GKNXT Encyclopedia
0 A B C D E
X Y Z #
I (volume 9)
Imeaning the person speaking or writing.
I, ithe ninth letter of the alphabet.
I’llI will.
I’mI am.
I’vea shortened form of I have.
Iamatologystudy of remedies (see list of branches of science)
iambCollective noun for poets (An iamb of poets) (see list of collective nouns)
Iatrologystudy of medicine, treatise or text on medical topics (see list of branches of science)
Iatrophobiafear of going to the doctor or of doctors (see list of phobias)
ice1 frozen water (take some ice from the freezer for the drinks). vb 1 to cool in ice. 2 to cover with icing.
Ice Agea time when large amounts of ice and glaciers cover many areas of the earth.
ice capa dome-shaped mass of ice that spreads slowly outward from the center.
ice cream1 cream or a mixture of creamy substances flavored, sweetened, and frozen (a store selling ice cream). 2 a portion of ice cream (buy two ice creams).
ice fishingfishing on a frozen lake or stream through a hole in the ice.
ice floea large sheet of floating ice.
ice packice collected and put into a bag or container of some kind, used to cool things down (put the ice pack in the cooler for the picnic/put an ice pack on her knee to reduce the swelling).
ice picka sharp, pointed metal tool used to chip ice pieces away from a larger block of ice.
ice skatefootwear with a blade on the bottom, used for skating on the ice.
iceboata light boat-like frame set on runners and designed to be ridden on ice by wind going through a sail.
iceboxa cabinet, box, or room with ice in it for keeping things cold.
icebreakera ship designed for cutting its way through ice.
Ichnologystudy of fossilized footprints (see list of branches of science)
Ichthyologystudy of fish (see list of branches of science)
Ichthyophobiafear of fish (see list of phobias)
ichthyosaura huge fish-like prehistoric reptile.
iciclea long, hanging, pointed piece of ice formed by the freezing of falling water (icicles hanging from the roof).
icilyin an icy manner, very coldly.
icinga mixture of sugar and liquid, used to cover cakes (cover the cake with chocolate icing). Also frosting.
icon1 a religious picture or statue, an image. 2 a famous person or thing that many people admire and regard as a symbol of a way of life or set of beliefs. 3 a small symbol on a computer screen that represents a program or file (click on that icon using the mouse). adj iconic
Iconographystudy of drawing symbols (see list of branches of science)
Iconologystudy of icons; symbols (see list of branches of science)
icy1 very cold (icy weather). 2 covered with ice (icy roads). 3 unfriendly (an icy stare).
IDabbreviation for identification (sense 2).
idea1 a plan, thought, or suggestion (I have an idea for a book). 2 a picture in the mind (an idea of the house that they are looking for). 3 an opinion or belief (political ideas).
ideal1 a perfect example (her ideal of what a husband should be). 2 high principles or perfect standards, a person’s standard of behavior, etc (a person of high ideals). adj 1 perfect (an ideal wife eye-dee-lee/.
idealismthe desire to achieve perfection, the state of having high principles or perfect standards (he is full of idealism about marriage). n idealist adj idealistic
idealizealso idealise (British spelling) to think of as perfect or better than reality (he gives an idealized account of life at the beginning of the century).
identical1 the very same (this is the identical car that was here yesterday). 2 the same, exactly alike (they were wearing identical dresses).
identification1 act of recognizing (identification of the mysterious gentleman was difficult). 2 something that is proof of or a sign of identity, often abbreviated to ID (you require identification to get into the club). 3 the feeling that one shares ideas, feelings, etc, with another person (her identification with the unhappy woman whom she was reading about).
identify1 to think of as being the same (she identifies wealth with happiness). 2 to recognize as being a certain person or thing (she had to identify her attacker in a line-up). 3 to discover or recognize (identified the cause of the problem).
identity1 (formal) the state of being the same. 2 who a person is (have to prove her identity).
Ideogenystudy of origins of ideas (see list of branches of science)
Ideologystudy of ideas (see list of branches of science)
ideology1 the study of the nature and origin of ideas. 2 a system of ideas (political ideologies).
Ideophobiafear of ideas (see list of phobias)
idiocy1 the state of being an idiot. 2 a foolish action (the idiocies committed by fast drivers in the fog).
idiom1 the language or dialect of a certain group of people (the idiom of American English). 2 a group of words that together have an unexpected meaning different from the exact sense (the expression “white elephant” is an idiom for an object that is of value to someone other than the owner).
Idiomologystudy of idiom, jargon or dialect (see list of branches of science)
Idiopsychologystudy of the psychology of one's own mind (see list of branches of science)
idiosyncrasyan odd way of behaving (it is one of her idiosyncrasies to talk to herself). adj idiosyncratic (an idiosyncratic habit of putting salt on pudding).
idiot1 (old or fml) a person with very low intelligence. 2 a foolish or stupid person (he was an idiot to drive without a license). adj idiotic adv idiotically
idle1 doing nothing, not working, not in use (workers forced to be idle for lack of work eye-dul-ness eyed-ler eyed-lee/.
idol1 a statue or other object that is worshipped. 2 a person regarded with too much love and respect (he made an idol out of his father).
idolize, idoliseto love or admire very greatly (he idolizes his wife although she is not very pleasant).
idylla poem about simple country life (an idyll about a shepherd and his sweetheart).
idyllic1 perfectly happy, pleasant (an idyllic marriage). 2 charming, picturesque (they found a cottage in an idyllic setting).
ifon condition that, in case, supposing (if I were you).
iglooa house or hut, usually dome-shaped, made of blocks of frozen snow.
igneous(of rocks) formed from lava from a volcano.
ignite1 to set fire to (drop a match and ignite the gasoline). 2 to catch fire (the gasoline leaking from the car ignited).
ignition1 act of setting fire to. 2 the part of a motor engine that sets fire to the fuel that drives the engine (turn the key in the ignition).
ignoble1 (formal) mean, dishonorable (an ignoble action). 2 (old) of low birth.
ignoramusa person with little or no knowledge (she’s an ignoramus about cooking).
ignorance1 want of knowledge (his ignorance of mathematics). 2 lack of awareness or knowledge (his ignorance of what they were really doing).
ignorant1 having little or no knowledge (ignorant about financial matters). 2 unaware of (he was ignorant of the true facts).
ignoreto take no notice of, to refuse to pay attention to (she completely ignored her old friend ignoring his advice).
iguanaany of a large family of lizards with spines along its back and that eats vegetation or insects.
ihram1 a costume worn by Muslims when traveling to Mecca consisting of one piece of white cotton around the waist and hips and another over the shoulder. 2 the rules that have to be followed when dressed in this way.
ill1 sick (ill patients). 2 bad (ill health). 3 evil, harmful (ill luck). n 1 evil, harm (wish him ill). 2 trouble (all the ills of the world). adv badly (treat him ill).
ill willunfriendly feeling, hate, dislike.
illegalagainst the law. n illegality
illegiblethat cannot be read, badly written (illegible handwriting).
illegitimateborn of unmarried parents (his illegitimate daughter). n illegitimacy
illicitunlawful, against the law (the illicit trade in drugs).
Illinoisa member of a group of native American people who lived in northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and parts of Iowa and Missouri, the language spoken by these people.
illiterate1 unable to read or write (illiterate people seeking help with reading lessons). 2 uneducated (an illiterate note). n illiteracy
illnesssickness, the state of being unwell (off work because of illness/childhood illnesses).
illogical1 not using reasoning, not reasonable (illogical people). 2 against the rules of reasoning (his action was completely illogical). n illogic the state of being illogical.
illuminate1 (old) to light up (strings of little lights illuminating the garden). 2 (of books, etc) to decorate with bright colors (early illuminated manuscripts prepared by monks). 3 to explain, to make clear (please illuminate a few points in the legal agreement).
illumination(formal) 1 a lighting up. 2 decorative lights (the town’s Christmas illuminations). 3 a picture or decoration painted on a page of a book (illuminations on early manuscripts). 4 explanation, clarification (a few points in need of illumination).
illusion1 a deception, an unreal image or appearance (an optical illusion). 2 a wrong belief, a false idea (she had illusions that she was very beautiful). adj illusory
illusionCollective noun for magicians (An illusion of magicians) (see list of collective nouns)
illusionCollective noun for painters (An illusion of painters) (see list of collective nouns)
illusionista person who performs tricks that deceive the eye; a magician.
illustrate1 to make clear by examples (illustrating the movement of traffic by a diagram). 2 to provide pictures for a book or magazine (she illustrates children’s books).
illustration1 an example that makes something easier to understand or demonstrates something (an illustration of his meanness). 2 a picture in a book or magazine (color illustrations).
illustrativehelping to explain (illustrative examples).
illustrious(formal) famous.
