GKNXT Encyclopedia
0 A B C D E
X Y Z #
S (volume 19)
S, s (noun)the nineteenth letter of the alphabet.
Sabbath (noun)1 the seventh day of the week, Saturday, set aside for rest and worship observed by Jews and some Christian groups. 2 Sunday as the usual day of Christian rest and worship.
saber (noun),also sabre (British spelling) heavy sword with a slightly curved blade.
sable (noun)1 a type of weasel with dark-colored fur. 2 its fur. adj black, dark.
sabotage (noun)the destroying, wasting, or ruining of something on purpose. Also vb. n saboteur a person who destroys, wastes, or ruins something on purpose.
sac (noun)a small bag of liquid inside an animal or plant.
saccharine (noun)a very sweet substance used instead of sugar. adj saccharine too sweet or syrupy.
sachet (noun)a small, sealed envelope or bag (she kept a sachet of dried lavender in her drawer to scent her clothing).
sackCollective noun for quarterbacks (A sack of quarterbacks) (see list of collective nouns)
sack1 (noun)1 a bag made of coarse cloth for holding flour, wool, etc. vb (informal) to dismiss someone from his or her job (the manager had to sack one of his employees for continually being late).
sack2 (verb)to rob and destroy a town after capturing it. Also n.
sacred (adjective)holy, set apart for the service of God (sacred music).
sacrifice (noun)1 an offering to a god or God. 2 the act of giving up something desirable. 3 something given up in this way (they were the kind of parents who were always making sacrifices for their children). vb 1 to make an offering to God or a god. 2 to give up something that is important to that person. adj sacrificial
sacrilege (noun)disrespectful or insulting treatment of something holy. adj sacrilegious
sacrosanct (adjective)1 very holy. 2 to be treated only with great respect (private papers regarded as sacrosanct).
sad (adjective)sorrowful, unhappy.
sadden (verb)to make sad.
saddle (noun)1 a seat for a rider on a horse or bicycle. 2 meat taken from an animal’s back (saddle of beef). vb 1 to put a saddle on. 2 to give (to another) something troublesome (he was only too happy to saddle others with his responsibilities). in the saddle in control (their father had been in the saddle for so long that he was finding it difficult to think about retiring).
sadist (noun)a person who takes pleasure in giving pain to another. n sadism adj sadistic
safari (noun)a hunting trip, especially one in Africa.
safe (adjective)1 out of harm or danger (children safe in bed). 2 not likely to cause harm, danger, or risk (a safe job). n a strong box or room for valuables. adv safely.
safeguard (noun)any person or thing that protects. Also vb.
safekeeping (noun)a keeping or being kept in safety (the hotel guest handed in her passport at the reception desk for safekeeping).
safety (noun)freedom from danger, harm, or loss.
safety belt (noun)1 a belt that attaches a person to another object to keep him/her safe (the window cleaner used a safety belt). 2 a belt that attaches a driver or passenger to the seat in a car, plane, etc (she always made sure her children were wearing safety belts when they were in the car).
safety pina pin bent back on itself so as to cover the point when fastened.
saffron (noun)1 a type of crocus, purple or white in color with yellow to orange stigmas. 2 the dried stigmas of this plant which are used to color or flavor food. adj an orange to deep yellow color.
sag (verb)(sagged , sagging ) 1 to sink in the middle. 2 to droop, to hang down. adj saggy
saga (noun)1 a Scandinavian story of heroes, customs, battles, etc. 2 a very long adventure story.
sage1 (adjective)wise. n a wise person (she discussed the problem with a sage man who was wise in the ways of the world).
sage2 (noun)1 a sweet-smelling Mediterranean plant, used as a herb in cooking. 2 a grayish-green color.
sago (noun)a type of flour, used in certain puddings.
saguaro (noun)a giant cactus with a thick, spiny stem and white flowers native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
saidpast participle of say.
sail (noun)1 a canvas spread to catch the wind. 2 a trip in a boat moved by sails. 3 the arm of a windmill. vb 1 to travel on water by way of a sail. 2 to move along without effort (she sailed through her exams and got top marks).
sailboard (noun)a board, used in windsurfing, similar to a surfboard with a sail attached to it.
sailboat (noun)a boat or ship that has sails, by which it moves through the water.
sailer (noun)a ship or boat that has sails, used with reference to the way it sails (a swift sailer).
sailing (noun)1 the act of a thing or person that sails. 2 the sport of managing a sailboat, as for racing.
sailor (noun)a person who makes a living by sailing.
sailplane (noun)a light glider especially designed for soaring.
saint (noun)1 a person who is very good, patient, helpful, etc. 2 a title given to an especially holy person by certain Christian churches. adj saintly adj sainted
sainthood (noun)the status or rank of a saint.
sake1 (noun)for the sake of 1 purpose, motive (for the sake of peace and quiet). 2 advantage, good (for the sake of his health). for my sake to please me.
sake2 (noun)a Japanese alcoholic drink made from rice.
salaam (noun)1 a greeting, meaning peace, used among Muslims. 2 in India, a greeting made by bowing low with the palm of the right hand on the forehead.
salable (adjective)that can be sold.
salacious (adjective)indecent, obscene.
salad (noun)a dish of lettuce and other vegetables, mostly raw but sometimes cooked and sometimes including meat, fish, cheese, or fruit, usually served with a dressing.
salamander (noun)a lizard-like animal that can live both on land and in water.
salami (noun)a highly spiced, salted sausage of pork or beef.
salary (noun)the fixed sum of money paid to someone for work over an agreed length of time, usually a month or a year.
sale (noun)1 the act of selling. 2 the exchange of anything for money. 3 a selling of goods more cheaply than usual (January sales).
sales taxa tax on things that are sold, usually a percentage (some states have a high sales tax).
salesman , saleswoman , salesperson (noun)a person engaged in selling products.
salesmanship (noun)skill in selling things.
salient (adjective)1 sticking outwards. 2 most important (the salient points of his plan). n in war, a narrow strip of land jutting into enemy territory.
salina (noun)a salt marsh, lake, or pond.
saline (adjective)containing salt. n a salt lake or spring.
salinize (verb),also salinise (British spelling) to put salt into.
saliva (noun)the liquid that keeps the mouth moist; spittle. adj salivary
salivate (verb)to produce excess saliva (salivating in front of the chocolate cake).
sallow1 (noun)a type of willow tree.
sallow2 (adjective)having a slightly yellow skin.
salmon (noun)a large fish with pinkish flesh and silver scales, greatly valued for food and sport.
salmonella (noun)a kind of bacteria that can cause sickness in people or animals.
salonCollective noun for Poodles (A salon of Poodles) (see list of collective nouns)
salon (noun)1 a public room in a home, hotel, etc, where people gather. 2 a building or room used for a particular business, such as hairdressing, the selling of fashionable clothes, etc.
saloon (noun)1 a large public room in a passenger ship. 2 a bar, a place where alcoholic drinks are sold and drunk.
salsa (noun)1 a type of Latin American dance music. 2 a spicy tomato sauce eaten with Mexican food.
salt (noun)a white powder or crystalline solid, obtained from sea water or by mining, used to give flavor to or to preserve food. vb to flavor or preserve with salt. adj containing or tasting of salt. adj salty
salt-and-pepper (adjective)dotted or specked with black and white.
saltcellar (noun)a small container for holding salt for use at table.
saltine (noun)a flat, crisp cracker with salt grains baked onto its top.
saltire (noun)a St Andrew’s cross (X).
saltshaker (noun)a container for salt with a top that has a hole or holes in it for shaking over food.
saltwater (adjective)having to do with salt water or the sea (saltwater fish tank).
salutation (noun)a greeting.
salute (verb)1 to greet. 2 to make a gesture of respect by raising the right hand to the forehead or cap. n 1 the gesture of respect made by saluting. 2 the firing of guns as a welcome or mark of respect.
salvage (noun)1 the saving of a ship or its cargo from loss. 2 the saving of property from any sort of destruction. 3 property saved in this way. vb to save from destruction, shipwreck, fire, etc (they managed to salvage some of their personal possessions from the flood).
salvation (noun)1 the saving or being saved from danger, evil, difficulty, destruction, etc.
salve (noun)a medicine applied to wounds, burns, etc, to sooth or heal.
salvoCollective noun for shells (A salvo of shells) (see list of collective nouns)
sambaCollective noun for shopping carts (A samba of shopping carts) (see list of collective nouns)
samba (noun)1 a South American dance of African origin. 2 music for this dance.
same (adjective)in no way different (the same person/the same mistake). n the same person or thing (I’ll have the same). adv in a like manner.
sameness (noun)lack of change or variety.
same-sex (adjective)of or relating to people of the same sex.
