Pagina principale Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus

New title! Clear and concise word guidance featuring expansive synonym lists integrated with alphabetical dictionary entries. Includes abundant usage examples. Based on the best-selling Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
Anno:
2006
Edizione:
1
Editore:
Merriam Webster Mass Market
Lingua:
english
Pagine:
1232
ISBN 10:
0877798516
ISBN 13:
9780877798514
File:
MOBI , 6.34 MB
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Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus, Kindle Edition





CONTENTS





→ Dictionary Entries A-Z

→ Making This Dictionary Your Primary Kindle Dictionary

→ Preface / Using the Dictionary

→ Abbreviations Used in This Work

→ Pronunciation Symbols

→ Basic English Grammar

→ Copyright





Making This Dictionary Your Primary Kindle Dictionary




To use this dictionary to look up words while reading on your Amazon Kindle, you need to change the default setting. You can do this by taking the following steps:

Press the HOME key.

Press MENU, then select “Settings”.

Press MENU again, then select “Change Primary Dictionary”.

Select “Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus” from the list.



When you are reading an ebook and move the cursor in front of a word you want to look up, your Kindle will then be able to look it up in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus.

The above instructions are accurate as of the time of publication. Please see the documentation for your Kindle model if the above steps do not work.

Note on Order of Entries in Kindle's Search Dictionary Box: When looking up a word by typing in the Kindle's "Search dictionary" box, the list of words that appears is alphabetized somewhat differently than the dictionary itself. For example, entries beginning with an Arabic numeral are grouped together prior to the letter A; if you type the number "1", you will be able to browse this group of entries.





Preface




Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus marks the introduction of a new kind of product from Merriam-Webster, one that combines the features of a dictionary, with its meanings, pronunciations, and grammatical information, with the synonym and antonym features of a thesaurus. Additionally, in this volume, these features are not just combined but integrated into a unified whole, so that the reader and writer can easily see the relationships between the two kinds of information.

The dictionary entries themselves are based on the highly popular The Mer; riam-Webster Dictionary and on Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. The thesaurus entries are drawn from Merriam-Webster's newest and most up-to-date thesaurus. The dictionary entries and thesaurus entries have been edited so as to ensure correspondence between the indicated dictionary senses and the selection of similar and contrasting words offered in the thesaurus lists.

The more than 57,000 boldface dictionary entries give coverage to the most frequently used words in the language, and the definitions have been based on examples of actual use found in the Merriam-Webster citation files, which now contain more than 75 million words available through electronic searching.

The thesaurus lists offer a total of more than 134,000 alternative words for the writer interested in finding a more appropriate or more colorful word choice. Thesaurus lists appear indented following their dictionary entries. Every dictionary sense that has a corresponding thesaurus list is marked with a black arrowhead, and the thesaurus list is likewise indicated.

When there are multiple dictionary senses highlighted, the thesaurus lists are marked with the appropriate dictionary sense numbers in square brackets to make it easy for the user to choose the corresponding list of synonyms.



abide verb abode or abid·ed; abid·ing 1 : to bear patiently : ENDURE

2 a : to continue in a state or place

b : to have one's abode

— abide by

: to conform or acquiesce to <abide by the law>



Synonyms

[1] bear, brook, countenance, endure, meet, stand, stick out, stomach, support, sustain, take, tolerate—more at BEAR

[2a] continue, endure, hold, keep up, last, persist, run on—more at CONTINUE

[2b] dwell, live, reside—more at LIVE





A word in the synonym list following an italic also is still comparable to the dictionary word in the indicated sense, but has a somewhat less close relationship than words ahead of it. Semicolons separate additional words into related groups.



1cloak noun 1 : a loose outer garment

2 : something that conceals



Synonyms

curtain, hood, mantle, mask, shroud, veil; also cover, screen, shield; facade, face, veneer





Thesaurus entries all show synonyms, and some lists also have common contrasting words (antonyms), which are introduced by a bold italic Antonyms.



fer·tile - adjective 1 : producing plentifully : PRODUCTIVE <~ soils> <a ~ mind>

2 : capable of developing or reproducing <~ seed> <a ~ bull>

— fer·til·i·ty noun



Synonyms

fecund, fruitful, luxuriant, productive, prolific, rich; also bearing, producing, yielding; abounding, abundant, bountiful; copious, plenteous, plentiful; blooming, bursting, swarming, teeming, thriving; creative, inventive, original

Antonyms

barren, infertile, sterile, unfruitful, unproductive





Since thesaurus information is relatively self-explanatory and there are numerous distinctive, and sometimes subtle, features of the dictionary, the focus of the following section, Using the Dictionary, is on the dictionary features.

While this work has been years in the making, drawing on the work and experience of the Merriam-Webster staff of professional lexicographers, we wish to thank those who have worked hard to produce this volume. Primary editors were Mary W. Cornog, Amy K. Harris Van Vranken, and Amy West. Additional editing was done by Jocelyn W. Franklin with Cynthia S. Ashby and James G. Lowe. Daniel B. Brandon, Jennifer N. Cislo, Ilya A. Davidovich, Mary M. Dunn, and E. Louise Langford provided further editorial contributions. This work was conceived by John M. Morse; Robert D. Copeland was general editor.

It was more than 150 years ago that Merriam-Webster published its first dictionary, and it has been 30 years since the company published its first thesaurus. In that time, Merriam-Webster's reputation as the premier American publisher of dictionaries, thesauruses, and other reference books has grown. This work continues the proud tradition of excellence.



Using the Dictionary





ENTRIES




A boldface letter or a combination of such letters, including punctuation marks and diacritics where needed, that is set flush with the left-hand margin is a main entry. The main entry may consist of letters set solid, of letters joined by a hyphen or a diagonal, or of letters separated by one or more spaces:

alone … adjective

avant–garde … noun

and/or … conjunction

assembly language … noun

The material in lightface type that follows each main entry on the same line and on succeeding lines presents information about the main entry.

The main entries follow one another in alphabetical order letter by letter: bill of attainder follows billion; Day of Atonement follows daylight saving time. Main entries containing an Arabic numeral are alphabetized as if the numeral were spelled out: 4-H comes between fourfold and Four Hundred; 3-D comes between three and three-dimensional. Those that often begin with the abbreviation St. in common usage have the abbreviation spelled out: Saint Valentine's Day. Main entries that begin with Mc are alphabetized just as they are spelled.

When one main entry has exactly the same written form as another, the two are distinguished by superscript numerals preceding each word:

1melt … verb

2melt noun

1pine … noun

2pine verb



Full words come before parts of words made up of the same letters; solid compounds come before hyphenated compounds; hyphenated compounds come before open compounds; and lowercase entries come before those with an initial capital:

2super … adjective

super- … prefix

run·down … noun

run–down … adjective

run down verb

dutch … adverb

Dutch … noun

The centered dots within entry words indicate division points at which a hyphen may be put at the end of a line of print or writing. Thus the noun cap·puc·ci·no may be ended on one line and continued on the next in this manner:

cap-

puccino

cappuc-

cino

cappucci-

no

Centered dots are not shown after a single initial letter or before a single terminal letter because typesetters seldom cut off a single letter:

abyss … noun

flighty … adjective

idea … noun

Nor are they usually shown at the second and succeeding homographs unless they differ among themselves:

1sig·nal … noun

2signal verb

3signal adjective

1min·ute … noun

2mi·nute … adjective

There are acceptable alternative end-of-line divisions just as there are acceptable variant spellings and pronunciations, but no more than one division is shown for any entry in this dictionary.

When a main entry is followed by the word or and another spelling, the two spellings are equal variants. Both are standard, and either one may be used according to personal inclination:

ocher or ochre

If two variants joined by or are out of alphabetical order, they remain equal variants. The one printed first is, however, slightly more common than the second:

1plow or plough

When another spelling is joined to the main entry by the word also, the spelling after also is a secondary variant and occurs less frequently than the first:

absinthe also absinth

Secondary variants belong to standard usage and may be used according to personal inclination. Once the word also is used to signal a secondary variant, all following variants are joined by or:

2wool·ly also wool·ie or wooly

Variants whose spelling puts them alphabetically more than a print column away from the main entry are entered at their own alphabetical places as well as at the main entry:

2gage var of GAUGE

1gauge also gage

Variants having a usage label appear only at their own alphabetical places:

me·tre … chiefly British variant of METER

To show all the stylings that are found for English compounds would require space that can be better used for other information. So this dictionary limits itself to a single styling for a compound:

peace·mak·er

pell–mell

boom box

When a compound is widely used and one styling predominates, that styling is shown. When a compound is uncommon or when the evidence indicates that two or three stylings are approximately equal in frequency, the styling shown is based on the comparison of other similar compounds.

A main entry may be followed by one or more derivatives or by a homograph with a different functional label. These are run-on entries. Each starts on a new line introduced by a long dash and each has a functional label. They are not defined, however, since their meanings are readily understood from the meaning of the root word:

ab·do·men … noun …

— ab·dom·i·nal adjective

— ab·dom·i·nal·ly adverb

hic·cup … noun … hiccup verb

A main entry may be followed by one or more phrases containing the entry word or an inflected form of it. These are also run-on entries. Each starts on a new line introduced by a long dash but there is no functional label. They are, however, defined since their meanings are more than the sum of the meanings of their elements:

1set … verb …

— set sail : …

1hand … noun …

— at hand : …

Defined phrases of this sort are run on at the entry defining the first major word in the phrase. When there are variants, however, the run-on appears at the entry defining the first major word which is invariable in the phrase:

1seed … noun … go to seed or run to seed …

Boldface words that appear within parentheses (as co·ca at co·caine and jet engine and jet propulsion at jet–propelled) are run-in entries. They are essentially defined within the context of the definition.





PRONUNCIATION




The matter between a pair of slashes / / following the entry word indicates the pronunciation. The symbols used are explained in the chart printed at the end of this section.

A hyphen is used in the pronunciation to show syllabic division. These hyphens sometimes coincide with the centered dots in the entry word that indicate end-of-line division:

ab·sen·tee /ˌab-sən-ˈtē/

Sometimes they do not:

met·ric /ˈme-trik/

A high-set mark ˈ indicates major (primary) stress or accent; a low-set mark ˌ indicates minor (secondary) stress or accent:

heart·beat /ˈhärt-ˌbēt/

The stress mark stands at the beginning of the syllable that receives the stress.

A syllable with neither a high-set mark nor a low-set mark is unstressed:

1struc·ture /ˈstrək-chər/

The presence of variant pronunciations indicates that not all educated speakers pronounce words the same way. A second-place variant is not to be regarded as less acceptable than the pronunciation that is given first. It may, in fact, be used by as many educated speakers as the first variant, but the requirements of the printed page are such that one must precede the other:

apri·cot /ˈa-prə-ˌkät, ˈā-/

fore·head /ˈfȯr-əd, ˈfȯr-ˌhed/

Symbols enclosed by parentheses represent elements that are present in the pronunciation of some speakers but are absent from the pronunciation of other speakers, or elements that are present in some but absent from other utterances of the same speaker:

1om·ni·bus /ˈäm-ni-(ˌ)bəs/

ad·di·tion·al /ə-ˈdi-sh(ə-)nəl/

Thus, the above parentheses indicate that some people say /ˈäm-ni-ˌbəs/ and others say /ˈäm-ni-bəs/; some /ə-ˈdi-shə-nəl/ , others /ə-ˈdi-shnəl/.

When a main entry has less than a full pronunciation, the missing part is to be supplied from a pronunciation in a preceding entry or within the same pair of reversed slashes:

cham·pi·on·ship /-ˌship/

pa·la·ver /pə-ˈla-vər, -ˈlä-/

The pronunciation of the first three syllables of championship is found at the main entry champion. The hyphens before and after /ˈlä/ in the pronunciation of palaver indicate that both the first and the last parts of the pronunciation are to be taken from the immediately preceding pronunciation.

