The Oxford Colour Dictionary [Revised]

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The Greatest Exploration of English Ever Undertaken

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The Oxford

Revised Edition

edited by Maurice Waite


Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, 0x2 6dp Oxford New York Athens Auckland Bangkok Bogota Bombay Buenos Aires Calcutta Cape Town Dar es Salaam Delhi Florence Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madras Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi Paris Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto Warsaw and associated companies in Berlin Ibadan Oxford is a trade mark of Oxford University Press © Oxford University Press 1994,1995,1998 Appendix material © Dick de Rijk Productions BV. Hilversum, The Netherlands First published as The Oxford Colour Dictionary 1995 This revised edition first published 1998 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any farm or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press. Within the UK, exceptions are allowed in respect of any fair dealing far the purpose of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act, 1988, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms and in other countries should be to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall in not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any farm of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Data available ISBN 0-19-860203-0 10 987654321 Typeset by Pentacor PLC Printed in Spain by Mateu Cromo Artes Graficas SA. Madrid

Contents Editorial Staff


Features of the dictionary


Note on proprietary terms


Pronunciation symbols




Test your wordpower supplement


Editorial staff

Editor Maurice Waite Assistant Editor Andrew Hodgson Contributing Editors Anna Howes Louise Jones Bernadette Paton Anne St John-Hall Keyboarders Anne Whear Pam Marjara Kay Pepler Schools English Consultant Elaine Ashmore-Short

Features of the dictionary

Headwords (words given their own entries) are in colour type: abandon / a’bcend(0)n / • verb desert...

or in colour italic type if they are borrowed from another language and are usually printed in italics: autobahn

Variant spellings are shown: almanac ...(alsoalmanack)

Words that are different but are spelt the same way (homographs) are printed with raised numbers: abode1 abode2

Variant American spellings are labelled US: anaemia ...(USanemia)

Pronunciations are given in the International Phonetic Alphabet. See p. xi for an explanation. Parts of speech are shown in italic: abhor... verb abhorrence ...noun

If a word is used as more than one part of speech, each comes after a •: abandon ... • noun ... • verb

For explanations of parts of speech, see the panels at the dictionary entries for noun, verb, etc. I inflections Irregular and difficult forms are given for: nouns:

ability ... (plural -ies) sheep ...(pluralsame)


{plural -es)

(Irregular plurals are not given for compounds such as Jbotman and schoolchild.) verbs:

abate ...(-ting) abut... (-tt-) [indicating abutted, abutting] ring... {past tense rang; past participle rung)


good ... (better, best) narrow _. (-er, -est) able ...(-r, -st)


well „(better, best)

Definitions Round brackets are used for: a

optional words, e.g. at back... verb (cause to) go backwards (because back can mean either ‘go backwards- or ‘cause to go backwards’)


typical objects of verbs: bank... verb deposit (money) at bank


typical subjects of verbs: break... verb (of waves) curl over and foam


typical nouns qualified by an adjective: catchy... (of tune) easily remembered

Subject labels are sometimes used to help define a word: sharp... Music above true pitch

Register labels are used if a word is slang, colloquial, or formal: ace... adjective slang excellent

Coarse slang means that a word, although widely used, is still unacceptable to many people. Offensive means that a word is offensive to members of a particular ethnic, religious, or other group.

Phrases are entered under their main word: company _. in company with

A comma in a phrase indicates alternatives: in, to excess

means that in excess and to excess are both phrases. Compounds are entered under their main word or element (usually the first): air _ air speed ... airstrip

unless they need entries of their own: broad broadcast broadside

A comma in a compound indicates alternatives: block capitals, letters

means that block capitals and block letters are both compounds. Derivatives are put at the end of the entry for the word they are derived from: rob _. robber _ noun

unless they need defining: drive ... driver

noun person who drives; golf dub for driving

from tee.

Cross-references are printed in small capitals: anatto = annato


arose past of arise

Definitions will be found at the entries referred to.

Note on proprietary terms This dictionary includes some words which are, or are asserted to be, proprietary names or trade marks. Their inclu¬ sion does not imply that they have acquired for legal purposes a non-proprietary or general significance, nor is any other judgement implied concerning their legal status. In cases where the editor has some evidence that a word is used as a proprietary name or trade mark this is indicated by the label proprietary term, but no judgement concerning the legal status of such words is made or implied thereby.

Pronunciation symbols Consonants

but dog few get he


yes cat


leg man

se a:

cat arm


bed her sit see hot

b d f 9 h j k 1 m

P r s t

no pen red sit top



3 0 6 r)




voice we zoo

u u: a ai au ei au ea ia

put too ago my hou; day no hair near



tj d3

thin this ring lo ch chip jar



i i: D

a: A

saw run

boy ua poor aia tire aua sour

(a) signifies the indeterminate sound as in garden, carnal, and rhythm. The mark ' indicates a nasalized sound, as in the following vowels that are not natural in English:

se a 5

(ingenue) (elan) (bon voyage)

The main or primary stress of a word is shown by 1 before the relevant syllable.