Samhainophobiafear of Halloween (see list of phobias)
samosa (noun)a small pastry turnover, originally from India, filled with a spicy meat or vegetable mixture.
sampan (noun)a small flat-bottomed boat used in China.
sampleCollective noun for salesmen (A sample of salesmen) (see list of collective nouns)
sample (noun)a part or piece given to show what the whole is like (a sample of the artist’s work). vb to try something to see what it is like (sample the cake).
sampler (noun)a cloth sewn with designs, words, etc, in different types of stitches to show a beginner’s skill.
samsara (noun)in Hinduism, the cycle in which the same soul is reborn again and again.
samurai (noun)a member of the Japanese military class of people.
sanctify (verb)to make holy or sacred. n sanctification
sanctimonious (adjective)pretending to be holy or religious. n sanctimony
sanction (noun)1 permission (with the sanction of the police). 2 a punishment imposed to make people obey a law (trade sanctions imposed on countries that invade other countries). vb to permit.
sanctity (noun)holiness.
sanctuary (noun)1 a place where a person is safe from pursuit or attack. 2 a place providing protection, such as a reserve for wildlife. 3 a holy place such as a church or temple.
sanctum (noun)1 a person’s private room where he or she is not to be bothered. 2 a sacred place.
sand (noun)1 loose, gritty pieces of tiny particles of rock, shell, etc. 2 pl stretches of sand on the seashore. vb to rub with sandpaper to make smooth.
sand dollar (noun)a kind of flat, round, spiny-skinned sea creature that lives on ocean beds.
sand hopper (noun)any of the various tiny animals that jump like fleas on beaches.
sand painting (noun)in Navajo healing ceremonies, the sprinkling of colored sands into designs.
sandal (noun)a type of shoe to protect the sole, leaving the upper part of the foot largely uncovered except by straps, etc.
sandalwood (noun)any of several kinds of sweet-smelling wood.
sandbag (noun)a bag filled with sand and used for protection against enemy attack or to protect against floods.
sandbar (noun)a ridge of sand formed in a river or along a shore by the currents or tides.
sandbox (noun)a box or pit filled with sand in which children can play.
sander (noun)a person or tool that sands.
sandiness (noun)a sandy state or quality.
sandlot (adjective)having to do with games, especially baseball, played by people who were not professionals.
sandman (noun)a fairytale person who is thought to make children sleepy by dusting sand in their eyes.
sandpaper (noun)paper made rough by a coating of sand, used for smoothing and polishing.
sandpiper (noun)a wading bird of the snipe family.
sandstone (noun)a stone made up of sand pressed together.
sandstorm (noun)a windstorm in which large amounts of sand are blown about in the air near the ground.
sandwich (noun)two slices of bread with meat, cheese, salad, etc, in between them. vb to fit between two other things.
sandy (adjective)1 covered with sand, full of sand. 2 the color of sand, a reddish yellow.
sane (adjective)1 having a normal, healthy mind. 2 sensible.
sangria (noun)a punch made with wine, fruit juice, pieces of fruit, and soda water.
sanitarium (noun),also sanatorium (British spelling) a quiet resort where people go to rest and regain their health, usually taking advantage of natural resources such as mineral springs.
sanitary (adjective)having to do with health or cleanliness.
sanitary napkin (noun)a cotton-filled pad worn by women during menstruation.
sanitation (noun)1 the process or methods of keeping places clean and healthy. 2 a drainage or sewage system.
sanitize (verb),also sanitise (British spelling) to make sanitary.
sanity (noun)1 the condition of being sane. 2 good sense.
sans (preposition)without, lacking.
Sanskrit (noun)an ancient language of India. Also adj.
sap (noun)the juice that flows in plants, trees, etc, and feeds the various parts. vb (sapped , sapping ) to weaken gradually (sap a person’s strength).
sapling (noun)a young tree.
sapphire (noun)1 a precious stone of a rich blue color (her ring consisted of a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds). 2 its color. Also adj.
sappy (adjective)1 (of plants) full of sap. 2 (sl) foolish, silly.
sarcasm (noun)a mocking remark intended to hurt another’s feelings.
sarcastic (adjective)1 given to sarcasm. 2 mocking, scornful.
Sarcologystudy of fleshy parts of the body (see list of branches of science)
sarcophagus (noun)(pl sarcophagi ) a stone coffin.
sardine (noun)a small fish of the herring family.
sardonic (adjective)bitterly sneering, mocking.
sari (noun)the dress of women in India, Pakistan, etc, consisting of a long piece of cloth wrapped around the body to form an ankle length skirt with the other end draped across the chest, over the shoulder, and sometimes over the head.
Sarmassophobiafear of love play (see list of phobias)
sarong (noun)an item of clothing consisting of a length of often brightly colored cloth worn wrapped around the waist like a skirt by both men and women.
sarsaparilla (noun)1 any of a number of tropical, woody vines of the lily family with fragrant roots and heart-shaped leaves. 2 the dried roots of these plants, formerly used in medicine. 3 a sweetened, carbonated drink flavored with sarsaparilla.
sash1 (noun)a scarf worn around the waist or across the body over one shoulder.
sash2 (noun)a window frame.
sashay (verb)to move, walk, etc in such a way as to attract attention or show off.
sashimi (noun)a Japanese dish of thin slices of fresh raw fish served with soy sauce.
sasquatch (noun)a large, hairy, human-like creature with long arms said to live in the mountains of northwestern North America.
sass (noun)rash talk. vb to talk rashly, to talk without thinking of the consequences. adj sassy
sassafras (noun)1 a small eastern North American tree having a pleasant-smelling bark. 2 the aromatic dried root bark of this tree used as a flavoring.
Satan (noun)1 in Judaism, any of various beings that accuse or criticize humanity. 2 in Christian belief, the enemy of humankind and of goodness, the Devil.
satanic (adjective)of, like, or having to do with the Devil.
Satanism (noun)worship of Satan.
Satanologystudy of the devil (see list of branches of science)
Satanophobiafear of Satan (see list of phobias)
satay (noun)a dish consisting of chunks of flavored meat broiled on sticks and dipped in a spicy peanut sauce.
satchel (noun)a small bag worn on the shoulder or back for carrying books, clothes, etc.
sate (verb)to satisfy a want fully.
satellite (noun)1 a celestial body that moves around a planet or a star. 2 an artificial body placed in orbit around the earth or another planet in order to collect information or for communication. 3 a person who follows or serves another. 4 a country that is totally in the power of another.
satellite dish (noun)bowl-shaped device on the outside of a building for receiving television signals sent by a satellite.
satiate (verb)1 to satisfy fully. 2 to give more than enough.
satiety , satiation (noun)1 the state of having more than enough. 2 over-fullness.
satin (noun)a silk or nylon cloth that is shiny on one side.
satire (noun)a piece of writing in which persons, customs, actions, etc, are mocked and made to appear foolish. adj satirical
satirist (noun)a person who writes satires.
satirize (verb),also satirise (British spelling) to make seem foolish in satire.
satisfaction (noun)1 contentment. 2 the feeling of having enough.
satisfactory (adjective)1 good enough (a satisfactory answer). 2 quite good (satisfactory work).
satisfy (verb)1 to give all that is requested or expected (satisfy her demand). 2 to be enough (satisfy their appetites). 3 to convince (satisfy them that he was innocent).
satori (noun)the understanding of truth spiritually, used in Zen Buddhism.
satsuma (noun)a small, loose-skinned kind of orange.
saturate (verb)to soak something so thoroughly that it cannot take in any more liquid. n saturation
Saturday (noun)the seventh day of the week.
