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abbey NOUN abbeys

1 a monastery or convent. 2 a church that was once part of a monastery Westminster Abbey. [same origin as abbot] D

a ADJECTIVE (called the indefinite article and changing to an before most vowel sounds) 1 one (but not any special one) Can you lend me a book? 2 each; per We see it once a day or once an hour. [from Old English an = one] D






PREFIX 1 on; to; towards (as in afoot, ashore,

aside). 2 in the process of (as in a-hunting). [from the preposition on]

a- 2 PREFIX (an- is used before a vowel sound) not; without (as in asymmetrical, anarchy). [from Greek a- = not]

ab- PREFIX (changing to abs- before c and t) away; from (as in abduct, abnormal, abstract). [from Latin ab = away]

aback ADVERB – taken aback surprised. [from Old English on baec = backwards]

abacus (say ab-a-kus) NOUN abacuses a frame used for counting with beads sliding on wires. [from Greek]

abandon VERB abandons, abandoning, abandoned 1 give up We never abandoned hope. 2 leave something without intending to return Abandon ship!  abandonment noun abandon NOUN a careless and uncontrolled manner She danced with great abandon. [from old French] D



abase VERB abases, abasing, abased make a person feel humble or humiliated. [from old French]

abashed ADJECTIVE embarrassed. [from old French esbair = astound]

abate VERB abates, abating, abated make or become less; die down abated.  abatement


The storm had


[from Latin battuere = to beat]

abattoir (say ab-at-wahr) NOUN abattoirs a place where animals are killed for food; a slaughterhouse. [French, from abattre = knock down, destroy]

abbot NOUN abbots the head of an abbey. [via Latin and Greek from Aramaic (a language once spoken in the Middle East), abba = father]

abbreviate VERB abbreviates, abbreviating, abbreviated shorten

something. [from Latin brevis = short, brief]

abbreviation NOUN abbreviations

1a shortened form of a word or words, especially one using the initial letters, such as GCSE, St., USA. 2 abbreviating something.

abdicate VERB abdicates, abdicating, abdicated 1 resign from a throne. 2 give up an important responsibility.  abdication


[from Latin]

abdomen (say ab-dom-en) NOUN abdomens 1 the lower front part of a person’s or animal’s body, containing the stomach, intestines, and other digestive organs. 2 the rear section of an insect’s body.  abdominal (say ab-dom-in-al) adjective [Latin]

abduct VERB abducts, abducting, abducted take a person away illegally;

kidnap.  abduction

noun abductor noun

[from ab- + Latin ductum = led]

abet VERB abets, abetting, abetted help or encourage someone to commit a crime. [from old French abeter = urge]

abeyance (say ab-ay-ans) NOUN not being used at the moment; suspended More serious punishments are being held in abeyance. [from old French]

– in abeyance


abhor VERB abhors, abhorring, abhorred (formal) hate something very much.  abhorrent

adjective abhorrence noun

[from Latin abhorrere = shrink away in horror]

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abide VERB abides, abiding, abided (old use; past tense) abode 1 remain or dwell somewhere. 2 bear or tolerate I can’t abide wasps. – abide by keep a promise etc. [from Old English] D

abiding ADJECTIVE lasting or permanent. ability NOUN abilities 1 being able to do something. 2 cleverness or talent. 1 wretched or miserable They were living in abject poverty. 2 humble an abject apology. [from ab- + Latin - jectum = thrown] ablaze ADJECTIVE blazing; on fire. able ADJECTIVE 1 having the power or skill or opportunity to do something. 2 skilful or clever.

abject (say ab-jekt) ADJECTIVE D



adverb [from old French]

