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fathom /f.m/ verb [ T ] 1.

to discover the meaning of something For years people have been trying to fathom (out) the mysteries of the whale's song. emphatic /em p ft.k/ /-ft-/ adjective done or said in a strong way and without any doubt Poland reached the final of the championship yesterday with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Italy. The minister has issued an emphatic rejection of the accusation. dab /db/ verb [ I or T ] -bbto touch something with quick light touches, or to put a substance on something with quick light touches She dabbed at her eyes with a tissue. She dabbed a little perfume behind her ears. douche /du/ verb [ I or T ] to put a liquid, usually water, into the vagina in order to wash it or treat it medically hog /hg/ /hg/ noun [ C ] PERSON 3. INFORMAL DISAPPROVING someone who takes much more than a fair share of something, especially by eating too much You've eaten it all? You hog! speculate /spek.j.let/ verb [ I ] GUESS 1. to guess possible answers to a question when you do not have enough information to be certain I don't know why she did it - I'm just speculating. Latino /lti.n/ /-no/ noun [ C ] plural Latinos MAINLY US someone who lives in the US and who comes from or whose family comes from Latin America brag /brg/ verb [ I ] -gg- INFORMAL DISAPPROVING to speak too proudly about what you have done or what you own She's always bragging about how much money she earns. [ + that ] They bragged that their team had never been beaten. exotic /gzt.k/ / adjective unusual and often exciting because of coming (or seeming to come) from a far, especially tropical country exotic flowers/food/designs flamboyant /flmb.nt/ adjective very confident in behaviour, or intended to be noticed, especially by being brightly coloured a flamboyant gesture The writer's flamboyant lifestyle was well known. His clothes were rather flamboyant for such a serious occasion. stereotype /ster.i..tap/ noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING

a fixed idea that people have about what someone or something is like, especially an idea that is wrong racial/sexual stereotypes He doesn't conform to/fit/fill the national stereotype of a Frenchman. The characters in the book are just stereotypes. crampon / /-pn/ noun [ C ] a metal frame with sharp points which is fixed to the bottom of a boot to make walking on ice or snow easier
charade /rd/ /-red/ noun FALSE SITUATION 1. [ C ] an act or event which is clearly false Everyone knew who was going to get the job from the start - the interviews were just a charade. brat /brt/ noun [ C ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING a child, especially one who behaves badly She's behaving like a UK spoilt / US spoiled brat.
come on in the houses below.

gloat /glt/ /glot/ verb [ I ]

to feel or express great pleasure or satisfaction because of your own success or good luck, or someone else's failure or bad luck She's continually gloating over/about her new job. I know I shouldn't gloat, but it really serves him right. His enemies were quick to gloat at his humiliation. [ + speech ] "This is our fourth victory in a row, " he gloated.

sermon / /s-/ noun [ C ] 1. a part of a Christian church ceremony in which a priest gives a talk on a religious or moral subject, often based on something written in the Bible seamstress /sim.strs/ , /sem-/ noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED a woman whose job is sewing and making clothes egghead /eg.hed/ noun [ C ] HUMOROUS DISAPPROVING

a person, especially a man, who is very clever and interested only in studying and other mental activities unable to control your feelings or behaviour because you are extremely frightened, angry, excited, etc Calm down, you're getting hysterical. The police were accused of hysterical over-reaction. hysterical laughter (= uncontrolled laughter)
eulogy /ju.l.di/ noun [ C or U ] FORMAL

