B (volume 2)

BBoron (Chemical symbol)
11 (hexadecimal notation)
7th note in C major (music)
second highest grade (education)
one of the human blood types (Medicine)
bthe second letter of the English alphabet
bel (Units & Measurements)
B, b (noun)1 the second letter of the alphabet. 2 the seventh note of the scale of C major.
BAabbreviation for Bachelor of Arts, a degree award.
babbleCollective noun for barbers (A babble of barbers) (see list of collective nouns)
babbleCollective noun for linguists (A babble of linguists) (see list of collective nouns)
babble (verb)1 to make indistinct sounds (babies babbling in their baby carriages). 2 to chatter continuously and without making a lot of sense (what’s he babbling about?). 3 to make a sound as of running water (brooks babbling). n 1 indistinct sounds. 2 foolish chatter. 3 murmur, as of a stream.
babe (noun)1 a baby. 2 (sl) a pretty young woman (she blushed when they called her a babe).
babelCollective noun for cell phones (A babel of cell phones) (see list of collective nouns)
baboon (noun)a type of large African monkey.
baby (noun)the young of a person or animal.
baby sitter (noun)a person who is paid to look after someone else’s children for a short time. vb baby sit.
bachelor (noun)1 an unmarried man. 2 someone who has passed certain university examinations (a bachelor of science).
Bacillophobiafear of microbes (see list of phobias)
back (noun)1 the part of the body from the bottom of the neck to the base of the spine. 2 the rear or hind part of something. Also adj and adv. vb 1 to go or move backward (back out of the garage). 2 to support (back plans for expansion).
backboard (noun)the area, made of wood or plastic, at the back of a basketball hoop.
backbone (noun)1 the spine. 2 firmness, determination. 3 the chief support (workers who are the backbone of the industry).
backer (noun)a supporter or helper (financial backers of the scheme).
backfire (noun)an explosive noise made by a motor vehicle. vb 1 to explode. 2 (of a plan) to go wrong in such a way that it harms its maker.
backgammon (noun)a board game played with checker pieces and dice.
background (noun)1 the area behind the principal persons in a picture, scene, or conversation. 2 a series of events leading up to something (the background to the quarrel between the families). 3 a person’s origins, upbringing, education, etc (come from a wealthy background).
backhand (noun)1 writing in which the letters slope backward. 2 in tennis, a stroke played with the back of the hand turned outwards.
backhanded (adjective)1 made with the back of the hand. 2 indirect and sometimes with a double meaning (backhanded compliments).
backpack (noun)a large bag with straps, carried on the back by hikers, etc, to hold their luggage. vb to travel from place to place with your belongings in a backpack. backpacker n.
backstroke (noun)in swimming, a stroke where the swimmer floats on his or her back.
backward (adjective)1 toward the back (a backward glance). 2 behind others in progress (backward countries). 4 shy, reserved (too backward to be noticed in a crowd). n backwardness.
backwater (noun)1 a piece of water supplied by a river, bunkt away from its current. 2 a remote place, unaffected by modern progress.
backwoods (noun, plural)land not cleared of forest.
backyard (noun)an area behind someone’s house (play in your own backyard).
bacon (noun)meat taken from the back and sides of a pig, often salted or smoked.
bacteria (noun, plural)(sing bacterium ) very tiny living things that are often the cause of disease.
Bacteriologystudy of bacteria (see list of branches of science)
bacteriology (noun)the study of bacteria. n bacteriologist
Bacteriophobiafear of bacteria (see list of phobias)
bad (adjective)1 not good (I’m worried; your flu seems bad). 2 naughty, mischievous (he was sent to his room for being bad). 3 serious (the mistake was a bad one). 4 rotten or spoiled (the meat had to be thrown away because it had gone bad). 5 sorry, apologetic (she feels bad about her mistake). adj worse, worst.
badge (noun)something worn as a sign of membership, office, rank, etc (a school badge on a blazer).
badger (noun)a night animal that lives in a burrow. vb to worry, to pester (badger their mother for more pocket money).
badminton (noun)a game played with shuttlecocks batted with rackets across a net.
bad-tempered (adjective)grouchy or cross.
baffle (verb)1 to puzzle, to bewilder (baffled by the exam question/police baffled by the crime). 2 to make someone’s efforts useless (baffle the enemy’s attempt to gain entrance). n bafflement.
bag (noun)a container for carrying things. vb (bagged, bagging) 1 to put into a bag (bag all this stuff for taking to the refuse dump). 2 (informal) to take possession of (bag that empty table). 3 to catch or kill (bag a few rabbits). 4 to hang loosely, to bulge (trousers bagging at the knee).
bagel (noun)a ring-shaped bread roll that has a shiny surface (I’d love a bagel and salt beef).
baggage (noun)1 luggage. 2 stores of a moving army.
baggy (adjective)1 loose (wear fashionable baggy trousers). 2 out of shape (trousers baggy at the knees).
bagpipes (noun, plural)a musical wind instrument in which a bag serves as bellows (it takes a great control of the breath to play the bagpipes).
baguettea long crusty loaf of bread.
bail1 (noun)1 someone ready to pay a sum of money to obtain freedom for a person charged with a crime until the day of his or her trial. 2 money paid to release someone from jail, which is lost if the person does not appear for trial. vb bail out to help someone out, usually by giving them money.
bail2 (noun)a small bar placed on the top of the stumps in cricket (the ball hit the bail).
bail3 (verb)to throw water out of a boat, a little at a time (to bail out the canoe).
bailiff (noun)an official who takes charge of prisoners when they appear in court.
bait (noun)1 food to trap or attract animals or fish. 2 a temptation (shops offering free goods as a bait to customers). vb 1 to put bait on a hook or in a trap. 2 to torment (pupils baiting the new boy because he was so small).
bake (verb)1 to dry and harden by fire. 2 to cook in an oven.
baker (noun)one who makes or sells bread.
bakery (noun)a place where bread is made.
baking powder (noun)a powder used in baking to make dough rise.
balalaika (noun)a type of guitar used in Russia.
balanceCollective noun for accountants (A balance of accountants) (see list of collective nouns)
balance (noun)1 a pair of weighing scales. 2 equality of weight, power, etc (the major countries of the world trying to achieve a balance of power). 3 a state of physical steadiness (lose one’s balance). 4 a state of mental or emotional steadiness (while the balance of her mind was disturbed). 5 the difference between the amount of money possessed and the amount owed. vb 1 to make equal. 2 to keep steady or upright (acrobats balancing themselves on a tightrope). 3 to add up two sides of an account to show the difference between them. in the balance doubtful; about to be decided.
balcony (noun)1 a railed platform outside a window or along the wall of a building. 2 an upper floor in a hall or theater.
bald (adjective)1 without hair (a bald old man). 2 bare, without the usual or required covering (his car had bald tires). 3 plain (the bald truth). n baldness.
bald eagle (noun)an eagle with a brown body and white feathers on its head.
balderdash (noun)stupid or illogical talk, senseless nonsense.
baleCollective noun for cotton (A bale of cotton) (see list of collective nouns)
baleCollective noun for turtles (A bale of turtles) (see list of collective nouns)
baleCollective noun for wool (A bale of wool) (see list of collective nouns)
bale (noun)a large bundle or package (a bale of hay).
balk (noun),also baulk (British spelling) a large beam of timber. vb to stop short of, to be reluctant or unwilling to be involved in (he balked at actually committing a crime).
ball game (noun)1 any game played with a ball. 2 a baseball game. 3 (informal) a situation.
ball park (noun)1 a field where baseball is played. 2 ball park figure a number that is close to, but not exactly the same as, the correct amount (give me a ballpark figure as to how much the kitchen will cost). in the right ball park a figure that is close to the right amount ($100 for the table is in the right ball park).
ball1 (noun)1 anything round in shape (a ball of wool). 2 a round or roundish object used in games (a tennis ball a football). 3 a rounded part of something (the ball of the foot).
ball2 (noun)a party held for the purpose of dancing. n ballroom.
ballad (noun)1 a simple poem relating a popular incident. 2 a short, romantic song.
ballast (noun)heavy material carried in a ship or other vehicle to keep it steady.
ball-bearings (noun, plural)small metal balls that help a machine to work more smoothly.
ballerina (noun)a female ballet dancer.
ballet (noun)a performance in which dancing, actions, and music are combined to tell a story.
Ballistophobiafear of missiles or bullets (see list of phobias)
balloon (noun)1 a small brightly colored rubber bag that can be blown up and used as a toy or as a decoration at parties, etc. 2 a large bag of light material that floats in the air when filled with air or light gas, with a large basket hanging below for carrying passengers. n balloonist
ballot (noun)a way of voting secretly by putting marked cards into a box. Also vb.
ballot box (noun)a box into which ballot papers are placed after voting.
ballpoint (noun)a pen that writes by means of a small rotating ball fed by a tube of ink.
balm (noun)1 a sweet-smelling oil. 2 a pain-relieving ointment. 3 something that heals or soothes (a balm to his wounded pride).
balmy (adjective)gentle, soft (balmy breezes).
Balneologystudy of the therapeutic use of baths (see list of branches of science)
balsa (noun)a tree with light, corky wood.
balsam (noun)1 a flowering plant. 2 a sweet-smelling, healing oil.
bamboo (noun)a giant tropical reed from which canes, etc, are made.
ban (noun)an order forbidding something (impose a ban on smoking in public places). vb (banned , banning ) to forbid (banned from driving).
banal (adjective)unoriginal, commonplace (a few banal remarks). n banality
banana (noun)a tropical fruit which is yellow in colour, long and curved.
banana split (noun)a dessert which includes a banana, halved lengthwise, with the ingredients of ice cream, whipped cream, nuts and syrup.
bandCollective noun for coyotes (A band of coyotes) (see list of collective nouns)
bandCollective noun for gorillas (A band of gorillas) (see list of collective nouns)
bandCollective noun for jackdaws (A band of jackdaws) (see list of collective nouns)
bandCollective noun for jays (A band of jays) (see list of collective nouns)
bandCollective noun for men (A band of men) (see list of collective nouns)
bandCollective noun for mongooses (A band of mongooses) (see list of collective nouns)
bandCollective noun for musicians (A band of musicians) (see list of collective nouns)
bandCollective noun for pirates (A band of pirates) (see list of collective nouns)
bandCollective noun for robbers (A band of robbers) (see list of collective nouns)
band1 (noun)1 anything used to bind or tie together (a band to tie her hair back). 2 a strip of cloth round anything (skirt waistbands).
band2 (noun)a group of persons united for a purpose, especially to play music together. vb to join (together) (local people banding together to fight crime).
bandage (noun)a strip of cloth used in dressing a wound or injury. Also vb.
bandanna, (noun),also bandana a brightly colored handkerchief often worn over your head or around the neck.
bandit (noun)an outlaw, a robber.
bandy1 (verb)1 to bandy words to quarrel. 2 to bandy about/around to mention something (repeatedly) and hint at its importance in connection with something (his name was bandied about after the money went missing).
bandy2 , bandy-legged (adjective)(inf, Brit) having legs curving outwards.
bane (noun)1 ruin. 2 a cause of ruin or annoyance (that child is the bane of our existence).
baneful (adjective)causing harm, hurtful.
bang (noun)1 a sudden loud noise (the door shut with a bang). 2 a blow or knock (get a bang on the head). vb 1 to close with a bang (the door banged shut). 2 to hit or strike violently, often making a loud noise (children banging drums/banged on the leg by a baby buggy). 3 to make a sudden loud noise (guns banging away). See also big bang. npl see bang2.
bang2 (noun),often npl bangs, a fringe of hair across the forehead (cut your hair in bangs).
bangle (noun)a ring worn around the wrist or ankle.
bangs (noun, plural)a fringe of hair that hangs over your forehead.
banish (verb)1 to order to leave the country (banished from his native land). 2 to drive away (banish all their doubts). n banishment.
banister (noun)a post or row of posts supporting a rail at the side of a staircase.
banjo (noun)a stringed musical instrument played with the fingers.