aborigine (say ab-er-ij-in-ee) NOUN aborigines one of the original inhabitants

of a country.  aboriginal

adjective & noun

one of the original inhabitants of Australia who lived there before the Europeans arrived. [from Latin ab origine = from the beginning] abort VERB aborts, aborting, aborted put an end to something before it has been completed They aborted the space flight because of problems. [from Latin aboriri = miscarry] abortion NOUN abortions an operation to remove an unborn child from the womb before it has developed enough to survive. abortive ADJECTIVE unsuccessful an abortive attempt. abound VERB abounds, abounding, abounded 1 be plentiful or abundant Fish abound in the river. 2 have something in great quantities The river abounds in fish. [from Latin abundare = overflow] about PREPOSITION 1 near in amount or size or time etc. It costs about £5. Come about two o’clock. 2 on the subject of; in connection with Tell me about your holiday. 3 all round; in various parts of They ran about the playground. about ADVERB 1 in various directions They were running about. 2 not far away He is somewhere about. – be about to be going to do something. [from a- 1 + Old English butan = outside] above PREPOSITION 1 higher than. 2 more than. above ADVERB at or to a higher place. [from Old English] above board ADJECTIVE & ADVERB honest; without deception. – Aborigine




-able SUFFIX (also -ble, -ible, and -uble) forms adjectives (e.g. readable, legible). The nouns formed from these end in -bility (e.g. readability, legibility). [from Latin] able-bodied ADJECTIVE fit and healthy; not disabled. abnormal ADJECTIVE not normal; unusual.  abnormally

adverb abnormality noun

[from ab- + normal]

aboard ADVERB & PREPOSITION on or into a ship or aircraft or train. [from a- 1 + board]

abode NOUN abodes (formal) the place where someone lives. [from abide]

abolish VERB abolishes, abolishing, abolished put an end to a law or custom

etc. (say ab-ol-ish-on) noun [from Latin abolere = destroy] abominable ADJECTIVE very bad or unpleasant.  abolition



abominate VERB abominates, abominating, abominated hate

something very much.  abomination


[from Latin abominari = regard as a bad omen]







[from card- players cheating by changing their cards under the table]

abrade VERB abrades, abrading, abraded scrape or wear something away by rubbing it.  abrasion


[from ab- + Latin radere = to scrape] abrasive ADJECTIVE 1 that abrades things an abrasive wheel. 2 harsh an abrasive manner. D


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abrasive abrasive NOUN abrasives a rough

absolutely ADVERB

substance used for rubbing or polishing things.

abreast ADVERB

1 side by side. 2 keeping up

with something. [from a- 1 + breast]


abroad ADVERB in or to another country. [from a- 1 + broad]


1 sudden or hasty abrupt departure. 2 rather rude and





She has quite an abrupt

adverb abruptness noun

[from ab- + Latin ruptum = broken]

abs- PREFIX away; from. SEE ab-. abscess (say ab-sis) NOUN abscesses an inflamed place where pus has formed in the body. [from Latin]

abscond VERB absconds, absconding, absconded go away secretly had absconded with the money. [from Latin]


The cashier

abseil VERB abseils, abseiling, abseiled lower yourself down a steep cliff or rock by sliding down a rope. [from German ab = down + Seil = rope]

absent ADJECTIVE not here; not present D

absent from school. noun

absent (say ab-sent) VERB absents, absenting, absented – absent yourself stay away. [from abs- + Latin esse = to be]

absentee NOUN absentees a person who is absent.  absenteeism


absent-minded ADJECTIVE having your mind on other things; forgetful.

absolute ADJECTIVE complete; not restricted absolute power. [same origin as absolve] D

absolute zero NOUN the lowest possible temperature, calculated as -273.15°C. statement that someone’s sins are forgiven.

abridged shorten a book etc. by using fewer words an abridged edition.  abridgement noun [same origin as abbreviate]

unfriendly; curt manner.

1 completely. 2 (informal) yes, I agree.

absolution NOUN a priest’s formal

abridge VERB abridges, abridging,




absolve VERB absolves, absolving, absolved 1 clear a person of blame or guilt. 2 release a person from a promise or

obligation. [from ab- + Latin solvere = set free]

absorb VERB absorbs, absorbing, absorbed 1 soak up a liquid or gas. 2 receive something and reduce its effects D

The buffers absorbed most of the shock.