a speech, piece of writing, poem, etc. containing great praise, especially for someone who recently died or stopped working He was the most self-effacing of men - the last thing he would have relished was a eulogy. The song was a eulogy to the joys of travelling.
critique /krtik/ noun [ C ] a report of something such as a political situation or system, or a person's work or ideas, which examines it and provides an often negative judgment a Marxist critique of neo-liberal policy pariah /pra/ noun [ C ] a person who is not accepted by a social group, especially because he or she is not liked, respected or trusted delusion /dlu. n/ noun [ C or U ] when someone believes something that is not true [ + that ] He's under the delusion that he will be promoted this year. spree /spri/ noun [ C ] a short period of doing a particular, usually enjoyable, activity much more than is usual I went on a drinking/shopping/spending spree on Saturday. Twenty people were shot dead in the city making it the worst killing spree since the riots. trauma /tr.m/ , /tra-/ /tr-/ noun [ C or U ] SHOCK 1. (a) severe emotional shock and pain caused by an extremely upsetting experience the trauma of marriage breakdown He had psychotherapy to help him deal with his childhood traumas. inbred /nbred/ /--/ adjective ESTABLISHED 1. describes a quality or characteristic firmly established in a person an inbred sense of right and wrong inbred racism huffy /hf.i/ adjective angry and offended I told her she'd made a mistake and she got huffy with me. motel /mtel/ /mo-/ noun [ C ] ( US ALSO motor inn/lodge ) a hotel by the side of a road, usually with spaces for cars next to each room severance /sev. r.n t s/ /--/ noun [ U ] 1. money paid by an employer to an employee whose job the employer has had to bring to an end The management have offered employees one week's severance (pay) for each six months they have worked at the company. a severance agreement/deal/package 2. FORMAL the act of ending a connection, relationship, etc. or of being separated from a person, place, etc. The minister announced the severance of aid to the country. The hardest thing to cope with was the severance from his family. pooch /put/ noun [ C ] INFORMAL MAINLY HUMOROUS

a dog a pampered pooch a big cuddly/cute little pooch hooker /hk. r / /-/ noun [ C ] SEX 1. INFORMAL a prostitute (= woman who has sex for money) jilt /dlt/ verb [ T ] to finish a romantic relationship with someone suddenly and unkindly He jilted her for his best friend's sister.

jilted / /-td/ adjective

Her jilted boyfriend has sworn revenge on her new husband. frenzy /fren.zi/ noun [ C or U ] (an example of) uncontrolled and excited behaviour or emotion, which is sometimes violent In a frenzy of rage she hit him. the media frenzy over the Princess's death The audience worked/whipped themselves up into a frenzy as they waited for her to come on stage. There was a frenzy of activity on the financial markets yesterday. In a moment of jealous frenzy, she cut the sleeves off all his shirts. boogeyman / noun [ C ] US FOR bogey man
dangle /d .gl/ verb 1. [ I or T ] to hang loosely, or to hold something so that it hangs loosely Loose electric wires were dangling from the wall. He dangled the puppet in front of the children. mock /mk/ /mk/ verb [ T ] 1. SLIGHTLY FORMAL to laugh at someone, often by copying them in a funny but unkind way They were mocking him because he kept falling off his bike. She made fun of him by mocking his limp. 2. to make something appear stupid or not effective The wind mocked their attempts to reach the shore by pushing the boat further and further out to sea. mock sth up phrasal verb [ M ] to make a model of something in order to show people what it will look like or how it will work smattering /smt. r. / /smt.-/ noun [ C usually singular ] a very small amount or number There's only a smattering of people who oppose the proposal. nerd /nd/ /nd/ noun [ C ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING a person, especially a man, who is not attractive and awkward or socially embarrassing He was a real nerd in high school - I can't believe he's so handsome now. geek /gik/ noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a person, especially a man, who is boring and not fashionable