bankCollective noun for circuits (A bank of circuits) (see list of collective nouns)
bankCollective noun for monitors (A bank of monitors) (see list of collective nouns)
bank (noun)1 a ridge or mound of earth, etc (banks of snow at the edge of the road/stand on a grassy bank full of wild flowers). 2 the ground at the side of a river, lake, etc. 3 a place where money is put for safekeeping. vb 1 to heap up (snow banked up at the sides of the road). 2 to cover a fire with small coal to make it burn slowly. 3 to put money in a bank. 4 to make an airplane slope one wing tip down when turning.
banker (noun)1 one who runs or manages a bank. 2 one who holds the money staked in gambling games.
banking (noun)the business of a banker.
bankrupt (noun)one who is unable to pay his or her debts (declared bankrupt). Also adj. n bankruptcy
bannerCollective noun for knights (A banner of knights) (see list of collective nouns)
banner (noun)a flag.
banquet (noun)a feast.
banter (verb)to poke fun at; to tease. Also n.
baptismCollective noun for fire (A baptism of fire) (see list of collective nouns)
baptism (noun)1 the ceremony by which one is received into the Christian Church. 2 a first experience of something, an initiation. adj baptismal.
baptize (verb),also baptise (British spelling) 1 to dip in or sprinkle with water during a baptism (baptize the baby). 2 to christen or give a name to (she was baptized Mary Jones).
bar (noun)1 a solid piece of wood, metal, etc, that is longer than it is wide (a gold bar/a bar of chocolate). 2 a length of wood or metal across a door or window to keep it shut or prevent entrance through it (iron bars on the prison windows). 3 an obstacle (a bar to progress). 4 a bank of sand, etc, at the mouth of a river which hinders entrance. 5 a counter at which food or drink may be bought and consumed (a sandwich bar). 6 a counter at which alcoholic drinks are served (place two beers on the bar). 7 a place where alcoholic drinks are sold, a public house (the Station Bar). 8 the rail behind which a prisoner stands in a courtroom. 9 a division in music. vb (barred, barring) 1 to fasten with a bar or belt (bar the door). 2 to hinder or prevent (bar their advance). 3 to forbid, to ban (bar women from joining the club). prep except (they were all there bar the children).
bar code (noun)a pattern of vertical lines of differing widths, printed on an item for sale and containing information such as the price, that can be scanned by a computer.
bar mitzvah (noun)a ceremony held on the 13th birthday of a Jewish boy by which he becomes an adult.
barb (noun)1 one of many sharp points facing in more than one direction. 2 a backward-curving spike on a fish-hook or arrow.
barbarian (noun)1 an uncivilized person. 2 one who does not respect the arts or learning.
barbaric (adjective)connected with barbarism.
barbarism (noun)the state of being uncivilized.
barbarity (noun)savage cruelty.
barbarous (adjective)1 savage, uncivilized (a barbarous tribe). 2 cruel (his barbarous treatment of prisoners of war).
barbecue (noun)1 a framework on which meat, etc, may be cooked over a charcoal fire, usually outside. 2 an outdoor party where food is cooked on a barbecue. vb to cook on a barbecue (barbecuing steaks).
barbed (adjective)1 having a barb or barbs; having sharp points facing in more than one direction. 2 intended to hurt someone’s feelings (barbed comments).
barber (noun)a man’s hairdresser.
bard (noun)1 a Celtic minstrel. 2 a poet.
bare (adjective)1 uncovered (bare hillsides dogs baring their teeth).
barefaced (adjective)shameless.
barely (adverb)1 only just. 2 scarcely.
bargain (noun)1 an agreement about buying and selling. 2 an agreement. 3 something bought cheaply. vb 1 to argue about the price before paying. 2 to make an agreement. to bargain for to expect. into the bargain in addition.
barge (noun)a flat-bottomed boat for carrying cargoes on inland waters. vb to move clumsily and often rudely (barge on to the bus in front of us).
baritone (noun)a male singing voice that can go neither very high nor very low.
barkCollective noun for cynics (A bark of cynics) (see list of collective nouns)
bark1 (noun)the outer covering of a tree. vb to scrape the skin off (bark one’s shin).
bark2 (noun)the noise made by a dog, wolf, etc. Also vb.
barley (noun)a grain used for making malt.
barmaid , barman (noun),someone who serves drinks at a bar.
barn (noun)a farm building for the storage of grain, hay, etc.
barn dance (noun)a country dance.
barnacle (noun)a type of shellfish.
Barodynamicsstudy of the support and mechanics of bridges (see list of branches of science)
Barologystudy of gravitational force (see list of branches of science)
barometer (noun)1 an instrument for measuring air pressure, thus showing what the weather may be. 2 something that indicates change (opinion polls are a barometer of the popularity of the government).
baron (noun)(British) a nobleman of the lowest rank. f baroness
baronet (noun)(British) a titled rank just below that of a nobleman. n baronetcy
Barophobiafear of gravity (see list of phobias)
barracks (noun)a building for housing soldiers.
barracuda (noun)a fish with a long body and many sharp teeth.
barrage (noun)1 a bar across a river to make the water deeper. 2 a concentration of heavy gunfire on a certain area. 3 a large number (of questions, etc) made rapidly one after the other (a barrage of comments from the audience).
barrel (noun)1 a round wooden cask or container with flat ends and curved sides (a barrel of beer). 2 the tube of a gun.
barrenCollective noun for mules (A barren of mules) (see list of collective nouns)
barren (adjective)1 producing no fruit or seed (barren apple trees). 2 (old) unable to produce young, infertile (barren women). 3 unable to produce crops (barren soil). 4 useless, not productive (barren discussions). n barrenness.
barricade (noun)a barrier, often temporary and quickly constructed, to prevent people passing or entering. Also vb.
barrier (noun)1 a fence put up to control or restrain (barriers along the sides of the street to keep the crowds back). 2 an obstacle (a barrier to progress). 3 something that separates or keeps people apart (a language barrier).
barrow (noun)1 a small hand-cart (wheel grass cuttings away in a barrow). 2 (old) a mound over a grave.
barter (noun)trade by exchange of goods instead of money payments. vb to trade by barter, to exchange.
basalt (noun)a dark volcanic rock.
base1 (noun)1 that on which a thing stands or is built up (the base of the column). 2 the place in which a fleet or army keeps its main stores and offices. 3 a fixed point in certain games. vb 1 to use as a foundation or grounds (base one’s decision on the evidence). 2 to establish, to place (a company based in Boston).
base2 (adjective)low, worthless, vile (a base villain base-lee/.
baseball (noun)1 a game played with bat and ball and two teams of nine players. 2 the ball used in this game.
baseless (adjective)without foundation, groundless (baseless suspicions).
basement (noun)the ground floor, below ground level.
bash (verb)to beat, to hit with great force.
bashful (adjective)modest, shy (too bashful to speak in public).
basic (adjective)1 providing a foundation or beginning (the basic rules of science/basic steps in mathematics). 2 without more than is necessary, simple, plain (a room with basic furniture).
basin (noun)1 a deep broad dish (a pudding basin). 2 a hollow place containing water. 3 a dock. 4 the land drained by a river.
Basiphobiafear of walking or falling or inability to stand (see list of phobias)
basis (noun)(pl bases ) that on which a thing is built up, the foundation or beginning (arguments that have a firm basis).
baskCollective noun for crocodiles (A bask of crocodiles) (see list of collective nouns)
bask (verb)1 to lie in the sun. 2 (formal) to enjoy (bask in his employer’s approval).
basketCollective noun for fruits (A basket of fruits) (see list of collective nouns)
basketCollective noun for plums (A basket of plums) (see list of collective nouns)
basketCollective noun for vegetables (A basket of vegetables) (see list of collective nouns)
basket (noun)a container made of thin sticks or coarse grass plaited together (a basket of groceries).
Basophobiafear of walking or falling or inability to stand (see list of phobias)
bass1 (noun)1 the lowest part in music. 2 the lowest male voice.
bass2 (noun)a type of fish.
bassoon (noun)a musical wind instrument, with low notes only.
baste (verb)1 to drip or pour fat on meat while roasting. 2 to sew with long loose stitches.
bastion (noun)1 a tower jutting out from the wall of a fort to allow the defenders to aim arrows, bullets, etc, at the flanks of the attackers. 2 a person or thing that provides strong support or defense (the last bastions of the traditional village way of life).
bat mitzvah (noun)a ceremony for a Jewish girl similar to a bar mitzvah. .
bat1 (noun)a piece of wood prepared for striking a ball in certain games. vb to use the bat for striking the ball.
bat2 (noun)a flying creature with a body like a mouse and large wings.
batchCollective noun for bread (A batch of bread) (see list of collective nouns)
batchCollective noun for loaves (A batch of loaves) (see list of collective nouns)
batch (noun)1 a quantity of bread, etc, baked at one time. 2 a set or group (a new batch of army recruits).
bath (noun)1 act of washing the body. 2 a large vessel in which the body is washed. 3 a large tank in which one can swim. vb (British spelling) to wash the body in a bath.
bathe (verb)1 to wash the body in a bath. 2 to go for a swim (bathe in the sea) 3 to apply water to in order to clean (bathe the wound). n (British spelling) act of swimming or playing in water.
Bathmophobiafear of stairs or steep slopes (see list of phobias)
Bathophobiafear of depth (see list of phobias)
Bathymetrystudy of underwater depth of ocean floors or lake floors (see list of branches of science)
Batologystudy of brambles (see list of branches of science)
baton (noun)1 a short stick used by the director of a band or choir. 2 a short club carried by policemen as a weapon. 3 a stick passed by one member of a team of runners to the next runner in a relay race (the last member of the team to run dropped the baton).
Batophobiafear of heights or being close to high buildings (see list of phobias)
Batrachophobiafear of frogs and other amphibians (see list of phobias)
battalion (noun)a body of infantry, about 1000 strong.
batten1 (noun)1 a long board or strip of wood. 2 a strip of wood used to fasten down the hatches of ships. vb to close firmly with battens (batten down the hatches there’s a storm coming).
batten2 (verb)to batten on to live well or thrive by taking advantage of someone else (landlords battening on their poor tenants).
batter (verb)to beat with violence. n a paste of flour and liquid mixed together for cooking.
battering ram (noun)a heavy piece of wood with an iron head formerly used for battering down castle walls or doors.
batteryCollective noun for artillery (A battery of artillery) (see list of collective nouns)
batteryCollective noun for barracuda (A battery of barracuda) (see list of collective nouns)
batteryCollective noun for guns (A battery of guns) (see list of collective nouns)
batteryCollective noun for rams (A battery of rams) (see list of collective nouns)
batteryCollective noun for tests (A battery of tests) (see list of collective nouns)
battery (noun)1 a group of guns and the people who serve them. 2 a number of connected cells for providing or storing electric current. 3 a violent attack.
battle (noun)1 a fight between armies, fleets, etc. 2 a struggle (a battle for promotion). vb to fight or struggle (battling for top place in the league).
battlement (noun)the top wall of a castle, with openings through which weapons can be aimed.
bauble (noun)a small, worthless ornament or piece of jewelry (baubles on the Christmas tree).
bawl (verb)to shout or cry loudly. Also n.
bay window (noun)a window built into a section of the wall that juts out.
bay1 (adjective)reddish-brown. n a bay horse.
bay2 (noun)1 an inlet of the sea. 2 a recess in a wall.
bay3 (noun)the laurel tree.
bay4 (noun)the bark of a dog, the low cry of a hunting dog. to stand at bay to stop running away and turn to defend oneself. to keep at bay to keep at a safe distance. vb to give the bark or cry of a dog (hounds baying).
bayonet (noun)a dagger-like weapon for fixing on to a rifle. vb to stab with a bayonet.
bazaarCollective noun for guillemots (A bazaar of guillemots) (see list of collective nouns)
bazaar (noun)1 in the East, a marketplace or group of shops. 2 a sale of articles held to raise money for a special purpose (a church bazaar in aid of roof repairs).