3 take up a person’s attention or time.  absorption noun

[from ab- + Latin sorbere = suck in]

absorbent ADJECTIVE able to soak up liquids easily


absorbent paper.

abstain VERB abstains, abstaining, abstained 1 keep yourself from doing

something; refrain. 2 choose not to use your vote.  abstention


[from abs- + Latin tenere = hold]

abstemious (say ab-steem-ee-us) eating or drinking only small amounts; not greedy.



adverb abstemiousness noun [from abs- + Latin temetum = alcoholic drink]

abstinence NOUN abstaining, especially from alcohol.  abstinent


[same origin as abstain]

abstract (say ab-strakt) ADJECTIVE 1 concerned with ideas, not solid objects Truth, hope, danger are all abstract. 2 (said D

about a painting or sculpture) showing the artist’s ideas or feelings, not showing a recognizable person or thing. abstract (say ab-strakt) VERB abstracts, abstracting, abstracted take out; remove He abstracted some cards from the pack. D



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abstract (say ab-strakt) NOUN abstracts 1 a summary. 2 an abstract painting or

sculpture. [from abs- + Latin trahere = pull]

abstracted ADJECTIVE with your mind on other things; not paying attention.

abstruse (say ab-strooss) ADJECTIVE hard to understand; obscure. [from Latin abstrusus = hidden]

absurd ADJECTIVE ridiculous or foolish.  absurdly

adverb absurdity noun [from Latin absurdus = out of tune]

abundance NOUN a large amount, plenty. [same origin as abound]

abundant ADJECTIVE plentiful.  abundantly


abuse (say ab-yooz) VERB abuses, abusing, abused 1 use something badly or wrongly;

misuse. 2 hurt someone or treat them cruelly. 3 say unpleasant things about a person or thing. abuse (say ab-yooss) NOUN abuses 1 a misuse the abuse of power. 2 physical harm or cruelty done to someone. 3 words abusing a person or thing; insults. [from ab- + use] D

abusive ADJECTIVE rude and insulting D



abusive remarks.

abut VERB abuts, abutting, abutted end against something ours.


Their shed abuts against


noun [from old French]

abysmal (say ab-iz-mal) ADJECTIVE extremely bad [from abyss]


abysmal ignorance.

abyss (say ab-iss) NOUN abysses an extremely deep pit. [from Greek abyssos = bottomless]

academy NOUN academies

1 a school or college, especially one for specialized training. 2 a society of scholars or artists The Royal Academy. [from Akademeia, the name of the garden D

where the Greek philosopher Plato taught his pupils]

accede (say ak-seed) VERB accedes, acceding, acceded 1 agree to what is asked or suggested accede to a request. 2 take office; become king or queen She acceded to the throne. [from ac- + Latin cedere = go] D


accelerate VERB accelerates, accelerating, accelerated make or become quicker; increase speed. [from ac- + Latin celer = swift]

acceleration NOUN accelerations

1 the rate at which the speed of something increases. 2 the rate of change of velocity.

accelerator NOUN accelerators

1 the pedal that a driver presses to make a motor vehicle go faster. 2 a thing used to increase the speed of something.

accent (say ak-sent) NOUN accents

1 the way a person pronounces the words of a language She has a French accent. 2 emphasis or stress In ‘fairy’, the accent is on ‘fair- ’. 3 a mark placed over a letter to show how it is pronounced, e.g. in résumé. D


accent (say ak-sent) VERB accents, accenting, accented pronounce part of a word more strongly than the other parts; emphasize. [from ac- + Latin cantus = song]

accentuate (say ak-sent-yoo-ayt) VERB accentuates, accentuating, accentuated

make something more obvious; emphasize.  accentuation


accept VERB accepts, accepting, accepted

AC ABBREVIATION alternating current. ac- PREFIX to; towards. SEE ad-. academic ADJECTIVE 1 to do with education

1 take a thing that is offered or presented. 2 say yes to an invitation, offer, etc.  acceptance noun

or studying, especially at a school or college or university. 2 theoretical; having no practical use an academic point. academic NOUN academics a university or college teacher.

acceptable ADJECTIVE good enough to


[from ac- + Latin capere = take] USAGE Do not confuse with except.

