Meaning of WORD in English



1 unit of language


▪ two-letter , three-letter , etc.

▪ monosyllabic , polysyllabic

▪ two-syllable , three-syllable , etc.

▪ big , difficult , fancy , hard , long

He uses big ~s to impress people.

‘Mendacity’ is just a fancy ~ for ‘lying’.

▪ polite

a more polite ~ for the same thing

▪ unfamiliar

▪ simple

The book uses simple ~s and pictures to explain complex processes.

▪ compound , portmanteau ( esp. BrE )

The portmanteau ~ ‘synergy’ combines ‘synthesis’ and ‘energy’.

▪ native

▪ borrowed , loan

When a new fruit is first imported, its name is usually also imported as a loan ~.

▪ foreign

▪ Greek , Hebrew , Latin , etc.

‘Technology’ comes from the Greek ~ ‘techne’.

▪ content , function

▪ rhyming

The children are asked to think of rhyming ~s.

▪ exact , precise , very

His exact ~s were, ‘There's nothing we can do about it.’

Those were her very ~s.

▪ clear , plain

▪ ambiguous

▪ loaded

She used loaded ~s like ‘bully’ when describing his actions.

▪ abstract , concrete

▪ everyday

I find even everyday ~s difficult to spell.

▪ archaic , obsolete

▪ key

He wrote down a few key ~s to help him remember what to say.

▪ operative

He seemed nice. But ‘seemed’ was the operative ~.

▪ right , wrong

You can't always find the right ~ when you're translating.

▪ misspelled

I found several misspelled ~s and grammatical errors.

▪ bad , curse ( AmE ), cuss ( AmE , informal ), dirty , four-letter , naughty , obscene , rude , taboo

The play is full of four-letter ~s.

Work is a dirty ~ to Frank. ( figurative )

(see also swear word )

▪ slang

It's a slang ~ meaning ‘boy’ or ‘person’.

▪ household

His name has become a household ~ since he first appeared in the series.

▪ code

The police use code ~s for their major operations.

▪ buzz (usually buzzword ) , vogue

E-marketing is the current buzzword.

▪ magic

▪ printed , spoken , written

She combines visual images and the spoken ~ to great effect in her presentations.


▪ have

Spanish has no ~ for ‘understatement’.

▪ use

He uses lots of long ~s.

▪ mention

I daren't even mention the ~ ‘money’ to him.

▪ form , make

Rearrange the letters to form a ~.

▪ pronounce

How is this ~ pronounced?

▪ mispronounce

▪ spell

▪ misuse

a ~ that is often misused

▪ know , speak , understand

I don't speak a ~ of Swedish.

▪ look up

She looked the ~ up in the dictionary.

▪ find

I couldn't find the right ~ to express the concept.

▪ choose , pick

He chose his ~s carefully when commenting on her work.

▪ translate

▪ coin , invent

The ~ ‘e-commerce’ was coined to refer to business done over the Internet.


▪ mean sth , signify sth

▪ refer to sth , relate to sth

▪ convey sth , describe sth , express sth

~s describing body parts

Words can't express how happy I am.

▪ conjure sth up , evoke sth

The ~ ‘cruise’ conjures up images of a luxury.

▪ imply sth

▪ denote sth

Bold ~s denote chapter headings.

▪ carry sth , have sth

The same ~ can carry numerous meanings.

The ~ has two meanings.

▪ be derived from sth , come from sth , derive from sth

‘Window’ derives from a Norse ~ meaning ‘eye of the wind’.

▪ begin with sth , end in sth , end with sth

a ~ beginning with ‘c’

▪ rhyme (with sth) , sound like sth

The ~s at the end of the lines all rhyme.

I'm not sure what he said but the ~ sounded like ‘bull’.

▪ fail sb

Words fail me (= I cannot express how I feel) .


▪ game , puzzle

▪ identification , recognition

These students have very poor word-recognition skills.

▪ choice

▪ association

▪ formation

▪ list


▪ in sb's ~s

The students had to retell the story in their own ~s.

▪ ~ for

What's the French ~ for ‘snail’?

▪ ~ in

one of the most common ~s in the English language


▪ in all senses of the ~

She was a true friend in all senses of the ~.

▪ in other ~s

They're letting me go—in other ~s, I've been sacked.

▪ in so many ~s

They told me in so many ~s (= directly) that I was no longer needed.

▪ in the true sense of the ~

People who overeat are not addicts in the true sense of the ~.

▪ in ~s of one syllable (= using very simple language)

Could you say that again in ~s of one syllable?