geeky / adjective INFORMAL scruple / noun [ C or U ] a feeling that prevents you from doing something that you think is morally wrong or makes you uncertain about doing it Robin Hood had no scruples about robbing the rich to give to the poor. He is a man without scruple - he has no conscience. scruple / verb FORMAL not scruple to do sth to not care that something you do is morally wrong or likely to have bad results He wouldn't scruple to cheat his own mother if there was money in it for him. peruse /pruz/ verb [ T ] FORMAL to read through something, especially in order to find the part you are interested in He opened a newspaper and began to peruse the personal ads. perusal /pru.z l/ noun [ S or U ] FORMAL a brief perusal (= a quick read) He sent a copy of the report to the governors for their perusal (= for them to read) . babysit / verb [ I or T ] babysitting , babysat , babysat ( US ALSO sit ) to take care of someone's baby or child while that person is out, usually by going to their home I babysit for Jane on Tuesday evenings while she goes to her yoga class. bozo /b.z/ /bo.zo/ noun [ C ] plural bozos MAINLY US SLANG a stupid person Some bozo on a motorcycle almost ran me over. repugnant /rpg.nnt/ adjective FORMAL If behaviour or beliefs, etc. are repugnant, they are very unpleasant, causing a feeling of disgust a repugnant smell I find your attitude towards these women quite repugnant. The idea of cheating in an exam is morally repugnant to me. repugnance /rpg.nn t s/ noun [ U ] The thought of eating meat fills me with repugnance. dormitory /d.m.t r.i/ / noun [ C ] ( INFORMAL dorm ) ROOM 1. UK a large room containing many beds, especially in a boarding school or university welch /wel t / verb [ I ] ( ALSO welsh ) INFORMAL DISAPPROVING to avoid doing something you have promised to do, especially not to pay a debt Their competitors' behaviour gave them a great opportunity to welch on their promises. connotation /kn.te. n/ /k.n-/ noun [ C ] a feeling or idea that is suggested by a particular word although it need not be a part of the word's meaning, or something suggested by an object or situation The word 'lady' has connotations of refinement and excessive femininity that some women find offensive. connote /knt/ /-not/ verb [ T ] FORMAL
boring and not fashionable a geeky-looking guy in glasses

He's such a geek.

To me, chocolate connotes pleasure and indulgence.

masochism /ms..k.z m/ noun [ U ]
protect the edges of an area you do not intend to paint 1. the activity of getting sexual pleasure from being hurt or controlled by another person Compare sadism 2. INFORMAL the enjoyment of an activity or situation that most people would find very unpleasant I reckon you need to be into masochism to run marathons. Compare sadism

bourgeois /b.w/ /br-/ adjective DISAPPROVING belonging to or typical of the middle class (= a social group between the rich and the poor) especially in supporting existing customs and values, or in having a strong interest in money and possessions It's a bit bourgeois, isn't it, joining a golf club? rut /rt/ noun HOLE 1. [ C ] a deep narrow mark made in soft ground especially by a wheel rut /rt/ noun SEXUALLY ACTIVE PERIOD 2. [ S ] the period of the year during which particular male animals, especially deer and sheep, are sexually active During the rut, stags can be seen fighting for females. 3. in rut (of particular male animals) sexually excited sophomore /sf..m r / / noun [ C ] US
a student studying in the second year of a course at a US college or high school (= a school for students aged 15 to 18)

sophomoric / /s.fmr-/ adjective US

silly and like a child's a sophomoric sense of humour

entrepreneur / r / / noun [ C ] someone who starts their own business, especially when this involves seeing a new opportunity He was one of the entrepreneurs of the eighties who made their money in property. putz /pts/ noun [ C ] US SLANG a stupid person squat /skwt/ /skwt/ verb -tt- SIT

1. [ I ] to position yourself close to the ground balancing on the front part of your feet with your legs bent under your body She squatted on the ground and warmed her hands by the fire. He squatted down and examined the front wheel of his bik rapacious /rpe.s/ adjective FORMAL having or showing a strong wish to take things for yourself, usually using unfair methods or force a rapacious landlord/businessman her rapacious appetite for fame
something that is very old-fashioned and should no longer be used That old car is a museum piece - you should get a new one.

mush /m/ noun [ U ] SUBSTANCE

1. INFORMAL any unpleasant thick soft substance, such as food that has been cooked for too long If you overcook the cabbage it'll turn to mush.