accept; pleasing.  acceptably


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access (say ak-sess) NOUN

1 a way to enter or reach something. 2 the right to use or look at something. access VERB accesses, accessing, accessed find information that has been stored in a computer. [same origin as accede]

accommodate VERB accommodates,

accessible ADJECTIVE able to be reached or

accommodating ADJECTIVE willing to help

understood easily.  accessibly

adverb accessibility noun

accession NOUN accessions

1 reaching a rank or position; becoming king or queen. 2 an addition recent accessions to our library. [from Latin accessio = coming to, something come to or added] D

accessory (say ak-sess-er-ee) NOUN accessories 1 an extra thing that goes with

something. 2 a person who helps another with a crime. [from Latin accessorius = added]

accident NOUN accidents an unexpected happening, especially one causing injury or damage. – by accident by chance; without its being arranged in advance. [from Latin accidere = happen]

accidental ADJECTIVE happening or done by accident.  accidentally


acclaim VERB acclaims, acclaiming, acclaimed welcome or applaud. noun acclamation noun [from ac- + Latin clamare = to shout]


acclimatize VERB acclimatizes, acclimatizing, acclimatized make or

become used to a new climate or new surroundings.  acclimatization

noun [from ac- + French climat = climate + - ize]

accolade (say ak-ol-ayd) NOUN accolades praise or a prize given to someone for something they have done. [from ac- + Latin collum = neck (because in the past, when a man was knighted, the king embraced him round the neck)]

accommodating, accommodated 1 provide somebody with a place to live, work, or sleep overnight. 2 help by providing something We can accommodate you with skis. [from Latin accommodare = make suitable for] D

or cooperate.

accommodation NOUN somewhere to live, work, or sleep overnight.

accompanist NOUN accompanists a pianist etc. who accompanies a singer or another musician.

accompany VERB accompanies, accompanying, accompanied 1 go somewhere with somebody. 2 be present with something Thunder accompanied the storm. 3 play music, especially on a piano, that supports a singer or another player etc. D



[from old French]

accomplice (say a-kum-pliss) NOUN accomplices a person who helps another in

a crime etc. [from old French]

accomplish VERB accomplishes, accomplishing, accomplished do

something successfully.  accomplishment


[from ac- + Latin complere = to complete]

accomplished ADJECTIVE skilled. accord NOUN agreement; consent. – of your own accord

without being asked

or compelled.

accord VERB accords, according, accorded 1 be consistent with something. 2 (formal) give He was accorded this privilege. [from old French] D

accordance NOUN – in accordance with in agreement with with the rules.


This is done in accordance

according ADVERB – according to

1 as stated by According to him, we are stupid. 2 in relation to Price the apples according to their size. D


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accordingly ADVERB

1 in the way that is required I’ve given you your instructions and I expect you to act accordingly. 2 therefore. D


accordion NOUN accordions a portable musical instrument like a large concertina with a set of piano-type keys at one end, played by squeezing it in and out and pressing the keys. [via German from Italian accordare = to tune an instrument]

accost VERB accosts, accosting, accosted approach and speak to a person. [via French from Italian]

account NOUN accounts

1 a statement of money owed, spent, or received; a bill. 2 an arrangement to keep money in a bank etc. 3 a description or report. – on account of because of. – on no account under no circumstances; certainly not. – take something into account consider or include it when making a decision or calculation. account VERB accounts, accounting,

accounted – account for

make it clear why something

happens. [from ac- + old French counte = story, sum]

accountable ADJECTIVE responsible; having to explain why you have done something.  accountability


accountant NOUN accountants a person whose job is keeping or inspecting financial accounts.  accountancy


accounting NOUN keeping financial accounts.

accoutrements (say a-koo-trim-ents) PLURAL NOUN





accredited ADJECTIVE officially recognized our accredited agent. [from French accréditer = vouch for] D

accretion (say a-kree-shon) NOUN accretions a growth or increase in which

things are added gradually. [same origin as accrue]

accrue (say a-kroo) VERB accrues, accruing, accrued 1 gradually increase over a period of time. 2 accumulate.  accrual


[from ac- + Latin crescere = grow]

accumulate VERB accumulates, accumulating, accumulated 1 collect; pile

up. 2 increase in quantity.  accumulation


[from ac- + Latin cumulus = heap]

accumulator NOUN accumulators a storage battery.

accurate ADJECTIVE correct or exact.  accurately

adverb accuracy noun

[from ac- + Latin cura = care]

accusation NOUN accusations accusing someone; a statement accusing a person of a fault or crime etc.

