exclusion zone. • move so as to escape from control or leave the place where one should be : dog owners are urged not to allow their dogs to stray | figurative I appear to have strayed a long way from our original topic. • [ intrans. ] (of the eyes or a hand) move idly or casually in a specified direction : her eyes strayed to the telephone. • (of a person who is married or in a long-term relationship) be unfaithful : men who stray are seen as more exciting and desirable.
1 not in the right place; not where it should be or where other items of the same kind are : he pushed a few stray hairs from her face. • appearing somewhere by chance or accident; not part of a general pattern or plan : she was killed by a stray bullet. • (of a domestic animal) having no home or having wandered away from home : stray dogs.
1 a long, thin line or mark of a different substance or color from its surroundings : a streak of oil.
2 an element of a specified kind in someone's character : there's a streak of insanity in the family | Lucy had a ruthless streak. • [usu. with adj. ] a continuous period of specified success or luck : the theater is on a winning streak | the team closed the season with an 11-game losing streak.
1 [ trans. ] cover (a surface) with streaks : tears streaking her face, Cynthia looked up | his beard was streaked with gray. • dye (hair) with long, thin lines of a different, typically lighter color than one's natural hair color : [ trans. ] hair that was streaked blond.
2 a continuous flow of liquid, air, or gas : Frank blew out a stream of smoke | the blood gushed out in scarlet streams.
• ( a stream/streams of) a mass of people or things moving continuously in the same direction : there is a steady stream of visitors.
1 [ intrans. ] (of liquid) run or flow in a continuous current in a specified direction : she sat with tears streaming down her face | figurative sunlight streamed through the windows. • (of a mass of people or things) move in a continuous flow in a specified direction : he was watching the taxis streaming past. 2 [ intrans. ] (usu. be streaming) (of a person or part of the body) produce a continuous flow of liquid; run with liquid : my eyes were streaming | I woke up in the night, streaming with sweat | [ trans. ] his mouth was streaming blood. 3 [ intrans. ] (of hair, clothing, etc.) float or wave at full extent in the wind : her black cloak streamed behind her.
against (or with) the stream against (or with) the prevailing view or tendency : a world in which the demand for quality does not run against the stream.
design or provide with a form that presents very little resistance to a flow of air or water, increasing speed and ease of movement : streamlined passenger trains. • figurative make (an organization or system) more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working methods : the company streamlined its operations by removing whole layers of management.
having the skills and knowledge necessary for dealing with modern urban life, esp. the difficult or criminal aspects of it : a street-smart hustler on a motorcycle.
these skills and knowledge : take the advice of somebody who's got a little more street smarts than you.
• the degree of intensity of a feeling or belief : street protests demonstrated the strength of feeling against the president. • the cogency of an argument or case : the strength of the argument for property taxation. • the potency, intensity, or speed of a force or natural agency : the wind had markedly increased in strength. • the potency or degree of concentration of a drug, chemical, or drink : it's double the strength of your average beer | the solution comes in two strengths.
• the influence or power possessed by a person, organization, or country : the political and military strength of European governments. • the degree of intensity of a feeling or belief : street protests demonstrated the strength of feeling against the president.
make or become stronger : [ trans. ] he advises an application of fluoride to strengthen the teeth | [ intrans. ] the wind won't strengthen until after dark.
requiring or using great exertion : Beijing's strenuous efforts to join the World Trade Organization.
2 a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances : he's obviously under a lot of stress | [in combination ] stress-related illnesses. • something that causes such a state : the stresses and strains of public life. 3 particular emphasis or importance : he has started to lay greater stress on the government's role in industry. • emphasis given to a particular syllable or word in speech, typically through a combination of relatively greater loudness, higher pitch, and longer duration : normally, the stress falls on the first syllable.
1 pressure or tension exerted on a material object : the distribution of stress is uniform across the bar.
1 [ reporting verb ] give particular emphasis or importance to (a point, statement, or idea) made in speech or writing : [ trans. ] they stressed the need for reform | [with clause ] she was anxious to stress that her daughter's safety was her only concern | [with direct speech ] "I want it done very, very neatly," she stressed. • [ trans. ] give emphasis to (a syllable or word) when pronouncing it. 2 [ trans. ] subject to pressure or tension : this type of workout does stress the shoulder and knee joints. 3 [ trans. ] cause mental or emotional strain or tension in : I avoid many of the things that used to stress me before | [as adj. ] ( stressed) she should see a doctor if she is feeling particularly stressed out. • [ intrans. ] informal become tense or anxious; worry : don't stress—there's plenty of time to get a grip on the situation.
1 (of something soft or elastic) be made or be capable of being made longer or wider without tearing or breaking : my sweater stretched in the wash | rubber will stretch easily when pulled. • [ trans. ] cause to do this : stretch the elastic. • [ trans. ] pull (something) tightly from one point to another or across a space : small squares of canvas were stretched over the bamboo frame. • last or cause to last longer than expected : [ intrans. ] her nap had stretched to two hours | [ trans. ] stretch your weekend into a mini summer vacation.
• last or cause to last longer than expected : [ intrans. ] her nap had stretched to two hours | [ trans. ] stretch your weekend into a mini summer vacation. • [ trans. ] make great demands on the capacity or resources of : the cost of the court case has stretched their finances to the limit. • [ trans. ] cause (someone) to make maximum use of their talents or abilities : it's too easy—it doesn't stretch me. • [ trans. ] adapt or extend the scope of (something) in a way that exceeds a reasonable or acceptable limit : to describe her as sweet would be stretching it a bit.
2 straighten or extend one's body or a part of one's body to its full length, typically so as to tighten one's muscles or in order to reach something : the cat yawned and stretched | [ trans. ] stretching my cramped legs | we lay stretched out on the sand. 3 [ intrans. ] extend or spread over an area or period of time : the beach stretches for over four miles | the long hours of night stretched ahead of her.
1 an act of stretching one's limbs or body : I got up and had a stretch. • the fact or condition of a muscle being stretched : she could feel the stretch and pull of the muscles in her legs.
• a difficult or demanding task : it was a stretch for me sometimes to come up with the rent. 2 a continuous area or expanse of land or water : a treacherous stretch of road. • a continuous period of time : long stretches of time. • informal a period of time spent in prison : a four-year stretch for tax fraud. • a straight part of a racetrack, typically the homestretch : he made a promising start, but faded down the stretch.
stretch one's legs go for a short walk, typically after sitting in one place for some time.
by no (or not by any) stretch of the imagination used to emphasize that something is definitely not the case : by no stretch of the imagination could Carl ever be called good-looking.
seriously affected by an undesirable condition or unpleasant feeling : the pilot landed the stricken aircraft | : Raymond was stricken with grief | : [in combination ] the farms were drought-stricken. • (of a face or look) showing great distress : she looked at Anne's stricken face, contorted with worry.
demanding that rules concerning behavior are obeyed and observed : my father was very strict | a strict upbringing. See note at severe . • (of a rule or discipline) demanding total obedience or observance; rigidly enforced : civil servants are bound by strict rules on secrecy. • (of a person) following rules or beliefs exactly : a strict vegetarian. • exact in correspondence or adherence to something; not allowing or admitting deviation or relaxation : a strict interpretation of the law.
1 [ intrans. ] walk with long, decisive steps in a specified direction : he strode across the road | figurative striding confidently toward the future. • [ trans. ] walk about or along (a street or other place) in this way : a woman striding the cobbled streets. 2 [ intrans. ] ( stride across/over) cross (an obstacle) with one long step : by giving a little leap she could stride across like a grown-up.
1 a long, decisive step : he crossed the room in a couple of strides. • [in sing. ] the length of a step or manner of taking steps in walking or running : the horse shortened its stride | he followed her with an easy stride. 2 (usu. strides) a step or stage in progress toward an aim : great strides have been made toward equality. • ( one's stride) a good or regular rate of progress, esp. after a slow or hesitant start : after months of ineffective campaigning, he seems to have hit his stride.
angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; conflict : strife within the community | : ethnic and civil strife.
strike back 1 retaliate : he struck back at critics who claim he is too negative. 2 (of a gas burner) burn from an internal point before the gas has become mixed with air.
strike while the iron is hot make use of an opportunity immediately. [ORIGIN: with reference to smithing.]
strike a pose (or attitude) hold one's body in a particular position to create an impression : striking a dramatic pose, Antonia announced that she was leaving.
1 a refusal to work organized by a body of employees as a form of protest, typically in an attempt to gain a concession or concessions from their employer : dockers voted for an all-out strike | local government workers went on strike | [as adj. ] strike action.
• reach, achieve, or agree to (something involving agreement, balance, or compromise) : the team has struck a deal with a sports marketing agency | you have to strike a happy medium.
5 [ trans. ] cancel, remove, or cross out with or as if with a pen : strike his name from the list | striking words through with a pen. • ( strike someone off) officially remove someone from membership of a professional group : he had been struck off as a disgrace to the profession. • ( strike something down) abolish a law or regulation : the law was struck down by the Supreme Court.
4 [ intrans. ] (of employees) refuse to work as a form of organized protest, typically in an attempt to obtain a particular concession or concessions from their employer : workers may strike over threatened job losses.
3 [ trans. ] (of a thought or idea) come into the mind of (someone) suddenly or unexpectedly : a disturbing thought struck Melissa. • cause (someone) to have a particular impression : [with clause ] it struck him that Marjorie was unusually silent | the idea struck her as odd. • ( be struck by/with) find particularly interesting, noticeable, or impressive : Lucy was struck by the ethereal beauty of the scene.
2 [ trans. ] (of a disaster, disease, or other unwelcome phenomenon) occur suddenly and have harmful or damaging effects on : an earthquake struck the island | [ intrans. ] tragedy struck when he was killed in a car crash | [as adj. in combination ] ( struck) storm-struck areas. • [ intrans. ] carry out an aggressive or violent action, typically without warning : it was eight months before the murderer struck again. • (usu. be struck down) kill or seriously incapacitate (someone) : he was struck down by a mystery virus.
1 [ trans. ] hit forcibly and deliberately with one's hand or a weapon or other implement : he raised his hand, as if to strike me | one man was struck on the head with a stick | [ intrans. ] Edgar struck out at her. • inflict (a blow) : [with two objs. ] he struck her two blows on the leg. • accidentally hit (a part of one's body) against something : she fell, striking her head against the side of the boat. • come into forcible contact or collision with : he was struck by a car on Whitepark Road.
• come into forcible contact or collision with : he was struck by a car on Whitepark Road. • (of a beam or ray of light or heat) fall on (an object or surface) : the light struck her ring, reflecting off the diamond. • (in sporting contexts) hit or kick (a ball) so as to score a run, point, or goal : he struck the ball into the back of the net. • [ intrans. ] (of a clock) indicate the time by sounding a chime or stroke : [with complement ] the church clock struck twelve.
strike a balance choose a moderate course or compromise : she's decided to strike a balance between fashionable and accessible.
strike (or touch) the right chord skillfully appeal to or arouse a particular emotion in others : Dickens knew how to strike the right chord in the hearts of his readers.
2 a set of things tied or threaded together on a thin cord : she wore a string of agates around her throat.
• ( be strung) be arranged in a long line : the houses were strung along the road. • ( string something together) add items to one another to form a series or coherent whole : he can't string two sentences together.
no strings attached informal used to show that an offer or opportunity carries no special conditions or restrictions.
string someone along informal mislead someone deliberately over a length of time, esp. about one's intentions : she had no plans to marry him—she was just stringing him along.
(of regulations, requirements, or conditions) strict, precise, and exacting : California's air pollution guidelines are stringent.
1 a long, narrow piece of cloth, paper, plastic, or some other material : a strip of linen.
1 remove all coverings from : they stripped the bed. • remove the clothes from (someone) : [ trans. ] the man had been stripped naked. • [ intrans. ] take off one's clothes : they stripped and showered | she stripped down to her underwear.
• pull or tear off (a garment or covering) : she stripped off her shirt | figurative strip away the hype, and you'll find original thought.
2 leave bare of accessories or fittings : thieves stripped the room of luggage. • remove the accessory fittings of or take apart (a machine, motor vehicle, etc.) to inspect or adjust it : the tank was stripped down piece by piece. 3 ( strip someone of) deprive someone of (rank, power, or property) : the lieutenant was stripped of his rank.
an act of undressing, esp. in a striptease : she got drunk and did a strip on top of the piano. • [as adj. ] used for or involving the performance of stripteases : a campaigner against strip joints.
• a type or category : entrepreneurs of all stripes are joining in the offensive.
reduced to essentials : an interim, stripped-down funding bill.
make great efforts to achieve or obtain something : national movements were striving for independence | [with infinitive ] we must strive to secure steady growth. • struggle or fight vigorously : scholars must strive against bias.
1 an act of hitting or striking someone or something; a blow : he received three strokes of the cane.
2 an act of moving one's hand or an object across a surface, applying gentle pressure : massage the cream into your skin using light upward strokes. • a mark made by drawing a pen, pencil, or paintbrush in one direction across paper or canvas : the paint had been applied in careful, regular strokes.
3 a movement, esp. one of a series, in which something moves out of its position and back into it; a beat : the ray swam with effortless strokes of its huge wings.
1 move one's hand with gentle pressure over (a surface, esp. hair, fur, or skin), typically repeatedly; caress : he put his hand on her hair and stroked it. • [ trans. ] apply (something) to a surface using a gentle movement : she strokes blue eyeshadow on her eyelids. • informal reassure or flatter (someone), esp. in order to gain their cooperation : production executives were expert at stroking stars and brokering talent.
walk in a leisurely way : I strolled around the city.
• (of an argument or case) likely to succeed because of sound reasoning or convincing evidence : there is a strong argument for decentralization. • possessing skills and qualities that create a likelihood of success : the competition was too strong. • powerfully affecting the mind, senses, or emotions : his imagery made a strong impression on the critics.
• used after a number to indicate the size of a group : a hostile crowd several thousand strong. 2 able to withstand great force or pressure : cotton is strong, hard-wearing, and easy to handle.
• (of a person's nervous or emotional state) not easily disturbed or upset : driving on these highways requires strong nerves. • (of a person's character) showing determination, self-control, and good judgment : only a strong will enabled him to survive.
• offering security and advantage : the company was in a strong position to negotiate a deal.
• (of language or actions) forceful and extreme, esp. excessively or unacceptably so : the government was urged to take strong measures against the perpetrators of violence.
the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex : flint is extremely hard, like diamond, which has a similar structure.
construct or arrange according to a plan; give a pattern or organization to : the game is structured so that there are five ways to win.
• [ intrans. ] make one's way with difficulty : he struggled to the summit of the world's highest mountain. • have difficulty in gaining recognition or a living : new authors are struggling in the present climate.
• a conflict or contest : a power struggle for the leadership. • a great physical effort : with a struggle, she pulled the stroller up the slope. • a determined effort under difficulties : the center is the result of the scientists' struggle to realize their dream. • a very difficult task : it was a struggle to make herself understood.
2 [in sing. ] a stiff, erect, and apparently arrogant or conceited gait : that old confident strut and swagger has returned.
1 [ intrans. ] walk with a stiff, erect, and apparently arrogant or conceited gait : peacocks strut through the grounds. 2 [ trans. ] brace (something) with a strut or struts : the holes were close-boarded and strutted.
2 extinguish (a lighted cigarette) by pressing the lighted end against something : she stubbed out her cigarette in the overflowing ashtray.
2 look at closely in order to observe or read : she bent her head to study the plans.
2 a detailed investigation and analysis of a subject or situation : a study of a sample of 5,000 children | the study of global problems. • a portrayal in literature or another art form of an aspect of behavior or character : a study of a man devoured by awareness of his own mediocrity.
1 matter, material, articles, or activities of a specified or indeterminate kind that are being referred to, indicated, or implied : a pickup truck picked the stuff up | a girl who's good at the technical stuff.
• Brit., informal dated worthless or foolish ideas, speech, or writing; rubbish : [as exclam. ] stuff and nonsense !
• ( one's stuff) things in which one is knowledgeable and experienced; one's area of expertise : he knows his stuff and can really write.
2 the basic constituents or characteristics of something or someone : Healey was made of sterner stuff | such a trip was the stuff of his dreams.
1 fill (a receptacle or space) tightly with something : an old teapot stuffed full of cash | figurative his head has been stuffed with myths and taboos. • informal force or cram (something) tightly into a receptacle or space : he stuffed a thick wad of cash into his jacket pocket. • informal hastily or clumsily push (something) into a space : Sadie took the coin and stuffed it in her coat pocket.
• informal fill (oneself) with large amounts of food : he stuffed himself with potato chips.
(of a place) lacking fresh air or ventilation : a stuffy, overcrowded office.
• [with adverbial of direction ] trip repeatedly as one walks : his legs still weak, he stumbled after them. • make a mistake or repeated mistakes in speaking : she stumbled over the words. • ( stumble across/on/upon) find or encounter by chance : they stumbled across a farmer selling 25 acres.
short and thick; squat : weak stumpy legs.
knock unconscious or into a dazed or semiconscious state : the man was strangled after being stunned by a blow to the head. • (usu. be stunned) astonish or shock (someone) so that they are temporarily unable to react : the community was stunned by the tragedy. • (of a sound) deafen temporarily : a blast like that could stun anybody.
• something unusual done to attract attention : the story was spread as a publicity stunt to help sell books.
make (someone) unable to think or feel properly : the offense of administering drugs to a woman with intent to stupefy her. • astonish and shock : the amount they spend on clothes would appall their parents and stupefy their grandparents.
extremely impressive : a stupendous display of technique.
a state of near-unconsciousness or insensibility : a drunken stupor.
(of a person or their body) strongly and solidly built : he had a sturdy, muscular physique. • strong enough to withstand rough work or treatment : the bike is sturdy enough to cope with bumpy tracks. • showing confidence and determination : the townspeople have a sturdy independence.
talk with continued involuntary repetition of sounds, esp. initial consonants : the child was stuttering in fright. • [ trans. ] utter in such a way : he shyly stuttered out an invitation to the movies | [with direct speech ] "W-what's happened?" she stuttered. • (of a machine or gun) produce a series of short, sharp sounds : she flinched as a machine gun stuttered nearby.
1 design or make in a particular form : the yacht is well proportioned and conservatively styled. • arrange (hair) in a particular way : he styled her hair by twisting it up to give it body.
1 a manner of doing something : different styles of management.
• a way of using language : he never wrote in a journalistic style | students should pay attention to style and idiom.
(forming adjectives and adverbs) in a manner characteristic of : family-style | church-style.
having or displaying a good sense of style : these are elegant and stylish performances. • fashionably elegant : a stylish and innovative range of jewelry.
(esp. of a man) charming, confident, and elegant : all the waiters were suave and deferential. See note at urbane .
1 at, to, or from a lower level or position : subalpine | sub-basement. • lower in rank : subaltern | subdeacon. • of a smaller size; of a subordinate nature : subculture. • of lesser quality; inferior : subhuman | substandard. 2 somewhat; nearly; more or less : subantarctic. 3 denoting a later or secondary action of the same kind : sublet | subdivision | subsequent. 4 denoting support : subvention.
of or concerning the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one's actions and feelings : my subconscious fear.
employ a business or person outside one's company to do (work) as part of a larger project : we would subcontract the translation work out.
divide (something that has already been divided or that is a separate unit) : the heading was subdivided into eight separate sections.
overcome, quieten, or bring under control (a feeling or person) : she managed to subdue an instinct to applaud. • bring (a country or people) under control by force : Charles went on a campaign to subdue the Saxons.
• a person or circumstance giving rise to a specified feeling, response, or action : the incident was the subject of international condemnation.
1 likely or prone to be affected by (a particular condition or occurrence, typically an unwelcome or unpleasant one) : he was subject to bouts of manic depression. 2 dependent or conditional upon : the proposed merger is subject to the approval of the shareholders. 3 under the authority of : legislation making Congress subject to the laws it passes.
conditionally upon : subject to bankruptcy court approval, the company expects to begin liquidation of its inventory.
1 based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions : his views are highly subjective | there is always the danger of making a subjective judgment. Contrasted with objective .
bring under domination or control, esp. by conquest : the invaders had soon subjugated most of the native population. • ( subjugate someone/something to) make someone or something subordinate to : the new ruler firmly subjugated the Church to the state.
of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe : Mozart's sublime piano concertos | [as n. ] ( the sublime) experiences that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.
existing, occurring, done, or used under the surface of the sea : submarine volcanic activity.
cause to be under water : houses had been flooded and cars submerged. • [ intrans. ] descend below the surface of an area of water : the U-boat had had time to submerge. • completely cover or obscure : the tensions submerged earlier in the campaign now came to the fore.
1 [ intrans. ] accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person : the original settlers were forced to submit to Bulgarian rule. • ( submit oneself) consent to undergo a certain treatment : he submitted himself to a body search. • [ trans. ] subject to a particular process, treatment, or condition : samples submitted to low pressure.
• agree to refer a matter to a third party for decision or adjudication : the U.S. refused to submit to arbitration. 2 [ trans. ] present (a proposal, application, or other document) to a person or body for consideration or judgment : the panel's report was submitted to a parliamentary committee. • [with clause ] (esp. in judicial contexts) suggest; argue : he submitted that such measures were justified.
lower in rank or position : his subordinate officers. • of less or secondary importance : in adventure stories, character must be subordinate to action.
treat or regard as of lesser importance than something else : practical considerations were subordinated to political expediency.
a writ ordering a person to attend a court : a subpoena may be issued to compel their attendance | they were all under subpoena to appear.
summon (someone) with a subpoena : the Queen is above the law and cannot be subpoenaed. • require (a document or other evidence) to be submitted to a court of law : the decision to subpoena government records.
• ( subscribe to) figurative express or feel agreement with (an idea or proposal) : we prefer to subscribe to an alternative explanation. • [ trans. ] apply to participate in : the course has been fully subscribed. • apply for or undertake to pay for an offering of shares of stock : investors would subscribe electronically to the initial stock offerings | [ trans. ] yesterday's offering was fully subscribed.
1 the action of making or agreeing to make an advance payment in order to receive or participate in something : the newsletter is available only on subscription | take out a one-year subscription. • an arrangement by which access is granted to an online service. • chiefly Brit. a payment of such a type : membership is available at an annual subscription of £300.
coming after something in time; following : the theory was developed subsequent to the earthquake of 1906.
prepared to obey others unquestioningly : she was subservient to her parents. See note at obsequious . • less important; subordinate : Marxism makes freedom subservient to control. • serving as a means to an end : the whole narration is subservient to the moral plan of exemplifying twelve virtues in twelve knights.
1 become less intense, violent, or severe : I'll wait a few minutes until the storm subsides. • lapse into silence or inactivity : Fred opened his mouth to protest again, then subsided. 2 (of water) go down to a lower or the normal level : the floods subside almost as quickly as they arise. • (of the ground) cave in; sink : the island is subsiding. • (of a swelling) reduce until gone : it took seven days for the swelling to subside completely.
less important than but related or supplementary to : many environmentalists argue that the cause of animal rights is subsidiary to that of protecting the environment.
support (an organization or activity) financially : it was beyond the power of a state to subsidize a business. • pay part of the cost of producing (something) to reduce prices for the buyer : the government subsidizes basic goods including sugar, petroleum, and wheat.
1 the action or fact of maintaining or supporting oneself at a minimum level : the minimum income needed for subsistence. • the means of doing this : the garden provided not only subsistence but a little cash crop | the agricultural working class were deprived of a subsistence.
1 a particular kind of matter with uniform properties : a steel tube coated with a waxy substance.
2 the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence : proteins compose much of the actual substance of the body. • the quality of having a solid basis in reality or fact : the claim has no substance. • the quality of being dependable or stable : some were inclined to knock her for her lack of substance.
3 the quality of being important, valid, or significant : he had yet to accomplish anything of substance. • the most important or essential part of something; the real or essential meaning : the substance of the treaty. • the subject matter of a text, speech, or work of art, esp. as contrasted with the form or style in which it is presented. • wealth and possessions : a woman of substance.
1 of considerable importance, size, or worth : a substantial amount of cash. • strongly built or made : a row of substantial Victorian villas. • (of a meal) large and filling. • important in material or social terms; wealthy : a substantial Devon family. 2 concerning the essentials of something : there was substantial agreement on changing policies. 3 real and tangible rather than imaginary : spirits are shadowy, human beings substantial.
1 to a great or significant extent : profits grew substantially | [as submodifier ] substantially higher earnings. 2 for the most part; essentially : things will remain substantially the same over the next ten years.
provide evidence to support or prove the truth of : they had found nothing to substantiate the allegations.
1 having a firm basis in reality and therefore important, meaningful, or considerable : there is no substantive evidence for the efficacy of these drugs.
a person or thing acting or serving in place of another : soy milk is used as a substitute for dairy milk.
use or add in place of : dried rosemary can be substituted for the fresh herb. • [ intrans. ] act or serve as a substitute : I found someone to substitute for me. • replace (someone or something) with another : customs officers substituted the drugs with another substance | this was substituted by a new clause.
• replace (a sports player) with a substitute during a contest : he was substituted for Nichols in the fifth inning.
the action of replacing someone or something with another person or thing : the substitution of pediatricians for grandmothers in guiding baby care | a tactical substitution.
