GKNXT Encyclopedia
0 A B C D E
X Y Z #
P (volume 16)
P, p (noun)the sixteenth letter of the alphabet.
p.m.abbreviation for post meridiem a Latin phrase meaning “after noon”.
pace (noun)1 a step with the foot. 2 the distance so covered. 3 speed. vb 1 to walk slowly. 2 to measure by steps.
pacification (noun)act of bringing peace.
pacifier (noun)a rubber teat given to babies to suck on (some people think pacifiers are a good thing, others disagree). Also dummy (British spelling)
pacifism (noun)the belief that war is never right.
pacifist (noun)someone who works for the end of all war (pacifists who refused to join the armed services).
pacify (verb)1 to restore peace, to end a war in. 2 to calm, to soothe (pacified the crying baby).
packCollective noun for dogs (A pack of dogs) (see list of collective nouns)
packCollective noun for hounds (A pack of hounds) (see list of collective nouns)
packCollective noun for juice (A pack of juice) (see list of collective nouns)
packCollective noun for perch (A pack of perch) (see list of collective nouns)
packCollective noun for rats (A pack of rats) (see list of collective nouns)
packCollective noun for stoats (A pack of stoats) (see list of collective nouns)
packCollective noun for submarines (A pack of submarines) (see list of collective nouns)
packCollective noun for suitcases (A pack of suitcases) (see list of collective nouns)
packCollective noun for wolves (A pack of wolves) (see list of collective nouns)
pack (noun)1 a bundle of things fastened or strapped together (the pack on the hiker’s back). 2 a set of playing cards. 3 individual items grouped together into one package (a pack of cigarettes). 4 a number of animals acting or hunting together (a pack of hounds). 5 a gang (a pack of thieves). 6 a mass of floating pieces of ice. vb 1 to make into a bundle, to put things into a case, etc (pack for their vacation/pack their clothes). 2 to fill. 3 to fill to overflowing (pack the hall). 4 to fill with a person’s own supporters (pack the jury).
pack animal (noun)an animal used for carrying loads (a pack horse).
package (noun)1 a wrapped and sealed container, along with its contents (a package of cookies). 2 a parcel, a bundle (packages delivered by mail).
packaging (noun)the materials in which objects are wrapped before they are put on sale.
packetCollective noun for lollies (A packet of lollies) (see list of collective nouns)
packet (noun)1 a small parcel (a packet containing a watch). 2 a mail boat.
pack-ice (noun)a mass of floating pieces of ice.
packing (noun)the paper, cardboard, etc, used to protect goods being delivered (unwrap the china and throw away the packing).
pact (noun)an agreement (sign a peace pact).
pad1 (noun)1 a small cushion (kneel on a pad to scrub the floor). 2 soft material used to protect or to alter shape (shoulder pads). 3 sheets of paper fixed together (note pads). 4 the soft flesh on the foot of certain animals (a dog’s pad). vb (padded, padding) 1 to fill out with soft material (pad the shoulders of the coat). 2 to make longer with unnecessary words (having little to say, she padded out the essay as much as possible).
pad2 (verb)to walk steadily and usually softly (children padded down the hall in their slippers).
padding (noun)1 soft material used for stuffing or filling out. 2 words, sentences, etc, put in merely to make something longer.
paddle (noun)a short oar with a broad blade, sometimes at each end. vb 1 to row with a paddle (paddle the boat downstream). 2 to walk in water with bare feet (children paddling at the seaside).
paddle steamer (noun)a steamer driven by two large wheels turning in the water to make it move.
paddock (noun)1 a small enclosed field (the paddock for the pony near the house). 2 an enclosure in which horses are assembled before a race (the jockeys mounted their horses in the paddock).
paddy field (noun)a flooded field in which rice is grown (paddy fields can be built into steep hillsides as terraces).
padlock (noun)a metal locking device that closes over two rings and thus fastens something (the padlock on the gate). vb to close with a padlock (padlock the trunk).
Paedologystudy of children (see list of branches of science)
pagan (noun)1 someone who is not Christian, Jewish or Muslim 2 someone who worships many gods. 3 someone who has no religion; heathen (modern paganism is sometimes described as a nature religion). n paganism
page1 (noun)1 a boy employee, usually uniformed, in a hotel, club, etc (tell the page to take a message). 2 a boy attendant on a bride at a wedding. 3 (old) a boy attendant of a knight or nobleman.
page2 (noun)one side of a sheet of paper in a book, etc (turn over the pages of the magazine).
pageant (noun)1 a performance or procession, often presenting scenes from history (a pageant to celebrate the centenary of the village). 2 a fine display or show (a colorful pageant).
pageantry (noun)splendid display.
pagoda (noun)a pyramid-shaped temple in Eastern countries.
Pagophobiafear of ice or frost (see list of phobias)
Paidonosologystudy of children's diseases; pediatrics (see list of branches of science)
pail (noun)an open vessel with a handle for carrying liquids (carry a pail of water).
pain (noun)1 suffering of body or mind (he went to the doctor because of the pain in his back painz pain-ful pain-less/. on pain of death with death as a punishment.
painstaking (adjective)1 very careful (a painstaking report). 2 taking great trouble (a painstaking student).
paint (noun)a coloring substance spread over the surface of an object with a brush (buy cans of blue paint to decorate the bedroom paint a picture). 2 to paint a picture (he paints as a hobby). n painter.
paintbrush (noun)1 a brush used for decorating a house with paint. 2 a brush used for painting pictures.
painting (noun)a painted picture (a painting of their house).
pairCollective noun for lovebirds (A pair of lovebirds) (see list of collective nouns)
pair (noun)1 two things of the same kind, a set of two (a pair of gloves our neighbors are an inquisitive pair). vb 1 to arrange in twos. 2 to join one to another.
pajamas npl, also pyjamas (British spelling) a loose, lightweight set of pants and a shirt, worn in bed.
pal (noun)(informal) a friend, comrade (his best pal).
palace (noun)a large and splendid house, especially the house of a king or queen (Buckingham Palace). adj palatial
Palaeoanthropologystudy of early humans (see list of branches of science)
Palaeobiologystudy of fossil plants and animals (see list of branches of science)
Palaeoclimatologystudy of ancient climates (see list of branches of science)
Palaeoichthyologystudy of ancient fish (see list of branches of science)
Palaeolimnologystudy of ancient lakes (see list of branches of science)
Palaeontologystudy of fossils (see list of branches of science)
Palaeopedologystudy of early soils (see list of branches of science)
palate (noun)1 the roof of the mouth. 2 the sense of taste, the ability to tell good food or wine from bad (get him to choose the wine as he has a good palate). 3 a taste or liking (novels that are not to his palate).
pale1 (adjective)1 lacking color, whiteish (ill people looking pale). 2 not dark in color (pale colors). vb to make or become pale (she paled with fear).
pale2 (noun)1 a pointed stake of wood driven into the ground as part of a fence. 2 (old) a boundary. beyond the pale beyond the limit of proper behavior (his drunken behavior was beyond the pale).
Paleobotanystudy of ancient plants (see list of branches of science)
paleolithic adj, also palaeolithic (British spelling) having to do with the early Stone Age (paleolithic remains).
paleontologist (noun),also palaeontologist (British spelling) someone who studies paleontology.
paleontology (noun),also palaeontology (British spelling) the study of fossils and ancient life forms.
Paleo-osteologystudy of ancient bones (see list of branches of science)
palette (noun)a thin board on which an artist mixes his paints.
palindrome (noun)a word or phrase whose letters when read from end to beginning spell the same word (e.g. noon).
palisade (noun)1 (old) a defensive fence of stakes. 2 npl palisades a line of high cliffs.
pallet (noun)1 a wooden platform on which goods can be carried by a fork-lift truck. 2 (old) a bed of straw.
pallorCollective noun for night watchmen (A pallor of night watchmen) (see list of collective nouns)
pallor (noun)paleness (the invalid’s pallor).
Palm Sunday (noun)the Sunday before Easter.
palm1 (noun)the inner part of the hand between the wrist and fingers. palm off to get to accept something worthless (palm off the painting as genuine although it was a copy).
palm2 (noun)a tall tropical tree with a crown of long broad leaves at the top of the trunk (coconut palms).
palmist (noun)a person who claims to tell someone’s future from the lines on their hand (have her future told by a palmist). n palmistry
palsy (noun)a disease causing trembling of the limbs. adj palsied
paltry (adjective)1 contemptibly small in worth, worthless (a paltry sum of money). 2 insignificant, meager (they considered the results too paltry for all the effort they had put into the project).
Palynologystudy of pollen (see list of branches of science)
pampas (noun, plural)the vast grassy treeless plains of South America.
pamper (verb)to spoil by trying to please too much (pamper the child).
pamphlet (noun)a small paper-covered booklet.
panCollective noun for critics (A pan of critics) (see list of collective nouns)
panCollective noun for reviewers (A pan of reviewers) (see list of collective nouns)
pan- prefix all.
pan (noun)1 a metal pot used for cooking (pans sitting on the stove). 2 the tray of a balance or set of scales. vb to criticize severely. pan out to turn out, to result.
Pan (noun)in legend, the Greek god of nature and shepherds.
panacea (noun)a cure for all diseases or evils (look for a panacea for the world’s ills).
panache (noun)style, a dramatic show of skill, etc (introduce the guest with great panache).
pancake (noun)a thin cake of batter cooked in a pan or on a griddle (toss the pancakes).
pancreas (noun)a gland in the body that produces a fluid that helps digestion and produces insulin which helps the body to use glucose (a malfunctioning pancreas caused the boy to develop diabetes).
panda (noun)a large black and white animal found in China.
pandemonium (noun)a scene of noisy disorder, uproar (there was pandemonium when the crowds were refused entrance to the rally).
pander (verb)to give in to the desires of a person or group (pander to the children by letting them stay up late).
pane (noun)a single piece of glass in a window.
panelCollective noun for experts (A panel of experts) (see list of collective nouns)
panelCollective noun for umpires (A panel of umpires) (see list of collective nouns)
panel (noun)1 a thin board fitted into the framework of a door or on a wall or ceiling (an old house with indoor walls made of wooden panels). 2 a group of people who discuss or answer questions put to them by others (a panel of experts answering questions asked by television viewers).
pang (noun)1 a sudden sharp pain (pangs of hunger). 2 a sudden sharp feeling (pangs of regret).
panicCollective noun for producers (A panic of producers) (see list of collective nouns)
panic (noun)1 a sudden uncontrollable fear (she felt the panic rising). 2 sudden fear spreading through a crowd and causing wild disorder (there was panic in the cinema when the fire broke out). Also adj.
panic-stricken (adjective)filled with panic (the panic-stricken crowd).
Panophobia fear of everything (see list of phobias)
panorama (noun)1 a wide view (a breathtaking panorama from the top of the mountain). 2 a scene painted on a strip of material and gradually unrolled before an audience. 3 a general representation in words or pictures (a book giving a panorama of life in the prohibition era).
pansy (noun)a garden plant like a large type of violet.
pant (verb)1 to take short quick breaths (runners panting at the end of the race). 2 to long for (pant for the chance to sing). n a gasp.
pantheonCollective noun for gods (A pantheon of gods) (see list of collective nouns)
panther (noun)a leopard, especially the black variety.
Panthophobiafear of suffering and disease (see list of phobias)
panties (noun, plural)women or children’s underwear.
pantomime (noun)1 a story told through mime. 2 (British spelling) an amusing Christmas play, popular with children, with music and songs, based on a well-known story or fairy tale.
Pantophobiafear of everything (see list of phobias)
pantryCollective noun for food (A pantry of food) (see list of collective nouns)
pantry (noun)1 a small room for keeping food (keep the food cool in the pantry). 2 a room in which food, dishes, cutlery, etc, are stored.
pants (noun, plural)1 a piece of clothing that has two legs and fastens at the waist. 2 (British spelling) underpants.
pantyhose (noun)a woman’s undergarment covering the legs and bottom, similar to tights, made from nylon or silk.
Papaphobiafear of the pope (see list of phobias)
paparazzi (noun, plural)(sing paparazzo ) photographers who follow famous people (often intrusively) in order to take their photographs to sell to newspapers and magazines.
papaya (noun)1 a Caribbean tree with large green hanging fruit. 2 the yellow sweet-tasting fruit of this tree (papaya tastes delicious with a squeeze of lime juice).
paper (noun)1 a material made from wood pulp, rags, etc, and used for writing, printing, wrapping and many other purposes (waste paper). 2 a newspaper (a daily paper). 3 an essay (write a paper on the poetry of John Keats). 4 a set of examination questions on a subject or part of a subject (the maths paper). vb to cover with paper (paper the walls).
paper chase (noun)a cross-country run in which certain runners throw down a trail of paper for the others to follow.
paper money (noun)bank notes.
paperback (noun)a soft book with a cover of thin card (wait for the novel to come out in paperback).
paperweight (noun)a heavy object placed on top of loose papers to keep them in place.
papier mâché (noun)a substance consisting of paper pulp used when wet for molding boxes, ornaments, etc, that is hard when dry. (the children were making bowls out of papier mâché).
papoose (noun)a Native American baby.
paprika (noun)a powdered seasoning made from red pepper (sprinkle paprika on the savories).
Papyrologystudy of paper (see list of branches of science)
Papyrophobiafear of paper (see list of phobias)
papyrus (noun)(pl papyri ) 1 a reed from which paper was made in ancient times. 2 the paper thus made.
par (noun)1 the state of being equal (cities on a par in terms of tourist popularity). 2 the normal value, amount or degree of something (work not up to par). 3 in golf, the number of strokes that should be taken on a round by a good player (a score of two over par).
parable (noun)a simple story made up to illustrate the difference between right and wrong.
parabola (noun)1 a curved line so drawn that it is throughout its length the same distance from both a fixed point and a line. 2 a section obtained by cutting a cone by a plane parallel to its side.
parachute (noun)an apparatus that opens like an umbrella and enables people to jump from an airplane and drop to the ground safely (parachutes are usually made out of light, strong cloth, originally silk, now most commonly nylon).
parade (noun)1 a public procession (a parade of decorated floats). 2 a vsible display (a parade of his knowledge). 3 soldiers, etc, standing in lines under the command of their officers. vb 1 to display (parade his knowledge). 2 to take up places in an orderly body (e.g. of soldiers). 3 to march in a procession. 4 to walk up and down (she paraded up and down impatiently).
paradise (noun)1 Heaven. 2 the Garden of Eden. 3 (informal) a place or state of great happiness (regard a day without work as paradise).
paradox (noun)a statement that seems to contradict itself (“More haste, less speed” is a paradox). adj paradoxical
Paradoxologystudy of paradoxes (see list of branches of science)
paraffin (noun)a waxy substance obtained from shale or coal and used for making candles or made into oil for lamps, etc.
paragon (noun)a perfect example of a good quality (a paragon of good manners).
paragraph (noun)a distinct division of a piece of writing beginning on a new line, and often with its first word slightly in from the left-hand margin.
parakeet (noun)a small parrot.
Paralipophobiafear of neglecting duty or responsibility (see list of phobias)
parallel (adjective)1 (of lines) at the same distance from each other at all points. 2 similar (a parallel case/parallel circumstances). n 1 a like or similar example, a comparison (see a parallel in the two cases). 2 one of the lines drawn on maps through all places at the same distance from the equator.
parallelogram (noun)a four-sided figure whose opposite sides are parallel.
paralysis (noun)a condition causing loss of feeling and the power to move in part of the body (suffering from paralysis below the waist).
paralytic (adjective)suffering from paralysis. Also n.
paralyze (verb),also paralyse (British spelling) 1 to make helpless or powerless (a country paralyzed by a transport strike). 2 to strike with paralysis (he has been paralyzed since the accident to his spine).
paramedic (noun)a person who is trained to give a certain amount of medical treatment until the patient can be treated by a doctor.
parameter (noun)a factor that determines the limits (working within the parameters of the resources available to them).
paramount (adjective)highest, greatest (of paramount importance).
paranoia (noun)a form of mental illness which can result in delusions, or feelings of persecution.
parapet (noun)a safety wall at the side of a bridge, at the edge of a roof, etc.
paraphernalia (noun, plural)a large collection of objects, often personal belongings, or all the tools necessary for a job or hobby (the paraphernalia necessary to take a baby on a journey).
Paraphobiafear of sexual perversion (see list of phobias)
paraphrase (verb)to express the sense of a passage by using other words (the teacher paraphrased the difficult poem). Also n.
Parapsychologystudy of unexplained mental phenomena (see list of branches of science)
parasite (noun)1 a plant or animal that lives on or in another (fleas are parasites). 2 someone who lives at another’s expense (a parasite who moves from one friend’s house to another). adj parasitic
Parasitologystudy of parasites (see list of branches of science)
Parasitophobiafear of parasites (see list of phobias)
Paraskavedekatriaphobiafear of Friday the 13th (see list of phobias)
parasol (noun)a sunshade in the form of an umbrella (carry a parasol in the midday sun).
paratroop(er) (noun)a soldier trained to drop from an airplane by parachute.
parboil (verb)to boil slightly (parboil the potatoes).
parcelCollective noun for hinds (A parcel of hinds) (see list of collective nouns)
parcelCollective noun for postal workers (A parcel of postal workers) (see list of collective nouns)
parcel (noun)1 a small bundle or package (send the present in a parcel). 2 a small piece of land, especially part of a large piece (the large estate has been divided into parcels of land). vb (parceled , parceling ) 1 to divide into shares (parcel out the food to the homeless). 2 to wrap up in paper, etc (parcel up the presents).
parch (verb)to dry up (grass parched by the sun).
parched (adjective)1 dried out (parched land). 2 (informal) very thirsty (parched after the long walk).
parchment (noun)1 a skin prepared for writing on. 2 what is written on it.
pardon (verb)to forgive, to let off without punishment (the priest pardoned his wrongdoing). n forgiveness.
pardonable (adjective)that can be forgiven (crimes that are not pardonable).
pare (verb)to cut off the skin or edge of (paring the rind from the cheese).
parelCollective noun for troops (A parel of troops) (see list of collective nouns)
parent (noun)a father or mother (being a parent is often difficult, but very rewarding).
parentage (noun)parents and ancestors, birth (of noble parentage).
parental (adjective)of a parent (they took their parental responsibilities very seriously).
parenthesisCollective noun for cellists (A parenthesis of cellists) (see list of collective nouns)
parenthesis (noun)1 a group of words put into the middle of a sentence interrupting its sense and often enclosed in brackets (in the sentence “the weather [according to the forecast] was going to be terrible”, “according to the forecast” is in parenthesis). 2 either of a pair of brackets. adj parenthetical
paring (noun)a piece of skin cut off (feed vegetable parings to the pigs).
parish (noun)1 a district with its own church and priest or minister. 2 (British spelling) a division of a county for administrative purposes. adj having to do with a parish (a parish church/a parish council).
parity (noun)equality, the state of being equal (women seeking parity with men in terms of their wages).
park (noun)1 an enclosed piece of ground for the use of the public (children playing in the park). 2 a large enclosed space of open ground round a country house (a mansion with an extensive park). 3 see parking lot. vb to leave (a motor car, etc) standing (park his car illegally).
parka (noun)a heavy jacket with a hood.
parking lot (noun)a place where cars, etc, may be left
parkway (noun)a wide road that has trees, shrubs, grass or flowers planted down the middle or along the sides.
parleyCollective noun for instruments (A parley of instruments) (see list of collective nouns)
parliamentCollective noun for owls (A parliament of owls) (see list of collective nouns)
parliamentCollective noun for ptarmigans (A parliament of ptarmigans) (see list of collective nouns)
parliamentCollective noun for whores (A parliament of whores) (see list of collective nouns)
parliament (noun)1 an assembly that discusses and makes laws. 2 (British spelling) (usually cap) the House of Commons and the House of Lords in the UK. adj parliamentary
parlor (noun),also parlour (British spelling) 1 (old) a sitting room. 2 a shop providing some kind of personal service (a beauty parlor/a funeral parlor).
parody (noun)1 a humorous imitation of a serious work of literature. 2 a weak and unsuccessful copy or absurd imitation (his statement was a parody of the truth). vb 1 to make a parody of. 2 to imitate in order to make fun of (he parodied the judge’s closing speech).