In general, no pronunciation is indicated for open compounds consisting of two or more English words that have own-place entry:

witch doctor noun

Only the first entry in a sequence of numbered homographs is given a pronunciation if their pronunciations are the same:

1re·ward /ri-ˈwȯrd/ verb

2reward noun

The absent but implied pronunciation of derivatives and compounds run on after a main entry is a combination of the pronunciation at the main entry and the pronunciation of the other element as given at its alphabetical place in the vocabulary:

— ab·ject·ness noun

— face off verb

Thus, the pronunciation of abjectness is the sum of the pronunciations given at abject and -ness; that of face off, the sum of the pronunciations of the two elements that make up the phrase.





FUNCTIONAL LABELS




An italic label indicating a part of speech or another functional classification follows the pronunciation or, if no pronunciation is given, the main entry. The eight traditional parts of speech are indicated as follows:

bold … adjective

forth·with … adverb

1but … conjunction

ge·sund·heit … interjection

bo·le·ro … noun

2un·der … preposition

1it … pronoun

1slap … verb

Other italicized labels used to indicate functional classifications that are not traditional parts of speech include:

AT abbreviation

self- combining form

un- … prefix

-ial adjective suffix

2-ly adverb suffix

2-er … noun suffix

-ize … verb suffix

Fe symbol

may … verbal auxiliary

Functional labels are sometimes combined:

afloat … adjective or adverb





INFLECTED FORMS





Nouns




The plurals of nouns are shown in this dictionary when suffixation brings about a change of final -y to -i-, when the noun ends in a consonant plus -o or in -ey, when the noun ends in -oo, when the noun has an irregular plural or an uninflected plural or a foreign plural, when the noun is a compound that pluralizes any element but the last, when a final consonant is doubled, when the noun has variant plurals, and when it is believed that the dictionary user might have reasonable doubts about the spelling of the plural or when the plural is spelled in a way contrary to what is expected:

2spy noun, plural spies

si·lo … noun, plural silos

val·ley … noun, plural valleys

2shampoo noun, plural shampoos

mouse … noun, plural mice

moose … noun, plural moose

cri·te·ri·on … noun, plural -ria

son–in–law … noun, plural sons–in–law

1quiz … noun, plural quiz·zes

1fish … noun, plural fish or fishes

pi … noun, plural pis

3dry noun, plural drys

Cutback inflected forms are used when the noun has three or more syllables:

ame·ni·ty … noun, plural -ties

The plurals of nouns are usually not shown when the base word is unchanged by suffixation, when the noun is a compound whose second element is readily recognizable as a regular free form entered at its own place, or when the noun is unlikely to occur in the plural:

night … noun

fore·foot … noun

mo·nog·a·my … noun

Nouns that are plural in form and that are regularly construed as plural are labeled noun plural:

munch·ies … noun plural

Nouns that are plural in form but that are not always construed as plurals are appropriately labeled:

lo·gis·tics … noun singular or plural





Verbs




The principal parts of verbs are shown in this dictionary when suffixation brings about a doubling of a final consonant or an elision of a final -e or a change of final -y to -i-, when final -c changes to -ck in suffixation, when the verb ends in -ey, when the inflection is irregular, when there are variant inflected forms, and when it is believed that the dictionary user might have reasonable doubts about the spelling of an inflected form or when the inflected form is spelled in a way contrary to what is expected:

2snag verb snagged; snag·ging

1move … verb moved; mov·ing

1cry … verb cried; cry·ing

1frol·ic … verb frol·icked; frol·ick·ing

1sur·vey … verb sur·veyed; sur·vey·ing

1drive … verb drove … driv·en … driv·ing

2bus verb bused or bussed; bus·ing or bus·sing

2visa verb vi·saed … vi·sa·ing

2chagrin verb cha·grined … cha·grin·ing

The principal parts of a regularly inflected verb are shown when it is desirable to indicate the pronunciation of one of the inflected forms:

learn … verb learned /ˈlərnd, ˈlərnt/; learn·ing

1al·ter /ˈȯl-tər/ verb al·tered; al·ter·ing /-t(ə-)riŋ/

Cutback inflected forms are usually used when the verb has three or more syllables, when it is a two-syllable word that ends in -l and has variant spellings, and when it is a compound whose second element is readily recognized as an irregular verb:

elim·i·nate … verb -nat·ed; -nat·ing

2quarrel verb -reled or -relled; -rel·ing or -rel·ling

1re·take … verb -took … -tak·en … -tak·ing

The principal parts of verbs are usually not shown when the base word is unchanged by suffixation or when the verb is a compound whose second element is readily recognizable as a regular free form entered at its own place:

1jump … verb

pre·judge … verb

Another inflected form of English verbs is the third person singular of the present tense, which is regularly formed by the addition of -s or -es to the base form of the verb. This inflected form is not shown except at a handful of entries (as have and do) for which it is in some way unusual.





Adjectives & Adverbs




The comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs are shown in this dictionary when suffixation brings about a doubling of a final consonant or an elision of a final -e or a change of final -y to -i-, when the word ends in -ey, when the inflection is irregular, and when there are variant inflected forms:

1red … adjective red·der; red·dest

1tame … adjective tam·er; tam·est

1kind·ly … adjective kind·li·er; -est

hors·ey also horsy … adjective hors·i·er; -est

1good … adjective bet·ter … best

1far … adverb far·ther … or fur·ther … far·thest or fur·thest

The superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllables are usually cut back:

3fancy adjective fan·ci·er; -est

1ear·ly … adverb ear·li·er; -est

The comparative and superlative forms of regularly inflected adjectives and adverbs are shown when it is desirable to indicate the pronunciation of the inflected forms:

1young /ˈyəŋ/ adjective youn·ger /ˈyəŋ-gər/ youn·gest /ˈyəŋ-gəst/

The inclusion of inflected forms in -er and -est at adjective and adverb entries means nothing more about the use of more and most with these adjectives and adverbs than that their comparative and superlative degrees may be expressed in either way: lazier or more lazy; laziest or most lazy.

At a few adjective entries only the superlative form is shown:

2mere adjective, superlative mer·est

The absence of the comparative form indicates that there is no evidence of its use.

The comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs are usually not shown when the base word is unchanged by suffixation, when the inflected forms of the word are identical with those of a preceding homograph, or when the word is a compound whose second element is readily recognizable as a regular free form entered at its own place:

1near adverb

3good adverb

un·wor·thy … adjective

Inflected forms are not shown at undefined run-ons.





CAPITALIZATION




Most entries in this dictionary begin with a lowercase letter. A few of these have an italicized label often cap, which indicates that the word is as likely to be capitalized as not and that it is as acceptable with an uppercase initial as it is with one in lowercase. Some entries begin with an uppercase letter, which indicates that the word is usually capitalized. The absence of an initial capital or of an often cap label indicates that the word is not ordinarily capitalized:

salm·on … noun

gar·gan·tuan … adjective, often cap

Mo·hawk … noun

The capitalization of entries that are open or hyphenated compounds is similarly indicated by the form of the entry or by an italicized label:

french fry noun, often cap 1st F

un–Amer·i·can … adjective

Par·kin·son's disease … noun

lazy Su·san … noun

A word that is capitalized in some senses and lowercase in others shows variations from the form of the main entry by the use of italicized labels at the appropriate senses:

Trin·i·ty … noun … 2 not cap

To·ry … noun … 3 often not cap

ti·tan … noun 1 cap

re·nais·sance … noun … 1 cap … 2 often cap





ETYMOLOGY




This dictionary gives the etymologies for a number of the vocabulary entries. These etymologies are in boldface square brackets preceding the definition, and are introduced by the word ORIGIN in small capitals. Meanings given in roman type within these brackets are not definitions of the entry, but are meanings of the Middle English, Old English, or non-English words within the brackets.

The etymology gives the language from which words borrowed into English have come. It also gives the form of the word in that language or a representation of the word in our alphabet if the form in that language differs from that in English:

philo·den·dron …

[ORIGIN: NL, fr. Gk, neut. of philodendros loving trees … ]

1sav·age …

[ORIGIN: ME sauvage, fr. MF, fr. ML salvaticus, alter. of L silvaticus of the woods, wild … ]

An etymology beginning with the name of a language (including ME or OE) and not giving the foreign (or Middle English or Old English) form indicates that this form is the same as the form of the entry word:

le·gume …

[ORIGIN: F]

1jour·ney …

[ORIGIN: ME, fr. OF … ]

An etymology beginning with the name of a language (including ME or OE) and not giving the foreign (or Middle English or Old English) meaning indicates that this meaning is the same as the meaning expressed in the first definition in the entry:

ug·ly … adjective …

[ORIGIN: ME, fr. ON uggligr … ] 1 FRIGHTFUL, DIRE





USAGE




Three types of status labels are used in this dictionary—temporal, regional, and stylistic—to signal that a word or a sense of a word is not part of the standard vocabulary of English.

The temporal label obsolete means that there is no evidence of use since 1755:

3post noun 1 obsolete

The label obsolete is a comment on the word being defined. When a thing, as distinguished from the word used to designate it, is obsolete, appropriate orientation is usually given in the definition:

cat·a·pult … noun 1 : an ancient military machine for hurling missiles

The temporal label archaic means that a word or sense once in common use is found today only sporadically or in special contexts:

1mete … verb … 1 archaic

1thou … pronoun, archaic

A word or sense limited in use to a specific region of the U.S. has an appropriate label. The adverb chiefly precedes a label when the word has some currency outside the specified region, and a double label is used to indicate considerable currency in each of two specific regions:

2wash noun … 5 West

do·gie … noun, chiefly West

crul·ler … noun … 2 Northern & Midland

Words current in all regions of the U.S. have no label.

A word or sense limited in use to one of the other countries of the English-speaking world has an appropriate regional label:

chem·ist … noun … 2 British

loch … noun, Scottish

2wireless noun … 2 chiefly British

The label dialect indicates that the pattern of use of a word or sense is too complex for summary labeling: it usually includes several regional varieties of American English or of American and British English:

2mind verb 1 chiefly dialect

The stylistic label slang is used with words or senses that are especially appropriate in contexts of extreme informality:

3can … verb … 2 slang

2grand noun . . . slang

There is no satisfactory objective test for slang, especially with reference to a word out of context. No word, in fact, is invariably slang, and many standard words can be given slang applications.

The stylistic labels offensive and disparaging are used for those words or senses that in common use are intended to hurt or that are likely to give offense even when they are used without such an intent:

dumb . . . adjective 1 often offensive

half–breed . . . noun, often disparaging

Definitions are sometimes followed by verbal illustrations that show a typical use of the word in context. These illustrations are enclosed in angle brackets, and the word being illustrated is usually replaced by a lightface swung dash. The swung dash stands for the boldface entry word, and it may be followed by an italicized suffix:

1jump … verb … 5 … ⟨~ the gun⟩

all–around … adjective 1 … ⟨best ~ performance⟩

1can·on … noun … 3 … ⟨the ~s of good taste⟩

en·joy … verb … 2 … ⟨~ed the concert⟩

The swung dash is not used when the form of the boldface entry word is changed in suffixation, and it is not used for compounds:

Definitions are sometimes followed by usage notes that give supplementary information about such matters as idiom, syntax, and semantic relationship. A usage note is introduced by a lightface dash:

2cry noun … 5 … —usu. used in the phrase a far cry

1jaw … noun … 2 … — usu. used in pl.