BCabbreviation for before Christ, referring to a date occurring before the birth of Jesus Christ.
be (verb)1 to exist, live. 2 to pay a visit, to go. 3 to take place, occur.
beach (noun)the shore of a sea or lake. vb to run or pull (a vessel) onto a beach (beach the canoe).
beachcomber (noun)1 in the Pacific, one who lives by what he or she finds on the beach (e.g. pearls, wreckage). 2 a vagrant who lives around harbors or beaches.
beacon (noun)1 a signal fire. 2 a high hill on which a beacon could be lit. 3 a signal of danger or hope.
bead (noun)1 a small object, usually round, of glass or other material, with a hole through it for a string (a necklace of colored beads). 2 a drop or bubble (beads of sweat). 3 pl a rosary.
beady (adjective)small and bright (with beady eyes).
beagle (noun)a small hunting dog.
beak (noun)the bill of a bird.
beaker (noun)1 a glass vessel used in scientific experiments. 2 a drinking cup (a beaker of cocoa).
beam (noun)1 a thick piece of wood. 2 a main timber in a building. 3 the greatest breadth of a ship. 4 a ray of light. vb to smile brightly (beam with pleasure).
bean (noun)a plant whose seed or seed pod is eaten as a vegetable (broad beans/lima beans).
bear1 (verb)(pt bore, pp borne) 1 (formal) to carry (bearing gifts). 2 to put up with (bear the pain). 3 to support (bear his weight). 4 to have or show (still bearing a scar). 5 to move (bear left). 6 (pp born) to bring into existence, give birth to. 7 (pp borne) to produce (bear fruit).
bear2 (noun)a wild animal with thick fur and claws.
bearable (adjective)able to be put up with (pain scarcely bearable).
beard (noun)the hair on the chin and lower jaw. vb to defy openly (beard the lion in its den).
bearer (noun)a carrier (the bearer of bad news).
bearing (noun)1 the way a person holds himself or herself or behaves (of noble bearing). 2 (usually pl) direction (lose one’s bearings). 3 connection, influence (their statement had no bearing on our decision).
beast (noun)1 a four-footed animal. 2 a person who behaves in an animal-like way, a hateful person. adj beastly. n beastliness.
beat (verb)(pt beat, pp beaten) 1 to strike several times. 2 to defeat or win against (beat the home team). 3 to throb (with heart beating. 4 to mix with a fork or a spoon (beat two eggs). n 1 a repeated stroke. 2 a policeman’s round. 3 a regular rhythm (e.g. the pulse, a drum).
beau (noun)(pl beaux) 1 (old) a man who is taken up with matters of dress and manners, a dandy. 2 (old or fml) a male sweetheart (her latest beau).
beautify (verb)to make beautiful (girls beautifying themselves at the mirror).
beauty (noun)1 that which is pleasing to the senses. 2 a beautiful woman (she was a beauty in her youth). 3 (informal) a very fine specimen (his new car is a real beauty). 4 (informal) advantage (the beauty of the job is the short hours). adj beautiful.
beaver (noun)an animal with a wide, flat tail that can live both on land and in water.
because (conjunction) a word meaning meaning “for the reason that” (I cried because you hurt me).
beckon (verb)to make a sign inviting a person to approach (beckon to them to move forward).
become (verb)(pt became, pp become) 1 to come to be (become a fine young woman/become a doctor). 2 to suit (green becomes her).
becoming (adjective)1 (formal) fitting, suitable, appropriate (behavior that was far from becoming in the circumstances). 2 suiting the wearer (a becoming dress).
bedCollective noun for clams (A bed of clams) (see list of collective nouns)
bedCollective noun for mussels (A bed of mussels) (see list of collective nouns)
bedCollective noun for oysters (A bed of oysters) (see list of collective nouns)
bed (noun)1 a thing to sleep or rest on. 2 the channel of a river. 3 a piece of ground prepared for growing flowers, plants, etc.
bedclothes (noun, plural)the coverings on a bed.
bedding (noun)bedclothes.
bedraggled (adjective)wet and dirty, muddy (bedraggled from her walk through the storm).
bedridden (adjective)having to stay permanently in bed (bedridden invalids).
bedrock (noun)1 the solid rock underlying the broken rock formations near the earth’s surface. 2 basic facts or principles (the bedrock of his beliefs).
bedroom (noun)a room for sleeping in.
bedspread (noun)a quilt used as a bed covering.
bedstead (noun)a frame for supporting a bed.
bee (noun)a flying, honey-making insect.
beech (noun)a type of tree. n beechnut
beef (noun)the flesh of an ox or cow.
beehive (noun)a place, often dome-shaped, where bees are kept.
beeline (noun)the shortest way. make a beeline for to go directly and quickly toward (make a beeline for the prettiest girl at the party).
been (verb)past participle of be.
beer (noun)an alcoholic drink made from barley and hops.
beeswax (noun)the wax made by bees for their honeycombs. vb to polish with beeswax.
beet (noun)a plant with a root eaten as a vegetable.
beetle1 (noun)a common insect. vb (informal) to hurry, to scurry (beetle off home).
beetle2 (noun)a heavy wooden tool that, when thrust down on e.g. paving stones, beats them into place.
beetle3 (verb)to jut, to hang over (cliffs beetling over the sea).
beetroot (noun)the root of the beet.
befall (verb)(pt befell, pp befallen) (formal) to happen (troubles that befell her).
befit (verb)(befitted, befitting) (formal) to suit, to be appropriate for (his behavior does not befit a man of his position).
befitting (adjective)suitable (behave with a befitting degree of modesty). adv befittingly.
beforehand (adverb)earlier (pay for the tickets beforehand).
befriend (verb)to act as a friend to, to be kind to (befriend the orphan girl).
beg (verb)(begged, begging) 1 to ask for money (beg on the streets). 2 to ask earnestly (beg for forgiveness/beg a favor). to beg the question to take a fact for granted without proving its truth.
beggar (noun)one who asks for money or food.
begin (verb)(pt began, pp begun, prp beginning) 1 to start (begin to play/the trouble began in June). 2 to be the first to do, to take the first step in doing (begin the discussion).
beginner (noun)one starting to learn (a beginner’s class).
begonia (noun)a plant with brightly colored flowers.
behalf (noun)on behalf of in the name of (speak on behalf of his mother).
behave (verb)1 to conduct oneself. 2 to conduct oneself well. 3 to act.
behavior (noun),also behaviour (British spelling) conduct.
behead (verb)to cut off the head.
behold (verb)(pt, pp beheld) to see; to watch. n beholder.
belated (adjective)too late (a belated apology).
belch (verb)to send out forcefully, especially gas through the mouth.
belfry (noun)a bell tower.
belief (noun)1 faith (belief in God). 2 trust (shake her belief in his ability). 3 opinion (it is my belief that she is guilty).
believe (verb)1 to accept as true or real (believe in ghosts). 2 to trust (believe in her husband). 3 to have faith, especially in God. 4 to think. adj believable. n make-believe pretense.
believer (noun)one who has faith, especially in God.
belittle (verb)to make to seem small or unimportant (belittle his achievements).
bell (noun)a hollow metal vessel that gives a ringing sound when struck.
belle (noun)a lady of great beauty.
bellow (verb)1 to shout loudly (bellow to his children to make less noise). 2 to roar (bulls bellowing). Also n.
bellowingCollective noun for bullfinches (A bellowing of bullfinches) (see list of collective nouns)
bellows (noun)an instrument that makes a draft of air by forcing wind out of an airtight compartment.
belly (noun)1 the part of the human body between the breast and thighs. 2 the under part of an animal’s body. vb to bulge out (sails bellying in the wind).
belly button(informal) the informal name for the navel.
Belonephobiafear of pins and needles (see list of phobias)
belong (verb)1 to be the property (of). 2 to be a member. 3 to be connected with.
belongings (noun, plural)the things that are one’s own property.
beloved (adjective)greatly loved. n one who is greatly loved (having lost his beloved).
beltCollective noun for asteroids (A belt of asteroids) (see list of collective nouns)
belt (noun)1 a strap or band for putting round the waist. 2 a leather band used to carry the motion of one wheel on to another in a piece of machinery. 3 a space that is much longer than it is broad (a belt of trees dividing two fields). 4 an area that has a particular quality or characteristic (the industrial belt of the country). 5 (informal) an act of hitting, a blow. vb 1 to put on a belt. 2 to hit with a strap. 3 to hit, to attack with blows (belt his brother). below the belt 1 below the waistline. 2 unfair.
bemused (adjective)confused, bewildered (motorists bemused by the traffic system/wearing a bemused expression).
benchCollective noun for bishops (A bench of bishops) (see list of collective nouns)
benchCollective noun for judges (A bench of judges) (see list of collective nouns)
benchCollective noun for magistrates (A bench of magistrates) (see list of collective nouns)
bench (noun)1 a long seat (children sitting on benches in the school hall). 2 a worktable (benches in the science lab). 3 the seat of a judge in court. 4 all the judges, as a body.
benchmark (noun)1 a mark on a fixed object indicating height. 2 a standard for judging or measuring (his work was regarded as a benchmark for that of his classmates).
bendCollective noun for willows (A bend of willows) (see list of collective nouns)
bend (verb)(pt, pp bent) 1 to curve (a road bending sharply). 2 to make to curve (bend the branch). 3 to incline the body, to stoop (bend to pick up a coin). n 1 a curving turn on a road. 2 an angle.
benediction (noun)blessing. adj benedictory.
benefactor (noun)one who gives help to another. f benefactress.
beneficial (adjective)helpful, having a good effect (a diet beneficial to health).
beneficiary (noun)1 one who receives money or property by will. 2 one who benefits from another’s kindness.
benefit (noun)1 advantage, gain (the benefits of a healthy lifestyle/advice that is of benefit to us). 2 (British spelling) the money to which an insured person has the right when unemployed, ill, etc. vb 1 to do good to (the holiday clearly benefited her). 2 to be of advantage to (he benefited from having educated parents).
benevolence (noun)kindness, generosity.
benevolent (adjective)kindly, generous.
benign (adjective)1 kindly, gentle (a benign smile). 2 not malignant, not cancerous (a benign tumor). adv benignly.
bent1past tense, past participle of bend.
bent2 (adjective)(informal) dishonest (a bent lawyer).
bent3 (noun)a natural skill in (a musical bent).
bequeath (verb)to leave by will (bequeath her jewelry to her granddaughter).
bequest (noun)the money or property left by will; a legacy.
berate (verb)to scold.
bereave (verb)(pt, pp bereaved or bereft) to take away (war bereft her of her sons). n bereavement
bereaved (adjective)having lost, by death, a near relative (the bereaved mother). n one who has lost a relative by death (comfort the bereaved).
bereft (adjective)having been deprived of something (so amazed that she was bereft of words).
beret (noun)a round flat cap with no peak or brim.
berry (noun)a small fruit containing seeds.
berserk (adjective)uncontrollably angry (he went berserk when he saw the damage).
berth (noun)1 the place where a ship lies when at anchor or in dock. 2 a place for sleeping in a ship or train. vb to moor a ship. to give a wide berth to to keep well clear of (give a wide berth to troublemakers).
beseech (verb)(pt, pp besought or beseeched) (formal) to ask earnestly, to beg for (beseech her employer not to dismiss her). adv beseechingly.
beset (verb)(beset, besetting) to attack from all sides, to surround (trouble beset them from all sides).
besiege (verb)1 to surround a fortress with soldiers in order to bring about its capture. 2 to surround, to crowd round (reporters besieging the princess on her tour). 3 to overwhelm (reporters besieging the police with questions). n besieger.
besom (noun)a broom.
besotted (adjective)silly, muddled (besotted with love).
bespatter (verb)to sprinkle with dirt, etc (traffic bespattering pedestrians with mud).
best (adjective)(superl of good) good in the utmost degree (his best attempt). vb to do better than, to win against (best them in their attempt at victory).
bestial (adjective)like an animal, beastly, disgusting (a bestial crime).
bestiality (noun)animal-like behavior.
bestiaryCollective noun for monsters (A bestiary of monsters) (see list of collective nouns)
bestow (verb)(formal) to give (to) (bestow a gift of money).
bestride (verb)to sit or stand across something, with a leg on either side of it.