(esp. of a change or distinction) so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe : his language expresses rich and subtle meanings. • (of a mixture or effect) delicately complex and understated : subtle lighting. • making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve something : he tried a more subtle approach.
(esp. of a change or distinction) so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyze or describe : his language expresses rich and subtle meanings. • (of a mixture or effect) delicately complex and understated : subtle lighting. • making use of clever and indirect methods to achieve something : he tried a more subtle approach.
• contemptibly dull and ordinary : Elizabeth despised Ann's house-proudness as deeply suburban.
seeking or intended to subvert an established system or institution : subversive literature.
undermine the power and authority of (an established system or institution) : an attempt to subvert democratic government.
• [ intrans. ] become the new rightful holder of an inheritance, office, title, or property : he succeeded to his father's kingdom. • come after and take the place of : her embarrassment was succeeded by fear.
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose : the president had some success in restoring confidence. • the attainment of popularity or profit : the success of his play. • a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity : I must make a success of my business.
following one another or following others : they were looking for their fifth successive win.
a person or thing that succeeds another : Schoenberg saw himself as a natural successor to the German romantic school.
(esp. of something written or spoken) briefly and clearly expressed : use short, succinct sentences. See note at terse .
3 to so high a degree; so great (often used to emphasize a quality) : [as adj. ] this material is of such importance that it has a powerful bearing on the case | [as predeterminer ] autumn's such a beautiful season | [as pron. ] such is the elegance of his typeface that it is still a favorite of designers.
2 ( such —— as/that) of the type about to be mentioned : [as adj. ] there is no such thing as a free lunch | [as predeterminer ] the farm is organized in such a way that it can be run by two adults | [as pron. ] the wound was such that I had to have stitches.
such and such (or such-and-such) used to refer vaguely to a person or thing that does not need to be specified : they'll want to know what actor played such-and-such a character.
such that to the extent that : the linking of sentences such that they constitute a narrative.
suck up informal behave obsequiously, esp. for one's own advantage : he has risen to where he is mainly by sucking up to the president.
1 [ trans. ] draw into the mouth by contracting the muscles of the lip and mouth to make a partial vacuum : they suck mint juleps through straws. • hold (something) in the mouth and draw at it by contracting the lip and cheek muscles : she sucked a mint | [ intrans. ] the child sucked on her thumb. • draw milk, juice, or other fluid from (something) into the mouth or by suction : she sucked each segment of the orange carefully.
• [ trans. ] draw in a specified direction by creating a vacuum : he was sucked under the surface of the river. • figurative involve (someone) in something without their choosing : I didn't want to be sucked into the role of dutiful daughter.
1 [ trans. ] institute legal proceedings against (a person or institution), typically for redress : she is to sue the baby's father | [ intrans. ] I sued for breach of contract. 2 [ intrans. ] formal appeal formally to a person for something : the rebels were forced to sue for peace.
be enough or adequate : a quick look should suffice | [with infinitive ] two examples should suffice to prove the contention. • [ trans. ] meet the needs of : simple mediocrity cannot suffice them.
suffice ( it) to say used to indicate that one is saying enough to make one's meaning clear while withholding something for reasons of discretion or brevity : suffice it to say that they were not considered suitable for this project.
enough; adequate : a small income that was sufficient for her needs | they had sufficient resources to survive.
die or cause to die from lack of air or inability to breathe : [ intrans. ] ten detainees suffocated in an airless police cell. | [ trans. ] she was suffocated by the fumes. • have or cause to have difficulty in breathing : [ intrans. ] he was suffocating, his head jammed up against the back of the sofa | [ trans. ] you're suffocating me—I can scarcely breathe | [as adj. ] ( suffocating) the suffocating heat.
gradually spread through or over : her cheeks were suffused with color | the first half of the poem is suffused with idealism.
• [ trans. ] cause one to think that (something) exists or is the case : finds of lead coffins suggested a cemetery north of the river | [with clause ] the temperature wasn't as tropical as the bright sunlight may have suggested • state or express indirectly : [with clause ] are you suggesting that I should ignore her? | [ trans. ] the seduction scenes suggest his guilt and her loneliness.
• the action of doing this : at my suggestion, the museum held an exhibition of his work. • something that implies or indicates a certain fact or situation : there is no suggestion that he was involved in any wrongdoing. • a slight trace or indication of something : there was a suggestion of a smile on his lips.
tending to suggest an idea : there were various suggestive pieces of evidence. • indicative or evocative : flavors suggestive of coffee and blackberry. • making someone think of sex and sexual relationships : a suggestive remark.
deeply unhappy or depressed and likely to commit suicide : far from being suicidal, he was clearly enjoying life. • relating to or likely to lead to suicide : I began to take her suicidal tendencies seriously. • likely to have a disastrously damaging effect on oneself or one's interests : a suicidal career move.
1 [ trans. ] be convenient for or acceptable to : he lied whenever it suited him | [ intrans. ] the apartment has two bedrooms—if it suits, you can have one of them. • ( suit oneself) [often in imperative ] act entirely according to one's own wishes (often used to express the speaker's annoyance) : "I'm not going to help you." "Suit yourself." • go well with or enhance the features, figure, or character of (someone) : the dress didn't suit her. • ( suit something to) archaic adapt or make appropriate for (something) : they took care to suit their answers to the questions put to them.
follow suit (in bridge, whist, and other card games) play a card of the suit led. • conform to another's actions : Spain cut its rates by half a percent but no other country has followed suit.
right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation : these toys are not suitable for children under five.
be silent, morose, and bad-tempered out of annoyance or disappointment : he was sulking over the breakup of his band.
a period of gloomy and bad-tempered silence stemming from annoyance and resentment : she was in a fit of the sulks.
morose, bad-tempered, and resentful; refusing to be cooperative or cheerful
bad-tempered and sulky; gloomy : a sullen pout | figurative a sullen sunless sky. See note at glum . • (esp. of water) slow-moving : rivers in sullen, perpetual flood.
• the total amount of something that exists : the sum of his own knowledge.
• [ intrans. ] ( sum to) (of two or more amounts) add up to a specified total : these additional probabilities must sum to 1.
in sum to sum up; in summary : this interpretation does little, in sum, to add to our understanding.
sum up give a brief summary of something : Gerard will open the debate and I will sum up. • Law (of a judge) review the evidence at the end of a case, and direct the jury regarding points of law.
sum someone/something up express a concise idea of the nature or character of a person or thing : selfish—that summed her up.
give a brief statement of the main points of (something) : these results can be summarized in the following table | [ intrans. ] to summarize, there are three main categories.
a brief statement or account of the main points of something : a summary of Chapter Three.
in summary in short : in summary, there is no clear case for one tax system compared to another.
• figurative the highest attainable level of achievement : the dramas are considered to form one of the summits of world literature. 2 a meeting between heads of government : [as adj. ] a summit conference.
authoritatively or urgently call on (someone) to be present, esp. as a defendant or witness in a law court : the pope summoned Anselm to Rome. • urgently demand (help) : she summoned medical assistance. • call people to attend (a meeting) : he summoned a meeting of head delegates.
• bring to the surface (a particular quality or reaction) from within oneself : she managed to summon up a smile. • ( summon something up) call an image to mind : names that summon up images of far-off places.
dry (something, esp. food) in the sun, as opposed to using artificial heat : sun-dried tomatoes.
sit or lie in the sun, esp. to tan the skin : [as n. ] ( sunbathing) it was too hot for sunbathing.
(of a person or bodily part) suffer from sunburn : most of us managed to get sunburnt. • [usu. as adj. ] ( sunburned or sunburnt) ruddy from exposure to the sun : a handsome sunburned face. • [ intrans. ] suffer from sunburn : a complexion that sunburned easily.
split apart : the crunch of bone when it is sundered.
illuminated by direct light from the sun : clear sunlit waters.
the time in the morning when the sun appears or full daylight arrives : an hour before sunrise. • the colors and light visible in the sky on an occasion of the sun's first appearance in the morning, considered as a view or spectacle : a spectacular sunrise over the summit of the mountain.
the time in the evening when the sun disappears or daylight fades : sunset was still a couple of hours away.
sunset industry noun an old and declining industry.
direct sunlight unbroken by cloud, esp. over a comparatively large area : we walked in the warm sunshine. • figurative cheerfulness; happiness : their colorful music can bring a ray of sunshine.
above; over; beyond : superlunary | superstructure. • to a great or extreme degree : superabundant | supercool. • extra large of its kind : supercontinent. • having greater influence, capacity, etc., than another of its kind : superbike | superpower. • of a higher kind (esp. in names of classificatory divisions) : superfamily.
1 excellent : a superb performance. 2 impressively splendid : a superb Egyptian statue of Osiris.
unnecessary, esp. through being more than enough : the purchaser should avoid asking for superfluous information.
existing or occurring at or on the surface : the building suffered only superficial damage. • situated or occurring on the skin or immediately beneath it : the superficial muscle groups. • appearing to be true or real only until examined more closely : the resemblance between the breeds is superficial. • not thorough, deep, or complete; cursory : he had only the most superficial knowledge of foreign countries. • not having or showing any depth of character or understanding : perhaps I was a superficial person.
having or showing exceptional ability or powers : the pilot made one last superhuman effort not to come down right on our heads.
place or lay (one thing) over another, typically so that both are still evident : the number will appear on the screen, superimposed on a flashing button | [as adj. ] ( superimposed) different stone tools were found in superimposed layers.
1 higher in rank, status, or quality : a superior officer | it is superior to every other car on the road. • of high standard or quality : superior malt whiskeys. • greater in size or power : deploying superior force. • [ predic. ] ( superior to) above yielding to or being influenced by : I felt superior to any accusation of anti-Semitism. • having or showing an overly high opinion of oneself; supercilious : that girl was frightfully superior.
the state of being superior : an attempt to establish superiority over others | the allies have achieved air superiority. • a supercilious manner or attitude : he attacked the media's smug superiority.
(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature : a supernatural being. • unnaturally or extraordinarily great : a woman of supernatural beauty.
excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings : he dismissed the ghost stories as mere superstition. • a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief : she touched her locket for luck, a superstition she had had since childhood.
observe and direct the execution of (a task, project, or activity) : the sergeant left to supervise the loading of the trucks. • observe and direct the work of (someone) : nurses were supervised by a consulting psychiatrist. • keep watch over (someone) in the interest of their or others' security : prisoners were supervised by two officers.
supersede and replace : the socialist society that Marx believed would eventually supplant capitalism. See note at replace .
take the place of (a person or thing previously in authority or use); supplant : the older models have now been superseded. See note at replace .
bending and moving easily and gracefully; flexible : her supple fingers | figurative my mind is becoming more supple. See note at flexible . • not stiff or hard; easily manipulated : this body oil leaves your skin feeling deliciously supple.
1 something that completes or enhances something else when added to it : the handout is a supplement to the official manual. • a substance taken to remedy the deficiencies in a person's diet : multivitamin supplements.
add an extra element or amount to : she took the job to supplement her husband's income.
completing or enhancing something : the center's work was to be seen as supplementary to orthodox treatment and not a substitute for it.
make (something needed or wanted) available to someone; provide : the farm supplies apples to cider makers. • provide (someone) with something needed or wanted : they struggled to supply the besieged island with aircraft. • be a source of (something needed) : eat foods that supply a significant amount of dietary fiber. • be adequate to satisfy (a requirement or demand) : the two reservoirs supply about 1% of the city's needs.
confirm or give support to (a statement, theory, or finding) : the witness had corroborated the boy's account of the attack.
• approve of and encourage : the proposal was supported by many delegates. • suggest the truth of; corroborate : the studies support our findings.
• the action or state of bearing the weight of something or someone or of being so supported : she clutched the sideboard for support. 2 material assistance : he urged that military support be sent to protect humanitarian convoys | [as adj. ] support staff. • comfort and emotional help offered to someone in distress : she's been through a bad time and needs our support. • approval and encouragement : the policies of reform enjoy widespread support.
in support of giving assistance to : air operations in support of the land forces. • showing approval of : the paper printed many letters in support of the government. • attempting to promote or obtain : a strike in support of an 8.5% pay raise.
providing encouragement or emotional help : the staff are extremely supportive of each other.
• (of a theory or argument) assume or require that something is the case as a precondition : the procedure supposes that a will has already been proved | [ trans. ] the theory supposes a predisposition to interpret utterances. • [ trans. ] believe to exist or to possess a specified characteristic : he supposed the girl to be about twelve [as adj. ] ( supposed)often : people admire their supposed industriousness.
I suppose so used to express hesitant or reluctant agreement.
according to what is generally assumed or believed (often used to indicate that the speaker doubts the truth of the statement) : the ads are aimed at women, supposedly because they do the shopping.
an uncertain belief : they were working on the supposition that his death was murder | their outrage was based on supposition and hearsay.
forcibly put an end to : the uprising was savagely suppressed. • prevent the development, action, or expression of (a feeling, impulse, idea, etc.); restrain : she could not suppress a rising panic. • prevent the dissemination of (information) : the report had been suppressed. • prevent or inhibit (a process or reaction) : use of the drug suppressed the immune response.
the action of suppressing something such as an activity or publication : the Communist Party's forcible suppression of the opposition in 1948.
the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status : the supremacy of the king.
(of authority or an office, or someone holding it) superior to all others : a unified force with a supreme commander. • strongest, most important, or most powerful : on the racetrack he reigned supreme. • very great or intense; extreme : he was nerving himself for a supreme effort. • (of a penalty or sacrifice) involving death : our comrades who made the supreme sacrifice.
1 an additional charge or payment : we guarantee that no surcharges will be added to the cost of your trip.
• [with infinitive ] certain to do something : it's sure to rain before morning. • true beyond any doubt : what is sure is that learning is a complex business. • [ attrib. ] able to be relied on or trusted : her neck was red—a sure sign of agitation. • confident; assured : the drawings impress by their sure sense of rhythm.
be sure [usu. in imperative ] do not fail (used to emphasize an invitation or instruction) : [with infinitive ] be sure to drop by | [with clause ] be sure that you know what is required. for sure informal without doubt : I can't say for sure what George really wanted. make sure [usu. with clause ] establish that something is definitely so; confirm : go and make sure she's all right. • ensure that something is done or happens : he made sure that his sons were well educated.
sure enough informal used to introduce a statement that confirms something previously predicted : when X-rays were taken, sure enough, there was the needle. sure of oneself very confident of one's own abilities or views : he's very sure of himself. sure thing informal a certainty. • [as exclam. ] certainly; of course : "Can I watch?" "Sure thing." to be sure used to concede the truth of something that conflicts with another point that one wishes to make : the ski runs are very limited, to be sure, but excellent for beginners. • used for emphasis : what an extraordinary woman she was, to be sure.
1 [ sentence adverb ] used to emphasize the speaker's firm belief that what they are saying is true and often their surprise that there is any doubt of this : if there is no will, then surely the house goes automatically to you. • without doubt; certainly : if he did not heed the warning, he would surely die. • [as exclam. ] informal of course; yes : "You'll wait for me?" "Surely." 2 with assurance or confidence : no one knows how to move the economy quickly and surely in that direction.
• (also surface area) the area of such an outer part or uppermost layer : the surface area of a cube. • [in sing. ] the upper limit of a body of liquid : fish floating on the surface of the water.
• [in sing. ] what is apparent on a casual view or consideration of someone or something, esp. as distinct from feelings or qualities that are not immediately obvious : Tom was a womanizer, but on the surface he remained respectable | [as adj. ] we need to go beyond surface appearances.
of, relating to, or occurring on the upper or outer part of something : surface workers at the copper mines.
1 [ intrans. ] rise or come up to the surface of the water or the ground : he surfaced from his dive. • come to people's attention; become apparent : the quarrel first surfaced two years ago. • informal (of a person) appear after having been asleep : it was almost noon before Anthony surfaced.
a sudden powerful forward or upward movement, esp. by a crowd or by a natural force such as the waves or tide : flooding caused by tidal surges. • a sudden large increase, typically a brief one that happens during an otherwise stable or quiescent period : the firm predicted a 20% surge in sales. • a powerful rush of an emotion or feeling : Sophie felt a surge of anger.
(of a crowd or a natural force) move suddenly and powerfully forward or upward : the journalists surged forward. • increase suddenly and powerfully, typically during an otherwise stable or quiescent period : shares surged to a record high. • (of an emotion or feeling) affect someone powerfully and suddenly : indignation surged up within her.
• such treatment, as performed by a surgeon : he had surgery on his ankle.
of, relating to, or used in surgery : a surgical dressing | a surgical ward. • (of a special garment or appliance) worn to correct or relieve an injury, illness, or deformity : surgical stockings.
bad-tempered and unfriendly : he left with a surly expression. See note at brusque .
suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it : he surmised that something must be wrong | [with direct speech ] "I don't think they're locals," she surmised.
a supposition that something may be true, even though there is no evidence to confirm it : Charles was glad to have his surmise confirmed | all these observations remain surmise.
1 overcome (a difficulty or obstacle) : all manner of cultural differences were surmounted. 2 (usu. be surmounted) stand or be placed on top of : the tomb was surmounted by a sculptured angel.
exceed; be greater than : prewar levels of production were surpassed in 1929. • be better than : he continued to surpass me at all games. • ( surpass oneself) do or be better than ever before : the organist was surpassing himself.
• an excess of income or assets over expenditure or liabilities in a given period, typically a fiscal year : a trade surplus of $1.4 billion.
more than what is needed or used; excess : make the most of your surplus cash.
• a feeling of mild astonishment or shock caused by something unexpected : much to her surprise, she'd missed him.
take someone/something by surprise attack or capture someone or something unexpectedly. • ( take someone by surprise) happen when someone is not prepared or is expecting something different : the question took David by surprise.
the profit margin in advertising is surprisingly low | [ sentence adverb ] not surprisingly, his enthusiasm knew no bounds.
having the qualities of surrealism; bizarre : a surreal mix of fact and fantasy.
cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority : over 140 rebels surrendered to the authorities. • [ trans. ] give up or hand over (a person, right, or possession), typically on compulsion or demand : in 1815 Denmark surrendered Norway to Sweden | they refused to surrender their weapons. See note at relinquish . • [ trans. ] (in a sports contest) lose (a point, game, or advantage) : she surrendered only twenty games in her five qualifying matches. • ( surrender to) abandon oneself entirely to (a powerful emotion or influence); give in to : he was surprised that Miriam should surrender to this sort of jealousy | he surrendered himself to the mood of the hills.
a substitute, esp. a person deputizing for another in a specific role or office : she was regarded as the surrogate for the governor during his final illness.
• (of troops, police, etc.) encircle (someone or something) so as to cut off communication or escape : troops surrounded the parliament building. • be associated with : the killings were surrounded by controversy.
• (usu. surrounds) the area encircling something; surroundings : the beautiful surrounds of Moosehead Lake.
the things and conditions around a person or thing : I took up the time admiring my surroundings.
1 (of a person or their eyes) look carefully and thoroughly at (someone or something), esp. so as to appraise them : her green eyes surveyed him coolly | I surveyed the options. • investigate the opinions or experience of (a group of people) by asking them questions : 95% of patients surveyed were satisfied with the health service. • investigate (behavior or opinions) by questioning a group of people : the investigator surveyed the attitudes and beliefs held by residents. 2 examine and record the area and features of (an area of land) so as to construct a map, plan, or description : he surveyed the coasts of New Zealand.
examination, or description of someone or something : the author provides a survey of the relevant literature. • an investigation of the opinions or experience of a group of people, based on a series of questions. 2 an act of surveying an area of land : the flight involved a detailed aerial survey of military bases.
close observation, esp. of a suspected spy or criminal : he found himself put under surveillance by military intelligence.
the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances : the animal's chances of survival were pretty low | figurative he was fighting for his political survival.
survival of the fittest Biology the continued existence of organisms that are best adapted to their environment, with the extinction of others, as a concept in the Darwinian theory of evolution. Compare with natural selection .
• [ trans. ] continue to live or exist in spite of (an accident or ordeal) : he has survived several assassination attempts. • [ trans. ] remain alive after the death of (a particular person) : he was survived by his wife and six children | [as adj. ] ( surviving) there were no surviving relatives. • [ intrans. ] manage to keep going in difficult circumstances : she had to work day and night and survive on two hours sleep.
1 the state or fact of being likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing : lack of exercise increases susceptibility to disease. • ( susceptibilities) a person's feelings, typically considered as being easily hurt : I was so careful not to offend their susceptibilities.
1 likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing : patients with liver disease may be susceptible to infection. • (of a person) easily influenced by feelings or emotions; sensitive : they only do it to tease him—he's too susceptible.
1 have an idea or impression of the existence, presence, or truth of (something) without certain proof : if you suspect a gas leak, do not turn on an electric light | [with clause ] she suspected that he might be bluffing | [as adj. ] ( suspected) a suspected heart condition. • believe or feel that (someone) is guilty of an illegal, dishonest, or unpleasant act, without certain proof : parents suspected of child abuse. 2 doubt the genuineness or truth of : a broker whose honesty he had no reason to suspect.
not to be relied on or trusted; possibly dangerous or false : a suspect package was found on the platform.
temporarily prevent from continuing or being in force or effect : work on the dam was suspended. • officially prohibit (someone) from holding their usual post or carrying out their usual role for a particular length of time : two officers were suspended from duty pending the outcome of the investigation. • defer or delay (an action, event, or judgment) : the judge suspended judgment until January 15.
2 hang (something) from somewhere : the light was suspended from the ceiling.
• the temporary prevention of something from continuing or being in force or effect : the suspension of military action. • the official prohibition of someone from holding their usual post or carrying out their usual role for a particular length of time : the investigation led to the suspension of several officers | a four-game suspension.
1 a feeling or thought that something is possible, likely, or true : she had a sneaking suspicion that he was laughing at her. • a feeling or belief that someone is guilty of an illegal, dishonest, or unpleasant action : police would not say what aroused their suspicions | he was arrested on suspicion of murder. • cautious distrust : her activities were regarded with suspicion by the headmistress. 2 a very slight trace of something : a suspicion of a smile.
under suspicion thought to be guilty of wrongdoing.
having or showing a cautious distrust of someone or something : he was suspicious of her motives | she gave him a suspicious look. • causing one to have the idea or impression that something or someone is of questionable, dishonest, or dangerous character or condition : they are not treating the fire as suspicious. • having the belief or impression that someone is involved in an illegal or dishonest activity : police were called when staff became suspicious.
1 strengthen or support physically or mentally : this thought had sustained him throughout the years | [as adj. ] ( sustaining) a sustaining breakfast of bacon and eggs. • cause to continue or be prolonged for an extended period or without interruption : he cannot sustain a normal conversation | [as adj. ] ( sustained) several years of sustained economic growth. • (of a performer) represent (a part or character) convincingly : he sustained the role with burly resilience. • bear (the weight of an object) without breaking or falling : he sagged against her so that she could barely sustain his weight | figurative his health will no longer enable him to sustain the heavy burdens of office. 2 undergo or suffer (something unpleasant, esp. an injury) : he died after sustaining severe head injuries. 3 uphold, affirm, or confirm the justice or validity of : the allegations of discrimination were sustained.
able to be maintained at a certain rate or level : sustainable fusion reactions.
• able to be upheld or defended : sustainable definitions of good educational practice.
walk or behave in a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive way : he swaggered along the corridor | [as adj. ] ( swaggering) a swaggering gait.
a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive gait or manner : they strolled around the camp with an exaggerated swagger.
: she swallowed a mouthful slowly. • [ intrans. ] perform the muscular movement of the esophagus required to do this, esp. through fear or nervousness : she swallowed hard, sniffing back her tears. • put up with or meekly accept (something insulting or unwelcome) : he seemed ready to swallow any insult.
• believe unquestioningly (a lie or unlikely assertion) : she had swallowed his story hook, line, and sinker. • resist expressing (a feeling) or uttering (words) : he swallowed his pride. • take in and cause to disappear; engulf : the dark mist swallowed her up. • completely use up (money or resources) : debts swallowed up most of the money he had gotten for the house.
an act of swallowing something, esp. food or drink : he downed his drink in one swallow. • an amount of something swallowed in one action : he said he'd like just a swallow of pie.
• used to emphasize the degree to which a piece of ground is waterlogged : the ceaseless deluge had turned the lawn into a swamp.
take part in an exchange of : we swapped phone numbers | I'd swap places with you any day | [ intrans. ] I was wondering if you'd like to swap with me. • give (one thing) and receive something else in exchange : swap one of your sandwiches for a cheese and pickle? • substitute (one thing) for another : I swapped my busy life on Wall Street for a peaceful mountain retreat.
an act of exchanging one thing for another : let's do a swap. • a thing that has been or may be given in exchange for something else : I've got one already, but I'll keep this as a swap.
• ( a swarm/swarms of) a large number of people or things : a swarm of journalists.
v1 [ intrans. ] (of insects) move in or form a swarm : [as adj. ] ( swarming) swarming locusts. • (of honeybees, ants, or termites) issue from the nest in large numbers with a newly fertilized queen in order to found new colonies : the bees had swarmed and left the hive. 2 [ intrans. ] move somewhere in large numbers : protesters were swarming into the building. • ( swarm with) (of a place) be crowded or overrun with (moving people or things) : the place was swarming with police.