1ada·gio … adverb or adj … — used as a direction in music

hajji … noun … — often used as a title

Sometimes a usage note is used in place of a definition. Some function words (as conjunctions and prepositions) have chiefly grammatical meaning and little or no lexical meaning; most interjections express feelings but are otherwise untranslatable into lexical meaning; and some other words (as honorific titles) are more amenable to comment than to definition:

or … conjunction — used as a function word to indicate an alternative

1at … preposition 1 — used to indicate a point in time or space

auf Wie·der·seh·en … interjection … — used to express farewell

sir … noun … 2 — used as a usu. respectful form of address





SENSE DIVISION




A boldface colon is used in this dictionary to introduce a definition:

1equine … adjective …

: of or relating to the horse

It is also used to separate two or more definitions of a single sense:

no·ti·fy … verb …

1 : to give notice of : report the occurrence of

Boldface Arabic numerals separate the senses of a word that has more than one sense:

ad·judge … verb …

1 : to decide or rule upon as a judge : JUDGE, ADJUDICATE

2 : to hold or pronounce to be : DEEM 3 : …

A particular semantic relationship between senses is sometimes suggested by the use of one of the two italic sense dividers especially or also.

The sense divider especially is used to introduce the most common meaning included in the more general preceding definition:

crys·tal … noun …

2 : something resembling crystal (as in transparency); especially : a clear glass used for table articles

The sense divider also is used to introduce a meaning related to the preceding sense by an easily understood extension of that sense:

chi·na … noun

: porcelain ware; also : domestic pottery in general

The order of senses is historical: the sense known to have been first used in English is entered first. This is not to be taken to mean, however, that each sense of a multisense word developed from the immediately preceding sense. It is altogether possible that sense 1 of a word has given rise to sense 2 and sense 2 to sense 3, but frequently sense 2 and sense 3 may have developed independently of one another from sense 1.

When an italicized label follows a boldface numeral, the label applies only to that specific numbered sense. It does not apply to any other boldface numbered senses:

craft … noun … 3 plural usually craft

1fa·ther … noun … 2 cap … 5 often cap

dul·ci·mer … noun … 2 or dul·ci·more /-ˌmōr/

2lift noun … 5 chiefly Brit

At craft the plural label applies to sense 3 but to none of the other numbered senses. At father the cap label applies only to sense 2 and the often cap label only to sense 5. At dulcimer the variant spelling and pronunciation apply only to sense 2, and the chiefly Brit label at lift applies only to sense 5.





CROSS-REFERENCE




Four different kinds of cross-references are used in this dictionary: directional, synonymous, cognate, and inflectional. In each instance the cross-reference is readily recognized by the underlined small capitals in which it is displayed.

A cross-reference following a lightface dash and beginning with compare is a directional cross-reference. It directs the dictionary user to look elsewhere for further information:

ordinal number … noun … —compare CARDINAL NUMBER

A cross-reference following a boldface colon is a synonymous cross-reference. It may stand alone as the only definition for an entry or for a sense of an entry; it may follow an analytical definition; it may be one of two or more synonymous cross-references separated by commas:

fact … noun … 1 : DEED

2pa·per adjective … 3 : existing only in theory : NOMINAL

1fill … verb … 3 : FEED, SATIATE

A synonymous cross-reference indicates that an entry, a definition at the entry, or a specific sense at the entry cross-referred to can be substituted as a definition for the entry or the sense in which the cross-reference appears.

A cross-reference following an italic variant of is a cognate cross-reference:

pick·a·back … variant of PIGGYBACK

Occasionally a cognate cross-reference has a limiting label preceding variant of as an indication that the variant is not standard American English:

2vice … chiefly British variant of VISE

A cross-reference following an italic label that identifies an entry as an inflected form (as of a noun or verb) is an inflectional cross-reference:

calves plural of CALF

woven past part of WEAVE

Inflectional cross-references appear only when the inflected form falls at least a column away from the entry cross-referred to.





COMBINING FORMS, PREFIXES, & SUFFIXES




An entry that begins or ends with a hyphen is a word element that forms part of an English compound:

-wise … adverb comb form … ⟨slantwise⟩

ex- … prefix … 2 … ⟨ex-president⟩

-let noun suffix 1 … ⟨booklet⟩

Combining forms, prefixes, and suffixes are entered in this dictionary for two reasons: to make understandable the meaning of many undefined run-ons and to make recognizable the meaningful elements of words that are not entered in the dictionary.





LISTS OF UNDEFINED WORDS




Many words that begin with the prefixes or combining forms anti-, in-, non-, over-, re-, self-, semi-, sub-, super-, and un- are self-explanatory combinations of the prefix or combining form and a word entered elsewhere in the dictionary, and they are listed undefined in the entry for the prefix or combining form from which they are formed.





Abbreviations Used in This Work




ab about

abl ablative

acc accusative

A.D. anno Domini

AF Anglo-French

alter alteration

Am, Amer American

AmerF American French

AmerInd American Indian

AmerSp American Spanish

Ar Arabic

Aram Aramaic

B.C. before Christ

Brit British

C Celsius

ca circa

Calif California

Canad Canadian

CanF Canadian French

cap capital, capitalized

Celt Celtic

cen central

cent century

Chin Chinese

comb combining

compar comparative

D Dutch

Dan Danish

dat dative

deriv derivative

dial dialect

dim diminutive

E English

Egypt Egyptian

Eng English

esp especially

est estimated

F Fahrenheit, French

fem feminine

fl flourished

fr from

ft feet

G, Ger German

Gk Greek

Gmc Germanic

Heb Hebrew

Hung Hungarian

Icel Icelandic

imit imitative

imper imperative

Ir Irish

irreg irregular

It, Ital Italian

Jp Japanese

K Kelvin

km kilometers

L Latin

LaF Louisiana French

LG Low German

LGk Late Greek

LHeb Late Hebrew

lit literally

LL Late Latin

m meters

masc masculine

MD Middle Dutch

ME Middle English

MexSp Mexican Spanish

MF Middle French

MGk Middle Greek

mi miles

ML Medieval Latin

modif modification

MS manuscript

Mt mount

neut neuter

NewEng New England

NGk New Greek

NHeb New Hebrew

NL New Latin

No North

Norw Norwegian

OE Old English

OF Old French

OIt Old Italian

ON Old Norse

OPer Old Persian

orig originally

part participle

Per Persian

perh perhaps

Pg Portuguese

Pol Polish

pp past participle

pres present, president

prob probably

pron pronoun, pronunciation

prp present participle

pseud pseudonym

r reigned

Russ Russian

Sc Scotch, Scots

Scand Scandinavian

ScGael Scottish Gaelic

Scot Scottish

Skt Sanskrit

Slav Slavic

So South

Sp, Span Spanish

St Saint

superl superlative

Sw Swedish

trans translation

Turk Turkish

US United States

USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

usu usually

var variant

vi verb intransitive

VL Vulgar Latin

vt verb transitive

W Welsh





Pronunciation Symbols




abut, collect, suppose



, humdrum



(in l, n) battle, cotton; (in l, m, r) French table, prisme, titre



operation, further



map, patch



day, fate



bother, cot, father



car, heart



now, out



baby, rib



chin, catch



did, adder



set, red



bare, fair



beat, easy



fifty, cuff



go, big



hat, ahead



whale



tip, banish



near, deer



site, buy



job, edge



kin, cook



German Bach, Scots loch



lily, cool



murmur, dim



nine, own



indicates that a preceding vowel is pronounced through both nose and mouth, as in French bon



sing, singer, finger, ink



bone, hollow



saw



boar, port



French bœuf, feu, German Hölle, Höhle



toy



pepper, lip



rarity



source, less



shy, mission



tie, attack



thin, ether



then, either



boot, few



put, pure



boor, tour



French rue, German füllen, fühlen



vivid, give



we, away



yard, cue



indicates that a preceding , , or is modified by having the tongue approximate the position for , as in French digne



zone, raise



vision, pleasure



slant line used in pairs to mark the beginning and end of a transcription:



mark at the beginning of a syllable that has primary (strongest) stress:



mark at the beginning of a syllable that has secondary (next-strongest) stress:



mark of a syllable division in pronunciations (the mark of end-of-line division in boldface entries is a centered dot ·)



indicate that what is symbolized between sometimes occurs and sometimes does not occur in the pronunciation of the word: bakery = ,





Basic English Grammar




The essence of the English language is the sentence. A sentence is a grammatically self-contained group of words that expresses a statement, a question, a command, a wish, or an exclamation. It is composed of a subject, about which something is said, and a predicate, which expresses what is said about the subject. The subject can be a single noun, a noun phrase, such as “the strong wind,” or a noun clause, such as “what he decides is important to all of us.” The predicate can be a single verb, a verb phrase, such as “will be going,” a verb and all its modifiers, such as “will be going as soon as the bus arrives,” or a verb and its complements, such as “gave his client the bad news.”

In English, word order is important. The subject usually comes first, but not necessarily:

An amusement park is across the river.

Across the river is an amusement park.

Is an amusement park across the river?

The grammar of English is concerned with the structure of these elements that make up a sentence. Every word in a sentence can be classified as a particular part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.), according to its function in the sentence. The major parts of speech are briefly discussed in the following guide to basic English grammar.





THE ADJECTIVE




The adjective gives information about a noun or pronoun, such as what kind

the black cat

a joyful occasion

or which one

a first draft

that suggestion

or how many

ten players

few new ideas

The adjective usually precedes the noun it modifies, but some adjectives can also follow certain verbs:

the house is white (→ white house)

the speeches seemed long (→ long speeches)

that chair felt comfortable (→ comfortable chair)

the tree grew tall (→ tall tree)





Positive, Comparative, and Superlative Degrees of Adjectives




The positive degree is the basic form of the adjective. It gives basic information about the noun without reference to anything else (a white house). The comparative degree relates a noun to another—as having more or less of some quality (this house is whiter than that); the superlative degree relates the noun to all others of its class (this is the whitest house in the neighborhood).

When the adjective consists of a single syllable, the suffix -er is added to form the comparative degree, and the suffix -est is added to form the superlative degree. When the adjective consists of two syllables, the suffixes are often used to form the comparative (as gentler) and superlative (as gentlest), but the adverbs more/less can also be used to form the comparative (as more skillful and less skillful), and likewise, the adverbs most/least can be used to form the superlative (as most skillful and least skillful). For adjectives of more than two syllables, the adverbs are usually used to form the comparative and superlative forms (as more fortunate, most fortunate).

There are a few adjectives that have unique comparative and superlative forms:

Positive Comparative Superlative

good better best

bad worse worst

some more most

little (amount) less least

but

little (size) littler littlest

There are a few adjectives that have no comparative or superlative forms.

an utter failure

the principal objections





Demonstrative Adjectives




The demonstrative adjectives this and that are used to point out the one person or thing referred to (as “not this coat but that one”). The plural forms are these and those, respectively.

These books are mine and those books are yours.





Descriptive Adjectives




A descriptive adjective describes or indicates a quality, type, or condition:

a fascinating conversation

a positive attitude

a fast computer





Indefinite Adjectives




An indefinite adjective is used to designate unspecified person(s) or thing(s):

some children

other projects

any book





Interrogative Adjectives




An interrogative adjective is used to form a question:

Whose office is this?

Which book do you want?





The Noun Used As Adjective




A noun sometimes serves to modify another noun and thus functions as an adjective:

the Vietnam War

word processing





Possessive Adjectives




The possessive form of a personal pronoun is called a possessive adjective. Following is a list of possessive adjectives and a few examples of how they are used:

Singular Plural

my our

your your

his/her/its their

Where's my magazine?

Your cab is here.

They can read his story.

It was her idea.

The box and its contents were inspected.

She's our mother.

Your photos are ready.

We paid for their tickets.





Predicate Adjectives




A predicate adjective modifies the subject of a linking verb, such as be, become, feel, taste, smell, or seem:

He is lucky.

She became angry.

They are happy with the outcome.

The milk smells bad.

The student seems lonely.





Proper Adjectives




A proper adjective is derived from a proper noun and is capitalized:

Victorian furniture

a Chinese custom

a Shakespearean scholar





THE ADVERB




Adverbs, whether single words or phrases, usually give information about the verbs, such as when

We arrived yesterday.