Aa A abbreviation ampere(s). o A-bomb atomic bomb; A level advanced level in GCE exam. a /a, ei/ adjective (called the indefinite article) (also an /sen, an/ before vowel sound) one, some, any; per. AA abbreviabon Automobile Association; Alcoholics Anonymous; anti-aircraft, aardvark /'n:dva:k/ noun mammal with tubular snout and long tongue, aback /a'baek/ adverb a taken aback disconcerted, surprised, abacus /'asbakas/ noun (plural -es) frame with wires along which beads are slid for calculating. abaft /a'bmft/ Nautical © adverb in or to¬ wards stem of ship, a preposition nearer stem than. abandon/a'baend(a)n/ *> verb desert; give up (hope etc.). • noun freedom from inhibitions. □ abandonment noun. abandoned adjective deserted; unre¬ strained. abase /a'beis/ verb (-sing) humiliate; degrade. □ abasement noun. abashed /a'baejt/ adjective embarrassed; disconcerted. abate /a'beit/ verb (-ting) make or be¬ come less strong etc. □ abatement noun. abattoir /'aebatwa:/ noun slaughter¬ house. abbess /'aebis/ noun female head of ab¬ bey of nuns. abbey /'aebi/ noun (plural -s) (building occupied by) community of monks or nuns. abbot /'aebat/ noun head of community of monks. abbreviate /a'brirvieit/ verb shorten. □ abbreviation noun. ABC eibn’si: noun alphabet; rudiments of subject; alphabetical guide, abdicate /'cebdikeit/ verb renounce or resignfrom (throne etc.). □ abdication noun.

abdomen /'aebdaman/ noun belly; rear part of insect etc. □ abdominal /aebdDmm(s)l/ adjective. abduct /ab'dakt/ verb carry off illegally, kidnap. □ abduction noun-, abductor noun. aberrant /ae'berant/ adjective showing aberration. aberration /$ba'reij(a)n/ noun devi¬ ation from normal type or accepted standard; distortion, abet /a'bet/ verb encourage (offender), assist (offence). □ abetter, Ian'abettor noun. abeyance /a'beians/ noun (usually after in, into) temporary disuse; suspension, abhor /ab'ho:/ verb (-rr-) detest; regard with disgust. abhorrence /ab'horans/ noun disgust, detestation. abhorrent adjective (often + to) dis¬ gusting. abide /e'baid/ verb (-ding, past & past parti¬ ciple abode /a'baud/ or abided) tolerate; (+ by) act in accordance with (rule); keep (promise). abiding /a'baidn]/ adjective enduring, permanent. ability /a'biliti/ noun (plural -ies) (often + to do) capacity, power; cleverness, talent. abject /'aebd3ekt/ adjective miserable; degraded; despicable. □ abjection /-'d3ek-/ noun. abjure /ab'd3ua/ verb renounce on oath. □ abjuration /-d3U'rei-/ noun. ablaze /a'bleiz/ adjective & adverb on fire; glittering; excited. able l‘eib(a)l/ adjective (-r, -st) (+ to do) having power; talented. □ able-bodied healthy, fit. □ ably adverb. ablution /a'blu:J(a)n/ noun (usually in plural) ceremonial washing of hands etc.; colloquial washing onself. abnegate /'aebmgeit/ verb (-ting) give up, renounce, □ abnegation noun.

abnormal | absolute abnormal /£eb'no:m(a)l/ adjective excep¬ tional; deviating from the norm. □ ab¬ normality /-'mael-/ noun, abnormally ad¬ verb. aboard /a'boid/ adverb & preposition on or into (ship, aircraft, etc.). abode1 /a'baod/ noun dwelling place. abode2 past & past participle of abide. abolish /a'bohj/ verb end existence of. □ abolition /aeba'li.T(a)n/ noun, aboli¬ tionist /aeba’lijamst/ noun. abominable /3'bommab(a)l/ adjective detestable, loathsome; colloquial very unpleasant, a Abominable Snow¬ man yeti. □ abominably adverb. abominate /a'bomineit/ verb (-ting) de¬ test, loathe. □ abomination noun. aboriginal /£eba'rid3in(a)l/ • adjective indigenous; (usually Aboriginal) of the Australian Aborigines. • noun abori¬ ginal inhabitant, esp. (usually Abori¬ ginal) of Australia. aborigines /Eeba'nd3imz/ plural noun aboriginal inhabitants, esp. (usually Aborigines) of Australia. ■ Usage It is best to refer to one Aboriginal but several Aborigines, al¬ though Aboriginals is also acceptable. abort /a'boit/ verb miscarry; effect abor¬ tion of; (cause to) end before com¬ pletion. abortion /9'bD:J(a)n/ noun natural or (esp.) induced expulsion of foetus be¬ fore it can survive; stunted or mis¬ shapen creature. □ abortionist noun. abortive /a'bo:tiv/ adjective fruitless, unsuccessful. abound /a'baund/ verb be plentiful; (+ in, with) be rich in, teem with, about /a'baut/ • preposition on subject of; relating to, in relation to; at a time near to; around (in); surrounding; here and there in. • adverb approximately; near¬ by; in every direction; on the move, in action; all around. □ about-face,-turn turn made so as to face opposite direc¬ tion, change of policy etc.; be about to do be on the point of doing, above /a'bAv/ • preposition over, on top of, higher than; more than; higher in rank, importance, etc. than; too great or good for; beyond reach of. • adverb at or to higher point, overhead; earlier on page