Paroemiologystudy of proverbs (see list of branches of science)
parole (noun)the release of a prisoner before the end of his or her sentence on condition that he or she does not break the law (prisoners released on parole).
parrot (noun)a brightly colored tropical bird able to imitate human speech (keep a parrot in a cage as a pet).
parse (verb)to tell what part of speech a word is and its relation to other words in the sentence. n parsing
parsley (noun)a garden herb used in cooking (use parsley to flavor the soup).
parsnip (noun)a vegetable with a yellow edible root.
parson (noun)a member of clergy (married by the local parson).
part (noun)1 one of the pieces into which a thing can be divided. 2 some but not all. 3 the character played by an actor. 4 the division made when the hair is brushed in two directions (a center part) 5 pl ability, talents. adj in part. vb 1 to divide. 2 to separate. adv partly in good part without being angry (take the news of the defeat in good part). part and parcel a necessary part.
partake (verb)(formal) 1 to take a share in, to take part in (partaking in the decision). 2 to eat (partake of a large meal).
Parthenologystudy of virgins (see list of branches of science)
Parthenophobiafear of virgins or young girls (see list of phobias)
partial (adjective)1 in part only (a partial improvement). 2 favoring one side or person (a partial decision/a partial umpire). 2 fond (of) (partial to sweet things).
partiality (noun)1 (formal) the favoring of one more than others, unfairness (an umpire accused of partiality). 2 liking (for) (a partiality for chocolate).
participant , participator (noun)someone who takes part in (participants in the quiz).
participate (verb)to take part in, to have a share in (participating in the discussions). n participation
participle (noun)a part of the verb which does the work of an adjective.
particle (noun)a very small part (particles of dust/not a particle of truth).
particular (adjective)1 different from others, special. 2 careful, exact. 3 difficult to please. n a single fact, a detail.
particularize (verb),also particularise to describe in detail.
parting (noun)1 separation (the parting of the ways). 2 act of going away or leaving (a sad parting at the station). 3 (British spelling) the division made when the hair is brushed in two directions (a center parting). adj done when going away, final (her parting words).
partition (noun)1 a dividing wall or screen (a partition dividing the bedroom into two). 2 division (the partition of India). 3 a part divided off from the rest (a partition for changing). vb 1 to divide up (partition the country into states). 2 to set up a dividing wall, etc.
partner (noun)1 someone who works or plays with another in a certain undertaking, game, etc (business partners/tennis partners). 2 a husband or wife, someone with whom one lives or is in a long-term relationship (he and his partner were invited to the party). vb to go with or give to as a partner (she partnered him to the dance).
partnership (noun)1 the state of being partners (go into partnership). 2 a group of people working together for the same purpose (a business partnership). 3 people playing on the same side in a game (a successful tennis partnership).
partridge (noun)a game bird with gray, brown and white feathers, hunted in sport.
part-time (adjective)for some of the time only (part-time work).
Parturiphobiafear of childbirth (see list of phobias)
party (noun)1 a group of people who have the same or similar beliefs and opinions (political parties). 2 a meeting of a number of people for enjoyment (a birthday party). 3 a person or organization taking part (one of the parties involved in the scheme).
pass (verb)1 to go past (pass the church on the way to the station). 2 to go on one’s way (watch the soldiers pass on their way to war). 3 to move (something) from one place or person to another (could you pass the salt?). 4 to die (the invalid passed away). 5 (of time) to go by (as the hours passed). 6 to spend (time) (pass the summer reading). 7 to overtake (a car passing the truck). 8 to succeed at examination. 9 to recognize as good enough, to approve (pass his application for a license). 10 to utter (pass a remark). 11 to set up as by vote (congress passing a new bill). 12 (formal) to be too great for (pass their understanding). n 1 a narrow valley between mountains. 2 a written permission to visit certain places. 3 success in an examination (get a pass in maths). a pretty pass a bad state of affairs (things have come to a pretty pass).
passable (adjective)1 fairly good (a passable pianist). 2 that can be crossed or traveled on (roads scarcely passable in the winter).
passage (noun)1 a way through (force a passage through the crowds). 2 act of passing (the passage of time). 3 a journey, especially by sea (pay for his passage to Australia by cooking for the crew). 4 a corridor (a large house with long dark passages). 5 part of a book, poem, etc (learn a passage from the poem by heart).
passbook (noun)a book showing the amounts paid into and drawn from a bank account.
passelCollective noun for brats (A passel of brats) (see list of collective nouns)
passelCollective noun for possums (A passel of possums) (see list of collective nouns)
passenger (noun)someone traveling in a ship, car, train, etc (he had room for another passenger in his car).
passer-by (noun)(pl passers-by ) someone who is walking past (the beggar was ignored by the passers-by).
passing (adjective)1 moving or going past. 2 lasting for a short time only (a passing thought).
passion (noun)1 strong feeling such as love (their passion for each other). 2 anger (he threw his glass to the floor in a fit of passion). 3 strong affection, enthusiasm (football is his great passion). the Passion the last sufferings of Christ.
passionate (adjective)1 having or showing strong feelings (a passionate love of freedom). 2 very enthusiastic (a passionate interest in sport).
passion-flower (noun)a tropical flower, so-called because of an imagined resemblance to Christ’s crown of thorns.
passion-fruit (noun)the edible purple fruit of the passion-flower.
passive (adjective)1 acted on (passive verbs). 2 showing no emotion, interest, etc. 3 not active; unresisting (accept the situation with passive resignation). passive smoking the breathing in of other people’s cigarette smoke (passive smoking is bad for your health). n passivity
Passover (noun)a Jewish feast in memory of their escape from Egypt.
passport (noun)a document giving a person permission to travel in foreign countries (they had to show their passports at the border).
password (noun)1 a secret combination of letters and numbers that must be supplied by a user in order to gain access to a digital resource such as an online account (I’ve forgotten my password again). 2 a secret word used by authorized persons to prove their right to access, information, etc.
past (adjective)1 gone by (in past times). 2 belonging to an earlier time (past presidents). n 1 time gone by (in the past he was very poor). 2 one’s earlier life (his past is unknown to his present employer). (preposition) 1 beyond (the building past the church). 2 after (past 3 o’clock). adv by (watch the soldiers march past).
past master (noun)an expert, someone with great skill (a past master at the art of conversation).
past participle (noun)a form of verb often ending in -ed or -en, that shows that an action happened in the past (sang is the past participle of sing).
past perfect , pluperfect (noun)a tense indicating that an action took place before a past action (I knew who he was. I had seen him before).
pasta (noun)an Italian food, such as spaghetti, made from a paste of flour, eggs and water, formed into different shapes and often dried before use (pasta and tomato sauce).
paste (noun)1 flour mixed with water, etc, to make dough for cooking. 2 a sticky mixture of this used as an adhesive. 3 food crushed so that it can be spread like butter (fish paste). 4 the hard shiny glass material of which imitation gems are made (a paste necklace). vb to stick with paste (pasting the posters on the billboard).
pastel (noun)1 a colored chalk or crayon. 2 a drawing done with pastel. 3 a pale delicate color. adj soft, quiet, not bright (pastel colors).
pasteurize (verb),also pasteurise (British spelling) to heat in order to kill all harmful germs (pasteurized milk).
pastille (noun)1 a small sweet-smelling lozenge. 2 a lozenge containing medicine (cough pastilles).
pastime (noun)a hobby, a game, an interest for one’s spare time (his pastimes are chess and golf).
pastor (noun)the minister of a church.
pastoral (adjective)1 (formal) having to do with the country or country life (pastoral scenes). 2 having to do with a member of the clergy or his or her duties (pastoral duties). n a poem describing country life.
pastry (noun)1 a dough of flour, water etc, made crisp by baking (puff pastry). 2 a pie or tart (a shop selling pastries).
pasture (noun)grassland where farm animals graze. vb 1 to put cattle to graze. 2 to eat grass on.
pasty (adjective)white and unhealthy, pale (a pasty complexion).
pat (noun)1 a tap, a light touch (a pat on the back). 2 a small lump (a pat of butter). vb (patted , patting ) to tap, to hit lightly (pat the dog). adj ready, coming too easily (an explanation that was too pat to be convincing).
Pataphysicsstudy of imaginary solutions (see list of branches of science)
patch (noun)1 a piece of material sewed or put on to cover a hole (a patch on the knee of her jeans). 2 a small piece of ground (a vegetable patch in the garden). vb to mend by covering over (patch the elbows of his jacket).
patchwork (noun)many small pieces of material sewn together (a quilt made of patchwork).
patchy (adjective)1 full of small areas of differing quality (patchy paintwork). 2 (informal) sometimes good, sometimes bad (his schoolwork is patchy).
pâté (noun)finely minced cooked meat, such as liver, which is spreadable.
patent (noun)1 a written document giving someone the sole right to make or sell a new invention. 2 the granting of land titles by the government. adj 1 protected by patent (a patent cough cure). 2 (formal) obvious, clear (his patent dishonesty). vb 1 to obtain a patent for (patenting his new machine). 2 to grant land titles by a patent.
patent leather (noun)leather with a very high gloss (dancing shoes of patent leather).
paternal (adjective)1 fatherly, like a father (paternal love). 2 related by blood to one’s father (his paternal grandmother).
paternity (noun)the state of being a father (question his paternity of the child).
path (noun)1 a narrow way made by the treading of feet, a track (mountain paths). 2 the course followed by a person or thing (a new career path).
pathetic (adjective)sad, causing pity (a pathetic sight/a pathetic person).
pathless (adjective)(formal) without a path, unexplored (pathless tracts of the jungle).
pathological (adjective)1 having to do with the study of disease (pathological research). 2 (informal) unreasonable, unnatural (a pathological hatred of his brother).
Pathologystudy of disease (see list of branches of science)
pathology (noun)the study of diseases. n pathologist
Pathophobiafear of disease (see list of phobias)
pathos (noun)the quality that evokes pity or sadness (the documentary caught the pathos of the orphans’ situation).
pathway (noun)a path (the mountain pathways/the pathway to fortune).
patience (noun)the ability to suffer or wait long without complaining; calmness despite delay or difficulty (she bears her long illness with patience).
patient (adjective)suffering delay, pain, irritation, etc, quietly and without complaining (a patient acceptance of her long illness/be patient and wait your turn in the line). n a person receiving medical treatment (the doctor’s patients).
patio (noun)a paved area outside a house where people can sit, plants can be grown in containers, etc.
patriarch (noun)(formal) 1 the head of a tribe or family. 2 a senior bishop. 3 a head of the Greek church. 4 a very old man (the patriarchs of the village sitting in the square). adj patriarchal
patriot (noun)someone who loves his or her country (a patriot who died for his country). n patriotism
patriotic (adjective)loving one’s country (sing the national anthem with patriotic enthusiasm).
Patroiophobiafear of heredity (see list of phobias)
patrol (noun)1 a group of men, ships, etc, sent out as a moving guard (enemy aircraft spotted by the patrol). 2 the act of patrolling (soldiers on patrol). vb (patrolled , patrolling ) to move about on guard or to keep watch (security guards patrolling the factory grounds).
patrolman (noun)a police officer responsible for a particular beat.
Patrologystudy of early Christianity (see list of branches of science)
patron (noun)1 someone who encourages, helps or protects (a patron of the arts). 2 a regular customer (a patron of the local hairdresser).
patron saint (noun)a saint believed to give special protection (Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland).
patronage (noun)1 the help or protection given by a patron (his patronage of the arts). 2 the right of appointing to certain offices (the chairman’s patronage secured his son’s appointment). 3 a manner that shows that one thinks oneself superior (her patronage of the younger members of staff).
patronize (verb),also patronise 1 to behave to another as if superior to him or her (the manager’s secretary who patronizes the younger secretaries) 2 (formal) to encourage or help, as a patron (patronizing young artists). 3 to go somewhere regularly as a patron (I patronize Burke’s Bistro).
patsy (noun)someone who can be used or manipulated.
patter1 (verb)1 to make a light tapping sound (rain pattering on the roof). 2 to run with quick light steps (mice pattering around the attic). n the sound of pattering (the patter of rain on the roof).
patter2 (noun)fast talk, especially persuasive talk (the patter of a salesman).
pattern (noun)1 a model that can be copied (a dress pattern). 2 an example (the pattern of good behavior). 3 a design as on cloth, a carpet, etc (a flower pattern on the curtains). 4 the way in which something happens or develops (the pattern of the illness).
patty (noun)a little pie (meat patties).
paunch (noun)the belly, especially a large protruding one (he has developed a paunch from drinking too much beer).
pauper (noun)a person too poor to support him- or herself (he was wealthy once but he died a pauper).
pause (verb)to stop for a time (pause for a moment before answering). n a short stop (a pause for breath/a pause for a cup of tea).
pavanneCollective noun for matadors (A pavanne of matadors) (see list of collective nouns)
pave (verb)to make a road or pathway by laying down flat stones (paving the road leading to the new houses). pave the way for to prepare for (the opening of the new shopping mall paved the way for further property developments).
pavement (noun)(British) a path for pedestrians at the side of a road; sidewalk.
pavilion (noun)1 a building put up quickly for a special purpose (the exhibition pavilions). 2 a large tent. 3 a small, decorative building in a park or garden.
paw (noun)the foot of an animal that has claws (a dog’s paws). vb 1 to scrape with the forefoot (horses pawing the ground). 2 to handle clumsily, and often in too familiar a way (he was pawing the woman he was dancing with).
pawn1 (noun)1 in chess, the piece of least value. 2 a person made use of by another to do his or her will (the child was used as a pawn in the quarrel between his divorced parents).
pawn2 (verb)to hand over in return for money lent (pawning his watch). n a thing handed over in return for a loan of money and returned when the loan is repaid. pawnbroker (noun)
pay (verb)(pt, pp paid ) 1 to give money for goods, service, etc (pay for their groceries pay heed). 4 to produce a profit (find a product that pays). 5 to let run out (pay out the rope to let the boat into the water). n wages, salary. pay through the nose (informal) to pay too much for something (he paid through the nose for that old car).
payment (noun)1 the act of paying (the payment of their debts). 2 the amount paid (payment received in full).
payroll (noun)a list of persons to be paid (people on the factory payroll).
PCabbreviation for 1 personal computer. 2 politically correct. 3 (British spelling) police constable.
pea (noun)1 a climbing plant with pods containing round edible seeds. 2 one of the seeds (soup made from peas).
peace (noun)1 quiet, calm (peace reigned after the children went to bed). 2 freedom from war or disorder (people in a country at war longing for peace). 3 the agreement to end a war (talks on peace).
peaceful (adjective)1 quiet, calm, untroubled (a peaceful village in the country). 2 without war (peaceful countries).
peach (noun)a juicy fruit with a rough stone and soft velvety skin (ripe golden peaches).
peacock (noun)a bird, the male of which has a large, brightly colored spreading tail. f peahen
peak (noun)1 the highest point (the peak of his political career). 2 the pointed top of a mountain. 3 the jutting-out brim at the front of a cap (a blue cap with a red peak). adj connected with the time of greatest use or demand (peak TV viewing times). vb to reach the highest point (his career peaked in his early 40s).
peaked (adjective)having a jutting-out brim in front (a peaked cap).
pealCollective noun for bells (A peal of bells) (see list of collective nouns)
peal (noun)1 a sudden noise (a peal of thunder). 2 the loud ringing of bells (the peal of the church bells). 3 a set of bells for ringing together. vb to sound or ring loudly.
peanut (noun)the edible nut-like seed of a legume, used as a food and an oil (peanut butter). Also groundnut.
pear (noun)a juicy fruit narrower at one end than at the other (there are lots of ripe pears on the tree).
pearl (noun)1 a shining white jewel found in shellfish, especially oysters (a necklace of pearls). 2 (informal) something highly valued (the pearl of his collection of antiques). 3 mother-of-pearl (pearl handles).
peasant (noun)a person who works on the land, especially in a poor, primitive or underdeveloped area.
peat (noun)turf containing decayed vegetable matter, dried and used as fuel (peat fires in the Scottish Highlands).
pebble (noun)a small stone made round by the action of water (a beach of pebbles). adj pebbly (a pebbly beach).
Peccatophobiafear of sinning or imaginary crimes (see list of phobias)
peckCollective noun for Frenchmen (A peck of Frenchmen) (see list of collective nouns)
peck1 (noun)in the imperial system, a measure for grain, etc (= 2 gallons).
peck2 (verb)1 to strike with the beak (his pet bird pecked his finger). 2 to pick up with the beak (birds pecking at seed). 3 to eat slowly in small mouthfuls, to nibble (a child who only pecks at her food).
peculiar (adjective)1 strange, odd (meat that tastes peculiar). 2 belonging to one person, place or thing in particular and to no other (his peculiar style of walking/the peculiar charm of the village).
peculiarity (noun)1 a quality, custom, etc, that belongs to a particular person, thing, etc. 2 an odd way of behaving.
Pedagogicsstudy of teaching (see list of branches of science)
pedal (noun)a lever worked by foot to control the working of a machine (the bicycle pedal pe-dald pe-da-ling/) to work a pedal by foot (pedal the bicycle uphill).
pedant (noun)1 someone who shows off his or her learning. 2 someone who attaches too much importance to small details and unimportant rules (a pedant who kept finding problems with the wording of the contract). adj pedantic
pedantry (noun)1 showing off one’s learning. 2 over-insistence on rules, etc.
peddle (verb)to sell from door to door (salesmen peddling cleaning products).
peddler (noun),also pedlar, pedler someone who travels about selling small objects (peddlers selling things from door to door).
pedestal (noun)the block of stone at the base of a column or under a statue (a bust of Shakespeare on a pedestal). put on a pedestal to treat with very great, often too much, respect (he put his wife on a pedestal but she did not deserve his respect).
pedestrian (noun)someone who goes on foot, a walker (pedestrians looking for a place to cross the street/a pedestrian crossing). adj 1 going on foot (pedestrian passengers on the ferry). 2 dull, uninteresting (a pedestrian style of writing).
pedestrianized (adjective)of or relating to streets in which traffic is not allowed so that pedestrians can walk safely (a pedestrianized precinct).
Pediaphobiafear of babies or children (see list of phobias)
Pediculophobiafear of lice (see list of phobias)
pedicure (noun)1 professional treatment of the feet by a medical expert. 2 a single treatment of the feet.
pedigree (noun)1 a written table showing one’s ancestors (get a copy of the dog’s pedigree). 2 one’s ancestors (a young woman of aristocratic pedigree). adj of good birth (a pedigree spaniel).
pediment (noun)the triangular topmost part at the front of a building.
Pediophobiafear of dolls (see list of phobias)
pedlar, pedlersee peddler.
Pedologystudy of soils (see list of branches of science)
pedometer (noun)an instrument that measures distance walked (walkers wearing pedometers).
Pedophobiafear of children (see list of phobias)
peelCollective noun for vacationers (A peel of vacationers) (see list of collective nouns)
peel (verb)1 to strip off. 2 to cut the skin off a fruit or vegetable. 3 to come off, as does skin or the bark of a tree (oranges that peel easily). n skin, rind, bark.
peeling (noun)a piece peeled off.
peep1 (verb)to chirp, to squeak. n 1 a chirp or squeak. 2 any of various small sandpipers.
peep2 (verb)1 to look at through a narrow opening. 2 to look at for a moment only. 3 to begin to appear (the sun peeped through the clouds). n 1 a quick or secret look. 2 a look through a narrow opening. 3 a first appearance.
peephole (noun)a small hole for looking through (a peephole in the front door).
peer1 (verb)1 to strain one’s eyes to see. 2 to look closely.
peer2 (noun)1 an equal, one’s equal in age, ability, rank (a child ahead of his peers at school). 2 a British nobleman (peers in the House of Lords). f peeress
peerage (noun)1 all the noblemen of a country. 2 the rank or title of a British nobleman.
peerless (adjective)(formal) unequalled (her peerless beauty).
peevish (adjective)irritable, full of complaints (a peevish old man who is difficult to please).
peg (noun)a nail, pin or fastener (tent pegs). vb (pegged , pegging ) to fasten with a peg (peg the tent to the ground). take down a peg to humble, to humiliate (she was so conceited that they felt they had to take her down a peg or two).
Peladophobiafear of bald people (see list of phobias)
pelican (noun)a water bird with a large beak containing a pouch for storing fish.
Pellagrophobiafear of pellagra (see list of phobias)
pellet (noun)1 a small ball of anything (give the birds pellets of bread). 2 a pill. 3 one of a number of small lead balls packed in a cartridge and fired from a gun.
pell-mell (adverb)in great disorder (the children ran pell-mell into the yard).