He woke up late.

or where

I found them at the restaurant.

He spent time in [the] hospital.

or how

They arose quickly.

She worked hard.

Most single-word adverbs end in -ly and are formed by adding the suffix -ly to an adjective:

mad → madly

wonderful → wonderfully

When the adjective ends in -y, the adverb is formed by changing -y to -i and adding the suffix -ly:

happy → happily

dainty → daintily

When the adjective ends in -ic, the adverb is formed by adding the suffix -ally:

basic → basically

numeric → numerically

When an adjective ends in -ly, the adverb retains the same spelling:

a daily routine (adjective)

she calls her mother daily (adverb)

an early meeting (adjective)

the show started early (adverb)

Also, there are adverbs that do not end in -ly, for example:

again

now

soon

too

there

how





Positive, Comparative, and Superlative Degrees of Adverbs




Adverbs, like adjectives, can have three degrees of comparison: the positive form exists without reference to anything else; the comparative degree relates to another—as being more or less of the adverb quality; and superlative relates to all members of a class. As a general rule, a single-syllable adverb ends in -er when it is comparative (as faster) and in -est when it is superlative (as fastest). For adverbs of three or more syllables, the comparative and superlative degrees are formed by using the adverbs more/less and most/least. The comparative and superlative degrees of an adverb of two syllables are formed by following either one of these methods:

Positive Comparative Superlative

early earlier earliest

easy easier easiest

nearly more nearly most nearly

quickly more quickly most quickly

satisfactorily less satisfactorily least satisfactorily

Some adverbs, such as only, quite, and very, have no comparative or superlative forms.





Intensive Adverbs




Intensive adverbs, such as just and only, are usually used only to emphasize other words. The emphasis varies according to the placement of the adverb within the sentence:

He just nodded to me as he passed.

He nodded to me just as he passed.

I only wanted to speak with you.

I wanted to speak only with you.





Interrogative Adverbs




Interrogative adverbs, such as when, where, and why, are used chiefly to introduce questions:

When will he return?

Where is the remote control?

Why did you hide it?





THE ARTICLE




Articles, sometimes called “determiners,” are elements of a noun phrase that indicate whether the noun is “definite,” that is, a specific individual, or “indefinite,” that is, very general in nature.





The Definite Article




There is only one form of the definite article: the.

The boys were expelled.

It was the best movie I have seen.





The Indefinite Article




The indefinite article a is used with every noun or abbreviation beginning with either a consonant or the sound of a consonant:

a door

a union

a one-way street

a B.A. degree

a hat

a U.S. Senator

The indefinite article an is used with every noun or abbreviation that begins with a vowel sound, whether or not the first letter of the noun or abbreviation is a vowel or consonant:

an icicle

an MP

an honor

an FAQ

When the first syllable of a noun beginning with h is not stressed or has only a slight stress, the article a is frequently used:

a historian

a heroic attempt

a hilarious performance

However, the article an is sometimes used in these cases:

an historian

an heroic attempt

an hilarious performance

Both forms are acceptable.





THE CONJUNCTION




There are three main types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and subordinating conjunctions.





Coordinating Conjunctions




Coordinating conjunctions, such as and, but, for, or, nor, so, and yet, are used to connect grammatical elements of the same type. These elements may be words, phrases, clauses, or complete sentences. Coordinating conjunctions are used to connect similar elements, to make exclusions or contrasts, to indicate an alternative, to indicate a cause, or to specify a result:

Connecting similar elements: She ordered pencils, pens, and erasers.

Exclusion or contrast: He is a brilliant but arrogant man.

They offered a promising plan, but it had not yet been tested.

Alternative: She can wait here or go on ahead.

Cause: The report is useless, for its information is no longer current.

Result: His diction is excellent, so every word is clear.





Correlative Conjunctions




Correlative conjunctions are used in groups of two to connect choices or elements of the same grammatical type:

Both Rita and Jane attended the conference.

Either you go or you stay.

He had neither looks nor wit.





Subordinating Conjunctions




Subordinating conjunctions are used to connect a subordinate clause to an independent clause. These conjunctions express cause, condition or concession, manner, intention or result, time, place, or circumstance, as well as a possibility.

Cause: Because she learns quickly, she is doing well in her new job.

Condition or concession: Don't call unless you are coming.

Manner: We'll do it however you tell us.

Intention or result: They burned all the bridges so that the enemy could not use them.

Time: She kept the meeting to a minimum when she could.

Place: Wherever he goes, he is welcomed with open arms.





THE NOUN





Basic Uses




The noun may be a single word or a phrase (noun phrase). The noun phrase may consist of an article and/or adjectives and/or prepositional phrases. The noun can function as subject of a sentence, object of a verb, object of a preposition, predicate nominative, complement of an object, in apposition, and in direct discourse:

Subject: The office was quiet.

The house with green shutters was for sale.

Direct object of a verb: He locked the office.

Indirect object of a verb: He gave his client the papers.

Object of a preposition: The business was in bankruptcy.

The file is in the office.

Predicate nominative: Ms. Adams is the managing partner.

Complement of an object: They made Ms. Adams managing partner.

In apposition: Ms. Adams, the managing partner, wrote that memo.

In direct discourse: Ms. Adams, may I present Mr. Wilson.

Nouns are often classified as to whether they are proper nouns (Eiffel Tower, White House), common nouns (tower, house), abstract nouns (honor, love), concrete nouns (desk, flower), or collective nouns (team, government). American English typically uses a singular verb with a collective noun (the team is), while British English typical uses a plural verb (the government are).

Most nouns are neuter, showing no distinction as to whether having a masculine or feminine reference. However, a few nouns ending in -ess (as empress, hostess) are feminine in gender, and some others have a specific gender. For example: husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister. The names of certain animals also have a specific gender, for example, bull/cow, stag/doe. When it is necessary to specify the gender of a neuter noun, the noun is usually modified with words like male, female, man, woman (a male parrot, women painters).





The Noun As Adjective




The noun has the function of an adjective when it precedes another noun:

olive oil

business management

emergency room

dog house





The Formation of the Plural




The plural of nouns is formed by adding the suffix -s to the singular noun:

book → books

cat → cats

When the singular noun ends in -s, -x, -z, -ch, or -sh, the suffix -es is added to the singular:

cross → crosses

fox → foxes

witch → witches

wish → wishes

For a singular noun ending in -z, the last letter is doubled before adding the suffix -es:

buzz → buzzes

quiz → quizzes

For a singular noun ending in -y preceded by a consonant, the -y changes to -i and the suffix -es is added:

fairy → fairies

pony → ponies

guppy → guppies

For a singular noun ending in -y preceded by a vowel, the -y usually does not change when the suffix -s is added:

boy → boys

attorney → attorneys

Some words that end in -uy sometimes change the -y to -i:

guy → guys

soliloquy → soliloquies

There are a few nouns that do not always change in the plural:

fish → fish (or fishes when referring to more than one species)

caribou → caribou (sometimes caribous)

moose → moose

There are also some nouns that have a unique plural:

foot → feet

mouse → mice

knife → knives





The Possessive Case




The possessive case of a singular noun is formed by adding an apostrophe followed by an -s:

Jackie's passport

This hat is Billy's

For plural nouns ending in -s, only the apostrophe is added:

the neighbors' dog

both boys' behavior

Proper nouns that end in -s often present a special case:

Mr. Douglas's car

Socrates' teachings





THE PREPOSITION




The preposition is used with an object (a noun, pronoun, or the equivalent of a noun) to form a phrase that functions generally as an adjective or an adverb.

The man in the car is his father. (adjective)

The river winds through the valley. (adverb)

There are two types of prepositions: the simple preposition, which consists of a single word (for example, against, from, near, of, on, out, in) and the compound preposition, which consists of more than one element (for example, according to, on account of, because of, in spite of).





The Conjunction vs. the Preposition




The words after, before, but, for, and since can be used as prepositions or conjunctions. Their part of speech is determined by their function in the sentence. Conjunctions are usually used to connect two elements of the same grammatical type, while prepositions are followed by an object to form a phrase.

Conjunction: The playful but thoughtful youngsters did well in school.

(but connects two adjectives)

Preposition: I was left with nothing but hope.

(but followed by an object)

Conjunction: The device conserves fuel, for it is battery-powered.

(for connects two clauses)

Preposition: The device conserves fuel for better mileage.

(for followed by an object)





Place in the Sentence




A preposition comes in front of a noun or a pronoun (under the desk, beside them), after an adjective (antagonistic to, insufficient for, symbolic of), or after a verb as a particle (take over, put on, come across).

The preposition may end a sentence, especially if it is a verb particle.

What does this all add up to?

After Amy left, Sandra took over.





THE PRONOUN




Pronouns are often said to stand in place of the noun or noun phrase in a sentence. Usually, the pronoun stands for something previously specified or generally understood.

Pronouns have the following characteristics: case (nominative, possessive, or objective); number (singular or plural); person (first, second, or third); and gender (masculine, feminine, or neuter). Pronouns can be classed in seven main categories, each having a specific function.





Demonstrative Pronouns




The words this, that, these, and those are considered as pronouns when they function as nouns. (They are classed as demonstrative adjectives when they modify a noun.) The demonstrative pronoun distinguishes a person or thing from another person or thing:

This is the one I want.

I was happy about that.

These are the best designs.

I picked those as the prettiest flowers.

The demonstrative pronoun also serves to distinguish a person or thing nearby from one that is farther away (this is my desk; that is yours).





Indefinite Pronouns




Indefinite pronouns are used to designate a person or thing of which the identity is unknown or is not immediately evident. The indefinite pronouns include the following:

all

another

any

anybody

anyone

anything

both

each

each one

either

everybody

everyone

everything

few

many

much

neither

nobody

none

no one

one

other(s)

several

some

somebody

someone

something

The indefinite pronoun and the verb that follows it should agree in number. The following pronouns are used with a singular verb: another, anything, each one, everything, much, nobody, no one, other, someone, something:

Much is being done.

No one wants to go.

The indefinite pronouns both, few, many, and several are used with plural verbs:

Many are called; few are chosen.

Certain pronouns, such as all, any, none, and some, sometimes present difficulties, since they can be used with a singular or a plural verb. As a general rule, a pronoun that is used with a noun that cannot be counted requires a singular verb, while a pronoun that is used with a noun that can be counted requires a plural verb.

With an uncountable noun: All of the property is affected.

None of the soup was spilled.

Some of the money was spent.

With a countable noun: All of my shoes are black.

None of the clerks were available.

Some of your friends were here.





Interrogative Pronouns




The interrogative pronouns what, which, who, whom, and whose, as well as those bound with the word -ever (whatever, whichever, etc.) are used to introduce a direct or an indirect question:

Who is she?

He asked me who she was.

Whoever can that be?

We wondered whoever that could be.





Personal Pronouns




The personal pronoun reflects the person, number, and gender of the being or the thing it represents. Each category is made up of distinct personal pronouns:

Person Nominative Possessive Objective

First (sing.) I my, mine me

(pl.) we our, ours us

Second (sing.) you your, yours you

(pl.) you your, yours you

Third (sing.) he his him

she her, hers her

it its it

(pl.) they their, theirs them





Reciprocal Pronouns




The reciprocal pronouns each other and one another indicate a mutual action or relationship:

Jim and Andy saw each other at the party.

They do not quarrel with one another.

The reciprocal pronoun is also used as a possessive:

The two companies depend on each other's success.

The members enjoyed one another's company.





Reflexive Pronouns




Reflexive pronouns are formed from the personal pronouns him, her, it, my, our, them, and your, to which the combining form -self or -selves is added. The reflexive pronoun is usually used to express a reflexive action or to emphasize the subject of a sentence, clause, or phrase:

She dressed herself.