parole /prl/ /-rol/ noun [ U ] when a prisoner is released before their period in prison is finished, with the agreement that they will behave well He's been released on parole. She hopes to be eligible for parole in 3 years. Reynolds was sentenced to life without parole. fling /fl / verb flung , flung THROW 1. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to throw something or someone suddenly and with a lot of force He crumpled up the letter and flung it into the fire. "And you can take your ring back too!" she cried, flinging it down on the table. INFORMAL Could you fling the paper over here (= give me the paper) ? fling /fl / verb flung , flung MOVE/DO 2. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to move or do something quickly and energetically She flung her arms around his neck. The door was flung open by the wind. Sergei flung himself down on the sofa. INFORMAL Let me just fling (= quickly put) a few things into my bag, and I'll be right with you. INFORMAL They were flung (= quickly put) in prison. fling /fl / verb flung , flung SAY ANGRILY 3. [ I or T usually + adverb or preposition ] to say something angrily They were flinging bitter accusations at each other. [ + speech ] "I don't care what you think", she flung (back) at him. fling up your hands to show that you are very shocked or frightened They flung up their hands in horror at the cost of the trip. fling yourself at sb phrasal verb [ R ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING to make it very obvious to someone that you want to have a sexual relationship with them fling yourself into sth phrasal verb [ R ] to do something with a lot of enthusiasm Tom has really flung himself into his work this year. fling sth on/off phrasal verb [ M ] to quickly put on/remove something, especially a piece of clothing We were so hot we flung off our clothes and dived into the swimming pool. fling sth/sb out phrasal verb [ M ] MAINLY UK INFORMAL to get rid of something you do not want, or to make someone leave a place when they do not want to I think it's about time we flung out these old magazines. They were flung out of the pub for fighting. fling /fl / noun [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL a short period of enjoyment

puny / adjective small; weak; not effective a puny little man My car only has a puny little engine. The party's share of the vote rose from a puny 11% in the last election to 21% this time. nuts /nts/ plural noun OFFENSIVE FOR testicles nuts /nts/ adjective [ after verb ] INFORMAL silly, stupid or strange [ + to infinitive ] You must be nuts to go climbing mountains in winter. reagent /rie.dnt/ noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED a substance which acts on another in a chemical reaction crook /krk/ noun CRIMINAL 1. [ C ] INFORMAL a very dishonest person, especially a criminal or a cheat These politicians are just a bunch of crooks. crook /krk/ noun BEND 2. the crook of your arm the inside part of your arm where it bends crook /krk/ noun STICK 3. [ C ] a long stick with a curved end, especially one carried by a shepherd or a bishop nimble / adjective USUALLY APPROVING quick and exact either in movement or thoughts nimble fingers/feet His nimble mind calculated the answer before I could key the numbers into my computer. nimbleness / noun [ U ]

nimbly /nm.bli/ adverb

She hopped nimbly over the fence. gurney / /g-/ noun [ C ] US a light bed on wheels, used to move patients in a hospital
junkie , ALSO junky /d .ki/ noun [ C ] INFORMAL 1. someone who cannot stop taking illegal drugs 2. someone who wants to have or do something all the time a computer/TV junkie a publicity junkie leper /lep. r / /-/ noun [ C ] 1. a person who has leprosy 2. a person who is strongly disliked and avoided by other people because of something bad that he or she has done She claimed that the rumours had made her a social leper. smudge /smd/ noun [ C ] a mark with no particular shape that is caused, usually by accident, by rubbing something such as ink or a dirty finger across a surface Her hands were covered in dust and she had a black smudge on her nose.

said we were nearly there, but the island was still no more than a distant smudge on the horizon.


pretentious /prten t .s/ adjective DISAPPROVING trying to appear or sound more important or clever than you are, especially in matters of art and literature a pretentious art critic The novel deals with grand themes, but is never heavy or pretentious. prick /prk/ verb [ T ] to make a very small hole or holes in the surface of something, sometimes in a way which causes pain Prick the skin of the potatoes with a fork before baking them. She pricked the balloon with a pin and it burst with a loud bang. snitch /snt/ verb TELL SECRETLY 1. [ I ] SLANG DISAPPROVING to secretly tell someone in authority that someone else has done something bad, often in order to cause trouble He snitched to my boss that I'd been making long-distance calls at work! She's always snitching on someone. snitch /snt/ verb STEAL 2. [ T ] INFORMAL to steal something "Where did you get that money?" "I snitched it from my dad when he wasn't looking." snitch noun [ C ] SLANG DISAPPROVING You little snitch! kike /kak/ noun [ C ] US OFFENSIVE a Jewish person chump /tmp/ noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL a silly or stupid person [ as form of address ] You chump! Why did you tell her that? mop /mp/ /mp/ noun [ C ] a stick with soft material fixed at one end, especially used for washing floors or dishes a floor mop a dish mop See picture mop teleport / /-.prt/ verb [ I or T ] to (cause to) travel by an imaginary very fast form of transport that uses special technology or special mental powers abomination / n/ /-b.m-/ noun [ C ] FORMAL something that you dislike and disapprove of Foxhunting is an abomination. flunk /fl k/ verb [ T ] MAINLY US INFORMAL to fail an examination or course of study I flunked my second year exams and was lucky not to be thrown out of college. flunk out phrasal verb US INFORMAL to have to leave school or college because your work is not good enough