Illyngophobiafear of vertigo or feeling dizzy when looking down (see list of phobias)
image1 a likeness, form (an image in the mirror). 2 a likeness or copy of a person, etc, made of stone, wood, etc (images of famous people). 3 a statue or picture that is worshipped. 4 a picture formed of an object in front of a mirror or lens. 5 a picture in the mind (have an image of what life would be like in ten years). 6 the impression that a person or organization gives to the public (We must improve the firm’s image).
imageryfigures of speech, words chosen because they call up striking pictures in the mind (the poet’s use of imagery).
imaginablethat can be imagined.
imaginaryexisting in the mind only, not real (a child with an imaginary friend).
imagination1 the power of inventing stories, persons, etc; creative ability (require a lot of imagination to write for children/a play showing a great deal of imagination). 2 the power of forming pictures in the mind (able to see it all in her imagination). 3 the seeing or hearing of things that do not exist (she said that she heard noises in the night but it was just her imagination).
imaginative1 having a good imagination (an imaginative person). 2 demonstrating imagination (an imaginative production of the play/imaginative designs).
imagine1 to form a picture in the mind (I can imagine her reaction). 2 to form ideas of things that do not exist or of events that have not happened (she imagined that she met an alien). 3 to suppose (I imagine that he will arrive on time).
imamthe leader of prayer in a Muslim mosque; any of various Muslim leaders.
imbalancelack of balance.
imbecile1 (formal) a weak-minded person. 2 a fool, an idiot. n imbecility
imitateto copy; to try to be, behave, or look the same as (imitating his voice i-mi-tay-tor/.
imitation1 act of imitating. 2 a copy (not the original painting but an imitation).
imitative1 done as a copy (an imitative piece of work). 2 fond of copying (an imitative poet).
immaculate1 (old) pure. 2 spotless, perfectly clean (immaculate white shorts). 3 perfect (an immaculate performance).
immaterial1 not consisting of matter, spiritual. 2 unimportant (it is immaterial how you get here as long as you do).
immature1 unripe. 2 not fully grown. 3 lacking experience and wisdom. n immaturity
immeasurablehuge, that cannot be measured, vast (immeasurable damage).
immediate1 happening at once (an immediate improvement). 2 direct, without anyone or anything coming between (her immediate successor). 3 near, close (her immediate surroundings). n immediacy the quality or condition of being immediate.
immediately1 at once (you must reply immediately). 2 closely (houses immediately next to the station).
immensehuge (an immense improvement i-men-si-tee/.
immerse1 to put into water (immersing the vegetables in boiling water). 2 to give a person’s whole attention to (immersed in his work). n immersion
immersionCollective noun for Baptists (An immersion of Baptists) (see list of collective nouns)
immigranta person who immigrates, or moves to another country (immigrants came to America to start a new life). adj of or relating to immigrants.
immigrate(formal) to enter and settle in a new country. n immigration
imminentjust about to happen, near in time (in imminent danger). n imminence
immobilenot moving, unable to move (lying there immobile as if dead i-mo-bi-li-tee i-mo-bi-lize/, also immobilise (British spelling)
immoderatemore than is proper, uncontrolled (immoderate spending).
immodest(formal) 1 shameless, indecent (the immodest behavior of the young people i-mod-es-tee/.
immoralwrong, evil, wicked (immoral actions i-maw-ra-li-tee/.
immoralistan immoral person.
immortal1 living or lasting forever. 2 famous for all time (Shakespeare is immortal).
immortality1 everlasting life. 2 undying fame (the undoubted immortality of Shakespeare).
immortalizealso immortalise (British spelling) 1 to make immortal. 2 to make famous for all time (she was immortalized in a poem by her lover).
immovable1 not able to be moved (immovable objects). 2 not changing easily (immovable opinions).
immune1 free from, specially protected from (immune from taxation). 2 not to be infected by (immune from chicken pox because she has had it already). n immunity
immune system`the system that protects the body from disease.
immunizealso immunise (British spelling) to inject disease germs into the blood stream to cause a mild attack of an illness and so make the person immune to it (immunizing the children against measles).
Immunogeneticsstudy of genetic characteristics of immunity (see list of branches of science)
Immunologystudy of immunity (see list of branches of science)
immunologythe study of the immune system.
Immunopathologystudy of immunity to disease (see list of branches of science)
imp1 in fairy tales, an evil spirit, a devil’s child. 2 a mischievous child (the little imp stole an apple).
impact1 the force with which one thing strikes another (thrown out of the car by the impact of it hitting the wall). 2 a collision (the car was wrecked on impact with the wall). 3 a strong effect or impression (the impact on the audience of the politician’s speech).
impairto make worse, to weaken (his vision is impaired).
impaleto fix upon something sharp, to pierce (he fell out of the window and was impaled on the railings below).
impart(formal) 1 to tell (impart new information). 2 to give or share (impart courage to his troops).
impartialfair, just, not taking sides (an impartial judgment).
impartialityfairness, treating all parties or persons in the same way.
impassive1 not showing strong feeling, not feeling pain (a totally impassive expression). 2 calm, unexcited (he remained impassive as the judge passed sentence).
impatienceCollective noun for wives (An impatience of wives) (see list of collective nouns)
impatientnot willing to wait, easily angered by delay (a very impatient person im-pay-shense/.
impeach1 to charge with a crime. 2 to charge an important person with a crime (politicians impeached for accepting bribes). 3 (formal) to raise doubts about (impeach the character of the manager). n impeachment
impeccablefaultless (his behavior was impeccable).
imperative1 commanding. 2 necessary, urgent (it is imperative that we get more supplies).
imperfecthaving faults, not perfect (goods that are slightly imperfect). n imperfection
imperial1 having to do with an empire or emperor (Great Britain’s former imperial power). 2 of a country that has control over other countries or colonies. 3 of or belonging to the British Imperial System of weights and measures.
impersonal1 not influenced by personal feelings (an impersonal account of the situation im-per-sna-lize/, also impersonalise (British spelling)
impersonateto pretend to be someone else (she impersonated her older sister to get into the club).
impertinentnot showing proper manners, purposely disrespectful (punish the impertinent children). n impertinence
impetuousacting without thinking first; rash, hasty (an impetuous young woman im-pe-che-wos-i-tee/.
impishmischievous (an impish sense of humor).
implant1 to place in. 2 to fix firmly an idea or feeling in someone’s mind (the teacher implanted the idea of justice in his pupils’ minds).
implementa tool, an instrument (garden implements). vb implement to put into practice (implement an agreement).
implicateto show that a person is involved or connected with (an affair); to mix up in (when he was arrested his statement implicated two of his friends).
implicationsomething hinted at but not said openly (by implication he was accusing her of lying).
implicit1 understood but not said (his implicit criticism). 2 unquestioning, without doubts (implicit faith).
implodeto burst or collapse inward. n implosion
imploreto ask earnestly, to beg (imploring him to forgive her).
implyto suggest something without saying it openly, to hint (he implied that she was lying).
impolite(formal) rude, ill-mannered (impolite table manners).
importto bring in goods from abroad (import silk from China). n import something brought in from abroad. n importer
important1 deserving great attention (an important book). 2 having results that affect many people (important decisions). 3 having a high position (important people in the land). n importance adv importantly
importationan importing or being imported.
impose1 to lay on or place (as a duty, tax, etc). 2 to force to accept (imposing his authority on others). impose on to take advantage of, to exploit, to make unfair demands on (they imposed on her by getting her to babysit free of charge).
imposingimportant looking, stately (an imposing building).
imposition1 the act of laying on or placing (the imposition of taxes). 2 a tax. 3 an unfair demand (it was an imposition to get him to give her a lift to work every day).
impositionCollective noun for in-laws (An imposition of in-laws) (see list of collective nouns)
impossiblenot able to be done or achieved (an impossible dream). n impossibility
impostor, impostera person who pretends to be someone else, a deceiver (they realized he was an impostor when the real policeman turned up).
imposturethe act or practice of an impostor; fraud, deception.
impotentlacking power, helpless, weak (impotent against the force of the storm/full of impotent rage).
impracticalnot practical, not workable or useful.
imprecisenot precise, exact, or definite.
impregnate1 to fill with (water impregnated with salt). 2 to fertilize or make pregnant.
impress1 to mark by pressing into, to stamp (impress a pattern on the clay pots before firing them). 2 to fix in the mind (try to impress the details in her memory). 3 to stress, to emphasize the importance of (impress the need for them to hurry). adj impressible
impression1 the mark left by pressing or stamping (the impression of his heel in the mud). 2 the number of copies of a book printed at one time. 3 an effect on the mind or feelings (his appearance creates a bad impression). 4 a not very clear idea or memory (I have a vague impression that she left early). 5 an attempt to copy, in a humorous way, someone else’s voice, behavior, appearance, etc (he does impressions).
impressionCollective noun for mockingbirds (An impression of mockingbirds) (see list of collective nouns)
impressionableeasily influenced (impressionable people were fooled by him).
impressionisma way of painting created by artists who attempted to represent scenes just as they appeared at a certain moment by using color and brush strokes in a specific way; also used to describe similar attempts in writing and music.
impressionist1 an artist who practices impressionism. 2 a person who does impressions of people, especially as a form of entertainment. Also adj.
impressive1 important looking (an impressive building). 2 causing deep feeling, such as admiration (an impressive performance).
imprint1 to make a mark by pressing or printing. 2 to fix in the memory (her sad expression is imprinted on my memory). n 1 that which is imprinted. 2 a publisher’s name, address, etc, on a book.
imprisonto put into prison, to shut in.
imprisonmentthe act of imprisoning or the state of being imprisoned (the accused is facing imprisonment).
improbablenot likely to happen or to be true (an improbable ending to the story). n improbability
impromptunot prepared (an impromptu speech). adv without preparation.
improper1 wrong (accused of improper use of the company’s funds). 2 not suitable, not polite (improper behavior on such a formal occasion). 3 indecent (make improper suggestions to a colleague).
