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V noun [ C ] LETTER

1. ( ALSO v ) the 22nd letter of the English alphabet


V noun [ C ] NUMBER
2. ( ALSO v ) the sign used in the Roman system for the number 5
v preposition ( ALSO vs )
1. ABBREVIATION FOR versus
I need to consider the advantages v the disadvantages.
2. used to show who is competing in a game
Newcastle United v Wigan
3. used to show the two sides involved in a court case
the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v Wade
v noun
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR verb
v. adverb
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FORvery
The teacher wrote 'v. good' on my essay.
vac noun PERIOD
1. [ C ] UK INFORMAL FOR vacation
Have you managed to get a job for the long (= summer) vac?
vac noun EQUIPMENT
2. [ C ] INFORMAL FOR vacuum (cleaner)
3. [ S ] UK INFORMAL FOR an act of cleaning something with a vacuum cleaner
Could you give the bedrooms a vac?
vac verb [ I or T ] UK INFORMAL
to clean something with a vacuum cleaner
I've nearly finished the cleaning, I just need to vac.
Have you vacced the carpet?
vacancy noun [ C ]
1. a space or place which is available to be used
We wanted to book a hotel room in July but there were no vacancies.
The dentist can't see you today but she has a vacancy tomorrow morning.
There are still some vacancies for students in science and engineering courses,
but the vacancies in humanities have been filled .
2. a job that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone new to do
There is a vacancy for a shop assistant on Saturdays.
vacant adjective EMPTY
1. not filled or occupied ; available to be used
The hospital has no vacant beds.
Compare engaged
2. A vacant job is one that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone
new to do
When the post fell (= became) vacant, Dennis Bass was appointed to fill it.
vacant adjective NOT INTERESTED
3. showing no interest or activity
She had a vacant look/expression on her face.
vacantly adverb
showing no interest or activity
She gazed/stared vacantly into space/ahead.
ˌ vacant pos ˈ session noun [ U ] UK SPECIALIZED
when someone who buys a house or property is allowed to use it immediately
without anyone else still living in it or using it
vacate , verb [ T ] FORMAL
to leave a room, building, chair, etc. so that it is available for other people
Hotel guests are requested to vacate their rooms by noon.
Denis vacates his job at the end of the week.
vacation noun
1. [ C or U ] US a holiday, especially when you are travelling away from home for
pleasure
We're taking a vacation in June.
They went to Europe on vacation.
I've still got some vacation left before the end of the year.
2. [ C ] MAINLY US ( UK INFORMAL vac ) a period of the year when schools or colleges
are closed, or when law courts do not operate
the Christmas/Easter/summer/long vacation
vacation verb [ I ] US
Remember that time we were vacationing in Vermont?
vacationer noun [ C ]
US FOR holidaymaker
vaccinate verb [ T ]
to give someone a vaccine, usually by injection , to prevent them from getting a
disease
The children were vaccinated against the major childhood diseases.
See also inoculate ; immunize
vaccination noun [ C or U ]
All the children have received two vaccinations against measles.
vaccine noun [ C or U ]
a substance which contains a form that is not harmful of a virus or bacterium (=
extremely small organism) and which is given to a person or animal to prevent them
from getting the disease which the virus or bacterium causes
This vaccine protects against some kinds of the bacteria.
See picture health 2
vacillate verb [ I ] DISAPPROVING
to be uncertain what to do, or to change often between two opinions
Her mood vacillated between hope and despair.
vacillation noun [ C or U ]
vacuole noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a space that contains air or fluid inside a living cell, often storing an important
chemical or food substance
vacuous adjective FORMAL
not expressing or showing intelligent thought or purpose
a vacuous remark/question/expression/smile
vacuously adverb
vacuousness noun [ U ] ( ALSO vacuity )
vacuum noun CLEANER
1. [ C ] ( ALSO vacuum cleaner , INFORMAL vac , UK ALSO TRADEMARK Hoover ) a
machine which cleans floors and other surfaces by sucking up dust and dirt
See picture vacuum cleaner
vacuum noun EMPTY SPACE
2. [ C or U ] a space from which most or all of the air, gas or other material has
been removed or is not present
3. [ S ] a lack of something
The withdrawal of troops from the area has created a security vacuum which will
need to be filled .
4. in a vacuum
kept separate from other people and activities
No artist works in a vacuum - we are all of us influenced by others.
vacuum verb [ I or T ] ( UK ALSO hoover )
to use a vacuum cleaner to collect dust, dirt, etc
Vacuum (up) the cake crumbs, would you?
ˈ vacuum ˌ flask noun [ C ] ( US vacuum bottle ) UK
a container that keeps hot liquids hot, or cold liquids cold, and usually has a lid
that is used as a cup
See also flask
vacuum-packed , adjective
Something, especially food, which is vacuum-packed is in a soft container from
which the air has been removed so that the contents can be stored longer.
ˈ vacuum ˌ pump noun [ C ]
a piece of equipment for removing air or gas from a container, creating a vacuum
inside
vagabond noun [ C ] OLD USE OR LITERARY
a person who has no home and usually no job, and who travels from place to
place
They live a vagabond life/existence, travelling around in a caravan.
Compare vagrant
vagaries plural noun FORMAL
unexpected and uncontrollable events or changes which have an influence on a
situation
The success of the event will be determined by the vagaries of the weather .
She had her own style and was not influenced by the vagaries of fashion .
vagina noun [ C ]
the part of a woman or other female mammal's body which connects her outer
sex organs to her womb
vaginal adjective
vaginal intercourse
vaginally adverb
vagrant noun [ C ] FORMAL OR LEGAL
a person who is poor and does not have a home or job; a tramp
The town has shelters and food handouts for vagrants.
vagrancy noun [ U ]
Most European countries have abandoned laws that make vagrancy a crime.
vague adjective
1. not clearly expressed, known, described or decided
I do have a vague memory of meeting her many years ago.
The patient had complained of vague pains and backache.
2. not clear in shape, or not clearly seen
Through the mist I could just make out a vague figure.
3. describes someone who is not able to think clearly, or who, sometimes as a
way of hiding what they really think, does not express their opinions clearly
My aunt is incredibly vague - she can never remember where she's left things.
Their report is studiously vague (= intentionally not exact) on future economic
prospects.
vaguely adverb
I vaguely remembered having met her before.
vagueness noun [ U ]
vain adjective NOT SUCCESSFUL
1. unsuccessful or useless; of no value
The doctors gave him more powerful drugs in the vain hope that he might
recover.
FORMAL It was vain to pretend to himself that he was not disappointed.
2. in vain
unsuccessfully or uselessly
I tried in vain to start a conversation.
All the police's efforts to find him were in vain.
vain adjective SELFISH
3. too interested in your own appearance or achievements
He was very vain about his hair and his clothes.
vainly adverb
unsuccessfully
He tried vainly to make them listen.
valance noun [ C ]
1. a short piece of gathered (= pulled together in folds) material which hangs
down especially around the base of a bed
2. US a pelmet
vale noun [ C ]
1. used in the name of some valleys
the Vale of Evesham
2. OLD-FASHIONED OR LITERARY a valley
a cloud that floats on high o'er hills and vales
this vale of tears LITERARY
This vale of tears is the world we live in, seen as sad and difficult.
valediction noun [ C or U ] FORMAL
the act of saying goodbye, especially formally, or a formal speech in which
someone says goodbye
valedictorian noun [ C ] US
a student, usually one who has been the most successful in a particular class, who
makes a speech at a special ceremony at the end of a school year
valedictory adjective FORMAL
relating to saying goodbye, especially formally
a valedictory speech
valency noun [ C ] ( ALSO valence ) SPECIALIZED
a measurement which shows the number of hydrogen atoms that can combine
with one atom of a particular chemical element to make a compound , used to describe
how easily an element can connect in a chemical way with others
Zinc has a valency of 2.
valentine noun [ C ]
1. someone you love or would like to have a romantic relationship with, and who
you send a valentine card to
The message on the card said 'Be my Valentine'.
2. ( ALSO valentine card ) a decorative card which you send, usually without your
name on it, on 14 February (Valentine's Day) to someone you love
Did you get any valentines?
Most of the valentine cards either had hearts on them or were very rude.
Valentine's Day noun [ C or U ]
14 February, a day when you give a valentine card to someone you have a
romantic relationship with or would like a romantic relationship with
valerian noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
a plant with small white or pink flowers and a root that is used in medicines,
especially as a sedative (= drug to calm you or make you sleep)
valet noun [ C ]
1. someone in a hotel who cleans clothes
2. US someone at a hotel or restaurant who puts your car in a parking space for
you
3. the personal male servant of a rich man, especially in the past
valet , verb [ T ] UK
to clean, especially the inside of, something
There's a service which will valet your car for you while it is parked.
ˈ valet ˌ parking noun [ U ]
the service offered by a restaurant, hotel, etc. of putting your car in a parking
space
ˈ valet ˌ service noun [ U ]
the service of cleaning clothes offered by a hotel to people staying there
valiant adjective
very brave or bravely determined, especially when things are difficult or the
situation gives no cause for hope
The company has made a valiant effort/attempt in the last two years to make
itself more efficient.
valiantly adverb
valid adjective
1. based on truth or reason; able to be accepted
a valid argument/criticism/reason
My way of thinking might be different from yours, but it's equally valid.
Compare invalid
2. A ticket or other document is valid if it is based on or used according to a set of
official conditions which often include a time limit
My passport is valid for another two years.
3. having legal force
Is this contract/ticket/agreement still valid?
validity noun [ U ]
This research seems to give/lend some validity to the theory that the drug might
cause cancer.
validly adverb
validate verb [ T ]
to make something officially acceptable or approved, especially after examining it
It is a one-year course validated by London's City University.
The data is validated automatically by the computer after it has been entered.
validation noun [ U ]
External validation of the teachers' assessments is recommended.
Valium noun [ C or U ] TRADEMARK
a drug which makes you calm and helps you to stop worrying, or a pill containing
this
She was on (= using) Valium for a few months after the accident.
to take a couple of Valium
valley noun [ C ]
valley
an area of low land between hills or mountains, often with a river running through
it
the Nile Valley
the Thames valley
There was snow on the hill tops but not in the valley.
unzip verb [ T ]
1. to open something by using a zip
He unzipped his suitcase.
2. to return a computer file to its original size after it has been zipped (= reduced
in size so that it can be easily sent or stored)
up adverb HIGHER
1. towards a higher position; towards a higher value, number or level
Put those books up on the top shelf.
A gravel road leads through the jungle and up into the Andes.
Pushing the number of unit sales up every quarter can't be continued indefinitely.
The water was up to /had come up to the level of the windows.
2. out of the ground
He spent the afternoon digging carrots up.
3. up and down
from a higher to a lower position repeatedly
My little daughter started jumping up and down with rage when she heard she
couldn't go.
up adverb VERTICAL
4. in or into a vertical position
Would you stand up for a moment, I want to see how tall you are.
Compare down
up adverb TOP
5. in a high position; at the top
Our boardroom is up on the twenty-third floor.
You can tell which way up the crates have to be because they all say 'TOP'.
Compare down
up adverb NEAR
6. very near
Carrying a gun, he walked up to the cashier and demanded money.
A limousine drew up (= parked) outside the hotel.
up adverb INCREASE
7. to a greater degree; in order to increase
The fire heats the room up (= makes it warmer) within minutes.
Grandma always turns the TV up really loud because she can't hear very well.
Try not to get worked up (= increasingly excited or angry) , I'm sure we can sort
the problem out.
8. If a level or amount is up, it has increased
The cost of car insurance is up, but not very much.
Last year the company's turnover was $240 billion, up 3% on (= compared with)
the previous year.
up adverb NOT IN BED
9. not in bed
It's time to get up now!
Oh, I've been up all night, finishing my essay.
10. up and about/around
to be able to get out of bed and move around again after a period of illness,
because your health has improved enough
up adverb EXIST
11. into existence, view or attention
Originally the charity was set up to help orphans in urban areas.
Sorry darling, something unexpected has come up (= has happened) at the
office, and I'll be home late.
Coming up (= Happening next) after the break, we have a man who claims he
can communicate with fish.
Would this be a good time to bring up the issue of salary?
up adverb EQUAL
12. so as to be equal in quality, knowledge or achievement
She couldn't go to school for a few weeks because of illness, but she'll be able to
catch up ( with her lessons) quickly.
So much scientific research is being performed that it's virtually impossible to
keep up ( with all the new developments).
US INFORMAL Kate and I were both playing well, and after ten minutes the score
was 6-up (= 6 points each) .
up adverb TOGETHER
13. in a state of being together with other similar things
You've got half an hour to gather up anything you'll need for the journey.
Add up the column of figures in your head and then tell me what the sum is.
up adverb TIGHTLY
14. tightly or firmly in order to keep something safe or in position
Can you do my shoelaces up for me?
Tie up the top of the bag so the rubbish doesn't fall out.
You'd better wrap up (= wear warm clothes) - it's cold outside.
up adverb SMALLER
15. broken or cut into smaller pieces; made smaller in area
He cut the letter up into a hundred pieces.
She folded the newspaper up and put it in her bag.
The car blew up (= exploded) when flames reached its fuel tank.
up adverb AGE
16. to a greater age
No one said that growing up would be easy or painless.
Many single parents struggle to bring their children up on a low income.
up adverb PROBLEM
17. [ after verb ] used when talking or asking about what is happening
Everyone was talking in whispers, and I could tell something was up (= something
unusual was happening) .
What's up (= What is happening or what is wrong) ?
up adverb FINISHED
18. [ after verb ] When a period of time is up, it is finished
When the two hours were up nobody had answered all of the questions.
Your time is up - it's someone else's turn on the training equipment now.
up adverb IMPROVE
19. into an improved position or state
By lap 26, Senna had moved up into second position.
Stein had a bad start to the race, but by the ninth lap she was up with the
leaders.
Compare down
up adverb END
20. to an end, finish or state of being complete
Finish up the old packet of biscuits before you open a new one.
Crime won't help - you'll end up in prison.
I'd like to round up the meeting by thanking all those who were able to attend at
such short notice.
up adverb DIRECTION
21. towards the north or towards a more important place, especially a city
On Tuesday she'll be travelling up to Newcastle from Birmingham.
She comes up from her village about once a month on the train.
up adverb INTENDED
22. up for sth
intended, suggested or being considered for something
That house at the end of our road is up for sale again.
Are you really up for promotion?
up adverb EAGER
23. up for (doing) sth
INFORMAL willing and able to do or take part in an activity
After a long day at work I wasn't really up for a party.
We're going swimming. Are you up for it?
I'm up for organiz ing the meeting if nobody else wants to do it.
up adverb TRIAL
24. [ after verb ] on trial in a court
If he doesn't pay the fine soon, he'll be up before the magistrate.
Max is up for armed robbery.
up adverb ROAD
25. [ after verb ] UK When a road is up, it is being repaired and so is unsuitable
for use
The council has got the road up because of a broken sewer.
up adverb INTENDED
26. to be considered, or as a suggestion
How many candidates will your party be putting up (= offering for election) at
the elections next week?
up adverb HAIR
27. If someone's long hair is up, it is arranged on the top or back of their head
You look lovely with your hair up.
be up there with sb INFORMAL
to match someone else in ability or in a particular skill
As a composer, he was up there with the best.
up and down
sometimes happy and sometimes sad
She's been very up and down since her husband went into hospital.
up and down somewhere
everywhere in a particular area
Cinemas up and down the country are reporting huge audiences for the film.
up to (doing) sth
1. good enough for a particular activity
He wants to compete at international level, but frankly I don't think he's up to it.
2. strong enough for a particular activity
It was a serious fall - it'll be a while before you feel up to walk ing again.
be up to sth
to be doing something
What are you up to at the moment?
up with OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
shouted or written on notices to show support
Up with freedom, down with repression!
up preposition HIGHER
1. to or in a higher level or position
We followed her up the stairs to a large meeting room.
up preposition TOP
2. at the top of
You'll find a dusty attic up these stairs.
If you want Fred, he's up that ladder.
up preposition ALONG
3. (further) along
The car shot off up the road at high speed.
They live just up the road.
4. up and down
along the surface of something first in one direction and then in the opposite
direction, usually repeatedly
He was running up and down the path, shouting.
up preposition ORIGIN
5. towards the starting point of something, especially a river or stream
Rowing up (the) river against the current was very hard work.
See also upriver ; upstream
up preposition TO
6. UK NOT STANDARD to or at
Are you going up the club tonight?
Compare down
be up yourself UK AUSTRALIAN SLANG
to think that you are better and more important than other people
She's so up herself since she landed this new job, it's unbearable.
Up yours! OFFENSIVE
used to show that you very much dislike someone or the things that someone has
just said or done
up adjective HIGHER
1. moving up
an up escalator
See also upper
up adjective IN OPERATION
2. [ after verb ] When a system, computer or similar machine is up, it is
operating, especially in its usual way
Andy, do you know when the network will be up again?
Opposite down
up adjective HAPPY
3. INFORMAL feeling happy
She's been really up since she started her new job.
up and running
If something, especially a system or a machine, is up and running it is operating
The engineer soon got the air-conditioning up and running again.
up noun
on the up (and up)
1. MAINLY US INFORMAL describes someone who is honest and can be trusted
2. UK improving all the time
Her career has been on the up and up since she moved into sales.
up verb INFORMAL HIGHER
1. [ T ] to increase something such as a price
We won't be able to make a profit on the deal without upping the sale price.
It looks like tax rates are going to be upped again.
up verb INFORMAL VERTICAL
2. up and ...
used with another verb to emphasize that someone left a place or did something
in a sudden and possibly unexpected way
After dinner they just upped and left/went without saying goodbye.
up- prefix
higher or improved
uphill
uplift
up-and-coming adjective [ usually before noun ]
likely to achieve success soon or in the near future
up-and-coming young actresses
up-and-down adjective
sometimes successful and sometimes not successful
up-and-over adjective [ before noun ] MAINLY UK
describes a door that opens by being lifted and then sliding into a horizontal
position as it rises
upbeat , adjective INFORMAL
full of hope, happiness and good feelings
Live music and a parade set an upbeat mood for the official opening.
Opposite downbeat
upbraid verb [ T ] FORMAL
to forcefully or angrily tell someone they should not have done a particular thing
and criticize them for having done it
In newspaper articles she consistently upbraided those in authority who
overstepped their limits.
upbringing noun [ C usually singular ]
the way in which someone is treated and educated when they are young,
especially by their parents, especially in relation to the effect which this has on how
they behave and make moral decisions
Is it right to say all the crimes he committed were simply the result of his
upbringing?
See also bring sb up
upcoming adjective [ before noun ] MAINLY US ( UK USUALLY forthcoming )
happening soon
Tickets are selling well for the group's upcoming concert tour.
up-country adverb [ before noun ] , adjective
in the direction of or relating to the parts of a country further from the coast,
especially where there are few towns and people
We'll travel up-country by horse tomorrow.
Some people find up-country customs strange.
update verb [ T ]
1. to make something more modern or suitable for use now by adding new
information or changing its design
an updated version of the software
2. to give someone the most recent information
We'll update you on this news story throughout the day.
update noun [ C ]
1. when you update something or someone with new information
Jo's just doing an update on the mailing list.
I'll need regular updates on your progress.
2. a new form of something which existed at an earlier time
It's an update of an old 60's movie.
upend verb [ T ]
to push or move something so that the part which usually touches the ground
does so no longer
She upended the chessboard halfway through the game because she was losing.
upfront adjective [ after verb ]
speaking or behaving in a way which makes intentions and beliefs clear
She's very upfront about why she wants the job - she'd earn a lot more money.
See also up front
upgrade verb [ T ]
to improve the quality or usefulness of something, such as a machine or a
computer program, or give a person a more important job or state that their job is more
important than it was in the past
It's quite simple to upgrade the indexing software.
Congratulations, I hear you've been upgraded to divisional manager.
Opposite downgrade
upgrade noun [ C ]
a piece of software or equipment that improves the quality or usefulness of a
computer or machine
a hardware upgrade
The upgrade to version 5.0 costs $395.
upheaval noun [ C or U ]
(a) great change, especially causing or involving much difficulty, activity or
trouble
Yesterday's coup brought further upheaval to a country already struggling with
famine.
It would cause a tremendous upheaval to install a different computer system.
uphill adjective , adverb
1. leading to a higher place on a slope
an uphill climb
running uphill
Compare downhill
2. needing a large amount of effort
It'll be an uphill struggle/battle/fight to get the new proposals accepted.
Compare downhill
uphold verb [ T ]
to defend or keep a principle or law, or to state that a decision which has already
been made, especially a legal one, is correct
As a police officer you are expected to uphold the law whether you agree with it
or not.
Judge Davis upheld the county court's decision.
upholder noun [ C ]
upholster verb [ T ]
to cover a chair or other type of seat with suitable cloth and fill it with a suitable
substance
upholstered adjective
a nicely upholstered sofa
upholsterer noun [ C ]
upholstery noun [ U ]
1. the cloth used for covering a seat and/or the substance used for filling it
an old sofa with faded green upholstery
2. the activity of upholstering objects
upkeep noun [ U ]
the cost or process of keeping something, such as a building, in good condition
The upkeep of larger old properties is very expensive.
Council employees are responsible for the upkeep of the gardens.
upland adjective
describes an area of land that is situated high up, such as on a hill or mountain
The whole plateau comprises one vast upland plain.
upland noun
uplands
high areas of land
uplift noun [ U ] IMPROVEMENT
1. SLIGHTLY FORMAL improvement of a person's moral or spiritual condition
We are counting on your speech, bishop, to give some moral uplift to the
delegates.
uplift noun [ U ] SUPPORT
2. support for a woman's breasts that is provided by her clothes
uplift verb [ T ] IMPROVE
1. to improve a person's moral or spiritual condition
uplift verb [ T ] RAISE
2. SPECIALIZED to raise something to a higher position
uplift verb [ T ] COLLECT
3. SCOTTISH to collect goods or people from one place, in order to take them to
another
Coaches will set down and uplift passengers only as directed by the police in the
streets mentioned.
uplifted adjective SLIGHTLY FORMAL
raised
With uplifted arms, he ran towards them.
uplifting adjective SLIGHTLY FORMAL
making someone feel better
For me it was a marvellously uplifting performance.
uplighter noun [ C ] ( ALSO uplight )
a light that sends light up towards the ceiling
upload verb [ T ]
to copy or move programs or information to a larger computer system or to the
Internet
Compare download
upload noun [ C ]
a computer program or information that can be uploaded
upmarket adjective , adverb ( MAINLY US upscale ) MAINLY UK
describes goods and products that are of very high quality and intended to be
bought by people who are quite rich
an upmarket brand name
Many garment exporters want to move upmarket.
Compare downmarket
upon preposition
1. FORMAL on
Upon her head she wore a black velvet hat.
You can never place enough emphasis upon the importance of safety.
Upon your arrival (= As soon as you arrive) , please report to the reception desk.
2. be upon you
SLIGHTLY FORMAL to be something that you will experience or have to deal with soon
Another couple of weeks and the holidays will be upon us.
upper adjective [ before noun ]
at a higher position or level than something else, or being the top part of
something
The office block's upper floors were being repainted.
If the infection is not checked it will probably spread to the upper body.
Opposite lower
upper noun [ C ] HIGHER
1. the top part of a shoe which covers a person's foot and to which the heel and
the sole are fixed
These shoes have leather uppers and synthetic soles.
upper noun [ C ] DRUG
2. INFORMAL a drug which causes a person taking it to feel very active and excited
Opposite downer
be on your uppers OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
to be very poor
ˌ upper ˈ case noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
If letters are in upper case, they are written as capitals
upper-case letters
Compare lower case
ˌ upper ˈ class noun [ S + sing/pl verb ] ( ALSO the upper classes [ plural ] )
a social group consisting of the people who have the highest social rank and who
are usually rich
The upper classes usually send their children to expensive private schools.
Compare lower class ; middle class ; working class
upper-class adjective
She comes from a very upper-class family.
the ˌ upper ˈ crust noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
people who have the highest social position and are usually rich
Many treasures were brought back to Britain because its upper crust was wealthy
and liked travelling abroad.
the ˌ upper ˈ hand noun [ S ]
If you have the upper hand, you have more power than anyone else and so have
control
After hours of fierce negotiations, the president gained/got/had the upper
hand.
ˌ upper ˈ house noun [ C usually singular ] ( ALSO upper chamber )
one of the two parts that some parliaments are divided into, usually the one with
less political power
In the UK, the upper house is the House of Lords.
The upper house of the US Congress is the Senate.
Compare lower house
uppermost adjective , adverb
in the highest position or having the most importance
The office block's uppermost floors were engulfed with flames.
Store the canisters with their lids uppermost.
What's uppermost in your mind just before a race?
uppity adjective INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
describes a person who behaves in an unpleasant way because they think that
they are more important than they really are
He got/became very uppity when his fashion designs were criticized.
upright adjective STRAIGHT
1. straight up or vertical
Please return your seat to an upright position and fasten your belt.
2. describes something which is taller than it is wide
an upright freezer/vacuum cleaner
upright adjective MORAL
3. APPROVING honest, responsible and moral
She behaved as any upright citizen would have under the circumstances.
upright adverb
vertical and as straight as possible
to sit/stand upright
The sound of breaking glass made her sit bolt upright (= sit with her back
straight) .
upright noun [ C ]
1. a vertical part of something that supports other parts
Firmly secure the two uprights to opposite walls in the alcove and then slot the
shelves in between them.
2. UK INFORMAL FOR goalpost
3. ( ALSO upright piano ) a piano in which the strings are vertical
Compare grand piano
uprightly adverb APPROVING
in an honest, responsible and moral way
uprightness noun [ U ] APPROVING
the quality of being honest, responsible and moral
uprising noun [ C ] ( ALSO rising )
an act of opposition, sometimes using violence, by many people in one area of a
country against those who are in power
Following a determined resistance in the east, there was eventually a popular
uprising in the capital.
upriver adverb , adjective [ before noun ]
towards the place where a river starts
We paddled upriver for a couple of hours.
uproar noun [ S or U ]
when a lot of people complain about something angrily
The book caused an uproar in France.
The whole hall was in uproar after the announcement.
uproarious adjective
1. extremely noisy and confused
an uproarious debate
2. extremely funny
It's a very amusing play with an uproarious final act.
uproariously adverb
They laughed uproariously.
uproot verb [ T ] PLANT
1. to pull a plant including its roots out of the ground
Hundreds of mature trees were uprooted in the storm.
uproot verb [ T ] PERSON
2. to remove a person from their home or usual environment
The war has uprooted nearly two-thirds of the country's population.
ˌ ups and ˈ downs plural noun
If someone or something experiences ups and downs, a mixture of good and bad
things happens to them
Like most married couples we've had our ups and downs, but life's like that.
upscale adjective
US FOR upmarket
upset verb [ T ] WORRY
1. to make someone worried, unhappy or angry
It still upsets him when he thinks about the accident.
[ R ] Don't upset your self by thinking about what might have been.
upset verb [ T ] CHANGE
2. to change the usual or expected state or order of something, especially in a
way which stops it from happening or working
Any mechanical problems would upset our plans of driving across the desert.
upset verb [ T ] KNOCK
3. to push or knock something out of its usual position, usually by accident,
especially causing it to fall
Our dog upset the picnic table, spilling food everywhere.
upset verb [ T ] ILLNESS
4. to make someone feel slightly ill
He can't eat grapes - they upset him/his stomach.
upset the apple cart
to cause trouble, especially by spoiling someone's plans
upset adjective WORRIED
1. [ after verb ] worried, unhappy or angry
Don't get upset about the dress - there's only a little stain on it.
[ + to infinitive ] She was very upset to hear that the holiday had been cancelled.
[ + that ] He was very upset that you didn't reply to his letters.
upset adjective ILL
2. INFORMAL If you have an upset stomach you feel slightly ill, especially because of
something you have eaten or drunk
I've got an upset stomach/tummy - serves me right for eating so much.
upset noun CHANGE
1. [ U ] confusion and problems
How much upset will the new monitoring procedures cause?
2. [ C ] when someone beats the team or player that was expected to win
It would be quite an upset if the favourite didn't win.
upset noun ILLNESS
3. [ C ] INFORMAL a slight illness of the stomach
Melanie's got a stomach/tummy upset so she won't be going to school today.
upsetting adjective
making someone feel worried, unhappy or angry
Seeing her again would be an upsetting experience after so many years.
upshifter noun [ C ] INFORMAL
someone who gets a job that is very well paid and difficult because they no longer
want to stay at home or do a job that is easy
upshift verb [ I ]
upshifting noun [ U ]
the upshot noun [ S ]
something which happens as a result of other actions, events or decisions
The upshot of the discussions is that there will be no redundancies.
upside noun [ S ]
the advantage of a situation
It's annoying that we can't travel until Thursday, but the upside is that the fare's
cheaper then.
Compare downside
ˌ upside ˈ down adverb , adjective
having the part which is usually at the top turned to be at the bottom
Turn the jar upside down and shake it.
The plane was flying upside down at high speed.
turn ( sth ) upside down
to (cause something to) change completely and in a bad way
Another poor harvest could turn the country's economy upside down.
Their lives were turned upside down when their son was arrested.
upstage verb [ T ]
to take people's attention away from someone and make them listen to or look at
you instead
Most supporting bands tend to be youngsters, and rarely upstage the star.
upstage , adverb [ before noun ] , adjective
towards or at the part of a theatre stage that is furthest from the people watching
the performance
He looks upstage to where the body is lying.
Opposite downstage
upstairs adverb [ before noun ] , adjective
towards or on the highest floor or floors of a building
an upstairs landing/window
He heard glass breaking and ran upstairs to see what had caused it.
Opposite downstairs
upstairs noun [ S ]
Sadly, the upstairs of the house was gutted by fire.
upstanding adjective SLIGHTLY FORMAL
behaving in a good and moral way
She is regarded as an upstanding citizen in the local community.
upstart noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING
a person, especially a young one, who has suddenly got power or an important
position and takes advantage of this in an unpleasant way
upstate adjective [ before noun ] , adverb US
towards or of the northern parts of a state in the US, especially those which are
far from cities where a lot of people live
upstate New York
We're going upstate for our vacation.
upstream adverb , adjective [ before noun ]
(moving) on a river or stream towards its origin
Salmon swim upstream against very strong currents to reach their breeding
areas.
Opposite downstream
upsurge noun [ C ]
a sudden and usually large increase in something
An upsurge of/in violence in the district has been linked to increased
unemployment.
upswing noun [ C ]
an increase or improvement
Many analysts are predicting an upswing in the economy.
uptake noun [ S or U ]
1. SPECIALIZED the rate or act of taking something in
Plants in their growth stage generally exhibit an increased uptake of nutrients.
2. UK the rate or act of accepting something
There is a 90% uptake of vaccination in this country.
Uptake of places on the training course has been disappointing.
be quick/slow on the uptake INFORMAL
If someone is quick/slow on the uptake they understand things easily/with
difficulty
He's a bit slow on the uptake, so you may have to repeat the instructions a few
times.
up-tempo adjective , adverb
describes music that is played at a fast beat
uptight adjective INFORMAL
worried or nervous and not able to relax
Don't get uptight about the exam - just do your best.
ˈ up ˌ to adverb
used to say that something is less than or equal to but not more than a stated
value, number or level
Up to two hundred people were on board the ship.
We can teach dancers up to intermediate level here.
ˈ up ˌ to preposition UNTIL
1. ( ALSO up until ) until
Up to yesterday, we had no idea where the child was.
ˈ up ˌ to preposition RESPONSIBILITY
2. be up to sb
to be the responsibility of someone
It's up to the manager to make the final decision.
ˈ up ˌ to preposition DOING
3. be up to sth INFORMAL
to be doing something, often something bad or illegal, usually secretly
She's up to no good (= doing something bad or forbidden) - you can always tell
because she stays in her room.
He looks very suspicious hanging around by the bins - I'm sure he's up to
something .
up-to-date adjective
modern, recent, or containing the latest information
Great trouble is taken to keep our database up-to-date.
See also update
up-to-the-minute adjective
most recent; containing the most recent information
Now we're going live to our reporter in Washington for up-to-the-minute news on
the crisis.
uptown adverb , adjective [ before noun ] US
in or towards the northern part of a city or town, especially if there is not much
business or industry there
We could walk uptown or we could take the train.
I can get lunch in Chinatown for half of what it costs uptown.
Compare downtown
upturn noun [ C ]
(especially in economics) an improvement or a change to a higher level or value
a sharp upturn in the economy
Opposite downturn
upturned adjective
pointing or looking up, or having the part which is usually at the bottom turned to
be at the top
An upturned boat on the beach provided shelter.
upward adjective
moving towards a higher position, level or value
With an upward trend in inflation, you expect prices to rise.
Opposite downward
upwardly mobile adjective
moving or able to move to a higher social class, for example by becoming richer
The meeting attracted upwardly mobile professional and political women.
upward mobility noun [ U ]
upwards adverb ( US USUALLY upward )
towards a higher position, level or value
She turned her face upwards to the midday sun.
The cost of completion has been revised upwards again due to inflation.
Opposite downwards
ˈ upward(s) ˌ of preposition
If you say something is upward(s) of a number or value, you mean it is at least
the stated amount and probably more
Upwards of fifty thousand people assembled in the main square.
upwind adverb [ before noun ] , adjective
in the direction from which the wind is blowing
Stay upwind of the fumes if you can.
Opposite downwind
uranium noun [ U ]
a heavy metal which is radioactive and is used in the production of nuclear power
and in some types of nuclear weapon
Uranus , , noun [ S ]
the planet seventh in order of distance from the Sun, after Saturn and before
Neptune
urban adjective [ before noun ]
of or in a city or town
urban development
urban decay
Compare rural
urbane adjective APPROVING
(especially of a man) confident, comfortable and polite in social situations
John Herschel was an urbane, kindly and generous man.
urbanely adverb
urbanity noun [ U ]
urbanite noun [ C ]
someone who lives in a city or enjoys the type of life in a city
More than half of UK urbanites have an iPod.
urbanization , UK USUALLY urbanisation noun [ U ]
the process by which more and more people leave the countryside to live in cities
urbanize , UK USUALLY urbanise verb [ T ]
to build houses, offices, etc. in an area of countryside so that it becomes a town
urbanized , UK USUALLY urbanised adjective
The UK is a highly urbanized country.
ˌ urban ˈ jungle noun [ C usually singular ] DISAPPROVING
city life, especially the unpleasant parts of it
Traffic noise, pollution, huge concrete buildings - how can people survive in the
urban jungle?
urchin noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED OR HUMOROUS
a small child, especially one who behaves badly and is dirty or untidily dressed
a street urchin
Urdu , , noun [ U ]
the official language of Pakistan, which is also spoken by many people in India
urea noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
a colourless substance found in urine and also manufactured from ammonia ,
used in fertilizers, animal feed and the plastics industry
ureter noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a tube on each side of the body that takes urine from the kidney to the bladder
urethra noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
the tube in most mammals which carries urine from the bladder out of the body.
In males it also carries sperm.
urge noun [ C ]
a strong wish, especially one which is difficult or impossible to control
The two of them seem unable to control their sexual urges.
[ + to infinitive ] The urge to steal is very strong in many of the young men we
look after here.
urge verb [ I or T ]
to strongly advise or try to persuade someone to do a particular thing
[ + to infinitive ] Lawyers will urge the parents to take further legal action.
[ + that ] Investigators urged that safety procedures at the site should be
improved.
Police urged continued vigilance in the fight against crime.
The dogs are urged into fighting more fiercely by loud shouts from the crowd.
We shall continue to urge for leniency to be shown to these prisoners.
urging noun [ C or U ]
He was happy to comply without any further urging from me.
It was only because of Alison's urgings that he sold the house.
urge sb on phrasal verb [ M ]
to encourage someone to do or achieve something
The crowd was cheering and urging her on all through the race.
urgent adjective IMPORTANT
1. needing attention very soon, especially before anything else, because
important
He's got to sign that paper - will you tell him it's urgent?
The most urgent thing in a fire is to make sure everyone is out of the building.
Many people are in urgent need of food and water.
urgent adjective ALWAYS TRYING
2. FORMAL (especially of a person's actions) repeated and determined in trying to
get or do something
His urgent pleas of innocence made no difference to the judge's decision.
urgency noun [ U ]
It now is a matter of urgency that aid reaches the famine area.
urgently adverb
Help is urgently needed.
uric adjective [ before noun ] SPECIALIZED
of urine
uric acid
urinal noun [ C ]
a device, usually fitted to a wall, into which men or boys can urinate, or a building
which contains one or more of these devices
urinary adjective
relating to urine or to the parts of the body which produce and carry urine
urinary tract infections
urinate verb [ I ]
to pass urine from the body
urination noun [ U ]
urine noun [ U ]
the yellowish liquid waste which is released from the body when you go to the
toilet
URL noun [ C ]
ABBREVIATION FOR uniform resource locator: a website address
urn noun [ C ]
1. a container, especially a large round one on a stem, which is used for
decorative purposes in a garden, or one which has a lid and is used for holding a dead
person's ashes (= the powder that is left after a dead body has been burned)
2. a large cylindrical metal container with a lid which is used for holding a large
amount of drink such as tea or coffee and keeping it hot
a tea urn
urogenital adjective ( ALSO urinogenital ) SPECIALIZED
relating to the parts of the body which produce and carry urine, and also the
genitals (= outer sexual organs)
Uruguay noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
Uruguayan adjective , noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
us , pronoun GROUP
1. (used as the object of a verb or a preposition) me and at least one other
person
Thank you for driving us to the station.
Many of us in the editorial department disagree with the changes that are
happening.
us , pronoun ME
2. UK NOT STANDARD (especially used in spoken English) me
Give us a light, mate.
Give us it here and I'll see if I can mend it.
us , determiner NORTHERN NOT STANDARD
our
Where've you parked us car?
the US noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the United States
A new study of education in the US has just been published.
When did you become a US citizen?
the USA noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the United States of America
usable adjective
that can be used
The specific software is also usable in other areas of research.
the USAF noun [ S + sing/plural verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the United States Air Force
usage noun PURPOSE
1. [ C or U ] the way a particular word in a language, or a language in general, is
used
a guide to common English usage
The earliest recorded usage of the word is in the twelfth century.
2. [ U ] the way something is treated or used
Sports equipment is designed to withstand hard usage.
usage noun TAKE ADVANTAGE
3. [ U ] FORMAL the bad and unfair way someone treats you
Many had complained about the usage they'd received at his hands.
USB noun [ C ] ABBREVIATION FOR
Universal Serial Bus: a part of a computer to which extra devices such as printers,
scanners and digital cameras can be connected easily without restarting the system
a USB port
use verb PURPOSE
1. [ T ] to put something such as a tool, skill or building to a particular purpose
This glass has been used - please fetch me a clean one.
[ + to infinitive ] Use scissors to cut the shapes out.
Going on the expedition gives me a chance to use all the training I've had.
The old hospital isn't used anymore.
These lights are used for illuminating the playing area.
To use military force against the protesters would be unacceptable.
INFORMAL I could use (= I would like) some help putting these decorations up if
you're not too busy.
use verb REDUCE
2. [ T ] to reduce the amount of or finish something, by eating it, burning it,
writing on it or changing it chemically; to consume
We've used (up) nearly all of the bread - will you buy some more?
Does she still use drugs?
Don't worry if you use the polish up (= finish it) - I'm going shopping tomorrow.
use verb TAKE ADVANTAGE
3. [ T ] USUALLY DISAPPROVING to take advantage of a person or situation; to exploit
He's just using you - he'll steal your ideas and then take the credit for them
himself.
It might be possible to use their mistake to help us get what we want.
Within the relationship he feels ill (= badly) used most of the time.
use verb IN THE PAST
4. use to
In negative sentences and questions, 'use to' replaces 'used to' when it follows
'did' or 'didn't'
Did he use to be the doctor in 'Star Trek'?
We didn't use to go out much in the winter months.
use your head ( UK OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL use your loaf )
used to tell someone in a slightly angry way that they should think more carefully
about what they are doing
Why didn't you use your head and cover the furniture before you started painting?
use sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to finish a supply of something
Don't use up all the milk, we need some for breakfast.
The Earth's resources are being used up at an alarming rate.
use noun PURPOSE
1. [ C or U ] a purpose for which something is used
A food processor has a variety of uses in the kitchen.
Don't throw that cloth away, you'll find a use for it one day.
No, I don't want to buy a boat - I have no use for one!
2. [ U ] when you use something, or when something is being used
You should be able to put your experience in electronics to (good) use in your
new job.
Don't touch the machine when it's in use.
Sorry but the escalator is out of ( US USUALLY not in ) use (= not operating) .
There has been some increase in the use of casual labour over recent years.
Traditional farming methods are going out of/coming into use (= used less and
less/more and more) in many areas.
3. make use of sth
to use something that is available
We might as well make use of the hotel's facilities.
4. the use of sth
permission to use something, or the ability to use something
They said we could have the use of their flat at the coast whenever they weren't
there.
She hurt her arm in the fall and lost the use of her fingers temporarily.
use noun REDUCE
5. [ C or U ] when the amount of something available is reduced or finished, by
eating it, burning it, writing on it or changing it chemically
Building a dam would be a use of financial resources which this country cannot
afford.
be (of) (any/some) use
to be useful
Perhaps his advice will be of use to you when you're older.
be (of) no use
to not be useful, helpful or possible
His advice turned out to be no use at all.
There is no use (in) argu ing any more.
It is no use try ing (= There is no purpose in trying) to escape - no one ever gets
out of here.
It 's no use (= I cannot succeed) - I just can't get this lid off.
What's the use of...? ( ALSO What use is...? )
used to tell someone to stop worrying because worrying will not help
Try not to get depressed - after all, what's the use of worrying?
used verb
used to
used to show that a particular thing always happened or was true in the past,
especially if it no longer happens or is no longer true
She used to live in Glasgow.
She used to love cats but one attacked her and she doesn't like them anymore.
You don't come and see me like you used to.
When we were younger, we used not to be allowed to drink coffee.
NOT STANDARD He did used to work there, didn't he?
used adjective FAMILIAR
1. be used to sth/sb
to be familiar with something or someone
We're used to tourists here - we get thousands every year.
[ + -ing verb ] She was not used to speak ing Cantonese.
Eventually you'll get/become used to the smells of the laboratory.
used adjective NOT NEW
2. that has already been put to the purpose it was intended for; not new
a used airline ticket
The blackmailers demanded to be paid in used £20 notes.
I could only afford a used car (= one that has already been owned by others) .
useful adjective
effective; helping you to do or achieve something
A good knife is probably one of the most useful things you can have in a kitchen.
Do the exercises serve any useful purpose?
come in useful UK
to be useful and help someone to do or achieve something
You should keep that paint - it might come in useful one day.
make yourself useful
a way of telling someone to start being helpful
Now you're here you might as well make yourself useful - there's a lot of clearing
up to do.
usefully adverb
in an effective or helpful way
We could usefully spend the free time sightseeing.
usefulness noun [ U ]
the quality or state of being useful
Some people think this system of education has outlived its usefulness (= is no
longer useful) .
useless adjective
of no use; not working or not achieving what is needed
Without fuel, the vehicles will become useless for moving supplies.
[ + to infinitive ] It's useless to speculate without more information.
She's very good at methodical work, but useless when there's a lot of pressure.
INFORMAL You're absolutely useless (= not able to act effectively) - can't you even
go to the shops without getting lost!
uselessly adverb
uselessness noun [ U ]
user noun [ C ]
someone who uses a product, machine or service
Unemployed people are the main users of this advice centre.
drug users
user-friendly adjective
If something, especially something related to a computer, is user-friendly, it is
simple for people to use
a user-friendly interface/printer
a user-friendly instruction manual
user-friendliness noun [ U ]
ˈ user ˌ group noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a group of people who are interested in a particular area of computing or use the
same product and who use the Internet to share information about it
username noun [ C ] ( ALSO user ID )
a name or other word that you sometimes need to type in together with a
password before you are allowed to use a computer or the Internet
Please enter your username and password.
usher verb [ T usually + adv/prep ]
to show someone where they should go, or to make someone go where you want
them to go
She ushered us into her office and offered us a coffee.
Officials quickly ushered the protesters out of the hall.
usher sth in phrasal verb [ M ]
to be at the start of a new period, especially when important changes or new
things happen, or to cause important changes to start happening
Yesterday's match between Arsenal and Spurs ushered in the start of the new
football season.
Banksie threw a huge party to usher in (= celebrate) the New Year.
The legislation should usher in a host of new opportunities for school leavers.
usher noun [ C ]
a man who shows people where they should sit, especially at a formal event such
as a wedding or at a theatre or cinema
usherette noun [ C ]
a woman who works in a theatre or cinema, whose job is to show people to their
seats and to sell sweets and drinks
the USN noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the United States Navy
USP noun [ C ]
ABBREVIATION FOR unique selling proposition: a feature of a product that makes it
different from and better than other similar products and that can be emphasized in
advertisements for the product
USS
ABBREVIATION FOR United States Ship: used before the names of ships in the US
navy
He was a radio technician aboard the USS Missouri.
the USSR noun [ S ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
usu.
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR usually
usual adjective
normal; happening, done or used most often
I went to bed at my usual time.
There was more rainfall than usual this summer in the mountain areas.
You'll find the cutlery in its usual place.
Terry was, as usual, slow to respond.
This shop is open for business as usual despite the shortages.
usual noun [ S ] INFORMAL
Someone's usual is the drink, especially an alcoholic one, which they most often
have, for example when they are in a bar
A gin and tonic for my dad, and I'll have the/my usual.
usually adverb
in the way that most often happens
He usually gets home about 6 o'clock.
I usually just have a sandwich for lunch.
Is your friend usually so rude?
Usually we go to France in August.
"Does this shop open on Sundays?" "Usually."
usurp , , verb [ T ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL
to take control or a position of power, especially without having the right to
The powers of local councils are being usurped by central government.
usurper , , noun [ C ]
usury noun [ U ] FORMAL DISAPPROVING
the activity of lending someone money with the agreement that they will pay back
a very much larger amount of money later
usurer noun [ C ]
usurious adjective
usurious interest rates
ute noun [ C ]
AUSTRALIAN pick-up truck (= a small vehicle with an open part at the back in which
goods can be carried)
utensil noun [ C ]
a tool with a particular use, especially in a kitchen or house
In the drawer was a selection of kitchen utensils - spoons, spatulas, knives and
whisks.
uterus noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a womb
uterine adjective
See also IUD
utilitarian adjective
designed to be useful rather than decorative
Like many factories it's a very ugly utilitarian building.
utilitarianism noun [ U ]
the system of thought which states that the best action or decision in a particular
situation is the one which brings most advantages to the most people
utility noun SERVICE
1. [ C ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL a service which is used by the public, such as an electricity
or gas supply or a train service
utility bills
utility noun USEFUL
2. [ U ] FORMAL the usefulness of something, especially in a practical way
u ˈ tility ˌ room noun [ C ]
a room, especially in a house, where large pieces of useful equipment such as a
washing machine can be kept and where things can be stored
utilize , UK USUALLY utilise verb [ T ] FORMAL
to use something in an effective way
The vitamins come in a form that is easily utilized by the body.
utilizable , UK USUALLY utilisable adjective
utilization , UK USUALLY utilisation noun [ U ]
Sensible utilization of the world's resources is a priority.
utmost adjective [ before noun ] ( FORMAL uttermost )
used to emphasize how important or serious something is
a matter of the utmost importance
The situation needs to be handled with the utmost care.
utmost noun [ S ] ( ALSO uttermost )
the greatest amount or extent possible
The new model of the car offers the utmost in power and performance.
do/try your utmost
to do something as well as you can by making a great effort
She did her utmost to finish on time.
utopia noun [ C or U ]
(the idea of) a perfect society in which everyone works well with each other and is
happy
utopian adjective
relating to or aiming for a perfect society in which everyone works well with each
other and is happy
a utopian vision
utopian aims
utter verb [ T ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL
to say something or to make a sound with your voice
She sat through the whole meeting without uttering a word.
utter adjective [ before noun ]
complete or extreme
utter confusion/misery/chaos
utter nonsense/rubbish/drivel
The meeting was a complete and utter waste of time.
Lying back in the hot bath was utter bliss.
utterly adverb
What an utterly stupid thing to do!
utterance noun [ C ]
1. FORMAL something that someone says
The senator's weekend utterances were promptly rebutted by three of his
colleagues on Monday.
2. give utterance to sth
LITERARY to express your ideas or feelings in spoken words
She has one great fear to which she will never give utterance.
U-turn noun [ C ] ( US INFORMAL U-ie )
1. a turn made by a car in order to go back in the direction from which it has
come
It is illegal to do/make a U-turn on a motorway.
2. MAINLY DISAPPROVING a complete change from one opinion or plan of action to an
opposite one
The Prime Minister did/made a quick U-turn in response to all the adverse
publicity.
UV adjective
ABBREVIATION FOR ultraviolet
UV light
Uzbek adjective , noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
Uzbekistan noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
Uzi noun [ C ] TRADEMARK
(the name of the maker of) a type of machine gun (= automatic gun) which fires
many bullets in a very short time
V noun [ C ] LETTER
1. ( ALSO v ) the 22nd letter of the English alphabet
V noun [ C ] NUMBER
2. ( ALSO v ) the sign used in the Roman system for the number 5
v preposition ( ALSO vs )
1. ABBREVIATION FOR versus
I need to consider the advantages v the disadvantages.
2. used to show who is competing in a game
Newcastle United v Wigan
3. used to show the two sides involved in a court case
the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v Wade
v noun
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR verb
v. adverb
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FORvery
The teacher wrote 'v. good' on my essay.
vac noun PERIOD
1. [ C ] UK INFORMAL FOR vacation
Have you managed to get a job for the long (= summer) vac?
vac noun EQUIPMENT
2. [ C ] INFORMAL FOR vacuum (cleaner)
3. [ S ] UK INFORMAL FOR an act of cleaning something with a vacuum cleaner
Could you give the bedrooms a vac?
vac verb [ I or T ] UK INFORMAL
to clean something with a vacuum cleaner
I've nearly finished the cleaning, I just need to vac.
Have you vacced the carpet?
vacancy noun [ C ]
1. a space or place which is available to be used
We wanted to book a hotel room in July but there were no vacancies.
The dentist can't see you today but she has a vacancy tomorrow morning.
There are still some vacancies for students in science and engineering courses,
but the vacancies in humanities have been filled .
2. a job that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone new to do
There is a vacancy for a shop assistant on Saturdays.
vacant adjective EMPTY
1. not filled or occupied ; available to be used
The hospital has no vacant beds.
Compare engaged
2. A vacant job is one that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone
new to do
When the post fell (= became) vacant, Dennis Bass was appointed to fill it.
vacant adjective NOT INTERESTED
3. showing no interest or activity
She had a vacant look/expression on her face.
vacantly adverb
showing no interest or activity
She gazed/stared vacantly into space/ahead.
ˌ vacant pos ˈ session noun [ U ] UK SPECIALIZED
when someone who buys a house or property is allowed to use it immediately
without anyone else still living in it or using it
vacate , verb [ T ] FORMAL
to leave a room, building, chair, etc. so that it is available for other people
Hotel guests are requested to vacate their rooms by noon.
Denis vacates his job at the end of the week.
vacation noun
1. [ C or U ] US a holiday, especially when you are travelling away from home for
pleasure
We're taking a vacation in June.
They went to Europe on vacation.
I've still got some vacation left before the end of the year.
2. [ C ] MAINLY US ( UK INFORMAL vac ) a period of the year when schools or colleges
are closed, or when law courts do not operate
the Christmas/Easter/summer/long vacation
vacation verb [ I ] US
Remember that time we were vacationing in Vermont?
vacationer noun [ C ]
US FOR holidaymaker
vaccinate verb [ T ]
to give someone a vaccine, usually by injection , to prevent them from getting a
disease
The children were vaccinated against the major childhood diseases.
See also inoculate ; immunize
vaccination noun [ C or U ]
All the children have received two vaccinations against measles.
vaccine noun [ C or U ]
a substance which contains a form that is not harmful of a virus or bacterium (=
extremely small organism) and which is given to a person or animal to prevent them
from getting the disease which the virus or bacterium causes
This vaccine protects against some kinds of the bacteria.
See picture health 2
vacillate verb [ I ] DISAPPROVING
to be uncertain what to do, or to change often between two opinions
Her mood vacillated between hope and despair.
vacillation noun [ C or U ]
vacuole noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a space that contains air or fluid inside a living cell, often storing an important
chemical or food substance
vacuous adjective FORMAL
not expressing or showing intelligent thought or purpose
a vacuous remark/question/expression/smile
vacuously adverb
vacuousness noun [ U ] ( ALSO vacuity )
vacuum noun CLEANER
1. [ C ] ( ALSO vacuum cleaner , INFORMAL vac , UK ALSO TRADEMARK Hoover ) a
machine which cleans floors and other surfaces by sucking up dust and dirt
See picture vacuum cleaner
vacuum noun EMPTY SPACE
2. [ C or U ] a space from which most or all of the air, gas or other material has
been removed or is not present
3. [ S ] a lack of something
The withdrawal of troops from the area has created a security vacuum which will
need to be filled .
4. in a vacuum
kept separate from other people and activities
No artist works in a vacuum - we are all of us influenced by others.
vacuum verb [ I or T ] ( UK ALSO hoover )
to use a vacuum cleaner to collect dust, dirt, etc
Vacuum (up) the cake crumbs, would you?
ˈ vacuum ˌ flask noun [ C ] ( US vacuum bottle ) UK
a container that keeps hot liquids hot, or cold liquids cold, and usually has a lid
that is used as a cup
See also flask
vacuum-packed , adjective
Something, especially food, which is vacuum-packed is in a soft container from
which the air has been removed so that the contents can be stored longer.
ˈ vacuum ˌ pump noun [ C ]
a piece of equipment for removing air or gas from a container, creating a vacuum
inside
vagabond noun [ C ] OLD USE OR LITERARY
a person who has no home and usually no job, and who travels from place to
place
They live a vagabond life/existence, travelling around in a caravan.
Compare vagrant
vagaries plural noun FORMAL
unexpected and uncontrollable events or changes which have an influence on a
situation
The success of the event will be determined by the vagaries of the weather .
She had her own style and was not influenced by the vagaries of fashion .
vagina noun [ C ]
the part of a woman or other female mammal's body which connects her outer
sex organs to her womb
vaginal adjective
vaginal intercourse
vaginally adverb
vagrant noun [ C ] FORMAL OR LEGAL
a person who is poor and does not have a home or job; a tramp
The town has shelters and food handouts for vagrants.
vagrancy noun [ U ]
Most European countries have abandoned laws that make vagrancy a crime.
vague adjective
1. not clearly expressed, known, described or decided
I do have a vague memory of meeting her many years ago.
The patient had complained of vague pains and backache.
2. not clear in shape, or not clearly seen
Through the mist I could just make out a vague figure.
3. describes someone who is not able to think clearly, or who, sometimes as a
way of hiding what they really think, does not express their opinions clearly
My aunt is incredibly vague - she can never remember where she's left things.
Their report is studiously vague (= intentionally not exact) on future economic
prospects.
vaguely adverb
I vaguely remembered having met her before.
vagueness noun [ U ]
vain adjective NOT SUCCESSFUL
1. unsuccessful or useless; of no value
The doctors gave him more powerful drugs in the vain hope that he might
recover.
FORMAL It was vain to pretend to himself that he was not disappointed.
2. in vain
unsuccessfully or uselessly
I tried in vain to start a conversation.
All the police's efforts to find him were in vain.
vain adjective SELFISH
3. too interested in your own appearance or achievements
He was very vain about his hair and his clothes.
vainly adverb
unsuccessfully
He tried vainly to make them listen.
valance noun [ C ]
1. a short piece of gathered (= pulled together in folds) material which hangs
down especially around the base of a bed
2. US a pelmet
vale noun [ C ]
1. used in the name of some valleys
the Vale of Evesham
2. OLD-FASHIONED OR LITERARY a valley
a cloud that floats on high o'er hills and vales
this vale of tears LITERARY
This vale of tears is the world we live in, seen as sad and difficult.
valediction noun [ C or U ] FORMAL
the act of saying goodbye, especially formally, or a formal speech in which
someone says goodbye
valedictorian noun [ C ] US
a student, usually one who has been the most successful in a particular class, who
makes a speech at a special ceremony at the end of a school year
valedictory adjective FORMAL
relating to saying goodbye, especially formally
a valedictory speech
valency noun [ C ] ( ALSO valence ) SPECIALIZED
a measurement which shows the number of hydrogen atoms that can combine
with one atom of a particular chemical element to make a compound , used to describe
how easily an element can connect in a chemical way with others
Zinc has a valency of 2.
valentine noun [ C ]
1. someone you love or would like to have a romantic relationship with, and who
you send a valentine card to
The message on the card said 'Be my Valentine'.
2. ( ALSO valentine card ) a decorative card which you send, usually without your
name on it, on 14 February (Valentine's Day) to someone you love
Did you get any valentines?
Most of the valentine cards either had hearts on them or were very rude.
Valentine's Day noun [ C or U ]
14 February, a day when you give a valentine card to someone you have a
romantic relationship with or would like a romantic relationship with
valerian noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
a plant with small white or pink flowers and a root that is used in medicines,
especially as a sedative (= drug to calm you or make you sleep)
valet noun [ C ]
1. someone in a hotel who cleans clothes
2. US someone at a hotel or restaurant who puts your car in a parking space for
you
3. the personal male servant of a rich man, especially in the past
valet , verb [ T ] UK
to clean, especially the inside of, something
There's a service which will valet your car for you while it is parked.
ˈ valet ˌ parking noun [ U ]
the service offered by a restaurant, hotel, etc. of putting your car in a parking
space
ˈ valet ˌ service noun [ U ]
the service of cleaning clothes offered by a hotel to people staying there
valiant adjective
very brave or bravely determined, especially when things are difficult or the
situation gives no cause for hope
The company has made a valiant effort/attempt in the last two years to make
itself more efficient.
valiantly adverb
valid adjective
1. based on truth or reason; able to be accepted
a valid argument/criticism/reason
My way of thinking might be different from yours, but it's equally valid.
Compare invalid
2. A ticket or other document is valid if it is based on or used according to a set of
official conditions which often include a time limit
My passport is valid for another two years.
3. having legal force
Is this contract/ticket/agreement still valid?
validity noun [ U ]
This research seems to give/lend some validity to the theory that the drug might
cause cancer.
validly adverb
validate verb [ T ]
to make something officially acceptable or approved, especially after examining it
It is a one-year course validated by London's City University.
The data is validated automatically by the computer after it has been entered.
validation noun [ U ]
External validation of the teachers' assessments is recommended.
Valium noun [ C or U ] TRADEMARK
a drug which makes you calm and helps you to stop worrying, or a pill containing
this
She was on (= using) Valium for a few months after the accident.
to take a couple of Valium
valley noun [ C ]
valley
an area of low land between hills or mountains, often with a river running through
it
the Nile Valley
the Thames valley
There was snow on the hill tops but not in the valley.
valour , US valor noun [ U ] FORMAL
great bravery
He was promoted to the rank of major in recognition of his valour during the
battle.
valuable adjective MONEY
1. worth a lot of money
These antiques are extremely valuable.
This is losing valuable business for the company.
Opposite worthless .
valuable adjective IMPORTANT
2. Valuable information, advice, etc. is very helpful or important
He was able to provide the police with some valuable information.
Parents gave the school valuable support in its case for getting its facilities
improved.
valuables plural noun
small objects, especially jewellery, which might be sold for a lot of money
valuation noun [ C or U ]
the act of deciding how much money something might be sold for or the amount
of money decided on
You can receive a home loan of up to 95% of the official valuation of the property.
value noun MONEY
1. [ C or U ] the amount of money which can be received for something
She had already sold everything of value that she possessed.
What is the value of the prize?
The value of the pound fell against other European currencies yesterday.
Property values have fallen since the plans for the airport were published.
I thought the offer was good value (for money) / US ALSO a good value (= a lot
was offered for the amount of money paid) .
value noun IMPORTANCE
2. [ S or U ] the importance or worth of something for someone
For them, the house's main value lay in its quiet country location.
They are known to place/put/set a high value on good presentation.
3. [ U ] how useful or important something is
The photos are of immense historical value.
His contribution was of little or no practical value.
The necklace had great sentimental value.
It has novelty value because I've never done anything like it before.
4. values
the beliefs people have about what is right and wrong and what is most important
in life, which control their behaviour
family/moral/traditional values
value verb [ T ] MONEY
1. UK ( US appraise ) to give a judgment about how much money something
might be sold for
He valued the painting at $2000.
The insurance company said I should have my jewellery valued.
value verb [ T ] IMPORTANCE
2. to consider something important
I've always valued her advice.
value-added adjective
value-added products or services are worth more because they have been
improved or had something added to them
valued adjective FORMAL
useful and important
a valued member of staff
ˈ value ˌ judgment noun [ C ]
a statement of how good or bad you think an idea or action is
People often make value judgments about things without considering them
carefully.
valueless adjective NO MONEY
1. not worth any money
We thought the chair was an antique worth a lot of money, but it turned out to be
a valueless replica.
valueless adjective NOT IMPORTANT
2. not important or helpful
His comments were so general as to be nearly valueless.
valuer noun [ C ] UK ( US appraiser )
a person whose job is to say how much something is worth
valve noun [ C ]
1. a device which opens and closes to control the flow of liquids or gases, or a
similar structure in the heart and the veins, which controls the flow of blood
The valve failed to open/close .
It was a weak heart valve that caused her death.
2. part of a musical instrument such as a trumpet which changes the sound by
controlling the flow of air
See picture music (brass)
vamp noun [ C ]
a woman who is conscious of and makes use of being attractive to men in order to
get what she wants
vampish adjective
vampish behaviour
vamp verb
vamp sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to make something more exciting
The dress is simple and elegant, but you could vamp it up for evening wear with
some stunning jewellery.
unzip verb [ T ]
1. to open something by using a zip
He unzipped his suitcase.
2. to return a computer file to its original size after it has been zipped (= reduced
in size so that it can be easily sent or stored)
up adverb HIGHER
1. towards a higher position; towards a higher value, number or level
Put those books up on the top shelf.
A gravel road leads through the jungle and up into the Andes.
Pushing the number of unit sales up every quarter can't be continued indefinitely.
The water was up to /had come up to the level of the windows.
2. out of the ground
He spent the afternoon digging carrots up.
3. up and down
from a higher to a lower position repeatedly
My little daughter started jumping up and down with rage when she heard she
couldn't go.
up adverb VERTICAL
4. in or into a vertical position
Would you stand up for a moment, I want to see how tall you are.
Compare down
up adverb TOP
5. in a high position; at the top
Our boardroom is up on the twenty-third floor.
You can tell which way up the crates have to be because they all say 'TOP'.
Compare down
up adverb NEAR
6. very near
Carrying a gun, he walked up to the cashier and demanded money.
A limousine drew up (= parked) outside the hotel.
up adverb INCREASE
7. to a greater degree; in order to increase
The fire heats the room up (= makes it warmer) within minutes.
Grandma always turns the TV up really loud because she can't hear very well.
Try not to get worked up (= increasingly excited or angry) , I'm sure we can sort
the problem out.
8. If a level or amount is up, it has increased
The cost of car insurance is up, but not very much.
Last year the company's turnover was $240 billion, up 3% on (= compared with)
the previous year.
up adverb NOT IN BED
9. not in bed
It's time to get up now!
Oh, I've been up all night, finishing my essay.
10. up and about/around
to be able to get out of bed and move around again after a period of illness,
because your health has improved enough
up adverb EXIST
11. into existence, view or attention
Originally the charity was set up to help orphans in urban areas.
Sorry darling, something unexpected has come up (= has happened) at the
office, and I'll be home late.
Coming up (= Happening next) after the break, we have a man who claims he
can communicate with fish.
Would this be a good time to bring up the issue of salary?
up adverb EQUAL
12. so as to be equal in quality, knowledge or achievement
She couldn't go to school for a few weeks because of illness, but she'll be able to
catch up ( with her lessons) quickly.
So much scientific research is being performed that it's virtually impossible to
keep up ( with all the new developments).
US INFORMAL Kate and I were both playing well, and after ten minutes the score
was 6-up (= 6 points each) .
up adverb TOGETHER
13. in a state of being together with other similar things
You've got half an hour to gather up anything you'll need for the journey.
Add up the column of figures in your head and then tell me what the sum is.
up adverb TIGHTLY
14. tightly or firmly in order to keep something safe or in position
Can you do my shoelaces up for me?
Tie up the top of the bag so the rubbish doesn't fall out.
You'd better wrap up (= wear warm clothes) - it's cold outside.
up adverb SMALLER
15. broken or cut into smaller pieces; made smaller in area
He cut the letter up into a hundred pieces.
She folded the newspaper up and put it in her bag.
The car blew up (= exploded) when flames reached its fuel tank.
up adverb AGE
16. to a greater age
No one said that growing up would be easy or painless.
Many single parents struggle to bring their children up on a low income.
up adverb PROBLEM
17. [ after verb ] used when talking or asking about what is happening
Everyone was talking in whispers, and I could tell something was up (= something
unusual was happening) .
What's up (= What is happening or what is wrong) ?
up adverb FINISHED
18. [ after verb ] When a period of time is up, it is finished
When the two hours were up nobody had answered all of the questions.
Your time is up - it's someone else's turn on the training equipment now.
up adverb IMPROVE
19. into an improved position or state
By lap 26, Senna had moved up into second position.
Stein had a bad start to the race, but by the ninth lap she was up with the
leaders.
Compare down
up adverb END
20. to an end, finish or state of being complete
Finish up the old packet of biscuits before you open a new one.
Crime won't help - you'll end up in prison.
I'd like to round up the meeting by thanking all those who were able to attend at
such short notice.
up adverb DIRECTION
21. towards the north or towards a more important place, especially a city
On Tuesday she'll be travelling up to Newcastle from Birmingham.
She comes up from her village about once a month on the train.
up adverb INTENDED
22. up for sth
intended, suggested or being considered for something
That house at the end of our road is up for sale again.
Are you really up for promotion?
up adverb EAGER
23. up for (doing) sth
INFORMAL willing and able to do or take part in an activity
After a long day at work I wasn't really up for a party.
We're going swimming. Are you up for it?
I'm up for organiz ing the meeting if nobody else wants to do it.
up adverb TRIAL
24. [ after verb ] on trial in a court
If he doesn't pay the fine soon, he'll be up before the magistrate.
Max is up for armed robbery.
up adverb ROAD
25. [ after verb ] UK When a road is up, it is being repaired and so is unsuitable
for use
The council has got the road up because of a broken sewer.
up adverb INTENDED
26. to be considered, or as a suggestion
How many candidates will your party be putting up (= offering for election) at
the elections next week?
up adverb HAIR
27. If someone's long hair is up, it is arranged on the top or back of their head
You look lovely with your hair up.
be up there with sb INFORMAL
to match someone else in ability or in a particular skill
As a composer, he was up there with the best.
up and down
sometimes happy and sometimes sad
She's been very up and down since her husband went into hospital.
up and down somewhere
everywhere in a particular area
Cinemas up and down the country are reporting huge audiences for the film.
up to (doing) sth
1. good enough for a particular activity
He wants to compete at international level, but frankly I don't think he's up to it.
2. strong enough for a particular activity
It was a serious fall - it'll be a while before you feel up to walk ing again.
be up to sth
to be doing something
What are you up to at the moment?
up with OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
shouted or written on notices to show support
Up with freedom, down with repression!
up preposition HIGHER
1. to or in a higher level or position
We followed her up the stairs to a large meeting room.
up preposition TOP
2. at the top of
You'll find a dusty attic up these stairs.
If you want Fred, he's up that ladder.
up preposition ALONG
3. (further) along
The car shot off up the road at high speed.
They live just up the road.
4. up and down
along the surface of something first in one direction and then in the opposite
direction, usually repeatedly
He was running up and down the path, shouting.
up preposition ORIGIN
5. towards the starting point of something, especially a river or stream
Rowing up (the) river against the current was very hard work.
See also upriver ; upstream
up preposition TO
6. UK NOT STANDARD to or at
Are you going up the club tonight?
Compare down
be up yourself UK AUSTRALIAN SLANG
to think that you are better and more important than other people
She's so up herself since she landed this new job, it's unbearable.
Up yours! OFFENSIVE
used to show that you very much dislike someone or the things that someone has
just said or done
up adjective HIGHER
1. moving up
an up escalator
See also upper
up adjective IN OPERATION
2. [ after verb ] When a system, computer or similar machine is up, it is
operating, especially in its usual way
Andy, do you know when the network will be up again?
Opposite down
up adjective HAPPY
3. INFORMAL feeling happy
She's been really up since she started her new job.
up and running
If something, especially a system or a machine, is up and running it is operating
The engineer soon got the air-conditioning up and running again.
up noun
on the up (and up)
1. MAINLY US INFORMAL describes someone who is honest and can be trusted
2. UK improving all the time
Her career has been on the up and up since she moved into sales.
up verb INFORMAL HIGHER
1. [ T ] to increase something such as a price
We won't be able to make a profit on the deal without upping the sale price.
It looks like tax rates are going to be upped again.
up verb INFORMAL VERTICAL
2. up and ...
used with another verb to emphasize that someone left a place or did something
in a sudden and possibly unexpected way
After dinner they just upped and left/went without saying goodbye.
up- prefix
higher or improved
uphill
uplift
up-and-coming adjective [ usually before noun ]
likely to achieve success soon or in the near future
up-and-coming young actresses
up-and-down adjective
sometimes successful and sometimes not successful
up-and-over adjective [ before noun ] MAINLY UK
describes a door that opens by being lifted and then sliding into a horizontal
position as it rises
upbeat , adjective INFORMAL
full of hope, happiness and good feelings
Live music and a parade set an upbeat mood for the official opening.
Opposite downbeat
upbraid verb [ T ] FORMAL
to forcefully or angrily tell someone they should not have done a particular thing
and criticize them for having done it
In newspaper articles she consistently upbraided those in authority who
overstepped their limits.
upbringing noun [ C usually singular ]
the way in which someone is treated and educated when they are young,
especially by their parents, especially in relation to the effect which this has on how
they behave and make moral decisions
Is it right to say all the crimes he committed were simply the result of his
upbringing?
See also bring sb up
upcoming adjective [ before noun ] MAINLY US ( UK USUALLY forthcoming )
happening soon
Tickets are selling well for the group's upcoming concert tour.
up-country adverb [ before noun ] , adjective
in the direction of or relating to the parts of a country further from the coast,
especially where there are few towns and people
We'll travel up-country by horse tomorrow.
Some people find up-country customs strange.
update verb [ T ]
1. to make something more modern or suitable for use now by adding new
information or changing its design
an updated version of the software
2. to give someone the most recent information
We'll update you on this news story throughout the day.
update noun [ C ]
1. when you update something or someone with new information
Jo's just doing an update on the mailing list.
I'll need regular updates on your progress.
2. a new form of something which existed at an earlier time
It's an update of an old 60's movie.
upend verb [ T ]
to push or move something so that the part which usually touches the ground
does so no longer
She upended the chessboard halfway through the game because she was losing.
upfront adjective [ after verb ]
speaking or behaving in a way which makes intentions and beliefs clear
She's very upfront about why she wants the job - she'd earn a lot more money.
See also up front
upgrade verb [ T ]
to improve the quality or usefulness of something, such as a machine or a
computer program, or give a person a more important job or state that their job is more
important than it was in the past
It's quite simple to upgrade the indexing software.
Congratulations, I hear you've been upgraded to divisional manager.
Opposite downgrade
upgrade noun [ C ]
a piece of software or equipment that improves the quality or usefulness of a
computer or machine
a hardware upgrade
The upgrade to version 5.0 costs $395.
upheaval noun [ C or U ]
(a) great change, especially causing or involving much difficulty, activity or
trouble
Yesterday's coup brought further upheaval to a country already struggling with
famine.
It would cause a tremendous upheaval to install a different computer system.
uphill adjective , adverb
1. leading to a higher place on a slope
an uphill climb
running uphill
Compare downhill
2. needing a large amount of effort
It'll be an uphill struggle/battle/fight to get the new proposals accepted.
Compare downhill
uphold verb [ T ]
to defend or keep a principle or law, or to state that a decision which has already
been made, especially a legal one, is correct
As a police officer you are expected to uphold the law whether you agree with it
or not.
Judge Davis upheld the county court's decision.
upholder noun [ C ]
upholster verb [ T ]
to cover a chair or other type of seat with suitable cloth and fill it with a suitable
substance
upholstered adjective
a nicely upholstered sofa
upholsterer noun [ C ]
upholstery noun [ U ]
1. the cloth used for covering a seat and/or the substance used for filling it
an old sofa with faded green upholstery
2. the activity of upholstering objects
upkeep noun [ U ]
the cost or process of keeping something, such as a building, in good condition
The upkeep of larger old properties is very expensive.
Council employees are responsible for the upkeep of the gardens.
upland adjective
describes an area of land that is situated high up, such as on a hill or mountain
The whole plateau comprises one vast upland plain.
upland noun
uplands
high areas of land
uplift noun [ U ] IMPROVEMENT
1. SLIGHTLY FORMAL improvement of a person's moral or spiritual condition
We are counting on your speech, bishop, to give some moral uplift to the
delegates.
uplift noun [ U ] SUPPORT
2. support for a woman's breasts that is provided by her clothes
uplift verb [ T ] IMPROVE
1. to improve a person's moral or spiritual condition
uplift verb [ T ] RAISE
2. SPECIALIZED to raise something to a higher position
uplift verb [ T ] COLLECT
3. SCOTTISH to collect goods or people from one place, in order to take them to
another
Coaches will set down and uplift passengers only as directed by the police in the
streets mentioned.
uplifted adjective SLIGHTLY FORMAL
raised
With uplifted arms, he ran towards them.
uplifting adjective SLIGHTLY FORMAL
making someone feel better
For me it was a marvellously uplifting performance.
uplighter noun [ C ] ( ALSO uplight )
a light that sends light up towards the ceiling
upload verb [ T ]
to copy or move programs or information to a larger computer system or to the
Internet
Compare download
upload noun [ C ]
a computer program or information that can be uploaded
upmarket adjective , adverb ( MAINLY US upscale ) MAINLY UK
describes goods and products that are of very high quality and intended to be
bought by people who are quite rich
an upmarket brand name
Many garment exporters want to move upmarket.
Compare downmarket
upon preposition
1. FORMAL on
Upon her head she wore a black velvet hat.
You can never place enough emphasis upon the importance of safety.
Upon your arrival (= As soon as you arrive) , please report to the reception desk.
2. be upon you
SLIGHTLY FORMAL to be something that you will experience or have to deal with soon
Another couple of weeks and the holidays will be upon us.
upper adjective [ before noun ]
at a higher position or level than something else, or being the top part of
something
The office block's upper floors were being repainted.
If the infection is not checked it will probably spread to the upper body.
Opposite lower
upper noun [ C ] HIGHER
1. the top part of a shoe which covers a person's foot and to which the heel and
the sole are fixed
These shoes have leather uppers and synthetic soles.
upper noun [ C ] DRUG
2. INFORMAL a drug which causes a person taking it to feel very active and excited
Opposite downer
be on your uppers OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
to be very poor
ˌ upper ˈ case noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
If letters are in upper case, they are written as capitals
upper-case letters
Compare lower case
ˌ upper ˈ class noun [ S + sing/pl verb ] ( ALSO the upper classes [ plural ] )
a social group consisting of the people who have the highest social rank and who
are usually rich
The upper classes usually send their children to expensive private schools.
Compare lower class ; middle class ; working class
upper-class adjective
She comes from a very upper-class family.
the ˌ upper ˈ crust noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
people who have the highest social position and are usually rich
Many treasures were brought back to Britain because its upper crust was wealthy
and liked travelling abroad.
the ˌ upper ˈ hand noun [ S ]
If you have the upper hand, you have more power than anyone else and so have
control
After hours of fierce negotiations, the president gained/got/had the upper
hand.
ˌ upper ˈ house noun [ C usually singular ] ( ALSO upper chamber )
one of the two parts that some parliaments are divided into, usually the one with
less political power
In the UK, the upper house is the House of Lords.
The upper house of the US Congress is the Senate.
Compare lower house
uppermost adjective , adverb
in the highest position or having the most importance
The office block's uppermost floors were engulfed with flames.
Store the canisters with their lids uppermost.
What's uppermost in your mind just before a race?
uppity adjective INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
describes a person who behaves in an unpleasant way because they think that
they are more important than they really are
He got/became very uppity when his fashion designs were criticized.
upright adjective STRAIGHT
1. straight up or vertical
Please return your seat to an upright position and fasten your belt.
2. describes something which is taller than it is wide
an upright freezer/vacuum cleaner
upright adjective MORAL
3. APPROVING honest, responsible and moral
She behaved as any upright citizen would have under the circumstances.
upright adverb
vertical and as straight as possible
to sit/stand upright
The sound of breaking glass made her sit bolt upright (= sit with her back
straight) .
upright noun [ C ]
1. a vertical part of something that supports other parts
Firmly secure the two uprights to opposite walls in the alcove and then slot the
shelves in between them.
2. UK INFORMAL FOR goalpost
3. ( ALSO upright piano ) a piano in which the strings are vertical
Compare grand piano
uprightly adverb APPROVING
in an honest, responsible and moral way
uprightness noun [ U ] APPROVING
the quality of being honest, responsible and moral
uprising noun [ C ] ( ALSO rising )
an act of opposition, sometimes using violence, by many people in one area of a
country against those who are in power
Following a determined resistance in the east, there was eventually a popular
uprising in the capital.
upriver adverb , adjective [ before noun ]
towards the place where a river starts
We paddled upriver for a couple of hours.
uproar noun [ S or U ]
when a lot of people complain about something angrily
The book caused an uproar in France.
The whole hall was in uproar after the announcement.
uproarious adjective
1. extremely noisy and confused
an uproarious debate
2. extremely funny
It's a very amusing play with an uproarious final act.
uproariously adverb
They laughed uproariously.
uproot verb [ T ] PLANT
1. to pull a plant including its roots out of the ground
Hundreds of mature trees were uprooted in the storm.
uproot verb [ T ] PERSON
2. to remove a person from their home or usual environment
The war has uprooted nearly two-thirds of the country's population.
ˌ ups and ˈ downs plural noun
If someone or something experiences ups and downs, a mixture of good and bad
things happens to them
Like most married couples we've had our ups and downs, but life's like that.
upscale adjective
US FOR upmarket
upset verb [ T ] WORRY
1. to make someone worried, unhappy or angry
It still upsets him when he thinks about the accident.
[ R ] Don't upset your self by thinking about what might have been.
upset verb [ T ] CHANGE
2. to change the usual or expected state or order of something, especially in a
way which stops it from happening or working
Any mechanical problems would upset our plans of driving across the desert.
upset verb [ T ] KNOCK
3. to push or knock something out of its usual position, usually by accident,
especially causing it to fall
Our dog upset the picnic table, spilling food everywhere.
upset verb [ T ] ILLNESS
4. to make someone feel slightly ill
He can't eat grapes - they upset him/his stomach.
upset the apple cart
to cause trouble, especially by spoiling someone's plans
upset adjective WORRIED
1. [ after verb ] worried, unhappy or angry
Don't get upset about the dress - there's only a little stain on it.
[ + to infinitive ] She was very upset to hear that the holiday had been cancelled.
[ + that ] He was very upset that you didn't reply to his letters.
upset adjective ILL
2. INFORMAL If you have an upset stomach you feel slightly ill, especially because of
something you have eaten or drunk
I've got an upset stomach/tummy - serves me right for eating so much.
upset noun CHANGE
1. [ U ] confusion and problems
How much upset will the new monitoring procedures cause?
2. [ C ] when someone beats the team or player that was expected to win
It would be quite an upset if the favourite didn't win.
upset noun ILLNESS
3. [ C ] INFORMAL a slight illness of the stomach
Melanie's got a stomach/tummy upset so she won't be going to school today.
upsetting adjective
making someone feel worried, unhappy or angry
Seeing her again would be an upsetting experience after so many years.
upshifter noun [ C ] INFORMAL
someone who gets a job that is very well paid and difficult because they no longer
want to stay at home or do a job that is easy
upshift verb [ I ]
upshifting noun [ U ]
the upshot noun [ S ]
something which happens as a result of other actions, events or decisions
The upshot of the discussions is that there will be no redundancies.
upside noun [ S ]
the advantage of a situation
It's annoying that we can't travel until Thursday, but the upside is that the fare's
cheaper then.
Compare downside
ˌ upside ˈ down adverb , adjective
having the part which is usually at the top turned to be at the bottom
Turn the jar upside down and shake it.
The plane was flying upside down at high speed.
turn ( sth ) upside down
to (cause something to) change completely and in a bad way
Another poor harvest could turn the country's economy upside down.
Their lives were turned upside down when their son was arrested.
upstage verb [ T ]
to take people's attention away from someone and make them listen to or look at