Pelologystudy of mud (see list of branches of science)
pelt1 (noun)the raw skin of an animal (sell mink pelts for profit).
pelt2 (verb)1 to attack by throwing things at (the audience pelting the comedian with rotten fruit). 2 (of rain) to fall heavily (it was pelting down).
pelvis (noun)the bony frame and the lower end of the trunk, into which the hipbones fit.
pen friend (noun)a person one gets to know only through exchanging letters. Also pen pal.
pen name (noun)a name, other than his or her real name, under which an author writes (the author’s pen name).
pen pal see pen friend.
pen1 (noun)an instrument for writing in ink (a fountain pen). vb to write.
pen2 (noun)a female swan.
pen3 (noun)a small enclosure, especially for animals (a sheep pen). vb (penned , penning ) to shut up in a small space (pen the stray dogs up in a cage).
penal (adjective)having to do with punishment (the penal system).
penalize (verb),also penalise (British spelling) to punish (penalizing the baseball player/penalize his attempt at cheating).
penalty (noun)1 due punishment (the death penalty). 2 a disadvantage of some kind that must be suffered for breaking the rules (a football penalty).
penance (noun)punishment willingly accepted as a sign of sorrow for sin (do penance for his sins).
pence (British spelling) see penny.
penchant (noun)(formal) a liking for, a preference for (a penchant for spicy food).
pencilCollective noun for lines (A pencil of lines) (see list of collective nouns)
pencil (noun)a writing or drawing instrument. vb (penciling , penciled ) to write or draw with pencil (pencil in a few corrections).
pendant (noun)1 an ornament hanging from a necklace or bracelet (a diamond pendant). 2 an earring. 3 anything hanging (e.g. a lamp from a roof).
pending (adjective)not yet decided (the matter is still pending). (preposition) waiting for (pending a decision).
pendulous (adjective)(formal) hanging (branches pendulous with fruit).
pendulum (noun)a swinging weight, as in a large clock.
penetrable (adjective)that can be penetrated (roads scarcely penetrable in winter).
penetrate (verb)1 to pass through (light penetrating the thin curtains). 2 to make a hole in or through (a bullet penetrated his shoulder). 3 to reach the mind of (it didn’t seem to penetrate that her husband was dead).
penetrating (adjective)1 sharp (a penetrating stare). 2 loud and clear (a penetrating voice).
penetration (noun)1 act of passing through or making a hole in. 2 clear understanding, intelligence.
penguin (noun)a web-footed bird with very short wings that it uses for swimming, not flying (penguins are found in the Antarctic regions).
Peniaphobiafear of poverty (see list of phobias)
penicillin (noun)a kind of germ-killing drug obtained from mould (take penicillin to cure her sore throat).
peninsula (noun)a piece of land almost surrounded by water.
penitent (adjective)sorrowful for having done wrong (children penitent for having broken the window). n someone who is penitent. n penitence
penitential (adjective)(formal) having to do with penitence (a penitential attitude).
penitentiary (noun)a prison.
penknife (noun)a folding pocket knife.
penmanship (noun)(formal) the art of handwriting (admire his penmanship).
pennant , pennon (noun)1 a long narrow triangular flag. 2 a flag symbolizing a particular sports championship.
penniless (adjective)having no money (penniless people begging).
penny (noun)(pl pennies , pence ) a British bronze coin worth one twelfth of a shilling until 1971 after which 100 new pence = £1.
Penologystudy of crime and punishment (see list of branches of science)
pension (noun)money paid regularly to someone for the rest of his or her lifetime after he or she has stopped working or after some misfortune (receive a company pension). vb to give a pension to.
pensioner (noun)someone who receives a pension.
pensive (adjective)(formal) thoughtful (in pensive mood).
pentagon (noun)a five-sided figure.
Pentagon (noun)the headquarters of the Department of Defense.
Pentecost (noun)a Christian and Jewish festival.
Pentheraphobiafear of mother-in-law (see list of phobias)
penthouse (noun)1 an apartment, usually luxurious, at the top of a building (a fine view from the penthouse). 2 a shed with down-sloping roof built against a wall.
penultimate (adjective)(formal) the last but one (it was the tv series’ penultimate episode).
peony (noun)a garden plant with large white or red flowers.
people (noun)1 all those belonging to one nation or country (the people of Brazil). 2 the ordinary persons of a country and not their rulers, etc (the people rebelling against their rulers). 3 persons (people who care about others). vb 1 to fill with people (a building peopled with office workers). 2 to inhabit (tribes who people the plains).
pep (noun)vitality, high spirits.
pepper (noun)1 a plant whose seeds are ground into a hot-tasting powder and used for flavoring food. 2 the powder so used (season the dish with salt and pepper).
peppercorn (noun)the seed of the pepper plant.
peppermint (noun)1 a plant with sharp-tasting oil. 2 a sharp-tasting candy (suck a peppermint).
peppery (adjective)like pepper, hot (a peppery sauce).
per (preposition)1 for each (apples $2 per kilo). 2 during each (work 40 hours per week). 3 (informal) according to (as per instructions).
perceive (verb)to know through one of the senses, to see, to understand (perceive a reason for their distress).
percent adv, also per centin each hundred (%).
percentage (noun)the number of cases in every hundred (a percentage of the injured animals die).
perceptible (adjective)able to be perceived (no perceptible difference).
perception (noun)1 the ability to perceive. 2 intelligence.
perceptive (adjective)1 quick to notice or understand (perceptive people who reported him to the police). 2 showing the ability to notice or understand (perceptive comments).
perch1 (noun)a freshwater fish.
perch2 (noun)1 the bar, branch, etc, on which a bird stands when resting. 2 a high place. vb 1 to rest on a bar or high place (parrots perching on bars in their cages). 2 to put or be in a high position.
perchance (adverb)(old) perhaps.
percussion (noun)1 the striking of one thing against another. 2 the sound thus made. 3 the drums and cymbals section of an orchestra.
perdition (noun)1 entire ruin (an army led to perdition by an incompetent general). 2 condemnation to hell (sinners facing perdition).
peremptory (adjective)short and commanding (a peremptory manner).
perennial (adjective)1 lasting for ever, continual (their perennial complaints). 2 (of a plant) growing again year after year. n a perennial plant.
perfect (adjective)1 without fault, excellent (a perfect piece of work). 2 exact (a perfect copy). 3 complete, utter (a perfect fool). vb to finish, to make perfect. n perfection
perforate (verb)to make a hole or row of holes through (perforating paper/a perforated ulcer).
perforation (noun)a row of small holes, often to make tearing easy, as in sheets of stamps, etc.
perform (verb)1 to do, to carry out (perform her duties satisfactorily). 2 to show in a theater (perform a production of Hamlet). 3 to act in a play (they performed in a musical production).
performance (noun)1 act of doing or carrying out (the performance of their duties). 2 that which is done (admire their musical performance). 3 the acting of a play or part (we went to see a performance of Othello).
performer (noun)an actor, musician, etc.
performing (adjective)trained to act, do tricks, etc (performing animals).
perfume (noun)1 a sweet smell (the perfume of roses). 2 a sweet-smelling liquid, scent (buy a bottle of perfume). vb perfume 1 to apply perfume to. 2 to give a pleasant smell to (roses perfuming the garden).
perfumer (noun)someone who makes perfume.
perfumery (noun)1 a place where perfumes are made or sold. 2 the art of making perfumes (a training in perfumery).
perfunctory (adjective)done carelessly or without interest, badly done (a perfunctory cleaning of the room).
perhaps (adverb)it may be, possibly.
peril (noun)risk, danger (the perils of travel in those parts).
perilous (adjective)dangerous (a perilous journey).
perimeter (noun)1 the total length of the line(s) enclosing a certain space or figure. 2 the boundaries of a camp or piece of land (the perimeter of the city).
period (noun)1 a certain length of time (a period of three months). 2 an age in history (the period of The Depression). 3 the dot or full stop marking the end of a sentence. 4 a time of menstruation.
periodic (adjective)happening at regular intervals (periodic breakdowns in the system).
periodic table (noun)a chart showing the arrangement of chemical elements and their connections to one another.
periodical (noun)a newspaper or magazine that appears at regular intervals of a week, month, etc (a scientific periodical).
Periodonticsstudy of gums (see list of branches of science)
periphery (noun)a boundary line (on the periphery of the city/on the periphery of the subject that she is studying).
periscope (noun)an instrument in which mirrors are so arranged that one can see things on the surface of the land or sea when in a trench or submarine.
perish (verb)1 to die (soldiers who perished in the battle). 2 to pass away completely (a way of life that perished). 3 to rot away (rubber that perished).
perishable (adjective)that will rot away under ordinary conditions (perishable food).
Peristerophilycollection of pigeons (see list of hobbies)
perjury (noun)the saying on oath that a statement is true when one knows it to be false (a witness who committed perjury).
perk1 (verb)perk up to cheer up (she perked up when she heard the good news).
perk2 nsee perquisite.
perky (adjective)lively, cheerful (in a perky mood). n perkiness
perm (noun)an artificial wave in the hair.
permanent (adjective)lasting (a permanent dye per-ma-nense/.
permanent wave (noun)see perm.
permeable (adjective)allowing liquid, gases, etc, to pass through.
permeate (verb)1 to pass through, to spread through every part of (damp permeating the whole house/an organization permeated with politics).
permissible (adjective)(formal) that can be allowed (it is not permissible to leave school early).
permission (noun)leave, consent (get permission to leave early).
permissive (adjective)(formal) allowing freedom (a permissive regime).
permit (verb)(permitted , permitting ) to allow (the children are not permitted to leave the school premises). n a paper giving the holder the right to do certain things (a permit to sell things in the market).
permutation (noun)1 all the ways in which a series of things, numbers, etc, can be arranged. 2 one of these ways.
peroration (noun)1 (formal) the closing part of a speech. 2 a grand long speech, often meaningless.
peroxide (noun)1 a mixture of oxygen with another element to contain the greatest possible amount of oxygen. 2 a substance used for bleaching, e.g. the hair.
perpendicular (adjective)1 at right angles. 2 upright. n a line at right angles to another.
perpetrate (verb)to commit, to do (perpetrating a crime). n perpetration n perpetrator
perpetual (adjective)1 lasting for ever (perpetual life). 2 continuing endlessly, uninterrupted (perpetual noise).
perpetuate (verb)to make lasting (a system that perpetuates the old faults). n perpetuation
perpetuity (noun)(formal) everlasting time. in perpetuity for ever.
perplex (verb)to puzzle, to bewilder (perplexed by the flashing traffic signals).
perplexity (noun)puzzlement, bewilderment.
perquisite (noun)(usually shortened to perk ) money, goods, etc, gained from a job in addition to wages or salary.
persecute (verb)to ill-treat, especially because of personal beliefs; to treat cruelly (persecuted for their religious faith). n persecution n persecutor
perseverance (noun)the quality of continuing to try until one succeeds.
persevere (verb)to keep on trying (if you don’t succeed at first, persevere/persevering with singing lessons).
persist (verb)1 to keep on doing (persist in telling lies). 2 to last (an infection that persisted). 3 not to give in despite difficulty.
persistenceCollective noun for parents (A persistence of parents) (see list of collective nouns)
persistence (noun)the quality of persisting; obstinacy.
persistent (adjective)1 keeping on trying, not giving in easily. 2 long, continuing (a persistent infection).
persnickety adj, also pernickety (Br)overly fussy; being too concerned with small and unimportant things.
person (noun)1 a human being, a man, woman or child. 2 (formal) one’s body (drugs about one’s person).
personal (adjective)1 concerning a person’s own private life (personal belongings). 2 (of remarks) unkind.
personal identification number see PIN.
personality (noun)1 the union of qualities that makes someone’s character different from those of other people (a cheerful personality). 2 a strong, distinct character (a woman of personality). 3 a well-known person (television personalities).
personally (adverb)as far as one is concerned oneself (personally I think she is honest).
personate (verb)(formal) to act the part of, to pretend to be (someone else).
personify (verb)1 to speak or write of a thing, quality, etc, as if it were a human being (innocence personified as a baby). 2 to be a perfect example of (he personifies optimism). n personification
personnel (noun)the persons employed in an organization (highly qualified personnel).
perspective (noun)1 the art of drawing objects on a flat surface so that they appear farther or nearer as they do to the eye. 2 (formal) a view. see in perspective to see the real value or importance of things when compared with others (so upset that she was unable to see things in perspective).
Perspex™ (noun)a tough transparent glass-like plastic.
perspicacious (adjective)(formal) quick to notice or understand (perspicacious enough to spot the errors).
perspicacity (noun)quickness or clearness of understanding.
perspire (verb)to sweat (runners perspiring in the heat). n perspiration
persuade (verb)to convince a person or get him or her to do as one wants by argument (persuading them to take part).
persuasion (noun)1 act of persuading. 2 (formal) a belief or set of beliefs (of the Christian persuasion). 3 a group holding certain beliefs.
persuasive (adjective)good at gaining the agreement of others, able to influence others (a persuasive young man/a persuasive argument).
pert (adjective)forward, cheeky (a pert young woman). n pertness
pertain (verb)to belong, to have to do with (remarks not pertaining to the situation).
pertinent (adjective)to the point, having to do with the subject. n pertinence , pertinency
perturb (verb)to make worried or anxious, to disturb (perturbed by rumors of war). n perturbation
perusal (noun)reading, study.
peruse (verb)(formal) to read through, to examine carefully (perusing the contract).
pervade (verb)to spread through (an area pervaded by disease).
pervasive (adjective)spreading through all parts.
perverse (adjective)1 holding firmly to a wrong opinion. 2 continuing to do things that one knows to be wrong, unacceptable or forbidden (it was perverse of her to disobey her father).
perversion (noun)the act of putting to a wrong or evil use (an unnatural perversion).
perversity (noun)the quality of being perverse.
pervert (verb)1 to put to a wrong use (perverting the course of justice). 2 to teach wrong ways to. n someone who has formed unnatural habits (a pervert who preys on the young).
pervious (adjective)(formal) that can be passed through.
peseta (noun)a former Spanish coin.
pessimism (noun)the belief that things generally turn out for the worst. n pessimist
pessimistic (adjective)having to do with pessimism, gloomy (a pessimistic outlook on life).
pest (noun)1 something harmful. 2 an annoying person, a nuisance (that child is just a pest). 3 a destructive animal, insect, etc (farmers spraying crops to kill pests).
pester (verb)to keep on annoying (children pestering their mother to buy ice cream).
pesticide (noun)a chemical substance used to kill pests, especially insects which are harmful to crops and other plants (spray the roses with pesticide).
pestilence (noun)any deadly disease that spreads quickly; plague. adj pestilential
pestilent (adjective)causing pestilence or disease.
pestle (noun)an instrument for pounding substances to powder (a mortar and pestle).
Pestologyscience of pests (see list of branches of science)
pet (noun)1 a favorite child (a teacher’s pet). 2 a tame animal kept in the house as a companion (keep a dog as a pet). adj best-loved, favorite. vb (petted , petting ) 1 to treat lovingly. 2 to fondle.
petal (noun)the leaf-shaped part of a flower.
peter (verb) peter out to stop or disappear gradually (a mild protest that petered out).
petite (adjective)tiny, dainty (a petite blonde).
petition (noun)1 a request. 2 a written request signed by a number of people (sign a petition against the new superhighway being built). 3 a prayer. vb 1 to make a request to someone able to grant it. 2 to put forward a written request (they petitioned the authorities for a new pedestrian crossing). n petitioner
petrel (noun)a sea bird.
petrifaction (noun)1 turning into stone. 2 terror, amazement.
petrify (verb)1 to turn into stone. 2 to terrify, to astound (children petrified by the eerie music).
petrol (British spelling) see gasoline.
petroleum (noun)a heavy oil obtained from under the surface of the earth.
Petrologystudy of rocks (see list of branches of science)
petrology (noun)the study of the formation, composition and erosion of rocks.
petticoat (noun)a woman’s undergarment.
pettish (adjective)sulky (in a pettish mood).
petty (adjective)1 small, unimportant, trivial (petty crime). 2 mean-spirited (petty, spiteful people).
petty cash (noun)money held in readiness to meet small expenses (take the money for stationery from petty cash).
petty officer (noun)in the navy, a non-commissioned officer.
petulant (adjective)easily angered or annoyed, peevish (he got tired of her petulant behavior). n petulance
petunia (noun)1 a flowering garden plant of various colors but often purple. 2 the purplish color of this flower.
pew (noun)a seat in a church.
pewter (noun)a mixture of tin and lead (the first prize was a goblet made of pewter).
pH (noun)the measurement of the acid or alkaline content of something.
phaeton (noun)(old) an open four-wheeled carriage drawn by a pair of horses.
Phagophobiafear of swallowing or of eating or of being eaten (see list of phobias)
Phalacrophobiafear of becoming bald (see list of phobias)
phalanxCollective noun for umbrellas (A phalanx of umbrellas) (see list of collective nouns)
phalanx (noun)1 (fml or old) a body of foot soldiers standing close to each other in battle. 2 a body of persons or animals standing close to each other (a phalanx of police officers held back the crowds as the movie stars arrived for the awards ceremony).
Phallophobiafear of erections or fear of penis (see list of phobias)
phantom (noun)a ghost.
pharaoh (noun)a king of ancient Egypt.
pharmaceutical (adjective)having to do with the making up of drugs or medicines.
Pharmacognosystudy of drugs of animal and plant origin (see list of branches of science)
Pharmacologystudy of drugs (see list of branches of science)
Pharmacophobiafear of taking medicine or fear of drugs (see list of phobias)
pharmacy (noun)1 the making up of drugs or medicines (study pharmacy). 2 a shop in which medicines are made up and sold (she was told to take the prescription to the pharmacy that evening). n pharmacist
Pharologystudy of lighthouses (see list of branches of science)
pharyngitis (noun)inflammation of the pharynx.
Pharyngologystudy of the throat (see list of branches of science)
pharynx (noun)the back part of the mouth.
phase (noun)1 a distinct stage in growth or development (the first phase of the building project). 2 apparent shape (e.g. of the moon).
Phasmophobiafear of ghosts or phantoms (see list of phobias)
pheasant (noun)a large bird hunted for sport (have roast pheasant for dinner).
Phengophobiafear of daylight or sunshine (see list of phobias)
phenix (noun)in ancient fables, a bird said to burn itself and rise again from its own ashes.
Phenologystudy of organisms as affected by climate (see list of branches of science)
phenomenal (adjective)unusual, extraordinary (a phenomenal talent).
Phenomenologystudy of phenomena (see list of branches of science)
phenomenon (noun)(pl phenomena ) 1 any natural happening that can be perceived by the senses. 2 anything unusual or extraordinary (snow in that part of the world is a phenomenon).
phial (noun)a small glass bottle (a phial of poison).
philander (verb)to flirt (he is always philandering with married women). n philanderer
philanthropy (noun)love of humankind, shown by giving money, etc, to help those in need or to benefit the public. adj philanthropic n philanthropist
Philatelycollection of postage stamps (see list of hobbies)
philately (noun)stamp collecting. n philatelist
Philemaphobia fear of kissing (see list of phobias)
Philematologystudy of kissing (see list of branches of science)
Philematophobiafear of kissing (see list of phobias)
philistine (noun)an uncultured person (a philistine with no interest in books or the arts).
Phillumenycollection of matchboxes/matchbooks (see list of hobbies)
Philologystudy of ancient texts; historical linguistics (see list of branches of science)
philology (noun)the study of languages, their history and development. n philologist
Philophobiafear of falling in love or being in love (see list of phobias)
philosopher (noun)1 someone who tries to find by reasoning the causes and laws of all things. 2 someone who treats life calmly.
philosophic(al) (adjective)1 having to do with philosophy. 2 calm, not easily annoyed (of a philosophical turn of mind).
Philosophobiafear of philosophy (see list of phobias)
Philosophystudy of knowledge or wisdom (see list of branches of science)
philosophy (noun)1 the study of the causes and laws of all things (study philosophy at university). 2 a particular way of thinking (his philosophy of life is to enjoy himself).
philter (noun)(formal) a magic drink supposed to make the drinker fall in love.
phlebitis (noun)inflammation of a vein of the body.
phlegm (noun)the thick slimy liquid coughed up from the throat.
phlegmatic (adjective)cool, not easily excited.
phlox (noun)a garden plant with brightly colored flowers.
PhobiaA phobia is an irrational and extreme fear of something that’s unlikely to cause harm. (see list of phobias)
phobia (noun)an unreasoning fear or dread (have a phobia about heights).
Phobophobiafear of fear itself or of having a phobia (see list of phobias)
phonethe short form of telephone
phonetic (adjective)having to do with the sounds of speech or pronunciation (the phonetic alphabet). npl phonetics the study of the sounds of speech.
Phoniatricsstudy and treatment of organs involved in speech production (see list of branches of science)
phonic (adjective)having to do with sound.
phonograph (noun)(old) an instrument for recording sounds and playing them back.
Phonologystudy of speech sounds (see list of branches of science)
Phonophobiafear of loud noises or voices or phones (see list of phobias)
phony (adjective)(informal) not genuine, not sincere, unreal (a phony workman/a phony interest in the arts).
phosphate (noun)a type of salt mixed into soil to make it more fertile.
phosphorescence (noun)a faint shining visible only in the dark.
phosphorescent (adjective)giving out a faint light in the dark (phosphorescent paint).
phosphorous (noun)a yellowish substance, easily set alight, giving out a faint light.
photothe short form of photograph (she had some lovely photos of her vacation).