He asked himself if it was worth it.

I myself am not involved.

They wanted to do it themselves.





Relative Pronouns




The relative pronouns are who, whom, whose, what, which, and that, as well as the compounds formed by adding the ending -ever. These pronouns are used to introduce subordinate clauses that function as a noun or an adjective.

a man who sought success

a woman whom we can trust

an author whose first novel was a success

a move which was unforeseen

a boy that behaves well

give it to whomever you wish

whoever thought of it

pick whichever you want

In certain cases the relative pronoun may be omitted:

The man [whom] I was talking to is the senator.





THE VERB




Verbs have essentially three classes: ordinary verbs of action, such as go, auxiliary verbs, like can and shall, and fundamental verbs like be, have, and do, which can function as both ordinary verbs and as auxiliaries.

The verb has the following characteristics: inflection (for example, helps, helping, helped), person (first, second, third), number (singular, plural), tense (present, past, future), aspect (categories of time other than the simple tenses of present, past, future), voice (active, passive), and mood (indicative, subjunctive, and imperative).





Inflection




Regular verbs have three inflections that are formed by adding the suffixes -s or -es, -ed, and -ing (for example, asks, asked, asking). Most of the irregular verbs have four inflections (for example, sees, saw, seen, seeing). The verb be has seven inflections: is, am, are, was, were, being, been).

Verbs ending in silent -e in general keep the -e when a consonantal suffix (such as -s) is added to the word, but the -e is dropped when the suffix begins with a vowel (such as -ed, -ing):

arrange; arranges; arranged; arranging

hope; hopes; hoped; hoping

However, certain verbs keep the -e in order to avoid confusion with another verb:

dye (color); dyes; dyed; dyeing

but

die (cease to live); dies; died; dying

singe (burn); singes; singed; singeing

but

sing (produce music); sings; sang; singing

If a single-syllable verb ends in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel, the final consonant is often doubled before the addition of -ed or -ing:

brag; brags; bragged; bragging

grip; grips; gripped; gripping

When a multi-syllable verb ends in the same way, and the last syllable is stressed, the final consonant is also doubled:

commit; commits; committed; committing

occur; occurs; occurred; occurring

It frequently happens that a verb ending in -y preceded by a consonant changes -y to -i, except when the suffix is -ing:

carry; carries; carried; carrying

study; studies; studied; studying

When a verb ends in -c, a -k is added to inflections if the suffix begins with -e or -i:

mimic; mimics; mimicked; mimicking

traffic; traffics; trafficked; trafficking





Tense and Aspect




The present and past tenses are generally formed as a single word:

I do, I did

we write, we wrote

The future tense is conjugated with the auxiliary verbs shall or will and the present or progressive forms:

I shall do it.

We will come tomorrow.

I shall be leaving tomorrow.

Aspect concerns the tense of the verb other than the present, the past, or the future. Aspect has four forms: the progressive, the present perfect, the past perfect, and the future perfect.

The progressive is used to express an ongoing action that takes place in the present, past, or future:

He is reading the paper at the moment.

I was studying for the test when you called.

I will be going to India next year.

The present perfect tense is used to express an action done in the past but which may be continuing in the present, or to express an action that occurred at an indefinite moment in the past. It is conjugated with the auxiliary verbs has or have and the past participle:

She has written many books.

They have regretted their mistake.

The past perfect expresses a completed action that occurred before another action in the past. It is conjugated with the auxiliary verb had and the past participle:

She had written several books previously.

We had left the house before they arrived.

The future perfect tense indicates that a future action will take place before another action or occurrence still to come. It is conjugated with the auxiliary verbs will or shall and have and the past participle:

We will have finished the project by then.

They will have gone before we will arrive.





Voice




The active voice indicates that the subject of the sentence is the doer of the action of the verb; the passive voice, consisting of a form of the verb be and a past participle, indicates that the subject of the sentence is the object of the action:

Active voice: His colleagues respect him.

Passive voice: He was respected by his colleagues.





Mood




There are three moods: the indicative, the subjunctive, and the imperative. The indicative is used to indicate a fact or to ask a question:

He is here.

Is he here?

The subjunctive is used to express a condition contrary to fact, especially in clauses introduced by if, and after the verb wish:

If she were there, she could answer that.

I wish he were here.

The subjunctive is also used in clauses beginning with the word that following verbs that request, demand, or recommend:

They asked that the books be returned.

She insisted that the door remain open.

The law required that he report his earnings.

The imperative is used to express a command or a demand:

Come here!

Pay attention!





Transitive and Intransitive Verbs




A transitive verb takes a direct object:

She sold her car.

An intransitive verb has no direct object:

He talked all day.





Copyright


Copyright © 2009 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus, Kindle Edition.

ISBN 978-0-87779-794-4

All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyrights hereon may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems without written permission of the publisher.





A




1a noun, plural a's or as often cap 1 : the 1st letter of the English alphabet

2 : a grade rating a student's work as superior





2a indefinite article : ONE, SOME — used to indicate an unspecified or unidentified individual <there's ~ man outside>





3a abbreviation, often cap 1 absent

2 acre

3 alto

4 answer

5 are

6 area





AA abbreviation 1 Alcoholics Anonymous

2 antiaircraft

3 associate in arts





AAA abbreviation American Automobile Association





A and M abbreviation agricultural and mechanical





A and R abbreviation artists and repertory





aard·vark noun [ORIGIN: obs. Afrikaans, fr. Afrikaans aard earth + vark pig]

: a large burrowing African mammal that feeds on ants and termites with its long sticky tongue





1ab noun : an abdominal muscle





2ab abbreviation about





AB abbreviation 1 able-bodied seaman

2 airman basic

3 [ORIGIN NL artium baccalaureus] bachelor of arts





ABA abbreviation American Bar Association





aback adverb : by surprise <taken ~>



Synonyms

suddenly, unaware, unawares—more at UNAWARES





aba·cus noun, plural aba·ci or aba·cus·es : an instrument for making calculations by sliding counters along rods or grooves





1abaft preposition : to the rear of





2abaft adverb : toward or at the stern : AFT





ab·a·lo·ne noun : any of a genus of large edible sea mollusks with a flattened slightly spiral shell with holes along the edge





1abandon verb [ORIGIN: ME abandounen, fr. AF abanduner, fr. (mettre) a bandun to hand over, put in someone's control]

: to give up completely : FORSAKE, DESERT



Synonyms

desert, forsake, maroon, quit; also relinquish, retreat (from), take off (from), vacate, withdraw (from)





2abandon noun : a thorough yielding to natural impulses



Synonyms

abandonment, ease, lightheartedness, naturalness, spontaneity, unrestraint; also ardor, enthusiasm, exuberance, fervor, spirit, warmth, zeal

Antonyms

constraint, restraint





aban·doned adjective 1 : morally unrestrained

2 : given up : FORSAKEN



Synonyms

derelict, deserted, forsaken; also ignored, neglected, unattended, untended





aban·don·ment noun 1 : the act of abandoning

2 : freedom from restraint



Synonyms

[1] dereliction, desertion—more at DERELICTION

[2] abandon, ease, lightheartedness, naturalness, spontaneity, unrestraint—more at ABANDON





abase verb abased; abas·ing : to lower in rank, office, prestige, or esteem : HUMBLE, DEGRADE

— abase·ment noun



Synonyms

debase, degrade, demean, demoralize, humble, subvert, warp—more at DEBASE





abash verb : to destroy the composure of : EMBARRASS



Synonyms

confound, confuse, discomfit, disconcert, discountenance, embarrass, faze, fluster, mortify, rattle—more at EMBARRASS





abash·ment noun : the quality or state of being abashed



Synonyms

confusion, discomfiture, embarrassment, fluster, mortification—more at EMBARRASSMENT





abate verb abat·ed; abat·ing 1 : to put an end to <~ a nuisance>

2 : to decrease in amount, number, or degree



Synonyms

decline, decrease, diminish, dwindle, ebb, fall, lessen, recede, subside, taper, wane—more at DECREASE





abate·ment noun 1 : an amount of taking away; especially : a deduction from a tax

2 : an amount abated or lessened



Synonyms

[1] deduction, discount, reduction—more at DEDUCTION

[1, 2] decline, decrease, decrement, diminution, drop, fall, loss, reduction, shrinkage—more at DECREASE





ab·at·toir noun [ORIGIN: F]

: SLAUGHTERHOUSE





ab·ba·cy noun, plural -cies : the office or term of office of an abbot or abbess





ab·bé noun : a member of the French secular clergy — used as a title





ab·bess noun : the superior of a convent for nuns





ab·bey noun, plural abbeys 1 : a house for persons and esp. monks under religious vows : MONASTERY

2 : CONVENT

3 : an abbey church



Synonyms

cloister, friary, monastery, priory—more at MONASTERY





ab·bot noun [ORIGIN: ME abbod, fr. OE, fr. LL abbat-, abbas, fr. LGk abbas, fr. Aramaic abbā father]

: the superior of a monastery for men





abbr abbreviation abbreviation





ab·bre·vi·ate verb -at·ed; -at·ing : to make briefer : SHORTEN, CURTAIL; especially : to reduce to an abbreviation



Synonyms

abridge, curtail, cut back, shorten—more at SHORTEN





ab·bre·vi·a·tion noun 1 : the act or result of abbreviating : ABRIDGMENT

2 : a shortened form of a word or phrase used for brevity esp. in writing



Synonyms

abridgment, condensation, digest—more at ABRIDGMENT





1ABC noun, plural ABC's or ABCs 1 : ALPHABET — usu. used in pl.

2 : RUDIMENTS — usu. used in pl.





2ABC abbreviation American Broadcasting Company





Ab·di·as noun : OBADIAH





ab·di·cate verb -cat·ed; -cat·ing : to give up (as a throne) formally

— ab·di·ca·tion noun



Synonyms

abnegate, cede, relinquish, renounce, resign, step down, surrender; also abjure, disavow, disclaim, disown, deny, waive





ab·do·men noun 1 : the cavity in or area of the body between the chest and the pelvis

2 : the part of the body posterior to the thorax in an arthropod

— ab·dom·i·nal adjective

— ab·dom·i·nal·ly adverb



Synonyms

belly, gut, solar plexus, stomach, tummy—more at STOMACH





ab·duct verb : to take away (a person) by force : KIDNAP

— ab·duc·tion noun

— ab·duc·tor noun





abeam adverb or adjective : on a line at right angles to a ship's keel





abed adverb or adjective : in bed





Abe·na·ki noun, plural Abenaki or Abenakis : a member of a group of American Indian peoples of northern New England and southern Quebec





ab·er·rant adjective 1 : departing from the right or normal way

2 : departing from the usual or natural type : ATYPICAL



Synonyms

[1] abnormal, anomalous, atypical, deviant, irregular, unnatural—more at DEVIANT

[2] abnormal, atypical, exceptional, extraordinary, freak, odd, peculiar, uncommon, uncustomary, unique, unusual, unwonted—more at EXCEPTIONAL





ab·er·ra·tion noun 1 : deviation esp. from a moral standard or normal state

2 : failure of a mirror or lens to produce exact point-to-point correspondence between an object and its image

3 : unsoundness of mind : DERANGEMENT



Synonyms

dementia, derangement, insanity, lunacy, madness, mania—more at INSANITY





abet verb abet·ted; abet·ting [ORIGIN: ME abetten, fr. AF abeter, fr. beter to bait]

1 : to actively second and encourage (as in wrongdoing) : INCITE

2 : to assist or support in the achievement of a purpose



Synonyms

[1, 2] ferment, foment, incite, instigate, provoke, raise, stir, whip—more at INCITE