bet (noun)money put down in support of an opinion, to be either lost or returned with interest, a wager. vb (bet, betting) to stake money in a bet.
betake (verb)betake oneself to (old, formal) to go (betake oneself to the hospital).
betide (verb)(fml, lit) to happen (whatever may betide).
betoken (verb)to be a sign of, to indicate (houses betokening great wealth).
betray (verb)1 to give up to an enemy. 2 to be false to, to be a traitor to (betray one’s country). 3 to reveal, to show (nervousness betraying guilt). n betrayer.
betrayal (noun)act of betraying.
betroth (verb)to promise in marriage. n betrothal
between (preposition)1 at or in the space, time, etc, separating (two things) (between meetings). 2 connecting from one or the other (the bond between them).
betwixt (preposition)between.
bevel (verb)(beveled, beveling) to cut to a slope. n a sloping edge.
beverage (noun)a drink.
bevyCollective noun for beauties (A bevy of beauties) (see list of collective nouns)
bevyCollective noun for beautiful ladies (A bevy of beautiful ladies) (see list of collective nouns)
bevyCollective noun for doves (A bevy of doves) (see list of collective nouns)
bevyCollective noun for dowagers (A bevy of dowagers) (see list of collective nouns)
bevyCollective noun for ladies (A bevy of ladies) (see list of collective nouns)
bevyCollective noun for otters (A bevy of otters) (see list of collective nouns)
bevyCollective noun for quail (A bevy of quail) (see list of collective nouns)
bevyCollective noun for roe deer (A bevy of roe deer) (see list of collective nouns)
bevyCollective noun for swans (A bevy of swans) (see list of collective nouns)
bevy (noun)1 a group (a bevy of beautiful girls). 2 a flock of birds.
bewail (verb)(formal) to lament aloud, to regret (bewail the loss of his fortune).
beware (verb)to be cautious or careful of (warned to beware of thieves).
bewilder (verb)to puzzle, to confuse. adj bewildering. n bewilderment.
bewitch (verb)1 to put under a spell. 2 to charm, to fascinate (he was bewitched by her beauty). n bewitchment.
bewitching (adjective)charming, fascinating (a bewitching smile).
beyond (preposition)on the farther side of (the school was built beyond the park). adv at a distance (the sky beyond was dark with clouds).
bias (noun)1 an unreasonable dislike (a bias against foreigners). 2 a preference (a bias toward blonde women). 3 in dress-making, a line across the weave of a fabric. vb to incline to one side, to prejudice (his early childhood had biased him against foreigners).
bias(s)ed (adjective)prejudiced.
bib (noun)a cloth tied under a child’s chin to keep him or her clean while eating.
Bible (noun)the Holy Scriptures of the Christian religion. adj biblical
bibliography (noun)a list of books dealing with a particular subject. n bibliographer adj bibliographical
Bibliologystudy of books (see list of branches of science)
bibliophile (noun)(formal) a lover of books.
Bibliophobiafear of books (see list of phobias)
Biblioticsstudy of documents to determine authenticity (see list of branches of science)
bicentennial (noun)the 200th year (after a certain event).
biceps (noun)a muscle in the upper part of the arm.
bicker (verb)to quarrel frequently over unimportant things.
bicycle (noun)a machine with two wheels which can be ridden on. Also vb.
bid (verb)(pt bid or bade, pp bidden or bid, prp bidding) 1 to offer (bid $600 for the vase at the auction). 2 to ask, to order (bid them come in). n 1 an offer of money, especially at a sale. 2 a strong effort (make a bid to take over the company).
bidder (noun)one offering a price.
bide (verb)(pt, pp bided or bode). bide one’s time to wait for a good opportunity (biding his time until he tries to get her job).
biennial (adjective)1 lasting for two years (biennial plants). 2 happening every second year (a biennial event). n a plant that flowers only in its second year, then dies. adv biennially
bier (noun)a stretcher for carrying a dead body or coffin to the grave.
big bang (noun)(informal) the name of the theory that the whole universe was created by the explosion of one tiny superdense mass, and that the universe is still expanding. big-bang theory.
bigamy (noun)the state of having two wives or two husbands at the same time. n bigamist adj bigamous
bigot (noun)one who accepts without question certain beliefs and condemns the different beliefs held by others (a religious bigot). adj bigoted. n bigotry.
bikini (noun)a two-piece swimsuit for women.
bilateral (adjective)1 two-sided. 2 concerning two parties (a bilateral agreement).
bilberry (noun)a small blue berry.
bile (noun)1 a fluid, coming from the liver, that aids digestion. 2 (formal) anger (arouse his bile).
bilingual (adjective)able to speak two languages.
bilious (adjective)1 relating to bile. 2 sick (feeling bilious). n biliousness.
bilk (verb)to cheat, to defraud.
bill1 (noun)the beak of a bird.
bill2 (noun)1 the form of a proposed law, as put before congress for discussion. 2 a piece of paper money. 3 a printed notice (a bill on the noticeboard announcing the meeting) 4 (British spelling) see check.
billboard (noun)a large sign which is pasted with advertisements.
billet (noun)a lodging, especially for soldiers. vb to lodge (e.g. soldiers) in people’s houses.
billfold (noun)a pocket-sized flat case, often leather, for holding paper money and credit cards.
billiards (noun)a game played on a cloth-covered table with cues and balls.
billion (noun)1 in America, and often now in Britain, one thousand millions. 2 in Britain, one million millions.
billowCollective noun for smokers (A billow of smokers) (see list of collective nouns)
billow (noun)a great wave of the sea. vb to swell out. adj billowy.
billy-goat (noun)a male goat.
bin (noun)1 a large box for corn, meal, etc (a bread bin). 2 a container for garbage.
bindCollective noun for salmon (A bind of salmon) (see list of collective nouns)
bind (verb)(pt, pp bound) 1 to tie (bind the wound with bandages). 2 to fasten together (bind his hands together). 3 to cover (a book) (a book bound in leather). 4 to put an edging on (bind the seams of the dress). 5 (formal) to put under an obligation (the contract binds you to pay me $1500 per month). bind oneself to promise.
binding (noun)the cover and sewing of a book.
binoculars (noun, plural)a pair of field glasses.
Biochemistrystudy of chemical processes within and relating to living organism (see list of branches of science)
biochemistry (noun)the chemistry of living things. adj biochemical n biochemist
biodegradable (adjective)decaying naturally as the result of the action of bacteria and so not causing pollution to the environment (plastic is not biodegradable).
Bioecologystudy of interaction of life in the environment (see list of branches of science)
biographer (noun)a writer of biography (the biographer of Hillary Clinton).
biography (noun)the written life story of a person. adj biographical
Biologystudy of life (see list of branches of science)
biology (noun)the study of life and living creatures. adj biological n biologist
Biomechanicsstudy of the structure, function and motion of the mechanical aspects of biological systems (see list of branches of science)
Biometricsstudy of biological measurement for security purposes (see list of branches of science)
Bionomicsstudy of organisms interacting in their environments (see list of branches of science)
Biophysicsstudy of physics of biological phenomena (see list of branches of science)
Biopsychologystudy of application of the biology to psychology (see list of branches of science)
Biotribologystudy of friction, wear and lubrication of biological systems (see list of branches of science)
biped (noun)an animal with two feet.
biplane (noun)an airplane with two wings on each side, one above the other.
birch (noun)1 a type of deciduous tree with a thin bark. 2 a bundle of sticks tied together at one end and used for flogging.
bird (noun)a creature with feathers and wings that usually flies.
birth (noun)1 the act of being born (happy at the birth of her son). 2 the beginning (the birth of civilization).
birthday (noun)the day on which one is born, or its anniversary.
birthmark (noun)a mark on the body from birth (a purple birthmark on her face).
birthright (noun)any right one possesses by birth.
biscuit (noun)1 a small round bread make using baking soda as a raising agent. 2 (British spelling) see cookie.
bisect (verb)(formal) to cut into two equal parts (bisect the circle).
bishop (noun)1 in the RC Church, Anglican Church, or Eastern Orthodox Church, the chief clergyman of a district. 2 a piece in the game of chess.
bison (noun)a type of wild ox.
bit (noun)1 a small piece (tear the paper to bits). 2 a piece of (a bit of cake/a bit of advice). 3 part (the bit in the film where the hero dies). 4 a tool for boring holes. 5 the metal bar attached to the bridle, and put in the mouth of a horse. 4 a unit of value equivalent to an eighth of a dollar.
biteCollective noun for midges (A bite of midges) (see list of collective nouns)
bite (verb)(pt bit, pp bitten) 1 to cut, pierce, etc, with the teeth (the dog that bit the postman/bite the apple). 2 to take the bait (fish biting today). n 1 the amount bitten off. 2 the wound made by biting. 3 a taking of the bait by fish.
biting (adjective)1 sharp (biting wind). 2 hurtful (a biting remark). adv bitingly.
bitter (adjective)1 sharp to the taste (bitter oranges). 2 severe, piercing (the bitter cold). 3 painful (from bitter experience). 4 feeling or showing hatred, hostility, envy, disappointment, etc (feeling bitter about her divorce/a bitter quarrel). adv bitterly. n bitterness.
bivalve (noun)an animal or fish whose shell is in two parts joined by a hinge-like cartilage. adj bivalvular
biweekly (adjective)1 happening once every two weeks (a biweekly magazine). 2 twice in one week (biweekly meetings).
bizarre (adjective)strange, peculiar, weird (his bizarre appearance/a bizarre crime).
black (noun)a dark color like coal. Also adj. vb 1 to make black (black his eye in a fight). 2 to clean with black polish (black his shoes). n blackness.
blackbird (noun)a type of thrush.
blackboard (noun)a dark-colored board used for writing on with a light-colored chalk.
blacken (verb)1 to make black (smoke blackening the walls). 2 to become black or dark (skies blackening).
blackeningCollective noun for shoemakers (A blackening of shoemakers) (see list of collective nouns)
blacklist (noun)a list of persons suspected of doing wrong.
blackmail (verb)to obtain money by threatening to reveal a secret. Also n. n blackmailer.
blackout (noun)1 a sudden putting out of all lights (a blackout caused by an electrical power failure). 2 a period when all lights must be put out or covered (blackouts ordered by the government to guard against enemy air attacks). 3 a sudden, short loss of consciousness (have a blackout after hitting her head on a beam).
blacksmith (noun)a metal-worker who works with iron.
bladder (noun)1 a bag-like part of the body in which urine collects. 2 a bag of thin leather, rubber, etc, containing air (the bladder of a football).
blade (noun)1 a leaf (of grass, corn, etc). 2 the cutting part of a sword or knife. 3 the flat part of an oar (the oarsmen’s blades moved powerfully through the water).
blame (verb)1 to find fault with (I don’t blame you for being angry). 2 to regard as guilty or responsible (she blames him for her brother’s death/blame the rise in prices on the government). n 1 fault. 2 guilt. adj blameless, blameworthy.
blancmange (noun)a jelly-like milk dessert.
bland (adjective)1 so mild as to be almost tasteless (bland food). 2 so mild or gentle as to be without personality or emotion (bland smiles/bland articles about the government’s problems).
blank (adjective)1 not written on or marked (blank sheets of paper). 2 empty, without expression (blank faces). n an empty space (leave blanks for unanswered questions in the exam paper).
blanketCollective noun for snow (A blanket of snow) (see list of collective nouns)
blanket (noun)1 a woolen, etc, bedcovering. 2 a covering (a blanket of snow). vb to cover.
blare (verb)to make a loud sound (trumpets blaring). Also n.
blaspheme (verb)1 to speak mockingly or disrespectfully of God. 2 to swear or curse (drunks blaspheming when thrown out of the pub). n blasphemer adj blasphemous n blasphemy
blastCollective noun for hunters (A blast of hunters) (see list of collective nouns)
blast (noun)1 a sudden, strong gust of wind. 2 a loud sound (the blast of a trumpet). 3 an explosion (killed in the bomb blast). vb 1 to blow up or break up by explosion (blast rock). 2 to make a loud noise (music blasting from the radio). 3 (old or lit) to cause to wither (frost blasted the oak trees). 4 to ruin (blast their hopes). 5 (informal) to criticize severely (the critics blasted their performance).
blatant (adjective)very obvious, shameless (a blatant disregard for the law).
blazeCollective noun for pyromaniacs (A blaze of pyromaniacs) (see list of collective nouns)
blaze1 (noun)1 a bright fire or flame (dry wood makes a good blaze). 2 a bright glow of light or color (the garden was a blaze of color in the summer). 3 a large, often dangerous, fire (several people killed in the blaze). 4 an outburst (leave in a blaze of anger). vb 1 to burn brightly. 2 to shine like a flame.
blaze2 (noun)a mark, especially as made on a tree by cutting off a piece of bark. vb to show a trail by such marks.
blazer (noun)a kind of jacket (school blazers).
bleach (verb)1 to make white or whiter (curtains bleached by the sun). 2 to become white. n a substance that bleaches (soak sheets in diluted bleach).
bleak (adjective)1 dreary, cold (a bleak winter’s day). 2 not hopeful or encouraging (a bleak future). n bleakness.
bleat (verb)to cry, as a sheep. Also n.
bleed (verb)(pt, pp bled) 1 to lose blood. 2 to take blood from (doctors used to bleed people to treat disease). 3 (informal) to take money from illegally or dishonestly (moneylenders bleeding their clients).
blemish (noun)a stain, a fault. vb to stain; to spoil.
blend (verb)to mix together (blend the cake ingredients/blend colors). n a mixture.