1 (of water or an object in water) move with a splashing sound : the water swashed and rippled around the car wheels.
hit or crush (something, esp. an insect) with a sharp blow from a flat object : I swatted a mosquito that had landed on my wrist | [ intrans. ] swatting at a fly.
move or cause to move slowly or rhythmically backward and forward or from side to side : [ intrans. ] he swayed slightly on his feet | [as adj. ] ( swaying) swaying palm trees | [ trans. ] wind rattled and swayed the trees. • [ trans. ] control or influence (a person or course of action) : he's easily swayed by other people.
1 a rhythmical movement from side to side : the easy sway of her hips.
2 [ intrans. ] use offensive language, esp. as an expression of anger : Peter swore under his breath.
• [ trans. ] ( swear someone in) admit someone to a particular office or position by directing them to take a formal oath : he was sworn in as president on July 10.
1 [ reporting verb ] make a solemn statement or promise undertaking to do something or affirming that something is the case : [with clause ] Maria made me swear I would never tell anyone | I swear by all I hold dear that I had nothing to do with it | [with infinitive ] he swore to obey the rules | [with direct speech ] "Never again," she swore, "will I be short of money" | [ trans. ] they were reluctant to swear allegiance. • [ trans. ] take (an oath) : he forced them to swear an oath of loyalty to him.
• an instance of exuding moisture in this way over a period of time : even thinking about him made me break out in a sweat. | we'd all worked up a sweat in spite of the cold. • informal a state of flustered anxiety or distress : I don't believe he'd get into such a sweat about a girl. • informal hard work; effort : computer graphics take a lot of the sweat out of animation.
1 [ intrans. ] exude sweat : he was sweating profusely. • [ trans. ] ( sweat something out/off) get rid of (something) from the body by exuding sweat : a well-hydrated body sweats out waste products more efficiently. • [ trans. ] cause (a person or animal) to exude sweat by exercise or exertion : cold as it was, the climb had sweated him.
• (of food or an object) ooze or exude beads of moisture onto its surface : cheese stored at room temperature will quickly begin to sweat. • (of a person) exert a great deal of strenuous effort : I've sweated over this for six months.
don't sweat it used to urge someone not to worry.
sweat blood informal make an extraordinarily strenuous effort to do something : she's sweated blood to support her family. • be extremely anxious : we've been sweating blood over the question of what is right.
sweatshop |ˈswɛtʃɒp| noun a factory or workshop, esp. in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions.
1 an act of sweeping something with a brush : I was giving the floor a quick sweep.
• a comprehensive search or survey of a place or area : the police finished their sweep through the woods.
1 [ trans. ] clean (an area) by brushing away dirt or litter : I've swept the floor | Greg swept out the kitchen. • [ trans. ] move or remove (dirt or litter) in such a way : she swept the tea leaves into a dustpan. • [ trans. ] move or push (someone or something) with great force : I was swept along by the crowd.
• [ trans. ] move or push (someone or something) with great force : I was swept along by the crowd. • [ trans. ] brush (hair) back from one's face or upward : long hair swept up into a high chignon. • search (an area) for something : the detective swept the room for hair and fingerprints. • examine (a place or thing) for electronic listening devices : the line is swept every fifteen minutes.
2 [ intrans. ] move swiftly and smoothly : a large black car swept past the open windows | figurative a wave of sympathy swept over him. • [ trans. ] cause to move swiftly and smoothly : he swept his hand around the room. • (of a person) move in a confident and stately manner : she swept magnificently from the hall.
• [ trans. ] look swiftly over : her eyes swept the room. • affect (an area or place) swiftly and widely : violence swept the country | [ intrans. ] the rebellion had swept through all four of the country's provinces.
2 pleasing in general; delightful : it was the sweet life he had always craved. • highly satisfying or gratifying : some sweet, short-lived revenge.
3 (of a person or action) pleasant and kind or thoughtful : a very sweet nurse came along. • (esp. of a person or animal) charming and endearing : a sweet little cat.
sweet spot noun informal the point or area on a bat, club, or racket at which it makes most effective contact with the ball.
insincerely praise (someone) in order to persuade them to do something : detectives sweet-talked them into confessing.
make or become sweet or sweeter, esp. in taste : [ trans. ] a cup of coffee sweetened with saccharin | [ intrans. ] her smile sweetened. • [ trans. ] make more agreeable or acceptable : there is no way to sweeten the statement. • [ trans. ] informal induce (someone) to be well disposed or helpful to oneself : I am in the process of sweetening him up.
(esp. of a part of the body) become larger or rounder in size, typically as a result of an accumulation of fluid : her bruised knee was already swelling up | figurative the sky was black and swollen with rain | [as adj. ] ( swollen) swollen glands. • become or make greater in intensity, number, amount, or volume : [ intrans. ] the murmur swelled to a roar | [as adj. ] ( swelling) the swelling ranks of Irish singer-songwriters | [ trans. ] the population was swollen by refugees.
1 [in sing. ] a full or gently rounded shape or form : the soft swell of her breast. • a gradual increase in sound, amount, or intensity : there was a swell of support in favor of him. • a welling up of a feeling : a swell of pride swept over George.
change or cause to change direction abruptly : [ intrans. ] a car swerved around a corner | [ trans. ] he swerved the truck, narrowly missing a teenager on a skateboard.
an abrupt change of direction : do not make sudden swerves, particularly around parked vehicles.
• moving or capable of moving at high speed : the water was very swift | the swiftest horse in his stable.
drink in large gulps : Dave swigged the wine in five gulps | [ intrans. ] old men swigged from bottles of plum brandy.
1 an act or period of swimming : we went for a swim in the river.
swim with (or against) the tide act in accordance with (or against) the prevailing opinion or tendency.
use deception to deprive (someone) of money or possessions : a businessman swindled investors out of millions of dollars. • obtain (money) fraudulently : he was said to have swindled $62.5 million from the pension fund.
1 move or cause to move back and forth or from side to side while or as if suspended : [ intrans. ] her long black skirt swung about her legs | [ trans. ] a priest began swinging a censer | [as adj. ] ( swinging) local girls with their castanets and their swinging hips. • [often with adverbial or complement ] move or cause to move in alternate directions or in either direction on an axis : [ intrans. ] a wooden gate swinging crazily on its hinges | [ trans. ] he swung the heavy iron door shut.
2 [ intrans. ] move by grasping a support from below and leaping : we swung across like two trapeze artists | ( swing oneself) the Irishman swung himself into the saddle. • move quickly around to the opposite direction : Ronni had swung around to face him. • move with a rhythmic swaying gait : the riflemen swung along smartly.
3 [with adverbial of direction ] move or cause to move in a smooth, curving line : [ trans. ] he swung her bag up onto the rack | [ intrans. ] the cab swung into the parking lot. • [ trans. ] bring down (something held) with a curving movement, typically in order to hit an object : I swung the club and missed the ball. • [ intrans. ] ( swing at) attempt to hit or punch, typically with a wide curving movement of the arm : he swung at me with the tire iron. • [ trans. ] throw (a punch) with such a movement : she swung a punch at him.
4 shift or cause to shift from one opinion, mood, or state of affairs to another : [ intrans. ] opinion swung in the chancellor's favor | [ trans. ] the failure to seek a peace could swing sentiment the other way. • [ trans. ] have a decisive influence on (something, esp. a vote or election) : an attempt to swing the vote in their favor. • [ trans. ] informal succeed in bringing about : with us backing you we might be able to swing something.
2 an act of swinging : with the swing of her arm, the knife flashed through the air. • the manner in which a golf club or a bat is swung : improve your golf swing. • the motion of swinging : this short cut gave her hair new movement and swing. • [in sing. ] a smooth flowing rhythm or action : they came with a steady swing up the last reach.
in full swing at the height of activity : by nine-thirty the dance was in full swing.
1 hit or try to hit with a swinging blow : she swiped me right across the nose | [ intrans. ] she lifted her hand to swipe at a cat. 2 steal : someone swiped one of his sausages.
a sweeping blow : he missed the ball with his first swipe. • an attack or criticism : he took a swipe at his critics.
move in a twisting or spiraling pattern : the smoke was swirling around him | [as adj. ] ( swirling) figurative a flood of swirling emotions. • [ trans. ] cause to move in such a pattern : swirl a little cream into the soup.
a quantity of something moving in such a pattern : swirls of dust swept across the floor. • a twisting or spiraling movement or pattern : she emerged with a swirl of skirts | swirls of color.
1 a device for making and breaking the connection in an electric circuit : the guard hit a switch and the gate swung open.
2 an act of adopting one policy or way of life, or choosing one type of item, in place of another; a change, esp. a radical one : his friends were surprised at his switch from newspaper owner to farmer.
1 change the position, direction, or focus of : the company switched the boats to other routes. • adopt (something different) in place of something else; change : she's managed to switch careers. • [ intrans. ] adopt a new policy, position, way of life, etc. : she worked as a librarian and then switched to journalism. • substitute (two items) for each other; exchange : after ten minutes, listener and speaker switch roles.
1 [ intrans. ] (esp. of a bird) move rapidly downward through the air : the barn owl can swoop down on a mouse in total darkness | the aircraft swooped in to land. • carry out a sudden attack, esp. in order to make a capture or arrest : investigators swooped on the Graf family home. 2 [ trans. ] informal seize with a sweeping motion : she swooped up the hen in her arms.
a swooping or snatching movement or action : four members were arrested following a swoop by detectives on their homes.
beat (or turn) swords into ploughshares devote resources to peaceful rather than warlike ends. [ORIGIN: with biblical allusion to Is. 2:4 and Mic. 4:3.]
1 serving as a symbol : a repeating design symbolic of eternity. • significant purely in terms of what is being represented or implied : the release of the dissident was an important symbolic gesture. 2 involving the use of symbols or symbolism : the symbolic meaning of motifs and designs.
be a symbol of : the ceremonial dagger symbolizes justice. • represent by means of symbols : a tendency to symbolize the father as the sun.
symmetrical |sɪˈmɛtrɪk(ə)l| adjective made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis; showing symmetry.
the quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis : this series has a line of symmetry through its center | a crystal structure with hexagonal symmetry. • correct or pleasing proportion of the parts of a thing : an overall symmetry making the poem pleasant to the ear. • similarity or exact correspondence between different things : a lack of symmetry between men and women | history sometimes exhibits weird symmetries between events.
1 feeling, showing, or expressing sympathy : he was sympathetic toward staff with family problems | he spoke in a sympathetic tone. • [ predic. ] showing approval of or favor toward an idea or action : he was sympathetic to evolutionary ideas. 2 pleasant or agreeable, in particular • (of a person) attracting the liking of others : Audrey develops as a sympathetic character. • (of a structure) designed in a sensitive or fitting way : buildings that were sympathetic to their surroundings.
1 feel or express sympathy : it is easy to understand and sympathize with his predicament. 2 agree with a sentiment or opinion : they sympathize with critiques of traditional theory.
1 feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune : they had great sympathy for the flood victims. • ( one's sympathies) formal expression of such feelings; condolences : all Tony's friends joined in sending their sympathies to his widow Jean.
2 understanding between people; common feeling : the special sympathy between the two boys was obvious to all. • ( sympathies) support in the form of shared feelings or opinions : his sympathies lay with his constituents. • agreement with or approval of an opinion or aim; a favorable attitude : I have some sympathy for this view.
• ( in sympathy) relating harmoniously to something else; in keeping : repairs had to be in sympathy with the original structure. • the state or fact of responding in a way similar or corresponding to an action elsewhere : the magnetic field oscillates in sympathy.
• something regarded, typically favorably, as a composition of different elements : autumn is a symphony of texture and pattern.
• a sign of the existence of something, esp. of an undesirable situation : the government was plagued by leaks—a symptom of divisions and poor morale.
serving as a symptom or sign, esp. of something undesirable : the closings are symptomatic of a decaying city. • exhibiting or involving symptoms : patients with symptomatic celiac disease | symptomatic patients.
be a symptom or sign of : hypothermia is symptomized by confusion, slurred speech, and stiff muscles.
synchronization : images flash onto your screen in sync with the music.
synchronize : the flash needs to be synced to your camera.
in (or out of) sync working well (or badly) together; in (or out of) agreement : her eyes and her brain seemed to be seriously out of sync.
cause to occur or operate at the same time or rate : soldiers used watches to synchronize movements | synchronize your hand gestures with your main points. • [ intrans. ] occur at the same time or rate : sometimes converging swells will synchronize to produce a peak. • adjust (a clock or watch) to show the same time as another : It is now 5:48. Synchronize watches.
• [ intrans. ] tally; agree : their version failed to synchronize with the police view. • coordinate; combine : both media synchronize national interests with multinational scope.
1 existing or occurring at the same time : glaciations were approximately synchronous in both hemispheres.
a group of individuals or organizations combined to promote some common interest : large-scale buyouts involving a syndicate of financial institutions | a crime syndicate.
control or manage by a syndicate : the loans are syndicated to a group of banks. • publish or broadcast (material) simultaneously in a number of newspapers, television stations, etc. : his reports were syndicated to 200 other papers.
a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms : a rare syndrome in which the production of white blood cells is damaged. • a characteristic combination of opinions, emotions, or behavior : the "Not In My Backyard" syndrome.
the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects : the synergy between artist and record company.
• a person or thing so closely associated with a particular quality or idea that the mention of their name calls it to mind : the Victorian age is a synonym for sexual puritanism.
(of a word or phrase) having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or phrase in the same language : aggression is often taken as synonymous with violence. • closely associated with or suggestive of something : his deeds had made his name synonymous with victory.
a brief summary or general survey of something : a synopsis of the accident.
1 of or forming a general summary or synopsis : a synoptic outline of the contents. • taking or involving a comprehensive mental view : a synoptic model of higher education.
• the combination of ideas to form a theory or system : the synthesis of intellect and emotion in his work | the ideology represented a synthesis of certain ideas. Often contrasted with analysis . • the production of chemical compounds by reaction from simpler materials : the synthesis of methanol from carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
make (something) by synthesis, esp. chemically : man synthesizes new chemical poisons and sprays the countryside wholesale. • combine (a number of things) into a coherent whole : pupils should synthesize the data they have gathered | Darwinian theory has been synthesized with modern genetics. • produce (sound) electronically : trigger chips that synthesize speech [as adj. ] ( synthesized): synthesized chords.
(of a substance) made by chemical synthesis, esp. to imitate a natural product : synthetic rubber. • (of an emotion or action) not genuine; insincere : their tears are a bit synthetic.
get something out of one's system informal get rid of a preoccupation or anxiety : she let her get the crying out of her system.
2 a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method : a multiparty system of government | the public school system. • orderliness; method : there was no system at all in the company.
• a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network : the state railroad system | fluid is pushed through a system of pipes or channels. • Physiology a set of organs in the body with a common structure or function : the digestive system. • the human or animal body as a whole : you need to get the cholesterol out of your system.
done or acting according to a fixed plan or system; methodical : a systematic search of the whole city.
arrange according to an organized system; make systematic : Galen set about systematizing medical thought | [as adj. ] ( systematized) systematized reading schemes.
1 of or relating to a system, esp. as opposed to a particular part : the disease is localized rather than systemic.
• a similar piece of material forming part of a garment : [as adj. ] shirts with tab collars.
mark or identify with a projecting piece of material : he opened the book at a page tabbed by a cloth bookmark. • figurative identify as being of a specified type or suitable for a specified position : he was tabbed by the president as the next Republican National Committee chairman.
keep tabs (or a tab) on informal monitor the activities or development of; keep under observation. pick up the tab informal pay for something : my company will pick up the tab for all moving expenses.
• a similar piece of material forming part of a garment : [as adj. ] shirts with tab collars.
mark or identify with a projecting piece of material : he opened the book at a page tabbed by a cloth bookmark.
keep tabs (or a tab) on informal monitor the activities or development of; keep under observation. pick up the tab informal pay for something : my company will pick up the tab for all moving expenses.
on the table offered for discussion : our offer remains on the table. turn the tables reverse one's position relative to someone else, esp. by turning a position of disadvantage into one of advantage : police invited householders to a seminar on how to turn the tables on burglars.
1 (of data) consisting of or presented in columns or tables : a tabular presentation of running costs.
understood or implied without being stated : your silence may be taken to mean tacit agreement.
taciturn |ˈtasɪtəːn| adjective (of a person) reserved or uncommunicative in speech; saying little.
1 [ trans. ] fasten or fix in place with tacks : he used the tool to tack down sheets of fiberboard.
(of glue, paint, or other substances) retaining a slightly sticky feel; not fully dry : the paint was still tacky.
of, relating to, or constituting actions carefully planned to gain a specific military end : as a tactical officer in the field he had no equal.
• (of a person or their actions) showing adroit planning; aiming at an end beyond the immediate action : in a tactical retreat, she moved into a hotel with her daughters.
of or connected with the sense of touch : vocal and visual signals become less important as tactile signals intensify. • perceptible by touch or apparently so; tangible : she had a distinct, almost tactile memory. • designed to be perceived by touch : tactile exhibitions help blind people enjoy the magic of sculpture.
a small amount of something : biscuits sweetened with a tad of honey.
to a small extent; somewhat : Mark looked a tad embarrassed.
1 attach a label to : the bears were tagged and released. • [ trans. or complement ] give a specified name or description to : he left because he didn't want to be tagged as a soap star. • attach an electronic tag to : [as n. ] ( tagging) laser tattooing is used in the tagging of cattle.
2 [ trans. ] add to something, esp. as an afterthought or with no real connection : she meant to tag her question on at the end of her remarks. • [ intrans. ] follow or accompany someone, esp. without invitation : that'll teach you not to tag along where you're not wanted.
• a thing resembling an animal's tail in its shape or position, typically something extending downward or outward at the end of something : the trailed tail of a capital Q | the cars were head to tail.
• [in sing. ] the final, more distant, or weaker part of something : the forecast says we're in for the tail of a hurricane.
1 informal follow and observe (someone) closely, esp. in secret : a flock of paparazzi had tailed them all over Paris. • [ intrans. ] follow : they went to their favorite cafe—Bill and Sally tailed along.
on someone's tail following someone closely : a police car stayed on his tail for half a mile.
tail off (or away) gradually diminish in amount, strength, or intensity : the economic boom was beginning to tail off.
(of a tailor) make (clothes) to fit individual customers : he was wearing a sports coat that had obviously been tailored in New York. • make or adapt for a particular purpose or person : arrangements can be tailored to meet individual requirements.
(of clothes) made by a tailor for a particular customer : tailor-made suits. • made, adapted, or suited for a particular purpose or person : he was tailor-made for the job.
a trace of a bad or undesirable quality or substance : the taint of corruption that adhered to the regime. • a thing whose influence or effect is perceived as contaminating or undesirable : the taint that threatens to stain most of the company's other partners.
contaminate or pollute (something) : the air was tainted by fumes from the cars. See note at pollute . • affect with a bad or undesirable quality : his administration was tainted by scandal.
1 a scene or sequence of sound or vision photographed or recorded continuously at one time : he completed a particularly difficult scene in two takes. • a particular version of or approach to something : his own whimsical take on life.
5 require or use up (a specified amount of time) : the jury took an hour and a half to find McPherson guilty | [with two objs. ] it takes me about a quarter of an hour to walk to work. • (of a task or situation) need or call for (a particular person or thing) : it will take an electronics expert to dismantle it. • hold; accommodate : an exclusive island hideaway that takes just twenty guests. • wear or require (a particular size of garment or type of complementary article) : he takes size 5 boots.
4 make, undertake, or perform (an action or task) : Lucy took a deep breath | he took the oath of office.
• submit to, tolerate, or endure : they refused to take it any more | some people found her hard to take. • ( take it) [with clause ] assume : I take it that someone is coming to meet you.
3 accept or receive (someone or something) : she was advised to take any job offered | they don't take children. • understand or accept as valid : I take your point. • acquire or assume (a position, state, or form) : teaching methods will take various forms | he took office in September. • achieve or attain (a victory or result) : John Martin took the men's title. • act on (an opportunity) : he took his chance to get out while the house was quiet. • experience or be affected by : the lad took a savage beating. • tolerate, stand : I can't take the humidity. • [ trans. ] react to or regard (news or an event) in a specified way : she took the news well | everything you say, he takes it the wrong way. • [ trans. ] deal with (a physical obstacle or course) in a specified way : he takes the corners with no concern for his own safety.
2 [ trans. ] carry or bring with one; convey : he took along a portfolio of his drawings | the drive takes you through some wonderful scenery | [with two objs. ] I took him a letter. • accompany or guide (someone) to a specified place : I'll take you to your room | he called to take her out for a meal. • bring into a specified state : the invasion took Europe to the brink of war. • use as a route or a means of transportation : take 95 north to Baltimore | we took the night train to Scotland.
• [ trans. ] remove (someone or something) from a particular place : he took an envelope from his inside pocket | the police took him away. • consume as food, drink, medicine, or drugs : take an aspirin and lie down. • capture or gain possession of by force or military means : twenty of their ships were sunk or taken | the French took Ghent.
have what it takes informal have the necessary qualities for success.
take advantage of 1 make unfair demands on (someone) who cannot or will not resist; exploit or make unfair use of for one's own benefit : people tend to take advantage of a placid nature. • dated (used euphemistically) seduce. 2 make good use of the opportunities offered by (something) : take full advantage of the facilities available.
take advice obtain information and guidance, typically from an expert : he should take advice from his accountant. • (usu. take someone's advice) act according to recommendations given : he took my advice and put his house up for sale.
take the heat informal accept blame or withstand disapproval : "Don't worry about it," Mulder said, "we'll take the heat. You can tell him we pulled rank."
take it or leave it [usu. in imperative ] said to express that the offer one has made is not negotiable and that one is indifferent to another's reaction to it : that's the deal—take it or leave it.
take someone back strongly remind someone of a past time : if "Disco Inferno" doesn't take you back, the bell-bottom pants will.
take something down 1 write down spoken words : I took down the address. 2 dismantle and remove a structure : the old Norman church was taken down in 1819.
take something back 1 retract a statement : I take back nothing of what I said. 2 return unsatisfactory goods to a store. • (of a store) accept such goods. 3 Printing transfer text to the previous line.
take off 1 (of an aircraft or bird) become airborne. • (of an enterprise) become successful or popular : the newly launched electronic newspaper has really taken off. 2 depart hastily : the officer took off after his men.
take someone on 1 hire an employee. 2 be willing or ready to meet an adversary or opponent, esp. a stronger one : a group of villagers has taken on the planners.
take someone out 1 to escort, as on a date : I finally get to take her out on Saturday night. 2 Bridge respond to a bid or double by one's partner by bidding a different suit.
take something out 1 obtain an official document or service : you can take out a loan for a specific purchase. • get a license or summons issued. 2 buy food at a cafe or restaurant for eating elsewhere : he ordered a lamb madras to take out.
take something over 1 (also take over) assume control of something : British troops had taken over the German trenches. • (of a company) buy out another. • become responsible for a task in succession to another : he will take over as chief executive in April. 2 Printing transfer text to the next line.
take a back seat take or be given a less important position or role : printed words will take a back seat to TV and video screens.
take a beating informal suffer damage or hurt.
take charge assume control or responsibility : the candidate must take charge of an actual flight.
take cover protect oneself from attack by ducking down into or under a shelter : if the bombing starts, take cover in the basement.
take no notice pay no attention to someone or something. take notice pay attention; show signs of interest.
take one's cue from follow the example or advice of : McGee did not move and Julia took her cue from him.
take one's hat off to (or hats off to) used to state one's admiration for (someone who has done something praiseworthy) : I take my hat off to anyone who makes it work | hats off to emergency services for prompt work in the wake of the storms.
take one's medicine submit to something disagreeable such as punishment.
take pleasure in derive happiness or enjoyment from : they take a perverse pleasure in causing trouble.
take shape assume a distinct form; develop into something definite or tangible : the past few months have seen the state's health insurance legislation begin to take shape.
take sides support one person or cause against another or others in a dispute, conflict, or contest : I do not want to take sides in this matter.
take someone aback shock or surprise someone : he was taken aback by the sharpness in her voice.
take someone at their word interpret a person's words literally or exactly, esp. by believing them or doing as they suggest.
take someone's breath away astonish or inspire someone with awed respect or delight.
take someone's point chiefly Brit. accept the validity of someone's idea or argument.
take someone's word ( for it) believe what someone says or writes without checking for oneself.
take someone/something by surprise attack or capture someone or something unexpectedly. • ( take someone by surprise) happen when someone is not prepared or is expecting something different : the question took David by surprise.
take something with a grain (or pinch) of salt regard something as exaggerated; believe only part of something : take a stock tip with a grain of salt.
take that! exclaimed when hitting someone or taking decisive action against them.
take the easy way out extricate oneself from a difficult situation by choosing the simplest or most expedient course rather than the most honorable or ethical one.
take the edge off reduce the intensity or effect of (something unpleasant or severe) : the tablets will take the edge off the pain.
take the liberty venture to do something without first asking permission : I have taken the liberty of submitting an idea to several of their research departments.
take the plunge informal commit oneself to a course of action about which one is nervous.
take the (or one's, etc.) secret to the grave die without revealing a secret.
1 natural aptitude or skill : he possesses more talent than any other player | she displayed a talent for garden design.
