Learner’s English Dictionary

English Dictionary



Learner's English Dictionary


Learner’s English Dictionary

Learner’s English Dictionary



Menonim Menonimus


Internet Edition


Learner’s English Dictionary (a Dictionary of the English Language) by Menonim Menonimus


All Rights Reserved 

Internet Edition:2021

Websites: www.menonimus.org

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Dictionary is a book where words of a language are compiled and arranged in alphabetical order with their meanings. Dictionary is very necessary to learn a language. It renders universality and stability to a language. The first dictionary of the English language was compiled by Dr Johnson and since then the tradition of writing dictionaries of most written languages of the world has been going on. There are a number of dictionaries of the English language.  Among them, The Oxford English Dictionary is a popular and much-consulted one. Most of the modern English dictionaries are based on this dictionary. I have compiled this ‘Learner’s English Dictionary for myself. In this dictionary, the common English words are given place. The meanings are given in an easy and more comprehensive way. Hope that the new learners of English would like this dictionary. 

Menonim Menonimus

Santi Kanan.



Guidelines to Use the Dictionary

Learner’s English Dictionary

Guide Words
Two guide words at the top left and right of each page indicate the first and last entries on that page.
The Entries
The Headwords appear in bold at the left of each column. They are listed in alphabetical (letter-for-letter) order irrespective of whether the headword consists of a single word, two words or more words, or is a hyphenated word as:
If a headword has an alternative spelling both are given, the one most frequently used being placed first as:
judgement, judgment.
The Headwords that have the same spelling but are different in meaning are listed separately and are distinguished by a raised number.
Spirit 2
Guidance to Pronunciation:
Symbol used Examples
a as in bad add, band
a as in air mare, pare
ah as in jar large, palm
ay as in game pane, pail
aw as in tall paw, taught
e as in get them, test
ee as in beat         wheat, scheme
i as in hit bill, remit
i as in raise lie, sky
o as in cod  rot, gone
o as in old load, fold
oi as in toil coin, spoil
oo as in cook pull, cushion
oo as in moon tool, pontoon
ow as in power our, crowd
u as in luck fund, ton
u as in tune mute, few
b as in but boot, bill
ch as in chance hatch
d as in dog dim, add
f as in file phase, laugh, fold
g as  in gold         gay, hug
gw as in                 language, penguin
h as in half hold, ahead
j as in jar strange, judge
k as in keep         can, kill
kw as in quick quality, quack
l as in land love, ill, trouble
m as in map         mad, hammer
n as in not nose, tan
ng as in long         strong, singer
ngg as in                hunger longer
ngk as in                distinct, extinct
p as in pot pad, map
r as in ran rod, warren
s in sing         start, soap
sh as in sheet sure, short
zh as in measure pleasure
t as in tall  tank, attic
th as in thing thought, tenth
th as in this though, other
v as in van avoid, vain
w as was wife, always
y as in young yard, you
z as in zoo shoes, zebra.
Points of Grammar:
Parts of Speech
The parts of speech are shown after each headword and derived word. The abbreviations used are n for noun, v for verb, adj for adjective, adv for adverb, pron for pronoun, conj for conjunction, prep for preposition, interj for interjection. The indication is that the parts of speech is given in italic.
Plurals are given when they are formed other than by the regular method of adding -s or -es, as:
foot n (pl feet)
Appendix n (pl  Appendices, appendixes)
The present participle is usually formed by adding -ing to the verb e.g. do– doing, the past tense and past participle by adding -ed to the verb e.g. kill– killed. When there is some irregularity in these verb forms they are given in brackets.
do (past did, past participle done)
The degrees of comparison for adjectives are not given when the simple rule of adding -er, -est  applies.
hard harder hardest
However, when changes to the spelling are effected in the formation of the comparative and superlative, they are shown, as:
weighty adj (-tier, tiest)
simple adj (-ler, l-est)
In the dictionary, certain labels to the spelling are used to indicate that a word is not in standard use. A word may for instance carry the label  Colloquial or slang.
Colloquail (coll) implies that a word is in wide conversational use but is less acceptable in writing or for more formal occasions. Slang (sl) is peculiar to certain groups. Colloquial is a subject of fashion. What is considered slang at one time may pass into a colloquial category or may even become acceptable or maybe dropped out of use in course of time. The label vulgar (vulg) is a warning that the word is not in polite use and may cause offence. Other labels legal, medicine, cricket etc. introduce specialised meaning relating o their subject.
Abbreviations used in this dictionary
abbr abbreviation
adj adjective
adv adverb
coll colloquial
comp comparative
conj conjunction
eg for example
esp especially
etc et cetera
fem feminine
fig figurative
ie that is to say
interj interjection
masc masculine
n noun
opp         opposite
pers person
pp past participle
pt past tense
pl plural
prep preposition
pres p present participle
pre t present tense
pron pronoun
sing singular
sl slang
UK United Kingdom
US United States
usu usually
vulg vulgar. 0 0 0