you instead
Most supporting bands tend to be youngsters, and rarely upstage the star.
upstage , adverb [ before noun ] , adjective
towards or at the part of a theatre stage that is furthest from the people watching
the performance
He looks upstage to where the body is lying.
Opposite downstage
upstairs adverb [ before noun ] , adjective
towards or on the highest floor or floors of a building
an upstairs landing/window
He heard glass breaking and ran upstairs to see what had caused it.
Opposite downstairs
upstairs noun [ S ]
Sadly, the upstairs of the house was gutted by fire.
upstanding adjective SLIGHTLY FORMAL
behaving in a good and moral way
She is regarded as an upstanding citizen in the local community.
upstart noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING
a person, especially a young one, who has suddenly got power or an important
position and takes advantage of this in an unpleasant way
upstate adjective [ before noun ] , adverb US
towards or of the northern parts of a state in the US, especially those which are
far from cities where a lot of people live
upstate New York
We're going upstate for our vacation.
upstream adverb , adjective [ before noun ]
(moving) on a river or stream towards its origin
Salmon swim upstream against very strong currents to reach their breeding
areas.
Opposite downstream
upsurge noun [ C ]
a sudden and usually large increase in something
An upsurge of/in violence in the district has been linked to increased
unemployment.
upswing noun [ C ]
an increase or improvement
Many analysts are predicting an upswing in the economy.
uptake noun [ S or U ]
1. SPECIALIZED the rate or act of taking something in
Plants in their growth stage generally exhibit an increased uptake of nutrients.
2. UK the rate or act of accepting something
There is a 90% uptake of vaccination in this country.
Uptake of places on the training course has been disappointing.
be quick/slow on the uptake INFORMAL
If someone is quick/slow on the uptake they understand things easily/with
difficulty
He's a bit slow on the uptake, so you may have to repeat the instructions a few
times.
up-tempo adjective , adverb
describes music that is played at a fast beat
uptight adjective INFORMAL
worried or nervous and not able to relax
Don't get uptight about the exam - just do your best.
ˈ up ˌ to adverb
used to say that something is less than or equal to but not more than a stated
value, number or level
Up to two hundred people were on board the ship.
We can teach dancers up to intermediate level here.
ˈ up ˌ to preposition UNTIL
1. ( ALSO up until ) until
Up to yesterday, we had no idea where the child was.
ˈ up ˌ to preposition RESPONSIBILITY
2. be up to sb
to be the responsibility of someone
It's up to the manager to make the final decision.
ˈ up ˌ to preposition DOING
3. be up to sth INFORMAL
to be doing something, often something bad or illegal, usually secretly
She's up to no good (= doing something bad or forbidden) - you can always tell
because she stays in her room.
He looks very suspicious hanging around by the bins - I'm sure he's up to
something .
up-to-date adjective
modern, recent, or containing the latest information
Great trouble is taken to keep our database up-to-date.
See also update
up-to-the-minute adjective
most recent; containing the most recent information
Now we're going live to our reporter in Washington for up-to-the-minute news on
the crisis.
uptown adverb , adjective [ before noun ] US
in or towards the northern part of a city or town, especially if there is not much
business or industry there
We could walk uptown or we could take the train.
I can get lunch in Chinatown for half of what it costs uptown.
Compare downtown
upturn noun [ C ]
(especially in economics) an improvement or a change to a higher level or value
a sharp upturn in the economy
Opposite downturn
upturned adjective
pointing or looking up, or having the part which is usually at the bottom turned to
be at the top
An upturned boat on the beach provided shelter.
upward adjective
moving towards a higher position, level or value
With an upward trend in inflation, you expect prices to rise.
Opposite downward
upwardly mobile adjective
moving or able to move to a higher social class, for example by becoming richer
The meeting attracted upwardly mobile professional and political women.
upward mobility noun [ U ]
upwards adverb ( US USUALLY upward )
towards a higher position, level or value
She turned her face upwards to the midday sun.
The cost of completion has been revised upwards again due to inflation.
Opposite downwards
ˈ upward(s) ˌ of preposition
If you say something is upward(s) of a number or value, you mean it is at least
the stated amount and probably more
Upwards of fifty thousand people assembled in the main square.
upwind adverb [ before noun ] , adjective
in the direction from which the wind is blowing
Stay upwind of the fumes if you can.
Opposite downwind
uranium noun [ U ]
a heavy metal which is radioactive and is used in the production of nuclear power
and in some types of nuclear weapon
Uranus , , noun [ S ]
the planet seventh in order of distance from the Sun, after Saturn and before
Neptune
urban adjective [ before noun ]
of or in a city or town
urban development
urban decay
Compare rural
urbane adjective APPROVING
(especially of a man) confident, comfortable and polite in social situations
John Herschel was an urbane, kindly and generous man.
urbanely adverb
urbanity noun [ U ]
urbanite noun [ C ]
someone who lives in a city or enjoys the type of life in a city
More than half of UK urbanites have an iPod.
urbanization , UK USUALLY urbanisation noun [ U ]
the process by which more and more people leave the countryside to live in cities
urbanize , UK USUALLY urbanise verb [ T ]
to build houses, offices, etc. in an area of countryside so that it becomes a town
urbanized , UK USUALLY urbanised adjective
The UK is a highly urbanized country.
ˌ urban ˈ jungle noun [ C usually singular ] DISAPPROVING
city life, especially the unpleasant parts of it
Traffic noise, pollution, huge concrete buildings - how can people survive in the
urban jungle?
urchin noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED OR HUMOROUS
a small child, especially one who behaves badly and is dirty or untidily dressed
a street urchin
Urdu , , noun [ U ]
the official language of Pakistan, which is also spoken by many people in India
urea noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
a colourless substance found in urine and also manufactured from ammonia ,
used in fertilizers, animal feed and the plastics industry
ureter noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a tube on each side of the body that takes urine from the kidney to the bladder
urethra noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
the tube in most mammals which carries urine from the bladder out of the body.
In males it also carries sperm.
urge noun [ C ]
a strong wish, especially one which is difficult or impossible to control
The two of them seem unable to control their sexual urges.
[ + to infinitive ] The urge to steal is very strong in many of the young men we
look after here.
urge verb [ I or T ]
to strongly advise or try to persuade someone to do a particular thing
[ + to infinitive ] Lawyers will urge the parents to take further legal action.
[ + that ] Investigators urged that safety procedures at the site should be
improved.
Police urged continued vigilance in the fight against crime.
The dogs are urged into fighting more fiercely by loud shouts from the crowd.
We shall continue to urge for leniency to be shown to these prisoners.
urging noun [ C or U ]
He was happy to comply without any further urging from me.
It was only because of Alison's urgings that he sold the house.
urge sb on phrasal verb [ M ]
to encourage someone to do or achieve something
The crowd was cheering and urging her on all through the race.
urgent adjective IMPORTANT
1. needing attention very soon, especially before anything else, because
important
He's got to sign that paper - will you tell him it's urgent?
The most urgent thing in a fire is to make sure everyone is out of the building.
Many people are in urgent need of food and water.
urgent adjective ALWAYS TRYING
2. FORMAL (especially of a person's actions) repeated and determined in trying to
get or do something
His urgent pleas of innocence made no difference to the judge's decision.
urgency noun [ U ]
It now is a matter of urgency that aid reaches the famine area.
urgently adverb
Help is urgently needed.
uric adjective [ before noun ] SPECIALIZED
of urine
uric acid
urinal noun [ C ]
a device, usually fitted to a wall, into which men or boys can urinate, or a building
which contains one or more of these devices
urinary adjective
relating to urine or to the parts of the body which produce and carry urine
urinary tract infections
urinate verb [ I ]
to pass urine from the body
urination noun [ U ]
urine noun [ U ]
the yellowish liquid waste which is released from the body when you go to the
toilet
URL noun [ C ]
ABBREVIATION FOR uniform resource locator: a website address
urn noun [ C ]
1. a container, especially a large round one on a stem, which is used for
decorative purposes in a garden, or one which has a lid and is used for holding a dead
person's ashes (= the powder that is left after a dead body has been burned)
2. a large cylindrical metal container with a lid which is used for holding a large
amount of drink such as tea or coffee and keeping it hot
a tea urn
urogenital adjective ( ALSO urinogenital ) SPECIALIZED
relating to the parts of the body which produce and carry urine, and also the
genitals (= outer sexual organs)
Uruguay noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
Uruguayan adjective , noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
us , pronoun GROUP
1. (used as the object of a verb or a preposition) me and at least one other
person
Thank you for driving us to the station.
Many of us in the editorial department disagree with the changes that are
happening.
us , pronoun ME
2. UK NOT STANDARD (especially used in spoken English) me
Give us a light, mate.
Give us it here and I'll see if I can mend it.
us , determiner NORTHERN NOT STANDARD
our
Where've you parked us car?
the US noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the United States
A new study of education in the US has just been published.
When did you become a US citizen?
the USA noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the United States of America
usable adjective
that can be used
The specific software is also usable in other areas of research.
the USAF noun [ S + sing/plural verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the United States Air Force
usage noun PURPOSE
1. [ C or U ] the way a particular word in a language, or a language in general, is
used
a guide to common English usage
The earliest recorded usage of the word is in the twelfth century.
2. [ U ] the way something is treated or used
Sports equipment is designed to withstand hard usage.
usage noun TAKE ADVANTAGE
3. [ U ] FORMAL the bad and unfair way someone treats you
Many had complained about the usage they'd received at his hands.
USB noun [ C ] ABBREVIATION FOR
Universal Serial Bus: a part of a computer to which extra devices such as printers,
scanners and digital cameras can be connected easily without restarting the system
a USB port
use verb PURPOSE
1. [ T ] to put something such as a tool, skill or building to a particular purpose
This glass has been used - please fetch me a clean one.
[ + to infinitive ] Use scissors to cut the shapes out.
Going on the expedition gives me a chance to use all the training I've had.
The old hospital isn't used anymore.
These lights are used for illuminating the playing area.
To use military force against the protesters would be unacceptable.
INFORMAL I could use (= I would like) some help putting these decorations up if
you're not too busy.
use verb REDUCE
2. [ T ] to reduce the amount of or finish something, by eating it, burning it,
writing on it or changing it chemically; to consume
We've used (up) nearly all of the bread - will you buy some more?
Does she still use drugs?
Don't worry if you use the polish up (= finish it) - I'm going shopping tomorrow.
use verb TAKE ADVANTAGE
3. [ T ] USUALLY DISAPPROVING to take advantage of a person or situation; to exploit
He's just using you - he'll steal your ideas and then take the credit for them
himself.
It might be possible to use their mistake to help us get what we want.
Within the relationship he feels ill (= badly) used most of the time.
use verb IN THE PAST
4. use to
In negative sentences and questions, 'use to' replaces 'used to' when it follows
'did' or 'didn't'
Did he use to be the doctor in 'Star Trek'?
We didn't use to go out much in the winter months.
use your head ( UK OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL use your loaf )
used to tell someone in a slightly angry way that they should think more carefully
about what they are doing
Why didn't you use your head and cover the furniture before you started painting?
use sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to finish a supply of something
Don't use up all the milk, we need some for breakfast.
The Earth's resources are being used up at an alarming rate.
use noun PURPOSE
1. [ C or U ] a purpose for which something is used
A food processor has a variety of uses in the kitchen.
Don't throw that cloth away, you'll find a use for it one day.
No, I don't want to buy a boat - I have no use for one!
2. [ U ] when you use something, or when something is being used
You should be able to put your experience in electronics to (good) use in your
new job.
Don't touch the machine when it's in use.
Sorry but the escalator is out of ( US USUALLY not in ) use (= not operating) .
There has been some increase in the use of casual labour over recent years.
Traditional farming methods are going out of/coming into use (= used less and
less/more and more) in many areas.
3. make use of sth
to use something that is available
We might as well make use of the hotel's facilities.
4. the use of sth
permission to use something, or the ability to use something
They said we could have the use of their flat at the coast whenever they weren't
there.
She hurt her arm in the fall and lost the use of her fingers temporarily.
use noun REDUCE
5. [ C or U ] when the amount of something available is reduced or finished, by
eating it, burning it, writing on it or changing it chemically
Building a dam would be a use of financial resources which this country cannot
afford.
be (of) (any/some) use
to be useful
Perhaps his advice will be of use to you when you're older.
be (of) no use
to not be useful, helpful or possible
His advice turned out to be no use at all.
There is no use (in) argu ing any more.
It is no use try ing (= There is no purpose in trying) to escape - no one ever gets
out of here.
It 's no use (= I cannot succeed) - I just can't get this lid off.
What's the use of...? ( ALSO What use is...? )
used to tell someone to stop worrying because worrying will not help
Try not to get depressed - after all, what's the use of worrying?
used verb
used to
used to show that a particular thing always happened or was true in the past,
especially if it no longer happens or is no longer true
She used to live in Glasgow.
She used to love cats but one attacked her and she doesn't like them anymore.
You don't come and see me like you used to.
When we were younger, we used not to be allowed to drink coffee.
NOT STANDARD He did used to work there, didn't he?
used adjective FAMILIAR
1. be used to sth/sb
to be familiar with something or someone
We're used to tourists here - we get thousands every year.
[ + -ing verb ] She was not used to speak ing Cantonese.
Eventually you'll get/become used to the smells of the laboratory.
used adjective NOT NEW
2. that has already been put to the purpose it was intended for; not new
a used airline ticket
The blackmailers demanded to be paid in used £20 notes.
I could only afford a used car (= one that has already been owned by others) .
useful adjective
effective; helping you to do or achieve something
A good knife is probably one of the most useful things you can have in a kitchen.
Do the exercises serve any useful purpose?
come in useful UK
to be useful and help someone to do or achieve something
You should keep that paint - it might come in useful one day.
make yourself useful
a way of telling someone to start being helpful
Now you're here you might as well make yourself useful - there's a lot of clearing
up to do.
usefully adverb
in an effective or helpful way
We could usefully spend the free time sightseeing.
usefulness noun [ U ]
the quality or state of being useful
Some people think this system of education has outlived its usefulness (= is no
longer useful) .
useless adjective
of no use; not working or not achieving what is needed
Without fuel, the vehicles will become useless for moving supplies.
[ + to infinitive ] It's useless to speculate without more information.
She's very good at methodical work, but useless when there's a lot of pressure.
INFORMAL You're absolutely useless (= not able to act effectively) - can't you even
go to the shops without getting lost!
uselessly adverb
uselessness noun [ U ]
user noun [ C ]
someone who uses a product, machine or service
Unemployed people are the main users of this advice centre.
drug users
user-friendly adjective
If something, especially something related to a computer, is user-friendly, it is
simple for people to use
a user-friendly interface/printer
a user-friendly instruction manual
user-friendliness noun [ U ]
ˈ user ˌ group noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a group of people who are interested in a particular area of computing or use the
same product and who use the Internet to share information about it
username noun [ C ] ( ALSO user ID )
a name or other word that you sometimes need to type in together with a
password before you are allowed to use a computer or the Internet
Please enter your username and password.
usher verb [ T usually + adv/prep ]
to show someone where they should go, or to make someone go where you want
them to go
She ushered us into her office and offered us a coffee.
Officials quickly ushered the protesters out of the hall.
usher sth in phrasal verb [ M ]
to be at the start of a new period, especially when important changes or new
things happen, or to cause important changes to start happening
Yesterday's match between Arsenal and Spurs ushered in the start of the new
football season.
Banksie threw a huge party to usher in (= celebrate) the New Year.
The legislation should usher in a host of new opportunities for school leavers.
usher noun [ C ]
a man who shows people where they should sit, especially at a formal event such
as a wedding or at a theatre or cinema
usherette noun [ C ]
a woman who works in a theatre or cinema, whose job is to show people to their
seats and to sell sweets and drinks
the USN noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the United States Navy
USP noun [ C ]
ABBREVIATION FOR unique selling proposition: a feature of a product that makes it
different from and better than other similar products and that can be emphasized in
advertisements for the product
USS
ABBREVIATION FOR United States Ship: used before the names of ships in the US
navy
He was a radio technician aboard the USS Missouri.
the USSR noun [ S ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
usu.
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR usually
usual adjective
normal; happening, done or used most often
I went to bed at my usual time.
There was more rainfall than usual this summer in the mountain areas.
You'll find the cutlery in its usual place.
Terry was, as usual, slow to respond.
This shop is open for business as usual despite the shortages.
usual noun [ S ] INFORMAL
Someone's usual is the drink, especially an alcoholic one, which they most often
have, for example when they are in a bar
A gin and tonic for my dad, and I'll have the/my usual.
usually adverb
in the way that most often happens
He usually gets home about 6 o'clock.
I usually just have a sandwich for lunch.
Is your friend usually so rude?
Usually we go to France in August.
"Does this shop open on Sundays?" "Usually."
usurp , , verb [ T ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL
to take control or a position of power, especially without having the right to
The powers of local councils are being usurped by central government.
usurper , , noun [ C ]
usury noun [ U ] FORMAL DISAPPROVING
the activity of lending someone money with the agreement that they will pay back
a very much larger amount of money later
usurer noun [ C ]
usurious adjective
usurious interest rates
ute noun [ C ]
AUSTRALIAN pick-up truck (= a small vehicle with an open part at the back in which
goods can be carried)
utensil noun [ C ]
a tool with a particular use, especially in a kitchen or house
In the drawer was a selection of kitchen utensils - spoons, spatulas, knives and
whisks.
uterus noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a womb
uterine adjective
See also IUD
utilitarian adjective
designed to be useful rather than decorative
Like many factories it's a very ugly utilitarian building.
utilitarianism noun [ U ]
the system of thought which states that the best action or decision in a particular
situation is the one which brings most advantages to the most people
utility noun SERVICE
1. [ C ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL a service which is used by the public, such as an electricity
or gas supply or a train service
utility bills
utility noun USEFUL
2. [ U ] FORMAL the usefulness of something, especially in a practical way
u ˈ tility ˌ room noun [ C ]
a room, especially in a house, where large pieces of useful equipment such as a
washing machine can be kept and where things can be stored
utilize , UK USUALLY utilise verb [ T ] FORMAL
to use something in an effective way
The vitamins come in a form that is easily utilized by the body.
utilizable , UK USUALLY utilisable adjective
utilization , UK USUALLY utilisation noun [ U ]
Sensible utilization of the world's resources is a priority.
utmost adjective [ before noun ] ( FORMAL uttermost )
used to emphasize how important or serious something is
a matter of the utmost importance
The situation needs to be handled with the utmost care.
utmost noun [ S ] ( ALSO uttermost )
the greatest amount or extent possible
The new model of the car offers the utmost in power and performance.
do/try your utmost
to do something as well as you can by making a great effort
She did her utmost to finish on time.
utopia noun [ C or U ]
(the idea of) a perfect society in which everyone works well with each other and is
happy
utopian adjective
relating to or aiming for a perfect society in which everyone works well with each
other and is happy
a utopian vision
utopian aims
utter verb [ T ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL
to say something or to make a sound with your voice
She sat through the whole meeting without uttering a word.
utter adjective [ before noun ]
complete or extreme
utter confusion/misery/chaos
utter nonsense/rubbish/drivel
The meeting was a complete and utter waste of time.
Lying back in the hot bath was utter bliss.
utterly adverb
What an utterly stupid thing to do!
utterance noun [ C ]
1. FORMAL something that someone says
The senator's weekend utterances were promptly rebutted by three of his
colleagues on Monday.
2. give utterance to sth
LITERARY to express your ideas or feelings in spoken words
She has one great fear to which she will never give utterance.
U-turn noun [ C ] ( US INFORMAL U-ie )
1. a turn made by a car in order to go back in the direction from which it has
come
It is illegal to do/make a U-turn on a motorway.
2. MAINLY DISAPPROVING a complete change from one opinion or plan of action to an
opposite one
The Prime Minister did/made a quick U-turn in response to all the adverse
publicity.
UV adjective
ABBREVIATION FOR ultraviolet
UV light
Uzbek adjective , noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
Uzbekistan noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
Uzi noun [ C ] TRADEMARK
(the name of the maker of) a type of machine gun (= automatic gun) which fires
many bullets in a very short time
V noun [ C ] LETTER
1. ( ALSO v ) the 22nd letter of the English alphabet
V noun [ C ] NUMBER
2. ( ALSO v ) the sign used in the Roman system for the number 5
v preposition ( ALSO vs )
1. ABBREVIATION FOR versus
I need to consider the advantages v the disadvantages.
2. used to show who is competing in a game
Newcastle United v Wigan
3. used to show the two sides involved in a court case
the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v Wade
v noun
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR verb
v. adverb
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FORvery
The teacher wrote 'v. good' on my essay.
vac noun PERIOD
1. [ C ] UK INFORMAL FOR vacation
Have you managed to get a job for the long (= summer) vac?
vac noun EQUIPMENT
2. [ C ] INFORMAL FOR vacuum (cleaner)
3. [ S ] UK INFORMAL FOR an act of cleaning something with a vacuum cleaner
Could you give the bedrooms a vac?
vac verb [ I or T ] UK INFORMAL
to clean something with a vacuum cleaner
I've nearly finished the cleaning, I just need to vac.
Have you vacced the carpet?
vacancy noun [ C ]
1. a space or place which is available to be used
We wanted to book a hotel room in July but there were no vacancies.
The dentist can't see you today but she has a vacancy tomorrow morning.
There are still some vacancies for students in science and engineering courses,
but the vacancies in humanities have been filled .
2. a job that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone new to do
There is a vacancy for a shop assistant on Saturdays.
vacant adjective EMPTY
1. not filled or occupied ; available to be used
The hospital has no vacant beds.
Compare engaged
2. A vacant job is one that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone
new to do
When the post fell (= became) vacant, Dennis Bass was appointed to fill it.
vacant adjective NOT INTERESTED
3. showing no interest or activity
She had a vacant look/expression on her face.
vacantly adverb
showing no interest or activity
She gazed/stared vacantly into space/ahead.
ˌ vacant pos ˈ session noun [ U ] UK SPECIALIZED
when someone who buys a house or property is allowed to use it immediately
without anyone else still living in it or using it
vacate , verb [ T ] FORMAL
to leave a room, building, chair, etc. so that it is available for other people
Hotel guests are requested to vacate their rooms by noon.
Denis vacates his job at the end of the week.
vacation noun
1. [ C or U ] US a holiday, especially when you are travelling away from home for
pleasure
We're taking a vacation in June.
They went to Europe on vacation.
I've still got some vacation left before the end of the year.
2. [ C ] MAINLY US ( UK INFORMAL vac ) a period of the year when schools or colleges
are closed, or when law courts do not operate
the Christmas/Easter/summer/long vacation
vacation verb [ I ] US
Remember that time we were vacationing in Vermont?
vacationer noun [ C ]
US FOR holidaymaker
vaccinate verb [ T ]
to give someone a vaccine, usually by injection , to prevent them from getting a
disease
The children were vaccinated against the major childhood diseases.
See also inoculate ; immunize
vaccination noun [ C or U ]
All the children have received two vaccinations against measles.
vaccine noun [ C or U ]
a substance which contains a form that is not harmful of a virus or bacterium (=
extremely small organism) and which is given to a person or animal to prevent them
from getting the disease which the virus or bacterium causes
This vaccine protects against some kinds of the bacteria.
See picture health 2
vacillate verb [ I ] DISAPPROVING
to be uncertain what to do, or to change often between two opinions
Her mood vacillated between hope and despair.
vacillation noun [ C or U ]
vacuole noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a space that contains air or fluid inside a living cell, often storing an important
chemical or food substance
vacuous adjective FORMAL
not expressing or showing intelligent thought or purpose
a vacuous remark/question/expression/smile
vacuously adverb
vacuousness noun [ U ] ( ALSO vacuity )
vacuum noun CLEANER
1. [ C ] ( ALSO vacuum cleaner , INFORMAL vac , UK ALSO TRADEMARK Hoover ) a
machine which cleans floors and other surfaces by sucking up dust and dirt
See picture vacuum cleaner
vacuum noun EMPTY SPACE
2. [ C or U ] a space from which most or all of the air, gas or other material has
been removed or is not present
3. [ S ] a lack of something
The withdrawal of troops from the area has created a security vacuum which will
need to be filled .
4. in a vacuum
kept separate from other people and activities
No artist works in a vacuum - we are all of us influenced by others.
vacuum verb [ I or T ] ( UK ALSO hoover )
to use a vacuum cleaner to collect dust, dirt, etc
Vacuum (up) the cake crumbs, would you?
ˈ vacuum ˌ flask noun [ C ] ( US vacuum bottle ) UK
a container that keeps hot liquids hot, or cold liquids cold, and usually has a lid
that is used as a cup
See also flask
vacuum-packed , adjective
Something, especially food, which is vacuum-packed is in a soft container from
which the air has been removed so that the contents can be stored longer.
ˈ vacuum ˌ pump noun [ C ]
a piece of equipment for removing air or gas from a container, creating a vacuum
inside
vagabond noun [ C ] OLD USE OR LITERARY
a person who has no home and usually no job, and who travels from place to
place
They live a vagabond life/existence, travelling around in a caravan.
Compare vagrant
vagaries plural noun FORMAL
unexpected and uncontrollable events or changes which have an influence on a
situation
The success of the event will be determined by the vagaries of the weather .
She had her own style and was not influenced by the vagaries of fashion .
vagina noun [ C ]
the part of a woman or other female mammal's body which connects her outer
sex organs to her womb
vaginal adjective
vaginal intercourse
vaginally adverb
vagrant noun [ C ] FORMAL OR LEGAL
a person who is poor and does not have a home or job; a tramp
The town has shelters and food handouts for vagrants.
vagrancy noun [ U ]
Most European countries have abandoned laws that make vagrancy a crime.
vague adjective
1. not clearly expressed, known, described or decided
I do have a vague memory of meeting her many years ago.
The patient had complained of vague pains and backache.
2. not clear in shape, or not clearly seen
Through the mist I could just make out a vague figure.
3. describes someone who is not able to think clearly, or who, sometimes as a
way of hiding what they really think, does not express their opinions clearly
My aunt is incredibly vague - she can never remember where she's left things.
Their report is studiously vague (= intentionally not exact) on future economic
prospects.
vaguely adverb
I vaguely remembered having met her before.
vagueness noun [ U ]
vain adjective NOT SUCCESSFUL
1. unsuccessful or useless; of no value
The doctors gave him more powerful drugs in the vain hope that he might
recover.
FORMAL It was vain to pretend to himself that he was not disappointed.
2. in vain
unsuccessfully or uselessly
I tried in vain to start a conversation.
All the police's efforts to find him were in vain.
vain adjective SELFISH
3. too interested in your own appearance or achievements
He was very vain about his hair and his clothes.
vainly adverb
unsuccessfully
He tried vainly to make them listen.
valance noun [ C ]
1. a short piece of gathered (= pulled together in folds) material which hangs
down especially around the base of a bed
2. US a pelmet
vale noun [ C ]
1. used in the name of some valleys
the Vale of Evesham
2. OLD-FASHIONED OR LITERARY a valley
a cloud that floats on high o'er hills and vales
this vale of tears LITERARY
This vale of tears is the world we live in, seen as sad and difficult.
valediction noun [ C or U ] FORMAL
the act of saying goodbye, especially formally, or a formal speech in which
someone says goodbye
valedictorian noun [ C ] US
a student, usually one who has been the most successful in a particular class, who
makes a speech at a special ceremony at the end of a school year
valedictory adjective FORMAL
relating to saying goodbye, especially formally
a valedictory speech
valency noun [ C ] ( ALSO valence ) SPECIALIZED
a measurement which shows the number of hydrogen atoms that can combine
with one atom of a particular chemical element to make a compound , used to describe
how easily an element can connect in a chemical way with others
Zinc has a valency of 2.
valentine noun [ C ]
1. someone you love or would like to have a romantic relationship with, and who
you send a valentine card to
The message on the card said 'Be my Valentine'.
2. ( ALSO valentine card ) a decorative card which you send, usually without your
name on it, on 14 February (Valentine's Day) to someone you love
Did you get any valentines?
Most of the valentine cards either had hearts on them or were very rude.
Valentine's Day noun [ C or U ]
14 February, a day when you give a valentine card to someone you have a
romantic relationship with or would like a romantic relationship with
valerian noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
a plant with small white or pink flowers and a root that is used in medicines,
especially as a sedative (= drug to calm you or make you sleep)
valet noun [ C ]
1. someone in a hotel who cleans clothes
2. US someone at a hotel or restaurant who puts your car in a parking space for
you
3. the personal male servant of a rich man, especially in the past
valet , verb [ T ] UK
to clean, especially the inside of, something
There's a service which will valet your car for you while it is parked.
ˈ valet ˌ parking noun [ U ]
the service offered by a restaurant, hotel, etc. of putting your car in a parking
space
ˈ valet ˌ service noun [ U ]
the service of cleaning clothes offered by a hotel to people staying there
valiant adjective
very brave or bravely determined, especially when things are difficult or the
situation gives no cause for hope
The company has made a valiant effort/attempt in the last two years to make
itself more efficient.
valiantly adverb
valid adjective
1. based on truth or reason; able to be accepted
a valid argument/criticism/reason
My way of thinking might be different from yours, but it's equally valid.
Compare invalid
2. A ticket or other document is valid if it is based on or used according to a set of
official conditions which often include a time limit
My passport is valid for another two years.
3. having legal force
Is this contract/ticket/agreement still valid?
validity noun [ U ]
This research seems to give/lend some validity to the theory that the drug might
cause cancer.
validly adverb
validate verb [ T ]
to make something officially acceptable or approved, especially after examining it
It is a one-year course validated by London's City University.
The data is validated automatically by the computer after it has been entered.
validation noun [ U ]
External validation of the teachers' assessments is recommended.
Valium noun [ C or U ] TRADEMARK
a drug which makes you calm and helps you to stop worrying, or a pill containing
this
She was on (= using) Valium for a few months after the accident.
to take a couple of Valium
valley noun [ C ]
valley
an area of low land between hills or mountains, often with a river running through
it
the Nile Valley
the Thames valley
There was snow on the hill tops but not in the valley.
valour , US valor noun [ U ] FORMAL
great bravery
He was promoted to the rank of major in recognition of his valour during the
battle.
valuable adjective MONEY
1. worth a lot of money
These antiques are extremely valuable.
This is losing valuable business for the company.
Opposite worthless .
valuable adjective IMPORTANT
2. Valuable information, advice, etc. is very helpful or important
He was able to provide the police with some valuable information.
Parents gave the school valuable support in its case for getting its facilities
improved.
valuables plural noun
small objects, especially jewellery, which might be sold for a lot of money
valuation noun [ C or U ]
the act of deciding how much money something might be sold for or the amount
of money decided on
You can receive a home loan of up to 95% of the official valuation of the property.
value noun MONEY
1. [ C or U ] the amount of money which can be received for something
She had already sold everything of value that she possessed.
What is the value of the prize?
The value of the pound fell against other European currencies yesterday.
Property values have fallen since the plans for the airport were published.
I thought the offer was good value (for money) / US ALSO a good value (= a lot
was offered for the amount of money paid) .
value noun IMPORTANCE
2. [ S or U ] the importance or worth of something for someone
For them, the house's main value lay in its quiet country location.
They are known to place/put/set a high value on good presentation.
3. [ U ] how useful or important something is
The photos are of immense historical value.
His contribution was of little or no practical value.
The necklace had great sentimental value.
It has novelty value because I've never done anything like it before.
4. values
the beliefs people have about what is right and wrong and what is most important
in life, which control their behaviour
family/moral/traditional values
value verb [ T ] MONEY
1. UK ( US appraise ) to give a judgment about how much money something
might be sold for
He valued the painting at $2000.
The insurance company said I should have my jewellery valued.
value verb [ T ] IMPORTANCE
2. to consider something important
I've always valued her advice.
value-added adjective
value-added products or services are worth more because they have been
improved or had something added to them
valued adjective FORMAL
useful and important
a valued member of staff
ˈ value ˌ judgment noun [ C ]
a statement of how good or bad you think an idea or action is
People often make value judgments about things without considering them
carefully.
valueless adjective NO MONEY
1. not worth any money
We thought the chair was an antique worth a lot of money, but it turned out to be
a valueless replica.
valueless adjective NOT IMPORTANT
2. not important or helpful
His comments were so general as to be nearly valueless.
valuer noun [ C ] UK ( US appraiser )
a person whose job is to say how much something is worth
valve noun [ C ]
1. a device which opens and closes to control the flow of liquids or gases, or a
similar structure in the heart and the veins, which controls the flow of blood
The valve failed to open/close .
It was a weak heart valve that caused her death.
2. part of a musical instrument such as a trumpet which changes the sound by
controlling the flow of air
See picture music (brass)
vamp noun [ C ]
a woman who is conscious of and makes use of being attractive to men in order to
get what she wants
vampish adjective
vampish behaviour
vamp verb
vamp sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to make something more exciting
The dress is simple and elegant, but you could vamp it up for evening wear with
some stunning jewellery.
vampire noun [ C ]
(in stories) a dead person who comes back to life and sucks blood from other
people at night
The most famous vampire is Count Dracula of Transylvania.
ˈ vampire ˌ bat noun [ C ]
a small Central and South American flying animal which sucks blood from other
animals
van noun VEHICLE
van
1. [ C ] a medium-sized road vehicle used especially for carrying goods and which
often has no windows in the sides of the back half
a delivery van
a Transit van
a van driver
2. [ C ] US a medium-sized vehicle with windows all round, used for carrying more
people than an ordinary car
van noun FRONT
3. in the van of sth UK FORMAL
at the front, or in the most advanced position, of something
The United States is in the van of the quest to establish contact with beings from
the beyond.
See also the vanguard
vanadium noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
a silver-grey metallic element used to make steel alloys and in ceramics
vanadium noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
a silver-grey metallic element used to make steel alloys and in ceramics
vandal noun [ C ]
a person who intentionally damages property belonging to other people
Vandals smashed windows and overturned cars in the downtown shopping district.
vandalism noun [ U ]
1. the crime of intentionally damaging property belonging to other people
Beset by drug problems, prostitution, violence and vandalism, this is one of the
most unpleasant areas in the city.
These schools are known to be vulnerable to vandalism.
2. any activity that is considered to be damaging or destroying something that
was good
Cutting down the old forest was an act of vandalism.
The advertising industry's use of classic songs is vandalism of popular culture, he
said.
vandalize , UK USUALLY vandalise verb [ T ]
to intentionally damage property belonging to other people
When I got back, my car had been vandalized.
They are the type of teenagers likely to vandalize phone boxes.
vane noun [ C ]
a flat narrow part of a fan , propeller , etc. which turns because of the pressure of
air or liquid against it
the vanguard noun [ S ]
1. the part of an army or navy that leads an attack on an enemy
Compare rearguard
2. a group of people who lead the development of new ideas, or a leading position
in the development of something
He is in the vanguard of economic reform.
See also the forefront
vanilla noun [ U ]
a substance made from the seeds of a tropical plant, which is used to give flavour
to sweet foods
vanilla essence/extract
vanilla ice cream/yoghurt
a vanilla milkshake
Add two teaspoons of vanilla and stir.
Keeping a vanilla UK pod/ US bean (= seed container) in your sugar jar will add
a delicate flavour.
vanish verb [ I ]
to disappear or stop being present or existing, especially in a sudden, surprising
way
The child vanished while on her way home from school.
We rushed out of the shop in hot pursuit, but the thief had vanished into thin air
(= had completely disappeared) .
Cheap rural housing is vanishing in the south of the country.
vanish verb [ I ]
to disappear or stop being present or existing, especially in a sudden, surprising
way
The child vanished while on her way home from school.
We rushed out of the shop in hot pursuit, but the thief had vanished into thin air
(= had completely disappeared) .
Cheap rural housing is vanishing in the south of the country.
vanished adjective
not now present or existing
The temple ruins are a distant reminder of a vanished empire.
vanishing adjective
beginning to disappear
They expressed worry about the district's current budget crisis and its vanishing
middle-class work force.
vanity noun SELFISH
1. [ U ] DISAPPROVING when you are too interested in your appearance or
achievements
He wants the job purely for reasons of vanity and ambition.
vanity noun FURNITURE
2. [ C ] US FOR dressing table
3. [ C ] US FOR a vanity unit
ˈ vanity ˌ plates plural noun US
number plates on a vehicle which have particular numbers or letters on them that
the vehicle's owner has specially chosen and paid to have
ˈ vanity ˌ press noun [ C ]
a publishing company where writers pay to have their books produced
ˈ vanity ˌ unit noun [ C ] UK
a small cupboard which stands on the floor in a bathroom and has a washbasin (=
fixed bowl-shaped container for water) in the top
vanquish verb [ T ] LITERARY
to defeat an opponent, especially in war
Napoleon was vanquished at the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The vanquished army surrendered their weapons.
vantage point noun PLACE
1. [ C ] a place, especially a high place, which provides a good clear view of an
area
From our lofty vantage point, we could see the city spread out below us.
vantage point noun OPINION
2. [ C usually singular ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL a particular personal way of thinking or set
of opinions
The documentary contains a first-hand description of political life in Havana from
the vantage point of a senior bureaucrat.
vantage point noun PLACE
1. [ C ] a place, especially a high place, which provides a good clear view of an
area
From our lofty vantage point, we could see the city spread out below us.
vantage point noun OPINION
2. [ C usually singular ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL a particular personal way of thinking or set
of opinions
The documentary contains a first-hand description of political life in Havana from
the vantage point of a senior bureaucrat.
Vanuatu noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
Vanuatuan adjective , noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
vapid adjective FORMAL
showing no intelligence or imagination
a vapid television programme
vapidity noun [ U ]
the spiritual vapidity of Western materialism
vaporize , UK USUALLY vaporise verb [ I or T ]
to turn, or cause something to turn, from a solid or liquid state into gas
During surgery, doctors sometimes use a laser beam to vaporize tiny blood
vessels.
Most meteorites striking the Earth vaporize instantly.
vapour UK , US vapor noun GAS
1. [ C or U ] gas or extremely small drops of liquid which result from the heating
of a liquid or solid
The hollow glass tank contains hot mercury vapour.
Poisonous vapours burst out of the factory during the accident.
vapour UK , US vapor noun ILLNESS
2. the vapours OLD USE UK
[ plural ] when someone suddenly feels ill and weak, usually because of a shock
ˈ vapour ˌ trail UK , US vapor trail noun [ C ]
water vapour that looks like a line of white smoke behind an aircraft as it flies
vapourware , US vaporware noun [ U ] HUMOROUS
a computer program which is advertised but which is not yet or is never made
available
variable adjective
likely to change often
a variable interest rate
British weather is perhaps at its most variable in the spring.
variability noun [ U ]
variable noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a number, amount or situation which can change
The variables in the equation are X, Y and Z.
The data was analysed according to neighbourhoods, but other key variables like
credit rating, job history, savings and marital status were ignored altogether.
variable adjective
likely to change often
a variable interest rate
British weather is perhaps at its most variable in the spring.
variability noun [ U ]
variable noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a number, amount or situation which can change
The variables in the equation are X, Y and Z.
The data was analysed according to neighbourhoods, but other key variables like
credit rating, job history, savings and marital status were ignored altogether.
variance noun
1. [ C or U ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL when two or more things are different, or the amount
or number by which they are different
There has been some unusual variance in temperature this month.
I could detect subtle variances in fragrance as we strolled through the garden.
2. [ C ] US LEGAL official permission to do something which is not normally allowed
We had to get a (zoning) variance before we could build the extension on our
house.
3. be at variance with sb/sth
to be in disagreement with someone or something, or to be different from them
Young people's reactions to world events are often at variance with those of their
parents.
Most heavy metal fans are under 20 - this is at variance with the age of the bands
themselves, who are often over 40.
variant noun [ C ]
something which is slightly different from other similar things
There are many colas on the market now, all variants on the original drink.
There are four variants of malaria, all transmitted to humans by a particular
family of mosquitoes.
variant adjective
different
a variant form
Words spelt with 'ae', such as 'encyclopaedia', have a variant spelling with 'e', as
in 'encyclopedia'.
variation noun CHANGE
1. [ C or U ] a change in amount or level
Unemployment rates among white-collar workers show much less regional
variation than corresponding rates among blue-collar workers.
The medical tests showed some variation in the baby's heart rate.
global temperature variations over the last 140 years
variation noun DIFFERENCE
2. [ C ] something that is slightly different from the usual form or arrangement
There are wide variations in the way pensioners have benefited from the system.
The films she makes are all variations on the same theme .
3. [ C ] SPECIALIZED one of several short tunes which are based on the same simple
tune, but are different from it and from the others
symphonic variations
varicose vein noun [ C usually plural ]
a swollen and often painful vein, especially in the legs
Pregnant women often get varicose veins.
varicose vein noun [ C usually plural ]
a swollen and often painful vein, especially in the legs
Pregnant women often get varicose veins.
varied adjective
containing or changing between several different things or types
a varied group of people
a lengthy and varied career
With its varied climate, the country attracts both winter and summer sports
enthusiasts.
variegated adjective
having a pattern of different colours or marks
variegated leaves
a variegated plant
variegation noun [ U ]
variety noun CHANGE
1. [ U ] the characteristic of often changing and being different
When preparing meals, you need to think about variety and taste as well as
nutritional value.
Sexual reproduction serves to create genetic variety.
Work on the production line is monotonous and lacks variety.
variety noun TYPE
2. [ C ] a different type of something
The article was about the different varieties of Spanish spoken in South America.
This variety of rose is especially hardy and drought-resistant.
Our supermarket stocks apples in several different varieties.
3. [ S ] many different types of things or people
She does a variety of fitness activities.
The equipment could be used for a variety of educational purposes.
Manufacturers need large sales to justify offering a big variety in export markets.
variety noun ENTERTAINMENT
4. [ U ] a type of entertainment which includes several separate short
performances, such as singing, dancing, magic tricks and telling jokes
a variety show
Variety is the spice of life. SAYING
said to emphasize that doing many different things, or often changing what you
do, makes life interesting
var ˈ iety ˌ store noun [ C ] US
a shop which sells many different things, usually at low prices
varicose vein noun [ C usually plural ]
a swollen and often painful vein, especially in the legs
Pregnant women often get varicose veins.
varied adjective
containing or changing between several different things or types
a varied group of people
a lengthy and varied career
With its varied climate, the country attracts both winter and summer sports
enthusiasts.
variegated adjective
having a pattern of different colours or marks
variegated leaves
a variegated plant
variegation noun [ U ]
variety noun CHANGE
1. [ U ] the characteristic of often changing and being different
When preparing meals, you need to think about variety and taste as well as
nutritional value.
Sexual reproduction serves to create genetic variety.
Work on the production line is monotonous and lacks variety.
variety noun TYPE
2. [ C ] a different type of something
The article was about the different varieties of Spanish spoken in South America.
This variety of rose is especially hardy and drought-resistant.
Our supermarket stocks apples in several different varieties.
3. [ S ] many different types of things or people
She does a variety of fitness activities.
The equipment could be used for a variety of educational purposes.
Manufacturers need large sales to justify offering a big variety in export markets.
variety noun ENTERTAINMENT
4. [ U ] a type of entertainment which includes several separate short
performances, such as singing, dancing, magic tricks and telling jokes
a variety show
Variety is the spice of life. SAYING
said to emphasize that doing many different things, or often changing what you
do, makes life interesting
var ˈ iety ˌ store noun [ C ] US
a shop which sells many different things, usually at low prices
various adjective
many different
We had various problems on our journey, including a puncture.
The author gave various reasons for having written the book.
Girardo was out of action with various injuries for most of last season.
Various people whom we weren't expecting turned up at the meeting.
variously adverb
in several different ways, at several different times, or by several different people
It is one of a class of electronic products variously called 'personal communicators'
or 'personal digital assistants'.
The number of cases this year of salmonella poisoning has been variously put at
26, 46, 49 or 51.
varnish noun [ C or U ]
a liquid which is painted onto wood or paintings to protect the surface, or the hard
shiny surface it produces when it dries
Polyurethane varnish provides a tough, scratch-resistant finish.
a final coat of (clear) varnish
The varnish had been deliberately scratched.
varnish verb [ T ]
1. to put varnish on a surface
They decided to spend the weekend varnishing their boat.
2. UK to use nail varnish
varnished adjective
covered with varnish
a varnished surface
varnished wood
varsity adjective [ before noun ] US
describes sports teams at schools or colleges which are at the most skilled level of
play
He was a member of the varsity baseball team.
vary verb [ I or T ] BE DIFFERENT
1. If things of the same type vary, they are different from each other, and if you
vary them, you cause them to be different from each other
Salary scales vary between states/ from state to state/ according to state/
with each state.
The samples varied in quality but were generally acceptable.
vary verb [ I or T ] CHANGE
2. to change or cause something to change in amount or level, especially from
one occasion to another
My taste in classical music varies greatly/widely , but I usually prefer Mozart or
Brahms.
Some people give a regular monthly donation while others vary the amount they
give.
vascular adjective SPECIALIZED
relating to the tubes which carry blood or liquids in animals and plants
the vascular system
vascular disease
a vascular surgeon
vase noun [ C ]
vase
a container for holding flowers or for decoration
a vase of flowers
vase noun [ C ]
vase
a container for holding flowers or for decoration
a vase of flowers
vasectomy noun [ C or U ]
the medical operation of cutting the tubes through which a man's sperm move, in
order to make him unable to make a woman pregnant
Vaseline noun [ U ] TRADEMARK
a soft yellow or white oily substance which is used especially on the skin to
protect it or on surfaces to lubricate them (= stop them sticking together)
vast adjective
extremely big
A vast audience watched the broadcast.
The amount of detail the book contains is vast.
The people who have taken our advice have saved themselves vast
amounts/sums of money.
The vast majority of pupils attend state-funded schools.
vastly adverb
very much
vastly different
vastly superior
vastly improved
vat noun [ C ]
a large container used for mixing or storing liquid substances, especially in a
factory
a vat of wine/oil
VAT , Vat , noun [ U ]
value-added tax (= a type of tax in European countries which is paid by the
person who buys goods and services)
VATable adjective UK
describes goods on which VAT has to be paid
The rich spend more than the poor on VATable goods.
the Vatican noun [ S ]
1. the Pope (= leader of the Catholic Church) or the officials who represent the
Pope
The Vatican released a statement condemning the recent terrorist attacks.
The information was given by a Vatican official.
2. the main offices of the Catholic Church in Rome, which include the building
where the Pope lives
No tour of Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican/the Vatican city .
the Vatican noun [ S ]
1. the Pope (= leader of the Catholic Church) or the officials who represent the
Pope
The Vatican released a statement condemning the recent terrorist attacks.
The information was given by a Vatican official.
2. the main offices of the Catholic Church in Rome, which include the building
where the Pope lives
No tour of Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican/the Vatican city .
Vatican adjective , noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
ˌ Vatican ˈ City noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
vaudeville noun [ U ] US ( UK music hall )
a type of theatre entertainment in the 1800s and early 1900s which included
music, dancing and jokes
vault noun [ C ] ARCH
1. a type of arch which supports a roof or ceiling, especially in a church or public
building, or a ceiling or roof supported by several of these arches
vault noun [ C ] ROOM
2. ( UK ALSO vaults ) a room, especially in a bank, with thick walls and a strong
door, which is used to store money or valuable things in safe conditions
a bank vault
She entered the vault with an armed guard.
3. a room under a church or a small building in a cemetery where dead bodies are
buried
She was buried in the family vault.
vault verb
1. [ I usually + adverb or preposition T ] to jump over something by first putting
your hands on it or by using a pole
He vaulted over the gate.
She vaulted the wall and kept running.
SPECIALIZED He has vaulted 6.02m in indoor competitions this year.
See also the pole vault
2. [ T ] FORMAL to move someone or something suddenly to a much more
important position
Last week's changes vaulted the general to the top, over the heads of several of
his seniors.
vaulted adjective
related to or having a vault
a vaulted ceiling
a vaulted room
vaulting noun [ U ]
arches which support a ceiling or room
After the explosion nothing of the walls or vaulting remained intact.
vaulting noun [ U ]
arches which support a ceiling or room
After the explosion nothing of the walls or vaulting remained intact.
ˌ vaulting am ˈ bition noun [ U ] DISAPPROVING
a wish to achieve an important and powerful position and a belief that this is more
important than anything else
He sacrificed his marriage to his vaulting political ambition.
vaunted adjective FORMAL
praised often in a way that is considered to be more than acceptable or
reasonable
His (much) vaunted new scheme has been shown to have serious weaknesses.
VC noun [ C usually singular ]
UK ABBREVIATION FOR Victoria Cross: a medal which is the highest honour for
bravery that can be given to a British soldier, or a soldier who has received this medal
My grandfather was awarded the VC.
VCR noun [ C ]
a video cassette recorder (= a machine that you use to record and play television
programmes or films on video)
VD noun [ U ]
ABBREVIATION FOR venereal disease: a disease that is spread through sexual activity
with an infected person
VDT noun [ C ]
US ABBREVIATION FOR video display terminal: a piece of equipment with a screen on
which information from a computer can be shown
VDU noun [ C ]
UK ABBREVIATION FOR visual display unit: a piece of equipment with a screen on
which information from a computer can be shown
've , short form of
have
I've been waiting for ages.
veal noun [ U ]
meat from a very young cow
veal noun [ U ]
meat from a very young cow
vector noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED CALCULATION
1. something physical such as a force which has size and direction
Compare scalar
vector noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED ANIMAL
2. an insect or animal which carries a disease from one animal or plant to another
Mosquitoes are the vectors of malaria.
Veda noun [ C ]
one or all of the holy books of writings of Hinduism
Vedic adjective
Vedanta noun [ U ]
one of the main systems of Hindu thought
veep noun [ C ] US INFORMAL
a vice president
veer verb [ I + adv/prep ]
to change direction
All of a sudden, the car veered off the road.
Moments before crashing, the jet was seen veering sharply to the right.
Three men were feared dead last night after a helicopter veered off course into
an oil platform.
Our talk soon veered onto the subject of football.
veg noun [ U ] , plural noun UK INFORMAL
vegetables
a fruit and veg stall
He still prefers the old-fashioned British meal of meat and two veg.
veg verb
veg out phrasal verb INFORMAL
to relax and spend time doing very little
I'm exhausted - I think I'll just go home and veg out in front of the TV tonight.
vegan noun [ C ]
a person who does not eat or use any animal products, such as meat, fish, eggs,
cheese or leather
Vegans get all the protein they need from nuts, seeds, beans and cereals.
Compare vegetarian
vegan adjective
not eating, using or including any animal products
a vegan diet
She decided to turn vegan after watching a documentary about how poultry is
raised.
vegan noun [ C ]
a person who does not eat or use any animal products, such as meat, fish, eggs,
cheese or leather
Vegans get all the protein they need from nuts, seeds, beans and cereals.
Compare vegetarian
vegan adjective
not eating, using or including any animal products
a vegan diet
She decided to turn vegan after watching a documentary about how poultry is
raised.
vegeburger noun [ C ]
UK FOR veggieburger
vegetable noun FOOD
1. [ C ] ( US INFORMAL veggie ) a plant, root, seed, or pod that is used as food,
especially in savoury dishes
fresh/frozen vegetables
vegetable soup/stew/curry
fruit and vegetables
The potato is the most popular vegetable in Britain.
In the winter we tend to eat more root vegetables, such as carrots and parsnips.
Raw vegetables contain more potassium than cooked ones.
a vegetable knife
Compare fruit
See pictures vegetables 1 , vegetables 2
vegetable noun PERSON
2. [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL a person who does not do anything or has no
interest in doing anything
Sitting at home all day in front of the TV slowly turned her into a vegetable.
3. [ C usually singular ] OFFENSIVE a person who is unable to think or move
correctly because of severe brain damage
vegetable adjective
made or obtained from a plant, or growing in the form of a plant
vegetable matter/dye
First think of an object and tell us if it is animal, vegetable or mineral.
ˌ vegetable ˈ oil noun [ C or U ]
cooking oil made from plants
vegetarian noun [ C ] ( UK INFORMAL veggie )
a person who does not eat meat for health or religious reasons or because they
want to avoid being cruel to animals
Of the four million people who have become vegetarians in Britain, nearly two-
thirds are women.
Compare vegan
vegetarianism noun [ U ]
Vegetarianism is very popular among young people in Britain, especially among
teenage girls.
vegetarian adjective ( INFORMAL veggie )
not eating or including meat
vegetarian cooking/food
a vegetarian dish/meal
a vegetarian restaurant
She's recently gone/become vegetarian.
vegetate verb [ I ]
to live in a way that has no physical and mental activity
A report has shown that children spend too much time vegetating in front of the
TV.
vegetate verb [ I ]
to live in a way that has no physical and mental activity
A report has shown that children spend too much time vegetating in front of the
TV.
vegetation noun [ U ]
plants in general or plants which are found in a particular area
The railway track will have to be cleared of vegetation if it is to be used again.
Much of the region's native vegetation has been damaged by developers who are
building hotels along the coast.
vegetative adjective SPECIALIZED
alive but showing no brain activity
veggie adjective ( ALSO veggy ) UK INFORMAL
vegetarian
veggie noun [ C ] ( ALSO veggy )
1. UK INFORMAL a vegetarian
2. US AND AUSTRALIAN ENGLISH INFORMAL a vegetable
veggieburger , UK ALSO vegeburger noun [ C ]
a type of savoury food made by pressing together small pieces of vegetables,
seeds, nuts and grains into a flat round shape
vehement adjective
expressing strong feelings, or shown by strong feelings or great energy or force
Despite vehement opposition from his family, he quit school and became an actor.
Both men were vehement in their denial of the charges against them.
They launched a vehement attack on the government's handling of environmental
issues.
vehemence noun [ U ]
She argued with such vehemence against the proposal that they decided to
abandon it.
vehemently adverb
in a strong and emotional way
The president has vehemently denied having an extra-marital affair.
vehicle noun MACHINE
1. [ C ] FORMAL a machine usually with wheels and an engine, which is used for
transporting people or goods on land, especially on roads
A truck driver died last night when his vehicle overturned.
Road vehicles include cars, buses and trucks.
Tractors are farm vehicles.
The number of thefts of motor vehicles rose by a third last year.
vehicle noun METHOD
2. [ C usually singular ] a way of achieving, producing or expressing something
The conference was seen as an ideal vehicle for increased cooperation between
the member states.
Corporate America has embraced the Web as a new vehicle for advertising.
3. [ C usually singular ] a show, film, exhibition , etc. that is used to show the
special skills or qualities of one particular performer or artist
The play seems to be little more than a vehicle for its director and star.
vehicular adjective FORMAL
The cottage has no vehicular access but can be reached by a short walk across
the moor.
vehicle noun MACHINE
1. [ C ] FORMAL a machine usually with wheels and an engine, which is used for
transporting people or goods on land, especially on roads
A truck driver died last night when his vehicle overturned.
Road vehicles include cars, buses and trucks.
Tractors are farm vehicles.
The number of thefts of motor vehicles rose by a third last year.
vehicle noun METHOD
2. [ C usually singular ] a way of achieving, producing or expressing something
The conference was seen as an ideal vehicle for increased cooperation between
the member states.
Corporate America has embraced the Web as a new vehicle for advertising.
3. [ C usually singular ] a show, film, exhibition , etc. that is used to show the
special skills or qualities of one particular performer or artist
The play seems to be little more than a vehicle for its director and star.
vehicular adjective FORMAL
The cottage has no vehicular access but can be reached by a short walk across
the moor.
veil noun MATERIAL
veil
1. [ C ] a piece of thin material worn by women to cover the face or head
After the ceremony, the bride lifted up her veil to kiss her husband.
The women wore black veils which covered all but their eyes.
2. take the veil
A Christian woman who takes the veil becomes a nun .
3. take/adopt the veil
A Muslim woman who takes or adopts the veil decides to wear traditional Muslim
clothing.
veil noun UNCLEAR
4. [ S ] LITERARY a thin covering of something, which you can see through, but not
very clearly
The view over the lake was obscured by a veil of mist that hung in the air.
5. [ S ] LITERARY something that prevents you from knowing what is happening
The government has been urged to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding the
minister's unexpected resignation.
6. draw a veil over sth LITERARY
to not talk any more about a subject because it could cause trouble or
embarrassment
I think we should draw a veil over everything that happened at the party, don't
you?
veil verb MATERIAL
1. [ T often passive ] to cover something, especially the face or body, with a veil
In some societies, women are expected to be veiled when they go out in public.
veil verb HIDE
2. [ T ] to hide or cover something so that you cannot see it clearly
Thick fog veiled the city.
veiled adjective
describes words or ways of behaving which are not direct or expressed clearly
a veiled reference/threat/warning
a thinly veiled attack on his abilities as a leader
veiled adjective
describes words or ways of behaving which are not direct or expressed clearly
a veiled reference/threat/warning
a thinly veiled attack on his abilities as a leader
vein noun TUBE
1. [ C ] a tube that carries blood to the heart from the other parts of the body
2. [ C ] the frame of a leaf or an insect's wing
vein noun LAYER
3. [ C ] a narrow layer of a substance which forms in or fills a crack in rock
A rich vein of iron ore was found in the hillside.
4. [ S ] a particular quality or characteristic
A vein of satirical anger runs through all his work.
In its bid to be elected, the party is attempting to tap (= use) an underlying vein
of nationalism in the country.
vein noun MOOD
5. [ S or U ] a style or a temporary mood
The opening scene is very violent, and the rest of the film continues in (a) similar
vein.
After laughing over the photo, they began to talk in (a) more serious vein about
the damaging effect it could have on his career.
veined adjective
with many veins, or covered with lines that look like veins
A thin, veined hand lay on the coverlet.
veined cheese/marble
-veined suffix
Velcro noun [ U ] TRADEMARK
Velcro
material that consists of two pieces of cloth that stick together, used to fasten
clothes
veld , veldt noun [ S ]
flat open country with few trees, which is characteristic of parts of southern Africa
vellum noun [ U ]
1. a thick, cream-coloured, very high-quality writing paper
2. a material used in the past for writing on or for covering a book, made from the
skins of young animals, especially cows or sheep
vellum noun [ U ]
1. a thick, cream-coloured, very high-quality writing paper
2. a material used in the past for writing on or for covering a book, made from the
skins of young animals, especially cows or sheep
velocity noun [ C or U ] FORMAL
the speed at which an object is travelling
Light travels at the highest achievable velocity in the universe.
He always used high velocity lead bullets in his rifle.
velour , velours noun [ U ]
a material similar to velvet that has a soft surface and which is used for clothes
and for covering furniture
velvet noun [ U ]
a cloth usually woven from silk or cotton with a thick soft furry (= like fur) surface
Her skin was as soft as velvet.
velvet adjective CLOTH
1. made of velvet
a velvet dress
velvet curtains/cushions
velvet adjective QUALITY
2. ( ALSO velvety ) LITERARY describes something that has a beautiful soft, smooth
quality or appearance, usually something dark or deep
under a wonderful velvet sky
His velvety brown eyes had been his passport to fame.
vena cava noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
one of the two very large veins through which blood returns to the heart, one
from the upper body and head and one from all of the body below the chest
The superior (= upper) and inferior (= lower) venae cavae collect blood that
has circulated around the body.
venal adjective FORMAL
1. A venal person is willing to behave in a way that is not honest or moral in
exchange for money
a venal ruler
2. A venal activity is done in order to get money
a venal regime
They are accused of being involved in venal practices.
venality noun [ U ]
vendetta noun [ C ]
a long and violent argument between people or families in which one group tries
to harm the other in order to punish them for things that have happened in the past
He saw himself as the victim of a personal vendetta being waged by his political
enemies.
vendetta noun [ C ]
a long and violent argument between people or families in which one group tries
to harm the other in order to punish them for things that have happened in the past
He saw himself as the victim of a personal vendetta being waged by his political
enemies.
vending noun [ U ] FORMAL
the selling of goods
He had his street vending licence taken away.
ˈ vending ma ˌ chine noun [ C ] ( UK ALSO slot machine )
a machine from which you can buy small things such as cigarettes, drinks and
sweets by putting coins into it
The vending machine in the office dispenses really tasteless coffee.
vendor noun [ C ]
someone who is selling something
For the past few months she's been working as a street vendor, selling fruit and
veg.
LEGAL The vendor of the house wants to exchange contracts this week.
veneer noun
1. [ C or U ] a thin layer of decorative wood or plastic used to cover a cheaper
material
The wardrobe is made of chipboard with a pine veneer.
2. [ S ] something which hides something unpleasant or unwanted
She managed to hide her corrupt dealings under a veneer of respectability .
veneered adjective
a veneered bookcase/surface/table
venerable adjective
1. FORMAL deserving respect because of age, high position or religious or historical
importance
a venerable tradition/company/family
2. INFORMAL MAINLY HUMOROUS describes something that has been in use, or
someone who has been involved in something, for a long time
In recent years there has been a noticeable decline in such venerable British
institutions as afternoon tea and the Sunday roast.
Venerable adjective
1. the Venerable
used as a title for an archdeacon in the Church of England
2. used as a title for a person who is considered holy by the Roman Catholic
Church but who has not yet been made a saint
3. used as a title for a monk in Buddhism
Venerable adjective
1. the Venerable
used as a title for an archdeacon in the Church of England
2. used as a title for a person who is considered holy by the Roman Catholic
Church but who has not yet been made a saint
3. used as a title for a monk in Buddhism
venerate verb [ T ] FORMAL
to honour or very much respect a person or thing
Robert Burns is Scotland's most venerated poet.
veneration noun [ U ]
Gandhi became an object of widespread veneration because of his unceasing
struggle for freedom and equality.
venereal adjective
caused or spread by sexual activity with another person
a venereal infection
ve ˌ nereal dis ˈ ease noun [ C or U ] ( ABBREVIATION VD ) OLD-FASHIONED
a disease that is spread through sexual activity with an infected person; a
sexually transmitted disease
venereology noun [ U ]
the part of medical science that involves studying and treating diseases that are
spread through sexual activity
venereological adjective
venereologist noun [ C ]
venetian blind noun [ C ]
a cover for a window made of thin horizontal pieces of wood, plastic or metal,
which can be moved in order to change the amount of light that is allowed in
Venezuela noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
Venezuelan adjective , noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
vengeance noun [ U ]
the punishing of someone for harming you or your friends or family, or the wish
for such punishment to happen
On the day after the terrorist attack, the overall mood in the town was one of
vengeance.
As he cradled his daughter's lifeless body in his arms, he swore (to take)
vengeance on her killers.
with a vengeance
with great force or extreme energy
He's been working with a vengeance over the past few weeks to make up for lost
time.
Flared trousers are back with a vengeance (= very popular again) this summer.
vengeance noun [ U ]
the punishing of someone for harming you or your friends or family, or the wish
for such punishment to happen
On the day after the terrorist attack, the overall mood in the town was one of
vengeance.
As he cradled his daughter's lifeless body in his arms, he swore (to take)
vengeance on her killers.
with a vengeance
with great force or extreme energy
He's been working with a vengeance over the past few weeks to make up for lost
time.
Flared trousers are back with a vengeance (= very popular again) this summer.
vengeful adjective FORMAL
expressing a strong wish to punish someone who has harmed you or your family
or friends
She sprayed red paint all over his car in one last vengeful act before leaving him
for good.
vengefully adverb
vengefulness noun [ U ]
venial adjective FORMAL
describes a wrong action that is not serious and therefore easy to forgive
a venial sin/error
venison noun [ U ]
meat that comes from a deer
Venn diagram noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a mathematical plan consisting of overlapping circles which show how things that
belong to mathematical sets relate to each other
venom noun [ U ] POISON
1. a poisonous liquid which some snakes, insects, etc. produce when biting or
stinging
venom noun [ U ] HATE
2. LITERARY the expression of feelings of hatred or extreme anger
He was shocked at the sheer venom of her reply.
venomous adjective POISON
1. poisonous
a venomous snake
venomous adjective HATE
2. full of anger or hate
Ms Brown has launched a venomous attack against the newspaper.
venomously adverb
venous adjective SPECIALIZED
of or relating to the veins
venous blood
the venous system
See also intravenous
venous adjective SPECIALIZED
of or relating to the veins
venous blood
the venous system
See also intravenous
vent noun OPENING
1. [ C ] a small opening which allows air, smoke or gas to enter or leave a closed
space
If you have a gas fire in a room, you should have some kind of outside vent.
2. [ C ] a cut in the bottom of a piece of clothing to allow the person wearing it to
move more easily
The skirt is long and straight with two side vents.
vent noun EXPRESS FEELINGS
3. give vent to sth
to express a negative emotion in a forceful and often unfair way
The meeting will be an opportunity for everyone to give vent to their feelings.
vent verb [ T ]
to express a negative emotion in a forceful and often unfair way
Please don't shout - there's no need to vent your
frustration/anger/rage/spleen on me.
ventilate verb [ T ] PROVIDE AIR
1. to cause fresh air to enter and move around a closed space
I work in a very well-/poorly-ventilated building.
ventilate verb [ T ] MAKE KNOWN
2. FORMAL to state an opinion or mention a subject so that it can be discussed by
others
She used the meeting to ventilate all her grievances .
ventilation noun [ U ]
the movement of fresh air around a closed space, or the system which does this
Her tiny attic room had poor ventilation and in summer it became unbearably
stuffy.
a ventilation system
ventilator noun [ C ]
1. an opening or a device that allows fresh air to come into a closed space
2. a machine that helps people breathe correctly by allowing air to flow in and out
of their lungs
He was brought into intensive care shortly after the crash and immediately put
on a ventilator.
ventral adjective [ before noun ] SPECIALIZED
of, on or near the underside of an animal
Compare dorsal
ventral adjective [ before noun ] SPECIALIZED
of, on or near the underside of an animal
Compare dorsal
ventricle noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
either of two small hollow spaces, one in each side of the heart, which force blood
into the tubes leading from the heart to the other parts of the body
ventriloquism noun [ U ]
the ability to speak without moving your lips so that your voice seems to be
coming from someone or something else, usually as a way of entertaining people
ventriloquist noun [ C ]
ven ˌ triloquist's ˈ dummy noun [ C ]
a toy in the shape of a small person that ventriloquists operate, so that it seems
to be alive
venture noun [ C ]
a new activity, usually in business, which involves risk or uncertainty
She advised us to look abroad for more lucrative business ventures.
There are many joint ventures between American and Japanese companies.
venture verb [ I usually + adv/prep T ] FORMAL
to risk going somewhere or doing something that might be dangerous or
unpleasant, or to risk saying something that might be criticized
She rarely ventured outside , except when she went to stock up on groceries at
the corner shop.
As we set off into the forest, we felt as though we were venturing (forth) into
the unknown.
She tentatively ventured the opinion that the project would be too expensive to
complete, but the boss ignored her.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. SAYING
You have to take a risk in order to get something good.
venture on/upon sth phrasal verb
to try to do something difficult or dangerous
The wind was so strong that when we did finally venture on a walk, we were
nearly swept away.
ˈ venture ˌ capital noun [ U ]
money that is invested or is available for investment in a new company, especially
a risky one
They'll need to raise £1 million in venture capital if they're to get the business off
the ground.
venture capitalist noun [ C ]
ˈ venture ˌ capital noun [ U ]
money that is invested or is available for investment in a new company, especially
a risky one
They'll need to raise £1 million in venture capital if they're to get the business off
the ground.
venture capitalist noun [ C ]
venturesome adjective FORMAL
describes a person who is willing to take risks, or an action or behaviour that is
risky
He has become more venturesome this season with dress designs that incorporate
a variety of ethnic influences.
venue noun [ C ]
1. the place where a public event or meeting happens
The hotel is an ideal venue for conferences and business meetings.
The stadium has been specifically designed as a venue for European Cup
matches.
2. US SPECIALIZED the city or county in which a trial happens
Venus noun [ S ]
the planet second in order of distance from the Sun, after Mercury and before the
Earth. It is the nearest planet to the Earth.
Venus flytrap noun [ C ]
a plant which feeds on insects and catches them by quickly closing its leaves
when their surface is touched so that the insects cannot escape
veracity noun [ U ] FORMAL
the quality of being true, honest or accurate
Doubts were cast on the veracity of her alibi after three people claimed to have
seen her at the scene of the robbery.
veranda , US ALSO verandah noun [ C ] ( ALSO porch )
a raised, covered, sometimes partly closed area, often made of wood, on the front
or side of a building
Every evening we sat on the veranda watching the sun go down.
verb noun [ C ]
a word or phrase that describes an action, condition or experience
The words 'run', 'keep' and 'feel' are all verbs.
verbal adjective SPOKEN
1. spoken rather than written
a verbal agreement/description/explanation
Airport officials received a stream of verbal abuse from angry passengers whose
flights had been delayed.
verbal adjective WORDS
2. relating to words
It can sometimes be difficult to give a verbal description of things like colours and
sounds.
verbally adverb
verbal adjective SPOKEN
1. spoken rather than written
a verbal agreement/description/explanation
Airport officials received a stream of verbal abuse from angry passengers whose
flights had been delayed.
verbal adjective WORDS
2. relating to words
It can sometimes be difficult to give a verbal description of things like colours and
sounds.
verbally adverb
ˌ verbal diar ˈ rhoea noun [ U ] INFORMAL HUMOROUS
have verbal diarrhoea
to talk continuously or too much
verbalize , UK USUALLY verbalise verb [ I or T ] FORMAL
to express ideas, opinions or emotions in words
He found it hard to verbalize his feelings towards his son.
verbatim adverb
using exactly the same words as were originally used
She had an amazing memory and could recall verbatim quite complex
conversations.
verbatim adjective [ before noun ]
a verbatim account
verbiage noun [ U ] FORMAL DISAPPROVING
language which is very complicated and which contains a lot of unnecessary words
His explanation was wrapped up in so much technical verbiage that I simply
couldn't understand it.
verbose adjective FORMAL DISAPPROVING
using or containing more words than are necessary
a verbose explanation/report/speech/style
He was a notoriously verbose after-dinner speaker.
verbosely adverb
verbosity noun [ U ]
verdant adjective LITERARY
covered with healthy green plants or grass
Much of the region's verdant countryside has been destroyed in the hurricane.
verdict noun [ C ]
an opinion or decision made after judging the facts that are given, especially one
made at the end of a trial
The jury reached/returned a unanimous verdict of (not) guilty .
Voters gave their verdict on the government's economic record last night by
voting overwhelmingly for the opposition.
See also open verdict
verdigris noun [ U ]
a blue-green layer that forms on copper , brass or bronze
verdigris noun [ U ]
a blue-green layer that forms on copper , brass or bronze
verdure noun [ U ] LITERARY
(the green colour of) fresh healthy plants
verge noun [ C ]
1. the edge or border of something
They set up camp on the verge of the desert.
2. UK ( US shoulder ) the strip of land which borders a road or path
She left her car by the side of the road and walked along the grass verge to the
emergency phone.
on the verge (of) ( ALSO to the verge of )
If you are on the verge of something or come to the verge of something, you are
very near to experiencing it
on the verge of collapse/success/tears/death/disaster/war
Her husband's violent and abusive behaviour drove her to the verge of despair.
verge verb
verge on sth phrasal verb
to be almost a particular state, quality or feeling, especially one that is very bad
or very good
At times, his performance verged on brilliance, but at others it was only ordinary.
verger noun [ C ]
an official in some Christian churches who takes care of the inside of a church and
performs some simple duties during church ceremonies
verifiable adjective
able to be proved
Throughout the trial, he didn't produce a single verifiable fact.
verify verb [ T ]
to prove that something exists or is true, or to make certain that something is
correct
Are you able to verify your account/allegation/report/theory?
These figures are surprisingly high and they'll have to be verified.
[ + ( that ) ] Under interrogation, she verified (that) the tapes were authentic.
verification noun [ U ]
verily adverb OLD USE
in a completely honest way
verily adverb OLD USE
in a completely honest way
verisimilitude noun [ U ] FORMAL
the quality of seeming true or of having the appearance of reality
She has included photographs in the book to lend verisimilitude to the story.
veritable adjective [ before noun ]
used to describe something as another, more exciting, interesting or unusual
thing, as a way of emphasizing its character
My garden had become a veritable jungle by the time I came back from holiday.
The normally sober menswear department is set to become a veritable
kaleidoscope of colour this season.
veritably adverb
verity noun FORMAL
1. [ U ] the quality of being true
In the film, he plays a spy whose mission is to confirm the verity of a secret
military document.
2. [ C ] a belief, idea or principle that is generally accepted as being true
She has spent her life in a search for eternal/scientific/universal verities.
vermicelli noun [ U ]
1. pasta made in long very thin threads, cooked in boiling water; a type of very
thin spaghetti
2. UK extremely small pieces of chocolate used for decorating cakes
vermilion , vermillion adjective , noun [ C or U ]
(of) a bright red colour
She was wearing a jacket of bright vermilion.
vermin plural noun
1. small animals and insects that can be harmful and which are difficult to control
when they appear in large numbers
Flies, lice, rats, foxes and cockroaches can all be described as vermin.
2. OFFENSIVE DISAPPROVING people who are unpleasant and harmful to society
He thought all terrorists were vermin and that prison was too good for them.
verminous adjective FORMAL
covered with insects
an old verminous blanket
verminous adjective FORMAL
covered with insects
an old verminous blanket
vermouth , noun [ U ]
a strongly alcoholic red or white wine flavoured with herbs and spices
vernacular noun [ C usually singular ]
1. the form of a language that a regional or other group of speakers use naturally,
especially in informal situations
The French I learned at school is very different from the local vernacular of the
village where I'm now living.
Many Roman Catholics regret the replacing of the Latin mass by the vernacular.
2. SPECIALIZED in architecture , a local style in which ordinary houses are built
3. SPECIALIZED dance, music, art, etc. that is in a style liked or performed by
ordinary people
vernacular adjective
His lively vernacular style goes down well with younger viewers.
old stone vernacular buildings
vernal adjective [ before noun ] LITERARY
relating to or happening in the spring
ˌ vernal ˈ equinox noun [ C usually singular ]
the time in the spring when the sun crosses the equator , and when night and day
are of equal length
verruca noun [ C ]
a small hard infectious growth on the skin, usually on the bottom of the foot
versatile adjective APPROVING
able to change easily from one activity to another or able to be used for many
different purposes
He's a very versatile young actor who's as happy in horror films as he is in TV
comedies.
A leather jacket is a timeless and versatile garment that can be worn in all
seasons.
versatility noun [ U ]
verse noun
1. [ U ] writing which is arranged in short lines with a regular rhythm; poetry
comic/light/satirical verse
Shakespeare wrote mostly in verse.
2. [ C ] one of the parts into which a poem or song is divided
Each verse was sung as a solo and then everyone joined in on the chorus.
3. [ C ] one of the series of short parts into which the writing of a holy book is
divided
She recited a verse from the Bible/the Koran.
verse noun
1. [ U ] writing which is arranged in short lines with a regular rhythm; poetry
comic/light/satirical verse
Shakespeare wrote mostly in verse.
2. [ C ] one of the parts into which a poem or song is divided
Each verse was sung as a solo and then everyone joined in on the chorus.
3. [ C ] one of the series of short parts into which the writing of a holy book is
divided
She recited a verse from the Bible/the Koran.
versed adjective FORMAL
be versed in sth
to know a lot about a particular subject or be experienced in a particular skill
I'm not sufficiently versed in computers to understand what you're saying.
version , noun [ C ]
a particular form of something which varies slightly from other forms of the same
thing
The official version of events is that the police were attacked and were just
trying to defend themselves.
You can make a reduced fat version of the cheesecake by using cottage cheese
instead of cream cheese.
An English-language version of the book is planned for the autumn.
The TV series is a watered-down version of the movie, especially designed for
family viewing.
versus preposition
1. ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION v , OR vs ) used to say that one team or person is
competing against another
Tomorrow's game is Newcastle versus Arsenal.
2. ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION v , OR vs ) used in legal cases to show who a person is
fighting against
Abortion was legalized nationally in the United States following the Roe versus
Wade case.
3. used to compare two things or ideas, especially when you have to choose
between them
private education versus state education
vertebra noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
one of the small bones that form the spine (= back bone)
vertebral adjective
The vertebral column surrounds and protects the spinal cord.
vertebrate adjective SPECIALIZED
having a spine (= back bone)
vertebrate noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
an animal that has a spine
Birds, fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are all vertebrates.
Compare invertebrate
vertex noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
1. (in mathematics) the point where two lines meet to form an angle, or the point
that is opposite the base of a shape
the vertex of a triangle/cone/pyramid
2. the highest point of something
vertex noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
1. (in mathematics) the point where two lines meet to form an angle, or the point
that is opposite the base of a shape
the vertex of a triangle/cone/pyramid
2. the highest point of something
vertical adjective
standing or pointing straight up or at an angle of 90° to a horizontal surface or
line
vertical lines/stripes
She looked over the cliff and found she was standing at the edge of a vertical
drop .
Compare horizontal
vertically adverb
A wall of rock towered vertically up on one side of the narrow mountain path.
vertical noun [ C usually singular ]
a vertical line, surface or position
In a two-stage operation, the multi-spoked steel structure will be raised to the
vertical.
ˈ vertical ˌ axis noun [ S ] SPECIALIZED
the line of figures or coordinates that are arranged from top to bottom at the side
of a graph or map; the y-axis
ˌ vertical ˈ blind noun [ C ]
a cover for a window made of vertical strips of stiff cloth which can be moved in
order to change the amount of light that is allowed in
ˌ vertical inte ˈ gration noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
a process in business where a company buys another company that supplies it
with goods or that buys goods from it in order to control all the processes of production
ˌ vertical ˈ take-off noun [ C ]
when an aircraft rises straight up off the ground
vertiginous adjective FORMAL
causing or experiencing the feeling that everything is spinning round
The two skyscrapers were connected by a vertiginous walkway.
vertigo noun [ U ]
a feeling of spinning round and being unable to balance, caused by looking down
from a height
She can't stand heights and has always suffered from vertigo.
vertigo noun [ U ]
a feeling of spinning round and being unable to balance, caused by looking down
from a height
She can't stand heights and has always suffered from vertigo.
verve noun [ U ]
great energy and enthusiasm
She delivered her speech with tremendous wit and verve.
very adverb
1. (used to add emphasis to an adjective or adverb) to a great degree or
extremely
The situation is very serious.
We're very, very sorry about what's happened.
Think about it very carefully before deciding.
How very childish of her to refuse to speak to me!
"Are you tired?" "No, not very."
Thank you very much .
"Did you enjoy the play?" "Very much so (= Yes) ."
I can't very well (= It would not be right for me to) say sorry when I didn't do
anything wrong.
2. used to add force to a superlative adjective or to the adjectives 'own' or 'same'
This is the very best chocolate cake I've ever tasted.
She always leaves her homework to the very last moment.
We now have our very own post office in the village.
This is the very same (= exactly the same) place we sat in the last time we
came.
all very well/fine/good
You say that something is all very well/fine/good if it seems good by itself but you
think that there are problems connected with it
It's all very well to want to get rich quickly, but don't expect any sympathy from
me if things go wrong.
very good UK OLD-FASHIONED
a way of saying yes to someone who is in a higher position or rank than you
"Higgins, you may go now." "Very good, sir."
very well FORMAL
a way of saying yes to someone or of agreeing to do what they ask
"Can't I stay for five minutes longer?" "Oh, very well."
very adjective [ before noun ] EXACT
1. (used to add emphasis to a noun) exact or particular
This is the very book I've been looking for all month.
You're the very person we need for the job.
The letter was sent on Monday from Manchester and arrived in London the very
same/next day.
The very idea/thought of having her friends to stay fills me with dread.
very adjective [ before noun ] FURTHEST POINT
2. used to describe or emphasize the furthest point of something
He found the piece of paper he had lost at the very bottom of the pile.
We were at the very end of the queue and so didn't manage to get any tickets.
be the very thing
to be exactly what is needed
Why not take garlic? It's the very thing for preventing colds.
the ˌ Very ˈ Reverend adjective [ before noun ]
used as a title of respect for particular important church officials
the ˌ Very ˈ Reverend adjective [ before noun ]
used as a title of respect for particular important church officials
vespers noun [ U ]
the evening ceremony in some Christian churches
vessel noun [ C ] SHIP
1. FORMAL a large boat or a ship
a cargo/fishing/naval/patrol/sailing/supply vessel
vessel noun [ C ] CONTAINER
2. FORMAL a curved container which is used to hold liquid
The remains of some Roman earthenware vessels were found during the dig.