Dan won't be in college next year - he flunked out. courtesy / /k.t-/ noun [ C or U ] 1. polite behaviour, or a polite action or remark You might get on better with your parents if you showed them some courtesy. [ + to infinitive ] He could at least have had the courtesy to say sorry. The President welcomed the Queen with the usual courtesies. 2. (by) courtesy of a. by permission of Phil Collins appears on the album courtesy of Virgin Records. b. because of Did the Conservatives win courtesy of the division of the opposition vote between Labour and the Liberal Democrats? holler /hl. r / /h.l/ verb [ I or T ] MAINLY US INFORMAL to shout loudly He was hollering something about seeing a snake. holler noun [ C ] He let out a holler as he fell.
fanatic /fnt.k/ /-nt-/ noun [ C ]
If a group of people fan out, they move in different directions from a single point. a person whose strong admiration for something is considered to be extreme or unreasonable a fitness/film fanatic

fanatical /fnt..k l/ /-nt-/ adjective

describes someone whose admiration for something is considered to be extreme or unreasonable His enthusiasm for aerobics was almost fanatical. Gary's fanatical about football.

subtle /st.l/ /st-/ adjective APPROVING 1. not loud, bright, noticeable or obvious in any way The room was painted a subtle shade of pink. The play's message is perhaps too subtle to be understood by young children. 2. small but important There is a subtle difference between these two plans. 3. achieved in a quiet way which does not attract attention to itself and which is therefore good or clever a subtle plan/suggestion subtle questions stutter /stt. r / /st./ verb [ I ] SPEAK 1. to speak or say something, especially the first part of a word, with difficulty, for example pausing before it or repeating it several times She stutters a bit, so let her finish what she's saying. [ + speech ] "C-c-can we g-go now?" stuttered Jenkins. Compare stammer stammer /stm. r / /-/ verb [ I or T ] to speak or say something with unusual pauses or repeated sounds, either because of speech problems or because of fear and anxiety [ + speech ] "Wh-when can we g-go?" she stammered. He dialled 999 and stammered (out) his name and address. Compare stutter

dime /dam/ noun [ C ] an American or Canadian coin which has the value of ten cents be a dime a dozen US ( UK ALSO be two/ten a penny ) to be common and/or of very little value Books like this are a dime a dozen decanter /dkn.t r / /-t/ noun [ C ]

a decorative glass container for wine and other alcoholic drinks, with a part that fits into the top a cut-glass sherry decanter lunatic / /-tk/ noun [ C ] 1. someone who behaves in a silly or dangerous way He drives like a lunatic. drowsy /dra.zi/ adjective being in a state between sleeping and being awake The room is so warm it's making me feel drowsy. contemplate / / verb [ I or T ]
to spend time considering a possible future action, or to consider one particular thing for a long time in a serious and quiet way [ + -ing verb ] I'm contemplating go ing abroad for a year. You're not contemplating a change of job, are you? It's too awful/horrific/dangerous to contemplate.