improper fractiona fraction greater than 1, in which the denominator is less than the numerator (e.g. 5/2).
impropriety(formal) incorrect or impolite behavior, the quality of being improper (accused of impropriety in conducting the legal case).
improveto make or become better (do something to improve the situation im-proov-ment/.
improvise1 to make something from material that is available (improvising a shelter). 2 to make something up at the moment required without preparation (the pianist had no music and so had to improvise). n improvisation
imprudentrash, acting without forethought, unwise (it was imprudent of her to give up her job before she found another one). n imprudence
impudentdisrespectful, shameless, saucy (the impudent child stuck her tongue out at the teacher). n impudence
impulse1 a force causing movement (an electrical impulse). 2 a sudden desire or decision to act at once (she bought the new dress on impulse).
impulsive1 done without forethought (an impulsive decision to buy an expensive dress). 2 acting without thinking first (an impulsive young man). n impulsiveness
impure1 dirty, polluted (impure water). 2 mixed with something else (impure drugs). 3 sinful (impure thoughts). n impurity
in (preposition)1 contained or enclosed by (in the room). 2 wearing, clothed by (dressed in her best). 3 during the course of (done in a day). 4 at or before the end of (return in an hour). 5 being a member of or worker at (in the navy).
inabilitylack of power, state of being unable (his inability to control his dog).
inaccessiblenot able to be reached or approached (towns made inaccessible by the storm).
inaccurate1 not correct (an inaccurate answer to the mathematical problem). 2 not exact (an inaccurate description). n inaccuracy
inactionidleness, lack of action (mayor accused of inaction following the floods).
inactive1 not taking much exercise (inactive office workers). 2 no longer working or operating (an inactive volcano). 3 not taking an active part (inactive members of the political party).
inadequate1 not good enough (inadequate attempts). 2 not sufficient (inadequate supplies). n inadequacy
inadmissiblenot able to be allowed (evidence that is inadmissible in court).
inadvertent1 without care or attention (inadvertent damage). 2 not on purpose (an inadvertent insult). n inadvertence
inadvertentlynot purposely (he inadvertently damaged his neighbor’s gate with his car).
inadvisablenot wise, not advisable.
inanefoolish, silly, lacking sense (make inane remarks). n inanity
inanimatewithout life (rocks are inanimate objects).
inappropriatenot suitable, fitting, or proper (an inappropriate remark/wear inappropriate clothes).
inaptnot suitable, not appropriate, not proper (inapt humorous remarks at a serious meeting).
inarticulate1 not clear (an inarticulate account). 2 unable to express oneself clearly (too inarticulate to give a clear account of the accident).
inattentivenot attentive, neglectful, absent minded (inattentive pupils).
inaudiblethat cannot be heard (inaudible remarks/the speaker was inaudible at the
inauspiciousunlucky, being a sign of bad luck to come (an inauspicious beginning).
inbornexisting in a person since birth, natural (an inborn ability to play musical instruments).
inboundtraveling or going inward.
inboundsof or relating to putting the ball in play from out of bounds in a game of basketball (throw an inbounds pass).
inbred1 having become part of a person’s nature as a result of early training (her inbred politeness). 2 bred from closely related parents, resulting from inbreeding.
inbreedto breed by mating closely related parents.
Incaa member of a group of peoples in ancient Peru who had a highly developed civilization.
incalculablevery great, too many or too much to be counted (incalculable damage).
incandescentwhite hot or glowing with heat. n incandescence vb incandesce
incantationwords sung or spoken as a spell or charm (witches reciting an incantation).
incapable1 not good at a job. 2 not able, helpless. n incapability
incapacitateto make unfit or unable (incapacitated by his injured leg).
incapacity1 unfitness. 2 lack of ability.
incarcerate(fml or hum) to imprison (incarcerated in jail). n incarceration
incense1a mixture of spices burned to give a sweet-smelling smoke.
incense2to make angry (he was incensed when the boy broke his window).
incentivesomething for which someone is prepared to work hard, a reason for action (award a prize as an incentive to the pupils).
incessantnot stopping, going on all the time (incessant rain/her incessant complaining).
incest1 sexual actions between persons too closely related to marry legally. 2 sexual abuse of a child by a close relative. adj incestuous
inchin the imperial system, one-twelfth of a foot in length. vb to move a little at a time (try to inch nearer the front of the crowd).
incidence1 the extent or rate of frequency of something (the incidence of burglaries in the area). 2 the act, fact, or manner of falling on or influencing.
incident1 a happening, an event (it was a sad incident in his life). 2 an event involving violence or law-breaking (police called to an incident in the house).
incidental1 happening as a result of something, though not the most important result (an incidental effect of the meeting). 2 accompanying (incidental music to the play).
incidentallyby the way (incidentally, it has started to rain).
incinerateto burn to ashes (incinerating the garbage).
incineratora furnace for burning anything to ashes.
inciseto cut into with a sharp tool. adj incised
incision1 act of cutting. 2 a cut, a deep cut (the incision made by the surgeon).
incisionCollective noun for surgeons (An incision of surgeons) (see list of collective nouns)
incisiveclear and sharp, to the point (incisive criticism/incisive comments).
incisora cutting tooth in the front of the mouth.
inciteto stir up, to urge on (a speech that incited the crowd to take action). n incitement
inclement(formal) 1 stormy, unpleasant (inclement weather). 2 merciless (an inclement judge). n inclemency
inclination1 a slope (a slight inclination in the road). 2 a bow (with an inclination of his head). 3 a liking, preference (have an inclination to travel). 4 a tendency (an inclination to think negatively).
incline1 to slope. 2 to bend (incline the head). 3 to move gradually off the straight way. be inclined to 1 to feel a desire or preference (I am inclined to accept their story). 2 to have a tendency to (he is inclined to be lazy). n a slope.
includeto count as a part or member (including them on the invitation list). n inclusion
inclusiveincluding everything mentioned or understood (Monday to Friday inclusive/a price inclusive of postage).
incognitoin disguise, under a false name (the prince was traveling incognito so as not to be recognized). f incognita
incoherent1 having no clear connection between the parts, muddled (an incoherent account of what had happened). 2 not speaking or writing clearly, difficult to follow or understand (she was so upset that she was incoherent). n incoherence
incomethe money earned or gained (his annual income).
income taxthe tax charged on income.
incomparable1 that cannot be equaled (an incomparable performance). 2 having no equal (an incomparable pianist).
incompatible1 unable to get along (they loved each other but they were totally incompatible). 2 not in agreement (the statements from the witnesses were incompatible). n incompatibility
incompetent1 unable to do a job well, unskillful (an incompetent manager). 2 not good enough (an incompetent piece of work). n incompetence , incompetency
incompleteunfinished (the poet’s final work is incomplete).
incomprehensiblethat cannot be understood (incomprehensible behavior). n incomprehension
inconceivableunable to be imagined (it seemed inconceivable that she could treat her own child so cruelly).
inconclusivenot final, not leading to a definite result.
inconsiderablevery small, of no importance (an inconsiderable difference).
inconsideratehaving no thought for the feeling of others, thoughtless (it is inconsiderate to play loud music late at night).
inconsistent1 not agreeing with what was said or done before or elsewhere (the judge’s decision is inconsistent with the one he made last week). 2 changeable, erratic (her work is extremely inconsistent). 3 contradictory (sending his children to private school is inconsistent with his political views). n inconsistency
inconsolablenot able to be comforted; broken-hearted (the young widow was inconsolable).
inconspicuousnot easily seen (try to make herself inconspicuous in the crowd by wearing dark clothes).
inconstant1 often changing. 2 not always behaving in the same way. n inconstancy
incontinentunable to control the bladder and in-con-ti-nense/.
inconveniencetrouble, annoyance (apologize for any inconvenience caused by his absence). vb (formal) to cause trouble or difficulty (visitors who inconvenienced them by staying too late).
inconvenientcausing trouble, unsuitable (come at an inconvenient time).
incorporate1 to bring together in one (incorporating the smaller firm in the international company). 2 to make to form a part of, to include (incorporate their suggestions in his report). n incorporation
incorrect1 wrong (incorrect answers). 2 not according to accepted standards (incorrect behavior).
increaseto make or become greater in size or number (the number of club members has increased in-creess an increase in temperature).
incredibilityCollective noun for cuckolds (An incredibility of cuckolds) (see list of collective nouns)
incredible1 unbelievable, hard to believe (I find his story completely incredible). 2 amazing, wonderful (it was an incredible performance). n incredibility
incredulousnot willing to believe, unbelieving (she gave him an incredulous look). n incredulity
incrementan increase in money or value, often in salary (receive an annual increment).
incriminateto show that a person has taken part in a crime (the accused tried to incriminate several other people in the bank robbery).
incubate1 to sit on eggs, to keep eggs warm until the young come out of them. 2 (of eggs) to be kept warm until the young birds come out. 3 (of a disease or infection) to develop until signs of disease appear. 4 to be holding in the body an infection that is going to develop into a disease (she must have been incubating chickenpox).
incubation1 act of incubating. 2 the time between the catching of a disease and the showing of symptoms (the incubation period of measles).
incubator1 an apparatus for hatching eggs. 2 an apparatus for keeping alive premature babies.
incurablethat cannot be cured (incurable diseases).