vessel noun [ C ] PERSON
3. LITERARY a person who has a particular quality or who is used for a particular
purpose
As a young and spirited politician, he seems a worthy vessel for the nation's
hopes.
vessel noun [ C ] TUBE
4. a tube that carries liquids such as blood through the body
A heart attack is caused by the blood vessels that supply the blood to the heart
muscle getting blocked.
vest noun [ C ]
1. UK ( US undershirt , AUSTRALIAN singlet ) a type of underwear, often with no
sleeves, which covers the upper part of the body and which is worn for extra warmth
a cotton/woollen/string vest
She always wore a long-sleeved thermal vest in winter.
See picture clothes 3
2. UK ( ALSO vest top ) a shirt without sleeves, usually made out of cotton, which is
worn in the summer or for sport
The cyclists were all dressed in tight lycra shorts and the official team vest.
He wore a vest top and a pair of luminous shorts to the beach party.
3. US FOR waistcoat
vest verb
be vested in sb/sth phrasal verb ( ALSO be vested with sth ) FORMAL
If power or authority is vested in someone or something, or if they are vested
with power or authority, it is officially given to them
Control has been vested in local authorities.
He has been vested with the power/authority to implement whatever changes
he sees fit.
vested interest noun
1. [ C ] a strong personal interest in something because you could get an
advantage from it
As both a teacher and parent, she had a vested interest in seeing the school
remain open.
2. vested interests OFTEN DISAPPROVING
people or organizations who have a financial or personal interest in a business,
company or existing system
A compromise has to be reached between all the powerful vested interests before
any restoration work in the city can take place.
vested interest noun
1. [ C ] a strong personal interest in something because you could get an
advantage from it
As both a teacher and parent, she had a vested interest in seeing the school
remain open.
2. vested interests OFTEN DISAPPROVING
people or organizations who have a financial or personal interest in a business,
company or existing system
A compromise has to be reached between all the powerful vested interests before
any restoration work in the city can take place.
vestibule noun [ C ]
1. FORMAL a small room just inside the outer door of a public building where you
can leave your coat, etc.
I'll wait for you in the vestibule.
2. US a small closed area on the front of a house; a porch
vestige noun [ C ] FORMAL
a still existing small part or amount of something larger, stronger or more
important that existed in the past but does not exist now
These old buildings are the last vestiges of a colonial past.
There is now no vestige of hope that the missing children will be found alive.
vestigial adjective
1. [ before noun ] being a small remaining part or amount
2. SPECIALIZED describes something, especially a part of the body, that has not
developed completely, or has stopped being used and has almost disappeared
a vestigial organ/limb/tail
vestigially adverb
vestments plural noun
the special clothes worn by priests during church ceremonies
vestry noun [ C ] ( ALSO sacristy )
a room in a church, especially one in which priests and the group of people who
sing in church put on the special clothes they wear for church ceremonies, and in which
things used in church ceremonies are sometimes kept
vet noun [ C ] ANIMAL DOCTOR
1. ( UK FORMAL veterinary surgeon , US FORMAL veterinarian ) a person with a
medical degree trained to take care of the health of animals
The farmer called the vet out to treat a sick cow.
2. ( UK ALSO vet's ) the office where a vet works
We took our cat to the vet's for its annual cat flu injection.
vet noun [ C ] ARMED FORCES
3. US INFORMAL FOR veteran (= a person who has served in the armed forces)
vet verb [ T ]
to examine something or someone carefully to make certain that they are
acceptable or suitable
During the war, the government vetted all news reports before they were
published.
The bank carefully vets everyone who applies for an account.
veteran noun [ C ]
1. a person who has had a lot of experience of a particular activity
a 20-year veteran of the New York Police Department
2. ( US INFORMAL vet ) someone who has been in the armed forces during a war
a Vietnam veteran
the surviving veterans of World War II
veteran adjective [ before noun ]
1. having been involved in a particular activity for a long time
She's also a veteran campaigner for human rights.
2. UK old
He collects veteran cars (= cars made before 1905) .
Compare vintage
veteran noun [ C ]
1. a person who has had a lot of experience of a particular activity
a 20-year veteran of the New York Police Department
2. ( US INFORMAL vet ) someone who has been in the armed forces during a war
a Vietnam veteran
the surviving veterans of World War II
veteran adjective [ before noun ]
1. having been involved in a particular activity for a long time
She's also a veteran campaigner for human rights.
2. UK old
He collects veteran cars (= cars made before 1905) .
Compare vintage
ˈ Veterans ˌ Day noun [ C or U ]
a legal holiday on November 11th in the US and Canada, when people honour
members of their countries' armed forces who have fought in wars
veterinarian noun [ C ]
US FORMAL FOR vet
veterinary adjective [ before noun ]
connected with taking care of the health of animals
veterinary medicine
ˌ veterinary ˈ surgeon noun [ C ]
UK FORMAL FOR vet
veto noun [ C or U ]
(a) refusal to allow something to be done
The Ministry of Defence has the power of veto over all British arms exports.
In theory the British government could use its veto to block this proposal.
The Senate voted to override the President's veto of the proposed measures.
MAINLY UK Mum has put a veto on our watching television for more than two hours
an evening.
veto verb [ T ]
to refuse to allow something
In 1961, President De Gaulle vetoed Britain's entry into the Common Market.
[ + -ing verb ] My boss vetoed my tak ing any more time off this year.
vex verb [ T ] OLD-FASHIONED
to cause difficulty to someone, or to cause someone to feel angry, annoyed or
upset
This issue looks likely to continue to vex the government.
vexation noun OLD-FASHIONED
1. [ U ] worry or anger
After several unsuccessful attempts to start his car, he swore in vexation.
2. [ C ] something that is worrying or annoying
vexation noun OLD-FASHIONED
1. [ U ] worry or anger
After several unsuccessful attempts to start his car, he swore in vexation.
2. [ C ] something that is worrying or annoying
vexatious adjective OLD-FASHIONED
difficult to deal with and causing a lot of anger, worry or argument
This settlement will resolve one of the most vexatious (= difficult) problems in the
field of industrial relations.
vexatiously adverb
vexed adjective [ before noun ]
difficult to deal with and causing a lot of disagreement and argument
The government has to deal with the vexed question of how to reduce spending.
vgc adjective
UK WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR very good condition: used in advertisements to
describe goods that are not new but that are in very good condition
Bike for sale, vgc, £50.
VHF noun [ U ]
ABBREVIATION FOR very high frequency: radio waves between 30 to 300 MHz
a VHF radio/transmitter/frequency
Compare UHF
VHS noun [ U ]
TRADEMARK ABBREVIATION FOR Video Home System: the standard system for video
recorders used at home
via , preposition
through; using
The London-Addis flight goes via Rome.
Reports are coming in via satellite.
I only found out about it via my sister.
viability noun [ U ]
1. ability to work as intended or to succeed
Rising costs are threatening the viability of many businesses.
2. SPECIALIZED ability to continue to exist or develop as a living being
As the world population of Hawaiian geese has shrunk to very small numbers, the
bird's continuing viability is in doubt.
viable adjective
1. able to work as intended or able to succeed
In order to make the company viable, it will unfortunately be necessary to reduce
staffing levels.
I am afraid your plan is not commercially/economically/financially/politically
viable.
2. SPECIALIZED able to continue to exist as or develop into a living being
There is a continuing debate about the age at which a human fetus can be
considered viable.
viably adverb
viable adjective
1. able to work as intended or able to succeed
In order to make the company viable, it will unfortunately be necessary to reduce
staffing levels.
I am afraid your plan is not commercially/economically/financially/politically
viable.
2. SPECIALIZED able to continue to exist as or develop into a living being
There is a continuing debate about the age at which a human fetus can be
considered viable.
viably adverb
viaduct noun [ C ]
viaduct
a long high bridge, usually held up by many arches , which carries a railway or a
road over a valley
a railway viaduct
Viagra noun [ U ] TRADEMARK
a drug for treating men who are impotent (= who cannot have sex because their
penis cannot become or stay hard)
vial noun [ C ]
a phial
vibe noun
1. [ S ] the mood or character of a place, situation, or piece of music
The music has a soothing vibe.
2. vibes
a. INFORMAL the general mood a person or place seems to have and the way they
make you feel
I didn't like the place - it had bad vibes.
b. INFORMAL FOR vibraphone
vibrant adjective
1. energetic, exciting and full of enthusiasm
a vibrant young performer
a vibrant personality
a vibrant city
The hope is that this area will develop into a vibrant commercial centre.
2. describes colour or light that is bright and strong
He always uses vibrant colours in his paintings.
vibrancy noun [ U ]
No one can fail to be struck by the vibrancy of New York.
vibrantly adverb
vibraphone noun [ C ] ( INFORMAL vibes )
a musical instrument consisting of a set of metal bars in a frame which have
electrical devices fixed to them so that when they are hit they produce notes which
shake slightly
vibraphone noun [ C ] ( INFORMAL vibes )
a musical instrument consisting of a set of metal bars in a frame which have
electrical devices fixed to them so that when they are hit they produce notes which
shake slightly
vibrate verb [ I or T ]
to shake slightly and quickly, or to cause something to do this, in a way that is
felt rather than seen or heard
The whole station seemed to vibrate as the express train rushed through.
His voice vibrated with anger.
vibration noun [ C or U ]
continuous quick, slight shaking movement
Vibrations were felt hundreds of miles from the centre of the earthquake.
Aircraft manufacturers want to reduce vibration for the sake of safety.
vibrato noun [ C or U ] SPECIALIZED
(a) repeated slight shaking in a musical note, either when played on an
instrument or sung, which gives a fuller sound to the note
He sang the aria with a rich vibrato.
Compare tremolo
vibrator noun [ C ]
a device which shakes slightly and quickly and which is held against the body in
order to give sexual pleasure
vicar noun [ C ]
a priest in the Church of England who is in charge of a church and the religious
needs of people in a particular area
We were married by our local vicar.
[ as form of address ] Good evening, Vicar!
vicarage noun [ C ]
the house in which a vicar lives
vicarious adjective [ before noun ]
experienced as a result of watching, listening to or reading about the activities of
other people, rather than by doing the activities yourself
They get a vicarious thrill from watching motor racing.
vicariously adverb
Through her letters we were able vicariously to experience her excitement.
vicariousness noun [ U ]
ˌ Vicar of ˈ Christ noun [ S ]
a title sometimes given to the Pope (= leader of the Catholic Church)
vibraphone noun [ C ] ( INFORMAL vibes )
a musical instrument consisting of a set of metal bars in a frame which have
electrical devices fixed to them so that when they are hit they produce notes which
shake slightly
vibrate verb [ I or T ]
to shake slightly and quickly, or to cause something to do this, in a way that is
felt rather than seen or heard
The whole station seemed to vibrate as the express train rushed through.
His voice vibrated with anger.
vibration noun [ C or U ]
continuous quick, slight shaking movement
Vibrations were felt hundreds of miles from the centre of the earthquake.
Aircraft manufacturers want to reduce vibration for the sake of safety.
vibrato noun [ C or U ] SPECIALIZED
(a) repeated slight shaking in a musical note, either when played on an
instrument or sung, which gives a fuller sound to the note
He sang the aria with a rich vibrato.
Compare tremolo
vibrator noun [ C ]
a device which shakes slightly and quickly and which is held against the body in
order to give sexual pleasure
vicar noun [ C ]
a priest in the Church of England who is in charge of a church and the religious
needs of people in a particular area
We were married by our local vicar.
[ as form of address ] Good evening, Vicar!
vicarage noun [ C ]
the house in which a vicar lives
vicarious adjective [ before noun ]
experienced as a result of watching, listening to or reading about the activities of
other people, rather than by doing the activities yourself
They get a vicarious thrill from watching motor racing.
vicariously adverb
Through her letters we were able vicariously to experience her excitement.
vicariousness noun [ U ]
ˌ Vicar of ˈ Christ noun [ S ]
a title sometimes given to the Pope (= leader of the Catholic Church)
vice prefix
( ALSO vice- ) used as part of the title of particular positions. The person who holds
one of these positions is next below in authority to the person who holds the full
position and can act for them
the vice captain of the team
a vice admiral
vice noun NOT MORAL
1. [ C or U ] (a) moral fault or weakness in someone's character
Greed, pride, envy, dishonesty and lust are considered to be vices.
MAINLY HUMOROUS My one real vice (= bad habit) is chocolate.
2. [ U ] illegal and immoral activities, especially involving illegal sex, drugs, etc.
The chief of police said that he was committed to wiping out vice in the city.
vice noun TOOL
3. ( US USUALLY vise ) [ C ] MAINLY UK a tool with two parts which can be moved
together by tightening a screw so that an object can be held firmly between them while
it is being worked on
Vices are often used to hold pieces of wood that are being cut or smoothed.
Her hand tightened like a vice around his arm.
vice-chancellor noun [ C ]
1. UK the person in charge of a British college or university
2. US the person in charge of some parts of a college or university in the US
vice-like adjective ( US USUALLY vise-like )
very tight
He holds his tennis racket in/with a vice-like grip .
ˌ vice ˈ president noun [ C ]
1. ( US WRITTEN ABBREVIATION VP , US INFORMAL veep ) the person who has the
position immediately below the president in some countries, and who is responsible for
the president's duties if he or she is unable to do them
Vice President Cheney
2. US the person who is responsible for a large important part of a company or
organization
She's vice president of sales and marketing.
ˈ vice ˌ ring noun [ C + sing/pl verb ]
a group of people involved in immoral illegal activities, especially illegal sex or
drugs
It's thought that the pornographic films are being distributed by an international
vice ring.
viceroy noun [ C ]
a representative of a king or queen who rules for them in another country
the viceroy of India
ˈ vice ˌ squad noun [ C + sing/pl verb ]
a special group of police officers whose job is to stop crimes that involve sex and
drugs
vice versa adverb
used to state that what you have just said is also true in the opposite order
He doesn't trust her, and vice versa (= she also doesn't trust him) .
vichyssoise noun [ C or U ]
a soup made with potatoes, leeks and cream, which is often eaten cold
vicinity noun [ S ]
the immediately surrounding area
There are several hotels in the immediate vicinity of the station.
in the vicinity of
approximately
The team is believed to have paid in the vicinity of £3 million for Domingo.
vicious adjective
1. describes people or actions that show an intention or wish to hurt someone or
something very badly
a vicious thug
a vicious dog
The police said that this was one of the most vicious attacks they'd ever seen.
He gave her a vicious look.
2. describes an object, condition or remark that causes great physical or
emotional pain
a large collection of vicious medieval torture instruments
I've got a vicious headache.
Make sure you wrap up warmly - there's a vicious (= extremely strong and
unpleasant) wind out there.
a vicious lie/accusation/rumour
viciously adverb
viciousness noun [ U ]
ˌ vicious ˈ circle noun [ S ]
a continuing unpleasant situation, created when one problem causes another
problem which then makes the first problem worse
Many people get caught/trapped in a vicious circle of dieting and weight gain.
vicissitudes plural noun FORMAL
changes which happen at different times during the life or development of
someone or something, especially those which result in conditions being worse
Losing your job is just one of the vicissitudes of life.
victim noun [ C ]
1. someone or something which has been hurt, damaged or killed or has suffered,
either because of the actions of someone or something else, or because of illness or
chance
to provide financial aid to hurricane/flood, etc. victims
victims of crime
The children are the innocent/helpless victims of the fighting.
The new drug might help save the lives of cancer victims.
We appear to have been the victims of a cruel practical joke.
Our local hospital has become the latest victim of the cuts in government
spending.
2. fall victim to sth
to be hurt, damaged or killed because of something or someone
In 1948, Gandhi fell victim to a member of a Hindu gang.
The company has fallen victim to increased competition.
be a victim of your own success
to have problems because of your success
The school has become a victim of its own success as parents with children who
have special needs now actively seek it out.
victimize , UK USUALLY victimise verb [ T ]
to treat someone in an intentionally unfair way, especially because of their race,
sex or beliefs
He claimed he'd been victimized by the police.
Nixon felt that he was being victimized by the media.
victimization , UK USUALLY victimisation noun [ U ]
vibraphone noun [ C ] ( INFORMAL vibes )
a musical instrument consisting of a set of metal bars in a frame which have
electrical devices fixed to them so that when they are hit they produce notes which
shake slightly
vibrate verb [ I or T ]
to shake slightly and quickly, or to cause something to do this, in a way that is
felt rather than seen or heard
The whole station seemed to vibrate as the express train rushed through.
His voice vibrated with anger.
vibration noun [ C or U ]
continuous quick, slight shaking movement
Vibrations were felt hundreds of miles from the centre of the earthquake.
Aircraft manufacturers want to reduce vibration for the sake of safety.
vibrato noun [ C or U ] SPECIALIZED
(a) repeated slight shaking in a musical note, either when played on an
instrument or sung, which gives a fuller sound to the note
He sang the aria with a rich vibrato.
Compare tremolo
vibrator noun [ C ]
a device which shakes slightly and quickly and which is held against the body in
order to give sexual pleasure
vicar noun [ C ]
a priest in the Church of England who is in charge of a church and the religious
needs of people in a particular area
We were married by our local vicar.
[ as form of address ] Good evening, Vicar!
vicarage noun [ C ]
the house in which a vicar lives
vicarious adjective [ before noun ]
experienced as a result of watching, listening to or reading about the activities of
other people, rather than by doing the activities yourself
They get a vicarious thrill from watching motor racing.
vicariously adverb
Through her letters we were able vicariously to experience her excitement.
vicariousness noun [ U ]
ˌ Vicar of ˈ Christ noun [ S ]
a title sometimes given to the Pope (= leader of the Catholic Church)
vice prefix
( ALSO vice- ) used as part of the title of particular positions. The person who holds
one of these positions is next below in authority to the person who holds the full
position and can act for them
the vice captain of the team
a vice admiral
vice noun NOT MORAL
1. [ C or U ] (a) moral fault or weakness in someone's character
Greed, pride, envy, dishonesty and lust are considered to be vices.
MAINLY HUMOROUS My one real vice (= bad habit) is chocolate.
2. [ U ] illegal and immoral activities, especially involving illegal sex, drugs, etc.
The chief of police said that he was committed to wiping out vice in the city.
vice noun TOOL
3. ( US USUALLY vise ) [ C ] MAINLY UK a tool with two parts which can be moved
together by tightening a screw so that an object can be held firmly between them while
it is being worked on
Vices are often used to hold pieces of wood that are being cut or smoothed.
Her hand tightened like a vice around his arm.
vice-chancellor noun [ C ]
1. UK the person in charge of a British college or university
2. US the person in charge of some parts of a college or university in the US
vice-like adjective ( US USUALLY vise-like )
very tight
He holds his tennis racket in/with a vice-like grip .
ˌ vice ˈ president noun [ C ]
1. ( US WRITTEN ABBREVIATION VP , US INFORMAL veep ) the person who has the
position immediately below the president in some countries, and who is responsible for
the president's duties if he or she is unable to do them
Vice President Cheney
2. US the person who is responsible for a large important part of a company or
organization
She's vice president of sales and marketing.
ˈ vice ˌ ring noun [ C + sing/pl verb ]
a group of people involved in immoral illegal activities, especially illegal sex or
drugs
It's thought that the pornographic films are being distributed by an international
vice ring.
viceroy noun [ C ]
a representative of a king or queen who rules for them in another country
the viceroy of India
ˈ vice ˌ squad noun [ C + sing/pl verb ]
a special group of police officers whose job is to stop crimes that involve sex and
drugs
vice versa adverb
used to state that what you have just said is also true in the opposite order
He doesn't trust her, and vice versa (= she also doesn't trust him) .
vichyssoise noun [ C or U ]
a soup made with potatoes, leeks and cream, which is often eaten cold
vicinity noun [ S ]
the immediately surrounding area
There are several hotels in the immediate vicinity of the station.
in the vicinity of
approximately
The team is believed to have paid in the vicinity of £3 million for Domingo.
vicious adjective
1. describes people or actions that show an intention or wish to hurt someone or
something very badly
a vicious thug
a vicious dog
The police said that this was one of the most vicious attacks they'd ever seen.
He gave her a vicious look.
2. describes an object, condition or remark that causes great physical or
emotional pain
a large collection of vicious medieval torture instruments
I've got a vicious headache.
Make sure you wrap up warmly - there's a vicious (= extremely strong and
unpleasant) wind out there.
a vicious lie/accusation/rumour
viciously adverb
viciousness noun [ U ]
ˌ vicious ˈ circle noun [ S ]
a continuing unpleasant situation, created when one problem causes another
problem which then makes the first problem worse
Many people get caught/trapped in a vicious circle of dieting and weight gain.
vicissitudes plural noun FORMAL
changes which happen at different times during the life or development of
someone or something, especially those which result in conditions being worse
Losing your job is just one of the vicissitudes of life.
victim noun [ C ]
1. someone or something which has been hurt, damaged or killed or has suffered,
either because of the actions of someone or something else, or because of illness or
chance
to provide financial aid to hurricane/flood, etc. victims
victims of crime
The children are the innocent/helpless victims of the fighting.
The new drug might help save the lives of cancer victims.
We appear to have been the victims of a cruel practical joke.
Our local hospital has become the latest victim of the cuts in government
spending.
2. fall victim to sth
to be hurt, damaged or killed because of something or someone
In 1948, Gandhi fell victim to a member of a Hindu gang.
The company has fallen victim to increased competition.
be a victim of your own success
to have problems because of your success
The school has become a victim of its own success as parents with children who
have special needs now actively seek it out.
victimize , UK USUALLY victimise verb [ T ]
to treat someone in an intentionally unfair way, especially because of their race,
sex or beliefs
He claimed he'd been victimized by the police.
Nixon felt that he was being victimized by the media.
victimization , UK USUALLY victimisation noun [ U ]
victimless adjective
In a victimless crime no one suffers directly, sometimes because the people
affected by the crime have agreed to take part in it
Stock market fraud is sometimes regarded as a victimless crime.
ˌ victim sup ˈ port noun [ U ] UK
the practice of providing emotional and practical help for people who suffer
because of a crime, or an organization that provides this
a victim support group/scheme
The police put me in touch with Victim Support.
victor noun [ C ]
the winner of a game, competition, election, war, etc.
The victor in/of the 1960 US Presidential election was John F. Kennedy.
Victorian adjective UK HISTORY
1. belonging to, made in or living in the time when Queen Victoria was queen of
Britain (1837-1901)
a Victorian terraced house
Charles Dickens is one of the best-known Victorian novelists.
2. describes morals, opinions, ways of living and beliefs, including special
emphasis on self-control, hard work, loyalty and strong religious belief, thought to have
been common when Queen Victoria was queen of Britain
Victorian values
Victorian adjective AUSTRALIAN STATE
3. AUSTRALIAN from or belonging or relating to the state of Victoria
Victorian noun [ C ]
a person who was alive while Queen Victoria was queen of Britain
Victorian adjective UK HISTORY
1. belonging to, made in or living in the time when Queen Victoria was queen of
Britain (1837-1901)
a Victorian terraced house
Charles Dickens is one of the best-known Victorian novelists.
2. describes morals, opinions, ways of living and beliefs, including special
emphasis on self-control, hard work, loyalty and strong religious belief, thought to have
been common when Queen Victoria was queen of Britain
Victorian values
Victorian adjective AUSTRALIAN STATE
3. AUSTRALIAN from or belonging or relating to the state of Victoria
Victorian noun [ C ]
a person who was alive while Queen Victoria was queen of Britain
Victoriana noun [ U ]
objects, especially decorative objects, pictures and toys, which were made while
Queen Victoria was queen of Britain
Her living room is cluttered with Victoriana.
victorious adjective
having won a game, competition, election, war, etc.
The victorious team were loudly cheered by their fans.
The German player emerged victorious after a long five-hour match.
victoriously adverb
victory noun [ C or U ]
when you win a game, competition, election, war, etc.
The Redskins opened the season by scoring a resounding/stunning/impressive
25-3 victory against/over Detroit.
Grant won/achieved/gained a comfortable/easy victory against/over Cooper
in yesterday's match.
This result is a triumphant victory for democracy.
See also Pyrrhic victory
Opposite defeat
be a victory for common sense
to be a very reasonable result in a particular situation
There is no doubt that the court's decision is a victory for common sense.
victuals plural noun OLD-FASHIONED OR HUMOROUS
food and drink
"I can't bear to see good victuals wasted, " said Martha.
video noun FILM
1. [ C or U ] ( ALSO videotape ) (a) recording of moving pictures and sound that
has been made on a long narrow strip of magnetic material inside a rectangular plastic
container, and which can be played on a special machine so that it can be watched on
television
Ed came over last night to watch the video of the football match that I'd
recorded .
We had a video made of our wedding.
'Spiderman' is now available on video.
See also tape
2. [ C ] ( ALSO music video ) a short film made to advertise a popular song
video noun MACHINE
3. [ C ] UK FOR video (cassette) recorder
video adjective
1. using video
a video recording
2. SPECIALIZED connected with or used in the showing of moving pictures by
television
video frequencies
video verb [ T ] ( ALSO tape )
to record a programme from the television onto a video, or to use a video camera
to film an event
There's a play on TV tonight that I'd like to video.
We videoed the school concert.
ˈ video ˌ camera noun [ C ]
a camera which records moving pictures and sound onto a video
Many shops have video cameras fixed to their walls or ceilings for security
reasons.
Compare camcorder
ˈ video ˌ camera noun [ C ]
a camera which records moving pictures and sound onto a video
Many shops have video cameras fixed to their walls or ceilings for security
reasons.
Compare camcorder
ˈ video ˌ card noun [ C ]
a circuit board (= small piece of electronic equipment) inside a computer that
allows it to receive and show moving images
ˌ video cas ˈ sette noun [ C ]
a video (FILM)
ˌ video (cas ˈ sette) re ˌ corder noun [ C ] ( US USUALLY VCR , UK INFORMAL video )
a machine that you use to record and play television programmes or films on
video
Don't forget to set the video before you go out.
ˈ video ˌ clip noun [ C ]
a short video
Video clips from a security camera showed the men breaking into the store.
video conferencing noun [ U ]
when two or more people who are in different parts of the world can talk to each
other and see each other on television screens
videofit noun [ C ] UK
a picture of the face of a person who police think might have committed a
particular crime, which is produced electronically by combining pictures of different
eyes, noses, mouths, etc. and is based on descriptions of the person given by people
who saw the crime happen
The police have issued a videofit of the suspect.
ˈ video ˌ game noun [ C ]
a game in which the player controls moving pictures on a screen by pressing
buttons
ˈ video ˌ monitor noun [ C ] US
a device with a screen on which moving pictures can be shown
videophone noun [ C ]
a mobile phone that can record moving pictures
ˈ video ˌ camera noun [ C ]
a camera which records moving pictures and sound onto a video
Many shops have video cameras fixed to their walls or ceilings for security
reasons.
Compare camcorder
ˈ video ˌ card noun [ C ]
a circuit board (= small piece of electronic equipment) inside a computer that
allows it to receive and show moving images
ˌ video cas ˈ sette noun [ C ]
a video (FILM)
ˌ video (cas ˈ sette) re ˌ corder noun [ C ] ( US USUALLY VCR , UK INFORMAL video )
a machine that you use to record and play television programmes or films on
video
Don't forget to set the video before you go out.
ˈ video ˌ clip noun [ C ]
a short video
Video clips from a security camera showed the men breaking into the store.
video conferencing noun [ U ]
when two or more people who are in different parts of the world can talk to each
other and see each other on television screens
videofit noun [ C ] UK
a picture of the face of a person who police think might have committed a
particular crime, which is produced electronically by combining pictures of different
eyes, noses, mouths, etc. and is based on descriptions of the person given by people
who saw the crime happen
The police have issued a videofit of the suspect.
ˈ video ˌ game noun [ C ]
a game in which the player controls moving pictures on a screen by pressing
buttons
ˈ video ˌ monitor noun [ C ] US
a device with a screen on which moving pictures can be shown
videophone noun [ C ]
a mobile phone that can record moving pictures
ˈ video re ˌ corder noun [ C ]
a video (cassette) recorder
videotape noun [ C or U ]
(a) video (FILM)
videotape verb [ T ]
to record a film, television programme or event on videotape
vie verb [ I ]
to compete with other people to achieve or get something
Six candidates are currently vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The two older children tend to vie with the younger one for their mother's
attention.
[ + to infinitive ] The two groups of scientists are vying to get funding for their
research projects.
Vietnam noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
Vietnamese adjective , noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
view noun OPINION
1. [ C ] an opinion or belief or idea, or a way of thinking about something
Do you have any views about/on what we should do now?
In my view, her criticisms were completely justified.
[ + that ] It's my view that the price is much too high.
Many people have/hold/share/take the view that children should not be
smacked.
Everyone will have a chance to make their views known at the meeting.
We had a friendly exchange of views (= discussion) .
I take a very dim/poor view of this kind of behaviour (= think that this type of
behaviour is unacceptable) .
2. world view
a way of thinking about the world
Our world view is quite different from that of writers in the fourth century BC.
view noun SIGHT
3. [ C or U ] what you can see from a particular place, or the ability to see from a
particular place
The view from the top of the mountain is breathtaking/magnificent/spectacular.
The rooftop restaurant affords a panoramic view (= allows you to see a wide
area) across the bay.
Don't stand in front of me - you're blocking/obstructing my view of the stage.
The cloud lifted, and the tops of the mountains suddenly came into view (= could
be seen) .
She turned a corner, and disappeared from view/ out of view.
4. [ C ] a picture of a particular place
He paints rural views (= pictures of the countryside) .
5. in view UK
close enough to be seen
I always make sure I keep the children in view whenever we're in a public place.
6. on view
If something is on view, it is arranged so that it can be seen by the public
The plans for the new road will soon be on view to the public in the library.
in view of sth
because of a particular thing, or considering a particular fact
In view of what you've said, I think we should reconsider our proposed course of
action.
with a view to doing sth
with the aim of doing something
These measures have been taken with a view to increasing the company's profits.
view verb HAVE OPINION
1. [ T ] to have a particular opinion or way of thinking about someone or
something
The journalist asked the minister how he viewed recent events.
She is viewed as a strong candidate for the job.
We view these latest developments with concern/suspicion/satisfaction.
If we view the problem from a different angle , a solution may become more
obvious.
How do you view your prospects/chances (= What do you consider your chances
to be) in tomorrow's race?
view verb SEE
2. [ I or T ] to watch something
There's a special area at the airport where you can view aircraft taking off and
landing.
Viewing figures (= the number of people watching programmes) for the show
were very low.
3. [ I or T ] to look at something in a complete or careful way
I haven't had a chance to actually view the house yet.
The extent of the flooding can only be fully appreciated when viewed from the air.
viewer noun [ C ]
1. a person who watches something, especially television
Millions of viewers will be glued to their sets for this match.
2. a device for looking at slides (= photographs on small pieces of film)
viewer noun [ C ]
1. a person who watches something, especially television
Millions of viewers will be glued to their sets for this match.
2. a device for looking at slides (= photographs on small pieces of film)
viewfinder noun [ C ]
the part of a camera that you look through to see what it is that you are taking a
photograph of
viewing noun [ C ] ( UK ALSO view )
an occasion for a special look at an exhibition , film, etc.
We've been invited to a private viewing, before the exhibition opens.
viewpoint noun [ C ] SIGHT
1. UK ( US overlook , AUSTRALIAN lookout ) a place from where a person can look at
something, especially at an area of natural beauty
The viewpoint by the side of the road gave us a stunning panorama of the whole
valley.
viewpoint noun [ C ] OPINION
2. a point of view
vigil noun [ C or U ]
(an act of) staying awake, especially at night, in order to be with an ill person, or
to express especially political disagreement, or to pray
His parents kept vigil beside his bed for weeks before he died.
Supporters of the peace movement held an all-night candlelit vigil outside the
cathedral.
vigilance noun [ U ]
more careful attention, especially in order to notice possible danger
The police said that it was thanks to the vigilance of a neighbour that the fire was
discovered before it could spread.
vigilant adjective
always being careful to notice things, especially possible danger
Following the bomb scare at the airport, the staff have been warned to be extra
vigilant.
vigilantly adverb
vigilante noun [ C ]
a person who tries in an unofficial way to prevent crime, or to catch and punish
someone who has committed a crime, especially because they do not think that official
organizations, such as the police, are controlling crime effectively. Vigilantes usually join
together to form groups.
vigilantism noun [ U ]
vigilante noun [ C ]
a person who tries in an unofficial way to prevent crime, or to catch and punish
someone who has committed a crime, especially because they do not think that official
organizations, such as the police, are controlling crime effectively. Vigilantes usually join
together to form groups.
vigilantism noun [ U ]
vignette noun [ C ]
a short piece of writing, music, acting, etc. which clearly expresses the typical
characteristics of something or someone
She wrote several vignettes of small-town life.
vigorous adjective
1. very forceful or energetic
a vigorous debate
There has been vigorous opposition to the proposals for a new road.
He takes plenty of vigorous exercise.
2. healthy and strong
Cutting the bush back in the autumn will help promote vigorous growth in the
spring.
vigorously adverb
vigour UK , US vigor noun [ U ]
1. strength, energy or enthusiasm
They set about their work with youthful vigour and enthusiasm.
2. strength of thought, opinion, expression, etc.
His book is written with considerable vigour.
Viking noun [ C ]
a person belonging to a race of Scandinavian people who travelled by sea and
attacked parts of northern and southern Europe between the 8th and the 11th
centuries, often staying to live in places they travelled to
vile adjective
1. unpleasant, immoral and unacceptable
This vile policy of ethnic cleansing must be stopped.
2. INFORMAL extremely unpleasant
This cheese smells vile.
He's in a vile mood/temper today.
vilely adverb
vileness noun [ U ]
vilify verb [ T ] FORMAL
to say or write unpleasant things about someone or something, in order to cause
other people to have a bad opinion of them
He was vilified by the press as a monster of perversity.
vilification noun [ U ]
vigilante noun [ C ]
a person who tries in an unofficial way to prevent crime, or to catch and punish
someone who has committed a crime, especially because they do not think that official
organizations, such as the police, are controlling crime effectively. Vigilantes usually join
together to form groups.
vigilantism noun [ U ]
vignette noun [ C ]
a short piece of writing, music, acting, etc. which clearly expresses the typical
characteristics of something or someone
She wrote several vignettes of small-town life.
vigorous adjective
1. very forceful or energetic
a vigorous debate
There has been vigorous opposition to the proposals for a new road.
He takes plenty of vigorous exercise.
2. healthy and strong
Cutting the bush back in the autumn will help promote vigorous growth in the
spring.
vigorously adverb
vigour UK , US vigor noun [ U ]
1. strength, energy or enthusiasm
They set about their work with youthful vigour and enthusiasm.
2. strength of thought, opinion, expression, etc.
His book is written with considerable vigour.
Viking noun [ C ]
a person belonging to a race of Scandinavian people who travelled by sea and
attacked parts of northern and southern Europe between the 8th and the 11th
centuries, often staying to live in places they travelled to
vile adjective
1. unpleasant, immoral and unacceptable
This vile policy of ethnic cleansing must be stopped.
2. INFORMAL extremely unpleasant
This cheese smells vile.
He's in a vile mood/temper today.
vilely adverb
vileness noun [ U ]
vilify verb [ T ] FORMAL
to say or write unpleasant things about someone or something, in order to cause
other people to have a bad opinion of them
He was vilified by the press as a monster of perversity.
vilification noun [ U ]
villa noun [ C ]
a house usually in the countryside or near the sea, especially in southern Europe,
and often one which people can rent for a holiday
They have a villa in Spain.
village noun
1. [ C ] a group of houses and other buildings, such as a church, a school and
some shops, which is smaller than a town, usually in the countryside
a fishing village
a mountain village
a village shop
a village green (= an area of grass in the middle of a village)
Many people come from the outlying/surrounding villages to work in the town.
2. [ C usually singular + singular or plural verb ] all the people who live in a
village
The village is/are campaigning for a by-pass to be built.
villager noun [ C ]
a person who lives in a village
villager noun [ C ]
a person who lives in a village
villain noun
1. [ C ] a bad person who harms other people or breaks the law
Some people believe that Richard III did not murder his nephews and was not the
villain he is generally thought to have been.
He's either a hero or a villain, depending on your point of view.
2. [ C ] UK INFORMAL a criminal
Bert's just a small-time villain.
3. [ C ] a character in a book, play, film, etc. who harms other people
He made his reputation as an actor playing villains.
4. [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL something or someone considered harmful or
dangerous
We've always been told that cholesterol, in foods like eggs, was a major cause of
heart disease but, actually, saturated fat is the worst villain.
villain of the piece INFORMAL
The villain of the piece is someone or something which is seen as being the cause
of trouble on a particular occasion.
When the minister was forced to resign, the press was generally seen as the
villain of the piece.
villainous adjective [ before noun ]
describes a person or an action that is evil
a villainous dictator
villainy noun [ U ]
villus noun [ C usually plural ] SPECIALIZED
one of very many tiny finger-like parts on the inside surface of the small intestine
(= part of body where food goes after the stomach) , which increase the surface area a
lot and help food to be absorbed
vim noun [ U ] OLD-FASHIONED
energy and enthusiasm
At 87, Minna's still full of vim and vigour .
vinaigrette noun [ U ] ( UK ALSO French dressing )
a cold sauce made from oil and vinegar, which is used especially on salad
Vincentian noun [ C ] , adjective
See table of Geographical names .
Vincentian noun [ C ] , adjective
See table of Geographical names .
vindicate verb [ T ]
1. to prove that what someone said or did was right or true, after other people
thought it was wrong
The decision to include Morris in the team was completely vindicated when he
scored three goals.
The investigation vindicated her complaint about the newspaper.
2. to prove that someone is not guilty or is free from blame, after other people
blamed them
[ R ] They said they welcomed the trial as a chance to vindicate them selves .
vindication noun [ S or U ]
The army's victory is being seen as (a) vindication of their tactics.
vindictive adjective DISAPPROVING
having or showing a wish to harm someone because you think that they have
harmed you; unwilling to forgive
In the film 'Cape Fear', a lawyer's family is threatened by a vindictive former
prisoner.
vindictively adverb
vindictiveness noun [ U ]
vine noun [ C ]
vine
1. ( ALSO grapevine ) the climbing plant which produces grapes as its fruit
See also vineyard
2. any type of plant which climbs or grows along the ground and which has woody
twisting stems
Ivy is a type of vine.
vinegar noun [ U ]
a sharp-tasting liquid, made especially from sour wine, malt or cider , which is
used to add flavour to or to preserve food
wine vinegar
Would you like oil and vinegar on your salad?
vinegary adjective
1. tasting of vinegar
2. angry and unpleasant or giving a lot of criticism
vinegary adjective
1. tasting of vinegar
2. angry and unpleasant or giving a lot of criticism
vineyard noun [ C ]
a piece of land on which vines (= plants which produce grapes) are grown
vino noun [ U ]
INFORMAL FOR wine
Would you like a drop more vino?
vintage adjective HIGH QUALITY
1. of high quality and lasting value, or showing the best and most typical
characteristics of a particular type of thing, especially from the past
a vintage aircraft
a vintage comic book
This film is vintage (= has the best characteristics typical of films made by)
Disney.
She loves buying vintage clothing .
vintage adjective WINE
2. [ before noun ] describes wine of high quality that was made in a particular
year, and which can be kept for several years in order to improve it
vintage champagne/port/claret
vintage noun
1. [ C ] the wine made in a particular year, or a particular year in which wine has
been made
The 1983 vintage was one of the best.
What vintage is this wine (= In what year was it made) ?
2. [ U ] LITERARY a group of things which were produced, or a group of people who
were active, during the same particular period
He is undoubtedly England's best captain of recent vintage.
ˌ vintage ˈ car noun [ C ] UK
a car made between 1919 and 1930
vintner noun [ C ]
a person whose job it is to buy and sell wine
vinyl noun [ U ]
strong plastic which can be bent, and which is used for making floor coverings,
furniture, clothing, etc. or (in the past) records
vinyl noun [ U ]
strong plastic which can be bent, and which is used for making floor coverings,
furniture, clothing, etc. or (in the past) records
viola noun [ C ]
viola
a wooden musical instrument with four strings, which is held against the neck and
played by moving a bow across the strings. It is slightly larger than the violin .
violate verb [ T ]
1. to break or act against something, especially a law, agreement, principle or
something that should be treated with respect
They were charged with violating federal law.
It seems that the planes deliberately violated the cease-fire agreement.
The doctor has been accused of violating professional ethics.
2. to go, especially forcefully, into a place or situation which should be treated
with respect and in which you are not wanted or not expected to be
The fishermen claimed that ships from another country had violated their
territorial waters.
Questions of this kind violate my privacy and I am not willing to answer them.
3. FORMAL to rape someone
She said that she had been treated so roughly by the hospital staff that she felt
violated.
violator noun [ C ]
violation noun [ C or U ]
an action that breaks or acts against something, especially a law, agreement,
principle or something that should be treated with respect
He claimed that the way he'd been treated was a gross violation of his
civil/constitutional/human rights.
The takeover of the embassy constitutes a flagrant/blatant violation of
international law.
It was clear that they had not acted in violation of the rules.
violence noun [ U ]
1. actions or words which are intended to hurt people
It seems that the attack was a gratuitous/random/mindless act of violence.
The recent outbreak/eruption of racial violence in the area is very troubling.
The report documents the staggering amount of domestic violence against
women.
2. extreme force
We were all surprised at the violence of his anger/rage.
The storm turned out to be one of unexpected violence.
violence noun [ U ]
1. actions or words which are intended to hurt people
It seems that the attack was a gratuitous/random/mindless act of violence.
The recent outbreak/eruption of racial violence in the area is very troubling.
The report documents the staggering amount of domestic violence against
women.
2. extreme force
We were all surprised at the violence of his anger/rage.
The storm turned out to be one of unexpected violence.
violent adjective CAUSING HURT
1. using force to hurt or attack
He shouts a lot but I don't think he's ever been physically violent towards her.
2. describes a situation or event in which people are hurt or killed
a violent crime
There was a violent clash/confrontation between rival supporters after the match.
The more violent scenes in the film were cut when it was shown on television.
Her family are still trying to come to terms with her violent death (= death
caused suddenly and unexpectedly by the use of physical force, especially murder) .
violent adjective STRONG
3. sudden and powerful
He has a violent temper.
violent thunderstorms
The speaker launched into a violent attack (= spoke forcefully against) the
government's policies.
4. [ before noun ] describes a colour which is extremely or unpleasantly bright
She was wearing a violent pink sweater and orange trousers.
violently adverb
1. in a forceful way that causes people to be hurt
He claimed to have been violently assaulted while in detention.
2. strongly or extremely
She violently disagreed with what we said.
He was violently sick.
violet adjective
having a bluish purple colour
violet noun [ C ] PLANT
1. [ C ] a small plant with pleasant-smelling purple, blue or white flowers
violet noun [ C ] COLOUR
2. [ U ] a bluish purple colour
violin noun [ C ]
violin
a wooden musical instrument with four strings which is held against the neck and
played by moving a bow across the strings
violin noun [ C ]
violin
a wooden musical instrument with four strings which is held against the neck and
played by moving a bow across the strings
violinist noun [ C ]
a person who plays a violin
violoncello noun [ C ] FORMAL
a cello
VIP noun [ C ]
a very important person; a person who is treated better than ordinary people
because they are famous or influential (= having a lot of influence) in some way
They were in the VIP lounge at the airport.
We were given the full VIP treatment .
viper noun [ C ]
1. a small poisonous snake
2. LITERARY a very unpleasant person who you cannot trust
When I started my new job, I didn't realize that I was walking into a nest of
vipers.
virago noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED
a violent, unpleasant woman who shouts a lot
viral adjective
caused by a virus
viral infections
virgin noun [ C ]
1. someone who has never had sex
She remained a virgin till she was over thirty.
D'you think he's still a virgin?
2. HUMOROUS a person with no experience of a particular activity
virgin adjective NATURAL
1. describes a forest or an area of land which has not yet been cultivated (= used
to grow crops) or used by people
The railway is being extended into areas of virgin forest .
2. describes oil, especially olive oil , which is made directly from pressing the fruit,
rather than by using heat
extra virgin olive oil
3. [ before noun ] LITERARY pure and not spoilt, especially when describing
something white
a virgin sheet of paper (= one not written on)
virgin adjective PERSON
4. [ before noun ] never having had sex
a virgin bride
virginal adjective
virginal innocence/modesty/purity
virginity noun [ U ]
She lost her virginity at the age of sixteen to the boy next door.
virgin territory
a completely new area of activity
The BBC is moving into virgin territory by producing comic programmes of this
type.
virginia creeper noun [ C or U ] ( US ALSO woodbine )
a vine (= climbing plant) often grown on walls, the leaves of which become dark
red in autumn
virginia creeper noun [ C or U ] ( US ALSO woodbine )
a vine (= climbing plant) often grown on walls, the leaves of which become dark
red in autumn
Virgo noun [ C or U ]
the sixth sign of the zodiac, relating to the period 23 August to 22 September,
represented by a young woman, or a person born during this period
Virgoan noun [ C ] , adjective
relating to, or (a person) born in, the period between 23 August and 22
September
Perfectionism is a Virgoan trait.
virile adjective MAN
1. APPROVING describes a man, especially a young man, full of sexual strength and
energy in a way that is considered attractive
She likes her men young and virile.
virile adjective POWER
2. LITERARY APPROVING powerful, strong and energetic
In this role, Durante is able to give full expression to that wonderfully virile voice
.
virility noun [ U ] APPROVING MAN
1. male sexual strength or qualities
There was no doubting his virility.
virility noun [ U ] APPROVING POWER
2. strength or power
If a country's foreign trade is a measure of its economic virility, this country looks
sadly impotent.
virology noun [ U ]
the scientific study of viruses and the diseases that they cause
virtual adjective ALMOST
1. [ before noun ] almost a particular thing or quality
Ten years of incompetent government had brought about the virtual collapse of
the country's economy.
virtual adjective COMPUTER
2. describes something that can be done or seen using a computer and therefore
without going anywhere or talking to anyone
virtual shopping
virtually adverb
almost
Their twins are virtually identical.
That wine stain on my shirt has virtually disappeared.
virtually adverb
almost
Their twins are virtually identical.
That wine stain on my shirt has virtually disappeared.
ˌ virtual ˈ memory noun [ U ]
space that can be used on the hard drive of a computer to store information
temporarily so that there is more RAM available when it is needed by software such as a
computer game
Compare RAM ; ROM
ˌ virtual re ˈ ality noun [ U ]
a set of images and sounds produced by a computer, which seem to represent a
place or a situation that a person can take part in
virtue noun GOOD MORALS
1. [ C or U ] a good moral quality in a person, or the general quality of goodness
in people
Patience is a virtue.
Compare vice
virtue noun ADVANTAGE
2. [ C or U ] (an) advantage or good thing
It always looks odd to see an actress on TV extolling (= praising) the virtues of
washing-up liquid.
Would there be any virtue in taking an earlier train?
virtue noun BECAUSE OF
3. by virtue of FORMAL
because of; as a result of
She succeeded by virtue of her tenacity rather than her talent.
make a virtue (out) of sth
to use something, especially a bad situation, to your advantage
I had a couple of months to spare between jobs so I thought I'd make a virtue of
necessity by acquiring a few new skills.
virtuoso noun [ C ]
a person who is extremely skilled at something, especially at playing an
instrument or performing
Famous mainly for his wonderful voice, Cole was also a virtuoso on the piano.
virtuoso adjective [ before noun ]
extremely skilled
The Times critic described her dancing as 'a virtuoso performance of quite
dazzling accomplishment'.
virtuosity noun [ U ] FORMAL
virtuous adjective
1. having good moral qualities and behaviour
He described them as a virtuous and hard-working people.
2. DISAPPROVING describes a person who thinks himself or herself morally better
than other people
I'm convinced he only does that charity work so he can feel virtuous.
virtuously
virtuous adjective
1. having good moral qualities and behaviour
He described them as a virtuous and hard-working people.
2. DISAPPROVING describes a person who thinks himself or herself morally better
than other people
I'm convinced he only does that charity work so he can feel virtuous.
virtuously
virulence noun [ U ]
1. the danger and speed of spreading of a disease
The virulence of the disease is causing great concern in medical circles.
2. FORMAL strength of hatred and opposition
We are witnessing racism of a virulence that we haven't seen in Europe since the
1940s.
virulent adjective
1. describes a dangerous disease or poison which very quickly spreads or has an
effect
A particularly virulent strain of flu has recently claimed a number of lives in the
US.
2. FORMAL full of hate and violent opposition
She is a virulent critic of US foreign policy.
virus noun [ C ] DISEASE
1. an extremely small organism which causes disease in humans, animals and
plants
a chicken pox/flu/herpes/mumps virus
Evidence suggested that the AIDS virus was spreading very quickly among the
heterosexual community.
2. a disease caused by a virus
I don't know exactly what's wrong with her - I think it's some sort of virus.
virus noun [ C ] COMPUTER PROBLEM
3. a computer program or part of a computer program which can make copies of
itself and is intended to prevent the computer from working normally
visa noun [ C ]
an official mark made in a passport which allows you to enter or leave a particular
country
We travelled to Argentina on a tourist visa.
visage noun [ C ] LITERARY
the face
vis-a-vis preposition FORMAL
1. in relation to
I've got to speak to James Lewis vis-a-vis the arrangements for Thursday.
2. in comparison with
The decline in the power of local authorities vis-a-vis central government is
worrying.
vis-a-vis preposition FORMAL
1. in relation to
I've got to speak to James Lewis vis-a-vis the arrangements for Thursday.
2. in comparison with
The decline in the power of local authorities vis-a-vis central government is
worrying.
viscera plural noun SPECIALIZED
the large organs inside the body, including the heart, stomach, lungs and
intestines
visceral adjective EMOTIONAL
1. LITERARY based on deep feeling and emotional reactions rather than on reason
or thought
visceral hatred/excitement
His approach to acting is visceral rather than intellectual.
visceral adjective BODY PARTS
2. SPECIALIZED relating to the large organs inside the body, including the heart,
stomach, lungs and intestines
viscose noun [ U ]
a smooth material similar to silk but made from cellulose
viscount noun [ C ]
(the title of) a British man of high social rank, between an earl and a baron
viscountess noun [ C ]
a woman who has the rank of viscount, or a woman who is married to a viscount
viscous adjective SPECIALIZED
describes a liquid that is thick and sticky and does not flow easily
viscosity noun [ U ]
vise noun [ C ]
US FOR vice (TOOL)
visibility noun [ U ]
1. how clearly objects can be seen, or how far you can see clearly, usually
because of the weather conditions
Mist is still causing poor visibility - down to five metres in parts of the south-east.
2. the degree to which something is seen by the public
The increasing visibility of the nation's poor and homeless has forced the
government into taking action.
visible adjective
1. able to be seen
You should wear something light-coloured when you're cycling at night so that
you're more visible.
The writing on the tombstone was barely visible.
There are few visible signs of the illness that kept her in hospital for so long.
The comet should be visible to the naked eye .
2. able or likely to attract public attention and be noticed
In a very short period of time, she has become a highly visible national leader.
visible adjective
1. able to be seen
You should wear something light-coloured when you're cycling at night so that
you're more visible.
The writing on the tombstone was barely visible.
There are few visible signs of the illness that kept her in hospital for so long.
The comet should be visible to the naked eye .
2. able or likely to attract public attention and be noticed
In a very short period of time, she has become a highly visible national leader.
visibly adverb
in a way that can be noticed; obviously
The Princess, visibly moved, kept her head bowed during the ceremony.
vision noun MENTAL IMAGE
1. [ C ] an idea or mental image of something
We see in his novels his sinister, almost apocalyptic, vision of the future.
Johnny was late home and, as usual, I had visions of him lying dead in some
alley.
2. [ C ] an experience in which you see things which do not exist physically, when
your mind is affected powerfully by something such as deep religious thought or drugs
or mental illness
She had visions in which the angel Gabriel appeared to her.
vision noun VIEW OF THE FUTURE
3. [ U ] the ability to imagine how a country, society, industry, etc. could develop
in the future and to plan in a suitable way
He didn't have the mental agility or vision required for a senior politician.
a person of great artistic vision
vision noun ABILITY
4. [ U ] the ability to see
She has very little vision in her left eye.
vision noun BEAUTIFUL SIGHT
5. [ S ] LITERARY OR HUMOROUS (used when referring to a person) a beautiful and
splendid sight
And that vision of loveliness over there is my wife, Sandra.
She emerged from the bedroom, a vision in cream silk.
visionary noun [ C ] RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
1. a person who has a religious or spiritual experience in which they see a holy
person who is not living or they see a holy event that cannot be explained scientifically
visionary noun [ C ] VIEW OF THE FUTURE
2. a person who has the ability to imagine how a country, society, industry, etc.
will develop in the future and to plan in a suitable way
visionary adjective VIEW OF THE FUTURE
1. with the ability to imagine how a country, society, industry, etc. will develop in
the future
a visionary author
visionary thinking
visionary adjective RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
2. relating to a religious vision
visit verb
1. [ I or T ] to go to a place in order to look at it, or to a person in order to spend
time with them
We visited a few galleries while we were in Prague.
Will you visit me when I'm in hospital?
When did you last visit the dentist/doctor?
2. [ T ] to go to a website on the Internet
visit sth on/upon sb phrasal verb OLD USE OR FORMAL
to cause damage to a place or to harm a person
He left in 1983, horrified by the devastation that warfare and famine had visited
on his homeland.
visit with sb phrasal verb US
to spend time talking with or staying with someone you know
I was hoping to visit with Katie while I was in town.
visit noun [ C ]
when you visit a place or person
I think I'll pay a visit to the hairdresser's while I'm in town.
We had a visit from the school inspector last week.
I can't stop for a cup of tea - this is just a flying (= very short) visit.
visit verb
1. [ I or T ] to go to a place in order to look at it, or to a person in order to spend
time with them
We visited a few galleries while we were in Prague.
Will you visit me when I'm in hospital?
When did you last visit the dentist/doctor?
2. [ T ] to go to a website on the Internet
visit sth on/upon sb phrasal verb OLD USE OR FORMAL
to cause damage to a place or to harm a person
He left in 1983, horrified by the devastation that warfare and famine had visited
on his homeland.
visit with sb phrasal verb US
to spend time talking with or staying with someone you know
I was hoping to visit with Katie while I was in town.
visit noun [ C ]
when you visit a place or person
I think I'll pay a visit to the hairdresser's while I'm in town.
We had a visit from the school inspector last week.
I can't stop for a cup of tea - this is just a flying (= very short) visit.
visitation noun
1. [ C ] an official visit from someone important
HUMOROUS We're awaiting a visitation from the inspector.
On May 13, 1917 three young shepherd children reported a visitation from the
Virgin Mary.
2. [ U ] US when a divorced (= previously but no longer married) parent may
spend time with the child(ren) he or she no longer lives with, at agreed times and under
agreed conditions
The mother agreed to visitation rights for the boys' father.
3. [ C ] FORMAL an event which is considered to be a message or a punishment
from God
ˈ visiting ˌ hours plural noun
the times when you are allowed to go and spend time with someone who is in a
hospital, prison, etc.
Visiting hours are between 6.00 and 9.00 p.m.
visitor noun [ C ]
1. someone who visits a person or place
Ben, you've got some visitors to see you.
2. someone who goes to a website on the Internet
visitors' book noun [ C ]
a book sometimes found in a hotel or a place of interest in which people who are
visiting are asked to write their name, address and anything they would like to say
about the quality of what they have experienced in the place
visor noun [ C ]
a part of a helmet which can be pulled down to cover the face, or a curved piece
of stiff material which is worn above the eyes to give protection from strong light from
the sun
vista noun [ C ]
1. LITERARY a view, especially a splendid view from a high position
After a hard climb, we were rewarded by a picture-postcard vista of rolling hills
under a deep blue summer sky.
2. a possible future action or event that you can imagine
As leader, he opened up exciting vistas of global co-operation.
visual adjective
relating to seeing
visual stimulus/impact/abilities
See also VDU
visual adjective
relating to seeing
visual stimulus/impact/abilities
See also VDU
ˌ visual ˈ aid noun [ C ]
something that you are shown, such as a picture, film or map, in order to help
you understand or remember information
the ˌ visual ˈ arts plural noun
the arts of painting and sculpture, rather than literature and music
visualize , UK USUALLY visualise verb [ T ]
to form a picture of someone or something in your mind, in order to imagine or
remember them
I was so surprised when he turned up - I'd visualized someone much older.
visualization FORMAL , UK USUALLY visualisation noun [ U ]
visually adverb
relating to seeing or appearance
Guide dogs open up the lives of the blind or visually impaired .
Books for children have to be visually very exciting.
vital adjective IMPORTANT
1. necessary for the success or continued existence of something; extremely
important
A strong opposition is vital to a healthy democracy.
She had found out some information of vital importance .
The kidney plays a vital role/part in the removal of waste products from the
blood.
[ + that ] It's absolutely vital that you do exactly as I say.
[ + to infinitive ] It is vital to get medical supplies to the area as soon as
possible.
vital adjective LIVELY
2. FORMAL APPROVING energetic
He had never felt so vital and full of life.
3. FORMAL relating to life
vitally adverb
It's not vitally important that we get extra funding for the project but it would
help.
vitality noun [ U ] APPROVING
energy and strength
According to the packet, these vitamin pills will restore lost vitality.
vitality noun [ U ] APPROVING
energy and strength
According to the packet, these vitamin pills will restore lost vitality.
ˌ vital ˈ organs plural noun
the main organs inside the body, such as the heart, lungs and brain, which are
necessary for existence
ˈ vital ˌ signs plural noun SPECIALIZED
signs which show the condition of someone's health, such as body temperature,
rate of breathing and heart beat
The babies in this unit have various devices attached to them which monitor the
vital signs.
ˌ vital sta ˈ tistics plural noun OFFICIAL FACTS
1. a group of official facts which show such things as the number of births, deaths
and marriages in a particular country, area, etc.
ˌ vital sta ˈ tistics plural noun WOMAN'S BODY
2. UK OLD-FASHIONED HUMOROUS the measurements of a woman's breasts, waist and
hips
vitamin noun [ C ]
any of a group of natural substances which are necessary in small amounts for
the growth and good health of the body
a vitamin pill
Oranges are full of vitamin C.
ˌ vitamin ˈ A noun [ U ] ( SPECIALIZED retinol )
a vitamin found in foods such as butter, egg yolk , milk and fish oils, or produced
in the body from the carotene in green vegetables with a lot of leaves or orange
vegetables, important for normal growth, healthy skin, and the ability to see well,
especially at night
vitamin B 1 noun [ U ] ( SPECIALIZED thiamine )
a vitamin found in foods such as whole grains, brown rice, nuts and liver ,
important for the production of energy from sugar and starch in the body and helping
the heart, muscles and nervous system to work well
vitamin B 2 noun [ U ] ( SPECIALIZED riboflavin )
a vitamin found in foods such as liver , milk, cheese, yeast and whole grains,
important for the production of energy in the cells and for the production of particular
hormones
vitality noun [ U ] APPROVING
energy and strength
According to the packet, these vitamin pills will restore lost vitality.
ˌ vital ˈ organs plural noun
the main organs inside the body, such as the heart, lungs and brain, which are
necessary for existence
ˈ vital ˌ signs plural noun SPECIALIZED
signs which show the condition of someone's health, such as body temperature,
rate of breathing and heart beat
The babies in this unit have various devices attached to them which monitor the
vital signs.
ˌ vital sta ˈ tistics plural noun OFFICIAL FACTS
1. a group of official facts which show such things as the number of births, deaths
and marriages in a particular country, area, etc.
ˌ vital sta ˈ tistics plural noun WOMAN'S BODY
2. UK OLD-FASHIONED HUMOROUS the measurements of a woman's breasts, waist and
hips
vitamin noun [ C ]
any of a group of natural substances which are necessary in small amounts for
the growth and good health of the body
a vitamin pill
Oranges are full of vitamin C.
ˌ vitamin ˈ A noun [ U ] ( SPECIALIZED retinol )
a vitamin found in foods such as butter, egg yolk , milk and fish oils, or produced
in the body from the carotene in green vegetables with a lot of leaves or orange
vegetables, important for normal growth, healthy skin, and the ability to see well,
especially at night
vitamin B 1 noun [ U ] ( SPECIALIZED thiamine )
a vitamin found in foods such as whole grains, brown rice, nuts and liver ,
important for the production of energy from sugar and starch in the body and helping
the heart, muscles and nervous system to work well
vitamin B 2 noun [ U ] ( SPECIALIZED riboflavin )
a vitamin found in foods such as liver , milk, cheese, yeast and whole grains,
important for the production of energy in the cells and for the production of particular
hormones
vitamin B 6 noun [ U ]
a vitamin found in foods such as liver , yeast , fish and bananas , important in
chemical processes in the body, and for keeping the skin, digestion and nervous system
healthy
vitamin B 12 noun [ U ]
a vitamin found in foods such as liver , kidney , eggs, fish and milk, important for
a healthy nervous system , normal growth and the production of red blood cells
ˌ vitamin ˈ B ˌ complex noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
a group of vitamin s which dissolve in water and are found in food
ˌ vitamin ˈ C noun [ U ] ( SPECIALIZED ascorbic acid )
a vitamin found in foods such as citrus fruit, green vegetables with a lot of leaves,
tomatoes and potatoes, important for healthy bones, joints , teeth and gums (= the
part of the mouth from which the teeth grow) , and for fighting infection
ˌ vitamin ˈ D noun [ U ]
any of a group of vitamin s found in foods such as liver , oily fish and egg yolk ,
important for healthy bones and teeth
ˌ vitamin ˈ E noun [ U ] ( SPECIALIZED tocopherol )
a vitamin found in foods such as vegetable oils, whole grains, green vegetables
with a lot of leaves and fish, important for healthy blood and cells
ˌ vitamin ˈ K noun [ U ]
a vitamin found in foods such as green vegetables with a lot of leaves, liver ,
vegetable oils and egg yolk , important for healthy blood
vitiate verb [ T ] FORMAL
to destroy or damage something
He said that American military power should never again be vitiated by political
concerns.
viticulture noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
the growing of grapes , or the science or study of this
vitreous adjective
made of or similar to glass
vitreous china/enamel
ˈ vitreous ˌ humour noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
the thick clear liquid substance inside the eye between the lens at the front and
the retina at the back
vitriol noun [ U ]
violent hate and anger expressed through severe criticism
He is a writer who has often been criticized by the press but never before with
such vitriol.
vitriolic adjective
He launched a vitriolic attack on the prime minister, accusing him of shielding
corrupt friends.
vitriolically adverb
vitro noun
See in vitro
vituperative adjective FORMAL
A vituperative spoken or written attack is full of angry criticism
Miss Snowden yesterday launched a vituperative attack on her ex-boss and
former lover.
vituperation noun [ U ]
viva noun [ C ] ( ALSO viva voce ) SPECIALIZED
a spoken examination for a college qualification
viva exclamation MAINLY US
used to express approval or good wishes
Throngs of his supporters were shouting "Viva, Ollie, viva!"
viva exclamation MAINLY US
vivacious adjective APPROVING
A vivacious person, especially a woman or girl, is attractively energetic and
enthusiastic
He brought along his wife, a vivacious blonde, some twenty years his junior.
vivaciously adverb
vivacity noun [ U ]
vivid adjective
1. Vivid descriptions, memories, etc. produce very clear, powerful and detailed
images in the mind
He gave a very vivid and often shocking account/description of his time in prison.
He's one of those people with a very vivid imagination - every time he hears a
noise he's convinced it's someone breaking in.
2. very brightly coloured
She was wearing a vivid pink shirt.
vividly adverb
I vividly remember my first day at school.
vividness noun [ U ]
viviparous adjective SPECIALIZED
giving birth to young that have already developed inside the mother's body rather
than producing eggs
viviparous adjective SPECIALIZED
giving birth to young that have already developed inside the mother's body rather
than producing eggs
vivisection noun [ U ]
the cutting up or other use of living animals in tests which are intended to
increase human knowledge of human diseases and the effects of using particular drugs
vivisectionist noun [ C ]
a person who is involved in the activity of, or believes in the use of, vivisection
vixen noun [ C ]
1. a female fox
2. OLD-FASHIONED an unpleasant woman
viz adverb OLD-FASHIONED
used, especially in written English, when you want to give more detail or be more
exact about something you have just written
We both shared the same ambition, viz, to make a lot of money and to retire at
40.
V-neck noun [ C ]
V-neck
a V-shaped opening for your neck on a piece of clothing, or a piece of clothing
with this opening
I'm going to wear my black dress with the V-neck.
a V-neck jumper
V-necked adjective
a V-necked dress
vocab noun [ U ] INFORMAL
vocabulary
vocabulary noun
1. [ C ] all the words known and used by a particular person
a wide/limited vocabulary
By the age of two a child will have a vocabulary of about two hundred words.
2. [ C or U ] all the words which exist in a particular language or subject
Every week our French teacher gives us a list of vocabulary (= words) to learn.
Computing, like any subject, has its own vocabulary.
not be in sb's vocabulary HUMOROUS
You say that a particular quality is not in your vocabulary if you never show it or
experience it
Did you say 'tact'? The word isn't in his vocabulary!
vocal adjective OF THE VOICE
1. relating to or produced by the voice, either in singing or speaking
a piece of vocal music
The six principal roles in this opera have an average vocal range of two octaves.
vocal adjective OFTEN HEARD
2. often expressing opinions and complaints in speech
He had always been a very vocal critic of the president.
During these years, suffrage demands by women became increasingly vocal.
vocally adverb
vocal noun [ C usually plural ]
the singing in a piece of popular music
The vocals are shared by two members of the band.
Is that Tamsin Palmer on vocals (= singing) ?
viviparous adjective SPECIALIZED
giving birth to young that have already developed inside the mother's body rather
than producing eggs
vivisection noun [ U ]
the cutting up or other use of living animals in tests which are intended to
increase human knowledge of human diseases and the effects of using particular drugs
vivisectionist noun [ C ]
a person who is involved in the activity of, or believes in the use of, vivisection
vixen noun [ C ]
1. a female fox
2. OLD-FASHIONED an unpleasant woman
viz adverb OLD-FASHIONED
used, especially in written English, when you want to give more detail or be more
exact about something you have just written
We both shared the same ambition, viz, to make a lot of money and to retire at
40.
V-neck noun [ C ]
V-neck
a V-shaped opening for your neck on a piece of clothing, or a piece of clothing
with this opening
I'm going to wear my black dress with the V-neck.
a V-neck jumper
V-necked adjective
a V-necked dress
vocab noun [ U ] INFORMAL
vocabulary
vocabulary noun
1. [ C ] all the words known and used by a particular person
a wide/limited vocabulary
By the age of two a child will have a vocabulary of about two hundred words.
2. [ C or U ] all the words which exist in a particular language or subject
Every week our French teacher gives us a list of vocabulary (= words) to learn.
Computing, like any subject, has its own vocabulary.
not be in sb's vocabulary HUMOROUS
You say that a particular quality is not in your vocabulary if you never show it or
experience it
Did you say 'tact'? The word isn't in his vocabulary!
vocal adjective OF THE VOICE
1. relating to or produced by the voice, either in singing or speaking
a piece of vocal music
The six principal roles in this opera have an average vocal range of two octaves.
vocal adjective OFTEN HEARD
2. often expressing opinions and complaints in speech
He had always been a very vocal critic of the president.
During these years, suffrage demands by women became increasingly vocal.
vocally adverb
vocal noun [ C usually plural ]
the singing in a piece of popular music
The vocals are shared by two members of the band.
Is that Tamsin Palmer on vocals (= singing) ?
ˈ vocal ˌ cords plural noun ( ALSO vocal chords )
a pair of folds at the upper end of the throat whose edges move quickly
backwards and forwards and produce sound when air from the lungs moves over them
vocalist noun [ C ]
a person who sings, especially with a group who play popular music
She won the Grammy Award for Best Female Vocalist.
vocalize verb [ T ]
to express feelings or ideas in words
Most patients find it very difficult to vocalize feelings of shame.
vocalize verb [ T ]
to express feelings or ideas in words
Most patients find it very difficult to vocalize feelings of shame.
vocation noun [ C or U ]
a type of work that you feel you are suited to doing and to which you should give
all your time and energy, or the feeling that a type of work suits you in this way
I feel I've found/missed my true vocation.
"We need teachers who regard their profession as a vocation, not just a job," said
the Minister.
To work in medicine, you should have a vocation for it.
vocational adjective
providing skills and education that prepare you for a job
The Swedes regard vocational training as a part of a youngster's education.
vocationally adverb
vociferous adjective
Vociferous people express their opinions and complaints loudly and repeatedly in
speech, and vociferous demands, etc. are made repeatedly and loudly
Local activist groups have become increasingly vociferous as the volume of traffic
passing through the village has grown.
A vociferous opponent of gay rights, he is well-known for his right-wing views.
vociferously adverb
vodcast noun [ C ]
a video stored in a digital (= using signals in the form of numbers) form that you
can download from the Internet and play on a computer or on an MP3 player
vodka noun [ C or U ]
a colourless strong alcoholic drink made especially from grain or potatoes
"What would you like to drink?" "Vodka and tonic please."
This is my third vodka (= glass of vodka) .
vogue noun [ S or U ]
a fashion or general liking, especially one which is temporary
In the 1920s, short hair for women became the vogue.
The postwar vogue for tear ing down buildings virtually destroyed the city's
architecture.
The short hemline is very much in vogue (= fashionable) this spring.
"Community" is one of the vogue words of the new government.
vogue noun [ S or U ]
a fashion or general liking, especially one which is temporary
In the 1920s, short hair for women became the vogue.
The postwar vogue for tear ing down buildings virtually destroyed the city's
architecture.
The short hemline is very much in vogue (= fashionable) this spring.
"Community" is one of the vogue words of the new government.
voice noun SOUNDS
1. [ C ] the sounds that are made when people speak or sing
She has a loud/quiet/soft voice.
a low-pitched/high-pitched voice
a booming/breathy/clear/deep/fruity/gravelly/husky/squeaky voice
a baritone/soprano singing voice
You could tell from her voice that she wasn't pleased.
"I don't know what you mean," said Fran in a quavering voice.
She lowered her voice to a whisper.
You'll have to raise your voice (= speak louder) if you want to be heard in here.
I've got a cold and I think I'm losing my voice (= becoming unable to speak) .
He's at that age when his voice is breaking (= changing from a boy's to a man's)
.
She's done a lot of work with voice- activated computers.
2. be in good voice
to be singing well
Well, choir, we seem to be in good voice today!
voice noun OPINION
3. [ C often singular U ] (the right to) an expression of opinion
There was only one dissenting voice during the discussion.
Unfortunately a strike was the only way to make our voices heard .
The committee represents the voice of the students.
Developing countries are demanding a stronger voice (= right to express
opinions) in the debate.
4. [ S ] an important quality or opinion which someone expresses, or the person
who is able to express it
She just won't listen to the voice of reason .
I wouldn't work for Peter if I were you - this is the voice of experience talking!
give voice to sth
to express your thoughts or feelings in words
I always had doubts about the scheme but I never gave voice to them.
voice within you
your conscience (= the part of you which tells you when you are doing something
wrong)
Suddenly this voice within her told her to stop being so stupid.
with one voice FORMAL
If a group of people express an opinion or decide something with one voice, they
all agree
The committee decided with one voice to accept the proposal.
voice verb [ T ]
to say what you think about a particular subject, especially to express a doubt,
complaint, etc. that you have about it
I have voiced my objections to the plan to management.
voice-activated adjective
Voice-activated machines, systems, etc. work when you speak instructions to
them
The phone has voice-activated dialling.
voice-activated adjective
Voice-activated machines, systems, etc. work when you speak instructions to
them
The phone has voice-activated dialling.
ˈ voice ˌ box noun [ C usually singular ]
a larynx
-voiced suffix
having the type of voice mentioned
my loud-voiced friend, Roz
voiceless adjective LITERARY
describes a group of people who do not have the power or the legal right to
express their opinions
A committed socialist, he upheld the rights of the voiceless and the
underprivileged.
ˈ voice ˌ mail noun [ U ]
an electronic telephone answering system used especially by organizations and
mobile phone users
voice-over noun [ C ]
on a television programme or film, the spoken words of a person that you cannot
see
Famous actors often provide voice-overs for adverts.
void noun
1. [ C usually singular ] a large hole or empty space
She stood at the edge of the chasm and stared into the void.
Before Einstein, space was regarded as a formless void.
2. [ S ] a feeling of unhappiness because someone or something is missing
They tried to describe their attempts to fill the void left by their son's death.
void adjective NOT ACCEPTABLE
1. having no legal authority and therefore unacceptable
The lawyers declared the contract (null and) void.
See also null and void
void adjective WITHOUT
2. void of LITERARY
without; lacking in
He's completely void of charm so far as I can see.
void verb [ T ]
to remove the legal force from something such as a legal agreement
voila exclamation
used when showing to other people something that you have just made or got
and are pleased with
Corn tortillas can be cut into strips, fried until golden, and sprinkled with salt -
voila! tortilla chips.
voila exclamation
used when showing to other people something that you have just made or got
and are pleased with
Corn tortillas can be cut into strips, fried until golden, and sprinkled with salt -
voila! tortilla chips.
VoIP noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED ABBREVIATION FOR
Voice over Internet Protocol: technology that allows people to make telephone
calls over the Internet
vol.
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR volume
volatile adjective
1. likely to change suddenly and unexpectedly or suddenly become violent or
angry
Food and fuel prices are very volatile in a war situation.
The situation was made more volatile by the fact that people had been drinking a
lot of alcohol.
He had a rather volatile temper and can't have been easy to live with.
2. A volatile liquid or solid substance will change easily into a gas.
volatility noun [ U ]
vol-au-vent noun [ C ]
a small, light, cup-shaped pastry case with a savoury sauce filling
chicken/mushroom/prawn vol-au-vents
volcano noun [ C ]
volcano
a mountain with a large circular hole at the top through which lava (= hot liquid
rock) gases, steam and dust are or have been forced out
an extinct/dormant volcano
an active volcano
Erupting volcanoes discharge massive quantities of dust into the stratosphere.
volcanic adjective
volcanic ash/activity/rock
vole noun [ C ]
a small animal similar to a mouse with a thick body, short tail and small ears
vole noun [ C ]
a small animal similar to a mouse with a thick body, short tail and small ears
volition noun [ U ] FORMAL
the power to make your own decisions
The Minister wished it to be known that he had left the cabinet (out) of his own
volition (= it was his decision) .
volley noun BULLETS
1. [ C ] a large number of bullets (seeming to be) fired at the same time
Even as the funeral took place, guerrillas hidden nearby fired/let off a fresh
volley of machine-gun fire.
volley noun A LOT
2. [ C usually singular ] a lot of similar things that are said or produced, or that
happen, quickly one after the other
I'm afraid my proposal was met with a volley of criticisms.
volley noun SPORTS
3. [ C ] (in sports) a kick or hit in which a player returns a moving ball before it
touches the ground
That was a marvellous backhand volley.
volley verb [ I or T ]
(in sports) to hit or kick a moving ball before it touches the ground
volleyball noun [ U ]
volleyball
a game in which two teams use their hands to hit a large ball backwards and
forwards over a high net without allowing the ball to touch the ground
volt noun [ C ]
the standard unit used to measure how strongly an electrical current is sent
around an electrical system
Electricity in Britain is 240 volts, AC.
voltage noun [ C or U ]
the force of an electric current, measured in volts
high/low voltages
voltage noun [ C or U ]
the force of an electric current, measured in volts
high/low voltages
volte-face noun [ C usually singular ] LITERARY
a sudden change from one set of beliefs or plan of action to the opposite
In 1986 he made a very public and dramatic political volte-face from Left to
Right.
voltmeter noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
any of various devices used for measuring the voltage between two points on an
electric circuit
voluble adjective FORMAL
1. speaking a lot, with confidence and enthusiasm
Many see Parker as the obvious leader, whose voluble style works well on TV.
2. expressed in many words
It's not often that one hears such voluble praise for this government.
volubly adverb
volume noun AMOUNT
1. [ C or U ] the amount of space that is contained within an object or solid shape
Which of these bottles do you think has the greater volume?
2. [ U ] the number or amount of something in general
It's the sheer volume of traffic in the city that is causing the problems.
volume noun SOUND LEVEL
3. [ U ] the level of sound produced by a television, radio, etc., or the switch or
other device controlling this
Could you turn the volume down, please, I'm trying to sleep.
I'll turn it up if you tell me which is the volume (= switch) .
volume noun BOOK
4. [ C ] one in a set of related books
Now 'Realms Of Strife', his second volume of memoirs, is available too.
5. [ C ] FORMAL a book
While still an undergraduate, his first slim volume 'Fighting Terms' enjoyed a
considerable success.
voluminous adjective FORMAL
1. A voluminous piece of clothing is large and consists of a lot of cloth
Her voluminous silk dress billowed out behind her.
2. A voluminous piece of writing is long and detailed
Have you read McClelland's voluminous account of his life?
voluminous adjective FORMAL
1. A voluminous piece of clothing is large and consists of a lot of cloth
Her voluminous silk dress billowed out behind her.
2. A voluminous piece of writing is long and detailed
Have you read McClelland's voluminous account of his life?
voluntary adjective
1. done, made or given willingly , without being forced or paid to do it
They chose to take voluntary redundancy.
She does voluntary work for the Red Cross two days a week.
2. describes an organization that is controlled and supported by people who give
their time and money to it without being paid, and that exists to help other people
The hospital has asked various voluntary organizations to help raise money for
the new operating theatre.
voluntarily adverb
volunteer noun [ C ]
a person who does something, especially helping other people, willingly and
without being forced or paid to do it
The Health clinic is relying on volunteers to run the office and answer the
telephones.
Since it would be a highly dangerous mission, the Lieutenant asked for volunteers.
It's a volunteer army with no paid professionals.
Compare conscript
volunteer verb
1. [ I or T ] to offer to do something that you do not have to do, often without
having been asked to do it and/or without expecting payment
[ + to infinitive ] During the emergency many staff volunteered to work through
the weekend.
I volunteered myself for the post of Health and Safety Representative.
My mates volunteered me to do the talking.
He volunteered for the army (= He became a member although he was not forced
to by law) .
2. [ T ] to give information without being asked
If I were you, I wouldn't volunteer any details of what happened.
[ + speech ] "I saw her going out of the main entrance at about half past two," he
volunteered.
voluptuous adjective
1. describes a woman who has a soft, curved, sexually attractive body
a voluptuous body/mouth/figure
2. LITERARY describes an experience or object that gives you a lot of pleasure
because it feels extremely soft and comfortable or it sounds or looks extremely beautiful
such voluptuous pleasure
I sank into the bed's voluptuous warmth.
voluptuously adverb LITERARY
voluptuousness noun [ U ]
voluptuous adjective
1. describes a woman who has a soft, curved, sexually attractive body
a voluptuous body/mouth/figure
2. LITERARY describes an experience or object that gives you a lot of pleasure
because it feels extremely soft and comfortable or it sounds or looks extremely beautiful
such voluptuous pleasure
I sank into the bed's voluptuous warmth.
voluptuously adverb LITERARY
voluptuousness noun [ U ]
vomit verb [ I or T ]
to empty the contents of the stomach through the mouth
He came home drunk and vomited all over the kitchen floor.
She was vomiting (up) blood.
vomit noun [ U ]
voodoo noun [ U ]
1. a type of religion involving magic and the worship of spirits (= people who
cannot be seen) , especially common in Haiti
2. INFORMAL bad luck
They felt as if there was some sort of voodoo on the band, because everything
just went wrong.
voracious adjective
very eager for something, especially a lot of food
He has a voracious appetite (= he eats a lot) .
He's a voracious reader of historical novels (= He reads a lot of them eagerly and
quickly) .
voraciously adverb
voraciousness noun [ U ]
vortex noun
1. [ C ] SPECIALIZED a mass of air or water that spins around very fast and pulls
objects into its empty centre
2. [ C usually singular ] LITERARY a dangerous or destructive situation in which you
become more and more involved without being able to escape
I was sucked into a vortex of despair.
vote verb [ I or T ]
to express your choice or opinion, especially by officially writing a mark on a
paper or by raising your hand or speaking in a meeting
She was too young to vote in the national election.
The committee voted on the proposal, and accepted it unanimously.
Did you vote for or against the motion?
Over 55% voted Liberal.
[ + to infinitive ] A majority of staff voted to accept the offer of an 8% pay rise.
[ + ( that ) ] I vote (that) we (= It is my opinion that we should) go to the
cinema first and eat afterwards.
[ + object + noun ] The evening was voted a tremendous success (= This was
most people's opinion) .
It was the younger members who voted Smith onto the committee (= Smith
joined because he was the choice of the younger members) .
The Republican Party was voted into/out of office (= was chosen in an election
to become/stop being the government) .
vote with your feet
If you vote with your feet, you leave an organization or stop supporting, using or
buying something, and change to a new organization, service, or product
When the price of skiing doubled, tourists voted with their feet and just stopped
going.
vote sth down phrasal verb [ M ]
to defeat something such as a law or plan by voting against it
The proposal to build a new road through the forest was voted down by the local
council.
vote sth through phrasal verb [ M ]
to accept and make possible something such as a law or plan by voting for it
The committee voted through a proposal to cut the defence budget.
vote noun
1. [ C ] when someone shows their choice or opinion in an election or meeting by
writing a cross on an official piece of paper or putting their hand up
The suggestion was approved, with 25 votes in favour, and 7 against.
She cast her vote (= voted) for the Communist Party.
2. [ C usually singular ] a way of making a decision by asking a group of people to
vote
We called a meeting in order to take/hold a vote on the issue.
3. the vote
a. the total number of votes given or received in an election
The Green Party got/took 25% of the vote.
They are trying to capture the working-class vote (= to persuade those people to
vote for them) .
b. when someone is officially allowed to vote
In some countries women still don't have the vote.
4. put sth to the/a vote
to vote on something
The proposal was read out and then put to the vote.
vote-getter noun [ C usually singular ] US
something that will win votes because it is popular with the voters
Her stance on taxation could be a big vote-getter in this election.
vote-getter noun [ C usually singular ] US
something that will win votes because it is popular with the voters
Her stance on taxation could be a big vote-getter in this election.
ˌ vote of ˈ confidence noun [ C usually singular ]
1. FORMAL when the members of a parliament or other organization are asked to
say that they support the people in authority and agree with their actions
The government held a vote of confidence and lost/won it.
2. a sign that you are pleased with the quality of something or what someone has
done or produced
I think the fact that so many of you are here tonight is a vote of confidence in the
quality of our local performers.
ˌ vote of ˌ no ˈ confidence noun [ C usually singular ]
when the members of a parliament or other organization are asked to say that
they do not support the people in authority and that they disagree with their actions
ˌ vote of ˈ thanks noun [ C usually singular ]
when someone formally and publicly thanks a person or organization for
something they have done