Blennophobiafear of slime (see list of phobias)
bless (verb)1 to pronounce holy (bless the new church). 2 to ask God’s favor for (priests blessing newborn children).
blessed (adjective)1 holy (blessed saints). 2 happy, fortunate.
blessingCollective noun for unicorns (A blessing of unicorns) (see list of collective nouns)
blessing (noun)1 a thing that brings happiness (the blessing of children). 2 a prayer (say a blessing at the christening).
blight (noun)1 a disease in plants that causes them to wither. 2 a cause of ruin (the blight of all their hopes). vb 1 to cause to wither. 2 to ruin.
blimp (noun)an airship.
blind (adjective)1 having no sight. 2 unable or unwilling to understand (blind to the truth). 3 closed at one end (a blind alley). n 1 a window screen. 2 (informal) a pretense (his business was a blind for drug-smuggling). vb 1 to make blind. 2 to dazzle (blinded by the light). adv blindly. n blindness.
blindfold (verb)to cover the eyes with a bandage. Also adj.
blink (verb)1 to wink. 2 to twinkle (lights blinking). n 1 a glimpse. 2 a quick gleam of light.
blinker (noun)a piece of leather put over a horse’s eyes to prevent it seeing sideways.
bliss (noun)1 great happiness. 2 the happiness of heaven.
blissful (adjective)very happy.
blisterCollective noun for podiatrists (A blister of podiatrists) (see list of collective nouns)
blister (noun)a bag of skin containing watery matter (blisters on their feet after the long walk). vb to raise a blister.
blizzard (noun)a violent storm of wind and snow.
bloatCollective noun for hippopotamuses (A bloat of hippopotamuses) (see list of collective nouns)
bloated (adjective)blown out, swollen (I feel bloated after the large meal).
blob (noun)a drop, a small round mass (a blob of paint).
blockCollective noun for apartments (A block of apartments) (see list of collective nouns)
blockCollective noun for flats (A block of flats) (see list of collective nouns)
block (noun)1 a solid piece of wood, stone, etc (a block of stone/a block of ice). 2 the piece of wood on which people were beheaded. 3 a group of connected buildings (a block of flats). 4 a piece of wood in which a pulley is placed. 5 an obstacle (a block to further progress). vb to stop the way.
blockade (noun)the surrounding of a place with soldiers and/or ships to prevent people and food from going in or leaving. Also vb.
blockhead (noun)a stupid fellow.
blond (adjective)having fair hair and skin. f blonde. Also n.
blood (noun)1 the red liquid in the bodies of people and animals. 2 family or race (of noble blood).
blood vessel (noun)a vein or artery.
bloodhound (noun)a large dog often used in tracking.
bloodless (adjective)1 without blood or killing (a bloodless victory). 2 pale, anemic. 3 without spirit or energy.
bloodshed (noun)the spilling of blood, slaughter.
bloodshot (adjective)(of the eye) red and inflamed with blood.
bloodthirsty (adjective)eager to shed blood, taking pleasure in killing.
bloody (adjective)1 bleeding, covered with blood (a bloody nose). 2 stained with blood (a bloody handkerchief). 3 with a lot of wounding or killing (a bloody battle).
bloom (noun)1 a blossom, a flower (the first blooms of spring). 2 the state of flowering (flowers in bloom). 3 freshness, perfection (in the bloom of youth). vb to blossom.
blot (noun)1 a spot or stain, often of ink. 2 disgrace (a blot on the family’s honor). 3 something that spoils something beautiful or good (that industrial plant is a blot on the beautiful landscape). vb (blotted, blotting) 1 to spot, to stain, especially with ink. 2 to dry ink with blotting paper.
blotch (noun)a large spot or mark (a blotch of ink/red blotches on her skin).
blouse (noun)a loose upper garment.
blow1 (verb)(pt blew, pp blown) 1 to cause air to move. 2 to breathe hard (at or into) (blow into one’s hands to warm them). 3 to pant (blowing hard after a climb). vb blow up 1 to destroy by explosives. 2 to fill with air.
blow2 (noun)1 a stroke. 2 a misfortune.
blow3 (verb)(pt blew , pp blown) to bloom.
blowlamp (noun), also blowtorcha small burner producing a very hot flame.
blowy (adjective)(informal) windy (a blowy day).
blubber (noun)the fat of whales, etc. vb (blubbered, blubbering) to weep noisily.
bludgeon (noun)a short club. vb to strike repeatedly with something heavy (bludgeoned to death).
blue (noun)a primary color, as that of the sky on a clear day. Also adj.
blue fish (noun)a silvery-blue, ocean-living fish.
blue jay (noun)a North American crested bird with blue and white feathers.
blue jeans (noun)pants made of blue denim material.
bluebell (noun)1 the harebell. 2 in Scotland, the wild hyacinth.
blueberry (noun)a round, sweet blue berry grown on a bush.
bluebottle (noun)a large bluish fly.
blueprint (noun)1 a photographic print of a plan for a structure (the blueprints for the new office block). 2 a detailed plan or scheme (a blueprint for success).
bluff (noun)1 a cliff, a steep headland. 2 a pretense (their threat to kill the hostage was just a bluff). adj frank and abrupt but good-natured. vb to try to deceive by a show of boldness (they said they had guns but we knew they were bluffing).
blunder (verb)1 to make a foolish mistake (you blundered when you mistook her for her mother). 2 to stumble about or into something (blundering about in the dark looking for candles). Also n.
blunt (adjective)1 not sharp (blunt knives). 2 short and plain in speech (a blunt young man). 3 outspoken (a few blunt remarks). vb 1 to make less sharp. 2 to weaken.
blurCollective noun for impressionists (A blur of impressionists) (see list of collective nouns)
blur (noun)1 an indistinct mass (people only a blur in the distance). 2 a stain, a blot, a smear. vb (blurred, blurring) to make unclear (blur his vision/blur memories).
blurb (noun)a short description of something written to make people interested in it (the blurb on a paperback).
blurt (verb)to speak suddenly or thoughtlessly (blurt out the truth to the teacher).
blushCollective noun for boys (A blush of boys) (see list of collective nouns)
blushCollective noun for embarrassments (A blush of embarrassments) (see list of collective nouns)
blush (verb)to become red in the face from shame, modesty, etc. n the reddening of the face so caused. adv blushingly.
bluster (verb)1 (of wind) to blow violently. 2 to talk boastfully, noisily or threateningly. n boastful, noisy or threatening talk.
boa (noun)1 a snake that kills by crushing its victim. 2 a scarf of fur or feathers.
boa constrictor (noun)a type of boa snake.
boar (noun)1 a male pig. 2 a wild pig.
boardCollective noun for chess players (A board of chess players) (see list of collective nouns)
boardCollective noun for directors (A board of directors) (see list of collective nouns)
boardCollective noun for executives (A board of executives) (see list of collective nouns)
boardCollective noun for trustees (A board of trustees) (see list of collective nouns)
board (noun)1 a long, broad strip of timber (nail boards together to make a raft). 2 food (ask for board as well as lodging). 3 a group of people who meet, for example, for business reasons (board of directors). 4 the deck of a ship. 5 pl the stage. 6 a flat surface, often marked with a pattern, on which certain games are played (a Scrabble board). vb 1 to cover with boards (board the broken windows up). 2 to supply with food and accommodation (board the pupils during term time). 3 to take meals, and usually have accommodation, in (workers boarding at my mother’s house). 4 to enter a ship. 5 to get on to (board a bus).
boarder (noun)one who receives food and lodging at an agreed price.
boarding house (noun)a house where food and lodging may be obtained.
boarding school (noun)a school in which pupils live as boarders.
boast (verb)1 to speak with too much pride about oneself or one’s belongings, etc (boast about his victory/boast about her big house). 2 to possess (something to be proud of) (a town boasting three theaters). n proud speech; a proud claim.
boastful (adjective)fond of or given to boasting.
boat (noun)1 a ship, especially a small one. 2 a dish shaped like a boat (a gravy boat). vb to go in a boat. n boatman
boatloadCollective noun for aliens (noncitizens) (A boatload of aliens) (see list of collective nouns)
boatswain (noun)a petty officer on board ship.
bob (verb)(bobbed, bobbing) 1 to move quickly up and down (boats bobbing up and down on the water). 2 to cut short (bob her hair). Also n.
bobbin (noun)a pin or cylinder round which thread is wound, a reel.
bode (verb)bode ill or well to be a bad or good sign of future events (the team’s victory bodes well for the championship).
bodice (noun)1 a woman’s tight-fitting, sleeveless garment worn on the upper body. 2 the upper part of a woman’s dress (a dress with a low-cut bodice).
bodily (adjective)having to do with the body (convicted of doing bodily harm to her). adv by taking hold of the body (remove him bodily from the building).
bodkin (noun)1 a needle-like instrument for piercing holes. 2 a blunt needle with a large eye for threading tape through a hem.
bodyCollective noun for pathologists (A body of pathologists) (see list of collective nouns)
body (noun)1 the physical structure of a human being or animal. 2 the main part of anything (the body of the text of the book/the body of the hall). 3 a group of persons (a body of spectators). 4 a dead body, a corpse (police looking for a body).
bodyguard (noun)a guard to protect a person from attack.
bog (noun)soft, wet ground, a marsh.
bogey, bogy (noun)1 (also bogeyman) a goblin, an imaginary evil spirit. 2 an object of fear (the bogey of unemployment). 3 in golf, one stroke over par on a hole.
bogie (noun)1 a four-wheeled truck supporting the front of a railway engine. 2 (British spelling) a low truck.
bogus (adjective)not genuine, sham (she kept getting bogus calls on her cell phone/he was caught travelling on a bogus passport).
Bogyphobiafear of bogeys or the bogeyman (see list of phobias)
bohemian (noun)anyone who pays little heed to the customs or conventions of the time.
boil1 (verb)1 to bubble from the action of heat (water boiling). 2 to cook in boiling water (boil the potatoes). n boiler
boil2 (noun)a painful swelling containing pus.
boisterous (adjective)1 stormy. 2 noisy and cheerful (a boisterous party).
bold (adjective)1 daring, brave. 2 large and clear (bold type).
boldness (noun)courage.
bole (noun)the trunk of a tree.
boll (noun)a seed-container, as of the cotton or flax plant.
boll weevil (noun)an insect that destroys cotton bolls.