2 or in book. □ above all more than anything else; above-board without concealment. a b ra c a da bra /asbraka’ daibra/1 interjection supposedly magic word, abrade /e'breid/ verb (-ding) scrape or wear away by rubbing. abrasion /e'brei3(a)n/ noun rubbing or scraping away; resulting damaged area. abrasive /a'breisrv/ • adjective capable of rubbing or grinding down; harsh or hurtful in manner. • noun abrasive substance. abreast /e'brest/ adverb side by side and facing same way; (+ of) up to date with. abridge /e‘brid3/ verb (-ging) shorten (a book etc.). □ abridgement noun. abroad /e'broid/ adverb in or to foreign country; widely; in circulation, abrogate /'asbrageit/ verb (-ting) repeal, abolish (law etc.). □ abrogation noun. abrupt /e'brApt/ adjective sudden, hasty; curt; steep. □ abruptly adverb; abrupt¬ ness noun. abscess I'aebsis/noun (plural-es) swelling containing pus. abscond /eb'skond/ verb flee, esp. to avoid arrest; escape. abseil /'aebseil/ • verb descend (building etc.) by using doubled rope fixed at higher point. • noun such a descent, absence /'asbsans/ noun being away; duration of this; (+ of) lack. □ ab¬ sence of mind inattentiveness, absent • adjective /'aebsant/ not present or existing; lacking; inattentive. • verb /ab'sent/ (absent oneself) go or stay away. □ absently adverb. absentee /aebsan'ti:/ noun person not present. absenteeism /asbsan'ti:iz(a)m/ noun ab¬ senting oneself from work, school, etc. absent-minded adjective forgetful, in¬ attentive. □ absent-mindedly adverb', absent-mindedness noun. absinthe /'Eebsin0/ noun wormwoodbased, aniseed-flavoured liqueur, absolute /'aebsaluit/ adjective complete, utter; unconditional; despotic; not rela¬ tive; (of adjective or transitive verb) without expressed noun or object; (of

3 decree etc.) final. □ absolute majority one over all rivals combined; absolute temperature one measured from abso¬ lute zero; absolute zero lowest pos¬ sible temperature (—273.15°C or 0°K). absolutely adverb completely; in an ab¬ solute sense; colloquial quite so, yes. absolution /aebsa'luiJXajn/ noun formal forgiveness of sins. absolutism /'aebsalu:tiz(a)m/ noun abso¬ lute government. □ absolutist noun. absolve /ab'ZDlv/ verb (-ving) (often + from, of) free from blame or obligation, absorb /ab'sotb/ verb incorporate; as¬ similate; take in (heat etc.); deal with easily, reduce intensity of; (often as absorbing adjective) engross attention of; consume (resources), absorbent /ab’soibant/ • adjective tend¬ ing to absorb, unoun absorbent sub¬ stance. absorption /ab'so:pJ(a)n/ noun absorb¬ ing, being absorbed, a absorptive ad¬ jective. abstain /ab’stem/ verb (usually + from) refrain (from indulging); decline to vote. abstemious /ab'stirmias/ adjective mod¬ erate or ascetic, esp. in eating and drinking. □ abstemiously adverb. abstention /ab’stenj(a)n/ noun abstain¬ ing, esp. from voting, abstinence /'aebstinans/ noun abstain¬ ing, esp. from food or alcohol. □ ab¬ stinent adjective. abstract • adjective /'aebstraskt/ of or ex¬ isting in theory rather than practice, not concrete; (of art etc.) not represen¬ tational. • verb /ab'straekt/ (often + from) remove; summarize, mnoun /'aabstraekt/ summary; abstract idea, work of art, etc. abstracted adjective inattentive. □ ab¬ stractedly adverb. abstraction /ab'strask.r(a)n/ noun ab¬ stracting; abstract idea; abstract qual¬ ities in art; absent-mindedness, abstruse /ab'struis/ adjective hard to understand; profound, absurd /ab's3:d/ adjective wildly inappro¬ priate; ridiculous, o absurdity noun (plural -ies); absurdly adverb. ABTA /'£ebta/ abbreviation Association of British Travel Agents.

absolutely | accent abundance /a'bAnd(a)ns/ noun plenty; more than enough; wealth, abundant adjective plentiful; (+ in) rich. □ abundantly adverb. abuse • verb/a'bju:z/(-sing) use improp¬ erly; misuse; maltreat; insult verbally. • noun /a'bjuis/ misuse; insulting lan¬ guage; corrupt practice. □ abuser /a'bju:za/ noun. abusive /a'bjuisiv/ adjective insulting, offensive. □ abusively adverb. abut /a'bAt/ verb (-tt-) (+ on) border on; (+ on, against) touch or lean on. abysmal /a'bizm(a)l/ adjective very bad; dire, a abysmally adverb. abyss /a'bis/ noun deep chasm. AC abbreviation alternating current. ale abbreviation account, acacia /a'keija/ noun tree with yellow or white flowers. academia /aeka'dimua/ noun the world of scholars. academic /aeka'demik/ ® adjective schol¬ arly; of learning; of no practical rele¬ vance. anoun teacher or scholar in university etc. □ academically adverb. academician /aka0da'mi,f(a)n/ member of Academy,


academy /a'kaadami/ noun (plural -ies) place of specialized training; (Acad¬ emy) society of distinguished scholars, artists, scientists, etc.; Scottish second¬ ary school. acanthus /a'kaenSas/ noun (.plural -es) spring herbaceous plant with spiny leaves. ACAS /'eiktes/ abbreviation Advisory, Con¬ ciliation, and Arbitration Service, accede /aek'si:d/ verb (-ding) (+ to) take office, esp. as monarch; assent to. accelerate /ak'selareit/ verb (-ting) in¬ crease speed (of); (cause to) happen earlier, o acceleration noun. accelerator noun device for increasing speed, esp. pedal in vehicle; Physics apparatus for imparting high speeds to charged particles. accent • noi/n/'eeksant/ style of pronun¬ ciation of region or social group (see panel); emphasis; prominence given to syllable by stress or pitch; mark on letter indicating pronunciation (see

accentuate | accommodation


panel). ® verb /aek'sent/ emphasize; write or print accents on. accentuate /ak'sentjueit/ verb (-ting) emphasize, make prominent. □ ac¬ centuation noun.