indebtedowing thanks, owing something to someone or something (indebted to them for their help). n indebtedness
indecent1 not decent, morally offensive, improper (indecent remarks). 2 not suitable, not in good taste (marry in indecent haste after her husband’s death). n indecency
indecisiondoubt, hesitation, inability to make up the mind (full of indecision about whether to change jobs).
indecisive1 uncertain, having difficulty in making decisions (too indecisive to make up her mind and stick to the decision). 2 settling nothing (an indecisive verdict).
indeedtruly (yes indeed, he will be there).
indefensiblethat cannot or should not be defended (his attitude toward her is indefensible).
indefinablethat cannot be clearly described or explained (an indefinable difference).
indefinite1 not fixed or exact, without clearly marked outlines or limits (guests staying for an indefinite time). 2 not clear, not precise, vague (give indefinite replies).
indelicate1 slightly indecent, improper (indelicate language for a lady). 2 lacking in tact (an indelicate question). n indelicacy
indent1 to make a notch or zigzag in (a coastline indented by the sea). 2 to begin a line of text in from the margin, e.g. at the beginning of a paragraph. 3 to order goods in writing. n an order for goods.
indentation1 a notch or piece cut out of a straight edge (the indentations in the coastline). 2 the starting of a line of text in from the margin.
independencefreedom to act or think as one likes, freedom (a colony that gained independence several hundred years ago).
independent1 thinking and acting for oneself (too independent to let others tell her what to do). 2 free from control by others (independent countries). 3 having enough money to live without working or being helped by others (financially independent/a woman of independent means).
in-depthcarefully worked out, thorough.
indescribablethat cannot be described (indescribable cruelty).
indestructiblethat cannot be destroyed (indestructible courage).
indeterminable , indeterminatenot fixed, uncertain (indeterminate plans).
index(pl indexes or indices ) 1 the pointer on the dial or scale of an instrument. 2 something that indicates or points to (the results of the opinion poll are an index to public opinion). 3 an alphabetical list of names, subjects, etc, at the end of a book (consult the index to see on what page the battle is mentioned).
indicate1 to point out, to show (arrows indicating the way to the X-ray department). 2 to be a sign of (her attitude indicates an unwillingness to go). 3 to show to be necessary or desirable (drastic action is indicated).
indicationa sign (she gave no indication that she intended to leave).
indicativeshowing, being a sign of (a rash indicative of measles).
indicator1 a needle or pointer on a machine that indicates something or gives information about something (the indicator on the gasoline gage). 2 one of the lights on a car, truck, etc, that flashes to show which way the car is turning (her indicator was flashing left but she turned right).
indifferencelack of interest (he showed great indifference to their plight).
indifferent1 taking no interest, not caring (indifferent to the suffering of others/indifferent to whether he goes or stays). 2 neither good nor bad (rather an indifferent musical performance).
indigenousborn or growing naturally in a country (plants indigenous to America in-di-jeen/.
indigestiblenot easily digested (food that he finds indigestible).
indigestionillness or pain caused by failure to dissolve food properly in the stomach (certain foods give her indigestion). adj indigestive
indignantangry, annoyed by what is unjust (she was indignant at the way she had been treated by the sales assistant in-dig-nay-shun/.
indignitytreatment that makes a person feel shame or loss of respect (suffer the indignity of being taken to the police station for questioning).
indigoa blue dye obtained from certain plants. adj deep blue.
indirect1 not leading straight to the destination, roundabout (take an indirect route home). 2 not direct, not straightforward, not frank (give indirect answers to the questions). 3 not intended, not directly aimed at (an indirect result of the meeting). n indirection
indiscreet1 unwise, thoughtless. 2 done or said without thought of results.
indiscretion1 thoughtless behavior. 2 an act done without thought of its results. 3 lack of good judgment.
indiscriminatetaking no notice of differences, choosing without care (indiscriminate in their choice of books in-di-scri-mi-nay-shun/.
indispensablethat cannot be done without; absolutely necessary (no one is really indispensable).
indisputablethat cannot be denied or contradicted (his indisputable right to vote as he pleases).
indistinctnot seen or heard clearly, faint (her voice on the telephone was indistinct).
indistinguishablethat cannot be made out as being different or separate (the twins were indistinguishable from each other).
individual1 single (label each individual item). 2 intended for, used by, etc, one person only (individual attention). 3 special to one person (a very individual style of painting). n 1 a single person (the rights of the individual). 2 (informal) a person (a strange individual).
individualism1 the belief that the rights of the single person are more important than those of society. 2 the belief that the state exists for the individual and not the individual for the state. 3 a person’s individual character.
individualista person who believes in doing things in his or her own way (an individualist who disregards fashion).
individualitya person’s own character and qualities (express her individuality in her style of dress).
individualizealso individualise (British spelling) to mark as different from other persons or things, to suit the taste, requirements, etc, of a particular individual.
individuallyseparately, one by one (they went individually to see the principal).
indivisiblethat cannot be divided (an indivisible number).
indoctrinate1 to instruct in a belief (indoctrinating children with the idea that qualifications are important). 2 to bring to accept a system of belief unquestioningly (indoctrinating children with his own political ideas).
indoordone in a house or building (an indoor sport).
indoorswithin doors, inside a house (hold the party indoors).
inducementsomething that leads a person to try to do something, an attractive reason for doing something (offer her the inducement of a company car to get her to stay).
indulge1 to take pleasure in something, without trying to control oneself (indulging in too much rich food). 2 to give in to the wishes of (indulge her child too much/indulge herself by going on a shopping trip).
indulgence1 act of indulging. 2 in the R C Church, a release from the punishment that is due to sinners.
indulgentkindly, easygoing, ready to give in to the wishes of others (parents who are too indulgent).
industrialhaving to do with the manufacturing of goods (an industrial, rather than an agricultural, country).
Industrial Revolutionthe change in social and economic organization, resulting from replacing hand tools with machine and power tools, and the development of mass production, beginning in England about 1760 and spreading to other countries.
industrialismsocial and economic organization featuring large industries, machine production, concentration of workers in cities, etc.
industrioushard-working, busy, skillful, clever (industrious children studying for their exams).
industry1 (formal) the ability to work hard (he owes his success to industry as well as ability). 2 in trade or commerce, the work that is done to make goods ready for selling; the manufacturing and selling of goods (workers involved in industry rather than agriculture).
inediblethat should not or cannot be eaten (salty food that was totally inedible).
ineffectiveuseless, having no effect (ineffective methods i-ne-fec-tiv-ness/.
ineffectual1 not having the desired effect (ineffectual remedies). 2 powerless, not able to get things done (ineffectual people).
inefficient1 not good at a job, unable to do the job required (sack the inefficient workers). 2 not producing results in the best, quickest, and i-ni-fi-shen-see/.
inept1 clumsy, awkward (an inept attempt at making a dress). 2 foolishly unsuitable (embarrass them by her inept remarks).
ineptitude1 clumsiness, awkwardness. 2 foolish unsuitability.
inequalitylack of equality, unevenness (inequalities in the law).
inert1 without the power to move (lying inert on the bed as if dead). 2 not wanting to take action, not taking action (she remained inert as though she could not think of what to do). 3 not acting chemically when combined with other substances (inert gases).
inertia1 unwillingness or inability to move (feelings of inertia caused by the heat). 2 the inability of matter to set itself in motion or to stop moving.
inescapablethat cannot be avoided.
inevitablecertain to happen (defeat seemed inevitable). n inevitability
inexactnot quite correct (an inexact science i-nig-zac-ti-chood/.
inexcusablethat cannot be forgiven or pardoned (inexcusable behavior).
inexpensivecheap, not expensive (inexpensive presents for Christmas stockings).
inexperiencelack of skill or practice (the accident was caused by the driver’s inexperience). adj inexperienced
inexplicablethat cannot be explained, understood, or accounted for (inexplicable delays).
infallible1 unable to make a mistake (supposedly infallible judges). 2 that cannot fail (supposedly infallible methods). n infallibility
infamoushaving a bad reputation, famous for something bad or wicked (infamous criminals). n infamy the quality of being infamous, an infamous act.
infancy1 babyhood (she died in infancy). 2 the early stages of anything (the computer industry was in its infancy then).
infanta very young child, a baby.
infantile1 childish (the infantile behavior of the two men). 2 having to do with infants (infantile diseases).
infantryfoot soldiers.
infatuate1 to make foolish. 2 to inspire with foolish love or affection.
infatuatedloving foolishly or unreasonably (the young girl is infatuated with a much older man). n infatuation
infect1 to pass on a disease to another (the hotel worker infected others with the illness). 2 to make impure by spreading disease into it (food that is infected). 3 to pass on or spread (infect others with his love of life).
infectionthe passing on or spreading of disease, or anything harmful.
infectiousthat can be passed on to others (infectious diseases/infectious laughter).
infer(inferred , inferring ) 1 to work out an idea from the facts known (what can we infer from the evidence given). 2 (informal) to suggest by hints.
inferencean idea or conclusion worked out from the known facts.
inferior1 of lesser value or importance (people of inferior qualifications were promoted before her). 2 of bad quality (inferior goods). n a person lower in rank (he is her inferior in the company’s staff structure).
infertilenot fertile, barren.
infestto be present in very large numbers in (a building infested with mice).
infiltrate1 to pass through, a few at a time (soldiers infiltrating enemy lines). 2 to enter and secretly, gradually become part of, usually with an unfriendly purpose (enemy spies infiltrated the government department). n infiltration
infinite1 having neither beginning nor end, limitless (infinite space). 2 (informal) very great (with infinite patience).