Learner’s English Dictionary



A  n. (pl. As ) first letter of the English alphabet. 2. highest category of something. 5 first known quantity. from A to B (ph):from one place to another. from A to Z (ph):from the very beginning to the very end.
A  adj. (called the indefinite article) 1 one, some, any. 2 one single . 3 the same (all of a quality). 5 per (twice a year). 
A  prep. (usu. as prefix) 1 to, towards (ashore; aside). 2  on (afire). 4 in (nowadays). 
AA  abbr. 1 anti-aircraft.2 Automobile Association. 3 Alcoholics Anonymous. 
Aardvark  n. mammal with a snout and a long tongue, feeding on termites. 
Ab-  prefix. off, away, from (abduct). 
Aback  adv.  be surprised; be shocked.
Abacus  n. (pl. -cuses) 1 a frame with wires along which some beads are slid for calculating. 
Abaft adv. at the back of a ship.
Abandon v. 1 leave a pleace permanently, desert, quit for long. 2.yield to a passion.
Abandoned adj. 1 deserted, forsaken.
Abase v. humiliate, degrade. abasement n.
Abashed adj. embarrassed, disconcerted. 
Abate  v. (-ting) make or become less; diminish.  abatement n.
Abattoir  n. slaughter house for cattle. 
Abbacy  n. (pl. -ies) an office or jurisdiction of an abbot or abbess. 
Abbess  n. head of a community of nuns.
Abbey  n. (pl. -s) 1 a monastery or convent occupied by a community of monks or nuns. 2 the community of monks or nuns. 
Abbot  n. the head of a community of monks. 
Abbreviate  v. (-ting) shorten to represent (a word etc.) by a part of it.  abbreviation n.
ABC  n. 1 the English alphabet. 2 rudiments, elements ot basic things or facts of anything. 2 alphabetical guide.
Abdicate  v. (-ting) 1 give up or renounce the throne by a king or prince. 2 renounce (a duty, right, etc.).  abdication n.
Abdomen  n. 1 the belly, including the stomach, bowels, etc. the part below the chest. 2 abdominal adj. 
Abduct  v. carry off or kidnap a person illegally.  abduction n. abductor n.
Abeam  adv. at the right angles to a ship’s or an aircraft’s length.
Aberdeen Angus  n. a species animal of a Scottish breed of hornless black cattle. 
Aberration  n. 1 aberrant behaviour; mental or moral lapse. 2 Biol. deviation  from a normal type in behaviour. 3 Astron. apparent displacement of a celestial body.
Abet  v. (-tt-)  encourage or assist in mischief. 
Abeyance  n. (usu. prec. by in, into) temporary disuse. 
Abhor  v. (-rr-) detest; regard with disgust and hatred.
Abhorrence  n. disgust; detestation.
Abhorrent  adj.  disgusting or hateful.
Abide  v. (-ding; past abided ) 1 (usu. in neg.) to continue in a place; to remain. 2 act in accordance with (abide by the rules).
Abiding adj. enduring, permanent.
Ability  n. (pl. -ies) 1 (often foll. by to + infin.) capacity or power to do something. 2 cleverness, talent. 
Ab initio  adv. from the beginning. [Latin]
Abject  adj. miserable; despicable.  abjection n. 
Abjure  v. (-ring) renounce on oath (an opinion, cause, etc.). abjuration n.
Ablative  gram. n. case of nouns and pronouns indicating an agent, instrument or location. —adj. of or in the ablative. 
Ablaze  predic. adj. & adv. 1 on fire. 2 glittering. 3 greatly excited.
Able  adj. (abler, ablest) 1 (often foll. by to + infin). used esp. in is able, having the capacity or power to do something. (He able to climb up the tree). 2 talented, clever.  -able  suffix (forming adjectives): 1 that may or must be (drinkable; payable). 2  relevant to or in accordance with (fashion). able-bodied  adj. fit, healthy; hale and sound.
Ablution  n. (usu. in pl.) 1 ceremonial washing of the hands, feet and face. 2 colloq. a ordinary bodily washing. -ably  suffix :forming adverbs corresponding to adjectives in -able.
Abnegate  v. (-ting) give up or renounce ( a right, pleasure etc.). 
Abnormal adj. deviating from what is normal; exceptional.
Abnormality n. (pl. -ies). abnormally adv. [related to anomalous]
Aboard  adv. & prep. on or into (a vehicle). 
Abode  n. dwelling-place.
Abolish  v. put an end to (esp. a custom or institution).
Abolition  n. abolishing or being abolished.  abolitionist n.
Abominable  adj. 1 detestable, loathsome. 2 colloq. very bad or unpleasant. abominably adv. 
Abominate  v. (-ting) detest, loathe.  abomination n.
Aboriginal  —adj. 1 indigenous, inhabiting a land from ancient times, esp. before the arrival of foreigners as colonists. 
Aborigine  n. (usu. in pl.) 1 aboriginal inhabitant. 
Abort  v. 1 miscarry. 2 cause to an end before completion.
Abortion   n 1 expulsion of a foetus from the womb before natural birth. 2  abortionist n.
Abortive  adj. fruitless, unsuccessful.
Abound  v. 1 be plentiful. 2 (foll. by in, with) be rich. 
About  —prep. 1 a on the subject of (a book about animals).  2 at a time near to (about eight). 3 a in, round (walked about the river bank; a muffler about her neck). 4 at points in (strewn about the floor). 5 carried with (no coin about me). 6 —adv. 1 a approximately (about seven miles). b colloq. 1. nearby . 2 in every direction (look about here and there).
Above  —prep. 1 over; on the top of; over the surface of. 2 more than (above hundred people). 3 higher in rank or importance, etc., than. 4  beyond the reach of (above my  suspicion). —adv. 1 at or to a higher point. 2 earlier on a page or in a book  (as cited above). —adj. preceding (the above argument). 
Above-board  adj. & adv. open or openly; without concealment.
Abracadabra  —int. magic word used in conjuring. —n. spell or charm. 
Abrade  v. (-ding) scrape or wear away by rubbing. 
Abrasion  n. 1 scraping or wearing away (of skin). 2 resulting damaged area.
Abrasive  —adj. 1 a tending to rub. b capable of polishing by rubbing. 2 hurtful in manner. —n. abrasive substance.
Abreast adv. 1 side by side and facing the same way. 
Abridge  v. (-ging) shorten (a book, film, etc.). abridgement n. 
Abroad adv. 1 in or to a foreign country. 2 widely (scatter abroad). 
Abrogate  v. (-ting) repeal, abolish (a law etc.).  abrogation n.
Abrupt adj. 1 sudden. 2 steep, precipitous. abruptly adv. abruptness n. 
Abscess  n. (pl. abscesses) swelling containing pus. 
Abscissa  n. (pl. abscissae or -s) Math. (in a system of coordinates) shortest distance from a point to the vertical -axis.
Abscond  v. escape arrest. depart hurriedly esp. to avoid arrest.
Abseil  —v. descend by using a  rope coiled round the body and fixing at a higher point. —n. descent made by abseiling.
Absence  n. 1 being away ( absence of mind), inattentiveness.
Absent  —adj. 1 not present. 2 not existing. 
Absentee  n. person not present.
Absenteeism  n. absenting oneself from work esp. frequently or illicitly.
Absentee landlord  n. a landlord who lets a property while living somewhere else.
Absent-minded  adj. forgetful or inattentive. 
Absinth  n.  wormwood. 
Absolute  —adj. 1 complete, utter (absolute power). 2 unconditional (absolute authority). 3 despotic (absolute monarch). 4  (of law) final. —n. Philos. (prec. by the) that which can exist independently of anything else. 
Absolutely  adv. 1 completely, utterly. 2 in an absolute sense (God exists absolutely). 3  colloq. (used in reply) yes, quite so.
Absolution  n. formal forgiveness of sins.
Absolutism  n. principle of absolute government.
Absolve  v. (-ving) (foll. by from, of) set free from blame or obligation etc. 
Absorb  v. 1  take in, suck up (liquid, heat etc.). 2 reduce the effect or intensity of something. 4 consume (resources etc.). 5 engross the attention of. 
Absorbent  —adj. tending to absorb. —n. absorbent substance.
Absorption  n. 1 being absorbed. 2 mental engrossment. 
Abstain  v. 1 (usu. foll. by from) refrain from indulging (abstained from alcoholic drink.
Abstemious adj. moderate esp. in eating and drinking.
Abstention  n. abstaining, esp. from voting. 
Abstinence  n. abstaining, esp. from food or alcoholic drink. 
Abstract  —adj. 1 not concrete. b (of a word) denoting a quality, condition, etc. 2 (of art) achieving its effect by form and beauty rather than by realism. —v. 1 (often foll. by from) extract, remove. 2 summarize. —n. 1 summary. 
Abstracted  adj. inattentive, distracted. abstractedly adv.
Abstraction  n. 1 taking away. 2 visionary idea. 3 abstract qualities (esp. in art). 4 absent-mindedness.
Abstruse  adj. profound, difficult to understand. 
Absurd adj. illogical or inappropriate.  absurdity n. (pl. -ies). absurdly adv. 
ABTA  abbr. Association of British Travel Agents.
Abundance  n. 1 more than enough; a lot, plenty. 2 wealth.
Abundant adj. 1 plentiful. 2 (foll. by in) rich (abundant in green trees). abundantly adv.
Abuse  —v. (-sing) 1 insult verbally; maltreat. —n. 1 misuse. 2 insulting language. 3 unjust practice. 4 maltreatment (child abuse).  abusively adv.
Abut  v. (-tt-) 1 (of land) border on. 
Abutment  n. lateral supporting structure of a bridge, arch, house etc.
Abuzz  adv. & adj. in a state of activity or excitement.
Abysmal  adj.  profound, utter (abysmal ignorance). abysmally adv.
Abyss  n. 1 deep chasm. 2 immeasurable depth. 
AC  abbr. 1 (also ac) alternating current. 2 aircraftman. 3 air conditioner.
Ac  symb. actinium.
A/C  abbr. account (current account). 
-ac  suffix. forming adjectives often (or only) used as nouns (prosiac; maniac). 
Acacia  n. tree with yellow or white flowers.
Academia  n. an academic world; scholastic life.
Academic  —adj. 1 of learning, scholarly. 2 theoretical. —n. scholar in a university etc. academically adv.
Academician  n. member of an Academy. 
Academy  n. (pl. -ies) 1 a place or institution of specialized training. 2 (usu. Academy) society or institution of distinguished scholars, artists, scientists, etc ( Growhills Academy). 
Acanthus  n. (pl. -thuses)  herbaceous plant with spiny leaves. 
ACAS  abbr. Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
Accede  v. (-ding) (foll. by to) 1 assent or agree.
Accelerate  v. (-ting) move or happen more quickly; pick up speed.  acceleration n.  
Accelerator  n.  a device for increasing speed, esp. the pedal controlling the speed of a vehicle. 
Accent  —n. 1 particular  mode of pronunciation. 2 distinctive feature or emphasis. 3 prominence given to a syllable by stress. —v. 1 emphasize (a word or syllable ). 2 write accents on (words etc.). 
Accentuate  v. (-ting) emphasize. accentuation n. 
Accept  v. 1 willingly receive (a thing ). 2 answer affirmatively (an offer etc.). 3 regard favourably. 4 believe or receive (an opinion) as valid.
Acceptable  adj. 1 worth accepting 2 tolerable.  acceptability n. Acceptably adv. 
Acceptance  n. 1 willingness to accept. 2 affirmative answer to an invitation. 3 approval.
Access  —n. 1 way of approach or entry. 2 a right or opportunity to reach or use; admittance (access to secret files). b accessibility.
Accessible  adj. (often foll. by to) 1 reachable or obtainable. 2 easy to understand.  accessibility n.
Accession  —n. 1 taking a high office, esp. as monarch. 2 thing added. 
Accessory  n. (pl. -ies) 1 additional  thing.
Access time  n. computing time taken to retrieve data from a storage.
Accident  n. 1 undesirable harmful event. 2 event that is unexpected.
Accidental  —adj. happening by accident.  accidentally adv.
Accident-prone  adj. clumsy; an area or place tending to happen harmful event.
Acclaim  —v.  welcome or applaud enthusiastically. —n. public praise.
Acclamation  n. 1 loud and eager assent. 2 shouting in a person’s honour.
Acclimatize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) adapt to be suit to a new climate or conditions.  acclimatization n.
Accolade  n.  praise given. 
Accommodate  v. (-ting) 1 provide lodging and food. 2 adapt, reconcile. 3 a do favour to (a person). b (foll. by with) supply (a person) with.
Accommodating  adj. obliging, compliant.
Accommodation  n. 1 lodgings. 2 adaptation. 3 convenient arrangement.
Accommodation address  n. postal address used by a person unwilling to give a permanent address.
Accompaniment  n. 1 instrumental support for a solo instrument, voice or group. 2 accompanying thing.  accompanist n.
Accompany  v. (-ies, -ied) 1 go with; escort. 2 (usu. in passive; foll. by with, by) be done or found with.  3 Mus. partner with accompaniment. 
Accomplice  n. a partner or an associate in a crime. 
Accomplish  v. succeed in doing something; complete.
Accomplished  adj. 1. finished, complete. 2. clever, skilled.
Accomplishment  n. 1 completion (of a task). 
Accord  —v. 1 (often foll. by with) be consistent or in harmony. 2 grant (permission, a request, etc.). —n. 1 agreement, consent. 
Accordance  n. in accordance with; in conformity to.  accordant adj.
According  adv.  (foll. by to) as stated by (according to Menonimus). b in proportion to. Accordingly  adv. 1 as circumstances suggest or require (the Jury acted accordingly). 2 consequently (accordingly, she ran off the chamber).
Accordion  n. musical reed instrument. accordionist n. 
Accost  v. 1 approach and address (a person) first. 
Account  —n. 1 narration, description. 2 arrangement at a bank for depositing and withdrawing moneyetc. 3 record or statement of financial transactions with the balance. —v. consider as (account him wise). account for 1 provide an explanation for. 2 answer for (one’s conduct, etc.). 3 kill, defeat. 
Accountable  adj. 1 responsible; required to account for one’s conduct. accountability n.
Accountant  n. professional keeper of accounts. accountancy n. accounting n.
Accouterments (Brit Eng) or Accoutrements  (US)  n.pl. 1 equipment, trappings. 2 soldier’s equipment excluding weapons and clothes. 
Accredit  v. (-t-) 1 (foll. by to) attribute to (a person). 2 (foll. by with) credit (a person) with something. 3 (usu. foll. by to or at) send (deputy etc.) with credentials. 
Accredited  adj. 1 officially recognized. 2 generally accepted.
Accretion  n. 1 growth or increase by accumulation, addition or  enlargement. 
Accrue  v. (-ues, -ued, -uing) (often foll. by to) come as a natural increase, esp. financial.
Accumulate  v. (-ting) 1 acquire an increasing number or quantity of something; amass, collect. 2 grow numerous; increase. 
Accumulation  n. 1 accumulating or being accumulated. 2 accumulated mass. accumulative adj.
Accumulator  n. 1 rechargeable electric cell. 
Accuracy  n. exactness or careful precision. 
Accurate  adj. careful, precise; conforming exactly with a standard.  accurately adv.
Accursed  adj. 1 under a curse.
Accusation  n. accusing or being accused. 
Accusative  Gram. —n. case expressing the object of an action. —adj. of or in this case.
Accusatory  adj. of or implying accusation.
Accuse  v. (-sing) (often foll. by of) charge with a crime; blame. 
Accustom  v. (foll. by to) make used to. 
Accustomed  adj. 1 (usu. foll. by to) used to a thing. 2 usual, customery.
Ace  —n. 1 playing-card etc. with a single spot signifying ‘one’. 2 a person who excels in some activity. b a pilot who has shot down many enemy aircrafts.
Acellular  adj. not consisting of cells. -aceous  suffix forming adjectives in the sense ‘of the nature of’. 
Acerbic  adj. sharp, esp. in speech or manner. acerbity n. (pl. -ies). 
Acetaldehyde  n. colourless volatile liquid aldehyde. 
Acetate  n. 1 salt or ester of acetic acid. 2 fabric made from this.
Acetic  adj. like vinegar. 
Acetic acid  n. liquid acid giving vinegar as its taste.
Acetone  n. colourless volatile liquid that dissolves organic compounds.
Acetylene  n. hydrocarbon gas burning with  flame,  esp. in welding.
Ache  —n. 1 continuous  pain. 2 mental distress. —v. (-ching) suffer from an ache. 
Achieve  v. (-ving): reach or attain, esp. by effort (achieved success). 
Achievement  n. 1act of achieving. 2 something achieved. 
Achilles heel  n. person’s weak point. [Achilles is a Greek mythological hero portrayed the Iliad]
Achilles tendon  n. tendon connecting the heels.
Achromatic  adj. Optics.  transmitting light without separation into constituent colours .  achromatically adv.
Achy  adj. (-ier, -iest) suffering from aches.
Acid  —n. 1  any of a class of substances usually sour that liberate hydrogen ions in water. 2 any sour substance. —adj. 1 sour. 2 biting, sharp. acidic adj. acidify v. (-ies, -ied). acidity n. acidly adv. 
Acid house  n. a type of synthesized music with a simple repetitive beat.
Acid rain  n. acid falling with rain esp. from industrial waste gases.
Acid test  n. severe test.
Acidulous  adj. sour; somewhat acidic.
Ack-ack  colloq. —adj. anti-aircraft.
Acknowledge  v. (-ging) 1 recognize; accept and inform . 2 confirm the receipt of a letter or parcel. 3 express appreciation of (a service etc.).
Acknowledgement  n.  act of acknowledging.
Acme  n. highest point (of success or achievement). 
Acne  n. skin with red pimples. 
Acolyte  n. 1 person assisting a priest. 2 assistant. 
Aconite  n. 1 any poisonous plants. 2 drug from any poisonous plant.
Acorn  n. fruit or seed of an oak tree.
Acoustic  adj. 1 of sound or the sense of hearing. acoustically adv. 
Acoustics  n. pl. 1 qualities (of a room etc.) in transmitting sound. 2  science of sound.
Acquaint  v. (usu. foll. by with) make  familiar (with a person or thing).
Acquaintance  n.  being acquainted.  acquaintanceship n.
Acquiesce  v. (-cing) 1 agree, esp. by default. 2 (foll. by in) accept  acquiescence n. acquiescent adj.
Acquire  v. (-ring) to gain; come into possession of something.
Acquired taste  n. love or  liking developed by experience. 
Acquirement  n. thing acquired (esp. a mental attainment).
Acquisition  n. 1 thing acquired with a purpose. 
Acquisitive  adj. keen or meticulous to acquire things.
Acquit  v. (-tt-) foll. by of) declare not guilty. 
Acre  n. measure of land, 4,840 sq. yds.
Acreage  n. a number of acres.
Acrid  adj. (-er, -est) bitterly pungent. acridity n.
Acrimonious adj. bitter in manner or speech.  acrimony n.
Acrobat  n. entertainer performing gymnastic feats. acrobatic adj. acrobatically adv. 
Acrobatics  n.pl.  acrobatic feats.
Acronym  n. a word formed by combining the initial letters of a group of words and pronounced as a word. Example: FIFA (Federation of International Football Association)
Acropolis  n. citadel in an ancient Greek city.
Across  —prep. from one side to another side. —adv. to or on the other side (walk across). 
Acrostic  n.  a type of poem in which the first, last or other letters in a line form a word or phrase. 
Acrylic  —adj. of synthetic material. 
Acrylic acid  n. a pungent liquid acid.
Act  —n. 1 a deed. 2 process of doing . 3 item of entertainment. 4  main division of a play etc. —v. 1 behave (Ram acts nicely).  act on an effect. (wine acts on our body). acting  —n. art;  occupation of an actor. 
Actinium  n. Chem. radioactive metallic element found in pitchblende. 
Action  n. 1 an act; process of doing or acting . 2 energy. 3 exertion of energy. 
Actionable  adj. giving cause for legal action.
Action-packed  adj. full of  excitement.
Action point  n. proposal for an action.
Action replay  n. playback of a part of a television broadcast often in slow motion.
Action stations  n.pl. positions taken up by troops ready for battle.
Activate  v. (-ting) 1 make active. 2 Chem. cause reaction in.
Active  —adj. 1  lively, energetic; diligent . 2 Gram. the form of a verb whose subject performs the action. —n. Gram. active voice of a verb.  actively adv.
Active service  n. military service during war.
Activism  n. policy of enthusiastic action, esp. for a political or social cause.  activist n.
Activity  n. (pl. -ies) 1 being active; energetic action. 
Actor  n. person who acts in a play, film, dance etc.
Actress  n. female actor.
Actual  adj. (usu. attrib.) 1 existing in fact; real.
Actuality  n. (pl. -ies) 1 reality. 2 (in pl.) existing conditions.
Actually  adv.  as a fact, really. 
Actuary  n. (pl. -ies) one calculating insurance risks and premiums.  actuarial adj. 
Actuate  v. (-ting) 1 cause to move or function. 2 cause (a person) to act. 
Acuity  n. sharpness, acuteness.
Acumen  n. keen insight or discernment.
Acupuncture  n. medical treatment using needles in limbs of the body.  acupuncturist n. 
Acute  —adj. (acuter, acutest) 1 serious, severe . 2 (of senses etc.) keen. 3 shrewd.  acutely adv. 
Acute accent  n. diacritical mark (´) placed over certain letters  esp. to show pronunciation.
A D  abbr. of the Christian era. [Anno Domini]
Ad  n. colloq. advertisement. (abbr. of Advertisement).
ad-  prefix (altered or assimilated before some letters)  addition, adherence.
Adage  n. traditional maxim, proverb. 
Adagio  Mus. —adv. & adj. in slow time.
Adam  n. the first man of mankind.
Adamant  adj. stubbornly resolute; unyielding.  adamantly adv. 
Adam’s apple  n. projection of cartilage (at the front of the neck).
Adapt  v.  a (foll. by to) fit, adjust (a thing to another). b (foll. by to, for) make suitable for a purpose. c modify (esp. a text for student etc.). adaptable adj. adaptation n. 
Adaptor  n. 1 device for making tools compatible. 2 device for connecting several electrical plugs to a socket.
Add  v. 1 join  a thing as an increase.  add up: find the total of.
Addendum  n. (pl. -da) 1 thing to be added. 2 additional data added at the end of a book.
Adder  n. small venomous snake.
Addict  n.  person addicted, esp. to a drug. 
Addicted adj. 1 (usu. foll. by to) dependent on a drug etc. as a habit. 
Addictive  adj. causing addiction.
Addition  n.  adding.  in addition (often foll. by to) also, as well; besides.
Additional  adj. something added as supplementary.  Additionally adv.
Additive  n. substance added to improve another, esp. to colour, flavour etc.
Addle  v. (-ling) 1 muddle, confuse. 
Address  —n. 1 a. place where a person lives or a place where an organization is situated. b particulars  for postal purposes. 2 discourse to an audience. —v.  speak or write to, esp. formally. 3 to direct one’s attention to. 
Addressee  n. person to whom a letter or information is addressed.
Adduce  v. (-cing) cite as an instance or as proof. adducible adj. 
Adenoids  n.pl. area of enlarged lymphatic tissue between the nose and the throat. adenoidal adj. 
Adept  —adj. (foll. by at, in) skilful.
Adequate  adj. sufficient, satisfactory.  adequacy n. adequately adv.
Adhere  v. (-ring)  stick fast to a substance (usu. foll. by to).
Adherent  adj. sticking, adhering.  adherence n.
Adhesion  n. 1 adhering. 2 unnatural union of body tissues due to some inflammation.
Adhesive  —adj. sticky, causing adhesion. —n. adhesive substance.  adhesiveness n.
ad hoc  adv. & adj. for a especial occasion or purpose. 
adieu  int. goodbye. 
ad infinitum  adv. without limit.
Adipose  adj. of fat; fatty.  adiposity n.
Adjacent  adj. (often foll. by to)  adjoining; lying near. adjacency n.
Adjective  n. a word used to describe or modify a noun or pronoun.  adjectival adj.
Adjoin  v. be next to and joined with.
Adjourn  v.  put off, postpone (a meeting etc.) temporarily. adjournment n.
Adjudge  v. (-ging) 1 pronounce judgement on (a case). 2 pronounce  judicially.  adjudgment n. (also adjudgment).
Adjudicate  v. (-ting) 1 act as judge in a court, etc. 2 adjudge. adjudication n. adjudicative adj. adjudicator n.
Adjunct  n. 1 (foll. by to, of) subordinate or incidental thing. 2 Gram. word or phrase used to explain or amplify the predicate or subject. 
Adjure  v. (-ring) (usu. foll. by to + infin.) beg or command.  adjuration n.
Adjust  v. 1 regulate; arrange. 2 (usu. foll. by to) make suited; adapt. 3 harmonize (discrepancies).  adjustable adj. adjustment n. 
Adjutant  n. 1 an army officer assisting a superior one.
ad lib  —v. improvise. —adj. improvised. —adv. as one pleases. [abbr. of Latin ad libitum ]
Admin  n. colloq. administration. [abbreviation]
Administer  v.  manage (business affairs).
Administrate  v. (-ting) administer; manage (esp. business affairs).
Administration  n. 1 administering, esp. public affairs. 2 existing government in power.
Administrative  adj. of the management of affairs; pertaining to administration.
Administrator  n. one who manages a business, public affairs or a person’s estate.
Admirable  adj. deserving admiration; excellent.  admirably adv.
Admiral  n.  a commander-in-chief of a navy.
Admiralty  n. (pl. -ies)  committee superintending the Royal Navy.
Admiration  n. 1 respect; warm approval. 2 object of this.
Admire  v. (-ring) 1 regard with respect. 2 express admiration of. admirer n. admiring adj. admiringly adv. 
Admissible  adj.  worth accepting or considering.
Admission  n. 1 acknowledgement (of an error). 2 a process or right of entering.
Admit  v. (-tt-) 1 (often foll. by to be, or that + clause) acknowledge or recognize as true. 2 (foll. by to) confess to (a deed, fault, etc.).
Admittance  n. admitting or being admitted. admittedly  adv. 
Admixture  n. thing added, esp. a minor ingredient.
Admonish  v. reprove; urge, advise.  admonishment n. admonition n. admonitory adj. 
Ad nauseam  adv. to a disgusting state. 
Ado  n. fuss, busy activity.
Adobe n.  sun-dried brick.
Adolescent  —adj. between childhood and adulthood. —n. adolescent person.  adolescence n. 
Adonis  n. handsome young man (in Greek Mythology).
Adopt  v. 1 legally take another’s child as one’s own. 2 choose a course of action etc. adoption n.
Adoptive  adj. because of adoption.
Adorable  adj. 1 deserving adoration. 2 colloq. delightful, charming.
Adore  v. (-ring) 1 love intensely. 2 worship as divine. adoration n. 
Adorn  v. add beauty to; decorate.  adornment n.
Adrenal  —adj. at or near the kidneys.
Adrenalin  n. (also adrenaline) stimulative hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. 
Adrift  adv. & predic.adj.  drifting. 
Adroit  adj. dexterous, skilful. 
Adulation  n. obsequious flattery. 
Adult  —adj. 1 mature, grown-up.  —n. adult person. adulthood n.
Adulterate  v. (-ting) debase by adding other substances.  adulterant adj. & n. adulteration n. 
Adulterer  n. (fem. adulteress) a person who commits adultery.
Adultery  n. sexual intercourse between outside  marriage bond.  adulterous adj.
Adumbrate  v. (-ting) 1 indicate faintly. 2  overshadow. adumbration n. 
Advance  —v. (-cing) 1 move forward; progress. 
Advancement  n. promotion of a person; progress.
Advantage  —n. 1 benefit, profit. 2 (often foll. by over) superiority.  take advantage of 1 make good use of. 
Advent  n. important arrival. 
Adventist  n. member of a Christian sect believing in the  second coming of Christ.
Adventitious  adj. 1 accidental, casual. 
Adventure  n. 1 unusual and exciting experience.
Adventurer  n. (fem. adventuress)  person who seeks adventure, esp. for enjoyment. 
Adventurous adj. venturesome, enterprising.
Adverb  n. word used to modify an adjective, verb, or another adverb. adverbial adj. 
Adversary  n. (pl. -ies) enemy, opponent.
Adverse  adj. unfavourable; harmful.  adversely adv.
Adversity  n. misfortune, distress.
Advert  n. (abbre) advertisement. 
Advertise  v. (-sing) 1 promote goods or services publicly to increase sales. 2 make generally known. 
Advertisement  n. 1 public announcement, esp. of goods etc. for sale or vacancies, etc. 
Advice  n.  recommendation on how to act. 
Advisable  adj. to be recommended, expedient.  advisability n.
Advise  v. (-sing) 1 give advice to. 2 recommend.
Advisedly adv. after due consideration; deliberately.
Adviser  n. (also advisor) person who advises.
Advisory  adj. a body giving advice.
Advocacy  n. argument or support for a cause, policy, etc.
Advocate  —n. 1 (foll. by of) person who speaks in favour. 2 person who pleads for another, esp. in a lawcourt. 
Aeolian harp  n. stringed instrument sounding when the wind passes through it. 
Aeon  n. (also eon) 1 long indefinite period. 2 an age. 
Aerial  —adj. 1 by or from the air. 2 existing in the air. 3 of or like air. 
Aerobatics  n.pl. 1 spectacular flying of aircraft for  entertainment. 
Aerobics  n.pl. exercises designed to increase oxygen intake.
Aerodrome  n. small airport. 
Aerodynamics  n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) dynamics of solid bodies moving through air. aerodynamic adj.
Aerofoil  n. structure designed to give lift in flight.
Aeronautics  n.pl. (usu. sing.) science or practice of motion in the air. aeronautic adj. aeronautical adj.
Aeroplane  n. air flying vehicle with fixed wings. 
Aerosol  n.  pressurized container releasing a substance as a fine spray.
Aerospace  n. earth’s atmosphere and outer space. 
Aesthete  n. a person with a special appreciation of beauty.
Aesthetic  —adj. 1 of or sensitive to beauty. 2 artistic. aesthetically adv. aestheticism n.
Aetiology  n.  study of causation or of the causes of disease.
AF  abbr. audio frequency.
Afar  adv. at or to a distance.
Affable  adj. 1 friendly. 2 courteous.  affability n. affably adv. 
Affair  n. 1 matter, concern, or thing to be attended to . 2 a celebrated or notorious happening. 
Affect  v. 1  produce an effect on.  2 move emotionally. 3 pretend (affected ignorance).  
N.B. ‘Affect’ should not be confused with ‘effect’, (to bring about).  The word ‘effect’ is used as a noun as well as a verb.
Affectation  n. 1 artificial manner. 2 (foll. by of) studied display. 3 pretence. affected  adj. 1 pretended, artificial. 2 full of affectation.
Affection  n. 1 goodwill, fond feeling. 
Affectionate  adj. loving, fond.  affectionately adv.
Affidavit  n. written statement confirmed by oath.
Affiliate  —v. (-ting) (foll. by to, with) attach, adopt, or connect as a member or branch. affiliation  n. affiliating or being affiliated. Affiliation order  n. legal order against the supposed father of an illegitimate child for support.
Affinity  n. (pl. -ies) 1 liking or attraction; feeling of kinship. 2 relationship, esp. by marriage. 3 similarity of structure or character suggesting a relationship. 
Affirm  v. 1 assert, state as a fact. 2  make a solemn declaration in place of an oath.  affirmation n.
Affirmative  —adj. affirming; expressing approval. —n. affirmative statement or word etc.
Affix  —v. 1 attach, fasten. 2 add in writing. —n. 1 addition. 2 Gram. prefix or suffix. 
Afflict  v. distress physically or mentally.
Affliction  n. 1 distress, suffering. 2 cause of this.
Affluent  adj. wealthy, rich.  affluence n. 
Afford  v. 1  be able to spare; be in a position (can’t afford to be critical). 2 provide.
Afforest  v. 1 convert into forest. 2 plant with trees.  afforestation n. 
Affray  n. breach of the peace by fighting or rioting in public.
Affront  —n. open insult. —v. insult openly.
Afghan  —n. 1 a native or national of Afghanistan. b person of Afghan descent. 2 official language of Afghanistan. Afghan hound  n. tall hunting dog with long silky hair.
Aficionado  n. (pl. -s) devotee of a sport or pastime. 
Afield  adv. to or at a distance (esp. far afield).
Aflame  adv. & predic.adj. 1 in flames. 2 very excited.
Afloat  adv. & predic. adj. 1 floating. 2 at sea. 3 out of debt or difficulty. 4 current. 
Afoot  adv. & predic.adj. in operation; progressing.
Afore  prep. & adv. before; previously; in front (of). 
Afore-  comb. form before, previously (aforementioned; aforesaid).
Aforethought  adj. premeditated (following a noun).
Afraid  predic. adj. alarmed, frightened.  be afraid colloq. politely regret.
Afresh  adv. anew; with a fresh beginning.
African  —n. 1 native of Africa. 2 person of African descent. 
African violet  n. house-plant with velvety leaves and blue, purple, or pink flowers.
Afrikaans  n. language derived from Dutch, used in S. Africa.
Afro-American  —adj. of American Blacks or their culture. —n. American Black.
Afro-Caribbean  —n. Caribbean person of African descent.
After  —prep. 1 following in time; later than (after a month). 2 in view of, in spite of . 3 behind. 4 in pursuit or quest of. 5 about, concerning (asked after her). 6 in allusion to (named after the prince). 
Afterbirth  n. placenta etc. discharged from the womb after childbirth.
After-care n. attention after leaving hospital etc.
After-effect  n. delayed effect following an accident, trauma etc.
Afterglow  n. glow remaining after its source has disappeared.
Afterlife  n. life after death.
Aftermath  n. 1 consequences, esp. unpleasant (aftermath of war). 2 new grass growing after mowing. 
Afternoon  n. time from noon or lunch-time to evening.
Afterpains  n.pl. pains caused by contraction of the womb after childbirth.
Aftershave  n. lotion used after shaving.
Aftertaste  n. taste after eating or drinking.
Afterthought  n. thing thought of or added later.
Afterward  adv. later, subsequently.
Afterwards  adv. later, subsequently. 
Again  adv. 1 another time; once more. 2 as previously. 3 in addition (as much again). 4 further, besides. 5 on the other hand.
Against  prep. 1 in opposition to (fight against crime). 2 into collision or in contact with (lean against the wall).
Agape  predic. adj. gaping, open-mouthed. 
Agaric  n. fungus with a cap and stalk, e.g. the common mushroom. [Greek agarikon]
Agate  n. hard usu. 
Agave  n. plant with rosettes of narrow spiny leaves and flowers on tall stem. 
Age  —n. 1 length of time that a person or thing has existed. 2  a long time.  aged  adj. 1  (predic.) of the age of. 2  old.