accuse VERB accuses, accusing, accused say that a person has committed a crime etc.; blame.  accuser


[from ac- + Latin causa = cause]

accustom VERB accustoms, accustoming, accustomed make a person become used

to something. [from ac- + custom]

ace NOUN aces

1 a playing card with one spot. 2 a very skilful person or thing. 3 (in tennis) a serve that is too good for the other player to reach. [from Latin as = unit]

acerbic (say a-serb-ik) ADJECTIVE having a sharp manner of speaking. [from Latin acerbus = sour- tasting]

acetylene (say a-set-il-een) NOUN a gas that burns with a bright flame, used in cutting and welding metal. [from Latin]

ache NOUN aches a dull continuous pain. ache VERB aches, aching, ached have an ache. [from Old English]

achieve VERB achieves, achieving, achieved succeed in doing or producing something.  achievable

adjective achievement noun

[from old French a chief = to a head]

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acid acid NOUN acids a chemical substance that contains hydrogen and neutralizes alkalis. The hydrogen can be replaced by a metal to form a salt.  acidic



adjective acidity noun

acquiesce (say ak-wee-ess) VERB acquiesces, acquiescing, acquiesced

agree to something.  acquiescent

adjective acquiescence noun

[from ac- + Latin quiescere = to rest]


1 sharp-tasting; sour. 2 looking or sounding bitter an acid reply.  acidly adverb D

[from Latin acere = to be sour]

acid rain NOUN rain made acid by mixing with waste gases from factories etc.

acquire VERB acquires, acquiring, acquired obtain. [from ac- + Latin quaerere = seek]

acquisition NOUN

1 something you have acquired recently. 2 the process of acquiring something.

ackee (say ak-i) NOUN

acquisitive (say a-kwiz-it-iv) ADJECTIVE

acknowledge VERB acknowledges,

acquit VERB acquits, acquitting,

1 a tropical tree from West Africa. 2 the fruit of this tree.

acknowledging, acknowledged 1 admit that something is true. 2 state that you have received or noticed something They wrote back to acknowledge my application. 3 express thanks or appreciation for something. D



[from Old English acknow = confess, + knowledge] degree of something the acme of perfection. [from Greek akme = highest point] D

acne (say ak-nee) NOUN inflamed red

something well. [from ac- + Latin quietus = at rest] measuring 4,840 square yards or 0.405 hectares.  acreage


[from Old English aecer = field] an acrid smell. [from Latin acer = sharp, pungent, bitter]

acorn NOUN acorns the seed of the oak tree. [from Old English]

acoustic (say a-koo-stik) ADJECTIVE

1 to do with sound or hearing. 2 (said about a musical instrument) not electronic an acoustic guitar. D


acoustics (say a-koo-stiks) PLURAL NOUN 1 the qualities of a hall etc. that make it good or bad for carrying sound. 2 the properties of sound.

acquaint VERB acquaints, acquainting, acquainted tell somebody about something Acquaint him with the facts. – be acquainted with know slightly. [from old French] D



acrimonious (say ak-rim-oh-nee-us) (said about a person’s manner or words) bitter and bad-tempered.  acrimony (say ak-rim-on-ee) noun [same origin as acrid] ADJECTIVE

acrobat NOUN acrobats a person who performs spectacular gymnastic stunts for entertainment.  acrobatic

[from Greek akouein = hear]

person you know slightly. 2 being acquainted.


acrid ADJECTIVE bitter

pimples on the face and neck. [same origin as acme]

acquaintance NOUN acquaintances

acquitted decide that somebody is not guilty The jury acquitted her. noun – acquit yourself well perform or do  acquittal

acre (say ay-ker) NOUN acres an area of land

acme (say ak-mee) NOUN the highest


eager to acquire things.

adjective acrobatics plural noun

[from Greek akrobatos = walking on tiptoe]

acronym (say ak-ron-im) NOUN acronyms a word or name that is formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word in its own right Nato is an acronym of North Atlantic Treaty Organization. [from Greek akros = top + onyma = name] D


1 from one side to the other Swim across the river. Are you across yet? 2 on the opposite side the house across the street. [from French à croix = crosswise] D