accidental /aeksi'dent(a)!/ • adjective happening or done by chance or acci¬ dent. • noun Music sharp, flat, or natural indicating momentary departure of note fan key signature, a acciden¬ tally adverb.

accept /ak'sept/ verb willingly receive; answer (invitation etc.) affirmatively; regard favourably; receive as valid or suitable. □ acceptance noun. acceptable adjective worth accepting; tolerable. □ acceptability noun; ac¬ ceptably adverb. access jaskses/ • noun way of approach or entry; right or opportunity to reach, use, or visit. • verb gain access to (data) in computer.

acclaim /a'kletm/ • verb welcome or ap¬ plaud enthusiastically. • noun applause; welcome; public praise. □ acclama¬ tion /aekla-/ noun. acclimatize /a'klaimataiz/ verb (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) adapt to new climate or conditions. □ acclimatiza¬ tion noun. accolade /'sekaleid/ noun praise given; touch made with sword at conferring of knighthood.

accessible /ak'sesib(a)l/ adjective reach¬ able or obtainable; easy to understand. □ accessibility noun.

accommodate /a'kDmadeit/ verb (-ting) provide lodging or room for; adapt harmonize, reconcile; do favour to, (+ with) supply.

accession /ak’sej(a)n/ noun taking office, esp. as monarch; thing added, accessory /ak sesori, noun (plural -ies) additional or extra thing; (usually in plural) small attachment or item of dress; (often + to) person who abets in or is privy to illegal act.

accommodating adjective obliging.

accident /'$ksid(a)nt/ noun uninten¬ tional unfortunate esp. harmful event; event without apparent cause; un¬ expected event. □ accident-prone clumsy; by accident unintentionally.

accommodation noun lodgings; ad¬ justment adaptation; convenient ar¬ rangement. a accommodation ad¬ dress postal address used instead of permanent one.

■ Usage Accommodate, accommoda¬ tion, etc. are spelt with two ms, not one.

Accent 1

A person's accent is the way he or she pronounces words, and people from different regions and different groups in society have different accents. For instance, most people in northern England say path with a 'short' a, while most people in southern England say it with a 'long' a, and in America and Canada the r in far and port is generally pronounced, while in south-eastern England, for example, it is not. Everyone speaks with an accent, although some accents may be regarded as having more prestige, such as ‘Received Pronunciation’ (RP) in the UK.


An accent on a letter is a mark added to it to alter the sound it stands for. In French, for example, there are (acute), as in etat (grave), as in mere (circumflex), as in guepe

" (diaeresis), as in Noel , (cedilla), as in franpais

and German has (umlaut), as in Munchen. There are no accents on native English words, but many words borrowed from other languages still have them, such as blase and facade.

5 accompaniment /a'kAmpanimant/ noun instrumental or orchestral sup¬

port for solo instrument, voice, or group; accompanying thing, accompany /a'kAtnpani/ verb (-ies, -led) go with, attend; (usually in passive', + with, by) be done or found with; Music play accompaniment for. □ accom¬ panist noun Music. accomplice /a'kAmplis/ noun partner in crime. accomplish /a'kAmplijy verb succeed in

accompaniment | acetylene send (ambassador etc.) with creden¬ tials. accredited adjective officially nized; generally accepted,


accretion /a'kri:J(a)n/ noun growth by accumulation or organic enlargement; the resulting whole; matter so added, accrue /a'kru;/ verb (-ues, -ued, -uing) (often + to) come as natural increase or advantage, esp. financial, accumulate /a'kjimnjuleit/ verb (-ting) acquire increasing number or quantity

doing; achieve, complete, of; amass, collect; grow numerous; in¬ accomplished adjective clever, skilled, crease. □ accumulation noun; accu¬ accomplishment noun completion (of mulative /-latrv/ adjective. task etc.); acquired esp. social skill; accumulator noun rechargeable elec¬ thing achieved. tric cell; bet placed on sequence of accord /a‘ka:d/ • verb (often + with) be events, with winnings and stake from consistent or in harmony; grant, give. each placed on next, • noun agreement; consent. □ of one’s accurate /‘sekjurat/ adjective precise; own accord on one’s own initiative, conforming exactly with truth etc.

accordance noun □ in accordance with in conformity to. according adverb (+ to) as stated by, ( + to, as) in proportion to or as. accordingly adverb as circumstances

□ accuracy noun; accurately adverb. accursed /a'k3:sid/ adjective under a curse; colloquial detestable, annoying, accusative /a'kjuizatrv/ Grammar • noun case expressing object of action. • ad¬

suggest or require; consequently, jective of or in accusative, accordion /a'kaidianJ noun musical reed accuse /a'kju:z/ verb (-sing) (often + of) instrument with concertina-like bel¬ charge with fault or crime; blame. lows, keys, and buttons, □ accusation /ask-/ noun; accusatory accost /a'kDSt/ verb approach and speak adjective. boldly to. accustom /a'kAStam/ verb (+ to) make account /a'kaunt/ • noun narration, de¬ used to. scription; arrangement at bank etc. for accustomed adjective (usually + to) depositing and withdrawing money used (to a thing); customary, etc.; statement of financial transac¬ tions with balance; importance; behalf. ace • noun playing card with single spot; person who excels in some activity; ® verb consider as. □ account for ex¬ Tennis unretumable service. • adjective plain, answer for, kill, destroy; on ac¬ slang excellent. □ within an ace of on count to be paid for later, in part the verge of. payment; on account of because of; on no account under no circum¬ acerbic /a‘s3ibik/ adjective harsh and sharp, esp. in speech or manner. stances; take account of, take into □ acerbity noun (plural -ies). account consider. accountable adjective responsible, re¬ quired to account for one’s conduct; explicable, a accountability noun. accountant noun professional keeper or verifier of financial accounts. □ ac¬ countancy noun', accounting noun. accoutrements /a'kuitramants/ plural noun equipment, trappings, accredit /a'kredit/ verb (-t-) (+ to) attrib¬ ute; X + with) credit; (usually + to, at)

acetate /'assiteit/ noun compound of acetic acid, esp. the cellulose ester; fabric made from this, acetic /a'sirtik/ adjective of or like vin¬ egar. □ acetic acid clear liquid acid in vinegar. acetone /'sesitaon/ noun colourless vol¬ atile solvent of organic compounds, acetylene /a'setdim/ noun inflammable hydrocarbon gas, used esp. in welding.