infinitivethe form of a verb that expresses action without referring to a person, number, or tense (e.g. to go, to live, to see).
infinity1 space, time, or quantity that is without limit or is immeasurably great or small (the grassy plains seemed to stretch into infinity). 2 an indefinitely large number, quantity, or distance.
infirmweak, sickly (infirm old people unable to live alone).
infirmarya hospital.
infirmityillness, weakness (old people suffering from a range of infirmities).
inflammable1 easily set on fire (children’s nightwear should not be made of inflammable material). 2 excitable.
inflammationa swelling on part of the body, accompanied by heat and pain (inflammation of the tonsils).
inflammatorycausing excitement or anger (an inflammatory speech).
inflate1 to puff up (her success inflated her sense of her own importance). 2 to make to swell by filling with air or gas (inflate the tire in-flat-ta-bul/.
inflation1 act of inflating. 2 a situation in a country’s economy where prices and wages keep forcing each other to increase. adj inflationary
inflexible1 that cannot be bent; stiff and firm (inflexible materials). 2 not easily changed (inflexible attitudes). 3 not giving in (we tried to persuade her to change her mind but she was inflexible). n inflexibility
inflictto force something unpleasant or unwanted on someone (inflict pain on his parents/inflict a heavy burden on them).
infliction1 the act of inflicting. 2 punishment.
in-flightdone, occurring, shown, etc, while an aircraft is in flight (the in-flight movie was very boring).
influence1 the ability to affect other people or the course of events (his childhood unhappiness had an influence on his way of thinking). 2 the power to make requests to those in authority (he has some influence with the local authorities). vb to have an effect on (she tried not to influence the decision).
influentialhaving power, important (influential people in the community).
influenzaa type of infectious illness, usually causing headache, fever, cold symptoms, etc. abbreviation flu (she was ill with flu for over a week).
infomerciala long television commercial to introduce a product and tell, show, etc what it is capable of.
inform1 to tell, to give information (inform her of the changes/inform him that she was leaving). 2 to teach, to give knowledge to. 3 to tell facts to the police or authorities about a criminal, etc (he informed against his fellow thieves).
informal1 without ceremony (an informal dance). 2 not bound by rules or accepted ways of behaving (an informal agreement). 3 suitable for ordinary everyday situations (informal clothes in-fawr-ma-li-tee/.
informationfacts told; knowledge in the form of facts, news, etc (receive information about new products).
information technologythe use of computers and other electronic equipment to produce, store, and communicate information.
informativegiving news or facts (an informative television documentary).
informersomeone who gives away the plans of others (a police informer).
infrequentnot happening often. n infrequency
infuriateto madden, to make very angry (she was infuriated by his superior attitude toward women).
infuse1 to put into (infuse some enthusiasm into the class). 2 to steep in hot liquid (as in making tea) (infusing chamomile flowers to make a herbal tea).
infusion1 act of infusing. 2 a liquid given taste or color by something steeped in it (an infusion of chamomile flowers).
ingenious1 having good or new ideas, inventive (ingenious at thinking of ways to keep the children entertained). 2 cleverly thought out (an ingenious plan).
ingenuity1 cleverness, inventiveness (the ingenuity of the plan). 2 the ability to invent; cleverness (she used her ingenuity to make a meal from very few ingredients).
ingota bar or block of metal, especially gold or silver, got from a mold.
ingrainedfixed firmly in (an ingrained sense of duty in-grain/.
ingratitudeCollective noun for children (An ingratitude of children) (see list of collective nouns)
ingredientone of the things in a mixture (the ingredients for a cake/the ingredients for a happy life).
ingrowngrown within, inward, or into, especially grown into the flesh (an ingrown hair). n ingrowth
inhabitto live in (an area mainly inhabited by retired people).
inhabitablethat can be lived in (houses that are inhabitable).
inhabitanta person who lives in a certain place (the older inhabitants of the town).
inhabitedhaving inhabitants, lived in, occupied.
inhalation1 act of breathing in (the inhalation of car exhaust fumes). 2 something that is breathed in (prepare an inhalation to try to cure her cold).
inhaleto breathe in (inhaling the smoke from other people’s cigarettes is not good for your health).
inhalera device for giving medicine in the form of a vapor by inhalation.
inherit1 to receive something from another at his or her death (inherited his father’s estate). 2 to receive certain qualities through the parents (inherit his mother’s good looks). n inheritor
inheritancethat which is inherited (he has spent most of his inheritance already).
inhibit1 to prevent or hinder, to hold back from doing (a tight skirt that inhibited walking in-hi-bi-tor/.
inhibitedunable to relax and express feelings in an open and natural way (too inhibited to speak in public).
inhibitiona belief or fear of which a person is not aware but which may prevent him or her from performing certain actions (have inhibitions about being seen in a swimsuit).
inhospitablenot welcoming visitors, not kind to strangers (it was inhospitable not to offer the visitors anything to eat or drink). n inhospitality
inhumannot having the qualities considered normal to, or for, humans; cruel, brutal, unkind.
inhumaneunmoved by the suffering of others, cruel, merciless, brutal, unkind.
inhumanitythe quality or condition of being inhuman or inhumane.
inimitablethat cannot be copied, too good to be equalled (an inimitable performance).
initialfirst, happening at the beginning (the initial reaction was favorable). adv initially vb (initialed , initialing ) to mark or write initials (initial the order form to authorize it). npl the first letters of each of a person’s names.
initiate1 to begin (initiating a new system of accounting). 2 to teach the ways of a society to a new member (the boys initiated their friend into their club). n initiation
initiative1 the ability to make decisions and take action without asking for help and advice (he had to use his initiative when he was stranded on the island). 2 the first movement or action that starts something happening (take the initiative in organizing the garage sale).
inject1 to put into the bloodstream through a hollow needle (injected with a drug to fight the infection). 2 to put in (her arrival injected some life into the party). n injection
injure1 to hurt (she was badly injured in the car accident). 2 to harm, to damage (the incident injured his reputation).
injury1 damage, harm, hurt (an accident that caused injury to his spine/injury to his reputation). 2 a physical hurt or wound (he died later from his injuries).
injustice1 unfairness (felt there was injustice in the way he was treated). 2 an unfair act (complain about the injustices of the system).
inka colored liquid used for writing or printing. vb to mark with ink.
inkblotany of a group of irregular patterns made by blots of ink and used in certain kinds of tests, as for the way a person thinks.
inkjetof a high-speed printing process in which ink droplets are formed into printed characters on paper.
inky1 stained with ink (inky hands). 2 like ink in color, dark (an inky sky).
inlandthe part of a country away from the sea coast or border. adj 1 having to do with a country’s own affairs (inland trade). 2 away from the coast or border (inland waterways). Also adv.
in-lawa relative by marriage.
inlay(pt, pp inlaid ) to decorate by filling carved designs with gold, silver, ivory, etc (he inlaid the box with precious stones). adj inlaid n
inlet1 a way in (a fuel inlet). 2 a small bay (boats sheltering in an inlet).
in-line skatea kind of roller skate having wheels arrange in a straight line like a blade from toe to heel.
inmatea person living with others in the same house, hospital, prison, etc.
inmostfarthest in (the inmost depths of the cave).
innan establishment where travelers may pay to eat, drink, and/or stay for the night.
innardsthe inner parts of anything.
innateexisting naturally rather than being acquired; that seems to have been in a person since birth.
innerfarther in (the inner room).
innkeeperthe person who is in charge of an inn.
innocencefreedom from blame or wickedness (the innocence of the young children/try to prove his innocence).
innocent1 not guilty (innocent of the crime/innocent people accused). 2 having no knowledge or experience of evil (innocent young children).
innocuousharmless (drugs thought to be innocuous/a perfectly innocuous remark).
innovation1 a new way of doing something, a new thing or idea (innovations in marketing methods). 2 the introduction of new things or ideas (he is set in his ways and dislikes innovation). vb innovate to renew, to introduce new ways of doing things.
innuendo(pl innuendoes or innuendos ) 1 a way of speaking that makes one understand what is meant without actually saying it (a newspaper that goes in for innuendo). 2 an indirect hint (he made innuendoes about where she got all the money).
innumerateunable to do math and arithmetical problems.
inoculateto infect slightly with the germs of a disease to prevent more serious infection (inoculating the children against measles). n inoculation
inoffensivenot causing harm or trouble (a quiet inoffensive man/be insulted at a perfectly inoffensive remark).
inpatienta patient who is lodged and kept in a hospital for more than a day.
input1 the act of putting in. 2 what is put in, as in the amount of money, material, effort, opinion, etc.
inquire, enquire1 to ask (inquire the way to the station). 2 to ask for information about (inquire about times of trains to New York). 3 to try to discover the facts of (the police are inquiring into the accident).
inquiringseeking information, curious (an inquiring mind).
inquiry, enquiry1 a question (reply to his inquiry about times of trains). 2 a careful search for information, an investigation (an official inquiry into the train accident).
inquisition1 (formal) an official inquiry (subjected to an inquisition about his movements on the previous evening). 2 (old) an examination consisting of a series of questions. n inquisitor
inquisitiveseeking information, especially about other people (inquisitive neighbors).
inroada raid, a sudden attack.
insane1 mentally ill (a murderer declared insane). 2 (informal) very unwise, very foolish (it was insane to give up his job).
insanitythe state of being insane; mental illness.
inscribeto write in a book or engrave on stone, etc (the words inscribed on the tombstone).
inscriptionwords written on something, often as a tribute (the inscription on the tombstone).
insectany of a large group of small creatures that have a body divided into three sections, six legs, and usually wings.