Photoaugliaphobiafear of glaring lights (see list of phobias)
Photobiologystudy of effects of light on organisms (see list of branches of science)
photocopy (noun)a photographed copy (take a photocopy of the document). vb to make a photographed copy.
photogenic (adjective)suitable for photographing (the girl was photogenic enough to be a professional model).
photograph (noun)a picture in the form of a print, recorded by a camera on photosensitive material. abbreviation photo. vb to take a photograph. n photographer adj photographic
photography (noun)the art of taking photographs.
photometer (noun)an instrument for measuring the intensity of light.
Photonicsstudy of photons (see list of branches of science)
Photophobiafear of light (see list of phobias)
phrase (noun)1 a small group of connected words expressing a single idea. 2 (music) a group of connected notes. vb to express in words (phrase his statement in simple language).
Phraseologystudy of phrases (see list of branches of science)
phraseology (noun)a manner or style of expressing in words (expressed in simple phraseology).
Phrenologystudy of bumps on the head (see list of branches of science)
phrenology (noun)1 the belief that a person’s intelligence and abilities may be judged from the shape of his or her skull. 2 study of the shape of the skull based on this belief. n phrenologist
Phronemophobiafear of thinking (see list of phobias)
Phthiriophobiafear of lice (see list of phobias)
Phthisiophobiafear of tuberculosis. (see list of phobias)
Phycologystudy of algae and seaweeds (see list of branches of science)
physical (adjective)1 having to do with the body (a physical abnormality). 2 having to do with the natural world (the physical sciences).
physical therapy (noun)the use of exercise or massage to improve mobility after illness or injury.
physician (noun)a doctor, especially as opposed to a surgeon.
physicist (noun)a student of physics.
Physicsstudy of properties of matter, force and energy (see list of branches of science)
physics (noun)the study of matter, its properties, and the forces affecting it (e.g. heat, electricity, etc).
Physiologystudy of processes of life (see list of branches of science)
physiology (noun)the study of living bodies, their organs and the way they work. adj physiological n physiologist
physique (noun)1 the structure of a person’s body. 2 strength of body (athletes trying to improve their physique).
Phytologystudy of plants (see list of branches of science)
pianissimo (adverb)(music) very softly.
pianist (noun)someone who plays on a piano.
piano1 , pianoforte (noun)a musical instrument played by pressing down keys that cause little hammers to strike tuned strings.
piano2 (adverb)(music) softly.
piazza (noun)1 an open square surrounded by buildings (cafés around the piazza). 2 (British spelling) a path under a roof supported by pillars.
piccolo (noun)a small high-pitched flute.
pick1 (verb)1 to choose (pick a cookie from the plateful). 2 to pull or gather (pick flowers/pick raspberries). 3 to eat by small mouthfuls (pick at one’s food). 4 to open (a lock) with a tool. 5 to steal from (a pocket). n choice, the best. pick holes in to point out the faults in (pick holes in the argument). pick up 1 to take up (pick up his tools). 2 to learn as if by chance (pick up a foreign language). 3 to come upon by chance (pick up some interesting jewelry).
pick2 , pickax (noun)a tool with a long pointed head, used for breaking up hard ground. etc (laborers breaking up the road surface with picks).
picket (noun)1 a pointed wooden post. 2 a small group of soldiers acting as a guard. 3 a number of people on strike who try to prevent others from going to work (pickets stopping trucks on the way into the factory). vb 1 to send out soldiers, strikers, etc, on picket. 2 to tie to a post.
pickle (noun)1 salt water or vinegar in which food is preserved (serve pickles with cold roast beef). 2 (informal) a difficult or unpleasant situation (in a fine old pickle). 3 pl vegetables, especially cucumber, preserved in vinegar. vb to preserve by putting in salt water, vinegar, etc.
pickpocket (noun)someone who steals from pockets.
picnic (noun)an outing taken for pleasure, during which a meal is eaten out of doors. Also vb.
pictorial (adjective)told or illustrated by pictures (a pictorial description).
picture (noun)a painting, drawing, photograh or other likeness; a portrait. vb 1 to imagine clearly (try to picture their distress). 2 (formal) to represent in a painting (the artist has pictured him as an old man).
picturesque (adjective)that would make a good picture, striking in appearance, beautiful (a picturesque village).
pie (noun)meat or fruit in or under a crust of pastry (a steak pie).
piece (noun)1 a bit (a piece of chewing gum). 2 a distinct part (put it together piece by piece). 3 a literary or musical composition. 4 (informal) a gun. 5 a short distance (down the road a piece). 6 a coin (a ten-cent piece). vb 1 to put (together). 2 to patch.
piecemeal (adverb)1 in or by pieces. 2 little by little.
piecework (noun)work paid by the amount done, not by time.
pied (adjective)(formal) of different colors, spotted.
pier (noun)1 a stone pillar supporting an arch, etc. 2 (British spelling) boardwalk. a wooden platform built out into the sea, often used as a landing place by boats.
pierce (verb)1 to make a hole through. 2 to go through (a dagger pierced her heart).
piercing (adjective)1 high-sounding (a piercing scream). 2 bright and intelligent-looking, staring (a piercing stare).
pig (noun)1 a common farm animal (we get pork and bacon from pigs). 2 a rough block or bar of smelted metal. vb (pigged , pigging ) (informal) to live in dirty or untidy surroundings (pig it in a student apartment). buy a pig in a poke to buy something without examining it first (buying goods at an auction can be like buying a pig in a poke).
pigeon (noun)a dove.
pigeon-hole (noun)one of several compartments in a desk for storing papers, letters, etc.
piggy bank (noun)a small savings bank shaped like a pig.
pig-headed (adjective)foolishly stubborn (too pig-headed to listen to advice).
pigment (noun)any substance used for coloring (a red pigment).
pigmy see pygmy.
pigpen (noun)an enclosure for pigs.
pig-sticking (noun)hunting wild boar with spears.
pigtail (noun)a plait of hair hanging down the back or from each side of the head (a girl with pigtails).
pike1 (noun)a large freshwater fish.
pike2 (noun)(old) a long spear.
pilchard (noun)a small edible sea fish.
pileCollective noun for accidents (A pile of accidents) (see list of collective nouns)
pileCollective noun for dung (A pile of dung) (see list of collective nouns)
pileCollective noun for dust (A pile of dust) (see list of collective nouns)
pileCollective noun for garbage (A pile of garbage) (see list of collective nouns)
pileCollective noun for proctologists (A pile of proctologists) (see list of collective nouns)
pile1 (noun)1 a heap (a pile of rubbish). 2 (informal) a large and grand building (a stately pile) 3 a large amount of money (he made a pile from that contract). vb to heap up (rubbish piling up).
pile2 (noun)one of a number of wooden posts driven into the ground as the foundation for a building.
pile3 (noun)the soft wooly hair on cloth, carpets, etc.
pilfer (verb)to steal small amounts or articles of small value (she had been pilfering money from the cash register). n pilferer
pilgrim (noun)1 someone who travels, often very far, to a holy place to worship. 2 npl the Pilgrims a group of people who left England because they were being persecuted for their religion, and came to America, founding the Plymouth colony in 1620.
pilgrimage (noun)a journey made by a pilgrim (a pilgrimage to Bethlehem).
pilingCollective noun for construction workers (A piling of construction workers) (see list of collective nouns)
pill (noun)a tiny ball of medicine (vitamin pill).
pillar (noun)1 an upright of stone, wood, etc, for supporting an arch, roof, etc. 2 any person or thing that gives support (a pillar of the local tennis club).
pillow (noun)in bed, a soft cushion for the head.
pillowcase (noun)the cover put over a pillow.
pilot (noun)1 someone who steers an airplane. 2 someone who guides a ship in and out of harbor. vb 1 to steer an airplane (he pilots military aircraft). 2 to guide, to show the way (piloting ships into the harbor).
pimple (noun)a small swelling on the skin (she was very self-conscious about the pimple on her chin).
pimply (adjective)(informal) covered with pimples.
PINabbreviation for personal identification number a number, consisting of several digits, used to identify a person (enter your PIN to get money from the ATM).
pin (noun)1 a short pointed bar of wire with a flattened head, used for fastening cloth, paper etc (put up the hem of the dress with pins). 2 a wooden, metal, or plastic peg (have a pin put in his injured arm). 3 a bolt. 4 a narrow brooch (a silver pin). vb (pinned , pinning ) 1 to fasten with pins. 2 to hold firmly (to) (she pinned him against the wall). pins and needles a tingling feeling in a limb as the blood starts to flow freely through it again.
piñata (noun)a container covered in coloured tissue paper, full of candy and gifts and used at parties when it is hung from the ceiling and hit with sticks until its contents spill out.
pincers (noun, plural)1 a tool for gripping things, such as nails, firmly. 2 claws (e.g. of a crab).
pinch (verb)1 to take or nip between the finger and thumb (pinch his arm). 2 to squeeze the flesh until it hurts. 3 (informal) to steal (pinch money from her mother’s purse). n 1 the amount that can be taken between the finger and thumb. 2 a small amount (a pinch of salt). 3 need, distress (feeling the pinch having no job).
pine cone (noun)the scaly fruit of the pine tree.
pine1 (noun)a cone-bearing evergreen tree.
pine2 (verb)1 to waste away with sorrow, pain, etc. 2 to long for.
pineapple (noun)1 a tropical American plant cultivated for its sweet-tasting fruit. 2 the fruit of this plant (she had a slice of pineapple for her dessert).
ping (noun)a sharp sound, as of a bullet striking something metal.
pink1 (noun)1 a garden flower. 2 a light red color. 3 the state of being in the best of condition (in the pink). Also adj.
pink2 (verb)to cut a zig-zag edge on cloth (pink the edges of the seams).
pinnacle (noun)1 a pointed tower or spire on a building. 2 a pointed mountain. 3 the highest point.
pinstripe (noun)a very thin stripe running through a material.
pintCollective noun for Irishmen (A pint of Irishmen) (see list of collective nouns)
pint (noun)in the imperial system, the eighth part of a gallon (0.57 litre).
pioneer (noun)1 someone who goes before the main body to prepare the way, someone who is the first to try out new ideas etc (a pioneer of medical research in cancer). 2 an explorer. vb 1 to begin (pioneer the research). 2 to explore.
pious (adjective)loving and worshipping God, religious (the congregation’s pious members). n piety.
pip (noun)1 seed of fruit (orange pips). 2 the spot on a card, dice, domino, etc. 3 one of the badges worn on an army officer’s shoulder to show his rank.
pipe (noun)1 a musical wind instrument (the pipes of Pan). 2 a long tube (water pipes). 3 a tube with a bowl at one end for smoking tobacco (smoke a pipe). 4 a shrill voice. 5 a bird’s note. 6 (formal) a measure of wine. vb 1 to play upon a pipe. 2 to make (water, gas, etc) pass through pipes (piping oil to the refinery). 3 to speak in a shrill voice. 4 to whistle. piping hot very hot.
pipeline (noun)a long line of pipes to carry water, oil, etc. in the pipeline in preparation (plans in the pipeline).
piper (noun)someone who plays a pipe or bagpipes. pay the piper to pay the bill.
piquant (adjective)1 sharp-tasting, appetizing (a piquant sauce). 2 witty, arousing interest. n piquancy
pique (noun)irritation, anger caused by wounded pride. vb 1 to wound the pride of, to offend. 2 to arouse or excite (the preview piqued my interest).
pirate (noun)1 someone who attacks and robs ships at sea. 2 a person who does something without legal right (pirates who publish books without permission). Also vb. n piracy
pirouette (verb)to turn round on the points of the toes, as in ballet. Also n.
Piscatologystudy of fishes (see list of branches of science)
pistachio (noun)a nut with a green kernel.
Pisteologystudy of faith (see list of branches of science)
pistil (noun)the seed-bearing part of a flower.
pistol (noun)a small firearm fired with one hand.
piston (noun)a plug that fits closely into a hollow cylinder inside which it moves up and down (the pistons in the engine).
pit1 (noun)1 a deep hole in the earth. 2 the passageway leading down to a mine. 3 a mine (for coal, etc). 4 the area in front of the stage in a theater where the orchestra sits. 5 a trading area in a commodities exchange. vb (pitted , pitting ) 1 to lay in a pit. 2 to set against in order to outdo (pit his wits against theirs).
pit2 (noun)the stone of fruits such as the peach, plum, or cherry.
pitch1 (verb)1 to set up (pitch a tent). 2 to throw (pitch a ball). 3 to fall heavily (he suddenly pitched forward). 4 to set the keynote of (a tune). 5 (of a ship) to dip down headfirst after rising on a wave. n 1 a throw. 2 the highness or lowness of a note in music. 3 the ground marked out for a game (a baseball pitch). pitched battle a set battle between two prepared armies.
pitch2 (noun)a thick dark substance obtained from tar (as black as pitch).
pitcher1 (noun)a container for liquids (a pitcher of water).
pitcher2 (noun)the person who throws the ball to the batter in baseball.
pitchfork (noun)a long-handled tool with prongs for moving hay. vb 1 to move with a pitchfork. 2 to put suddenly into a new situation.
pitfall (noun)a trap (the pitfalls of business).
pith (noun)1 material just under the skin of an orange etc. 2 the soft center of the stem of a plant. 3 the most important part (the pith of his speech).
pithyCollective noun for truths (A pithy of truths) (see list of collective nouns)
pithy (adjective)short and to the point, forceful.
pitiable (adjective)deserving pity (a pitiable sight).
pitta (bread) (noun)an oval-shaped type of flat bread that can be opened to insert a filling.
pittance (noun)a small allowance or wage (earn a pittance).
pitted (adjective)marked with little hollows (her skin was pitted after years of having acne).
pityCollective noun for prisoners (A pity of prisoners) (see list of collective nouns)
pity (noun)sympathy for the pain or sorrow of others (feel pity for the homeless). vb to feel sorry for. adj pitiful , pitiless
pityingCollective noun for turtledoves (A pitying of turtledoves) (see list of collective nouns)
pivot (noun)1 the pin on which anything (e.g. a wheel) turns. 2 the central point of anything (the pivot of the organization).
pivotal (adjective)holding a central or important position (a pivotal role in the firm).
pixel (noun)in computing or photography, one of many tiny dots that make up a larger picture (the picture is made up of 350 pixels per square inch).
pixie, pixy (noun)a fairy.
pizza (noun)a baked circle of dough covered with cheese, tomatoes, etc.
pizzeria (noun)a restaurant where pizzas are baked and sold.
placard (noun)a notice put up in a public place to announce or advertise something (carry a placard protesting against the new bill).
placate (verb)to make calm or peaceful (placating their angry mother).
place (noun)1 an open space in a town. 2 a particular area of space. 3 a village, town, etc. 3 the post or position held by someone. 4 rank in society. 5 a passage in a book. vb 1 to put or set. 2 to decide from where a thing comes or where it ought to be. 3 to recognize. 4 to find a job for.
placebo (noun)1 an ineffective medication given to a control group in an experiment. 2 an action or assurance designed to humor someone.
placid (adjective)calm, not easily angered or upset, gentle (a placid baby). n placidity
Placophobiafear of tombstones (see list of phobias)
plagiarism (noun)the act of stealing from another author’s works. n plagiarist
plagiarize (verb),also plagiarise (British spelling) to use the words or ideas of another and pretend they are one’s own (plagiarizing his friend’s essay).
plagueCollective noun for locals (A plague of locals) (see list of collective nouns)
plagueCollective noun for locusts (A plague of locusts) (see list of collective nouns)
plague (noun)1 a very infectious and dangerous disease (the Black Death was a dangerous plague in the Middle Ages). 2 (informal) a nuisance. vb (informal) to keep on annoying, to pester (plaguing us with questions).
plaice (noun)an edible flat fish (plaice and chips).
plaid (noun)1 a type of checked cloth. 2 a large woolen shawl-like wrap, often of tartan, worn as part of Scottish Highland dress.
plainCollective noun for farmers (A plain of farmers) (see list of collective nouns)
plain (adjective)1 clear, easily understood (plain English). 2 simple, bare, undecorated (plain living). 3 obvious (it was plain that she was guilty). n a stretch of level country.
plain sailing (noun)something easy (getting into the building was plain sailing).
plain-spoken (adjective)saying what one thinks, frank.
plaintCollective noun for oboists (A plaint of oboists) (see list of collective nouns)
plaintiff (noun)the person who brings a suit before a court of law.
plaintive (adjective)sad, expressing sorrow (a plaintive sound).
plait , pleat (noun)1 a pigtail of intertwined hair. 2 a fold (e.g. in material). vb to twist together into a plait.
plan (noun)1 a drawing of the outlines made by an object on the ground, a map (a plan of the building). 2 a scheme of what is to happen on a future occasion (make plans for defeating the enemy). vb (planned , planning ) 1 to draw a plan of. 2 to arrange beforehand what should happen (plan their future actions). n planner.
plane1 (noun)1 a smooth or level surface. 2 a carpenter’s tool for giving wood a smooth surface. 3 a common short form of airplane adj level, smooth. vb to make smooth (planing the rough wood).
plane2, plane tree (noun)a tall broad-leaved tree.
planet (noun)one of the heavenly bodies moving in orbit round the sun. adj planetary
planetarium (noun)1 a building containing an optical device which simulates the motion of the sun, moon and planets against a backdrop of the stars. 2 a model of the planetary system.
Planetologystudy of planets (see list of branches of science)
plank (noun)a long flat piece of timber (a floor made of planks).
plankton (noun)small living organisms found in the sea.
plant (noun)1 anything growing from the earth and feeding on it through its roots (garden plants). 2 the machinery and equipment used in a factory (industrial plant). vb 1 to put in the ground to grow (plant potatoes). 2 to set firmly (plant his feet on the ground).
plantain1 (noun)a type of herb with broad leaves.
plantain2, plantain tree (noun)a tropical tree with fruit like a banana.
plantation (noun)1 a wood planted by man. 2 a colony. 3 an estate on which a large amount of sugar, tea, cotton, etc, is cultivated.
planter (noun)the owner or manager of a plantation (a rubber planter).
plaque (noun)1 an ornamental plate of metal, etc (a plaque on the wall in memory of the dead soldier). 2 a deposit of saliva and bacteria that forms on the teeth.
plasma (noun)the liquid part of blood.
plaster (noun)1 a mixture of lime, water and sand spread over the walls of buildings to make them smooth. 2 an adhesive bandage used for dressing wounds, etc (put a plaster on his grazed knee). vb 1 to cover with plaster. 2 to spread over the surface of.
plaster cast (noun)a rigid casing put around a broken limb for support while it is healing (his friends signed their names on his plaster cast).
plasterer (noun)someone who plasters walls.
plastic (adjective)easily shaped or molded. n one of a group of man-made substances that can be molded into any shape (chairs made of plastic).
plastic surgery (noun)the reshaping of the human body by surgery (have plastic surgery to reshape his nose).
plate (noun)1 a shallow dish for food (serve the meat on the plates). 2 a flat piece of metal, glass, etc (the name of the company engraved on a plate on the wall). 3 gold and silver household articles (burglars stole the family plate). 4 a picture printed from an engraved piece of metal, etc. vb to cover with a thin coat of metal.
plateau (noun)(pl plateaux or plateaus ) an extent of high level land, a tableland.
platform (noun)1 a raised part of the floor (for speakers, etc). 2 a bank built above ground level for those entering trains, etc. 3 statement of the aims of a group (the animal rights platform).
plating (noun)the art of covering articles with a thin coat of metal (silver plating).
platinum (noun)a valuable heavy grayish-white metal.
platitudeCollective noun for sophomores (A platitude of sophomores) (see list of collective nouns)
platonic love (noun)purely spiritual love between two human beings (a platonic relationship).
platoon (noun)a small division of a company of infantry.
platter (noun)a large flat plate or dish (a platter of cold meat).
platypus (noun)an Australian mammal with jaws like a duck’s bill.
plausible (adjective)that sounds convincing, seemingly true or truthful (a plausible excuse). n plausibility
play (verb)1 to amuse oneself (children playing). 2 to take part in a game or sport (play darts). 3 to gamble. 4 to act a part in a drama (play Hamlet). 5 to perform on a musical instrument (to play the piano). 6 to trifle with (she played with his affections). n 1 a drama (go to see a play in the local theater). 2 trifling amusement or sport (children engaged in play). 3 gambling. 4 free movement (the play of the rope).
player (noun)1 someone who takes part in a sport or drama. 2 a musical performer (piano-player).
playful (adjective)fond of sport or amusement.
playground (noun)a piece of ground set aside for children to play in.