[2] aid, assist, back, help, prop, support—more at HELP





abet·tor also abet·ter noun : one that abets



Synonyms

accessory, accomplice, cohort, confederate—more at ACCOMPLICE

ally, backer, confederate, supporter, sympathizer—more at ALLY





abey·ance noun : a condition of suspended activity



Synonyms

doldrums, dormancy, latency, quiescence, suspension; also inaction, inertia, inertness, motionlessness

Antonyms

continuance, continuation





ab·hor verb ab·horred; ab·hor·ring [ORIGIN: ME abhorren, fr. L abhorrēre, fr. ab- + horrēre to shudder]

: to regard with extreme dislike : LOATHE, DETEST



Synonyms

abominate, despise, detest, execrate, hate, loathe—more at HATE





ab·hor·rence noun 1 : the feeling of one who abhors

2 : one that is abhorred



Synonyms

[1] abomination, execration, hate, hatred, loathing—more at HATE

[2] abomination, anathema, antipathy, aversion, bête noire, hate—more at HATE





ab·hor·rent adjective : causing or deserving strong dislike : LOATHSOME



Synonyms

abominable, appalling, hideous, horrible, horrid, offensive, repellent, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, shocking—more at OFFENSIVE





abide verb abode or abid·ed; abid·ing 1 : to bear patiently : ENDURE

2 a : to continue in a state or place

b : to have one's abode

— abide by

: to conform or acquiesce to <abide by the law>



Synonyms

[1] bear, brook, countenance, endure, meet, stand, stick out, stomach, support, sustain, take, tolerate—more at BEAR

[2a] continue, endure, hold, keep up, last, persist, run on—more at CONTINUE

[2b] dwell, live, reside—more at LIVE





abil·i·ty noun, plural -ties : the quality of being able



Synonyms

capability, capacity, competence, faculty; also aptitude, aptness, endowment, facility, gift, knack, talent

Antonyms

inability, incapability, incapacity, incompetence, ineptitude





-ability also -ibility noun suffix : capacity, fitness, or tendency to act or be acted on in a (specified) way <flammability>





ab·ject adjective : low in spirit or hope : CRINGING

— ab·jec·tion noun

— ab·ject·ly adverb

— ab·ject·ness noun





ab·jure verb ab·jured; ab·jur·ing 1 : to renounce solemnly : RECANT

2 : to abstain from

— ab·ju·ra·tion noun



Synonyms

recant, renounce, retract, take back, unsay, withdraw; also deny, contradict, disavow, disclaim, disown, gainsay, negate, negative, repudiate

Antonyms

adhere (to)





abl abbreviation ablative





ab·late verb ab·lat·ed; ab·lat·ing : to remove or become removed esp. by cutting, abrading, or vaporizing





ab·la·tion noun 1 : surgical cutting and removal

2 : loss of a part (as the outside of a nose cone) by melting or vaporization





ab·la·tive adjective : of, relating to, or constituting a grammatical case (as in Latin) expressing typically the relation of separation and source

— ablative noun





ablaze adjective or adverb 1 : being on fire : BLAZING

2 : radiant with light



Synonyms

[1] afire, burning, fiery; also aglow, alight, flaring, glowing, live, smoldering

[2] alight, bright, light—more at BRIGHT





able adjective abler ; ablest [ORIGIN: ME, fr. AF, fr. L habilis apt, fr. habēre to hold, possess]

1 : having sufficient power, skill, or resources to accomplish an object

2 : marked by skill or efficiency



Synonyms

[1, 2] capable, competent, fit, good, qualified, suitable—more at COMPETENT





-able also -ible adjective suffix 1 : capable of, fit for, or worthy of (being so acted upon or toward) <breakable> <collectible>

2 : tending, given, or liable to <knowledgeable> <perishable>





able–bod·ied adjective : having a sound strong body



Synonyms

chipper, fit, hale, healthy, hearty, robust, sound, well, whole, wholesome—more at HEALTHY





abloom adjective : BLOOMING





ab·lu·tion noun : the washing of one's body or part of it





ably adverb : in an able manner



Synonyms

adeptly, capably, expertly, masterfully, proficiently, skillfully, well—more at WELL





ABM noun, plural ABM's or ABMs : ANTIBALLISTIC MISSILE





ab·ne·gate verb -gat·ed; -gat·ing 1 : DENY, RENOUNCE

2 : to give up (as a right or privilege) : SURRENDER, RELINQUISH



Synonyms

abdicate, cede, relinquish, renounce, resign, step down, surrender—more at ABDICATE





ab·ne·ga·tion noun : restraint or denial of desire or self-interest



Synonyms

renouncement, renunciation, repudiation, self-denial—more at RENUNCIATION





ab·nor·mal adjective : deviating from the normal or average

— ab·nor·mal·ly adverb



Synonyms

exceptional, extraordinary, rare, singular, uncommon, uncustomary, unique, unusual—more at EXCEPTIONAL

aberrant, anomalous, atypical, deviant, irregular, unnatural—more at DEVIANT





ab·nor·mal·i·ty noun : something abnormal



Synonyms

freak, monster, monstrosity—more at FREAK





1aboard adverb 1 : ALONGSIDE

2 : on, onto, or within a car, ship, or aircraft

3 : in or into a group or association <welcome new workers ~>





2aboard preposition : ON, ONTO, WITHIN





abode noun 1 : STAY, SOJOURN

2 : the place where one abides : HOME, RESIDENCE



Synonyms

domicile, dwelling, habitation, home, house, lodging, residence—more at HOME





abol·ish verb : to do away with : ANNUL

— ab·o·li·tion noun



Synonyms

abrogate, annul, cancel, dissolve, invalidate, negate, nullify, quash, repeal, rescind, void; also countermand, override, overrule, overturn, veto, retract, reverse, revoke, suspend, withdraw





ab·o·li·tion·ism noun : advocacy of the abolition of slavery

— ab·o·li·tion·ist noun or adjective





A–bomb noun : ATOMIC BOMB

— A–bomb verb





abom·i·na·ble adjective : worthy of or causing disgust or hatred : ODIOUS



Synonyms

abhorrent, appalling, awful, horrible, horrid, odious, offensive, repellent, repugnant, repulsive, revolting





abominable snow·man noun, often cap A&S : a mysterious creature with human or apelike characteristics reported to exist in the high Himalayas





abom·i·nate verb -nat·ed; -nat·ing [ORIGIN: L abominari, lit., to deprecate as an ill omen, fr. ab- away + omen omen]

: to hate or loathe intensely : LOATHE, DETEST



Synonyms

abhor, despise, detest, execrate, hate, loathe—more at HATE





abom·i·na·tion noun 1 : something abominable

2 : extreme disgust and hatred : LOATHING



Synonyms

[1] abhorrence, anathema, antipathy, aversion, bête noire, hate—more at HATE

[2] abhorrence, execration, hate, hatred, loathing—more at HATE





ab·orig·i·nal adjective : being the first or earliest known of its kind present in a region : INDIGENOUS



Synonyms

born, endemic, indigenous, native—more at NATIVE





ab·orig·i·ne noun : a member of the original race of inhabitants of a region : NATIVE





aborn·ing adverb : while being born or produced





1abort verb 1 : to cause or undergo abortion

2 : to terminate prematurely <~ a spaceflight>



Synonyms

call, call off, cancel, drop, recall, repeal, rescind, revoke—more at CANCEL





2abort noun : the premature termination of a mission of or a procedure relating to an aircraft or spacecraft





abor·tion noun 1 : the spontaneous or induced termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus

2 : arrest of development (as of a part or process); also : a result of such arrest



Synonyms

calling, cancellation, recall, repeal, rescission, revocation—more at CANCELLATION





abor·tion·ist noun : one who induces abortions





abor·tive adjective : not successful



Synonyms

fruitless, futile, ineffective, unproductive, unsuccessful—more at FUTILE





abound verb 1 : to be plentiful : TEEM

2 : to be fully supplied





1about adverb 1 : reasonably close to; also : on the verge of <~ to join the army>

2 : on all sides

3 : in the vicinity : NEARBY

4 : in the opposite direction



Synonyms

[1] almost, most, much, near, nearly, next to, nigh, practically, some, virtually, well-nigh—more at ALMOST

[4] around, back, round—more at AROUND





2about preposition 1 : on every side of

2 : near to

3 : relating to : CONCERNING

4 : over or in different parts of



Synonyms

[2] around, by, near, next to—more at AROUND

[3] apropos of, concerning, of, on, regarding, respecting, toward; also as to, over

[4] around, over, round, through, throughout—more at AROUND





about–face noun : a reversal of direction or attitude

— about–face verb





1above adverb 1 : in the sky; also : in or to heaven

2 : in or to a higher place; also : higher on the same page or on a preceding page



Synonyms

aloft, over, overhead, skyward

Antonyms

below, beneath, under





2above preposition 1 : in or to a higher place than : OVER <storm clouds ~ the bay>

2 : superior to <he thought her far ~ him>

3 : more than : EXCEEDING

4 : as distinct from <~ the noise>





above·board adverb or adjective : without concealment or deception : OPENLY





abp abbreviation archbishop





abr abbreviation abridged; abridgment





ab·ra·ca·dab·ra noun 1 : a magical charm or incantation against calamity

2 : GIBBERISH





abrade verb abrad·ed; abrad·ing 1 a : to wear away by friction

b : to irritate or roughen by rubbing

2 : to wear down in spirit : IRRITATE

— abra·sion noun



Synonyms

[1a] chafe, erode, fray, fret, gall, rub, wear; also file, gnaw, grate, graze, grind, nibble, rasp, sandblast, sandpaper, scour, scrape, scuff, shave

[1b] graze, scrape, scratch, scuff—more at SCRAPE





1abrasive noun : a substance (as pumice) for abrading, smoothing, or polishing





2abrasive adjective : tending to abrade : causing irritation <~ relationships>

— abra·sive·ly adverb

— abra·sive·ness noun





abreast adverb or adjective 1 : side by side

2 : up to a standard or level esp. of knowledge



Synonyms

conversant, familiar, informed, knowledgeable, up, up-to-date, versed—more at FAMILIAR





abridge verb abridged; abridg·ing [ORIGIN: ME abregen, fr. AF abreger, fr. LL abbreviare, fr. L ad to + brevis short]

: to lessen in length or extent : SHORTEN



Synonyms

abbreviate, curtail, cut back, shorten—more at SHORTEN





abridg·ment or abridge·ment noun : a shortened form of a work



Synonyms

abbreviation, condensation, digest; also abstract, brief, outline, overview, précis, recap, recapitulation, résumé, review, sketch, sum, summary, summation, syllabus, synopsis, survey, wrap-up





abroad adverb or adjective 1 : over a wide area

2 : away from one's home

3 : outside one's country





ab·ro·gate verb -gat·ed; -gat·ing : to abolish by authoritative action : ANNUL

— ab·ro·ga·tion noun



Synonyms

abolish, annul, cancel, dissolve, invalidate, negate, nullify, quash, repeal, rescind, void—more at ABOLISH





abrupt adjective 1 : broken or as if broken off

2 : SUDDEN, HASTY

3 : so quick as to seem rude

4 : DISCONNECTED

5 : STEEP



Synonyms

bluff, blunt, brusque, curt, snippy—more at BLUNT





abrupt·ly adverb : in an abrupt manner





abs abbreviation absolute





ab·scess noun, plural ab·scess·es [ORIGIN: L abscessus, lit., act of going away, fr. abscedere to go away, fr. abs-, ab- away + cedere to go]

: a localized collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue

— ab·scessed adjective





ab·scis·sa noun, plural abscissas also ab·scis·sae : the horizontal coordinate of a point in a plane coordinate system obtained by measuring parallel to the x-axis





ab·scis·sion noun 1 : the act or process of cutting off

2 : the natural separation of flowers, fruits, or leaves from plants

— ab·scise verb





ab·scond verb : to depart secretly and hide oneself



Synonyms

clear out, escape, flee, fly, get out, lam, run away, run off—more at ESCAPE





ab·sence noun 1 : the state or time of being absent

2 : failure to be present where needed, wanted, or normally expected : WANT, LACK