Insectologystudy of insects (see list of branches of science)
Insectophobiafear of insects (see list of phobias)
insecure1 anxious and unsure of oneself, lacking confidence (children feeling insecure when their parents separated). 2 (formal) not safe, likely to be lost (an insecure job). 3 (formal) not safe or firmly fixed (the insecure leg of the table). n insecurity
insensible1 too small to be noticed (an insensible change). 2 without feeling, indifferent (insensible to their distress). 3 unconscious (knocked insensible by the blow).
insensitive1 not noticing the feelings of others. 2 not quick to feel or notice.
inseparablethat cannot be put apart (the two issues are inseparable/childhood friends who were inseparable).
insertto put in or among (insert the key in the lock).
insertion1 something inserted (an advertising insertion in the newspaper). 2 the act of inserting (the insertion of the key in the lock).
insetan extra piece set in, e.g. a small picture in a larger one. vb inset (insetting ).
inside1 the inner side or part (the inside of the house). 2 pl (informal) the internal organs, stomach, bowels. adj 1 internal (inside furniture). 2 known only to insiders, secret (inside information). adv 1 on or in the inside, within, indoors. 2 (informal) in prison. (preposition) in or within.
insider1 a person inside a given place or group. 2 a person having, or likely to have, secret information.
insidiousdeveloping gradually, without being noticed, and causing harm (cancer is an insidious disease).
insightability to see the real meaning or importance of something, thorough knowledge (his poverty-stricken childhood gave him an insight into the lives of the homeless). adj insightful
insigniabadges of rank, membership, or honor (the insignia of his regiment).
insignificantof little importance (an insignificant sum of money in-sig-ni-fi-canse/.
insincerenot meaning what is said, false, not truly meant (his sympathy was insincere in-sin-se-ri-tee/.
insinuate1 to make way gradually and cunningly (insinuating herself into her aunt’s favor to receive money). 2 to hint in an unpleasant way (she insinuated that he was not honest). n insinuation
insipid1 having no taste or flavor (insipid food). 2 uninteresting, dull (an insipid story).
insist1 to state firmly, to demand or urge strongly (he insisted on paying the bill). 2 to keep on saying (she insisted that she was innocent).
insistent1 firm (he was insistent that we all go home). 2 wanting immediate attention (her insistent demands). n insistence
insolation1 the act of insolating. 2 the treatment of sickness by exposure to sunlight.
insolethe inside sole of a shoe.
insolentrude, boldly insulting or disrespectful (an insolent stare). n insolence
insoluble1 impossible to dissolve (a chemical insoluble in water). 2 that cannot be solved (an insoluble problem).
insomniasleeplessness (suffering from insomnia).
inspectto look at closely, to examine (inspect the work/officials from the insurance company inspecting the damage).
inspectionan examination (a troop inspection).
inspector1 someone who inspects. 2 someone who examines the work of others to see that it is done properly. 3 a rank of police officer.
inspectoratea body or group of inspectors (the school inspectorate).
inspiration1 (formal) the breathing in of air. 2 a person or thing that encourages a person to use his or her powers, gifts, talent, etc (the poet’s work was an inspiration to young writers). 3 the encouragement so given (she provided the inspiration for his latest novel). adj inspirational
inspire1 (formal) to breathe in (he was asked by the doctor to inspire). 2 to encourage someone with the desire and ability to take action by filling with eagerness, confidence, etc (she was inspired to work hard by her mother’s example). 3 to be the force that produces something, to be the origin of (she inspired his love of poetry). 4 to arouse in someone (inspiring confidence in others).
instabilityunsteadiness (the instability of his character).
install1 to place in office, especially with ceremony (install the new bishop). 2 to put in place (have central heating installed). n installation
installment1 payment of part of a sum of money owed (the first installment on the television set). 2 part of a serial story published or broadcast at one time.
instancean example (several instances of car theft in the area). for instance for example. vb to give or quote as an example (instancing violence as one of the features of modern life).
instant1 immediate (demand instant attention). 2 pressing or urgent (an instant need). 3 concentrated or precooked for quick preparation (instant soup). n 1 a moment (he did not believe her for an instant). 2 the exact moment (he loved her the instant he saw her). adv instantly at once (she died instantly).
instantaneoushappening or done very quickly (an instantaneous reaction).
instateto put in a particular status, position, or rank.
insteadin place of (he attended the meeting instead of his father).
instepthe upper part of the foot between the ankle and the toes.
instill(instilled , instilling ) to put in the mind little by little (instill the need for honesty into him from an early age).
instincta natural tendency to behave or react in a particular way without having been taught (in winter birds fly south by instinct/instinct made them run from danger).
instinctivedone at once without thinking, natural (she had an instinctive urge to run away).
instituteto set up for the first time (instituting a new computer system). n 1 a society working to achieve a certain purpose (the Women’s Institute). 2 the building in which such a society meets or works.
institution1 an organization, usually a long-established or well-respected one (schools, hospitals, and other institutions). 2 the building used by such an organization. 3 an accepted custom or tradition (the institution of marriage). adj institutional
institutionalizealso institutionalise (British spelling) 1 to make into an institution. 2 to place in an institution.
instruct1 to teach (instruct the children in French). 2 to order (she instructed her children to arrive home early).
instruction1 teaching (receive instruction in French). 2 an order (his instructions were to leave immediately). 3 pl information on how to use something correctly (a leaflet giving instructions on how to put the furniture together).
instructivegiving knowledge or information (an instructive television show).
instructora teacher, a coach, someone who instructs (a sports instructor).
instrument1 a tool, especially one used for delicate work (surgical instruments). 2 a device producing musical sound (stringed instruments). 3 a device for measuring, recording, controlling, etc, especially in an aircraft (the pilot checked all the instruments before beginning the flight).
instrumental1 being the cause of (she was instrumental in getting him hired). 2 played on musical instruments (instrumental music). n instrumentality the state of being instrumental.
instrumentation1 the arrangement of music for instruments. 2 the act of using instruments, especially scientific instruments. 3 the instruments used.
insubstantial1 weak or flimsy. 2 not real, imaginary.
insufferableunbearable (an insufferable bore).
insufficientnot enough (insufficient evidence). n insufficiency
insular1 (formal) having to do with an island. 2 narrow-minded (an insular outlook on life).
insulate1 to keep apart (a wealthy family insulated from the financial problems of ordinary people). 2 to cover with a special material to prevent the loss of electricity or heat. n insulation
insulatora material that does not allow electricity or heat to pass through it.
insulina substance that if given as a medicine helps to use up the sugar in the body when there is too much of it (people suffering from diabetes sometimes have to take insulin).
insultto speak rude or hurtful words to or of (she was insulted when he called her an old lady). n insult
insupportableunbearable, not capable of being upheld or supported (insupportable burdens).
insureto pay regular sums to a society on condition that the payer receives an agreed amount of money in case of loss, accident, death, etc (insuring his life in-shoo-ranse/.
insureda person whose life, property, etc, is insured against loss or damage.
insurera person or company that insures others against loss or damage.
insurmountablethat cannot be passed over or overcome (insurmountable difficulties).
intactuntouched, unharmed, with no part missing (the police recovered the box of jewels intact/her self-confidence remained intact).
intakethe act or process of taking in (intake of breath).
intangible1 that cannot be touched (air is intangible). 2 not able to be clearly defined or understood (an intangible air of hopelessness).
integera whole number.
integralnecessary to make something complete (an integral part of the case against him). Also n.
integrate1 to join in society as a whole, to mix freely with other groups (newcomers trying to integrate into American life). 2 to fit parts together to form a whole (integrating everyone’s comments into the report on the conference). n integration
integratora person or thing that integrates.
integrity1 the state of being whole and undivided, completeness (integrity as a nation). 2 honesty, sincerity (a man of absolute integrity).
intellect1 the mind, the power to think and understand. 2 someone with great intellect (one of the world’s greatest intellects).
intellectual1 having a high intellect (her intellectual friends). 2 having to do with the intellect (intellectual interests). Also n.
intelligence1 cleverness, quickness of mind or understanding (the intelligence of the pupils). 2 (formal) news (receive intelligence of his death).
intelligenthaving a quick mind, clever (intelligent pupils).
intelligibleclear, that can be understood (instructions that are scarcely intelligible).
intemperate1 lacking self-control, given to taking too much, especially strong drink (intemperate habits). 2 more than is desirable (an intemperate amount of alcohol). 3 excessive, unrestrained (intemperate language). 4 extreme (an intemperate climate). n intemperance
intend1 to have as a purpose (she intends to leave tomorrow). 2 to mean (the bullet was intended for the president). adj intended meant, planned for the future (his intended wife).
intense1 very great (intense heat). 2 very serious (intense young women).
intensifyto make greater or more severe (intensified their interest in the subject). n intensifier a person or thing that makes greater or more severe.
intension1 determination. 2 the quality of being intense, degree of intensity.
intensity1 strength (the intensity of the heat). 2 seriousness, earnestness (the intensity of the young poet). 3 great energy, emotion, thought.