• people possessing such aptitude or skill : I signed all the talent in Rome | Simon is a talent to watch.
talisman |ˈtalɪzmən| noun ( pl. -mans ) an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.
• have formal dealings or discussions; negotiate : they won't talk to the regime that killed their families.
• [ trans. ] persuade or cause (someone) to do something by talking : don't try to talk me into acting as a go-between.
conversation; discussion : there was a slight but noticeable lull in the talk. • a period of conversation or discussion, esp. a relatively serious one : my mother had a talk with Louis.
• rumor, gossip, or speculation : there is talk of an armistice. • empty promises or boasting : he's all talk. • ( the talk of) a current subject of widespread gossip or speculation in (a particular place) : within days I was the talk of the town.
know what one is talking about be expert or authoritative on a specified subject.
talk big informal talk boastfully or overconfidently.
talk back reply defiantly or insolently.
showing defiance : she was in a defiant mood.
talk down to speak patronizingly or condescendingly to.
talk (or speak) in riddles express oneself in an ambiguous or puzzling manner.
talk sense into persuade (someone) to behave more sensibly.
1 of great or more than average height, esp. (with reference to an object) relative to width : a tall, broad-shouldered man | a tall glass of iced tea. • (after a measurement and in questions) measuring a specified distance from top to bottom : he was over six feet tall | how tall are you? • [as adv. ] used in reference to proud and confident movement or behavior : stop wishing that you were somehow different—start to walk tall ! 2 [ attrib. ] informal (of an account) fanciful and difficult to believe; unlikely : sometimes it's hard to tell a legend from a tall tale.
a tall order an unreasonable or difficult demand.
1 a current score or amount : that takes his tally to 10 goals in 10 games. • a record of a score or amount : I kept a running tally of David's debt on a note above my desk.
1 [ intrans. ] agree or correspond : their signatures should tally with their names on the register. 2 [ trans. ] calculate the total number of : the votes were being tallied with abacuses.
1 (of an animal) not dangerous or frightened of people; domesticated : the fish are so tame you have to push them away from your face mask. • not exciting, adventurous, or controversial : network TV on Saturday night is a pretty tame affair.
domesticate (an animal) : wild rabbits can be kept in captivity and eventually tamed. • make less powerful and easier to control : the battle to tame inflation.
1 [ intrans. ] (of a pale-skinned person or their skin) become brown or browner after exposure to the sun : you'll tan very quickly in the pure air. • [ trans. ] [usu. as adj. ] ( tanned) (of the sun) cause (a pale-skinned person or their skin) to become brown or browner : he looked tanned and fit.
• (of a pale-skinned person) having golden-brown skin after exposure to the sun : she looks tall, tan, and healthy.
• figurative a completely different line of thought or action : she went off on a tangent about how she and her husband had driven past a department store window.
• diverging from a previous course or line; erratic : tangential thoughts. • hardly touching a matter; peripheral : the reforms were tangential to efforts to maintain a basic standard of life.
• clear and definite; real : the emphasis is now on tangible results.
twist together into a confused mass : the broom somehow got tangled up in my long skirt. • [ intrans. ] ( tangle with) informal become involved in a conflict or fight with : I know there'll be trouble if I try to tangle with him.
a confused mass of something twisted together : a tangle of golden hair.
torment or tease (someone) with the sight or promise of something that is unobtainable : such ambitious questions have long tantalized the world's best thinkers. • excite the senses or desires of (someone) : she still tantalized him | [as adj. ] ( tantalizing) the tantalizing fragrance of fried bacon.
equivalent in seriousness to; virtually the same as : the resignations were tantamount to an admission of guilt. See note at same .
1 draw liquid through the tap or spout of (a cask, barrel, or other container) : hoarse chatter of tests they had aced and kegs they had tapped. • draw (liquid) from a cask, barrel, or other container : the butlers were tapping new and old ale. • (often be tapped) connect a device to (a telephone) so that conversation can be listened to secretly : the telephones were tapped by the state security police.
• informal obtain money or information from (someone) : he considered whom he could tap for information. • exploit or draw a supply from (a resource) : clients from industry seeking to tap Philadelphia's resources of expertise | [ intrans. ] these magazines have tapped into a target market of consumers.
1 strike (someone or something) with a quick light blow or blows : one of my staff tapped me on the shoulder. • strike (something) against something else with a quick light blow or blows : Gloria was tapping her feet in time to the music. • ( tap something out) produce (a rhythm) with a series of quick light blows on a surface : drums that tapped out a rumba beat. • write or enter (something) using a keyboard or keypad : he tapped out a few words on the keyboard.
a narrow strip of material, typically used to hold or fasten something : a roll of tape | a dirty apron fastened with thin tapes.
1 record (sound or pictures) on audio or videotape : it is not known who taped the conversation.
diminish or reduce or cause to diminish or reduce in thickness toward one end : [ intrans. ] the tail tapers to a rounded tip | [ trans. ] David asked my dressmaker to taper his trousers. • [ intrans. ] gradually lessen : the impact of the dollar's depreciation started to taper off.
• figurative used in reference to an intricate or complex combination of things or sequence of events : a tapestry of cultures, races, and customs.
delaying or delayed beyond the right or expected time; late : please forgive this tardy reply.
• aim or direct (something) : a significant nuclear capability targeted on the U.S.
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.
fix the price of (something) according to a tariff : these services are tariffed by volume.
lose or cause to lose luster, esp. as a result of exposure to air or moisture : [ intrans. ] silver tarnishes too easily | [ trans. ] lemon juice would tarnish the gilded metal. • figurative make or become less valuable or respected : [ trans. ] his regime had not been tarnished by human rights abuses.
• a person's tendency to like and dislike certain things : he found the aggressive competitiveness of the profession was not to his taste. • ( taste for) a liking for or interest in (something) : have you lost your taste for fancy restaurants? • the ability to discern what is of good quality or of a high aesthetic standard : she has awful taste in literature. • conformity or failure to conform with generally held views concerning what is offensive or acceptable : that's a joke in very bad taste.
• a small portion of food or drink taken as a sample : try a taste of Gorgonzola. • a brief experience of something, conveying its basic character : it was his first taste of serious action.
perceive or experience the flavor of : she had never tasted ice cream before. • [ intrans. ] have a specified flavor : [with complement ] the spinach tastes delicious. • sample or test the flavor of (food or drink) by taking it into the mouth : the waiter poured some wine for him to taste.
2 considered to be lacking in aesthetic judgment or to offend against what is regarded as appropriate behavior : a tasteless joke.
• informal, chiefly Brit. attractive; very appealing : some tasty acoustic piano licks.
in tatters informal torn in many places; in shreds : wallpaper hung in tatters. • figurative destroyed; ruined : the cease-fire was in tatters within hours.
• [in sing. ] figurative a strain or heavy demand : a heavy tax on the reader's attention.
1 impose a tax on (someone or something) : hardware and software is taxed at 7.5 percent. • figurative make heavy demands on (someone's powers or resources) : she knew that the ordeal to come would tax all her strength. 2 confront (someone) with a fault or wrongdoing : why are you taxing me with these preposterous allegations?
tax evasion noun the illegal nonpayment or underpayment of tax. Compare with tax avoidance .
taxidermy |ˈtaksɪˈdəːmi| noun the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals with lifelike effect.
physically or mentally demanding : they find the work too taxing.
• the classification of something, esp. organisms : the taxonomy of these fossils.
• induce (someone) by example or punishment to do or not to do something : my upbringing taught me never to be disrespectful to elders.
• two or more people working together : a team of researchers | [as adj. ] a team effort.
1 [ intrans. ] ( team up) come together as a team to achieve a common goal : he teamed up with the band to produce the album. 2 [ trans. ] (usu. team something with) match or coordinate a garment with (another) : a pinstripe suit teamed with a crisp white shirt.
1 [ trans. ] pull or rip (something) apart or to pieces with force : I tore up the letter. • remove by pulling or ripping forcefully : he tore up the floorboards | he tore off his belt | Joe tore the sack from her hand. • ( be torn between) figurative have great difficulty in choosing between : he was torn between his duty and his better instincts. • [ trans. ] make a hole or split in (something) by ripping or pulling at it : she was always tearing her clothes.
• make (a hole or split) in something by force : the blast tore a hole in the wall. • [ intrans. ] come apart; rip : the material wouldn't tear. • [ trans. ] damage (a muscle or ligament) by overstretching it : he tore a ligament playing squash. 2 [ intrans. ] informal move very quickly, typically in a reckless or excited manner : she tore along the footpath on her bike.
2 informal a spell of great success or excellence in performance : he went on a tear, winning three out of every four hands. • a brief spell of erratic behavior; a binge or spree : every so often she goes on a tear, walking around town and zapping people with orange spray paint.
tear someone/something to shreds (or pieces) informal criticize someone or something forcefully or aggressively : a defense counsel would tear his evidence to shreds.
tear someone/something apart 1 destroy something, esp. good relations between people : a bloody civil war had torn the country apart. 2 upset someone greatly : stop crying—it's tearing me apart. 3 search a place thoroughly : I'll help you find it; I'll tear your house apart if I have to. 4 criticize someone or something harshly. tear oneself away [often with negative ] leave despite a strong desire to stay : she couldn't tear herself away from the view.
• ( tears) the state or action of crying : he was so hurt by her attitude he was nearly in tears | sock puppets that moved Jack to tears.
(of the eye) produce tears : she arrived in a fur coat, cheeks red and eyes tearing from the chill.
1 make fun of or attempt to provoke (a person or animal) in a playful way : Brenda teased her father about the powerboat that he bought but seldom used | [ intrans. ] she was just teasing | [with direct speech ] "Think you're clever, don't you?" she teased.
2 [ trans. ] gently pull or comb (something tangled, esp. wool or hair) into separate strands : she was teasing out the curls into her usual hairstyle. • ( tease something out) figurative find something out from a mass of irrelevant information : a historian who tries to tease out the truth.
4 according to a strict application or interpretation of the law or rules : the arrest was a technical violation of the treaty.
a point of law or a small detail of a set of rules : their convictions were overturned on a technicality. • ( technicalities) the specific details or terms belonging to a particular field : he has great expertise in the technicalities of the game. • the state of being technical; the use of technical terms or methods : the extreme technicality of the proposed constitution.
1 [usu. sentence adverb ] according to the facts or exact meaning of something; strictly : technically, a nut is a single-seeded fruit. 2 with reference to the technique displayed : a technically brilliant boxing contest.
too long, slow, or dull: tiresome or monotonous : a tedious journey.
be full of or swarming with : every garden is teeming with wildlife | [as adj. ] ( teeming) she walked briskly through the teeming streets.
of or relating to teenagers : a teen idol.
move or balance unsteadily; sway back and forth : she teetered after him in her high-heeled sandals. • (often teeter between) figurative be unable to decide between different courses; waver : she teetered between tears and anger.
teeter on the brink (or edge) be very close to a difficult or dangerous situation : the country teetered on the brink of civil war.
transmit by television : a live televised debate between the party leaders.
2 [with clause ] decide or determine correctly or with certainty : you can tell they're in love. • [ trans. ] distinguish (one person or thing) from another; perceive (the difference) between one person or thing and another : I can't tell the difference between margarine and butter. 3 [ intrans. ] (of an experience or period of time) have a noticeable, typically harmful, effect on someone : the strain of supporting the family was beginning to tell on him. • (of a particular factor) play a part in the success or otherwise of someone or something : lack of fitness told against him on his first run of the season.
as far as one can tell judging from the available information.
I (or I'll) tell you what used to introduce a suggestion : I tell you what, why don't we meet for lunch tomorrow?
there is no telling used to convey the impossibility of knowing what has happened or will happen : there's no telling how she will react. to tell ( you) the truth used as a preface to a confession or admission of something.
tell someone off informal reprimand or scold someone : my parents told me off for coming home late.
tell me about it informal used as an ironic acknowledgment of one's familiarity with a difficult or unpleasant situation or experience described by someone else.
1 [in sing. ] a person's state of mind seen in terms of their being angry or calm : he rushed out in a very bad temper. • a tendency to become angry easily : I know my temper gets the better of me at times. • an angry state of mind : Drew had walked out in a temper | I only said it in a fit of temper. • a character or mode of thought : the temper of the late sixties. 2 the degree of hardness and elasticity in steel or other metal : the blade rapidly heats up and the metal loses its temper.
keep (or lose) one's temper refrain (or fail to refrain) from becoming angry.
1 a person's or animal's nature, esp. as it permanently affects their behavior : she had an artistic temperament. • the tendency to behave angrily or emotionally : he had begun to show signs of temperament. 2 the adjustment of intervals in tuning a piano or other musical instrument so as to fit the scale for use in different keys; in equal temperament, the octave consists of twelve equal semitones.
2 of or relating to a person's temperament : they were firm friends in spite of temperamental differences.
2 showing moderation or self-restraint : Charles was temperate in his consumption of both food and drink.
• Medicine the degree of internal heat of a person's body : I'll take her temperature. • informal a body temperature above the normal; fever : he was running a temperature.
1 characterized by strong and turbulent or conflicting emotion : he had a reckless and tempestuous streak.
• figurative something that serves as a model for others to copy : the plant was to serve as the template for change throughout the company.
lasting for only a limited period of time; not permanent : a temporary job.
2 the rate or speed of motion or activity; pace : the tempo of life dictated by a heavy workload.
entice or attempt to entice (someone) to do or acquire something that they find attractive but know to be wrong or not beneficial : don't allow impatience to tempt you into overexposure and sunburn | there'll always be someone tempted by the rich pickings of poaching | [ trans. ] jobs that involve entertaining may tempt you to drink more than you intend. • ( be tempted to do something) have an urge or inclination to do something : I was tempted to look at my watch, but didn't dare.
a desire to do something, esp. something wrong or unwise : he resisted the temptation to call Celia at the office | we almost gave in to temptation. • a thing or course of action that attracts or tempts someone : the temptations of life in New York.
appealing to or attracting someone, even if wrong or inadvisable : a tempting financial offer | [with infinitive ] it is often tempting to bring about change rapidly.
1 able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection : such a simplistic approach is no longer tenable. 2 (of an office, position, scholarship, etc.) able to be held or used : the post is tenable for three years.
not readily letting go of, giving up, or separated from an object that one holds, a position, or a principle : a tenacious grip | he was the most tenacious politician in South Korea. • not easily dispelled or discouraged; persisting in existence or in a course of action : a tenacious local legend | you're tenacious and you get at the truth.
• [ intrans. ] ( tend to/toward) be liable to possess or display (a particular characteristic) : Walter tended toward corpulence. • [ intrans. ] go or move in a particular direction : the road tends west around small mountains.
an inclination toward a particular characteristic or type of behavior : for students, there is a tendency to socialize in the evenings | criminal tendencies. • a group within a larger political party or movement : the dominant tendency in the party remained right-wing.
1 showing gentleness and concern or sympathy : he was being so kind and tender.
2 (of food) easy to cut or chew; not tough : tender green beans.
• (of a part of the body) sensitive to pain : the pale, tender skin of her forearm. • young, immature, and vulnerable : at the tender age of five. • requiring tact or careful handling : the issue of conscription was a particularly tender one.
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
ten times as great or as numerous : a tenfold increase in the use of insecticides.
by ten times; to ten times the number or amount : production increased tenfold.
(esp. of a muscle or someone's body) stretched tight or rigid : she tried to relax her tense muscles. • (of a person) unable to relax because of nervousness, anxiety, or stimulation : he was tense with excitement. • (of a situation, event, etc.) causing or showing anxiety and nervousness : relations between the two neighboring states had been tense in recent years.
become tense, typically through anxiety or nervousness : her body tensed up. • [ trans. ] make (a muscle or one's body) tight or rigid : carefully stretch and then tense your muscles.
1 the state of being stretched tight : the parachute keeps the cable under tension as it drops. • the state of having the muscles stretched tight, esp. as causing strain or discomfort : the elimination of neck tension can relieve headaches.
2 mental or emotional strain : a mind that is affected by stress or tension cannot think as clearly. • a strained political or social state or relationship : the coup followed months of tension between the military and the government | racial tensions. • a relationship between ideas or qualities with conflicting demands or implications : the basic tension between freedom and control.
• (usu. tentacles) figurative an insidious spread of influence and control : the Party's tentacles reached into every nook and cranny of people's lives.
not certain or fixed; provisional : a tentative conclusion. • done without confidence; hesitant : he eventually tried a few tentative steps round his hospital room.
• figurative showing little enthusiasm : the applause was tepid.
1 a word or phrase used to describe a thing or to express a concept, esp. in a particular kind of language or branch of study : the musical term "leitmotiv" | a term of abuse. • ( terms) language used on a particular occasion; a way of expressing oneself : a protest in the strongest possible terms.
2 a fixed or limited period for which something, e.g., office, imprisonment, or investment, lasts or is intended to last : the president is elected for a single four-year term.
• (also full term) the completion of a normal length of pregnancy : the pregnancy went to full term | low birthweight at term.
4 ( terms) conditions under which an action may be undertaken or agreement reached; stipulated or agreed-upon requirements : the union and the company agreed upon the contract's terms | he could only be dealt with on his own terms. • conditions with regard to payment for something; stated charges : loans on favorable terms. • agreed conditions under which a war or other dispute is brought to an end : a deal in Bosnia that could force the Serbs to come to terms.
come to terms with come to accept (a new and painful or difficult event or situation); reconcile oneself to : she had come to terms with the tragedies in her life. in terms of (or in —— terms) with regard to the particular aspect or subject specified : replacing the printers is difficult to justify in terms of cost | sales are down by nearly 7 percent in real terms. the long/short/medium term used to refer to a time that is a specified way into the future. on —— terms in a specified relation or on a specified footing : we are all on friendly terms.
1 [ attrib. ] of, forming, or situated at the end or extremity of something : a terminal date | the terminal tip of the probe.
2 (of a disease) predicted to lead to death, esp. slowly; incurable : terminal cancer. • [ attrib. ] suffering from or relating to such a disease : a hospice for terminal cases.
bring to an end : he was advised to terminate the contract. • [ intrans. ] ( terminate in) (of a thing) have its end at (a specified place) or of (a specified form) : the chain terminated in an iron ball covered with spikes. • [ intrans. ] (of a train, bus, or boat service) end its journey : the train will terminate at Stratford.
• end the employment of (someone); dismiss : Adamson's putting pressure on me to terminate you. • assassinate (someone, esp. an intelligence agent) : he was terminated by persons unknown.
1 the action of bringing something or coming to an end : the termination of a contract.
the body of terms used with a particular technical application in a subject of study, theory, profession, etc. : the terminology of semiotics | specialized terminologies for higher education.
of, on, or relating to the earth : increased ultraviolet radiation may disrupt terrestrial ecosystems. • denoting television broadcast using equipment situated on the ground rather than by satellite : terrestrial and cable technology.
• [ attrib. ] informal used to emphasize the extent of something unpleasant or bad : what a terrible mess. • extremely incompetent or unskillful : she is terrible at managing her money. • [as complement ] feeling or looking extremely unwell : I was sick all night and felt terrible for two solid days.
1 [usu. as submodifier ] very; extremely : I'm terribly sorry | it was all terribly frustrating. 2 very badly or unpleasantly : they beat me terribly. • very greatly (used to emphasize something bad, distressing, or unpleasant) : your father misses you terribly.
1 of great size, amount, or intensity : there was a terrific bang. • informal extremely good; excellent : it's been such a terrific day | you look terrific.
cause to feel extreme fear : the thought terrifies me | he is terrified of spiders | [ trans. ] she was terrified he would drop her | [as adj. ] ( terrifying) the terrifying events of the past few weeks.
the bombs are terrifyingly accurate.
1 of or relating to the ownership of an area of land or sea : territorial disputes.
1 an area of land under the jurisdiction of a ruler or state : the government was prepared to give up the nuclear weapons on its territory | sorties into enemy territory.
• an area in which one has certain rights or for which one has responsibility with regard to a particular type of activity : a sales rep for a large territory. • figurative an area of knowledge, activity, or experience : the contentious territory of clinical standards | the way she felt now—she was in unknown territory.
1 extreme fear : people fled in terror | [in sing. ] a terror of darkness. • the use of such fear to intimidate people, esp. for political reasons : weapons of terror. • [in sing. ] a person or thing that causes extreme fear : his unyielding scowl became the terror of the Chicago mob.
terror-stricken (also terror-struck) adjective feeling or expressing extreme fear.
create and maintain a state of extreme fear and distress in (someone); fill with terror : he used his private army to terrorize the population | the union said staff would not be terrorized into ending their strike.
sparing in the use of words; abrupt : a terse statement.
1 third in order or level : most of the enterprises were of tertiary importance | the tertiary stage of the disease.
take measures to check the quality, performance, or reliability of (something), esp. before putting it into widespread use or practice : this range has not been tested on animals | [as n. ] ( testing) the testing and developing of prototypes | figurative a useful way to test out ideas before implementation. • reveal the strengths or capabilities of (someone or something) by putting them under strain : such behavior would severely test any marriage
stand the test of time last or remain popular for a long time.
2 something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality : growing attendance figures are a testament to the event's popularity.
give evidence as a witness in a law court : he testified against his own commander | [with clause ] he testified that he had supplied Barry with crack. • serve as evidence or proof of something's existing or being the case : the bleak lines testify to inner torment.
• [often as adj. ] (in sports) a game or event held in honor of a player, who typically receives part of the income generated : the Yankees held a testimonial day for Gehrig.
• evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something : his blackened finger was testimony to the fact that he had played in pain.
tie (an animal) with a rope or chain so as to restrict its movement : the horse had been tethered to a post.
conforming to or corresponding to a standard or type that is prescribed or widely held by theorists : he had the presence of mind to carry out a textbook emergency descent.
1 (usu. textiles) a type of cloth or woven fabric : a fascinating range of pottery, jewelry, and textiles.
the feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface or a substance : skin texture and tone | the cheese is firm in texture | the different colors and textures of bark. • the character or appearance of a textile fabric as determined by the arrangement and thickness of its threads : a dark shirt of rough texture.
3 [ conj. ] used in expressions indicating one thing happening immediately after another : scarcely was the work completed than it was abandoned.
• used ironically to assign blame or responsibility for something : you have only yourself to thank for the plight you are in.
pleased and relieved : [with clause ] they were thankful that the war was finally over | [with infinitive ] I was very thankful to be alive. • expressing gratitude and relief : an earnest and thankful prayer.
an expression of gratitude : festivals were held to give thanks for the harvest | a letter of thanks. • a feeling of gratitude : they expressed their thanks and wished her well. • another way of saying thank you : : thanks for being so helpful | many thanks.
and all that informal and that sort of thing; and so on : other people depend on them for food and clothing and all that.
like that 1 of that nature or in that manner : we need more people like that | don't talk like that. 2 informal with no preparation or introduction; instantly or effortlessly : he can't just leave like that.
that said even so (introducing a concessive statement) : It's just a gimmick. That said, I'd love to do it.
that's that there is nothing more to do or say about the matter. —— that was as the specified person or thing was formerly known : General Dunstaple had married Miss Hughes that was.
3 [often with clause ] used in singling out someone or something and ascribing a distinctive feature to them : it is part of human nature to be attracted to that which is aesthetically pleasing | his appearance was that of an undergrown man | they care about the rights of those less privileged than themselves.
that makes two of us one is in the same position or holds the same opinion as the previous speaker : "I haven't a clue!" "That makes two of us."
that's an idea informal that suggestion or proposal is worth considering.
that's it 1 that is the main point or difficulty : "Is she going?" "That's just it—she can't make up her mind." 2 that is enough or the end : okay, that's it, you've cried long enough.
that's the idea informal used to confirm to someone that they have understood something or they are doing something correctly : "A sort of bodyguard?" "That's the idea."
that's your (or his, or her, etc.) problem (said with emphatic stress on pronoun) used to express one's lack of interest in or sympathy with the problems or misfortunes of another person : he'd made a mistake but that was his problem.
a period of warmer weather that thaws ice and snow : the thaw came yesterday afternoon. • an increase in friendliness or cordiality : a thaw in relations between the U.S.A. and Iran.
(of ice, snow, or another frozen substance, such as food) become liquid or soft as a result of warming : the river thawed and barges of food began to reach the capital | [as n. ] ( thawing) catastrophic summer floods caused by thawing.