contemplation /kn.tmple. n/ / noun [ U ]

tramp /trmp/ noun POOR PERSON 1. [ C ] a person with no home, job or money who travels around and asks for money from other people tramp /trmp/ noun WOMAN 2. [ C ] US SLANG DISAPPROVING a woman who has sex often, with a lot of different partners tramp /trmp/ noun WALK 3. [ S ] the sound of people all walking together with heavy steps The streets echoed with the tramp of soldiers' feet. smug /smg/ adjective smugger , smuggest DISAPPROVING too pleased or satisfied about something you have achieved or something you know a smug grin She deserved her promotion, but I wish she wasn't so damned smug about it. There was a hint of smug self-satisfaction in her voice. He's been unbearably smug since he gave up smoking. anecdotal /n.kd.t l/ /-do.t l/ adjective
describes information that is not based on facts or careful study anecdotal evidence

when you spend time thinking about something in a serious and quiet way She was staring out over the lake, lost in contemplation. The nuns have an hour for silent contemplation every morning.

anecdote /n.k.dt/ /-dot/ noun [ C ] sappy /sp.i/ adjective US INFORMAL describes something that is extremely emotional in an embarrassing way
a short often funny story, especially about something someone has done He told one or two amusing anecdotes about his years as a policeman.

It's a sappy film - take some tissues when you see it. botched /btt/ /btt/ adjective ( UK ALSO bodged ) describes something, usually a job, that is done badly Our landlord redecorated the bedroom, but it was such a botched job that we decided to redo it. Thousands of women are infertile as a result of botched abortions .
gander /gn.d r / /-d/ noun LOOK 2. have/take a gander INFORMAL to have a quick look Let's take a gander at your new car, then. tad /td/ noun [ S ] INFORMAL a tad a little, slightly The fish was OK, but the chips were a tad greasy. vouch /vat/ verb [ + that ] to be able from your knowledge or experience to say that something is true As a medical examiner I can vouch from experience that his death was accidental. looming /lu.m / adjective (of something unwanted or unpleasant) happening soon and causing worry the looming crisis chiropractor /ka.r .prk.t r / /-ro.prk.t/ noun [ C ] a person whose job is to treat diseases by pressing a person's joints (= places where two bones are connected) , especially those in the back

ludicrousness / noun [ U ]

lug /lg/ verb [ T usually + adv/prep ] -gg- INFORMAL

to carry or pull something with effort or difficulty because it is heavy I'm exhausted after lugging these suitcases all the way across London. I don't want to lug these shopping bags around with me all day.

sleazy /sli.zi/ adjective dirty, cheap or not socially acceptable, especially relating to moral or sexual matters This part of town is full of sleazy bars and restaurants. prodigy /prd..di/ /pr.d-/ noun [ C ] someone with a very great ability which usually shows itself when that person is a young child The 16-year-old tennis prodigy is the youngest player ever to reach the Olympic finals. He read in the paper about a mathematical prodigy who was attending university at the age of 12. See also child prodigy decimate /des..met/ verb [ T usually passive ] to kill a large number of something, or to reduce something severely Populations of endangered animals have been decimated. plonk /pl k/ /pl k/ verb INFORMAL PUT DOWN

1. [ I or T usually + adverb or preposition ] ( US USUALLY plunk ) to put something down heavily and without taking care Just plonk the shopping (down) on the table, and come and have a cup of tea. [ R ] Come in and plonk your selves (down) (= sit down) anywhere you like. arse /s/ /rs/ noun [ C ] UK ( US ass ) OFFENSIVE the part of your body that you sit on She's got a huge arse. get off your arse ( ALSO get your arse in gear ) OFFENSIVE to force yourself to start doing something or to make yourself hurry Tell him to get off his arse and do some work for once. If she doesn't get her arse in gear she's going to be late. go arse over tit/tip UK ( US go ass over (tea)kettle ) OFFENSIVE to lose your balance suddenly and fall over I fell off my bike and went arse over tit. loquacious /l kwe.s/ /lokwe-/ adjective FORMAL describes someone who talks a lot to be able from your knowledge or experience to say that something is true As a medical examiner I can vouch from experience that his death was accidental. to be able from your knowledge or experience to say that something is true As a medical examiner I can vouch from experience that his death was accidental. vouch /vat/ verb [ + that ] to be able from your knowledge or experience to say that something is true As a medical examiner I can vouch from experience that his death was accidental.
kaput /kpt/ adjective [ after verb ] INFORMAL broken; not working correctly The radio's kaput.