playhouse (noun)1 (especially in titles) a theater. 2 a toy house large enough for children to play inside.
playmate (noun)a childhood companion (his playmates at nursery school).
plaything (noun)a toy.
playwright (noun)someone who writes plays.
plea (noun)1 an excuse. 2 an earnest request. 3 the prisoner’s answer to the charge in a law court (a plea of not guilty).
plead (verb)(pt, pp pled or pleaded ) 1 to request earnestly (plead for his friend’s release). 2 to put forward in excuse (plead that he was somewhere else). 3 to present one’s case or one’s client’s case in a court of law.
pleasant (adjective)agreeable, enjoyable (a pleasant companion/a pleasant day).
please (verb)1 to make happy or content (do anything to please her). 2 to seem good to (music is pleasing to her). 3 to be so kind as to (close the window, please).
pleasurable (adjective)giving pleasure (a pleasurable occasion).
pleasure (noun)1 delight, joy (get pleasure in her son’s happiness). 2 will or choice (at their pleasure).
pleat see plait.
plectrum (noun)a small instrument for plucking the strings of stringed instruments.
pledge (noun)1 a solemn promise (a pledge that he would look after her). 2 an object handed over to another to keep until a debt has been paid back to him or her. 3 a toast. vb 1 to promise solemnly (pledge that he would be present). 2 (formal) to give to keep until a debt has been repaid (pledging his watch at the pawnbroker’s). 3 to drink to the health of.
plenitudeCollective noun for freshmen (A plenitude of freshmen) (see list of collective nouns)
plenitude (noun)an abundance, completeness.
plentiful (adjective)enough, more than enough (a plentiful supply).
plenty (noun)all that is necessary, more than is necessary (there is plenty of food).
plethora (noun)more than enough of anything (a plethora of second-hand clothes).
pliable (adjective)1 easily bent. 2 easily influenced (pliable people doing what she says). n pliability
pliant (adjective)1 easily bent. 2 easily influenced. n pliancy
pliers (noun, plural)a small tool for gripping things firmly and for cutting wire (use pliers to pull out the nail).
plight1 (noun)a difficult condition, situation (in an awkward financial plight).
plight2 (verb)(old) to promise (plight their troth).
plinth (noun)the square slab at the foot of a pillar or under a statue.
plod (verb)(plodded , plodding ) to walk or work slowly and steadily (plodding home at the end of the day).
plodder (noun)someone who, though not clever, makes progress by hard work.
plot (noun)1 a small piece of ground (a plot in the cemetery). 2 the planned arrangement of the events of a story, play, etc. 3 a secret plan against one or more persons (conspirators in a plot against the government). vb (plotted , plotting ) 1 to plan. 2 to form a plan against (plot against the government). 3 to mark out or set down on paper (plot a graph). n plotter
plow (noun),also plough (British spelling) an instrument for turning up soil before seeds are sown. vb to turn up with a plow.
plowman (noun)someone who plows, a farm laborer.
plowshare (noun)the cutter or blade of a plow.
ploy (noun)a devious tactic (his ploy to get rid of them worked).
pluckCollective noun for firefighters (A pluck of firefighters) (see list of collective nouns)
pluck (verb)1 to pick or gather (pluck roses). 2 to snatch (pluck the log from the fire). 3 to pull off the feathers (pluck the pheasant for dinner). n courage (have the pluck to face danger).
plucky (adjective)brave (plucky fighters).
plug (noun)an object that fits into a hole and stops it, a stopper. vb (plugged , plugging ) 1 to stop with a plug. 2 (informal) to publicize (plugging his new book on radio).
plum (noun)a common stone-fruit. adj 1 a dark purple-red color. 2 desirable (a plum job).
plum pudding (noun)a pudding containing currants, raisins, etc, flavored with spices.
plumage (noun)the feathers of a bird.
plumb (noun)a piece of lead on a string, lowered from the top of a wall to see that it is at right angles to the ground. adj straight up and down. adv 1 exactly (plumb between the eyes). 2 straight up and down 3 really, incredibly (plumb crazy). vb 1 to measure depth. 2 to study thoroughly (plumb the human mind).
plumber (noun)a workman skilled in mending or fitting pipes, faucets, etc.
plumbing (noun)1 the work of a plumber. 2 all the pipes, faucets, etc, in a house (faulty plumbing).
plumbline (noun)the string by which a plumb is lowered.
plume (noun)1 a feather. 2 an ornament of feathers in a hat, etc.
plummet (verb)to drop down, to plunge.
Plumologystudy of feathers (see list of branches of science)
plumpCollective noun for moorhens (A plump of moorhens) (see list of collective nouns)
plumpCollective noun for waterfowl (A plump of waterfowl) (see list of collective nouns)
plumpCollective noun for wildfowl (A plump of wildfowl) (see list of collective nouns)
plump1 (adjective)fat and rounded. vb to grow fat, to fatten (plump the turkeys for Christmas). n plumpness
plump2 (verb)1 to sit or fall suddenly (plump down on the sofa). 2 to choose (plump for the older candidate). adv suddenly or directly.
plunderCollective noun for goons (A plunder of goons) (see list of collective nouns)
plunder (verb)to steal by force, to rob. n that which is taken away by force (plunder taken by the enemy from the city).
plunge (verb)1 to thrust into water (plunging the vegetables into boiling water). 2 to jump or dive into water (plunge into the lake). 3 to rush (into) (plunge into marriage). n 1 a dive. 2 act of rushing.
pluperfect (noun)see past perfect.
plural (adjective)more than one in number. n the form(s) of a word indicating more than one.
pluralist (noun)(formal) someone who holds more than one office.
plurality (noun)(formal) 1 a number consisting of more than one. 2 the majority.
plus (preposition)with the addition of (brains plus beauty). adj 1 more than (children who are twelve plus). 2 to be added, extra (a plus factor). n the sign (+) of addition.
plush (noun)(informal) a velvety kind of cloth. adj luxurious (she is living in a very plush apartment).
Pluto (noun)the second-largest dwarf planet in the solar system.
Plutologystudy of wealth (see list of branches of science)
Plutophobiafear of wealth (see list of phobias)
Pluviophobiafear of rain or of being rained on (see list of phobias)
ply1 (verb)1 to work at (plying his trade). 2 to go regularly between two places (a ferry plied between the island and the mainland). 3 to use skillfully.
ply2 (noun)a layer (four-ply wood).
plywood (noun)strong board made up of several thin layers of wood stuck together.
pneumatic (adjective)filled with air, moved by air.
Pneumaticsstudy of mechanics of gases (see list of branches of science)
Pneumatiphobiafear of spirits (see list of phobias)
pneumonia (noun)an inflammation of the lungs.
Pneumonologystudy of diseases involving the respiratory tract (see list of branches of science)
Pnigerophobiafear of choking of being smothered (see list of phobias)
Pnigophobia fear of choking of being smothered (see list of phobias)
poach1 (verb)to cook (fish, eggs, etc) lightly in liquid.
poach2 (verb)to hunt unlawfully on another’s land (poach pheasants). n poacher
pocketCollective noun for oranges (A pocket of oranges) (see list of collective nouns)
pocket (noun)1 a small bag attached to a garment, billiard table, suitcase, etc (a handkerchief in his top pocket). 2 a hollow in earth or rock filled with metal ore. 3 the hollow in a baseball mitt for catching the ball. vb 1 to put into a pocket (pocketing his winnings). 2 to steal. 3 to conceal (pocketed his pride).
pocket money (noun)money carried about for immediate personal use.
pocketbook (noun)a small bag or case for holding money, letters, etc, carried by a handle or in one’s pocket.
pockmarked (adjective)marked with small hollows on the skin as a result of smallpox.
Pocrescophobiafear of gaining weight (see list of phobias)
podCollective noun for dolphins (A pod of dolphins) (see list of collective nouns)
podCollective noun for peas (A pod of peas) (see list of collective nouns)
podCollective noun for whiting (A pod of whiting) (see list of collective nouns)
pod (noun)the covering of the seed of plants, such as peas, beans, etc.
podcast (noun)a free audio or video file, downloadable from a website and playable on computers, iPods™, etc.
podgy (adjective)(informal) short and fat.
Podiatrystudy of disorders of the foot; chiropody (see list of branches of science)
podiumCollective noun for orators (A podium of orators) (see list of collective nouns)
Podologystudy of the feet (see list of branches of science)
poem (noun)a piece of writing set down in memorable language and in lines with a recognizable rhythm.
poems on women empowermentcollection of poems on women empowerment)
poet (noun)someone who writes poetry. f poetess
poetic , poetical (adjective)1 having to do with poetry. 2 suitable for poetry (poetic language).
poetry (noun)ideas, feelings, etc, expressed in memorable words and rhythmical language.
Pogonologystudy of beards (see list of branches of science)
Pogonophobiafear of beards (see list of phobias)
poignant (adjective)painful and deeply felt (poignant memories).
Poinephobiafear of punishment (see list of phobias)
point (noun)1 the sharp end of anything (the point of the knife). 2 a headland. 3 a dot. 4 the exact place or time. 5 the purpose for which something is said or written (fail to see the point of his speech). 6 a single stage in an argument or list. 7 the unit of scoring in certain games (a team three points ahead). 8 pl (British spelling) see switch. vb 1 to show the direction of with a finger, stick, etc (point out the house to them). 2 to sharpen. 3 to aim (point the gun at them). 4 (of dogs) to show the direction of game with the nose. make a point of to attach special importance to. on the point of about to (on the point of leaving).
pointed (adjective)1 sharp (with a pointed edge). 2 meant to be understood in a certain way (a pointed remark).
pointer (noun)1 a rod for pointing with (indicate the place on the map with a pointer). 2 a dog trained to point out game.
pointless (adjective)having no meaning, having no sensible purpose (a pointless exercise).
poise (noun)1 balance. 2 calmness and good sense (enough poise to cope with the situation). vb 1 to balance. 2 to hover (poised ready to intervene).
poison (noun)1 any substance that when taken into a living creature (animal or vegetable) harms or kills it. 2 any idea, etc, that when spread through society causes standards of judgment to become lower. vb 1 to give poison to. 2 to kill by poison.
poisonous (adjective)1 being or containing poison (poisonous berries). 2 having a very harmful influence (poisonous influences on society).
pokeCollective noun for fencers (A poke of fencers) (see list of collective nouns)
poke (verb)to push with something pointed (e.g. a finger, stick, etc); to prod. n a prod given with something pointed (a poke in the ribs). poke fun at to make fun of. poke one’s nose into to interfere in what does not concern one.
poker (noun)1 a metal rod for stirring the coal, etc, in a fire. 2 a card game, usually played for money.
poky (adjective)(informal) small and confined (a family living in a poky apartment).
polar (adjective)of or near one of the poles of the earth (the polar regions).
polar bear (noun)the white bear of Arctic regions.
polarize (verb),also polarise (British spelling) 1 to make to work in the same direction. 2 to divide into groups based on two completely opposite opinions, attitudes, etc.
pole1 (noun)1 a long rod. 2 a long rounded post. 3 in the imperial system, a measure of length (= 5.03 meters).
pole2 (noun)1 one of the ends of the axis of the earth. 2 one of the points in the sky opposite the poles of the earth (celestial poles). 3 the end of either of the two arms of a magnet.
polecat (noun)a weasel-like animal that throws out a foul-smelling liquid when attacked.
Polemologystudy of war (see list of branches of science)
polestar, Pole Star (noun)a particular star at or near the celestial North Pole, used for finding directions.
police (noun)a body of persons whose job is to keep public order and see that the law is kept. vb to see that law and order are kept (policing the area). n policeman , police officer , policewoman
policy (noun)1 the methods or plans of a government or party. 2 a plan for a course of action (a marketing policy). 3 a written agreement with an insurance company (a household insurance policy).
Poliosophobiafear of contracting poliomyelitis (see list of phobias)
polish (verb)1 to make smooth and shining by rubbing (polish the table). 2 to improve, to refine (manners requiring polishing). n 1 a smooth shiny surface. 2 any substance rubbed on to make smooth and shiny. 3 good manners, refinement (sent to finishing school to acquire polish).
polite (adjective)well-mannered, refined (polite children). n politeness
political (adjective)having to do with politics (political motives).
politically correct (adjective)of language that is designed to avoid giving offence to particular groups of people, usually people who are often discriminated against (often abbreviated to PC). n political correctness
politician (noun)1 a statesman whose work is concerned with the public affairs or government of a country. 2 someone who seeks political office for selfish motives.
Politicophobiafear or abnormal dislike of politicians (see list of phobias)
politics (noun)the art or study of government; political matters (go in for politics).
polka (noun)a quick lively dance.
poll (noun)1 an election (a poll to elect a president). 2 the number of votes (a small poll). vb 1 to record the vote of. 2 to receive a vote or votes (he polled over twenty thousand votes).
pollen (noun)the yellow dust on a flower that when united to seeds makes them grow.
pollinate (verb)to make pollen unite with the seed. n pollination
pollutant (noun)something which pollutes.
pollute (verb)to make filthy or unfit for use (water polluted by industrial waste). n pollution
polo (noun)a game like hockey played on horseback.
poltergeist (noun)a mischievous spirit or ghost (believe that a poltergeist was throwing things around the room).
poly-prefix many.
polyester (noun)a synthetic fiber used to make fabric.
Polyphobiafear of many things or fear of everything (see list of phobias)
polythene (noun)a man-made plastic material resistant to chemicals and moisture (bags made of polythene).
pomegranate (noun)a large thick-skinned fruit containing many red, juicy, edible seeds.
Pomologystudy of fruit-growing (see list of branches of science)
pomp (noun)splendid show or display, grandeur (a procession full of pomp).
pomposity (noun)act of being pompous.
pompous (adjective)trying to appear dignified or important (a pompous old fool).
poncho (noun)a circular or rectangular cloak with a hole in the middle to put the head through.
pond (noun)a large pool of standing water.
ponderCollective noun for philosophers (A ponder of philosophers) (see list of collective nouns)
ponder (verb)(formal) to think deeply, to consider carefully (ponder the problems of the situation).
ponderous (adjective)1 (formal) very heavy (a ponderous load). 2 slow, dull (with ponderous steps).
Ponophobiafear of overworking or of pain (see list of phobias)
pontiff (noun)1 a bishop. 2 the pope.
pontifical (adjective)1 having to do with a bishop or the pope. 2 pompous.
pontificate (verb)1 (formal) to state one’s opinions pompously, as if stating undoubted facts (pontificating on the state of the country). 2 to act as a pontiff. n the office or reign of a pontiff.
pontoon1 (noun)a card game, usually played for money.
pontoon2 (noun)a flat-bottomed boat used as a support for a bridge.
pony (noun)a small horse (the little girl was given a pony for her birthday).
poodle (noun)a pet dog with curly hair, often clipped to leave part of its coat very short.
pooh-pooh (verb)(informal) to sneer at, to speak scornfully of (an idea) as foolish (pooh-poohed their efforts to help).
pool1 (noun)1 a puddle. 2 a deep place in a stream or river. 3 an area of still water (a swimming pool).
pool2 (noun)1 all the money bet on a certain game or event. 2 a collection of resources, money, etc, for sharing, communal use, etc (a typing pool). vb to put together the goods, etc, of individuals for use by the whole group (pooling their resources).
poop1 (noun)the back part of a ship, the stern.
poop2 (verb)to cause to become exhausted (many people dropped out of the race, pooped by their efforts to finish in a good time on such a hot day)
poor (adjective)1 having little money. 2 unfortunate (sorry for the poor soul). 3 bad (poor weather).
poorly (adjective)unwell (too poorly to go to work).
pop (noun)a sharp, low sound (the pop of a cork being pulled from a bottle). vb (popped , popping ) 1 to make a sharp low sound. 2 to move quickly or suddenly (the child popped out from behind the door).
pop music (noun)popular tunes of the day.
pope (noun)the head of the Roman Catholic church.
poplar (noun)a tall slender tree.
poppy (noun)a plant with brightly colored flowers (red poppies).
populace (noun)(formal) the common people (ideas disliked by the populace).
popular (adjective)1 having to do with the people (popular issues). 2 well liked by most people (a popular young woman).
popularity (noun)the state of being liked by most people.
popularize (verb),also popularise (British spelling) to make popular (popularizing the fashion for short skirts).
populate (verb)to provide with inhabitants (an island mainly populated by old people).
population (noun)all the people living in a place.
populous (adjective)having many inhabitants (the more populous areas of the world).
porcelain (noun)fine pottery.
porch (noun)a roofed approach to a door.
porcupine (noun)an animal like the rat, covered with prickly quills.
pore1 (noun)a tiny opening, especially in the skin (blocked pores).
pore2 (verb)pore over to study closely (poring over the map).
pork (noun)the meat obtained from a pig (roast pork).
Pornophobiadislike or fear of pornography (see list of phobias)
porous (adjective)having small holes through which liquid may pass (porous substances).
Porphyrophobiafear of the color purple (see list of phobias)
porpoise (noun)a sea animal about 1.5 meters long.
porridge (noun)a food made from oatmeal boiled in water or milk to make a thick broth (have porridge for breakfast).
port1 (noun)1 a harbor. 2 a place with a harbor (a small port in the south of the country).
port2 (noun)an opening in the side of a ship.
port3 (noun)the left side of a ship (looking forward), larboard.
port4 (noun)a dark sweet red wine (serve port after dinner).
portable (adjective)able to be carried about (a portable television).
portal (noun)(formal) a doorway, a gateway.
portcullis (noun)a grating of criss-cross iron bars that can be lowered suddenly to close the gateway of a castle against attackers.
porter1 (noun)someone who carries loads, baggage, etc, for others (the station porter carried my bags onto the train).
porter2 (noun)a dark-brown beer (specialized porter brews continue the tradition of aging in barrels).
portfolioCollective noun for pictures (A portfolio of pictures) (see list of collective nouns)
portfolioCollective noun for stockbrokers (A portfolio of stockbrokers) (see list of collective nouns)
portfolio (noun)1 a case for carrying loose papers, drawings etc. 2 the office of a minister of state (the trade and industry portfolio).
porthole (noun)a small window in the side of a ship.
portico (noun)(pl porticoes or porticos ) 1 a roof supported by a row of pillars, jutting out at the front of a building. 2 a roofed approach to a door. 3 a path covered by a roof supported by pillars.
portion (noun)1 a share (take a portion of the blame). 2 a helping (a large portion of cake). 3 the money and property given to a woman at the time of her marriage. 4 (fml or old) one’s fate (poverty has been her portion). 5 a part (the front portion of the train). vb 1 to divide up. 2 to give a share to.
portly (adjective)stout (a portly old gentleman).
portrait (noun)1 a picture of a person (paint her portrait in oils). 2 a good description (a pen portrait of her grandmother).
portraiture (noun)1 the drawing of portraits. 2 describing in words.
portray (verb)1 to draw or paint (a painting portraying children playing). 2 to describe (in her account of the accident the driver of the car is portrayed as a very stupid man).
portrayal (noun)the act of portraying.
pose (verb)1 to put (posing a question). 2 to put on or take up a certain attitude (pose for an artist). 3 to pretend to be what one is not (burglars posing as laborers). n 1 position, attitude. 2 a pretense of being what one is not. 3 a false manner or attitude.
position (noun)1 place (the house’s position by the lake). 2 rank, grade (finish in second position in the race). 3 job (a junior position in the firm). 4 state of affairs (their financial position). 5 a place occupied by troops during battle. vb to place.
positive (adjective)1 sure (positive that she saw him). 2 certain, definite (positive proof). 3 confident (a positive manner). 4 greater than zero (a positive number). 5 really existing. 6 active, leading to practical action (positive action).
positively (adverb)completely, really (positively the last time).
Posologystudy of quantity or dosage (see list of branches of science)
posseCollective noun for police (A posse of police) (see list of collective nouns)
posseCollective noun for posers (A posse of posers) (see list of collective nouns)
posseCollective noun for sheriffs (A posse of sheriffs) (see list of collective nouns)
posse (noun)(informal) a group of people with a shared interest or purpose ( a posse of newspaper reporters).
possess (verb)1 to have as one’s own (possess great wealth). 2 (formal) to control the mind of (possessed by a great rage). adj possessed
possession (noun)1 the act of possessing. 2 ownership. 3 control by evil spirits.
possessive (adjective)1 showing possession (a possessive pronoun). 2 liking to possess or own, unwilling to share (a possessive lover).
possessor (noun)someone who possesses (the possessor of a new car).
possibility (noun)something possible (no possibility of improvement).
possible (adjective)1 that may be true (it is possible that she is dead). 2 that may exist (possible proof). 3 that can be done (possible courses of action).
possibly (adverb)perhaps, maybe.
post-prefix after.
post office (noun)an office where stamps may be bought, letters posted, etc.
post1 (noun)a strong pole or length of wood stuck upright in the ground (posts to make a fence). vb to put up on a post, noticeboard, etc (post notices about the show).
post2 (noun)1 one’s place of duty (soldiers at their posts). 2 one’s job (seek a new post). 3 a military camp. 4 a settlement. 5 (British spelling) the official system by which letters, etc, are sent from one place to another. vb 1 to send to a certain place of duty (post soldiers overseas). 2 (old) to hurry. 3 (old) to travel on horseback changing horses at regular intervals. 4 to supply with the latest news (keep them posted). 5 (British spelling) to send by post.
postage (noun)the charge for sending something by mail (postage has gone up).