ache | acrostic ache /eik/ • noun continuous dull pain; mental distress. • verb (aching) suffer from or be the source of an ache, achieve /a'tXiiv/ verb (-ving) reach or attain by effort; accomplish (task etc.); be successful. □ achiever noun; achievement noun. Achilles/a'kilhz/noun o Achilles heel vulnerable point; Achilles tendon ten¬ don attaching calf muscles to heel, achromatic /sekrau'maetik/ adjective transmitting light without separating it into colours; free from colour. □ achro¬ matically adverb. achy jeikil adjective (-ier, -iest) suffering from aches. acid /'aesid/ »noun Chemistry substance that neutralizes alkalis, turns litmus red, and usually contains hydrogen and is sour; slang drug LSD. •adjective having properties of acid; sour; biting, sharp, o acid drop sharp-tasting boiled sweet; acid house synthesized music with simple beat, associated with hallucinogenic drugs; acid rain rain containing acid formed from in¬ dustrial waste in atmosphere; acid test severe or conclusive test. □ acidic /e'sid-/ adjective; acidify /a'sid-/ verb (-ies, -ied); acidity /-'sid-/ noun. acidulous /a'sidjulas/ adjective some¬ what acid. acknowledge /ak'nDlid3/ verb (-ging) recognize, accept truth of; confirm re¬ ceipt of (letter etc.); show that one has noticed; express gratitude for. acknowledgement noun (also ac¬ knowledgment) acknowledging; thing given or done in gratitude; letter etc. confirming receipt; (usually in plural) author's thanks, prefacing book, acme /‘aekmi/ noun highest point, acne /'aekni/ noun skin condition with red pimples. acolyte /‘aekalait/ noun assistant, esp. of priest. aconite /'sekanait/ noun any of various poisonous plants, esp. monkshood; drug made from these, acorn /'eikorn/ noun fruit of oak. acoustic /a'kmstik/ adjective of sound or sense of hearing; (of musical instru¬ ment etc.) without electrical amplifica¬ tion. □ acoustically adverb.

6 acoustics plural noun properties (of a room etc.) in transmitting sound; (treated as singular) science of sound, acquaint /a'kwemt/ verb (+ with) make aware of or familiar with. □ be acquainted with know, acquaintance noun being acquainted; person one knows slightly. □ ac¬ quaintanceship noun. acquiesce /sekwi'es/ verb (-cing) agree, esp. tacitly, o acquiescence noun; ac¬ quiescent adjective. acquire /a'kwaia/ verb (-ring) gain pos¬ session of. □ acquired immune defi¬ ciency syndrome = Aids; acquired taste liking developed by experience, acquirement noun thing acquired or attained. acquisition /sekwi'zij(a)n/ noun (esp. useful) thing acquired; acquiring, be¬ ing acquired. acquisitive /a'kwizrtrv/ adjective keen to acquire things. acquit /a'kwit/ verb (-tt-) (often + of) declare not guilty; (acquit oneself) behave, perform, (+ of) discharge (duty etc.). □ acquittal noun. acre /'eika/ noun measure of land, 4840 sq. yards, 0.405 ha. acreage /'eikand3/ noun number of acres. acrid /'aekrid/ adjective bitterly pungent. o acridity /-'krid-/ noun. acrimonious /aekri'maumas/ adjective bitter in manner or temper. □ acri¬ mony /'aekrimam/ noun. acrobat /'aekrabaet/ noun performer of acrobatics. □ acrobatic /-'ba»t-/ ad¬ jective. acrobatics /aekra'bastiks/ plural noun gymnastic feats. acronym /'aekranim/ noun word formed from initial letters of other words (e.g. laser, NATO). acropolis /a'krDpahs/ noun citadel of ancient Greek city. across /a'kros/ • preposition to or on other side of; from one side to another side of. • adverb to or on other side; from one side to another. □ across the board applying to all. acrostic /a'krostik/ noun poem etc. in which first (or first and last) letters of lines form word(s).

acrylic | addicted acrylic /e'krilik/ • adjective made from acrylic acid. • noun acrylic fibre, fabric, or paint. acrylic acid noun a pungent liquid or¬ ganic acid. act • noun thing done, deed; process of doing; item of entertainment; pretence; main division of play; decree of legis¬ lative body. • verb behave; perform actions or functions; (often + on) have effect; perform in play etc.; pretend; play part of. □ act for be (legal) representative of; act up colloquial mis¬ behave, give trouble, acting adjective serving temporarily as. actinism /'aektmiz(e)m/ noun property of short-wave radiation that produces chemical changes, as in photography, action /'EekJ(e)n/ noun process of doing or acting; forcefulness, energy; exertion of energy or influence; deed, act; (the action) series of events in story, play, etc., slang exciting activity; battle; mechanism of instrument; style of movement; lawsuit. □ action-packed full of action or excitement; action re¬ play playback of part of television broadcast; out of action not function¬ ing. actionable adjective providing grounds for legal action. activate /'aektrveit/ verb (-ting) make active or radioactive. □ activation noun. active /'aaktrv/ • adjective marked by ac¬ tion; energetic, diligent; working, oper¬ ative; Grammar (of verb) of which subject performs action (e.g. saw in he saw a film), mnoun Grammar active form or voice. □ active service military ser¬ vice in wartime, o actively adverb. activism noun policy of vigorous action, esp. for a political cause. .□ activist noun. activity /aek'tiviti/ noun (plural -ies) being active; busy or energetic action; (often in plural) occupation, pursuit, actor /'aekte/ noun person who acts in pla£ film, etc. actress /'aektris/ noun female actor, actual /'aektjuel/ adjective existing, real; current. □ actuality /-'ael-/ noun (.plural -ies).