intensiveincreasing degree or amount (intensive care at the hospital).
intent1 attending carefully (intent on his work/with an intent expression). 2 eager, planning or wanting to do something (intent on going abroad). n (formal) purpose (it was his intent to move out of the area).
intentionpurpose, aim in doing something (it was his intention to leave early).
intentionaldone on purpose (intentional damage to his car).
inter(interred , interring ) (formal) to bury (inter him in the churchyard).
inter-prefix between, among.
interactto act on each other (chemicals that interact). n interaction
intercede1 to try to settle a dispute or quarrel between others (interceding in the wage dispute between management and the union). 2 to speak in defense of another (he interceded with the king to save his friend’s life).
interceptto stop or catch on the way from one place to another (intercept the enemy message). n interception
interchange1 to change places with each other. 2 to give and receive in return (interchange ideas). n an exchange.
interchangeablethat can be exchanged for each other (the two words are interchangeable).
interest1 something in which a person takes part eagerly (his main interests are tennis and football). 2 advantage (it was in his interest to agree). 3 eager attention (give the matter all his interest). 4 concern (of interest to all of us). 5 the money paid for the use of a loan of money (the rate of interest on his bank loan). vb to gain the attention of.
interestingarousing interest (interesting information).
interfacethe point at which two subjects affect each other or are connected (the interface between production and sales).
interfere1 to get in the way of, to prevent from working or happening (outside interests that interfere with his work). 2 to force oneself into the affairs of others (interfering in other people’s private business). 3 to touch or move something that is not supposed to be touched or moved (interfere with his private papers).
interference1 act of interfering (object to his interference in their affairs). 2 the interruption of radio broadcasts by atmospherics or other broadcasts.
intergalacticexisting or occurring between or among galaxies.
interimthe meantime, the time between two events (the new head arrives next week—in the interim the deputy head is in charge). adj acting for a time only (take interim measures).
interior1 inner. 2 inland. n 1 the inner part (the interior of the house). 2 the inland part (the interior of the country).
interject1 to say something short and sudden. 2 to put in a remark when another is speaking.
interjection1 a short word expressing surprise, interest, disapproval, etc (“Oh” is an interjection). 2 a remark made when another is speaking (the speaker objected to his rude interjections).
interlude1 an interval between the acts of a play, etc. 2 the music or other entertainment provided during such an interval. 3 a period of time that comes between two events or activities (a brief interlude of peace between the two wars).
intermediatecoming between two other things, in the middle (at an intermediate stage of the language course).
interminablewithout, or apparently without, end; seeming to last forever.
intermissionan interval, a time between two parts (have a drink at the theater bar in the intermission).
intermittentstopping for a time, then going on again; happening at intervals (intermittent showers).
interna person, especially a student, working in a professional field to gain experience in the work place. vb to detain or confine people, ships, etc, as during a war. n internment
internal1 having to do with the inside, especially of the body (internal organs). 2 of a person’s own country (internal trade).
internationalhaving to do with several or many countries (an international trading treaty). n a person associated with two different countries.
Internetthe worldwide system of linked computer networks.
interplaythe action of one thing on another (the interplay of light and shade in his painting).
interpret1 to explain the meaning of (how do you interpret these lines of poetry?). 2 to understand the meaning to be (he interpreted her silence as a refusal). 3 to translate from one language into another (he spoke in French and his English assistant interpreted his speech for the audience). adj interpretive
interpretation1 act of interpreting. 2 the meaning given to a work of art by a critic or performer.
interpretationCollective noun for psychotherapists (An interpretation of psychotherapists) (see list of collective nouns)
interpretersomeone who translates from one speaker’s language into another’s.
interracialbetween, among, or involving members of different races.
interrogateto put questions to (police interrogated the accused for several hours).
interrogationthe act of interrogating (the interrogation of the accused by the police).
interrogativeasking a question, having to do with questions (an interrogative remark). n a word used in asking questions (e.g. “why”).
interrupt1 to break flow of speech or action (interrupt the broadcast to announce the death of the president in-te-rup-ter/ a person who interrupts.
interruptiona remark or action that causes a stoppage (the noisy interruptions by the audience during the politician’s speech).
intersectto cut across each other (the roads intersect outside the town).
intersectionthe point at which lines or roads cross each other (an intersection without traffic lights).
intersperseto scatter over, to put here and there (green fields interspersed with a few small woods).
interstatebetween or among states. n a network of freeways that form a part of the national highway system of the United States.
interstellaramong or between the stars.
intertwineto twist together (roses intertwining round the door).
interval1 the time or distance between (the interval between snow showers). 2 a break, a spell of free time (pupils having a snack in their interval). 3 a short break in a play, concert, etc (have a drink at the theater bar during the interval). 4 the difference of pitch between two musical sounds.
intervene1 to interrupt, to interfere (intervening to try to stop them quarrelling). 2 to be or to happen between (in time) (a few years intervened before they met again). 3 to happen so as to prevent something (he was going to go to college but the war intervened and he became a soldier). n intervention
interview1 a meeting at which a person applying for a job is questioned (several candidates had an interview). 2 a meeting with a person to get information or to do business (the journalist asked for an interview with the president). Also vb.
intestinalhaving to do with the intestines (intestinal problems).
intestinesthe inner parts of the body, especially the bowels (the intestines consist of the large intestine and the small intestine).
intifadaan uprising, specifically the uprising of Palestinian Arabs against Israeli military forces in occupied territories of the Gaza Strip and the west bank of the Jordan River, begun in 1987 and continuing from time to time into the early 1990s.
intimacycloseness, close relationship (enjoy the intimacy that exists between old school friends).
intimate1 having a close relationship. 2 having a close knowledge of (an intimate knowledge of the area). n a close friend. vb (formal) to make known (intimating his intention to leave).
intimation1 (formal) a hint (he gave no intimation of his intention to leave). 2 an announcement (intimations of births, marriages, and deaths in the newspaper).
intimidateto make afraid, e.g. by making threats (she was intimidated by the sight of the huge man in-ti-mi-day-shun/.
into (preposition)1 from the outside to the inside (jumped into the pool). 2 continuing to the midst of (danced into the night). 3 to the form, substance, or condition of (turned into a butterfly). 4 so as to strike against (bumped into the wall). 5 to the work or activity of (go into teaching).
intolerablethat cannot or should not be put up with (intolerable pain/intolerable behavior).
intolerantnot willing to put up with actions or opinions that are different from one’s own; narrow-minded (he is an intolerant man who has no time for people who hold views that are different from his). n intolerance
intonationthe rise and fall of the voice while speaking (a boring voice with very little intonation).
intoxicate1 to make drunk or stupefied (he had drunk enough beer to intoxicate him). 2 to excite greatly (he was intoxicated by his success). n intoxication
intra- prefix within, inside.
intragalacticoccurring within a galaxy.
intraneta private computer network using Internet technology but keeping access limited to members of a particular organization.
intransitive(of verbs) not taking an object.
intravenousin or directly into a vein or veins.
intrepidfearless, brave (the intrepid explorer).
intricatehaving many small parts, complicated (an intricate pattern in-tri-ca-see/.
intrigue1 a secret plot. 2 a secret love affair. vb 1 to plot secretly. 2 to interest greatly. adj intriguing
intrinsicbeing part of the nature or character of, belonging to a thing as part of its nature (his intrinsic generosity/furniture of no intrinsic worth).
introduce1 to bring in or put forward, especially something new (introducing a new system of accounting). 2 to make one person known to another (introduce her two friends to each other).
introduction1 act of introducing (the introduction of new methods/ask for an introduction to her friend). 2 a short section at the beginning of a book to make known its purpose (an introduction explaining how to use the encyclopedia).
introductorycoming at the beginning, giving an introduction (an introductory course/a few introductory remarks).
introspectivethinking a lot about one’s own actions and ideas (poetry of an introspective nature in-tro-spec-shun in-tro-spect/ to look into one’s own mind.
introvertsomeone who is always thinking about his or her own ideas and aims (he is an introvert but his sister is a real extrovert).
intrudeto come or go where not wanted (he was intruding since they obviously wanted to be alone in-troo-zhun/.
intruder1 someone who intrudes. 2 a person who breaks into a house to steal, a burglar (he heard an intruder downstairs).
intrusionCollective noun for cockroaches (An intrusion of cockroaches) (see list of collective nouns)
intrusivetending to intrude (intrusive neighbors/intrusive questions).
intuition1 immediate knowledge of the truth gained without having to think (she had an intuition that he was a wrongdoer, and she was right). 2 the ability to know things in this way (she knew by intuition that something was wrong with her sister). adj intuitive vb intuit to know or learn by intuition.
Inuitan indigenous people of northern North America and Greenland; the language of this people.
inundate1 to flow over (fields inundated with flood water). 2 to flood, to come in very large amounts (they were inundated with correspondence).
Inupiaqthe language of the Inupiat, spoken in northern Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.