Ageism  n. prejudice or discrimination on grounds of age. ageist adj. & n.
Ageless  adj. 1 never growing or appearing old. 2 eternal.
Agelong  adj. existing for a very long time.
Agency  n. (pl. -ies) 1 business or premises of an agent. 2 action; intervention.
Agenda  n. (pl. -s) 1 list of items to be considered at a meeting. 2 things to be done.
Agent  n. 1 a person who acts for another in business etc; spy. 2 person or thing that exerts power or produces an effect.
Agent provocateur n. (pl. agents provocateurs pronunc. same) person used to tempt suspected offenders to self-incriminating action.
Age of consent n. age at which consent to sexual intercourse is valid in law.
Age-old adj. very long-standing.
Agglomerate  —v. (-ting) collect into a mass. —n. mass. —adj. collected into a mass. agglomeration n.
Agglutinate  v. (-ting) stick as with glue.  agglutination n. agglutinative adj. 
Aggrandize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) 1 increase the power, rank or wealth of. 2 make seem greater.  aggrandizement n.
Aggravate  v. (-ting) 1 make worse or more serious. 2 annoy.  aggravation n.
Aggregate —n. 1 sum total, amount assembled. 2 unite. aggregation n. aggregative adj.
Aggression  n. 1 unprovoked attacking or attack. 2 hostile or destructive behaviour. 
Aggressive adj. 1 given to aggression; hostile.  aggressively adv.
Aggressor  n. person or party that attacks without provocation.
Aggrieved adj. having a grievance. 
Aggro  n. slang 1 aggressive hostility. 2 trouble, difficulty. [abbreviation of aggravation or aggression]
Aghast predic. adj. filled with dismay or consternation;  frighten.
Agile  adj. quick-moving, nimble, active. agility n.
Agitate  v. (-ting) 1 disturb or excite (a person or feelings). 2 (often foll. by for, against)  3 shake briskly. agitation n. agitator n.
Aglow predic. adj. glowing.
AGM  abbr. annual general meeting.
Agnail  n. piece of torn skin at the root of a fingernail; resulting soreness. 
Agnostic  —n. person who believes that the existence of God is not provable. —adj. of agnosticism.  agnosticism n. 
Ago  adv. (prec. by duration) earlier, in the past. 
Agog  predic. adj. eager, expectant. 
Agonize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) 1 undergo mental anguish; cause to suffer agony. 
Agony  n. (pl. -ies) 1 extreme mental or physical suffering. 2 severe struggle. 
Agony aunt  n. colloq. a woman who answers letters in an agony column. 
Agony column n. colloq. 1 column in a magazine etc. offering personal advice to correspondents. 
Agoraphobia  n. abnormal fear of open spaces or public places. agoraphobic adj.
Agrarian  —adj. 1 of the land or its cultivation. 2 of landed property. 
Agree  v. (-ees, -eed, -eeing) 1 hold the same opinion. 2 consent (agreed to go). 3 (often foll. by with) be in harmony. b suit. c Gram. have the same number, gender, case, or person as.
Agreeable adj. 1 pleasing, pleasant. 2 willing to agree.  agreeably adv.
Agreement  n. 1 act or state of agreeing. 2 contract.
Agriculture  n. cultivation of the soil and rearing of animals.  agricultural adj. agriculturalist n. 
Agrimony  n. (pl. -ies) perennial plant with small yellow flowers. 
Agronomy  n. science of soil management and crop production. agronomist n. 
Aground  predic. adj. & adv. on or on to the bottom of shallow water (run aground).
Ague  n. 1 malarial fever. 2 shivering fit. 
AH  abbr. in the year of the Hijri (AD 622); of the Muslim era.
Ah  int. expressing surprise, pleasure, realization, etc.
Aha  int. expressing surprise, triumph, mockery, etc.
Ahead  adv. 1 further forward in space or time. 2 in the lead.
Ahem  int. used to attract attention.
Ahoy  int. call used in hailing. 
AI  abbr. 1 artificial insemination. 2 artificial intelligence.
AID  abbr. artificial insemination by donor.
Aid  —n. 1 help. 2 person or thing that helps. —v. 1 help. 2 promote.
Aide n. 1 aide-de-camp. 2 esp. US assistant. 
aide-de-camp n. (pl. aides) officer assisting a senior officer. 
Aids  /AIDS  abbre. acquired immune deficiency syndrome; an often fatal viral syndrome marked by severe loss of resistance to infection.
Ail  v. 1 archaic (only in 3rd person interrog. trouble or afflict (what ails him?). 
Aileron  n. hinged flap on an aeroplane wing.
Ailing adj. 1 ill. 2 in poor condition.
Ailment  n. minor illness or disorder.
Aim  —v. 1 intend or try; attempt. 2 (usu. foll. by at) direct or point (a weapon, remark, etc.). 3 take aim. —n. 1 purpose or object. 2 the directing of a weapon etc. at an object.
Aimless adj. without aim or purpose.  aimlessly adv.
Ain’t  contr. colloq. 1 am, is, or are not. 2 have or has not. (The use of ain’t is usually regarded as unacceptable).
Air  —n. 1 mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen surrounding the earth. 2 earth’s atmosphere; open space in it. 3 a distinctive impression or manner (air of mystery). b (esp. in pl.) pretentiousness (gave himself airs).
Airbase  n. base for military aircraft.
Air-bed  n. inflatable mattress.
Airborne adj. transported by air.
Air-brick  n. perforated brick used for ventilation.
Airbus  n. propr. short-haul passenger aircraft.
Air Chief Marshal n. RAF officer of high rank, above Air Marshal.
Air Commodore n. RAF officer next above Group Captain.
Air-conditioning  n. 1 system for regulating the humidity, ventilation, and temperature in a building. 2 apparatus for this. air-conditioned adj.
Aircraft  n. (pl. same) machine capable of flight, esp. an aeroplane or helicopter.