3 : INATTENTION



Synonyms

[2] lack, need, want—more at NEED





1absent adjective 1 : not present

2 : to be deficient or missing : LACKING

3 : not paying attention : INATTENTIVE



Synonyms

[1] away, missing, out; also AWOL, truant

Antonyms

here, present

[2] missing, nonexistent, wanting; also dead, departed, extinct, lost, perished, vanished

Antonyms

existent, present





2absent verb : to keep (oneself) away





3absent preposition : in the absence of : WITHOUT





ab·sen·tee noun : one that is absent or keeps away





absentee ballot noun : a ballot submitted (as by mail) in advance of an election by a voter who is unable to be present at the polls





ab·sen·tee·ism noun : chronic absence (as from work or school)





ab·sent·mind·ed adjective : unaware of one's surroundings or actions : INATTENTIVE

— ab·sent·mind·ed·ly adverb

— ab·sent·mind·ed·ness noun



Synonyms

absent, abstracted, preoccupied; also absorbed, dreaming, dreamy, distracted, engrossed, faraway, intent, pensive, rapt

Antonyms

alert





ab·sinthe also ab·sinth noun [ORIGIN: F]

: a liqueur flavored esp. with wormwood and anise





ab·so·lute adjective 1 : free from imperfection or mixture

2 : free from control, restriction, or qualification

3 : lacking grammatical connection with any other word in a sentence <~ construction>

4 : not disputable : POSITIVE <~ proof>

5 : relating to the fundamental units of length, mass, and time

6 : FUNDAMENTAL, ULTIMATE



Synonyms

[1] faultless, flawless, ideal, impeccable, letter-perfect, perfect, unblemished—more at PERFECT

[1] fine, neat, plain, pure, refined, straight, unadulterated, undiluted, unmixed—more at PURE

[2] autocratic, despotic, dictatorial, tyrannical, tyrannous; also authoritarian, totalitarian

Antonyms

limited

[2] complete, consummate, perfect, total, unequivocal, unqualified, utter; also authentic, classic, genuine, real, veritable

[4] clear, conclusive, decisive, definitive, positive—more at CONCLUSIVE





ab·so·lute·ly adverb : in an absolute manner or condition



Synonyms

all, altogether, clean, completely, entirely, fully, quite, totally, utterly, wholly—more at ALL





absolute pitch noun 1 : the position of a tone in a standard scale independently determined by its rate of vibration

2 : the ability to sing a note asked for or to name a note heard





absolute value noun : a nonnegative number equal to a given real number with any negative sign removed





absolute zero noun : a theoretical temperature marked by a complete absence of heat and motion and equivalent to exactly -273.15°C or -459.67°F





ab·so·lu·tion noun : the act of absolving; especially : a remission of sins pronounced by a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation



Synonyms

amnesty, forgiveness, pardon, remission—more at PARDON





ab·so·lut·ism noun 1 : the theory that a ruler or government should have unlimited power

2 : government by an absolute ruler or authority





ab·solve verb ab·solved; ab·solv·ing : to set free from an obligation or the consequences of guilt



Synonyms

acquit, clear, exculpate, exonerate, vindicate—more at EXCULPATE





ab·sorb verb 1 : to take in and make part of an existent whole

2 : to suck up or take in in the manner of a sponge

3 : to engage (one's attention) : ENGROSS

4 : to receive without recoil or echo <a ceiling that ~s sound>

5 : ASSUME, BEAR <~ all costs>

6 : to transform (radiant energy) into a different form usu. with a resulting rise in temperature



Synonyms

[2] drink, imbibe, soak, sponge, suck; also gulp, guzzle, quaff, sip, slurp, swallow, swig, swill

[3] busy, engage, engross, enthrall, fascinate, grip, immerse, interest, intrigue, involve, occupy—more at ENGAGE





ab·sorbed adjective : obliviously engaged or occupied



Synonyms

attentive, engrossed, intent, observant, rapt—more at ATTENTIVE





ab·sor·bent also ab·sor·bant adjective : able to absorb <~ cotton>

— ab·sor·ben·cy noun

— absorbent also absorbant noun





ab·sorb·ing adjective : fully taking attention : ENGROSSING

— ab·sorb·ing·ly adverb



Synonyms

engaging, engrossing, enthralling, fascinating, interesting, intriguing—more at INTERESTING





ab·sorp·tion noun 1 : a process of absorbing or being absorbed

2 : concentration of attention

— ab·sorp·tive adjective



Synonyms

attention, concentration—more at ATTENTION





ab·stain verb : to refrain from an action or practice

— ab·stain·er noun

— ab·sten·tion noun



Synonyms

forbear, forgo, keep, refrain—more at FORBEAR





ab·ste·mi·ous adjective : sparing in use of food or drink : TEMPERATE

— ab·ste·mi·ous·ly adverb

— ab·ste·mi·ous·ness noun





ab·sti·nence noun : voluntary refraining esp. from eating certain foods, drinking liquor, or engaging in sexual intercourse

— ab·sti·nent adjective





abstr abbreviation abstract





1abstract adjective 1 : considered apart from a particular instance

2 : expressing a quality apart from an object <whiteness is an ~ word>

3 : having only intrinsic form with little or no pictorial representation <~ painting>

— ab·stract·ly adverb

— ab·stract·ness noun





2abstract noun 1 : a summary of points (as of a writing) : SUMMARY, EPITOME

2 : an abstract thing or state



Synonyms

digest, encapsulation, epitome, outline, précis, recapitulation, résumé, roundup, sum, summary, synopsis—more at SUMMARY





3abstract verb 1 : REMOVE, SEPARATE

2 : to make an abstract of : SUMMARIZE

3 : to draw away the attention of

4 : STEAL

— ab·stract·ed·ly adverb



Synonyms

digest, encapsulate, epitomize, outline, recapitulate, sum up, summarize, wrap up—more at SUMMARIZE





ab·stract·ed adjective : lost in thought and unaware of one's surroundings or actions



Synonyms

absent, absentminded, preoccupied—more at ABSENTMINDED





abstract expressionism noun : art that expresses the artist's attitudes and emotions through abstract forms

— abstract expressionist noun





ab·strac·tion noun 1 : the act of abstracting : the state of being abstracted

2 : an abstract idea

3 : an abstract work of art





ab·struse adjective : hard to understand : RECONDITE

— ab·struse·ly adverb

— ab·struse·ness noun



Synonyms

deep, esoteric, profound—more at PROFOUND





ab·surd adjective [ORIGIN: MF absurde, fr. L absurdus, fr. ab- from + surdus deaf, stupid]

: ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous

— ab·surd·ly adverb



Synonyms

bizarre, crazy, fanciful, fantastic, foolish, insane, nonsensical, preposterous, unreal, wild—more at FANTASTIC

comical, derisive, farcical, laughable, ludicrous, preposterous, ridiculous, risible, silly—more at RIDICULOUS





ab·sur·di·ty noun 1 : the quality or state of being absurd

2 : something that is absurd



Synonyms

[1] craziness, daftness, fatuity, folly, foolishness, inanity, insanity, silliness, zaniness

[2] asininity, fatuity, folly, foolery, inanity, insanity, lunacy, stupidity—more at FOLLY





abun·dance noun : an ample quantity



Synonyms

gobs, heap, loads, lot, much, plenty, profusion, quantity—more at LOT

plenty, superabundance, wealth—more at PLENTY





abun·dant adjective [ORIGIN: ME, fr. AF, fr. L abundant-, abundans, prp. of abundare to abound, fr. ab- from + unda wave]

: more than enough : amply sufficient

— abun·dance noun

— abun·dant·ly adverb



Synonyms

ample, bountiful, comfortable, generous, liberal, plentiful—more at PLENTIFUL





1abuse noun 1 : a corrupt practice

2 : incorrect or improper use : MISUSE <drug ~>

3 : coarse and insulting speech

4 : MISTREATMENT <child ~>



Synonyms

[2] misuse, perversion—more at MISUSE

[3] fulmination, invective, vitriol, vituperation; also blasphemy, curse, execration, imprecation, malediction, profanity





2abuse verb abused; abus·ing 1 : to put to a wrong use : MISUSE

2 : to use so as to injure or damage : MISTREAT

3 : to attack in words

4 to use to excess <~ alcohol>

— abus·er noun

— abu·sive adjective

— abu·sive·ly adverb

— abu·sive·ness noun



Synonyms

[1] misapply, misuse, pervert, profane, prostitute—more at MISAPPLY

[1] capitalize, cash in, exploit, impose, play, use—more at EXPLOIT

[2] ill-treat, maltreat, manhandle, mishandle, mistreat, misuse; also molest, outrage, violate

[3] assail, attack, belabor, blast, castigate, excoriate, jump, lambaste, slam, vituperate—more at ATTACK





abut verb abut·ted; abut·ting : to touch along a border : border on



Synonyms

adjoin, border, flank, fringe, join, skirt, touch, verge—more at ADJOIN





abut·ment noun : the part of a structure (as a bridge) that supports weight or withstands lateral pressure





abut·ter noun : one that abuts; especially : the owner of a contiguous property





abys·mal adjective 1 : immeasurably deep : BOTTOMLESS

2 : absolutely wretched <~ living conditions of the poor>

— abys·mal·ly adverb





abyss noun 1 : the bottomless pit in old accounts of the universe

2 : an immeasurable depth





abys·sal adjective : of or relating to the bottom waters of the ocean depths





ac abbreviation account





-ac noun suffix : one affected with <hypochondriac>





Ac symbol actinium





AC abbreviation 1 air-conditioning

2 alternating current

3 [ORIGIN L ante Christum] before Christ

4 [ORIGIN L ante cibum] before meals

5 area code





aca·cia noun : any of numerous leguminous trees or shrubs with round white or yellow flower clusters and often fernlike leaves





acad abbreviation academic; academy





ac·a·deme noun : SCHOOL; also : academic environment





1academic noun : a person who is academic in background, outlook, or methods





2academic adjective 1 : of, relating to, or associated with schools or colleges

2 : literary or general rather than technical

3 : theoretical rather than practical

— ac·a·dem·i·cal·ly adverb



Synonyms

educational, scholarly, scholastic; also bookish, pedantic, professorial

Antonyms

nonacademic, unacademic





ac·a·de·mi·cian noun 1 : a member of a society of scholars or artists

2 : ACADEMIC





ac·a·dem·i·cism also acad·e·mism noun 1 : a formal academic quality

2 : purely speculative thinking





acad·e·my noun, plural -mies [ORIGIN: Gk Akadēmeia, school of philosophy founded by Plato, fr. Akadēmeia, gymnasium where Plato taught, fr. Akadēmos Greek mythological hero]

1 : a school usu. above the elementary level; especially : a private high school

2 : a society of scholars or artists





acan·thus noun, plural acanthus 1 : any of a genus of prickly herbs of the Mediterranean region

2 : an ornamentation (as on a column) representing the leaves of the acanthus





a cap·pel·la also a ca·pel·la adverb or adjective [ORIGIN: It a cappella in chapel style]

: without instrumental accompaniment





acc abbreviation accusative





ac·cede verb ac·ced·ed; ac·ced·ing 1 : to become a party to an agreement

2 : to express approval

3 : to enter upon an office





ac·cel·er·ate verb -at·ed; -at·ing 1 : to bring about earlier

2 : to speed up : QUICKEN

— ac·cel·er·a·tion noun



Synonyms

hasten, hurry, quicken, rush, speed, step up, whisk—more at HURRY





ac·cel·er·a·tor noun 1 : one that accelerates

2 : a pedal for controlling the speed of a motor-vehicle engine

3 : an apparatus for imparting high velocities to charged particles





ac·cel·er·om·e·ter noun : an instrument for measuring acceleration or vibrations





1accent verb : to give prominence to : STRESS, EMPHASIZE



Synonyms

accentuate, emphasize, feature, highlight, play, point, stress, underline, underscore—more at EMPHASIZE