actually adverb in fact, really, actuary /'aeklfuen/ noun (plural -ies) stat¬ istician, esp. one calculating insurance risks and premiums. □ actuarial /-'ear-/ adjective. actuate /'aektjueit/ verb (-ting) cause to move, function, act. acuity /a'kjuuti/ noun acuteness, acumen /'sekjumen/ noun keen insight or discernment. acupuncture /'aekjmpAnktJa/ noun medical treatment using needles in parts of the body, o acupuncturist noun. acute /e'kjuit/ adjective (-r, -st) keen, penetrating; shrewd; (of disease) com¬ ing quickly to crisis; (of angle) less than 90°. □ acute (accent) mark (') over letter indicating pronunciation, o acutely adverb. AD abbreviation of the Christian era (Anno Domini). ad noun colloquial advertisement, adage /'aedid3/ noun proverb, maxim, adagio /e'da^ioo/Music • adverb & adjective in slow time, tnoun (plural -s) adagio passage. adamant /'aadamont/ adjective stub¬ bornly resolute, o adamantly adverb. Adam’s apple /'aedemz/ noun cartila¬ ginous projection at front of neck, adapt /e'daspt/ verb (+ to) fit, adjust; ( + to, for) make suitable, modify; (usually + to) adjust to new conditions. □ adaptable adjective; adaptation /aed-/ noun. adaptor noun device for making equip¬ ment compatible; Electricity device for con¬ necting several electrical plugs to one socket. add verb join as increase or supplement; unite (numbers) to get their total; say further. □ add up find total of; (+ to) amount to. t addendum /e'dendemj noun (plural -da) thing to be added; material added at end of book. adder/'aedo/ noun small venomous snake, addict /'aedikt/ noun person addicted, esp. to drug; colloquial devotee, addicted /a'diktid/ adjective (usually + to) dependent on a drug as a habit;


addictive | adjoin devoted to an interest. □ addiction noun. addictive /a'diktiv/ adjective causing ad¬ diction. addition /a'dij(a)n/ noun adding; person or thing added. □ in addition (often + to) also, as well. additional adjective added, extra. □ additionally advert.

adept o adjective /a'dept, 'aedept/ (+ at, in) skilful, onoun /'aedept/ adept person, adequate /'aedikwat/ adjective sufficient, satisfactory. □ adequacy noun; ad¬ equately adverb. adhere /ad'hia/ verb (-ring) (usually + to) stick fast; behave according to (rule etc.); give allegiance, adherent a noun supporter, oadjective adhering. □ adherence noun.

additive /'seditrv/ noun substance added, esp. to colour, flavour, or preserve food,

adhesion /ad'hi:3(a)n/ noun adhering,

addle /'$d(a)l/ verb (-ling) muddle, con¬ fuse; (usually as addled adjective) (of egg) become rotten.

adhesive /ad'hhsrv/ oadjective sticky, causing adhesion, a noun adhesive sub¬ stance.

address /a'dres/ ® noun place where per¬ son lives or organization is situated; par¬ ticulars of this, esp. for postal purposes; speech delivered to an audience. © verb write postal directions on; direct (re¬ marks etc.); speak or write to; direct one’s attention to.

ad hoc /aed 'hDk/ adverb & adjective for one particular occasion or use. adieu /s'dju:/ interjection goodbye, ad infinitum /asd mfi'naitam/ adverb without limit; for ever, adipose /'aedipauz/ adjective of fat, fatty. □ adiposity /-'pds-/ noun.

addressee /aedre'si:/ noun person to whom letter etc. is addressed.

adjacent /a'd3eis(3)nt/ adjective lying near; adjoining, a adjacency noun.

adduce/e'dju:s/ verb (-cing) cite as proof or instance, o adducible adjective.

adjective /'aed3iktiv/ noun word indicat¬ ing quality of noun or pronoun (see panel), o adjectival /-'tarv-/ adjective.

adenoids /'sedmoids/ plural noun enlarged lymphatic tissue between nose and throat, often hindering breathing. □ adenoidal j-'noi-l adjective.

adjoi n /a'd3Din/ verb be next to and joined with.

Adjective An adjective is a word that describes a noun or pronoun, e.g. red, clever, German, depressed, battered, sticky, shining Most can be used either before a noun, e.g. the red house

a clever woman

or after a verb like be, seem, or call, e.g. ■ The house is red. She seems very clever.

I wouldn’t call him lazy.