The new Chairperson stood up and proposed (= said) a vote of thanks to the
retiring Chair for all her hard work.
voter noun [ C ]
a person who votes or who has a legal right to vote, especially in an election
Of course, tax cuts are usually popular with (the) voters.
Are you a Labour voter?
voting noun [ U ]
when people choose someone or something in an election
Voting was brisk in spite of the bad weather.
Pollsters asked people their voting intentions.
ˈ voting ma ˌ chine noun [ C ] MAINLY US
a machine used to automatically record and count votes in an election
votive adjective SPECIALIZED
given or done to honour and thank a god
votive offerings
votive adjective SPECIALIZED
given or done to honour and thank a god
votive offerings
vouch 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.
vouch for sth/sb phrasal verb
to say that you know from experience that something is true or good, or that
someone is honest and has a good character
Patricia has checked the reports and can vouch for the accuracy of the
information.
voucher noun [ C ] UK
a piece of paper that can be used to pay for particular goods or services or that
allows you to pay less than the usual price for them
The voucher is valid between July and December and entitles you to 10% off all
overseas flights.
vouchsafe verb [ T ] FORMAL
to tell or give something to someone
He vouchsafed the information that the meeting had been postponed.
vow verb [ T ]
to make a determined decision or promise to do something
[ + ( that ) ] The guerillas vowed (that) they would overthrow the government.
[ + to infinitive ] After the awful meals we had last Christmas, I vowed to do
more of the cooking myself.
vow noun [ C ]
a serious promise or decision
[ + to infinitive ] She took/made a vow never to lend money to anyone again.
vowel noun [ C ]
1. a speech sound produced by humans when the breath flows out through the
mouth without being blocked by the teeth, tongue or lips
A short vowel is a short sound as in the word 'cup'.
A long vowel is a long sound as in the word 'shoe'.
Compare consonant
2. a letter that represents a sound produced in this way
The vowels in English are a, e, i, o and u.
vox pop noun UK INFORMAL
1. [ U ] the opinions of people recorded talking informally in public places
2. [ C ] a broadcast for radio or television in which people going past in a public
place are asked their opinion on a particular subject
vox pop noun UK INFORMAL
1. [ U ] the opinions of people recorded talking informally in public places
2. [ C ] a broadcast for radio or television in which people going past in a public
place are asked their opinion on a particular subject
voyage noun [ C ]
a long journey, especially by ship
He was a young sailor on his first sea voyage.
FIGURATIVE The first year of a loving relationship is a voyage (= period) of
discovery.
voyage verb [ I ] OLD USE OR LITERARY
to travel
In their little boat they planned to voyage to distant lands.
voyager noun [ C ]
a person who goes on a long and sometimes dangerous journey
Those voyagers who first ventured into space certainly showed courage.
voyeur noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING
a person who gets sexual pleasure from secretly watching other people in sexual
situations, or (more generally) a person who watches other people's private lives
I felt like a voyeur visiting the war zone and seeing badly injured people being
dragged from their bomb-shattered homes.
voyeurism noun [ U ]
voyeuristic adjective
VP
US WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR Vice President
vroom , exclamation INFORMAL
a written representation of the sound of a car engine at high speed
vs preposition
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR versus
V-shaped adjective
shaped like a V
V-shaped adjective
shaped like a V
V-sign noun [ C ]
1. UK a sign meaning victory or peace that is made by holding up the first two
fingers of one hand in the shape of a V, while the thumb and other fingers are folded
down and face out
See also peace sign
2. ( ALSO two fingers ) UK OFFENSIVE a similar sign, made with the back of the hand
facing out, used for expressing extreme dislike or anger towards someone
The driver shouted rudely at the cyclist and gave her a/the V-sign.
vulcanized , UK USUALLY vulcanised adjective
Vulcanized rubber has been made stronger by a chemical process.
vulgar adjective DISAPPROVING NOT SUITABLE
1. not suitable, simple, dignified or beautiful; common or not in the style
preferred by the upper classes of society
a vulgar patterned shirt
I've no idea how much the clothes cost because there was nothing so vulgar as a
price tag in evidence.
Isn't it rather vulgar to talk about how much money you earn?
vulgar adjective DISAPPROVING RUDE
2. rude and likely to upset or anger people, especially by referring to sex and the
body in an unpleasant way
It was an extremely vulgar joke.
vulgarity noun [ U ]
vulgarly adverb
ˈ vulgar ˌ fraction noun [ C ] ( ALSO common fraction ) SPECIALIZED
a fraction in which there is a horizontal line with one number above it and one
number below it
Compare improper fraction ; proper fraction
vulnerable , adjective
able to be easily physically, emotionally, or mentally hurt, influenced or attacked
I felt very vulnerable, standing there without any clothes on.
It is on economic policy that the government is most vulnerable.
Tourists are more vulnerable to attack, because they do not know which areas of
the city to avoid.
vulnerability , noun [ U ]
V-shaped adjective
shaped like a V
V-sign noun [ C ]
1. UK a sign meaning victory or peace that is made by holding up the first two
fingers of one hand in the shape of a V, while the thumb and other fingers are folded
down and face out
See also peace sign
2. ( ALSO two fingers ) UK OFFENSIVE a similar sign, made with the back of the hand
facing out, used for expressing extreme dislike or anger towards someone
The driver shouted rudely at the cyclist and gave her a/the V-sign.
vulcanized , UK USUALLY vulcanised adjective
Vulcanized rubber has been made stronger by a chemical process.
vulgar adjective DISAPPROVING NOT SUITABLE
1. not suitable, simple, dignified or beautiful; common or not in the style
preferred by the upper classes of society
a vulgar patterned shirt
I've no idea how much the clothes cost because there was nothing so vulgar as a
price tag in evidence.
Isn't it rather vulgar to talk about how much money you earn?
vulgar adjective DISAPPROVING RUDE
2. rude and likely to upset or anger people, especially by referring to sex and the
body in an unpleasant way
It was an extremely vulgar joke.
vulgarity noun [ U ]
vulgarly adverb
ˈ vulgar ˌ fraction noun [ C ] ( ALSO common fraction ) SPECIALIZED
a fraction in which there is a horizontal line with one number above it and one
number below it
Compare improper fraction ; proper fraction
vulnerable , adjective
able to be easily physically, emotionally, or mentally hurt, influenced or attacked
I felt very vulnerable, standing there without any clothes on.
It is on economic policy that the government is most vulnerable.
Tourists are more vulnerable to attack, because they do not know which areas of
the city to avoid.
vulnerability , noun [ U ]
vulture noun [ C ]
1. a large bird with almost no feathers on its head or neck, that eats the flesh of
dead animals
2. DISAPPROVING a person or organization that is eager to win an advantage from
other people's difficulties or problems
When a company is in crisis like this, the vultures are always hovering.
vulva noun [ C ]
the parts of the female sex organs which are outside the body, between the legs
vying
PRESENT PARTICIPLE OF vie
W noun LETTER
1. ( ALSO w ) [ C ] the 23rd letter of the English alphabet
W noun ELECTRICITY
2. WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR watt
W noun [ U ] , adjective WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR
1. west
W Africa
2. western
W noun LETTER
1. ( ALSO w ) [ C ] the 23rd letter of the English alphabet
W noun ELECTRICITY
2. WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR watt
W noun [ U ] , adjective WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR
1. west
W Africa
2. western
wacko noun [ C ] MAINLY US INFORMAL
a person whose behaviour is strange and different from that of most people; an
eccentric
wacky adjective INFORMAL
unusual in a pleasing and exciting or silly way
He decided to become a clown to join the wacky world of the circus.
wackiness noun [ U ]
wad noun [ C ]
a number of especially flat and/or small objects pressed tightly together
a wad of banknotes
a wad of gum
She used a wad (= a mass) of tissues to wipe away the blood.
wadding noun [ U ]
any soft material used for filling a space, especially in order to protect something
or to give something shape
The chandelier arrived in a big box, tightly packed around in wadding.
waddle verb [ I usually + adv/prep ]
(usually of a person or animal with short legs and a fat body) to walk with short
steps, swinging the body from one side to the other
waddle noun [ C ]
waddy noun [ C ] AUSTRALIAN
a heavy stick
wade verb
1. [ I usually + adverb or preposition T ] to walk through water with difficulty
because of the pressure of the water against your legs
The river was full but we managed to wade across .
We waded a shallow river.
2. [ I ] US FOR paddle (WALK)
wade in phrasal verb
to start to do or say something in a forceful way, often without thinking about it
carefully
Even when she knows nothing about it, she wades in with her opinion.
When the crowd started throwing stones, the police waded in with tear gas.
wade into sth phrasal verb
to become involved in a difficult situation, often without thinking about it carefully
wade through sth phrasal verb INFORMAL
to spend a lot of time and effort doing something boring or difficult, especially
reading a lot of information
We had to wade through pages of legal jargon before we could sign the contract.
wader noun BIRD
1. [ C ] a bird with long legs and a long neck, that lives near water and eats fish
wader noun BOOTS
2. waders
rubber boots that cover the whole leg to keep a person dry in water
The fishermen put on their waders.
wader noun BIRD
1. [ C ] a bird with long legs and a long neck, that lives near water and eats fish
wader noun BOOTS
2. waders
rubber boots that cover the whole leg to keep a person dry in water
The fishermen put on their waders.
wadge noun [ C ] UK INFORMAL
a wodge
wadi noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a valley which has a river that is usually dry except when it has rained, common
in desert areas of North Africa and Southwest Asia
ˈ wading ˌ pool noun [ C ]
US FOR paddling pool
wafer noun [ C ]
1. a very thin dry biscuit which is often sweet
2. SPECIALIZED a very thin round piece of dry bread which the priest gives to people
to eat during Holy Communion
ˌ wafer ˈ biscuit noun [ C ]
a light sweet biscuit slightly thicker than a wafer with a creamy filling
wafer-thin adjective
extremely thin
The rooms were divided only by a wafer-thin partition.
waffle verb [ I ] DISAPPROVING
to talk or write a lot without giving any useful information or any clear answers
If you don't know the answer, it's no good just waffling (on) for pages and pages.
waffle noun CAKE
1. [ C ] a thin light cake, the surface of which is formed into a pattern of raised
squares, eaten especially in the US and Canada
waffle noun TALK
2. [ U ] DISAPPROVING talk or writing that uses a lot of words but does not give any
useful information
"What did he say?" "Oh, it was a load of waffle - nothing important at all."
waft verb [ I or T usually + adv/prep ] LITERARY
to (cause to) move gently through the air
A gentle breeze wafted the scent of roses in through the open window.
The sound of a flute wafted down the stairs.
waft noun [ C ] LITERARY
a smell or smoke which moves through the air
Caroline caught the heady waft of the other woman's perfume.
A waft of smoke engulfed her.
waft verb [ I or T usually + adv/prep ] LITERARY
to (cause to) move gently through the air
A gentle breeze wafted the scent of roses in through the open window.
The sound of a flute wafted down the stairs.
waft noun [ C ] LITERARY
a smell or smoke which moves through the air
Caroline caught the heady waft of the other woman's perfume.
A waft of smoke engulfed her.
wag verb [ I or T ]
(especially of a tail or finger) to move from side to side or up and down, especially
quickly and repeatedly, or to cause this to happen
The little dog's tail wagged in delight.
He wagged his finger sternly at the two boys.
wag noun MOVE
1. [ C usually singular ] (especially of a tail or finger) a movement from side to
side or up and down
With a single wag of her finger she managed to convey her total disapproval.
wag noun PERSON
2. [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL a humorous person who likes to make jokes
3. a WAG
waggish adjective OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
saying humorous things
WAG , ALSO wag noun [ C usually plural ]
INFORMAL ABBREVIATION FOR wife and girlfriend: a woman who is a wife or girlfriend,
especially of a football player
wage noun [ S ] ( ALSO wages [ plural ] )
a fixed amount of money that is paid, usually every week, to an employee,
especially one who does work that needs physical skills or strength, rather than a job
needing a college education
a very low/high wage
an hourly/daily/weekly/annual wage
He gets/earns/is paid a good wage, because he works for a fair employer.
The smaller shops pay very low wages.
Compare income ; salary
wage verb [ T ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL
to fight a war or organize a series of activities in order to achieve something
Surely the President needs Congress' permission to wage war on another
country?
They've been waging a long campaign to change the law.
ˈ wage ˌ earner noun [ C ]
a person who works at a job for money
ˈ wage ˌ earner noun [ C ]
a person who works at a job for money
ˈ wage ˌ freeze noun [ C usually singular ]
when a company or government fixes the amount paid to workers and will not
allow any increases
ˈ wage ˌ packet noun [ C usually singular ] UK ( US paycheck )
the money that you earn, especially when it is given to you in notes and coins in
an envelope
cash a monthly/weekly wage packet
She got £25 in cash in her first wage packet.
wager noun [ C ]
an amount of money that you risk in the hope of winning more, by trying to guess
something uncertain, or the agreement that you make to take this risk; a bet
She put a cash wager of £50 on the biggest horse race of the year.
He tried to eat 50 hard-boiled eggs, for a wager.
wager verb
1. [ I or T ] to risk money by guessing the result of something
[ + two objects ] [ + ( that ) ] I'll wager you £5 that they'll get there first.
2. [ I ] OLD-FASHIONED used to say that you are certain that something is true or
will happen in the future
[ + ( that ) ] I'd wager (that) she's interested in you.
waggle verb [ I or T ]
to (cause to) move quickly up and down or from side to side
One of his party tricks is to waggle his ears .
wagon , UK ALSO waggon noun [ C ]
1. a vehicle with four wheels, usually pulled by horses or oxen , used for
transporting heavy goods, especially in the past
The first white settlers journeyed across America in covered wagons.
See also bandwagon ; station wagon ; Welcome Wagon
2. UK ( US freight car ) a large wheeled container for transporting goods, that is
pulled by a train
a goods wagon
fall off the wagon INFORMAL
to start drinking alcohol, after a period when you have drunk none
When her husband died, she fell off the wagon.
on the wagon INFORMAL
If you are on the wagon, you have decided not to drink any alcohol for a period of
time
He was on the wagon for ten years, when he was living in Connecticut.
wagon-lit noun [ C ] UK
a sleeping car
wagon-lit noun [ C ] UK
a sleeping car
ˈ wagon ˌ train noun [ C ]
a long line of wagons pulled by horses or oxen , used by people in the 19th
century who were travelling to the western US with their possessions in order to live
there
waif noun [ C ] LITERARY
a child or animal without a home or enough food and care, usually thin and dirty
in appearance
waifs and strays UK
people with no homes
Her house is always full of waifs and strays.
waif-like adjective
very thin and delicate in appearance
waif-like supermodels
wail verb
1. [ I or T ] MAINLY DISAPPROVING to make a long, high cry, usually because of pain
or sadness
The women gathered around the coffin and began to wail, as was the custom in
the region.
[ + speech ] "My finger hurts, " wailed the child.
2. [ I ] INFORMAL to complain loudly or strongly
[ + that ] Business people wailed that their trade would be ruined.
wail noun [ C ]
a long, high, loud cry, especially because of something unpleasant
a wail of anguish
the wail of the police sirens
waist noun [ C ]
waist
1. the part of the body above and slightly narrower than the hips
a small/narrow/tiny/large/thick waist
These trousers are a bit tight around my waist.
2. the part of a piece of clothing that goes around or covers the area between the
hips and the ribs
The skirt had an elasticated waist.
waistband noun [ C ]
a strip of material that forms the waist of a pair of trousers or a skirt
He had a gun tucked into the waistband of his trousers.
See picture clothes 6 (parts of)
waistband noun [ C ]
a strip of material that forms the waist of a pair of trousers or a skirt
He had a gun tucked into the waistband of his trousers.
See picture clothes 6 (parts of)
waistcoat , noun [ C ] UK ( US vest )
a piece of clothing that covers the upper body but not the arms and usually has
buttons down the front, worn over a shirt
waisted adjective
(of a piece of clothing) narrow at the waist
This particular jacket is rather waisted.
-waisted suffix
used with adjectives to describe the type of waist that a person or piece of
clothing has
a slim-waisted boy
a high -waisted pair of trousers
waistline noun [ C ]
an imaginary line going round the narrowest part of your waist
a bulging/expanding waistline
She started jogging twice a week to try to reduce her waistline.
ˈ waist ˌ pack noun [ C ]
US FOR bumbag
wait verb [ I ]
1. to allow time to go by, especially while staying in one place without doing very
much, until someone comes, until something that you are expecting happens or until
you can do something
I waited for her in the corridor, while she went in to see the doctor.
The dentist kept me waiting for ages.
[ + to infinitive ] There were a lot of people waiting to use the telephone.
2. to be done or to happen at a later time
The meeting will have to wait until tomorrow, because I'm too busy now.
The paperwork can't wait until tomorrow (= is urgent and must be done now) .
3. No Waiting UK ( US No Standing )
used on signs to mean vehicles are not allowed to park, even for short periods of
time
The sign by the side of the road said 'No Waiting'.
can't wait ( ALSO can hardly wait )
to be very excited about something and eager to do or experience it
I can't wait to see you.
wait your turn
to wait until it is really your turn to do or get something
If people were more polite, they would wait their turn.
wait a minute/moment/second
said in order to interrupt someone, or to get their attention or when you have
suddenly thought of something important
Now, wait a moment - I don't agree with that.
Wait a minute - I've just had an idea.
wait and see
to wait to discover what will happen
No decision will be made until next year, so you'll just have to wait and see.
wait at table(s) UK ( US wait on table(s) )
to serve meals to people in a restaurant, as your job
wait for it UK INFORMAL
1. to not start until the correct moment
Wait for it! I haven't said 'go' yet.
2. You say 'wait for it' to show that you are about to say something surprising,
funny or difficult to believe
The new soap opera will be screened, wait for it, five times each day.
wait in the wings
If someone or something is waiting in the wings, they are not yet active or
important, but are ready or likely to be so soon
The team has several talented young players waiting in the wings.
wait till/until ...
said when you are excited about seeing another person's reaction to something
special or unusual
Wait till you see what Rachel's wearing!
Wait till he hears the news.
(just) you wait
used as a way of threatening someone
Just you wait, Maria, till I get my hands on you!
wait around phrasal verb ( UK ALSO wait about )
to stay in a place and do nothing while you wait for someone to arrive or
something to happen
We spent the whole day waiting around for something exciting to happen, but
nothing did.
wait behind phrasal verb
to stay in a place after all the other people have left
The teacher made us wait behind after class.
wait for sb/sth phrasal verb
If someone is waiting for someone or something, they are expecting them and
prepared to deal with them
When the thieves left the building, the police were waiting for them.
wait for sb phrasal verb
If something is waiting for you, it has been left or prepared for you to collect, use,
enjoy or deal with when you arrive
An envelope was waiting for me when I got home.
Uma had a cup of tea waiting for me, along with a plate of biscuits.
wait sth for sb phrasal verb US
to delay serving a meal until someone arrives
Don't wait dinner for me - I'll be home late.
wait in phrasal verb UK
to stay at home because you are expecting someone or something to arrive, or
someone to telephone you
I waited in for the plumber all morning, but he didn't turn up.
wait on sb/sth phrasal verb MAINLY US
to serve food and drink, especially to customers in a restaurant
The staff who waited on us at dinner were excellent.
She waited on tables (= served meals as a job) to earn some extra money.
wait on sb phrasal verb
to do everything for someone so that they do not have to do anything for
themselves
While she was pregnant, her husband waited on her hand and foot (= did
everything for her) .
wait on sth phrasal verb FORMAL
to wait until you know the result of an activity before doing or deciding something
The lawyers are waiting on the jury's verdict.
wait sth out phrasal verb [ M ] US
to wait until something unpleasant has ended
I'd rather wait out the storm than drive home immediately.
wait up phrasal verb
to not go to bed at night because you are expecting someone to arrive
I'll be home after midnight, so don't wait up for me.
wait noun [ S ]
when you stay in one place until someone comes, or something happens, or until
you can do something
We had a three-hour wait before we could see the doctor.
The long wait for the doctor/ to see the doctor really made me anxious.
lie in wait
to hide, ready to attack
The gunmen were lying in wait when Mr Predit came out of the hotel.
waiter noun [ C ]
a man whose job is to bring the food to customers at their tables in a restaurant
waiter noun [ C ]
a man whose job is to bring the food to customers at their tables in a restaurant
ˈ waiting ˌ game noun [ S ]
when you delay taking any action, so that you can watch how a situation develops
and see what it is best for you to do
In a contest like this, the stronger side can afford to play a waiting game.
ˈ waiting ˌ list noun [ C usually singular ]
a list of people who have asked for something which is not immediately available
but which they will or might be able to receive in the future
The hospital has a 2-year waiting list for minor operations.
I'm afraid the course is full, but I can put you on the waiting list, in case someone
else cancels.
ˈ waiting ˌ room noun [ C ]
a room in a place where people can sit and rest while waiting, as in a railway
station or a doctor's office
See picture travel (rail)
waitress noun [ C ]
a woman whose job is to bring the food to customers at their tables in a
restaurant
waive verb [ T ] FORMAL
to not demand something you have a right to, or not cause a rule to be obeyed
The bank manager waived the charge (= said we didn't have to pay) , as we were
old and valued customers.
If the government waives (= removes) the time limit, many more applications will
come in.
He persuaded the delegates to waive (= give up) their objections.
waiver noun [ C ]
an agreement that you do not have to pay or obey something
We had to sign a waiver, giving up any rights to the land in the future.
wake verb [ I or T ] ( ALSO wake up ) US ALSO
to (cause someone to) become awake and conscious after sleeping
Did you wake at all during the night?
Please wake me early tomorrow.
I woke up with a headache.
Jane's hand on my shoulder woke me out of/from a bad dream.
Wake up!
something you say to tell someone to listen or to become involved when they
have not been listening or paying attention
Wake up, Daniel! It's your turn.
wake up and smell the coffee INFORMAL
used to tell someone that they are wrong about a particular situation and that
they must realize what is really happening
wake (sb) up phrasal verb [ M ] STOP SLEEPING
wake (sb) up
1. to (cause to) become conscious after sleeping
Come on, wake up - breakfast is ready.
He woke himself up with his own snoring!
wake (sb) up phrasal verb [ M ] REACT
2. to start to react to a situation after a period in which you have done very little,
or to make someone start to react to a situation
Companies need to wake up and take notice of the public's increasing concern
with the environment.
wake up to sth phrasal verb
to start to understand that a situation or problem exists
Governments are finally waking up to the fact that the environment should be
cleaned up.
wake noun [ C ] WATER
1. the waves that a moving ship or object leaves behind
The wake spread out in a v-shape behind the ship.
wake noun [ C ] FUNERAL
2. when the family and friends of a dead person meet in order to look at the dead
body the night before it is buried, or when they meet after a dead person has been
buried to drink and talk about the person's life
in the wake of sth
If something happens in the wake of something else, it happens after and often
because of it
Airport security was extra tight in the wake of yesterday's bomb attacks.
leave sth in your wake
to go somewhere new, leaving problems, confusion, etc. behind you, that you
have caused
The soldiers rampaged through the town centre, leaving chaos in their wake.
wake verb [ I or T ] ( ALSO wake up ) US ALSO
to (cause someone to) become awake and conscious after sleeping
Did you wake at all during the night?
Please wake me early tomorrow.
I woke up with a headache.
Jane's hand on my shoulder woke me out of/from a bad dream.
Wake up!
something you say to tell someone to listen or to become involved when they
have not been listening or paying attention
Wake up, Daniel! It's your turn.
wake up and smell the coffee INFORMAL
used to tell someone that they are wrong about a particular situation and that
they must realize what is really happening
wake (sb) up phrasal verb [ M ] STOP SLEEPING
wake (sb) up
1. to (cause to) become conscious after sleeping
Come on, wake up - breakfast is ready.
He woke himself up with his own snoring!
wake (sb) up phrasal verb [ M ] REACT
2. to start to react to a situation after a period in which you have done very little,
or to make someone start to react to a situation
Companies need to wake up and take notice of the public's increasing concern
with the environment.
wake up to sth phrasal verb
to start to understand that a situation or problem exists
Governments are finally waking up to the fact that the environment should be
cleaned up.
wake noun [ C ] WATER
1. the waves that a moving ship or object leaves behind
The wake spread out in a v-shape behind the ship.
wake noun [ C ] FUNERAL
2. when the family and friends of a dead person meet in order to look at the dead
body the night before it is buried, or when they meet after a dead person has been
buried to drink and talk about the person's life
in the wake of sth
If something happens in the wake of something else, it happens after and often
because of it
Airport security was extra tight in the wake of yesterday's bomb attacks.
leave sth in your wake
to go somewhere new, leaving problems, confusion, etc. behind you, that you
have caused
The soldiers rampaged through the town centre, leaving chaos in their wake.
wakeful adjective FORMAL
not able to sleep, or used to describe a period of time when you are not able to
sleep
We spent a wakeful night worrying about where he was.
She lay there wakeful the whole night.
wakefulness noun [ U ]
waken verb [ I or T ] FORMAL
to (cause to) wake from sleep
I shook him but he didn't waken.
Waken me at 7, would you?
wake-up call noun [ C ]
1. If something that happens is a wake-up call, it should make you realise that
you need to take action to change a situation.
The poor turnout for the election will hopefully be a wake-up call to the
government.
2. a telephone call that you arrange to be made, for example in a hotel, to wake
you up at a certain time
wakey wakey exclamation HUMOROUS
said to someone in order to wake them up from sleep
Gloria knocked on the door and shouted "Wakey wakey!"
waking noun [ U ]
when you are awake
For a moment, between waking and sleeping, he couldn't understand where he
was.
waking adjective [ before noun ]
describes a period of time or an experience during which you are awake
Children are in school for 15 per cent of their waking hours/life between birth
and the age of 16.
She seems to spend every waking moment/minute/hour (= all her available
time) at the piano.
Wales noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
waking noun [ U ]
when you are awake
For a moment, between waking and sleeping, he couldn't understand where he
was.
waking adjective [ before noun ]
describes a period of time or an experience during which you are awake
Children are in school for 15 per cent of their waking hours/life between birth
and the age of 16.
She seems to spend every waking moment/minute/hour (= all her available
time) at the piano.
Wales noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
walk verb MOVE ON FOOT
1. [ I or T ] to move along by putting one foot in front of the other, allowing each
foot to touch the ground before lifting the next
I walked home.
A cat was walking along the top of the fence.
He walks two kilometres to work every morning.
See also jaywalk ; sleepwalk
2. [ T ] To walk someone to a particular place is to walk with them until they have
reached it, usually because you are being friendly or polite, wish to protect them from
danger, or to show them the way
He offered to walk her home/ to the station.
3. [ T ] to take an animal, especially a dog, for a walk
She walks the dog for an hour every afternoon.
4. a walking disaster/encyclopedia, etc.
someone who seems to be a human form of disaster/encyclopedia, etc
You've broken another pair of glasses? - Oh, you're a walking disaster!
walk verb DO EASILY
5. [ T ] UK INFORMAL to pass or win something, such as an examination or game,
easily
She'll walk the interview - the job is practically hers already.
walk all over sb
to treat someone very badly or defeat them very easily
If you don't want to work at the weekend, say so - don't let the boss walk all over
you.
walk it INFORMAL
to win or succeed easily
The team should walk it on Saturday.
walk on air
to feel extremely excited or happy
After the delivery of her baby, she was walking on air.
walk on eggs/eggshells
If you are walking on eggs/eggshells, you are being very careful not to offend
someone or do anything wrong
When my mother is staying at our house, I feel like I'm walking on eggshells.
walk right into sth
If you walk right into something, you are caught or tricked by it because you did
not know what was happening
We set a trap and they walked right into it.
walk away phrasal verb DIFFICULT SITUATION
1. DISAPPROVING to stop being involved in a situation because it is difficult to deal
with or does not give you any advantages
You can't just walk away from a marriage at the first sign of a problem.
walk away phrasal verb ACCIDENT
2. to escape an accident without being badly hurt
She overturned the car, but walked away from it without a scratch .
walk away with sth phrasal verb
to win a prize or competition very easily
He walked away with all three gold medals.
walk in on sb phrasal verb
to go into a room and see what someone is doing, when they did not want to be
seen
She walked in on me when I was getting undressed.
walk into sth phrasal verb
to get a job very easily
She walked straight into a well-paid job after leaving university.
walk off (somewhere) phrasal verb
to leave a place because you are angry or unhappy about something
She threatened to walk off the film set because of the conditions.
He refused to discuss it and just walked off in a huff.
walk sth off phrasal verb [ M ]
to go for a walk in order to get rid of an illness, often a headache , or the feeling
of having eaten too much
I'm going out to walk off this headache.
Let's go to the park and walk off all that lunch.
walk off with sth phrasal verb WIN
1. to win something easily
She walked off with the top prize.
walk off with sth phrasal verb STEAL
2. to steal something or take something without asking permission
Who's walked off with my cup?
walk out phrasal verb LEAVE
1. to leave an event such as a meeting or performance because you are angry or
disapprove of something
All the parents walked out ( of the meeting) in protest.
2. to suddenly leave your husband, wife or partner and end your relationship with
them
He walked out on his wife and two kids.
walk out phrasal verb STOP WORK
3. to stop working or leave your job because of a disagreement with your
employer
Workers are threatening to walk out.
See also walkout
walk sb through sth phrasal verb
to slowly and carefully explain something to someone or show someone how to do
something
She walked me through the six-page document.
He'll walk you through the procedure.
walk noun
1. [ C ] a journey that you make by walking, often for enjoyment
He went for/took a walk around the block, to get some air.
They went on a ten-mile walk to raise money for charity.
Every afternoon she takes her Grandad out for a walk.
See also jaywalk ; sleepwalk ; boardwalk ; catwalk ; crosswalk ; sidewalk ;
spacewalk .
2. [ C ] a path or route where people can walk for enjoyment
Do you know any nice walks around here?
3. [ S ] a way of walking
He's got a strange waddling sort of walk.
4. [ S ] walking speed
She slowed the horses to a walk.
5. a short/five-minute/ten-minute, etc. walk
a journey that takes a short time/five minutes/ten minutes, etc. when you walk
The station is only a five minute walk away .
walk of life
When people talk about walk(s) of life they are referring to different types of jobs
and different levels of society
We've got lawyers in this club, and builders and hairdressers - people from all
(different) walks of life.
walkabout noun [ C ] MAINLY UK INFORMAL
an occasion when an important person walks around a public place, meeting and
talking to members of the public
The princess went on a walkabout in the town centre.
go walkabout INFORMAL HUMOROUS
If you say that an object has gone walkabout you mean that it is missing, often
because someone has taken it
My pen was here this morning but it seems to have gone walkabout.
walkaway noun [ C ]
US FOR walkover
walker noun [ C ]
1. a person who walks, especially for exercise or enjoyment
She's a very fast/slow walker.
They've been keen walkers ever since they read about the benefits of exercise.
2. US FOR Zimmer frame
walker noun [ C ]
1. a person who walks, especially for exercise or enjoyment
She's a very fast/slow walker.
They've been keen walkers ever since they read about the benefits of exercise.
2. US FOR Zimmer frame
walkies exclamation , plural noun UK INFORMAL
said to a dog to tell it that it is time for a walk
Walkies, Shem, come on, walkies!
walkie-talkie noun [ C ]
walkie-talkie
a small radio held in the hand which is used for both sending and receiving
messages
The policeman was speaking to HQ on his walkie-talkie.
walk-in adjective [ before noun ] STORAGE
1. describes a storage space that is large enough for a person to enter and walk
around in
a walk-in wardrobe
US a walk-in closet
AUSTRALIAN a walk-in cupboard
walk-in adjective [ before noun ] NOT ARRANGED
2. MAINLY US describes a place that you can go to without having already made an
arrangement
It's a walk-in dental clinic.
walking noun [ U ]
1. the activity of going for a walk, especially for pleasure in the countryside
We're going walking in Wales for a week.
a pair of walking/hiking boots
a walking stick
2. the sport of walking fast over long distances
ˈ walking ˌ frame noun [ C ] UK
Zimmer frame
ˈ walking ˌ papers plural noun
US FOR marching orders
ˈ walking ˌ papers plural noun
US FOR marching orders
Walkman noun [ C ] ( ALSO personal stereo ) TRADEMARK
a small cassette player , sometimes with a radio, with small headphones
walk-on (part) noun [ C ]
A walk-on (part) in a play is a very small part in which the actor is on the stage
for a short time and speaks very few or no words.
walkout noun [ C ]
the act of leaving an official meeting as a group in order to show disapproval, or
of leaving a place of work to start a strike
Senior union workers staged (= had) a walkout this afternoon at the annual
conference over the proposed changes in funding.
See also walk out
walkover noun [ C ]
1. ( US ALSO walkaway ) INFORMAL a game or sports event that is won very easily
by one side or one person
The semi-final should be a walkover for France.
2. the act of winning one stage of a competition without having to compete in it
because the person that you should be playing against is no longer taking part
walk-up noun [ C ] US
a building with several floors and no lift (= a device for going from one floor to
another) or an apartment or office in such a building
walkway noun [ C ]
a passage or path, especially one which is covered or raised above the ground
wall noun
1. [ C ] a vertical structure, often made of stone or brick, that divides or
surrounds something
The walls in this apartment are so thin you can hear just about every word the
neighbours say.
The walls look a bit bare - can't we put some pictures up?
We had to climb over a ten-foot wall to get into the garden.
The Berlin Wall came down in 1989.
2. [ C ] any outer part of a hollow structure in the body
the wall of the womb/stomach
an artery wall
3. [ C ] a mass of people or things formed in such a way that you cannot get
through or past them
The demonstrators formed a solid wall to stop the police from getting past them.
4. [ S ] LITERARY a large, powerful, usually fast moving mass of something
After the rains, the houses were washed away by a wall of mud/water.
5. [ S ] a way of feeling or behaving that completely prevents two groups of
people from communicating with or understanding each other
There is a wall of mistrust between the two groups.
drive sb up the wall
to make someone extremely angry
My flat-mate is driving me up the wall at the moment.
go to the wall
If a company goes to the wall it is destroyed financially
After nine months of massive losses the company finally went to the wall.
off the wall
surprising and unusual
an off-the-wall joke
off-the-wall leisure pursuits
Walls have ears. SAYING
something you say to warn someone that it is not safe to speak at that particular
time because other people might be listening
wall-to-wall
1. (especially of carpets) covering the whole floor
a wall-to-wall carpet
2. continuous or happening very often or everywhere around you
I went away to college thinking it would be wall-to-wall parties and all the
freedom I wanted.
wall verb
wall sth off phrasal verb [ M ]
to build a wall around a place
They've walled off the electric sub-station for safety reasons.
wall sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to fill a space in a wall with brick or stone
We had to wall up an old window.
wallaby noun [ C ]
an animal found in Australia and New Guinea which is like a small kangaroo , and
has strong back legs for jumping with and a long tail
wallaby noun [ C ]
an animal found in Australia and New Guinea which is like a small kangaroo , and
has strong back legs for jumping with and a long tail
wallah , walla noun [ C ] UK INFORMAL
a person who has a particular duty
I made the tea yesterday so it's Mira's turn to be tea wallah this afternoon.
wallboard noun [ U ]
plasterboard
walled adjective
surrounded by a wall
Why not visit the beautiful walled city of York?
wallet noun [ C ]
wallet
1. ( US ALSO billfold ) a small folding case for carrying paper money, credit cards
and other flat objects, used especially by men
He pulled out a big fat wallet stuffed with bank notes.
Compare purse
wallet
2. ( ALSO document wallet ) a large flat case that is made of card and used for
holding documents
wallflower noun [ C ] PLANT
1. a pleasant smelling garden plant that has yellow, orange or brown flowers
which grow in groups
wallflower noun [ C ] SHY PERSON
2. INFORMAL a shy person, especially a girl or woman, who is frightened to involve
herself in social activities and does not attract much interest or attention
Sooner or later someone would take pity on the poor wallflower and ask her to
dance.
ˈ wall ˌ hanging noun [ C ]
a large piece of material or sewing which is hung on a wall as a decoration
wallop verb [ T ] INFORMAL
to hit someone hard, especially with the flat part of the hand or with something
held in the hand, or to defeat someone easily, especially in sports
She walloped him across the back of the head.
"How did your tennis match go last night?" "Oh, I was walloped again."
wallop noun [ C ]
My mother gave me such a wallop when she eventually found me.
wallop verb [ T ] INFORMAL
to hit someone hard, especially with the flat part of the hand or with something
held in the hand, or to defeat someone easily, especially in sports
She walloped him across the back of the head.
"How did your tennis match go last night?" "Oh, I was walloped again."
wallop noun [ C ]
My mother gave me such a wallop when she eventually found me.
walloping adjective [ before noun ]
1. INFORMAL HUMOROUS very big or great
He cut me a walloping (great) slice of cake.
2. US very good
We had a walloping (good) time at Daryl's wedding party.
walloping noun [ S ] INFORMAL
1. when someone is severely punished by being hit
I got such a walloping from my father when he came home.
2. when someone is badly defeated in a competition
We gave the visiting team a real walloping.
wallow verb [ I ]
(especially of particular animals) to lie or roll about slowly in deep wet earth, sand
or water
a hippopotamus wallowing in mud
wallow noun [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL
He likes a good wallow in the bath.
wallow in sth phrasal verb ENJOY
1. to allow yourself to enjoy something completely
My idea of a holiday is to book myself into a five-star hotel and just wallow in the
luxury for a week.
wallow in sth phrasal verb REMAIN UNHAPPY
2. to remain in an unhappy emotional state without trying to get out of it, as if
you are enjoying it or trying to get sympathy from other people
I wish she'd do something to help herself instead of just wallowing in self-pity!
wallpaper noun WALL
1. [ C or U ] a thick, often decorative, paper used for covering the walls and
sometimes ceilings of a room
a roll of wallpaper
We thought we'd put up/hang some wallpaper in the children's bedroom to
make it brighter.
I saw a wallpaper today that would be just right for the bathroom.
We'll need some wallpaper paste and a big brush.
wallpaper noun COMPUTER
2. [ U ] SPECIALIZED a design or image that you choose to appear on the desktop
(= main) screen of your computer
wallpaper verb [ T ]
to put wallpaper on the walls of a room
We've wallpapered the bedrooms.
ˈ Wall ˌ Street noun [ U ]
a street in New York which represents the financial centre of the US
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones rose 55 points following good economic
figures.
wallop verb [ T ] INFORMAL
to hit someone hard, especially with the flat part of the hand or with something
held in the hand, or to defeat someone easily, especially in sports
She walloped him across the back of the head.
"How did your tennis match go last night?" "Oh, I was walloped again."
wallop noun [ C ]
My mother gave me such a wallop when she eventually found me.
walloping adjective [ before noun ]
1. INFORMAL HUMOROUS very big or great
He cut me a walloping (great) slice of cake.
2. US very good
We had a walloping (good) time at Daryl's wedding party.
walloping noun [ S ] INFORMAL
1. when someone is severely punished by being hit
I got such a walloping from my father when he came home.
2. when someone is badly defeated in a competition
We gave the visiting team a real walloping.
wallow verb [ I ]
(especially of particular animals) to lie or roll about slowly in deep wet earth, sand
or water
a hippopotamus wallowing in mud
wallow noun [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL
He likes a good wallow in the bath.
wallow in sth phrasal verb ENJOY
1. to allow yourself to enjoy something completely
My idea of a holiday is to book myself into a five-star hotel and just wallow in the
luxury for a week.
wallow in sth phrasal verb REMAIN UNHAPPY
2. to remain in an unhappy emotional state without trying to get out of it, as if
you are enjoying it or trying to get sympathy from other people
I wish she'd do something to help herself instead of just wallowing in self-pity!
wallpaper noun WALL
1. [ C or U ] a thick, often decorative, paper used for covering the walls and
sometimes ceilings of a room
a roll of wallpaper
We thought we'd put up/hang some wallpaper in the children's bedroom to
make it brighter.
I saw a wallpaper today that would be just right for the bathroom.
We'll need some wallpaper paste and a big brush.
wallpaper noun COMPUTER
2. [ U ] SPECIALIZED a design or image that you choose to appear on the desktop
(= main) screen of your computer
wallpaper verb [ T ]
to put wallpaper on the walls of a room
We've wallpapered the bedrooms.
ˈ Wall ˌ Street noun [ U ]
a street in New York which represents the financial centre of the US
On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones rose 55 points following good economic
figures.
wally noun [ C ] UK INFORMAL
a stupid person
I'll look a right wally in these shorts!
walnut noun [ C or U ]
a nut with a slightly bitter taste and a series of folds in it and a hard shell, or (the
expensive light brown wood from) the tree that produces these nuts
walrus noun [ C ]
a mammal which lives in the sea and on beaches in the Arctic. It is similar to a
seal but larger, with two tusks and long hairs growing near its mouth.
ˌ walrus mous ˈ tache noun [ C ]
a moustache which is long and hangs down at both sides of the mouth
waltz noun [ C ]
a formal dance in which two people holding each other move around a large room,
turning as they go and repeating a movement of three steps, or a piece of music with
three beats in a bar written for this style of dancing
waltz verb WALK
1. [ I usually + adverb or preposition ] INFORMAL to walk somewhere quickly and
confidently, often in a way that annoys other people
You can't just waltz into my bedroom without knocking - it's private!
My idiot wife has gone and waltzed off with my car keys and left me without any
means of transport!
waltz verb DANCE
2. [ I ] to dance a waltz
waltz through sth phrasal verb INFORMAL
to complete something such as a test easily and successfully
He waltzed through the first two rounds of the competition.
wan adjective LITERARY
(of a person's face) more pale than usual and tired-looking
wanly adverb
She smiled wanly (= showing no energy or enthusiasm) .
WAN noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED ABBREVIATION FOR
Wide Area Network: a computer network that connects separate machines over a
wide area, for example in different countries, using telecommunication systems
Compare LAN
wand noun [ C ]
a special thin stick waved by a person who is performing magic tricks
The fairy godmother waved her magic wand over the cabbages and they turned
into horses.
wander verb WALK
1. [ I or T ] to walk around slowly in a relaxed way or without any clear purpose
or direction
We spent the morning wandering around the old part of the city.
She was found several hours later, wandering the streets , lost.
He was here a moment ago but he's wandered off somewhere.
wander verb SUBJECT
2. [ I ] to start talking about a different subject from the one you were originally
discussing
We've wandered off/from the point somewhat.
3. [ I ] If your mind or your thoughts wander, you stop thinking about the subject
that you should be giving your attention to and start thinking about other matters
Halfway through the meeting my mind started to wander.
4. [ I ] If you say that an old person's mind is beginning to wander, you mean
that they are starting to get very confused because of their age
Her mind is beginning to wander and she doesn't always know who I am.
wander noun [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL
While you're in your meeting I can go for/have/take a wander around the city.
wanderer noun [ C ]
Kathy's always been a bit of a wanderer, she never stays anywhere for too long.
wanderings plural noun
time spent travelling around or going from one place or country to another
After all her wanderings she had come back home to stay.
HUMOROUS If you see Alan in/on your wanderings, will you tell him he's wanted in
the office?
wanderlust noun [ U ]
the wish to travel far away and to many different places
In July wanderlust takes over the whole nation.
wanderlust noun [ U ]
the wish to travel far away and to many different places
In July wanderlust takes over the whole nation.
wane verb [ I ]
1. to become weaker in strength or influence
By the late seventies the band's popularity was beginning to wane.
2. FORMAL The moon wanes when it gradually appears less and less round, after
the full moon .
Compare wax
wane noun
on the wane
(of power, popularity, etc.) becoming less strong
There are signs that support for the party is on the wane.
wangle verb [ T ] INFORMAL
to succeed in getting or doing something by persuading someone or by being
clever in some way
I'll be so jealous if you manage to wangle an invitation to his house.
He's only been here two months and already he's managed to wangle his way
into the biggest property company in London.
If I can think of some excuse to wangle my way out of going tonight I will do!
wank verb [ I ] UK OFFENSIVE
to give yourself or someone else sexual pleasure by rubbing the sexual organs
with the hand; masturbate
wank noun [ C usually singular ]
to have a wank
wanker noun [ C ] UK OFFENSIVE
1. a very stupid or unpleasant person, usually a man
They're all a bunch of wankers!
2. less commonly, a person who masturbates
wanky adjective UK OFFENSIVE
very stupid or very poor quality
Dave's got some wanky notion that you're only respectable if you own a piece of
property.
wanna short form NOT STANDARD
'want to' or 'want a'
[ + infinitive without to ] D'you wanna go now?
I wanna hamburger, Mom.
wanna short form NOT STANDARD
'want to' or 'want a'
[ + infinitive without to ] D'you wanna go now?
I wanna hamburger, Mom.
wannabe , wannabee noun [ C ] , adjective INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who is trying to achieve success or fame, usually unsuccessfully
The bar is frequented by wannabe actresses and film directors.
want verb [ T ] WISH
1. to wish for a particular thing or plan of action. 'Want' is not used in polite
requests in British English
I want some chocolate.
She wants a word with you.
He's everything you'd ever want in a man - bright, funny and attractive.
[ + to infinitive ] What do you want to eat?
[ + object + to infinitive ] Do you want me to take you to the station?
[ + object + past participle ] This letter - do you want it sent first class?
[ + object + adjective ] Do you want this pie hot?
[ + object + -ing verb ] I don't want a load of traffic go ing past my house all
night, waking me up.
You wait - by next year she'll be wanting a bigger house!
Compare like
2. to wish or need someone to be present
Am I wanted at the meeting tomorrow?
He is wanted by the police (= The police are searching for him) .
3. want in/out of
INFORMAL to want to start or stop being involved in something
I want out of the whole venture before it's too late.
want verb [ T ] NEED
4. to need something
Do you think this soup wants a bit of salt?
[ + -ing verb ] The wine is in the fridge - it just wants cool ing for a couple of
minutes.
If you ask me that child wants a good slap!
5. want to
used in giving advice to mean that someone should do something
You want to tell him now, before it's too late.
not/never want for anything FORMAL
to have all the basic things you need to lead a satisfactory life
As children we never wanted for anything.
tried and found wanting
tried and discovered to be not effective
This government's policies, said the speaker, have been tried and found wanting.
want noun LACK
1. [ U ] a lack of something
For want of anything better to do I watched television for a while.
If we fail it won't be for want of try ing (= We have tried even if we fail) .
want noun NEED
2. in want of
needing
He appeared tired and in want of a shave.
3. wants
[ plural ] FORMAL needs
Our wants are few.
ˈ want ˌ ad noun [ C ]
US FOR classified ad
wanna short form NOT STANDARD
'want to' or 'want a'
[ + infinitive without to ] D'you wanna go now?
I wanna hamburger, Mom.
wannabe , wannabee noun [ C ] , adjective INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who is trying to achieve success or fame, usually unsuccessfully
The bar is frequented by wannabe actresses and film directors.
want verb [ T ] WISH
1. to wish for a particular thing or plan of action. 'Want' is not used in polite
requests in British English
I want some chocolate.
She wants a word with you.
He's everything you'd ever want in a man - bright, funny and attractive.
[ + to infinitive ] What do you want to eat?
[ + object + to infinitive ] Do you want me to take you to the station?
[ + object + past participle ] This letter - do you want it sent first class?
[ + object + adjective ] Do you want this pie hot?
[ + object + -ing verb ] I don't want a load of traffic go ing past my house all
night, waking me up.
You wait - by next year she'll be wanting a bigger house!
Compare like
2. to wish or need someone to be present
Am I wanted at the meeting tomorrow?
He is wanted by the police (= The police are searching for him) .
3. want in/out of
INFORMAL to want to start or stop being involved in something
I want out of the whole venture before it's too late.
want verb [ T ] NEED
4. to need something
Do you think this soup wants a bit of salt?
[ + -ing verb ] The wine is in the fridge - it just wants cool ing for a couple of
minutes.
If you ask me that child wants a good slap!
5. want to
used in giving advice to mean that someone should do something
You want to tell him now, before it's too late.
not/never want for anything FORMAL
to have all the basic things you need to lead a satisfactory life
As children we never wanted for anything.
tried and found wanting
tried and discovered to be not effective
This government's policies, said the speaker, have been tried and found wanting.
want noun LACK
1. [ U ] a lack of something
For want of anything better to do I watched television for a while.
If we fail it won't be for want of try ing (= We have tried even if we fail) .
want noun NEED
2. in want of
needing
He appeared tired and in want of a shave.
3. wants
[ plural ] FORMAL needs
Our wants are few.
ˈ want ˌ ad noun [ C ]
US FOR classified ad
wanted adjective
1. wished for and loved by other people
She was a much wanted baby.
2. being searched for by the police because of a crime
He's a wanted man.
wanting adjective FORMAL
not having something; lacking
I think she's perhaps a little wanting in charm.
wanton adjective WITHOUT CARE
1. FORMAL (of something bad, such as damage, cruelty , waste) extreme and
showing no care at all
wanton destruction of human life
a wanton disregard for safety
wanton extravagance
wanton adjective SEXUAL
2. OLD USE OR HUMOROUS (of a woman) behaving or appearing in a very sexual way
wantonly adverb
wantonness noun [ U ] OLD USE OR HUMOROUS
WAP noun [ U ]
ABBREVIATION FOR Wireless Applicaton Protocol: a system which allows you to use
the Internet using a type of mobile phone
WAP noun [ U ]
ABBREVIATION FOR Wireless Applicaton Protocol: a system which allows you to use
the Internet using a type of mobile phone
war noun [ C or U ]
1. armed fighting between two or more countries or groups, or a particular
example of this
nuclear war
a war film/grave/hero/poet
If this country goes to (= starts to fight in a) war we will have to face the fact
that many people will die.
Britain and France declared war on Germany in 1939 as a result of the invasion
of Poland.
War broke out between the two countries after a border dispute.
They've been at war for the last five years.
He died in World War 1/the Vietnam war.
2. war of attrition
a war which is fought over a long period and only ends when one side has neither
the soldiers and equipment nor the determination left to continue fighting
3. war of nerves
a situation, often before a competition or battle , in which two opposing sides
attempt to frighten or discourage each other by making threats or by showing how
strong or clever they are
4. any situation in which there is strong competition between opposing sides or a
great fight against something harmful
The past few months have witnessed a price war between leading supermarkets.
The government are to step up their attempt to wage war against/on drugs.
be in the wars UK INFORMAL
to have injuries to many different parts of the body
You've got a cut on your arm as well, you poor thing. You really have been in the
wars!
war clouds are gathering ( ALSO clouds of war are gathering ) LITERARY
If someone says that war clouds are gathering over a particular country, they
mean that a war seems increasingly likely there
It was the 1930s and war clouds were gathering on the horizon in Europe.
warble verb [ I ]
1. (of a bird) to sing pleasantly
2. HUMOROUS to sing, especially in a high voice
Was that you I heard warbling in the bathroom this morning?
warbler noun [ C ]
a small bird that lives in trees and sings
warbler noun [ C ]
a small bird that lives in trees and sings
ˈ war ˌ bride noun [ C ]
a girl or woman who, during a war, marries a member of the armed forces from a
different country
ˈ war ˌ crime noun [ C ]
a crime committed during a war which breaks the accepted international rules of
war
Genocide is a war crime.
ˈ war ˌ criminal noun [ C ]
someone who commits war crimes
He was a Nazi war criminal.
ˈ war ˌ cry noun [ C usually singular ] ( ALSO battle cry )
a phrase or word shouted by people as they start to fight, which is intended to
give them the strength and wish to fight harder
FIGURATIVE The phrase 'burn your bra!' was the feminists' war cry of the 1970s.
ward noun [ C ] HOSPITAL/PRISON
1. one of the parts or large rooms into which a hospital is divided, usually with
beds for patients
a geriatric/maternity/psychiatric ward
2. US one of the parts into which a prison is divided
ward noun [ C ] CITY AREA
3. (in many countries) one of the areas into which a city, town or village is
divided, having its own elected political representative or its own organizations for
managing services
ward noun [ C ] CHILD
4. LEGAL a person, especially a child, who is legally put under the protection of a
court of law or a guardian
The girl was made a ward of court to stop her father taking her out of the
country.
ward verb
ward sth off phrasal verb [ M ]
to prevent something unpleasant from harming or coming close to you
In the winter I take vitamin C to ward off colds.
She was given a magic charm to ward off evil spirits.
-ward suffix
towards the stated place or direction
At least we're homeward bound.
-wards suffix
Take a couple of steps backwards/forwards.
-ward suffix
towards the stated place or direction
At least we're homeward bound.
-wards suffix
Take a couple of steps backwards/forwards.
ˈ war ˌ dance noun [ C ]
a formal dance, performed by some tribal people, either before they fight or after
a victory
warden noun [ C ] MANAGER
1. a person who is in charge of (the people in) a particular building
She's the warden of a home for mentally handicapped people.
2. UK the head of a college
He's the warden of Wadham College, Oxford.
3. US the person in charge of a prison
a prison warden
warden noun [ C ] OFFICIAL
4. a person whose job is to make certain that members of the public obey
particular rules
a dog warden
a park warden
a traffic warden
warder noun [ C ] ( FEMALE OLD-FASHIONED ALSO wardress ) UK
a person who is in charge of people in prison
wardrobe noun
1. [ C or U ] a tall cupboard in which you hang your clothes, or all of the clothes
that a person owns
She was showing me her new built-in / UK fitted wardrobes.
I sometimes feel that my summer wardrobe is rather lacking (= I don't have
many clothes for summer) .
2. [ U ] a department in a theatre, film company, etc. that is in charge of the
clothes that the actors wear on stage, making certain that they are clean, repairing
them and sometimes making them
He's in charge of wardrobe at the local amateur theatre.
-ware suffix
used, often in shops, to refer to objects of the same material or type, especially
things used in cooking and serving food
tableware
the kitchenware department
warehouse noun [ C ] UK ( US storehouse )
a large building for storing things before they are sold, used or sent out to shops,
or a large shop selling a large number of a particular product at a cheap rate
The goods have been sitting in a warehouse for months because a strike has
prevented distribution.
We bought both sofas from a big furniture warehouse that's just off the
motorway.
warehouse noun [ C ] UK ( US storehouse )
a large building for storing things before they are sold, used or sent out to shops,
or a large shop selling a large number of a particular product at a cheap rate
The goods have been sitting in a warehouse for months because a strike has
prevented distribution.
We bought both sofas from a big furniture warehouse that's just off the
motorway.
wares plural noun
1. small products for selling, in a market or on the street but not usually in a shop
Some displayed their wares on stalls, while others had just spread them out on
the pavement.
2. INFORMAL a company's products
The company must do more to promote their wares overseas.
warfare noun [ U ]
the activity of fighting a war, often including the weapons and methods that are
used
guerrilla/naval/nuclear/trench warfare
warfarin noun [ U ] TRADEMARK
a substance which is used to kill rats and is also used in a slightly different form
as a medical treatment in order to prevent blood from clotting (= becoming solid)
ˈ war ˌ game noun [ C ]
a pretend military battle which is performed only for the purpose of training
warhead noun [ C ]
the front part of a bomb or missile that contains explosives
a conventional/nuclear warhead
warhorse noun PERSON
1. [ C ] INFORMAL an old and experienced politician, soldier or athlete , especially
one who is still active
Manchester City football club's old warhorse, still fighting fit at 36, was sent off for
fouling after half an hour.
warhorse noun SHOW
2. [ C usually singular ] OFTEN DISAPPROVING a piece of music, television show, play
or other performed piece of work which has often been performed or shown and is very
famous
I don't understand why a ballet company can't perform fresh new material instead
of just bringing out the same old warhorses year after year.
warlike adjective FORMAL
often involved in and eager to start wars
It has often been said, perhaps unfairly, that they are a warlike nation/people .
warlike adjective FORMAL
often involved in and eager to start wars
It has often been said, perhaps unfairly, that they are a warlike nation/people .
warlord noun [ C ] MAINLY DISAPPROVING
a military leader who controls a country or, more often, an area within a country
warm adjective TEMPERATURE
1. having or producing a comfortably high temperature, although not hot
Are you warm enough or do you want the fire on?
I've got my hands in my pockets to keep them warm.
2. describes clothes and covers made of a material that keeps you warm
I don't have a warm winter coat.
Those gloves look nice and warm.
3. A warm colour is one which is based on or contains a colour such as red, yellow
or orange which suggests warmth.
4. the warm
UK a warm place
It's cold standing out there - come into the warm.
warm adjective FRIENDLY
5. friendly and loving
They're a very warm family.
He has a lovely warm smile.
I'd like to give a warm welcome to our guests this evening.
warm adjective NEAR
6. [ after verb ] INFORMAL (especially in children's games) near to guessing a
correct answer or to discovering a hidden object
You're getting warmer!
warmly adverb
He shook my hand warmly.
You're not dressed warmly enough - put a sweater on.
warmth noun [ U ]
I've put a T-shirt on under my sweater for extra warmth.
warm verb [ I or T ]
to (cause to) become warm (= less cold)
You're so cold - come and warm your hands by the fire.
Your supper's just warming through in the oven.
We can warm (up) the room quite quickly with this electric fire.
warm sth over phrasal verb [ M ] US DISAPPROVING
to use an idea that has been used before or to discuss a subject that has already
been discussed before
Voters are bored with politicians warming over old policies.
warmed-over adjective [ before noun ] US DISAPPROVING
These commercials are just warmed-over imitations of earlier TV ads.
warm to sb phrasal verb
to start to like someone
I wasn't sure about Sarah at first, but I warmed to her after we'd been out
together a few times.
warm to sth phrasal verb
If you warm to an idea, you start to become interested in or enthusiastic about it
Unfortunately, I had to leave just as the speaker was warming to his theme.
warm (sb/sth) up phrasal verb [ M ]
to become warmer or to make someone or something warmer
The house soon warms up with the heating on.
I'll just warm up the engine while you're getting your coats on.
warm (sb) up phrasal verb [ M ]
to entertain people while they are waiting for a performance to start, for example
by telling jokes
He's got a job warming up for TV studio audiences.
He was warming the audience up with his world-famous jokes.
warm sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to heat food that has already been cooked
I might just warm up the leftovers from yesterday's meal in the microwave.
warm up phrasal verb EVENT
1. INFORMAL If an event warms up, it starts to become more interesting, enjoyable
or exciting
The party was only just starting to warm up as I left.
warm up phrasal verb EXERCISE
2. to prepare yourself for a physical activity by doing some gentle exercises and
stretches
If you don't warm up before taking exercise, you risk injuring yourself.
warm-blooded adjective
having a body temperature which stays the same and does not change with the
temperature of the environment
Birds and mammals are warm-blooded.
Compare cold-blooded
warm-blooded adjective
having a body temperature which stays the same and does not change with the
temperature of the environment
Birds and mammals are warm-blooded.
Compare cold-blooded
ˈ war me ˌ morial noun [ C ]
a large structure, made especially of stone, which is built in honour of those
people who died in a particular war
warm-hearted adjective
kind and loving
She's a good warm-hearted woman.
warming adjective APPROVING
describes a type of food or drink that makes you feel warm
Have a nice warming bowl of soup.
warmonger noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING
a politician or other leader who is often encouraging a country to go to war
warmongering noun [ U ]
The president was accused of warmongering.
warm-up noun [ C ]
something that you do to prepare yourself for an activity, especially gentle
exercises before a physical activity
A warm-up is important before a run so as not to strain any muscles.
Let's do a few warm-up exercises.
warn verb [ I or T ]
to make someone realise a possible danger or problem, especially one in the
future
[ + object + to infinitive ] We were warned not to eat the fish which might give
us a slight stomach upset.
[ + object + ( that ) ] Have you warned them (that) there will be an extra person
for dinner?
I was warned against/off go ing to the east coast because it was so full of
tourists.
There were signs warning of fog as soon as we got onto the motorway.
This particular curry is extremely hot - be warned!
Put that ball down and come over here, Laura - I'm warning you (= I will punish
you if you do not) !
warning noun [ C or U ]
1. something that makes you understand there is a possible danger or problem,
especially one in the future
Completely without warning he turned up on my doorstep with all four children!
There's a warning on the cigarette packet that says 'Tobacco seriously damages
health'.
I'm not surprised you feel ill - let it be a warning to you!
Just a word of warning - restaurants in this area can be very expensive.
FORMAL The government have today issued a warning about the dangers of
sunbathing.
They can't dismiss you just like that - they have to give you a written warning
first.
The police fired warning shots but the protesters took no notice.
2. warning sign
a physical condition that shows the presence of a disease
The warning signs of the illness are respiratory problems and dizziness.
hear warning bells ( ALSO warning bells start to ring/sound )
used to describe a situation when people see signs that something bad has
started or is going to happen
For me, the warning bells started to ring when she stopped eating properly and
lost all that weight.
warning noun [ C or U ]
1. something that makes you understand there is a possible danger or problem,
especially one in the future
Completely without warning he turned up on my doorstep with all four children!
There's a warning on the cigarette packet that says 'Tobacco seriously damages
health'.
I'm not surprised you feel ill - let it be a warning to you!
Just a word of warning - restaurants in this area can be very expensive.
FORMAL The government have today issued a warning about the dangers of
sunbathing.
They can't dismiss you just like that - they have to give you a written warning
first.
The police fired warning shots but the protesters took no notice.
2. warning sign
a physical condition that shows the presence of a disease
The warning signs of the illness are respiratory problems and dizziness.
hear warning bells ( ALSO warning bells start to ring/sound )
used to describe a situation when people see signs that something bad has
started or is going to happen
For me, the warning bells started to ring when she stopped eating properly and
lost all that weight.
warp verb BEND
1. [ I or T ] (especially of wood) to become damaged by bending or twisting,
usually as a result of the presence of water or heat, or (of water or heat) to cause this
to happen
Left in the garage where it was damp, the wooden frame had warped.
If I put the shelves near the radiator, the heat might warp them.
warp verb STRANGE
2. [ T ] to make a person or their behaviour strange, in an unpleasant or harmful
way
Prison warps people. Had it warped Kelley enough that he would kill a stranger?
warp noun
the warp SPECIALIZED
the threads that go along the length of a piece of cloth or a loom (= a device for
weaving)
Compare the weft
ˈ war ˌ paint noun [ U ]
1. a paint used by some tribal people to decorate the face and body before
fighting
2. HUMOROUS make-up
warpath noun INFORMAL MAINLY HUMOROUS
on the warpath
angry and likely to argue or punish
If there was one thing she couldn't face in the morning it was her mother on the
warpath.
warped adjective STRANGE
1. DISAPPROVING OR HUMOROUS strange and unpleasant
I suppose I shouldn't be laughing about death - perhaps I've got a warped
mind/sense of humour !
warped adjective BENT
2. bent because of damage by heat or water
Have you noticed how warped these shelves are?
warrant verb MAKE NECESSARY
1. [ T ] to make a particular activity necessary
Obviously what she did was wrong, but I don't think it warranted quite such
severe punishment.
It's a relatively simple task that really doesn't warrant a great deal of time be ing
spent on it.
See also unwarranted
warrant verb PROMISE
2. [ I or T ] OLD-FASHIONED to say that you are certain about something
warrant noun DOCUMENT
1. [ C ] an official document, signed by a judge or other person in authority,
which gives the police permission to search someone's home, arrest a person or take
some other action
a search warrant
Judge La Riva had issued an arrest warrant/a warrant for his arrest.
warrant noun REASON
2. [ U ] OLD-FASHIONED a reason for doing something
There's no warrant for that sort of behaviour!
warrant verb MAKE NECESSARY
1. [ T ] to make a particular activity necessary
Obviously what she did was wrong, but I don't think it warranted quite such
severe punishment.
It's a relatively simple task that really doesn't warrant a great deal of time be ing
spent on it.
See also unwarranted
warrant verb PROMISE
2. [ I or T ] OLD-FASHIONED to say that you are certain about something
warrant noun DOCUMENT
1. [ C ] an official document, signed by a judge or other person in authority,
which gives the police permission to search someone's home, arrest a person or take
some other action
a search warrant
Judge La Riva had issued an arrest warrant/a warrant for his arrest.
warrant noun REASON
2. [ U ] OLD-FASHIONED a reason for doing something
There's no warrant for that sort of behaviour!
ˈ warrant ˌ officer noun [ C ]
a rank in the armed forces, between a commissioned officer and an NCO
Warrant Officer First Class
warranty noun [ C ]
a written promise from a company to repair or replace a product that develops a
fault within a fixed period of time, or to do a piece of work again if it is not satisfactory;
a guarantee
The warranty covers the car mechanically for a year, with unlimited mileage.
warren noun [ C ]
1. ( ALSO rabbit warren ) a series of connecting underground passages and holes
in which rabbits live
2. MAINLY DISAPPROVING a very crowded and confusing building or part of a city in
which it is easy to get lost
They live on a great concrete warren of a housing estate.
warring adjective [ before noun ]
describes countries or groups of people that are at war with each other or who are
arguing violently with each other
The Labour Party, he said, had disintegrated into warring factions .
warrior noun [ C ]
a soldier, usually one who has both experience and skill in fighting, especially in
the past
a Samurai warrior
a warrior king/nation
warship noun [ C ]
warship
a ship supplied with guns, for use in war
wart noun [ C ]
a small hard lump (= raised area) which grows on the skin, often on the face and
hands
warts and all INFORMAL
A warts and all description or representation of a person is one that includes all
the bad qualities in that person's character and makes no attempt to hide them
He tried to paint the president as he really was, warts and all.
wart noun [ C ]
a small hard lump (= raised area) which grows on the skin, often on the face and
hands
warts and all INFORMAL
A warts and all description or representation of a person is one that includes all
the bad qualities in that person's character and makes no attempt to hide them
He tried to paint the president as he really was, warts and all.
warthog noun [ C ]
an African wild pig with a large head, tusks and little raised areas on the male's
face that look like warts
wartime noun [ U ]
a period of time during which a war is being fought
In wartime, food is often scarce.
The film is set in wartime England.
Opposite peacetime
war-torn adjective
severely damaged by a long war, especially between different groups from the
same country
It is a long-term task to rebuild the infrastructure of a war-torn country such as
Angola.
warty adjective
having warts
wary adjective
not completely trusting or certain about something or someone
I'm a bit wary of/about giving people my address when I don't know them very
well.
warily adverb
wariness noun [ U ]
ˈ war ˌ zone noun [ C ]
a place where people are fighting in a war
Some people mistakenly believe that Croatia is still a war zone.
was , verb
PAST SIMPLE OF be
wasabi noun [ U ]
Japanese mustard (= spicy sauce)
wasabi noun [ U ]
Japanese mustard (= spicy sauce)
wash verb CLEAN
1. [ T ] to clean something using water
wash your hair/hands
wash the car/clothes/floor
These sheets need washing.
I'll wash the bottle out (= clean its inside) and use it again.
2. [ I ] ( US ALSO wash up ) to clean yourself, or a part of yourself, with water and
usually soap
I'd like to wash before dinner.
3. wash well
If a particular material or piece of clothing washes well, it is not damaged or spoilt
by repeated washing.
wash verb FLOW
4. [ I usually + adverb or preposition ] LITERARY If water washes somewhere, it
flows there, usually repeatedly
She stood on the shore and let the water wash over her tired feet.
5. wash sb/sth up/ashore/overboard
(of the sea) to carry something or someone to or away from a place
Overnight the sea had washed up a lot of rubbish.
More than 400 dead dolphins had been washed ashore.
A Spanish crew member had been washed overboard (= carried off a ship into the
sea by the force of the water) in the storm.
wash (with sb ) INFORMAL
If an excuse or argument won't wash (with someone), they are unlikely to believe
or accept it.
wash your dirty linen in public DISAPPROVING
People who wash their dirty linen in public discuss, or allow to be discussed in
public, matters which should be kept private.
wash your hands of sth
If you wash your hands of something that you were previously responsible for,
you intentionally stop being involved in it or connected with it in any way
She couldn't wait to wash her hands of the whole project.
wash your mouth out
Someone who has used a swear word might be told, humorously, to wash their
mouth out (with soap, soapy water, etc.).
wash sth away phrasal verb [ M ]
If water or rain washes something away, it removes it or carries it away
The blood on the pavement had been washed away by the rain overnight.
wash sth down phrasal verb [ M ] CLEAN
1. to clean a large object or surface with a liquid
He washed the car down with soapy water.
wash sth down phrasal verb [ M ] EAT
2. INFORMAL to eat food or swallow medicine with a drink that helps or improves it
Supper was fresh salmon and vegetables, washed down with a bottle of white
wine.
wash (sth) out phrasal verb [ M ]
If a colour or dirty mark washes out, or if you wash it out, it disappears when you
wash it
Do you think these stains will wash out?
wash sth out phrasal verb [ usually passive ]
If an event or sports competition is washed out, it is prevented from happening or
stopped early because of heavy rain
The men's semi-finals in the tennis were washed out this morning.
See also washout
wash (sth) up phrasal verb [ M ]
wash (sth) up
to clean the plates, pans, and other things that you have used for cooking and
eating
He washed up his mug and put it back on the shelf.
wash up phrasal verb US
to wash your hands, especially before a meal
Go and wash up - your dinner's ready.
wash noun CLEANING
1. [ C usually singular ] when you wash something or a part of your body
Those curtains need a good (= careful) wash.
Erik needed a good wash after playing in the garden.
2. the wash
a. all the clothes, sheets, etc. that are washed together, especially in a washing
machine
Can I put this shirt in (with) the white wash?
"Where's my pink shirt?" "It's in the wash" (= being washed or in a pile of clothes
that is going to be washed) .
b. US FOR washing
3. have a wash
to wash your body or a part of it
I need to have a wash before dinner
4. do a wash
to clean clothes, sheets, etc., usually in a washing machine
Are you doing a wash tonight?
wash noun THIN LAYER
5. [ C ] a thin layer of water or watery paint, especially one which is brushed
lightly over a painting to make the lines softer
a blue wash/ a wash of blue
Just before the paint dries, I give it a light wash.
wash noun EVEN SITUATION
6. [ C usually singular ] US an event or situation in which positive and negative
things balance each other
If pollution controls are enforced here, the factories will move to where they're
allowed to pollute, so it'll be a wash as far as clear air goes.
wash noun FLOW
7. [ S ] LITERARY (the sound made) when the sea moves against land, etc
Outside the flat, she could hear the gentle wash of the waves on the beach.
washable adjective
able to be washed in a washing machine without being damaged
I never buy clothes that aren't machine -washable.
washable adjective
able to be washed in a washing machine without being damaged
I never buy clothes that aren't machine -washable.
washbasin noun [ C ] UK ( US sink )
a bowl that is fixed to the wall in a bathroom or near a toilet, in which you wash
your hands, face, etc. and which has pipes to supply and carry away water
washcloth noun [ C ]
US FOR facecloth
washed-out adjective NOT BRIGHT
1. [ before noun ] describes cloth that has become less bright as a result of being
washed a lot
She was wearing an old washed-out T-shirt and jeans.
washed-out adjective TIRED
2. [ after verb ] feeling or looking very tired
I have to wear a bit of make-up in the winter or I look completely washed-out.
washed-up adjective [ after verb ]
If you are washed-up, the job for which you are trained is finished and you have
no further chances of success in the future
The tragedy of being a dancer is that you're all washed-up by the time you're
thirty-five.
washer noun [ C ] RING
1. a flat ring of metal, rubber or plastic which is put especially between a screw or
bolt and a surface in order to improve the connection between them or between joined
pipes to seal their connection
washer noun [ C ] MACHINE
2. INFORMAL a washing machine
washer-dryer , , noun [ C ]
a large electric machine for washing and drying clothes
washing noun [ U ] ( US ALSO the wash )
1. the act of washing clothes
Doing the washing is such a bore!
2. clothes, sheets, etc. that need to be or have just been washed
I do the washing and then I hang/peg it out in the garden.
ˈ washing ma ˌ chine noun [ C ]
a machine for washing clothes, sheets and other things made of cloth
a front/top-loading washing machine
Could you empty/load the washing machine, please?
See picture in the kitchen
ˈ washing ma ˌ chine noun [ C ]
a machine for washing clothes, sheets and other things made of cloth
a front/top-loading washing machine
Could you empty/load the washing machine, please?
See picture in the kitchen
ˈ washing ˌ powder/ ˌ liquid noun [ C or U ] UK ( US laundry detergent )
a detergent in the form of a powder or liquid which is used for washing clothes
and other things made of cloth
washing-up noun [ U ] UK ( US dishes )
the act of cleaning plates, pans, glasses, knives, forks, etc. after a meal, or the
objects needing to be washed
You do the washing-up and I'll do the drying.
There's an enormous pile of washing-up in the sink.
ˌ washing- ˈ up ˌ liquid noun [ U ] UK ( US dish liquid )
a thick liquid detergent which is added to hot water when washing pans, knives
and forks, etc.
washout , ALSO wash out noun FAILURE
1. [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL a complete failure
The last party was a bit of a washout - hardly anyone turned up.
washout , ALSO wash out noun CANCELLED EVENT
2. [ C ] an event or sports competition that is prevented from happening or
stopped early because of heavy rain
See also wash sth out
washroom , noun [ C ]
US OLD-FASHIONED FOR toilet (= room with a toilet in it)
washstand noun [ C ]
a small table for holding a container of water for washing, used especially in the
past
wasn't short form of
was not
It was you who told me that, wasn't it?
wasp noun [ C ]
wasp
a black and yellow flying insect which can sting you
There's a wasps' nest in that old tree.
a wasp sting
WASP , ALSO Wasp noun [ C ] MAINLY US DISAPPROVING
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (= a white American whose family originally came
from northern Europe, and is therefore part of a group often considered as having the
most influence and the most money in American society)
My mother comes from an old WASP family which has been in this country for 350
years.
WASPy adjective ( ALSO WASPish , ALSO Waspish )
waspish adjective DISAPPROVING
likely to make sharp, slightly cruel remarks; having a slightly angry and
unpleasant manner
She had a waspish tongue which could hurt.
wasp-waisted adjective
(of a piece of clothing) very narrow at the waist
a wasp-waisted jacket
wastage noun [ U ]
1. the amount that is wasted
Water companies have got to cut down on wastage.
2. UK FOR natural wastage
3. UK ( US attrition ) the people who leave an educational or training course
before it has finished
The wastage rates on the degree courses are a cause for concern.
waste noun BAD USE
1. [ S or U ] an unnecessary or wrong use of money, substances, time, energy,
abilities, etc
That meeting achieved absolutely nothing - it was a complete waste of time .
She's been unemployed for two years and it's such a waste of her talents.
My mother couldn't bear waste - she always made us eat everything on our
plates.
2. go to waste
to not be used, eaten, etc
"Go on, finish off this tart, Paul." "Well, it seems a shame to let it go to waste."
waste noun UNWANTED MATTER
3. [ C or U ] unwanted matter or material of any type, often that which is left
after useful substances or parts have been removed
Britain produces 20 million tonnes of household waste each year.
He opposes any kind of nuclear waste being dumped at sea.
Every day, 30 million gallons of untreated human waste (= excrement) flow from
Ciudad Juarez into the Rio Grande.
Oil spills are common, as is the dumping of toxic industrial wastes.
The Japanese recycle more than half of their waste paper .
waste noun EMPTY GROUND
4. waste ground
an area of ground in or near a city which is not built on, used to grow crops, or
used in any way
His body had been dumped in an area of waste ground just outside the city.
See also wasteland
5. wastes
large areas of land that are not used to grow crops and have few living animals or
plants
the Arctic wastes of northern Siberia
waste of space INFORMAL
a person or thing that is not useful or helpful
He's a total waste of space, that man.
waste verb [ T ] USE BADLY
1. to use too much of something or use something badly when there is a limited
amount of it
You waste a lot of water by having a bath instead of a shower.
Come on, let's get started - we've wasted enough time already.
Don't waste your money on me, love, keep it for yourself.
waste verb [ T ] KILL
2. US SLANG to kill someone
not waste words
If someone does not waste words, they talk only about what is important using as
few words as possible
He explained the whole system in about 30 seconds - he doesn't waste words,
does he?
waste your breath
If you waste your breath, you spend time and energy trying to give advice which
is ignored
Honestly, you're wasting your breath - he doesn't want to hear what anyone else
has got to say.
Waste not, want not. SAYING
said to advise someone not to waste anything, because they might need it in the
future
wasted on sb
If you say that something is wasted on someone, you mean that it is too clever or
its quality is too high for them and they will not understand its true value
I'm not going to serve that good coffee to Chris and Melanie - it would be wasted
on them.
waste away phrasal verb
to gradually get thinner and weaker, in a way that is unhealthy
You get thinner every time I see you, Sara - you're wasting away!
wastebasket noun [ C ] US ( UK wastepaper basket )
an open container which stands on the floor inside buildings and is used for
putting rubbish in, especially paper
wastebasket noun [ C ] US ( UK wastepaper basket )
an open container which stands on the floor inside buildings and is used for
putting rubbish in, especially paper
wasted adjective BADLY USED
1. wasted time, money, etc. is time, money, etc. that is not used effectively
because it does not produce the result you wanted
He wasn't in when I got there, so it was a completely wasted journey.
wasted adjective THIN
2. very thin and weak as a result of being ill or having no food
Underneath the hospital blankets I could see the outline of her poor wasted body
.
wasted adjective DRUNK
3. MAINLY US SLANG very drunk or ill from drugs
He was too wasted to drive.
Paula was completely wasted after only one drink.
ˈ waste dis ˌ posal noun [ C ] UK ( US garbage disposal )
an electrical machine connected to a kitchen sink which cuts up food waste so that
it will flow easily through the pipes
wasteful adjective DISAPPROVING
using something in a careless way and causing some of it to be wasted
It's wasteful the way you throw so much food away!
wastefully adverb DISAPPROVING
wasteland noun
1. [ C or U ] an empty area of land, especially in or near a city, which is not not
used to grow crops or built on, or used in any way
The car was dumped in a stretch of wasteland in the south of the city.
2. [ S ] LITERARY DISAPPROVING a place, time or situation containing nothing positive
or productive, or completely without a particular quality or activity
the spiritual wasteland of the 1980s
waste ˈ paper ˌ basket noun [ C ] UK ( US wastebasket )
an open container which stands on the floor inside buildings and is used for
putting rubbish in, especially paper
Most of the letters they receive end up in the wastepaper basket.
See picture office equipment 1
waste ˈ paper ˌ basket noun [ C ] UK ( US wastebasket )
an open container which stands on the floor inside buildings and is used for
putting rubbish in, especially paper
Most of the letters they receive end up in the wastepaper basket.
See picture office equipment 1
ˈ waste ˌ product noun [ C ]
a substance of no value or use which is made during a process in which
something useful is produced
Cadmium is a toxic waste product of the electronics industry.
waster noun [ C ]
1. INFORMAL DISAPPROVING a person or thing who wastes something
He's a time waster.
This project is nothing but a money waster.
2. UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING a person who does nothing positive with their life,
making no use of their abilities or the opportunities that are offered them
There were the usual bunch of wasters hanging round the bar.
ˈ wasting di ˌ sease noun [ C usually singular ]
a disease that causes the sufferer to gradually become very thin and weak
She suffers from a little-known muscle- wasting disease.
wastrel noun [ C ] LITERARY
a person who does nothing positive with their life, making no use of their abilities
or the opportunities that are offered them
watch verb LOOK AT
1. [ I or T ] to look at something for a period of time, especially something that is
changing or moving
I had dinner and watched TV for a couple of hours.
He spent the entire afternoon watching a cricket match.
[ + object + infinitive without to ] I watched him get into a taxi.
I got the feeling I was being watched.
[ + object + -ing verb ] I sit by the window and watch people walk ing past.
[ + question word ] Just watch how he slides that ball in past the goalkeeper.
Bonner watched helplessly as the ball sneaked in at the near post.
She'll pretend that she hasn't seen us - you watch.
2. [ T ] to stay with something or someone such as a child for a short time to
make certain that they are safe
If you want me to watch the kids for a couple of hours while you go out, just let
me know.
Could you watch my bags for me, while I go to the toilet?
watch verb BE CAREFUL
3. [ T ] to be careful of something
I have to watch my weight (= be careful not to become too heavy) now I'm not
doing so much sport.
Watch your language (= Do not use rude words) in front of ladies, young man!
[ + ( that ) ] Watch (that) you don't get glue on your fingers, won't you?
[ + question word ] Watch wh at you're doing with that knife, Jim, it's sharp.
You want to (= You should) watch him - he's a bit of a strange character.
watch your back
to be careful of the people around you, making certain that they do nothing to
harm you
I have to watch my back at work - there are a lot of people who would like my
job.
watch your step
to be very careful about how you behave
He'll have to watch his step if he wants to keep that job of his!
watch it INFORMAL
used to tell someone to be careful
Watch it, you nearly knocked my head off with that plank!
watch paint dry INFORMAL HUMOROUS
used to refer to an activity that you consider extremely boring
"So you don't want to watch the football?" "To be honest I would rather watch
paint dry".
watch the clock DISAPPROVING
to often notice the time and wish that it was later, especially when you are doing
work that you do not like
watch the world go by
to look at people as they go past
I love sitting in outdoor cafes watching the world go by.
watch this space
If someone says watch this space, they mean that there will very soon be an
exciting change in their situation.
watch out phrasal verb
used to warn someone of danger or an accident that seems likely to happen
"Watch out!" he shouted, but it was too late - she had knocked the whole tray of
drinks on the floor.
watch out for sb/sth phrasal verb
to be careful to notice someone or something interesting
Watch out for his latest movie, which comes out next month.
watch over sb phrasal verb
to protect someone and make certain that they are safe
The prince has two bodyguards watching over him every hour of the day.
watch noun SMALL CLOCK
watch
1. [ C ] a small clock which is worn on a strap around the wrist or, sometimes,
connected to a piece of clothing by a chain
My watch seems to have stopped - it says 10:15 but I'm sure it must be later.
He glanced nervously at his watch.
watch noun LOOKING
2. [ S or U ] when you watch or give attention to something or someone,
especially to make certain nothing bad happens
Once your name has been linked with a drug offence, the police keep a close
watch on you.
The soldiers slept at night, except for one who stayed awake on watch/to keep
watch.
3. [ S ] a person or group of soldiers or guards whose duty is to protect a person,
place or thing from danger or attack
4. [ C ] a fixed period of time during which a person or a group of soldiers or
guards has the duty of protecting and warning of danger
a watch out
when you watch carefully and look for someone or something
Keep a watch out for Nicki and Steve - they should be here somewhere.
watchable adjective INFORMAL APPROVING
describes a television programme or film that is entertaining
It's not the most profound series I've ever seen but it's very watchable.
watchable adjective INFORMAL APPROVING
describes a television programme or film that is entertaining
It's not the most profound series I've ever seen but it's very watchable.
watchdog noun [ C ] ORGANIZATION
1. a person or organization responsible for making certain that companies obey
particular standards and do not act illegally
The Countryside Commission was set up as the government's official watchdog on
conservation.
watchdog noun [ C ] DOG
2. US FOR guard dog
-watcher suffix
used with nouns to describe a person who is interested in and enjoys watching a
particular thing
Royal-watchers have once again been speculating on the health of the princess.
watcher noun [ C ]
a person who watches television or films
The new channel is certainly good news for the movie watcher.
See also viewer
watchful adjective
paying careful attention and ready to deal with problems
Under the watchful eye of their mother, the two boys played on the shore.
She keeps a watchful eye on her husband to see that he behaves himself.
watchfully adverb
Slowly and watchfully they walked around the perimeter of the clearing.
watchfulness noun [ U ]
watchman noun [ C ]
a person who is employed to guard a building or several buildings
watchstrap noun [ C ] MAINLY UK ( US watchband )
a strip of leather or other material or a metal chain which fastens a watch onto
your wrist
watchstrap noun [ C ] MAINLY UK ( US watchband )
a strip of leather or other material or a metal chain which fastens a watch onto
your wrist
watchtower noun [ C ]