Aircraft-carrier  n. warship carrying and used as a base for aircraft.
Aircraftman  n. lowest rank in the RAF.
Aircraftwoman  n. lowest rank in the WRAF.
Aircrew  n. crew of an aircraft.
Air-cushion  n. 1 inflatable cushion. 2 layer of air supporting a hovercraft etc.
Airedale  n. large terrier of a rough-coated breed.
Airer  n. stand for airing or drying clothes etc.
Airfield  n. area with runways for aircraft.
Air force  n. branch of the armed forces fighting in the air.
Airgun  n. gun using compressed air to fire pellets.
Airhead  n. slang stupid or foolish person.
Air hostess  n. stewardess in a passenger aircraft.
Airless  adj. stuffy; still, calm.
Air letter  n. sheet of light paper forming a letter for sending by airmail.
Airlift  —n. emergency transport of supplies etc. by air. —v. transport thus.
Airline  n. public air transport system.
Airliner  n. large passenger aircraft.
Airlock  n. 1 stoppage of the flow by an air bubble in a pipe. 2 compartment permitting movement between areas at different pressures.
Airmail  n.  system of transporting mail by air. 
Airman  n. pilot or member of an aircraft crew, esp. in an air force.
Air Marshal  n. RAF officer of high rank, above Air Vice-Marshal.
Airplane  n. US aeroplane.
Air pocket  n. apparent vacuum causing an aircraft to drop suddenly.
Airport  n. airfield with facilities for passengers and goods.
Air raid  n. attack by aircraft on ground targets.
Air rifle  n. rifle using compressed air to fire pellets.
Airs and graces  n.pl. affected manner.
Airscrew  n. aircraft propeller.
Airship  n. power-driven aircraft lighter than air.
Airsick  adj. nauseous from air travel.
Airspace  n. air above a country and subject to its jurisdiction.
Air speed  n. aircraft’s speed relative to the air.
Airstrip  n. strip of ground for the take-off and landing of aircraft.
Air terminal  n. building with transport to and from an airport.
Airtight  adj. impermeable to air.
Air traffic controller  n. official who controls air traffic by radio.
Air Vice-Marshal  n. RAF officer of high rank, just below Air Marshal.
Airwaves  n.pl. colloq. radio waves used in broadcasting.
Airway  n. recognized route of aircraft.
Airwoman  n. woman pilot or member of an aircraft , esp. in an air force.
Airworthy  adj. (of an aircraft) fit to fly.
Airy  adj. (-ier, -iest) 1 well-ventilated, breezy. 2 flippant, superficial. 3 light as air. 4 ethereal.  airily adv.
Airy-fairy  adj. colloq. unrealistic, impractical.
Aisle  n. 1 the part of a church on either side of the nave, divided from it by pillars. 2 passage between rows of pews, seats, etc.
Aitch  n. the letter H. 
Ajar  adv. & predic.adj. (of a door) slightly open.
Akela  n. adult leader of Cub Scouts.  
Akimbo  adv. (of the arms) with hands on the hips and elbows turned outwards.
Akin adj. 1 related by blood.  2 similar.
Al  symb. aluminium.
-al  suffix . (also -ial) forming adjectives meaning ‘relating to, of the kind of’ (central; tidal; dictatorial).
Alabaster  —n. translucent usu. white form of gypsum, used for carving etc. —adj. 1 of alabaster. 2 white or smooth.
Alacrity  n. briskness; cheerful, readiness. 
à la mode  adv. & adj. in fashion; fashionable. 
Alarm  —n. 1 warning of danger etc. 2 a warning sound or device.  —v. 1 frighten or disturb. 
Alarm clock  n. clock that rings at a set time as an alarm.
Alarmist  n. person stirring up alarm.
Alas  int. expressing grief, pity, or concern. 
Alb  n. long white vestment worn by Christian priests. 
Albatross  n. 1 a long-winged, stout-bodied bird found in sea-side.
Albeit  conj.  though. 
Albino  n. (pl. -s) 1 person or animal lacking pigment in the skin and hair.
Album  n. book for photographs, stamps, etc. 
Albumen  n. 1 egg-white. 2 substance found between the skin and germ of many seeds, usu. the edible part.
Albumin  n. water-soluble protein found in egg, milk, blood, etc.  Albuminous adj.
Alchemy  n. medieval chemistry, esp. seeking to turn base metals into gold.  Alchemist n.
Alcohol  n. 1 colourless volatile inflammable liquid, esp. as the intoxicant in wine, beer, spirits, etc.
Alcoholic  —adj. of, like, containing, or caused by alcohol. —n. person suffering from alcoholism.
Alcoholism  n. condition resulting from addiction to alcohol.
Alcove  n. recess, esp. in the wall of a room. 
Aldehyde  n. chem. any of a class of compounds formed by the oxidation of alcohols. 
al dente  adj. (of pasta etc.) cooked so as to be still firm when bitten. 
Alder  n. tree related to the birch.
Alderman  n. esp. hist. co-opted member of an English county or borough council, next in dignity to the mayor. 
Ale  n. beer.
Aleatory  adj. depending on chance. 
Alehouse  n.  tavern.
Alembic  n. 1 hist. apparatus formerly used in distilling. 2 means of refining or extracting. 
Alert  —adj. 1 watchful, vigilant. 2 nimble, attentive. 
A level  n. advanced level.
Alexander Technique  n. technique for controlling posture as an aid to well-being. (Alexander, name of a physiotherapist)
Alexandrine  —adj. (of a line of verse) having six iambic feet. 
Alfalfa  n. clover-like plant used for fodder.
Alfresco  adv. & adj. in the open air. 
Alga  n. (pl. algae) (usu. in pl.) non-flowering stemless water-plant, esp. seaweed and plankton. 
Algebra  n. branch of mathematics that uses letters etc. to represent numbers and quantities.  algebraic adj.
Algol  n. high-level computer programming language. 
Algorithm  n. process or set of rules used for calculation etc., esp. with a computer.  algorithmic adj. 
Alias  —adv. also named or known as. —n. assumed name.
Alibi  n. (pl. -s) 1 claim or proof that one was elsewhere when a crime etc. was committed. 2 informal excuse. 
Alien  —adj. 1 (often foll. by to) unfamiliar; unacceptable or repugnant. 2 foreign. 3 of beings from other worlds. 
Alienable  adj. able to be transferred to new ownership.
Alienate  v. (-ting) 1 estrange, make hostile. 2 transfer ownership of.  alienation n.
Alight adj. 1 on fire. 2 lit up; excited.  alight  v.  (often foll. by from) descend from a vehicle. 
Align  v. 1 put or bring into line. 2 (usu. foll. by with)  alignment n.
Alike  —adj. (usu. predic.) similar, like. —adv. in a similar way.
Alimentary  adj. of or providing food or nourishment.
Alimony  n. money payable to a spouse or former spouse after separation or divorce.
Aliphatic  adj. Chem. of organic compounds in which carbon atoms form open chains, not aromatic rings. 
Aliquot  —adj. (of a part or portion) contained by the whole an integral number of times.
Alive  adj.  1 living. 2 lively, active. 3 (foll. by to) aware of; alert.
Alkali  n. (pl. -s) 1 a any of a class of substances that liberate hydroxide ions in water, usu. form caustic or corrosive solutions, turn litmus blue, and have a pH of more than 7, e.g. caustic soda. 
Alkaloid  n. nitrogenous organic compound of plant origin, e.g. morphine, quinine.
Alkane  n. Chem. saturated aliphatic hydrocarbon having the general formula CnH2n+2, including methane and ethane.
Alkene  n. Chem. unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon containing a double bond and having the general formula CnH2n, including ethylene.
Alkyne  n. Chem. unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon containing a triple bond and having the general formula CnH2n-2, including acetylene.
All  —adj. 1 whole amount, quantity, or extent of.  in a state of (all of a dither). —adv. 1 a entirely, quite.
Allah  n.  Arabic name of God. 
Allay  v. 1 diminish (fear, suspicion, etc.). 2 alleviate (pain etc.). 
All-clear  n. signal that danger etc. is over.
Allegation  n. 1 assertion, esp. unproved. 2 alleging. 
Allege  v. (-ging) 1 declare, esp. without proof. 2 advance as an argument or excuse.
Allegiance  n. 1 loyalty (to a person or cause etc.). 2 the duty of a subject. 
Allegory  n. (pl. -ies) a story whose moral is represented symbolically.  allegorical adj. allegorize v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing). 
Alleluia, Hallelujah —int. God be praised.
Allen screw  n. screw with a hexagonal socket in the head.
Allergy  n. (pl. -ies) 1 adverse reaction to certain substances, esp. particular foods, pollen, fur, or dust. 2 colloq. antipathy.
Allergic  adj. 1 (foll. by to) a having an allergy to. b colloq. having a strong dislike for. 2 caused by an allergy.
Alleviate  v. (-ting) make (pain etc.) less severe.  alleviation n.
Alley  n. (pl. -s) 1 narrow street or passage. 2 enclosure for skittles, bowling, etc. 
Alliance  n. 1 union or agreement to cooperate, esp. of States by treaty or families by marriage. 2 (Alliance) political coalition party. 
Alligator  n. large reptile of the crocodile family with a head broader and shorter than a crocodile’s.
Alliteration  n. repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. alliterate v. (-ting). alliterative adj. 
Allocate  v. (-ting) (usu. foll. by to) assign or devote to (a purpose, person, or place).  allocation n. 
Allot  v. (-tt-)  distribute to (a person), esp. as a share or task.
Allotment  n. 1 small piece of land rented by a local authority for cultivation. 2 share. 
Allotropy  n. existence of two or more different physical forms of a chemical element.  allotropic adj.
Allow  v. 1 (often foll. by to + infin.) permit. 2 assign a limited amount etc. 
Allowance  n. 1 amount or sum allowed, esp. regularly for a stated purpose. 2 amount allowed in reckoning. 
Alloy  —n. 1 mixture of two or more metals. 2 inferior metal mixed esp. with gold or silver. —v. 1 mix (metals). 2 debase by admixture.
All-rounder  n. versatile person.
All Saints’ Day  n. 1 Nov., Christian festival in honour of saints.
All Souls’ Day  n. 2 Nov., Roman Catholic festival with prayers for the souls of the dead.
Allspice  n. 1 aromatic spice obtained from the berry of the pimento plant. 2 the berry.
Allude  v. (-ding) (foll. by to) refer to, esp. indirectly or briefly.
Allure  —v. (-ring) attract, charm, or entice. allurement n.
Allusion  n. (often foll. by to) passing or indirect reference.  allusive adj.
Ally  —n. (pl. -ies) State, person, etc., formally cooperating or united with another, esp.  in war.
Alma Mater  n. one’s university, school, or college. 
Almanac  n. (also almanack) calendar, usu. with astronomical data. 
Almighty  adj. 1 having complete power. 2 (the Almighty) God. 
Almond  n. 1 nutlike kernel of a fruit allied to the peach and plum. 2 tree bearing this. 
Almoner  n. social worker attached to a hospital. 
Almost  adv. all but; very nearly. 
Alms  n.pl.  donation of money or food to the poor. [Greek eleemosune pity]
Almshouse  n.  charitable institution for the poor.
Aloe  n. 1 plant of the lily family with toothed fleshy leaves. 2 (in pl.)  strong laxative from aloe juice. 
Aloft  predic. adj. & adv. 1 high up, overhead. 2 upwards.
Alone  —predic. adj. 1 without the presence or help of others. 2 lonely (felt alone). —adv. only, exclusively. 
Along  —prep. beside or through (part of) the length of. —adv. 1 onward, into a more advanced state. 2 with oneself or others. 3 beside or through part or the whole length of a thing. 
Alongside  —adv. at or to the side. —prep. close to the side of.
Aloof  —adj. distant, unsympathetic. —adv. away, apart.
Aloud  adv. audibly.
Alp  n. 1 a high mountain. b (the Alps) high range of mountains in Switzerland and adjoining countries.
Alpaca  n. 1 shaggy S. American mammal related to the llama. 2 its wool; fabric made from this. 
Alpha  n. 1 first letter of the Greek alphabet. 2 first-class mark for a piece of work etc. alpha and omega. beginning and end.
Alphabet  n. 1 set of letters used in writing a language. 2 symbols or signs for these.  alphabetical adj. 
Alphanumeric  adj. containing both letters and numbers.
Alpha particle  n. helium nucleus emitted by a radioactive substance.
Already  adv. before the time in question.
Alright  adv. = all right.
Alsatian  n. large dog of a breed of wolfhound (also called ‘German shepherd’). 
Also  adv. in addition, besides. 
Altar  n.  table or flat block for sacrifice or offering to a deity. 
Altarpiece  n. painting etc. above or behind an altar.
Alter  v. change partially. alteration n.
Altercate  v. (-ting) (often foll. by with) dispute, wrangle.  altercation n. 
Alter ego  n. (pl. -s) 1 one’s hidden or second self. 2 intimate friend. 
Alternate  —v. (-ting) 1 (often foll. by with) occur or cause to occur by turns. 2 (foll. by between) go repeatedly from one to another.  —adj. 1 (with noun in pl.) every other (on alternate days).  alternately adv. alternation n.
Alternating current  n. electric current reversing its direction at regular intervals.
Alternative  —adj. 1 available as another choice (alternative route). 2 unconventional (alternative medicine).  alternatively adv.
Alternator  n. dynamo that generates an alternating current.
Although  conj. = though.
Altimeter  n. instrument indicating altitude reached.
Altitude  n. height, esp. of an object above sea level or above the horizon. 
Alto  n. (pl. -s)   highest adult male singing-voice, above tenor. 
Altogether  adv. 1 totally, completely. 2 on the whole. 3 in total. 
Altruism  n. unselfishness as a principle of action.  altruist n. altruistic adj. 
Alum  n. double sulphate of aluminium and potassium. 
Alumina  n. aluminium oxide occurring naturally as corundum and emery.
Aluminize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) coat with aluminium.
Alumnus  n. (pl. alumni; fem. alumna, pl. alumnae) former pupil or student. 
Always  adv. 1 at all times; on all occasions. 2 whatever the circumstances. 3 repeatedly, often.
Alyssum  n. plant with small usu. yellow or white flowers. 
Alzheimer’s disease  n. brain disorder causing senility. 
AM  abbr. amplitude modulation.
Amalgam  n. 1 mixture or blend. 2 alloy of mercury and another metal, used esp. in dentistry. 
Amalgamate  v. (-ting) 1 mix, unite. 2 (of metals) alloy with mercury.  amalgamation n.
Amanuensis  n. (pl. -enses) literary assistant, esp. writing from dictation. 
Amaranth  n. 1 plant with small green, red, or purple tinted flowers. 2 imaginary unfading flower. 3 purple colour. amaranthine adj. 
Amaryllis  n. bulbous plant with lily-like flowers. 
Amass  v. heap together; accumulate.
Amateur  n. person who engages in a pursuit as a pastime rather than a profession.  amateurish adj. amateurism n. 
Amatory  adj. of sexual love. 
Amaze  v. (-zing) surprise greatly, fill with wonder. amazement n. amazing adj.
Amazon  n. 1 female warrior of a mythical race in the Black Sea area. 2  large, strong, or athletic woman.  Amazonian adj. 
Ambassador  n.  diplomat sent to live abroad to represent his or her country’s interests. ambassadorial adj. 
Amber  —n. 1  yellow translucent fossilized resin used in jewellery.
Ambience  n. surroundings or atmosphere. ambient  adj. surrounding.
Ambiguous  adj. 1 having an obscure or double meaning. 2 difficult to classify.  ambiguity n. (pl. -ies). 
Ambit  n. scope, extent, or bounds.
Ambition  n. 1 determination to succeed. 2 object of this.
Ambitious  adj. 1 full of ambition or high aims. 2  strongly determined.
Ambivalence  n. coexistence of opposing feelings.  ambivalent adj. 
Amble  —v. (-ling) move at an easy pace. —n. such a pace. 
Ambrosia  n. 1 the food of the gods. 2 sublimely delicious food.
Ambulance  n. 1 vehicle equipped for conveying patients to hospital. 2 mobile hospital serving an army. 
Ambulatory  —adj. 1 of or for walking. 2 movable. —n. (pl. -ies) arcade or cloister. 
Ambush  —n. 1 surprise attack by persons hiding. 2 hiding-place for this. —v. attack from an ambush.
Ameliorate  v. (-ting) make or become better.  amelioration n. ameliorative adj. 
Amen  int. (esp. at the end of a prayer etc.) so be it. 
Amenable  adj. 1 responsive, docile. 2 (often foll. by to) answerable to law etc. 
Amend  v. 1 make minor alterations in to improve. 2 correct an error in (a document etc.). 
Amendment  n. minor alteration or addition in a document, resolution, etc.
Amenity  n. (pl. -ies) 1 pleasant or useful feature or facility. 2 pleasantness (of a place etc.). 
Amharic  —n. official and commercial language of Ethiopia. —adj. of this language. 
Amiable  adj. (esp. of a person) lovely,  friendly and pleasant, likeable.  amiably adv. 
Amicable  adj. friendly.  Amicably adv. 
Amid  prep. in the middle of, among. 
Amidships  adv. in or into the middle of a ship. 
Amidst  pre.  amid.
Amine  n. compound formed from ammonia by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms by an organic radical.
Amino acid  n. Biochem. any of a group of nitrogenous organic acids occurring naturally in plant and animal tissues and forming the basic constituents of proteins. 
Amiss  —predic. adj. wrong, out of order. —adv. wrong(ly), inappropriately.
Amity  n. friendship.
Ammeter  n. instrument for measuring electric current in amperes. 
Ammo  n. slang ammunition. [abbreviation]
Ammonia  n.  pungent strongly alkaline gas. 
Ammonite  n. coil-shaped fossil shell. 
Ammunition  n. 1 supply of bullets, shells, grenades, etc. 2 information usable in an argument.
Amnesia  n. loss of memory.
Amnesty  —n. (pl. -ies) general pardon, esp. for political offences. —v. (-ies, -ied) grant an amnesty to. 
Amniocentesis  n. (pl. -teses) sampling of amniotic fluid to detect foetal abnormality. 
Amnion  n. (pl. amnia) innermost membrane enclosing an embryo. amniotic adj. 
Amoeba  n. (pl. -s) microscopic aquatic amorphous one-celled organism.  amoebic adj. 
Amok  adv.  run wild.
Among  prep. (also amongst) 1 surrounded by . 2 included in 3 in the category of . 
Amoral  adj. 1 beyond morality. 2 without moral principles.
Amorous  adj. of, showing, or feeling sexual love. 
Amorphous  adj. 1 of no definite shape. 2 vague.
Amortize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) gradually extinguish (a debt) by regular instalments. 
Amount  —n. quantity, esp. a total in number, size, value, extent, etc. —v. (foll. by to) be equivalent to in number.
Amour  n. (esp. secret) love affair. 
Amour propre  n. self-respect. 
Amp1  n. ampere. [abbreviation]
Ampelopsis  n. (pl. same) climbing plant related to the vine.
Amperage  n. strength of an electric current in amperes.
Ampere  n. SI base unit of electric current. 
Ampersand  n. the sign ‘&’ (= and). 
Amphetamine  n. synthetic drug used esp. as a stimulant. 
Amphibian  —adj. of a class of vertebrates (e.g. frogs) with an aquatic larval stage followed by a terrestrial adult stage. —n. 1 vertebrate of this class. 2 vehicle able to operate both on land and in water. 
Amphibious  adj. 1 living or operating on land and in water. 2 involving military forces landed from the sea.
Amphitheatre  n. esp. circular unroofed building with tiers of seats surrounding a central space. 
Amphora  n. (pl. -phorae) narrow-necked Greek or Roman vessel with two handles. 
Ample  adj. (ampler, amplest) plentiful, abundant, extensive. amply adv. 
Amplifier  n. electronic device for increasing the strength of electrical signals, esp. for conversion into sound.
Amplify  v. (-ies, -ied)  increase the strength of (sound, electrical signals, etc.). amplification n.
Amplitude  n. 1 maximum departure from average of an oscillation, alternating current, etc. 2 spaciousness; abundance. 
Amplitude modulation  n. modulation of a wave by variation of its amplitude.
Ampoule  n. small sealed capsule holding a solution for injection. 
Ampulla  n. (pl. -pullae) 1 Roman globular flask with two handles. 2 ecclesiastical vessel. 
Amputate  v. (-ting) cut off surgically (a limb etc.).  amputation/amputee n. 
Amulet  n. charm worn against evil. 
Amuse  v. (-sing) 1 cause to laugh or smile. 2 interest or occupy.  amusing adj. 
Amusement  n. 1 thing that amuses. 2 being amused.
Amusement arcade  n. indoor area with slot-machines.
-an  suffix (also -ian) forming adjectives and nouns, esp. from names of places, systems, classes, etc. ( Anglican; Canadian). 
Anabaptist  n. member of a religious group believing in baptism only of adults. 
Anabolic steroid  n. synthetic steroid hormone used to increase muscle size.
Anabolism  n. synthesis of complex molecules in living organisms from simpler ones together with the storage of energy. 
Anachronism  n. 1 a attribution of a custom, event, etc., to the wrong period. b thing thus attributed. 2 out-of-date person or thing. anachronistic adj. 
Anaconda  n. large non-poisonous snake killing its prey by constriction. 
Anaemia  n. (US anemia) deficiency of red blood cells or their haemoglobin, causing pallor and weariness. 
Anaemic  adj. of or suffering from anaemia. 
Anaesthesia  n. (US anes-) absence of sensation, esp. artificially induced before surgery. 
Anaesthetic  (US anes-) —n. substance producing anaesthesia. —adj. producing anaesthesia.
Anaesthetist  n. (US anes-) specialist in the administration of anaesthetics.
Anaesthetize  v. (US anes-) (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) administer an anaesthetic to.
Anagram  n. word or phrase formed by transposing the letters of another. 
Anal  adj. of the anus.
Analgesia  n. absence or relief of pain. 
Analog  n. (Brit. analogue) 1 analogous thing. 2 (attrib.) (usu. analog) (of a computer etc.) using physical variables.
Analogize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) use, or represent or explain by, analogy.
Analogous  adj. (usu. foll. by to) partially similar or parallel.
Analogy  n. (pl. -ies) 1 correspondence; partial similarity. 2 arguing or reasoning from parallel cases.  analogical adj.
Analyse  v. (US analyze) (-sing or -zing)  examine in detail; ascertain the constituents of (a substance, sentence, etc.)
Analysis  n. (pl. -lyses) 1 a detailed examination of elements or structure.
Analyst  n. 1 person skilled in (esp. chemical or computer) analysis. 2 psychoanalyst.
Analytical  adj. (also analytic) of or using analysis.
Analyze  n. (Brit. analyse) 1 examine in detail; ascertain the constituents of (a substance, sentence, etc.). 
Anarchism  n. political theory that all government and laws should be abolished. 
Anarchist  n. advocate of anarchism.  anarchistic adj.
Anarchy  n. political disorder.  anarchic adj.
Anathema  n. (pl. -s) 1 detested thing. 2 ecclesiastical curse. 
Anathematize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) curse.
Anatomy  n. (pl. -ies) 1 science of animal or plant structure. 2  analysis.  anatomical adj. anatomist n. 
ANC  abbr. African National Congress.
-ance  suffix forming nouns expressing:  quality or state  (assistance; finance). 
Ancestor  n. 1 person, animal, or plant from which another has descended or evolved. 2 prototype or forerunner.
Ancestral  adj. belonging to or inherited from one’s ancestors.
Ancestry  n. (pl. -ies) 1 family descent, lineage. 2 ancestors collectively.
Anchor  —n. 1 heavy metal weight used to moor a ship. 2 stabilizing thing. —v. 1 secure with an anchor. 2 fix firmly. 3 cast anchor. 
Anchorage  n. 1 place for anchoring. 2 anchoring or lying at anchor.
Anchorite  n. hermit; religious recluse. 
Anchorman  n. coordinator, esp. in a broadcast.
Anchovy  n. (pl. -ies) small strong-flavoured fish of the herring family. 
Ancient  adj. 1 of long ago, esp. before the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. 2 having lived or existed long. 
Ancillary  —adj. 1 (esp. of health workers) providing essential support. 2 (often foll. by to) subordinate, subservient. —n. (pl. -ies) 1 ancillary worker. 2 auxiliary or accessory. 
-ancy  suffix forming nouns denoting a quality (constancy) or state (infancy). 
And  conj. 1 connecting words, clauses, or sentences, to be taken jointly.  
Andante  Mus. —adv. & adj. in a moderately slow tempo. —n. such a passage or movement. 
Andiron  n. metal stand (usu. one of a pair) for supporting logs in a fireplace. 
Androgynous  adj.  hermaphrodite. 
Android  n. robot with a human appearance.
anecdote  n. short, esp. true, account or story. anecdotal adj. 
Anemia  n. (Brit. anaemia) deficiency of red blood cells or their haemoglobin, causing pallor and weariness. 
Anemic  adj. (Brit. anaemic) 1 of or suffering from anemia. 2 pale, listless.
Anemometer  n. instrument for measuring wind force. 
Anemone  n. plant of the buttercup family, with vividly-coloured flowers. 
Aneroid  —adj. (of a barometer) measuring air-pressure by its action on the lid of a box containing a vacuum. 
Anesthesia  n. (Brit. anaes-) absence of sensation, esp. artificially induced before surgery. 
Anesthetic  (Brit. anaes-)—n. substance producing anesthesia. —adj.producing anesthesia
Anew  adv. 1 again. 2 in a different way. 
Angel  n. 1  a attendant or messenger of God. b representation of this in human form with wings. 2 virtuous or obliging person. 
Angel cake  n. light sponge cake.
Angel-fish  n. fish with winglike fins.
Angelic  adj. of or like an angel.  angelically adv.
Angelica  n. aromatic plant or its candied stalks. 
Angelus  n. 1 Roman Catholic prayers commemorating the Incarnation, said at morning, noon, and sunset. 2 bell announcing this. 
Anger  —n. extreme or passionate displeasure. —v. make angry. 
Angina  n. (in full angina pectoris) chest pain brought on by exertion, caused by an inadequate blood supply to the heart. 
Angiosperm  n. plant producing flowers and reproducing by seeds enclosed within a carpel.
Anglican  —adj. of the Church of England. —n. member of the Anglican Church.  Anglicanism n. 
Anglicism  n. peculiarly English word or custom. 
Anglicize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) make English in character etc.
Anglo-  comb. form 1 English. 2 of English origin. 
Anglo-Catholic  —adj. of a High Church Anglican wing emphasizing its Catholic tradition. —n. member of this group.
Anglo-French  —adj. English (or British) and French. —n. French language as developed in England after the Norman Conquest.
Anglo-Indian  —adj. 1 of England and India. 2 of British descent but Indian residence. —n. Anglo-Indian person.
Anglo-Norman  —adj. English and Norman. —n. Norman dialect used in England after the Norman Conquest.
Anglophile  n. person who greatly admires England or the English.
Anglo-Saxon  —adj. 1 of the English Saxons before the Norman Conquest. 2 of English descent. 
Angora  n. 1 fabric or wool from the hair of the angora goat or rabbit. 2 long-haired variety of cat, goat, or rabbit. 
Angostura  n. aromatic bitter bark used as a flavouring. 
Angry  adj. (-ier, -iest) 1 feeling, showing, or suggesting anger.  angrily adv.
Angst  n. anxiety, neurotic fear; guilt, remorse.
Angstrom  n. unit of length equal to 10-10 metre. 
Anguish  n. 1 severe mental suffering. 2 pain, agony.  anguished adj.
Angular  adj. 1 having sharp corners or (of a person) features. 2 forming an angle. 3 measured by angle. angularity n. 
Aniline  n. colourless oily liquid used in making dyes, drugs, and plastics. 
Animadvert  v. (foll. by on) literary criticize, censure.  animadversion n. 
Animal  —n. 1 living organism, esp. other than man, which feeds and usu. has sense-organs and a nervous system and can move quickly. 2 brutish person. —adj. 1 of or like an animal. 2 bestial; carnal.
Animalism  n. 1 nature and activity of animals. 2 belief that humans are mere animals.
Animality  n. 1 the animal world. 2 animal behaviour.
Animalize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) make (a person) bestial, sensualize.
Animate  —adj. 1 having life. 2 lively. —v. (-ting) 1 enliven. 2 give life to. 
Animated adj. 1 lively, vigorous. 2 having life. 3 (of a film etc.) using animation.
Animation  n. 1 vivacity, ardour. 2 being alive. 3 technique of producing a moving picture from a sequence of drawings or puppet poses etc.
Animism  n. belief that inanimate and natural phenomena have souls.  animist n. animistic adj.
Animosity  n. (pl. -ies) spirit or feeling of hostility. 
Animus  n. animosity, ill feeling. 
Anion  n. negatively charged ion.  anionic adj.
Anise  n. plant with aromatic seeds. 
Aniseed  n. seed of the anise, used for flavouring.
Ankle  n. 1 joint connecting the foot with the leg. 2 this part of the leg.
Anklet  n. ornament or fetter worn round the ankle.
Ankylosis  n. stiffening of a joint by fusion of the bones.
Annals  n.pl. 1 narrative of events year by year. 2 historical records.  annalist n.
Annatto  n. (also anatto) orange-red dye from the pulp of a tropical fruit. 
Anneal  v. heat (metal or glass) and cool slowly, esp. to toughen it. 
Annelid  n. segmented worm, e.g. the earthworm. 
Annex  v. 1 (often foll. by to) add as a subordinate part. 2 incorporate (territory) into one’s own. 3 colloq. take without right.  annexation n.
Annexe  n. addition to a document.
Annihilate  v. (-ting) completely destroy or defeat.  annihilation n.
Anniversary  n. (pl. -ies) 1 date of an event in a previous year. 2 celebration of this. 
Anno Domini  adv. years after Christ’s birth. 
Annotate  v. (-ting) add explanatory notes to.  annotation n.
Announce  v. (-cing)  make publicly known.  announcement n. 
Announcer  n. a person who announces, esp. in broadcasting.
Annoy  v. 1 (often in passive) anger or distress slightly. 2 molest, harass.  annoyance n.
Annual  —adj. 1 reckoned by the year. 2 occurring yearly. 3 living or lasting (only) a year.
Annualized adj. (of rates of interest etc.) calculated on an annual basis.
Annuity  n. (pl. -ies) 1 yearly grant or allowance. 2 investment yielding a fixed annual sum.
Annul v. (-ll-) 1 declare invalid. 2 cancel, abolish. annulment n. 
Annular adj. ring-shaped.
Annular eclipse n. solar eclipse in which a ring of light remains visible.
Annulate adj. marked with or formed of rings.
Annunciation  n. 1 announcement, esp. (Annunciation) that made by the angel Gabriel to Mary. 2 festival of this.