Bolshephobiafear of bolsheviks (see list of phobias)
bolster (noun)a long pillow. vb to hold up, to support (get a loan to bolster up the firm’s financial state).
bolt (noun)1 an arrow. 2 a thunderbolt. 3 a bar of a door. vb 1 to fasten with a bolt. 2 to run away (horses bolting in fright). 3 to eat too quickly (bolt one’s food).
bomb (noun)a hollow metal missile containing high explosive, gas, etc (buildings blown up by a bomb). vb to attack with bombs (the enemy air force bombed the city).
bombard (verb)1 to fire many guns at. 2 to direct many questions, statements of criticism, etc, at (reporters bombarding the police with questions about the murder). n bombardment
bombshell (noun)a very surprising piece of news, often bad news (the closing of the factory was a real bombshell to the town).
bonbon (noun)(formal) a candy.
bond (noun)1 that which binds (the bond of friendship/the bond between twins). 2 a written agreement, especially to pay money. 3 (formal) pl chains, fetters (prisoners in bonds).
bondage (noun)slavery.
bone (noun)1 the hard substance forming the skeleton of human beings and animals (flesh and bone). 2 any one of the pieces of this (break a bone in the leg). vb to take out the bones from (bone fish).
bonfire (noun)a large, open-air fire.
bonnet (noun)1 a headdress. 2 (British spelling) see hood.
bonny (adjective)1 pretty. 2 healthy-looking.
bonus (noun)an extra payment, made for a special effort or services (a productivity bonus/a Christmas bonus).
bony (adjective)1 having many bones (bony fish). 2 having protruding bones (his bony back).
booCollective noun for surprises (A boo of surprises) (see list of collective nouns)
booby (noun)a stupid person.
booby prize (noun)a prize given to the worst performer.
booby trap (noun)a trap hidden in a place so obvious that no one suspects it.
bookCollective noun for matches (A book of matches) (see list of collective nouns)
bookCollective noun for Mormons (A book of Mormons) (see list of collective nouns)
bookCollective noun for wagers (A book of wagers) (see list of collective nouns)
book1 (noun)printed matter, bound between covers.
book2 (verb)to reserve in advance (booked a hotel room/book theater tickets)
bookish (adjective)fond of reading or study.
bookkeeper (noun)one who keeps accounts. n bookkeeping
bookmaker (noun), also (informal) bookie) one who makes his or her living by accepting and paying out on bets.
bookworm (noun)one who reads a great deal.
boom1 (noun)1 a long pole to stretch the bottom of a sail. 2 a barrier set up across a harbor entrance or river.
boom2 (noun)a long deep sound. Also vb.
boom3 (noun)a time of rapid increase or growth (a tourist boom/a baby boom). vb to increase or grow quickly (business is booming).
boomerang (noun)a curved throwing stick that returns to the thrower, used by Australian Aboriginals. vb (of an action, plan, etc) to go wrong in such a way that harm or damage is caused to the person responsible.
boon (noun)1 (old) a favor, a special request. 2 an advantage, a blessing.
boor (noun)a rough, ill-mannered person. adj boorish.
boot (noun)1 a covering for the foot and lower leg. 2 (British spelling) see trunk. vb to kick (boot the ball into play).
booth (noun)1 a tent at a fair. 2 a covered stall at a market. 3 a small, enclosed structure (a phone booth).
bootleg (verb)to smuggle (alcoholic liquor). n bootlegger. adj a cut of pants where the hems flare out slightly.
booty (noun)1 goods seized and divided by the victors after a battle. 2 goods taken by thieves. 3 (slang) the human bottom.
border (noun)1 the outer edge of anything (a handkerchief with a lace border/a white border round the picture). 2 the boundary between two countries (show one’s passport at the border). 3 a flowerbed round a lawn, etc (borders of pansies). vb to be next to (the farm bordering ours). border (up)on to come close to, to be almost (a crime bordering on treason).
bore1 (verb)to make a hole in. n 1 the hole made by boring. 2 the greatest breadth of a tube, especially of a gun.
bore2 (verb)to weary by uninteresting talk, etc (an audience bored by a long speech). n a person whose talk is wearisome. adj boring.
bore3 (noun)a large tidal wave.
bored (adjective)weary and dissatisfied with one’s circumstances (bored children with nothing to do).
boredom (noun)the state of being bored.
born (past participle)of bear, sense 6.
borne (past participle)of bear, senses 1–5, 7.
borrow (verb)to ask or receive as a loan (borrow money from the bank bor-o-wer/.
bosom (noun)1 the breast (an ample bosom). 2 (lit or fml) the heart, considered as the seat of desires and feelings (hope stirred in his bosom). adj close, well-loved (bosom friends).
boss1 (noun)a knob.
boss2 (noun)(informal) a master, a manager(ess). vb 1 to be in charge. 2 to order about (older boys bossing younger ones).
bossy (adjective)(informal) fond of ordering others about (bossy people/in a bossy manner).
Botanophobiafear of plants (see list of phobias)
Botanystudy of plants (see list of branches of science)
botany (noun)the science or study of plants. adj botanic , botanical n botanist
bother (verb)1 to annoy (stop bothering your mother for candy). 2 to trouble oneself (don’t bother to get up). n a trouble.
bottle (noun)1 a container, usually of glass, with a narrow neck. 2 (informal) courage, boldness (lose one’s bottle). vb to put into bottles (bottle wine).
bottleneck (noun)1 a narrow or busy part of a road where traffic has to slow down or stop. 2 something that slows down progress (production held up by a bottleneck in the system).
bottom (noun)1 the lowest part (at the bottom of the well the bottom flat). adj bottomless.
boudoir (noun)(formal) a lady’s private room.
bough (noun)(formal) the branch of a tree.
bought (past tense)of buy.
bouillon (noun)a strong broth.
boulder (noun)a large smooth stone.
boulevard (noun)a wide street, with trees planted along either side.
bounce (verb)to jump or rebound suddenly (balls that bounce easily/children bouncing with joy). Also n.
bouncing (adjective)big, strong (a bouncing baby).
bound1 (noun)a limit or boundary beyond which one must not go. vb to form a limit or boundary.
bound2 (verb)to jump, to leap. Also n.
bound3 (adjective)1 on the way to (homeward bound). 2 (pt of bind). 3 obliged (feel bound to report him). 4 sure (to do something) (bound to fail). 5 tied (with bound hands). 6 covered (bound books).
boundary (noun)1 an outer limit. 2 a border.
boundless (adjective)without limit, endless (with boundless energy).
bountiful (adjective)(formal) giving generously.
bounty (noun)(formal) 1 generosity, kindness. 2 a gift of money above what is earned.
bouquetCollective noun for florists (A bouquet of florists) (see list of collective nouns)
bouquetCollective noun for flowers (A bouquet of flowers) (see list of collective nouns)
bouquetCollective noun for melons (A bouquet of melons) (see list of collective nouns)
bouquetCollective noun for pheasants (A bouquet of pheasants) (see list of collective nouns)
bouquetCollective noun for roses (A bouquet of roses) (see list of collective nouns)
bouquetCollective noun for wine tasters (A bouquet of wine tasters) (see list of collective nouns)
bouquet (noun)1 a bunch of flowers. 2 perfume of wine.
boutCollective noun for estimations (A bout of estimations) (see list of collective nouns)
bout (noun)1 a period of action (bouts of activity). 2 an attack (of illness) (a bout of flu). 3 a contest (a boxing bout).
boutique (noun)a small shop selling fashionable clothes (a boutique selling only designer clothes).
bovine (adjective)1 like an ox. 2 slow and stupid.
bow tie (noun)a tie tied in the shape of a bow, usually for formal occasions.
bow window (noun)a window built into a section of wall that curves out and back.
bow1 (verb)1 to bend, especially in respect or greeting (bow to the queen). 2 to lower (bow his head). n a bending of the head or body in respect or greeting.
bow2 (noun)1 a weapon for shooting arrows. 2 a looped knot. 3 a stick for playing a stringed instrument (e.g. the violin).
bow3 (noun)the curved front part of a ship.
bowed (adjective)bent, stooping (with head bowed in prayer).
bowels (noun, plural)1 the inside of the body, the intestines. 2 the organ by means of which waste matter is expelled from the body.
bowie-knife (noun)a long curved hunting knife.
bowlCollective noun for ice cream (A bowl of ice cream) (see list of collective nouns)
bowlCollective noun for keglers (A bowl of keglers) (see list of collective nouns)
bowl1 (noun)a roundish dish or basin (a pudding bowl).
bowl2 (noun)1 a heavy wooden ball. 2 pl the game played with such balls. vb 1 to play bowls. 2 to deliver the ball at cricket.
bowlegged (adjective)having legs wide apart at the knees.
bowler (noun)one who bowls.
bowline (noun)1 a rope on a sailing ship. 2 a knot that does not slip.
bowling (noun)a game where you attempt to knock down 10 pins by rolling a large, heavy ball down an alley.
box room (noun)a storage room in a house.
box1 (noun)a type of hardwood tree.
box2 (noun)1 a case or container (a box of chocolates/boxes of books). 2 in a theater, a separate compartment with seats, overlooking the stage. vb to put in a box (a job boxing apples).
box3 (verb)1 to strike (box the boy’s ears). 2 to fight in sport, wearing padded gloves. n boxer
boxing (noun)the sport of fighting with padded gloves on.
Boxing Day (noun)(Br) the day after Christmas Day.
boy (noun)1 a male child (have two boys and a girl). 2 a young male person. n boyhood
Boy Scout (noun)formerly the name given to a member of an international youth organization for boys, now Scout.
boycott (verb)to refuse to have any dealings with (workers boycotting firms whose employees are not union members). Also n.
braabbreviation for brassiere, underwear worn by women to support the breasts.
braceCollective noun for orthodontists (A brace of orthodontists) (see list of collective nouns)
brace (noun)1 a support. 2 a pair or a couple (a brace of pheasants). 3 a boring tool. 4 (British spelling) see suspenders. vb to steady or prepare oneself (brace yourself for some bad news).
bracelet (noun)an ornament for the wrist.
bracing (adjective)giving strength (a bracing climate).
bracket (noun)1 a support for something fixed to a wall (lights supported by brackets). 2 pl marks in printing to enclose a word, as {}, , (), or <>. vb 1 to enclose in brackets (bracket the information). 2 to link or connect (bracket the two cases together).
brag (noun)a boast. vb (bragged, bragging) to boast (brag about the cost of her jewels).
braid (verb)to twist together into one (braid her hair). n 1 a plait of cords or of hair so twisted together. 2 a narrow edging of decorated tape.
braided (adjective)edged with braid.