Saturn (noun)the sixth planet away from the sun.
satyr (adjective)a mythical creature, half man, half goat.
sauce (noun)1 a liquid poured on foods to improve or bring out the flavor. 2 (informal) rash or impudent talk, sass.
saucepan (noun)a small pot with a lid and handle.
saucer (noun)a small plate placed under a cup.
saucy (adjective)1 rude. 2 stylish or smart.
sauerkraut (noun)chopped cabbage soaked in its own juice and salt.
sauna (noun)a bath of dry, hot air produced by dropping small amounts of water onto very hot stones, usually followed by a plunge into icy cold water.
saunterCollective noun for cowboys (A saunter of cowboys) (see list of collective nouns)
saunter (verb)to walk slowly, to stroll. Also n.
sausage (noun)a roll of minced meat and seasonings in a thin skin.
sauté (adjective)to fry quickly in a pan with a small amount of oil.
savage (adjective)1 wild, untamed, or uncivilized (savage animals). 2 fierce, cruel (savage blows). n a very cruel person.
savagery (noun)1 cruelty. 2 the state of being wild or uncivilized.
savanna(h) (noun)a grassy, treeless plain.
save (verb)1 to rescue from danger or harm. 2 to keep for future use (save gift bows). 3 to keep money instead of spending it (save for your old age). (preposition) except.
savings (noun, plural)money put aside for future use.
savior (noun),also saviour (British spelling) a person who saves from danger or harm.
savor (noun),also savour (British spelling) taste, flavor. vb 1 to taste. 2 to have a taste of, to suggest the idea of (savor of disloyalty).
savory (adjective) also savoury (British spelling) 1 tasty, arousing appetite (there were some delicious savory smells coming from the kitchen). 2 salty, meaty, or sharp, rather than sweet (savory pastries). n an appetizing dish served at the beginning or end of dinner.
savoy (noun)a type of cabbage with crinkled leaves.
savvy (noun)shrewdness, understanding, know-how. Also adj (she is a very savvy lady).
saw1 (noun)a tool with a toothed edge used for cutting wood, etc. vb to cut with a saw.
saw2 (noun)a wise old saying.
saw3 (past tense)of see.
sawdust (noun)small fragments of wood made by sawing (he used sawdust instead of straw as bedding for his horse).
sawfish (noun)a large, tropical, shark-like ray, its head prolonged into a flat, saw-like snout edged with large teeth on either side.
sawmill (noun)a mill with a mechanical saw for cutting wood.
sax (noun)short for saxophone.
saxophone (noun)a brass wind instrument with a single reed and keys.
say (verb)(pt said ) 1 to utter in words, to speak. 2 to state (say what you mean). n the right to give an opinion (you can have your say in a minute).
saying (noun)a proverb, something commonly said.
scab (noun)a crust that forms over a healing sore. adj scabby
scabbard (noun)the case of a sword.
scabies (noun)an itchy skin disease.
Scabiophobiafear of scabies (see list of phobias)
scaffold (noun)a wooden or metal framework with platforms on which workmen stand during the erecting, repairing, or painting of a building, etc.
scaffolding (noun)the building materials used to build a scaffold (they use bamboo scaffolding)
scald (verb)to burn with hot liquid or steam. n a burn caused by hot liquid or steam.
scaleCollective noun for ichthyologists (A scale of ichthyologists) (see list of collective nouns)
scale1 (noun)one of the thin flakes or flat plates on the skin of fish, reptiles, etc. vb to remove the scales from (scale fish). adj scaly covered with scales, like a fish.
scale2 (noun)a balance or weighing machine.
scale3 (noun)1 a series of successive musical notes between one note and its octave. 2 the size of a map compared with the amount of area it represents (a scale of ten miles to the inch). 3 a measure (the scale on a thermometer). 4 a system of units for measuring (the decimal scale). 5 a system of grading (the social scale). 6 size, extent (entertain on a large scale). vb to climb (scale the wall).
scalene (adjective)(of a triangle) having unequal sides and angles.
scallion (noun)any of various onions or onion-like plants, such as the shallot, green onion, or leek.
scallop (noun)1 an edible shellfish, the shell of which has an uneven and toothed edge. 2 a series of even curves. vb to cut in scallops. adj scalloped with an edge shaped like that of the scallop shell.
scallywag (noun),also scalawag a rascal.
scalp (noun)the skin and hairs on top of the head. vb to cut off the scalp.
scalpel (noun)a light, very sharp knife used by a surgeon.
scamCollective noun for con artists (A scam of con artists) (see list of collective nouns)
scam (noun)a swindle, cheat, or fraud. Also vb.
scamp (noun)a rascal.
scamper (verb)to run quickly or hurriedly, as if afraid. n a quick or hurried run.
scampi (noun)a large shrimp broiled or fried with its tail on and served hot.
scanCollective noun for radiologists (A scan of radiologists) (see list of collective nouns)
scan (verb)(scanned , scanning ) 1 to look at closely or carefully (scan the area for survivors). 2 to obtain an image of an internal part (of the body) by using X-rays, ultrasonic waves, etc. n a medical examination in which part of the body is scanned (a brain scan).
scandalCollective noun for shoes (A scandal of shoes) (see list of collective nouns)
scandal (noun)1 widespread talk about someone’s wrongdoings, real or supposed (listen to scandal). 2 a disgrace (their failure to act is a scandal). 3 disgraceful behavior that gives rise to widespread talk (a series of political scandals).
scandalize (verb),also scandalise (British spelling) to shock.
scandalous (adjective)disgraceful.
scanner (noun)a person or thing that scans.
scant (adjective)barely enough, very little (pay scant attention).
scanty (adjective)barely enough, very little (a scanty meal).
scapegoat (noun)a person who is given the blame for wrong done by others.
scar1 (noun)the mark left by a healed wound. vb (scarred , scarring ) to leave or cause a scar.
scar2 (noun)a cliff.
scarab (noun)a beetle held as sacred in ancient Egypt.
scarce (adjective)1 few and hard to find (such birds are scarce now). 2 not enough (food is scarce).
scarcely (adverb)hardly; surely not.
scarcity (noun)shortage, lack of what is necessary.
scare (verb)to frighten. n a fright, panic.
scarecrow (noun)1 anything (e.g. a dummy man) set up to frighten away birds. 2 someone dressed in rags.
scaremonger (noun)a person who purposely scares people.
scarf (noun)(pl scarfs or scarves ) a strip of material worn around the neck and over the shoulders.
scarify (verb)to make many scratches or small cuts in the skin, as for surgery.
scarlet (noun)a bright red color. Also adj.
scarlet fever (noun)a very infectious disease causing a red rash on the skin, sore throat, and fever.
scarp (noun)a steep slope.
scary (adjective)causing alarm, frightening.
scathe (verb)to injure.
scathing (adjective)hurtful, bitter, harsh.
Scatologystudy of excrement or obscene literature (see list of branches of science)
Scatophobiafear of fecal matter (see list of phobias)
scatter (verb)1 to throw about on all sides (scatter confetti). 2 to go away or drive in different directions (crowds scattering).
scatterbrain (noun)a foolish person, a person not capable of serious thinking. adj scatterbrained
scavenger (noun)an animal or person that searches for or lives on discarded or decaying material. vb scavenge
scavenger hunt (noun)a party game in which people are sent out to find miscellaneous items without buying them.