Inupiata member of the Eskimo people of northern Alaska.
invade1 to enter as an enemy, to attack (the king ordered his army to invade the neighboring country). 2 to interfere with (invading his neighbor’s privacy).
invalid11 not valid (an invalid ticket). 2 useless, unreliable (an invalid argument).
invalid2weak, sickly (her invalid aunt). n a sick person. vb to send away because of illness (he was invalided by the disease).
invalidateto make to have no value or effect (his claims to be an expert on local history were completely invalidated).
invalidismthe state of being an invalid; long-term ill health or disability (her invalidism has prevented her from getting a job).
invaluableof very great value, more valuable than can be paid for (her invaluable help/the information was invaluable).
invariableunchanging, not subject to alteration.
invariablyalways, without exception (she is invariably late for all her appointments).
invariant(math) constant, unchanging.
invasion1 entry into a country by enemy forces (their invasion of a neighboring country). 2 interference (the invasion of his privacy). adj invasive
invent1 to think of and plan something new (invent the motor car). 2 to make up (she invented a story about her car breaking down to account for her lateness). n inventor
invention1 a thing thought of and made for the first time (the telephone was one of his inventions). 2 the ability to think out new ideas (her powers of invention).
inventivegood at thinking of new or unusual ideas (an inventive writer).
inventorya list of goods or articles (take an inventory of the contents of the house before she rented it out).
inverseopposite or reverse (their enthusiasm for their work seemed to be in inverse proportion to their salaries).
inversion1 act of turning upside down. 2 a change in the usual order of words in a sentence.
invertto turn upside down, to turn the other way round (he inverted his glass to trap the wasp/invert the clauses in the sentence).
invertebratehaving no backbone (invertebrate creatures such as worms). n an animal without a backbone.
invest1 to mark someone’s entry to rank or office by clothing him or her with the robes belonging to it (invest the new bishop). 2 to lend money so as to increase it by interest or a share in profits (he invested his savings in her new restaurant).
investigateto examine, to find out everything about (police investigating the murder). n investigator
investigationa careful examination, an inquiry (the police have mounted a murder investigation).
investigativeinclined to investigate.
investment1 the act of investing. 2 a sum of money invested (she has an investment of $14,000 in her husband’s business). 3 the thing money has been invested in (she had to sell all her investments, including her house).
investorsomeone who invests money (all the investors in her business lost their money).
inveterate1 firmly fixed in a habit (an inveterate liar). 2 firmly established (an inveterate dislike of flying).
invinciblethat cannot be defeated (they thought their army was invincible). n invincibility
invisiblethat cannot be seen (germs are invisible). n invisibility
invite1 to ask politely, to ask to come, especially as a guest (inviting them to dinner in-vi-tay-shun/.
invitingattractive (an inviting prospect).
invoice1 a list of goods sent to a buyer, with prices. 2 a list of work done and payment due. vb to send an invoice.
invoke1 to bring into use or operation (invoking a little-known law to justify their actions). 2 to call on God or a god in prayer. 3 to request or beg for (invoke their assistance). 4 to make an urgent request to (invoke the law for their protection).
involuntaryunintentional, done without conscious effort or intention (involuntary movements of the muscles/he gave an involuntary cry).
involve1 to include (the accident involved a car and a truck). 2 to mix up in (he became involved in drug-smuggling). 3 to cause as a result (a job involving a lot of overtime).
involvedcomplicated (an involved explanation).
invulnerablethat cannot be wounded, hurt, damaged, etc.
inward1 inner. 2 having to do with the mind (a feeling of inward satisfaction). adv toward the inside.
inwardlyon the inside, in the mind (inwardly disapproving).
iodinea chemical used in medicine to clean wounds, instruments, etc (a solution of iodine used as an antiseptic).
iodizealso iodise (British spelling) to treat with iodine.
ionan electrically charged atom. adj ionic
ionospherethe outer part of the earth’s atmosphere.
Iophobiafear of poison (see list of phobias)
iota1 a Greek letter. 2 a tiny amount (not care an iota about his family).
IQabbreviation for Intelligence Quotient a person’s level of intelligence as measured by a special test.
iratevery angry, furious (the irate farmer chased the boys who had let his cows out).
ire(fml or lit) anger.
Irenologystudy of peace (see list of branches of science)
iridescentcolored like the rainbow, brightly colored, having or showing shifting colors (iridescent patches of oil on the street). n iridescence
Iridologystudy of the iris (see list of branches of science)
iris1 the colored circle of the eye. 2 a flowering plant.
irkto annoy, to bother (it irks her that he earns more than she does).
irksometroublesome, tedious, annoying (she couldn’t wait to finish her irksome household tasks).
iron1 the most common of metals, used in construction and engineering. 2 a tool or instrument, formerly made of iron, especially for smoothing clothes (she bought a new steam iron). 3 pl chains (prisoners in irons). adj 1 made of iron. 2 strong, hard (an iron will). vb to smooth (clothes) with an iron (she enjoyed ironing shirts). to have too many irons in the fire to be trying to do too many things at once. to strike while the iron is hot to act at the most opportune moment.
ironic , ironicalexpressing irony (an ironic remark/it was ironic that he stole money that he was going to get as a gift).
irony1 a remark made in such a way that the meaning is understood to be the opposite of what is said (“A fine fellow you are”, she said with irony). 2 the result of an action that has the opposite effect to that intended (the irony of his action was that he stole money that she was going to give him).
irradiate1 (fml and lit) to make bright by throwing light on (a garden irradiated with light from the lanterns). 2 to treat with radiation (irradiating the cancer). n irradiation exposure to radiation, an irradiating of.
irrational1 not rational, not reasonable, not sensible (an irrational decision). 2 not able to reason, not using reason. adv irrationally (he was behaving quite irrationally). n irrationalism irrational thought.
irregular1 not in agreement with the rules, not according to accepted standards (his behavior was most irregular). 2 not straight or even (irregular features an irregular coastline). 3 not happening, etc, regularly (irregular school attendance). n irregularity
irrelevanthaving nothing to do with the subject, not to the point (please do not raise irrelevant issues at the meeting). n irrelevance , irrelevancy
irreplaceablenot replaceable, that cannot be replaced (the vase she broke had belonged to her mother and was irreplaceable).
irrepressiblethat cannot be kept down or held back (irrepressible cheerfulness).
irresistible1 that cannot be resisted (an irresistible force). 2 very strong (find his argument irresistible). 3 very attractive, charming (find newborn babies irresistible).
irrespectiveregardless of, not troubling about (irrespective of his weight, he was remarkably fit).
irresponsiblenot caring about the consequences of actions (it was very irresponsible of him to leave the children on their own).
irrigateto supply water to dry land by canals, etc. n irrigation
irritableeasily angered or annoyed (he is always irritable first thing in the morning). n irritability
irritantsomething that irritates, annoys, angers, inflames, makes sore, etc (the irritant that caused her sore eye/the grumpy old man regarded all children as irritants).
irritate1 to annoy, to anger (irritated by their lack of interest). 2 to cause to itch, become inflamed, red, swollen, etc (the washing-up liquid irritated her skin). n irritation
isthe form of the verb be used with “he”, “she”, “it”, and “one” or with singular nouns (she is going away/the dog is not well).
Islam1 the Muslim religion founded by Mohammed in which the god is called Allah. 2 all Muslims. 3 all the lands in which Islam is the main religion. adj Islamic
islanda piece of land surrounded by water (a desert island).
islandera native of an island.
isle(lit) an island, especially a small island.
isleta very small island.
isolate1 to place apart or alone (the hospital decided to isolate the patient with the unknown fever). 2 to cut off (towns isolated in snowy weather). 3 to separate (isolating and examining the chemical substance). n isolation
Isolophobiafear of solitude, being alone (see list of phobias)
Isopterophobiafear of termites (see list of phobias)
isosceles(of a triangle) having two sides equal.
issue1 to go or come out (people issuing from the building/noises issuing from the room). 2 to send out (issue reminders about unpaid bills). 3 to flow out (blood issued from the wound). 4 to give out (issue new uniforms to all soldiers). 5 to publish. n 1 a flowing out (the issue of blood from the wound). 2 (formal) children (married couples with no issue). 3 (formal) a result (await the issue of their debate). 4 a question under discussion (this issue is an international one). 5 a number of books, papers, etc, published at one time (the Christmas issue of the magazine).
itthe person, animal, or thing previously mentioned, also used as the subject to an impersonal verb (e.g. it is snowing).
ITabbreviation for information technology the study or use of computers and telecommunication sytems
it’sa shortened form of it is or it has.
italic(s)in printing, letters in sloping type (e.g. italics). Also adj.
italicizealso italicise (British spelling) to print in italics (in print media it is usual to italicize the names of books and plays).
itch1 an irritation of the skin that causes a desire to scratch (she has an itch where the flea bit her). 2 a longing (an itch to travel). vb 1 to feel an itch. 2 to feel a strong desire (to do something). adj itchy
item1 a single one out of a list or number of things (the items on her shopping list/items of clothing). 2 a piece of news (an interesting item in the newspaper). adv also, in the same way.
itemizealso itemise (British spelling) to specify the items of (an itemized bill shows each thing purchased).
Ithyphallophobiafear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis (see list of phobias)
itinerantnot settling in any one place, moving from place to place (an itinerant salesman). n one who is always on the move from place to place.
itinerarya note of the places visited or to be visited on a journey (receive an itinerary from the travel agent).
itsthat or those of or belonging to it, the possessive form of “it”.
itty-bitty(informal) very small, tiny.
ivorythe hard white substance forming the tusks of elephants, etc (decorations made of ivory). adj of or like ivory, creamy white (an ivory blouse).
ivya climbing vine with a woody stem and evergreen leaves (trees covered in ivy).
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