Anode  n. positive electrode in an electrolytic cell etc.
Anodize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) coat (metal) with a protective layer by electrolysis.
Anodyne  —adj. 1 pain-relieving. 2 mentally soothing. —n. anodyne drug etc. 
Anoint  v. 1 apply oil or ointment to, esp. ritually. 2 (usu. foll. by with) smear. 
Anomalous  adj. irregular, deviant, abnormal. 
Anomaly  n. (pl. -ies) anomalous thing; irregularity.
Anon adv. archaic soon, shortly. 
Anon.  abbr. anonymous.
Anonymous  adj. 1 of unknown name or authorship. 2 without character; featureless. anonymity n.
Anorak  n. waterproof usu. hooded jacket. 
Anorexia  n. lack of appetite. anorexic adj. 
Another  —adj. 1 an additional; one more. —pron. additional, other, or different person or thing.
Answer  —n. 1 something said or done in reaction to a question, statement, or circumstance. 2 solution to a problem. —v. make an answer or response 
Answerable  adj. 1 (usu. foll. by to, for) responsible (answerable to them for any irregularity). 2 that can be answered.
Answering machine  n. tape recorder which answers telephone calls and takes messages.
Ant  n. small usu. wingless insect living in complex social colonies.
-ant  suffix  forming adjectives denoting attribution of an action or state. 
Antacid  —adj. preventing or correcting acidity. —n. antacid agent.
Antagonism  n. active hostility. 
Antagonist  n. opponent or adversary. antagonistic adj.
Antagonize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) make hostile; provoke.
Antarctic  —adj. of the south polar regions. —n. this region. 
Antarctic Circle  n. parallel of latitude 66° 32´ S., forming an imaginary line round the Antarctic region.
ante-  prefix before, preceding. 
Anteater  n. any of various mammals feeding on ants and termites.
Antecedent  —n. 1 preceding thing or circumstance. 2 Gram. word or phrase etc. to which another word refers.
Antechamber  n. ante-room.
Antedate  v. (-ting) 1 precede in time. 2 assign an earlier than actual date to.
Antediluvian  adj. 1 of the time before the Flood. 2 colloq. very old or out of date.
Antelope  n. (pl. same or -s) swift-moving deerlike ruminant, e.g. the gazelle and gnu.
Antenatal adj. 1 before birth. 2 of pregnancy.
Antenna  n. 1 (pl. -tennae) each of a pair of feelers on the heads of insects, crustaceans, etc.
Antepenultimate adj. last but two.
Anterior adj. 1 nearer the front. 2 (often foll. by to) prior.
Ante-room  n. small room leading to a main one.
Anthem  n. 1 elaborate choral composition usu. based on a passage of scripture. 2 solemn hymn of praise etc. (national anthem).
Anther  n. part of a stamen containing pollen.
Anthill  n. moundlike nest built by ants or termites.
Anthology  n. (pl. -ies) collection of poems, essays, stories, etc. anthologist n. 
Anthracite  n. hard type of coal burning with little flame and smoke. 
Anthrax  n. disease of sheep and cattle transmissible to humans.
Anthropocentric  adj. regarding mankind as the centre of existence. 
Anthropoid  —adj. human in form. —n. anthropoid ape.
Anthropology  n. the study of mankind, esp. its societies and customs.  anthropological adj. anthropologist n.
Anthropomorphism  n. attribution of human characteristics to a god, animal, or thing. anthropomorphic adj. 
Anthropomorphous  adj. human in form.
anti  —prep. opposed to. —n. (pl. -s) person opposed to a policy etc.
anti-  prefix 1 opposed to . 2 preventing . 3 opposite of (anticlimax). 
Anti-abortion  adj. opposing abortion. anti-abortionist n.
Anti-aircraft  adj. (of a gun or missile) used to attack enemy aircraft.
Antibiotic  —n. substance (e.g. penicillin) that can inhibit or destroy susceptible micro-organisms. —adj. functioning as an antibiotic.
Antibody  n. (pl. -ies) a blood protein produced in response to and then counteracting antigens. 
Antic  n. (usu. in pl.) foolish behaviour or action. 
Antichrist  n. enemy of Christ.  antichristian adj.
Anticipate  v. (-ting) 1 deal with or use before the proper time. 2 expect, foresee (did not anticipate a problem). 3 forestall (a person or thing).
Anticlerical  adj. opposed to clerical influence, esp. in politics.
Anticlimax  n. disappointingly trivial conclusion to something significant.
Anticlockwise  adj. & adv. moving in a curve opposite in direction to the hands of a clock.
Anticyclone  n. system of winds rotating outwards from an area of high pressure, producing fine weather.
Antidepressant  —n. drug etc. that alleviates depression. —adj. alleviating depression.
Antidote  n. 1 medicine etc. used to counteract poison. 2 anything counteracting something unpleasant. 
Antifreeze  n. substance added to water to lower its freezing point, esp. in a vehicle’s radiator.
Antigen  n. foreign substance (e.g. toxin) which causes the body to produce antibodies.
Anti-hero  n. (pl. -es) central character in a story, lacking conventional heroic qualities.
Antihistamine  n. drug that counteracts the effects of histamine, used esp. in treating allergies.
Antiknock  n. substance added to motor fuel to prevent premature combustion.
Anti-lock  attrib. adj. (of brakes) set up so as to prevent locking and skidding when applied suddenly.
antilogarithm  n. number to which a logarithm belongs.
Antimacassar  n. detachable protective cloth for the back of a chair etc.
Antimatter  n. 1 matter composed solely of antiparticles. 2  invisible matter.
Antimony  n. brittle silvery metallic element used esp. in alloys. 
Antinomian  —adj. believing that Christians need not obey the moral law. —n. person believing this. 
Antinomy  n. (pl. -ies) contradiction between two reasonable beliefs or conclusions.
Antinovel  n. novel avoiding the conventions of the form.
Anti-nuclear  adj. opposed to the development of nuclear weapons.
Antiparticle  n. elementary particle with the same mass but opposite charge etc. to another particle.
Antiperspirant  n. substance preventing or reducing perspiration.
Antiphon  n.  hymn sung alternately by two groups. antiphonal adj. 
Antipodes  n.pl. places diametrically opposite to one another on the earth. (also Antipodes)  antipodean adj. & n.
Antipope  n. pope set up in opposition to one chosen by canon law.
Antipyretic  —adj. preventing or reducing fever. —n. antipyretic drug.
Antiquarian  —adj. of or dealing in antiques or rare books. —n. antiquary.  antiquarianism  n.
Antiquary  n. (pl. -ies) collector of antiques etc. 
Antiquated  adj. old-fashioned.
Antique  —n. old object, esp. a piece of furniture, of high value. —adj. old-fashioned.
Antiquity  n. (pl. -ies) 1 ancient times, esp. before the Middle Ages.
Antirrhinum  n. plant with two-lipped flowers, esp. the snapdragon. 
Anti-Semite  n. person who is prejudiced against Jews. anti-Semitic adj. anti-Semitism n.
Antiseptic  —adj. 1 counteracting sepsis, esp. by destroying germs. 2 sterile, uncontaminated. 
Antiserum  n. serum with a high antibody content.
Antisocial  adj. 1 opposed or harmful to society. 2 not sociable.
Antistatic  adj. counteracting the effects of static electricity.
Anti-tank  attrib. adj. used against tanks.
Antitetanus  adj. effective against tetanus.
Antithesis  n. (pl. -theses) 1 (foll. by of, to) direct opposite. 2 contrast. 3 rhetorical use of strongly contrasted words.  antithetical adj.
Antitoxin  n. antibody counteracting a toxin. antitoxic adj.
Antitrades  n.pl. winds blowing in the opposite direction to (and usu. above) trade winds.
Antiviral  adj. effective against viruses.
Antler  n. branched horn of a stag or other deer.  antlered adj. 
Antonym  n. word opposite in meaning to another.
Antrum  n. (pl. antra) natural cavity in the body, esp. in a bone. 
Anus  n. (pl. anuses) excretory opening at the end of the alimentary canal. 
Anvil  n. iron block on which metals are worked.
Anxiety  n. (pl. -ies) 1 being anxious. 2  troubled desire. 
Anxious  adj. 1 mentally troubled. 2 causing or marked by anxiety . anxiously adv. 
Any  —adj.  a one, no matter which, of several  pron. 1 any one. 2 any number or amount. —adv. (usu. with neg. or interrog.) at all.
Anybody  n. & pron.  any person. 
Anyhow  adv. 1 anyway. 2 in a disorderly manner or state.
Anyone  pron. anybody.
Anything  pron. any thing; thing of any sort.
Anyway adv. 1 in any way or manner. 2 at any rate. 
Anywhere  —adv. in or to any place. —pron. any place.
AOB  abbr. any other business.
Apace adv. literary swiftly. 
Apart  adv. 1 separately, not together. 2 into pieces. 3 to or on one side. 4 to or at a distance.
Apartheid  n. racial segregation or discrimination. 
Apartment  n. 1 (in pl.) suite of rooms. 2 single room. 3 US flat. 
Apathy  n. lack of interest; indifference.  apathetic adj.
Ape  —n. 1 tailless monkey-like primate, e.g. the gorilla, chimpanzee, orang-utan. 2 imitator. —v. (-ping) imitate, mimic.
Apeman  n. extinct primate held to be the forerunner of present-day man.
Aperient  —adj. laxative. —n. laxative medicine.
Aperitif  n. alcoholic drink taken before a meal. 
Aperture  n. opening or gap.
Apex  n. (pl. -es) 1 highest point. 2 tip or pointed end.
Aphasia  n. loss of verbal understanding or expression, owing to brain damage.
Aphelion  n. (pl. -lia) point in a celestial body’s orbit where it is furthest from the sun.
Aphid  n. small insect infesting and damaging plants, e.g. the greenfly.
Aphorism  n. short pithy maxim.  aphoristic adj. [Greek aphorismos definition]
Aphrodisiac  —adj. arousing sexual desire.  [Greek Aphrodite goddess of love]
Apiary  n. (pl. -ies) place where bees are kept. apiarist n.
Apical  adj. of, at, or forming an apex.
Apiculture  n. bee-keeping.  apiculturist n. 
Apiece  adv. for each one; severally. [originally a piece]
Apish  adj. 1 of or like an ape. 2 foolishly imitating.
Aplomb  n. skilful self-assurance. 
Apocalypse  n. 1 violent or destructive event. 2 (the Apocalypse) Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. 3 revelation, esp. about the end of the world.  apocalyptic adj. 
Apocrypha  n.pl. 1 books included in the Septuagint and Vulgate versions of the Old Testament but not in the Hebrew Bible. 2 (apocrypha) writings etc. not considered genuine.
Apocryphal  adj. of doubtful authenticity.
Apogee  n. 1 highest point; climax. 2 point in a celestial body’s orbit where it is furthest from the earth. 
Apolitical  adj. not interested in or concerned with politics.
Apologetic  —adj. 1 showing or expressing regret.  apologetically adv.
Apologia  n. formal defence of opinions or conduct.
Apologist  n. person who defends something by argument.
Apologize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) make an apology, express regret.
Apology  n. (pl. -ies) 1 statement of regret for an offence or failure. 2 explanation or defence.
Apoplexy  n. sudden paralysis caused by blockage or rupture of a brain artery; stroke. 
Apostasy  n. (pl. -ies) renunciation of a belief or faith, abandoning of principles, etc. apostatize v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing).
A posteriori  —adj. (of reasoning) proceeding from effects to causes; inductive. —adv. inductively. 
Apostle  n. 1 (Apostle) any of the twelve men sent out by Christ to preach the gospel. 2 leader, esp. of a new movement. 
Apostolate  n. 1 position or authority of an Apostle. 2 leadership in reform.
Apostolic  adj. 1 of the Apostles or their teaching. 2 of the Pope.