a tower built especially around the edges of prisons and army camps , the top of
which provides a good position from which to see anyone who is coming close
watchword noun [ C usually singular ]
(a word or phrase which represents) the main ideas or principles directing the way
that someone behaves or the way that something is done
And remember, let caution be your watchword.
water noun
1. [ U ] a clear liquid, without colour or taste, which falls from the sky as rain and
is necessary for animal and plant life
a bottle/drink/glass of water
bottled/mineral/tap water
hot/cold water
Can I have a drop of water in my whiskey, please?
Is the water hot enough for a bath?
The human body is about 50% water.
2. [ U ] an area of water, such as the sea, a lake or a swimming pool
The water's much warmer today - are you coming for a swim?
I like swimming but I don't like getting my head under (= in) water.
Dad, I swam a whole length of the pool under water (= with the whole head and
body below the surface of the water) !
3. [ U ] the level of an area of water
High water this morning at Portsmouth is at 11.17 a.m.
4. waters
a. the area of sea near to and belonging to a particular country
St Lucia depends on its clean coastal waters because fishing and tourism provide
much of its income.
b. the water contained in a particular lake, river or section of sea
In the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, oil rigs attract shoals of fish, and
fishermen too.
c. UK ( US water ) the liquid that surrounds a baby inside a pregnant woman's
womb
At 3 a.m. her waters broke, and the baby was born soon after.
5. the waters OLD USE
water from a spring, especially when used for drinking or swimming in, in order to
improve the health
People used to come to this city to take (= drink and swim in) the waters.
water off a duck's back MAINLY DISAPPROVING
criticisms of or warnings to a particular person that have no effect on that person
I've told him that he's heading for trouble, but he doesn't listen - it's just water
off a duck's back.
water under the bridge
problems that someone has had in the past that they do not worry about because
they happened a long time ago and cannot now be changed
Yes, we did have our disagreements but that's water under the bridge now.
murky/uncharted waters
a situation which is not familiar and which may be dangerous
In the last two chapters of the book, she enters the murky waters of male
sexuality.
After the Wall Street crash, the American economy moved into uncharted
waters.
water verb GIVE WATER
1. [ T ] to pour water on to plants or the soil that they are growing in
I've asked my neighbour to water the plants while I'm away.
2. [ T ] to give an animal water to drink
The horses had been fed and watered.
water verb PRODUCE LIQUID
3. [ I ] When your eyes water, they produce tears but not because you are
unhappy
How do you stop your eyes from watering when you're cutting up onions?
4. [ I ] If your mouth waters, it produces a lot of saliva, usually because you can
see or smell some food that you would like to eat
Ooh, the smell of that bread is making my mouth water!
water sth down phrasal verb [ M ] DRINK
1. to add water to a drink, usually an alcoholic drink, in order to make it less
strong
water sth down phrasal verb [ M ] IDEA
2. to intentionally make an idea or opinion less extreme or forceful, usually so
that other people will accept it
The party has watered down its socialist ideals in order to appeal to the centre
ground.
watered down adjective [ before noun ]
They have returned with a watered down and more acceptable version of the
proposal.
-water suffix
used to form adjectives
freshwater fish
a saltwater lagoon
-water suffix
used to form adjectives
freshwater fish
a saltwater lagoon
ˈ water ˌ bed noun [ C ]
a bed which is filled with water
ˈ water ˌ bill noun [ C ]
a regular charge which is made to people for the use of their local water supply
ˈ water ˌ bird noun [ C ]
any bird that lives near or on water
ˈ water ˌ biscuit noun [ C ]
a thin hard biscuit, which is often eaten with cheese
waterborne adjective
carried by or through water
The disease, causing extreme stomach upsets, is caused by a waterborne
parasite.
ˈ water ˌ bottle noun [ C ]
a container for carrying drinking water on a journey
ˈ water ˌ buffalo noun [ C or U ]
a large Asian animal like a cow with horns that curve backwards, which is often
used for pulling farming tools
ˈ water ˌ butt noun [ C ] UK ( US rain barrel , AUSTRALIAN water tank )
a large container for collecting rain which can then be used to water plants
ˈ water ˌ cannon noun [ U ]
a device which sends out a powerful stream of water and is used in order to
scatter large groups of people
Police used water cannon to break up the demonstration.
ˈ water ˌ closet noun [ C usually singular ]
UK OLD-FASHIONED FOR a WC
ˈ water ˌ closet noun [ C usually singular ]
UK OLD-FASHIONED FOR a WC
watercolour UK , US watercolor noun [ C or U ]
a paint which is mixed with water and used to create pictures, or a picture which
has been done with this type of paint
I prefer painting with watercolours.
some lovely watercolours
water-cooled adjective
If something such as an engine is water-cooled, it is surrounded by water to keep
it at the correct operating temperature.
ˈ water ˌ cooler noun [ C ]
a machine for cooling and providing drinking water, usually in an office or other
public place
See picture in the office
watercourse noun [ C ]
a stream of water such as a river or canal , or the channel along which it flows
watercress noun [ U ]
a plant which grows in water, whose green leaves taste hot and are used as food,
often eaten raw in salads
waterfall noun [ C ]
water, especially from a river or stream, dropping from a higher to a lower point,
sometimes from a great height
ˈ water ˌ feature noun [ C ]
a small area of water or a fountain that someone has in their garden
ˈ water ˌ filter noun [ C ]
a device for removing unwanted substances such as bacteria or harmful chemicals
from drinking water
ˈ water ˌ fountain noun [ C ]
a device, usually in a public place, which supplies water for drinking
ˈ water ˌ fountain noun [ C ]
a device, usually in a public place, which supplies water for drinking
waterfowl noun [ C or U ]
any bird that spends much of its life on or around a river or lake, especially one
which is shot for food or sport
waterfront noun [ C usually singular ]
a part of a town which is next to an area of water such as a river or the sea
She owns a popular tourist restaurant on the town's waterfront.
waterhole noun [ C ]
a small pool of water in a dry area where animals go to drink
ˈ water ˌ ice noun [ C ]
UK OLD-FASHIONED FOR sorbet
ˈ watering ˌ can noun [ C ]
watering can
a container for water with a handle and a long tube used for pouring water onto
garden plants
ˈ watering ˌ hole noun [ C ] HUMOROUS
a pub or bar where people go to drink alcohol
ˈ water ˌ jump noun [ C ]
an area of water with a fence before it, which people or horses jump over in a
competition
ˈ water ˌ lily noun [ C ]
a plant whose large flat leaves and cup-shaped petals float on the surface of lakes
and pools
the waterline noun [ S ] SPECIALIZED
the level that the water reaches on the side of a ship
ˈ water ˌ cooler noun [ C ]
a machine for cooling and providing drinking water, usually in an office or other
public place
See picture in the office
watercourse noun [ C ]
a stream of water such as a river or canal , or the channel along which it flows
watercress noun [ U ]
a plant which grows in water, whose green leaves taste hot and are used as food,
often eaten raw in salads
waterfall noun [ C ]
water, especially from a river or stream, dropping from a higher to a lower point,
sometimes from a great height
ˈ water ˌ feature noun [ C ]
a small area of water or a fountain that someone has in their garden
ˈ water ˌ filter noun [ C ]
a device for removing unwanted substances such as bacteria or harmful chemicals
from drinking water
ˈ water ˌ fountain noun [ C ]
a device, usually in a public place, which supplies water for drinking
waterfowl noun [ C or U ]
any bird that spends much of its life on or around a river or lake, especially one
which is shot for food or sport
waterfront noun [ C usually singular ]
a part of a town which is next to an area of water such as a river or the sea
She owns a popular tourist restaurant on the town's waterfront.
waterhole noun [ C ]
a small pool of water in a dry area where animals go to drink
ˈ water ˌ ice noun [ C ]
UK OLD-FASHIONED FOR sorbet
ˈ water ˌ ice noun [ C ]
UK OLD-FASHIONED FOR sorbet
ˈ watering ˌ can noun [ C ]
watering can
a container for water with a handle and a long tube used for pouring water onto
garden plants
ˈ watering ˌ hole noun [ C ] HUMOROUS
a pub or bar where people go to drink alcohol
ˈ water ˌ jump noun [ C ]
an area of water with a fence before it, which people or horses jump over in a
competition
ˈ water ˌ lily noun [ C ]
a plant whose large flat leaves and cup-shaped petals float on the surface of lakes
and pools
the waterline noun [ S ] SPECIALIZED
the level that the water reaches on the side of a ship
waterlogged adjective
(of land) full of water and almost covered by a layer of it, or (of a boat) full of
water and therefore unable to keep moving or floating
Unfortunately the game was cancelled because of a waterlogged UK pitch / US
field .
ˈ water ˌ main noun [ C usually plural ]
the main underground pipe in a system of pipes supplying water to an area
watermark noun [ C ] PAPER
1. a mark which is made on some types of paper during its production which can
only be seen if it is held against the light
watermark noun [ C ] RIVER/SEA
2. a mark showing the highest or lowest level that a river or the sea reaches
ˈ water ˌ meadow noun [ C ]
a field which floods with water from a river when there is a lot of rain
ˈ water ˌ meadow noun [ C ]
a field which floods with water from a river when there is a lot of rain
watermelon noun [ C or U ]
watermelon
a large round or oval-shaped fruit with dark green skin, sweet watery pink flesh
and a lot of black seeds
watermill noun [ C ]
a mill (= a machine which produces flour) whose power is provided by a large
wheel which is turned by moving water, especially a river
See picture mill
ˈ water ˌ park noun [ C ] MAINLY US
a large area containing several different pools with equipment and activities for
swimmers, which visitors pay to use
ˈ water ˌ pistol noun [ C ] ( US ALSO squirt gun )
a toy gun with which you can send out a stream of water to hit people or things
ˈ water ˌ polo noun [ U ]
a game played in water in which two teams of swimmers try to get the ball into
the other team's goal
waterpower noun [ U ]
power that is obtained from water flowing from one level to a lower level
waterproof adjective
not allowing water to go through
Canvas boots are all right but they're not as waterproof as leather.
waterproof verb [ T ]
to put a special substance on the surface of something which will prevent water
from going through it
waterproof noun [ C ] MAINLY UK
a coat or other piece of clothing which keeps you dry because it does not allow
water in
water-repellent adjective
showerproof
water-repellent adjective
showerproof
watershed noun BIG CHANGE
1. [ S ] an event or period which is important because it represents a big change
in how people do or think about something
The year 1969 was a watershed in her life - she changed her career and changed
her partner.
watershed noun HIGH GROUND
2. [ C ] SPECIALIZED an area of high ground from which water flows down to a river
watershed noun TELEVISION
3. the watershed UK
in Britain, the time in the evening, usually 9 p.m., when television programmes
which are not suitable for children may start to be shown
the waterside noun [ S ]
an area of land near a river, lake or sea
They're building a new sports complex on the waterside.
a waterside café
ˈ water ˌ skiing noun [ U ]
a sport in which you are pulled along the surface of the water by a boat, while
balancing on a pair of skis
ˈ water ˌ softener noun [ C ]
a substance or device that removes chemicals such as calcium from water
water-soluble adjective
A water-soluble substance can dissolve in water
Are these tablets water-soluble?
ˈ water ˌ sports plural noun
sports which take place on or in water
Popular water sports include swimming, surfing and water-skiing.
waterspout noun [ C ] MAINLY US
a tornado (= violently spinning column of air) filled with water which forms over
the sea
waterspout noun [ C ] MAINLY US
a tornado (= violently spinning column of air) filled with water which forms over
the sea
ˈ water sup ˌ ply noun [ C usually singular ]
the water that is provided and treated for a particular area
ˈ water ˌ table noun [ C usually singular ]
the level below the surface of the ground at which you start to find water
ˈ water ˌ taxi noun [ C ]
a small boat on a river or other area of water, which is operated by a person who
you pay to take you where you want to go
watertight adjective NO WATER
1. having no openings to allow water to get in
They're doing some repairs to make the roof more watertight.
watertight adjective NO DOUBTS
2. (of a theory, plan or agreement) formed very carefully in every detail so that
there is no doubt or uncertainty
This book is designed to be provocative rather than a watertight piece of
economic analysis.
ˈ water ˌ tower noun [ C ]
a device to provide water pressure by positioning a large container for water on
top of a tower-like structure
ˈ water ˌ vapour noun [ U ]
water in the form of a gas resulting from heating water or ice
waterway noun [ C ]
a narrow area of water, such as a river or canal , which ships or boats can sail
along
waterwheel noun [ C ]
a large wheel which is turned round by flowing water and used to provide the
power for machinery
See picture mill
waterwings plural noun US ( UK armband )
hollow ring-shaped pieces of plastic filled with air, which children who cannot
swim wear on their arms in water to help them float
waterwings plural noun US ( UK armband )
hollow ring-shaped pieces of plastic filled with air, which children who cannot
swim wear on their arms in water to help them float
waterworks plural noun
1. a system of buildings and pipes in which a public supply of water is stored and
treated and from which it is sent out
2. UK POLITE WORD the parts of the body that deal with the removal of urine
The doctor asked if I'd had any problems with my waterworks.
turn on the waterworks OLD-FASHIONED DISAPPROVING
to start crying, especially too much or in a way that does not seem necessary or
real
You can turn on the waterworks all you like - I'm not going to change my mind!
watery adjective
1. containing or filled with water
watery eyes
a thin, watery fluid
2. DISAPPROVING (of food or drink) containing too much water and therefore weak
in taste
watery soup/coffee
3. pale or weak in colour or strength
The sun shed its thin watery light over the sea.
watery grave LITERARY
death by drowning (= dying because you cannot breathe under water)
It was off the coast of Italy that Shelley went to his watery grave.
watt noun [ C ] ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION W )
the standard measure of electrical power
Do you want 60-watt light bulbs for this room?
wattage noun [ U ]
For lower wattage ovens, heating time must be increased.
wattle and daub noun [ U ]
a mixture of sticks, earth and clay, which is used in some parts of the world as a
building material
The walls of timber-framed houses were often made of wattle and daub.
a wattle-and-daub hut
wave verb [ I or T ] MOVE HAND
1. to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone,
telling them to do something or adding emphasis to an expression
I waved to/at him from the window but he didn't see me.
I was waving my hand madly but he never once looked in my direction.
She was so annoyed she wouldn't even wave us goodbye /wave goodbye to us.
She waves her hands about/around a lot when she's talking.
2. wave sb away/on, etc.
to make a movement with your hand which tells someone to move in a particular
direction
You'll have to wait till the policeman waves this line of traffic on.
You can't just wave me away as if I were a child!
wave verb [ I or T ] MOVE REPEATEDLY
3. to move from side to side, or to make something move like this while holding it
in the hand
The corn waved gently in the summer breeze.
A crowd of football fans ran down the street waving banners.
He seems to think I can wave a magic wand and everything will be all right.
wave verb [ I or T ] CURL HAIR
4. If hair waves, it curls slightly.
If she leaves her hair to dry on its own, it just waves naturally.
wave/say goodbye to sth INFORMAL HUMOROUS
to accept that you will no longer have something you value or that you will not
get something you hoped to receive
Well, if you've argued with senior management you can wave goodbye to any
chances of promotion!
wave sth aside phrasal verb [ M ]
to refuse to consider what someone says
She waved aside all my objections.
wave sb/sth down phrasal verb [ M ]
to make a driver stop their vehicle by waving your arms up and down
If a car comes along, wave it down.
wave sb off phrasal verb [ M ]
to wave to someone as they leave a place in order to say goodbye
We went to the station to wave her off.
wave noun [ C ] WATER
1. a raised line of water which moves across the surface of an area of water,
especially the sea
At night, I listened to the sound of the waves breaking/crashing against the
shore.
wave noun [ C ] HAND MOVEMENT
2. when you raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting
someone, etc
Give Grandpa a wave goodbye, Alice, you won't see him till next week.
wave noun [ C ] ENERGY
3. the pattern in which some types of energy, such as sound, light and heat, are
spread or carried
radio waves
wave noun [ C ] LARGE NUMBER
4. a larger than usual number of events of a similar, often bad, type, happening
within the same period
a crime wave
In the 1970s, the country came close to collapse as it was swept by a wave of
strikes.
5. a new/second, etc. wave of sth
an activity which is happening again or is being repeated after a pause
A new wave of job losses is expected this year.
wave noun [ C ] STRONG FEELING
6. A wave of an emotion or feeling is a sudden strong feeling which gets stronger
as it spreads
A wave of panic swept through the crowd and people started running.
See also brainwave
wave noun [ C ] HAIR CURVES
7. a series of slight curves in a person's hair
Your hair has a natural wave whereas mine's just straight and boring.
See also wavy
make waves INFORMAL
to be very active so that other people notice you, often in a way that intentionally
causes trouble
If a member of the Cabinet started making waves, the prime minister simply got
rid of them.
wave after/upon wave LITERARY
large quantities or groups of something, one after another
Allied planes launched wave after wave of air attacks on the city.
wave verb [ I or T ] MOVE HAND
1. to raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting someone,
telling them to do something or adding emphasis to an expression
I waved to/at him from the window but he didn't see me.
I was waving my hand madly but he never once looked in my direction.
She was so annoyed she wouldn't even wave us goodbye /wave goodbye to us.
She waves her hands about/around a lot when she's talking.
2. wave sb away/on, etc.
to make a movement with your hand which tells someone to move in a particular
direction
You'll have to wait till the policeman waves this line of traffic on.
You can't just wave me away as if I were a child!
wave verb [ I or T ] MOVE REPEATEDLY
3. to move from side to side, or to make something move like this while holding it
in the hand
The corn waved gently in the summer breeze.
A crowd of football fans ran down the street waving banners.
He seems to think I can wave a magic wand and everything will be all right.
wave verb [ I or T ] CURL HAIR
4. If hair waves, it curls slightly.
If she leaves her hair to dry on its own, it just waves naturally.
wave/say goodbye to sth INFORMAL HUMOROUS
to accept that you will no longer have something you value or that you will not
get something you hoped to receive
Well, if you've argued with senior management you can wave goodbye to any
chances of promotion!
wave sth aside phrasal verb [ M ]
to refuse to consider what someone says
She waved aside all my objections.
wave sb/sth down phrasal verb [ M ]
to make a driver stop their vehicle by waving your arms up and down
If a car comes along, wave it down.
wave sb off phrasal verb [ M ]
to wave to someone as they leave a place in order to say goodbye
We went to the station to wave her off.
wave noun [ C ] WATER
1. a raised line of water which moves across the surface of an area of water,
especially the sea
At night, I listened to the sound of the waves breaking/crashing against the
shore.
wave noun [ C ] HAND MOVEMENT
2. when you raise your hand and move it from side to side as a way of greeting
someone, etc
Give Grandpa a wave goodbye, Alice, you won't see him till next week.
wave noun [ C ] ENERGY
3. the pattern in which some types of energy, such as sound, light and heat, are
spread or carried
radio waves
wave noun [ C ] LARGE NUMBER
4. a larger than usual number of events of a similar, often bad, type, happening
within the same period
a crime wave
In the 1970s, the country came close to collapse as it was swept by a wave of
strikes.
5. a new/second, etc. wave of sth
an activity which is happening again or is being repeated after a pause
A new wave of job losses is expected this year.
wave noun [ C ] STRONG FEELING
6. A wave of an emotion or feeling is a sudden strong feeling which gets stronger
as it spreads
A wave of panic swept through the crowd and people started running.
See also brainwave
wave noun [ C ] HAIR CURVES
7. a series of slight curves in a person's hair
Your hair has a natural wave whereas mine's just straight and boring.
See also wavy
make waves INFORMAL
to be very active so that other people notice you, often in a way that intentionally
causes trouble
If a member of the Cabinet started making waves, the prime minister simply got
rid of them.
wave after/upon wave LITERARY
large quantities or groups of something, one after another
Allied planes launched wave after wave of air attacks on the city.
ˌ wave and ˈ pay noun [ U ]
a way of paying for goods using a credit card and a machine that can read the
information on the card when you place the card on it
waveband noun [ C ]
a set of radio waves of similar length which are used for broadcasting radio
programmes
wavelength noun [ C ]
the distance between two waves of energy, or the length of the radio wave used
by a particular radio station for broadcasting programmes
I don't know which wavelength the station is on - is it on long wave?
be on the same wavelength
(of two or more people) to think in a similar way and to understand each other
well
I can't seem to get on with him - we're just not on the same wavelength.
waver verb [ I ]
1. to lose strength, determination or purpose, especially temporarily
I'm afraid my concentration began to waver as lunch approached.
He has never wavered in his support for the leader.
2. If you waver between two possibilities, you cannot decide which of them to
choose or you keep choosing one way and then the other
"What are you having?" "Er, I'm wavering between the fish soup and the
mushroom tart."
wavering adjective
It's the party's last attempt to persuade some of the nation's wavering voters to
support them.
wavy adjective
wavy
having a series of curves
Sarah's got lovely wavy blond hair.
wax noun [ U ]
1. a solid substance containing a lot of fat that softens and melts when warm
She watched the wax as it dripped down the side of the candle.
See also beeswax
2. the soft yellowish substance inside your ears
wax verb SUBSTANCE
1. [ T ] to put a thin layer of wax on the surface of something, either to make it
waterproof or to improve its appearance
I've waxed the floor so I'm afraid it's a bit slippery.
wax verb MOON
2. [ I ] FORMAL When the moon waxes, it gradually appears larger and rounder
each day.
wax verb SPEAK
3. wax lyrical/eloquent, etc. OLD USE OR FORMAL
to speak or write in the stated way
My mother, a Spaniard, always used to wax lyrical about the lemon trees in the
family garden.
waxed adjective
a waxed jacket
wax and wane
to grow stronger and then weaker again
His commitment to democracy and free markets has waxed and waned with his
political fortunes.
wax noun [ U ]
1. a solid substance containing a lot of fat that softens and melts when warm
She watched the wax as it dripped down the side of the candle.
See also beeswax
2. the soft yellowish substance inside your ears
wax verb SUBSTANCE
1. [ T ] to put a thin layer of wax on the surface of something, either to make it
waterproof or to improve its appearance
I've waxed the floor so I'm afraid it's a bit slippery.
wax verb MOON
2. [ I ] FORMAL When the moon waxes, it gradually appears larger and rounder
each day.
wax verb SPEAK
3. wax lyrical/eloquent, etc. OLD USE OR FORMAL
to speak or write in the stated way
My mother, a Spaniard, always used to wax lyrical about the lemon trees in the
family garden.
waxed adjective
a waxed jacket
wax and wane
to grow stronger and then weaker again
His commitment to democracy and free markets has waxed and waned with his
political fortunes.
ˌ waxed ˈ paper noun [ U ]
a type of paper which has a thin layer of wax on it and is used for wrapping food
waxen adjective LITERARY
describes a face that has pale shiny skin and does not look healthy
a waxen complexion
waxhead noun [ C ] AUSTRALIAN INFORMAL
someone who surfs on waves
waxwork noun
1. [ C ] a wax model of a person
2. waxworks
a place where there are a lot of wax models of famous people for the public to
look at
waxy adjective
slightly shiny; looking like wax
way noun ROUTE
1. [ C ] a route, direction or path
Do you know the way to the train station?
I've only been living in Madrid for a couple of weeks so I don't really know my
way around it yet.
We'll have to stop for fuel on the way to the airport.
Can you find your own way out of the building?
It's getting late - we should make our way (= go) home soon.
He elbowed/pushed his way (= hit/pushed people so that he could go past
them) to the front of the crowd.
The coach stopped for us to eat lunch but within half an hour we were on our
way/ under way (= travelling) again.
There's no way through the centre of town in a vehicle - it's for pedestrians only.
You'll have to go by way of (= travel through) Copenhagen if you want to go to
Southern Sweden from here.
Many people have lost their way (= become lost) in the forest.
Only a local person could find their way through the maze of narrow streets.
2. [ C ] used to talk about the direction in which something is facing
"Which way does the room face?" "North."
Which way up should this box be (= Which side should be on top) ?
The numbers are the wrong way round - it should be 71, not 17.
3. Way
used in the names of some roads
Our offices are at 17 King's Way.
way noun DISTANCE
4. [ S ] ( US ways ) distance or a period of time
We walked a long way yesterday.
The holidays seem like they're a long way off .
FIGURATIVE There were people of every political belief at university, ranging all the
way from communists to fascists.
US They still have a ways to go.
way noun POSSIBILITY
5. [ C or U ] a particular choice, opinion, belief or action, especially from among
several possibilities
I like the way you've had your hair done.
In some/many ways it would be better if we met on Monday rather than
Wednesday.
In a way (= Partly) , I would prefer it if they didn't come because it would mean
extra work.
He might have to resign or he might be demoted, but either way, his career is
effectively over.
They don't write songs the way (= as) they used to.
way noun MANNER
6. [ S ] the manner in which someone behaves or thinks, or in which something
happens
Don't be alarmed - it's just his way.
He looked at me in a sinister way.
It 's amazing the way she manages to stay so calm.
The way he was shouting, you'd have thought he was badly hurt.
To my way of thinking, they shouldn't be building so many roads.
It's always the way at work - either I've got nothing to do or I'm rushed off my
feet!
7. ways
types of behaviour
Over the years we've got used to his funny little ways.
way noun METHOD
waylay verb [ T ]
to wait for and then stop someone, especially either to attack them or talk to
them
A man on his way to deposit $120 000 in a bank was waylaid by two men who
snatched his bag.
I meant to leave earlier but I was waylaid on the way out of a meeting by my
manager.
waylay verb [ T ]
to wait for and then stop someone, especially either to attack them or talk to
them
A man on his way to deposit $120 000 in a bank was waylaid by two men who
snatched his bag.
I meant to leave earlier but I was waylaid on the way out of a meeting by my
manager.
way-out adjective OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
unusual, especially because very modern in style
A lot of experimental theatre is too way-out for me.
-ways suffix
(used in adverbs) in the stated direction or manner
edgeways
lengthways
wayside noun
fall by the wayside
If someone falls by the wayside, they fail to finish an activity, and if something
falls by the wayside, people stop doing it, making it, or using it.
So why does one company survive a recession while its competitors fall by the
wayside?
ˈ way ˌ station noun [ C ] US
a place where people can stop when travelling from one place to another
wayward adjective OLD-FASHIONED
(especially of a person's behaviour) often changing, selfish and difficult to control
waywardness noun [ U ]
wazz noun [ S ] SLANG
when you urinate (= pass urine from the body)
WC noun [ C ]
UK ABBREVIATION FOR water closet: a toilet, or a room containing a toilet
The wooden staircase leads to three bedrooms, the bathroom, and a separate WC.
we , pronoun GROUP
1. (used as the subject of a verb) the speaker and at least one other person when
considered together or as a group
Can we all go to the swimming pool this afternoon?
If you don't hurry up we'll be late.
2. used by a speaker or a writer to refer to the listener(s) or reader and the
person speaking or writing
Perhaps we could move on to discuss the next item on the agenda.
we , pronoun ALL PEOPLE
3. (used as the subject of a verb) all people, especially when considered as a
group
This planet on which we all live should be cherished and not exploited.
we , pronoun YOU
4. INFORMAL (used as the subject of a verb, when talking to children or ill people)
you
Now we don't want to be late for school, do we?
"How are we this morning Mrs Flanagan?" said the doctor.
we , pronoun I
5. FORMAL (used by a queen or king when speaking officially) I
weak adjective NOT STRONG
1. not strong; not strong enough to work, last, succeed, persuade or be effective
It's not surprising you feel weak if you haven't eaten properly for days.
The electromagnetic field strength becomes weaker as you move further away
from high voltage cables.
He was a weak king surrounded by corrupt advisers.
Any evidence that exists to support the hypothesis is fairly weak.
He gave the weakest of excuses when asked why he was late.
2. describes a drink that contains a lot of water compared to its other contents, so
that it does not have a strong flavour
I can't stand weak coffee/tea.
3. SPECIALIZED describes an acid, alkali or chemical base that does not produce
many ions (= atoms with an electrical charge) when it is dissolved in water
weak adjective BELOW STANDARD
4. below standard; not good enough, especially in ability, skill or quality
He was always weak at/in languages but strong at/in science.
Our quiz team is a bit weak on sport.
In the end I think the film was spoilt by a weak story line.
weakly adverb
"The pain seems to have eased a little with these new tablets," he said weakly.
weak at the knees
If you go weak at the knees, you lose your strength and feel you are going to fall
over, usually because of seeing or talking about either someone you are very attracted
to or because of something unpleasant or frightening
The thought of kissing him made me go weak at the knees.
weak adjective NOT STRONG
1. not strong; not strong enough to work, last, succeed, persuade or be effective
It's not surprising you feel weak if you haven't eaten properly for days.
The electromagnetic field strength becomes weaker as you move further away
from high voltage cables.
He was a weak king surrounded by corrupt advisers.
Any evidence that exists to support the hypothesis is fairly weak.
He gave the weakest of excuses when asked why he was late.
2. describes a drink that contains a lot of water compared to its other contents, so
that it does not have a strong flavour
I can't stand weak coffee/tea.
3. SPECIALIZED describes an acid, alkali or chemical base that does not produce
many ions (= atoms with an electrical charge) when it is dissolved in water
weak adjective BELOW STANDARD
4. below standard; not good enough, especially in ability, skill or quality
He was always weak at/in languages but strong at/in science.
Our quiz team is a bit weak on sport.
In the end I think the film was spoilt by a weak story line.
weakly adverb
"The pain seems to have eased a little with these new tablets," he said weakly.
weak at the knees
If you go weak at the knees, you lose your strength and feel you are going to fall
over, usually because of seeing or talking about either someone you are very attracted
to or because of something unpleasant or frightening
The thought of kissing him made me go weak at the knees.
weaken verb [ I or T ]
to (cause to) become less strong, powerful or determined
You could see the poor dog weakening daily as the disease spread through its
body.
Another defeat in parliament would seriously weaken the president's ability to
govern.
We know that prolonged exposure to vibration can weaken aircraft components.
She's weakening - ask her some more questions and see if she confesses.
the ˈ weaker ˌ sex noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
used to refer to women in general: considered offensive by many people
weak-kneed adjective [ after verb ]
1. INFORMAL DISAPPROVING not brave or determined enough to defend your beliefs
against others
Instead of defending traditional values, the church frequently seems weak-kneed
and irresolute.
2. made to feel weak and likely to fall by emotion
She stood dazed and weak-kneed beside the coffin.
weakling noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING
someone who is weak, either physically or in character
It would need more than a few exercises to turn a seven-stone weakling into a
heavyweight boxer.
ˌ weak ˈ link noun [ C usually singular ]
a weak part, especially the weakest part of something
They're a fairly good team - their only weak link is a relatively inexperienced
goalkeeper.
A chain can only be as strong as its weakest link, so we must look at the least
committed country to see if the alliance will hold.
weak-minded adjective
showing no determination, or stupid
weakness noun
1. [ U ] when someone or something is not strong or powerful
Any change of policy will be interpreted as a sign of weakness.
2. [ C ] a particular part or quality of someone or something that is not good or
effective
There are definite weaknesses in their security arrangements.
His main weakness as a manager is his inability to delegate.
The later novels show none of the weaknesses of his earlier work.
3. weakness for
a strong liking, usually for something which might have unpleasant or unwanted
effects
My diet would be fine if only I didn't have this weakness for sweet things.
weakness noun
1. [ U ] when someone or something is not strong or powerful
Any change of policy will be interpreted as a sign of weakness.
2. [ C ] a particular part or quality of someone or something that is not good or
effective
There are definite weaknesses in their security arrangements.
His main weakness as a manager is his inability to delegate.
The later novels show none of the weaknesses of his earlier work.
3. weakness for
a strong liking, usually for something which might have unpleasant or unwanted
effects
My diet would be fine if only I didn't have this weakness for sweet things.
ˈ weak ˌ spot noun [ C ]
a weak part in something
Targeting the opponent's weak spots is a typical technique in politics.
weak-willed adjective
not having the determination that is needed to continue with a difficult course of
action
My diets are never successful - I'm just too weak-willed.
weal noun [ C ]
a raised mark on the skin caused by being hit or injured in some other way
His back was covered with weals where he had been repeatedly beaten.
wealth noun MONEY
1. [ U ] a large amount of money or valuable possessions that someone has
During a successful business career, she accumulated a great amount of wealth.
wealth noun LARGE AMOUNT
2. [ S ] a large amount of something good
Jim has a wealth of teaching experience.
Russia has a wealth of coal and timber.
wealthy adjective
rich
He's a very wealthy man.
With their natural resources they are potentially a very wealthy country.
wealthy plural noun
the wealthy
rich people
wean verb [ T ]
to cause a baby or young animal to stop feeding on its mother's milk and to start
eating other food, especially solid food, instead
The studies were carried out on calves that had been weaned at 5 weeks of age.
weaning noun [ U ]
A lot of mothers find early weaning from breast milk more convenient.
wean sb off sth phrasal verb ( US ALSO wean sb from sth )
to make someone gradually stop using something that is bad for them
It's difficult to wean an addict off cocaine once they're hooked.
The whole scheme is intended to wean people off welfare dependency.
wean sb on sth/sb phrasal verb [ usually passive ]
If someone is weaned on something or someone, they have learned about and
been influenced by them when they were young
This generation has been weaned on computer games.
weapon noun [ C ]
any object used in fighting or war, such as a gun, bomb, sword, etc
a lethal weapon
chemical/nuclear/biological weapons
The youths were dragged from their car and searched for weapons.
weapon noun [ C ]
any object used in fighting or war, such as a gun, bomb, sword, etc
a lethal weapon
chemical/nuclear/biological weapons
The youths were dragged from their car and searched for weapons.
weaponize , UK ALSO weaponise verb [ T ]
to turn bacteria, poisonous chemicals etc into weapons that could kill or injure
many people
weaponry noun [ U ]
weapons in general
nuclear/conventional weaponry
All hi-tech weaponry demands frequent servicing to ensure accuracy.
weapons-grade adjective
of the quality or type that can be used to make nuclear weapons
ˈ weapons of mass de ˌ struction plural noun
weapons, like nuclear bombs, which cause a lot of damage and kill many people
wear verb ON BODY
1. [ T ] to have clothing, jewellery, etc. on your body
Tracey is wearing a simple black dress.
What are you wearing to Caroline's wedding?
Some musicians don't like to wear rings when they're playing.
He wears glasses for reading.
She wears very little makeup.
2. [ T ] to show a particular emotion on your face
The minister wore a confident smile throughout the interview.
3. [ T ] to arrange your hair in a particular way
When she's working she wears her hair in a ponytail.
You should wear your hair up (= so that it does not hang down) more often - it
suits you.
wear verb WEAKEN
4. [ I ] to become weaker, damaged or thinner because of continuous use
I'm very fond of this shirt but it's starting to wear at the collar.
The wheel bearings have worn over the years, which is what's causing the noise.
5. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to produce something such as a hole or
loss of material by continuous use, rubbing or movement
I always seem to wear a hole in the left elbow of my sweaters.
Over many years, flowing water wore deep grooves into the rock.
Wind and water slowly wore down the mountain's jagged edges.
wear verb ALLOW
6. [ T ] UK OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL to allow or accept something
I'd ask my boss for some time off but I don't think she'd wear it .
wear your heart on your sleeve
to make your feelings and emotions obvious rather than hiding them
wear the trousers UK ( US wear the pants ) INFORMAL
(especially of a woman) to be the person in a relationship who is in control and
who makes decisions for both people
Brian may seem bossy, but I'll tell you it's Lisa that really wears the trousers in
that relationship.
wear thin INFORMAL
1. If your patience wears thin, you become less and less patient
I've warned you several times about being late and my patience is wearing thin.
2. If something such as a joke wears thin, it becomes boring or annoying or stops
being funny or effective, because it has been seen, heard or used too much
Tony, the joke is beginning to wear thin now and a lot of us have had enough.
Her standard excuse for being late was beginning to wear thin.
wear (sth) away phrasal verb [ M ]
to become thin and disappear after repeated use or rubbing, or to cause
something to become thin and disappear in this way
In some diseases, the protective layer in a joint wears away.
wear sb down phrasal verb [ M ]
to make someone feel tired and less able to deal successfully with a situation
Both sides are trying to wear the other down by being obstinate in the
negotiations.
All the stress and extra travel is beginning to wear him down.
wear off phrasal verb
If a feeling or the effect of something wears off, it gradually disappears
Most patients find that the numbness from the injection wears off after about an
hour.
wear on phrasal verb
If a period of time wears on, it seems to pass very slowly
She felt less confident about completing the course as the week wore on.
wear sb out phrasal verb [ M ]
to make someone extremely tired
Walking around a museum all day really wears you out.
wear (sth) out phrasal verb [ M ]
to use something so much that it is damaged and cannot be used any more, or to
become damaged in this way
Moving parts in engines wear out much more quickly than stationary parts.
wear noun [ U ] CLOTHES
1. ( ALSO wear ) clothes suitable for a particular use or clothes of a particular type
casual wear
leisure wear
knitwear
wear noun [ U ] USE
2. the amount or type of use an object has had or can be expected to have,
especially before showing damage
I've had a lot of wear out of these boots - I've had them for five years.
I've only worn the shirt a couple of times and it's already showing signs of wear
(= damage) .
wearable adjective
Clothes that are wearable are easy to wear because they are comfortable,
acceptable in most social situations and look attractive in combination with other
clothes.
Unlike a lot of women's fashion magazines, it features clothes that are both
affordable and wearable.
wearable adjective
Clothes that are wearable are easy to wear because they are comfortable,
acceptable in most social situations and look attractive in combination with other
clothes.
Unlike a lot of women's fashion magazines, it features clothes that are both
affordable and wearable.
ˌ wear and ˈ tear noun [ U ]
the damage which happens to an object in ordinary use during a period
Seat covers on trains take a lot of wear and tear.
wearer noun [ C ]
the person wearing something
In medieval times the sapphire was believed to offer protection to its wearer.
Clothes, of course, say a lot about the wearer.
wearing adjective
making you feel tired
Looking after three children all day is very wearing.
wearisome adjective FORMAL
causing a person to be tired and/or bored
Simple repetitive tasks can be very wearisome.
weary adjective
1. very tired, especially after working hard for a long time
I think he's a little weary after his long journey.
Here, sit down and rest your weary legs.
2. weary of
bored with something because you have experienced too much of it
I've been going out with the same people to the same clubs for years and I've just
grown weary of it.
weary verb FORMAL
1. [ T ] to make someone feel tired
Children weary me all day with their constant inquiries and demands.
2. [ I ] to start to feel that something or someone is boring
Some people never seem to weary of eating the same type of food every day.
wearily adverb
I dragged myself wearily out of bed at five o'clock this morning.
weariness noun [ U ]
wearying adjective
making you feel tired
a long wearying journey
wearying adjective
making you feel tired
a long wearying journey
weasel noun [ C ]
a small mammal with reddish brown fur and a long body, which can kill other
small animals such as mice and birds for food
weasel verb
weasel out of sth phrasal verb MAINLY US INFORMAL
to avoid doing something that you have agreed to do, especially by being
dishonest
Although they had signed the contract they tried to weasel out of the deal later.
ˈ weasel ˌ words plural noun INFORMAL
something that someone says either to avoid answering a question clearly or to
make someone believe something that is not true
weather noun [ U ]
the conditions in the air above the Earth such as wind, rain or temperature,
especially at a particular time over a particular area
bad/good/cold/dry/hot/stormy/warm/wet/etc. weather
The weather in the hills can change very quickly, so take suitable clothing.
We're going to have a picnic, weather permitting (= if the weather is good
enough) .
be/feel under the weather INFORMAL
to be or feel ill
I'm feeling a bit under the weather - I think I've caught a cold.
in all weathers
If something is done in all weathers, it is done in every type of weather
He's a real enthusiast - he goes fishing in all weathers.
weather verb DEAL WITH
1. [ T ] to deal successfully with a difficult situation or a problem
As a small new company they did well to weather the recession.
weather verb AIR CONDITIONS
2. [ I or T ] to change in colour or form over a period of time because of the
effects of sun, wind or other weather conditions
Rock is weathered by the action of ice and changes in temperature.
The paint on the outside walls has weathered badly (= has changed and been
damaged by the weather) .
weathered adjective
weathered stone/tiles
weather the storm
If someone or something weathers the storm, they successfully deal with a very
difficult problem
In the next few days we shall see if the ambassador can weather the political
storm caused by his ill-advised remarks.
weather-beaten adjective
describes something, such as skin or a building material that has been changed or
damaged by the weather
a weather-beaten face (= a face which is brown and has many deep lines)
ancient weather-beaten columns
weather-beaten adjective
describes something, such as skin or a building material that has been changed or
damaged by the weather
a weather-beaten face (= a face which is brown and has many deep lines)
ancient weather-beaten columns
weatherboarding noun [ U ]
a set of boards fixed across the bottom of a door to stop water from entering a
building
weathercock noun [ C ]
a type of weather vane (= device for showing which way the wind is blowing) in
the shape of a chicken
ˈ weather ˌ forecast noun [ C ]
a statement of what the weather is likely to be for the next day or few days,
usually broadcast on television or radio or printed in a newspaper
ˈ weather ˌ forecaster noun [ C ]
1. someone who scientifically studies weather conditions and says what the
weather is likely to be in the future
2. a weatherman or weathergirl
weathergirl , weather girl noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a woman on a television or radio programme who gives a weather forecast
weatherman , weather man noun [ C ]
a man on a television or radio programme who gives a weather forecast
weatherproof adjective
not allowing wind or rain to go through
a weatherproof tent/coat
Compare waterproof
ˈ weather ˌ station noun [ C ]
a building or place where information is collected about local weather conditions
ˈ weather ˌ vane noun [ C ]
weather vane
a pointer with a flat blade at one end which is put on top of a high building and
turns round in the wind to show which way it is blowing from
weather-beaten adjective
describes something, such as skin or a building material that has been changed or
damaged by the weather
a weather-beaten face (= a face which is brown and has many deep lines)
ancient weather-beaten columns
weatherboarding noun [ U ]
a set of boards fixed across the bottom of a door to stop water from entering a
building
weathercock noun [ C ]
a type of weather vane (= device for showing which way the wind is blowing) in
the shape of a chicken
ˈ weather ˌ forecast noun [ C ]
a statement of what the weather is likely to be for the next day or few days,
usually broadcast on television or radio or printed in a newspaper
ˈ weather ˌ forecaster noun [ C ]
1. someone who scientifically studies weather conditions and says what the
weather is likely to be in the future
2. a weatherman or weathergirl
weathergirl , weather girl noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a woman on a television or radio programme who gives a weather forecast
weatherman , weather man noun [ C ]
a man on a television or radio programme who gives a weather forecast
weatherproof adjective
not allowing wind or rain to go through
a weatherproof tent/coat
Compare waterproof
ˈ weather ˌ station noun [ C ]
a building or place where information is collected about local weather conditions
ˈ weather ˌ vane noun [ C ]
weather vane
a pointer with a flat blade at one end which is put on top of a high building and
turns round in the wind to show which way it is blowing from
weather-beaten adjective
describes something, such as skin or a building material that has been changed or
damaged by the weather
a weather-beaten face (= a face which is brown and has many deep lines)
ancient weather-beaten columns
weatherboarding noun [ U ]
a set of boards fixed across the bottom of a door to stop water from entering a
building
weathercock noun [ C ]
a type of weather vane (= device for showing which way the wind is blowing) in
the shape of a chicken
ˈ weather ˌ forecast noun [ C ]
a statement of what the weather is likely to be for the next day or few days,
usually broadcast on television or radio or printed in a newspaper
ˈ weather ˌ forecaster noun [ C ]
1. someone who scientifically studies weather conditions and says what the
weather is likely to be in the future
2. a weatherman or weathergirl
weathergirl , weather girl noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a woman on a television or radio programme who gives a weather forecast
weatherman , weather man noun [ C ]
a man on a television or radio programme who gives a weather forecast
weatherproof adjective
not allowing wind or rain to go through
a weatherproof tent/coat
Compare waterproof
ˈ weather ˌ station noun [ C ]
a building or place where information is collected about local weather conditions
ˈ weather ˌ vane noun [ C ]
weather vane
a pointer with a flat blade at one end which is put on top of a high building and
turns round in the wind to show which way it is blowing from
weave verb MAKE
1. [ I or T ] to make cloth by repeatedly crossing a single thread through two sets
of long threads on a loom (= special frame)
This type of wool is woven into fabric which will make jackets.
2. [ T ] to twist long objects together, or to make something by doing this
We were shown how to roughly weave ferns and grass together to make a
temporary shelter.
It takes great skill to weave a basket from/out of rushes.
3. [ T ] LITERARY to form something from several different things or to combine
several different things, in a complicated or skilled way
The biography is woven from the many accounts which exist of things she did.
weave verb MOVE QUICKLY
4. [ I usually + adverb or preposition ] to go or make a path by moving quickly
and changing direction often, especially to avoid hitting things
To escape from police officers the thief weaved through/between/in and out
of stationary traffic on a bicycle.
weaver noun [ C ]
a person whose job is weaving cloth and other materials
basket weavers
weaving noun [ U ]
There has been increasing automation of spinning and weaving.
get weaving UK OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
If you tell someone to get weaving, you either want them to start something or to
hurry what they are doing
We'd better get weaving - we've got a lot to do today.
weave noun [ C usually singular ]
the way in which cloth has been woven, for example with the threads pulled firmly
together, or the pattern produced by this process
a tight weave
a striped/traditional weave
web noun NET
1. [ C ] a fixed net used to catch insects, which is made by a spider from the
sticky thread that its body produces
a spider's web
We watched a spider spin a web between three tall grass stems.
FIGURATIVE Those involved in the fraud created an intricate web of trading
companies to hide their activities.
See also cobweb
web noun SKIN
2. [ C ] the skin connecting the toes of some birds and other animals living by or
on water which helps them when swimming
the Web noun [ S ]
the system of connected documents on the Internet, which often contain colour
pictures, video and sound, and which can be searched for information about a particular
subject
Jane's been surfing the Web all morning.
ˈ web a ˌ ddress noun [ C ] ( US ˌ web ˈ address )
an email or website address
webbed adjective
describes the toes of some birds and animals which are connected by skin to help
them when swimming
webbed toes/feet
webbing noun [ U ]
fibre woven into strong strips, used to make belts and straps and to support
springs in furniture
ˈ web ˌ browser , browser noun [ C ]
a computer program that makes it possible for you to read information on the
Internet
webcam , web cam noun [ C ]
a camera which records moving pictures and sound and allows these to be
broadcast on the Internet as they happen
See picture computer
webcast noun [ C ]
a broadcast made on the Internet
Click here to join our live webcast, Current Consumer Issues.
ˈ web de ˌ signer noun [ C ]
a person who designs websites
web-footed adjective ( ALSO web-toed )
(of an animal) having feet with webs
webinar noun [ C ]
an occasion when a group of people go online at the same time to study and
discuss something
weblog noun [ C ] ( ALSO blog )
a diary (= regular record of your thoughts, opinions and experiences) that you put
on the Internet for others to read and which often contains links (= words or pictures
that connect to other places on the Internet)
ˈ web ˌ page , ALSO webpage noun [ C ] ( ALSO page )
a page of information on the Internet about a particular subject, that forms (a
part of) a website
A website may have many different web pages for you to click on and explore.
ˈ web ˌ server noun [ C ] SPECIALIZED
a computer system or program that finds and sends web pages in response to
requests from internet users
website , ALSO web site noun [ C ] ( ALSO site )
a set of pages of information on the Internet about a particular subject, which
have been published by the same person or organization, and often contain colour
pictures, video and sound
For more information about other Cambridge publications, visit our website at
www.cambridge.org.
webzine noun [ C ]
a magazine that is published on the Internet and not on paper
wed verb [ I or T ] LITERARY
(used especially in newspapers) to marry someone
The couple eventually wed after an eighteen-year engagement.
See also newlywed
we'd , short form of
1. we had
We'd better be more careful in the future.
2. we would
We'd be grateful for an answer.
Wed
WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR Wednesday
wedded adjective BELIEF
1. wedded to
believing firmly in an idea or theory and unwilling to change that belief
The Social Democrats are still wedded to the concepts of high taxation and
regulation.
wedded adjective MARRIED
2. [ before noun ] LITERARY married
your lawful wedded husband/wife
Elaine and Ian have been living in wedded bliss for almost half a year now.
wedding noun [ C ]
a marriage ceremony and any celebrations such as a meal or a party which follow
it
a wedding cake/dress/invitation/present/reception
Do you know the date of Caroline and Matthew's wedding?
It was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary last week.
ˈ wedding ˌ band noun [ C ]
US FOR a wedding ring
ˈ wedding ˌ list noun [ C usually singular ]
a record of all the things which two people who are soon to be married would like
to receive as presents, often kept at a particular shop
ˈ wedding re ˌ ception noun [ C ] ( ALSO reception )
a party to celebrate the marriage ceremony of two people
The wedding will be held at St Martin's Church and the wedding reception at
Crathorne Hotel.
ˈ wedding ˌ ring noun [ C ] ( US ALSO wedding band )
a ring, usually made of gold, worn by a person to show that they are married
wedge noun SHAPE
1. [ C ] a piece of metal, wood, rubber, etc. with a pointed edge at one end and a
wide edge at the other, which is either pushed between two objects to keep them still or
forced into something to break pieces off it
Push a wedge under the door to keep it open while we're carrying the boxes in.
Pieces of stone can be split off by forcing wedges between the layers.
2. [ C ] a triangular-shaped piece, especially of food
Auntie Ann put a huge wedge of fruit cake on my plate.
a wedge of cheese
wedge noun SHOES
3. wedges
women's shoes with a heel all the way under the shoe
wedge verb [ T ]
1. to make something stay in a particular position by using a wedge
[ + adjective ] Find something to wedge the window open/closed with.
2. to put something into a very small or narrow space, so that it cannot move
easily
Her shoe came off and got wedged between the bars.
I was standing waiting for a bus, wedged between (= fixed between and unable
to move away from) two old ladies and their bags of shopping.
wedge noun SHAPE
1. [ C ] a piece of metal, wood, rubber, etc. with a pointed edge at one end and a
wide edge at the other, which is either pushed between two objects to keep them still or
forced into something to break pieces off it
Push a wedge under the door to keep it open while we're carrying the boxes in.
Pieces of stone can be split off by forcing wedges between the layers.
2. [ C ] a triangular-shaped piece, especially of food
Auntie Ann put a huge wedge of fruit cake on my plate.
a wedge of cheese
wedge noun SHOES
3. wedges
women's shoes with a heel all the way under the shoe
wedge verb [ T ]
1. to make something stay in a particular position by using a wedge
[ + adjective ] Find something to wedge the window open/closed with.
2. to put something into a very small or narrow space, so that it cannot move
easily
Her shoe came off and got wedged between the bars.
I was standing waiting for a bus, wedged between (= fixed between and unable
to move away from) two old ladies and their bags of shopping.
wedlock noun [ U ] OLD USE OR HUMOROUS
the state of being married
Wednesday noun [ C or U ] ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION Wed )
the day of the week after Tuesday and before Thursday
Did you say the meeting is on Wednesday?
The restaurant is always closed on Wednesdays.
Wednesday would be a good day for us to go running.
wee adjective [ before noun ] SCOTTISH ENGLISH OR INFORMAL
small; little
There's a wee cottage inside the grounds.
Would you care for a wee bit more to eat?
wee verb [ I ] ( ALSO wee-wee ) INFORMAL OR CHILD'S WORD
to urinate
Daddy, I want to wee!
wee noun
1. [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL ( ALSO CHILD'S WORD wee-wee ) when someone
urinates
"God, I need a wee!" she said.
CHILD'S WORD Do you need/want (to do) a wee-wee before we go out?
2. [ U ] urine
weed noun PLANT
1. [ C ] any wild plant which grows in an unwanted place, especially in a garden
or field where it prevents the cultivated plants from growing freely
2. [ U ] OLD-FASHIONED SLANG cannabis
3. [ U ] UK OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL tobacco
weed noun PERSON
4. [ C ] UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING someone who is thin and physically weak or who
is weak in character
He looks like a real weed in those shorts.
weed verb [ I or T ]
to remove wild plants from a place where they are not wanted
I've been weeding (the vegetable garden).
weeding noun [ U ]
There's plenty of weeding to do now that the growing season's started.
weed sth/sb out phrasal verb [ M ]
to get rid of unwanted things or people from a group
The first round of interviews only really serves to weed out the very weakest of
applicants.
weedkiller noun [ C or U ]
(a) chemical used for killing weeds
weedkiller noun [ C or U ]
(a) chemical used for killing weeds
ˈ Weed ˌ Whacker noun [ C ] US TRADEMARK ( UK TRADEMARK Strimmer )
an electric tool that is held in the hand and is used for cutting grass in places that
are difficult to reach
weedy adjective WEAK
1. UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING describes a person who is thin and physically weak
a weedy child
2. OLD-FASHIONED weak and not exciting or interesting
The story had a rather weedy plot.
weedy adjective PLANT
3. containing a lot of weeds
a weedy pavement
week noun [ C ]
1. a period of seven days, especially either from Monday to Sunday or from
Sunday to Saturday
last/this/next week
We go to the cinema about once a week.
Will you be going to next week's class?
It usually takes about four weeks to get the forms processed.
Don't do anything strenuous for a week or two .
It'll be weeks (= several weeks) before the flood damage is cleared up.
2. the five days from Monday to Friday, which are the usual working period for
many people
We're usually too tired to do much socializing during the week.
3. one week after the day mentioned
The first performance of the play is a week today/tomorrow .
Our holiday starts a week on Saturday.
She has to go back to see the doctor Friday week.
4. one week before the day mentioned
The problems with the TV started a week last Monday.
It was his birthday a week ago this Friday.
5. the amount of hours spent working during a week or the number of days on
which a person works
A lot of farm labourers work a six-day week.
6. week by week
each week during a period of time
We could see his health deteriorate week by week.
7. week after week ( ALSO week in, week out )
regularly or continuously for many weeks
I go to aerobics three times a week, week in, week out.
of the week
A thing or person of the week is one that has been chosen as the best in a
particular week
Book of the Week: Dog Breeds by A J Barker and H A Barker.
weekday noun [ C ]
any day of the week except Sunday and usually Saturday
On weekdays I'm usually in bed by ten o'clock.
weekday noun [ C ]
any day of the week except Sunday and usually Saturday
On weekdays I'm usually in bed by ten o'clock.
weekend , noun [ C ]
1. Saturday and Sunday, or Friday evening until Sunday night; the part of the
week in which many people living in the West do not go to work
Have you got anything planned for the weekend?
This/Next weekend we're going to see some friends.
2. a holiday or a visit taken at a weekend
How much would a weekend for two in Amsterdam cost?
They've got a weekend cottage in Sussex.
3. at the weekend UK ( US on the weekend )
on Saturday or Sunday, or on both Saturday and Sunday
What did you do at the weekend?
We go out once in a while after work and on the weekend.
4. at weekends UK ( US on (the) weekends )
between Friday evening and Sunday night, or on Saturdays and Sundays
They usually go windsurfing at weekends.
weekly adjective , adverb
happening once a week or every week
a weekly magazine/report
a twice-weekly meeting
The fire alarm has a weekly test/is tested weekly.
weekly noun [ C ]
a newspaper or magazine which is published once every week
weeknight noun [ C ]
the evening or night of any day of the week except Sunday and usually Saturday
weeny adjective INFORMAL
extremely small
All right, I'll have a slice of cake then - but just a weeny bit.
weep verb CRY
1. [ I or T ] LITERARY to cry tears
People in the street wept with joy when peace was announced.
She wept buckets (= cried a lot) when Paul left.
weep verb INJURY
2. [ I ] (of an injury) to produce liquid such as pus
The sore is still weeping a lot so you'll have to change the dressing once a day.
weep noun [ S ] LITERARY
It might help you to have a good weep.
weeping willow noun [ C ]
a type of willow tree that has long thin branches which hang down
weeping willow noun [ C ]
a type of willow tree that has long thin branches which hang down
weepy adjective
sad and likely to cry
I'd just waved Peter off at the airport and was feeling a bit weepy.
weepy ( ALSO weepie ) noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a film or a book which makes people want to cry because it is sad
If I were you I'd take some tissues to the cinema - it's a real weepy.
weevil noun [ C ]
any of various beetles which destroy crops such as grains and cotton
the weft noun [ S ] SPECIALIZED
the threads that go across the length of a piece of cloth or a loom (= special
frame for weaving)
Compare the warp
weigh verb HEAVINESS
1. [ L only + noun T ] to have a heaviness of a stated amount, or to measure the
heaviness of an object
Yesterday a satellite weighing 15 tonnes was successfully placed in orbit.
[ R ] She weighs herself every week on the scales in the bathroom.
Your luggage must be weighed before it is put on the aircraft.
weigh verb INFLUENCE
2. [ I usually + adverb or preposition ] (of something such as a fact or an event)
to have an influence or be important
Easy access to a railway network weighed heavily with us when we chose a site
for the new factory.
weigh verb CONSIDER
3. [ T ] to carefully consider, especially by comparing facts or possibilities, in
order to make a decision
Only when we have weighed all the factors involved can we decide when would be
the best time to start.
Economic benefits must be carefully weighed against the possible dangers of
handling radioactive waste.
Compare outweigh
weigh verb SHIP
4. weigh anchor
to lift the anchor (= a heavy metal object) of a ship from under the water so that
it can move freely
weigh your words ( ALSO weigh each word )
to carefully think about everything you are going to say before you say it
He gave evidence to the court, weighing each word as he spoke.
weigh a ton INFORMAL
to be very heavy
What on Earth have you got in this bag, Elaine? It weighs a ton!
weigh sb/sth down phrasal verb [ M usually passive ]
If someone or something is weighed down with something, they are carrying a lot
of or too much of it
Weighed down with supplies, they found the steep path difficult to climb.
weigh sb down phrasal verb [ M usually passive ]
to make a person feel worried and unhappy because of problems, responsibilities
and duties
I thought she looked somehow older, weighed down by all her new
responsibilities.
Too much responsibility when too young can weigh down on a child.
weigh in phrasal verb SPORT
1. to be officially weighed before competing in a sport, especially boxing or horse
racing
Tyson weighed in at 245 lbs for the fight.
weigh in phrasal verb DISCUSSION
2. INFORMAL to become involved in an argument or discussion in a forceful way
Several leading architects weighed in with criticisms regarding the design of the
new museum.
weigh on sb/sth phrasal verb
If a problem or responsibility weighs on you, it makes you worried or unhappy
He's under huge pressure at work and it's really weighing on him.
She knew she had treated him badly and it weighed heavily on her mind for a
long time.
weigh sth out phrasal verb [ M ]
to measure an amount of something
Will you weigh out two kilograms of flour for me please?
weigh sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to think carefully about the advantages or disadvantages of a situation before
making a decision
I'm weighing up my options before I decide to apply for the job.
weigh sb up phrasal verb [ M ]
to form an opinion about a situation or someone's abilities and character by
thinking about them carefully
I weighed up my chances of escape, and decided to wait for a better moment.
When you're a detective you learn to weigh people up quickly.
weighbridge noun [ C ]
a machine for weighing vehicles and their loads , that you drive onto
weighbridge noun [ C ]
a machine for weighing vehicles and their loads , that you drive onto
weight noun HEAVINESS
1. [ C or U ] the amount that something or someone weighs
What weight can this lorry safely carry?
There was a slight decrease in his weight after a week of dieting.
2. [ C ] a piece of metal of known heaviness which can be used to measure the
heaviness of other objects
3. [ C ] any object which is heavy
Try not to lift heavy weights.
I lift weights twice a week at the gym.
weight noun INFLUENCE
4. [ U ] respect, influence, trust or importance
Her experience does give her opinions quite a bit of weight.
After he was voted out of power, few people attached much weight to what he
said.
Radical views don't carry much weight anymore.
be/take a weight off your mind
to allow you to stop worrying about a particular thing
It's a great weight off my mind to know that the building is finally finished.
It was a weight off my mind know ing that our finances were taken care of.
take the weight off your feet/legs
If you take the weight off your feet/legs, you sit down, especially after standing or
walking for a long time
You must be exhausted after all that shopping - why don't you take the weight off
your feet!
weight verb [ T ]
to fasten something heavy to something
Paper tablecloths need to be weighted down or they tend to blow away in the
wind.
weight-bearing adjective
supporting the weight of your body or a building
weight-bearing joints such as the knees
Weight-bearing exercise is very good for the bones.
a weight-bearing wall
weighted
prepared and structured in a way that is likely to produce a particular effect,
usually an advantage, rather than any other
The system of benefits is weighted in favour of those who have children.
weighted
prepared and structured in a way that is likely to produce a particular effect,
usually an advantage, rather than any other
The system of benefits is weighted in favour of those who have children.
weighting noun UK
1. [ U ] an increase in an amount, especially extra money paid to someone
because they work in an area where it is expensive to live
Do they pay London weighting?
2. [ C or U ] a value which is given to a number or a group of numbers to show
how important they are when compared with each other
When the final marks are calculated greater weighting is given to the practical
tests than to the written work.
weightless adjective
having or appearing to have no weight
There is a lot of interest in carrying out experiments in the weightless conditions
which are experienced aboard space stations.
weightlessly adverb
weightlessness noun [ U ]
weightlifting noun [ U ]
the activity of lifting heavy objects either as a sport or for exercise
weightlifter noun [ C ]
ˈ weight ˌ training noun [ U ]
the activity of lifting heavy objects for exercise, especially to improve the strength
of muscles and the appearance of the body
I do/go weight training in a gym during the week.
Compare bodybuilding ; weightlifting
weighty adjective HEAVY
1. heavy
I don't want to carry this bag around all afternoon - it's quite weighty.
weighty adjective SERIOUS
2. describes a subject, book or piece of work that is important or serious
weighty matters/issues
weir noun [ C ]
a wall built under the water across a river, over which the water flows from one
level to another in a controlled way
weir noun [ C ]
a wall built under the water across a river, over which the water flows from one
level to another in a controlled way
weird adjective
very strange and unusual, unexpected or not natural
He was sitting alone by a window with a weird contraption on the bench in front of
him.
Her boyfriend's a bit weird but she's all right.
That's weird - I thought I'd left my keys on the table but they're not there.
There is nothing to rival the weird and wonderful things that come out on the
streets at carnival time.
weirdly adverb
weirdness noun [ U ]
weirdo noun [ C ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who behaves strangely
What did he mean by that? Weirdo!
welch 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.
welcome verb [ T ] ENCOURAGE
1. to be pleased about and encourage or support something
The new appointment has been widely welcomed.
welcome verb [ T ] MEET
2. to meet and speak to someone in a friendly way when they come to the place
where you are
The visitors to the College were warmly welcomed by the Warden.
Browning stood at the door, welcoming newcomers with a large smile and a pat
on the arm.
Please welcome (= Please clap for) our guest of honour, George Taylor.
welcome adjective MEETING
1. If someone is welcome, you are pleased when they visit you
Come and see us whenever you're in town - you're always welcome/you'll always
be welcome.
Out in the desert the traveller is a welcome guest .
2. make sb welcome
to show someone that you are pleased that they are with you
The restaurant made the children very welcome.
welcome adjective PLEASED
3. If something is welcome, you are pleased to have or do it.
The holiday was a welcome change/break/relief .
She offered him the welcome chance/opportunity to do something different.
A nice cup of tea would be very welcome.
be welcome to INFORMAL
If someone is welcome to someone or something, they can have it or do it,
especially because it is not valued by anyone else
You're welcome to it - I can never get it to work properly.
If they want to change the rules, they are welcome to try.
you're welcome
said as a polite answer when someone thanks you for doing something
"It was very kind of you to help." "You're welcome."
welcome noun MEETING
1. [ C or U ] when someone is met and spoken to in a friendly way when they
arrive in a place
They were given a warm (= very friendly) welcome.
The opposition leader returned to a hero's/heroine's welcome after seven years
in exile.
She referred to his previous visit in her speech of welcome/welcome speech .
2. outstay/overstay your welcome
to stay too long
I left after two days - I didn't want to overstay my welcome.
welcome noun REACTION
3. [ S ] a reaction to a decision or suggestion
Their supporters gave the decision a guarded/cautious welcome.
welcome exclamation
said as a greeting to someone arriving at a place
Welcome - please come in.
Welcome home/back - we've missed you!
Welcome to Cambridge.
ˈ welcome ˌ mat noun [ C ]
a small piece of strong material with 'Welcome' written on it which is put on the
floor by the door to greet people as they come in
FIGURATIVE A new immigration law means the US will be dusting off the welcome
mat for (= will be ready to welcome) famous people who want to live in the country.
FIGURATIVE We had better put the welcome mat out (= be ready to welcome) , if
your mother is coming to visit.
weir noun [ C ]
a wall built under the water across a river, over which the water flows from one
level to another in a controlled way
weird adjective
very strange and unusual, unexpected or not natural
He was sitting alone by a window with a weird contraption on the bench in front of
him.
Her boyfriend's a bit weird but she's all right.
That's weird - I thought I'd left my keys on the table but they're not there.
There is nothing to rival the weird and wonderful things that come out on the
streets at carnival time.
weirdly adverb
weirdness noun [ U ]
weirdo noun [ C ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who behaves strangely
What did he mean by that? Weirdo!
welch 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.
welcome verb [ T ] ENCOURAGE
1. to be pleased about and encourage or support something
The new appointment has been widely welcomed.
welcome verb [ T ] MEET
2. to meet and speak to someone in a friendly way when they come to the place
where you are
The visitors to the College were warmly welcomed by the Warden.
Browning stood at the door, welcoming newcomers with a large smile and a pat
on the arm.
Please welcome (= Please clap for) our guest of honour, George Taylor.
welcome adjective MEETING
1. If someone is welcome, you are pleased when they visit you
Come and see us whenever you're in town - you're always welcome/you'll always
be welcome.
Out in the desert the traveller is a welcome guest .
2. make sb welcome
to show someone that you are pleased that they are with you
The restaurant made the children very welcome.
welcome adjective PLEASED
3. If something is welcome, you are pleased to have or do it.
The holiday was a welcome change/break/relief .
She offered him the welcome chance/opportunity to do something different.
A nice cup of tea would be very welcome.
be welcome to INFORMAL
If someone is welcome to someone or something, they can have it or do it,
especially because it is not valued by anyone else
You're welcome to it - I can never get it to work properly.
If they want to change the rules, they are welcome to try.
you're welcome
said as a polite answer when someone thanks you for doing something
"It was very kind of you to help." "You're welcome."
welcome noun MEETING
1. [ C or U ] when someone is met and spoken to in a friendly way when they
arrive in a place
They were given a warm (= very friendly) welcome.
The opposition leader returned to a hero's/heroine's welcome after seven years
in exile.
She referred to his previous visit in her speech of welcome/welcome speech .
2. outstay/overstay your welcome
to stay too long
I left after two days - I didn't want to overstay my welcome.
welcome noun REACTION
3. [ S ] a reaction to a decision or suggestion
Their supporters gave the decision a guarded/cautious welcome.
welcome exclamation
said as a greeting to someone arriving at a place
Welcome - please come in.
Welcome home/back - we've missed you!
Welcome to Cambridge.
ˈ welcome ˌ mat noun [ C ]
a small piece of strong material with 'Welcome' written on it which is put on the
floor by the door to greet people as they come in
FIGURATIVE A new immigration law means the US will be dusting off the welcome
mat for (= will be ready to welcome) famous people who want to live in the country.
FIGURATIVE We had better put the welcome mat out (= be ready to welcome) , if
your mother is coming to visit.
ˈ Welcome ˌ Wagon noun [ U ] US TRADEMARK
an organization which gives information about businesses and services in a town
to people who have recently moved there
FIGURATIVE She likes to roll out the welcome wagon for (= greet and be friendly
to) everyone who moves onto the block.
welcoming adjective
friendly or making you feel welcome
She gave everyone a welcoming smile.
weld verb [ T ] JOIN METAL
1. to join two pieces of metal together permanently by melting the parts that
touch
Iron spikes have been welded (on) to the railings around the embassy.
weld verb [ T ] JOIN PEOPLE
2. to make separate people into a group who can work together successfully
He is a born leader, who welded a collection of gifted individualists into a real
team.
weld noun [ C ]
a joint made by welding
welder noun [ C ]
a person whose job is welding
welding noun [ U ]
the activity of joining metal parts together
welfare noun [ U ] HELP
1. help given, especially by the state or an organization, to people who need it,
especially because they do not have enough money
This national fund pays for welfare benefits such as unemployment and sickness
pay.
UK After her month's sick leave, she was summoned to see the company's welfare
officer .
2. on welfare
US receiving financial help from the state because you are poor or have not been
employed for a long time
welfare noun [ U ] HEALTH AND HAPPINESS
3. physical and mental health and happiness, especially of a person
The police are very concerned for the welfare of the missing child.
These organizations have fought very hard for the rights and welfare of
immigrants.
animal welfare
ˌ welfare ˈ state noun [ C usually singular ]
a system of taxation which allows the government of a country to provide social
services such as health care, unemployment pay, etc. to people who need them
well adverb IN A GOOD WAY
1. in a good way, to a high or satisfactory standard
The documentary presented both sides of the problem very well.
The concert was well enough advertised but ticket sales were poor.
a well-cut suit
a well-paid job
Her points were well put (= expressed in a good or clever way) .
His point about the need to reduce waste was well taken (= it was accepted as a
good criticism) .
They took two hours to discuss the plans and considered it time well spent (= it
had been a useful discussion) .
I can't do it as well as Marie can.
well adverb TO A GREAT DEGREE
2. very much, to a great degree or completely
Knead the dough well, then divide it into four pieces.
He could well imagine how much his promise was going to cost him.
I can't catch the bus - there are no buses after midnight, as you well know.
He's plays the piano well enough (= to a satisfactory standard) .
3. used to emphasize some prepositions
The results are well above/below what we expected.
Keep well away from the edge of the cliff.
It cost well over £100.
Stand well clear of the doors!
4. used to emphasize some adjectives
The police are well aware of the situation.
The museum is well worth a visit.
Some machines look more like cheap, plastic toys - leave these well alone .
5. UK SLANG very
The film was well good .
Watch out for those two - they're well hard (= strong and willing to use violence)
.
well adverb REASONABLY
6. with good reason
She might well be the best person to ask.
I can't very well (= It would not be acceptable to) refuse their kind offer.
well adverb IN ADDITION
7. as well (as)
in addition (to)
Invite Emlyn - and Simon as well.
I want to visit Andrew as well as Martin.
all very well ( ALSO all well and good )
If something is all very well, it is quite useful or good in some situations but not
excellent and not useful or good in every situation
Electric heating is all very well until there's a power cut.
be just as well ( MAINLY UK be as well )
to be a good thing to do, or to be a lucky thing to happen or be done
It's just as well you're not here - you wouldn't like the noise.
He left at three, which was just as well or he'd have missed the train.
It would be as well to check the small print.
well and truly
completely
The party was well and truly over when he arrived.
well away UK INFORMAL
completely involved in what you are doing, or drunk
He was soon well away on (= talking a lot about) his favourite subject of steam
train conservation.
After five pints of lager and a couple of whiskeys I was well away (= drunk) .
well done
used as a way of praising someone and saying that you are pleased about and
approve of something they have done
"I passed my exam." "Well done!"
See also well-done
well in (with) UK INFORMAL ( US in well with )
to have a good relationship with someone in which they like you and from which
you get an advantage
He's well in with the boss, these days.
well out of sth UK INFORMAL
lucky not to be involved
"Did I tell you the company went bust the month after I left?" "Really? Oh, you're
well out of that !"
well adjective [ usually after verb ]
healthy; not ill
He hasn't been too well lately.
When she came home from school she really didn't look well.
I'm sorry you're ill - I hope you get well soon.
They sent a get well card.
well exclamation
used to introduce something you are going to say, often to show surprise, doubt,
slight disagreement or anger, or to continue a story
Well, what shall we do now?
Well now/then, how are we going to arrange things?
"Who was that?" "Well, I'm afraid I can't remember her name."
"He's decided to give up his job and move to the north with her." "Well, well -
that's what love does for you."
Well, really, how thoughtless of him!
Well? What did you do next?
Well, after that we went camping in the mountains.
Well/ Oh well, it doesn't matter - I can always buy another one.
Very well, if you insist I'll meet him next week.
well noun [ C ]
well
a deep hole in the ground from which you can get water, oil, or gas
See also stairwell
well verb [ I usually + adv/prep ]
(of liquid) to appear on the surface of something or come slowly out from
somewhere
Dirty water welled (up) out of the damaged pipe.
As she read the letter tears welled up in her eyes.
FIGURATIVE Conflicting emotions welled up in his heart.
we'll , short form of
we will
We'll do better next time, I'm sure.
well-adjusted adjective
describes a person who behaves sensibly and reasonably and whose behaviour is
not difficult or strange
His family could not understand how this quiet, well-adjusted man could have
been driven to this terrible deed.
well-adjusted adjective
describes a person who behaves sensibly and reasonably and whose behaviour is
not difficult or strange
His family could not understand how this quiet, well-adjusted man could have
been driven to this terrible deed.
well-advised adjective [ after verb ] FORMAL
showing good judgment
[ + to infinitive ] You would be well-advised to book in advance.
well-appointed adjective FORMAL
having a good supply of comfortable or necessary furniture and attractive
decorations
The hotel has spacious, well-appointed public rooms and bedrooms.
well-argued adjective
described or requested in an effective and clever way
She presented a well-argued case for banning smoking in public places.
well-attended adjective
describes an event where many people are present
The information was given at an unusually well-attended press conference
yesterday.
well-balanced adjective
1. containing a mixture of ideas, people, etc. with each one being represented
equally or fairly
a well-balanced article
a well-balanced team
2. describes a group of foods which together provide a good range of the things
you need to stay healthy
a well-balanced meal/diet
3. describes someone who is calm and reasonable and who shows good judgment
Do these nurseries produce the happy, well-balanced children that teachers and
parents say they do?
well-behaved adjective APPROVING
behaving in a way that is accepted as correct
a well-behaved child
well-being noun [ U ] ( ALSO wellbeing )
the state of feeling healthy and happy
People doing yoga benefit from an increased feeling of well-being.
well-bred adjective
1. speaking or behaving in a way that is generally considered correct and polite
A television announcer with a well-bred voice was reading the news.
2. OLD-FASHIONED coming from a family that has a high social position
a well-bred young English woman
well-bred adjective
1. speaking or behaving in a way that is generally considered correct and polite
A television announcer with a well-bred voice was reading the news.
2. OLD-FASHIONED coming from a family that has a high social position
a well-bred young English woman
well-brought-up adjective APPROVING
describes people, especially children, who are polite and who act in a quiet and
pleasant way, because they have been taught this behaviour at home
Some children were well brought up, despite family breakdown, he admitted.
well-built adjective
1. describes a person who is large and strong
2. UK POLITE WORD FOR fat (BIG)
3. US having a strong, attractive body
I was always a trim, well-built guy until I turned forty.
well-chosen adjective
carefully chosen
These debates have made a successful series, mostly because of well-chosen
speakers and lively topics.
a few well-chosen words
a short speech
He introduced the visitors with a few well-chosen words.
well-connected adjective
having friends or family members who are important or powerful people
She was born in 1940 into a very well-connected family.
well-defined adjective
clearly expressed, explained or described
We were not expecting Mr Levy to give us a clear or well-defined answer.
Scientists follow several well-defined steps in investigating unexpected outbreaks
of disease.
well-developed adjective
having grown or increased in a positive way
The less well-developed areas of Europe are much less attractive as investment
prospects than the major centres.
She is a physically well-developed teenager with the emotional and mental level
of a four-year-old.
well-disposed adjective
friendly and helpful
If you've got a good feeling about yourself, you are more likely to feel well-
disposed to/towards other people.
well-disposed adjective
friendly and helpful
If you've got a good feeling about yourself, you are more likely to feel well-
disposed to/towards other people.
well-documented adjective
having been often recorded
The medicinal values of garlic are well-documented.
well-done adjective
describes meat that is cooked all the way through and not just on the outside
"How would you like your steak?" "Well-done."
See also well done
well-dressed adjective
wearing attractive and stylish clothes
well-earned , adjective UK
deserved because of what you have done or experienced
Liz won't be at work next week - she's having a well-earned break/rest/holiday.
well-educated adjective
having had a good education
well-educated and highly motivated workers
well-endowed adjective
1. having a lot of something, especially money or possessions
It is a very well-endowed college.
The city is well-endowed with modern medical facilities.
2. HUMOROUS APPROVING (of a man) having large sexual organs, or (of a woman)
having large breasts
He's very well-endowed!
ˌ well e ˈ stablished adjective
having a recognized position, or being generally known about
The rules, though not written down, are fairly well established.
World Music is now well established and popular with mass audiences.
well-fed adjective
having a lot to eat
It should be possible to be warm and well-fed, and to enjoy all the good things of
life, while respecting the needs of the planet.
well-founded adjective
based on facts
He had to show that he had a well-founded fear of persecution on religious or
political grounds to qualify as a refugee.
well-founded adjective
based on facts
He had to show that he had a well-founded fear of persecution on religious or
political grounds to qualify as a refugee.
well-groomed adjective
having a tidy and pleasant appearance that is produced with care
He is the sort of well-groomed man you expect to inhabit an executive-size
corporate office.
well-grounded adjective
being based on or having a good knowledge of facts
The young players all seemed very well grounded in the rich history of the music
they were performing.
The claim must be well grounded in fact.
a well-grounded criticism
well-heeled adjective INFORMAL
rich
His family was very well-heeled.
well-heeled plural noun
the well-heeled
rich people
The shop attracted a loyal following among the well-heeled.
wellie , welly noun [ C ]
UK INFORMAL FOR wellington (boot)
well-informed adjective
having a lot of knowledge or information about a particular subject or things in
general
He was well-informed and shrewd, with good, calm judgment.
How well-informed is the customer about the range, quality and cost of the
products on offer?
wellington (boot) noun [ C usually plural ] UK ( UK INFORMAL wellie , AUSTRALIAN ENGLISH
AND US rubber boot , UK OLD-FASHIONED gumboot )
wellington (boot)
a waterproof boot that reaches almost to the knees
He left his muddy wellingtons outside the back door.
See also picture clothes 4
well-intentioned adjective
wanting to have good effects, but sometimes having bad effects which were not
expected
Well-intentioned development projects can have unintended negative effects on
population control.
See also well-meaning
well-intentioned adjective
wanting to have good effects, but sometimes having bad effects which were not
expected
Well-intentioned development projects can have unintended negative effects on
population control.
See also well-meaning
well-kept adjective TIDY
1. clean, tidy and cared for
Saunders said his guest was astonished to find pleasant public parks, nice streets
and well-kept houses.
well-kept adjective HIDDEN
2. A well-kept secret has not been told or shown to anyone
The details of the new car were a well-kept secret .
ˌ well ˈ known adjective
known or recognized by many people
Her views on the subject are already well known.
[ + that ] It is well known that he never gives interviews.
The restaurant is well known for its friendly atmosphere and excellent service.
a well-known local artist
a well-known face/voice
well-liked adjective
liked by many people
A colleague described him as well-liked and respected by all.
well-mannered adjective
behaving in a pleasant and polite way
The other visitors were too well-mannered to complain.
well-matched adjective
similar or equal (to something)
At the start of the competition the three teams looked extremely well matched.
Her skills are well-matched to the job.
well-meaning adjective
wanting to have a good effect, but not always achieving one
I know he's well-meaning, but I wish he'd leave us alone.
well-meant adjective
said or done in order to be helpful, but not always achieving this
a well-meant suggestion
wellness noun [ U ] MAINLY US
the state of being healthy
wellness noun [ U ] MAINLY US
the state of being healthy
well-nigh adverb
almost or very nearly
With no help, finishing the job in a day was well-nigh impossible .
well-off , well off adjective RICH
1. rich
Her family was very well-off.
well-off , well off adjective HAVING A LOT
2. [ after verb ] having a lot of or a number of
The city is well off for parks and gardens.
know when you are well off
If you do not know when you are well off, you do not understand that your
present situation is good compared with other people's or with what it might be like
She's always complaining about her car - she doesn't know when she's well off (=
she's lucky to have a car even if it's bad) !
well-off , well off plural noun
the well-off
rich people
It is a resort that clearly caters for the well-off.
well-oiled adjective DRUNK
1. SLANG drunk
well-oiled adjective EFFECTIVE
2. working easily and effectively
a well-oiled political machine
well-preserved adjective
1. (especially of something old) kept in good condition
It was a pretty town with a picturesque harbour and well-preserved buildings.
2. OFTEN HUMOROUS (of an older person) not looking as old as they really are
Most female models have to retire around the age of 25, whereas a well-
preserved man can go on working into his forties.
well-qualified adjective [ + to infinitive ]
having suitable experience or formal qualifications
Ken has more than 10 years of experience in photography behind him, so he is
well qualified to offer advice.
He seems well qualified for the job.
well-qualified adjective [ + to infinitive ]
having suitable experience or formal qualifications
Ken has more than 10 years of experience in photography behind him, so he is
well qualified to offer advice.
He seems well qualified for the job.
well-read adjective
describes someone who has learnt a lot of information on different subjects by
reading
well-rounded adjective
involving or having experience in a wide range of ideas or activities
It's a well-rounded article which is fair to both sides of the dispute.
She describes herself as a "well-rounded person" who works hard but has a varied
social life.
well-spoken adjective APPROVING
having a pleasant and polite way of speaking which is considered socially
acceptable
The two men who called at the house were well-spoken and had a reassuring
manner.
wellspring noun [ S ] LITERARY
the place something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something; the
source
the wellspring of the creative spirit
well-thought-of adjective
considered by other people as good; admired and approved of
He was efficient at his job and well-thought-of by everyone.
It's a well-thought-of school.
ˌ well thought ˈ out adjective
planned in an effective way
The training schedule wasn't very well thought out.
a well thought out scheme for traffic control
well-thumbed adjective
A well-thumbed book/copy/magazine is one whose slightly damaged appearance
shows that it has been used many times.
well-timed adjective
happening or caused to happen at a suitable or effective time
A well-timed joke stopped the disagreement developing into something more
serious.
well-timed adjective
happening or caused to happen at a suitable or effective time