Postal Service (noun)the agency which sells stamps, and collects and delivers the mail in the United States.
postcard (noun)a card on which a message may be written and which can be mailed without an envelope.
postdate (verb)to indicate a date later than the actual one (postdating a check).
poster (noun)a large printed notice for public display (a poster advertising the concert).
posterior (adjective)(formal) 1 later. 2 placed behind.
posterity (noun)one’s descendants, later generations (paintings preserved for posterity).
posthumous (adjective)1 happening after someone’s death (he was awarded a posthumous medal for bravery). 2 born after the father’s death (a posthumous son). 3 published after the author’s death (a posthumous novel).
postmortem (adjective)after death. n an examination of a body after death to find out the cause of death (a postmortem after sudden death).
postnatal (adjective)after birth.
postpone (verb)to put off till a later time (postponing the meeting till next week). n postponement
postponementCollective noun for trains (A postponement of trains) (see list of collective nouns)
postscript (noun)something extra written at the end of a letter after the signature (she gave me the latest information in a postscript). abbreviation PS.
posture (noun)1 a way of holding oneself (a slouched posture). 2 an attitude. vb 1 to hold oneself in a certain way. 2 (formal) to behave in a way not natural to oneself (posturing in front of an audience).
posy (noun)a small bunch of flowers (bridesmaids carrying posies).
potCollective noun for dieters (A pot of dieters) (see list of collective nouns)
pot (noun)1 a vessel for cooking in (a pot of soup). 2 a vessel for holding plants, liquids, etc (a plant pot). vb (potted , potting ) to put in a pot (pot plants).
pot luck (noun)1 whatever food is ready (come for a meal and take pot luck). 2 whatever is available (go to the cinema and take pot luck).
pot shot (noun)1 a chance or random shot. 2 a criticism made without careful thought.
Potamologystudy of rivers (see list of branches of science)
Potamophobiafear of rivers or running water (see list of phobias)
potash (noun)a substance obtained from the ashes of certain plants.
potassium (noun)the metallic base of potash.
potato (noun)(pl potatoes ) a plant the tubers of which are eaten as vegetables (mashed potatoes).
potency (noun)power.
potent (adjective)strong, powerful (a potent influence).
potential (adjective)existing but not made use of; possible (potential trouble). n the unrealized ability to do something.
potentiality (noun)unused or undeveloped power(s) (the potentiality of the pupils).
pothole (noun)1 a hole in the surface of a road (potholes made driving difficult). 2 a deep hole in limestone.
potholing (noun)the exploring of limestone potholes.
potion (noun)(lit) a dose; a liquid medicine (a love potion).
Potophobiafear of alcohol (see list of phobias)
potpourri (noun)1 (old) a dish of several foods cooked together. 2 a mixture of dried pieces of sweet-smelling flowers and leaves. 3 (formal) a selection of writings or pieces of music; a miscellany.
pottage (noun)(old) a thick soup or porridge.
potter (noun)someone who makes earthenware vessels. vb (British spelling) to putter.
pottery (noun)1 cups, plates, etc, made of earthenware (a shop selling pottery). 2 a potter’s workshop.
pouch (noun)a small bag (a tobacco pouch).
poufCollective noun for hairdressers (A pouf of hairdressers) (see list of collective nouns)
poulterer (noun)someone who buys and sells poultry.
poultice (noun)a dressing containing some soft material, often heated, and placed on or over a sore part of the body (put a poultice on the boil). vb to put a poultice on.
poultry (noun)farmyard fowls (their poultry have access to lots of outdoor space).
pounce (noun)1 a sudden jump on (with one pounce she was on him). 2 the claw of a bird. vb 1 to jump on suddenly (the cat pouncing on the mouse). 2 to attack suddenly (the mugger pounced on the old man).
poundCollective noun for carpenters (A pound of carpenters) (see list of collective nouns)
poundCollective noun for Englishmen (A pound of Englishmen) (see list of collective nouns)
poundCollective noun for pianists (A pound of pianists) (see list of collective nouns)
pound1 (noun)1 in the imperial system, a measure of weight (= 16 ounces or 0.454 kilogram). 2 a British unit of money (100 pence) (a pound coin).
pound2 (verb)1 to beat hard (with heart pounding). 2 to crush into powder or small pieces (pound the spices into a powder). 3 to walk repeatedly (he pounded the streets looking for work).
pound3 (noun)1 an enclosure for lost cattle. 2 a place for holding someone’s property until claimed (a car pound).
pour (verb)1 to cause to flow (pour milk from the jug). 2 to flow strongly (blood poured from the wound). 3 to rain heavily (it was pouring). 4 to move in great quantity or in large numbers (children pouring out of school).
pout (verb)to thrust out the lips in displeasure, to look sulky (the child pouted when she did not get what she wanted). n a sulky look.
povertyCollective noun for pipers (A poverty of pipers) (see list of collective nouns)
poverty (noun)lack of money or goods; want; the state of being poor (live in poverty).
poverty-stricken (adjective)very poor.
powder (noun)1 any substance in the form of tiny dry particles (talcum powder). 2 gunpowder. vb 1 to make into a powder. 2 to put powder on (powder her face).
powdery (adjective)1 dust-like (powdery snow). 2 covered with powder.
power (noun)1 the ability to act or do (the power of speech). 2 strength, force (hit the rock with great power). 3 influence (use her power on the committee). 4 control (people in his power). 5 a strong nation (the great powers of the world). 6 mechanical energy (the car’s power). adj powerful , powerless
power station (noun)a place where electrical power is generated.
powerhouse (noun)1 a power station. 2 (informal) a strong or energetic person, team, etc.
powwow (noun)1 (informal) a friendly discussion. 2 (old) a conference among Native Americans.
practicable (adjective)that can be done, possible (a plan that is simply not practicable).
practical (adjective)1 skillful in work, able to deal with things efficiently (a practical person dealing with household emergencies). 2 that can be carried out, useful (practical suggestions). 3 concerned with action rather than with ideas. adv practically
practicality (noun)usefulness.
practice (noun)1 (formal) habit, frequent use (it was his practice to walk to work). 2 the doing of an action often to improve one’s skill (piano practice). 3 a doctor or lawyer’s business. vb 1 to do frequently (practicing self-control). 2 to do often in order to improve one’s skill (practice playing the piano). 3 to carry on a profession (practice medicine).
practitioner (noun)someone who practices a profession (a medical practitioner).
pragmatic (adjective)concerned with practicalities rather than theories (a pragmatic solution to the problem).
pragmatism (noun)the judging of actions or events by their practical outcome.
prairie (noun)an extent of level treeless grassland.
praise (verb)1 to speak well of, to speak in honor of (praising the boy for rescuing his friend/praising his brave action). 2 to worship, as by singing hymns, etc (praise God). n 1 an expression of credit or honor. 2 glory, worship expressed through song.
praiseworthy (adjective)deserving to be spoken well of (a praiseworthy act).
pranceCollective noun for equestrians (A prance of equestrians) (see list of collective nouns)
prance (verb)1 to jump about (children prancing about with delight/horses prancing). 2 to walk in a showy manner (prance about showing off her new shoes).
prank (noun)a trick played in fun (children playing pranks on their parents).
pratfallCollective noun for clowns (A pratfall of clowns) (see list of collective nouns)
prattle (verb)to talk a lot and foolishly, to chatter like a young child (prattling about her vacation). n foolish or childish talk.
prawn (noun)an edible shellfish like a large shrimp.
Praxeologystudy of practical or efficient activity; science of efficient action (see list of branches of science)
pray (verb)1 to beg for, to ask earnestly (pray for forgiveness). 2 to speak to God in worship, thanksgiving, etc.
prayer (noun)1 an earnest request. 2 words addressed to God in worship, thanksgiving, etc.
prayerbook (noun)a book containing prayers, order of services, etc.
pre-prefix before.
preach (verb)1 to speak in public on a religious or sacred subject (ministers preaching to their congregations on Sunday). 2 to give advice on how to behave correctly (parents preaching the importance of studying hard). n preacher
preamble (noun)(formal) the introductory part of a statute or constitution, speech, piece of writing, etc (bored by the long preamble to the novel).
prearrange (verb)to arrange beforehand.
precarious (adjective)uncertain, dangerous (a precarious existence).
precaution (noun)something done to prevent future trouble. adj precautionary
precede (verb)to come or go before in time, place or importance (the tenants preceding him).
precedence (noun)1 being earlier in time. 2 greater importance (give precedence to the subject at the meeting). 3 order according to rank (admirals take precedence over vice-admirals).
precedent (noun)an earlier case that helps one to decide what to do in like circumstances (the judge basing his sentence on precedents).
preceding (adjective)previous (during the preceding month).
precinct (noun)1 a division within a city for administrative or policing purposes. 2 an electoral district. 3 the land round and belonging to a building. 4 pl the grounds. 5 a part laid out for a particular use (a shopping precinct/a pedestrian precinct).
precious (adjective)1 of great worth or value. 2 too deliberate, too concerned with perfection or unimportant detail (a precious prose style).
precipice (noun)a very steep cliff.
precipitate (verb)1 to rain, hail sleet or snow. 2 (formal) to throw down headfirst (the horse precipitated him into the ditch). 3 to make happen at once (his speech precipitated war). 4 to hasten (his mother’s illness precipitated his departure). 4 to cause the solid matter in a liquid to sink to the foot. adj thoughtless, overhasty (a precipitate action). n the solid matter that settles at the bottom of a liquid.
precipitation (noun)the fall of water from the sky in the form of rain, hail, sleet, or snow.
precise (adjective)1 exact, clearly expressed (precise instructions). 2 careful (a precise speaker). 3 exact, particular, very (at that precise moment). n precision
precocious (adjective)(of a child) too clever for one’s age, forward. n precocity
predator (noun)an animal that hunts other animals for food (a lion is a predator).
predatory (adjective)living by killing or robbing others (predatory animals such as foxes).
predecessor (noun)someone who held a certain post before another (younger than his predecessors).
predestination (noun)the belief that God has settled beforehand everything that is to happen, including the fate of people in the afterlife.
predestine (verb)to settle or decide beforehand (the plan seemed predestined to fail).
predetermine (verb)(formal) to decide beforehand (predetermine the problem areas).
predicament (noun)a difficulty, an unpleasant situation (an embarrassing predicament).
predicate (noun)the part of sentence, containing a verb, which tells you what the subject or object does, or what is done to it.
predict (verb)to say what will happen in the future, to foretell (predict a change in the weather). n prediction
predilection (noun)(formal) a preference (a predilection for expensive perfume).
predispose (verb)to influence, to make more likely to be affected by.
predisposition (noun)a tendency to be influenced or affected by (children with a predisposition to asthma).
predominance (noun)1 control (predominance over other political parties). 2 superiority in numbers, etc (the predominance of objectors).
predominant (adjective)1 outstanding (the predominant color). 2 largest (a predominant number of protesters).
predominate (verb)1 to have control over (the left wing of the party is said to predominate). 2 to be most or greatest (the “no” votes predominating over the “yes” votes).
pre-empt (verb)to take action to stop something from happening (he pre-empted his tenant’s complaint by fixing the roof).
preen (verb)1 (of birds) to clean the feathers with the beak. 2 to tidy one’s hair, clothes, etc (preening herself in front of the mirror).
prefabricate (verb)to make ready the parts (especially of a building) for putting together on site (prefabricated houses).
preface (noun)an explanatory passage at the beginning of a speech or book. vb to begin with some explanation or other remarks.
prefect (noun)1 someone placed over others. 2 a senior pupil who helps to keep order in a school.
prefer (verb)(preferred , preferring ) to like better; to choose before others (prefer lamb to beef/prefer his brother to him).
preferable (adjective)more likable, chosen before others (leaving seemed preferable to staying).
preference (noun)a liking for one more than another (a preference for smaller cars).
preferential (adjective)giving, receiving or showing preference (accused of giving members of his family preferential treatment in the firm).
prefix (verb)to put at the beginning. n prefix a meaningful syllable or word put at the beginning of a word to alter its meaning.
pregnant (adjective)1 carrying unborn young within the body. 2 full of (pregnant with meaning). 3 full of meaning (a pregnant look). n pregnancy
prehensile (adjective)(formal) able to grasp or hold (the prehensile tail of the monkey).
prehistoric (adjective)before the time of written records.
prejudge (verb)to decide or form an opinion before hearing all the facts (prejudging the issue).
prejudice (noun)1 an unreasonable feeling for or against (prejudice on the grounds of race). 2 an opinion formed without full knowledge of the facts (a prejudice against the accused). 3 (formal) harm, injury (to the prejudice of his health). vb 1 to influence unreasonably for or against (accused of prejudicing the jury). 2 (formal) to harm, to spoil (being late will prejudice her chances of getting the job).
prejudicial (adjective)(formal) harmful (actions prejudicial to her career).
preliminary (adjective)coming before what is really important, introductory (preliminary talks). Also n.
prelude (noun)1 a piece of music played before and introducing the main musical work. 2 something done or happening before an event, helping to prepare one for it (a prelude to peace negotiations).
premature (adjective)1 happening or done too soon (their rejoicing was premature). 2 before the natural or proper time (premature birth).
premeditate (verb)(formal) to plan beforehand (premeditated murder).
premeditation (noun)(formal) the act of thinking about something before doing it.
premier (adjective)first, chief. n the prime minister.
premiere (noun)the first public performance of a play, film, etc. Also vb.
premise (noun)1 (formal) a statement accepted as true for the purpose of an argument based on it (take it as a premise that the world is round). 2 pl a building, its outhouses and grounds (the builder’s premises went on fire).
premium (noun)1 the amount paid for an insurance policy (the premium for his house insurance). 2 a reward, especially an inducement to buy. 3 something given free or at a reduced price with a purchase. at a premium of greater value than usual, difficult to obtain (tickets for the concert are at a premium).
premonition (noun)a feeling that something particular is about to happen (have a premonition that her son would die in battle).
prenatal (adjective)before birth.
preoccupation (noun)a concern that prevents one thinking of other things (his preoccupation with money).
preoccupied (adjective)thinking of other things (preoccupied with personal problems).
prepaid (adjective)paid in advance.
preparation (noun)1 the act of preparing (the preparation of food). 2 something done to make ready (party preparations). 3 that which is made ready (a medicinal preparation).
preparatory (adjective)helping to prepare, making ready for something that is to follow (preparatory steps).
prepare (verb)1 to make ready (preparing the meal). 2 to get oneself ready (prepare for war).
preposition (noun)a word showing the relation between a noun or pronoun and another word.
preposterous (adjective)completely absurd, foolish (a preposterous suggestion).
prerogative (noun)a special power or right attached to a certain office (the king’s prerogative).
prescribe (verb)1 (formal) to lay down what is to be done (prescribing how others should behave). 2 to order a certain medicine (prescribe antibiotics for his sore throat).
prescription (noun)a written order by a doctor for a certain medicine (get antibiotics on prescription).
prescriptive (adjective)indicating how something must be done.
presence (noun)1 the state of being in the place required. 2 someone’s appearance and bearing. presence of mind ability to behave calmly in the face of difficulty or danger (her presence of mind prevented an accident).
present1 (adjective)1 in the place required or mentioned (they were present at the meeting). 2 now existing or happening (the present situation). n the time in which we live (think about the present—forget the past).
present2 (noun)a gift. vb present 1 to give, to offer (present the celebrity with flowers). 2 to introduce (one person to another) (present his wife to his employer). 3 to show (present a frightening appearance). 5 to put forward (present the case for the defense). 6 to point (a rifle).
presentable (adjective)fit to be seen or shown (made himself presentable for the interview).
presentation (noun)1 the act of handing over a present, especially in public (the presentation of a gold watch on his retirement). 2 something given by a group of people to mark a special occasion (a presentation by his colleagues on his retirement). 3 the way in which things are shown or arguments put forward (a presentation to advertise their new product).
presently (adverb)soon (he will be here presently).
preservation (noun)1 the act of preserving. 2 safeguarding.
preservative (noun)an ingredient or application which prevents something from going bad (put a preservative on the wood). Also adj.
preserveCollective noun for jam (A preserve of jam) (see list of collective nouns)
preserve (verb)1 (formal) to keep from harm (preserving the children from danger). 2 to keep from rotting or decaying (try to preserve the wood/preserve soft fruit). 3 to keep safe or in good condition (preserve old customs). n 1 fruit, etc, prepared with sugar so as to prevent it from going bad; jelly; (British spelling) jam. 2 a place where animals, birds, etc, are protected.
preside (verb)to control a meeting, to act as chairman (presiding at the board meeting).
presidency (noun)the office of president.
president (noun)1 the elected head of state of a republic. 2 the head of a company, etc; a chairman.
presidential (adjective)having to do with a president (the presidential elections).
press (verb)1 to push on or against with force (press the doorbell). 2 to squeeze (press grapes). 3 to smooth and flatten (press trousers). 4 to try to persuade (they tried to press her into joining them). n 1 a crowd. 2 a printing machine (the printing presses were busy all night). 3 a machine for crushing or squeezing. 4 the newspapers. 5 a cupboard. adj.
press gang (noun)(old) a body of seamen sent out to seize men and force them to serve in the navy. vb press-gang 1 (old) to seize someone and force them to serve in the navy. 2 to make someone do something by forceful persuasion (she was press-ganged into organizing the event).
pressing (adjective)requiring immediate action, urgent (pressing matters).
pressure (noun)1 the act of pressing; force. 2 forceful influence (agree to go under pressure from his parents). 3 stress (workers under pressure).
prestige (noun)good name, high reputation (his writing brought him prestige).
presumably (adverb)apparently.
presume (verb)1 to take for granted, to accept as true without proof (he is missing, presumed dead). 2 (formal) to act in a bold or forward way (she presumed to borrow his car without permission).
presumption (noun)1 something supposed to be true. 2 (formal) forwardness, boldness of manner (he was upset by her presumption that it was okay to borrow his car without permission).
presumptive (adjective)(formal) probable.
presumptuous (adjective)(formal) overconfident, bold in manner (it was presumptuous of him to attend without an invitation).
presuppose (verb)to take for granted.
pretend (verb)1 to make believe by words or actions that one is other than one really is (the medical student pretended to be a doctor). 2 to behave as if one were in other circumstances (she pretends absent-mindedness). 3 to claim (he does not pretend to understand).
pretender (noun)(formal) someone making a certain claim (a pretender to the throne).
pretense (noun),also pretence (British spelling) 1 the act of pretending. 2 a deception. 3 a false claim.
pretension (noun)1 a claim, true or false (he has no pretensions to musical skill). 2 pretentiousness.
pretentious (adjective)claiming much for oneself, too proud (he is just an ordinary person but he is so pretentious).
preterit (noun)the past tense of a verb.
pretext (noun)a pretended reason, an excuse (he left under the pretext of feeling ill).
pretty (adjective)pleasing to the eye, attractive (a pretty girl pri-tee-ness/.
prevail (verb)1 to overcome, to prove better or stronger than (common sense prevailed). 2 to be in general use (customs still prevailing). 3 to persuade (prevail on him to stay).
prevailing (adjective)1 common, most widely accepted, etc (the prevailing fashion). 2 (of wind) that usually blows over an area (the prevailing wind).
prevalent (adjective)common, widespread (tuberculosis was prevalent then pre-va-lense/.
prevent (verb)to stop from happening (prevent an accident pri-ven-shun/.
preventive (adjective)helping to prevent (preventive medical care). Also n.
preview, prevue (noun)an advance showing of a film, performance, etc, before its official opening
previous (adjective)earlier; happening before (his previous crimes).
prey (noun)1 an animal or bird hunted and killed by another animal or bird (the lion’s prey). 2 someone who suffers (from) (a prey to headaches). vb 1 to hunt and kill for food (foxes preying on chicken). 2 to keep on attacking and robbing (frauds preying on old ladies). 3 to trouble greatly (worries preying on his mind).
price (noun)1 the money asked or paid for something on sale (the price of a loaf of bread). 2 what is required to obtain something (the price of freedom).
priceless (adjective)of great value (priceless jewels).
prick (verb)1 to stab lightly with the point of a needle, dagger, etc. 2 to make a tiny hole in. 3 to make to stand up straight. n 1 a sharp point. 2 a tiny hole. 3 a sting. 4 a thorn.
prickleCollective noun for hedgehogs (A prickle of hedgehogs) (see list of collective nouns)
prickleCollective noun for porcupines (A prickle of porcupines) (see list of collective nouns)
prickle (noun)a small sharp point growing out from a plant or an animal (the prickles on a rose bush).
prickly (adjective)covered with small sharp points.
prickly heat (noun)a skin inflammation causing severe itching.
prideCollective noun for griffins (A pride of griffins) (see list of collective nouns)
prideCollective noun for lions (A pride of lions) (see list of collective nouns)
pride (noun)1 a feeling of pleasure at one’s own abilities, deeds, etc (take a pride in her work). 2 too great an opinion of oneself, one’s deeds, etc (people disliked her because of her pride). 3 the most valuable person or thing (the pride of the town). pride oneself on to take pleasure in.
priest (noun)a clergyman, a minister of religion. f priestess
priesthood (noun)1 the office of priest. 2 priests in general.
prim (adjective)1 stiff in manner, formal and correct (prim old ladies). 2 neat, restrained (prim clothes).
prima donna (noun)1 the chief female singer in an opera. 2 someone who is prone to tantrums if their wishes are not met.
primacy (noun)1 the office of archbishop. 2 the state of being first in time, order, rank, etc.
primal (adjective)(formal) original, having to do with early times (mankind’s primal innocence).
primary (adjective)1 first (the primary stages of the disease). 2 chief (the primary reason for his absence). n a preliminary election in which the candidates are chosen. adv primarily
primary colors (noun, plural)the colors red, yellow and blue, from which other colors may be made.
primary school (noun)a school for children which include the grades one to four, and kindergarten.
primate (noun)1 an archbishop. 2 one of the highest kinds of animals, including humans and monkeys.