Apostrophe  n. 1 punctuation mark (‘) indicating: a omission of letters or numbers (e.g. don’t; Jane ’71). b possessive case (e.g. Harry’s book; boys’ coats). 2 exclamatory passage addressed to (an often absent) person or thing.  apostrophize v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) (in sense 2). 
Apotheosis  n. (pl. -theoses) 1 elevation to divine status, deification. 2 glorification of a thing; sublime example.
Appal  v. (-ll-) 1 greatly dismay or horrify. 2 colloq. very bad, shocking. 
Apparatus  n. 1 equipment for a particular function, esp. scientific or technical. 2 political or other complex organization. 
Apparel  n. formal clothing, dress.  apparelled adj.
Apparent  adj. 1 readily visible; obvious. 2 seeming.  apparently adv. 
Apparition  n. unexpected thing that appears; ghost or phantom.
Appeal  —v. 1 request earnestly or formally; plead.
Appear  v. 1 become or be visible. 2 seem (appeared unwell). 3 present oneself publicly or formally. 
Appearance  n. 1 act of appearing. 2 outward form as perceived (appearance of prosperity). 3 semblance.
Appease  v. (-sing) 1 make calm or quiet, esp. conciliate. 2 satisfy (an appetite, scruples). appeasement n. 
Appellant  n. person who appeals to a higher court.
Appellate attrib. adj. (esp. of a court) concerned with appeals.
Appellation  n. formal name or title; nomenclature.
Appellative adj. 1 naming. 2 Gram. (of a noun) designating a class, common.
Append  v. (usu. foll. by to) attach, affix, add, esp. to a written document.
Appendage  n. thing attached; addition.
Appendectomy  n. (also appendicectomy) (pl. -ies) surgical removal of the appendix. 
Appendicitis  n. inflammation of the appendix.
Appendix  n. (pl. -dices)  addition to a book etc. 
Appertain  v. (foll. by to) relate, belong, or be appropriate.
Appetite  n. 1 natural craving, esp. for food or sexual activity.
Appetizer  n. (also -iser) small amount, esp. of food or drink to stimulate the appetite.
Appetizing adj. (also -ising) stimulating the appetite, esp. for food; tasty.
Applaud  v. 1 express strong approval, esp. by clapping. 2 commend, approve.
Applause  n. 1 approval shown by clapping the hands. 2 warm approval.
Apple n. 1 roundish fruit with crisp flesh. 2 tree bearing this. apple of one’s eye cherished person or thing. 
Apple-pie bed n. bed made (as a joke) with sheets folded so as to prevent a person lying flat.
Apple-pie order n. extreme neatness.
Appliance  n. device etc. for a specific task.
Applicable adj. (often foll. by to) that may be applied; relevant; appropriate.  applicability n. 
Applicant  n. person who applies for something, esp. a job.
Application  n. 1 formal request. 2 act of applying. 3 substance applied. 4 a relevance. 
Applicator  n. device for applying ointment etc.
Applied adj. practical, not merely theoretical.
Apply  v. (-ies, -ied) 1 (often foll. by for, to, or to + infin.) formally request. 2 be relevant. 3 a make use of; employ. b operate.
Appoint  v. 1 assign a job or office to. 2 (often foll. by for) fix (a time, place, etc.). 3 (as appointed adj.) equipped, furnished (well-appointed).  appointee n. 
Appointment  n. 1 appointing or being appointed. 2 arrangement for meeting or consultation. 3 a post or office open to applicants.
Apportion  v. (often foll. by to) share out; assign as a share.  Apportionment n.
Apposite adj. (often foll. by to) apt, appropriate; well expressed. 
Apposition  n. juxtaposition, esp. Gram. of elements sharing a syntactic function (e.g. Tagore the poet; your brother Hari ).
Appraisal  n. appraising or being appraised.
Appraise  v. (-sing) 1 estimate the value or quality of. 2 set a price on.
Appreciable adj. significant, considerable.
Appreciate  v. (-ting) 1 a esteem highly; value. b be grateful for. 2 understand, recognize.  appreciative adj. appreciatory adj.
Appreciation  n. 1 favourable or grateful recognition. 2 sensitive estimation or judgement. 3 rise in value.
Apprehend  v. 1 seize, arrest. 2 understand, perceive. [Latin prehendo grasp]
Apprehension  n. 1 uneasiness, dread. 2 understanding. 3 arrest, capture.
Apprehensive adj. uneasily fearful.  apprehensively adv.
Apprentice  —n. 1 person learning a trade by working in it for an agreed period at low wages. 2 novice. —v. (-cing) (usu. foll. by to) engage as an apprentice.  apprenticeship n. 
Apprise  v. (-sing) to inform. formally. 
Appro  n. colloq.  on appro = on approval.
Approach  —v. 1 come near or nearer (to) in space or time. 2 tentatively propose to.
Approachable adj. 1 friendly, easy to talk to. 2 able to be approached.
Approbation  n. approval, consent. 
Appropriate  —adj. suitable, proper. —v. (-ting)  take, esp. without authority.  appropriately adv. appropriation n. 
Approval  n. 1 approving. 2 consent; favourable opinion. 
Approve  v. (-ving) 1 confirm; sanction. 2 (often foll. by of) regard with favour. 
Approx.  abbr. approximate(ly).
Approximate  —adj. fairly correct, near to the actual. —v. (-ting) (often foll. by to) bring or come near.  approximately adv. approximation n. 
Appurtenance  n. (usu. in pl.) belonging; accessory.
Apr.  abbr.  April.
Apricot  —n.  a small juicy soft orange-yellow peach-like fruit. b tree bearing it. 
April n. fourth month of the year. 
April Fool  n. person successfully tricked on 1 April.
Apriori —adj. 1 (of reasoning) from causes to effects; deductive. 2 (of concepts etc.) not derived from experience. 3 assumed without investigation. —adv. 1 deductively. 
Apron  n. 1 garment for covering head. 
Apse  n. large arched or domed recess, esp. at the end of a church. 
Apsis  n. (pl. apsides) either of two points on the orbit of a planet etc. nearest to or furthest from the body round which it moves.
Apt adj.  appropriate, suitable.
Aptitude  n. 1 natural talent. 2 ability or fitness. 
Aqua  n. the colour aquamarine. [abbreviation]
Aqua fortis n. nitric acid.
Aqualung  n. portable breathing-apparatus for divers.
Aquamarine  —n.  adj.1 bluish-green.
Aquaplane  —n. board for riding on water, pulled by a speedboat. 
Aqua regia n. highly corrosive mixture of acids, attacking many substances unaffected by other reagents. 
Aquarelle n. painting in thin usu. transparent water-colours. 
Aquarium  n. (pl. -s) tank of water for keeping and showing fish etc. 
Aquarius  n. (pl. -es) 1 constellation and eleventh sign of the zodiac (the Water-carrier). 2 person born when the sun is in this sign. 
Aquatic  —adj. 1 growing or living in water. 
Aquatint  n. etched print resembling a water-colour. 
Aqua vitae n. strong alcoholic spirit, esp. brandy.
Aqueduct  n. water channel, esp. a bridge on columns across a valley. 
Aqueous adj. of or like water. 
Aqueous humour n. clear fluid in the eye between the lens and the cornea.
Aquiline adj. 1 of or like an eagle. 2 (of a nose) curved.
Ar symb. argon.
-ar  suffix forming adjectives (lunar; linear).
Arab  —n.  member of a Semitic people originating in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries. —adj. of Arabia or the Arabs 
Arabesque  n. 1 Ballet posture with one leg extended horizontally backwards and arms outstretched. 2 design of intertwined leaves, scrolls, etc.
Arabian  —adj. of or relating to Arabia (esp. in geographical contexts).
Arabic  —n. Semitic language of the Arabs. —adj. of the Arabs (esp. their language or literature).
Arable adj. (of land) suitable for crop production. 
Arachnid  n. arthropod of a class comprising spiders, scorpions, etc. 
Aramaic  —n. branch of the Semitic family of languages, esp. the language of Syria used as a lingua franca in the Near East from the sixth century BC. —adj. of or in Aramaic. 
Arbiter  n. 1 arbitrator in a dispute. 2 person influential in a specific field.
Arbitrary adj. 1 random. 2 capricious; despotic. arbitrarily adv.
Arbitrate  v. (-ting) decide by arbitration.
Arbitration  n. settlement of a dispute by an impartial third party.
Arbitrator  n. person appointed to arbitrate.
Arbor  n. (Brit. arbour) shady garden enclosed by trees etc.
Arboreal adj. of or living in trees.
Arborescent adj. treelike in growth or form.
Arboretum  n. (pl. -ta) place cultivating and displaying rare trees.
Arboriculture  n. cultivation of trees and shrubs. 
Arbor vitae n. any of various evergreen conifers. 
Arbutus  n. tree or shrub with clusters of flowers.
Arc  —n. 1 part of the circumference of a circle or other curve.
Arcade  n. series of arches supporting or set along a wall. 
Arcadian  —n. idealized country dweller. —adj. poetically rural. 
Arcane adj. mysterious, secret.
Arch  —n.  curved structure as an opening, as a support for a bridge, floor, etc.
Arch– adj. chief, superior (archbishop).
Archaean  (US Archean) —adj. of the earliest geological era. 
Archaeology  n. (US archaeology) study of ancient cultures, esp. by the excavation and analysis of physical remains.  archaeological adj. archaeologist n. 
Archaic adj. a antiquated. b (of a word etc.) no longer in ordinary use. archaically adv. 
Archaism  n. 1 use of the archaic esp. in language or art. 2 archaic words or expression.  archaistic adj.
Archangel  n. angel of the highest rank.
Archbishop  n. chief bishop of a province.
Archdeacon  n. church dignitary next below a bishop.  archdeaconry n. (pl. -ies).
Archduke  n. hist. chief duke (esp. as the title of a son of the Emperor of Austria).  archduchy n. (pl. -ies).
Archean  (Brit. Archaean) —adj. of the earliest geological era. —n. this time. 
Arch-enemy  n. (pl. -ies) 1 chief enemy. 2 the Devil.
Archer  n. 1 person who shoots with a bow and arrows. 2 (the Archer) zodiacal sign or constellation Sagittarius. 
Archery  n. shooting with a bow and arrows, esp. as a sport.
Archetype  n. 1 original model; prototype. 2 typical specimen.  archetypal adj.
Archidiaconal adj. of an archdeacon. 
Archipelago  n. (pl. -s) 1 group of islands. 2 sea with many islands. 
Architect  n.  designer of buildings etc., supervising their construction. 
Architectonic adj. 1 of architecture. 2 of the systematization of knowledge.
Architecture  n. 1 design and construction of buildings. 2 style of a building. 3 buildings etc. collectively.  Architectural adj.
Architrave  n. 1 (in classical architecture) main beam resting across the tops of columns. 2 moulded frame around a doorway or window. 
Archive  —n. (usu. in pl.) 1 collection of documents or records. 2 store for these. —v. (-ving)  place or store in an archive. 
Archivist  n. keeper of archives.
Archway  n. arched entrance or passage.
Arc lamp n. (also arc light) light using an electric arc.
Arctic  —adj. 1 of the north polar regions. 2 (arctic) colloq. very cold. 
Arctic Circle  n. parallel of latitude 66° 33´ N, forming an imaginary line round the Arctic region.
Arc welding n. use of an electric arc to melt metals to be welded.
Ardent adj. 1 eager, fervent, passionate. 2 burning.  ardently adv. 
Ardor  n. (Brit. ardour) zeal, enthusiasm.
Arduous  adj. hard to accomplish; laborious, strenuous. 
Area  n. 1 extent or measure of a surface (over a large area). 2 region (southern area).  
Arena  n. 1 central part of an amphitheatre etc. 2 scene of conflict.
Areola  n. (pl. -lae) circular pigmented area, esp. around a nipple.  areolar adj. 
Argon  n. inert gaseous element. 
Argosy  n. (pl. -ies) poet. large merchant ship. 
Argot  n. jargon of a group or class.
Argue  v. (-ues, -ued, -uing) 1 (often foll. by with, about, etc.) exchange views forcefully or contentiously. 2 (often foll. by that) maintain by reasoning; indicate. 3 (foll. by for, against) reason. 4 treat (a matter) by reasoning. arguable adj. arguably adv.
Argument  n. 1 (esp. contentious) exchange of views; dispute. 2 (often foll. by for, against) reason given; reasoning process.
Argumentation  n. methodical reasoning; arguing.
Argumentative adj. given to arguing.
Argus  n. watchful guardian. 
Argy-bargy  n. (pl. -ies) dispute, wrangle. 
Aria  n. long accompanied solo song in an opera etc. 
Arid adj. 1 dry, parched. 2 uninteresting.  aridity n.
Aries  n. (pl. same) 1 constellation and first sign of the zodiac (the Ram). 2 person born when the sun is in this sign. 
Aright adv. rightly.
Arise  v. (-sing; past arose; past part. arisen) originate. 
Aristocracy  n. (pl. -ies) 1 ruling class; nobility. 2 a government by an elite. 
Aristocrat  n. member of the aristocracy.
Aristocratic adj. 1 of or like the aristocracy. 2 a distinguished. 
Aristotelian  —n. disciple or student of Aristotle. —adj. of Aristotle or his ideas. 
Arithmetic  —n. 1 science of numbers. 2 use of numbers; computation. —adj. (also arithmetical) of arithmetic.
Arithmetic progression n. sequence of numbers with constant intervals (e.g. 9, 7, 5, 3, etc.).
Ark  n. ship in which Noah escaped the Flood with his family and animals. 
Ark of the Covenant  n. chest or cupboard containing the tables of Jewish Law.
Arm 1 n. 1 upper limb of the human body from shoulder to hand. 2 fore-limb or tentacle of an animal. 3  sleeve of a garment. 
Arm 2  —n. 1 (usu. in pl.) weapon. 
Armada  n. fleet of warships, esp. (Armada) that sent by Spain against England in 1588. 
Armadillo  n. (pl. -s) S. American mammal with a plated body and large claws. 
Armageddon  n. huge battle or struggle, esp. marking the end of the world. [Rev. 16:16]
Armament  n. 1 (often in pl.) military equipment. 2 equipping for war. 
Armature  n. 1 rotating coil or coils of a dynamo or electric motor. 2 iron bar placed across the poles of a horseshoe magnet to preserve its power. 
Armband  n. band worn around the upper arm to hold up a shirtsleeve, or as identification, or to aid swimming.
Armchair  n. 1 chair with arm supports.
Armhole  n. each of two holes for arms in a garment.
Armistice  n. truce, esp. permanent. 
Armistice Day  n. anniversary of the armistice of 11 Nov. 1918.
Armlet  n. ornamental band worn round the arm.
Armor (Brit. armour) —n. 1 protective usu. metal covering formerly worn in fighting.
Armorial adj. of heraldry or coats of arms provide with protective covering, and often guns.
Armourer  n. 1 maker of arms or armour. 2 official in charge of arms.
Armoury  n. (pl. -ies) arsenal.
Armpit  n. hollow under the arm at the shoulder.
Arms race n. competitive accumulation of weapons by nations.
Arm-wrestling  n. trial of strength in which each party tries to force the other’s arm down.
Army  n. (pl. -ies) 1 organized armed land force.
Arnica  n. 1 plant of the daisy family with yellow flowers. 2 medicine prepared from this.
Aroma  n. 1 esp. pleasing smell, often of food. 2 subtle pervasive quality. 
Aromatherapy  n. use of plant extracts and oils in massage.  aromatherapist n.
Aromatic  —adj. 1 fragrant, spicy. 2 Chem. of organic compounds having an unsaturated ring, esp. containing a benzene ring. —n. aromatic substance. 
Around  —adv. 1 on every side; all round; round about. 2 here and there (tree around). —prep. 1 on or along the circuit of. 2 on every side of. 
Arouse  v. (-sing) 1 induce (esp. an emotion). 2 awake from sleep. 3 stir into activity. 4 stimulate sexually.  arousal n. 
Arpeggio  n. (pl. -s) Mus. notes of a chord played in succession. 
Arrack  n. (also arak) alcoholic spirit, esp. made from coco sap or rice. 
Arraign  v. 1 indict, accuse. 2 find fault with; call into question.  arraignment n.
Arrange  v. (-ging) 1 put into order; classify. 
Arrangement  n. arranging or being arranged.
Arras  n. hist. rich tapestry or wall-hanging. 
Array  —n. 1 imposing or well-ordered series or display. 2 ordered arrangement. —v. deck, adorn. 
Arrears  n.pl. amount (esp. of work, rent, etc.) still outstanding or uncompleted.
Arrest  —v. 1 lawfully seize (a suspect etc.). 2 stop or check the progress of. 
Arrester  n. device for slowing an aircraft after landing.
Arris  n. Archit. sharp edge at the junction of two surfaces.
Arrival  n.  arriving; appearance on the scene. 
Arrive  v. (-ving) 1 (often foll. by at, in) reach a destination.
Arriviste  n. ambitious or ruthless person.
Arrogant adj. aggressively assertive or presumptuous. arrogance n. arrogantly adv. 
Arrogate  v. (-ting) 1 (often foll. by to oneself) claim (power etc.) without right. 2 (often foll. by to) attribute unjustly (to a person).  arrogation n.
Arrow  n.  pointed slender missile shot from a bow. 
Arrowhead  n. 1 pointed tip of an arrow. 
Arrowroot  n. 1 nutritious starch. 2 plant yielding this.
Arse  n. (US ass) coarse slang buttocks. 
Arsehole  n. (US asshole) coarse slang 1 anus. 2 offens. contemptible person.
Arsenal  n. 1 store, esp. of weapons. 2 place for the storage and manufacture of weapons and ammunition. 
Arsenic  —n. 1 non-scientific name for arsenic trioxide, a highly poisonous white powder used in weed-killers etc. 2 Chem. brittle semi-metallic element. —adj. of or containing arsenic. 
Arson  n. crime of deliberately setting fire to property. arsonist n.
Art  n. 1 a human creative skill or its application. b work showing this. 2 a (in pl.; prec. by the) branches of creative activity concerned with the production of imaginative designs, sounds, or ideas.
Art deco n. decorative art style of 1910–30, with geometric motifs and strong colours.
Artefact  n. (also artifact) man-made object, esp. a tool or vessel as an archaeological item. 
Arterial adj. 1 of or like an artery. 2 (esp. of a road) main, important. 
Arteriosclerosis  n. loss of elasticity and thickening of artery walls, esp. in old age.
Artery  n. (pl. -ies) 1 any of the blood-vessels carrying blood from the heart. 2 main road or railway line. 
Artesian well n. well in which water rises to the surface by natural pressure through a vertical hole. 
Artful adj. crafty, deceitful. artfully adv.
Arthritis  n. inflammation of a joint or joints.  arthritic adj. & n.
Arthropod  n. invertebrate with a segmented body and jointed limbs, e.g. an insect, spider etc.
Artichoke  n. 1 plant allied to the thistle. 
Article  —n. 1 item or thing. 2 non-fictional journalistic essay. 3 clause or item in an agreement or contract. 4 definite or indefinite article. —v. (-ling) employ under contract as a trainee. 
Articled clerk  n. trainee solicitor.
Articular adj. of a joint or joints. 
Articulate  —adj.  fluent and clear in speech. —v. (-ting) 1 a pronounce distinctly. b speak or express clearly.
Articulated lorry  n. one with sections connected by a flexible joint.
Articulation  n. 1 a speaking or being spoken. b articulate utterance; speech.
Artifice  n. 1 trick or clever device. 2 cunning. 
Artificer  n. 1 craftsman. 2 skilled military mechanics.
Artificial adj. 1 not natural . 2 imitating nature. 3 affected, insincere.  artificiality n. artificially adv.
Artificial insemination  n. non-sexual injection of semen into the uterus.
Artificial intelligence n. use of computers for tasks normally regarded as needing human intelligence.
Artificial respiration n. manual or mechanical stimulation of breathing.
Artillery  n. (pl. -ies)  heavy guns used in land warfare. artilleryman n. 
Artisan  n. skilled manual worker or craftsman.
Artist  n. 1 practitioner of any of the arts, esp. painting. 2 artiste. 3 person using skill or taste.  artistry n. 
Artiste  n. professional performer, esp. a singer or dancer.
Artistic adj. 1 having natural skill in art. 2 skilfully or tastefully done. 3 of art or artists.  artistically adv.
Artless adj. 1 guileless, ingenuous. 2 natural. 3 clumsy. artlessly adv.
Art nouveau n. art style of the late 19th century, with flowing lines.
Artwork  n. 1 illustrative material in printed matter. 2 works of art collectively.
Arty  adj. (-ier, -iest) colloq. pretentiously or affectedly artistic.
Arum  n. plant with arrow-shaped leaves.
-ary  suffix forming adjectives (auxiliary; primary). 
Aryan  —n. 1 speaker of any of the languages of the Indo-European family. 2 improperly (in Nazi ideology) non-Jewish Caucasian. —adj. of Aryans.
As1  symb. arsenic.
As2  —adv. & conj. (adv. as antecedent in main sentence; conj. in relative clause expressed or implied) to the extent to which … is or does etc. 
Asafetida  n. (Brit. asafoetida) resinous pungent plant gum used in cooking and formerly in medicine. 
a.s.a.p.  abbr. as soon as possible.
Asbestos  n. 1 fibrous silicate mineral. 2 this as a heat-resistant or insulating material. 
Ascend  v. 1 move or slope upwards, rise. 2 climb; go up. 
Ascendancy  n. (often foll. by over) dominant power or control.
Ascendant  —adj. 1 rising. 2 Astron. rising towards the zenith. 3 Astrol. just above the eastern horizon. 4 predominant. —n. Astrol. ascendant point of the sun’s apparent path.
Ascension  n.  ascent. 
Ascent  n. 1 ascending, rising, or progressing. 2 upward slope or path etc.
Ascertain  v. find out for certain.  ascertainment n. [French: related to *certain]
Ascetic —adj. severely abstinent; self-denying. —n. ascetic, esp. religious, person. asceticism n. [Greek askeo exercise]
ASCII  abbr. Computing American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
Ascorbic acid  n. vitamin C, which prevents scurvy. 
Ascribe  v. (-bing) (usu. foll. by to) 1 attribute. 2 regard as belonging.  ascription n.
Asepsis  n. 1 absence of sepsis or harmful micro-organisms. 2 method of achieving asepsis in surgery.  aseptic adj.
Asexual adj. without sex, sexual organs, or sexuality.  asexually adv.
Ash1  n. 1 (often in pl.) powdery residue left after burning. 2 (pl.) human remains after cremation. 
Ash2  n. 1 tree with silver-grey bark. 2 its hard, pale wood.
Ashamed adj. (usu. predic.) 1 embarrassed by shame (ashamed of myself). 2 (foll. by to + infin.) hesitant, reluctant out of shame.
Ashcan  n. US dustbin.
Ashen adj. like ashes, esp. grey or pale.
Ashkenazi  n. (pl. -zim) East European Jew. 
Ashlar  n. 1 large square-cut stone used in building; masonry made of these. 2 thin slabs of masonry used for facing walls.
Ashore  adv. towards or on the shore or land.
Ashram  n. place of religious retreat for Hindus. [Sanskrit]
Ashtray  n. small receptacle for cigarette ash, stubs, etc.
Ashy  adj. (-ier, -iest) 1 = *ashen. 2 covered with ashes.
Asian  —n. 1 native of Asia. 2 person of Asian descent. —adj. of Asia.
Asiatic  —n. offens. Asian. —adj. Asian. 
Aside  —adv. to or on one side; away, apart. —n. words spoken aside, esp. confidentially to the audience by an actor.
Asinine  adj. like an ass, esp. stupid or stubborn.  asininity n.
Ask  v. 1 call for an answer to or about. 2 seek to obtain from someone. 
Askance adv. sideways or squinting. look askance at regard suspiciously.
Askew  —adv. awry, crookedly. —predic. adj. oblique; awry.
Aslant  —adv. obliquely or at a slant. —prep. obliquely across.
Asleep predic. adj. & adv. a in or into a state of sleep. b inactive, inattentive.
Asp  n. small venomous snake of North Africa or Southern Europe.
Asparagus  n. 1 plant of the lily family. 2 edible shoots of this. 
Aspect  n. 1 viewpoint, feature, etc. to be considered (one aspect of the story). 2 appearance or look (cheerful aspect).
Aspen  n. poplar with very tremulous leaves.
Asperity  n. (pl. -ies) 1 sharpness of temper or tone. 2 roughness; rough excrescence. 
Asphalt  —n. 1 dark bituminous pitch. 2 mixture of this with sand, gravel, etc., for surfacing roads etc. —v. surface with asphalt. 
Asphodel  n. 1 plant of the lily family. 2 poet. immortal flower growing in Elysium.
Asphyxia  n. lack of oxygen in the blood, causing unconsciousness or death; suffocation. asphyxiant adj. & n.
Asphyxiate  v. (-ting) suffocate.  asphyxiation n.
Aspic  n. savoury jelly used esp. to contain game, eggs, etc.
Aspidistra  n. house-plant with broad tapering leaves. 
Aspirant  —adj. aspiring. —n. person who aspires.
Aspirate  —adj. pronounced with an exhalation of breath; blended with the sound of h. —n. sound of h; consonant pronounced in this way. —v. (-ting)  pronounce with breath or with initial h. 
Aspiration  n. 1 ambition or desire. 2 drawing breath or Phonet. aspirating.
Aspirator  n. apparatus for aspirating fluid. 
Aspire  v. (-ring) (usu. foll. by to or after, or to + infin.) have ambition or a strong desire.
Aspirin  n. (pl. same or -s) 1 white powder, acetylsalicylic acid, used to reduce pain and fever. 2 tablet of this. 
Ass1  n. 1 a four-legged long-eared mammal related to the horse. b donkey. 2 stupid person. 
Ass2 n. (Brit. arse) coarse slang buttocks. 
Assail  v. 1 attack physically or verbally. 2 tackle (a task) resolutely.  assailant n. 
Assassin  n. killer, esp. of a political or religious leader.
Assassinate  v. (-ting) kill for political or religious motives.  assassination n.
Assault  —n. 1 violent physical or verbal attack. 2 Law threat or display of violence against a person. —v. make an assault on. 
Assay  —n. testing of a metal or ore to determine its ingredients and quality. —v. make an attempt.
Assemblage  n. 1 assembling. 2 assembled group.
Assemble  v. (-ling) 1 gather together; collect.
Assembler  n. 1 person who assembles a machine etc. 
Assembly  n. (pl. -ies) 1 assembling. 2 assembled group, esp. as a deliberative body.
Assent  —v. (usu. foll. by to) 1 express agreement. 2 consent. —n. consent or approval, esp. official.  assenter n. 
Assert  v. 1 declare, state clearly. 2 refl. insist on one’s rights. 3 enforce a claim TO.
Assertion  n. declaration, forthright statement.
Assertive adj. tending to assert oneself; forthright, positive. assertively adv. assertiveness n.
Assess  v. 1 estimate the size or quality of. 2 estimate the value of (property etc.)  assessment n. [Latin assideo -sess- sit by]
Assessor  n. 1 person who assesses (esp. for tax or insurance). 2 legal adviser on technical questions.
Asset  n. 1 useful or valuable person or thing. 2 (usu. in pl.) property and possessions, esp. that can be set against debts etc. 
Asset-stripping  n. the taking over of a company and selling off of its assets to make a profit.
Asseverate  v. (-ting) declare solemnly.  asseveration n. [Latin severus serious]
Asshole  n. (Brit. arsehole) coarse. slang 1 anus. 2 offens. contemptible person.
Assiduous  adj. 1 persevering, hard-working. 2 attending closely.  assiduity n. assiduously adv.
Assign  —v. 1 (usu. foll. by to) a allot as a share or responsibility. b appoint to a position, task, etc. 2 fix (a time, place, etc.). 3 (foll. by to) ascribe to (a reason, date, etc.)  —n. assignee/ assigner
Assignation  n. 1 appointment to meet, esp. by lovers in secret. 2 assigning or being assigned.
Assignee n. Law person to whom a right or property is assigned.
Assignment  n. 1 task or mission. 2 assigning or being assigned. 3 legal transfer.
Assimilate  v. (-ting) 1 absorb or be absorbed, either physically or mentally. 2 (usu. foll. by to, with) make like; cause to resemble.  assimilable adj. assimilation n. assimilative adj. assimilator n. 
Assist  v. (often foll. by in + verbal noun) help.  assistance n. 
Assistant  n.  (often attrib.) person who helps, esp. as a subordinate. 
Assoc.  abbr. Association.
Associate  —v. (-ting) 1 connect mentally . 2 join or combine, esp. for a common purpose. 3 refl. declare oneself or be in agreement. 4 (usu. foll. by with) meet frequently or deal. associative adj.
Association  n. 1 group organized for a joint purpose; society. 2 associating or being associated. 3 companionship. 4 mental connection of ideas. 
Assonance  n. partial resemblance of sound between two syllables. assonant adj. [Latin sonus sound]
Assort  v. 1 classify or arrange in sorts. 2 (usu. foll. by with) suit or harmonize with. 
Assorted adj. 1 of various sorts, mixed. 2 classified. 3 matched (ill-assorted pair).
Assortment  n. diverse group or mixture.
Assuage  v. (-ging) 1 calm or soothe. 2 appease (an appetite).  assuagement n. 
Assume  v. (-ming) 1 (usu. foll. by that) take to be true. 2 simulate (ignorance etc.). 3 undertake (an office etc.). 4 take or put on (an aspect, attribute, etc.)
Assuming  adj. arrogant, presumptuous.
Assumption  n. 1 assuming. 2 thing assumed.
Assurance  n. 1 emphatic declaration; guarantee. 2 insurance, esp. life insurance. 3 certainty. 4 self-confidence; assertiveness.
Assure  v. (-ring) 1 (often foll. by of) a convince. b tell (a person) confidently. 2 ensure; guarantee (a result etc.).
Assuredly adv. certainly.
AST  abbr. Atlantic Standard Time.
Astatine  n. radioactive element, the heaviest of the halogens.
Aster  n. plant with bright daisy-like flowers.
Asterisk  —n. symbol (*) used to mark words or to indicate omission etc. —v. mark with an asterisk. 
Astern  adv. (often foll. by of) 1 in or to the rear of a ship or aircraft. 2 backwards.
Asteroid  n. 1 any of the minor planets orbiting the sun, mainly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. 
Asthma  n. respiratory condition marked by wheezing.
Asthmatic  —adj. of or suffering from asthma. —n. asthmatic person.
Astigmatism  n. eye or lens defect resulting in distorted images.  astigmatic adj.
Astir predic. adj. & adv. 1 in motion. 2 out of bed.
Astonish  v. surprise greatly, amaze.  astonishment n. 
Astound  v. astonish greatly.
Astraddle adv. astride.
Astrakhan  n. 1 dark curly fleece of young Astrakhan lambs. 2 cloth imitating this. 
Astral adj. of the stars; starry. 
Astray  adv. & predic.adj. out of the right way, erring.
Astride  —adv. 1 (often foll. by of) with a leg on each side. 2 with legs apart. —prep. astride of; extending across.
Astringent  —adj. 1 checking bleeding by contracting body tissues. 2 severe, austere. —n. astringent substance.  astringency n. 
Astrolabe  n. instrument formerly used to measure the altitude of stars etc.
Astrology  n. study of supposed planetary influence on human affairs.  astrologer n. astrological adj. astrologist n. 
Astronaut  n. crew member of a spacecraft. [Greek astron star, nautes sailor]
Astronautics  n.pl. (treated as sing.) science of space travel.  astronautical adj.
Astronomical adj. (also astronomic) 1 of astronomy. 2 vast, gigantic.  Astronomically adv.
Astronomy  n. the scientific study of celestial bodies.  astronomer n.
Astrophysics  n.pl. (treated as sing.) the study of the physics and chemistry of celestial bodies.  astrophysical adj. astrophysicist n.
Astute adj. shrewd. astutely adv. astuteness n.
Asunder adv. literary apart.
Asylum  n. 1 sanctuary; protection, esp. for fugitives from the law (seek asylum). 2 hist. institution for the mentally ill or destitute. 
Asymmetry  n. lack of symmetry.  asymmetric adj. asymmetrical adj. [Greek]
At  symb. astatine.
at prep. 1 expressing position (wait at the corner; at school). 2 expressing a point in time (at dawn). 3 expressing a point in a scale (at his best). 4 expressing engagement in an activity etc.
Atavism  n. 1 reappearance of a remote ancestral characteristic, throwback. 2 reversion to an earlier type.  atavistic adj. 
Ataxia  n. Med. imperfect control of bodily movements.
-ate1  suffix forming nouns denoting status, function, or office (postulate; doctorate). 
-ate2  suffix forming adjectives with the sense ‘having, full of’ (foliate; passionate). 
Atelier  n. workshop or artist’s studio. 
Atheism  n. belief that there is no God.  atheist n. atheistic adj.
Atherosclerosis  n. degeneration of the arteries caused by a build-up of fatty deposits. 
Athirst predic. adj.1 (usu. foll. by for) eager. 2 thirsty.
Athlete  n. person who engages in athletics, exercise, etc. 
Athlete’s foot n. fungal foot condition.
Athletic adj. 1 of athletes or athletics. 2 physically strong or agile.  athletically adv. athleticism n.
Athletics  n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) physical exercises, esp. track and field events.
at-home n. social reception in a person’s home.
-ation suffix 1 forming nouns denoting an action or an instance of it (distortation; hesitation). 2 forming nouns denoting a result or product of action (plantation; starvation).
Atlantic adj. of or adjoining the ocean between Europe and Africa to the east and America to the west.
Atlas  n. book of maps or charts. [Greek Atlas, the Titan who held up the universe]
Atmosphere  n. a gases enveloping the earth, any other planet, etc. b air in a room etc. atmospheric adj.
Atmospherics  n.pl. 1 electrical atmospheric disturbance, esp. caused by lightning. 2 interference with telecommunications caused by this.
Atoll  n. ring-shaped coral reef enclosing a lagoon. 
Atom  n. 1 a smallest particle of a chemical element that can take part in a chemical reaction. b this as a source of nuclear energy. 2 minute portion or thing .
Atom bomb n. bomb in which energy is released by nuclear fission.
Atomic adj. 1 of or using atomic energy or atomic bombs. 2 of atoms.
Atomic energy n. nuclear energy.
Atomic mass n. mass of an atom measured in atomic mass units.
Atomic number  n. number of protons in the nucleus of an atom.
Atomic theory  n. theory that all matter consists of atoms.
Atomize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) reduce to atoms or fine particles.
Atonal adj. Mus. not written in any key or mode.  atonality n.
Atone  v. (-ning) (usu. foll. by for) make amends (for a wrong doing, sin).
Atonement  n. 1 atoning. 2 (the Atonement) expiation by Christ for the sin of mankind.
Atrocious adj. 1 very bad or unpleasant (atrocious manners). 2 wicked (atrocious cruelty).  atrociously adv. [Latin atrox cruel]
Atrocity  n. (pl. -ies) 1 wicked or cruel act. 2 extreme wickedness. 
Atrophy  —n. wasting away, esp. through disuse; emaciation. —v. (-ies, -ied) suffer atrophy or cause atrophy in. 
Atropine  n. poisonous alkaloid in deadly nightshade. 
Attach  v. 1 fasten, affix, join. 2 (in passive; foll. by to) be very fond of. 3 attribute or be attributable; assign (can’t attach a name to it; no blame attaches to us). 4 accompany; form part of (no conditions are attached). 
Attachment  n. 1 thing attached, esp. for a purpose. 2 affection, devotion. 3 attaching or being attached. 4 legal seizure. 5 temporary position in an organization.
Attack  —v. 1 try to hurt or defeat using force. 2 criticize adversely. —n. 1 act of attacking. 2 offensive operation.  attacker n. [French from Italian]
Attain  v. 1 reach, gain, accomplish (a goal etc.). 2 (foll. by to) arrive at by effort or development. 
Attainment  n. 1 (often in pl.) accomplishment or achievement. 2 attaining.
Attar  n. perfume made from rose-petals.
Attempt  —v. 1 (often foll. by to + infin.) try to do or achieve (attempted to demonstrate). 2 try to conquer (a mountain etc.). —n. (often foll. by at, on, or to + infin.) attempting; endeavour. 
Attend  v. 1 a be present (at) (attended the meeting). b go regularly to (attends church). 2 escort. 
Attendance  n. 1 attending or being present. 2 number present.
Attendant  —n. person escorting or providing a service (Queen’s attendant). —adj. 1 accompanying (attendant costs). 2 (often foll. by on) waiting (attendant on the queen).
Attendee  n. person who attends (a meeting etc.).
Attention  n. 1 act or faculty of applying one’s mind; notice. 2 consideration, care. 
Attentive adj. 1 concentrating; paying attention. 2 assiduously polite. attentively adv. attentiveness n.
Attenuate  v. (-ting) 1 make thin. 2 reduce in force, value, etc. attenuation n.
Attest  v. 1 certify the validity of. 2 (foll. by to) bear witness to.  attestation n.
Attic  —adj. of ancient Athens. —n. Greek as used by the ancient Athenians. 
Attic  n. space or room at the top of a house, usu. under the roof.
Attire —n. clothes, esp. formal. —v. (-ring) (usu. as attired adj.) dress, esp. formally.
Attitude  n. 1 opinion or way of thinking; behaviour reflecting this. 2 bodily posture; pose.
Attitudinize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) adopt (esp. affected) attitudes; pose.