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acrostic NOUN acrostics a word puzzle or poem in which the first or last letters of each line form a word or words. [from Greek akros = top + stikhos = a line of verse]

acrylic (say a-kril-ik) NOUN a kind of fibre, plastic, or resin made from an organic acid. [from acrolein, the substance from which acrylic is made]

acrylics PLURAL NOUN a type of paint used by artists.

actress NOUN actresses a woman who acts a part in a play or film etc.

actual ADJECTIVE real.  actually

adverb actuality noun

[from Latin actualis = active, practical] actuate VERB actuates, actuating, actuated (formal) start something working; activate.  actuation


acumen (say ak-yoo-men) NOUN sharpness of mind.

act NOUN acts

1 something someone does.

2 a pretence She is only putting on an act. 3 one of the main divisions of a play or opera. 4 each of a series of short performances in a D

programme of entertainment a juggling act. 5 a law passed by a parliament. act VERB acts, acting, acted 1 do something; perform actions. 2 perform a part in a play or film etc. 3 function; have an effect. [from Latin actus = doing, performing] D

action NOUN actions

1 doing something.

2 something done. 3 a battle; fighting was killed in action. 4 a lawsuit.



– out of action not working or functioning. – take action do something.

action replay NOUN action replays playing back a piece of sports action on television, especially in slow motion.

activate VERB activates, activating, activated start something working. noun activator noun



1 taking part in many activities; energetic. 2 functioning or working; in operation an active volcano. 3 (said about a form of a verb) used when the subject of the verb is performing the action. In ‘The shop sells videos’ the verb is active; in ‘Videos are sold by the shop’ the verb is passive. D




adverb activeness noun

activist NOUN activists a person who is active and energetic, especially in politics.

activity NOUN activities

1 an action or occupation outdoor activities. 2 being active or lively. D

actor NOUN actors a person who acts a part in a play or film etc.

[Latin, = a point]

acupuncture (say ak-yoo-punk-cher) NOUN pricking parts of the body with needles to relieve pain or cure disease.  acupuncturist


[from Latin acu = with a needle, + puncture] acute ADJECTIVE 1 sharp or strong acute pain. 2 having a sharp mind. D


adverb acuteness noun

[from Latin acus = needle]

acute accent NOUN acute accents a mark over a vowel, as over é in résumé.

acute angle NOUN acute angles an angle of less than 90°.

AD ABBREVIATION Anno Domini (Latin = in the year of Our Lord), used in dates counted from the birth of Jesus Christ. ad- PREFIX (changing to ac-, af-, ag-, al-, an-, ap-, ar-, as-, at- before certain consonants) to; towards (as in adapt, admit). [from Latin ad = to] adamant (say ad-am-ant) ADJECTIVE firm and not giving way to requests. [from Greek] Adam’s apple NOUN Adam’s apples the lump at the front of a man’s neck. [from the story that when Adam (the first man, according to the Bible) ate an apple, which God had forbidden him to do, a piece of it stuck in his throat]

adapt VERB adapts, adapting, adapted 1 change something so that it is suitable for a new purpose. 2 to become used to a new

situation.  adaptable

adjective adaptation noun

[from ad- + Latin aptus = suitable, apt] adaptor NOUN adaptors a device to connect pieces of electrical or other equipment.

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add VERB adds, adding, added

adequate ADJECTIVE enough or good

– add up 1 make or find a total. 2 (informal)


1 put one thing with another. 2 make another remark.

make sense; seem reasonable. [from Latin] addenda PLURAL NOUN things added at the end of a book. [Latin, = things to be added] adder NOUN adders a small poisonous snake. [from Old English; originally called a nadder, which became an adder] addict NOUN addicts a person who does or uses something that he or she cannot give up.  addicted

adjective addiction noun [from Latin]

addictive ADJECTIVE causing a habit that people cannot give up


an addictive drug.