A well-timed joke stopped the disagreement developing into something more
serious.
well-to-do adjective
rich
well-to-do families
well-tried adjective
used many times before and known to be effective
a well-tried recipe
well-trodden adjective [ before noun ]
1. much used or visited
We followed the well-trodden tourist route from Paris to Chartres.
2. describes a set of actions that many people have done or a subject that many
people have dealt with previously
The survey showed that people become managers by well-trodden paths .
well-turned adjective
cleverly expressed
a well-turned phrase
well-versed adjective
knowing a lot about something
He was well-versed in modern history.
well-wisher noun [ C ]
a person who encourages or supports you
He was clutching the award he had just won for Best Newcomer, surrounded by
fans and well-wishers.
ˌ well ˈ woman/ ˈ man ˌ clinic noun [ C ]
a place that provides tests and advice relating especially to the health of
women/men, or a fixed period when it is open
There's a well woman clinic at the health centre on Wednesday afternoons.
well-worn adjective
1. describes clothes that have been worn often and are becoming old
a well-worn sports jacket
2. used very often or too often
Ecology can be written about without relying on well-worn examples such as
tropical rain forests.
welly noun [ C ]
MAINLY UK INFORMAL FOR wellington (boot)
welly noun [ C ]
MAINLY UK INFORMAL FOR wellington (boot)
welsh verb [ I ]
to welch
Welsh adjective , noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
Welshman noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
Welsh rarebit noun [ U ] ( ALSO Welsh rabbit )
a piece of toast with cheese on it which is heated until the cheese melts
Welshwoman noun [ C ]
See table of Geographical names .
welt noun [ C ]
a raised, red area of skin caused by being hit or by cuts healing
welter noun [ S ]
a large and especially badly organized number of things
We are reducing the company's welter of development projects and will
streamline sales and marketing.
welterweight noun [ C ]
a boxer whose body weight is between lightweight and middleweight
wench noun [ C ] OLD USE
a young woman
wend verb
wend your way
to move slowly and not directly
The thieves then wended their way through the dark back streets to the docks.
ˈ Wendy ˌ house noun [ C ] UK
a toy house or playhouse
ˈ Wendy ˌ house noun [ C ] UK
a toy house or playhouse
went verb
PAST SIMPLE OF go
wept verb
PAST SIMPLE AND PAST PARTICIPLE OF weep
were , , verb
PAST SIMPLE OF be
we're short form
we are
We're here, Diane.
weren't short form of
were not
Weren't we lucky with the weather?
werewolf , , noun [ C ]
someone who, in stories, changes into a wolf at the time of the full moon (= when
the moon is a complete circle)
west , ALSO West noun [ U ] ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION W )
1. the direction in which the sun goes down in the evening, opposite to the east,
or the part of an area or country which is in this direction
The points of the compass are North, South, East and West.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Most of the country will be dry tomorrow, but the west will have some rain.
America is/lies to the west of Britain.
2. (the) West
a. North America, those countries in Europe which did not have communist
governments before the 1990s, and some other parts of the world
There has been concern in/throughout the West about the effects of this
measure.
East-West relations
b. In the US, the West is the part of the country west of the Mississippi river
which only became developed in the late 1800s
the Wild West
3. out west US
to or in the west of the US
Travis moved out west after college.
go west UK INFORMAL
If something goes west, it is lost, damaged or spoilt in some way
I couldn't get a ticket - that's my last chance to see the show gone west.
west , ALSO West adjective ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION W )
1. in or towards the west
West Africa
the west coast of Ireland
Ireland is west of Britain.
2. west wind
a wind coming from the west
west , ALSO West adverb ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION W )
towards the west
Go due (= directly) west until you see a lake.
The balcony faces west.
westbound adjective [ before noun ] , adverb
going or leading towards the west
The accident occurred in the westbound lanes of the M25.
The worst areas for traffic were westbound between the Beltway and Nutley
Street.
westbound adjective [ before noun ] , adverb
going or leading towards the west
The accident occurred in the westbound lanes of the M25.
The worst areas for traffic were westbound between the Beltway and Nutley
Street.
the ˌ West ˈ Coast noun [ S ]
the area of the Pacific coast in the US which includes California
They're moving to the West Coast.
West Coast companies
the ˈ West ˌ Country noun [ S ]
the area in the south-west of Britain
We spent our holiday in the West Country.
a West Country accent
the ˌ West ˈ End noun [ S ]
the part of central London where there are many theatres and many large
expensive shops and hotels
We went to a restaurant in the West End.
a West End theatre
westerly adjective
1. in or towards the west
So far, only the westerly part of the site has been developed.
We travelled in a westerly direction.
2. westerly wind
a wind that comes from the west
westerly noun [ C ]
a wind that comes from the west
western , ALSO Western adjective DIRECTION
1. ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION W ) in or from the west of a place
western Europe
California and other western states
western , ALSO Western adjective COUNTRIES
2. relating to countries in the west part of the world, especially North America and
countries in the west of Europe
western opinion/culture
a Western-educated engineer
western medicine
western , ALSO Western noun [ C ] ( UK ALSO cowboy film , US ALSO cowboy movie )
a film based on invented stories about life in the west of the US in the past
westerner , Westerner noun [ C ]
someone who is from a country in North America or western Europe
Some of the Buddhists came from Sri Lanka, South-East Asia and East, while
others were Westerners by birth and upbringing.
westerner , Westerner noun [ C ]
someone who is from a country in North America or western Europe
Some of the Buddhists came from Sri Lanka, South-East Asia and East, while
others were Westerners by birth and upbringing.
westernize , UK ALSO westernise verb [ T ]
to cause the ideas and ways of doing things which are common in North America
and most of Europe to be used and accepted by someone or something in or from
another part of the world
westernization , UK ALSO westernisation noun [ U ]
westernized , UK ALSO westernised adjective
having a culture like North America and western Europe
As the political emphasis shifts, Bulgaria will inevitably become more westernized.
westernmost adjective
furthest towards the west of an area
Ouessant is the westernmost point of France.
Western Sahara noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
ˌ West ˈ Indian noun [ C ] , adjective
(a person) of or from the West Indies
a West Indian poet
a family of West Indians
Westminster noun [ S ]
the UK parliament, or the part of London where the parliament buildings are
westward adjective ( ALSO westwards )
towards the west
The westward advance of the road repairs is being held up by protesters.
westwards adverb ( ALSO westward )
towards the west
The boat drifted westwards.
wet adjective NOT DRY
1. covered in water or another liquid
a wet floor
a wet umbrella
wet hair
My bike got wet in the rain.
I had to cycle in the rain and got soaking (= very) wet.
INFORMAL You poor thing - you're all (= very) wet.
2. describes paint, ink, or a similar substance when it has not had time to dry and
become hard
The paint's still wet.
a notice saying 'Wet paint!'
3. describes weather or periods of time when rain falls
We've had wet weather all week.
This is the first wet day for two months.
The presentation will take place indoors if it 's wet.
4. be wet through
to be completely wet
Come in quickly - you're wet through.
wet adjective WEAK
5. describes someone who has a weak character and does not express any
forceful opinions
Don't be so wet.
wetly adverb
wetness noun [ U ]
be wet behind the ears
to be young and without experience
wet verb [ T ]
1. to make something wet
Wet the powder thoroughly and mix to remove lumps.
He wetted a cloth and tried to rub the mark away.
2. wet yourself
to urinate in your clothes by accident
3. wet the/ your bed
to urinate in your bed by accident
She still sometimes wets the bed at night.
wet your whistle OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
to have an alcoholic drink
wet noun WATER
1. [ U ] liquid, especially water
Don't put your newspaper down in the wet.
2. the wet
MAINLY UK wet weather
Don't leave it out there in the wet.
wet noun PERSON
3. [ C ] UK DISAPPROVING someone who has a weak character and does not express
any forceful opinions
Come on Tom, don't be such a wet!
4. [ C ] UK DISAPPROVING a member of the Conservative Party in Britain with no
strong or extreme opinions
westerner , Westerner noun [ C ]
someone who is from a country in North America or western Europe
Some of the Buddhists came from Sri Lanka, South-East Asia and East, while
others were Westerners by birth and upbringing.
westernize , UK ALSO westernise verb [ T ]
to cause the ideas and ways of doing things which are common in North America
and most of Europe to be used and accepted by someone or something in or from
another part of the world
westernization , UK ALSO westernisation noun [ U ]
westernized , UK ALSO westernised adjective
having a culture like North America and western Europe
As the political emphasis shifts, Bulgaria will inevitably become more westernized.
westernmost adjective
furthest towards the west of an area
Ouessant is the westernmost point of France.
Western Sahara noun [ U ]
See table of Geographical names .
ˌ West ˈ Indian noun [ C ] , adjective
(a person) of or from the West Indies
a West Indian poet
a family of West Indians
Westminster noun [ S ]
the UK parliament, or the part of London where the parliament buildings are
westward adjective ( ALSO westwards )
towards the west
The westward advance of the road repairs is being held up by protesters.
westwards adverb ( ALSO westward )
towards the west
The boat drifted westwards.
wet adjective NOT DRY
1. covered in water or another liquid
a wet floor
a wet umbrella
wet hair
My bike got wet in the rain.
I had to cycle in the rain and got soaking (= very) wet.
INFORMAL You poor thing - you're all (= very) wet.
2. describes paint, ink, or a similar substance when it has not had time to dry and
become hard
The paint's still wet.
a notice saying 'Wet paint!'
3. describes weather or periods of time when rain falls
We've had wet weather all week.
This is the first wet day for two months.
The presentation will take place indoors if it 's wet.
4. be wet through
to be completely wet
Come in quickly - you're wet through.
wet adjective WEAK
5. describes someone who has a weak character and does not express any
forceful opinions
Don't be so wet.
wetly adverb
wetness noun [ U ]
be wet behind the ears
to be young and without experience
wet verb [ T ]
1. to make something wet
Wet the powder thoroughly and mix to remove lumps.
He wetted a cloth and tried to rub the mark away.
2. wet yourself
to urinate in your clothes by accident
3. wet the/ your bed
to urinate in your bed by accident
She still sometimes wets the bed at night.
wet your whistle OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
to have an alcoholic drink
wet noun WATER
1. [ U ] liquid, especially water
Don't put your newspaper down in the wet.
2. the wet
MAINLY UK wet weather
Don't leave it out there in the wet.
wet noun PERSON
3. [ C ] UK DISAPPROVING someone who has a weak character and does not express
any forceful opinions
Come on Tom, don't be such a wet!
4. [ C ] UK DISAPPROVING a member of the Conservative Party in Britain with no
strong or extreme opinions
ˌ wet ˈ blanket noun [ C usually singular ] DISAPPROVING
a person who says or does something that stops other people enjoying
themselves
ˌ wet ˈ blanket noun [ C usually singular ] DISAPPROVING
a person who says or does something that stops other people enjoying
themselves
ˌ wet ˈ dream noun [ C ]
a man's sexually exciting dream which causes an ejaculation (= release of sperm)
wetland , noun [ C or U ]
a large area of land covered with swamp or marsh
wet-look adjective [ before noun ]
shiny
wet-look hair gel
ˈ wet ˌ nurse noun [ C ]
in the past, a woman employed to give her breast milk to another woman's baby
wet-nurse verb [ T ] DISAPPROVING
to treat someone too carefully as if they are unable to do anything themselves
wetsuit noun [ C ]
a piece of clothing, made from rubber, which covers the whole body closely and is
designed to keep you warm when you are swimming in especially the sea for long
periods
divers in wetsuits
a ˌ wet week ˈ end noun [ S ] UK INFORMAL
a very boring and disappointing experience or person
He sounds about as much fun as a wet weekend in Carmarthenshire.
we've , short form of
we have
We've been married eight years.
whack verb
1. [ T ] to hit someone or something noisily
He whacked the tree trunk with his stick.
She whacked him in the mouth.
2. [ T + adverb or preposition ] INFORMAL to quickly put something somewhere
"Where shall I put my bag?" "Just whack it in the corner there."
whack noun SHARE
1. [ S or U ] INFORMAL a share or part
Low earners will pay only half the charge but high earners will have to pay full
whack (= pay the whole amount) .
That's not a fair whack.
2. top whack
UK INFORMAL the highest possible price or payment
They're prepared to pay top whack for goods like this.
whack noun NOT RIGHT
3. out of whack US INFORMAL
not operating correctly or looking right
You can use Carol's old bike - the gears are out of whack, but it still goes.
whack noun HIT
4. [ C ] the action of hitting someone or something noisily
He gave the ball a whack with his stick.
whacked adjective ( ALSO whacked out )
1. INFORMAL very tired
Go and pour yourself a drink, love - you look whacked.
2. US INFORMAL suffering the effects of drugs or alcohol
He was whacked-out on speed, jabbering a mile a minute and making no sense at
all.
whacked adjective ( ALSO whacked out )
1. INFORMAL very tired
Go and pour yourself a drink, love - you look whacked.
2. US INFORMAL suffering the effects of drugs or alcohol
He was whacked-out on speed, jabbering a mile a minute and making no sense at
all.
whacking adjective , adverb INFORMAL
very big
a whacking (great) boulder
a whacking fine
whacky , US USUALLY wacky adjective INFORMAL
strange or unusual
The place is stuffed with whacky memorabilia like a sculpture of the Seven Dwarfs
that Walt Disney gave to Debbie Reynolds.
whale noun [ C ]
whale
a very large sea mammal that breathes air through a hole at the top of its head
have a whale of a time INFORMAL
to enjoy yourself very much
We had a whale of a time on holiday.
a whale of a US INFORMAL
describes a very great amount of something or a very good thing
That's a whale of a story.
Another thousand dollars would make a whale of a difference.
whaler noun [ C ]
(someone who works on) a boat which is designed for hunting whales
whaling noun [ U ]
the activity of hunting whales
wham exclamation INFORMAL SOUND
1. used to suggest the sound of a sudden hit
The boys in the cartoon were punching each other - wham, zap!
wham exclamation INFORMAL SUDDENLY
2. used to show that something you are describing happened suddenly
Everything was fine until, wham, the wire snapped.
whammy noun [ C ] US OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
a magical spell or power that causes someone to have a difficult or unpleasant
time
He put the whammy on me.
whammy noun [ C ] US OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
a magical spell or power that causes someone to have a difficult or unpleasant
time
He put the whammy on me.
wharf noun [ C ]
an area like a wide wall built near the edge of the sea or a river where ships can
be tied and goods unloaded
Canary Wharf
what determiner , pronoun , exclamation QUESTION
1. used to ask for information about people or things
What time is it?
What books did you buy?
What did you wear?
What size shoes do you take?
What happened after I left?
What caused the accident?
2. used in questions which show you are surprised or do not believe something
"I've just told Peter." "What?/You did what?"
What's this I hear? You're leaving?
3. what...for?
used to ask about the reason for something
What are these tools for?
What are you doing that for?
"We need a bigger car." "What for?"
what about?
used to suggest something
What about Lola - shall we invite her?
What about taking a few days off?
what if?
used to ask about something that could happen in the future, especially
something bad
What if the train's late?
What if you don't pass your exams?
What is/are he/she/it/they, etc. like?
said to ask someone to describe someone or something to you
What was her boyfriend like?
"What was the weather like?" "It rained all week."
You've seen their new house, haven't you? What's it like?
What of it? INFORMAL
used to rudely say that you do not think something is important
"That's the third time you've done that!" "Yeah, what of it?"
what's on
used to mean 'what is happening'. This phrase is often used as the title of the part
of a newspaper which tells you about events and entertainment happening in the next
week or month.
What's that (all) about (then)? UK INFORMAL
used when you do not understand why something or someone is so popular or
fashionable
Pierced tongues - what's that about, then?
What's up? INFORMAL
used to ask someone what the problem is
What's up - why does everyone look so serious?
What's up with Terry?
what pronoun THAT WHICH
1. the thing(s) which; that which
What I wanted to find out first was how long it was going to take.
What really concerned her was how unhappy the child was.
She wouldn't tell me what he said.
I hadn't got much money on me but I gave them what I had.
The letter showed clearly what they were planning.
I can't decide what to do next.
Have you thought about what to send as a present?
2. used to introduce something you are going to say
You'll never guess what - Laurie won first prize!
I'll tell you what - we'll collect the parcel on our way to the station.
and what have you INFORMAL
and other similar things
There were a couple of bags full of old records, magazines and what have you.
what with INFORMAL
used to talk about the reasons for a particular situation, especially a bad or
difficult situation
I'm very tired, what with travelling all day yesterday and having a disturbed night.
what/whatever sb says goes
What/whatever someone says goes means you have to do what they say
It was Helen's idea and what Helen says goes.
what's more
used to add something surprising or interesting to what you have just said
The decorations were absolutely beautiful and what's more, the children had
made them themselves.
what predeterminer , determiner OPINION
used to introduce your opinion
"She can't come." "What a shame/pity."
What a lovely view!
What nonsense/rubbish!
What strange clothes he was wearing.
what pronoun , exclamation INFORMAL QUESTION
used to ask someone to say something again
"I think we should leave at twelve." "What?" "I said I think we should leave at
twelve."
whatchamacallit noun [ C ] INFORMAL
used when you are speaking about something or someone whose name you can
not remember
I need a - a whatchamacallit - one of those things that you can caramelize sugar
with.
whatchamacallit noun [ C ] INFORMAL
used when you are speaking about something or someone whose name you can
not remember
I need a - a whatchamacallit - one of those things that you can caramelize sugar
with.
whatever pronoun , determiner NOT IMPORTANT WHAT
1. it is not important what is; it makes no difference what (is)
We'll go whatever the weather.
Whatever happens, you know that I'll stand by you.
Whatever else may be said of him, Mr Meese is not scared of a fight.
Whatever the outcome of the war, there will be no winners.
Whatever the reason, more Britons are emigrating to Australia today than at any
time since the 1950s.
whatever pronoun , determiner ANYTHING
2. anything or everything
I eat whatever I want and I still don't seem to put on weight.
"What shall we do tonight then?" "It's up to you - whatever you want."
Whatever I say I always seem to get it wrong.
Don't, whatever you do , tell Patrick or the world will know! (= You certainly
should not tell Patrick!)
Do whatever you want - it won't affect me.
"So I'll bring red wine then." "Sure, whatever (= bring that or anything else) ."
Apparently he 'discovered himself' in India, whatever that means (= although I
do not know what that means) .
whatever pronoun SURPRISE
used instead of the word what to add emphasis to a phrase, usually expressing
surprise
Whatever is he doing with that rod?
Whatever's that yellow thing on your plate?
Whatever did you say that for?
Whatever does she see in him - he's revolting!
Whatever made him buy that jacket?
whatever adverb EMPHASIS
1. whatsoever
There is no evidence whatever to show that this is in fact the case.
whatever adverb DISRESPECT
2. INFORMAL something that is said to show no respect to someone who is asking
you to agree with them or agree to do something
"Bryce, could you do what I ask you to once in a while?" "Whatever."
whatnot noun INFORMAL
and whatnot/and what have you
and other similar things
You can buy crisps and whatnot at the bar.
That'll leave you a bit of time so that you can get the table set and whatnot.
whatchamacallit noun [ C ] INFORMAL
used when you are speaking about something or someone whose name you can
not remember
I need a - a whatchamacallit - one of those things that you can caramelize sugar
with.
whatever pronoun , determiner NOT IMPORTANT WHAT
1. it is not important what is; it makes no difference what (is)
We'll go whatever the weather.
Whatever happens, you know that I'll stand by you.
Whatever else may be said of him, Mr Meese is not scared of a fight.
Whatever the outcome of the war, there will be no winners.
Whatever the reason, more Britons are emigrating to Australia today than at any
time since the 1950s.
whatever pronoun , determiner ANYTHING
2. anything or everything
I eat whatever I want and I still don't seem to put on weight.
"What shall we do tonight then?" "It's up to you - whatever you want."
Whatever I say I always seem to get it wrong.
Don't, whatever you do , tell Patrick or the world will know! (= You certainly
should not tell Patrick!)
Do whatever you want - it won't affect me.
"So I'll bring red wine then." "Sure, whatever (= bring that or anything else) ."
Apparently he 'discovered himself' in India, whatever that means (= although I
do not know what that means) .
whatever pronoun SURPRISE
used instead of the word what to add emphasis to a phrase, usually expressing
surprise
Whatever is he doing with that rod?
Whatever's that yellow thing on your plate?
Whatever did you say that for?
Whatever does she see in him - he's revolting!
Whatever made him buy that jacket?
whatever adverb EMPHASIS
1. whatsoever
There is no evidence whatever to show that this is in fact the case.
whatever adverb DISRESPECT
2. INFORMAL something that is said to show no respect to someone who is asking
you to agree with them or agree to do something
"Bryce, could you do what I ask you to once in a while?" "Whatever."
whatnot noun INFORMAL
and whatnot/and what have you
and other similar things
You can buy crisps and whatnot at the bar.
That'll leave you a bit of time so that you can get the table set and whatnot.
what's-her-name noun [ S ] ( ALSO whatsername ) INFORMAL
used for referring to a woman or girl when you cannot remember or do not know
her name
I gave the report to what's-her-name - the new marketing assistant.
what's-his-name , whatsisname noun [ S ] INFORMAL
used for referring to a man or boy when you cannot remember or do not know his
name
Have you invited Mike Whatsisname to the party?
whatsit noun [ C ] INFORMAL
any object or person whose name you have temporarily forgotten or do not know
Where's the whatsit that you change channels with?
You'd better tell whatsit - what's his name - the guy in charge of stationery.
whatsoever adverb ( ALSO whatever )
used after a negative phrase to add emphasis to the idea that is being expressed
He has no respect for authority whatsoever.
I can honestly say that I have no interest whatsoever in the royal family.
There is no evidence whatever to show that this is in fact the case.
"Had you any idea what was happening at the time?" "None whatsoever."
wheat noun [ U ]
a plant whose yellowish brown grain is used for making flour, or the grain itself
wheat fields
Wheat is a staple crop for millions of people across the world.
See also whole wheat
separate the wheat from the chaff
to separate things or people that are of high quality or ability from those that are
not
The first round of interviews really separates the wheat from the chaff.
ˈ wheat ˌ germ noun [ U ]
the central part of a grain of wheat which is sometimes added to food, especially
bread, because it contains substances which are good for the body
wheatmeal noun [ U ] UK
brown flour which contains some but not all of the outer covering and central part
of the wheat grain
wheatmeal digestive biscuits
wheedle verb [ I T + adv/prep ] DISAPPROVING
to try to persuade someone to do something or give you something by praising
them or being intentionally charming
She's one of those children who can wheedle you into giving her anything she
wants.
She wasn't invited, but somehow she managed to wheedle her way in .
I tried all manner of different approaches - I wheedled, threatened, demanded,
cajoled.
wheedling adjective
I knew by your wheedling tone that you wanted something from me.
wheel noun
1. [ C ] a circular object connected at the centre to a bar, which is used for
making vehicles or parts of machines move
I got my bag caught in the wheel of my bicycle.
He lost control of his car when a front/rear wheel hit a stone as he approached
the first bend.
See also Ferris wheel ; flywheel ; waterwheel
2. on wheels
Something that is on wheels has wheels under it so that it can be pulled or
pushed along
My suitcase is on wheels so that makes life a little easier.
I bought my niece one of those toy dogs on wheels.
3. the wheel
a steering wheel (= a wheel inside a vehicle, which the driver turns to make the
vehicle go in a particular direction)
Keep your hands on the wheel!,
I never feel safe with Richard at/behind the wheel (= driving) .
Do you think you could take the wheel (= drive) for a couple of hours?
4. [ C ] a wooden or metal wheel which is turned to make a ship go in a particular
direction
5. wheels OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
a car
I've got to get some wheels - this public transport system's a joke!
a fifth/third wheel US
someone who is in a situation where they are not needed or are ignored by most
people
set the wheels in motion
to do something which will cause a series of actions to start
I thought a phone call to the right person might set the wheels in motion.
wheels within wheels
hidden or unknown things that influence a particular situation, making it more
complicated than it at first seems
wheel verb PUSH
1. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to push an object that has wheels so that
it moves in a particular direction
I saw her last night wheeling a buggy along Green Lane.
Halfway through the talk someone wheeled in a trolley laden with drinks.
Doctors put her on a respirator and wheeled her downstairs to intensive care.
wheel verb FLY IN CIRCLES
2. [ I ] to fly repeatedly in a circular pattern
She watched a flock of seagulls wheeling high above her.
wheel sth out phrasal verb [ M ] DISAPPROVING
to use something or someone that you have used many times before in a way
that is boring for other people
Every time we have this argument you wheel out the same old statistics, and I'm
still not convinced!
Year after year they wheel out the same third-rate celebrities to entertain us.
wheel round phrasal verb UK ( US wheel around )
to turn round quickly
She wheeled round to face him and saw him take out a gun.
wheel noun
1. [ C ] a circular object connected at the centre to a bar, which is used for
making vehicles or parts of machines move
I got my bag caught in the wheel of my bicycle.
He lost control of his car when a front/rear wheel hit a stone as he approached
the first bend.
See also Ferris wheel ; flywheel ; waterwheel
2. on wheels
Something that is on wheels has wheels under it so that it can be pulled or
pushed along
My suitcase is on wheels so that makes life a little easier.
I bought my niece one of those toy dogs on wheels.
3. the wheel
a steering wheel (= a wheel inside a vehicle, which the driver turns to make the
vehicle go in a particular direction)
Keep your hands on the wheel!,
I never feel safe with Richard at/behind the wheel (= driving) .
Do you think you could take the wheel (= drive) for a couple of hours?
4. [ C ] a wooden or metal wheel which is turned to make a ship go in a particular
direction
5. wheels OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
a car
I've got to get some wheels - this public transport system's a joke!
a fifth/third wheel US
someone who is in a situation where they are not needed or are ignored by most
people
set the wheels in motion
to do something which will cause a series of actions to start
I thought a phone call to the right person might set the wheels in motion.
wheels within wheels
hidden or unknown things that influence a particular situation, making it more
complicated than it at first seems
wheel verb PUSH
1. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to push an object that has wheels so that
it moves in a particular direction
I saw her last night wheeling a buggy along Green Lane.
Halfway through the talk someone wheeled in a trolley laden with drinks.
Doctors put her on a respirator and wheeled her downstairs to intensive care.
wheel verb FLY IN CIRCLES
2. [ I ] to fly repeatedly in a circular pattern
She watched a flock of seagulls wheeling high above her.
wheel sth out phrasal verb [ M ] DISAPPROVING
to use something or someone that you have used many times before in a way
that is boring for other people
Every time we have this argument you wheel out the same old statistics, and I'm
still not convinced!
Year after year they wheel out the same third-rate celebrities to entertain us.
wheel round phrasal verb UK ( US wheel around )
to turn round quickly
She wheeled round to face him and saw him take out a gun.
ˌ wheel and ˈ deal verb [ I ] INFORMAL
to try to make a profit or get an advantage using clever or complicated methods
and often deceiving people or breaking the usual rules
He spends his time wheeling and dealing on the stock exchange.
wheeling and dealing noun [ U ]
It's an article about all the wheeling and dealing that goes on in financial markets.
wheelbarrow noun [ C ] ( ALSO barrow )
wheelbarrow
a large open container for moving things in, which has a wheel at the front and
two handles at the back, used especially in the garden
wheelbase noun [ C usually singular ]
the distance between the front and the back wheels of a motor vehicle
wheelchair noun [ C ]
a chair on wheels which people who are unable to walk use for moving around
He spent the last ten years of his life in a wheelchair after a fall which left him
paralysed from the waist down.
The building isn't designed very well from the point of view of wheelchair access.
ˈ wheel ˌ clamp noun [ C ] UK ( US (Denver) boot )
a metal device fixed to the wheel of an illegally parked car which will only be
removed when the owner pays an amount of money
I hope we're not going to find a wheel clamp on my car when we get back.
wheel-clamp verb [ T ]
-wheeled suffix
with the stated number of wheels
It looks like a motorized version of a child's two-wheeled scooter.
-wheeled suffix
with the stated number of wheels
It looks like a motorized version of a child's two-wheeled scooter.
-wheeler suffix
used with numbers to form a noun which describes a vehicle with the stated
number of wheels
He drives a three-wheeler (= a car with three wheels) .
wheeler-dealer noun [ C ] INFORMAL
someone who wheels and deals
He worked in the property business for a number of years, acquiring a reputation
as a formidable wheeler-dealer.
wheelie noun [ C ] INFORMAL
an act of raising the front wheel of a bicycle off the ground and keeping it in the
air while riding the bicycle
I can do great wheelies on this bike.
ˈ wheelie ˌ bin noun [ C ]
wheelie bin
a container for rubbish which has wheels so that it can be moved easily
We put our wheelie bin out to be emptied every Thursday morning.
wheeze verb [ I ]
to make a high, rough noise while breathing because of some breathing difficulty
I could hear the old man behind me wheezing.
I know when I've been smoking too much because I start to wheeze when I run
for a train.
wheezy adjective
He's got a very wheezy chest which hasn't been helped by a recent cold.
wheeze noun [ C ] PLAN
1. UK OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL a clever and often unusual idea or plan, especially
one which is intended to achieve a profit or some other advantage
As a part of their latest marketing wheeze they've planted fifty-pound notes in a
number of the crisp packets.
So the public actually pay to feed the animals in the zoo? That seems like a good
wheeze.
I've had a wheeze - why don't we put both kids in the small room and that will
leave the back room free.
wheeze noun [ C ] BREATH
2. a high, rough noise made when someone cannot breathe easily
The cough, wheeze and shortness of breath are things that go with smoking, not
with age.
whelk noun [ C ]
a soft sea animal, similar to a snail, that lives in a hard shell
whelk noun [ C ]
a soft sea animal, similar to a snail, that lives in a hard shell
when adverb , conjunction
at what time; at the time at which
"I did tell you about it." "When? I don't remember."
When are you going?
When's the baby due?
We'll go when you're ready.
Tell me when to start.
Ask him when he's next coming home.
When do you expect to have the project completed (by) ?
She was only twenty when she had her first baby.
He was quite shocked when I told him.
I hate it when there's no one in the office.
I went there when I was a child.
I was just getting into the bath when the telephone rang.
when pronoun
what/which time
"Did you know Lucy was back in England?" "Is she - since when?"
since when
used angrily in speech to ask someone why they believe a situation to be different
from how it really is
Since when did you have the right to tell me what to do?
when conjunction CONSIDERING THAT
1. considering the fact that
How can you say you don't like something when you've never even tried it!
You can't complain of being lonely when you don't make any effort to meet
people.
Why is she training to be a teacher when she doesn't even like children?
I don't suppose I can really call myself a vegetarian when I eat fish.
when conjunction ALTHOUGH
2. despite the fact that
He says he hasn't got any money when in fact he's got thousands of dollars in his
account.
I don't understand how he can say that everything's fine when it's so obvious that
it's not.
whence adverb , conjunction FORMAL
(from) where
It has been returned to the shop from whence it came.
whence adverb , conjunction FORMAL
(from) where
It has been returned to the shop from whence it came.
whenever adverb , conjunction
every or any time
I blush whenever I think about it.
Whenever I go there they seem to be in bed.
I try to use olive oil whenever possible.
"Will it be okay if I do it tomorrow?" "Sure, whenever (= then or at any other
time) ."
Do it in a spare moment at the weekend or whenever - it really doesn't matter.
I'm talking about last July or whenever it was you got back from India.
whenever adverb
used instead of 'when' to add emphasis to a phrase, usually expressing surprise
Whenever do you get the time to do these things?
Whenever did Jane see a fortune teller?
where adverb , conjunction
1. to, at or in what place
Where does he live?
"I put it on your desk." "Where? I can't see it?"
Where are we going?
Now where did I put my glasses?
Where's the party being held?
Could you tell me where Barker Drive is please?
Where did you put my umbrella?
I've left my keys somewhere and I don't know where.
You've found my diary - where on Earth was it?
I've been meaning to ask you where you get your hair cut.
Bradford, where Bren comes from, has a lot of good curry restaurants.
She lived in Rome for a couple of years, where she taught English.
You see where Mira is standing? Well, he's behind her.
I like to have him next to me where I can keep an eye on him.
I read it somewhere - I don't know where (= in which book, newspaper, etc.) .
2. used when referring to a particular stage in a process or activity
You reach a point in any project where you just want to get the thing finished.
I've reached the stage where I just don't care any more.
3. in what situation
You're not available on the 12th and Andrew can't make the 20th - so where does
that leave us?
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
be where it's at SLIGHTLY OLD-FASHIONED
to be very fashionable and popular
In the classical music world these days, authentic instruments are where it's at.
know/see where sb is coming from
If you say to someone you know or see where they are coming from, you mean
you understand why they have a particular opinion, often although you do not have that
opinion.
I could see where they were coming from when they started quoting the Bible at
me.
whereabouts noun [ U + sing/pl verb ]
the place where a person or thing is
Trupin is thought to be in the Caribbean, although his exact whereabouts are/is a
mystery.
whereabouts adverb
in what part or area
Whereabouts in Madrid do you live?
Whereabouts is your office, then?
whereabouts noun [ U + sing/pl verb ]
the place where a person or thing is
Trupin is thought to be in the Caribbean, although his exact whereabouts are/is a
mystery.
whereabouts adverb
in what part or area
Whereabouts in Madrid do you live?
Whereabouts is your office, then?
whereas conjunction
compared with the fact that; but
He must be about sixty, whereas his wife looks about thirty.
You eat a massive plate of food for lunch, whereas I have just a sandwich.
whereby adverb , conjunction
1. by which way or method
They've set up a plan whereby you can spread the cost over a period.
We need to devise some sort of system whereby people can liaise with each
other.
2. NOT STANDARD in which, or with which
It's put me in a position whereby I can't afford to take a job.
wherefores plural noun
see the whys and (the) wherefores at why .
wherein adverb , conjunction OLD USE OR FORMAL
in which, or in which part
He gazed once more around the room, wherein were assembled his entire family.
He was certainly a pleasant man but wherein lay his charms, she wondered.
wheresoever adverb , conjunction
FORMAL FOR wherever (EVERY PLACE)
whereupon conjunction
immediately after which
I told her she looked fat, whereupon she threw the entire contents of a saucepan
at me and burst into tears.
wherever adverb , conjunction
1. to or in any or every place
We can go wherever you like.
Wherever I go I always seem to bump into him.
All across Europe, wherever you look, marriage is in decline and divorce rates are
soaring.
Wherever you choose to live there are always going to be disadvantages.
He lives, apparently, in Little Overington, wherever that is.
2. in every case
Wherever possible I use honey instead of sugar.
wherever adverb
used instead of 'where' to add emphasis to a phrase, usually expressing surprise
Wherever did you find that hat!
Wherever did you get that idea!
Wherever does he get the money from to go on all these exotic journeys?
the wherewithal noun [ S ]
the money necessary for a particular purpose
I'd like to buy a bigger house, but I don't have the wherewithal.
[ + to infinitive ] Poor families lack the wherewithal to hire good lawyers.
the wherewithal noun [ S ]
the money necessary for a particular purpose
I'd like to buy a bigger house, but I don't have the wherewithal.
[ + to infinitive ] Poor families lack the wherewithal to hire good lawyers.
whet verb INTEREST
1. whet sb's appetite
to increase someone's interest in and wish for something, usually by giving them
a small experience of it
I've read an excerpt of the book on the Web and it's whetted my appetite.
That one kiss had whetted his appetite.
whet verb SHARPEN
2. [ T ] OLD USE to sharpen the blade of a knife or similar tool
He whetted his knife against the stone.
whether conjunction
1. (used especially in reporting questions and expressing doubts) if, or not
I wasn't sure whether you'd like it.
She asked me whether I was interested in working for her.
I'm wondering whether to have the fish or the beef.
I doubt whether it'll work.
I was merely questioning whether we have the money to fund such a project.
It all depends on whether or not she's got the time.
Anyway, it's a good story, whether or not it's true.
2. whether...or
(used to introduce two or more possibilities) it is not important if
I'm going, whether she likes it or not .
Someone's got to tell her, whether it's you or me.
Let's face it - you're going to be late whether you go by bus or train.
whetstone noun [ C ]
a stone used for sharpening the blades of knives or other cutting tools
Whew! exclamation INFORMAL
Phew!
whey noun [ U ]
the watery part of milk which is separated from the solid curds during the process
of making cheese
which determiner , pronoun QUESTION
1. (used in questions and structures in which there is a fixed or limited set of
answers or possibilities) what one or ones
Which party would you prefer to go to - Anna's or Ian's ?
Which doctor did you see - Sewards?
Which time suits you better - 12.30 or one o'clock?
"Jacinta was there with her boyfriend." "Which one? She's got several."
Which is mine? The smaller one?
See if you can guess which one is me in my old school photo.
It's either Spanish or Portuguese that she speaks, but I've forgotten which.
Which of the desserts did you have?
Which of your parents do you feel closer to?
which determiner , pronoun ADDS INFORMATION
2. used to add extra information to a previous clause, in writing usually after a
comma
That bar on Milton Street, which by the way is very nice, is owned by Trevor's
brother.
She says it's Charlotte's fault, which is rubbish, and that she blames her.
Anyway, that evening, which I'll tell you more about later, I ended up staying at
Rachel's place.
It's the third in a sequence of three books, the first of which I really enjoyed.
He showed me round the town, which was very kind of him.
The picking of the fruit, for which work they receive no money, takes about a
week.
which pronoun USED TO REFER
used as the subject or object of a verb to show what thing or things you are
referring to, or to add information about the thing just mentioned. It is usually used for
things, not people
These are principles which we all believe in.
You know that little Italian restaurant - the one which I mentioned in my letter?
Is that the film in which he kills his mother?
The death of his son was an experience from which he never fully recovered.
It isn't a subject to which I devote a great deal of thought.
which is which
used in expressions that relate to being able to see the difference between two
very similar things or people
For the first few months the babies looked so alike I couldn't tell which was
which.
which determiner , pronoun QUESTION
1. (used in questions and structures in which there is a fixed or limited set of
answers or possibilities) what one or ones
Which party would you prefer to go to - Anna's or Ian's ?
Which doctor did you see - Sewards?
Which time suits you better - 12.30 or one o'clock?
"Jacinta was there with her boyfriend." "Which one? She's got several."
Which is mine? The smaller one?
See if you can guess which one is me in my old school photo.
It's either Spanish or Portuguese that she speaks, but I've forgotten which.
Which of the desserts did you have?
Which of your parents do you feel closer to?
which determiner , pronoun ADDS INFORMATION
2. used to add extra information to a previous clause, in writing usually after a
comma
That bar on Milton Street, which by the way is very nice, is owned by Trevor's
brother.
She says it's Charlotte's fault, which is rubbish, and that she blames her.
Anyway, that evening, which I'll tell you more about later, I ended up staying at
Rachel's place.
It's the third in a sequence of three books, the first of which I really enjoyed.
He showed me round the town, which was very kind of him.
The picking of the fruit, for which work they receive no money, takes about a
week.
which pronoun USED TO REFER
used as the subject or object of a verb to show what thing or things you are
referring to, or to add information about the thing just mentioned. It is usually used for
things, not people
These are principles which we all believe in.
You know that little Italian restaurant - the one which I mentioned in my letter?
Is that the film in which he kills his mother?
The death of his son was an experience from which he never fully recovered.
It isn't a subject to which I devote a great deal of thought.
which is which
used in expressions that relate to being able to see the difference between two
very similar things or people
For the first few months the babies looked so alike I couldn't tell which was
which.
whichever determiner , pronoun
any one from a limited set
We can go to the seven o'clock performance or the eight - whichever suits you
best.
Either Thursday or Friday - choose whichever day is best for you.
whichever determiner
it is not important which
It's going to be expensive whichever way you do it.
Whichever option we choose there'll be disadvantages.
whiff noun [ C usually singular ]
1. a slight smell, carried on a current of air
He leaned towards me and I caught/got a whiff of garlic.
During the first few months of pregnancy the slightest whiff of food cooking made
my stomach turn.
2. a whiff of sth
a slight sign of something
They regularly hold elections without a whiff of corruption or violence.
whiffy adjective UK INFORMAL
smelling unpleasant
He hadn't showered for a couple of days and was starting to get whiffy.
Whig noun [ C ]
a member of a British political party in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which
supported political and social change
while conjunction DURING
1. ( MAINLY UK FORMAL whilst ) during the time that, or at the same time as
I read it while you were drying your hair.
While I was in Italy I went to see Alessandro.
I thought I heard him come in while we were having dinner.
"I'm going to the post office." "While you're there can you get me some stamps?"
while conjunction ALTHOUGH
2. ( MAINLY UK FORMAL whilst ) despite the fact that; although
While I accept that he's not perfect in many respects, I do actually quite like the
man.
While I fully understand your point of view, I do also have some sympathy with
Michael's.
while conjunction BUT
3. compared with the fact that; but
He gets fifty thousand pounds a year while I get a meagre twenty!
Tom is very extrovert and confident while Katy's shy and quiet.
I do every single bit of housework while he just does the dishes now and again.
while noun
a while
a length of time
I only stayed for a short while.
You were there quite a while (= a long time) , weren't you?
"When did that happen?" "Oh, it was a while ago (= a long time ago) .
I haven't seen him for a while (= for a long time) .
I'll be fine in a while (= soon) .
See also worthwhile
all the while
for all of a period of time
There I was thinking you were hard at work and you were upstairs in bed all the
while!
while verb
while sth away phrasal verb [ M ]
to spend time in a relaxed way because you have nothing to do or you are waiting
for something else to happen
We whiled away the afternoon playing cards in front of the fire.
That's the bar where Sara and I used to while away the hours between lectures.
whim noun [ C ]
a sudden wish or idea, especially one that cannot be reasonably explained
We booked the holiday on a whim.
You can add what you like to this mixture - brandy, whisky or nothing at all - as
the whim takes you.
Oh for a husband who would indulge my every whim!
whim noun [ C ]
a sudden wish or idea, especially one that cannot be reasonably explained
We booked the holiday on a whim.
You can add what you like to this mixture - brandy, whisky or nothing at all - as
the whim takes you.
Oh for a husband who would indulge my every whim!
whimper verb [ I ]
(especially of an animal) to make a series of small, weak sounds, expressing pain
or unhappiness
A half-starved dog lay in the corner, whimpering pathetically.
I said she couldn't have an ice cream and she started to whimper.
whimper noun [ C ]
She gave a little whimper as the vet inspected her paw.
whimsical adjective
unusual and strange in a way that might be funny or annoying
a whimsical tale
Despite his kindly, sometimes whimsical air, he was a shrewd observer of people.
whimsically adverb
whimsicality noun [ U ] FORMAL
whimsy noun [ C or U ] DISAPPROVING
something that is intended to be strange and humorous but in fact has little real
meaning or value
Personally I've always considered mime to be a lot of whimsy.
whine verb [ I ]
1. to make a long, high, sad sound
Leon's dog was sitting by the door whining, so I thought I'd better take it for a
walk.
2. DISAPPROVING If you whine, especially as a child, you complain or express
disappointment or unhappiness repeatedly
Alice, if you carry on whining like that I won't take you - do you understand!
whine noun [ C usually singular ]
an unpleasant high sound or voice
the whine of a circular saw
She delivered the speech in a high-pitched nasal whine.
whiner noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING
a person, especially a child, who complains or expresses disappointment or
unhappiness repeatedly
whiner noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING
a person, especially a child, who complains or expresses disappointment or
unhappiness repeatedly
whinge verb [ I ] UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
to complain, especially about something which does not seem important
Oh stop whinging, for heaven's sake!
She's always whingeing (on) about something.
whinge noun [ C usually singular ]
We were just having a whinge about our boss - nothing new.
whinger noun [ C ] UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who complains repeatedly
His friend Jon is such a whinger.
whinny verb [ I ]
(of a horse) to make a soft, high sound
A horse whinnied into the cold morning.
whip noun DEVICE FOR HITTING
whip
1. [ C ] a piece of leather or rope which is fastened to a stick, used for hitting
animals or people
She lashed the horses mercilessly with her long whip.
The lion-tamer cracked his whip.
whip noun POLITICS
2. [ C ] (in many elected political systems) a member of a political party in
parliament or in the legislature whose job is to make certain that other party members
are present at voting time and also to make certain that they vote in a particular way
Hargreaves is the MP who got into trouble with his party's chief whip for opposing
the tax reform.
3. [ C ] in British politics, a written order demanding that party members be
present in parliament when there is to be an important vote or demanding that they
vote in a particular way
In 1970 he defied the three-line (= most urgent) whip against EC membership.
whip noun SWEET FOOD
4. [ C or U ] a sweet food made from cream or beaten egg mixed together with
fruit
have/hold the whip hand
to be the person or group that has the most power in a situation
During the last decade the right wing of the party has held the whip hand.
whip verb DO QUICKLY
1. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to bring or take something quickly
She whipped a handkerchief out of her pocket and wiped his face.
He whipped the covers off the bed.
I was going to pay but before I knew it he'd whipped out his credit card.
They whipped my plate away before I'd even finished.
2. [ I or T + adverb or preposition ] LITERARY to (cause something to) move quickly
and forcefully
The wind whipped across the half-frozen lake.
A fierce, freezing wind whipped torrential rain into their faces.
whip verb BEAT FOOD
3. [ T ] to beat food, especially cream with a special utensil in order to make it
thick and firm
Could you whip the cream for me?
Try whipping a little brandy or other liqueur into the cream.
Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of sugar.
whip verb HIT
4. [ T ] to hit a person or animal with a whip
I don't like the way the drivers whip their horses.
whip verb STEAL
5. [ T ] UK OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL to steal something
whip sb into sth phrasal verb
If you whip someone into a particular state, you quickly and effectively cause
them to be in that state
Karl Smith, the 19-year old singer, had whipped the crowd of teenage girls into a
frenzy merely by removing his shirt.
The prime minister's final speech had the desired effect, whipping his party into a
patriotic fervour.
whip sth up phrasal verb [ M ] EMOTION
1. MAINLY DISAPPROVING to encourage or cause people to have strong feelings about
something
She criticized the government for trying to whip up anti-German prejudice.
He was trying to whip up some enthusiasm for the project.
whip sth up phrasal verb [ M ] FOOD
2. INFORMAL to make food or a meal very quickly and easily
I think I've just about got enough time to whip up an omelette.
whiplash noun [ C or U ]
a neck injury caused by a sudden forward movement of the upper body,
especially in a car accident
a whiplash injury
whiplash noun [ C or U ]
a neck injury caused by a sudden forward movement of the upper body,
especially in a car accident
a whiplash injury
whippersnapper noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED OR HUMOROUS
a young person who is too confident and shows no respect towards other,
especially older, people
I'm not going to have some young whippersnapper tell me what to do!
whippet noun [ C ]
a thin dog, like a small greyhound , often used for racing
whipping noun [ C usually singular ]
the punishment of being hit by a whip
ˈ whipping ˌ boy noun [ C usually singular ]
someone or something that is blamed or punished for problems that are caused
by someone or something else
whip-round noun [ C usually singular ] UK INFORMAL
a collection of money made by a group of people which is then given to a
particular person or used to buy a present for them
We usually have a whip-round at work for people who are leaving.
whirl verb [ I or T ]
to (cause something to) turn around in circles
She saw a mass of bodies whirling round on the dance floor.
He stepped out into the night and the whirling snow.
He whirled her round until she felt quite sick.
head/mind is whirling
If your head/mind is whirling, your mind is full of thoughts and images and you
are so excited that you cannot relax.
whirl noun ACTIVITY
1. [ S ] a continuous and exciting period of activity
The next two days passed in a whirl of activity.
I found myself swept up in the social whirl of college life and scarcely had time
for work.
whirl noun TURN
2. [ C usually singular ] when something turns around in circles
a whirl of snow
be in a whirl
to be excited and confused and unable to think clearly
give it a whirl INFORMAL
to attempt to do something, often for the first time
I've never danced salsa before but I'll give it a whirl.
whirligig noun [ C ]
something that is full of fast activity and always changing
By June of this year the whirligig of politics had kicked the Conservatives out and
put the Liberal Democrats in.
whirligig noun [ C ]
something that is full of fast activity and always changing
By June of this year the whirligig of politics had kicked the Conservatives out and
put the Liberal Democrats in.
whirlpool noun [ C ]
a small area of the sea or other water in which there is a powerful, circular
current of water which can pull objects down into its centre
whirlwind noun [ C ] ( US ALSO twister )
a tall column of spinning air which moves across the surface of the land or sea
whirlwind adjective [ before noun ]
describes an event that happens very fast, and often unexpectedly
They married three months after they met - it was a real whirlwind romance .
a whirlwind tour/visit
whirlybird noun [ C ] US OLD-FASHIONED
helicopter
whirr , MAINLY US whir verb [ I ]
(especially of machines) to make a low, soft, continuous sound
I could hear the washing machine whirring in the kitchen.
whirr , MAINLY US whir noun [ C usually singular ]
the whirr of machinery
whisk verb REMOVE
1. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to take something or someone somewhere
else suddenly and quickly
Our coffees were whisked away before we'd even finished them.
We only had half an hour to see her before she was whisked off to some exotic
location.
Her husband whisked her off to Egypt for her birthday.
whisk verb BEAT FOOD
2. [ T ] to beat eggs, cream, etc. with a special tool in order to add air and make
the food light
Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Remove mixture from heat and whisk in the brandy and vanilla essence.
whisk noun [ C ]
whisk
a kitchen tool which you use for beating food such as eggs and cream in order to
add air and make it light
an electric whisk
a hand-held whisk
whisker noun
1. [ C ] any of the long, stiff hairs growing on the face of a cat, mouse or other
mammal
He watched the cat cleaning the milk off her whiskers.
2. whiskers OLD-FASHIONED OR HUMOROUS
the hair growing on a man's face, especially the sides and/or the lower part
by a whisker
by a very small amount
Last time she raced against the Brazilian, she won by a whisker.
come within a whisker of (doing) sth
If you come within a whisker of doing something, you almost do it or it almost
happens to you
Twice now she had come within a whisker of death.
whisker noun
1. [ C ] any of the long, stiff hairs growing on the face of a cat, mouse or other
mammal
He watched the cat cleaning the milk off her whiskers.
2. whiskers OLD-FASHIONED OR HUMOROUS
the hair growing on a man's face, especially the sides and/or the lower part
by a whisker
by a very small amount
Last time she raced against the Brazilian, she won by a whisker.
come within a whisker of (doing) sth
If you come within a whisker of doing something, you almost do it or it almost
happens to you
Twice now she had come within a whisker of death.
whiskered adjective OLD-FASHIONED
having whiskers (= hair on a man's face)
whisky MAINLY UK , MAINLY US AND IRISH ENGLISH whiskey noun [ C or U ]
a strong, pale brown alcoholic drink, originally from Scotland and Ireland, made
from grain such as barley , maize or rye
whisper verb SPEAK
whisper
1. [ I or T ] to speak very quietly, using thebreath but not the voice, so that only
the person close to you can hearyou
Sheleaned over and whispered something in his ear.
What are you twogirls whispering about?
[ + speech ] "Where are the toilets?" she whispered.
It's rude towhisper!
whisper verb SUGGEST
2. [ + that ] to suggest privately that somethingmight be true
People are whispering that she's going to retire next year.
whisper noun SPEECH
1. [ C ] a way of speaking very quietly, using the breath butnot the voice, so that
only the person close to you can hear you
I heard whispersoutside my room.
She said it in a whisperso I presumed it wasn't common knowledge. "You see,"
she said, lowering hervoice to a whisper, "he hasn't been well recently."
2. [ S ] LITERARY a soft, lownoise
Thesilence was broken only by the whisper of theleaves in the gentle breeze.
whisper noun SUGGESTION
3. [ C ] a suggestion or piece of information that you hearprivately from someone
I've heard a whisper that they're heading for divorce.
ˈ whispering cam ˌ paign noun [ C usually singular ] DISAPPROVING
the intentional damaging of an important person's reputation by saying things
about them which, whether true or false, are unpleasant
ˈ whispering cam ˌ paign noun [ C usually singular ] DISAPPROVING
the intentional damaging of an important person's reputation by saying things
about them which, whether true or false, are unpleasant
whist noun [ U ]
a card game played between two pairs of players in which each side tries to win
more cards than the other
ˈ whist ˌ drive noun [ C ] UK
a social occasion at which people play whist
whistle verb
1. [ I or T ] to make a high sound by forcing air through a small hole or passage,
especially through the lips, or through a special device held to the lips
He whistled as he worked.
On the days when she wore a skirt the men on the building site would whistle at
her.
Someone was whistling Beatles tunes outside my window.
The referee whistled and the game was over.
2. [ I + adverb or preposition ] to make a long, high sound while moving quickly
through or past something
She heard the wind whistling through the trees and the howl of a distant wolf.
I stepped out of the building and immediately a bullet whistled past my head.
3. [ I ] When birds whistle, they sing in high musical notes
The birds were whistling in the early morning quiet.
whistle noun [ C ]
1. the sound made by someone or something whistling
From the bottom of the garden I recognised my father's tuneless whistle.
It sounded like the whistle of an old-fashioned steam train.
She listened to the whistle of the wind through the trees.
whistle
2. an object which you hold to your lips and blow through in order to make a loud,
high sound
The referee blew his whistle for half-time.
whistle-blower noun [ C ]
a person who tells someone in authority about something illegal that is
happening, especially in a government department or a company
whistle-stop tour noun [ C ]
a series of short visits to different places, made usually by a politician
whistle-stop tour noun [ C ]
a series of short visits to different places, made usually by a politician
whit noun FORMAL
not a whit
not any amount
There's not a whit of sense in that head of his!
white adjective COLOUR
1. of a colour like that of snow, milk or bone
a white T-shirt
white walls
a black and white dog
He's white-haired now.
"How do you like your coffee?" "White (= With milk or cream) and no sugar,
please."
2. used in the names of various food and drink products, many of which are not
pure white but slightly cream, yellow, grey or transparent
white bread
white chocolate
white flour
white sugar
white wine
white adjective PEOPLE
3. of a person who has skin that is pale in colour
He had a black mother and a white father.
a predominantly white neighbourhood
whiteness noun [ U ]
the quality of being white
(as) white as a sheet
If someone is (as) white as a sheet, their face is very pale, usually because of
illness, shock or fear.
whiter than white
never doing anything wrong
I was never convinced by the image of the whiter than white princess depicted in
the press.
white noun COLOUR
1. [ U ] a colour like that of snow, milk or bone
In some countries it is traditional for a bride to wear white.
2. whites
white clothes, either worn for sports or put together to be washed at the same
time
There was a group of men in cricket whites in the pub.
3. white of the eye
the part of the eye that is white
Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes (= until the people are very
close to you) .
4. egg white/white of an egg
the transparent part of an egg which surrounds the yolk and becomes white when
cooked
Whisk four egg whites into stiff peaks.
white noun PERSON
5. [ C ] a person who has skin that is pale in colour
The neighbourhood is populated mainly by whites.
ˌ white ˈ ant noun [ C ]
a termite
whistle-stop tour noun [ C ]
a series of short visits to different places, made usually by a politician
whit noun FORMAL
not a whit
not any amount
There's not a whit of sense in that head of his!
white adjective COLOUR
1. of a colour like that of snow, milk or bone
a white T-shirt
white walls
a black and white dog
He's white-haired now.
"How do you like your coffee?" "White (= With milk or cream) and no sugar,
please."
2. used in the names of various food and drink products, many of which are not
pure white but slightly cream, yellow, grey or transparent
white bread
white chocolate
white flour
white sugar
white wine
white adjective PEOPLE
3. of a person who has skin that is pale in colour
He had a black mother and a white father.
a predominantly white neighbourhood
whiteness noun [ U ]
the quality of being white
(as) white as a sheet
If someone is (as) white as a sheet, their face is very pale, usually because of
illness, shock or fear.
whiter than white
never doing anything wrong
I was never convinced by the image of the whiter than white princess depicted in
the press.
white noun COLOUR
1. [ U ] a colour like that of snow, milk or bone
In some countries it is traditional for a bride to wear white.
2. whites
white clothes, either worn for sports or put together to be washed at the same
time
There was a group of men in cricket whites in the pub.
3. white of the eye
the part of the eye that is white
Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes (= until the people are very
close to you) .
4. egg white/white of an egg
the transparent part of an egg which surrounds the yolk and becomes white when
cooked
Whisk four egg whites into stiff peaks.
white noun PERSON
5. [ C ] a person who has skin that is pale in colour
The neighbourhood is populated mainly by whites.
ˌ white ˈ ant noun [ C ]
a termite
whistle-stop tour noun [ C ]
a series of short visits to different places, made usually by a politician
whit noun FORMAL
not a whit
not any amount
There's not a whit of sense in that head of his!
white adjective COLOUR
1. of a colour like that of snow, milk or bone
a white T-shirt
white walls
a black and white dog
He's white-haired now.
"How do you like your coffee?" "White (= With milk or cream) and no sugar,
please."
2. used in the names of various food and drink products, many of which are not
pure white but slightly cream, yellow, grey or transparent
white bread
white chocolate
white flour
white sugar
white wine
white adjective PEOPLE
3. of a person who has skin that is pale in colour
He had a black mother and a white father.
a predominantly white neighbourhood
whiteness noun [ U ]
the quality of being white
(as) white as a sheet
If someone is (as) white as a sheet, their face is very pale, usually because of
illness, shock or fear.
whiter than white
never doing anything wrong
I was never convinced by the image of the whiter than white princess depicted in
the press.
white noun COLOUR
1. [ U ] a colour like that of snow, milk or bone
In some countries it is traditional for a bride to wear white.
2. whites
white clothes, either worn for sports or put together to be washed at the same
time
There was a group of men in cricket whites in the pub.
3. white of the eye
the part of the eye that is white
Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes (= until the people are very
close to you) .
4. egg white/white of an egg
the transparent part of an egg which surrounds the yolk and becomes white when
cooked
Whisk four egg whites into stiff peaks.
white noun PERSON
5. [ C ] a person who has skin that is pale in colour
The neighbourhood is populated mainly by whites.
ˌ white ˈ ant noun [ C ]
a termite
whitebait noun [ U ]
small, young fish of various different types, fried and eaten whole
ˌ white ˈ blood ˌ cell noun [ C ] ( ALSO white corpuscle )
a cell in the blood that has no red colour and is involved in the fight against
infection
whiteboard noun [ C ]
1. a board with a smooth, white surface, often fixed to a wall, on which you can
write and draw using special pens
2. a piece of electronic equipment in the shape of a flat, white board which is
connected to a computer and which you can write on using a special pen that also
controls the computer
an interactive whiteboard
See picture office equipment 1
ˌ white ˈ Christmas noun [ C ]
a Christmas when it snows
Do you think we might have a white Christmas this year?
white-collar adjective [ before noun ]
relating to people who work in offices, doing work that needs mental rather than
physical effort
white-collar workers/unions
ˌ white ˈ elephant noun [ C usually singular ] DISAPPROVING
something that has cost a lot of money but has no useful purpose
ˌ white ˈ flag noun [ C ]
a flag that is waved to show that you accept defeat or do not intend to attack
The soldiers lay down their guns and walked towards the enemy camp, carrying a
white flag.
ˌ white ˈ flight noun [ U ] MAINLY US
when white people move out of an area because people of other races are moving
in
ˈ white ˌ goods plural noun SPECIALIZED
large electrical goods for the house, such as cookers and washing machines
whistle-stop tour noun [ C ]
a series of short visits to different places, made usually by a politician
whit noun FORMAL
not a whit
not any amount
There's not a whit of sense in that head of his!
white adjective COLOUR
1. of a colour like that of snow, milk or bone
a white T-shirt
white walls
a black and white dog
He's white-haired now.
"How do you like your coffee?" "White (= With milk or cream) and no sugar,
please."
2. used in the names of various food and drink products, many of which are not
pure white but slightly cream, yellow, grey or transparent
white bread
white chocolate
white flour
white sugar
white wine
white adjective PEOPLE
3. of a person who has skin that is pale in colour
He had a black mother and a white father.
a predominantly white neighbourhood
whiteness noun [ U ]
the quality of being white
(as) white as a sheet
If someone is (as) white as a sheet, their face is very pale, usually because of
illness, shock or fear.
whiter than white
never doing anything wrong
I was never convinced by the image of the whiter than white princess depicted in
the press.
white noun COLOUR
1. [ U ] a colour like that of snow, milk or bone
In some countries it is traditional for a bride to wear white.
2. whites
white clothes, either worn for sports or put together to be washed at the same
time
There was a group of men in cricket whites in the pub.
3. white of the eye
the part of the eye that is white
Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes (= until the people are very
close to you) .
4. egg white/white of an egg
the transparent part of an egg which surrounds the yolk and becomes white when
cooked
Whisk four egg whites into stiff peaks.
white noun PERSON
5. [ C ] a person who has skin that is pale in colour
The neighbourhood is populated mainly by whites.
ˌ white ˈ ant noun [ C ]
a termite
whitebait noun [ U ]
small, young fish of various different types, fried and eaten whole
ˌ white ˈ blood ˌ cell noun [ C ] ( ALSO white corpuscle )
a cell in the blood that has no red colour and is involved in the fight against
infection
whiteboard noun [ C ]
1. a board with a smooth, white surface, often fixed to a wall, on which you can
write and draw using special pens
2. a piece of electronic equipment in the shape of a flat, white board which is
connected to a computer and which you can write on using a special pen that also
controls the computer
an interactive whiteboard
See picture office equipment 1
ˌ white ˈ Christmas noun [ C ]
a Christmas when it snows
Do you think we might have a white Christmas this year?
white-collar adjective [ before noun ]
relating to people who work in offices, doing work that needs mental rather than
physical effort
white-collar workers/unions
ˌ white ˈ elephant noun [ C usually singular ] DISAPPROVING
something that has cost a lot of money but has no useful purpose
ˌ white ˈ flag noun [ C ]
a flag that is waved to show that you accept defeat or do not intend to attack
The soldiers lay down their guns and walked towards the enemy camp, carrying a
white flag.
ˌ white ˈ flight noun [ U ] MAINLY US
when white people move out of an area because people of other races are moving
in
ˈ white ˌ goods plural noun SPECIALIZED
large electrical goods for the house, such as cookers and washing machines
Whitehall noun [ U ]
the British civil service (= officials employed to perform the work of the British
government)
ˌ white ˈ heat noun [ U ]
the very high temperature at which metal gives out a white light
ˌ white ˈ hope noun [ S ]
a person or thing which people hope will be very successful in the near future
This new car is seen as the great white hope of the industry.
ˌ white ˈ horses plural noun ( US whitecaps ) LITERARY
waves which are white at the top
white-hot adjective
describes metal which is so hot it is giving out a white light
the ˈ White ˌ House noun [ S ]
the official Washington home of the American President, or the American
government itself
The White House is set to announce health-care reforms.
ˌ white ˈ knight noun [ C ]
a person or organization that saves a company from financial difficulties or an
unwanted change of ownership by putting money into the company or by buying it
white-knuckle adjective [ before noun ] INFORMAL
describes an experience or activity that makes you feel very frightened and often
excited
a white-knuckle ride in a theme park
ˌ white ˈ lie noun [ C ]
a lie that is told in order to be polite or to stop someone from being upset by the
truth
ˌ white ˈ magic noun [ U ]
magic which is used only to do good things
ˈ white ˌ matter noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
the pale tissue containing nerve fibres (= structures like threads) found in the
brain and spinal cord
Compare grey matter
ˈ white ˌ meat noun [ U ]
a meat such as chicken or veal that is pale in colour, or the whitest flesh, usually
the breast, of a cooked bird
whiten verb [ I or T ]
to make or become whiter
She's had her nicotine-stained teeth whitened.
Her hair had whitened over the years.
whitening noun [ U ] ( ALSO whitener )
a substance that you put on sports shoes to make them whiter and cleaner
ˌ white ˈ noise noun [ U ]
a mixture of sounds or electrical signals which consists of all the sounds or signals
in a large range
whiteout noun [ C ]
a weather condition in which snow and clouds change the way light is reflected so
that only very dark objects can be seen
the ˌ White ˈ Pages noun [ S ] US
a book that lists the names, addresses and telephone numbers of people living
and businesses operating in a city or area
Compare the Yellow Pages
ˌ white ˈ paper noun [ C ]
in various countries, including Britain and Australia, a government report on a
particular subject giving information and details of future planned laws
a white paper on employment
Compare green paper
ˌ white ˈ pointer noun [ C ]
a large, dangerous type of shark (= large fish with sharp teeth and a vertical
triangular part on its back)
ˌ white ˈ sauce noun [ U ]
a thick, savoury sauce made from flour, butter and milk
ˌ white ˈ spirit noun [ U ] UK ( US turpentine )
a colourless, alcoholic liquid which is used for making paint thinner and removing
paint from brushes and clothes
ˌ white su ˈ premacy noun [ U ]
the belief that people with pale skin are better than people with darker skin
white supremacist noun [ C ]
white-tie adjective
describes a social occasion at which men wear formal clothes including a white
bow tie
a white-tie diplomatic reception
ˈ white ˌ trash noun [ U ] US OFFENSIVE
white people who are poor and badly educated
ˌ white ˈ van man noun [ C ] UK DISAPPROVING
a man who is thought to be typical of drivers of white vans by being rude, not well
educated, and having very strong, often unpleasant opinions
whitewash noun PAINT
1. [ U ] a white liquid that is a mixture of lime or powdered chalk and water, used
for making walls or ceilings white
whitewash noun ATTEMPT TO HIDE
2. [ S ] DISAPPROVING an attempt to stop people finding out the true facts about a
situation
The official report on the killings has been denounced as a whitewash.
whitewash noun DEFEAT
3. [ C ] UK INFORMAL a complete defeat in a game or competition
a 6-0 whitewash
whitewash verb [ T ] HIDE
1. DISAPPROVING to make something bad seem acceptable by hiding the truth
The government is trying to whitewash the incompetence of the Treasury officials.
whitewash verb [ T ] DEFEAT
2. UK INFORMAL to defeat a player or team completely, especially while preventing
them from scoring any points
whitewash verb [ T ] PAINT
3. to paint walls or buildings using whitewash
ˌ white ˈ water noun [ U ]
water in a river which flows fast and strongly in an especially narrow channel
white-water rafting
ˌ white-water ˈ rafting noun [ U ]
the activity of being moved quickly in a raft (= small boat filled with air) along
rivers where the current is very strong
See picture sports 4
ˌ white ˈ wedding noun [ C ]
a traditional Christian marriage in a church, at which the woman who is getting
married wears a white dress
She wants a proper white wedding.
whitey noun [ C ] OFFENSIVE
a white person
whither adverb OLD USE
to where
Whither are they going?
whiting noun [ C or U ]
a small black and silver sea fish, eaten as food
whiting noun [ C or U ]
a small black and silver sea fish, eaten as food
whitish adjective
almost white in colour
whitish-grey walls
Whitsun noun [ U ]
the seventh Sunday after Easter, and the period around it
We're going to Scotland for a week at Whitsun.
whittle verb [ T ]
to make something from a piece of wood by cutting off small thin pieces
An old sailor sat on the dockside, whittling a toy boat.
whittle away at sth phrasal verb
to gradually reduce the size or importance of something
A series of new laws has gradually whittled away at the powers of the trade
unions in this country.
whittle sth down phrasal verb [ M ]
to gradually reduce the size of something or the number of people in a group
We had eighty applicants for the job, but we've whittled them down to six.
whizz UK ( US USUALLY whiz ) verb [ I + adv/prep ]
INFORMAL to move or do something very fast
A police car whizzed by , on its way to the accident.
We whizzed through the rehearsal, so that we'd be finished by lunchtime.
Time just whizzes past when you're enjoying yourself.
whizz noun EXPERT
1. UK ( US USUALLY whiz ) [ C usually singular ] a person with a very high level of
skill or knowledge in a particular subject
a computer whizz
He's a whizz at poker.
whizz noun DRUG
2. [ U ] UK SLANG FOR amphetamine (= drug which makes the mind and body more
active)
whizzkid noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a young person who is very clever and successful
They've taken on some financial whizzkid.
who pronoun QUESTIONS
1. used especially in questions as the subject or object of a verb, when asking
which person or people, or when asking what someone's name is
Who did this?
Who's she?
Who are all those people?
She asked me if I knew who had got the job.
Who (also FORMAL whom ) do you want to talk to?
I don't know who (also FORMAL whom ) to ask to the party.
2. used with verbs that relate to knowing, when you want to say that something is
not known
"Are they going to get married?" "Who knows ?" (= It is not possible to know at
the moment.)
Who can tell what will happen now?
who pronoun USED TO REFER
3. used as the subject or object of a verb to show which person you are referring
to, or to add information about a person just mentioned. It is used for people, not
things
I think it was your Dad who phoned.
She's one of those people who love to be the centre of attention.
He rang James, who was a good friend as well as the family doctor.
The other people who (also that ) live in the house are really friendly.
This is Gabriel, who (also FORMAL whom ) I told you about.
who's who
1. the name and position of each person, especially in an organization
2. Who's Who
a book containing information about the world's richest or most famous people
The guest list reads like a Who's Who of top American businessmen.
the WHO noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the World Health Organization
whoa exclamation
1. used when telling a horse to stop
"Whoa there, Poppy," he said to his pony, and pulled up beside the kerb.
2. INFORMAL used when telling a person to stop what they are doing or to do it
more slowly
Yes, carrots please, - whoa! That's plenty.
who'd short form of
1. who had
She wondered who'd sent her the mysterious email.
2. who would
Well, who'd have thought Joey was going to become so successful?
whodunit , whodunnit noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a story about a crime and the attempt to discover who committed it
It's one of those whodunits where you don't find out who the murderer is till the
very end.
whoever pronoun PERSON
1. the person who
Whoever uprooted that tree ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Could I speak to whoever is in charge of International Sales please?
whoever pronoun ANYONE
2. any person who
Can whoever leaves last please lock up?
He says he bought the car from Frank, whoever Frank is (= I do not know who
Frank is) .
whoever pronoun SURPRISE
3. used in questions as a way of expressing surprise
Whoever told you that?
Whoever could that be phoning at this time?
whole adjective
1. complete or not divided
I spent the whole day cleaning.
There's still a whole month till my birthday.
After my exercise class, my whole body ached.
The whole town was destroyed by the earthquake.
This whole thing (= situation) is ridiculous.
Bill does nothing but moan the whole time (= all the time) .
You have to stand up in court and promise to tell 'the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth'.
Her dance compositions added a whole (= completely) new dimension to the
contemporary dance repertoire.
2. INFORMAL used to emphasize something
I've got a whole heap of work to do this afternoon.
The new computers are a whole lot (= much) faster.
go the whole hog
to do something as completely as possible
Having already limited local taxation, why not go the whole hog and abolish it
completely?
the whole bit UK ( US the whole enchilada )
the whole of something, including everything that is related to it
He's into jogging, squash, aerobics, the whole exercise bit.
whole noun [ C usually singular ]
1. a complete thing
Two halves make a whole.
You must consider each problem as an aspect of the whole.
2. the whole of sth
all of something
I'll be on holiday the whole of next week.
The whole of his finger was bruised.
The whole of the village (= Everyone in the village) had come out for the party.
as a whole
when considered as a group and not in parts
The population as a whole is getting healthier.
on the whole
generally
We have our bad times but on the whole we're fairly happy.
whole adjective
1. complete or not divided
I spent the whole day cleaning.
There's still a whole month till my birthday.
After my exercise class, my whole body ached.
The whole town was destroyed by the earthquake.
This whole thing (= situation) is ridiculous.
Bill does nothing but moan the whole time (= all the time) .
You have to stand up in court and promise to tell 'the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth'.
Her dance compositions added a whole (= completely) new dimension to the
contemporary dance repertoire.
2. INFORMAL used to emphasize something
I've got a whole heap of work to do this afternoon.
The new computers are a whole lot (= much) faster.
go the whole hog
to do something as completely as possible
Having already limited local taxation, why not go the whole hog and abolish it
completely?
the whole bit UK ( US the whole enchilada )
the whole of something, including everything that is related to it
He's into jogging, squash, aerobics, the whole exercise bit.
whole noun [ C usually singular ]
1. a complete thing
Two halves make a whole.
You must consider each problem as an aspect of the whole.
2. the whole of sth
all of something
I'll be on holiday the whole of next week.
The whole of his finger was bruised.
The whole of the village (= Everyone in the village) had come out for the party.
as a whole
when considered as a group and not in parts
The population as a whole is getting healthier.
on the whole
generally
We have our bad times but on the whole we're fairly happy.
wholefood noun [ C or U ] UK
food that has not had any of its natural features taken away or any artificial
substances added
a wholefood shop
wholegrain adjective MAINLY UK
(of particular types of food) containing whole seeds
wholegrain bread
wholegrain mustard
wholegrain breakfast cereal
whole-hearted adjective
completely enthusiastic
The minister has pledged his whole-hearted support for the scheme.
whole-heartedly adverb
Both members are whole-heartedly in favour of the changes.
wholemeal adjective UK ( MAINLY US whole wheat )
(of flour or food made from flour) containing all the natural features of the grain,
with nothing taken away
wholemeal bread/flour/pastry
whole-note noun [ C ]
US FOR semibreve
ˌ whole ˈ number noun [ C ]
a number, such as 1, 3 or 17, which has no fractions , and no digits after the
decimal point
wholesale adjective , adverb SELLING
1. of or for the selling of goods in large amounts at low prices to shops and
businesses, rather than the selling of goods in shops to customers
wholesale prices
a wholesale supplier/business
We only sell wholesale, not to the public.
Compare retail
wholesale adjective , adverb COMPLETE
2. OFTEN DISAPPROVING (especially of something bad or too extreme) complete or
affecting a lot of things, people, places, etc
wholesale changes
wholesale destruction
wholesaler noun [ C ]
someone who buys and sells goods in large amounts to shops and businesses
a furniture wholesaler
wholesaler noun [ C ]
someone who buys and sells goods in large amounts to shops and businesses
a furniture wholesaler
wholesome adjective APPROVING
good for you, and likely to improve your life either physically, morally or
emotionally
wholesome food
good wholesome family entertainment
He looks like a nice, wholesome, young man.
wholesomeness noun [ U ]
ˈ whole ˌ wheat adjective
MAINLY US FOR wholemeal
who'll short form of
who will
Who'll be at the party tomorrow?
wholly adverb
completely
I wasn't wholly convinced by her explanation.
That's a wholly different matter.
a machine that is wholly British-made
whom pronoun FORMAL
used instead of 'who' as the object of a verb or preposition
I met a man with whom I used to work.
He took out a photo of his son, whom he adores.
There were 500 passengers, of whom 121 drowned.
To whom do you wish to speak?
whomever pronoun FORMAL
whoever (PERSON) and whoever (ANYONE) when used as the object
Give it to whomever you please.
whoop verb [ I ]
to give a loud, excited shout, especially to show your enjoyment of or agreement
with something
The audience was whooping and clapping.
See also whooping cough
whoop it up INFORMAL
to enjoy yourself in a noisy and excited way
whoop noun [ C ]
a loud, excited shout, especially showing your enjoyment of or agreement with
something
When the whoops and cheers had finally died down he started to speak.
whoop-de-doo exclamation MAINLY US INFORMAL
said when you do not think what someone has said or done is important or special
Well, whoop-de-doo, they're offering us a 0.5 per cent pay raise!
whoop-de-doo exclamation MAINLY US INFORMAL
said when you do not think what someone has said or done is important or special
Well, whoop-de-doo, they're offering us a 0.5 per cent pay raise!
whoopee exclamation
a loud, excited shout of happiness
Whoopee, it's the holidays!
make whoopee US OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
to have sex
whooping cough noun [ U ]
a disease caught especially by children, which causes severe coughing
whoops exclamation ( ALSO oops ) INFORMAL
an expression of surprise or feeling sorry about a mistake or slight accident
Whoops! That's the second time I've spilt coffee today!
whoosh noun INFORMAL
1. [ C usually singular ] a soft sound made by something moving fast through the
air or like that made when air is pushed out of something
The train sped through the station with a whoosh.
2. [ S ] when you experience or receive a large amount of something in a short
time
I felt a great whoosh of adrenalin.
whoosh verb [ I usually + adv/prep ] INFORMAL
to move along quickly, making a soft sound like the wind
A fast motorboat whooshed by.
whoosh exclamation INFORMAL
used to describe something that happens very fast, with no pauses or delay
No sooner had she arrived than, whoosh, she was off again.
whop verb [ T ] MAINLY US INFORMAL
to hit or defeat
She whopped him with her handbag.
The Yankees whopped the Cleveland Indians 17-2.
whopper noun [ C ]
1. HUMOROUS INFORMAL something that is surprising because it is so much bigger
than the usual size
I mean, my nose is quite big but my Dad's got a whopper.
2. HUMOROUS a big lie
Amanda's told some whoppers in her time.
whopper noun [ C ]
1. HUMOROUS INFORMAL something that is surprising because it is so much bigger
than the usual size
I mean, my nose is quite big but my Dad's got a whopper.
2. HUMOROUS a big lie
Amanda's told some whoppers in her time.
whopping adjective [ before noun ] ( ALSO whopping great ) INFORMAL
extremely large
She had a whopping great bruise on her arm.
a whopping 35% pay rise
a whopping lie
whore noun [ C ]
1. OLD-FASHIONED a female prostitute
2. OFFENSIVE a woman whose behaviour in her sexual relationships is considered
immoral
who're short form of
who are
The film begins with a young couple, who're just about to get married.
whorehouse noun [ C ]
MAINLY US FOR brothel
whorl noun [ C ] LITERARY
a circular pattern of lines, with the smallest circle in the middle, surrounded by
other circles, each one wider and larger than the previous one
who's short form of
1. who has
Who's been chosen, do you know?
2. who is
Who's that talking to Jason?
whose pronoun , determiner
used especially in questions when asking about which person owns or is
responsible for something
Whose is this bag?
Whose bag is this?
whose determiner
used for adding information about a person or thing just mentioned
Cohen, whose contract expires next week, is likely to move to play for a European
club.
There was a picture in the paper of a man whose leg had been blown off.
They meet in an old house, whose basement has been converted into a chapel.
Fraud detectives are investigating the company, three of whose senior executives
have already been arrested.
whosoever pronoun
OLD USE FOR whoever
whosoever pronoun
OLD USE FOR whoever
who've short form of
who have
Who've you asked so far?
why adverb
for what reason
"I'm going home." "Why?"
Why did you choose to live in London?
Why wait? Let's leave now.
Why should I help him - he never helps me?
Why is it that I find chocolate so addictive?
The police asked me to explain why I hadn't reported the accident sooner.
I don't know why she isn't here.
Quite why he isn't here today is a mystery.
There is no reason why we shouldn't succeed.
why not?
used to make a suggestion or to express agreement
Why not use my car? You'll fit more in.
"Shall we eat Italian tonight?" "Yes, why not?"
why exclamation MAINLY US OR OLD-FASHIONED
used to express surprise or anger
Why, if it isn't old Georgie Frazer!
Why, I've never seen anything like it!
why noun
the whys and (the) wherefores
the reasons for something
I know very little about the whys and the wherefores of the situation.
the WI noun [ S + sing/pl verb ]
ABBREVIATION FOR the Women's Institute
wick noun [ C ]
a piece of string in the centre of a candle, or a similar part of a light, which
supplies fuel to a flame
get on sb's wick UK OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
to annoy someone
wicked adjective BAD
1. OLD-FASHIONED morally wrong and bad
It was a wicked thing to do.
Of course, in the end, the wicked witch gets killed.
Compare evil ; naughty
2. OLD-FASHIONED slightly immoral or bad for you, but in an attractive way
a wicked grin
a wicked sense of humour
wicked adjective EXCELLENT
3. INFORMAL excellent
He's got some wicked trainers.
wicked noun
There's no rest for the wicked. SAYING
said when you must continue with your work or other activity although you are
very tired
wicked adjective BAD
1. OLD-FASHIONED morally wrong and bad
It was a wicked thing to do.
Of course, in the end, the wicked witch gets killed.
Compare evil ; naughty
2. OLD-FASHIONED slightly immoral or bad for you, but in an attractive way
a wicked grin
a wicked sense of humour
wicked adjective EXCELLENT
3. INFORMAL excellent
He's got some wicked trainers.
wicked noun
There's no rest for the wicked. SAYING
said when you must continue with your work or other activity although you are
very tired
wicker adjective
made of very thin pieces of wood twisted together
a wicker basket/chair
wickerwork noun [ U ]
furniture or baskets made from wicker
wicket noun [ C ]
1. in cricket, a set of three vertical sticks with two small pieces of wood balanced
across the top of them, at which the ball is aimed. There are two wickets on a cricket
field.
2. in cricket, the length of ground between two sets of wickets
3. in cricket, a turn that a player has to hit the ball
Five wickets have fallen since tea time (= Five players have been caused to finish
their turn) .
As a fast bowler, he took many wickets (= caused many players to finish their
turns) .
ˈ wicket ˌ keeper noun [ C ]
a cricket player who stands behind the wicket in order to catch the ball
wide adjective DISTANCE
1. having a larger distance from one side to the other than is usual or expected,
especially in comparison with the length of something; not narrow
a wide river/road/gap/foot
His eyes were wide (= opened much more than usual) with surprise.
See also width
2. used when describing how long the distance between the two sides of
something is or when asking for this information
The rectangle is 5 cm long and 1.9 cm wide.
The swimming pool is 5 metres wide.
How wide are your skis?
wide adjective AMOUNT
3. describes something that includes a large amount or many different types of
thing, or that covers a large range or area
They sell a wide range of skin-care products.
She has a wide experience of teaching, in many different schools.
The Green Party no longer enjoys wide support (= the support of many people) .
be wide of the mark
to be wrong
Yesterday's weather forecast was a little wide of the mark, then.
give sth/sb a wide berth INFORMAL
to avoid a person or place
I tend to give the city centre a wide berth on Saturdays because it's so busy.
wide adverb DISTANCE
1. farther than usual, or as far as possible
" Open wide," said the dentist.
They moved the goal posts wider apart .
wide adverb AMOUNT
2. completely, or by a large amount
She left the door wide open .
It was 3 a.m. and we were still wide awake .
wide-angle (lens) noun [ C ]
a camera lens that provides a wider view than usual
wide-angle (lens) noun [ C ]
a camera lens that provides a wider view than usual
wide-bodied adjective
A wide-bodied aircraft is wider and larger than average
Most of the planes which carry passengers across the Atlantic are wide-bodied
jets .
ˈ wide ˌ boy noun [ C ] UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a man who is dishonest or who deceives people in the way he does business
Some of the younger property developers are real wide boys.
wide-eyed adjective
1. having your eyes open much wider than usual
2. too willing to believe and admire what you see or are told
At that time, I was still a wide-eyed youngster.
widely adverb
1. including a lot of different places, people, subjects, etc
They have both travelled widely.
His plays are still widely performed in the USA.
French used to be widely spoken in Kampuchea.
His work on DNA was widely admired .
This theory is no longer widely accepted .
2. differ/vary widely
to be very different
Prices vary widely from shop to shop.
widen verb [ I or T ] DISTANCE
1. to become, or to make something greater in width
As it approaches the sea, the river begins to widen (out) .
widen verb [ I or T ] AMOUNT
2. to (cause something to) become larger or to include a larger amount or number
His eyes/smile widened.
Why not widen the discussion to include the Muslim and Jewish points of view?
wide-ranging adjective
covering many subjects
wide-ranging adjective