2 a word that you say or write


▪ angry , cross ( esp. BrE ), hard , harsh

He never says a harsh ~ about his experiences.

▪ hurtful , unkind

▪ friendly , good , kind , nice

He hasn't a good ~ to say for anybody.

▪ final , last (no plural)

The Chairman always has the last ~ (= the final decision) on financial decisions.


▪ put in , say , speak , utter

If you run into the boss, put in a good ~ for me!

Nobody's uttered a ~ to me about it.

Every ~ he utters is is considered sacred.

▪ give , say

Just say the ~ and I'll go.

▪ scream , shout , yell

He kept shouting the ~ ‘No!’

▪ repeat

▪ whisper

He whispered the ~ to me.

▪ slur

I knew he'd been drinking because he was slurring his ~s.

▪ enunciate

He enunciated the ~ with extreme care.

▪ not breathe

Don't breathe a ~ to anyone about what I've told you!

▪ type , write

▪ scrawl , scribble

▪ inscribe

▪ hear , read

▪ mishear , misread

I misheard the ~ ‘sick’ as ‘thick’.

▪ cross out , delete , erase , rub out ( BrE )

▪ insert , substitute

She deleted ‘girl’ and substituted the ~ ‘woman’.

▪ emphasize , stress

By emphasizing particular ~s you can change the meaning.

▪ hang on

The journalists hung on his every ~ as he spoke of his ordeal.


▪ count

Don't waffle in your essay just to get the right ~ count.


▪ in a ~

‘Would you like to help us?’ ‘In a ~ (= briefly) , no.’

▪ without a ~

She left without a ~.

▪ ~ about

We never heard anyone say an unkind ~ about her.

▪ ~ from

And now a ~ from our sponsors … 

▪ ~ of

a ~ of advice/warning


▪ get a ~ in , get a ~ in edgeways ( BrE ), get a ~ in edgewise ( AmE )

I wanted to tell you, but I couldn't get a ~ in.

▪ a man of few ~s , a woman of few ~s (= a person who speaks very little)

▪ sb never spoke a truer ~ , never was a truer ~ spoken

You said we were about to make a big mistake, and never was a truer ~ spoken!

(= you were right)

▪ not a single ~ , not a ~

Remember—not a ~ to (= don't tell) Peter about any of this.

We didn't say a single ~ to each other all day.

▪ not believe a ~

I don't believe a ~ of what she said.

▪ ~ for ~ (= exactly)

He repeated ~ for ~ what the boy had said to him.

▪ (by) ~ of mouth

The restaurant does not advertise, but relies on ~ of mouth.

▪ ~s per minute , ~s per second

He chatters away at about 200 ~s per minute.

He types 80 ~s per minute.

▪ a ~ to the wise (= a piece of advice)

A ~ to the wise: just because it's a bargain doesn't mean you have to buy it.

3 words what sb says; talk


▪ few

I want to say a few ~s ( = talk ) about Christina.

▪ good , friendly , kind

Thank you for those kind ~s.

▪ unkind

▪ angry , bitter , blunt , choice ( ironic ), cross , hard , harsh , strong

▪ hurtful

▪ polite

She was charmed by his friendly smile and polite ~s.

▪ flattering , honeyed

▪ comforting , encouraging , soothing

He tried to calm her with soothing ~s.

▪ discouraging

▪ empty , fine ( ironic ), meaningless

Despite all their fine ~s, the council have never done anything to improve road safety.

▪ weasel

The government's promises on nurses' pay turned out to be weasel ~s (= deliberately unclear) .

▪ bold , brave

Despite his brave ~s, I don't believe he can save the factory from closure.

▪ wise

▪ well-chosen

He ruined her self-confidence with a few well-chosen ~s.

▪ cautionary

▪ soft , whispered

They exchanged whispered ~s of love.

▪ unspoken

The look in her eyes filled in the unspoken ~s in her sentence.

▪ dying , last

Her last ~s were for her children.

▪ parting

Her parting ~s were ‘I'll be back’.

▪ famous , immortal

the immortal ~s of Neil Armstrong as he stepped onto the moon

▪ fateful , prophetic

Seconds after uttering the fateful ~s ‘this is easy!’ he crashed.


▪ have

She had some harsh ~s to say about her colleagues.

▪ say , speak

Before we begin, I'd like to say a few ~s about who I am.

▪ chant , intone , recite , sing

▪ repeat

▪ mouth

The audience mouthed the ~s to all the songs.

▪ whisper

He whispered a few ~s of prayer.

▪ blurt , blurt out

She had blurted the ~s out before she realized it.