2accent noun 1 : a distinctive manner of pronunciation <a foreign ~>

2 : prominence given to one syllable of a word esp. by stress

3 : a mark (as ´, `, ˆ) over a vowel used usu. to indicate a difference in pronunciation from a vowel not so marked

4 : special concern or attention : EMPHASIS

— ac·cen·tu·al adjective



Synonyms

accentuation, emphasis, stress, weight—more at EMPHASIS





ac·cen·tu·ate verb -at·ed; -at·ing : to give prominence to : ACCENT



Synonyms

accent, emphasize, feature, highlight, play, point, stress, underline, underscore—more at EMPHASIZE





ac·cen·tu·a·tion noun : the act or the result of accentuating



Synonyms

accent, emphasis, stress, weight—more at EMPHASIS





ac·cept verb 1 : to receive with consent

2 : to make a favorable response to

3 : to recognize as true

4 : to assume an obligation



Synonyms

[2] approve, care, countenance, favor, OK, subscribe

[3] believe, credit, swallow, trust—more at BELIEVE

[4] assume, bear, shoulder, take over, undertake—more at ASSUME





ac·cept·able adjective : capable or worthy of being accepted

— ac·cept·abil·i·ty noun



Synonyms

adequate, all right, decent, fine, OK, passable, respectable, satisfactory, tolerable—more at ADEQUATE





ac·cep·tance noun 1 : the act of accepting

2 : the state of being accepted or acceptable

3 : an accepted bill of exchange





ac·cep·ta·tion noun : the generally understood meaning of a word





1access noun 1 : capacity to enter or approach

2 : a way of approach : ENTRANCE



Synonyms

admission, doorway, entrance, entrée, entry, gateway—more at ENTRANCE





2access verb : to get at : gain access to



Synonyms

enter, penetrate, pierce, probe





ac·ces·si·ble adjective 1 : capable of being reached <~ by train>

2 : capable of being used, seen, or known : OBTAINABLE <~ information>

— ac·ces·si·bil·i·ty noun



Synonyms

[1] convenient, handy, reachable—more at CONVENIENT

[2] acquirable, attainable, available, obtainable, procurable—more at AVAILABLE





ac·ces·sion noun 1 : increase by something added

2 : something added

3 : the act of coming to a high office or position





1accessory also ac·ces·sa·ry noun, plural -ries 1 : a person who though not present abets or assists in the commission of an offense

2 : something helpful but not essential



Synonyms

[1] abettor, accomplice, cohort, confederate—more at ACCOMPLICE

[2] accoutrement, adjunct, appendage, attachment; also accompaniment, additive, complement, supplement





2accessory adjective : aiding or contributing in a secondary way



Synonyms

auxiliary, peripheral, supplementary—more at AUXILIARY





ac·ci·dent noun 1 : an esp. unfortunate event occurring by chance or unintentionally

2 : lack of intention or necessity : CHANCE <met by ~>

3 : a nonessential property



Synonyms

[1] casualty, mischance, mishap; also calamity, cataclysm, catastrophe, cropper, deathblow, disaster, tragedy

[2] chance, circumstance, hazard, luck—more at CHANCE





1accidental adjective 1 : happening unexpectedly or by chance

2 : happening without intent or through carelessness

— ac·ci·den·tal·ly also ac·ci·dent·ly adverb



Synonyms

casual, chance, fluky, fortuitous, incidental, unintended, unintentional, unplanned, unpremeditated, unwitting; also coincidental

Antonyms

deliberate, intended, intentional, planned, premeditated





2accidental noun : a musical note foreign to a key indicated by a signature





1acclaim verb 1 : to express a favorable judgment of : APPLAUD, PRAISE

2 : to declare by acclamation



Synonyms

applaud, cheer, crack up, hail, laud, praise, salute, tout; also ballyhoo

Antonyms

knock, pan, slam





2acclaim noun : the act of acclaiming



Synonyms

accolade, credit, distinction, glory, homage, honor, laurels—more at GLORY





ac·cla·ma·tion noun 1 : loud eager expression of approval, praise, or assent

2 : an overwhelming affirmative vote by shouting or applause rather than by ballot



Synonyms

applause, ovation—more at APPLAUSE





ac·cli·mate verb -mat·ed; -mat·ing : to accustom or become accustomed to a new environment or situation

— ac·cli·ma·tion noun



Synonyms

accommodate, adapt, adjust, condition, conform, fit, shape—more at ADAPT





ac·cli·ma·tize verb -tized; -tiz·ing : ACCLIMATE

— ac·cli·ma·ti·za·tion noun





ac·cliv·i·ty noun, plural -ties : an ascending slope





ac·co·lade noun [ORIGIN: F, fr. accoler to embrace, ultim. fr. L ad- to + collum neck]

: an expression of praise



Synonyms

citation, commendation, encomium, eulogy, homage, paean, panegyric, salutation, tribute—more at ENCOMIUM

acclaim, credit, distinction, glory, homage, honor, laurels—more at GLORY





ac·com·mo·date verb -dat·ed; -dat·ing 1 : to make fit or suitable : ADAPT, ADJUST

2 : to bring into agreement or concord : HARMONIZE, RECONCILE

3 : to provide with something needed

4 : to hold without crowding

5 : to undergo visual accommodation



Synonyms

[1] acclimate, adapt, adjust, condition, conform, fit, shape—more at ADAPT

[2] conciliate, conform, coordinate, harmonize, key, reconcile—more at HARMONIZE

[4] fit, hold, take; also carry, contain, seat





ac·com·mo·dat·ing adjective : OBLIGING





ac·com·mo·da·tion noun 1 : something supplied to satisfy a need; especially : LODGINGS — usu. used in pl.

2 : the act of accommodating

3 : the automatic adjustment of the eye for seeing at different distances



Synonyms

compromise, concession, give-and-take, negotiation—more at CONCESSION





ac·com·pa·ni·ment noun : something that accompanies another; especially : subordinate music to support a principal voice or instrument





ac·com·pa·ny verb -nied; -ny·ing 1 : to go or occur with : ATTEND

2 : to play an accompaniment for

— ac·com·pa·nist noun



Synonyms

attend, convoy, escort, squire; also associate, consort, pal (around), team (up)





ac·com·plice noun : an associate in crime



Synonyms

abettor, accessory, cohort, confederate; also collaborator, conspirator, informant, informer





ac·com·plish verb : to bring to completion

— ac·com·plish·er noun



Synonyms

achieve, carry out, commit, compass, do, execute, follow through, fulfill, make, perform—more at PERFORM





ac·com·plished adjective 1 : marked by proficiency : EXPERT, SKILLED

2 : established beyond doubt



Synonyms

ace, adept, crack, experienced, expert, master, masterful, masterly, practiced, proficient, seasoned, skilled, skillful—more at EXPERIENCED





ac·com·plish·ment noun 1 : the act of accomplishing : COMPLETION

2 : something completed or effected : ACHIEVEMENT

3 : an acquired excellence or skill



Synonyms

[1] achievement, actuality, attainment, consummation, fruition, fulfillment, realization—more at FRUITION

[2] achievement, attainment, coup, success, triumph; also conquest, gain, victory, win





1accord verb [ORIGIN: ME, fr. AF acorder, fr. VL *accordare, fr. L ad- to + cord-, cor heart]

1 : to grant or give esp. as appropriate, due, or earned : GRANT

2 : to be consistent or in harmony : AGREE, HARMONIZE

— ac·cor·dant adjective



Synonyms

[1] award, confer, grant—more at CONFER

[2] agree, coincide, comport, conform, correspond, fit, go, harmonize—more at CHECK





2accord noun 1 : the act or fact of agreeing or being in harmony : AGREEMENT, HARMONY

2 : willingness to act <gave of their own ~>



Synonyms

[1] agreement, conformity, consonance, harmony, tune—more at CONFORMITY

[1] agreement, concurrence, consensus, unanimity—more at AGREEMENT

[2] agreement, bargain, compact, contract, convention, covenant, deal, pact, settlement, understanding—more at AGREEMENT

[2] choice, free will, option, self-determination, volition, will—more at FREE WILL





ac·cor·dance noun 1 : the act or fact of agreeing or being in harmony : ACCORD

2 : the act of granting





ac·cord·ing·ly adverb 1 : in accordance

2 : as a result : CONSEQUENTLY, SO



Synonyms

consequently, ergo, hence, so, therefore, thus, wherefore—more at THEREFORE





according to preposition 1 : in conformity with <paid according to ability>

2 : as stated or attested by <according to you>





1accordion noun [ORIGIN: G Akkordion, fr. Akkord chord]

: a portable keyboard instrument with a bellows and reeds

— ac·cor·di·on·ist noun





2accordion adjective : folding like the bellows of an accordion <~ pleats>





ac·cost verb [ORIGIN: MF accoster, ultim. fr. L ad- to + costa rib, side]

: to approach and speak to esp. aggressively





1account noun 1 : a statement of business transactions

2 : a formal business arrangement for regular dealings or services

3 : a statement of reasons, causes, or motives

4 : value or importance esp. as attributed by others

5 : a sum of money deposited in a bank and subject to withdrawal by the depositor

6 : a description of facts, conditions, or events

— on account of

: BECAUSE OF

— on no account

: under no circumstances

— on one's own account

: on one's own behalf



Synonyms

[1] bill, check, invoice, statement, tab—more at BILL

[4] merit, valuation, value, worth—more at WORTH

[5] budget, deposit, fund, kitty, nest egg, pool—more at FUND

[6] chronicle, history, narrative, record, report, story; also version





2account verb 1 : to think of as : CONSIDER <I ~ him lucky>

2 : to give an explanation — used with for



Synonyms

[1] call, consider, count, esteem, hold, rate, reckon, regard, take—more at CONSIDER

usually account for [2] explain, rationalize—more at EXPLAIN





ac·count·able adjective 1 : subject to giving an account : ANSWERABLE, RESPONSIBLE

2 : EXPLICABLE

— ac·count·abil·i·ty noun



Synonyms

answerable, liable, responsible—more at RESPONSIBLE





ac·coun·tant noun : a person skilled in accounting

— ac·coun·tan·cy noun





account executive noun : a business executive in charge of a client's account





ac·count·ing noun : the art or system of keeping and analyzing financial records





ac·cou·tre or ac·cou·ter verb -cou·tred or -cou·tered; -cou·tring or -cou·ter·ing : to provide with equipment or furnishings : EQUIP, OUTFIT



Synonyms

equip, fit, furnish, outfit, rig, supply—more at FURNISH





ac·cou·tre·ment or ac·cou·ter·ment noun [ORIGIN: F]

1 : an accessory item — usu. used in pl.

2 : an identifying characteristic



Synonyms

accessory, adjunct, appendage, attachment—more at ACCESSORY

usually accoutrements apparatus, equipment, gear, matériel, outfit, paraphernalia, tackle—more at EQUIPMENT





ac·cred·it verb 1 : to endorse or approve officially

2 : to explain by indicating a cause : CREDIT

— ac·cred·i·ta·tion noun



Synonyms

[1] authorize, certify, commission, empower, enable, invest, license, qualify—more at AUTHORIZE

[2] ascribe, attribute, credit, impute—more at CREDIT





ac·cre·tion noun 1 : growth or enlargement esp. by addition from without

2 : a product of accretion



Synonyms

addition, augmentation, boost, expansion, gain, increase, increment, plus, proliferation, raise, rise, supplement—more at INCREASE





ac·cru·al noun : something that accrues or has accrued





ac·crue verb ac·crued; ac·cru·ing 1 : to come by way of increase

2