Braille (noun)a system of printing for blind people in which the letters of the alphabet and numbers are printed as raised dots that can be read by touching them.
brain (noun)1 the soft matter within the skull, the center of the nervous system (an operation on the brain). 2 pl cleverness, intelligence (the job requires someone with brains). 3 (informal) someone very clever or intelligent. vb to dash the brains out.
brainless (adjective)stupid.
brainy (adjective)(informal) clever.
brake1 (noun)1 a fern. 2 a clump of bushes or undergrowth.
brake2 (noun)1 a large wagon. 2 an apparatus for slowing or stopping a vehicle. vb to apply the brake (brake sharply).
bramble (noun)1 a prickly bush, especially the blackberry bush. 2 the berry from this bush.
bran (noun)the husks of cereal grain when separated from the flour.
branch (noun)1 a shoot growing out of the trunk or one of the boughs of a tree. 2 any connected part of a larger body (e.g. office, store, bank, etc) (branches responsible to head office). vb to divide into branches (the road branches here). branch out 1 to begin something new (after working for the family firm, he’s branching out on his own). 2 to expand (the firm is branching out into computers).
brand (noun)1 (formal) a burning piece of wood. 2 a mark made with a hot iron to identify cattle, etc. 3 a trademark, a special make of article (several brands of tinned soup). 4 variety (his own brand of humor). vb 1 to mark with a hot iron (brand cattle). 2 to mark down (as being bad).
brandish (verb)to wave, to shake (brandish a sword in the air).
brandy (noun)an alcoholic drink made from wine.
branleCollective noun for diplomats (A branle of diplomats) (see list of collective nouns)
brass (noun)1 an alloy of copper and zinc. 2 (informal) impudence (have the brass to call me a liar). adj brassy.
brassiereunderwear worn by women to support the breasts.
brat (noun)an ill-mannered child.
bravado (noun)pretended courage, boastful talk.
brave (adjective)courageous, daring (a brave man/a brave action). vb 1 to defy (brave the opposition). 2 to face with courage (brave the dangerous journey). n a Native American warrior.
bravery (noun)courage, daring.
brawl (verb)to quarrel noisily (drunks brawling in the pub). n a noisy row. n brawler.
brawn (noun)muscle, strength.
brawny (adjective)muscular, strong.
bray (verb)to make a loud, harsh sound, as an ass. Also n.
brazen (adjective)1 made of brass. 2 impudent, bold (a brazen young woman). vb to face boldly and impudently.
breach (noun)1 act of breaking (a breach of the law). 2 (formal) a gap (breach in the wall). 3 a fault (breach in security). 4 a quarrel, separation (breach between two sections of the club). vb to make a gap or opening in.
bread (noun)a food made from flour or meal and baked.
breadth (noun)the distance from side to side, width.
breadwinner (noun)the person whose earnings supply the needs of the family.
break (verb)(pt broke, pp broken) 1 to separate into two or more parts, usually by force (break a vase). 2 to become unusable or in need of repair (the machine is broken). 3 to tame (break in the new horses). 4 to fail to keep (break a promise/break the law). 5 to tell gently (break the news). 6 to go with force (break out from the prison). 7 to do better than (break a record). n 1 an opening. 2 a separation. 3 a pause. adj breakable.
breakage (noun)1 a breaking. 2 the thing broken.
breaker (noun)a wave broken by rocks.
breakfast (noun)the first meal in the day. vb to eat breakfast.
breakthrough (noun)an important new development (a breakthrough in the treatment of cancer).
breakwater (noun)a wall to break the force of the waves.
breast (noun)1 (formal) the front part of the body from the neck to the stomach, the chest (a soldier stabbed in the breast). 2 each of the milk-producing glands in a female. vb 1 to face (breast the waves). 2 to touch (breast the tape). 3 to come to the top of (breast the hill).
breastplate (noun)armor for the breast.
breath (noun)1 the air taken into and put out from the lungs. 2 a gentle breeze.
breathe (verb)1 to take air into one’s lungs and put it out again. 2 (formal) to live (while he breathes he will be loyal). 3 (formal) to whisper (breathe a reply in her ear).
breathless (adjective)1 out of breath, panting (breathless after climbing the hill). 2 excited, eager (in breathless expectation). adv breathlessly.
breech (noun)1 the back part of a gun barrel. 2 pl breeches pants that fasten just below the knee.
breed (verb)(pt, pp bred) 1 to produce young (rabbits breeding rapidly). 2 to keep (animals) for the purpose of breeding young (he breeds Alsatians). 3 to be the cause of (breed disaster). n a type, variety, species (a breed of cattle/a new breed of men).
breeding (noun)1 the bearing of offspring. 2 good manners.
breeze (noun)a light wind.
breezy (adjective)1 windy. 2 lively (in a breezy manner). adv breezily.
brethren (noun, plural)(old or relig) brothers.
brevity (noun)(formal) shortness (the brevity of the statement).
brew (verb)1 to make beer. 2 to make tea. 3 to be about to start (a storm brewing/trouble brewing). n the mixture made by brewing. n brewer.
brewery (noun)a factory where beer is made.
bribe (noun)a reward offered to win favor or preference unfairly (get into the country by bribing the border guard). vb to win over by bribes. n bribery
bric-à-brac (noun)small ornaments (a shelf covered by bric-à-brac).
brick (noun)1 a block of baked clay. 2 (informal) a good or helpful person.
brickbat (noun)a piece of criticism (a play receiving only brickbats).
bricklayer (noun)one who builds with bricks.
bridal (adjective)concerning a bride or a wedding (the bridal party).
bride (noun)a woman about to be married, or newly married.
bridegroom (noun)a man about to be married, or newly married.
bridesmaid (noun)a girl or woman who attends the bride at a wedding.
bridgeCollective noun for admirals (A bridge of admirals) (see list of collective nouns)
bridgeCollective noun for lyricists (A bridge of lyricists) (see list of collective nouns)
bridge1 (noun)1 a roadway built across a river, etc. 2 the small deck for a ship’s captain. 3 the piece of wood that supports the strings of a violin, etc. vb 1 to build a bridge over. 2 to close a gap or a pause so as to make a connection (bridging the awkward silence with a few remarks).
bridge2 (noun)a card game.
bridle (noun)1 the head straps and metal bit by which a horse is guided. 2 a check (act as a bridle on her extravagance). vb 1 to put a bridle on (bridle a horse). 2 to check (bridle his anger). 3 to toss the head in anger, etc (bridle at his criticism). 4 to show anger or indignation.
brief (noun)a summary of an argument, especially a law case for use in court. adj short (a brief statement). vb to provide with a summary of the facts.
briefcase (noun)a case for carrying papers.
brier, briar (noun)a thorn bush, the wild rose.
brigade (noun)an army unit consisting usually of three battalions.
brigadier (noun)an officer commanding a brigade.
brigand (noun)(old) a member of a band of robbers.
bright (adjective)1 shining (a bright light). 2 strong, vivid (a bright red color). 3 lively, cheerful (the invalid is a bit brighter). 4 clever (a bright pupil). n brightness.
brighten (verb)to make or become bright (candles brightening the room/something to brighten her mood).
brill (noun)a type of flatfish.
brilliant (adjective)1 sparkling. 2 very bright. 3 very clever. n a diamond. n brilliance , brilliancy
brim (noun)1 the rim (the brim of the cup). 2 the edge (the brim of the hat).
brimful, brimming (adjective)full to the brim (glasses brimful with wine).
brimstone (noun)sulfur.
brindled (adjective)marked with streaks (a brindled terrier).
brine (noun)salt water. the briny the sea.
bring (verb)(pt, pp brought ) 1 to fetch, to carry (bring food with you/bring a friend to the party). 2 to cause (death bringing sadness and grief). bring about to cause to happen. bring off to succeed (bring off a victory). bring up 1 to rear, to educate (bring up three children). 2 to raise (a subject for discussion).
brink (noun)1 the edge of a steep place (at the brink of the waterfall). 2 the edge, the point (on the brink of disaster).
brisk (adjective)keen; lively. adv briskly. n briskness.
brisket (noun)a cut of meat from the breast of an animal.
bristle (noun)a short, stiff hair. vb to stand on end.
bristly (adjective)having bristles, rough (a bristly chin).
brittle (adjective)hard but easily broken (brittle wood/brittle bones).
broach (verb)1 (formal) to open up (broach a new bottle of wine). 2 to begin to speak of (broach the question of money).
broad (adjective)1 wide (a broad piece of ribbon). 2 not detailed, general (a broad description). 3 (of speech) with a strong local accent. n broadness.
broadbandCollective noun for telecom workers (A broadband of telecom workers) (see list of collective nouns)
broadcast (verb)(pt, pp broadcast) 1 to make widely known (broadcast his views to the whole office). 2 to send out by radio or television (broadcast the game). 3 to scatter widely (broadcast seed). Also n.
broaden (verb)to make or become broad or broader (broaden the road/the road broadens here).
broad-minded (adjective)ready to listen to and consider opinions different from one’s own; liberal.
brocade (noun)a silk cloth with a raised pattern.
broccoli (noun)a green vegetable.
brochure (noun)a small book, a pamphlet (a brochure advertising the hotel).
broil (verb)to cook over a fire, to grill.
broiler (noun)the part of a stove that cooks using direct heat, usually above, the food.
broker (noun)1 one who buys and sells for others for a commission. 2 a stockbroker.
Bromatologystudy of food (see list of branches of science)
bromideCollective noun for greeting cards (A bromide of greeting cards) (see list of collective nouns)
Bromidrophobiafear of body smells (see list of phobias)
Bromidrosiphobiafear of body smells (see list of phobias)
bronchial (adjective)having to do with the bronchi, the branches of the windpipe to the lungs.
bronchitis (noun)an illness affecting the windpipe to the lungs.
bronco, broncho (noun)a half-tamed horse.
Brontophobiafear of thunder and lightning (see list of phobias)
brontosaurus (noun)a very large plant-eating dinosaur.
bronze (noun)1 an alloy of copper and tin. 2 a reddish-brown color. vb to give or become a reddish-brown color.
brooch (noun)an ornamental pin.
broodCollective noun for chickens (A brood of chickens) (see list of collective nouns)
broodCollective noun for hens (A brood of hens) (see list of collective nouns)
broodCollective noun for nestlings (A brood of nestlings) (see list of collective nouns)
brood (verb)1 to sit on eggs. 2 to think deeply or anxiously about (brood about her money problems). n 1 children. 2 a family of young birds.
broody (adjective)1 hatching eggs. 2 badly wanting to have children (she feels broody when she looks at a newborn baby).
brook1 (noun)a small stream.
brook2 (verb)(formal) to bear, to tolerate (brook no interference).
broom (noun)1 a plant with yellow flowers. 2 a brush, especially one of twigs.
broomstick (noun)the handle of a broom.
broth (noun)a meat soup with vegetables.
brother (noun)(pl brothers or (old or relig) brethren ) 1 a son of the same parents. 2 a member of the same group.
brotherhood (noun)1 the relation of a brother. 2 a group with one common purpose.
brotherly (adjective)of or like a brother.
broughtpast tense, past participle of bring.
browCollective noun for scholars (A brow of scholars) (see list of collective nouns)
brow (noun)1 the forehead. 2 the jutting-out edge of a cliff or hill (the brow of the hill).
browbeat (verb)to bully (browbeat the younger boy into doing his work).
brown (adjective)of a dark color. Also n. vb to make or become brown.
brownie (noun)1 a small, rich, chocolate cake, usually square, with nuts.2 a kindly fairy. 3 (British spelling) (cap) formerly, a junior member of the Girl Guides, now Brownie Guide.
browse (verb)1 to feed upon (cows browsing in the fields). 2 to glance through a book (browse through the catalog).
browser (noun)a software package that enables a user to find and read documents on the World Wide Web.
bruise (noun)a dark blotch on the skin, caused by a knock. vb to cause a bruise on (the fall bruised her face).
brunette (noun)a woman with dark brown hair.
brunt (noun)the main force or shock of something, the worst effects (the mother bore the brunt of the father’s violence).
brush (noun)1 an instrument for cleaning, sweeping, or smoothing. 2 an instrument for putting paint on to something. 3 the tail of a fox. 4 small trees and bushes. 5 a short battle. 5 (informal) a slight disagreement or hostile encounter (a brush with the police). vb 1 to clean with a brush. 2 to touch lightly.
brushwood (noun)1 small trees and bushes. 2 a thicket.
brusque (adjective)blunt, rude and abrupt in speech or manner. adv brusquely. n brusqueness.
Brussels sprout (noun)a small, round, green vegetable like a very small cabbage.
brutal (adjective)cruel, savage (a brutal murder).
brutality (noun)cruelty, savagery.
brute (noun)1 an animal. 2 (informal) a cruel person (he was a brute to leave her like that).
Bryologystudy of mosses and liverworts (see list of branches of science)
bubble (noun)a film of water or other liquid, containing air (bubbles in the glasses of champagne). vb to form bubbles. adj bubbly
buccaneer (noun)a pirate.
buck (noun)1 a male deer, goat, rabbit, etc. 2 (old) a dandy, a lively young man. 3 (informal) a dollar. vb to jump straight up with the back arched.
bucket (noun)a vessel for carrying water, a pail.
buckle (noun)a fastener for joining the ends of a belt or band. vb 1 to fasten (buckle on his belt). 2 to bend out of shape (metal buckling in the intense heat).
buckskin (noun)a soft leather.
bud (noun)a leaf or flower before it opens. vb (budded, budding) to put out buds.