Primatologystudy of primates (see list of branches of science)
prime (adjective)1 most important (her prime reason). 2 excellent in quality (prime steak). 3 that cannot be divided by any smaller number (prime numbers). n the best time (people in their prime). vb 1 to provide with information (priming the witness about the kind of questions that she would be asked). 2 to prepare (a gun) for firing. 3 to prepare for painting (prime the wood).
prime minister (noun)the chief minister in a parliamentary government (the Prime Minister of Canada).
prime number (noun)a number that can be divided only by itself and the number one.
primer (noun)1 the mechanism that sets off the explosive in a shell, etc. 2 (old) a child’s first reading book. 3 (old) a simple book on any subject. 4 an undercoat of paint (put a primer on the new wood).
primeval adj, also primaeval (British spelling)having to do with the first ages of the world (primeval swamps).
priming (noun)the powder in a gun.
primitive (adjective)1 of the earliest times (primitive tribes). 2 simple or rough (a primitive boat/camp in primitive conditions).
primordial (adjective)(formal) existing from the beginning (primordial forests).
primrose (noun)1 a pale yellow early spring flower. 2 a pale yellow color. adj pale yellow (primose walls).
primula (noun)a flowering plant of the primrose family.
prince (noun)1 a ruler. 2 the son of a king or emperor.
princely (adjective)1 of or like a prince. 2 (formal) magnificent, splendid (a princely gift/a princely salary).
princess (noun)1 the wife of a prince. 2 the daughter of a king or emperor.
principal (adjective)chief, most important (the principal cause of the dispute). n 1 the head of a school, college, etc. 2 a amount of money lent at interest.
principality (noun)a country ruled by a prince.
principally (adverb)chiefly (he is principally engaged in research).
principle (noun)1 a general truth from which other truths follow (the principle of gravity). 2 a rule by which one lives (moral principles).
print (verb)1 to make a mark by pressure. 2 to reproduce letters, words, etc, on paper by use of type (get invitations printed). 3 to publish in printed form (his new novel is being printed). 4 to write without joining the letters (print your name). 5 to stamp. 6 to stamp a design on cloth. 7 to produce a picture from a photographic negative. 8 to write in large clear lettering. n 1 a mark made by pressure (footprints). 2 letters, words, etc, reproduced on paper by use of type (italic print). 3 a copy of a picture taken from a photographic negative or engraving. 4 cloth with a design stamped on it (a flower print).
printer (noun)someone who prints books, newspapers, etc.
printing machine , printing press (noun)a machine for printing with type.
prior 2 (noun)1 the head of a house of monks. 2 a monk next in rank to an abbot.
prior1 (adjective)earlier, previous (a prior engagement).
prioress (noun)the head of a house of nuns.
priority (noun)1 the state or right of coming before others in position or time (homeless people will get priority for aid). 2 something or someone that must be considered or dealt with first (our first priority is to save the children).
priory (noun)a house of monks or nuns ruled by a prior(ess).
prism (noun)1 a solid body with ends the same in shape and size and parallel to each other, and sides that are parallelograms. 2 a triangular glass solid used for breaking up light into colors.
prismatic (adjective)1 of or like a prism. 2 (of colors) very bright.
prison (noun)a building in which criminals convicted of serious crimes are held.
prisoner (noun)1 someone kept in prison. 2 a person captured by the enemy in war (prisoner-of-war).
pristine (adjective)1 former, of earlier times (restore the old palace to its pristine splendor). 2 pure, undamaged, clean (a book in pristine condition).
privacy (noun)1 undisturbed quiet (little privacy at a table in a small noisy restaurant). 2 secrecy (the privacy of the government documents).
private (adjective)1 belonging to oneself only, not open to other people (she guarded her private possessions fiercely). 2 not public (private houses). 3 secret (private government documents). n a common soldier who has not been promoted.
privateer (noun)a privately owned ship licensed to carry arms and attack enemy vessels.
privation (noun)lack of food and comforts, hardships (suffer privation in the war).
privatize (verb),also privatise (British spelling) to transfer something from public to private ownership (privatize the steel industry). n privatization , also privatisation (British spelling)
privilege (noun)1 a right or advantage allowed to a certain person or group only (old people are given certain privileges). 2 advantage possessed because of social position, wealth, etc (people of privilege). vb to allow a privilege to.
prize1 (noun)1 something given as a reward for merit or good work (awarded a prize for French at school). 2 that which is won by competition (win a prize in a travel competition). 3 anything seized from an enemy. vb to value highly (prizing the vase/prize their freedom).
prize2 (verb),also prise (British spelling) to force open (prizing open the lid of the paint tin).
prizefight (noun)a boxing match for a prize.
pro-prefix 1 before. 2 in favor of. pros and cons reasons for and against.
probability (noun)likelihood.
probable (adjective)1 likely to happen, likely to be true (the probable result/it is probable that he is guilty). 2 easy to believe (a probable story).
probably (adverb)very likely.
probate (noun)proving before a court that a will has been properly and lawfully made. Also vb.
probation (noun)1 the testing of a person’s conduct, work or character. 2 a time of trial or testing, especially for a young person found guilty of a crime, but not sentenced on condition that his or her conduct improves (the young car thieves are on probation).
probation officer (noun)someone whose duty it is to watch over young persons on probation.
probationary (adjective)being tested, on approval (have the job for a probationary period).
probationer (noun)1 someone whose fitness for certain work is being tested. 2 someone who is on trial for a certain time.
probe (noun)a blunt metal instrument used by doctors when examining a wound closely. vb 1 to examine with a probe. 2 to examine carefully, to inquire into thoroughly (police probing the homicide case).
probity (noun)(formal) honesty, uprightness.
problem (noun)a question or difficulty to which the answer is hard to find (their problem is lack of staff/financial problems).
problematic(al) (adjective)doubtful.
proboscis (noun)(formal) 1 the trunk of an elephant. 2 the tube through which certain animals or insects suck food to their mouths.
procedure (noun)way of conducting business (usual legal procedure).
proceed (verb)1 to move forward (passengers should proceed to gate 5 pro-seedz/ money made on a particular occasion (the proceeds from the show are going to charity).
proceeding (noun)1 something happening. 2 a course of action.
process (noun)1 the way in which a thing is done or made (use a new process to waterproof cloth). 2 a series of actions each of which brings one nearer to the desired end (the production process/the process of growing up). 3 (formal) a law-court case.
procession (noun)a body of people moving forward in an orderly column (the carnival procession).
processional (adjective)having to do with a procession. n a hymn sung during a religious procession.
proclaim (verb)to announce publicly, to tell openly (proclaim the birth of a prince).
proclamation (noun)a public announcement.
procrastinate (verb)to put off till later (procrastinating when there is work to be done).
procrastination (noun)delay, a habit of putting things off until later.
Proctologystudy of rectum, anus, and colon (see list of branches of science)
Proctophobiafear of rectums (see list of phobias)
prod (verb)(prodded , prodding ) 1 to push with something pointed (prod the cows with a stick to get them to move). 2 to nudge (he prodded him to wake him up). 3 to urge into action (you will have to prod him to get him to work). Also n.
prodigal (adjective)(formal) wasteful, spending too freely (a prodigal young woman). n a waster, a spendthrift.
prodigious (adjective)(formal) 1 wonderful, extraordinary (a prodigious sight). 2 huge (a prodigious sum of money).
prodigy (noun)1 (formal) a wonder (one of nature’s prodigies). 2 a person of extraordinary abilities (a child prodigy won the music prize).
produce (verb)1 to bring forward, to bring into view (produce a handkerchief from his pocket). 2 to bear, to yield (trees producing rubber). 3 to cause or bring about (a remark that produced laughter). 4 to make or manufacture (a factory producing furniture). 5 to give birth to (the cow produced twin calves). 6 (in geometry) to cause, to make (a line) longer. n things grown, crops.
producer (noun)1 a person or country that grows or makes certain things. 2 someone who gets a play or TV show ready for performance (a television producer).
product (noun)1 that which grows or is made (a factory producing wooden products). 2 result (the product of much research). 3 the number given by multiplying other numbers together.
production (noun)1 the act of making or growing (the production of furniture). 2 the amount produced (increase production). 3 a performance or series of performances of a program, play, opera, etc.
productive (adjective)1 fertile (productive soil). 2 having results (a productive meeting).
productivity (noun)the rate of producing something (increase productivity in the factory).
profane (adjective)not showing respect for what is holy. 2 coarse or vulgar (profane language). vb to treat irreverently.
profanity (noun)1 bad language. 2 lack of respect for what is holy.
profess (verb)1 to say openly (profess his love for her). 2 to claim skill or ability (he professed to be an expert). 3 to declare one’s beliefs (profess his religious faith). 4 to pretend (he professed that he had been absent because of illness).
professed (adjective)openly admitted or declared.
profession (noun)1 an employment requiring special learning (professions such as teaching). 2 the people involved in such employment (the teaching profession). 3 a public declaration (a profession of faith).
professional (adjective)1 having to do with a profession (professional skills). 2 paid for one’s skill (a professional pianist). 3 done for a living (professional singing). 4 of a very high standard (a professional performance). n someone who makes his or her living by arts, sports, etc (opposite of amateur).
professor (noun)a teacher in a university or college (the professor of French).
professorial (adjective)having to do with a professor (a professorial post).
proficient (adjective)highly skilled, expert (a proficient pianist). n proficiency
profile (noun)1 an outline, a short description (a profile of the winner of the literary prize). 2 a head or an outline of it in side view (a photograph of her profile).
profitCollective noun for gurus (A profit of gurus) (see list of collective nouns)
profit (noun)1 an advantage (little profit to be had from delaying). 2 a gain, especially of money (the profit from the sale). vb 1 to gain an advantage (profit from the deal). 2 to be of use to (the experience profited her).
profitable (adjective)1 bringing profit or gain (a profitable deal). 2 useful (a profitable experience).
profiteer (noun)someone who makes money by selling scarce goods at very high prices. vb to make money thus.
profound (adjective)1 deep (a profound sleep). 2 showing much knowledge or intelligence (a profound thinker). 3 intense (a profound love).
profundity (noun)1 depth. 2 the state of being profound.
profuse (adjective)very plentiful (profuse thanks).
profusion (noun)great plenty (a profusion of flowers).
prognosis (noun)a forecast, especially of the progress of a disease (the prognosis is not good).
program1 (noun)a sequence of instructions put into a computer. vb (programmed , programming ) 1 to put a program into a computer. 2 to write a computer program.
program2 (noun),also programme (British spelling) 1 a plan or scheme (a program of social reforms). 2 a list of the items in a concert, etc (the conference program). 3 a scheduled radio or television broadcast. Also vb (programmed , programming ).
progress (noun)1 movement forward, advance (the progress of civilization). 2 improvement (technological progress). vb progress 1 to advance (the line of cars progressed slowly). 2 to improve (her condition is progressing).
progression (noun)1 onward movement. 2 a steady and regular advance.
progressive (adjective)1 moving forward, advancing (the progressive decline in trade). 2 believing in trying new ideas and methods (progressive educational methods).
prohibit (verb)1 to forbid (prohibit smoking in restaurants). 2 to prevent (the high cost of organic food prohibits wide sale).
prohibition (noun)1 an order not to do something. 2 the forbidding by law of the making or selling of all strong drink in a country.
prohibitive (adjective)so high (in price) that people are unable to buy (prohibitive house prices).
project (verb)1 to throw (project a missile into space). 2 to plan (project a visit to France). 3 to stick out (a sign projecting from the wall). 4 to make pictures appear on screen by using a projector. n project a plan.
projectile (noun)1 something thrown. 2 something fired from a gun, a shell.
projection (noun)a part that sticks out.
projector (noun)1 someone who forms plans. 2 an apparatus for showing pictures on a screen.
proletariat (noun)the lowest class in society, the working people (the proletariat thereatening to rebel against the aristocracy). adj proletarian
prolific (adjective)producing much (a prolific writer).
prolog (noun),also prologue (British spelling) 1 an introduction (the prologue to the poem). 2 some lines spoken to the audience before a play begins. 3 an event that leads to another (serve as a prologue to the signing of the treaty).
prolong (verb)to make longer (no point in prolonging the discussion). n prolongation
prolonged (adjective)very long (a prolonged stay at his parents’ home).
promenade (noun)1 (formal) a short walk for pleasure (take a promenade in the evening sunshine). 2 abbreviation for prom a formal dance in a high school or college. 3 abbreviation for prom (British spelling) a wide road or sidewalk, especially along a seafront. vb (formal) 1 to take a short walk. 2 to walk up and down.
prominence (noun)1 the state or act of being prominent (the prominence of his chin/the prominence of the news item). 2 something that sticks out or is prominent (prominences on the landscape).
prominent (adjective)1 easily seen. 2 well-known (prominent local people). 3 sticking out (a prominent nose).
promiscuous (adjective)1 (formal) mixed. 2 having many sexual relationships. n promiscuity
promiseCollective noun for bartenders (A promise of bartenders) (see list of collective nouns)
promiseCollective noun for tapsters (A promise of tapsters) (see list of collective nouns)
promiseCollective noun for tomorrows (A promise of tomorrows) (see list of collective nouns)
promise (verb)1 to say that one will do or not do something, to give one’s word (she promised that she would be there/promising to go). 2 to give hope of a good result (his work promises well). n 1 act of giving one’s word. 2 a sign of future success (a promise of victory).
promising (adjective)likely to do well in the future (a promising young actor).
promontory (noun)a headland.
promote (verb)1 to raise to a higher position or rank. 2 to help on (promoting the cause of freedom). 3 to help to start (promote a business). n promoter n promotion
prompt (adjective)1 ready, quick to take action (prompt to criticize other people). 2 done without delay, quick (a prompt reply). vb 1 to cause another to take action (his behavior prompted us to call the police). 2 to help someone (especially an actor) who cannot remember what he or she ought to say.
prompter (noun)someone whose job it is to whisper words to an actor who cannot remember them.
prone (adjective)1 lying face downwards (his prone body/lying prone). 2 inclined (to) (people who are prone to lose their temper).
prong (noun)the spike of a fork etc. adj pronged
pronoun (noun)a word used instead of a noun (“he” is a pronoun).
pronounce (verb)1 to make the sound of (pronounce the h). 2 to declare publicly (pronouncing him dead). 3 to speak.
pronounced (adjective)very noticeable (a pronounced foreign accent).
pronouncement (noun)1 a statement to an assembly. 2 a firm statement.
pronunciation (noun)the way of making the sounds of a word or language.
proof (noun)1 an argument, fact, etc, that shows clearly that something is true or untrue (police seeking proof that he was the murderer). 2 (formal) a test or trial (courage put to the proof). 3 (in printing) a first printing made solely for correction. 4 the statement of strength of some spirits, e.g. whiskey. adj not affected by, able to resist.
proofreader (noun)someone whose job it is to read first printings and mark errors.
prop (noun)1 a support (a roof supported by wooden props propt prop-ing/) to support, to hold up.
propaganda (noun)the organized spreading of certain ideas, beliefs, etc, to large numbers of people (political propaganda).
propagandist (noun)someone who spreads ideas, etc, by propaganda.
propagate (verb)(formal) 1 to spread widely (propagating their political ideas). 2 to increase in numbers by sowing seeds or producing young (propagate plants prop-u-gay-shun/.
propel (verb)(propelled , propelling ) to drive or push forward (a boat propelled by a diesel engine).
propeller (noun)a revolving screw with sloping blades attached for moving forward ships, airplanes, etc.
propensity (noun)a natural leaning or tendency to behave in a certain way (a propensity to drop things).
proper (adjective)1 correct, suitable, decent, polite (proper behavior/the proper method). 2 (informal) thorough, complete (a proper mess).
properly (adverb)1 correctly, suitably (properly dressed). 2 strictly (speaking) (properly speaking, she’s not qualified).
property (noun)1 anything owned, that which belongs to one (the car is his property). 2 someone’s land (trespassing on her property). 3 a quality or characteristic (properties of the chemical substance). 4 abbreviation for prop an object needed on the stage during a play.
prophecy (noun)1 the foretelling of future events. 2 something foretold.
prophesy (verb)to tell what will happen in the future, to foretell (the old man prophesied that there would be a cold winter).
prophet (noun)1 someone who foretells the future. 2 someone who tells men a message or command from God (Old Testament prophets). f prophetess adj prophetic(al)
proponent (noun)someone who argues in favor of something (a great proponent of organic foods).
proportion (noun)1 the size of a part when compared with the whole (the proportion of his salary that goes in tax). 2 the size of one object, number, etc, when compared with that of another (the proportion of men to women in the firm). 3 a share. 4 pl size (a house of huge proportions).
proportional , proportionate (adjective)in correct or proper proportion.
proposal (noun)1 a suggestion or plan put forward (proposals for expansion). 2 an offer to marry.
propose (verb)1 to put forward for consideration. 2 to intend. 3 to offer to marry.
proposition (noun)1 a plan or suggestion put forward. 2 an offer. 3 a statement, a statement that is to be proved true. 4 (in geometry) a problem to be solved.
proprietary (adjective)1 owned by a person or group of persons (proprietary brands of cookies). 2 possessive (a proprietary manner toward her boyfriend).
proprietor (noun)an owner. f proprietress , proprietrix
propriety (noun)(formal) correctness of behavior, fitness (behave with propriety).
propulsion (noun)a driving or pushing forward (jet propulsion).
prosaic (adjective)dull, commonplace, unpoetic (a prosaic piece of writing).
proscribe (verb)(formal) 1 to declare an outlaw. 2 to forbid the use of (proscribing the sale of alcohol). n proscription
prose (noun)1 the language of ordinary speech and writing. 2 all writing not in verse.
prosecute (verb)1 to bring a criminal action against a person. 2 to accuse in a court of law (prosecute him for trespassing). n prosecution
prosecuting attorney (noun)a officer in a judicial district who acts on behalf of the state in court.
prosecutor (noun)1 the person who makes the accusation in a court of law.
Prosodystudy of versification (see list of branches of science)
prosody (noun)(formal) rules for the writing of poetry.