Scelerophibiafear of burglars (see list of phobias)
scenario (noun)1 an outline of the main incidents in a play or film. 2 an outline for any planned series of events.
scene (noun)1 the place where something happens (the scene of the crime). 2 what a person can see from a certain viewpoint. 3 a distinct part of a play. 4 a painted background set up on the stage to represent the place of the action. 5 a quarrel or open show of strong feeling in a public place. behind the scenes in private.
scenery (noun)1 the painted backgrounds set up during a play to represent the places of the action. 2 the general appearance of a countryside (an area of beautiful scenery).
scenic (adjective)1 having to do with scenery. 2 picturesque.
scent (noun)1 a smell, especially a pleasant one. 2 the smell of an animal left on its tracks. 3 the sense of smell. vb 1 to smell. 2 to find by smelling. 3 to make something smell pleasant.
scepter (noun),also sceptre (British spelling) the staff held by a ruler as a sign of authority.
scheduleCollective noun for activities (A schedule of activities) (see list of collective nouns)
schedule (noun)a list of details; a time-table (production schedules). vb to plan.
schemeCollective noun for swindlers (A scheme of swindlers) (see list of collective nouns)
scheme (noun)1 a plan of what is to be done (a work scheme). 2 a plot (a scheme to kill the president). vb 1 to plan. 2 to plot. n schemer adj scheming given to planning schemes.
schism (noun)a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief.
scholar (noun)1 a learned person. 2 a school pupil.
scholarly (adjective)learned.
scholarship (noun)1 learning. 2 wide knowledge. 3 a grant of money given to students to help pay for their education.
scholastic (adjective)having to do with schools or scholars.
schoolCollective noun for butterfly fish (A school of butterfly fish) (see list of collective nouns)
schoolCollective noun for clerks (A school of clerks) (see list of collective nouns)
schoolCollective noun for fish (A school of fish) (see list of collective nouns)
schoolCollective noun for porpoises (A school of porpoises) (see list of collective nouns)
schoolCollective noun for sharks (A school of sharks) (see list of collective nouns)
schoolCollective noun for whales (A school of whales) (see list of collective nouns)
school1 (noun)1 a place where instruction is given, where people learn. 2 a group of writers, thinkers, painters, etc, having the same or similar methods, principles, aims, etc. vb to train (to school horses).
school2 (noun)a large number of fish of the same kind swimming together.
schoolbook (noun)a book used for study in schools.
schooling (noun)training or education.
schoolroom (noun)a room in which students are taught.
schoolteacher (noun)a person whose job it is to teach in a school.
schoolwork (noun)lessons worked on in classes as school or done as homework.
schooner (noun)1 a large sailing ship with two masts. 2 a kind of large glass (a schooner of water).
Sciaphobiafear of shadows (see list of phobias)
sciatic (adjective)having to do with the hip or sciatic nerve that goes down the back of the thigh.
sciatica (noun)pain in the hip or thigh, caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve.
science (noun)1 all that is known about a subject, arranged in a systematic manner (the science of geography). 2 the study of the laws and principles of nature (biology, physics and other branches of science). 3 trained skill (games requiring science rather than speed).
science fiction (noun)fiction that deals with imaginary scientific developments or imaginary life on other planets (often abbreviated to sci-fi).
scientific (adjective)1 having to do with science. 2 done in a systematic manner.
scientist (noun)a person learned in one of the sciences.
sci-fiacronym for science fiction.
Sciophobiafear of shadows (see list of phobias)
scissor (verb)to cut with scissors.
scissors (noun)a cutting tool consisting of two blades moving on a central pin.
scoff (verb)to mock (at). n mocking words, a jeer.
scold (verb)to find fault with angrily.
scoldingCollective noun for seamstresses (A scolding of seamstresses) (see list of collective nouns)
Scoleciphobiafear of worms (see list of phobias)
Scolionophobiafear of school (see list of phobias)
scone (noun)a small, round, doughy cake served with butter.
scoopCollective noun for journalists (A scoop of journalists) (see list of collective nouns)
scoopCollective noun for reporters (A scoop of reporters) (see list of collective nouns)
scoop (verb)1 to gather and lift up, as with the hands (scoop up sand in your hands). 2 to hollow with a knife, etc (to scoop a hollow in the melon half). n 1 a deep shovel for lifting grain, earth from a hole, etc. 2 a piece of important news known only to one newspaper.
scoot (verb)to go or move quickly.
scooter (noun)a child’s toy for riding on with a footboard, wheels at either end, and a raised handlebar for steering, moved by pushing off the ground with one foot.
scope (noun)1 the range of matters being dealt with (the scope of the book). 2 opportunity (scope for improvement).
Scopophobiafear of being seen or stared at (see list of phobias)
scorch (verb)1 to burn the outside of. 2 to singe or blacken by burning (scorched the shirt with the iron).
scorcher (noun)1 anything that scorches. 2 a very hot day.
scoreCollective noun for bachelors (A score of bachelors) (see list of collective nouns)
scoreCollective noun for years (A score of years) (see list of collective nouns)
score (noun)1 a set of twenty. 2 a mark or line cut on the surface of. 3 a note of what is to be paid. 4 in games, the runs, goals, points, etc, made by those taking part. 5 a piece of music written down to show the parts played by different instruments. vb 1 to make marks or scratches on the surface of. 2 to gain an advantage. 3 to keep the score of a game. 4 to arrange music in a score. score off to strike out. score off to get the better off. n scorer
scoreboard (noun)a large board for posting the score and other details of a game.
scorekeeper (noun)a person who keeps score at a game or contest.
scorn (verb)1 to feel dislike for. 2 to refuse to have anything to do with (the woman scorned his friendly advances). n dislike, complete lack of respect for.
scornful (adjective)mocking, full of dislike.
scorpion (noun)a small creature related to the spider with eight legs and a lobster-like tail containing a poisonous sting, found in warm regions.
Scotomaphobiafear of blindness in visual field. (see list of phobias)
Scotophobiafear of darkness (see list of phobias)
scoundrel (noun)a thoroughly wicked person, a rascal.
scour1 (verb)to clean or brighten by rubbing.
scour2 (verb)to go back and forward over, searching carefully (scour the fields for clues).
scourgeCollective noun for mosquitoes (A scourge of mosquitoes) (see list of collective nouns)
scourge (noun)1 a whip. 2 a cause of great trouble or suffering. vb 1 to whip. 2 to make suffer greatly.
scourings (noun)dirt or remains removed by scouring.
scout (noun)1 a person sent in front to see what lies ahead and bring back news. 2 a person employed to find new talent. vb 1 to go out as a scout. 2 to search or explore (to scout around for an open shop).
Scout (noun)a member of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, youth organizations that stress ability and skill in a wide range of activities.
scowl (verb)to lower the brows and wrinkle the forehead in anger or disapproval. Also n.
scrabble (verb)1 to scratch, scrape, or paw as though looking for something. 2 to struggle. 3 to scribble, to make meaningless marks.
scrabbly (adjective)1 having a scratching sound. 2 scrubby, poor, etc.
scrag (noun)1 a lean, scrawny person or animal. 2 a thin, stunted tree or plant. 3 the neck or back of the neck of certain kinds of meat.
scraggly (adjective)sparse, irregular, uneven, ragged, etc, in growth and form.
scraggy (adjective)thin and bony.
scram (verb)to leave or get out, especially in a hurry.
scramble (verb)1 to climb using both hands and feet. 2 to move awkwardly or with difficulty. 3 to struggle to obtain (scramble for a seat in the bus) 4 to throw together randomly, to collect without any method. n a pushing and struggling for something.
scrap (noun)1 a small piece (scraps of cloth). 2 a picture, often cut to shape, for pasting in a book. 3 pl what is left over (dogs feeding on scraps). vb (scrapped , scrapping ) to throw away as no longer useful (scrap the plans).
scrap heap (noun)a place for discarded or waste material; a garbage heap.
scrapbook (noun)a book for keeping scraps, cuttings from newspapers, pictures, etc.
scrape (verb)1 to clean by rubbing with an edged instrument. 2 to make a harsh, unpleasant sound by rubbing along. 3 to save or gather with difficulty (scrape together the food). 4 to scratch by rubbing, as if by a fall (she fell down the steps and scraped her knees). n 1 a scratch. 2 something caused by scraping or its sound. 3 (informal) a small fight. 4 (informal) a difficult situation.
scraping (noun)the act of a person or thing that scrapes, the sound of this.
scrappy (adjective)1 made up of bits and pieces. 2 fond of fighting.
scratch (verb)1 to mark or wound the surface with something pointed. 2 to rub with the fingernails to stop itching. 3 to tear with the fingernails or claws. 4 to rub out or cross off (scratch his name from the list). 5 to withdraw from a competition or contest. n a slight mark or wound, especially one made by scratching. adj 1 without a plus or minus handicap (scratch golfer). 2 put together hastily (scratch meal). up to scratch as good as usual.
scratchy (adjective)that scratches, scrapes, itches, etc (scratchy throat with a cold/scratchy sweater).
scrawl (verb)to write untidily or carelessly. n untidy or careless handwriting.
scrawny (adjective)very thin, skinny, bony, small, etc.
screamCollective noun for newsboys (A scream of newsboys) (see list of collective nouns)
scream (verb)to shout in a loud, high-pitched voice, to shriek. Also n.