addition NOUN additions

1 the process of adding. 2 something added. – in addition also; as an extra thing.  additional

adjective additionally adverb

additive NOUN additives a substance added to another in small amounts for a special purpose, e.g. as a flavouring. addled ADJECTIVE 1 (said about eggs) rotted and producing no chick after being brooded. 2 confused. [from Old English] address NOUN addresses 1 the details of the place where someone lives or of where letters etc. should be delivered to a person or firm. 2 (in computing) the part of an instruction that shows where a piece of information is stored in a computer’s memory. 3 a speech to an audience. address VERB addresses, addressing, addressed 1 write an address on a parcel etc. 2 make a speech or remark etc. to somebody. [from old French] addressee NOUN addressees the person to whom a letter etc. is addressed. adenoids PLURAL NOUN thick spongy flesh at the back of the nose and throat, which may hinder breathing. [from Greek aden = gland] adept (say a-dept) ADJECTIVE very skilful. [from Latin]

enough. adverb adequacy noun

[from Latin]

adhere VERB adheres, adhering, adhered stick to something.  adhesion


[from ad- + Latin haerere = to stick]

adherent (say ad-heer-ent) NOUN adherents a person who supports a certain group or theory etc.  adherence


adhesive ADJECTIVE sticky; causing things to stick together.

adhesive NOUN adhesives a substance used to stick things together; glue. [same origin as adhere]

ad hoc ADJECTIVE & ADVERB done or arranged only when necessary and not planned in advance We had to make a number of ad hoc decisions. [Latin, = for this] D

adieu (say a-dew) INTERJECTION goodbye. [from French à = to + Dieu = God]

ad infinitum (say in-fin-I-tum) ADVERB without limit; for ever. [Latin, = to infinity]

adjacent ADJECTIVE near or next to


I waited

in an adjacent room. [from ad- + Latin jacens = lying]

adjective NOUN adjectives a word that describes a noun or adds to its meaning, e.g. big, honest, strange, our.  adjectival


adjoin VERB adjoins, adjoining, adjoined be next or nearest to something. [same origin as adjunct]

adjourn (say a-jern) VERB adjourns, adjourning, adjourned 1 break off a meeting etc. until a later time. 2 break off and go somewhere else They adjourned to the library. D



[from Latin, = to another day]

adjudge VERB adjudges, adjudging, adjudged judge; give a decision adjudged to be guilty. [same origin as adjudicate]


He was

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adjudicate (say a-joo-dik-ayt) VERB


act as judge in a competition etc.

adjudicates, adjudicating, adjudicated  adjudication

noun adjudicator noun

[from ad- + Latin judex = a judge]

adjunct (say aj-unkt) NOUN adjuncts something added that is useful but not essential. [from ad- + Latin junctum = joined]

adjust VERB adjusts, adjusting, adjusted 1 put a thing into its proper position or order. 2 alter something so that it fits or is

suitable.  adjustable



adjective adjustment noun

[from ad- + Latin juxta = close to]

ad lib ADVERB as you like; freely. [from Latin ad libitum = according to pleasure]

ad-lib VERB ad-libs, ad-libbing, ad-libbed say or do something without any rehearsal or preparation.

administer VERB administers, administering, administered 1 give or provide something He administered medicine. 2 manage business affairs; D

administrate. [from ad- + Latin ministrare = serve]

administrate VERB administrates, administrating, administrated manage

public or business affairs.  administrator

noun administrative adjective [same origin as administer]

administration NOUN administrations 1 administering. 2 the management of public or business affairs. 3 the people who

manage an organization etc.; the government.

admissible ADJECTIVE able to be admitted or allowed


admissible evidence.

admission NOUN admissions

1 admitting. 2 the charge for being allowed to go in. 3 a statement admitting something; a confession. admit VERB admits, admitting, admitted 1 allow someone or something to come in. 2 state reluctantly that something is true; confess We admit that the task is difficult. He admitted his crime. [from ad- + Latin mittere = send] admittance NOUN being allowed to go in, especially to a private place. admittedly ADVERB as an agreed fact; without denying it. admonish VERB admonishes, admonishing, admonished advise or warn someone firmly but mildly. D