• [ trans. ] make (something) warm enough to become liquid or soft : European exporters simply thawed their beef before unloading. • (of a part of the body) become warm enough to stop feeling numb : Ryan began to feel his ears and toes thaw out. • become friendlier or more cordial : she thawed out sufficiently to allow a smile to appear. • [ trans. ] make friendlier or more cordial : the cast thawed the audience into real pleasure.
the —— factor used to indicate that something specified will have a powerful, though unpredictable, influence on a result or outcome : the feel-good factor.
the —— the better used to emphasize the importance or desirability of the quality or thing specified : the sooner we're off, the better | the more people there the better.
the ball is in your court it is up to you to make the next move.
the beginning of the end the event to which ending or failure can be traced.
the best of three (or five, etc.) victory achieved by winning the majority of a specified (usually odd) number of games.
the best part of most of : it took them the best part of 10 years.
the better part of almost all of; most of : it is the better part of a mile.
the cold shoulder a show of intentional unfriendliness; rejection : why is even his own family giving him the cold shoulder ?
the course of nature events or processes that are normal and to be expected : each man would, in the course of nature, have his private opinions.
the dust settles things quiet down : she hoped that the dust would settle quickly and the episode be forgotten.
the eleventh hour the latest possible moment : he refused to take a public stand until the eleventh hour of the campaign.
the end of the road (or line) the point beyond which progress or survival cannot continue : if the lawsuit is not dropped it could be the end of the road for the publisher.
the end of the world the termination of life on the earth. • informal a complete disaster : it's not the end of the world if you're not great at sports.
the evil eye a gaze or stare superstitiously believed to cause material harm : he gave me the evil eye as I walked down the corridor.
the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence proverb other people's lives or situations always seem better than one's own.
the half of it [usu. with negative ] informal the most important part or aspect of something : you don't know the half of it.
the hard way through suffering or learning from the unpleasant consequences of mistakes : his reputation was earned the hard way.
the jury is still out a decision has not yet been reached on a controversial subject : the jury is still out on whether self-regulation by doctors is adequate.
the light of day daylight. • general public attention : bringing old family secrets into the light of day.
the likes of informal used of someone or something regarded as a type : she didn't want to associate with the likes of me.
the living image of an exact copy or likeness of.
the lowest of the low the people regarded as the most immoral or socially inferior of all.
the moment —— as soon as —— : the heavens opened the moment we left the house.
the old days a period in the past, often seen as significantly different from the present, esp. noticeably better or worse : it was easier in the old days | we are less confident than in the good old days | the bad old days of incoherence and irresponsibility.
the other side of the coin the opposite or contrasting aspect of a matter.
the other way around in the opposite position or direction. • the opposite of what is expected or supposed : it was you who sought me out, not the other way around.
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.
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.
the rest is history used to indicate that the events succeeding those already related are so well known that they need not be recounted again : they teamed up, discovered that they could make music, and the rest is history.
the sky's the limit informal there is practically no limit (to something such as a price that can be charged or the opportunities afforded to someone).
the story goes it is said or rumored : the story goes that he's fallen out with his friends.
the time is ripe a suitable time has arrived : the time was ripe to talk about peace.
the tip of the iceberg the small, perceptible part of a much larger situation or problem that remains hidden : the statistics represent just the tip of the iceberg.
of, for, or relating to acting, actors, or the theater : theatrical productions. • exaggerated and excessively dramatic : Henry looked over his shoulder with theatrical caution.
the action or crime of stealing : he was convicted of theft | the latest theft happened at a garage.
theism |ˈθiːɪz(ə)m| noun belief in the existence of a god or gods, esp. belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures. Compare with deism .
1 having or relating to subjects or a particular subject : the orientation of this anthology is essentially thematic.
1 the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic : the theme of the sermon was reverence | a show on the theme of waste and recycling.
• [in combination ] ( -themed) (mainly in journalism) characterized by a theme or pervasive influence : a golf-themed business park.
give a particular setting or ambience to (a venue or activity) : [as adj. ] ( themed) Independence Day was celebrated with special themed menus | [in combination ] a golf-themed business park.
then and there immediately : she made up her mind then and there.
• religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed : in Christian theology, God comes to be conceived as Father and Son | a willingness to tolerate new theologies.
concerned with or involving the theory of a subject or area of study rather than its practical application : a theoretical physicist | the training is task-related rather than theoretical. • based on or calculated through theory rather than experience or practice : the theoretical value of their work.
• an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action : my theory would be that the place has been seriously mismanaged.
in theory used in describing what is supposed to happen or be possible, usually with the implication that it does not in fact happen : in theory, things can only get better; in practice, they may well become a lot worse.
form a theory or set of theories about something : [as n. ] ( theorizing) they are more interested in obtaining results than in political theorizing. • [ trans. ] create a theoretical premise or framework for (something) : women should be doing feminism rather than theorizing it.
of or relating to the healing of disease : diagnostic and therapeutic facilities. • administered or applied for reasons of health : a therapeutic shampoo. • having a good effect on the body or mind; contributing to a sense of well-being : a therapeutic silence.
• the treatment of mental or psychological disorders by psychological means : he is currently in therapy | [as adj. ] therapy sessions.
1 used to focus attention on something and express satisfaction or annoyance at it : there, I told you she wouldn't mind! 2 used to comfort someone : there, there, you must take all of this philosophically.
there goes —— used to express the destruction or failure of something : there goes my career. there it is that is the situation : pretty ridiculous, I know, but there it is.
there you are (or go) informal 1 this is what you wanted : there you are—that'll be $3.80 please. 2 expressing confirmation, triumph, or resignation : there you are! I told you the problem was a political one | sometimes it is embarrassing, but there you go. there you go again used to criticize someone for behaving in a way that is typical of them. there you have it used to emphasize or draw attention to a particular fact : so there you have it—the ultimate grand unified theory. • used to draw attention to the simplicity of a process or action : simply turn the handle three times and there you have it.
after that time : thereafter their fortunes suffered a steep decline.
by that means; as a result of that : students perform in hospitals, thereby gaining a deeper awareness of the therapeutic power of music.
in that place, document, or respect : it shall be sufficient evidence of the facts therein contained.
of the thing just mentioned; of that : the member state or a part thereof.
to that or that place : the third party assents thereto.
they say it is rumored.
1 with opposite sides or surfaces that are a great or relatively great distance apart : thick slices of bread | the walls are 5 feet thick.
• (of script or type) consisting of broad lines : a headline in thick black type. 2 made up of a large number of things or people close together : his hair was long and thick | the road winds through thick forest. • [ predic. ] ( thick with) densely filled or covered with : the room was thick with smoke | figurative the air was thick with rumors.
• [ predic. ] ( thick with) densely filled or covered with : the room was thick with smoke | figurative the air was thick with rumors. • (of air, the atmosphere, or an odor carried by them) heavy or dense : a thick odor of dust and perfume. • (of darkness or a substance in the air) so black or dense as to be impossible or difficult to see through : the shore was obscured by thick fog. 3 (of a liquid or a semiliquid substance) relatively firm in consistency; not flowing freely : thick mud. 4 informal of low intelligence; stupid : he's a bit thick | I've got to shout to get it into your thick head.
make or become thick or thicker : [ trans. ] thicken the sauce with flour | [ intrans. ] the fog had thickened.
be a thief; steal something : they began thieving again | [as adj. ] ( thieving) get lost, you thieving swine. | [ trans. ]
1 having opposite surfaces or sides close together; of little thickness or depth : thin slices of bread. • (of a person) having little, or too little, flesh or fat on their body : she was painfully thin. • (of a garment or other knitted or woven item) made of light material for coolness or elegance. • (of a garment) having had a considerable amount of fabric worn away. • (of script or type) consisting of narrow lines : tall, thin lettering.
2 having few parts or members relative to the area covered or filled; sparse : a depressingly thin crowd | his hair was going thin. • not dense : the thin cold air of the mountains. • containing much liquid and not much solid substance : thin soup. • Climbing denoting a route on which the holds are small or scarce. 3 (of a sound) faint and high-pitched : a thin, reedy little voice. • (of a smile) weak and forced. • too weak to justify a result or effect; inadequate : the evidence is rather thin.
1 make or become less dense, crowded, or numerous : [ trans. ] the remorseless fire of archers thinned their ranks | [ intrans. ] the trees began to thin out | [as adj. ] ( thinning) thinning hair. • [ trans. ] remove some plants from (a row or area) to allow the others more room to grow : thin out overwintered rows of peas.
• make or become weaker or more watery : [ trans. ] if the soup is too thick, add a little water to thin it down | [ intrans. ] the blood thins. 2 make or become smaller in width or thickness : [ trans. ] their effect in thinning the ozone layer is probably slowing the global warming trend | [ intrans. ] the trees have thinned and diminished in size.
thin air used to refer to the state of being invisible or nonexistent : she just vanished into thin air | they seemed to pluck numbers out of thin air.
be hearing (or seeing) things imagine that one can hear (or see) something that is not in fact there.
for one thing used to introduce one of two or more possible reasons for something, the remainder of which may or may not be stated : Why hadn't he arranged to see her at the house? For one thing, it would have been warmer. have a thing about informal have an obsessive interest in or dislike of : she had a thing about men who wore glasses.
—— is one thing, —— is another used to indicate that the second item mentioned is much more serious or important than the first, and cannot be compared to it : physical attraction was one thing, love was quite another.
( 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. 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.
a thing of the past a thing that no longer happens or exists. a thing or two informal used to refer to useful information that can be imparted or learned : Teddy taught me a thing or two about wine.
think better of decide not to do (something) after reconsideration.
think nothing (or little) of consider (an activity others regard as odd, wrong, or difficult) as straightforward or normal.
think twice consider a course of action carefully before embarking on it.
think the world of have a very high regard for (someone) : I thought the world of my father.
think back recall a past event or time : I keep thinking back to school.
think something through consider all the possible effects or implications of something : they had failed to think the policy through.
think outside ( of) the box think in an original or creative way : you have to give him credit for thinking outside the box.
third time is a charm (or Brit. third time lucky) used to express the hope that, after twice failing to accomplish something, one may succeed in the third attempt.
of the third-best quality or of lower status : [as adj. ] many indigenous groups are still viewed as third-class citizens.
of or relating to a person or group besides the two primarily involved in a situation : third-party suppliers.
a feeling of needing or wanting to drink something : they quenched their thirst with spring water. • lack of the liquid needed to sustain life : tens of thousands died of thirst and starvation. • (usu. thirst for) poetic/literary a strong desire for something : his thirst for knowledge was mainly academic.
feeling a need to drink something : the hikers were hot and thirsty.
• having or showing a strong desire for something : Jake was as thirsty for scandal as anyone else.
• having or showing a strong desire for something : Jake was as thirsty for scandal as anyone else.
this is it 1 the expected event is about to happen : this is it—the big sale. 2 this is enough or the end : this is it, I'm going. 3 this is the main point or difficulty.
this minute (or this very minute) informal at once; immediately : pull yourself together this minute.
there is no rose without a thorn proverb every apparently desirable situation has its share of trouble or difficulty.
• figurative a source of discomfort, annoyance, or difficulty; an irritation or an obstacle : the issue has become a thorn in renewing the peace talks. See also a thorn in someone's side below.
• figurative causing distress, difficulty, or trouble : a thorny problem for our team to solve.
complete with regard to every detail; not superficial or partial : planners need a thorough understanding of the subject. • performed or written with great care and completeness : officers have made a thorough examination of the wreckage. • taking pains to do something carefully and completely : the Canadian authorities are very thorough. • [ attrib. ] absolute (used to emphasize the degree of something, typically something unwelcome or unpleasant) : the child is being a thorough nuisance.
• informal of outstanding quality : this thoroughbred car affords the luxury of three spoilers.
those were the days used to assert that a particular past time was better than the present.
1 an idea or opinion produced by thinking or occurring suddenly in the mind : Maggie had a sudden thought | I asked him if he had any thoughts on how it had happened | Mrs. Oliver's first thought was to get help. See note at idea . • an idea or mental picture, imagined and contemplated : the mere thought of Peter with Nicole made her see red. • ( one's thoughts) one's mind or attention : he's very much in our thoughts and prayers. • an act of considering or remembering someone or something : she hadn't given a thought to Max for some time.
• (usu. thought of) an intention, hope, or idea of doing or receiving something : he had given up all thoughts of making Manhattan his home. 2 the action or process of thinking : Sophie sat deep in thought. • the formation of opinions, esp. as a philosophy or system of ideas, or the opinions so formed : the freedom of thought and action | the traditions of Western thought. • careful consideration or attention : I haven't given it much thought. • concern for another's well-being or convenience : he is carrying on the life of a single man, with no thought for me.
don't give it another thought informal used to tell someone not to worry when they have apologized for something.
a second thought [with negative ] more than the slightest consideration : not one of them gave a second thought to the risks involved.
absorbed in or involving thought : brows drawn together in thoughtful consideration. • showing consideration for the needs of other people : he was attentive and thoughtful | how very thoughtful of you! • showing careful consideration or attention : her work is thoughtful and provocative.
(of a person or their behavior) not showing consideration for the needs of other people : it was thoughtless of her to have rushed out and not said where she would be going. • without consideration of the possible consequences : to think a few minutes of thoughtless pleasure could end in this.
beat (a person or animal) repeatedly and violently with a stick or whip : she thrashed him across the head and shoulders | [as n. ] ( thrashing) what he needs is a good thrashing. • hit (something) hard and repeatedly : the wind screeched and the mast thrashed the deck. • [ intrans. ] make a repeated crashing by or as if by hitting something : the surf thrashed and thundered.
• [ intrans. ] move in a violent and convulsive way : he lay on the ground thrashing around in pain | [ trans. ] she thrashed her arms, attempting to swim. • [ intrans. ] ( thrash around) struggle in a wild or desperate way to do something : two months of thrashing around on my own have produced nothing. • informal defeat (someone) heavily in a contest or match : I thrashed Pete at cards | [ trans. ] the Braves were thrashed 8-1 by the Mets. • [ intrans. ] move with brute determination or violent movements : I wrench the steering wheel back and thrash on up the hill.
1 [usu. in sing. ] a violent or noisy movement, typically involving hitting something repeatedly : the thrash of the waves.
• [in sing. ] something abstract or intangible, regarded as weak or fragile : keeping the tenuous thread of life attached to a dying body. • a theme or characteristic, typically forming one of several, running throughout a situation or piece of writing : a common thread running through the scandals was the failure to conduct audits.
• [ trans. ] pass (a long, thin object or piece of material) through something and into the required position for use : he threaded the rope through a pulley. • [ intrans. ] move carefully or skillfully in and out of obstacles : she threaded her way through the tables. • interweave or intersperse as if with threads : his hair had become ill-kempt and threaded with gray.
hang by a thread be in a highly precarious state.
lose the (or one's) thread be unable to follow what someone is saying or remember what one is going to say next.
1 a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done : members of her family have received death threats.
2 a person or thing likely to cause damage or danger : hurricane damage poses a major threat to many coastal communities. • [in sing. ] the possibility of trouble, danger, or ruin : the company faces the threat of bankruptcy | thousands of railroad jobs came under threat.
state one's intention to take hostile action against someone in retribution for something done or not done : [ trans. ] the unions threatened a general strike | [with infinitive ] she made a scene and Tom threatened to leave | [with direct speech ] "I might sue for damages," he threatened. • [ trans. ] express one's intention to harm or kill (someone) : the men threatened the customers with a handgun. • [ trans. ] cause (someone or something) to be vulnerable or at risk; endanger : a broken finger threatened his career | one of four hospitals threatened with closure. • [with infinitive ] (of a situation or weather conditions) seem likely to produce an unpleasant or unwelcome result : the dispute threatened to spread to other cities [ trans. ] : the air was raw and threatened rain. • [ intrans. ] (of something undesirable) seem likely to occur : unless war threatened, national politics remained the focus of attention.
having a hostile or deliberately frightening quality or manner : her mother had received a threatening letter.
2 (also estate of the realm) a class or order regarded as forming part of the body politic, in particular (in Britain), one of the three groups constituting Parliament, now the Lords Spiritual (the heads of the Church), the Lords Temporal (the peerage), and the Commons. They are also known as the three estates.
three times as great or as numerous : a threefold increase in the number of stolen cars. • having three parts or elements : the differences are threefold.
by three times; to three times the number or amount : the aftershocks intensify threefold each time.
• [in sing. ] a point of entry or beginning : she was on the threshold of a dazzling career.
2 the magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested : nothing happens until the signal passes the threshold | [as adj. ] a threshold level. • the maximum level of radiation or a concentration of a substance considered to be acceptable or safe : their water would meet the safety threshold of 50 milligrams of nitrates per liter.
1 the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully : the values of thrift and self-reliance.
three times : a dose of 25 mg thrice daily. • [as submodifier ] extremely; very : I was thrice blessed.
a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure : the thrill of jumping out of an airplane.
• a wave or nervous tremor of emotion or sensation : a thrill of excitement ran through her.
1 [ trans. ] cause (someone) to have a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure : his kiss thrilled and excited her | I'm thrilled to death | they were thrilled to pieces | [as adj. ] ( thrilling) a thrilling adventure. • [ intrans. ] experience such feeling : thrill to the magic of the world 's greatest guitarist. 2 [ intrans. ] (of an emotion or sensation) pass with a nervous tremor : the shock of alarm thrilled through her.
(of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously : the new baby thrived. • prosper; flourish : education groups thrive on organization | [as adj. ] ( thriving) a thriving economy.
beat or sound with a strong, regular rhythm; pulsate steadily : the war drums throbbed | figurative the crowded streets throbbed with life. • feel pain in a series of regular beats : her foot throbbed with pain | [as adj. ] ( throbbing) a throbbing headache.
• ( the throne) used to signify sovereign power : the heir to the throne.
1 a device controlling the flow of fuel or power to an engine : the engines were at full throttle.
1 attack or kill (someone) by choking or strangling them : she was sorely tempted to throttle him | figurative the revolution has throttled the free exchange of information and opinion.
1 moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location) : [as prep. ] stepping boldly through the doorway | [as adv. ] as soon as we opened the gate, they came streaming through. • so as to make a hole or opening in (a physical object) : [as prep. ] the truck smashed through a brick wall | [as adv. ] a cucumber, slit, but not all the way through. • moving around or from one side to the other within (a crowd or group) : [as prep. ] making my way through the guests. • so as to be perceived from the other side of (an intervening obstacle) : [as prep. ] the sun was streaming in through the window | [as adv. ] the glass in the front door where the moonlight streamed through.
• [ prep. ] expressing the position or location of something beyond or at the far end of (an opening or an obstacle) : the approach to the church is through a gate. • expressing the extent of turning from one orientation to another : [as prep. ] each joint can move through an angle within fixed limits. 2 continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period) : [as prep. ] he showed up halfway through the second act | [as adv. ] to struggle through until payday. • so as to complete (a particular stage or trial) successfully : [as prep. ] she had come through her sternest test | [as adv. ] I will struggle through alone rather than ask for help.
• from beginning to end of (an experience or activity, typically a tedious or stressful one) : [as prep. ] we sat through some very boring speeches | she's been through a bad time | [as adv. ] Karl will see you through, Ingrid. 3 so as to inspect all or part of (a collection, inventory, or publication) : [as prep. ] flipping through the pages of a notebook | [as adv. ] she read the letter through carefully. 4 [ prep. ] up to and including (a particular point in an ordered sequence) : they will be in town from March 24 through May 7. 5 [ prep. ] by means of (a process or intermediate stage) : dioxins get into mothers' milk through contaminated food. • by means of (an intermediary or agent) : seeking justice through the proper channels. 6 [ adv. ] so as to be connected by telephone : he put a call through to the senator.
4 [ predic. ] informal having no prospect of any future relationship, dealings, or success : she told him she was through with him | you and I are through.
through and through in every aspect; thoroughly or completely : Harriet was a political animal through and through.
• in every part of (a place or object) : [as prep. ] it had repercussions throughout Europe | [as adv. ] the house is in good order throughout. • from beginning to end of (an event or period of time) : [as prep. ] the Church of which she was a faithful member throughout her life | [as adv. ] both sets of parents retained a smiling dignity throughout.
1 [ trans. ] propel (something) with force through the air by a movement of the arm and hand : I threw a brick through the window.
• [ trans. or complement ] push or force (someone or something) violently and suddenly into a particular physical position or state : the pilot and one passenger were thrown clear and survived | the door was thrown open, and a uniformed guard entered the room. • put in place or erect quickly : the stewards had thrown a cordon across the fairway. • move (a part of the body) quickly or suddenly in a particular direction : she threw her head back and laughed.
• project or cast (light or shadow) in a particular direction : a chandelier threw its bright light over the walls.
• direct (a particular kind of look or facial expression) : she threw a withering glance at him.
• ( throw something off/on) put on or take off a garment hastily : I threw on my housecoat and went to the door.
2 [ trans. ] cause to enter suddenly a particular state or condition : he threw all her emotions into turmoil | the bond market was thrown into confusion. • put (someone) in a particular place or state, esp. in a rough, abrupt, or summary fashion : these guys should be thrown in jail. • [ trans. ] disconcert; confuse : she frowned, thrown by this apparent change of tack.
1 an act of throwing something : Jeter's throw to first base was too late. • an act of throwing one's opponent in wrestling, judo, or similar sport : a shoulder throw.
take up (or throw down) the gauntlet accept (or issue) a challenge. [ORIGIN: from the medieval custom of issuing a challenge by throwing one's gauntlet to the ground; whoever picked it up was deemed to have accepted the challenge.]
throw in the towel (or sponge) (of boxers or their seconds) throw a towel (or sponge) into the ring as a token of defeat. • abandon a struggle; admit defeat.
roll (or throw) of the dice a risky attempt to do or achieve something : the merger was their last roll of the dice, and it failed miserably.
throw something in 1 include something, typically at no extra cost, with something that is being sold or offered : they cut the price by $100 and threw in an AC adaptor. 2 make a remark casually as an interjection in a conversation : he threw in a sensible remark about funding.
throw oneself into start to do (something) with enthusiasm and vigor : Eve threw herself into her work. throw something off 1 rid oneself of something : he was struggling to throw off a viral-hepatitis problem. 2 write or utter in an offhand manner : Thomas threw off the question lightly. throw oneself on (or upon) attack (someone) vigorously : they threw themselves on the enemy. throw something open make something accessible : the market was thrown open to any supplier to compete for contracts. • invite general discussion of or participation in a subject or a debate or other event : the debate will be thrown open to the audience.
throw someone out 1 expel someone unceremoniously from a place, organization, or activity. 2 Baseball put out a runner by a throw to the base being approached, followed by a tag. throw something out 1 discard something as unwanted. 2 (of a court, legislature, or other body) dismiss or reject something brought before it : the charges were thrown out by the judge. 3 put forward a suggestion tentatively : a suggestion that Dunne threw out caught many a reader's fancy. 4 cause numbers or calculations to become inaccurate : an undisclosed stock option throws out all your figures. 5 emit or radiate something : a big range fire that threw out heat like a furnace. 6 (of a plant) rapidly develop a side shoot, bud, etc.
throw something together make or produce something hastily, without careful planning or arrangement : the meal was quickly thrown together at news of Rose's arrival.
throw something up 1 abandon or give up something, esp. one's job : why has he thrown up a promising career in politics? 2 informal vomit something one has eaten or drunk. 3 produce something and bring it to notice : he saw the prayers of the Church as a living and fruitful tradition that threw up new ideas. 4 erect a building or structure hastily.
throw (or catch) someone off balance cause someone to become unsteady and in danger of falling. • figurative confuse or bewilder someone.
1 denoting or relating to products that are intended to be discarded after being used once or a few times : a throwaway camera | we live in a throwaway society. 2 (of a remark) expressed in a casual or understated way : some people overreacted to a few throwaway lines.
push (something or someone) suddenly or violently in the specified direction : she thrust her hands into her pockets | figurative Howard was thrust into the limelight | [ intrans. ] he thrust at his opponent with his sword. • [ intrans. ] (of a person) move or advance forcibly : she thrust through the bramble canes | he tried to thrust his way past her.
• [ intrans. ] (of a thing) extend so as to project conspicuously : beside the boathouse a jetty thrust out into the water. • ( thrust something on/upon) force (someone) to accept or deal with something : he felt that fame had been thrust upon him.
1 a sudden or violent lunge with a pointed weapon or a bodily part : he drove the blade upward with one powerful thrust. • a forceful attack or effort : executives led a new thrust in business development. • [in sing. ] the principal purpose or theme of a course of action or line of reasoning : anti-Americanism became the main thrust of their policy.
a dull, heavy sound, such as that made by an object falling to the ground : Jean heard the thud of the closing door.
move, fall, or strike something with a dull, heavy sound : the bullets thudded into the dusty ground.
with a thud used to describe a sudden and disillusioning reminder of reality in contrast to someone's dreams or aspirations : dropouts have now come back down to earth with a thud.
press, move, or touch (something) with one's thumb : as soon as she thumbed the button, the door slid open. • turn over (pages) with or as if with one's thumb : I've thumbed my address book and found quite a range of smaller hotels | [ intrans. ] he was thumbing through that magazine for the umpteenth time.
thumbs up (or down) informal an indication of satisfaction or approval (or of rejection or failure) : plans to build a house on the site have been given the thumbs down by the Department of the Environment. [ORIGIN: with reference to the signal of approval or disapproval, used by spectators at a Roman amphitheater; the sense has been reversed, as the Romans used 'thumbs down' to signify that a beaten gladiator had performed well and should be spared, and 'thumbs up' to call for his death.]
hit (someone or something) heavily, esp. with the fist or a blunt implement : Holman thumped the desk with his hand | [ intrans. ] she thumped on the door. • [ trans. ] move (something) forcefully, noisily, or decisively : she picked up the kettle then thumped it down again. • [ intrans. ] move or do something with a heavy deadened sound : Philip thumped down on the sofa.
a heavy dull blow with a person's fist or a blunt implement : I felt a thump on my back. • a loud deadened sound : his wife put down her iron with a thump.
