Word of the day – Learning English online

Tháng Chín 14, 2007

domino effect

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 3:40 chiều
Pronounced:
IPA: primary stress:secondary stressnowɪprimary stressfɛkt
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stressdä-mə-secondary stressnō-i-primary stressfekt
Function: noun [singular]
Meaning:
: a situation in which one event causes a series of similar events to happen one after another
Example:
<The delay created a domino effect [=ripple effect], disrupting deliveries around the country.>
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Tháng Chín 12, 2007

third-rate

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 7:40 sáng

Pronounced:

IPA: primary stressθɚdprimary stressreɪt
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stressthərd-primary stressrāt
Function: adjective
Meaning:
: of very low quality
Examples:
<a third-rate writer>
<third-rate work>
<The meal was third-rate.>

Tháng Chín 7, 2007

nicely

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 7:53 sáng

Pronounced:
IPA: primary stressnaɪsli
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stressnīs-lē
Function: adverb
Comparative and superlative forms:
more nicely; most nicely
Meaning:
: in a pleasant, agreeable, or right way : well
Examples:
<a nicely dressed older man>
<a very nicely written essay>
<Good work. Nicely done.>
<The project seems to be moving along nicely.>
<I think her idea will fit nicely into/with our original plans.>
Idiom:
do nicely

Meaning:
: successful at or suitable for doing something
Examples:
<He lives in New York City and is doing nicely for himself.>
<Her new book is doing nicely.>
<“I just have this screwdriver.” “Thanks. It will do nicely.”>

Tháng Chín 6, 2007

quibble

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 7:52 sáng
Pronounced:
IPA: primary stresskwɪbəl
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stresskwi-bəl
Function: noun [count]
Plural:
quibbles
Meaning:
: a small complaint or criticism usually about something unimportant
Examples:
<His quibbles irritated us.>
<Our only quibble about the trip was that it rained a lot.>
<a minor quibble>
<one small quibble>

Tháng Chín 5, 2007

sinkhole

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 10:23 sáng

Pronounced:

IPA: primary stresssɪŋksecondary stresshoʊl
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stresssiŋk-secondary stresshōl
Function: noun [count]
Plural:
sinkholes
Meanings:
1 : a place where drainage (such as water or waste) collects
Example:
<a computer term that has entered the general lexicon>
2 : a large hole that forms in the ground where earth caves in
3 : a place where vice, corruption, or evil collects — often followed by of
Example:
<The city is a sinkhole of sin.>
4 : something that wastes a lot of money or resources
Example:
<The new highway turned out to be a financial sinkhole.>

Tháng Tám 24, 2007

pummel

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 8:07 sáng
Pronounced:
IPA: primary stresspʌməl
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stresspə-məl
Function: verb [with object]
Inflected forms:
pummels; pummeled (US) also British pummelled; pummeling (US) also British pummelling
Meaning:
1 : to repeatedly hit (someone or something) usually with the fists
Examples:
<He pummeled [=beat] the intruder.>
<She pummeled the steering wheel (with her fists) out of frustration.>

Note: Pummel is sometimes used figuratively.
Example:
<They pummeled the opposition. [=they defeated their opposition]>

Tháng Tám 22, 2007

stab

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 10:55 sáng
Pronounced:
IPA: primary stressstæb
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stressstab
Function: verb
Inflected forms:
stabs; stabbed; stabbing
Meanings:
1 [with object] : to wound (someone or something) with a pointed weapon (such as a knife)
Examples: <He stabbed her with a dagger.> <He was stabbed in the chest five times.>
2 : to poke or jab something with a pointed object
Examples: [with object] <He stabbed the piece of meat with a fork. = He stabbed the fork into the piece of meat.> <She stabbed the air with her pen as she spoke.> [no object] Note: This use of stab is followed by at. Example: <She stabbed at the dead animal with a stick.>
Idiom:
stab (someone) in the back

Meaning:
: to betray (someone)
Example: <She promised him that she wouldn’t tell but then stabbed him in the back.>

Tháng Tám 21, 2007

Obivate

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 12:02 chiều

Pronunciation: [‘ahb-vi-yeyt]

Definition: To make unnecessary or prevent (an action).

Usage: There is no semantic relation with “obvious”-beware!

Suggested Usage: This woefully underused verb is a convenient replacement for much longer and less specific phrases. Try expressions like “Lorraine’s introductory remarks obviated most of my speech” or “The new software obviated most of the jobs in his division.”

Etymology: Latin obviare “meet, withstand, prevent” from the preposition-prefix ob “to, toward” and via-re “go, travel”. Related to via “road, way” and derived from the same Indo-European source as German “Wag-en”, English “wag-on” and “way”, as well as the veh- of “vehicle”.

Tháng Tám 17, 2007

oath

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 7:57 sáng
Pronounced:
IPA: primary stressoʊθ
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stressōth
Function: noun [count]
Plural:
oaths
Pronounced:
IPA: primary stressoʊðz
Collegiate Dictionary: primary stressōthz
Meanings:
1 : a formal and serious promise to tell the truth or to do something
Examples: <The Queen required that her assistants take/swear an oath of loyalty to her. [=formally promise to remain loyal to her]> <an oath to defend the nation> Note: A person who has an important political position often takes an oath of office when beginning that position. An oath of office is a formal promise to do your job according to the law.
2 old-fashioned : an obscene or impolite word that is used to express anger or frustration
Example: <He uttered an oath and walked away.>
Idiom:
under oath

Meaning:
: making or having made a formal promise to tell the truth in a court of law : swearing or having sworn an oath
Examples: <In a U.S. court of law, a witness must swear under oath to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”> <He said in testimony given under oath that he was not there the night of the crime.>

Tháng Tám 16, 2007

plenipotentiary

Filed under: Word of the day — Admin @ 9:24 sáng

plenipotentiary \plen-uh-puh-TEN-shee-air-ee; -shuh-ree\, adjective:
1. Containing or conferring full power; invested with full power; as, “plenipotentiary license; plenipotentiary ministers.”

noun:
1. A person invested with full power to transact any business; especially, an ambassador or diplomatic agent with full power to negotiate a treaty or to transact other business.

There were two accounts, one in a news article, the second in the editorial section, telling the minihistory of Pol Pot, sometime plenipotentiary ruler of Cambodia.
— William F. Buckley Jr., The Redhunter

At that time, Egypt was our protectorate, which meant the High Commissioner was the plenipotentiary of George V and carried independent authority.
— David Freeman, One of Us

Plenipotentiary derives from Latin plenus, “full” + potens, “powerful.”

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