[from ad- + Latin monere = advise] ad nauseam (say naw-see-am) ADVERB until people are sick of it. [Latin, = to sickness] ado NOUN – without more or further ado without wasting any more time. [originally in much ado = much to do] adolescence (say ad-ol-ess-ens) NOUN the time between being a child and being an adult. [from ad- + Latin alescere = grow up] adolescent NOUN adolescents a young person at the age between being a child and being an adult.  adolescent


adopt VERB adopts, adopting, adopted 1 take someone into your family as your own child. 2 accept something; take something and use it They adopted new methods of working. D

admirable ADJECTIVE worth admiring; excellent.  admirably


admiral NOUN admirals a naval officer of high rank. [from Arabic amir = commander]

admire VERB admires, admiring, admired 1 look at something and enjoy it. 2 think that someone or something is very good.  admiration

noun admirer noun

[from ad- + Latin mirari = wonder at]



[from ad- + Latin optare = choose] adore VERB adores, adoring, adored love a person or thing very much.  adorable

adjective adoration noun

[from ad- + Latin orare = pray] adorn VERB adorns, adorning, adorned decorate.  adornment


[from ad- + Latin ornare = furnish, decorate]

Oxford School Dictionary - Page 11 Sunday, September 18, 2011 3:26 PM




adrenalin (say a-dren-al-in) NOUN a

advantageous (say ad-van-tay-jus)

hormone produced when you are afraid or excited. It stimulates the nervous system, making your heart beat faster and increasing your energy and your ability to move quickly. [from ad- + renal (because adrenalin is made by the adrenal glands, above the kidneys)] adrift ADJECTIVE & ADVERB drifting. [from a- 1 + drift]

giving an advantage; beneficial. Advent NOUN the period just before Christmas, when Christians celebrate the coming of Christ. advent NOUN the arrival of a new person or thing the advent of computers. [from ad- + Latin venire = come]

adroit (say a-droit) ADJECTIVE skilful. [from French à droit = according to right]

adulation NOUN very great flattery. [from old French]

adult (say ad-ult) NOUN adults a fully

WORD FAMILY There are a number of English words that are related to advent because part of their original meaning comes from the Latin word venire meaning ‘to come’. These include adventure, contravene, convene, intervene, invent, prevent, supervene, and venture.

or dangerous experience. 2 willingness to take risks.

adulterate VERB adulterates, adulterating, adulterated make a thing

impure or less good by adding something to it. noun



[same origin as advent]

adventurous ADJECTIVE willing to take risks and do new things.

adverb NOUN adverbs a word that adds to

[from Latin]

adultery NOUN being unfaithful to your wife or husband by having sexual intercourse with someone else.  adulterer


adventure NOUN adventures 1 an exciting

grown or mature person. [from Latin adultus = grown up]



noun adulterous adjective


[from Latin]

advance NOUN advances

1 a forward movement; progress. 2 an increase. 3 a loan; payment made before it is due. – in advance beforehand; ahead. advance ADJECTIVE given or arranged beforehand advance warning. advance VERB advances, advancing, advanced 1 move forward; make progress. 2 lend or pay money ahead of the proper time Can you advance me a month’s salary? D



the meaning of a verb or adjective or another adverb and tells how, when, or where something happens, e.g. gently, soon, and upstairs.


adjective adverbially adverb

[from ad- + Latin verbum = word] adversary (say ad-ver-ser-ee) NOUN adversaries an opponent or enemy. adverse ADJECTIVE unfavourable or harmful adverse effects. D



[from Latin adversus = opposite, from ad- + versus = turned] USAGE Do not confuse with averse.

adversity NOUN adversities trouble or misfortune.

advert NOUN adverts (informal) an

[from old French]


advantage NOUN advantages 1 something useful or helpful. 2 (in tennis)

the next point won after deuce. use a person or thing profitably or unfairly. – to advantage making a good effect The painting can be seen to its best advantage here. – to your advantage profitable or helpful to you. [from French avant = before] – take advantage of


advertise VERB advertises, advertising, advertised 1 praise goods etc. in order to

encourage people to buy or use them. 2 make something publicly known advertise a meeting. 3 give information about someone you need for a job A local firm was advertising for a secretary. D




[from old French]

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The Oxford School Dictionary is now available in paperback. As well as the comprehensive vocabulary coverage of the bestselling hardback, it...

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The Oxford School Dictionary is now available in paperback. As well as the comprehensive vocabulary coverage of the bestselling hardback, it...