• make a loud, deep resounding noise : the motorcycle thundered into life | the train thundered through the night. • [ trans. ] strike powerfully : McGwire thundered that one out of the stadium. • speak loudly and forcefully or angrily, esp. to denounce or criticize : he thundered against the evils of the age | [with direct speech ] "Sit down!" thundered Morse with immense authority.
• a resounding loud deep noise : you can hear the thunder of the falls in the distance. • used in similes and comparisons to refer to an angry facial expression or tone of voice : "I am Brother Joachim," he announced in a voice like thunder.
of, relating to, or giving warning of thunder : a thunderous gray cloud. • very loud : thunderous applause.
3 [as submodifier ] to this point; so : the Web site has been cracked three times thus far.
1 [ intrans. ] (of a clock or other mechanical device) make regular short sharp sounds, typically for every second of time passing : I could hear the clock ticking. • ( tick away/by/past) (of time) pass (used esp. when someone is pressed for time or keenly awaiting an event) : the minutes were ticking away till the actor's appearance.
• [ trans. ] ( tick something away) (of a clock or watch) mark the passing of time with regular short sharp sounds : the little clock ticked the precious minutes away.
2 chiefly Brit. [ trans. ] mark (an item) with a check mark, typically to show that it has been chosen, checked, or approved : just tick the appropriate box below. • ( tick something off) list items one by one in one's mind or during a speech : he ticked the points off on his fingers.
what makes someone tick informal what motivates someone : people are curious to know what makes these men tick.
tick someone off 1 informal make someone annoyed or angry. 2 Brit. informal reprimand or rebuke someone : he was ticked off by Angela | [as n. ] ( ticking off) he got a ticking off from the boss.
make a ticking sound : the clock on the wall was tick-tocking.
1 issue (someone) with an official notice of a traffic or other offense : park illegally and you are likely to be ticketed.
• ( ticket to/out of) a method of getting into or out of (a specified state or situation) : drugs are seen as the only ticket out of poverty | companies that appeared to have a one-way ticket to profitability.
1 lightly touch or prod (a person or a part of the body) in a way that causes itching and often laughter : she tickled me under the chin. • [ intrans. ] (of a part of the body) give a sensation of mild discomfort similar to that caused by being touched in this way : his throat had stopped tickling. • touch with light finger movements : [ trans. ] tickling the safe open took nearly ninety minutes.
an act of tickling someone : Dad gave my chin a little tickle. • a sensation like that of being lightly touched or prodded : I had a tickle between my shoulder blades.
1 sensitive to being tickled : Lhasa apsos are ticklish on their feet.
turn the tide reverse the trend of events : the air power that helped to turn the tide of battle.
• the water as affected by this : the rising tide covered the wharf. • figurative a powerful surge of feeling or trend of events : he drifted into sleep on a tide of euphoria | we must reverse the growing tide of racism sweeping the country.
verb ( -dies, -died) [ trans. ] (often tidy someone/something up) bring order to; arrange neatly : I'd better try to tidy my desk up a bit | figurative the bill is intended to tidy up the law on this matter | [ intrans. ] I'll just go and tidy up.
1 arranged neatly and in order : his scrupulously tidy apartment | figurative the lives they lead don't fit into tidy patterns. • (of a person) inclined to keep things or one's appearance neat and in order : she was a tidy little girl.
1 [ trans. ] attach or fasten (someone or something) with string or similar cord : they tied Max to a chair | her long hair was tied back in a bow. • fasten (something) to or around someone or something by means of its strings or by forming the ends into a knot or bow : Lewis tied on his apron. • form (a string, ribbon, or lace) into a knot or bow : Rick bent to tie his shoelaces.
• form (a knot or bow) in this way : tie a knot in one end of the cotton. • [ intrans. ] be fastened with a knot or bow : a sarong that ties at the waist. • (often be tied) restrict or limit (someone) to a particular situation, occupation, or place : she didn't want to be like her mother, tied to a feckless man.
2 [ trans. ] (often be tied) connect; link : self-respect is closely tied up with the esteem in which one is held by one's peers. • hold together by a crosspiece or tie : ceiling joists are used to tie the rafter feet.
3 [ intrans. ] achieve the same score or ranking as another competitor or team : he tied for second in the league | [ trans. ] Toronto tied the score in the fourth inning.
1 a piece of string, cord, or the like used for fastening or tying something : he tightened the tie of his robe. • (usu. ties) figurative a thing that unites or links people : it is important that we keep family ties strong. • (usu. ties) figurative a thing that restricts someone's freedom of action : some cities and merchants were freed from feudal ties.
tie someone down restrict someone to a particular situation or place : she didn't want to be tied down by a full-time job. tie something in (or tie in) cause something to fit or harmonize with something else (or fit or harmonize with something) : her husband is able to tie in his shifts with hers at the hospital | she may have developed ideas that don't necessarily tie in with mine.
tie someone up bind someone's legs and arms together or bind someone to something so that they cannot move or escape : robbers tied her up and ransacked her home. • (usu. be tied up) informal occupy someone to the exclusion of any other activity : she would be tied up at the meeting all day. tie something up 1 bind or fasten something securely with rope, cord, or string. • moor a vessel. • (often be tied up) invest or reserve capital so that it is not immediately available for use : money tied up in accounts must be left to grow. 2 bring something to a satisfactory conclusion; settle : he said he had a business deal to tie up.
a connection or association : there's a tie-in to another case I'm working on.
1 a link or connection, esp. one between commercial companies : marketing tie-ups.
a row or level of a structure, typically one of a series of rows placed one above the other and successively receding or diminishing in size : a tier of seats | [in combination ] the room was full of three-tier metal bunks.
• a level or grade within the hierarchy of an organization or system : companies have taken out a tier of management to save money.
a petty quarrel, esp. one between friends or lovers : Joanna had a tiff with her boyfriend.
• (of clothes or shoes) close-fitting, esp. uncomfortably so : the dress was too tight for her. • (of a grip) very firm so as not to let go : she released her tight hold on the dog | figurative presidential advisers keep a tight grip on domestic policy. • (of a ship, building, or object) well sealed against something such as water or air : [in combination ] a light-tight container.
• (of a formation or a group of people or things) closely or densely packed together : he levered the bishop out from a tight knot of clerical wives. • (of a community or other group of people) having close relations; secretive : the tenants were far too tight to let anyone know. 2 (of a rope, fabric, or surface) stretched so as to leave no slack; not loose : the drawcord pulls tight.
• (of a part of the body or a bodily sensation) feeling painful and constricted, as a result of anxiety or illness : there was a tight feeling in his gut. • (of appearance or manner) tense, irritated, or angry : she gave him a tight smile. • (of a rule, policy, or form of control) strictly imposed : security was tight at yesterday's ceremony. • (of a game or contest) with evenly matched competitors; very close : he won in a tight finish.
• (of a written work or form) concise, condensed, or well structured : a tight argument. • (of an organization or group of people) disciplined or professional; well coordinated : the vocalists are strong, and the band is tight. 3 (of an area or space) having or allowing little room for maneuver : a tight parking spot | it was a tight squeeze in the tiny vestibule.
• (of money or time) limited or restricted : David was out of work and money was tight | an ability to work to tight deadlines. • informal (of a person) not willing to spend or give much money; stingy.
with the lips firmly closed, esp. as a sign of suppressed emotion or determined reticence : she stayed tight-lipped and shook her head | figurative a group of tight-lipped air force officers.
make or become tight or tighter : [ trans. ] tighten the bolts | [ intrans. ] the revenue laws were tightening up .
tighten (or loosen) the purse strings restrict (or increase) the amount of money available to be spent.
a rope or wire stretched tightly high above the ground, on which acrobats perform feats of balancing : [as adj. ] a tightrope walker | figurative he continues to walk a tightrope between success and failure.
cover (something) with tiles : the lobby was tiled in blue.
1 move or cause to move into a sloping position : [ intrans. ] the floor tilted slightly figurative the balance of industrial power tilted toward the workers | [ trans. ] he tilted his head to one side. • figurative incline or cause to incline toward a particular opinion : [ intrans. ] he is tilting toward a new economic course.
1 a sloping position or movement : the tilt of her head | the coffee cup was on a tilt. • an upward or downward pivoting movement of a camera : pans and tilts. • an inclination or bias : the paper's tilt toward the Republicans.
wood prepared for use in building and carpentry : the exploitation of forests for timber [as adj. ] : a small timber building. • trees grown for such wood : contracts to cut timber.
1 [ trans. or infinitive ] plan, schedule, or arrange when (something) should happen or be done : the first track race is timed for 11:15 | the bomb had been timed to go off an hour later. • perform (an action) at a particular moment : Williams timed his pass perfectly from about thirty yards. 2 [ trans. ] measure the time taken by (a process or activity, or a person doing it) : we were timed and given certificates according to our speed | [with clause ] I timed how long it took to empty that tanker.
• an event, occasion, or period experienced in a particular way : we had a good time | she was having a rough time of it.
• an apprenticeship : all of our foremen served their time on the loading dock.
• ( one's time) one's lifetime : I've known a lot of women in my time. • ( one's time) the successful, fortunate, or influential part of a person's life or career : in my time that was unheard of.
about time used to convey that something now happening or about to happen should have happened earlier : it's about time I came clean and admitted it.
ahead of time earlier than expected or required.
at one time in or during a known but unspecified past period : she was a nurse at one time.
at a time separately in the specified groups or numbers : he took the stairs two at a time.
at times sometimes; on occasions. before time before the due or expected time. behind time late. behind the times not aware of or using the latest ideas or techniques; out of date.
have no time for be unable or unwilling to spend time on : he had no time for anything except essays and projects. • dislike or disapprove of : he's got no time for airheads.
in ( less than) no time very quickly or very soon : the video has sold 30,000 copies in no time.
in time 1 not late; punctual : I came back in time for Molly's party. 2 eventually : there is the danger that he might, in time, not be able to withstand temptation. 3 in accordance with the appropriate musical rhythm or tempo. keep good (or bad) time 1 (of a clock or watch) record time accurately (or inaccurately). 2 (of a person) be habitually punctual (or not punctual).
lose no time do a specified thing immediately or as soon as possible : the administration lost no time in trying to regain the initiative. no time a very short interval or period : the renovations were done in no time.
out of time 1 at the wrong time or period : I felt that I was born out of time. • not following or maintaining the correct rhythm (of music) : every time we get to this part in the song, you are out of time. 2 with no time remaining to continue or complete something, esp. a task for which a specific amount of time had been allowed : I knew the answers to all the essay questions, but I ran out of time.
time after time (also time and again or time and time again) on very many occasions; repeatedly.
time is money proverb time is a valuable resource, therefore it is better to do things as quickly as possible.
not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion : antiques add to the timeless atmosphere of the dining room.
done or occurring at a favorable or useful time; opportune : a timely warning.
1 time for rest or recreation away from one's usual work or studies : she is taking time out from her hectic tour. • (usu. timeout or time-out) a brief break in play in a game or sport : he inadvertently called for a timeout with two seconds remaining.
showing a lack of courage or confidence; easily frightened : I was too timid to ask for what I wanted.
the choice, judgment, or control of when something should be done : one of the secrets of golf is good timing.
color slightly : a mass of white blossom tinged with pink | [ trans. ] toward the sun the sky was tinged crimson. • figurative have a slight influence on : this visit will be tinged with sadness.
a tendency toward or trace of some color : there was a faint pink tinge to the sky.
(of a person or a part of their body) experience a slight prickling or stinging sensation : she was tingling with excitement. • [ trans. ] cause to experience such a sensation : a standing ovation that tingled your spine. • [ intrans. ] (of such a sensation) be experienced in a part of one's body : shivers tingled down the length of her spine.
a slight prickling or stinging sensation : she felt a tingle in the back of her neck | a tingle of anticipation.
causing or experiencing a slight prickling or stinging sensation : a tingly sense of excitement.
attempt to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way, often to no useful effect : he spent hours tinkering with the car.
1 make or cause to make a light, clear ringing sound : [ intrans. ] cool water tinkled in the stone fountains | [ trans. ] the maid tinkled a bell.
1 a light, clear ringing sound : the distant tinkle of a cow bell. • Brit., informal a telephone call : I'll give them a tinkle.
1 a shade or variety of color : the sky was taking on an apricot tint.
• a trace of something : a tint of glamour.
• an application of such a substance : peering into the mirror to see if any white hair showed after her last tint.
color (something) slightly; tinge : her skin was tinted with delicate color | [as adj. ] ( tinted) a black car with tinted windows.
the pointed or rounded end or extremity of something slender or tapering : George pressed the tips of his fingers together | the northern tip of Maine. • a small piece or part fitted to the end of an object : the rubber tip of the walking stick.
1 [usu. as adj. ] ( tipped) attach to or cover the end or extremity of : mountains tipped with snow | [in combination ] steel-tipped spears. • color (something) at its end or edge : velvety red petals tipped with white.
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.
1 overbalance or cause to overbalance so as to fall or turn over : [ intrans. ] the hay caught fire when the candle tipped over | [ trans. ] a youth sprinted past, tipping over her glass. • be or cause to be in a sloping position with one end or side higher than the other : [ trans. ] I tipped my seat back, preparing myself for sleep | [ intrans. ] the car had tipped to one side.
2 [ trans. ] strike or touch lightly : I tipped his hoof with the handle of a knife. • [ trans. ] cause (an object) to move somewhere by striking or touching it in this way : the ball was tipped over the rim by Erving.
1 give (someone) a sum of money as a way of rewarding them for their services : [with two objs. ] I tipped her five dollars | [ intrans. ] that sort of person never tips. 2 (usu. be tipped) Brit. predict as likely to win or achieve something : she was widely tipped to get the job.
tip someone off informal give someone information about something, typically in a discreet or confidential way : they were arrested after police were tipped off by local residents.
the point at which a series of small ineffective changes acquires enough pressure or importance to cause a larger, more significant change : a kind of tipping point in society, where X number of criminal types gets the edge on Y number of honest citizens.
walk quietly and carefully with one's heels raised and one's weight on the balls of the feet : Liz tiptoed out of the room.
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.
become in need of rest or sleep; grow weary : soon the ascent grew steeper and he began to tire. • [ trans. ] cause to feel in need of rest or sleep; weary : the journey had tired her | the training tired us out.
• (esp. of a statement or idea) boring or uninteresting because overfamiliar : tired clichés like the "information revolution."
having or showing great effort or energy : a tireless campaigner.
causing one to feel bored or annoyed : weeding is a tiresome but essential job.
1 any of the distinct types of material of which animals or plants are made, consisting of specialized cells and their products : inflammation is a reaction of living tissue to infection or injury ( tissues): the organs and tissues of the body.
the infliction of an injury or insult in return for one that one has suffered : [as adj. ] the conflict staggered on with tit-for-tat assassinations.
of exceptional strength, size, or power : a series of titanic explosions.
give a name to (a book, composition, or other work) : a song titled "You Rascal, You."
v• a book, magazine, or newspaper considered as a publication : the company publishes 400 titles a year. 2 a name that describes someone's position or job : Leese assumed the title of director general.
• a descriptive or distinctive name that is earned or chosen : Nata's deserved the title of Best Restaurant of the Year. 3 the position of being the champion of a major sports competition : Davis won the world title for the first time in 1981.
• approaching or reaching (a particular condition) : Christopher's expression changed from amazement to joy | she was close to tears. • expressing the result of a process or action : smashed to smithereens.
3 identifying a particular relationship between one person and another : he is married to Jan's cousin | economic adviser to the president. • in various phrases indicating how something is related to something else (often followed by a noun without a determiner) : made to order | a prelude to disaster.
to a degree to some extent : to a degree, it is possible to educate oneself. • dated to a considerable extent : the pressure you were put under must have been frustrating to a degree.
to a great extent in a substantial way; largely : we are all to a great extent the product of our culture.
to advantage in a way which displays or makes good use of the best aspects of something : her shoes showed off her legs to advantage | plan your space to its best advantage.
in a constant movement backward and forward or from side to side : she cradled him, rocking him to and fro.
to be expected completely normal : wild swings in the weather are to be expected.
to be precise used to indicate that one is now giving more exact or detailed information : there were not many—five, to be precise.
to be sure used to concede the truth of something that conflicts with another point that one wishes to make : the ski runs are very limited, to be sure, but excellent for beginners. • used for emphasis : what an extraordinary woman she was, to be sure.
to beat all ——s that is infinitely better than all the things mentioned : a PC screen saver to beat all screen savers.
• in the first place : such a fate is unlikely to befall him: to begin with, his is a genuine talent.
to come (following a noun) in the future : films that would inspire generations to come | in years to come.
to date until now : their finest work to date.
to death used of a particular action or process that results in someone's death : he was stabbed to death. • used to emphasize the extreme nature of a specific action, feeling, or state of mind : I'm sick to death of you.
to die for informal extremely good or desirable : the ice cream is to die for.
to err is human, to forgive divine proverb it is human nature to make mistakes oneself while finding it hard to forgive others.
to hell with informal expressing one's scorn or lack of concern for (someone or something) : to hell with the consequences.
to little (or no) avail with little (or no) success or benefit : he tried to get his work recognized, but to little avail.
to make (or Brit. cut) a long story short used to end an account of events quickly : to make a long story short, I married Stephen.
to make matters worse with the result that a bad situation is made worse.
to match corresponding in some essential respect with something previously mentioned or chosen : a new coat and a hat to match.
to ( the best of) my knowledge 1 so far as I know. 2 as I know for certain.
to one's credit used to indicate that something praiseworthy has been achieved, esp. despite difficulties : to her credit, she had never betrayed a confidence.
to one's disadvantage so as to cause harm to one's interests or standing : his poor record inevitably worked to his disadvantage.
to one's heart's content to the full extent of one's desires : the children could run and play to their heart's content.
to one's satisfaction so that one is satisfied : some amendments were made, not entirely to his satisfaction.
to order according to a customer's specific request or requirements : the sweaters are knitted to order.
to perfection in a manner or way that could not be better; perfectly : a blue suit that showed off her blonde hair to perfection.
to put it mildly (or putting it mildly) used to imply that the reality is more extreme, usually worse : the proposals were, to put it mildly, unpopular.
to say the least used as an understatement (implying the reality is more extreme, usually worse) : his performance was disappointing to say the least.
to spare left over : that turkey will feed ten people with some to spare.
to start with at the beginning of a series of events or period of time : she wasn't very keen on the idea to start with. • as the first thing to be taken into account : to start with, I was feeling down.
to tell ( you) the truth used as a preface to a confession or admission of something.
to that effect having that result, purpose, or meaning : she thought it a foolish rule and put a notice to that effect in a newspaper.
to the full to the greatest possible extent : enjoy your free trip to Europe to the full.
to the point relevant : his evidence was brief and to the point.
to the purpose relevant or useful : you may have heard something from them that is to the purpose.
to this day up to the present time; still : the tradition continues to this day.
to top it all as a culminating, typically unpleasant, event or action in a series : her father had a fatal heart attack, and to top it all her mother disowned her.
1 cook or brown (food, esp. bread or cheese) by exposure to a grill, fire, or other source of radiant heat : he sat by the fire and toasted a piece of bread | [as adj. ] ( toasted) toasted marshmallows.
(of a young child) move with short unsteady steps while learning to walk : William toddled curiously toward the TV crew. • informal walk or go somewhere in a casual or leisurely way : they would go for a drink and then toddle off home.
together with as well as; along with : their meal arrived, together with a carafe of red wine.
work extremely hard or incessantly : we toiled away | [with infinitive ] Richard toiled to build his editorial team. See note at labor . • [with adverbial of direction ] move slowly and with difficulty : she began to toil up the cliff path.
exhausting physical labor : a life of toil.
1 a large bowl for urinating or defecating into, typically plumbed into a sewage system and with a flushing mechanism : Liz heard the toilet flush | figurative my tenure was down the toilet.
by the same token in the same way or for the same reason : there was little evidence to substantiate the gossip and, by the same token, there was little to disprove it. in token of as a sign or symbol of : we bought each other drinks in token of the holiday season.
done for the sake of appearances or as a symbolic gesture : cases like these often bring just token fines from the courts.
1 a thing serving as a visible or tangible representation of something abstract : mistletoe was cut from an oak tree as a token of good fortune. See notes at emblem, sign . • a thing given to or done for someone as an expression of one's feelings : I wanted to offer you a small token of my appreciation.
1 the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with : the tolerance of corruption | an advocate of religious tolerance. • the capacity to endure continued subjection to something, esp. a drug, transplant, antigen, or environmental conditions, without adverse reaction : the desert camel shows the greatest tolerance to dehydration | species were grouped according to pollution tolerance | various species of diatoms display different tolerances to acid. • diminution in the body's response to a drug after continued use. 2 an allowable amount of variation of a specified quantity, esp. in the dimensions of a machine or part : 250 parts in his cars were made to tolerances of one thousandth of an inch.
able to be endured : a stimulant to make life more tolerable. • fairly good; mediocre : he was fond of music and had a tolerable voice.
1 showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with : we must be tolerant of others | a more tolerant attitude toward other religions. 2 (of a plant, animal, or machine) able to endure (specified conditions or treatment) : rye is reasonably tolerant of drought | [in combination ] fault-tolerant computer systems.
allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference : a regime unwilling to tolerate dissent. • accept or endure (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance : how was it that she could tolerate such noise? • be capable of continued subjection to (a drug, toxin, or environmental condition) without adverse reaction : lichens grow in conditions that no other plants tolerate.
1 a charge payable for permission to use a particular bridge or road : turnpike tolls | [as adj. ] a toll bridge.
2 [in sing. ] the number of deaths, casualties, or injuries arising from particular circumstances, such as a natural disaster, conflict, or accident : the toll of dead and injured mounted. • the cost or damage resulting from something : the environmental toll of the policy has been high.
take its toll (or take a heavy toll) have an adverse effect, esp. so as to cause damage, suffering, or death : years of pumping iron have taken their toll on his body.
(of a bell) sound with a slow, uniform succession of strokes, as a signal or announcement : the bells of the cathedral began to toll for evening service.
• used in similes and metaphors to refer to a place or situation that is extremely cold, quiet, or dark, or that forms a confining enclosure : the house was as quiet as a tomb.
as if there was (or as though there were) no tomorrow with no regard for the future consequences : I ate as if there was no tomorrow.
1 the overall quality of a musical or vocal sound : the piano tone appears monochrome or lacking in warmth. • a modulation of the voice expressing a particular feeling or mood : a firm tone of voice. • a manner of expression in writing : there was a general tone of ill-concealed glee in the reporting.
2 the general character of a group of people or a place or event : a bell would lower the tone of the place. • informal an atmosphere of respectability or class : they don't feel he gives the place tone.
5 the particular quality of brightness, deepness, or hue of a tint or shade of a color : an attractive color that is even in tone and texture | stained glass in vivid tones of red and blue.
1 give greater strength or firmness to (the body or a part of it) : exercise tones up the muscles.
2 [ intrans. ] ( tone with) harmonize with (something) in terms of color : the rich orange color of the wood tones beautifully with the yellow roses.
tone something down make something less harsh in sound or color. • make something less extreme or intense : she saw the need to tone down her protests.
• figurative lacking genuine force or effectiveness : laws that are well intentioned but toothless.
1 [usu. in sing. ] the highest or uppermost point, part, or surface of something : Eileen stood at the top of the stairs | fill the cup almost to the top.
• chiefly Brit. the end of something that is furthest from the speaker or a point of reference : the bus shelter at the top of the road.
• a lid, cover, or cap for something : the pen dries out if you leave the top off.
3 ( the top) the highest or most important rank, level, or position : her talent will take her right to the top | the people at the top must be competent. • a person or thing occupying such a position : North Korea was top of the agenda.
highest in position, rank, or degree : the top button of his shirt | a top executive.
1 exceed (an amount, level, or number); be more than : losses are expected to top $100 million this year. • be at the highest place or rank in (a list, poll, chart, or league) : her debut album topped the charts for five weeks. • be taller than : he topped her by several inches. • surpass (a person or previous achievement or action); outdo : he was baffled as to how he could top his past work.
• appear as the chief performer or attraction at : Hopper topped a great night of boxing. • reach the top of (a hill or other stretch of rising ground) : they topped a rise and began a slow descent. 2 (usu. be topped) provide with a top or topping : baked potatoes topped with melted cheese. • complete (an outfit) with an upper garment, hat, or item of jewelry : a white dress topped by a dark cardigan.
at the top of one's lungs as loudly as possible. from top to bottom completely; thoroughly : we searched the place from top to bottom. from top to toe completely; all over : she seemed to glow from top to toe. from the top informal from the beginning : they rehearsed Act One from the top.
on top 1 on the highest point or uppermost surface : a hill with a flat rock on top. • on the upper part of the head : my hair's thinning on top. 2 in a leading or the dominant position : his party came out on top in last month's elections. 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.
over the top |ˌōvər ðə ˈtäp| |ˈoʊvər ðə ˈtɑp| 1 informal to an excessive or exaggerated degree, in particular so as to go beyond reasonable or acceptable limits : his reactions had been a bit over the top. 2 chiefly historical over the parapet of a trench and into battle.
top something off 1 (often be topped off) finish something in a memorable or notable way : the festivities were topped off with the awarding of prizes. 2 informal fill up a nearly full tank with fuel.
top out reach an upper limit : collectors whose budgets tend to top out at about $50,000. top something out put the highest structural feature on a building, typically as a ceremony to mark the building's completion. top something up chiefly Brit. add to a number or amount to bring it up to a certain level : a 0.5 percent bonus is offered to top up savings rates. • fill up a glass or other partly full container.