Buddhist (noun)a person who believes in the religious teaching of Buddha. n Buddhism
budding (adjective)promising (a budding young artist).
budge (verb)(informal) to move, to stir (I can’t budge this heavy wardrobe/she won’t budge from that seat).
budgerigar (noun)a type of small parrot that can be trained to talk.
budgetCollective noun for letters (A budget of letters) (see list of collective nouns)
budget (noun)1 a statement of government taxation and intended spending for the coming year. 2 a plan to ensure that household expenses or those of a firm or organization will not be greater than income (keep within our monthly budget). vb 1 to make such a plan (I try to budget but I always seem to spend too much). 2 to allow for something in a budget (they hadn’t budgeted for such a large phone bill).
buff (noun)1 a type of leather. 2 a pale dull yellow color. adj light yellow.
buffalo (noun)(pl buffalos or buffaloes) a type of ox.
buffer (noun)an apparatus to lessen the force of a collision or shock.
buffet1 (noun)1 a sideboard. 2 a counter or bar at which refreshments may be obtained (the station buffet). 3 a meal, often cold, set out on tables so that people can help themselves (have a buffet supper).
buffet2 (noun)(formal) a blow, a slap (give his son a buffet on the side of the head). vb 1 to strike. 2 to knock about (boats buffeted by strong winds).
buffoon (noun)1 a clown. 2 a person who plays the fool.
buffooneryCollective noun for orangutans (A buffoonery of orangutans) (see list of collective nouns)
Bufonophobiafear of toads (see list of phobias)
bug (noun)1 a blood-sucking insect (bedbugs). 2 any insect (bugs crawling over our picnic). 3 (informal) an infection (a stomach bug). 4 (informal) a hidden microphone used to record other people’s conversations secretly (a bug in his hotel room). 5 a defect or error in a computer program or system. vb (bugged, bugging) (informal) 1 to install or use a hidden microphone (bug his room). 2 (informal) to annoy (what’s bugging you?).
bugle (noun)a small brass instrument like a trumpet. n bugler.
build (verb)(pt, pp built ) to put together materials in order to make something, to construct. n builder.
buildingCollective noun for rooks (A building of rooks) (see list of collective nouns)
building (noun)the thing built.
bulb (noun)1 the round root of certain flowers. 2 a pear-shaped glass globe surrounding the element of an electric light.
bulbous (adjective)bulb-shaped, swollen.
bulge (noun)a swelling. vb to swell out (his muscles are bulging after weight-training). adj bulgy
bulimia (noun)an eating disorder in which bouts of over-eating are followed by bouts of vomiting in order to lose weight. adj bulimic.
bulk (noun)1 the size, especially of large things (the package is not heavy but its sheer bulk makes it difficult to move). 2 the main part (the bulk of their money goes on housing). in bulk in a large quantity. vb to make fuller, to increase in size (use gel to bulk out her hair). bulk large (formal) to be important or prominent (education does not bulk large in his plans).
bulkhead (noun)an inside wall between one part of a ship or airplane and another.
bulky (adjective)very large and awkward to move or carry.
bull1 (noun)1 the male of cattle. 2 the male ox, elephant, whale, etc.
bull2 (noun)a ruling by the pope.
bulldog (noun)a type of dog.
bulldozer (noun)a heavy tractor for clearing away obstacles and making land level.
bullet (noun)a small piece of metal shot from a rifle or pistol.
bulletin (noun)1 a short, official report of news. 2 a printed information sheet or newspaper (the company bulletin).
bulletproof (adjective)not able to be pierced by bullets (a bulletproof vest).
bullfrog (noun)a large frog.
bullion (noun)uncoined gold and silver in lumps.
bulls-eye (noun)1 the center of a target. 2 a shot that hits it. 3 a type of candy.
bully (noun)a person who uses his or her strength to hurt or to terrify those who are weaker. vb to intimidate, oppress, or hurt (bullying younger boys/bullied people into doing what he wants).
bulrush (noun)a tall weed.
bumblebee (noun)a large type of bee.
bump (noun)1 a heavy blow, or the dull noise made by it (receive a bump on the head in the accident). 2 a lump caused by a blow. vb to knock against. adj bumpy
bumper (noun)1 (old) a full glass or cup. 2 a protective bar at the front and the back of an automobile. adj unusually large or full (a bumper harvest).
bumptious (adjective)conceited, too full of oneself.
bun (noun)1 a small cake. 2 hair styled in a rounded mass.
bunchCollective noun for grapes (A bunch of grapes) (see list of collective nouns)
bunchCollective noun for things (A bunch of things) (see list of collective nouns)
bunch (noun)1 a group or collection of things of the same kind (a bunch of flowers a bunch of keys). 2 (informal) a group of people (her friends are a nice bunch). vb to come or put together in groups or bunches (traffic bunching on motorways/players bunched up on the field).
bundleCollective noun for asparagus (A bundle of asparagus) (see list of collective nouns)
bundleCollective noun for clothes (A bundle of clothes) (see list of collective nouns)
bundleCollective noun for nerves (A bundle of nerves) (see list of collective nouns)
bundleCollective noun for rags (A bundle of rags) (see list of collective nouns)
bundle (noun)a collection of things tied together. vb 1 to tie in a bundle (bundle up the old clothes for the rummage sale). 2 to force to go in a hurry (bundle the children off to school).
bungalow (noun)a low house usually of one story.
bungee jumping (noun)the act of jumping from a high place while the ankles are secured by an elastic cord.
bungle (verb)to do badly or clumsily (bungle a deal and lose the firm money). Also n.
bunion (noun)a swelling on the foot, especially on the big toe.
bunk (noun)1 a narrow bed, especially in a ship. 2 one of a pair of beds placed one above the other (bunk beds).
bunker (noun)1 a ship’s coal store. 2 a large chest for storing coal. 3 (British spelling) see sand trap.
bunny (noun)(informal) a rabbit.
Bunsen burner (noun)a pipe mounted on a stand through which gas flows and which is lit to make a flame. It is used in science classes and laboratories.
bunt (verb)to hit a baseball very lightly.
buntingCollective noun for flags (A bunting of flags) (see list of collective nouns)
bunting (noun)1 a material used for making flags. 2 flags.
buoy (noun)an object floating in a fixed position to show ships the safe course. vb 1 to keep afloat. 2 to support, to keep high (profits buoyed up by the export market/buoy up his hopes). 3 to raise the spirits of (thoughts of going home buoyed him up).
buoyant (adjective)1 floating, able to float easily (cork is a buoyant material). 2 cheerful, optimistic (in buoyant mood). n buoyancy
bur, burr (noun)the prickly seed container of certain plants.
burden (noun)1 a load. 2 the chorus of a song. 3 the leading idea (of). vb to load heavily. adj burdensome (a burdensome task).
bureau (noun)(pl bureaux or bureaus) 1 (British spelling) a writing desk with drawers (an antique bureau). 2 an office (an accommodation bureau/an exchange bureau).
bureaucracy (noun)1 a system of government by paid officials working for a government (civil service bureaucracy). 2 these officials taken as a group. 3 a system of doing things officially, often unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming (complain about the bureaucracy involved in getting a license).
burglar (noun)a thief who breaks into a house.
burglary (noun)the crime of housebreaking.
burgle (verb)to commit burglary.
burial (noun)the act of putting into a grave.
burlapa coarse material used in making sacks.
burlesque (noun)a comic or mocking imitation, a parody, a caricature. Also adj and vb.
burly (adjective)stout, big and strong (troublemakers thrown out by burly doormen).
burn (verb)(pt, pp burnt or burned ) 1 to be alight, to give out heat (wood that burns easily). 2 to be on fire (the house is burning). 3 to destroy or damage by fire (all their possessions were burnt in the blaze). 4 to hurt or injure by fire (he was badly burnt in the fire). 5 to be very hot (burn with fever). 6 to feel great anger, passion, etc. n a hurt caused by fire (receive severe burns in the fire).
burner (noun)the part of a stove, etc, from which the flame comes.
burnish (verb)to polish. Also n.
burr (noun)1 a throaty sounding of the letter r. 2 a bur.
burrow (noun)a hole in the earth made by certain animals, e.g. rabbits, foxes, etc. vb 1 to make by digging (burrow a hole). 2 to search for something (burrow in her pocket for keys).
burst (verb)(pt, pp burst) 1 to break in pieces (the balloon burst). 2 to rush, to go suddenly or violently (burst into the room). n a sudden outbreak (a burst of applause).
buryCollective noun for conies (A bury of conies) (see list of collective nouns)
bury (verb)1 to put into a grave. 2 to put under ground.
bus (noun)a large road vehicle for carrying passengers (short for omnibus). vb (bussed, bussing or bused, busing) to transport by bus (bus the children to school).
bush (noun)1 a small low tree. 2 wild, uncleared country; forest country.
bushelCollective noun for apples (A bushel of apples) (see list of collective nouns)
bushel (noun)a dry measure (35.3 liters) for grain, etc.
bushy (adjective)1 full of bushes. 2 thick-growing (bushy hair).
businessCollective noun for ferrets (A business of ferrets) (see list of collective nouns)
business (noun)1 one’s work or job (selling furniture is his business). 2 trade and commerce (a career in business). 3 a matter that concerns a particular person (none of your business). adj business-like.
bust (noun)1 a statue showing only the head, shoulders, and breast of a person (a bust of Shakespeare). 2 the shoulders and breast.
bustle1 (verb)to move about busily and often fussily (bustling about preparing a meal). n noisy movement, hurry.
bustle2 (noun)a frame or pad once worn to hold out the back of a woman’s skirt.
busy (adjective)1 always doing something (too busy to visit her family). 2 at work, engaged in a job, etc (he’s busy and will call you back). 3 full of people, traffic, etc (busy shops bi-zi-lee/.
busybody (noun)one who shows too a lot of interest in the affairs of others, a meddler.
butcher (noun)1 one who kills and sells animals for food. 2 a cruel killer (the leader of the enemy army was a butcher). vb 1 to kill for food. 2 to kill cruelly.
butchery (noun)cruel slaughter.
butler (noun)the chief manservant in a household, formerly in charge of the wine cellar.
butt1 (noun)1 a large barrel. 2 the thicker end of a thing (the butt of a rifle). vb to strike with the head or horns (butted by a ram).
butt2 (noun)1 a mark to be shot at. 2 the mound behind the targets for rifle practice. 3 a person who is always being made fun of (the butt of his jokes).
butter (noun)an oily food made from milk.
buttercup (noun)a common yellow wild flower.
butterfly (noun)1 an insect with large colorful wings. 2 a frivolous unreliable person.
buttermilk (noun)the liquid that remains after the butter has been made.
butterscotch (noun)a hard toffee.
button (noun)1 a knob or disc to fasten one part of a garment to another. 2 something shaped like a button, especially a knob or switch on an electrical appliance (press the red button to switch on). vb to fasten with buttons (button up your coat).
buttonholeCollective noun for lobbyists (A buttonhole of lobbyists) (see list of collective nouns)
buttonhole (noun)1 a hole for a button. 2 a flower worn in a buttonhole. vb to stop and hold in conversation (he buttonholed me and bored me with his holiday plans).
buy (verb)(pt, pp bought) to obtain by paying for.
buyer (noun)1 one who buys. 2 one whose job is to buy goods (the buyer in the dress department).
buzz (noun)a humming noise. Also vb.
buzzard (noun)a type of hawk.
by (preposition)1. next to (sit by me). 2 by the means of (it was built by hand/ we traveled by train). 3 through the work of (built by the Egyptians) adv 1 near (it’s by the door). 2 past (in times gone by).
by and by (adverb)soon (I’ll see you by and by). n by-and-by a future occasion or time.
bye (noun)1 in cricket, a run made from a ball that is not hit. 2 in a competition, a pass without contest into the next round.
bygone (adjective)(formal) past (in bygone days). npl bygones past events.
bylaw, bye-law (noun)a law made by a local body and applying to the area in which the body has authority.
by-product (noun)something made in the course of making a more important article.
bystander (noun)an onlooker, a spectator (bystanders at the accident scene giving statements to the police).
byteCollective noun for computer operators (A byte of computer operators) (see list of collective nouns)
byte (noun)the unit of storage in a computer memory.
byway (noun)a side road.
GKNXT Encyclopedia
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