covering many subjects

a wide-ranging discussion

widescreen adjective

1. having a wider than usual screen which shows very clear pictures

widescreen televisions

2. made to be shown on a screen that is wider than usual

a widescreen version of the movie

widespread adjective

existing or happening in many places and/or among many people

There are reports of widespread flooding in northern France.

Malnutrition in the region is widespread - affecting up to 78% of children under


five years old.

The campaign has received widespread support.

widget noun [ C ] INFORMAL

1. any small device whose name you have forgotten or do not know

2. an imagined small product made by a company

Let's assume the company makes ten pence profit on every widget they sell.

widow noun [ C ]

1. a woman whose husband has died and who has not married again

2. fishing/football/golf widow
INFORMAL HUMOROUS a woman whose husband is often not at home because he is
fishing or playing football or golf

widowed adjective

describes a person whose husband or wife has died

He was widowed at the age of 52.

widower noun [ C ]

a man whose wife has died and who has not married again

widowhood noun [ U ]

the fact or period of being a widow

width , noun

1. [ C or U ] the distance across something from one side to the other

It is 5 metres in width.

The needle is seven times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The material is available in various widths.

See also wide

2. [ C ] the distance across a swimming pool from one side to the other

I managed to swim 2 widths underwater.

a wide-ranging discussion
width , noun
1. [ C or U ] the distance across something from one side to the other
It is 5 metres in width.
The needle is seven times smaller than the width of a human hair.
The material is available in various widths.
See also wide
2. [ C ] the distance across a swimming pool from one side to the other
I managed to swim 2 widths underwater.
wield verb [ T ]
1. to hold a weapon or tool and look as if you are going to use it
She was confronted by a man wielding a knife.
2. wield influence/power, etc.
to have a lot of influence or power over other people
He still wields enormous influence within the party.
wiener noun [ C ] ( ALSO wienie , ALSO weenie ) US
a frankfurter (= thin, red-brown sausage)
wife noun [ C ]
the woman a man is married to
I met Greg's wife for the first time.
She's his third wife (= She is the third woman he has been married to) .
wifely adjective OLD-FASHIONED
like a wife or relating to a wife
wifely duties
ˈ wife ˌ swapping noun [ U ]
when two sets of married people decide to have sex with each other's partners
wi-fi noun [ U ]
a system for connecting electronic equipment such as computers and electronic
organizers to the Internet without using wires
wig noun [ C ]
wig
a covering of artificial hair worn on the head to hide a loss of hair or to cover your
own hair
She was wearing a blonde wig.
In Britain, judges wear white wigs in court.
Compare toupée
wiggle verb [ I or T ] INFORMAL
to (cause to) move up and down and/or from side to side with small quick
movements
He tried wiggling the control stick but nothing happened.
She wiggled her toes in the water.
Her hips wiggle as she walks.
wiggle noun [ C ]
a small, quick movement up and down and/or from side to side
With a wiggle of her hips, she pulled up the trousers.
wiggle verb [ I or T ] INFORMAL
to (cause to) move up and down and/or from side to side with small quick
movements
He tried wiggling the control stick but nothing happened.
She wiggled her toes in the water.
Her hips wiggle as she walks.
wiggle noun [ C ]
a small, quick movement up and down and/or from side to side
With a wiggle of her hips, she pulled up the trousers.
wiggly , adjective INFORMAL
shaped like a line with many curves
a wiggly line
a wiggly worm
wigwam noun [ C ]
a cone-shaped tent made and lived in, especially in the past, by Native Americans
in the eastern US
Wii noun [ C ] TRADEMARK
a machine that you use to play games on your television
wiki noun [ C ]
a website which allows users to add, delete (= get rid of) and edit (= change) the
contents, or the program that makes this possible
Wikipedia is thought to be the world's largest wiki with more than 280,000
articles.
wild adjective NOT CONTROLLED
1. uncontrolled, violent or extreme
a wild party
wild dancing
The audience burst into wild applause.
When I told him what I'd done, he went wild (= became very angry) .
The children were wild with excitement (= were extremely excited) .
Her eyes were wild/She had a wild look in her eyes (= Her eyes were wide open,
as if she were frightened, or mentally ill) .
His hair was wild (= long and untidy) and his clothes full of holes.
There have been wild (= extreme) variations in the level of spending.
They get some wild weather (= many severe storms) in the north.
It was a wild (= stormy or very windy) night, with the wind howling and the rain
pouring down.
2. SLANG very unusual, often in a way that is attractive or exciting
Those are wild trousers you're wearing, Fi.
wild adjective NATURAL
3. describes plants or animals that live or grow independently of people, in natural
conditions and with natural characteristics
wild flowers/grasses
a herd of wild horses
4. describes land that is not used to grow crops and has few people living in it
a wild mountainous region
wild adjective NOT THOUGHT ABOUT
5. wild accusation/guess/rumour
something that you say which is not based on facts and is probably wrong
wildness noun [ U ]
the wildness (= natural and extreme beauty) of the Western Highlands
be wild about sth/sb INFORMAL
to be very enthusiastic about something or someone
I'm not wild about Thai food.
wild horses wouldn't drag me
If you say wild horses would not drag you somewhere, you mean that nothing
could persuade you to go there
Wild horses wouldn't drag me to a party tonight.
wild noun
1. in the wild
in natural conditions, independent of humans
Animals would produce more young in the wild than they do in the zoo.
2. in the wilds (of somewhere )
in an area which is far from where people usually live and difficult to get to, and
that is not considered easy to live in
She lives somewhere in the wilds of Borneo.
ˌ wild ˈ boar noun [ C ]
a large, dangerous pig that is covered in hair and lives wild in forests
ˌ wild ˈ boar noun [ C ]
a large, dangerous pig that is covered in hair and lives wild in forests
ˈ wild ˌ card noun [ C ] COMPUTING
1. SPECIALIZED in computers, a symbol that has no particular meaning of its own so
that its space can be filled by any real character that is necessary
The wild cards are represented here by asterisks.
ˈ wild ˌ card noun [ C ] COMPETITION
2. someone who is allowed to take part in a competition, although they have not
qualified for it in the usual way
Phillips is hoping for a wild card entry to the championships.
ˈ wild ˌ card noun [ C ] NOT KNOWN
3. someone or something whose behaviour is sometimes unexpected
The wild card in this election is the Green Party - no one knows exactly how much
support they will get.
wildcat strike noun [ C ] ( UK ALSO lightning strike )
a sudden strike without the usual warning by the workers and often without the
official support of the unions
wildebeest noun [ C ]
a large, African animal with a long tail and horns that curve to the sides, and
which lives in areas covered in grass
wilderness noun [ C usually singular ]
1. an area of land that has not been used to grow crops or had towns and roads
built on it, especially because it is difficult to live in as a result of its extremely cold or
hot weather or bad earth
a beautiful mountain wilderness
Alaska is the last great wilderness.
MAINLY US It's a wilderness area , under the protection of the Parks Department.
2. an outside area in which plants are left to grow naturally or untidily
The garden was a wilderness of weeds and overgrown bushes.
in the wilderness
If someone, such as a politician, is in the wilderness, they no longer have a
position of authority and are not now in the news
After five years in the political wilderness, she was recalled to be foreign minister.
wildfire noun [ C ]
a fire which is burning strongly and out of control on an area of grass or bushes in
the countryside
Major wildfires have destroyed thousands of acres in Idaho.
spread like wildfire
If disease or news spreads like wildfire, it quickly affects or becomes known by
more and more people
Once one child in the school has the infection, it spreads like wildfire.
wildfire noun [ C ]
a fire which is burning strongly and out of control on an area of grass or bushes in
the countryside
Major wildfires have destroyed thousands of acres in Idaho.
spread like wildfire
If disease or news spreads like wildfire, it quickly affects or becomes known by
more and more people
Once one child in the school has the infection, it spreads like wildfire.
wildfowl plural noun
birds that people shoot for sport, especially ones such as ducks that live near
water
wild-goose chase noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a search which is completely unsuccessful and a waste of time because the person
or thing being searched for does not exist or is somewhere else
After two hours spent wandering in the snow, I realized we were on a wild goose
chase.
wildlife noun [ U ]
animals and plants that grow independently of people, usually in natural
conditions
a documentary on Peruvian wildlife
wildlife groups/conservation
wildly adverb
in an uncontrolled or extreme way
He was dancing wildly.
Inflation figures have fluctuated wildly between 0.2% and 25%.
It was wildly (= very) expensive.
I must say I'm not wildly (= very) keen on the idea.
ˌ wild ˈ rice noun [ U ]
the black rice-like grains of a North American grass that are eaten, often with rice
the ˌ Wild ˈ West noun [ S ]
the name given to the western part of the US during the time when Europeans
were first beginning to live there and when there was fighting between them and the
Native Americans
wiles plural noun FORMAL
ways of persuading someone that cleverly trick them into doing something
She'll have to use all her feminine wiles to get him to agree.
wilful , US USUALLY willful adjective DISAPPROVING
(of something bad) done intentionally or (of a person) determined to do exactly
as you want, even if you know it is wrong
The present crisis is the result of years of wilful neglect by the council.
They eat huge quantities of sweet and fried foods, in wilful disregard of their
health.
She developed into a wilful, difficult child.
wilfully , US USUALLY willfully adverb
Some basic safety rules were wilfully ignored.
wilfulness , US USUALLY willfulness noun [ U ]
wilful , US USUALLY willful adjective DISAPPROVING
(of something bad) done intentionally or (of a person) determined to do exactly
as you want, even if you know it is wrong
The present crisis is the result of years of wilful neglect by the council.
They eat huge quantities of sweet and fried foods, in wilful disregard of their
health.
She developed into a wilful, difficult child.
wilfully , US USUALLY willfully adverb
Some basic safety rules were wilfully ignored.
wilfulness , US USUALLY willfulness noun [ U ]
will modal verb FUTURE
1. ( ALSO 'll ) used to talk about what is going to happen in the future, especially
things that you are certain about or things that are planned
Clare will be five years old next month.
The train leaves at 8.58, so we'll be in Scotland by lunchtime.
I'll see him tomorrow./I'll be seeing him tomorrow.
Will Susie be there?
It won't be easy to find another secretary.
There'll be trouble when she finds out.
will modal verb ABLE/WILLING
2. ( ALSO 'll ) used to talk about what someone or something is able or willing to
do
I'll give you a lift.
Ask Ian if he'll take them.
I've asked her but she won't come.
The car won't start.
This quantity of lasagne will feed six people.
will modal verb REQUEST
3. used to ask someone to do something
Will you give me her address?
Will you give that to Tony when you see him, please?
4. ( ALSO 'll ) used as a polite way of inviting someone to do something, or of
offering someone something
Will you join us for a drink, Evie?
Will you come in for a while?
You'll have some cake, won't you, Charles?
will modal verb IF
5. ( ALSO 'll ) used in conditional sentences that start with 'if' and use the present
tense
If he's late again, I'll be very angry.
I'll wait with Christopher if his mother isn't here when you go.
will modal verb LIKELY
6. ( ALSO 'll ) used to refer to what is likely
That'll be Scott at the door.
That'll be his mother with him.
As you will all probably already know, election day is next week.
will modal verb ORDER
7. ( ALSO 'll ) used when angry to tell someone to do something
Will you stop being such a pain!
You'll go upstairs and you'll go straight to bed like your father told you!
will modal verb ALWAYS
8. ( ALSO 'll ) used when referring to something that always or usually happens
Accidents will happen.
Fruit will keep longer in the fridge.
The product with the better-known brand name will always sell better.
She's 85 now, but she will insist on doing all her own housework.
will have
used to refer back to the past from a point in the future
By the time we get there, Jim will have left.
will noun MENTAL POWER
1. [ C or U ] the mental power used to control and direct your thoughts and
actions, or a determination to do something, despite any difficulties or opposition
From an early age she had a very strong will.
[ + to infinitive ] After six months in hospital she began to lose the will to live (=
the desire and determination to stay alive) .
2. [ S ] what someone wants to happen
It was God's will.
Against their will (= Although they did not want to) , they were forced to hold a
meeting.
The government has failed to impose its will upon regional communities (= to
make them do as it wants) .
See also free will
will noun DOCUMENT
3. [ C ] an official statement of what a person has decided should be done with
their money and property after their death
Have you made a will yet?
She left me some money in her will.
at will
If you can do something at will, you can do it any time you want
He can cry at will.
Where there's a will there's a way. SAYING
used to mean that if you are determined enough, you can find a way to achieve
what you want, even if it is very difficult
with a will OLD-FASHIONED
with energy and determination
They worked with a will and had cleared the path by 10.00 a.m.
will verb MAKE HAPPEN
1. [ + object + to infinitive ] If you will something to happen, you try to make it
happen by the power of your thoughts
[ R ] She willed herself to remember his name.
2. [ I or T ] FORMAL to want something
Stay or go, as you will.
will verb LEAVE
3. [ T ] to arrange to give money or property to others after your death
-willed suffix
strong/weak willed
having a strong/weak will
-willed suffix
strong/weak willed
having a strong/weak will
willful adjective
US FOR wilful
willie , willy noun
1. [ C ] UK INFORMAL OR CHILD'S WORD a penis
2. the willies INFORMAL
a feeling of nervousness and fear, especially caused by something strange or
threatening
Spending a night in the house alone always gives me the willies.
Seeing something in the shadows, I suddenly got the willies and ran.
willing adjective
1. be willing (to do sth )
to be happy to do something if it is needed
If you're willing to fly at night, you can get a much cheaper ticket.
You said you needed a volunteer - well, I'm willing.
Apparently John and Gabriel are willing for us to use their garden.
2. APPROVING describes someone who does their work energetically and
enthusiastically
a willing helper
willingly adverb
I would willingly (= be ready and enthusiastic to) help you if I weren't going away
tomorrow.
willingness noun [ S or U ]
[ + to infinitive ] She shows a willingness to work on her own initiative.
will-o'-the-wisp noun [ C usually singular ]
something that is impossible to get or achieve
Full employment is the will-o'-the-wisp that politicians have been chasing for
decades.
willow pattern noun [ U ]
a Chinese picture in dark blue and white of a willow tree, a bridge and some
people, which is often used to decorate plates, dishes, cups, etc
a willow-pattern plate
willow pattern noun [ U ]
a Chinese picture in dark blue and white of a willow tree, a bridge and some
people, which is often used to decorate plates, dishes, cups, etc
a willow-pattern plate
willow (tree) noun [ C ]
a tree that grows near water and has long, thin branches that hang down
willowy adjective APPROVING
(especially of a woman) graceful (= moving smoothly and attractively) and thin
a willowy blonde
willpower noun [ U ]
the ability to control your own thoughts and the way in which you behave;
determination
It took a lot of willpower to stay calm.
I don't have the willpower to diet.
willy noun [ C ]
a willie
willy-nilly adverb INFORMAL
1. If something happens willy-nilly, it happens whether the people who are
involved want it to happen or not
Both sides were drawn, willy-nilly, into the conflict.
2. without any order
She threw her clothes willy-nilly into a drawer.
wilt verb [ I ]
wilt
(of a plant) to become weak and begin to bend towards the ground, or (of a
person) to become weaker, tired or less confident
Cut flowers will soon wilt without water.
After only an hour's walking they were beginning to wilt in the heat.
wily adjective
(of a person) clever, having a very good understanding of situations, possibilities
and people, and often willing to use tricks to achieve an aim
a wily politician
See also wiles
wimp noun [ C ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who is not strong, brave or confident
I'm afraid I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to climbing up ladders.
wimpish adjective ( ALSO wimpy )
I'm far too wimpish to go rock climbing.
wimp verb
wimp out phrasal verb INFORMAL
to decide not to do something because you are too frightened
I was going to do a parachute jump but I wimped out at the last minute.
willow pattern noun [ U ]
a Chinese picture in dark blue and white of a willow tree, a bridge and some
people, which is often used to decorate plates, dishes, cups, etc
a willow-pattern plate
willow (tree) noun [ C ]
a tree that grows near water and has long, thin branches that hang down
willowy adjective APPROVING
(especially of a woman) graceful (= moving smoothly and attractively) and thin
a willowy blonde
willpower noun [ U ]
the ability to control your own thoughts and the way in which you behave;
determination
It took a lot of willpower to stay calm.
I don't have the willpower to diet.
willy noun [ C ]
a willie
willy-nilly adverb INFORMAL
1. If something happens willy-nilly, it happens whether the people who are
involved want it to happen or not
Both sides were drawn, willy-nilly, into the conflict.
2. without any order
She threw her clothes willy-nilly into a drawer.
wilt verb [ I ]
wilt
(of a plant) to become weak and begin to bend towards the ground, or (of a
person) to become weaker, tired or less confident
Cut flowers will soon wilt without water.
After only an hour's walking they were beginning to wilt in the heat.
wily adjective
(of a person) clever, having a very good understanding of situations, possibilities
and people, and often willing to use tricks to achieve an aim
a wily politician
See also wiles
wimp noun [ C ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who is not strong, brave or confident
I'm afraid I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to climbing up ladders.
wimpish adjective ( ALSO wimpy )
I'm far too wimpish to go rock climbing.
wimp verb
wimp out phrasal verb INFORMAL
to decide not to do something because you are too frightened
I was going to do a parachute jump but I wimped out at the last minute.
win verb
1. [ I or T ] to achieve first position and/or get a prize in a competition or
competitive situation
Which year was it that Italy won the World Cup?
He won first prize/a bottle of gin in the raffle.
Who's winning?
This is the third medal she's won this season.
Who won the men's finals in the tennis?
They won the war, although it cost them millions of lives.
If this government win the next election, I'm leaving the country.
Everyone likes winning an argument.
[ + two objects ] It was his goal that won us the match/won the match for us.
Her firm have just won (= beaten other companies to get) a cleaning contract
worth £3 million.
2. [ T ] to receive something positive, such as approval, loyalty, or love because
you have earned it
Her plans have won the support of many local people.
This is Jamie, the four-year old who won the hearts of the nation (= made
everyone love him and/or feel sympathy for him) .
She would do anything to win his love.
Winning back his trust was the hardest part.
sb can't win INFORMAL
used to say that nothing someone does in a situation will succeed or please
people
Whatever I do seems to annoy her - I can't win.
win hands down
to win very easily
win the day
to persuade people to support your ideas or opinions
You can't win 'em all. ( ALSO You win some, you lose some. ) INFORMAL
something that you say which means it is not possible to succeed at everything
you do
I'd have liked the job but I suppose you can't win 'em all.
(Okay) you win!
something you say to someone who has persuaded you to do something that you
did not intend to do, especially when they have used force and you are angry
Okay, you win, I can't stand to hear one more complaint from you - we'll go home
tomorrow!
win sb over/round phrasal verb [ M ]
to persuade someone to support you or agree with you, often when they were
opposed to you before
He's not sure about the idea at the moment, but I'm sure we'll win him over in
the end.
They've won over a lot of the electorate since she's been leader of the party.
win through phrasal verb UK
to finally succeed after trying hard to achieve something
Most people are fairly confident that the workers will win through in the end.
win noun [ C ]
when someone wins a game or competition
It was United's sixth consecutive win this season.
Everyone was predicting a Republican win at the last election and look what
happened.
wince verb [ I ]
to show pain suddenly and for a short time in the face, often moving the head
back at the same time
Did I hurt you? - I thought I saw you wince.
It makes me wince even thinking about eye operations.
wince noun [ C usually singular ]
She gave a wince as the nurse put the needle in.
wince verb [ I ]
to show pain suddenly and for a short time in the face, often moving the head
back at the same time
Did I hurt you? - I thought I saw you wince.
It makes me wince even thinking about eye operations.
wince noun [ C usually singular ]
She gave a wince as the nurse put the needle in.
winch noun [ C ] ( ALSO windlass )
winch
a machine which lifts heavy objects by turning a chain or rope around a tube-
shaped device
winch verb [ T ]
Two helicopters winched the passengers to safety from the deck of the ship.
wind noun CURRENT OF AIR
1. [ C or U ] a current of air moving approximately horizontally, especially one
strong enough to be felt
There isn't enough wind to fly a kite.
The weather forecast warned of winds of up to 60-miles-an-hour today.
There was a light wind blowing.
Strong/High winds made the crossing very unpleasant.
The sails flapped in the wind.
LITERARY There wasn't a breath of (= even a slight amount of) wind.
A gust of wind suddenly caught her skirt.
The wind is beginning to pick up (= get stronger) .
She ran like the wind (= very fast) to catch up.
wind noun BREATH
2. [ U ] MAINLY UK breath or the ability to breathe
I had to stop halfway up the hill to get my wind (= allow my breathing to return
to normal) .
3. [ U ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING words that do not mean anything and false
statements
I rarely bother to listen to politicians' speeches - it's all just wind.
wind noun BOWELS
4. [ U ] UK ( US gas ) gas in the bowels or in a baby's stomach, especially that
which makes you feel uncomfortable or makes noises
I like garlic but it gives me terrible wind.
get wind of sth
to hear a piece of information that someone else was trying to keep secret
I don't want my colleagues to get wind of the fact that I'm leaving.
put/get the wind up sb UK
to make someone feel worried about their situation
Tell them your father's a policeman - that'll put the wind up them!
take the wind out of sb's sails
to make someone feel less confident or less determined to do something, usually
by saying or doing something that they are not expecting
I was all ready to tell him that the relationship was over when he greeted me with
a big bunch of flowers - it rather took the wind out of my sails.
wind verb BREATH
1. [ T ] to make it difficult or temporarily impossible for someone to breathe,
usually by hitting them in the stomach
wind verb BOWELS
2. [ T ] UK ( US burp ) to rub or very gently hit a baby on the back to allow air to
come up from the stomach
wind verb TURN
1. [ I or T usually + adverb or preposition ] to turn or cause something to turn
She wound the handle but nothing happened.
Once she'd got into the car, she wound the window down/up (= caused it to
open/close by turning a handle) .
UK Does this camera wind on (= does the film in it move forward) automatically?
That noise you can hear is the tape winding back .
See also rewind
2. [ T ] ( ALSO wind up ) If you wind (up) a clock or watch, you cause it to work by
turning a key, handle or other device.
3. [ I usually + adverb or preposition ] If a road, path or river winds, it follows a
route which turns repeatedly in different directions
The river winds through the valley.
wind verb WRAP AROUND
4. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to wrap something around an object
several times or twist it repeatedly around itself
She wound a scarf around her neck.
He wound the string into a ball.
He wound a small bandage round her finger.
winding adjective
describes a path, road, river, etc. which repeatedly turns in different directions
There's a very long, winding path leading up to the house.
wind (sth) down phrasal verb [ M ]
1. to end gradually or in stages, or to cause something to do this
The government intends to wind the scheme down in early spring.
Unfortunately, the party was just winding down as we got there.
2. If a business or organization winds down, or if someone winds it down, the
amount of work it does is gradually reduced until it closes completely
They're winding down their operations abroad because they're losing money.
wind down phrasal verb
to gradually relax after doing something that has made you tired or worried
When he goes on holiday, it takes him the first couple of days just to wind down.
wind sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to close a business or organization
Lawyers were called in to wind up the company.
wind up phrasal verb INFORMAL
to find yourself in an unexpected and usually unpleasant situation, especially as a
result of what you do
If he carries on like this he's going to wind up in prison!
You don't want to wind up homeless, do you?
wind (sth) up phrasal verb [ M ]
to end, or to make an activity end
I think it's about time we wound this meeting up.
We need to wind up now, we've only got five minutes.
wind sb up phrasal verb UK INFORMAL ANNOY
1. [ M ] to annoy or upset someone
It really winds me up when he goes on about teachers having an easy life.
She just knows how to wind me up.
See also wound up
wind sb up phrasal verb UK INFORMAL DECEIVE
2. to tell someone something that is not true in order to make a joke
Are you serious or are you just trying to wind me up?
wind-up noun [ C usually singular ] UK INFORMAL
You can't be serious - is this a wind-up?
wince verb [ I ]
to show pain suddenly and for a short time in the face, often moving the head
back at the same time
Did I hurt you? - I thought I saw you wince.
It makes me wince even thinking about eye operations.
wince noun [ C usually singular ]
She gave a wince as the nurse put the needle in.
winch noun [ C ] ( ALSO windlass )
winch
a machine which lifts heavy objects by turning a chain or rope around a tube-
shaped device
winch verb [ T ]
Two helicopters winched the passengers to safety from the deck of the ship.
wind noun CURRENT OF AIR
1. [ C or U ] a current of air moving approximately horizontally, especially one
strong enough to be felt
There isn't enough wind to fly a kite.
The weather forecast warned of winds of up to 60-miles-an-hour today.
There was a light wind blowing.
Strong/High winds made the crossing very unpleasant.
The sails flapped in the wind.
LITERARY There wasn't a breath of (= even a slight amount of) wind.
A gust of wind suddenly caught her skirt.
The wind is beginning to pick up (= get stronger) .
She ran like the wind (= very fast) to catch up.
wind noun BREATH
2. [ U ] MAINLY UK breath or the ability to breathe
I had to stop halfway up the hill to get my wind (= allow my breathing to return
to normal) .
3. [ U ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING words that do not mean anything and false
statements
I rarely bother to listen to politicians' speeches - it's all just wind.
wind noun BOWELS
4. [ U ] UK ( US gas ) gas in the bowels or in a baby's stomach, especially that
which makes you feel uncomfortable or makes noises
I like garlic but it gives me terrible wind.
get wind of sth
to hear a piece of information that someone else was trying to keep secret
I don't want my colleagues to get wind of the fact that I'm leaving.
put/get the wind up sb UK
to make someone feel worried about their situation
Tell them your father's a policeman - that'll put the wind up them!
take the wind out of sb's sails
to make someone feel less confident or less determined to do something, usually
by saying or doing something that they are not expecting
I was all ready to tell him that the relationship was over when he greeted me with
a big bunch of flowers - it rather took the wind out of my sails.
wind verb BREATH
1. [ T ] to make it difficult or temporarily impossible for someone to breathe,
usually by hitting them in the stomach
wind verb BOWELS
2. [ T ] UK ( US burp ) to rub or very gently hit a baby on the back to allow air to
come up from the stomach
wind verb TURN
1. [ I or T usually + adverb or preposition ] to turn or cause something to turn
She wound the handle but nothing happened.
Once she'd got into the car, she wound the window down/up (= caused it to
open/close by turning a handle) .
UK Does this camera wind on (= does the film in it move forward) automatically?
That noise you can hear is the tape winding back .
See also rewind
2. [ T ] ( ALSO wind up ) If you wind (up) a clock or watch, you cause it to work by
turning a key, handle or other device.
3. [ I usually + adverb or preposition ] If a road, path or river winds, it follows a
route which turns repeatedly in different directions
The river winds through the valley.
wind verb WRAP AROUND
4. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to wrap something around an object
several times or twist it repeatedly around itself
She wound a scarf around her neck.
He wound the string into a ball.
He wound a small bandage round her finger.
winding adjective
describes a path, road, river, etc. which repeatedly turns in different directions
There's a very long, winding path leading up to the house.
wind (sth) down phrasal verb [ M ]
1. to end gradually or in stages, or to cause something to do this
The government intends to wind the scheme down in early spring.
Unfortunately, the party was just winding down as we got there.
2. If a business or organization winds down, or if someone winds it down, the
amount of work it does is gradually reduced until it closes completely
They're winding down their operations abroad because they're losing money.
wind down phrasal verb
to gradually relax after doing something that has made you tired or worried
When he goes on holiday, it takes him the first couple of days just to wind down.
wind sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to close a business or organization
Lawyers were called in to wind up the company.
wind up phrasal verb INFORMAL
to find yourself in an unexpected and usually unpleasant situation, especially as a
result of what you do
If he carries on like this he's going to wind up in prison!
You don't want to wind up homeless, do you?
wind (sth) up phrasal verb [ M ]
to end, or to make an activity end
I think it's about time we wound this meeting up.
We need to wind up now, we've only got five minutes.
wind sb up phrasal verb UK INFORMAL ANNOY
1. [ M ] to annoy or upset someone
It really winds me up when he goes on about teachers having an easy life.
She just knows how to wind me up.
See also wound up
wind sb up phrasal verb UK INFORMAL DECEIVE
2. to tell someone something that is not true in order to make a joke
Are you serious or are you just trying to wind me up?
wind-up noun [ C usually singular ] UK INFORMAL
You can't be serious - is this a wind-up?
wince verb [ I ]
to show pain suddenly and for a short time in the face, often moving the head
back at the same time
Did I hurt you? - I thought I saw you wince.
It makes me wince even thinking about eye operations.
wince noun [ C usually singular ]
She gave a wince as the nurse put the needle in.
winch noun [ C ] ( ALSO windlass )
winch
a machine which lifts heavy objects by turning a chain or rope around a tube-
shaped device
winch verb [ T ]
Two helicopters winched the passengers to safety from the deck of the ship.
wind noun CURRENT OF AIR
1. [ C or U ] a current of air moving approximately horizontally, especially one
strong enough to be felt
There isn't enough wind to fly a kite.
The weather forecast warned of winds of up to 60-miles-an-hour today.
There was a light wind blowing.
Strong/High winds made the crossing very unpleasant.
The sails flapped in the wind.
LITERARY There wasn't a breath of (= even a slight amount of) wind.
A gust of wind suddenly caught her skirt.
The wind is beginning to pick up (= get stronger) .
She ran like the wind (= very fast) to catch up.
wind noun BREATH
2. [ U ] MAINLY UK breath or the ability to breathe
I had to stop halfway up the hill to get my wind (= allow my breathing to return
to normal) .
3. [ U ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING words that do not mean anything and false
statements
I rarely bother to listen to politicians' speeches - it's all just wind.
wind noun BOWELS
4. [ U ] UK ( US gas ) gas in the bowels or in a baby's stomach, especially that
which makes you feel uncomfortable or makes noises
I like garlic but it gives me terrible wind.
get wind of sth
to hear a piece of information that someone else was trying to keep secret
I don't want my colleagues to get wind of the fact that I'm leaving.
put/get the wind up sb UK
to make someone feel worried about their situation
Tell them your father's a policeman - that'll put the wind up them!
take the wind out of sb's sails
to make someone feel less confident or less determined to do something, usually
by saying or doing something that they are not expecting
I was all ready to tell him that the relationship was over when he greeted me with
a big bunch of flowers - it rather took the wind out of my sails.
wind verb BREATH
1. [ T ] to make it difficult or temporarily impossible for someone to breathe,
usually by hitting them in the stomach
wind verb BOWELS
2. [ T ] UK ( US burp ) to rub or very gently hit a baby on the back to allow air to
come up from the stomach
wind verb TURN
1. [ I or T usually + adverb or preposition ] to turn or cause something to turn
She wound the handle but nothing happened.
Once she'd got into the car, she wound the window down/up (= caused it to
open/close by turning a handle) .
UK Does this camera wind on (= does the film in it move forward) automatically?
That noise you can hear is the tape winding back .
See also rewind
2. [ T ] ( ALSO wind up ) If you wind (up) a clock or watch, you cause it to work by
turning a key, handle or other device.
3. [ I usually + adverb or preposition ] If a road, path or river winds, it follows a
route which turns repeatedly in different directions
The river winds through the valley.
wind verb WRAP AROUND
4. [ T usually + adverb or preposition ] to wrap something around an object
several times or twist it repeatedly around itself
She wound a scarf around her neck.
He wound the string into a ball.
He wound a small bandage round her finger.
winding adjective
describes a path, road, river, etc. which repeatedly turns in different directions
There's a very long, winding path leading up to the house.
wind (sth) down phrasal verb [ M ]
1. to end gradually or in stages, or to cause something to do this
The government intends to wind the scheme down in early spring.
Unfortunately, the party was just winding down as we got there.
2. If a business or organization winds down, or if someone winds it down, the
amount of work it does is gradually reduced until it closes completely
They're winding down their operations abroad because they're losing money.
wind down phrasal verb
to gradually relax after doing something that has made you tired or worried
When he goes on holiday, it takes him the first couple of days just to wind down.
wind sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to close a business or organization
Lawyers were called in to wind up the company.
wind up phrasal verb INFORMAL
to find yourself in an unexpected and usually unpleasant situation, especially as a
result of what you do
If he carries on like this he's going to wind up in prison!
You don't want to wind up homeless, do you?
wind (sth) up phrasal verb [ M ]
to end, or to make an activity end
I think it's about time we wound this meeting up.
We need to wind up now, we've only got five minutes.
wind sb up phrasal verb UK INFORMAL ANNOY
1. [ M ] to annoy or upset someone
It really winds me up when he goes on about teachers having an easy life.
She just knows how to wind me up.
See also wound up
wind sb up phrasal verb UK INFORMAL DECEIVE
2. to tell someone something that is not true in order to make a joke
Are you serious or are you just trying to wind me up?
wind-up noun [ C usually singular ] UK INFORMAL
You can't be serious - is this a wind-up?
windbag noun [ C ] INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
a person who talks too much about boring things
windbreak noun [ C ]
something which gives protection from the wind, such as a row of trees, bushes,
or a wall
windbreaker noun [ C ] US ( UK OLD-FASHIONED windcheater )
a jacket which is made of a material which protects you from the wind
wind-chill noun [ U ]
the effect that wind has on how cold the air feels
It's two degrees outside, but with the wind-chill factor , it feels like minus five.
ˈ wind ˌ chimes plural noun
an arrangement of shells or small decorative shapes of metal or wood that hang
from pieces of wire or string and make a gentle noise when moved by the wind
winded adjective [ after verb ]
temporarily unable to breathe, either when hit in the stomach or after taking hard
physical exercise
Simon is so unfit - he gets winded just from walking up a flight of stairs.
winder noun [ C ]
1. UK ( US stem ) a small knob (= round handle) on a watch, which you use for
winding it
2. a key or handle for winding a clock
windfall noun [ C ] MONEY
1. an amount of money that you win or receive from someone unexpectedly
Investors each received a windfall of £3000.
The government is hoping to collect a windfall tax (= extra tax on a large
unexpected company profit) from British Electric.
windfall noun [ C ] FRUIT
2. a piece of fruit blown down from a tree
I tend to leave the windfalls for the birds to pick at.
ˈ wind ˌ farm noun [ C ]
a group of wind turbines (= tall structures with blades that are blown by the wind)
that are used for producing electricity
ˈ wind ˌ gauge noun [ C ]
a device for measuring the force of the wind
ˈ wind ˌ instrument noun [ C ]
a musical instrument whose sound is produced by blowing
Saxophones and flutes are wind instruments.
windlass noun [ C ]
a winch
windless adjective LITERARY
without wind
a windless day
windmill noun [ C ]
windmill
1. a building or structure with large blades on the outside which, when turned by
the force of the wind, provide the power for getting water out of the ground or crushing
grain
See also picture mill
2. a wind turbine
3. ( US ALSO pinwheel ) a child's toy which consists of a stick with brightly
coloured pieces of plastic at one end which turn around when you blow them or hold the
toy in the wind
window noun GLASS
1. [ C ] a space usually filled with glass in the wall of a building or in a vehicle, to
allow light and air in and to allow people inside the building to see out
Is it all right if I open/close the window?
He caught me staring out of the window.
I saw a child's face at the window.
She's got some wonderful plants in the window (= on a surface at the bottom of
the window) .
I was admiring the cathedral's stained-glass windows.
Have you paid the window cleaner (= person whose job is to clean the outside of
windows) ?
window frames
a window ledge
2. [ S ] LITERARY something that makes it possible for you to see and learn about a
situation or experience that is different from your own
The film provides a window on the immigrant experience.
3. [ C ] a transparent rectangle on the front of an envelope, through which you
can read the address written on the letter inside
4. [ C ] the decorative arrangement of goods behind the window at the front of a
shop, in addition to the window itself
How much is the jacket in the window?
The shop windows are wonderful around Christmas time.
window noun COMPUTER
5. [ C ] a separate area on a computer screen which shows information and which
you can move around
to minimize/maximize a window
window noun OPPORTUNITY
6. [ C ] a period when there is an opportunity to do something
I'm quite busy this week but there might be a window on Friday.
If a window of opportunity (= an opportunity) should present itself, I'd take
advantage of it.
go out (of) the window
If a quality, principle or idea goes out of the window, it does not exist any more
Then people start drinking and sense goes out of the window.
ˈ window ˌ box noun [ C ]
a box filled with earth, for growing decorative plants in, which is put on an outside
windowsill
window boxes full of brightly coloured geraniums
See picture house
ˈ window ˌ dressing noun [ U ] SHOPS
1. the skill of decorating shop windows and arranging goods in them so that they
look attractive to people going past
ˈ window ˌ dressing noun [ U ] DECEIVING
2. DISAPPROVING things that are said or done in order to make an attractive effect
but which are of no real importance
Never mind the extra day's holiday, the free health care, and all the other window
dressing in the company's offer - the point is, how much more money are we getting?
ˈ window ˌ ledge noun [ C ]
a windowsill (= a shelf below a window)
windowpane noun [ C ]
a single piece of glass in the window of a building
ˈ window ˌ seat noun [ C ]
1. a seat on a train, aircraft or other, especially public, vehicle which is next to a
window
2. a seat in a building which is below a window
ˈ window ˌ shade noun [ C ] US
a blind (= a cover for a window)
window-shopping noun [ U ]
when you spend time looking at the goods on sale in shop windows without
intending to buy any of them
windowsill noun [ C ] ( ALSO window ledge )
a shelf below a window, either inside or outside a building
He's got a few plants in pots on the windowsill.
See picture house
windpipe noun [ C ] ( SPECIALIZED trachea )
the tube in the body which carries air that has been breathed in from the upper
end of the throat to the lungs
A bit of food went down my windpipe and gave me a coughing fit.
ˈ wind ˌ pollination noun [ U ] SPECIALIZED
the process in which the wind carries pollen (= powder produced by male part of
flower) from one plant to another which is then fertilized
windscreen noun [ C ]
1. UK ( US windshield ) the window at the front of a car, truck etc.
See picture car exterior
2. US FOR windbreak
windscreen wiper noun [ C usually plural ] UK ( US windshield wiper )
one of two long metal and rubber parts that move against a windscreen to
remove rain
See picture car exterior
windsock noun [ C ]
a tube of cloth fastened at one end to a pole which shows the direction of the
wind at an airport
Windsurfer noun [ C ] ( ALSO sailboard ) TRADEMARK
a narrow board with a sail fixed to it which you hold, standing up, while the wind
blows you along the surface of a sea or lake
windsurfer noun [ C ]
someone who goes windsurfing
windsurfing noun [ U ]
windsurfing
a sport in which you sail across water by standing on a board and holding onto a
large sail
I went windsurfing most afternoons.
Compare surfing
windsurf verb [ I ]
windswept adjective
(of places) open to and not protected from strong winds, or (of people) having
hair that is untidy because it has been blown in different directions by the wind
We drove down to the windswept Atlantic coast of Portugal.
windswept hair
ˈ wind ˌ tunnel noun [ C usually singular ]
a closed passage or room through which currents of air are forced in order to
study the effects of moving air on aircraft and other vehicles
ˈ wind ˌ turbine noun [ C ]
a tall structure with blades that are blown round by the wind and produce power
to make electricity
windward adjective SPECIALIZED
(on the side of a hill, etc.) facing the wind
On the windward leg of the race the wind was strong.
Compare leeward
windy adjective
with a lot of wind
It was a windy night.
It was wet and windy for most of the week.
wine noun [ C or U ]
an alcoholic drink which is usually made from grapes , but can also be made from
other fruits or flowers. It is made by fermenting the fruit with water and sugar
a wine cellar/connoisseur/cooler/glass
red/white/dry/sweet/sparkling/table wine
Shall we have a bottle/glass of wine with dinner?
I love Australian wines, especially the white wines.
Would you like to see the wine list , sir?
wine verb
wine and dine sb
to entertain someone by giving them food and drink
The survey concludes that most women like to be wined and dined on the first few
dates.
ˈ wine ˌ bar noun [ C ] UK
a bar or small restaurant which serves mainly wines
ˈ wine ˌ rack noun [ C ]
wine rack
a wooden or metal frame used to store bottles of wine horizontally
wing noun [ C ] FOR FLYING
1. the flat part of the body which a bird, insect or bat uses for flying, or one of the
flat horizontal structures that stick out from the side of an aircraft and support it when it
is flying
the delicacy of a butterfly's wings
I don't like chicken wings - there's not much meat on them.
I could see the plane's wing out of my window.
See pictures wing , planes
2. take wing LITERARY
a. If a bird takes wing, it flies away.
b. to suddenly develop, freely and powerfully
She walked in the hills, letting her thoughts take wing.
3. on the wing LITERARY
A bird that is on the wing is flying.
wing noun [ C ] POLITICAL GROUP
4. a group within a political party or organization whose beliefs are in some way
different from those of the main group
The president is on the left/right wing of the Democratic party.
wing noun [ C ] PART OF BUILDING
5. a part of a large building which sticks out from the main part, often having
been added at a later date
The maternity ward will be in the new wing of the hospital.
The west wing of the house is still lived in by Lord and Lady Carlton, while the rest
of the house is open to the public.
See picture wing
wing noun [ C ] PART OF CAR
6. UK ( US fender ) one of the four parts at the side of a car which go over the
wheels
There's a dent in the left wing.
Look in your wing mirror .
See pictures wing , car exterior
wing noun [ C ] SPORTS
7. (in various team games, such as football and hockey ) either of the two sides of
the sports field, or a player whose position is at either of the two sides of the field
Minelli passes the ball to Hernandez out there on the wing.
He played left/right wing for Manchester United.
wing noun [ C ] THEATRE
8. the wings
the sides of a stage which cannot be seen by the people watching the play
I was in the wings waiting for my cue to come on stage.
See picture wing
on a wing and a prayer
If you do something on a wing and a prayer, you do it hoping that you will
succeed, although you are not prepared enough for it
With scarcely any funding and a staff of six, they were operating on a wing and a
prayer.
take sb under your wing
If you take someone under your wing, you start to protect and take care of them
I was a bit lonely and fed up at the time and she took me under her wing.
wing verb INFORMAL
wing it
to perform or speak without having prepared what you are going to do or say
I hadn't had time to prepare for the talk, so I just had to wing it.
ˌ wing ˈ chair noun [ C ]
a chair with a high back from which large side pieces stick out
ˌ wing ˈ collar noun [ C ]
the strip of material which goes around the neck on a man's formal shirt and is
folded down into the shape of two small triangles at the front
winged , adjective [ before noun ]
1. having the stated type of wings
a high-winged aeroplane
2. with wings
The winged adult mosquitoes emerge from the pupae.
Cupid is usually depicted as a winged boy with a bow and arrow.
winger noun [ C ]
a player whose position is at either of the two sides of the field in a team game
such as football or hockey
Liverpool have just spent £800 000 on the talented 25-year-old winger.
ˈ wing ˌ mirror noun [ C ] UK ( US side mirror )
a mirror on the outside of a car door which allows the driver to see the vehicles
that are behind or overtaking
See picture car exterior
ˈ wing ˌ nut noun [ C ]
a small, metal fastening device which has two flat pieces on it that you can hold
with your fingers while tightening it
wingspan noun [ C ]
the distance between the ends of the wings of a bird, insect or aircraft
wink verb [ I ]
wink
1. to close one eye for a short time as a way of greeting someone or showing
friendliness, sexual interest, etc., or of showing that you are not serious about
something you have said
She winked at me as he turned his back.
For a moment I thought he was being serious, but then he winked at me.
2. When lights wink, they keep flashing on and off quickly
Reflected in the water, the lights winked at us from the other side of the lake.
The light was winking on the answering machine.
wink at sth phrasal verb
to pretend not to notice something bad that is happening because it is more
convenient for you
wink noun [ C ]
when you wink at someone
He gave me a conspiratorial wink as they left the room.
not sleep a wink ( ALSO not get a wink of sleep )
to not sleep at all
I didn't sleep a wink last night with all that noise.
winkle noun [ C ] ( US USUALLY periwinkle )
a small sea snail that can be eaten
winkle verb
winkle sth/sb out phrasal verb [ M ] MAINLY UK
to get or find something or someone with difficulty
I managed to winkle the truth out of him eventually.
Winnebago noun [ C ] TRADEMARK
Winnebago
a large vehicle that is made for you to live in while you are travelling
winner noun [ C ]
1. someone who wins a game, competition or election
There'll be a prize for the winner.
The winner of this match will play Violente in the semi-finals.
And to find out who are the lucky winners of our competition, Samantha is going
to draw some names out of the bag.
See also breadwinner
2. ( US ALSO game-winner ) INFORMAL in sport, a goal or point that causes a player
or team to win a game
Neil Eaves scored the winner in the last minute of the match.
3. INFORMAL something that is extremely successful and popular
That lemon tart was a winner, wasn't it?
I think they're onto a winner with this latest product (= it will succeed) .
winning adjective [ before noun ]
1. that has won something
Have you heard the winning entry in this year's Eurovision Song Contest?
It's nice to be on the winning side for a change.
2. friendly and charming and often making people like you
a winning smile
ˈ winning ˌ post noun [ C usually singular ] UK
a post that marks the place where a race ends
His horse collapsed just 40 yards from the winning post.
winnings plural noun
an amount of money that has been won
What are you going to spend your winnings on?
winnow verb [ T ]
1. to blow the chaff (= the outer coverings) from grain before it can be used as
food
2. FORMAL to reduce a large number of people or things to a much smaller number
by judging their quality
A list of 12 candidates has been winnowed down to a shortlist of three.
a winnowing process
wino noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a person, especially a homeless person, who drinks too much wine or other
alcoholic drink
There were the usual bunch of winos outside the station.
winsome adjective LITERARY APPROVING
attractive and pleasing, with simple qualities, sometimes like those a child has
Maria brought along her eldest daughter - a winsome lass with brown eyes and a
ready smile.
winsomely adverb
winter noun [ C or U ]
the season between autumn and spring, lasting from November to March north of
the equator and from May to September south of the equator, when the weather is
coldest
Last winter we went skiing.
It's been a surprisingly mild winter.
I think you tend to eat more in the winter.
winter verb [ I + adv/prep ]
(especially of a bird) to spend the winter in a particular place
Birds migrate so that they can winter in a warmer country.
Kuwait Bay is one of the world's most important wintering grounds for wading
birds.
ˌ winter ˈ sports plural noun
sports that are done on snow or ice
wintertime noun [ U ]
the season of winter
Like most seaside resorts in the wintertime, it's quite deserted.
wintry adjective LIKE WINTER
1. typical of winter
It looks like this wintry weather is here to stay.
This afternoon we may see some wintry showers (= snow mixed with rain) over
higher ground.
Wintry conditions are making roads hazardous for drivers in the northeast of
England.
wintry adjective EXPRESSION
2. LITERARY unfriendly and disapproving
She gave a wintry smile .
win-win adjective [ before noun ]
A win-win situation or result is one that is good for everyone who is involved
Flexible working hours are a win-win situation for employers and employees.
win-win noun [ S ]
a result that is good for everyone who is involved in a situation
The decision is a win-win for both sides.
wipe verb [ T ]
to slide something, especially a piece of cloth, over the surface of something else,
in order to remove dirt, food or liquid
Have you got a cloth that I can wipe the floor with?
I'll just get a sponge and wipe the crumbs off the table.
Don't wipe your nose on your sleeve!
Someone has wiped their dirty hands on my nice clean towel!
wipe sth off the map ( ALSO wipe sth off the face of the Earth/globe )
to destroy completely
There are bombs so powerful that whole nations could be wiped off the map by
them.
wipe the floor with sb INFORMAL
to defeat someone very easily
"I hear Italy beat France in the semi-finals last night." "Beat them? They wiped
the floor with them!"
wipe the slate clean
to start a new and better way of behaving, forgetting about any bad experiences
in the past
A new relationship presents you with the opportunity to wipe the slate clean.
wipe the smile off sb's face
to make someone feel less happy or confident, especially someone who is
annoying you because they think they are very clever
Tell him you saw Helena at the cinema with another guy - that should wipe the
smile off his face!
wipe sth down phrasal verb [ M ]
to clean the surface of something, such as a table, with a cloth
Every night we wipe the tables down before we shut the restaurant.
wipe sth off sth phrasal verb [ M ]
to remove something from something
All their customer information was wiped off the computer by a virus.
$8 billion has been wiped off share prices worldwide.
wipe sth out phrasal verb [ M ]
to destroy something completely
Whole villages were wiped out in the fighting.
One bad harvest could wipe out all of a grower's profits for the previous two
years.
wipe out phrasal verb US INFORMAL
to lose control, especially in a vehicle, and have an accident
I was going too fast and I wiped out on the bend.
wipe sth up phrasal verb [ M ]
to remove a substance, usually liquid, with a cloth or something similar
I was just wiping up the soup that you spilt in the kitchen.
Have you got something I could wipe up this mess with ?
wipe noun [ C ]
1. [ C ] an act of wiping
I'd better give the floor a quick wipe before someone slips on it.
2. a piece of soft, wet cloth or paper that you use for wiping
baby wipes
ˌ wiped ˈ out adjective [ after verb ] TIRED
1. INFORMAL extremely tired
After that 5-mile run I was completely wiped out.
ˌ wiped ˈ out adjective [ after verb ] DRUNK
2. US SLANG suffering from the effects of drinking alcohol or taking drugs
wire noun METAL THREAD
1. [ C or U ] a piece of thin metal thread which can be bent, used for fastening
things and for making particular types of objects that are strong but can bend
a wire fence
2. [ C ] (a piece of) thin metal thread with a layer of plastic around it, used for
carrying electric current
Someone had cut the telephone wires.
Don't touch those wires whatever you do.
3. the wire
the wire fence round a prison or prison camp
During the war he spent three years behind the wire (= in prison) .
wire noun MESSAGE
4. [ C ] US INFORMAL a telegram
down to the wire
until the last moment that it is possible to do something
I think the election will go right down to the wire (= be won at the last moment) .
get your wires crossed
When people get their wires crossed, they have a different understanding of the
same situation
Somehow we got our wires crossed because I'd got the 23rd written down in my
diary and Jen had the 16th.
under the wire US
If someone does something under the wire, they do it at the last possible moment
They got in under the wire just before the entry requirements for the training
program changed.
wire verb [ T ] SEND MESSAGE
1. MAINLY US to send a message using an electrical communication system,
especially to send an amount of money to someone in this way
The insurance company wired millions of dollars to its accounts to cover the
payments.
[ + two objects ] Luckily my father wired me two hundred bucks.
2. MAINLY US in the past, to send someone a telegram
Janet wired me to say she'd be here a day later than planned.
wire verb [ T ] METAL THREAD
3. to fasten two things together using wire
She had her jaws wired together so that she wouldn't be able to eat.
4. ( ALSO wire up ) to connect a piece of electrical equipment with wires so that it
will work
The stereo wasn't working because it hadn't been wired up properly.
Nearly one home in ten across the country is wired up to receive TV via cable.
ˌ wire ˈ brush noun [ C ]
a brush with pieces of wire fixed into it, used especially for cleaning metal
wired adjective [ after verb ] ( ALSO wired up ) MAINLY US INFORMAL
nervous or excited about a future event
I was totally wired before the interview.
ˌ wired ˈ up adjective [ after verb ] UK ( US wired )
secretly provided with an electronic device that records conversations
The negotiators were wired up when they talked to the kidnappers.
wire-haired adjective
A dog that is wire-haired has stiff, rough hair
a wire-haired dachshund
wireless adjective
without a cable
a wireless connection
wireless noun [ C ] MAINLY UK OLD-FASHIONED
a radio
ˌ wire ˈ netting noun [ U ]
a net made of twisted wire which is often used for fences
ˈ wire ˌ service noun [ C ] MAINLY US
an organization that supplies news to newspapers, radio and television stations,
etc. using an electrical communication system
wire-tapping noun [ U ]
the action of secretly listening to other people's conversations by connecting a
listening device to their telephone
If he suspected an employee of dishonesty, he was not above wire-tapping.
ˌ wire ˈ wool noun [ U ]
UK FOR steel wool
wiring noun [ U ]
the system of wires that carry electricity in a building
The club closed after the fire brigade declared its wiring to be unsafe.
wiry adjective
1. (of people and animals) thin but strong, and often able to bend easily
He has a runner's wiry frame.
2. describes hair that is strong, thick and rough to touch
wisdom noun [ U ]
the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and
judgments
One certainly hopes to gain a little wisdom as one grows older.
He's got a weekly radio programme in which he dispenses wisdom (= gives his
opinions) on a variety of subjects.
I tend to doubt the wisdom of separating a child from its family whatever the
circumstances.
Did we ever stop to question the wisdom of going to war?
Before I went off to university my father gave me a few words of wisdom.
Conventional/Received/Popular wisdom has it (= Most people think) that
women are more emotional than men, but in my experience it often isn't the case.
in his/her/their wisdom HUMOROUS
something that you say when you do not understand why someone has done
something stupid
The council, in their wisdom, decided to close the library and now the building
stands empty.
with the wisdom of hindsight
with the knowledge that experience gives you
With the wisdom of hindsight we now know that the old-fashioned aerosol sprays
were a mistake.
ˈ wisdom ˌ tooth noun [ C ]
one of the four teeth at the back of the jaw that are the last to grow
She's having her wisdom teeth out.
wise adjective
1. APPROVING having or showing the ability to make good judgments, based on a
deep understanding and experience of life
I think you made a wise choice.
"I never drink more than three glasses of wine." "How wise."
Looking at the weather, I think we made a wise decision not to go to the coast
this weekend.
I think it would be wiser to wait and see how much money you've got left before
you make any decisions.
I never used to save money but now I'm a little older and wiser I can see the
sense in it.
Was it Thomas More who said that the wise man learns from the experience of
others?
2. wise to sth
INFORMAL understanding a dishonest situation or way of doing something
I used to be scrupulously honest then I got wise to the system.
be none the wiser
to still be confused about something even after it has been explained to you
I've read the instructions twice and I'm still none the wiser.
It's easy to be wise after the event. MAINLY UK SAYING
used to mean that it is easy to understand what you could have done to prevent
something bad from happening after it has happened
In retrospect, we should have insisted on checking his calculations, but it's easy
to be wise after the event.
wise verb
wise up phrasal verb MAINLY US INFORMAL
to start to understand a situation or fact and believe what you hear about it, even
if it is difficult or unpleasant
Those who think this is a harmless recreational drug should wise up.
It's about time employers wised up to the fact that staff who are happy work
more efficiently.
-wise suffix IN THIS WAY
1. in this way or in this direction
clockwise
lengthwise
-wise suffix RELATING TO
2. INFORMAL relating to a particular thing
What shall we do foodwise - do you fancy going out to eat?
Moneywise, of course, I'm much better off than I used to be.
What do we need to take with us clothes-wise?
We were very lucky weather-wise yesterday.
wisecrack noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a remark which is intended as a clever joke, especially one which criticizes
someone
He made some wisecrack about my lack of culinary ability.
wisecracking noun [ U ] , adjective [ before noun ]
Sadly, despite the crazy antics and the relentless wisecracking, there's very little
plot to carry this film.
ˈ wise ˌ guy noun [ C ] ( US OFFENSIVE wise ass ) INFORMAL
someone who is always trying to seem more clever than anyone else in a way
that is annoying
Okay, wise guy, if you're so damned smart, you can tell everyone how it's done!
wise-guy adjective [ before noun ] ( US OFFENSIVE wise-ass )
wise-guy humour
wisely adverb
showing good judgment
Sian had very wisely left the party before all the trouble started.
Invest your money wisely through Home Counties Savings Trust.
wish verb FEEL SORRY
1. [ I + ( that ) ] used with the past simple tense to express that you feel sorry or
sad about a state or situation that exists at the moment
I wish (that) I was/were a bit taller.
I wish (that) you were coming with me, Peter.
2. [ I + ( that ) ] used with the past perfect tense to express that you feel sorry
or sad about a particular action in the past
I wish (that) I hadn't eaten so much.
I bet she wishes (that) she'd never got involved in the whole affair.
wish verb WANT
3. [ I or T ] FORMAL to want to do something
We could go to the cinema or we could go out for dinner - whatever you wish.
"Shall we ask Diana if she'd like to come to the theatre tonight?" "If/As you wish."
[ + to infinitive ] I wish to make a complaint.
Passengers wishing to take the Kings Cross train should go to platform 9.
I don't wish to worry you but he did say he'd be back by midnight.
[ + object + adjective ] Sometimes I was so depressed that I wished myself dead.
4. I wish (that)...
used to express anger at someone's behaviour
I wish she'd shut up for a moment and let someone else speak.
I wish you'd look at me when I'm trying to speak to you!
wish verb HOPE
5. [ T + two objects ] to hope or express hope for another person's success or
happiness or pleasure on a particular occasion
We wish you every success in the future.
I didn't even see her to wish her a happy birthday/wish a happy birthday to her.
I wished her a safe journey and waved her off.
6. wish sb well
to hope someone will succeed
I wished him well with his new venture.
wish verb MAGIC
7. [ I or T ] to hope that something you want will be made real because of good
luck or magical powers
[ + that ] I remember blowing out the candles on my birthday cake and wishing
that John Lee would be my boyfriend.
If I could wish myself anywhere in the world (= go anywhere as a result of
making a wish) right now it would be somewhere hot and sunny.
He's funny, bright, handsome - everything a girl could wish for really.
"Your job must be very glamorous." "I wish!" (= Not at all.)
"By the time I'm 40, I'll be so rich I won't have to work." "You wish!" (= There's
no chance of that happening.)
I/You wouldn't wish sth on anyone/my/your worst enemy.
something you say in order to emphasize that something is extremely unpleasant
The effects of this disease are horrible. You wouldn't wish them on your worst
enemy.
wish noun [ C ] WANT
1. a feeling of wanting something
[ + to infinitive ] Did he express any wish to see me?
In accordance with his wishes (= what he wanted) , he was buried next to his
wife.
They've deliberately gone against my wishes and sold the apartment.
[ + that ] It was grandpa's greatest wish that one of his grandchildren would
become a doctor.
wish noun [ C ] GREETING
2. best wishes
something you say or write at the end of a letter to show that you hope someone
is happy and has good luck
He ended the letter "Best wishes, Carlo".
Do give/send Patrick my best wishes.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
With best wishes, Louise Foster.
wish noun [ C ] MAGIC
3. a hope that is made real with magical powers
[ + that ] If I could have just one wish I suppose it would be that all the fighting
in the world would stop tomorrow.
Close your eyes and make a wish.
It's that bit in the story where the fairy grants the little girl three wishes.
May all your wishes come true.
wish verb FEEL SORRY
1. [ I + ( that ) ] used with the past simple tense to express that you feel sorry or
sad about a state or situation that exists at the moment
I wish (that) I was/were a bit taller.
I wish (that) you were coming with me, Peter.
2. [ I + ( that ) ] used with the past perfect tense to express that you feel sorry
or sad about a particular action in the past
I wish (that) I hadn't eaten so much.
I bet she wishes (that) she'd never got involved in the whole affair.
wish verb WANT
3. [ I or T ] FORMAL to want to do something
We could go to the cinema or we could go out for dinner - whatever you wish.
"Shall we ask Diana if she'd like to come to the theatre tonight?" "If/As you wish."
[ + to infinitive ] I wish to make a complaint.
Passengers wishing to take the Kings Cross train should go to platform 9.
I don't wish to worry you but he did say he'd be back by midnight.
[ + object + adjective ] Sometimes I was so depressed that I wished myself dead.
4. I wish (that)...
used to express anger at someone's behaviour
I wish she'd shut up for a moment and let someone else speak.
I wish you'd look at me when I'm trying to speak to you!
wish verb HOPE
5. [ T + two objects ] to hope or express hope for another person's success or
happiness or pleasure on a particular occasion
We wish you every success in the future.
I didn't even see her to wish her a happy birthday/wish a happy birthday to her.
I wished her a safe journey and waved her off.
6. wish sb well
to hope someone will succeed
I wished him well with his new venture.
wish verb MAGIC
7. [ I or T ] to hope that something you want will be made real because of good
luck or magical powers
[ + that ] I remember blowing out the candles on my birthday cake and wishing
that John Lee would be my boyfriend.
If I could wish myself anywhere in the world (= go anywhere as a result of
making a wish) right now it would be somewhere hot and sunny.
He's funny, bright, handsome - everything a girl could wish for really.
"Your job must be very glamorous." "I wish!" (= Not at all.)
"By the time I'm 40, I'll be so rich I won't have to work." "You wish!" (= There's
no chance of that happening.)
I/You wouldn't wish sth on anyone/my/your worst enemy.
something you say in order to emphasize that something is extremely unpleasant
The effects of this disease are horrible. You wouldn't wish them on your worst
enemy.
wish noun [ C ] WANT
1. a feeling of wanting something
[ + to infinitive ] Did he express any wish to see me?
In accordance with his wishes (= what he wanted) , he was buried next to his
wife.
They've deliberately gone against my wishes and sold the apartment.
[ + that ] It was grandpa's greatest wish that one of his grandchildren would
become a doctor.
wish noun [ C ] GREETING
2. best wishes
something you say or write at the end of a letter to show that you hope someone
is happy and has good luck
He ended the letter "Best wishes, Carlo".
Do give/send Patrick my best wishes.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
With best wishes, Louise Foster.
wish noun [ C ] MAGIC
3. a hope that is made real with magical powers
[ + that ] If I could have just one wish I suppose it would be that all the fighting
in the world would stop tomorrow.
Close your eyes and make a wish.
It's that bit in the story where the fairy grants the little girl three wishes.
May all your wishes come true.
wishbone noun [ C ]
the V-shaped bone between the neck and breast of a cooked bird which
traditionally is removed from the bird and pulled apart by two people, allowing the one
who gets the longer piece to make a secret wish
wish-fulfillment noun [ U ]
the achievement of things you really want in imaginary situations, mainly in
dreams, but also in films, literature and poetry
Men, in these dramas of female wish-fulfillment, are reduced to the status of
playthings.
wishful thinking noun [ U ]
the imagining or discussion of a very unlikely future event or situation as if it were
possible and might one day happen
"Do you think you might be in line for promotion, then?" "No, it's just wishful
thinking."
ˈ wish ˌ list noun [ C ]
a list of things you want, often which you know you cannot have
A new car would be top of my wish list.
wishy-washy adjective INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
having no colour, firm ideas, principles or noticeable qualities of any type
Politically they're neither right-wing nor left - just a bunch of wishy-washy
pseudo-liberals.
Watercolours are a bit wishy-washy for my taste.
wisp noun [ C ]
1. wisp of cloud/smoke/steam
a small, thin line of cloud/smoke/steam
A blue wisp of cigarette smoke curled in the air.
2. wisp of hair/grass, etc.
a thin, delicate piece of hair/grass, etc
A few wisps of hay still clung to her skirt.
soft wisps of baby hair
wispy adjective
in the form of a wisp or wisps
a wispy cloud/fringe
wispy adjective
in the form of a wisp or wisps
a wispy cloud/fringe
wisteria noun [ C or U ]
a climbing plant with groups of small purple, blue or white flowers hanging from it
wistful adjective
sad and thinking about something that is impossible or in the past
a wistful smile
I thought about those days in Spain and grew wistful.
wistfully adverb
"I would love to go back to Venice," he said wistfully.
wistfulness noun [ U ]
wit noun HUMOUR
1. [ S or U ] the ability to use words in a clever and humorous way
a woman of great intelligence and wit
Her conversation sparkled with her own subtle blend of wit and charm.
He was known for his dry / ready / sharp wit.
See also wits ; witticism
2. [ C ] a person who is skilled at using words in a clever and humorous way
Sydney Smith, a notable wit, once remarked that he never read a book before he
reviewed it because it might prejudice his opinion of it.
wit noun INTELLIGENCE
3. wits
4. intelligence and the ability to think quickly
She learned to survive on her wits.
frighten/scare sb out of their wits ( ALSO frighten/scare the wits out of sb )
to make someone very frightened
Don't shout like that! You scared me out of my wits.
gather your wits LITERARY
to make an effort to become calm and think more clearly
I spent the five-minute break between games gathering my wits and rethinking
my strategy for the second half of the match.
have/keep (all) your wits about you
to be ready to think quickly in a situation and react to things that you are not
expecting
Cycling is potentially very dangerous in London - you have to keep your wits
about you.
not be beyond the wit of man/ sb HUMOROUS
to be possible to achieve
It shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to arrange for them both to be there at the
same time.
to wit FORMAL
used to make clearer or more particular something that you have already said
Several pieces of major legislation have been introduced in the US over the past
few years, to wit: the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act and the Civil
Rights Act.
witch noun [ C ]
witch
1. a woman who is believed to have magical powers and who uses them to harm
or help other people
a witch on a broomstick
Witches were persecuted all over western Europe from the 15th to the 17th
century as it was claimed that they had dealings with the Devil.
2. INFORMAL DISAPPROVING an unpleasant and ugly woman
witch noun [ C ]
witch
1. a woman who is believed to have magical powers and who uses them to harm
or help other people
a witch on a broomstick
Witches were persecuted all over western Europe from the 15th to the 17th
century as it was claimed that they had dealings with the Devil.
2. INFORMAL DISAPPROVING an unpleasant and ugly woman
witchcraft noun [ U ]
the activity of performing magic to help or harm other people
witchdoctor noun [ C ]
a person in some societies who cures people using traditional magic or medicine;
a shaman
witches' brew noun [ C usually singular ] INFORMAL
an unpleasant liquid mixture, of which you do not know the contents
What's that witches' brew you're concocting there - surely you don't expect me to
drink it?
witch-hazel noun [ C or U ]
a small tree that produces flowers, or liquid from this tree which is used as a
medicine
witch-hunt noun [ C ] DISAPPROVING
an attempt to find and punish people whose opinions are unpopular and who are
said to be a danger to society
In America, Senator McCarthy led a witch-hunt against people suspected of being
communists.
the witching hour noun [ S ]
the time when witches are said to appear, usually 12 o'clock at night
Wite-Out US TRADEMARK ( UK TRADEMARK Tipp-Ex )
a white liquid used for painting over mistakes in a piece of writing
with preposition COMPANY
1. in the company or presence of a person or thing
I was with Sylvia at the time.
He lives with his grandmother.
He's impossible to work with.
I'm going to France with a couple of friends.
Ingrid Bergman starred with Humphrey Bogart in the film 'Casablanca'.
I left my coat with the cloakroom attendant.
Ice cream with your apple pie?
Mix the butter with the sugar and then add the egg.
I'll be with you (= I will give you my attention) in a moment.
She's staying with her parents (= at their house) for a few months.
He's been with the department (= working in it) since 1982.
with preposition METHOD
2. using something
He was shot at close range with a pistol.
She wiped her lipstick off with a tissue.
Fix the two pieces together with glue.
Please handle this package with care.
They set up a business with the help of a bank loan.
with preposition DESCRIPTION
3. having or including something
a tall woman with dark hair
He's married with three children.
She left school with no qualifications.
He spoke with a soft Irish accent.
We're an international company with offices in Paris, New York and Sydney.
Two coffees please, one with milk and one without.
He arrived in Los Angeles with nothing but the clothes he was wearing.
He woke up with a dreadful headache.
I was second in the race with a time of 14.2 seconds.
With a bit of luck, we should be back in time for dinner.
Both their children graduated with degrees in economics.
4. used at the beginning of various phrases written at the end of a letter
With best wishes from Charles.
With love from Roberta.
5. including
With your contribution, that makes a total of £45.
with preposition RELATIONSHIP
6. relating to or in the case of a person or thing
How are things with you?
Russia has just drawn up a trade agreement with Norway.
This hasn't got anything to do with you (= This is not something you should be
interested in) .
The government's policies have not been popular with (= among) the voters.
He's very careless with his money.
She talked a lot about her relationship with Charlotte.
with preposition CONTAINING/COVERING
7. used to show what is on or in something
She'd laid the table with the best china.
Her blouse was spattered with blood.
The room was littered with toys.
The trucks were laden with food and medicine.
She filled the jug up with cream.
with preposition CAUSE
8. because of or caused by someone or something
He winced with pain.
I was trembling with fear.
She's been at home with a bad cold for the past week.
I can't work with all that noise going on.
Hopes were dashed in the war-torn capital with the news that no aid would be
arriving that week.
With exams approaching, it's a good idea to review your class notes.
(What) with all the excitement and confusion, I forgot to say goodbye to her.
with preposition OPPOSITION
9. against something
I ended up having an argument with her.
She has fought a constant battle with depression throughout her career.
The two countries went to war with one another over oil prices.
A truck had evidently collided with a car.
with preposition SEPARATION
10. used with words showing separation
I'd rather not part with my cash.
He decided to put his failed marriage behind him and make a clean break with the
past.
with preposition AND
11. and, or followed by
I'd like a steak and fries with chocolate mousse to follow.
$200 is payable immediately with a further $100 payable on delivery.
with preposition COMPARISON
12. used in comparisons
I've got nothing in common with my brother.
This cake's very light compared with the last one you made.
with preposition SUPPORT
13. supporting someone or something
If you want to go for a promotion, I'll be with you all the way.
You've got to decide where you stand on this issue - you're either with me or
against me.
Opposite against
with preposition DIRECTION
14. in the same direction as something
The wind was with me on the home stretch and I ran well.
Opposite against
with preposition TIME
15. at the same rate or time as something
This wine will improve with age.
Stopping distances for cars vary with the speed they are travelling at.
with preposition UNDERSTANDING
16. be with sb INFORMAL
to understand what someone is saying
You look puzzled - are you with me?
I'm sorry, I'm not with you.
with preposition DESPITE
17. despite something
With all her faults, she's still a really good friend.
with preposition EXPRESSIONS
18. used to express a wish or instruction
Away with you (= Go away) !
Off to bed with you (= Go to bed) !
On with the show (= Let it continue) !
Down with school (= We don't want/like it) !
with that
and then, or after doing or saying that
"I still think you're wrong," he said and with that he drove off.
withdraw verb REMOVE
1. [ I or T ] to take or move out or back, or to remove
This credit card allows you to withdraw up to £200 a day from cash dispensers.
The UN has withdrawn its troops from the country.
Eleven million bottles of water had to be withdrawn from sale due to a health
scare.
Once in court, he withdrew the statement he'd made to the police (= he claimed it
was false) .
All charges against them were withdrawn after the prosecution's case collapsed.
FORMAL After lunch, we withdrew into her office to finish our discussion in private.
MAINLY UK The team captain was forced to withdraw from the match due to injury.
Following his nervous breakdown, he withdrew from public life and refused to
give any interviews.
withdraw verb STOP CONTACT
2. [ I ] to stop talking to other people and start thinking thoughts that are not
related to what is happening around you
As a child, she frequently withdrew into her own fantasy world.
After the accident, he withdrew into himself and refused to talk to family or
friends.
withdraw verb REMOVE
1. [ I or T ] to take or move out or back, or to remove
This credit card allows you to withdraw up to £200 a day from cash dispensers.
The UN has withdrawn its troops from the country.
Eleven million bottles of water had to be withdrawn from sale due to a health
scare.
Once in court, he withdrew the statement he'd made to the police (= he claimed it
was false) .
All charges against them were withdrawn after the prosecution's case collapsed.
FORMAL After lunch, we withdrew into her office to finish our discussion in private.
MAINLY UK The team captain was forced to withdraw from the match due to injury.
Following his nervous breakdown, he withdrew from public life and refused to
give any interviews.
withdraw verb STOP CONTACT
2. [ I ] to stop talking to other people and start thinking thoughts that are not
related to what is happening around you
As a child, she frequently withdrew into her own fantasy world.
After the accident, he withdrew into himself and refused to talk to family or
friends.
withdrawal noun TAKING OUT
1. [ C or U ] when you take money out of a bank account
The bank became suspicious after several large withdrawals were made from his
account in a single week.
2. [ C or U ] when a military force moves out of an area
The commander-in-chief was given 36 hours to secure a withdrawal of his troops
from the combat zone.
withdrawal noun NOT AVAILABLE
3. [ U ] when something is taken away so that it is no longer available, or when
someone stops being involved in an activity
Doctors demanded the withdrawal of the drug ( from the market) after several
cases of dangerous side-effects were reported.
Her sudden withdrawal from the championship caused a lot of press speculation
about her health.
withdrawal noun NO CONTACT
4. [ U ] when someone prefers to be alone and does not want to talk to other
people
Withdrawal is a classic symptom of depression.
with ˈ drawal ˌ symptoms plural noun
the unpleasant physical and mental effects which result when you stop doing or
taking something, especially a drug, which has become a habit
He was suffering from all the classic withdrawal symptoms associated with giving
up heroin - inability to sleep, anxiety, sweating and fever.
FIGURATIVE HUMOROUS I haven't seen any TV for over a week and I'm having
withdrawal symptoms.
withdrawn adjective
shy and quiet and preferring to be alone rather than with other people
Following her son's death, she became quiet and withdrawn and rarely went out.
wither verb ( ALSO wither away )
1. [ I or T ] (to cause) to become weak and dry and decay
Grass had withered in the fields.
2. [ I ] to slowly disappear, lose importance or become weaker
This country is in danger of allowing its industrial base to wither away.
wither on the vine LITERARY
If something withers on the vine, it is destroyed very gradually, usually because
no one does anything to help or support it
There was some debate as to whether the benefit scheme should be withdrawn or
simply allowed to wither on the vine.
wither verb ( ALSO wither away )
1. [ I or T ] (to cause) to become weak and dry and decay
Grass had withered in the fields.
2. [ I ] to slowly disappear, lose importance or become weaker
This country is in danger of allowing its industrial base to wither away.
wither on the vine LITERARY
If something withers on the vine, it is destroyed very gradually, usually because
no one does anything to help or support it
There was some debate as to whether the benefit scheme should be withdrawn or
simply allowed to wither on the vine.
withered adjective
1. dry and decaying
withered leaves/flowers
2. MAINLY OLD USE describes an arm or leg that has not grown to its correct size
because of disease
withering adjective
1. A withering look/remark,etc. is one that is intended to make someone feel
ashamed
He said that Lizzie had been drunk at the time and I saw her shoot him a
withering glance.
2. severe and extremely critical
He made a withering attack on government policy.
withers plural noun SPECIALIZED
the highest part of the back of a horse, which is situated above its shoulders
withhold verb [ T ]
to refuse to give something or to keep back something
to withhold information/support
During the trial, the prosecution was accused of withholding crucial evidence
from the defence.
Police are withholding the dead woman's name until her relatives have been
informed.
She withheld her rent until the landlord agreed to have the repairs done.
The government is planning to withhold benefit payments from single mothers
who refuse to name the father of their child.
with ˈ holding ˌ tax noun [ U ] US
money taken from a person's income and paid directly to the government by their
employer
within preposition , adverb
inside or not further than an area or period of time
Two-thirds of Californians live within 15 miles of the coast.
In 1992 cross-border controls within the EU were dismantled.
For orders within the UK, please enclose £2.50 for post and packing.
The resort lies within easy reach of (= not far from) the ski slopes.
We recommend that this wine should be consumed within six months.
Within hours of the tragedy happening, an emergency rescue team had been
assembled.
The tickets should reach you within the week (= before the end of this week) .
He's very highly regarded within his profession.
She managed to complete her last film well within budget.
The target was now within range and so she took aim and fired.
He could sense that his goal was within reach (= it could be reached) .
The cathedral spire was now within sight (= it could be seen) .
I was acting within the law (= legally) .
We came within five points of beating them (= We would have beaten them if we
had had five more points) .
from within
by the people who belong to an organization and not by people from outside it
If things are to change, the company must be reformed from within.
ˈ with ˌ it adjective FASHION
1. SLIGHTLY OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL knowing a lot about new ideas and fashions
He reads all the style magazines and thinks he's really with it.
2. INFORMAL fashionable
ˈ with ˌ it adjective MIND
3. be with it INFORMAL
to be able to think or understand quickly
You're not really with it today, are you?
ˈ with ˌ it adjective FASHION
1. SLIGHTLY OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL knowing a lot about new ideas and fashions
He reads all the style magazines and thinks he's really with it.
2. INFORMAL fashionable
ˈ with ˌ it adjective MIND
3. be with it INFORMAL
to be able to think or understand quickly
You're not really with it today, are you?
without preposition , adverb
not having or doing something, or lacking something
I've come out without my umbrella.
You look nice without make-up.
He went without my knowledge.
I couldn't have done it without you.
She's strong without being bossy.
Do start without me.
FORMAL He's not without (= he does have some) qualities.
This is without a doubt (= certainly) the best Chinese food I've ever had.
You shouldn't drive for more than three hours without tak ing a break.
Without wish ing to be rude (= I don't want to be rude, but) , don't you think you
need a hair cut?
See also do without ( sth ) ; go without ( sth )
without (so much as) a backward glance
If you leave without a backward glance, you are completely happy to leave and
have no sad feelings about it
She left the city where she had lived all her life without a backward glance.
without so much as a by-your-leave OLD-FASHIONED
without asking for anyone's permission, in a way that is rude
withstand verb [ T ]
to bear or not be changed by something, or to oppose a person or thing
successfully
a bridge designed to withstand earthquakes
Our toys are designed to withstand the rough treatment of the average five-year-
old.
The aircraft base is protected with specially designed shelters which are built to
withstand ground and air attacks.
She is an artist whose work will undoubtedly withstand the test of time (= it will
still be popular in the future) .
witless adjective DISAPPROVING
1. stupid or showing no intelligence
The novel centres around a witless father who is continually being conned by his
three children.
See also wits
2. scare/frighten sb witless
to frighten someone very much
I was scared witless the last time Tina drove me down to London.
witness noun [ C ] SEE
1. a person who sees an event happening, especially a crime or an accident
Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident to come forward.
According to (eye) witnesses, the robbery was carried out by two teenage boys.
2. be witness to sth
to see something happen
She was witness to the tragic event.
3. someone who is asked to be present at a particular event and sign their name
in order to prove that things have been done correctly
He signed the treaty in the presence of two witnesses.
They were married a year after they first met, with two friends acting as
witnesses.
witness noun [ C ] LAW
4. a person in a law court who states what they know about a legal case or a
particular person
Ten witnesses are expected to testify at the trial today.
The key witness for the prosecution was offered police protection after she
received death threats.
5. expert witness
a person who is allowed to give their opinion in a law court because of their
knowledge or practical experience of a particular subject
A psychiatrist was called as an expert witness for the defence.
bear witness (to sth )
If something bears witness to a fact, it proves that it is true
The numerous awards on the walls bear witness to his great success.
As last week's riots bear witness, the political situation is very unstable.
witness verb [ T ] BE PRESENT
1. to see something happen, especially an accident or crime
Did anyone witness the attack?
They were staying in the capital at the time of the riots and witnessed several
street battles.
[ + -ing verb ] He arrived home just in time to witness his brother be ing taken
away by the police.
2. to be present at an event and to sign your name as proof that it happened or
that it was done correctly
Her will was drawn up by a solicitor and witnessed by two colleagues.
witness verb [ T ] HAPPEN
3. FORMAL When a place or period witnesses a particular event, the event happens
in that place or during that period
This university has witnessed quite a few changes over the years.
The past few years have witnessed momentous changes throughout Eastern
Europe.
witness verb [ T ] SHOW
4. to show or give proof of something
This year's charity ball was the most successful one ever, as witnessed by the
number of tickets sold.
The programme aroused strong feelings - witness the number of letters received.
witness to sth phrasal verb UK FORMAL
to state publicly, especially in a law court, that something is true or that it
happened
A handwriting expert witnessed to the authenticity of the letter.
[ + -ing verb ] She witnessed to hav ing seen the robbery take place.
witness noun [ C ] SEE
1. a person who sees an event happening, especially a crime or an accident
Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident to come forward.
According to (eye) witnesses, the robbery was carried out by two teenage boys.
2. be witness to sth
to see something happen
She was witness to the tragic event.
3. someone who is asked to be present at a particular event and sign their name
in order to prove that things have been done correctly
He signed the treaty in the presence of two witnesses.
They were married a year after they first met, with two friends acting as
witnesses.
witness noun [ C ] LAW
4. a person in a law court who states what they know about a legal case or a
particular person
Ten witnesses are expected to testify at the trial today.
The key witness for the prosecution was offered police protection after she
received death threats.
5. expert witness
a person who is allowed to give their opinion in a law court because of their
knowledge or practical experience of a particular subject
A psychiatrist was called as an expert witness for the defence.
bear witness (to sth )
If something bears witness to a fact, it proves that it is true
The numerous awards on the walls bear witness to his great success.
As last week's riots bear witness, the political situation is very unstable.
witness verb [ T ] BE PRESENT
1. to see something happen, especially an accident or crime
Did anyone witness the attack?
They were staying in the capital at the time of the riots and witnessed several
street battles.
[ + -ing verb ] He arrived home just in time to witness his brother be ing taken
away by the police.
2. to be present at an event and to sign your name as proof that it happened or
that it was done correctly
Her will was drawn up by a solicitor and witnessed by two colleagues.
witness verb [ T ] HAPPEN
3. FORMAL When a place or period witnesses a particular event, the event happens
in that place or during that period
This university has witnessed quite a few changes over the years.
The past few years have witnessed momentous changes throughout Eastern
Europe.
witness verb [ T ] SHOW
4. to show or give proof of something
This year's charity ball was the most successful one ever, as witnessed by the
number of tickets sold.
The programme aroused strong feelings - witness the number of letters received.
witness to sth phrasal verb UK FORMAL
to state publicly, especially in a law court, that something is true or that it
happened
A handwriting expert witnessed to the authenticity of the letter.
[ + -ing verb ] She witnessed to hav ing seen the robbery take place.
ˈ witness ˌ box noun [ C usually singular ] UK ( US witness stand )
the place in which a person stands in a law court when they are being asked
questions
He showed no emotion as he walked into the witness box.
She was asked to take the witness stand and was then cross-examined.
witter verb [ I ] UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
to talk for a long time about things that are not important
He'd been wittering on about his neighbours for half the morning.
witticism noun [ C ]
a remark that is both clever and humorous
See also wit
witty adjective
using words in a clever and funny way
a witty comment/remark
He was witty and very charming.
wittily adverb
wives
PLURAL OF wife
wizard noun [ C ]
1. a man who is believed to have magical powers and who uses them to harm or
help other people
2. ( ALSO wiz ) INFORMAL someone who is an expert at something or who has great
ability in a particular subject
a computer wizard
Your mother's a wizard at Scrabble.
wizardry noun [ U ]
1. the skill of a wizard
2. clever or surprising ways of doing things, especially with special machines
Using their high-tech wizardry, the police were able to locate the owners of the
stolen property within hours of it being seized.
wizened adjective
having dry skin with lines in it, especially because of old age
wizened adjective

having dry skin with lines in it, especially because of old age

He was a wizened old man with yellow skin and deep wrinkles.
wk

WRITTEN ABBREVIATION FOR week

WMD

ABBREVIATION FORweapons of mass destruction: weapons, like nuclear bombs,


which cause a lot of damage and kill many people

wobble verb MOVE

1. [ I or T ] to (cause something to) shake or move from side to side in a way that
shows poor balance

That bookcase wobbles whenever you put anything on it.