2 proceeding from the general to the particular : a top-down approach to research.
of the highest quality; excellent : a top-notch hotel.
1 (of a subject) of immediate relevance, interest, or importance owing to its relation to current events : a wide variety of subjects of topical interest. • relating to a particular subject; classified according to subject : annotated links to resources in eleven topical categories.
(of a woman or a woman's item of clothing) having or leaving the breasts uncovered : a topless dancer | a topless swimsuit.
overbalance or become unsteady and fall slowly : she toppled over when I touched her. • [ trans. ] cause to fall in such a way : the push almost toppled him to the ground | figurative disagreement had threatened to topple the government.
upside down : the fairground ride turned riders topsy-turvy. • in a state of confusion : the topsy-turvy months of the invasion.
severe physical or mental suffering : their deaths have left both families in torment. • a cause of such suffering : the journey must have been a torment for them.
cause to experience severe mental or physical suffering : he was tormented by jealousy. • annoy or provoke in a deliberately unkind way : every day I have kids tormenting me because they know I live alone.
mentally or physically inactive; lethargic : we sat around in a torpid state.
a state of physical or mental inactivity; lethargy : they veered between apathetic torpor and hysterical fanaticism.
a strong and fast-moving stream of water or other liquid : rain poured down in torrents | after the winter rains, the stream becomes a raging torrent.
• ( a torrent of or torrents of) a sudden, violent, and copious outpouring of (something, typically words or feelings) : she was subjected to a torrent of abuse | banks plowed torrents of money into the booming stock and property markets.
(of rain) falling rapidly and in copious quantities : a torrential downpour.
very hot and dry : the torrid heat of the afternoon. • full of passionate or highly charged emotions arising from sexual love : a torrid love affair. • full of difficulty or tribulation : Wall Street is in for a torrid time in the next few weeks.
• informal anything exceptionally slow-moving : you are a tortoise on the uptake today.
• great physical or mental suffering or anxiety : the torture I've gone through because of loving you so. • a cause of such suffering or anxiety : dances were absolute torture because I was so small.
inflict severe pain on : most of the victims had been brutally tortured. • cause great mental suffering or anxiety to : he was tortured by grief.
characterized by, involving, or causing excruciating pain or suffering : a torturous eight weeks in their prison camp.
1 [ trans. ] throw (something) somewhere lightly, easily, or casually : Suzy tossed her bag onto the sofa | [with two objs. ] she tossed me a box of matches.
• [ trans. ] throw (a coin) into the air in order to make a decision between two alternatives, based on which side of the coin faces up when it lands : we could just toss a coin. • [ trans. ] settle a matter with (someone) by doing this : I'll toss you for it. • move or cause to move from side to side or back and forth : [ intrans. ] the tops of the olive trees swayed and tossed | [ trans. ] the yachts were tossed around in the harbor like toys [as adj. in combination ] ( -tossed) a storm-tossed sea.
• [ trans. ] jerk (one's head or hair) sharply backward : Paula pursed her lips and tossed her head. • [ trans. ] shake or turn (food) in a liquid, so as to coat it lightly : toss the pasta in the sauce. 2 [ trans. ] informal search (a place) : I could demand her keys and toss her office.
an action or instance of tossing something : a defiant toss of her head | the toss of a coin.
• a situation in which all outcomes or options are equally possible or equally attractive : the choice of restaurant was a toss-up between Indian and Chinese.
1 [ trans. ] amount in number to : they were left with debts totaling $6,260. • add up the full number or amount of : the scores were totaled.
of or relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state : a totalitarian regime.
the whole of something : the totality of their current policies.
completely; absolutely : the building was totally destroyed by the fire | [as submodifier ] they came from totally different backgrounds.
carry, wield, or convey (something heavy or substantial) : here are books well worth toting home | [as adj., in combination ] ( -toting) a gun-toting loner.
• ( touch something to) move a part of one's body to bring it into contact with : he gently touched his lips to her cheek.
2 handle in order to manipulate, alter, or otherwise affect, esp. in an adverse way : I didn't play her records or touch any of her stuff. • cause harm to (someone) : I've got friends who'll pull strings—nobody will dare touch me. • take some of (a store, esp. of money) for use : in three years I haven't touched a cent of the money.
3 have an effect on; make a difference to : a tenth of state companies have been touched by privatization.
• (usu. be touched) (of a quality or feature) be visible or apparent in the appearance or character of (something) : the trees were beginning to be touched by the colors of autumn. • reach and affect the appearance of : a wry smile touched his lips.
• (often be touched) produce feelings of affection, gratitude, or sympathy in : she was touched by her friend's loyalty.
1 an act of bringing a part of one's body, typically one's hand, into contact with someone or something : her touch on his shoulder was hesitant | expressions of love through words and touch. • [in sing. ] an act of lightly pressing or striking something in order to move or operate it : you can manipulate images on the screen at the touch of a key. • the faculty of perception through physical contact, esp. with the fingers : reading by touch.
• [in sing. ] archaic a thing or an action that tries out the worth or character of something; a test : you must put your fate to the touch. 2 a small amount; a trace : add a touch of vinegar | he retired to bed with a touch of the flu.
• a detail or feature, typically one that gives something a distinctive character : the film's most inventive touch. • [in sing. ] a distinctive manner or method of dealing with something : later he showed a surer political touch.
in touch 1 in or into communication : she said that you kept in touch, that you wrote | ask someone to put you in touch with other suppliers. 2 possessing up-to-date knowledge : we need to keep in touch with the latest developments. • having an intuitive or empathetic awareness : you need to be in touch with your feelings.
lose touch 1 cease to correspond or be in communication : I lost touch with him when he joined the air force. 2 cease to be aware or informed : we cannot lose touch with political reality. 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.
strike (or touch)a chord affect or stir someone's emotions : the issue of food safety strikes a chord with almost everyone. [ORIGIN: with figurative reference to the emotions being the 'strings' of the mind visualized as a musical instrument.]
touch (or hit or strike) a nerve (or a raw nerve) provoke a reaction by referring to a sensitive topic : there are signs that some comments strike a raw nerve.
1 the moment at which an aircraft's wheels or part of a spacecraft make contact with the ground during landing : two hours until touchdown.
• (of an issue or situation) requiring careful handling; delicate : the monarchy has become a touchy topic.
1 (of a substance or object) strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough or careless handling : tough backpacks for climbers. • (of a person or animal) able to endure hardship or pain; physically robust : even at this ripe old age, he's still as tough as old boots. • able to protect one's own interests or maintain one's own opinions without being intimidated by opposition; confident and determined : she's both sensitive and tough. • demonstrating a strict and uncompromising attitude or approach : police have been getting tough with drivers | tough new laws on tobacco advertising.
2 involving considerable difficulty or hardship; requiring great determination or effort : the training has been quite tough | he had a tough time getting into a good college. • used to express sympathy with someone in an unpleasant or difficult situation : Poor kid. It's tough on her. • [often as exclam. ] used to express a lack of sympathy with someone : I feel the way I feel, and if you don't like it, tough.
make or become tougher : [ trans. ] he tried to toughen his son up by sending him to public school | [ intrans. ] if removed from the oven too soon meringues shrink and toughen.
make a tour of (an area) : he decided to tour France | [ intrans. ] they had toured in a little minivan.
2 a journey made by performers or an athletic team, in which they perform or play in several different places: : she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company on tour.
1 [ trans. ] attempt to sell (something), typically by pestering people in an aggressive or bold manner : Jim was touting his wares. • (often be touted) attempt to persuade people of the merits of (someone or something) : the headquarters facility was touted as the best in the country.
• (of a person) pull (someone or something) along behind one : she saw Frank towing Nicky along by the hand.
in tow 1 being towed by another vehicle or boat : his boat was taken in tow by a trawler. 2 accompanying or following someone : trying to shop with three children in tow is no joke.
1 rise to or reach a great height : he seemed to tower over everyone else.
extremely tall, esp. in comparison with the surroundings : Hari looked up at the towering buildings. • of exceptional importance or influence : a majestic, towering album. • of great intensity : his towering anger.
poisonous : the dumping of toxic waste | alcohol is toxic to the ovaries. • of or relating to poison : toxic hazards. • caused by poison : toxic liver injury.
1 find or discover by investigation : police are trying to trace a white van seen in the area. • find or describe the origin or development of : Bob's book traces his flying career with the Marines. • follow or mark the course or position of (something) with one's eye, mind, or finger : through the binoculars, I traced the path I had taken the night before. • take (a particular path or route) : a tear traced a lonely path down her cheek.
1 a rough path or minor road, typically one beaten by use rather than constructed : follow the track to the farm | a forest track. See note at trace .
• the course or route followed by someone or something (used esp. in talking about their pursuit by others) : I didn't want the Russians on my track. • figurative a course of action; a way of proceeding : defense budgeting and procurement do not move along different tracks from defense policy as a whole.
1 follow the course or trail of (someone or something), typically in order to find them or note their location at various points : secondary radars that track the aircraft in flight | he tracked Anna to her room. • figurative follow and note the course or progress of : they are tracking the girth and evolution of stars. • [ intrans. ] follow a particular course : the storm was tracking across the ground at 30 mph.
• ( track something in) leave a trail of dirt, debris, or snow from one's feet : the road salt I'd tracked in from the street.
keep (or lose) track of keep (or fail to keep) fully aware of or informed about : she had lost all track of time and had fallen asleep.
off the track departing from the right course of thinking or behavior. 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.
• the past achievements or performance of a person, organization, or product : he has an excellent track record as an author.
(of a person or animal) easy to control or influence : the tractable dogs that have had some obedience training.
1 the action of drawing or pulling a thing over a surface, esp. a road or track : a primitive vehicle used in animal traction. • motive power provided for such movement, esp. on a railroad : the changeover to diesel and electric traction.
trade something in exchange a used article in part payment for another : she traded in her Ford for a BMW. trade something off exchange something of value, esp. as part of a compromise : the government traded off economic advantages for political gains.
buy and sell goods and services : middlemen trading in luxury goods. • [ trans. ] buy or sell (a particular item or product) : she has traded millions of dollars' worth of metals. • (esp. of shares or currency) be bought and sold at a specified price : the dollar was trading where it was in January. • [ trans. ] exchange (something) for something else, typically as a commercial transaction : they trade mud-shark livers for fish oil | the hostages were traded for arms.
• dated chiefly derogatory the practice of making one's living in business, as opposed to in a profession or from unearned income : the aristocratic classes were contemptuous of those in trade. • (in sports) a transfer; an exchange : players can demand a trade after five years of service. 2 a skilled job, typically one requiring manual skills and special training : the fundamentals of the construction trade | a carpenter by trade.
a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features; a compromise : a trade-off between objectivity and relevance.
• figurative a distinctive characteristic or object : it had all the trademarks of a Mafia hit.
1 the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way : every shade of color is fixed by tradition and governed by religious laws.
existing in or as part of a tradition; long-established : the traditional festivities of the church year. • produced, done, or used in accordance with tradition : a traditional fish soup. • habitually done, used, or found : the traditional drinks in the clubhouse.
• the transportation of goods or passengers : the increased use of railroads for goods traffic. • the messages or signals transmitted through a communications system : data traffic between remote workstations. 2 the action of dealing or trading in something illegal : the traffic in stolen cattle.
1 vehicles moving on a road or public highway : a stream of heavy traffic. • a large number of such vehicles : we were caught in traffic on the expressway. • the movement of other forms of transportation or of pedestrians : managing the air traffic was a mammoth task.
causing or characterized by extreme distress or sorrow : the shooting was a tragic accident. • suffering extreme distress or sorrow : the tragic parents reached the end of their tether.
1 a mark or a series of signs or objects left behind by the passage of someone or something : a trail of blood on the grass. • a track or scent used in following someone or hunting an animal : police followed his trail to Atlantic City. • a part, typically long and thin, stretching behind or hanging down from someone or something : smoke trails | trails of ivy.
• a route planned or followed for a particular purpose : a Democratic candidate on the campaign trail.
1 [with adverbial ] draw or be drawn along the ground or other surface behind someone or something : [ trans. ] Alex trailed a hand through the clear water | [ intrans. ] her robe trailed along the ground. • [ intrans. ] (typically of a plant) grow or hang over the edge of something or along the ground : the roses grew wild, their stems trailing over the banks.
• a pioneer; an innovator : he was a trailblazer for many ideas that are now standard fare.
• [ intrans. ] be losing to an opponent in a game or contest : [with complement ] the Packers were trailing 10-6 at halftime. 2 [ intrans. ] walk or move slowly or wearily : she trailed behind, whimpering at intervals. • (of the voice or a speaker) fade gradually before stopping : her voice trailed away.
1 [ trans. ] teach (a person or animal) a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time : the plan trains people for promotion | [ trans. ] the dogs are trained to sniff out illegal stowaways. • [ intrans. ] be taught in such a way : he trained as a classicist.
• [usu. as adj. ] ( trained) cause (a mental or physical faculty) to be sharp, discerning, or developed as a result of instruction or practice : an alert mind and trained eye give astute evaluations.
• a series of connected events : you may be setting in motion a train of events that will cause harm. • [usu. with adj. ] a series of gears or other connected parts in machinery : a train of gears.
the action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behavior : in-service training for staff. • the action of undertaking a course of exercise and diet in preparation for a sporting event : you'll have to go into strict training.
a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person : he was a letter-of-the-law man, a common trait among coaches.
a person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc. : they see me as a traitor, a sellout to the enemy.
walk heavily or noisily : he tramped around the room. • walk through or over a place wearily or reluctantly and for long distances : we have tramped miles over mountain and moorland. • [ trans. ] tread or stamp on : one of the few wines still tramped by foot.
2 [in sing. ] the sound of heavy steps, typically of several people : the tramp of marching feet. 3 [in sing. ] a long walk, typically a tiring one : they start off on a tramp from Roxbury to New York.
free from disturbance; calm : her tranquil gaze | the sea was tranquil. See note at calm .ｑ
1 across; beyond : transcontinental | transgress. • on or to the other side of : transatlantic | transalpine. Often contrasted with cis- . 2 through : transonic. • into another state or place : transform | translate. • surpassing; transcending : transfinite.
an instance of buying or selling something; a business deal : in an ordinary commercial transaction a delivery date is essential.
be or go beyond the range or limits of (something abstract, typically a conceptual field or division) : this was an issue transcending party politics.
beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience : the search for a transcendent level of knowledge. • surpassing the ordinary; exceptional : the conductor was described as a "transcendent genius."
• extending across or relating to two or more continents : a transcontinental radio audience.
put (thoughts, speech, or data) into written or printed form : each interview was taped and transcribed.
• arrange (a piece of music) for a different instrument, voice, or group of these : his largest early work was transcribed for organ.
• the action or process of transcribing something : the funding covers transcription of nearly illegible photocopies. • an arrangement of a piece of music for a different instrument, voice, or number of these : a transcription for voice and lute.
relating to or involving more than one culture; cross-cultural : the possibility of transcultural understanding.1
move (someone or something) from one place to another : he would have to transfer money to his own account. • move or cause to move to another group, occupation, or service : [ intrans. ] she transferred to the Physics Department | [ trans. ] employees have been transferred to the installation team. • [ intrans. ] enroll in a different school or college : Ron transferred to the University of Idaho.
• (in professional sports) move or cause to move to another team : [ intrans. ] he transferred to the Dodgers | [ trans. ] when a player is transferred to the minors by a major league club. • [ intrans. ] change to another place, route, or means of transportation during a journey : John advised him to transfer from Rome airport to the railroad station.
an act of moving something or someone to another place : a transfer of wealth to the poorer nations | a patient had died after transfer from the County Hospital to St. Peter's. • a change of employment, typically within an organization or field : she was going to ask her boss for a transfer to the city. • Brit. an act of selling or moving an athlete to another team : his transfer from Rangers cost £800,000.
• a student who has enrolled in a different school or college : [as adj. ] the impact of transfer students on enrollment figures.
the action of transferring something or the process of being transferred : education involves the transference of knowledge.
transform into something more beautiful or elevated : the world is made luminous and is transfigured.
1 (usu. be transfixed) cause (someone) to become motionless with horror, wonder, or astonishment : he was transfixed by the pain in her face | she stared at him, transfixed. 2 pierce with a sharp implement or weapon : a field mouse is transfixed by the curved talons of an owl.
make a thorough or dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of : lasers have transformed cardiac surgery | he wanted to transform himself into a successful businessman. • [ intrans. ] undergo such a change : an automobile that transformed into a boat.
a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance : its landscape has undergone a radical transformation.
2 cause (something or someone) to be permeated or infused by something : we became transfused by a radiance of joy.
identified with a gender other than the biological one : a transgender activist and author.
infringe or go beyond the bounds of (a moral principle or other established standard of behavior) : she had transgressed an unwritten social law | [ intrans. ] they must control the impulses that lead them to transgress.
lasting only for a short time; impermanent : a transient cold spell. See note at temporary . • staying or working in a place for only a short time : the transient nature of the labor force in catering.
1 the carrying of people, goods, or materials from one place to another : a painting was damaged in transit. • an act of passing through or across a place : the first west-to-east transit of the Northwest Passage | [as adj. ] a transit airline passenger.
pass across or through (an area) : the new large ships will be too big to transit the Panama Canal.
the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another : students in transition from one program to another | a transition to multiparty democracy.
undergo or cause to undergo a process or period of transition : [ trans. ] the network ought to be built by the federal government and then transitioned into private industry | [ intrans. ] we have transitioned from a high-intensity combat operation to a support role in the community.
not permanent : transitory periods of medieval greatness. See note at temporary .
• ( translate something into/translate into) convert or be converted into (another form or medium) : [ trans. ] few of Shakespeare's other works have been translated into ballets.
• the conversion of something from one form or medium into another : the translation of research findings into clinical practice.
(of a substance) allowing light, but not detailed images, to pass through; semitransparent : fry until the onions become translucent.
1 the action or process of transmitting something or the state of being transmitted : the transmission of the HIV virus. • a program or signal that is broadcast or sent out : television transmissions.
cause (something) to pass on from one place or person to another : knowledge is transmitted from teacher to student. • broadcast or send out (an electrical signal or a radio or television program) : the program was transmitted on October 7. • pass on (a disease or trait) to another : [as adj. ] ( transmitted) sexually transmitted diseases. • allow (heat, light, sound, electricity, or other energy) to pass through a medium : the three bones transmit sound waves to the inner ear. • communicate or be a medium for (an idea or emotion) : the theatrical gift of being able to transmit emotion.
• a person or thing that transmits something : reggae has established itself as the principal transmitter of the Jamaican language.
extending or operating across national boundaries : transnational advertising agencies.
(of a material or article) allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen : transparent blue water. • easy to perceive or detect : the residents will see through any transparent attempt to buy their votes | the meaning of the poem is by no means transparent. • having thoughts, feelings, or motives that are easily perceived : you'd be no good at poker—you're too transparent.
• (of an organization or its activities) open to public scrutiny : if you had transparent government procurement, corruption would go away.
1 occur; happen : I'm going to find out exactly what transpired. See note at happen . • prove to be the case : as it transpired, he was right. • [with clause ] (usu. it transpires) (of a secret or something unknown) come to be known; be revealed : Yaddo, it transpired, had been under FBI surveillance for some time.
move or transfer (something) to another place or situation, typically with some effort or upheaval : his endeavor to transplant people from Russia to the Argentine | [as adj. ] ( transplanted) a transplanted Easterner.
an operation in which an organ or tissue is transplanted : a heart transplant | kidneys available for transplant.
take or carry (people or goods) from one place to another by means of a vehicle, aircraft, or ship : the bulk of freight traffic was transported by truck. • figurative cause (someone) to feel that they are in another place or time : for a moment she was transported to a warm summer garden on the night of a ball.
1 a system or means of conveying people or goods from place to place by means of a vehicle, aircraft, or ship : many possess their own forms of transport | air transport. • the action of transporting something or the state of being transported : the transport of crude oil.
1 the action of transporting someone or something or the process of being transported : the era of global mass transportation. • a system or means of transporting people or goods : transportation on the site includes a monorail.
1 cause (two or more things) to change places with each other : the captions describing the two state flowers were accidentally transposed. 2 transfer to a different place or context : the problems of civilization are transposed into a rustic setting.
the action of transposing something : transposition of word order | a transposition of an old story into a contemporary context. • a thing that has been produced by transposing something : in China, the dragon is a transposition of the serpent.
• figurative a trick by which someone is misled into giving themselves away or otherwise acting contrary to their interests or intentions : by keeping quiet I was walking into a trap. • figurative an unpleasant situation from which it is hard to escape : they fell into the trap of relying too little on equity financing.
• (often be trapped) prevent (someone) from escaping from a place : twenty workers were trapped by flames. • have (something, typically a part of the body) held tightly by something so that it cannot move or be freed : he had trapped his finger in a spring-loaded hinge. • induce (someone), by means of trickery or deception, to do something they would not otherwise want to do : I hoped to trap him into an admission.
• writing, art, or other cultural items of poor quality : if they read at all, they read trash. • a person or people regarded as being of very low social standing : she would have been considered trash.
1 informal damage or wreck : my apartment's been totally trashed. • discard : they trashed the tapes and sent her back into the studio. • Computing kill (a file or process) or wipe (a disk) : she almost trashed the e-mail window.
insulting or boastful speech intended to demoralize, intimidate, or humiliate someone, esp. an opponent in an athletic contest : he heard more trash talk from the Giants before the game than during the game | stop the trash talking and stop the violence.
use insulting or boastful speech for such a purpose : their players do not swear or tussle or trash-talk | [as adj. ] ( trash-talking) the worst trash-talking team they had ever encountered.
emotionally disturbing or distressing : she was going through a traumatic divorce.
subject to lasting shock as a result of an emotionally disturbing experience or physical injury : the children were traumatized by separation from their families.
painful or laborious effort : advice for those who wish to save great sorrow and travail. See note at labor . • labor pains : a woman in travail.
• (of an object or radiation) move, typically in a constant or predictable way : light travels faster than sound.
the action of traveling, typically abroad : I have a job that involves a lot of travel. • ( travels) journeys, esp. long or exotic ones : perhaps you'll write a book about your travels.
1 travel across or through : he traversed the forest. • extend across or through : a moving catwalk that traversed a vast cavernous space. • [ intrans. ] cross a hill or mountain by means of a series of sideways movements : I often use this route, eventually traversing around the cliff.
• figurative consider or discuss the whole extent of (a subject) : he would traverse a number of subjects and disciplines. 2 [ trans. ] move (something) back and forth or sideways : a probe is traversed along the tunnel.
• a place where a movement of this type is necessary : a narrow traverse made lethal by snow and ice.
a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something : the absurdly lenient sentence is a travesty of justice. See note at caricature .
fish with a trawl net or seine : the boats trawled for flounder | [as n. ] ( trawling) restrictions on excessive trawling were urgently needed.
• sift through as part of a search : they trawled through twenty-five-year-old confidential files | [ trans. ] he trawled his memory and remembered locking the door.
1 an act of fishing with a trawl net : they had caught two trout on the lazy trawl. • an act of sifting through something as part of a search : we did a trawl of supermarkets and health-food stores | a constant trawl for information.
guilty of or involving betrayal or deception : a treacherous Gestapo agent | memory is particularly treacherous. • (of ground, water, conditions, etc.) hazardous because of presenting hidden or unpredictable dangers : a vacationer was swept away by treacherous currents.
betrayal of trust; deceptive action or nature : his resignation was perceived as an act of treachery | the treachery of language.
walk in a specified way : he trod lightly, trying to make as little contact with the mud as possible | figurative the administration had to tread carefully so as not to offend the judiciary.
• [ trans. ] walk on or along : shoppers will soon be treading the floors of the new shopping mall. • [ trans. ] press down into the ground or another surface with the feet : food and cigarette butts had been trodden into the carpet. • [ trans. ] crush or flatten something with the feet : the snow had been trodden down by the horses | [as adj. ] ( trodden) she stood on the floor of trodden earth.
1 [in sing. ] a manner or the sound of someone walking : I heard the heavy tread of Dad's boots.
tread water ( past treaded |trɛdəd|) maintain an upright position in deep water by moving the feet with a walking movement and the hands with a downward circular motion. • figurative fail to advance or make progress : men who are treading water in their careers.
the crime of betraying one's country, esp. by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government : they were convicted of treason. • the action of betraying someone or something : doubt is the ultimate treason against faith.
• informal a person whom the speaker loves or who is valued for the assistance they can give : the housekeeper is a real treasure—I don't know what he would do without her.
• value highly : the island is treasured by walkers and conservationists | [as adj. ] ( treasured) his library was his most treasured possession.
• a hidden store of valuable or delightful things : your book is a treasure trove of unspeakable delights.
1 behave toward or deal with in a certain way : she had been brutally treated | he treated her with grave courtesy. • ( treat something as) regard something as being of a specified nature with implications for one's actions concerning it : the names are being treated as classified information. • give medical care or attention to; try to heal or cure : the two were treated for cuts and bruises.