screamer (noun)a person who screams.
scree (noun)loose stones, etc, on a slope or at the foot of a cliff.
screech (verb)to utter a loud, high-pitched cry. Also n.
screed (noun)a long and uninteresting written statement.
screen (noun)1 a movable piece of furniture, similar to a section of fence, that can be used to block a draft, to conceal part of a room, etc. 2 a surface on which movies are shown. 3 a frame covered with mesh of wire or plastic and fixed into windows or doors so that when they are open no insects can get in. 4 the front glass surface of a television, computer, etc, on which pictures or items of information are shown. 5 a sieve for separating smaller pieces of coal, stones, etc, from larger. vb 1 to protect (trees screening the garden from the public view). 2 to hide (screen his son from the police). 3 to put through a test (screen all applicants for jobs in the office). 4 to carry out medical tests on a large number of people to check whether they have a particular disease or not (screen women over 50 for breast cancer). 5 to show on film or television.
screenplay (noun)the script from which a film is produced.
screensaver (noun)a program that prolongs the life of a computer monitor.
screenwriter (noun)the writer of a script for a film.
screw (noun)1 a type of nail with a spiral thread so that it can be twisted into wood, etc, instead of hammered. 2 a twist or turn. vb 1 to fasten by means of a screw. 2 to twist.
screwdriver (noun)a tool that can fit into the slot on the head of a screw and turn it into wood, plaster, etc.
scribble (verb)to write carelessly or hurriedly. n something written quickly or carelessly. n scribbler a person who writes carelessly.
scribe (noun)1 a person whose job it was to copy books, pamphlets, poems, etc, by hand before the invention of the printing machine. 2 a writer or author.
scrim (noun)a light, sheer, loosely woven cloth used for curtains, linings, etc.
scrimmage (noun)1 a confused fight or struggle. 2 a practice session or game between two different teams or two units of the same team.
scrimp (verb)to give or use too little of (scrimp on food).
Scripophilycollection of bond and share certificates (see list of hobbies)
script (noun)1 handwriting. 2 a printing type like handwriting. 3 a written outline of the actions, speaking, etc, in a film. 4 the text of a show, film, or play.
Scriptophobiafear of writing in public (see list of phobias)
scripture(s) (noun)1 anything written. 2 a holy book or set of writings, such as the Bible, the Koran, etc. adj scriptural
scrounge (verb)to try to get something for free (the dog was scrounging around for food).
scrub1 (verb)(scrubbed , scrubbing ) 1 to clean by rubbing hard, especially with a stiff brush (she spent all morning scrubbing the floors). 2 (informal) to cancel, to remove. n scrubber any person or thing that scrubs.
scrub2 (noun)small stunted bushes or trees, brushwood. adj scrubby
scrubland (noun)land or a region that has much scrub plant life.
scrubs (noun)specially cleaned clothing worn by doctors, nurses, etc when they perform surgery, etc.
scruff (noun)the back of the neck.
scruffy (adjective)shabby, untidy.
scrumptious (adjective)very pleasing, attractive, etc, especially to the taste; delicious.
scrutinize (verb),also scrutinise (British spelling) to look at closely or carefully. n scrutinizer , also scrutiniser (British spelling)
scrutiny (noun)a close or careful look.
scuba (noun)an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, which is worn by divers for breathing underwater, usually consisting of air tanks strapped to the back and connected by a hose to a mouthpiece.
scud (verb)(scudded , scudding ) 1 to move quickly. 2 (of a ship) to sail quickly before a following wind.
scuff (verb)1 to scrape with the feet. 2 to wear a rough place or places on the surface of.
scuffle (noun)a confused or disorderly struggle.
scull (noun)one of a pair of short oars. vb 1 to row with sculls. 2 to move a boat by rowing with one oar at the front.
sculpt (verb)to carve or model a figure, design, image, etc.
sculptor (noun)a person skilled in sculpture.
sculpture (noun)1 the art of carving or modeling in wood, stone, clay etc. 2 a work of sculpture.
scum (noun)1 dirt and froth that gathers on the surface of liquid. 2 wicked or worthless people (the scum who mugged the old man). adj scummy
scurf (noun)small dry flakes of skin.
scurrilous (adjective)1 using bad or indecent language. 2 very insulting.
scurryCollective noun for squirrels (A scurry of squirrels) (see list of collective nouns)
scurry (verb)to run hurriedly. Also n.
scurvy (noun)a disease caused by lack of fresh fruit or vegetables. adj mean, nasty.
scuttleCollective noun for crabs (A scuttle of crabs) (see list of collective nouns)
scuttle1 (noun)a box or pail for keeping coal at the fireside.
scuttle2 (noun)a hole with a lid in the deck or side of a ship. vb to sink (a ship) by making a hole in it.
scuttle3 (verb)to run away hurriedly.
scythe (noun)a tool consisting of a long, curving, very sharp blade set at an angle to a long handle, used for cutting grass, etc. vb to cut with a scythe.
seaCollective noun for troubles (A sea of troubles) (see list of collective nouns)
sea (noun)1 the salt water that covers much of the earth’s surface. 2 a large extent of this. 3 the ocean or part of it. 4 the swell of the sea. 5 a large amount or extent of anything (a sea of papers on her desk). at sea 1 on the sea. 2 in a state of confusion.
sea horse (noun)a kind of small, tropical, bony fish whose head and nose look like those of a horse.
sea level (noun)the level of the sea’s surface at half-tide.
sea lion (noun)a large seal.
sea urchin (noun)a sea creature living in a round prickly shell.
seabed (noun)the ocean floor, especially the areas with rich mineral or oil deposits.
seabird (noun)a bird living on or near the sea.
seaboard (noun)land or coastal region near the sea.
seafood (noun)food prepared from or consisting of saltwater fish or shellfish.
seagull (noun)a kind of bird that lives along the seacoast.
seal1 (noun)1 wax with a design, etc, stamped on it, used to fasten shut envelopes, boxes, etc. 2 a stamp with a design, initials, etc, engraved on it. 3 a substance or thing that closes, fixes, or prevents leakage (a bottle seal). vb 1 to fasten with a seal. 2 to close firmly. 3 to make airtight (seal jars of preserved fruit). 4 to confirm (seal the agreement).
seal2 (noun)a sea animal that is aquatic but comes ashore to breed.
sealant (noun)any substance used for sealing, such as wax, plastic, etc.
sealskin (noun)1 the skin or pelt of the fur seal, especially with the outer fur removed exposing the soft underfur. 2 an article of clothing made from this.
seam (noun)the line made by two pieces of something joined together, such as the stitching joining two pieces of cloth.
seamless (adjective)made without a seam.
seamstress (noun)a woman who makes her living by sewing.
séance (noun)a meeting of people who believe they can call up the spirits of the dead.
seaplane (noun)an airplane with floats enabling it to take off from or land on water.
seaport (noun)a town with a harbor.
sear (verb)1 to burn with sudden powerful heat. 2 to wither (grass seared by the sun). adj dry, withered.
search (verb)to look for, to explore, to try to find. n act of looking for. n searcher
search engine (noun)computer software designed to locate items on a given topic.
searching (adjective)thorough, testing thoroughly.
searchlight (noun)a powerful electric lamp able to throw a beam of light on distant objects.
seasick (adjective)sick because of the rocking of a ship at sea.
seaside (noun)the land near or beside the sea.
season ticketa ticket that can be used many times over a stated period
season1 (noun)1 one of the four divisions of the year (e.g. winter, summer). 2 a time of the year noted for a particular activity (the football season).
season2 (verb)1 to make (wood) hard and fit for use by drying gradually. 2 to add something to food to give it a good taste.
seasonable (adjective)1 happening at the right time (seasonable advice). 2 suitable to the season of the year (seasonable weather).
seasonal (adjective)having to do with one or all of the seasons (seasonal variations in the weather).
seasoning (noun)anything added to food to bring out or improve its taste.
seatCollective noun for ushers (A seat of ushers) (see list of collective nouns)
seat (noun)1 anything on which a person sits. 2 a piece of furniture for sitting on. 3 the right to site as a member. vb 1 to place on a seat. 2 to have or provide seats for (a hall seating 500).