▪ mumble , murmur , mutter

▪ spit , spit out

She was so furious, she almost spat the ~s out: ‘You idiot!’

▪ bandy , exchange , have

I usually exchange a few ~s with him when I see him.

Words were exchanged (= there was an argument) .

▪ memorize

She had memorized all the ~s to the song.

▪ recall , remember

We recall the ~s of Martin Luther King, ‘Free at last’.

▪ heed

She has given us a warning, and we should heed her ~s.

▪ quote

▪ distort , twist

She felt angry at how the journalist had twisted her ~s.

▪ borrow , echo

In her speech she echoed the President's ~s.

▪ regret

She instantly regretted her ~s.

▪ eat , take back

When he told her she would fail, she swore she would make him eat his ~s.

▪ drown , drown out

Her ~s were drowned out by the roar of the engine.

▪ not mince

He doesn't mince his ~s when he talks about his ex-boss.


▪ conjure sth up , evoke sth

Her ~s conjured up a strange picture in her mind.

▪ come , come out , emerge , leave sb's lips , leave sb's mouth

▪ burst from sb , escape , fall , flow , pour out , slip out , spill out , tumble out

He was nervous, and his ~s came out in a rush.

His ~s fell into the silence like stones.

▪ stick in your throat

He wanted to tell her how he felt about her, but the ~s stuck in his throat.

▪ drift , float , hang in the air

I let my ~s hang in the air. Maggie was no fool: she must realize I meant it.

▪ haunt sb , linger

Those mocking ~s haunted me for years.

The ~s lingered in his mind long after they were spoken.

▪ echo , resonate , resound , reverberate , ring

Her teacher's ~s echoed in her ears.

▪ fade , fade away , tail away , tail off , trail away , trail off

His ~s faded to silence as he saw she didn't believe him.

▪ hit home , strike a chord , strike home , touch a chord

▪ hurt , sting

▪ sink in

She could feel her temper boiling as his ~s sank in.


▪ ~s of

She whispered ~s of comfort in his ear.

I listened to his ~s of wisdom.


▪ (you) mark my ~s (= believe me)

Mark my ~s, this film will win an Oscar.

4 a word conversation


▪ quick

▪ quiet

The manager had a quiet ~ with Alison, and she gave him no more problems.


▪ have

I've had a few ~s with John, and he's quite happy for you to stay.

I've had a ~ with John, and he's quite happy for you to stay.


▪ ~ with

Can I have a quick ~ with you?


▪ a ~ in sb's ear ( BrE )

Can I have a ~ in your ear about tomorrow's presentation?

5 promise


▪ solemn

She gave him her solemn ~ that she would give up drugs.


▪ give sb

▪ be as good as , be true to , keep

He promised to help and was as good as his ~.

True to her ~, she returned next day.

▪ break , go back on

Once he has made a promise, he never goes back on his ~.

▪ believe , trust

She gave me a promise, and I'm willing to trust her ~.

▪ doubt

I'm sorry I doubted your ~.


▪ have sb's ~ for sth ( esp. BrE )

We only have her ~ for it that she sent the payment.

▪ a man of his ~ , a woman of her ~

You needn't worry about him not paying you back—he's a man of his ~.

▪ take sb at their ~

He said I could stay at his house any time, so I took him at his ~.

▪ take sb's ~ for sth

I haven't seen his work, but I'll take his ~ for it that it's finished.

▪ your ~ against sb's

If it's your ~ against the police officer's, the jury are going to believe him.

▪ sb's ~ is their bond

▪ ~ of honour/honor

He gave me his ~ of honour/honor that he wouldn't tell anyone.

6 information/news


▪ bring , get , send

He sent ~ to his family that his captors were treating him well.

▪ get , hear

We didn't get ~ of her arrest until the next day.

▪ spread


▪ get out , leak , leak out

If ~ gets out about the affair, he will have to resign.

▪ spread

Word that he had died spread fast.

▪ be , have it

The ~ is they've split up.

Word has it that she's leaving.


▪ ~ about

Health workers spread the ~ about the benefits of immunization.

▪ ~ of

We soon got ~ of his arrival.


▪ the ~ on the street is (= people are saying)

The ~ on the street is there's going to be a takeover.

▪ what's the ~? (= what are people saying?)




▪ carefully , cautiously

We need to ~ our question carefully.

▪ ambiguously , vaguely

▪ broadly , loosely

▪ poorly

a poorly ~ed request that resulted in confusion

▪ strongly

He issued a very strongly ~ed statement denying any involvement in the plot.

▪ differently

It's the same sentiment, though ~ed rather differently.

Oxford Collocations English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь словосочетаний .