Don't wobble the table, please, Dan.

FIGURATIVE The company's shares wobbled with the news of a foreign takeover bid.

wobble verb NOT CERTAIN

2. [ I ] INFORMAL to be uncertain what to do or to change repeatedly between two


opinions

The government can't afford to wobble on this issue.

wobble noun [ C ] MOVEMENT

1. a movement from side to side which shows poor balance

I gave the poles a slight wobble and the whole tent collapsed.

FIGURATIVE The closure of the company's German subsidiary caused a sharp wobble
in its profits.

wobble noun [ C ] NOT CERTAIN

2. INFORMAL a feeling of not being certain about something

She's having a bit of a wobble about the move to New York.

wobbly adjective MOVING

1. likely to wobble

a wobbly ladder/table

I've been in bed with flu and my legs are still feeling all wobbly.

"Look, I've got a wobbly tooth," said my little daughter, proudly.

HUMOROUS I'm trying to tone up my wobbly bits (= fat areas of the body)
generally.

wobbly adjective NOT CERTAIN


2. INFORMAL uncertain what to do or changing repeatedly between two opinions

Last week I felt sure I was doing the right thing but I've started to feel a bit
wobbly about it.

wobbly noun UK INFORMAL

throw a wobbly

to become extremely angry and upset

My parents threw a wobbly when they found out I'd had a party while they were
away.

wodge , wadge noun [ C ] MAINLY UK INFORMAL

a thick piece or a large amount of something

She cut herself a great wodge of chocolate cake.

He hurried towards the staffroom with a wodge of papers under his arm.

He was a wizened old man with yellow skin and deep wrinkles.
wodge , wadge noun [ C ] MAINLY UK INFORMAL
a thick piece or a large amount of something
She cut herself a great wodge of chocolate cake.
He hurried towards the staffroom with a wodge of papers under his arm.
woe noun
1. woes FORMAL
great problems or troubles
The country has been beset by economic woes for the past decade.
Unusually poor harvests have added to the country's woes.
2. [ U ] LITERARY extreme sadness
Her face was lined and full of woe.
He told me a real tale of woe about how he had lost both his job and his house in
the same week.
woe betide sb
said when there will be trouble for someone, or they will be punished, if they do a
particular thing
This is the second time he's been sent home from school this week, so woe betide
him if it happens again!
woe is me OLD USE OR HUMOROUS
said to express how unhappy you are
I'm cold and wet and I haven't even got enough money for my bus fare home. Oh
woe is me!
woebegone adjective LITERARY
looking very sad
When he wants to go for a walk, the dog sits by the door with a woebegone
expression .
There's no need to look so woebegone - we can get it fixed.
woeful adjective BAD
1. very bad or (of something very bad or unpleasant) very great or extreme
The team's woeful record consists of six defeats in seven matches.
They displayed woeful ignorance of the safety rules.
woeful adjective SAD
2. FORMAL extremely sad
She was looking very woeful, with her eyes red and swollen.
woefully adverb
used to emphasize how bad a situation is
The safety precautions taken by large resort hotels are often woefully
inadequate for the number of people who stay there.
The school's text books are woefully out-of-date.
wog noun [ C ] UK AND AUSTRALIAN ENGLISH OFFENSIVE
a black person
wog noun [ C ] UK AND AUSTRALIAN ENGLISH OFFENSIVE
a black person
wok noun [ C ]
wok
a large, bowl-shaped, Chinese pan used for frying food quickly in hot oil
Heat some oil in a wok, then add the vegetables and stir-fry for two minutes.
woke verb
PAST SIMPLE OF wake (STOP SLEEPING)
woken verb
PAST PARTICIPLE OF wake (STOP SLEEPING)
wolf noun ANIMAL
wolf
1. [ C ] a wild animal of the dog family
Wolves hunt in groups known as packs.
We could hear wolves howling in the distance.
wolf noun MAN
2. [ C usually singular ] OLD-FASHIONED DISAPPROVING a man who often tries to have
sex with the women he meets
He had the reputation of being a bit of a wolf.
keep the wolf from the door
to have just enough money to be able to eat and live
As a student, he took an evening job to keep the wolf from the door.
a wolf in sheep's clothing
a person who hides the fact that they are evil, with a pleasant and friendly
appearance
wolf verb [ T ] INFORMAL
to eat a large amount of food very quickly
The boys wolfed the sandwiches (down) and then started on the cakes.
wolfhound noun [ C ]
a type of very large dog
He specializes in breeding large dogs such as Irish wolfhounds.
wolfhound noun [ C ]
a type of very large dog
He specializes in breeding large dogs such as Irish wolfhounds.
wolfish adjective
like a wolf
wolfish green eyes
FIGURATIVE He gave her a wolfish grin (= smiled at her in a sexually interested
way) .
wolf-whistle noun [ C ]
a short, high sound, followed by a longer sound that drops from high to low, that
is made when you see a person who you find sexually attractive
The last time she went out wearing those ripped jeans she got several wolf-
whistles.
wolf-whistle verb [ I ]
Builders are renowned for wolf-whistling at any woman who walks by.
woman noun
1. [ C ] an adult female human being
She's a really nice woman.
A woman and two men were arrested on the day after the explosion.
Women first got the vote in Britain in 1918.
She is Ireland's first woman (= female) president.
2. [ C ] INFORMAL a man's wife or partner
Apparently, Geoff's got a new woman.
3. [ U ] women in general
He is writing a book on the representation of woman in medieval art.
See also womankind ; womenfolk
-woman suffix
used to form nouns describing certain types of women or women with certain jobs
an Englishwoman/Frenchwoman
a chairwoman
womanhood noun [ U ]
1. the state of being a woman, or the period of time when someone is a woman
The novel deals with a teenage girl's journey towards womanhood.
2. the qualities that are considered typical of a woman
Brigitte Bardot was the dominant image of womanhood in French cinema during
the 1960s.
3. FORMAL all women considered as a group
the womanhood of the nation
womanize , UK USUALLY womanise verb [ I ] DISAPPROVING
A man who womanizes often has temporary sexual relationships with women or
tries to get women to have sex with him
He drank, womanized and wasted money.
womanizer , UK USUALLY womaniser noun [ C ]
a man who womanizes
He was a gambler, a womanizer and a drunk.
womanizing , UK USUALLY womanising noun [ U ]
Both his first and second wife divorced him on account of his womanizing.
womanize , UK USUALLY womanise verb [ I ] DISAPPROVING
A man who womanizes often has temporary sexual relationships with women or
tries to get women to have sex with him
He drank, womanized and wasted money.
womanizer , UK USUALLY womaniser noun [ C ]
a man who womanizes
He was a gambler, a womanizer and a drunk.
womanizing , UK USUALLY womanising noun [ U ]
Both his first and second wife divorced him on account of his womanizing.
womankind noun [ U ] OLD-FASHIONED
female humans in general
In her latest book she discusses the menopause, which is a subject that concerns
all womankind.
Compare mankind ; humankind
womanly adjective
describes qualities, ideas or physical features which a woman is typically or
traditionally thought to have
She referred in a positive way to the 'traditional womanly goals of marriage and
motherhood' several times in her talk.
She used her womanly wiles/charms to persuade him to change his mind.
Compare manly
womanliness noun [ U ]
womb noun [ C ] ( SPECIALIZED uterus )
the organ in the body of a woman or other female mammal in which a baby
develops before birth
Researchers are looking at how a mother's health can affect the baby in the
womb.
wombat noun [ C ]
an Australian wild animal which is similar to a small bear
womenfolk plural noun OLD-FASHIONED
the women in a family or society
The communal land is cultivated by the womenfolk in the tribe.
Compare menfolk
the Women's Institute noun [ S + sing/pl verb ] ( ABBREVIATION the WI )
a British organization consisting of groups of women who meet for social and
cultural activities
She's an active member of the Women's Institute and is always organizing talks
for her local group.
women's libber noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED
someone who supports efforts to achieve equality of women and men
I'm not a women's libber, but I do believe women should be paid the same as
men.
womanize , UK USUALLY womanise verb [ I ] DISAPPROVING
A man who womanizes often has temporary sexual relationships with women or
tries to get women to have sex with him
He drank, womanized and wasted money.
womanizer , UK USUALLY womaniser noun [ C ]
a man who womanizes
He was a gambler, a womanizer and a drunk.
womanizing , UK USUALLY womanising noun [ U ]
Both his first and second wife divorced him on account of his womanizing.
womankind noun [ U ] OLD-FASHIONED
female humans in general
In her latest book she discusses the menopause, which is a subject that concerns
all womankind.
Compare mankind ; humankind
womanly adjective
describes qualities, ideas or physical features which a woman is typically or
traditionally thought to have
She referred in a positive way to the 'traditional womanly goals of marriage and
motherhood' several times in her talk.
She used her womanly wiles/charms to persuade him to change his mind.
Compare manly
womanliness noun [ U ]
womb noun [ C ] ( SPECIALIZED uterus )
the organ in the body of a woman or other female mammal in which a baby
develops before birth
Researchers are looking at how a mother's health can affect the baby in the
womb.
wombat noun [ C ]
an Australian wild animal which is similar to a small bear
womenfolk plural noun OLD-FASHIONED
the women in a family or society
The communal land is cultivated by the womenfolk in the tribe.
Compare menfolk
the Women's Institute noun [ S + sing/pl verb ] ( ABBREVIATION the WI )
a British organization consisting of groups of women who meet for social and
cultural activities
She's an active member of the Women's Institute and is always organizing talks
for her local group.
women's libber noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED
someone who supports efforts to achieve equality of women and men
I'm not a women's libber, but I do believe women should be paid the same as
men.
women's liberation noun [ U ] ( INFORMAL women's lib ) OLD-FASHIONED
the aim of achieving equality for women in all areas of society
the women's liberation movement
women's movement noun [ S ]
those people whose social and political aims are to change women's position in
society and increase knowledge about women's condition in society
The early 20th century women's movement fought for the political emancipation
of women.
women's refuge noun [ C ] UK ( US women's shelter )
a house where women whose husbands or partners have been violent towards
them can go with their children for protection
women's studies plural noun
a course of studies about women in history, society and literature
She's doing a postgraduate course in women's studies.
womenswear noun [ U ]
1. clothes for women
2. the part of a large shop where you find women's clothing
won verb
PAST SIMPLE AND PAST PARTICIPLE OF win
wonder verb QUESTION
1. [ I ] to ask yourself questions or express a wish to know about something
[ + question word ] Hadn't you better phone home? Your parents will be
wondering wh ere you are.
He's starting to wonder wh ether he did the right thing in accepting this job.
[ + speech ] Will this turkey be big enough for eight, I wonder?
"Have you decided where you're going next summer?" "I've been wondering
about (= considering) go ing to Florida."
2. used in phrases, at the beginning of a request, to make it more formal and
polite
[ + speech ] I wonder - could you help me carry these books?
[ + question word ] I wonder whether you could pass me the butter?
I wonder if you could give me some information about places to visit in the area?
wonder verb SURPRISE
3. [ I ] SLIGHTLY FORMAL to feel or express great surprise at something
[ + ( that ) ] He was behaving so badly at school today, I wonder (that) he
wasn't sent home.
I don't wonder (that) she burst into tears after the way you spoke to her.
I shouldn't wonder MAINLY UK
probably
"Where's Mark been recently?" "Up to no good, I shouldn't wonder."
wonder noun
1. [ U ] a feeling of great surprise and admiration caused by seeing or
experiencing something that is strange and new
The sight of the Grand Canyon stretching out before them filled them with
wonder.
The boys gazed in wonder at the shiny red Ferrari.
2. [ C usually plural ] an object that causes a feeling of great surprise and
admiration
We spent a week visiting the wonders of Ancient Greek civilization.
With all the wonders of modern technology , why has no one come up with a
way to make aircraft quieter?
3. [ C ] INFORMAL an extremely useful or skilful person
Our new babysitter's an absolute wonder - she'll come at very short notice and
the children love her.
do/work wonders INFORMAL
to have a very good effect
Doctors have discovered that keeping a pet can do wonders for your health.
it's a wonder
it is surprising
It's a wonder ( that ) he ever reached Paris, because he set off with only £5 in his
pocket.
little/small wonder
it is not really surprising
Her car's been broken for the past two months, so it's little wonder ( that ) she
hasn't come to visit you recently.
no wonder
it is not surprising
No wonder the children are excited, - this is the first time they've been abroad.
"If brutal killers like these two are at work, it is no wonder that so many
Kosovans have fled," he said.
wonders never cease HUMOROUS
an expression of surprise used when something unusual or unexpected happens
Lynda actually managed to get up before ten o'clock. Wonders never cease!
ˈ wonder ˌ drug noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a very effective new medicine
It has proved to be a wonder drug for sufferers of epilepsy, reducing seizures by
up to 80%.
wonderful adjective
extremely good
He's a wonderful cook.
"Did you know that Daryl's getting married?" "No, I didn't. How wonderful!"
We had a wonderful time in Italy last summer.
wonderfully adverb
extremely, or extremely well
This sauce goes wonderfully well with fish, asparagus or new potatoes.
As a child I hated my brother, but now we get on wonderfully.
wonderland noun [ C ]
a place that is especially attractive or beautiful
The family emigrated to New Zealand in 1949, which seemed a wonderland in
comparison with post-war England.
wonderment noun [ U ] LITERARY
great and pleasant surprise
He listened with quiet wonderment as his grandfather told him of his life in the
circus.
wondrous adjective LITERARY
extremely and surprisingly good
a wondrous sight/sound/thing
Our new improved face cream has wondrous effects on tired-looking skin.
wondrously adverb LITERARY
extremely, used to emphasize an approving description
wonga noun [ U ] UK SLANG
money
wonk noun [ C ] US INFORMAL
a person who works or studies too much, especially someone who learns and
knows all the details about something
As the NEC's deputy for domestic policy issues, Sperling has functioned as both
policy wonk and political guru.
wonky adjective
1. UK INFORMAL shaky, weak or unsatisfactory
One of the legs on this chair is a bit wonky.
He may have to stop playing cricket because of his wonky knee.
The jury system may be a bit wonky but nobody's ever thought of anything
better.
2. INFORMAL not straight or level
wonky teeth
a wonky picture
I don't enjoy those programmes with wonky camera angles and pop music.
won't short form of
will not
I won't go without you.
Won't it be nice to see Paul again?
wont noun FORMAL
as is someone's wont
in the way that someone usually does
She arrived an hour late, as is her wont.
wont adjective FORMAL
be wont to do sth
to often do something
The previous city council was wont to overspend.
They spent much of the time reminiscing about the war, as old soldiers are wont
to do.
noun [ C ]
a place that is especially attractive or beautiful
The family emigrated to New Zealand in 1949, which seemed a wonderland in
comparison with post-war England.
wont noun FORMAL
as is someone's wont
in the way that someone usually does
She arrived an hour late, as is her wont.
wont adjective FORMAL
be wont to do sth
to often do something
The previous city council was wont to overspend.
They spent much of the time reminiscing about the war, as old soldiers are wont
to do.
wonted adjective [ before noun ] FORMAL
usual
He replied sharply, and without his wonted courtesy.
woo verb [ T ]
1. to try to persuade someone to support you or to use your business
The party has been trying to woo the voters with promises of electoral reform.
The airline has been offering discounted tickets to woo passengers away from
their competitors.
2. OLD-FASHIONED If a man woos a woman, he gives her a lot of attention in an
attempt to persuade her to marry him
He wooed her for months with flowers and expensive presents.
wood noun MATERIAL
1. [ C or U ] a hard substance which forms the branches and trunks of trees and
which can be used as a building material, for making things, or as a fuel
He gathered some wood to build a fire.
She fixed a couple of planks of wood to the wall for shelves.
Mahogany is a hard wood and pine is a soft wood.
The room was heated by a wood -burning stove.
2. [ C ] a type of golf club (= long, thin stick) with a rounded wooden end, used in
golf for hitting the ball over long distances
He likes to use a number 2 wood to tee off.
wood noun GROUP OF TREES
3. [ C ] ( ALSO woods [ plural ] ) an area of land covered with a thick growth of
trees
an oak wood
We went for a walk in the woods after lunch.
See also woodland
be out of the woods INFORMAL
to no longer be in danger or difficulty
The club has been given funding for another year, but it's not out of the woods
yet.
from the wood UK
If a drink such as wine or beer is described as being from the wood, it has been
stored in a wooden container.
not see the wood for the trees UK ( US not see the forest for the trees )
to be unable to get a general understanding of a situation because you are too
worried about the details
wood adjective
made of wood
Solid wood furniture is much more sturdy and durable than chipboard furniture.
We sanded and polished the wood floor in the living room.
Much of the original 18th-century wood panelling was destroyed in the fire.
See also wooden
woodbine noun [ U ]
1. a climbing plant with pleasant-smelling yellow flowers
2. US FOR virginia creeper
woodbine noun [ U ]
1. a climbing plant with pleasant-smelling yellow flowers
2. US FOR virginia creeper
woodblock noun [ C ]
1. a piece of wood on which a pattern is cut which is used for printing
She designs her own fabrics using woodblocks and stencils to create patterns on
the material.
2. UK one of a set of small, flat pieces of wood which are used to make a wooden
floor
a woodblock floor
See also parquet
woodcarving noun
1. [ U ] the process of cutting into the surface of wood to create a decorative
shape or pattern
Some of the finest examples of woodcarving in Europe can be found in medieval
churches.
2. [ C ] a piece of wood that has been decorated in this way
Her woodcarvings will be on display at the gallery next month.
woodchuck noun [ C ]
a small animal with short legs and rough, reddish brown fur which lives in North
America
woodcut noun [ C ]
a picture printed from a pattern which has been cut in the surface of a block of
wood
wooded adjective
covered with trees
wooded hills
The police found a vital clue to the girl's disappearance in a wooded area near her
home.
wooden adjective WOOD
1. made of wood
The house was surrounded by a tall, wooden fence .
Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon .
wooden adjective AWKWARD
2. DISAPPROVING describes behaviour that is awkward or shows little expression
She gave a wooden smile to the camera.
I thought the lead actor gave rather a wooden performance .
woodenly adverb DISAPPROVING
in an awkward way or showing no expression
She nodded woodenly, her body still numb from the shock.
woodenly adverb DISAPPROVING
in an awkward way or showing no expression
She nodded woodenly, her body still numb from the shock.
the ˌ wooden ˈ spoon noun [ S ] UK INFORMAL
the imaginary prize that a person or team is given if they finish last in a race or
competition
Our college team took the wooden spoon in the inter-collegiate league this
season.
woodland noun [ C or U ]
land on which many trees grow, or an area of this
The Forestry Commission is responsible for preserving over 2 million acres of
woodland.
Some very rare and special plants grow in these woodlands.
woodlouse noun [ C ]
a small dark-grey creature with a hard outer shell, which is found under stones or
in slightly wet soil and is a crustacean not an insect
woodpecker noun [ C ]
woodpecker
a bird which uses its strong beak to make holes in tree trunks in order to find
insects to eat
ˈ wood ˌ pulp noun [ U ]
wood which has been changed into a soft mass which can then be used for
making paper
woodshed noun [ C ]
a small building where wood for burning is stored
woodwind adjective [ before noun ]
belonging or relating to a group of pipe-shaped musical instruments which are
played by blowing through a thin flattened tube at one end or across a hole near one
end
The clarinet, flute, saxophone and bassoon are all woodwind instruments .
Compare brass ; percussion
woodwind noun
the woodwind
the group of woodwind instruments and their players in an orchestra
The woodwind was particularly haunting during the slow second movement.
woodwork noun [ U ] STRUCTURE
1. the wooden parts of a building, especially a house
There's some rotting woodwork on the outside of the house that we need to
replace.
2. UK INFORMAL any part of the wooden or metal frame that forms part of a goal in
football
Liverpool hit the woodwork twice in the first half.
woodwork noun [ U ] ACTIVITY
3. MAINLY UK ( US USUALLY woodworking ) the activity of making objects such as
furniture from wood
woodwork classes/lessons
I used to enjoy woodwork at school.
come/crawl out of the woodwork MAINLY DISAPPROVING
to appear after having been hidden or not active for a long time
After you've been in a relationship for a while all sorts of little secrets start to
come out of the woodwork.
woodwork noun [ U ] STRUCTURE
1. the wooden parts of a building, especially a house
There's some rotting woodwork on the outside of the house that we need to
replace.
2. UK INFORMAL any part of the wooden or metal frame that forms part of a goal in
football
Liverpool hit the woodwork twice in the first half.
woodwork noun [ U ] ACTIVITY
3. MAINLY UK ( US USUALLY woodworking ) the activity of making objects such as
furniture from wood
woodwork classes/lessons
I used to enjoy woodwork at school.
come/crawl out of the woodwork MAINLY DISAPPROVING
to appear after having been hidden or not active for a long time
After you've been in a relationship for a while all sorts of little secrets start to
come out of the woodwork.
woodworm noun
1. [ C ] the young form of particular types of beetle which make small holes in
wood as they feed on it
2. [ U ] the damage done to wooden objects when woodworm feed on them
The roof timbers were riddled with woodworm.
woody adjective MATERIAL
1. like wood, for example in taste or smell
2. describes plants with hard stems
The garden was overgrown with woody plants such as hawthorn and bramble.
woody adjective GROUP OF TREES
3. having many trees
They lived in a remote cottage set high on a woody hillside.
woof noun [ C ]
a written representation of the noise that a dog makes, used especially in
children's books
"Miaow, miaow, " went the cat. "Woof, woof, " went the dog.
woof verb [ I ]
wool noun [ U ]
1. the soft, thick hair which grows on the bodies of sheep and some other animals
The blankets are made from wool and the sheets from cotton.
2. thick thread or material that is made from this
Put on your red wool cardigan - it'll be nice and warm.
How many balls of wool did you need to knit that sweater?
pull the wool over sb's eyes
to deceive someone in order to prevent them from discovering something
woollen , US USUALLY woolen adjective
made of wool
a woollen scarf
woollens , US USUALLY woolens plural noun
clothes made from wool or sometimes from wool mixed with artificial materials
woollens , US USUALLY woolens plural noun
clothes made from wool or sometimes from wool mixed with artificial materials
woolly , US ALSO wooly adjective OF WOOL
1. made of wool, or made of something that looks like wool
a woolly hat/jumper
woolly , US ALSO wooly adjective NOT CLEAR
2. DISAPPROVING Woolly ideas and reasoning are confused and not clear, and have
not been considered carefully enough
It's the woolly thinking behind the book that I find so infuriating.
I can't stand these woolly -headed/-minded liberals!
woolliness , US ALSO wooliness noun [ U ]
woolly , US ALSO wooly noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
a piece of clothing made from wool, especially a jumper
Woop Woop noun [ C ] AUSTRALIAN INFORMAL
any small town which is far away from anywhere important
woozy adjective INFORMAL
feeling weak or ill and unable to think clearly
I was still woozy from the flu/anaesthetic/medication/wine.
woozily adverb
His eyes opened woozily.
wooziness noun [ U ]
wop noun [ C ] OFFENSIVE
a man from southern Europe, especially Italy
Worcestershire sauce noun [ U ] ( UK ALSO Worcester sauce )
a dark brown spicy liquid added to food to increase its flavour
Would you like Worcester sauce in your tomato juice?
word noun LANGUAGE UNIT
1. [ C ] a single unit of language which has meaning and can be spoken or written
Your essay should be no more than two thousand words long.
Some words are more difficult to spell than others.
What's the word for bikini in French?
It's sometimes difficult to find exactly the right word to express what you want
to say.
2. the f-/c- etc. word
used to refer to a word, usually a rude or embarrassing one, by saying only the
first letter and not the whole word
You're still not allowed to say the f-word on TV in the US.
So how's the diet going - or would you rather I didn't mention the d-word?
word noun TALKING
3. [ S ] a short discussion or statement
The manager wants a word.
Could I have a word ( with you) about the sales figures?
Perhaps you would have a quiet word with Simon (= gently explain to him)
about the problem.
4. words
a. angry words
Both competitors had words (= argued) after the match.
Words passed between both competitors (= They argued) after the match.
b. DISAPPROVING discussion, rather than action
I'm afraid so far there have been more words than action on the matter of
childcare provision.
5. have/exchange words
to talk to each other for a short time
We exchanged a few words as we were coming out of the meeting.
word noun NEWS
6. [ U ] news or a message
Have you had word from Paul since he went to New York?
We got word of their plan from a former colleague.
Word of the discovery caused a stir among astronomers.
word noun PROMISE
7. [ S ] a promise
I said I'd visit him and I shall keep my word.
You have my word - I won't tell a soul.
word noun ORDER
8. [ S ] an order
We're waiting for the word from head office before making a statement.
The troops will go into action as soon as their commander gives the word.
At a word from their teacher, the children started to tidy away their books.
breathe/say a word
to tell other people about something
Don't say a word about the accident to my mother.
If you breathe a word of this to anyone, I'll be really upset.
by word of mouth
in speech but not in writing
All the orders were given by word of mouth so that no written evidence could be
discovered later.
from the word go
from the start of something
The bridge-building project had problems with funding right from the word go.
give your word FORMAL
to promise
He gave his word that he would marry her and she had no cause to doubt him.
have a word in sb's ear
to give someone a piece of advice or information secretly
in a word
said when you are going to give your opinion about something quickly and directly
In a word, she's lying.
in your own words
If a person says something in their own words, they speak without copying what
someone else has said.
The court has heard accounts of that night's events from several witnesses - now
please tell us in your own words what you saw.
in words of one syllable
in simple language avoiding long, difficult or specialized words
Could you explain to me in words of one syllable how an electron microscope
works?
man/woman of his/her word
someone who keeps their promises
You can trust him - he's a man of his word.
(upon) my word! OLD-FASHIONED
used to express surprise
My word! Isn't that Jenkins on the roof?
not get a word in edgeways UK ( US not get a word in edgewise ) INFORMAL
to not be able to say anything because someone else is talking all the time
Roz was talking so much that nobody else could get a word in edgeways!
put in a good word for sb
to say positive things about someone
I really need a job and I was hoping you might put in a good word for me with
your boss.
put the word about/around/out/round
to tell people a new piece of news
So, the new manager has been appointed - should we put the word around?
put words in/into sb's mouth
to suggest that someone meant one thing when really they meant another
Stop putting words in my mouth - I didn't say you looked fat in the red dress - I
merely said you looked very slim in the black!
take sb at their word ( ALSO take sb's word for it )
to believe that what someone says is true
He said he'd give me a job and I just took him at his word.
If he says there's $500 in the envelope, then I'll take his word for it.
take the words out of sb's mouth
to say something which another person was just about to say or which they were
thinking
"What a rude and obnoxious man!" "You took the words right out of my mouth!"
word for word
1. using exactly the same words
She listened to everything I said and repeated it word for word to her mum.
a word-for-word account
2. If you translate speech or writing word for word, you change one word at a
time in the same order rather than in phrases or other larger units of meaning.
word gets about/around/round
When word gets about/around/round, news spreads fast within a group of people
"I hear you were having drinks with a tall, dark, handsome man last night."
"Wow, word gets round fast, doesn't it?"
She doesn't want word getting around the office that she's pregnant.
word has it
used to refer to something which is generally thought to be true although not
official or known to be a fact
Word has it (that) they may separate.
(the) word is
used to refer to something which has been reported but not officially stated
The word is (that) more hostages will be released over the next few weeks.
your word is your bond OLD-FASHIONED OR FORMAL
If someone's word is their bond, they always keep their promises
"But listen, you must promise never to tell anyone." "My word is my bond."
(the) word is/gets out
a piece of news is known, especially if it was secret or if it will cause changes
The word is out that superstar Candice is to marry towards the end of this year.
words fail me
said to emphasize your surprise or shock, especially at something you have just
seen or been told
"So what did you think of Olive's pink outfit?" "Words fail me, I've never seen
anything quite like it!"
word verb [ T usually + adv/prep ]
to choose the words you use when you are saying or writing something
He worded the reply in such a way that he did not admit making the original
error.
See also reword
worded adjective
a carefully/strongly worded statement
ˈ word associ ˌ ation noun [ U ]
a method sometimes used in psychoanalysis in which the person being treated
says the first word they think of when a particular word is said, which may help to
discover how parts of the mind work
woollens , US USUALLY woolens plural noun
clothes made from wool or sometimes from wool mixed with artificial materials
woolly , US ALSO wooly adjective OF WOOL
1. made of wool, or made of something that looks like wool
a woolly hat/jumper
woolly , US ALSO wooly adjective NOT CLEAR
2. DISAPPROVING Woolly ideas and reasoning are confused and not clear, and have
not been considered carefully enough
It's the woolly thinking behind the book that I find so infuriating.
I can't stand these woolly -headed/-minded liberals!
woolliness , US ALSO wooliness noun [ U ]
woolly , US ALSO wooly noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
a piece of clothing made from wool, especially a jumper
Woop Woop noun [ C ] AUSTRALIAN INFORMAL
any small town which is far away from anywhere important
woozy adjective INFORMAL
feeling weak or ill and unable to think clearly
I was still woozy from the flu/anaesthetic/medication/wine.
woozily adverb
His eyes opened woozily.
wooziness noun [ U ]
wop noun [ C ] OFFENSIVE
a man from southern Europe, especially Italy
Worcestershire sauce noun [ U ] ( UK ALSO Worcester sauce )
a dark brown spicy liquid added to food to increase its flavour
Would you like Worcester sauce in your tomato juice?
word noun LANGUAGE UNIT
1. [ C ] a single unit of language which has meaning and can be spoken or written
Your essay should be no more than two thousand words long.
Some words are more difficult to spell than others.
What's the word for bikini in French?
It's sometimes difficult to find exactly the right word to express what you want
to say.
2. the f-/c- etc. word
used to refer to a word, usually a rude or embarrassing one, by saying only the
first letter and not the whole word
You're still not allowed to say the f-word on TV in the US.
So how's the diet going - or would you rather I didn't mention the d-word?
word noun TALKING
3. [ S ] a short discussion or statement
The manager wants a word.
Could I have a word ( with you) about the sales figures?
Perhaps you would have a quiet word with Simon (= gently explain to him)
about the problem.
4. words
a. angry words
Both competitors had words (= argued) after the match.
Words passed between both competitors (= They argued) after the match.
b. DISAPPROVING discussion, rather than action
I'm afraid so far there have been more words than action on the matter of
childcare provision.
5. have/exchange words
to talk to each other for a short time
We exchanged a few words as we were coming out of the meeting.
word noun NEWS
6. [ U ] news or a message
Have you had word from Paul since he went to New York?
We got word of their plan from a former colleague.
Word of the discovery caused a stir among astronomers.
word noun PROMISE
7. [ S ] a promise
I said I'd visit him and I shall keep my word.
You have my word - I won't tell a soul.
word noun ORDER
8. [ S ] an order
We're waiting for the word from head office before making a statement.
The troops will go into action as soon as their commander gives the word.
At a word from their teacher, the children started to tidy away their books.
breathe/say a word
to tell other people about something
Don't say a word about the accident to my mother.
If you breathe a word of this to anyone, I'll be really upset.
by word of mouth
in speech but not in writing
All the orders were given by word of mouth so that no written evidence could be
discovered later.
from the word go
from the start of something
The bridge-building project had problems with funding right from the word go.
give your word FORMAL
to promise
He gave his word that he would marry her and she had no cause to doubt him.
have a word in sb's ear
to give someone a piece of advice or information secretly
in a word
said when you are going to give your opinion about something quickly and directly
In a word, she's lying.
in your own words
If a person says something in their own words, they speak without copying what
someone else has said.
The court has heard accounts of that night's events from several witnesses - now
please tell us in your own words what you saw.
in words of one syllable
in simple language avoiding long, difficult or specialized words
Could you explain to me in words of one syllable how an electron microscope
works?
man/woman of his/her word
someone who keeps their promises
You can trust him - he's a man of his word.
(upon) my word! OLD-FASHIONED
used to express surprise
My word! Isn't that Jenkins on the roof?
not get a word in edgeways UK ( US not get a word in edgewise ) INFORMAL
to not be able to say anything because someone else is talking all the time
Roz was talking so much that nobody else could get a word in edgeways!
put in a good word for sb
to say positive things about someone
I really need a job and I was hoping you might put in a good word for me with
your boss.
put the word about/around/out/round
to tell people a new piece of news
So, the new manager has been appointed - should we put the word around?
put words in/into sb's mouth
to suggest that someone meant one thing when really they meant another
Stop putting words in my mouth - I didn't say you looked fat in the red dress - I
merely said you looked very slim in the black!
take sb at their word ( ALSO take sb's word for it )
to believe that what someone says is true
He said he'd give me a job and I just took him at his word.
If he says there's $500 in the envelope, then I'll take his word for it.
take the words out of sb's mouth
to say something which another person was just about to say or which they were
thinking
"What a rude and obnoxious man!" "You took the words right out of my mouth!"
word for word
1. using exactly the same words
She listened to everything I said and repeated it word for word to her mum.
a word-for-word account
2. If you translate speech or writing word for word, you change one word at a
time in the same order rather than in phrases or other larger units of meaning.
word gets about/around/round
When word gets about/around/round, news spreads fast within a group of people
"I hear you were having drinks with a tall, dark, handsome man last night."
"Wow, word gets round fast, doesn't it?"
She doesn't want word getting around the office that she's pregnant.
word has it
used to refer to something which is generally thought to be true although not
official or known to be a fact
Word has it (that) they may separate.
(the) word is
used to refer to something which has been reported but not officially stated
The word is (that) more hostages will be released over the next few weeks.
your word is your bond OLD-FASHIONED OR FORMAL
If someone's word is their bond, they always keep their promises
"But listen, you must promise never to tell anyone." "My word is my bond."
(the) word is/gets out
a piece of news is known, especially if it was secret or if it will cause changes
The word is out that superstar Candice is to marry towards the end of this year.
words fail me
said to emphasize your surprise or shock, especially at something you have just
seen or been told
"So what did you think of Olive's pink outfit?" "Words fail me, I've never seen
anything quite like it!"
word verb [ T usually + adv/prep ]
to choose the words you use when you are saying or writing something
He worded the reply in such a way that he did not admit making the original
error.
See also reword
worded adjective
a carefully/strongly worded statement
ˈ word associ ˌ ation noun [ U ]
a method sometimes used in psychoanalysis in which the person being treated
says the first word they think of when a particular word is said, which may help to
discover how parts of the mind work
wording noun [ U ]
the choice and meaning of the words used when you say or write something
Norman agreed that the wording of the advertisement was unnecessarily
offensive and it was changed.
We don't yet know the exact/precise wording of the agreement.
wordless adjective
without any words
We sat in wordless contemplation of the view.
wordlessly adverb
to stare/nod/point wordlessly
ˌ word ˈ perfect adjective UK ( US letter perfect )
describes words produced without any mistakes, or a person who is able to repeat
a particular text from memory without making any mistakes
His mother rehearsed his lines with him and by the time the play opened he was
word perfect.
"Your German was word perfect when we spoke earlier, Mr Whitlock, " Franz said.
a word-perfect rendition/recitation
wordplay noun [ U ]
when you joke about the meanings of words, especially in a clever way
ˈ word ˌ processing noun [ U ]
the organization of text in electronic form such as on a computer
a word processing program/package
ˈ word ˌ processor noun [ C ]
a computer used for preparing documents and letters, or the program that is used
for this
With suitable software you can use your PC as a word processor.
Which word processor do you have on your computer?
wordsmith noun [ C ]
a person who has skill with using words, especially in writing
In today's review section Anthony Edwards, playwright, poet, novelist and general
wordsmith, talks about his glittering career.
wordy adjective DISAPPROVING
containing an unnecessarily large amount of words
As usual she gave a reply which was wordy and didn't answer the question.
wordiness noun [ U ]
wore verb
PAST SIMPLE OF wear
wore verb
PAST SIMPLE OF wear
work noun ACTIVITY
1. [ U ] an activity, such as a job, which a person uses physical or mental effort to
do, usually for money
I've got so much work to do .
Carrying heavy loads around all day is hard work.
What time do you start/finish work?
Adrian does most of the work around the house.
What sort of work are you experienced in?
She tends to wear quite smart clothes for work.
Roger's work involves a lot of travelling.
2. [ U ] the material used by someone at work, or what they produce
I'll have to take this work home with me and finish it there.
All the furniture is the work of residents here.
work noun PLACE
3. [ U ] a place where a person goes specially to do their job
Do you have far to travel to work each day?
Thousands of people are seriously injured at work every year.
When does she leave for work?
work noun CREATION
4. [ C ] something created as a result of effort, especially a painting, book or
piece of music
The museum has many works by Picasso as well as other modern painters.
the poetic works of Tagore
work noun EVERYTHING
5. the works INFORMAL
everything that you might want or expect to find in a particular situation
The bridegroom was wearing a morning suit, gloves, top hat - the works.
MAINLY US And let me have two large pizzas with the works (= with all available
types of food on top) .
work noun FACTORY
6. works
an industrial building, especially one where a lot of people are employed
a steel/car works
work noun MACHINE
7. works
the parts of a machine, especially those that move
If you take the back off this clock, you can see its/the works.
work noun PHYSICS
8. [ U ] SPECIALIZED force multiplied by distance moved
All work and no play (makes Jack a dull boy). SAYING
said to warn someone that they will not be an interesting person if they work all
the time
be at work
1. to be working
The labourers were at work in the fields.
2. LITERARY to be having an effect, usually an obvious or bad effect
It seems as though forces of destruction are increasingly at work throughout
society.
be in work/out of work
to have a job, or not to have a job
He was always in work, right from the day he left school.
My father was out of work at the time, so we struggled, obviously.
an out-of-work actor/manager
get/set to work
to start doing a job or a piece of work
We'd better get to work on stacking this wood if we want to finish before it gets
dark.
have your work cut out (for you )
to have something very difficult to do
She'll really have her work cut out to finish all those reports by the end of the
week.
work verb HAVE EFFECT
1. [ I usually + adverb or preposition ] to be effective or successful
Her idea for reorganizing the department will never work in practice .
The tablets will start to work in a few minutes.
Some people think I'm weird doing meditation, but it works for me and that's all
that matters.
Arguably, the monarchy worked well for many centuries.
work verb DO JOB
2. [ I or T ] to do a job, especially the job you do to earn money, or to make
someone do a job
He works at the local hospital.
She worked as a cleaner at the hospital.
Mike works for a computer company.
It's not unusual for a junior doctor to work a seventy or sometimes an eighty hour
week.
Have you any experience of working with children who have learning difficulties?
The instructors worked us very hard on the survival course.
See also work to rule
work verb OPERATE
3. [ I or T ] If a machine or device works, it operates, especially correctly and
without failure, and if you work it, you make it operate
Our telephone isn't working.
You need a team of about twelve people to work a furnace this size.
The pump works off/on (= uses) wind power.
The pump is worked by (= uses to operate) wind power.
I can't get the radio to work.
work verb SUCCEED IN BECOMING
4. [ I or T + adverb or preposition ] to succeed gradually in becoming something
or cause a person or thing to become something, either by making an effort or by
making many small movements
He started as a technician and worked his way up through the company to
become managing director.
Eventually she worked her way through (= read) the huge amount of technical
papers.
[ R ] Vibration tends to make nuts and screws work them selves loose .
The screws had worked loose over time.
work verb ARRANGE
5. [ T ] INFORMAL to arrange for something to happen, especially by not using
official methods and/or by being clever
I don't know how she worked it , but she retired at fifty on a full salary.
Can we work things (out) so that there's always someone here to answer the
telephone during office hours?
work verb SHAPE
6. [ T ] to shape, change or process a substance
Working iron requires higher temperatures than bronze.
Gently work the butter into the flour until there are no lumps left.
work a treat UK
to operate very well
This new drill works a treat on hard metals.
work like a charm ( ALSO work like magic )
to be very effective, possibly in a surprising way
Flattery usually works like a charm with him.
work wonders/miracles ( UK ALSO work a treat )
to produce very good effects
A little bit of oil works wonders on squeaky hinges.
Running works wonders for the metabolism.
work your fingers to the bone
to work extremely hard, especially for a long time
She worked her fingers to the bone to provide a home and food for seven
children.
work like a Trojan ( US work like a dog ) APPROVING
to work very hard
work till/until you drop
to work until you are so tired that you cannot work any more
work your way around/round to sth
to prepare yourself slowly for doing something
I think they're both gradually working round to talking to each other again.
work against/for sb phrasal verb
to make it more difficult, or easier, for someone to achieve something
Inexperience can work against a candidate looking for a job.
work at sth phrasal verb
to try hard to achieve something
Most couples would agree that for a marriage to succeed, both parties have to
work at it.
[ + -ing verb ] You need to work at improv ing your writing.
work sth off phrasal verb [ M ]
If you work off an unpleasant feeling, you get rid of it by doing something
energetic
She works off stress by running for at least half an hour every day.
work on sth phrasal verb
to spend time repairing or improving something
His dancing technique is good, but he needs to work on his fitness.
work on sb phrasal verb INFORMAL
to try to persuade or influence someone
[ + to infinitive ] I'm working on my father to get him to take me to the airport.
work sth out phrasal verb [ M ] CALCULATE
1. to do a calculation to get an answer to a mathematical question
We need to work out the total cost of the project.
work sth out phrasal verb [ M ] UNDERSTAND
2. MAINLY UK to understand something or to find the answer to something by
thinking about it
[ + question word ] There will be a full investigation to work out wh at caused the
accident.
[ + that ] Investigators needed several months to work out that a fraud had been
committed.
work out phrasal verb EXERCISE
1. to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body
Huw works out in the gym two or three times a week.
work out phrasal verb RESULT
2. [ L ] to be the result of a calculation
These figures work out differently each time I add them.
The safe load for a truck of this size works out at nearly twenty tonnes.
In fact the trip worked out cheaper than we'd expected.
work out phrasal verb DEVELOP
3. to happen or develop in a particular way
How is the new monitoring procedure working out?
Let's hope this new job works out well for him.
work sb out phrasal verb
to understand the reasons for someone's behaviour
Why does he behave like that? - I can't work him out at all.
work (sth) out phrasal verb
If a problem or difficult situation works out, it gradually becomes better or
satisfactory, and if you work it out, you make it better or satisfactory
Don't worry about anything - it'll all work out (for the best) in the end, you'll see.
work sb over phrasal verb [ M ] SLANG
to attack and injure someone
Do you want me to get some of the lads to work him over?
work up sth phrasal verb
to develop an emotional or physical state that you feel strongly, after a period of
effort or time
We worked up a real appetite climbing in the mountains.
It's strange, but I can't work up any enthusiasm for going on this trip.
work sb up phrasal verb
to make yourself or another person feel upset or feel strong emotions
[ R ] Try not to work yourself up about the exams.
Nationalist speeches worked the crowd up into a frenzy .
work (yourself) up to sth phrasal verb
to gradually prepare yourself for something difficult
[ R ] He's very shy, but he's slowly working (his way/himself) up to lett ing her
know what he feels about her.
-work suffix
1. used to refer to work of a particular type
homework
paperwork
2. used to refer to a skill or activity using a particular type of material
Girls and boys study woodwork and metalwork at this school.
3. used to name things made of a particular material
stonework
ironwork
-work suffix
1. used to refer to work of a particular type
homework
paperwork
2. used to refer to a skill or activity using a particular type of material
Girls and boys study woodwork and metalwork at this school.
3. used to name things made of a particular material
stonework
ironwork
workable adjective HAVING EFFECT
1. describes a plan or system that can be used effectively
a workable solution/compromise/proposal
workable adjective SHAPE
2. describes a substance that you can shape, change or process in some way
The ground is too hard to be workable (= dug) .
workaday adjective [ before noun ]
ordinary; not unusual
Compared to the extravagance and glamour of last winter's clothes , this
season's collection look simple, almost workaday.
an escape from the workaday world
workaholic noun [ C ]
a person who works a lot of the time and finds it difficult not to work
A self-confessed workaholic, Tony Richardson can't remember when he last had a
holiday.
workaholism noun [ U ]
Once workaholism sets in, it progresses through stages similar to those in
alcoholism and drug addiction.
workbasket noun [ C ] ( MAINLY UK workbox )
a small container in which things used for sewing, such as needles, pins and
thread are kept
workbench noun [ C ]
workbench
a strong table for working on, especially one on which objects such as pieces of
wood or metal can be firmly held so that tools can be used on them
workbook noun [ C ]
a book used in school containing text and questions and sometimes having spaces
for a student to write answers in
There's a workbook to accompany the course book.
workbook noun [ C ]
a book used in school containing text and questions and sometimes having spaces
for a student to write answers in
There's a workbook to accompany the course book.
workbox noun [ C ] MAINLY UK
a workbasket
workday noun [ C ]
MAINLY US FOR working day
ˌ worked ˈ up adjective [ after verb ]
upset or very excited about something
It's easy to get worked up when you're tired and everything seems to be against
you.
He was very worked up about seeing his family again after so many years.
worker noun [ C ]
1. someone who works in a particular job or in a particular way
factory/social/construction workers
a good/tireless/skilled worker
2. someone who works for a company or organization but does not have a
powerful position
Many companies still treat their management staff better than their workers.
3. in bees and some other types of insects, a female which cannot produce young
but which collects food for the others
ˈ work ˌ ethic noun [ S ]
the belief that work is morally good
The work ethic was never very strong in Simon.
ˈ work ex ˌ perience noun [ U ]
1. the experience that a person already has of working
Please list your educational qualifications and work experience.
2. a period of time in which a student temporarily works for an employer to get
experience
Many firms understand that giving work experience to students from colleges and
schools will benefit everyone in the long term.
workforce noun [ C + sing/pl verb ]
the group of people who work in a company, industry, country, etc
The majority of factories in the region have a workforce of 50 to 100 (people).
Much of the workforce in the banking sector is/are affected by the new legislation.
workforce noun [ C + sing/pl verb ]
the group of people who work in a company, industry, country, etc
The majority of factories in the region have a workforce of 50 to 100 (people).
Much of the workforce in the banking sector is/are affected by the new legislation.
workhorse noun [ C ]
1. a person who does a lot of work, especially of a type which is necessary but not
interesting
a willing/reliable workhorse
2. a machine which operates without failing for long periods, although it might not
be very interesting or exciting
The steam engine was the workhorse of the Industrial Revolution.
workhouse noun [ C ]
a building where very poor people in Britain used to work, in the past, in
exchange for food and shelter
Compare poorhouse
working adjective [ before noun ] JOB
1. relating to work
a 37-hour working week
Working conditions/practices in the mill have hardly changed over the last
twenty years.
She has a difficult working relationship with many of her staff.
2. having work
These tax changes will affect 90% of the working population.
working adjective [ before noun ] MACHINE
3. operating
It has taken about five years to restore the aircraft to (full) working
condition/order .
4. describes the parts of a machine which move and make it work
It is essential that all working components are properly lubricated.
working adjective [ before noun ] USEFUL
5. describes a plan, idea or knowledge that is not complete but is good enough to
be useful
We have a working theory/hypothesis about what caused the crash, which we
shall test.
She's fluent in French and English and has a working knowledge of Spanish.
ˈ working ˌ capital noun [ U ]
the money belonging to a company which is immediately available for business
use, rather than money it has in investments or property
workforce noun [ C + sing/pl verb ]
the group of people who work in a company, industry, country, etc
The majority of factories in the region have a workforce of 50 to 100 (people).
Much of the workforce in the banking sector is/are affected by the new legislation.
workhorse noun [ C ]
1. a person who does a lot of work, especially of a type which is necessary but not
interesting
a willing/reliable workhorse
2. a machine which operates without failing for long periods, although it might not
be very interesting or exciting
The steam engine was the workhorse of the Industrial Revolution.
workhouse noun [ C ]
a building where very poor people in Britain used to work, in the past, in
exchange for food and shelter
Compare poorhouse
working adjective [ before noun ] JOB
1. relating to work
a 37-hour working week
Working conditions/practices in the mill have hardly changed over the last
twenty years.
She has a difficult working relationship with many of her staff.
2. having work
These tax changes will affect 90% of the working population.
working adjective [ before noun ] MACHINE
3. operating
It has taken about five years to restore the aircraft to (full) working
condition/order .
4. describes the parts of a machine which move and make it work
It is essential that all working components are properly lubricated.
working adjective [ before noun ] USEFUL
5. describes a plan, idea or knowledge that is not complete but is good enough to
be useful
We have a working theory/hypothesis about what caused the crash, which we
shall test.
She's fluent in French and English and has a working knowledge of Spanish.
ˈ working ˌ capital noun [ U ]
the money belonging to a company which is immediately available for business
use, rather than money it has in investments or property
ˌ working ˈ class noun [ S + sing/pl verb ] ( ALSO the working classes )
a social group that consists of people who earn little money, often being paid only
for the hours or days that they work, and who usually do physical work
The working class usually react/reacts in a predictable way to government
policies.
Compare lower class ; middle class ; upper class
working-class adjective
working-class people/families
ˌ working ˈ day noun [ C ] ( MAINLY US workday )
1. the amount of time a person spends doing their job on a day when they work
An eight-hour working day is still typical for many people.
2. a day on which most people go to work
On a working day I tend to get up around seven o'clock.
Please allow three full working days for the money to be transferred.
ˈ working ˌ girl noun [ C ] OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
a female prostitute
ˈ working ˌ group noun [ C + sing/pl verb ] ( UK ALSO working party )
a small group of people, for example one chosen by a government, which studies
a particular problem or situation and then reports on what it has discovered and gives
suggestions
ˈ working ˌ group noun [ C + sing/pl verb ] ( UK ALSO working party )
a small group of people, for example one chosen by a government, which studies
a particular problem or situation and then reports on what it has discovered and gives
suggestions
ˌ working ˈ life noun PERSON
1. [ C ] the part of a person's life when they do a job or are at work
His entire working life was spent with the same firm.
ˌ working ˈ life noun MACHINE
2. [ C usually singular ] the complete amount of time for which a machine can be
expected to operate
The working life of most vehicles can be increased if they are serviced regularly.
ˌ working ˈ lunch/ ˈ breakfast noun [ C ]
a meal in the middle of the day, or at the beginning of the day, during which work
is discussed
ˌ working ˈ man/ ˈ woman/ ˈ person noun [ C ]
a man/woman who has a job
Generally, working people don't have time to shop for food every day.
ˌ working ˈ mother/ ˈ father/ ˈ parent noun [ C ]
a woman/man/parent who has a job and looks after his or her children
Little provision is made for working mothers by many large companies.
ˈ working ˌ papers plural noun US
official documents which allow someone under 16 years old to be employed
ˈ working ˌ party noun [ C + sing/pl verb ]
UK FOR working group
workings plural noun UNDER GROUND
1. the system of holes which has been dug in the ground in order to remove
metal, coal, etc
disused mine workings
workings plural noun OPERATION
2. the workings of sth
the way that an organization, machine or organism operates
the workings of government
I don't know anything about the workings of other departments or about the
organization as a whole.
ˌ work-life ˈ balance noun [ S or U ]
the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time
you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy
It can be difficult to get the right work-life balance.
ˌ work-life ˈ balance noun [ S or U ]
the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time
you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy
It can be difficult to get the right work-life balance.
workload noun [ C ]
the amount of work to be done, especially by a particular person or machine in a
period of time
Teachers are always complaining about their heavy workloads.
Students do find that their workload increases throughout the course.
workman noun [ C ]
a man who uses physical skill and especially his hands in his job or trade
We'll have to get a workman in to fix the plumbing/window/roof.
workmanlike adjective
1. APPROVING skilful
The Australian side turned in a very workmanlike performance .
2. DISAPPROVING showing an acceptable level of skill but no great ability or style
I had hoped for a little more from the world's greatest tenor, whose performance
was workmanlike but hardly inspired.
workmanship noun [ U ]
the skill with which something was made or done
shoddy/fine workmanship
The workmanship which went into some of these pieces of furniture was truly
remarkable.
workmate noun [ C ] INFORMAL
a person who works in the same place as you, especially one who you are friendly
with
I went out for a drink with a few workmates.
ˌ work of ˈ art noun [ C ]
an object made by an artist of great skill, especially a painting, drawing or statue
The thieves stole several valuable works of art.
workout noun [ C ]
a period of physical exercise
a light workout
workout noun [ C ]
a period of physical exercise
a light workout
ˈ work ˌ permit noun [ C ]
an official document which gives permission to someone who is foreign to work in
a country
workplace noun [ C or S ]
a building or room where people perform their jobs, or these places generally
The survey asks workers about facilities in their workplace.
safety standards in the workplace
workroom , noun [ C ]
a room in which work is done, especially making things
worksheet noun [ C ]
a piece of paper with questions and exercises for students
workshop noun [ C ] ROOM
1. a room or building where things are made or repaired using machines and/or
tools
a carpenter's/printer's workshop
an engineering workshop
workshop noun [ C ] MEETING
2. a meeting of people to discuss and/or perform practical work in a subject or
activity
a drama/poetry/training workshop
The local council runs a stress-management workshop.
a workshop session/production
workshy adjective UK DISAPPROVING
disliking work and trying to avoid it when possible
Most of the unemployed are not workshy and genuinely do want jobs.
workstation noun [ C ]
a keyboard and screen with which a person can use a computer system, or an
area in an office, factory, etc. where a single person works
ˈ work ˌ surface noun [ C ]
a worktop
workout noun [ C ]
a period of physical exercise
a light workout
ˈ work ˌ permit noun [ C ]
an official document which gives permission to someone who is foreign to work in
a country
workplace noun [ C or S ]
a building or room where people perform their jobs, or these places generally
The survey asks workers about facilities in their workplace.
safety standards in the workplace
workroom , noun [ C ]
a room in which work is done, especially making things
worksheet noun [ C ]
a piece of paper with questions and exercises for students
workshop noun [ C ] ROOM
1. a room or building where things are made or repaired using machines and/or
tools
a carpenter's/printer's workshop
an engineering workshop
workshop noun [ C ] MEETING
2. a meeting of people to discuss and/or perform practical work in a subject or
activity
a drama/poetry/training workshop
The local council runs a stress-management workshop.
a workshop session/production
workshy adjective UK DISAPPROVING
disliking work and trying to avoid it when possible
Most of the unemployed are not workshy and genuinely do want jobs.
workstation noun [ C ]
a keyboard and screen with which a person can use a computer system, or an
area in an office, factory, etc. where a single person works
ˈ work ˌ surface noun [ C ]
a worktop
worktop noun [ C ] UK ( US USUALLY counter , AUSTRALIAN USUALLY bench (top) )
a flat surface in a kitchen, especially on top of low furniture, on which food can be
prepared
Plastic coated worktops are easy to keep clean.
work-to-rule noun [ C usually singular ]
a situation in which people carefully obey all the rules and instructions given to
them about their jobs, with the intention of reducing the amount of work they do
A work-to-rule is seen as a way to protest against low pay or bad working
conditions.
work-to-rule verb
work to rule
to arrange and perform a work-to-rule
So far, the dustmen have not resorted to a strike but are working to rule.
world noun THE EARTH
1. [ S ] the Earth and all the people, places and things on it
Different parts of the world have very different climatic conditions.
Which bridge has the longest span in the world?
News of the disaster shocked the (whole/entire) world.
We live in a changing world and people must learn to adapt.
She's a world authority on foetal development.
a world record/championship
world noun GROUP/AREA
2. [ C usually singular ] a group of things such as countries or animals, or an area
of human activity or understanding
the Muslim World
the modern/industrialized world
the animal world
stars from the rock music world
Unexpected things can happen in the world of subatomic particles.
world noun PLANET
3. [ C ] a planet or other part of the universe, especially one where life might or
does exist
There was a man on the news last night who reckons we've been visited by beings
from other worlds.
at one with the world
happy because you feel that you belong in the world and generally agree with
what happens
be worlds apart
to be completely opposed or different
They are worlds apart in their political views.
do sb the world of good
to make someone feel much healthier or happier
We had a week away in the sun and it's done us both the world of good.
for all the world
exactly
She sounds for all the world like her mother on the telephone.
go/come down in the world UK ( US move down in the world ) INFORMAL
to have less money or a worse social position than you had before
They used to live in a big house with lots of servants, but they've come down in
the world since then.
go/come up in the world UK ( US move up in the world ) INFORMAL
to have more money or a better social position than you had before
Roger and Ann have gone up in the world - these days they only ever travel first-
class.
have the world at your feet
to be extremely successful and admired by a great number of people
Five years after her debut, the diminutive star of the Royal Ballet has the world at
her feet.
in a world of your own ( ALSO in another world )
thinking your own thoughts and ideas and not giving much attention to what is
happening around you
When she was young, she lived in a world of her own and had very few friends.
make a world of difference
If something makes a world of difference, it improves something very much
A little sympathy makes a world of difference to someone who's been badly
treated.
make the world go around/round
to be extremely important, so that many ordinary events could not happen
without it
Love/Money makes the world go round.
a man/woman of the world
someone who has a lot of experience of life and people, and can deal with most
situations
mean/be (all) the world to sb
to be extremely important to someone
Her children mean all the world to her.
not for (all) the world
never; not in any situation
If I took that job I'd have to leave the kids and I wouldn't do that for all the
world.
out of this world INFORMAL
extremely good
What a restaurant - the food was out of this world!
the ways of the world
the types of behaviour and ways of doing things that are acceptable
He's very young and still has a lot to learn about the ways of the world.
what/how/why, etc. in the world INFORMAL
used to emphasize your surprise when asking a question
What in the world are you doing in the cupboard?
Who in the world could do such a thing?
What's the world coming to?
something that you say which means that life is not as pleasant or safe as it was
in the past
What's the world coming to when you can't leave your house for five minutes
without someone trying to break in and rob you?
the world and his wife UK
a great many people, especially in a particular place at a particular time
It's going to be quite a party - the world and his wife will be there.
the world is sb's oyster
If the world is someone's oyster, they can do what they want to or go where they
want to
You're young and healthy and you have no commitments - the world is your
oyster.
a world of difference
If there is a world of difference between two people or things, they are very
different
There's a world of difference between the service in the two hotels.
the ˌ World ˈ Bank noun [ S ]
an international organization which was formed in 1945 to help economic
development, especially of poorer countries
world-beater noun [ C ]
a person or thing that is better than any other of its type
She has loads of natural talent as a runner and with rigorous training she could be
a world-beater.
world-beating adjective
a world-beating partnership
world-class adjective
Someone or something world-class is one of the best that there are of that type in
the world
a world-class athlete/performance
the ˌ World ˈ Cup noun [ S ]
a football competition held every four years between teams from many countries
in order to decide which is the best team
the World Cup final
the Dutch/German World Cup squad
world-famous adjective
known about by many people from most parts of the world
a world-famous actress/hotel
the ˌ World ˈ Health Organi ˌ zation noun [ S + sing/pl verb ] ( ABBREVIATION the
WHO )
a department of the United Nations which aims to improve health all over the
world and limit the spread of diseases
worldly adjective PHYSICAL
1. [ before noun ] relating to or consisting of physical things and ordinary life
rather than spiritual things
For many of the refugees, the clothes they are wearing are all the worldly goods
(= possessions) they have.
Her worldly success can hardly be denied.
worldly adjective PRACTICAL
2. practical and having a lot of experience of life
She seems to be much more worldly than the other students in her class.
worldliness noun [ U ]
worldly-wise adjective
experienced in the ways in which people behave and able to deal with most
situations
Tyler is remarkably worldly-wise for such a young girl.
worldly-wise adjective
experienced in the ways in which people behave and able to deal with most
situations
Tyler is remarkably worldly-wise for such a young girl.
ˌ world ˈ music noun [ U ]
popular music which has been influenced by the music of traditional cultures
ˌ world ˈ power noun [ C ]
a country which has enough economic or political strength to influence events in
many other countries
the ˌ World ˈ Series noun [ S ]
a series of baseball games played each year in North America to decide which is
the region's best team
world-shattering adjective ( ALSO world-shaking )
extremely surprising and important, often changing the way you think about
something
world-shattering news
ˌ world ˈ war noun [ C usually singular ]
a war in which large forces from many countries fight
ˌ World War ˈ One noun [ S not after the ] ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION WWI )
the war from 1914 to 1918 in which Britain, France, Russia, the United States and
Italy fought Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria
ˌ World War ˈ Two noun [ S not after the ] ( WRITTEN ABBREVIATION WWII )
the war from 1939 to 1945 in which Britain, the Soviet Union, the United States
and France fought Germany, Italy and Japan
world-weary adjective
Someone who is world-weary is not enthusiastic about anything, often because
they have had too much experience of a particular way of life
Fifteen years in the teaching profession had left him world-weary and cynical.
world-weariness noun [ U ]
worldwide , adjective , adverb
existing or happening in all parts of the world
a worldwide recession
An increase in average temperature by only a few degrees could cause
environmental problems worldwide.
worldwide , adjective , adverb
existing or happening in all parts of the world
a worldwide recession
An increase in average temperature by only a few degrees could cause
environmental problems worldwide.
the ˌ World Wide ˈ Web noun [ S ] ( ABBREVIATION www , ALSO the Web )
the system of connected documents on the Internet, which often contain colour
pictures, video and sound, and can be searched for information about a particular
subject
worm noun
1. [ C ] a small animal with a long narrow soft body without arms, legs or bones
The kiwi eats worms, other invertebrates, and berries.
2. [ C ] the young of particular types of insect
It's distressing enough to find a worm in your apple but finding half of one is
worse.
See also woodworm
3. [ C ] a type of worm that lives in an animal's intestine , feeding on the food
there, or on an animal's body, feeding off its blood
a parasitic worm
The vet says our dog has worms.
See also tapeworm
4. [ S ] INFORMAL an unpleasant person who does not deserve respect
Don't be such a worm, you don't have to lie to me.
the worm turns
used to describe when a person or group of people who have been treated badly
for a long time suddenly become forceful and stop accepting a difficult situation
It seems the worm has turned - after years of silence local people are beginning
to protest about waste emissions from the factory.
worm verb MOVE
1. [ I or T + prep ] to succeed in moving along in a difficult or crowded situation,
by moving your body slowly and carefully
Because he was so small, he could worm (his way ) through the crowd.
[ R ] She wormed her self under the fence.
worm verb ANIMAL
2. [ T ] to give an animal, especially a pet dog or cat, medicine to kill any worms
which might be living inside it
Has your dog been wormed?
worm yourself/your way into sth phrasal verb DISAPPROVING
to gradually achieve a position of trust, possibly by being dishonest
[ R ] He wormed himself into her affections without her ever suspecting he only
did it for her money.
worm sth out of sb phrasal verb INFORMAL
to try and get information from someone which they are trying to keep secret
He wasn't going to tell me, but I managed to worm it out of him.
ˈ worm ˌ cast noun [ C ]
a small pile of earth or sand pushed up to the surface of the ground by a worm ,
especially an earthworm
ˈ worm ˌ cast noun [ C ]
a small pile of earth or sand pushed up to the surface of the ground by a worm ,
especially an earthworm
worm-eaten adjective
containing small holes which were made by the young of particular types of
insect, especially woodworm
a worm-eaten table/beam
wormery noun [ C ]
a container into which you put worms and waste food so that the worms will make
the waste become compost (= a substance you add to earth to improve its quality)
wormhole noun [ C ] SMALL HOLE
1. a hole made by a worm , sometimes found in furniture, fruit, or the ground
wormhole noun [ C ] PHYSICS
2. SPECIALIZED a special type of structure which some scientists think might exist,
connecting parts of space and time that are not usually connected
wormy adjective
containing many worms , or infected or damaged by worms
Look at these vegetables - they're all mottled and wormy.
worn verb
PAST PARTICIPLE OF wear
ˌ worn ˈ out adjective USED
1. describes something which can no longer be used because it is so old or
because it has been damaged by continued use
I've got old 'Fawlty Towers' videos which are almost worn out, I've played them
so many times.
worn-out clothes/carpet/equipment
ˌ worn ˈ out adjective TIRED
2. extremely tired
I've been working all night and I'm worn out.
worried adjective
unhappy because you are thinking about problems or unpleasant things that
might happen
She was sitting behind her desk with a worried expression/look on her face.
They don't seem particularly worried about the situation.
You had me worried (= You made me feel anxious) for a moment back there - I
thought you wouldn't be able to stop in time.
He was worried sick (= extremely worried) when he heard that there had been an
accident.
worriedly adverb
He looked back worriedly over his shoulder.
worried adjective
unhappy because you are thinking about problems or unpleasant things that
might happen
She was sitting behind her desk with a worried expression/look on her face.
They don't seem particularly worried about the situation.
You had me worried (= You made me feel anxious) for a moment back there - I
thought you wouldn't be able to stop in time.
He was worried sick (= extremely worried) when he heard that there had been an
accident.
worriedly adverb
He looked back worriedly over his shoulder.
worrier noun [ C ]
someone who worries a lot
I can't help being a worrier - some people are just born that way.
worrisome adjective US FORMAL OR OLD-FASHIONED
worrying
Alcohol and tobacco consumption by young people is especially worrisome
because habits formed early are likely to persist.
worry verb PROBLEM
1. [ I ] to think about problems or unpleasant things that might happen in a way
that makes you feel unhappy and afraid
Try not to worry - there's nothing you can do to change the situation.
Don't worry, she'll be all right.
It's silly worrying about things which are outside your control.
[ + ( that ) ] She's worried (that) she might not be able to find another job.
2. [ T ] to make someone feel unhappy and afraid because of problems or
unpleasant things that might happen
You worried your mother by not writing.
[ + that ] It worries me that he hasn't phoned yet.
The continued lack of rain is starting to worry people.
worry verb ANIMAL
3. [ T ] If a dog worries another animal, it chases and frightens it and might also
bite it
Any dog caught worrying sheep in these fields will be shot.
Don't worry your pretty little head. INFORMAL HUMOROUS
used to tell someone not to worry
"What about all the work that needs doing in the kitchen?" "I'll sort that out -
don't worry your pretty little head about it!"
not to worry INFORMAL
said to show that you are not worried or upset because something has gone
wrong or something unexpected has happened
Not to worry - perhaps you'll be able to come next week instead.
worry at sth phrasal verb OBJECT
1. to shake, pull at or touch something repeatedly
The dog was worrying away at its bone.
worry at sth phrasal verb PROBLEM
2. to keep trying to find a way of solving a problem
She'll worry at those figures until she's sure they've been worked out properly.
worry noun
1. [ C ] a problem that makes you feel unhappy and afraid
health/financial worries
Keeping warm in the winter is a major worry for many old people.
2. [ C or U ] when you feel unhappy and afraid about something
Unemployment, bad health - all sorts of things can be a cause of worry.
It was clear that Anna had no worries about her husband's attempts to flirt.
worrying adjective
making you feel unhappy and afraid
It's a very worrying situation .
worryingly adverb
Worryingly, the gun was never found.
worrying adjective
making you feel unhappy and afraid
It's a very worrying situation .
worryingly adverb
Worryingly, the gun was never found.
worrywart noun [ C ] MAINLY US INFORMAL
a person who often worries, especially about things which are not important
Don't listen to him - he's just an old worrywart.
worse adjective
1. comparative of bad ; more unpleasant, difficult or severe than before or than
something else that is also bad
The conditions they're living in are worse than we thought.
If the rain gets any worse we'll have to stop walking.
His manners are even worse than his sister's.
The heat is much worse in the daytime.
2. get worse
to become more ill, or to become a more severe condition
My cold seems to be getting worse.
If he gets any worse I'll take him to the doctor's.
make matters worse
to make the situation even more unpleasant or difficult
Don't say anything - you'll only make matters worse.
worse luck INFORMAL
said at the end of a statement to show unhappiness or anger about what has been
stated
I've got to work on Saturday, worse luck.
worse noun [ U ]
something that is more unpleasant or difficult
By the third month of the expedition they had endured many hardships, but worse
was to follow.
"What about the bride's dress - wasn't it appalling?" "I don't know, I've seen
worse."
Compare better
be none the worse
to not be harmed or damaged by something
They were trapped in the cave for a couple of days but they were none the worse
for their experience.
He's lost some weight but he's none the worse (= he's better) for that.
for the worse
If something changes or happens for the worse, the unpleasantness or difficulty
increases
It looks like the weather is changing for the worse.
the worse for drink
drunk
By the time I got to the party Patrick was looking a bit the worse for drink.
the worse for wear
tired or in poor condition because of a lot of work or use
After a month of journeying over rough roads, the drivers and their trucks were
looking the worse for wear.
worse adverb
comparative of badly
He did worse than he was expecting in the exams
He was treated much worse than I was.
worsen verb [ I or T ]
to become worse or to make something become worse
As the company's financial problems worsened, several directors resigned.
The continued supply of arms to the region will only worsen the situation.
worsening adjective
the country's worsening political situation
worsening noun [ S ]
Rather worryingly, the survey shows a worsening of child health.
worsen verb [ I or T ]
to become worse or to make something become worse
As the company's financial problems worsened, several directors resigned.
The continued supply of arms to the region will only worsen the situation.
worsening adjective
the country's worsening political situation
worsening noun [ S ]
Rather worryingly, the survey shows a worsening of child health.
ˌ worse ˈ off adjective [ after verb ]
poorer or in a more difficult situation
If Rick loses his job we'll be even worse off.
worship verb RELIGION
1. [ T ] to have or show a strong feeling of respect and admiration for God or a
god
In the various regions of India, Hindus worship different gods and observe
different religious festivals.
2. [ I ] to go to a religious ceremony
They work for the same company, socialise together and worship in the same
mosque.
The poll showed that over 40% of Americans worship on a weekly basis.
worship verb ADMIRE
3. [ T ] to love, respect and admire someone or something very much, often
without noticing their bad qualities
Her parents worship her.
As a child, I worshipped my older brother.
worship at the shrine/altar of sth LITERARY
to completely support or follow a particular idea, principle, etc.
She thinks that young people today are becoming increasingly selfish, and
worship at the shrine of individual happiness and gratification.
He may not worship at the altar of government intervention in business, but he is
in favour of limited support for industry.
worship the ground sb walks on
to love and admire someone very much
I worship the ground you walk on, you must know that by now.
worship noun RELIGION
1. [ U ] when you worship God or a god, often through praying or singing
daily acts of worship
Christian/Sikh/Muslim worship
For Jews, the synagogue is the centre for community worship and study.
Local people have complained about improperly dressed tourists entering places
of worship (= buildings for religious ceremonies or private prayer) .
worship noun ADMIRATION
2. [ U ] DISAPPROVING when you like or admire a particular thing or person very
much, often too much
We're in an era of fitness and health worship.
worship noun TITLE
3. His/Your, etc. Worship MAINLY UK FORMAL
used as a title of respect when speaking to or about a mayor or a magistrate
His Worship the Mayor will present the awards.
[ as form of address ] Thank you, Your Worship.
worshipful adjective
1. FORMAL giving someone or something great respect or admiration
2. Worshipful
MAINLY UK FORMAL used in the title of societies of skilled workers or some important
officials
the Worshipful Company of Silversmiths
worshipful adjective
1. FORMAL giving someone or something great respect or admiration
2. Worshipful
MAINLY UK FORMAL used in the title of societies of skilled workers or some important
officials
the Worshipful Company of Silversmiths
worshipper , US USUALLY worshiper noun [ C ] RELIGION
1. someone who goes to a religious ceremony to worship God
At 11am on Sunday morning, worshippers began to stream out of the cathedral.
2. someone who worships and performs religious ceremonies to a particular god
or object
devil/idol worshippers
worshipper , US USUALLY worshiper noun [ C ] ENJOY
3. INFORMAL someone who enjoys or values a particular thing very much or too
much
sun worshippers
worst adjective
superlative of bad ; of the lowest quality, or the most unpleasant, difficult or
severe
That was the worst meal I've ever eaten.
"It was the worst moment of my life," she admitted.
He is my worst enemy .
be your own worst enemy
to cause most of your problems or most of the bad things that happen to you
yourself, because of your character
Carrie is her own worst enemy - she's always falling out with people.
worst noun [ S ]
the most unpleasant or difficult thing, person, or situation
That was the worst I've seen him play in several years.
at your worst
1. less active or intelligent than you are at other times
I'm at my worst first thing in the morning.
2. showing the most unpleasant side of someone's character
This problem over late payment has shown him at his worst.
at worst
1. used to say what the most unpleasant or difficult situation could possibly be
At worst, she can only tell you off for being late.
2. considering someone or something in the most negative or unkind way possible
She is at worst corrupt, and at best has been knowingly breaking the rules.
do your worst
to do the most unpleasant or harmful thing you can
I'm not frightened of him - let him do his worst.
fear the worst
to think something unpleasant might have happened
We hoped that they would be found safe and uninjured, but secretly we feared
the worst.
if the worst comes to the worst UK ( US if worse/worst comes to worst )
if the situation develops in the most serious or unpleasant way
We should be in when you arrive, but if the worst comes to the worst, the
neighbours have a spare key and will let you into the house.
worst adverb
the most badly
Small businesses have been worst hit by the recession.
Roads in the Tayside region were worst affected by the snow.
The students voted him the school's worst-dressed teacher.
worst verb [ T ] OLD USE
to defeat someone in a fight or argument
He was challenged to a fight but was severely worsted.
ˌ worst case sce ˈ nario noun [ S ]
the most unpleasant or serious thing which could happen in a situation
The study concludes that in a worst case scenario there might be 80, 000 human
infections in Britain from BSE beef.
worshipful adjective
1. FORMAL giving someone or something great respect or admiration
2. Worshipful
MAINLY UK FORMAL used in the title of societies of skilled workers or some important
officials
the Worshipful Company of Silversmiths
worshipper , US USUALLY worshiper noun [ C ] RELIGION
1. someone who goes to a religious ceremony to worship God
At 11am on Sunday morning, worshippers began to stream out of the cathedral.
2. someone who worships and performs religious ceremonies to a particular god
or object
devil/idol worshippers
worshipper , US USUALLY worshiper noun [ C ] ENJOY
3. INFORMAL someone who enjoys or values a particular thing very much or too
much
sun worshippers
worst adjective
superlative of bad ; of the lowest quality, or the most unpleasant, difficult or
severe
That was the worst meal I've ever eaten.
"It was the worst moment of my life," she admitted.
He is my worst enemy .
be your own worst enemy
to cause most of your problems or most of the bad things that happen to you
yourself, because of your character
Carrie is her own worst enemy - she's always falling out with people.
worst noun [ S ]
the most unpleasant or difficult thing, person, or situation
That was the worst I've seen him play in several years.
at your worst
1. less active or intelligent than you are at other times
I'm at my worst first thing in the morning.
2. showing the most unpleasant side of someone's character
This problem over late payment has shown him at his worst.
at worst
1. used to say what the most unpleasant or difficult situation could possibly be
At worst, she can only tell you off for being late.
2. considering someone or something in the most negative or unkind way possible
She is at worst corrupt, and at best has been knowingly breaking the rules.
do your worst
to do the most unpleasant or harmful thing you can
I'm not frightened of him - let him do his worst.
fear the worst
to think something unpleasant might have happened
We hoped that they would be found safe and uninjured, but secretly we feared
the worst.
if the worst comes to the worst UK ( US if worse/worst comes to worst )
if the situation develops in the most serious or unpleasant way
We should be in when you arrive, but if the worst comes to the worst, the
neighbours have a spare key and will let you into the house.
worst adverb
the most badly
Small businesses have been worst hit by the recession.
Roads in the Tayside region were worst affected by the snow.
The students voted him the school's worst-dressed teacher.
worst verb [ T ] OLD USE
to defeat someone in a fight or argument
He was challenged to a fight but was severely worsted.
ˌ worst case sce ˈ nario noun [ S ]
the most unpleasant or serious thing which could happen in a situation
The study concludes that in a worst case scenario there might be 80, 000 human
infections in Britain from BSE beef.
worsted noun [ U ]
a type of cloth made from wool and used to make jackets, trousers and skirts
a pale grey worsted suit
worst-ever adjective [ before noun ]
describes something that is the most unpleasant or harmful of its type that there
has ever been
219 people were killed in the country's worst-ever plane crash.
worth adjective MONEY
1. having a particular value, especially in money
Our house is worth £200 000.
Heroin worth about $5 million was seized.
2. INFORMAL having a particular amount of money
She must be worth at least half a million.
3. be worth it
to be of reasonable or good value for the price
Four days' car hire costs £150, which is well worth it for the freedom it gives you.
worth adjective IMPORTANCE
4. be worth sth
to be important or interesting enough to receive a particular action
I think this matter is worth our attention.
When you're in Reykjavik, the National Museum is worth a visit.
5. be worth having/doing sth
to be important or useful to have or do
There's nothing worth read ing in this newspaper.
If you are a young, inexperienced driver, it is worth hav ing comprehensive
insurance.
It's worth remember ing that prices go up on February 1st.
6. worth it
enjoyable enough or producing enough advantages to make the necessary effort,
risk, pain, etc. seem acceptable
It was a long climb to the top of the hill, but it was worth it for the view from the
top.
Don't tire yourself out Geri, it's really not worth it.
After the plastic surgery I had two black eyes and was very swollen. But I knew it
would be worth it.
Forget him, love, - he's just not worth it.
be worth your/its weight in gold
to be very useful or helpful
This recipe book is worth its weight in gold - it tells you everything you need to
know about cookery.
Boys who can sing like that are worth their weight in gold to the choir.
be worth your while
to be an activity or action that you will get an advantage from
It's worth your while taking out travel insurance before you travel.
for all you are worth INFORMAL
If you do something for all you are worth, you put a lot of effort into it
We pushed the car for all we were worth, but we still couldn't get it started.
for what it's worth INFORMAL
said when you are giving someone a piece of information and you are not certain
if that information is useful or important
For what it's worth, I think he may be right.
They are, for what it's worth, the single most successful eastern arts group in the
West.
If it/a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well. SAYING
used to emphasize that if you are going to spend time doing a piece of work, you
should do it as well as possible
make sth/it worth your while INFORMAL
to pay you money to do something
If you can get me the list of names I want, I'll make it worth your while.
not worth the paper sth is printed/written on
If a document or agreement is not worth the paper it is written/printed on, it is of
very little value.
What's it worth (to you)? INFORMAL MAINLY HUMOROUS
said when you want to know what someone will give you if you give them the
piece of information they have asked for
"Do you know where Dave's living at the moment?" "What's it worth?"
worth your salt
good at your job
Any accountant worth their salt should be aware of the latest changes in taxation.
worth noun MONEY
1. [ U ] the amount of money which something can be sold for; value
The estimated worth of the plastics and petrochemical industry is about $640
billion.
2. £20/$100, etc. worth of sth
the amount of something that you could buy for £20/$100, etc
$4 million worth of souvenirs and gift items have been produced for the event.
worth noun IMPORTANCE
3. [ U ] the importance or usefulness of something or someone
He felt as though he had no worth.
She has proved her worth on numerous occasions.
The study proved that women were paid less than men holding jobs of
comparable worth.
worth noun AMOUNT
4. a month's/year's, etc. worth of sth
an amount of something which will last a month/year, etc. or which takes a
month/year, etc. to do
a month's worth of grocery shopping
I've done three hour's worth of work this morning.
get your money's worth
to get good value
We were determined to get our money's worth from our day tickets and went to
every museum in the city.
worthiness noun [ U ] SUITABLE
1. suitability
She persuaded the board of her worthiness to run the company.
worthiness noun [ U ] DESERVING RESPECT
2. FORMAL when someone or something has qualities that deserve respect or
attention
the worthiness of a project/cause/aim
worthless adjective NO MONEY
1. having no value in money
The company's shares are now virtually worthless shares.
He said the jewels were worthless fakes.
worthless adjective NOT IMPORTANT
2. not important or not useful
She was criticised so much by her employers that she began to feel worthless.
worthlessness noun [ U ]
People who have been abused as children often experience feelings/a sense of
worthlessness.
worthwhile adjective
useful, important or good enough to be a suitable reward for the money or time
spent or the effort made
She considers teaching a worthwhile career.
The time and expense involved in keeping up to date with all the changes has
been worthwhile.
If you need him on this project, you've got to make it financially worthwhile for
him (= you will have to pay him a suitable amount of money for the amount of work
involved) .
worthy adjective DESERVING RESPECT
1. FORMAL deserving respect, admiration or support
He is unlikely to succeed in getting his bill through Congress, however worthy it
is.
Every year she makes a large donation to a worthy cause .
2. worthy of attention/notice, etc. FORMAL
deserving to be given attention, noticed, etc
Two poin