seat belt (noun)a belt worn across the lap and sometimes chest to keep a person in place while driving, flying, riding, etc.
seaweed (noun)sea plants.
secede (verb)to break away from (seceding from the union).
secession (noun)act of seceding. n secessionist a person who favors or takes part in a secession.
seclude (verb)to keep away from others, to make private or hidden.
secluded (adjective)1 out of the way (a secluded part of the garden). 2 private, quiet (a secluded life).
seclusion (noun)quietness and privacy.
seclusive (adjective)fond of or seeking seclusion.
second hand (noun)the hand on a clock or watch that times the seconds.
second nature (noun)habits fixed so deeply that they seem part of a person’s nature.
second sight (noun)the ability to see things happening elsewhere or to foresee the future.
second wind (noun)the ability to breathe smoothly again after having been out of breath.
second1 (adjective)2nd, coming immediately after first. n 1 a person who comes after the first. 2 a person who supports and assists another in a fight or duel. 3 npl goods that because of some flaw are sold more cheaply. vb 1 to support (second a proposal). 2 to assist (second him in the duel).
second2 (noun)1/60 of a minute.
second3 (verb)to transfer someone temporarily from normal duties to other duties (second him to the advertising department for a month).
secondary (adjective)1 of less importance (secondary considerations). 2 coming after that which is first in a series of events, states, etc.
second-guess (verb)1 to criticize or correct after an outcome is known. 2 to predict or anticipate.
secondhand (adjective)not new, having been used by another.
second-rate (adjective)not of high quality.
secrecy (noun)1 the habit of keeping information to oneself. 2 concealment (the secrecy surrounding the meeting).
secret (adjective)1 hidden from others. 2 known or told to few (a secret meeting). 3 private. n 1 a piece of information kept from others. 2 privacy. 3 a hidden reason or cause (the secret of their success).
secretarial (adjective)having to do with the work of a secretary.
secretary (noun)1 a person whose job it is to deal with letters and help to carry out the day-to-day business of his or her employer. 2 a high government official or minister (the Foreign Secretary).
secrete (verb)1 to hide away (secreting the documents in a locked box). 2 to produce a substance or fluid within the body by means of glands or other organs.
secretion (noun)1 the act of secreting. 2 the substance or fluid secreted (e.g. saliva).
secretive (adjective)1 keeping information to oneself. 2 fond of concealing things.
sect (noun)a body of persons holding the same beliefs, especially in religion.
sectarian (adjective)1 having to do with a sect or sects. 2 concerned with or relating to the interests of a person’s own group, etc.
section (noun)1 a distinct part. 2 a part cut off (a section of apple). adj sectional
sector (noun)1 a section of a circle. 2 one of the parts into which an area is divided (the Italian sector of the city). 3 part of a field of activity (the private sector of industry). adj sectorial.
secular (adjective)1 having to do with this world, not with a faith or religion; not sacred. 2 having to do with lay, not church, affairs. n secularity the state or quality of being secular. vb secularize , also secularise (British spelling) to change from religious to civil ownership or use. n secularism
secure (adjective)1 free from care or danger (a secure home life). 2 safe (a secure place for the jewels). vb 1 to make safe. 2 to fasten securely. 3 to seize and hold firmly.
security (noun)1 safety. 2 precautions taken to protect someone or something from attack, crime, danger, etc. (increased security measures at airports). 3 something given as proof of a person’s willingness or ability to repay a loan. 4 pl documents stating that a person has lent a sum of money to a business, etc, and is entitled to receive interest on it.
sedan (noun)a car with either two or four doors, a full-sized rear seat, and a hard top.
sedate (adjective)calm, quiet, and relaxed (a sedate conversation). vb to make calm or sleepy.
sedation (noun)the act or process of reducing excitement or nervousness.
sedative (adjective)having a calming effect. n a sedative drug.
sedentary (adjective)inactive, requiring much sitting.
sedgeCollective noun for bitterns (A sedge of bitterns) (see list of collective nouns)
sediment (noun)the particles of matter that sink to the bottom of liquid. adj sedimentary of, having the nature of, or containing sediment.
Sedimentologystudy of sediment (see list of branches of science)
sedition (noun)words or actions intended to stir up rebellion against the government. adj seditious
seduce (verb)1 to persuade someone to do what is wrong or immoral. 2 to persuade to have sexual intercourse. n seducer
seduction (noun)the act of seducing.
seductive (adjective)1 tempting, attracting to do wrong. 2 sexually attractive.
see1 (verb)(pt saw , pp seen ) 1 to look at with the eye. 2 to notice. 3 to understand. 4 to visit or interview. see about to attend to. see off 1 to go so far with a person who is leaving. 2 (informal) to get rid of. see through 1 to keep on with to the end. 2 to understand thoroughly (someone’s character, etc). seeing that since, because.
see2 (noun)the district over which a bishop has control.
seed (noun)1 the grain or germ from which, when placed in the ground, a new plant grows. 2 children, descendants. vb to produce seed, to plant seeds. go to seed, run to seed 1 (of a plant) to shoot up too quickly. 2 to grow careless and lazy. 3 to become weak.
seedbed (noun)a bed of soil, usually covered with glass, in which seedlings are grown.
seedling (noun)a young plant grown from a seed.
seedy (adjective)1 shabby (a seedy part of the town). 2 unwell. 3 containing many seeds.
seeing (noun)the sense or power of sight, the act of using the eyes to see.
seeing eye dog (noun)a dog trained to guide a blind person, a guide dog.
seek (verb)(pt, pp sought ) 1 to look for. 2 to try to get, to ask.
seem (verb)to appear to be, look as if.
seeming (adjective)having the appearance of, apparent.
seemly (adjective)proper, fitting, decent (seemly behavior).
seep (verb)to leak, drip, or flow slowly out through small openings. n seepage the act or process of seeping, the liquid that seeps.
seer (noun)a person who foresees the future, a prophet.
seersucker (noun)a crinkled fabric of linen, cotton, etc, usually with a striped pattern.
seesaw (noun)1 a plank that is balanced in the middle and on which children sit at either end so that when one end goes up the other end goes down. 2 the act of moving up and down or back and forth. adj moving up and down like a seesaw. vb 1 to play on a seesaw. 2 to move up and down or back and forth (prices continually seesawing).
seethe (verb)1 to boil. 2 to be full of anger, excitement, etc.
see-through (adjective)that can be seen through; more or less transparent.
segment (noun)1 a piece cut off. 2 part of a circle cut off by a straight line. vb to cut into segments. adj segmental
segmentation (noun)a dividing or being divided into segments.
segregate (verb)to set apart or separate from others (segregate the girls and boys). n segregation
seismic (adjective)having to do with earthquakes.
seismograph (noun)an instrument showing the force of an earthquake and the direction in which it has occurred.
Seismologystudy of earthquakes (see list of branches of science)
seismology (noun)the science of earthquakes.
seize (verb)1 to take by force (seize a hostage). 2 to take firm hold of (seize a branch or an opportunity).
seizure (noun)1 act of taking by force. 2 a sudden attack of illness, especially a stroke or an epileptic fit.
Selachophobiafear of sharks (see list of phobias)
Selaphobiafear of light flashes (see list of phobias)
seldom (adverb)rarely.
select (verb)to choose, to pick out. adj specially chosen. n selector the person or thing that selects.
selection (noun)1 act of choosing. 2 what is chosen.
selective (adjective)choosing carefully, rejecting what is not wanted.