Attorney  n. (pl. -s) 1 lawyer etc. appointed to act for another in business or legal matters. 2 US qualified lawyer. 
Attorney-General  n. (pl. Attorneys-General) chief legal officer in some countries.
Attract  v. 1 draw to itself or oneself. 2 arouse interest or admiration in. 
Attraction  n. 1 a attracting or being attracted. b attractive quality. c person or thing that attracts. 2 Physics tendency of bodies to attract each other.
Attractive adj. 1 attracting (esp. interest or admiration). 2 aesthetically pleasing; good-looking.  attractively adv.
Attribute  —v. (-ting) (usu. foll. by to) 1 regard as belonging to, written or said by, etc. (an essay attributed to Addison). 2 ascribe to (a cause).  attributable adj. attribution n. 
Attributive adj. Gram. (of an adjective or noun) preceding the word described, as ‘new’ in the ‘new master’.
Attrition  n. 1 gradual wearing down (war of attrition). 2 abrasion, friction. 
Attune  v. (-ning) 1 (usu. foll. by to) adjust to a situation etc. 2 Mus. tune. 
Atypical adj. not typical.  Atypically adv.
Au  symb. gold. [Latin aurum]
Aubergine  n. plant with white or purple egg-shaped fruit used as a vegetable; eggplant.
Aubrietia  n. (also aubretia) dwarf perennial rock-plant with purple or pink flowers. 
Auburn adj. reddish-brown (usu. of hair).
Auction  —n. sale in which articles are sold to the highest bidder. —v. sell by auction. 
Auction bridge n. game in which players bid for the right to name trumps.
Auctioneer  n. person who conducts auctions, esp. for a living.
Audacious adj. 1 daring, bold. 2 impudent. audacity n.
Audible adj. able to be heard.  audibility n. audibly adv.
Audience  n. 1 a assembled listeners or spectators, esp. at a play, concert, etc. b people addressed by a film, book, etc. 
Audio  n. (usu. attrib.) sound or its reproduction.
Audio frequency n. frequency able to be perceived by the human ear.
Audiotape  n. (also audio tape) a magnetic tape for recording sound. 
Audio typist n. person who types from a tape-recording.
Audiovisual adj. (of teaching methods etc.) using both sight and sound.
Audit  —n. official scrutiny of accounts. —v. (-t-) conduct an audit of.
Audition  —n. test of a performer’s suitability or ability. —v. assess or be assessed at an audition.
Auditor  n. person who audits accounts.
Auditorium  n. (pl. -s) part of a theatre etc. for the audience. 
Auditory adj. of hearing.
Aug. abbr. August.
Augean adj. filthy. [Greek Augeas, a mythical king: his filthy stables were cleaned by Hercules diverting a river through them]
Auger  n. tool with a screw point for boring in wood.
Aught  n. archaic anything. [Old English]
Augment  v. make or become greater; increase.  augmentation n. 
Augmentative adj. augmenting.
Augur  —v. portend, serve as an omen (augur well or ill). —n. hist. Roman religious official interpreting natural phenomena in order to pronounce on proposed actions. 
Augury  n. (pl. -ies) 1 omen. 2 interpretation of omens.
August n. eighth month of the year. [Latin Augustus, first Roman emperor]
August adj. venerable, imposing. [Latin]
Augustan adj. 1 of the reign of Augustus, esp. as a flourishing literary period. 2 (of literature) refined and classical in style. 
Auk  n. black and white sea bird with short wings, e.g. the guillemot, puffin, etc. 
Aunt  n. 1 sister of one’s father or mother. 2 uncle’s wife. 3 colloq. (form of address by a child to) parent’s female friend. 
Auntie  n. (also aunty) (pl. -ies) colloq.  aunt.
Aunt Sally  n. 1 game in which sticks or balls are thrown at a wooden dummy. 2 target of general abuse.
Au pair n. young foreigner, esp. a woman, helping with housework etc. in exchange for board and lodging.
Aura  n. (pl. -s) 1 distinctive atmosphere. 2 subtle emanation.
Aural  adj. of the ear or hearing.  aurally adv. 
Aureate  adj.  golden, resplendent. 
Aureole  n. (also aureola) 1 halo or circle of light, esp. in a religious painting. 2 corona round the sun or moon.
au revoir int. & n. goodbye (until we meet again). 
Auricle  n. 1 each atrium of the heart. 2 external ear of animals.  auricular adj. 
Auricula  n. (pl. -s) primula with ear-shaped leaves. 
Auriferous adj. yielding gold. [Latin aurifer from aurum gold]
Aurochs  n. (pl. same) extinct wild ox. 
Aurora  n. (pl. -s or aurorae) luminous phenomenon, usu. of streamers of light in the night sky above the northern.
Auscultation  n. listening, esp. to sounds from the heart, lungs, etc., for purposes of diagnosis. 
Auspice  n. 1 (in pl.) patronage (esp. under the auspices of). 2 omen, premonition. 
Auspicious adj. promising well; favourable.
Austere adj. (-terer, -terest) 1 severely simple. 2 morally strict. 3 stern, grim. 
Austerity  n. (pl. -ies) being austere; hardship.
Austral adj. 1 southern. 2 (Austral) of Australia or Australasia. 
Australasian adj. of Australasia, including Australia and the islands of the SW Pacific.
Australian  —n. 1 native or national of Australia. 2 person of Australian descent. —adj. of Australia.
Autarchy  n. absolute rule; despotism. 
Autarky  n. self-sufficiency, esp. economic. 
Authentic adj. 1 of undisputed origin; genuine. 2 reliable, trustworthy.  authentically adv. authenticity n. 
Authenticate  v. (-ting) establish as true, genuine, or valid.  authentication n.
Author  n. (fem. authoress) 1 writer, esp. of books. 2 originator of an idea, event, etc. 
Authoritarian  —adj. favouring or enforcing strict obedience to authority. —n. authoritarian person.
Authoritative adj. 1 reliable, esp. having authority. 2 official.
Authority  n. (pl. -ies) 1 a power or right to enforce obedience. b (often foll. by for, or to + infin.) delegated power. 2 (esp. in pl.) body having authority. 
Authorize  v. (also -ise) (-zing or -sing) 1 officially approve, sanction. 2 (foll. by to + infin.) give authority to (a person to do a thing).  authorization n.
Authorized Version n. English translation of the Bible made in 1611.
Authorship  n. 1 origin of a book etc. 2 profession of an author.
Autism  n. condition characterized by self-absorption and social withdrawal. autistic adj. 
Auto  n. (pl. -s) US colloq. car. [abbreviation of automobile]
Auto–  comb. form 1 self. 2 one’s own. 3 of or by oneself or itself.
Autobahn  n. (pl. -s) German, Austrian, or Swiss motorway. [German]
Autobiography  n. (pl. -ies) 1 written account of one’s own life.  autobiographer n. autobiographical adj.
Autoclave  n. sterilizer using high-pressure steam.
Autocracy  n. (pl. -ies) 1 rule by an autocrat. 2 dictatorship. 
Autocrat  n. 1 absolute ruler. 2 dictatorial person.  autocratic adj. autocratically adv.
Autocross  n. motor racing across country or on unmade roads.
Autocue  n. propr. screen etc. from which a speaker reads a television script.
auto-da-fé n. (pl. autos-da-fé) 1 hist. ceremonial judgement of heretics by the Spanish Inquisition. 2 public burning of heretics.
Autograph  —n. signature, esp. that of a celebrity. —v. sign or write on in one’s own hand. 
Autoimmune adj. (of a disease) caused by antibodies produced against substances naturally present in the body.
Automat n. US 1 slot-machine. 2 cafeteria dispensing food and drink from slot-machines.
Automate  v. (-ting) convert to or operate by automation.
Automatic  —adj. 1 working by itself, without direct human intervention. 2 a done spontaneously (automatic reaction).  automatically adv.
Automatic pilot n. device for keeping an aircraft or ship on a set course.
Automation  n. 1 use of automatic equipment in place of manual labour. 2 productions of goods etc. by this.
Automatism  n. 1 involuntary action. 2 unthinking routine.
Automaton  n. (pl. -mata or -s) 1 machine-controlled automatically; robot. 2 person acting like a robot. 
Automobile n. US motor car. 
Automotive adj. of motor vehicles.
Autonomous adj. 1 having self-government. 2 free to act independently. 
Autonomy  n. 1 self-government. 2 personal freedom.
Autopsy  n. (pl. -ies) post-mortem. 
Autoroute n. French motorway.
Autostrada  n. (pl. -s or -strade) Italian motorway. 
Auto-suggestion  n. hypnotic or subconscious suggestion made to oneself.
Autumn  n. 1 (often attrib.) season between summer and winter. 2 time of incipient decline.  autumnal adj. 
Autumn equinox n. (also autumnal equinox) equinox about 22 Sept.
Auxiliary  —adj. 1 subsidiary, additional. 2 giving help. —n. (pl. -ies) 1 auxiliary person or thing. 2 (in pl.) foreign or allied troops in the service of a nation at war. 3 verb used to form tenses or moods of other verbs.
Auxin  n. plant hormone that regulates growth.
AV  abbr. Authorized Version.
Avail  —v. 1 help; be of use. 2 refl. (foll. by of) make use of, profit by. —n. use, profit (of no avail). 
Available adj. at one’s disposal, obtainable.  availability n.
Avalanche  n. 1 rapidly sliding mass of snow and ice on a mountain. 2 sudden abundance (avalanche of work). [French]
Avant-garde  —n. pioneers or (esp. artistic) innovators. —adj. new; pioneering. 
Avarice  n. extreme greed for wealth.  avaricious adj. 
Avatar  n. (in Hindu mythology) descent of a deity etc. to earth in bodily form. [Sanskrit, = descent]
Ave.  abbr. Avenue.
Avenge  v. (-ging) 1 inflict retribution on behalf of. 2 take vengeance for (an injury).  
Avenue  n. 1 a broad esp. tree-lined road or street. b tree-lined path etc. 2 approach (explored every avenue). 
Aver  v. (-rr-) formal assert, affirm.  averment n. [Latin verus true]
Average  —n. 1 usual amount, extent, or rate. 2 amount obtained by adding two or more numbers and dividing by how many there are.
Averse predic. adj. (usu. foll. by to) opposed, disinclined.
Aversion  n. 1 (usu. foll. by to, for) dislike or unwillingness. 2 object of this.
Avert  v. (often foll. by from) 1 turn away (one’s eyes or thoughts). 2 prevent or ward off (esp. danger).
Avesta  n. (usu. prec. by the) sacred writings of Zoroastrianism.
Aviary  n. (pl. -ies) large cage or building for keeping birds. 
Aviation  n. science or practice of flying aircraft.
Aviator  n. person who flies aircraft.
Avid adj. eager, greedy.  avidity n. avidly adv. [Latin aveo crave]
Avionics  n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) electronics as applied to aviation. 
Avocet  n. long-legged wading bird with an upward-curved bill.
Avoid  v. 1 keep away or refrain from. 2 escape; evade. 3 Law quash, annul.  avoidable adj. avoidance n. [French]
Avoirdupois  n. (in full avoirdupois weight) system of weights based on a pound of 16 ounces or 7,000 grains. 
Avow  v. formal declare, confess.  avowal n. avowedly adv. [Latin voco call]
Avuncular adj. like or of an uncle, esp. in manner. 
Await  v. 1 wait for. 2 be in store for. 
Awake  —v. (-king; past awoke; past part. awoken) 1 cease to sleep or arouse from sleep. 2 (often foll. by to) become or make alert, aware, or active. —predic. adj. not asleep.
Award  —v. give as a payment or prize. —n. 1 thing or amount awarded. 2 judicial decision. 
Aware predic. adj. 1 (often foll. by of or that) conscious; having knowledge. 2 well-informed.  awareness n. 
Away  —adv. 1 to or at a distance from the place, person, or thing in question. 
Awe  —n. reverential fear or wonder. —v. (awing) inspire with awe. 
Aweigh predic. adj. (of an anchor) clear of the bottom.
Awe-inspiring adj. awesome; magnificent.
Awesome adj. inspiring awe; dreaded.
Awful adj. 1 colloq. very bad or unpleasant.
Awfully adv. 1 badly; unpleasantly (performed awfully). 2 colloq. very.
Awhile adv. for a short time. [a while]
Awkward adj. 1 difficult to use or deal with. 2 clumsy, ungainly. 3  embarrassed. 
Awl  n. small tool for piercing holes, esp. in leather.
Awn  n. bristly head of a sheath of barley and other grasses. 
AWOL  abbr. colloq. absent without leave.
Awry  —adv. 1 crookedly, askew. 2 amiss, wrong. —predic. adj. crooked; unsound.
Ax (Brit. axe) —n. 1 chopping-tool with a handle and heavy blade.
Axe  (US ax) —n. 1 chopping-tool with a handle and heavy blade. 
Axial adj. of, forming, or placed round an axis.
Axil  n. upper angle between a leaf and stem.
Axiom  n. 1 established or accepted principle. 2 self-evident truth.  axiomatic adj. 
Axis  n. (pl. axes) 1 a. imaginary line about which a body rotates. b. line which divides a regular figure symmetrically.
Axle  n. spindle on which a wheel is fixed or turns. [Old Norse]
Ayatollah  n.  religious leader in Iran. [Persian from Arabic, = token of God]
Aye  —adv. archaic or dial. yes. —n. affirmative answer or vote.
Azalea  n. a kind of rhododendron.
Azimuth  n. angular distance from a north or south point of the horizon to the intersection with the horizon of a vertical circle passing through a given celestial body.  azimuthal adj.
Aztec  —n. 1 member of the native Mexican people overthrown by the Spanish in 1519. 2 language of this people. —adj. of the Aztecs or their language. 
Azure  —n. 1 deep sky-blue colour.  —adj. deep sky-blue.