Prosophobiafear of progress (see list of phobias)
prospect (noun)1 (formal) a view (the prospect from the mountain top). 2 an idea of what the future may hold (not much prospect of arriving on time/the prospect of being homeless). 3 chance of future success (a young man with prospects). vb to explore, to search for places where mines may be sunk for oil, metals, etc.
prospective (adjective)expected, probable (their prospective son-in-law).
prospector (noun)someone who searches for gold or other minerals.
prospectus (noun)a written description of some undertaking or of the training offered by a school (a college prospectus).
prosper (verb)to do well, to succeed (the business is prospering).
prosperity (noun)success, good fortune.
prosperous (adjective)successful, well off (a prosperous businesswoman).
prostate (noun)a gland in males in front of the bladder. Also prostate gland.
prostrate (adjective)1 lying flat with the face to the ground (the prostrate body of the injured man). 2 exhausted (prostrate after climbing the mountain). vb 1 to throw flat on the ground. 2 to bow in reverence (prostrating themselves before the emperor). 3 to tire out. n prostration
protagonist (noun)1 someone playing a leading part in a drama or in an exciting situation in real life. 2 a leader (one of the protagonists of socialism). 3 someone taking part in a contest.
protect (verb)to keep safe from danger, loss, etc; to defend (protect their property/protect rare birds).
protection (noun)1 defense, watchful care. 2 the taxing of goods brought in from other countries so that goods made at home will be cheaper than them.
protectionist (noun)someone who believes in taxing goods from abroad to protect home goods.
protective (adjective)giving defense, care or safety (a mother protective of her children).
protector (noun)a person or thing that protects.
protectorate (noun)a country that is defended and governed by another until it can look after itself.
protégé (noun)(formal) someone under the care of another (a protégé of the famous ballerina).
protein (noun)a substance contained in certain foods (e.g. meat, eggs) which helps the body to grow and become stronger.
protest (verb)1 to object (protest about the building of the new road/protest against the umpire’s decision). 2 to strongly disapprove. 3 to declare (protest their innocence). n a statement of disagreement or disapproval (listen to their protests against his decision).
Protestant (noun)a member of one of the Christian groups separated from the Roman Catholic church at the Reformation. Also adj.
Protestantism (noun)the Protestant religion.
protestation (noun)1 an objection (their protestation against the injustice of the decision). 2 a declaration (their protestations of innocence).
Protistologystudy of protists (see list of branches of science)
proto-prefix first.
protocol (noun)1 correct procedure or behavior (diplomatic protocol). 2 a treaty.
proton (noun)part of the nucleus of an atom that has a positive charge.
protoplasm (noun)the living substance from which plants and animals grow.
prototype (noun)the first model from which others are copied, a pattern (the prototype of the plan).
protozoan (noun)(pl protozoans or protozoa) a tiny living creature, the lowest form of animal life. protract (verb)
protractor (noun)an instrument for measuring angles.
protrude (verb)(formal) to stick out, to stand out from (his ears protrude too much pru-troo-zhun pru-troo-siv/.
protuberance (noun)(formal) a swelling, a part that bulges out (protruberances on tree trunks).
protuberant (adjective)(formal) bulging out (a protruberant stomach).
proud (adjective)1 having too high an opinion of oneself, one’s deeds or possessions. 2 rightly satisfied with oneself and what one has done (she was justifiably proud of her excellent exam results).
prove (verb)1 to show the truth of (proving his guilt/they proved that he was guilty). 2 to turn out to be (she proved a natural teacher). 3 to test (require to prove oneself).
proverb (noun)a popular truth or belief expressed in a short memorable sentence.
proverbial (adjective)1 well known to all (his proverbial bad temper). 2 expressed in a proverb.
provide (verb)1 to supply what is needed (providing food for all). 2 to make ready beforehand, to prepare for (provide for their future).
provided (that) (conjunction)on condition (that) (he can stay here provided that he stops running around and keeps quiet).
providence (noun)1 care for the future, foresight. 2 Christians’ belief in God’s care of his creatures.
provident (adjective)(formal) 1 taking care of the future. 2 not spending too much (provident housekeepers).
province (noun)1 a division of a country (a province in Canada). 2 the limits of one’s powers, knowledge, etc (the administration lies within her province). 3 pl all the parts of a country outside the capital (live in the provinces).
provincial (adjective)1 like or in a province (provincial government). 2 having limited or local interests, unsophisticated (some city people regard people from the rural areas as provincial).
provision (noun)1 something provided for the future (the provision of education). 2 pl food (buy provisions for the weekend). vb to supply with stores of food.
provisional (adjective)for a time only, that may be changed (a provisional arrangement/a provisional government).
provocation (noun)a cause of anger or annoyance.
provocative (adjective)intended to anger or annoy, arousing the emotions or passions (provocative remarks).
provoke (verb)1 to make angry (provoked by his insulting remark). 2 to give rise to (events that provoked a war).
prow (noun)the front part of a ship or boat.
prowess (noun)skill or ability (admire his prowess as a pianist).
prowlCollective noun for jaguars (A prowl of jaguars) (see list of collective nouns)
prowlCollective noun for puma (A prowl of puma) (see list of collective nouns)
prowl (verb)to keep moving about as if searching for something, to move quietly about looking for the chance to do mischief (hear someone prowling in the garden).
prowler (noun)someone who moves stealthily, especially a thief (hear a prowler in the garden).
Proxemicsstudy of man's need for personal space (see list of branches of science)
proximate (adjective)(formal) nearest.
proximity (noun)nearness, neighborhood (the proximity of the house to the station).
proxy (noun)1 the right to act or vote for another. 2 someone with the right to act or vote for another (act as a proxy for her mother at the shareholders’ meeting).
prude (noun)a person who makes a show of being very modest and correct in behavior (too much of a prude to change in a communal changing room). n prudery
prudenceCollective noun for vicars (A prudence of vicars) (see list of collective nouns)
prudence (noun)foresight, caution (have the prudence to save for their old age).
prudent (adjective)thinking carefully before acting, wise, cautious (it would be prudent to check the times of the train).
prudential (adjective)(formal) careful about the future, prudent.
pruderysee prude.
prudish (adjective)over-correct in behavior.
prune1 (noun)a dried plum (have prunes for breakfast).
prune2 (verb)1 to cut off the dead or overgrown parts of a plant (pruning the rose bushes). 2 to shorten by cutting out what is unnecessary (prune the report).
pry1 (verb)to inquire closely, especially into the secrets of others; to examine closely (pried into her private affairs/neighbors prying into the details of their relationship).
pry2 (verb)1 to force open (prying open the lid of the paint tin). 2 to extract or obtain with difficulty.
psalm (noun)a sacred song or hymn.
psalmist (noun)a writer of sacred songs.
Psellismophobiafear of stuttering (see list of phobias)
Psephologystudy of election results and voting trends (see list of branches of science)
pseudo (adjective)false, not real (a pseudo interest in the subject).
Pseudologystudy of lying (see list of branches of science)
pseudonym (noun)a name used instead of one’s real name (e.g. a pen-name) (write under a pseudonym).
Pseudopticsstudy of optical illusions (see list of branches of science)
psychiatry (noun)the treatment of diseases of the mind. n psychiatrist
psychic , psychical (adjective)1 having to do with the mind (psychic disorders). 2 (of influences, forces) that act on the mind and senses but have no physical cause (psychic research). 3 (of a person) sensitive to these influences. 4 able to communicate with spirits.
psychoanalysis (noun)treatment of mental disease by questioning problems, fears, etc, that exist in the patient’s mind without his or her being aware of them. n psychoanalyst vb psychoanalyze
Psychobiologystudy of biology of the mind (see list of branches of science)
Psychogeneticsstudy of internal or mental states (see list of branches of science)
Psychognosystudy of mentality, personality or character (see list of branches of science)
Psychologystudy of mind (see list of branches of science)
psychology (noun)1 the study of the human mind. 2 the mental processes of a person (fail to understand his psychology). adj psychological n psychologist
psychopath (noun)someone with a personality disorder which can lead them to commit often violent acts without guilt.
Psychopathologystudy of mental illness (see list of branches of science)
Psychophobiafear of mind (see list of phobias)
Psychophysicsstudy of link between mental and physical processes (see list of branches of science)
Psychrophobiafear of cold (see list of phobias)
Pteridologystudy of ferns (see list of branches of science)
pterodactyl (noun)a prehistoric winged reptile known of from fossils.
Pteromerhanophobiafear of flying (see list of phobias)
Pteronophobiafear of being tickled by feathers (see list of phobias)
Pterylologystudy of distribution of feathers on birds (see list of branches of science)
pub (noun)1 a place of business where alcoholic drinks are sold and drunk. 2 (British spelling) a public house.
puberty (noun)the age by which a young person has fully developed all the characteristics of his or her sex (reach puberty).
public (adjective)1 open to all (public gardens/the public library). 2 having to do with people in general (a public campaign). 3 well-known (a public figure). n the people in general.
public school (noun)1 a school that provides free education. 2 (England) a fee-paying private school whose pupils often live at the school.
publication (noun)1 the act of publishing (the publication of his novel). 2 a published book, magazine or paper (weekly publications).
publicity (noun)1 making something widely known, advertising (the publicity for her new novel). 2 the state of being well-known (filmstars who like publicity). vb publicize , also publicise (British spelling)
publish (verb)1 (formal) to make widely known (publish the news of the president’s death). 2 to print for selling to the public (publish novels).
publisher (noun)someone who publishes books, etc.
puck (noun)a small hard rubber disc used instead of a ball in ice hockey.
pucker (verb)to gather into small folds or wrinkles (a material that puckers easily/her face puckered and she began to cry). n a fold or wrinkle.
pudding (noun)a sweet soft dessert served at the end of a meal (Christmas pudding/a fruit pudding).
puddle (noun)a small pool of dirty water. vb to make watertight with clay.
pudgy (adjective)(informal) short and fat (a pudgy child).
puff (noun)1 a short sharp breath or gust of wind (a puff of wind blew the letter away). 2 a small cloud of smoke, steam, etc, blown by a puff (puffs of smoke from his pipe). 3 a soft pad for powdering the skin. 4 a kind of light pastry (puff paste). vb 1 to breathe quickly or heavily, as when short of breath (puffing after climbing the hill). 2 to blow in small blasts (puff cigarette smoke in their faces). 3 to blow up, to swell (her eyes were puffed up). 4 to praise too highly (puff up his role in the rescue).
puffin (noun)a diving bird with a brightly colored beak.
puffy (adjective)blown out, swollen (a puffy face).
pug , pug dog (noun)a type of small dog with an upturned nose.
pug nose (noun)a short upturned nose. adj pug-nosed
pugnacious (adjective)(formal) quarrelsome, fond of fighting (he becomes pugnacious when he has taken too much alcohol). n pugnacity
puke (verb)(informal) to bring up the contents of the stomach, to vomit.
pule (verb)(formal) to whine, to cry peevishly (infants puling).
pullCollective noun for silk-screens (A pull of silk-screens) (see list of collective nouns)
pull (verb)1 to draw toward one, to draw in the same direction as oneself (pull the door open). 2 to bring along behind one while moving (a horse pulling a cart). 3 to remove (flowers etc) from the ground (pull roses). 4 to gather (pull raspberries). 5 to row with oars (pull toward the shore). n 1 act of pulling (give the door a pull/with a pull of the rope). 2 (informal) advantage, special influence (have some pull with the committee).
pulley (noun)a grooved wheel with a cord running over it used for raising weights.
pulmonary (adjective)(formal) having to do with the lungs.
pulp (noun)1 the soft juicy part of a fruit (peach pulp). 2 soft substance obtained by crushing rags, wood, etc, and made into paper. vb to make into pulp; to become pulpy (pulp the fruit/pulp the rags).
pulpit (noun)a raised platform enclosed by a half wall for preaching in a church.
pulsate (verb)to beat or throb (the music pulsated through the building). n pulsation
pulse1 (noun)1 the throb of the heart or of the blood passing through the arteries (his pulse is too fast). 2 a place on the body where the throb of the blood can be felt (find the patient’s pulse). vb to beat or throb (blood pulsing through his veins).
pulse2 (noun)any of the edible seeds of peas, beans, lentils, etc (make a dish with pulses instead of meat).
pulverize (verb),also pulverise (British spelling) 1 to make into dust or powder (pulverizing the rock). 2 (informal) to defeat thoroughly (pulverize his opponent).
puma (noun)a large wild cat, the cougar.
pumice (noun)a light stone with a rough surface, used for cleansing or polishing.
pummelCollective noun for masseurs (A pummel of masseurs) (see list of collective nouns)
pummel (verb)[pummeled , pummeling ; also pummelled, pummelling (Br)] to strike repeatedly with the fist(s) (pummeling the pillow with his fists).
pump1 (noun)1 a machine for raising water from a well. 2 a machine for raising any liquid to a higher level (central-heating pump). 3 a machine for taking air out of or putting air into things (a bicycle pump). vb 1 to work a pump. 2 to raise with a pump. 3 (informal) to get information from someone by asking them constant questions (pump the children about the details of their parents’ income).
pump2 (noun)a light shoe for dancing.
pumphouseCollective noun for egos (A pumphouse of egos) (see list of collective nouns)
pumpkin (noun)a large fleshy fruit with a thick yellow skin (make a pumpkin into a lantern at Halloween).
pun (noun)the witty or amusing use of a word like another in sound but different in meaning. vb (punned , punning ) to make a pun.
punch (noun)a drink made from wine or spirit mixed with sugar, hot water, fruit, etc (serve punch at their Christmas party).
punch (verb)1 to strike with the fist (he punched the other boy on the nose). 2 to herd or drive cattle. 3 to make a hole with a special tool or machine (punch holes in the papers for filing). n 1 a blow with the fist. 2 a tool or machine for making holes.
punctual (adjective)1 on time, not late (be sure to be punctual). 2 good at arriving at the correct time (she is always punctual pungk-chu-wa-li-tee/.
punctuate (verb)1 to divide up written work with full stops, commas, etc. 2 to interrupt repeatedly. n punctuation
puncture (noun)a hole made by a sharp point (a puncture in her bicycle tire). vb to make a hole in, to pierce.
pundit (noun)(formal) an expert (pundits discussing the political situation on television).
pungent (adjective)1 sharp to taste or smell (the pungent smell of frying onions). 2 sharp (pungent criticism). n pungency
punish (verb)1 to cause someone to suffer for doing wrong (punish naughty children a punishing exercise schedule).
punishment (noun)pain, loss, etc, inflicted on a wrongdoer (capital punishment).
punitive (adjective)(formal) done by way of punishment, inflicting punishment (punitive measures such as imprisonment).
punnetCollective noun for strawberries (A punnet of strawberries) (see list of collective nouns)
Punnologystudy of puns (see list of branches of science)
punster (noun)someone who makes puns.
punt1 (noun)a flat-bottomed boat moved by means of a pole. vb to move a punt with a pole (students punting up the river).
punt2 (verb)to kick a ball dropped from the hands before it touches the ground. Also n.
puny (adjective)small and weak (his puny arms).
pup (noun)a puppy, a young dog.
pupa (noun)(pl pupae or pupas ) 1 a stage in the growth of an insect just before it develops wings. 2 an insect in this stage.
Pupaphobiafear of puppets (see list of phobias)
pupil1 (noun)someone being taught; a learner; a student (there were over 1,500 pupils at the high school).
pupil2 (noun)the round opening in the center of the eye through which light passes.
puppet (noun)1 a doll whose movements are controlled by strings, etc. 2 someone who obeys without question all the orders given to him or her by another (the king was a mere puppet—the nobles ruled the country).
puppet show (noun)a performance using puppets.
puppy (noun)a young dog (the young boy was given a puppy for his birthday).
purchase (verb)to buy. n 1 the thing bought (carry home his purchases). 2 a position that allows one to apply all one’s strength (the purchase required to lift the iron chest).
purchaser (noun)a buyer.
pure (adjective)1 clear (pure sounds). 2 unmixed (a sweater of pure wool). 3 clean, free from dirt or harmful matter (pure drinking water). 4 free from guilt or evil (pure young children/pure thoughts). 5 complete, absolute (a pure accident).
purée (noun)food crushed to pulp (tomato purée/fruit purée).
purely (adverb)1 wholly (he passed the exam purely because of hard work). 2 only, merely (he did it purely for a joke). 3 in a pure manner.
purge (verb)1 to make pure and clean (purge your mind of wicked thoughts). 2 to get rid of unwanted persons (purging the party of troublemakers). 3 to clear the body of waste matter, to empty the bowels.
purification (noun)1 act of purifying. 2 a ceremonial cleansing.
purify (verb)1 to cleanse (purified the air/purifying the water). 2 to make pure.
puritan (noun)someone who is very strict in matters of morals or religion. adj puritanic(al) n puritanism
purity (noun)the state of being pure.
purl1 (noun)the rippling sound made by a stream. vb to ripple.
purl2 (noun)a type of knitting stitch. Also vb.
purple (noun)1 a color of red and blue mixed (dressed in purple). 2 (formal) the purple robe of a king or cardinal. 3 (formal) the rank of king or cardinal. adj of purple color (a purple dress).
purpose (noun)1 the reason for an action, an intention or plan (a journey for business purposes/his purpose in going). 2 use or function (the purpose of the tool). 3 determination (a man of purpose). vb to intend.
purposeful (adjective)1 having a clear intention in mind (a purposeful young woman). 2 determined (with a purposeful air).
purposely (adverb)intentionally, on purpose.
purr (noun)the low sound made by a cat when pleased. Also vb.
purseCollective noun for winnings (A purse of winnings) (see list of collective nouns)
purse (noun)1 a woman’s handbag. 2 a sum of money offered as a prize. 3 (British spelling) see pocketbook. vb to pull in (pursing her lips in disapproval).
pursue (verb)1 to follow in order to catch (police pursuing the escaped prisoner). 2 to carry on (an activity) (pursue studies in French).
pursuer (noun)someone who chases (the pursuers of the escaped criminal).
pursuit (noun)the act of pursuing (the police in pursuit of a criminal/her pursuit of an interesting career).
pursy (adjective)(formal) fat and short-winded.
purvey (verb)(formal) to provide food or meals. n purveyor
pus (noun)yellow matter from an infected sore or wound (pus exuding from the boil).
push (verb)1 to press against with force (push the door shut). 2 to move by force, to shove (push the cart uphill). 3 to try to make someone do something (push him into applying). 4 (informal) to promote, to advertise (push his new product). n 1 a shove. 2 a strong effort. 3 (informal) energy (people with some push). 4 an attack by a large army.
pushing (adjective)1 energetic. 2 eager to get on.
pusillanimous (adjective)(formal) timid, cowardly. n pusillanimity
puss , pussy (noun)(informal) a cat.
pustule (noun)(formal) a small pimple containing infected matter (the pustules on his face caused by the disease).
put (verb)(put, putting ) 1 to set down in or move into a certain place (put the cups on the table/put the car in the garage). 2 to ask (put a question). 3 to express in words (put his refusal politely). 4 to throw from the shoulder with a bent arm (put the shot). n act of throwing a weight in sport (the shot put). put by to keep for future use. put up to give accommodation to (put his friend up for the night). put up with to bear without complaining (put up with noisy neighbors).
putative (adjective)supposed, commonly believed to be (the putative father of the child).
putrefy (verb)(formal) to become rotten, to decay (meat putrefied by the heat). n putrefaction
putrid (adjective)(formal) rotten, decayed (putrid meat). 2 (informal) very bad, poor (a putrid performance).
putt (verb)(putted , putting ) (in golf) to hit the ball into the hole on the green. n (in golf) a hit intended to send the ball into the hole.
putter1 (noun)a golf club for putting.
putter2 (verb)to work slowly and without much attention (spend Saturdays puttering about).
putting green (noun)(in golf) the smooth green near a hole.
putty (noun)a paste made from chalk and linseed oil, used for fitting glass in windows, etc. vb to cement with putty.
puzzle (verb)1 to present with a difficult problem or situation, to baffle, to perplex (they were puzzled by the last question in the exam a jigsaw puzzle). n puzzlement
PVCabbreviation for polyvinyl chloride a tough kind of plastic (a waterproof coat made of PVC).
pygmy, pigmy (noun)1 a member of a race of very small people in Africa. 2 (informal) a very small person or animal. Also adj.
pyjamassee pajamas.
pylon (noun)1 a hollow skeleton pillar for carrying overhead cables. 2 a tower or pillar built at an airdrome as a guiding mark.
pyramid (noun)1 a solid body with triangular sides meeting in a point at the top. 2 a monument of this shape.
pyre (noun)a pile of wood, etc, on which a dead body is placed for burning.
Pyretologystudy of fevers (see list of branches of science)
Pyrexiophobiafear of fever (see list of phobias)
Pyrgologystudy of towers (see list of branches of science)
Pyroballogystudy of artillery (see list of branches of science)
Pyrographystudy of woodburning (see list of branches of science)
Pyrophobiafear of fire (see list of phobias)
pyrotechnic (adjective)having to do with fireworks.
Pyrotechnicsstudy of combustion through fire or explosions (see list of branches of science)
pyrotechnics (noun)the art of making or using fireworks.
Pyrrhic adj. Pyrrhic victory a victory in which the victors suffer very heavy losses (they may have one the battle but it was a Pyrrhic victory).
Pythagorean (adjective)having to do with Pythagoras or his philosophy, which taught that after death the soul went into another body.
python (noun)a large non-poisonous snake that crushes its prey in its coils.
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