Selenodesystudy of the shape and features of the moon (see list of branches of science)
Selenologystudy of the moon (see list of branches of science)
Selenophobiafear of the moon (see list of phobias)
self-prefix of oneself or itself.
self (noun)(pl selves ) a person’s own person or interest.
self-awareness (noun)awareness of oneself as an individual.
self-centered (adjective)selfish, thinking chiefly of oneself and one’s interests.
self-confident (adjective)sure of oneself and one’s powers.
self-conscious (adjective)thinking about oneself too much, shy because one thinks others are watching.
self-contained (adjective)1 keeping to oneself, not showing one’s feelings. 2 (of a house) complete in itself and separate from other houses.
self-control (noun)the ability to control one’s temper, excitement, etc.
self-destruct (verb)to destroy itself automatically. n self-destruction adj self-destructive
self-employed (adjective)working for oneself, with direct control over work, services, etc.
self-esteem (noun)one’s opinion of oneself, self-respect.
self-help (noun)care of or betterment of oneself by one’s own efforts.
self-important (adjective)full of one’s own importance, pompous. n self-importance
selfish (adjective)thinking only of oneself and one’s own advantage (she is very selfish and always put her own needs before those of everyone else). n selfishness
selfless (adjective)concerned about other’s welfare or interests and not one’s own (she is very selfless and always puts the needs of others before her own). n selflessness
self-respect (noun)proper care of one’s own character and reputation.
self-righteous (adjective)too aware of what one supposes to be one’s own goodness.
self-sacrificing (adjective)ready to give up one’s own desires for the good of others.
self-service (adjective)(of a shop, restaurant, etc) helping oneself. Also n.
self-sufficient (adjective)needing no help from others (a country self-sufficient in food).
sell (verb)(pt, pp sold ) to give in exchange for money.
seller (noun)a person who sells.
sellout (noun)the act of betraying someone or something, a person who betrays someone or something.
seltzer (noun)carbonated mineral water.
selvesplural of self.
semantic (adjective)of or regarding meaning, especially meaning in language.
Semanticsstudy of meaning (see list of branches of science)
Semantologystudy of meanings of words (see list of branches of science)
semaphore (noun)a system of conveying messages using flags.
Semasiologystudy of meaning; semantics (see list of branches of science)
semblance (noun)outward appearance (there was a semblance of order in the classroom).
semester (noun)a school term of about eighteen weeks.
semi-prefix half.
semicircle (noun)a half circle. adj semicircular
semicolon (noun)a mark of punctuation (;).
semifinal (adjective)coming just before the final match, as in a tournament (the tennis player met his great rival in the semifinal match).
seminar (noun)a group of students working together under the guidance of a teacher.
seminary (noun)a school or college, especially one training people to be priests, ministers, rabbis, etc.
Semiologystudy of signs and signals (see list of branches of science)
Semioticsstudy of signs and symbols (see list of branches of science)
Semite (noun)1 a member of any of the peoples who speak a Semitic language, including the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, etc. 2 used loosely, a Jewish person.
Semitic (adjective)1 having to do with Semites.
senate (noun)1 a group of officials elected to make laws. 2 (cap) one of the two houses of the United States Congress. 3 the governing body of certain universities.
senator (noun)a member of a senate. adj senatorial
send (verb)(pt, pp sent ) 1 to have taken from one place to another (I am sending you a package today). 2 to order to go (send them away). n sender
senile (adjective)weak in the mind from old age (she was very concerned that her elderly mother might be senile). n senility
senior (adjective)1 older. 2 higher in rank or importance. n 1 one older (she is her brother’s senior seen-yawr-i-tee/.
sensation (noun)1 the ability to perceive through the senses; feeling (lose sensation in her legs). 2 a feeling that cannot be described (a sensation of being watched). 3 great excitement (murder trials causing a sensation). 4 an event that causes great excitement (the news article was a sensation).
sensational (adjective)causing great excitement. vb sensationalize , also sensationalise (British spelling)
sensationalism (noun)a liking for exciting news and events.
sense (noun)1 one of the five faculties (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) by which people and animals gain knowledge of things outside themselves. 2 wisdom in everyday things (have the sense to keep warm). 3 understanding (no sense of direction). 4 meaning (words with several senses).
senseless (adjective)1 foolish, pointless (a senseless act). 2 unconscious (senseless after a blow to the head).
sensibility (noun)1 the ability to feel emotions strongly. 2 delicacy of feeling.
sensible (adjective)1 having or showing good judgment, wise (a sensible decision). 2 aware (sensible of the feelings of others). 3 practical (sensible shoes).
sensitive (adjective)1 quick to feel things (too sensitive for the rough language of others). 2 easily hurt or damaged (sensitive skin). 3 able to feel emotions strongly (a sensitive reading of the poem). n sensitivity
sensor (noun)a tooldesigned to detect, measure, or record things such as heat, temperature, pressure, etc.
sensory (adjective)having to do with the senses.
sensual (adjective)1 having to do with the pleasures of the body (the sensual pleasure of soaking in a scented bath). 2 fond of the pleasures of the body. n sensuality
sensuous (adjective)1 having to do with the senses. 2 pleasing to the senses (the sensuous pleasure of the music).
sentence (noun)1 a group of words, containing at least a subject and a verb, that is grammatically correct and makes complete sense. 2 a judgment given in a court of law (pass sentence). 3 the punishment given to a wrongdoer by a judge (a sentence of five years). vb to state the punishment given to a wrongdoer.
sentient (adjective)having the power of feeling. n sentience ability to feel.
sentiment (noun)1 what a person feels or thinks about something (I share your sentiments). 2 an expression of feeling (a song full of patriotic sentiment). 3 tender or kindly feeling (sentiments printed on birthday cards).
sentimental (adjective)1 showing, causing, etc, excessive tender feeling or emotion (a sentimental love song). 2 concerning the emotions rather than reason (a watch with sentimental value). n sentimentality
sentinel (noun)a person or animal that guards a group.
sentry (noun)a soldier on guard.
sentry box (noun)a shelter for a sentry.
separate (verb)1 to put apart. 2 to go away from. 3 to stop living together (their parents have separated). 4 to go different ways (they separated at the crossroads). 5 to divide into parts. adj unconnected, distinct, apart. adj separable
separation (noun)1 act of separating. 2 an agreement by a married couple to live apart from each other.
separatism (noun)the condition of political, religious, or racial separation. n separatist a person who believes in separatism.
sepia (noun)a dark, reddish-brown dye or color made from fluid obtained from the cuttlefish.
Seplophobiafear of decaying matter (see list of phobias)
September (noun)the ninth month of the year.
septic (adjective)infected and poisoned by germs.
septic tank (noun)an underground tank for waste matter to be stored and broken down.
septuagenarian (noun)one who is seventy years old or between seventy and eighty.
septuplet (noun)one of seven babies born at a single birth.
sepulchral (adjective)1 having to do with a tomb. 2 (of a voice) deep and gloomy.
sepulture (noun)burial.
sequel (noun)1 that which follows, a result or consequence (a sequel to the official inquiry was that standards improved). 2 a novel, film, etc, that continues the story of an earlier one.
sequence (noun)a number of things, events, etc, following each other in a natural or correct order.
sequential (adjective)of, relating to, or forming a sequence.
sequin (noun)a tiny disc of bright metal sewn onto a dress for ornament, usually one of many. adj sequined decorated with sequins.
sequoia (noun)a large redwood tree.
seraph (noun)(pl seraphs or seraphim ) an angel of the highest rank.
seraphic (adjective)angelic, pure.
serenade (noun)a musical work played outside at night, especially by a lover under the window of his sweetheart. vb to sing or play a serenade.
serendipity (noun)a seeming gift for finding something good accidentally.
serene (adjective)calm, undisturbed.
serenity (noun)calmness, peace.
serf (noun)a slave; a person bound to his or her master’s land and transferred with it to any new owner.
serge (noun)a strong woolen cloth.
sergeant (noun)a rank in the army and the air force, and in the police.
serial (noun)a story published or broadcast in parts or installments. adj 1 happening in a series (the police believed that a serial killer was responsible). 2 in successive parts (a serial story).
seriesCollective noun for exams (A series of exams) (see list of collective nouns)
seriesCollective noun for radiologists (A series of radiologists) (see list of collective nouns)
series (noun)(pl series ) a number of things arranged in a definite order.
serious (adjective)1 thoughtful (her father was in a serious mood). 2 important (more serious issues). 3 likely to cause danger (it was a serious wound).
sermon (noun)1 a talk given by a priest, minister, or rabbi on a religious subject. 2 a talk containing advice or warning (her mother gave her sermon about drugs). vb sermonize , also sermonise (British spelling)
Serologystudy of serums (see list of branches of science)
serpent (noun)a snake.
serrate , serrated (adjective)having notches like the edge of a saw (she used a serrated knife).
serration (noun)the condition of being serrate.
serum (noun)1 the watery part of the blood. 2 liquid taken from the blood of an animal and injected into a person’s blood to protect against a disease. 3 the thin, watery part of plant fluid.