Some can be used only before a noun, e.g. the chief reason (one cannot say 'the reason is chief) Some can be used only after a verb, e.g. The ship is still afloat, (one cannot say *an afloat ship) A few can be used only immediately after a noun, e.g. the president elect (one cannot say either *an elect president or 'The president is elect)

9 adjourn /a*d33:n/ verb postpone, break off; (+ to) transfer to (another place). □ adjournment noun, adjudge /e‘d3Ad3/ vert (-ging) pro¬ nounce judgement on; pronounce or award judicially. □ adjudg(e)ment noun. adjudicate/a'd3u:dikeit/ vert (-ting) act as judge; adjudge. □ adjudication noun; adjudicator noun. adjunct /'sed3Ar|kt/ noun (+ to, of) sub¬ ordinate or incidental thing, adjure/a'd3ua/ verb (-ring) (usually + to do) beg or command. □ adjuration noun. adjust /a'd3Ast/ vert order, position; regulate; arrange; (usually + to) adapt; harmoni2e. □ adjustable adjective; ad¬ justment noun. adjutant /'2ed3Ut(a)nt/ noun army officer assisting superior in administrative duties. ad lib /aed 'lib/ » verb (-bb-) improvise. •a adjective improvised. ® adverb to any de¬ sired extent. Adm. abbreviation Admiral, administer /ad'mmista/ vert manage (affairs); formally deliver, dispense. administration/admmi'streiJ(a)n/ noun administering, esp. public affairs; gov¬ ernment in power. administrative/ad'mmistratrv/ad/ecl/re of the management of affairs, administrator /ad'mmistreita/ noun manager of business, public affairs, or person’s estate. admirable /"aedmarab(a)l/ adjective de¬ serving admiration; excellent □ admir¬ ably adverb. admiral /'aedmar(a)l/ noun commanderin-chief of navy; high-ranking naval officer, commander. Admiralty noun (plural -ies) (in full Admiralty Board) historical committee superintending Royal Navy, admire /ad'maia/ verb regard with approval, respect, or satisfaction; express admiration of. □ admiration /aedma'rei-/ noun; admirer noun; admiring adjective; admiringly adverb. admissible/ad'misib(a)!/ adjective worth accepting or considering; allowable. □ admissibility noun.

adjourn | adsorb admission /ad'mij(a)n/ noun acknow¬ ledgement (of error etc.); (right of) enter¬ ing; entrance charge, admit /ad'mrt/ verb (-tt-) (often + to be, that) acknowledge, recognize as true; (+ to) confess to; let in; accommodate; take (patient) into hospital; (+ of) allow as possible. admittance noun admitting or being admitted, usually to a place, admittedly adverb as must be admitted, admixture ^ed'mikstja/ noun thing added, esp. minor ingredient; adding of this. admonishyad'mnnij verb reprove; urge; (+ of) warn. □ admonishment noun; admonition /aedma'ru-/ noun; admoni¬ tory adjective. ad nauseam /a=d 'noiziaem/ adverb to a sickening extent, ado /a'du:/ noun fuss; trouble, adobe /a'daubi/ noun sun-dried brick, adolescent /aeda'lesant/ •adjective be¬ tween childhood and adulthood. ® noun adolescent person. □ adolescence noun. adopt /a dopt/ verb legally take (child) as one’s own; take over (another’s idea etc.); choose; accept responsibility for; approve (report etc.). □ adoption noun. adoptive adjective because of adoption, adorable /a'do:rab(a)l/ adjective deserv¬ ing adoration; colloquial delightful, charming. adore /a'do:/ verb (-ring) love intensely; worship; colloquial like very much, o adoration /aeda'rei-/ noun; adorer noun. adorn /a'doin/ verb add beauty to, decor¬ ate. □ adornment noun. adrenal/a'dri:n(a)l/ *> adjective of adrenal glands. •noun (in full adrenal gland) either of two ductless glands above the kidneys. adrenalin /a'drenalm/ noun stimulative hormone secreted by adrenal glands, adrift /a'dnft/ adverb S adjective drifting; colloquial unfastened, out of order, adroit /a'drort/ adjective dexterous, skilful. adsorb /ad'so:b/ verb attract and hold thin layer of (gas or liquid) on its


adulation | aeolian harp surface. □ adsorbent adjective & noun\ adsorption noun. adulation /aedju'leij(a)n/ noun obsequi¬

ous flattery. adult /'asdAlt/ •adjective grown-up, ma¬ ture; of or for adults. • noun adult person. □ adulthood noun. adulterate /a'dAltareit/1 verb (-ting) de¬ base (esp. food) by adding other sub¬ stances. □ adulteration noun. adultery /a'dAltan/ noun voluntary sexual intercourse of married person other than with spouse. □ adulterer, adulteress noun; adulterous adjective. adumbrate /'sedAmbreit/ verb (-ting) in¬

dicate faintly or in outline; foreshadow. □ adumbration noun. advance /ad'vams/ • verb (-cing) move or put forward; progress; pay or lend beforehand; promote; present (idea etc.). »noun going forward; progress; prepayment, loan; payment before¬ hand; (in plural) amorous approaches; rise in price. • adjective done etc. before¬ hand. a advance on approach threateningly; in advance ahead, beforehand. advanced adjective well ahead; socially progressive. □ advanced level high level GCE exam. advancement noun promotion of per¬ son, cause, etc.

adventurous adjective venturesome, enterprising. adverb /'aedv3:b/ noun word indicating manner, degree, circumstance, etc. used to modify verb, adjective, or other ad¬ verb (see panel), n adverbial /ad'V3:-/ adjective. adversary /'aedvasari/ noun (plural -ies) enemy; opponent. □ adversarial /-'sea-/ adjective. adverse /'aedv3:s/ adjective unfavour¬ able; harmful, o adversely adverb. adversity /8d'v3:siti/ noun misfortune, advert /'aedvait/ noun colloquial advert¬ isement. advertise /’aedvataiz/ verb (-sing) promote publicly to increase sales; make generally known; seek to sell, fill (va¬ cancy), or (+ for) buy or employ by notice in newspaper etc. advertisement /ad'v3:ttsmant/ noun public announcement advertising something; advertising, advice /ad'vais/ noun recommendation on how to act; information; notice of transaction. advisable /ad'vaizab(a)l/ adjective to be recommended; expedient. □ advis¬ ability noun. advise /ad’vaiz/ verb (-sing) give advice (to); recommend; (usually + of that) inform.

advantage /ad'va:nttd3/ •noun bene¬ ficial feature; benefit, profit; (often + over) superiority; Tennis next point after deuce. • verb (-ging) benefit, favour. □ take advantage of make good use of; exploit. □ advantageous /aedvan'teid3as/ adjective.

advisedly erately.