B n. (pl. Bs ) second letter of the English alphabet. 2. second category of something.
BA  abbr. 1 Bachelor of Arts. 2 British Airways.
Ba symb. barium.
Baa  —v. (baas, baaed or baa’d) bleat. —n. sheep’s cry. 
Babble  —v. (-ling) 1  talk, chatter, or say incoherently or excessively.  (of a stream etc.) murmur.  —n. 1 babbling. 2 murmur of voices, water, etc.
Babe  n. 1 literary baby. 2 innocent or helpless person. 3 US slang young woman. 
Babel  n. 1 confused noise, esp. of voices. 2 scene of confusion. 
Baboon  n. large long-nosed African and Arabian monkey. 
Baby  —n. (pl. -ies) 1 very young child. 2 childish person. —v. (-ies, -ied) treat like a baby.  babyhood n. babyish adj. 
Baby boom n. colloq. temporary increase in the birthrate.
Baby Buggy  n. propr. a kind of child’s pushchair.
Babygro  n. (pl. -s) propr. stretchy all-in-one baby suit.
Babysit  v. (-tt-; past and past part. -sat) look after a child while its parents are out. babysitter n.
Baccarat  n. gambling card-game.
Bacchanal  —n. 1 drunken revelry or reveller. 2 priest or follower of Bacchus. —adj. 1 of or like Bacchus.
Bacchanalia  n.pl. 1 Roman festival of Bacchus. 2 drunken revelry.
Bacchant  —n. (fem. bacchante) 1 priest or follower of Bacchus. 2 drunken reveller. —adj.  of or like Bacchus or his rites.
Baccy  n. (pl. -ies) colloq. tobacco.
Bachelor  n. 1 unmarried man. 2 person with a university first degree.  bachelorhood n.
Bachelor girl n. independent young single woman.
Bacillus  n. (pl. bacilli) rod-shaped bacterium, esp. one causing disease.  bacillary adj. 
Back  —n. 1 a rear surface of the human body from shoulder to hip. b upper surface of an animal’s body. —v. 1 a give moral or financial support to. 
Backache  n. ache in the back.
Backbiting  n. malicious talk.  backbite v.
Back-boiler  n. boiler behind a domestic fire.
Backbone  n. 1 spine. 2 chief support. 3 firmness of character.
Back-breaking adj. (esp. of manual work) extremely hard.
Back-burner  n.  on the back-burner receiving little attention.
Backchat  n. colloq. verbal insolence.
Backcloth  n. 1 painted cloth at the back of a stage. 2 background to a scene or situation.
Backcomb  v. comb (the hair) towards the scalp to give it fullness.
Backdate  v. (-ting) 1 make retrospectively valid. 2 put an earlier date to than the actual one.
Back door n. secret or ingenious means.
Backfire  v. (-ring) 1 (of an engine or vehicle) ignite or explode too early in the cylinder or exhaust. 
Back-formation  n. formation of a word from its seeming derivative (e.g. laze from lazy). 
Background  n. 1 part of a scene or picture furthest from the observer. 2 (often attrib.) inconspicuous position (kept in the background; background music). 3 person’s education, social circumstances, etc. 
N. B. The rest is to be uploaded.
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