• apply a process or a substance to (something) to protect or preserve it or to give it particular properties : linen creases badly unless it is treated with the appropriate finish. • present or discuss (a subject) : the lectures show a striking variation in the level at which subjects are treated. 2 ( treat someone to) provide someone with (food, drink, or entertainment) at one's own expense : the old man had treated him to a drink or two. • give someone (something) as a favor : he treated her to one of his smiles. • ( treat oneself) do or have something that gives one great pleasure : treat yourself—you can diet tomorrow. 3 [ intrans. ] negotiate terms with someone, esp. an opponent : propagandists claimed that he was treating with the enemy.
an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure : he wanted to take her to the movies as a treat.
treaty |ˈtriːti| noun ( pl. -ties) a formally concluded and ratified agreement between countries.
consisting of three parts; threefold : the fish were caught with large treble hooks dragged through the water. • multiplied or occurring three times : she turned back to make a double and treble check.
a long arduous journey, esp. one made on foot : a trek to the South Pole.
go on a long arduous journey, typically on foot : we trekked through the jungle.
shake involuntarily, typically as a result of anxiety, excitement, or frailty : Isobel was trembling with excitement. See note at shake . • be in a state of extreme apprehension : [with infinitive ] I tremble to think that we could ever return to conditions like these.
1 a trembling feeling, movement, or sound : there was a slight tremble in his voice.
very great in amount, scale, or intensity : Penny put in a tremendous amount of time | there was a tremendous explosion. • informal extremely good or impressive; excellent : the crew did a tremendous job.
an involuntary quivering movement : a disorder that causes tremors and muscle rigidity.
• ( the trenches) the battlefields of northern France and Belgium in World War I : the slaughter in the trenches created a new cynicism | figurative entry-level teachers are taught the latest classroom techniques by colleagues with experience in the trenches.
1 vigorous or incisive in expression or style : she heard angry voices, not loud, yet certainly trenchant.
very fashionable or up to date in style or influence : I enjoyed being able to go out and buy trendy clothes.
1 enter the owner's land or property without permission : there is no excuse for trespassing on railroad property. • ( tresspass on) make unfair claims on or take advantage of (something) : she really must not trespass on his hospitality.
1 a group or set of three connected people or things : the triad of medication, diet, and exercise are necessary in diabetes care.
1 a formal examination of evidence by a judge, typically before a jury, in order to decide guilt in a case of criminal or civil proceedings : the newspaper accounts of the trial | the editor was summoned to stand trial for libel. 2 a test of the performance, qualities, or suitability of someone or something : clinical trials must establish whether the new hip replacements are working.
1 [ trans. ] test (something, esp. a new product) to assess its suitability or performance : all seeds are carefully trialed in a variety of growing conditions. 2 [ intrans. ] (of a horse, dog, or other animal) compete in trials : the pup trialed on Saturday.
• involving three people or parties : a triangular relationship.
of or characteristic of a tribe or tribes : tribal people in Malaysia.
a court of justice : an international war crimes tribunal.
1 an act, statement, or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration : the video is a tribute to the musicals of the '40s | a symposium organized to pay tribute to Darwin. • [in sing. ] something resulting from something else and indicating its worth : his victory in the championship was a tribute to his persistence.
a division into three categories : the pragmatics-semantics-syntax trichotomy.
• a mischievous practical joke : she thought Elaine was playing some trick on her. • a skillful act performed for entertainment or amusement : he did conjuring tricks for his daughters. • an illusion : I thought I saw a flicker of emotion, but it was probably a trick of the light.
1 (often be tricked) deceive or outwit (someone) by being cunning or skillful : buyers can be tricked by savvy sellers. • ( trick someone into) use deception to make someone do (something) : he tricked her into parting with the money. • ( trick someone out of) use deception to deprive someone of (something) : the king was tricked out of his land.
do the trick informal achieve the required result.
(of a liquid) flow in a small stream : a solitary tear trickled down her cheek | [as adj. ] ( trickling) a trickling brook. • [ trans. ] cause (a liquid) to flow in a small stream : he trickled the vodka onto the rocks. • come or go slowly or gradually : the details began to trickle out.
a small flow of liquid : a trickle of blood. • a small group or number of people or things moving slowly : the traffic had dwindled to a trickle.
(of a task, problem, or situation) requiring care and skill because difficult or awkward : applying eyeliner can be a tricky business | some things are very tricky to explain.
1 a thing of little value or importance : we needn't trouble the headmaster over such trifles. • [in sing. ] a small amount of something : the thousand yen he'd paid seemed the merest trifle.
1 ( trifle with) treat (someone or something) without seriousness or respect : he is not a man to be trifled with | men who trifle with women's affections.
triple; threefold : an ingenious trifold partnership between government, employers, and students.
a small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism, esp. in order to fire a gun : he pulled the trigger of the shotgun.
• an event or thing that causes something to happen : the trigger for the strike was the closure of a mine.
(often be triggered) cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist : an allergy can be triggered by stress or overwork.
1 make (something) neat or of the required size or form by cutting away irregular or unwanted parts : trim the grass using a sharp mower. • [ trans. ] cut off (irregular or unwanted parts) : he was trimming the fat off some pork chops. • figurative reduce the size, amount, or number of (something, typically expenditure or costs) : Congress had to decide which current defense programs should be trimmed.
2 (usu. be trimmed) decorate (something), typically with contrasting items or pieces of material : a pair of black leather gloves trimmed with fake fur.
1 additional decoration, typically along the edges of something and in contrasting color or material : suede sandals with gold trim | we painted the buildings off-white with a blue trim.
2 [in sing. ] an act of cutting off part of something in order to neaten it : his hair needs a trim.
• a group of three people or things : the wine was the first of a trinity of three excellent vintages. • the state of being three : God is said to be trinity in unity.
trinket |ˈtrɪŋkɪt| noun a small ornament or item of jewelry that is of little value.
a set or group of three people or things : the hotel was run by a trio of brothers.
1 [ intrans. ] catch one's foot on something and stumble or fall : he tripped over his cat | she tripped up during the penultimate lap. • [ trans. ] cause (someone) to do this : she shot out her foot to trip him up. • ( trip up) make a mistake : taxpayers often trip up by not declaring taxable income. • [ trans. ] ( trip someone up) detect or expose someone in an error, blunder, or inconsistency : the man was determined to trip him up on his economics.
2 [ intrans. ] walk, run, or dance with quick light steps : they tripped up the terrace steps. • (of words) flow lightly and easily : a name that trips off the tongue | the guest list tripped from her lips.
3 [ trans. ] activate (a mechanism), esp. by contact with a switch, catch, or other electrical device : an intruder trips the alarm. • [ intrans. ] (of part of an electric circuit) disconnect automatically as a safety measure : the plugs will trip as soon as any change in current is detected.
1 a journey or excursion, esp. for pleasure : Sally's gone on a school trip | a trip to the North Pole. See note at journey . • an act of going to a place and returning : a quick trip to the store.
three times as much or as many : the copper energy cells had triple the efficiency of silicon cells.
1 become three times as much or as many : grain prices were expected to triple. • [ trans. ] multiply (something) by three : the party more than tripled its share of the vote.
triplet |ˈtrɪplɪt| noun 1 (usu. triplets) one of three children or animals born at the same birth.
1 a great victory or achievement : a garden built to celebrate Napoleon's many triumphs. • the state of being victorious or successful : the king returned home in triumph. • joy or satisfaction resulting from a success or victory : "Here it is!" Helen's voice rose in triumph. • a highly successful example of something : the marriage had been a triumph of togetherness.
1 achieve a victory; be successful : capitalism seems to have triumphed over socialism.
made, carried out, or used in celebration of a great victory or achievement : a vast triumphal arch | a triumphal procession.
having won a battle or contest; victorious : the triumphant winner rose from his seat | [ postpositive ] a comic fairy tale about innocence triumphant. • feeling or expressing jubilation after having won a victory or mastered a difficulty : he couldn't suppress a triumphant smile.
details, considerations, or pieces of information of little importance or value : we fill our days with meaningless trivia.
of little value or importance : huge fines were imposed for trivial offenses | trivial details.
make (something) seem less important, significant, or complex than it really is : the problem was either trivialized or ignored by teachers.
• (also Trojan horse) figurative a person or thing intended secretly to undermine or bring about the downfall of an enemy or opponent : the rebels may use this peace accord as a Trojan horse to try and take over.
1 fish by trailing a baited line along behind a boat : we trolled for mackerel. • search for something : a group of companies trolling for partnership opportunities.
• ( troops) soldiers or armed forces : UN peacekeeping troops | [as adj. ] ( troop) troop withdrawals.
2 a group of people or animals of a particular kind : a troop of musicians.
a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression : he used the two-Americas trope to explain how a nation free and democratic at home could act wantonly abroad. • a conventional idea or phrase : her suspicion of ambiguity was more a trope than a fact.
• resembling the tropics, esp. in being very hot and humid : some plants thrived in last year's tropical summer heat.
• [ trans. ] cause (a horse) to move at such a pace : he trotted his horse forward.
1 a trotting pace : our horses slowed to a trot. 2 ( the trots) informal diarrhea : a bad case of the trots.
1 difficulty or problems : I had trouble finding somewhere to park | the government's policies ran into trouble | our troubles are just beginning. • the malfunction of something such as a machine or a part of the body : their helicopter developed engine trouble. • effort or exertion made to do something, esp. when inconvenient : I wouldn't want to put you to any trouble | he's gone to a lot of trouble to help you. • a cause of worry or inconvenience : the kid had been no trouble up to now.
• a particular aspect or quality of something regarded as unsatisfactory or as a source of difficulty : that's the trouble with capitalism. • a situation in which one is liable to incur punishment or blame : he's been in trouble with the police. • informal dated used to refer to the condition of a pregnant unmarried woman : she's not the first girl who's got herself into trouble.
1 (often be troubled) cause distress or anxiety to : he was not troubled by doubts. • [ intrans. ] ( trouble about/over/with) be distressed or anxious about : there is nothing you need trouble about. • cause (someone) pain : my legs started to trouble me.
• cause (someone) inconvenience (typically used as a polite way of asking someone to do or provide something) : sorry to trouble you | could I trouble you for a receipt? • [ intrans. ] make the effort required to do something : oh, don't trouble to answer. 2 disturb or agitate (the surface in a pool or other body of water) : the waters were troubled.
• a point of low achievement or satisfaction : learning a language is a series of peaks and troughs.
defeat heavily in a contest : the Knicks trounced the Rockets on Sunday. • rebuke or punish severely : some shows were trounced by critics.
a store of valuable or delightful things : the museum's trove of antique treasure.
an agreement between enemies or opponents to stop fighting or arguing for a certain time : the guerrillas called a three-day truce.
convey by truck : the food was trucked to St. Petersburg | [as n. ] ( trucking) industries such as trucking.
walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions : I trudged up the stairs | she trudged through blinding snow.
a difficult or laborious walk : he began the long trudge back.
true to form (or type) being or behaving as expected : true to form, they took it well.
1 in a truthful way : he speaks truly. • used to emphasize emotional sincerity or seriousness : time to reflect on what we truly want | it is truly a privilege to be here | [as submodifier ] I'm truly sorry, but I can't join you today | [ sentence adverb ] truly, I don't understand you sometimes.
2 to the fullest degree; genuinely or properly : management does not truly understand or care about the residents | [as submodifier ] a truly free press. • [as submodifier ] absolutely or completely (used to emphasize a description) : a truly dreadful song. 3 in fact or without doubt; really : this is truly a miracle.
yours truly used as a formula for ending a letter. • humorous used to refer to oneself : the demos will be organized by yours truly.
shorten (something) by cutting off the top or the end : a truncated cone shape | discussion was truncated by the arrival of tea.
• acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation : I used only primary sources, taking nothing on trust.
1 believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of : I should never have trusted her | [ trans. ] he can be trusted to carry out an impartial investigation | [as adj. ] ( trusted) a trusted adviser. • ( trust someone with) allow someone to have, use, or look after (someone or something of importance or value) with confidence : I'd trust you with my life.
• ( trust someone/something to) commit (someone or something) to the safekeeping of : they don't like to trust their money to anyone outside the family. • [with clause ] have confidence; hope (used as a polite formula in conversation) : I trust that you have enjoyed this book.
able to be relied on as honest or truthful : leave a spare key with a trustworthy neighbor.
• a fact or belief that is accepted as true : the emergence of scientific truths | the fundamental truths about mankind.
(of a person or statement) telling or expressing the truth; honest : I think you're confusing being rude with being truthful | I want a truthful answer. • (of artistic or literary representation) characterized by accuracy or realism; true to life : astonishingly truthful acting.
try me used to suggest that one may be willing to do something unexpected or unlikely : "You won't use a gun up here." "Try me."
1 an effort to accomplish something; an attempt : Mitterand was elected president on his third try. • an act of doing, using, or testing something new or different to see if it is suitable, effective, or pleasant : she agreed that they should give the idea a try.
1 [ intrans. ] make an attempt or effort to do something : [with infinitive ] he tried to regain his breath | I started to try and untangle the mystery | I decided to try writing fiction | none of them tried very hard | [ trans. ] three times he tried the maneuver and three times he failed. • ( try for) attempt to achieve or attain : they decided to try for another baby. • [ trans. ] use, test, or do (something new or different) in order to see if it is suitable, effective, or pleasant : everyone wanted to know if I'd tried jellied eel | these methods are tried and tested.
• material in such a cylindrical form; tubing : the firm manufactures steel tube for a wide variety of applications.
1 long, round, and hollow like a tube : tubular flowers of deep crimson.
1 [ trans. ] push, fold, or turn (the edges or ends of something, esp. a garment or bedclothes) so as to hide them or hold them in place : he tucked his shirt into his trousers. • ( tuck someone in) make someone, esp. a child, comfortable in bed by pulling the edges of the bedclothes firmly under the mattress : he carried her back to bed and tucked her in. • draw (something, esp. part of one's body) together into a small space : she tucked her legs under her.
• (often be tucked) put (something) away in a specified place or way so as to be hidden, safe, comfortable, or tidy : the colonel was coming toward her, his gun tucked under his arm.
tuck something away 1 store something in a secure place : employees can tuck away a percentage of their pretax salary. • (usu. be tucked away) put or keep someone or something in an inconspicuous or concealed place : the police station was tucked away in a square behind the main street. 2 informal eat a lot of food.
pull (something) hard or suddenly : she tugged off her boots | [ intrans. ] he tugged at Tom's coat sleeve.
1 a hard or sudden pull : another tug and it came loose | figurative an overwhelming tug of attraction.
• figurative a situation in which two evenly matched people or factions are striving to keep or obtain the same thing : a tug of war between builders and environmentalists.
1 [ intrans. ] (typically of a person) fall suddenly, clumsily, or headlong : she pitched forward, tumbling down the remaining stairs. • move or rush in a headlong or uncontrolled way : police and dogs tumbled from the vehicle. • (of something abstract) fall rapidly in amount or value : property prices tumbled.
• [ trans. ] rumple; disarrange [as adj. ] ( tumbled): his tumbled bedclothes.
1 a sudden or headlong fall : I took a tumble in the nettles. • a rapid fall in amount or value : a tumble in share prices. • an untidy or confused arrangement or state : her hair was a tumble of untamed curls.
a loud, confused noise, esp. one caused by a large mass of people : a tumult of shouting and screaming broke out. • confusion or disorder : the whole neighborhood was in a state of fear and tumult | figurative his personal tumult ended when he began writing songs.
making a loud, confused noise; uproarious : tumultuous applause. • excited, confused, or disorderly : a tumultuous crowd | figurative a tumultuous personal life.
a melody, esp. one that characterizes a certain piece of music : she left the theater humming a cheerful tune.
adjust (a musical instrument) to the correct or uniform pitch : he tuned the harp for me. • adjust (a receiver circuit such as a radio or television) to the frequency of the required signal : the radio was tuned to the CBC | [ intrans. ] they tuned in to watch the game. • (often tune up) adjust (an engine) or balance (mechanical parts) so that a vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently : the suspension was tuned for a softer ride | figurative state officials have been tuning up an emergency plan.
• (usu. be tuned) figurative adjust or adapt (something) to a particular purpose or situation : the animals are finely tuned to life in the desert. • [ intrans. ] ( tune into) figurative become sensitive to : you must tune into the needs of loved ones.
in (or out of) tune with correct (or incorrect) pitch or intonation. • (of an engine or other machine) properly (or poorly) adjusted. • figurative in (or not in) agreement or harmony : he was out of tune with conventional belief.
1 [ intrans. ] dig or force a passage underground or through something : he tunneled under the fence | ( tunnel one's way) the insect tunnels its way out of the plant.
violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid : the plane shuddered as it entered some turbulence. • figurative conflict; confusion : a time of political turbulence.
characterized by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not controlled or calm : the country's turbulent 20-year history | her turbulent emotions. • (of air or water) moving unsteadily or violently : the turbulent sea.
1 grass and the surface layer of earth held together by its roots : they walked across the springy turf.
3 informal an area regarded as someone's personal territory; one's home ground : the team will play Canada on their home turf this summer. • a person's sphere of influence or activity : we're in similar businesses but we cover different turf.
turf war (also turf battle) noun informal an acrimonious dispute between rival groups over territory or a particular sphere of influence.
a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty : the country was in turmoil | he endured years of inner turmoil.
by turns one after the other; alternately : he was by turns amused and mildly annoyed by her.
in turn in succession; one after the other : four men prayed in turn. • (also in one's/its turn) used to convey that an action, process, or situation is the result or product of a previous one : he would shout until she, in her turn, lost her temper.
take turns (of two or more people) do something alternately or in succession.
turn one's back on see back . turn the corner pass the critical point and start to improve. turn a deaf ear see deaf .
turn against (or turn someone against) become (or cause someone to become) hostile toward : public opinion turned against him. turn around move so as to face in the opposite direction : Alice turned around and walked down the corridor.
turn someone down reject an offer or application made by someone : the Air Force turned him down on medical grounds. turn something down 1 reject something offered or proposed : his novel was turned down by publisher after publisher. 2 adjust a control on a device to reduce the volume, heat, etc.
turn something in give something to someone in authority : I've turned in my resignation. • produce or achieve a particular score or a performance of a specified quality.
1 an act of moving something in a circular direction around an axis or point : a safety lock requiring four turns of the key. • a change of direction when moving : they made a left turn and picked up speed. • a development or change in circumstances or a course of events : life has taken a turn for the better. • a time when one specified period of time ends and another begins : the turn of the century.
• a bend or curve in a road, path, river, etc. : the twists and turns in the passageways.
2 an opportunity or obligation to do something that comes successively to each of a number of people : it was his turn to speak. • a short performance, esp. one of a number given by different performers in succession : a comic turn. • a performer giving such a performance. 3 a short walk or ride : why don't you take a turn around the garden?
1 move or cause to move in a circular direction wholly or partly around an axis or point : [ intrans. ] the big wheel was turning | [ trans. ] I turned the key in the door and crept in. • [ trans. ] move (something) so that it is in a different position in relation to its surroundings or its previous position : we waited in suspense for him to turn the cards over. • [ trans. ] move (a page) over so that it is flat against the previous or next page : she turned a page noisily | [ intrans. ] turn to page five for the answer.
• change or cause to change direction : [ intrans. ] we turned around and headed back to the house. • [ trans. ] aim, point, or direct (something) : she turned her head toward me | the government has now turned its attention to primary schools. • [ intrans. ] change the position of one's body so that one is facing in a different direction : Charlie turned and looked at his friend.
• [ trans. ] fold or unfold (fabric or a piece of a garment) in the specified way : he turned up the collar of his coat.
2 [ intrans. ] change in nature, state, form, or color; become : Emmeline turned pale | the slight drizzle turned into a downpour. • [ trans. or adverbial ] cause to change in such a way; cause to become : potatoes are covered with sacking to keep the light from turning them green.
3 [ intrans. ] ( turn to) start doing or becoming involved with : in 1939 he turned to films in earnest. • go on to consider next : we can now turn to another aspect of the problem. • go to for help, advice, or information : who can she turn to? • have recourse to (something, esp. something dangerous or unhealthy) : he turned to drink and drugs for solace.
4 [ trans. ] shape (something) on a lathe : the faceplate is turned rather than cast. • give a graceful or elegant form to : [as adj. with submodifier ] ( turned) a production full of so many finely turned words.
turn something inside out turn the inner surface of something outward : she played with her leather gloves, turning each finger inside out. • change something utterly : it is not so easy to turn your whole life inside out. • informal cause utter confusion in; defeat totally : he turned the defender inside out.
a time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, esp. one with beneficial results : this could be the turning point in Nancy's career.
1 a junction at which a road branches off from a main road : Adam missed the turnoff to the village. 2 [usu. in sing. ] informal a person or thing that causes someone to feel bored, disgusted, or sexually repelled : he smelled of carbolic soap, a dreadful turnoff.
1 the amount of money taken by a business in a particular period : a turnover approaching $4 million.
a vigorous struggle or scuffle, typically in order to obtain or achieve something : there was a tussle for the ball.
engage in such a struggle or scuffle : the demonstrators tussled with police.
act as a tutor to (a single student or a very small group) : his children were privately tutored.
1 twist or pull (something) sharply : he tweaked the boy's ear. 2 informal improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it : engineers tweak the car's operating systems during the race.
pluck, grasp, or pull with or as if with tweezers : the brows were tweezed to an almost invisible line.
twerp |twəːp| (also twirp) noun informal a silly or annoying person.
two times; on two occasions : she had been married twice | the tablets should be taken twice a day. • double in degree or quantity : I'm twice your age | an engine twice as big as the original.
• [in sing. ] figurative a period or state of obscurity, ambiguity, or gradual decline : he was in the twilight of his career.
• smile so that one's eyes sparkle : "Aha!" he said, twinkling at her.
• a light that appears continually to grow brighter and fainter : the distant twinkle of the lights.
spin quickly and lightly around, esp. repeatedly : she twirled in delight to show off her new dress. • [ trans. ] cause to rotate : she twirled her fork in the pasta.
1 form into a bent, curling, or distorted shape : a strip of metal is twisted to form a hollow tube | her pretty features twisted into a fearsome expression. • [ trans. ] form (something) into a particular shape by taking hold of one or both ends and turning them : she twisted her handkerchief into a knot. • [ trans. ] turn or bend into a specified position or in a specified direction : he grabbed the man and twisted his arm behind his back.
• ( twist something off) remove something by pulling and rotating it : beets can be stored once the leaves have been twisted off. • [ intrans. ] move one's body so that the shoulders and hips are facing in different directions : she twisted in her seat to look at the buildings. • [ intrans. ] move in a wriggling or writhing fashion : he twisted himself free. • injure (a joint) by wrenching it : he twisted his ankle trying to avoid his opponent's lunge. • distort or misrepresent the meaning of (words) : he twisted my words to make it seem that I'd claimed she was a drug addict. • [as adj. ] ( twisted) (of a personality or a way of thinking) unpleasantly or unhealthily abnormal : a man with a twisted mind.
2 cause to rotate around something that remains stationary; turn : she twisted her ring around and around on her finger. • [ trans. ] wind around or through something : she twisted a lock of hair around her finger. • move or cause to move around each other; interlace : [ trans. ] she twisted her hands together nervously | the machine twists together strands to make a double yarn.
1 an act of turning something so that it moves in relation to something that remains stationary : the taps needed a single twist to turn them on. • an act of turning one's body or part of one's body : with a sudden twist, she got away from him.
twists and turns intricate or convoluted dealings or circumstances : the twists and turns of her political career.
1 give or cause to give a short, sudden jerking or convulsive movement : [ intrans. ] he saw her lips twitch and her eyelids flutter | [ trans. ] the dog twitched his ears. • [ trans. ] cause to move in a specified direction by giving a sharp pull : he twitched a cigarette out of a packet.
1 a short, sudden jerking or convulsive movement : his mouth gave a slight twitch. • a sudden pull or jerk : he gave a twitch at his mustache. • a sudden sharp sensation; a pang : he felt a twitch of annoyance.
having two sides : a colorful two-sided leaflet. • having two aspects : the two-sided nature of the debate.
deceive or be unfaithful to (a lover or spouse) : he was two-timing a fiancé back in England.
allowing or involving movement or communication in opposite directions : a two-way radio | make the interview a two-way process. • involving two participants : a two-way presidential race.
1 a wealthy, powerful person in business or industry : a newspaper tycoon.
2 a person or thing symbolizing or exemplifying the ideal or defining characteristics of something : she characterized his witty sayings as the type of modern wisdom. See note at emblem .
(forming adjectives) resembling or having the characteristics of a specified thing : the dish-type radio telescope | a champagne-type fizzy wine.
having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person or thing : a typical day | a typical example of 1930s art deco | typical symptoms. See note at normal . • characteristic of a particular person or thing : he brushed the incident aside with typical good humor.
be characteristic or a representative example of : tough, low-lying vegetation typifies this arctic area.
exercising power in a cruel or arbitrary way : her father was portrayed as tyrannical and unloving. • characteristic of tyranny; oppressive and controlling : a momentary quieting of her tyrannical appetite.
twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; all the time : you just can't afford to let things get you down, especially when you are on call 24/7.
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