Advent /'aedvent/ noun season before Christmas; coming of Christ; (advent) arrival.

advocaat /aedva'kcut/ noun liqueur of eggs, sugar, and brandy,

Adventist noun member of sect believ¬ ing in imminent second coming of Christ. adventure /ad’ventja/ • noun unusual and exciting experience; enterprise. • verb (-ring) dare, venture. □ adven¬ ture playground one with climbing frames etc. adventurer noun (feminine adven¬ turess) person who seeks adventure esp. for personal gain or pleasure; fin¬ ancial speculator.




adviser noun person who advises, esp. officially. advisory /ad’vaizari/ adjective giving ad¬ vice.

advocacy /’aedvakasi/ noun support or argument for cause etc. advocate • noun /'sedvakat/ (+ of) per¬ son who speaks in favour; person who pleads for another, esp. in law court. • verb /'Eedvakeit/ (-ting) recommend by argument. adze /aedz/ noun (US adz) axe with arched blade at right angles to handle, aegis /'i:d3is/ noun protection; support, aeolian harp /h'aulian/ noun (US eolian harp) stringed instrument sounding when wind passes through it.

aeon | affable


aeon /‘i-.onj noun (also eon) long or in¬ definite period; an age. aerate /'eareit/ verb (-ting) charge with carbon dioxide; expose to air. □ aeration noun. aerial /'eanal/ • noun device for trans¬ mitting or receiving radio signals. • adjective from the air; existing in the air; like air. aero- combining form air; aircraft, aerobatics /eara'baetiks/ plural noun feats of spectacular flying of aircraft; (treated as singular) performance of these, aerobics /ea'raobiks/ plural noun vigor¬ ous exercises designed to increase oxy¬ gen intake. □ aerobic adjective. aerodrome /'earadraum/ noun small air¬ port or airfield. aerodynamics/earaudai'naemiks/pfora/ noun (usually treated as singular) dy¬ namics of solid bodies moving through air. □ aerodynamic adjective. aerofoil /'earafoil/ noun structure with curved surfaces (e.g. aircraft wing), de¬ signed to give lift in flight.

aeronautics /earau'noitiks/ plural noun (usually treated as singular) science or practice of motion in the air. □ aeronautical adjective. aeroplane /'earaplein/ noun powered heavier-than-air aircraft with wings. aerosol /'earasDl/ noun pressurized con¬ tainer releasing substance as fine spray. aerospace /'earauspeis/ noun earth’s at¬ mosphere and outer space; aviation in this. aesthete /'i:s8i:t/ noun person who ap¬ preciates beauty. aesthetic /i:s'0etik/ adjective of or sensi¬ tive to beauty; tasteful. □ aesthetic¬ ally adverb', aestheticism /-siz(a)m/ noun. aetiology /i;ti'Dlad3i/noun (US etiology) study of causation or of causes of disease. □ aetiological /-3'lod3-/ adjec¬ tive. afar /a’fa:/ adverb at or to a distance. affable/'ffifabia)!/adjective friendly; cour¬ teous. □ affability noun', affably adverb.

Adverb An adverb is used: 1

with a verb, to say; a b c d


to strengthen or weaken the meaning of: a b c


how something happens, e.g. He walks quickly, where something happens, e.g. I live here, when something happens, e.g. They visited us yesterday, how often something happens, e.g. We usually have coffee.

a verb, e.g. He really meant it. I almost fell asleep. an adjective, e.g. She is very clever. This is a slightly better result, another adverb, e.g. It comes off terribly easily. The boys nearly always get home late.

to add to the meaning of a whole sentence, e.g. He is probably our best player. Luckily, no one was hurt.

In writing or in formal speech, it is incorrect to use an adjective instead of an adverb. For example, use Do it properly.

and not

*Do it proper,

but itote that many words are both an adjective and an adverb, e.g. adjective


a fast horse a long time

He ran fast, Have you been here long?

affair | after


affair /a'fea/ noun matter, concern; love affair; colloquial thing, event; (in plural) business. affect /a'fekt/ verb produce effect on; (of disease etc.) attack; move emotionally; use for effect; pretend to feel; (+ to do) pretend. ■ Usage Affect is often confused with effect, which means ‘to bring about’. affectation /asfek'teij(a)n/ noun artifi¬ cial manner; pretentious display. affected adjective pretended; full of af¬ fectation. affection /a'fekj(a)n/ fond feeling; disease.



affectionate /a'fekfanat/ adjective lov¬ ing. □ affectionately adverb.

affray /a'frei/ noun breach of peace by fighting or rioting in public,

affront /a'frAnt/ a noun open insult • verb insult openly; embarrass. Afghan /'aefgaen/ ® noun native, national, or language of Afghanistan, o adjective of Afghanistan. □ Afghan hound tall dog with long silky hair,

afield /a'fhld/ adverb to or at a distance, aflame /a'flenn/ adverb