servant (noun)1 a person who works for and obeys another (politicians regarded as servants of the people). 2 a person employed to do tasks about the house (the house was looked after by a team of servants).
serve (verb)1 to work for and obey. 2 to hand food to at the table (the waiter did a good job when he served their meal). 3 to supply with (food, etc). 4 to be helpful. 5 (in tennis, volleyball, etc) to hit the ball into play. serves you right that is just what you deserve.
server (noun)1 a person who serves. 2 the central computer in a network to which other computers are connected so that software and files can be shared.
service (noun)1 the work of a servant or employee (five years’ service with the company). 2 time spent in the armed forces, police, etc. 3 use, help (people who can be of service to us). 4 a religious ceremony. 5 a set of dishes for use at table (a dinner service). 6 in tennis, the hit intended to put the ball into play. 7 pl the armed forces.
service station (noun)a place that sells gasoline, oils, some other car requirements, and often drinks and snacks, and usually provides toilet facilities.
serviceable (adjective)useful.
servile (adjective)behaving like a slave; too ready to obey. n servility
servitude (noun)slavery, the condition of being a slave, serf, etc.
sesameCollective noun for locksmiths (A sesame of locksmiths) (see list of collective nouns)
sesame (noun)a plant whose seeds are used in cooking and from which an oil, used in cooking and salads, is obtained.
Sesquipedalophobiafear of long words (see list of phobias)
session (noun)a meeting of a group or sitting of a court or assembly.
setCollective noun for bowls (A set of bowls) (see list of collective nouns)
setCollective noun for golf clubs (A set of golf clubs) (see list of collective nouns)
setCollective noun for numbers (A set of numbers) (see list of collective nouns)
setCollective noun for tools (A set of tools) (see list of collective nouns)
setCollective noun for utensils (A set of utensils) (see list of collective nouns)
set (verb)(set, setting ) 1 to put. 2 to fix in position (set a broken bone). 3 to put to music. 4 to become hard or solid (leave jellies to set). 5 (of the sun, etc) to sink below the horizon. n 1 a number of things of the same kind. 2 a group of people with similar interests. 3 a group of games in a tennis match (she was beaten by two sets to one). adj fixed, regular. set off, set out to begin a journey. set upon to attack (the fox was set upon by a pack of hounds).
set point (noun)in a game such as tennis, when the next point scored by a player can decide the winner of the set.
setback (noun)something that keeps a person from doing something or from carrying out a plan.
settee (noun)a small sofa.
setting (noun)1 surroundings (a house in a woodland setting). 2 background (a story with its setting in colonial times). 3 music written to go with certain words.
settle (noun)a bench with arms and a high back. vb 1 to set up home in a certain place (they settled in the country). 2 to come to rest on (a butterfly settling on a flower). 3 to put an end to by giving a decision or judgment (luckily their father was there to settle the argument). 4 to make or become quiet or calm (the baby was slow to settle). 5 (of a bill, etc) to pay (he settled the bill straightaway). 6 to sink to the bottom of (coffee grinds settling at the bottom of the cup).
settlement (noun)1 a decision or judgment that ends an argument. 2 money or property given to someone under certain conditions (she received a large amount of money under the settlement). 3 payment of a bill. 4 a colony.
settler (noun)someone who makes his or her home in a new colony or land that has not previously been occupied.
set-to (noun)a fight.
setup (noun)1 how something is set up. 2 a contest or plan that is arranged to go a certain way.
seven (noun)the number 7, coming between six and eight.
sevenfold (adjective)1 having seven parts. 2 having seven times as much or as many.
seventeen (noun)the number 17, coming between sixteen and eighteen.
seventeenth (adjective)17th, coming after sixteen others. n one of seventeen equal parts.
seventh (adjective)7th, coming after six others. n one of seven equal parts.
seventy (noun)the number 70, coming between sixty-nine and seventy-one. adj seventieth 70th.
sever (verb)1 to cut or tear apart or off (sever his arm from his shoulder). 2 to break (sever relations with other countries). n severance
several (adjective)1 more than two, but not very many (he gave several reasons for turning down the job). 2 separate, various (they went their several ways).
severe (adjective)1 strict, harsh (a severe punishment). 2 plain and undecorated (a severe dress). 3 very cold (a severe winter). n severity
sew (verb)(pt sewed , pp sewn ) to join by means of needle and thread. n sewer a person or thing that sews.
sewage (noun)waste matter of a house or town.
sewer (noun)an underground drain to carry away water, sewage, etc (the sewers were overwhelmed by the floodwater).
sewerage (noun)a system of underground drains or sewers.
sex (noun)1 the state of being male or female. 2 the qualities by which an animal or plant is seen to be male or female. 3 sexual intercourse.
sexagenarian (noun)someone who is sixty years old or between sixty and seventy.
sexism (noun)the treatment of someone in a different and often unfair way on the grounds of that person’s sex, especially the oppression of women by men. adj, n sexist
Sexologystudy of sexual behaviour (see list of branches of science)
Sexophobiafear of sexual organs or sexual activities (see list of phobias)
sextet (noun)1 a piece of music written for six performers. 2 a group of six singers or players. 3 a set or group of six.
sextuplet (noun)one of six babies born at a single birth.
sexual (adjective)having to do with sex.
sexuality (noun)the state or quality of being sexual.
sexy (adjective)exciting or intended to excite sexual desire. n sexiness (noun) a sexy state or quality.
sh (interjection)used to urge or request silence.
shabby (adjective)1 untidy through much wear, threadbare, dressed in threadbare or untidy clothes. 2 mean, ungenerous (a shabby trick). n shabbiness
shack (noun)a hut, small house, cabin.
shackle (verb)1 to fasten with a chain (prisoners with hands shackled together). 2 to limit freedom of action or speech (shackled by old-fashioned rules). npl chains for fastening the limbs.
shade (verb)1 to protect from light or sun (shade your eyes). 2 to darken. 3 to color (shade wooded parts on the map). n 1 any device that protects from light or sun. 2 a place in a shadow cast by the sun, half-darkness (tables in the shade). 3 a slight difference (many shades of opinion). 4 a little (a shade warmer).
shadiness (noun)a shady state or quality.
shading (noun)the effects used to suggest darkness in a picture.
shadow (noun)1 a dark patch on the ground caused by the breaking of rays of light by a body (in the shadow of the large building). 2 shade. 3 someone who follows another around. 4 a ghost. vb to follow someone closely without his or her knowing it.
shadowy (adjective)1 in shadow, shaded, dark (shadowy parts of the garden). 2 dark and unclear (shadowy figures in the mist).
shady (adjective)1 protected from light or sun. 2 dishonest, untrustworthy. adv shadily in a shady manner.
shaft (noun)1 the long handle of any tool or weapon. 2 an arrow. 3 a connecting rod in a machine, one of the poles of a carriage to which a horse is tied. 4 the main part of a pillar. 5 a deep tunnel leading down to a mine. 6 a ray of light.
shag (noun)1 a kind of haircut that is shorter in front and longer in back with many layers. 2 heavy, rough woolen cloth.
shaggy (adjective)1 having rough, long hair (shaggy dogs). 2 rough (a shaggy coat).
shake (verb)(pt shook , pp shaken ) 1 to move quickly up and down or to and fro (shake the bottle). 2 to tremble (her hands shook). 3 to make weaker or less firm (shake the foundations/shake a person’s faith). n 1 trembling. 2 a sudden jerk. 3 a shock. 4 short for milk shake.
shaker (noun)1 a person or thing that shakes. 2 (cap) a member of the United Society of Believers, an American religious community which believes in living with simplicity.
shaky (adjective)1 not steady (a chair with a shaky leg). 2 weak after illness.
shale (noun)a soft rock that was formed by the hardening of clay and that breaks apart easily. adj shaly
shall (verb)will, especially used in formal writing (I shall pay the lawyer).
shallot (noun)a small onion.
shallow (adjective)1 not deep. 2 not thinking deeply (a shallow writer). n a place where water is not deep.
shalom (noun)a greeting, meaning peace, used among Jewish people.
sham (noun)1 a person pretending to be what he or she is not (the doctor turned out to be a sham). 2 a thing made to look like something else (trials in that country are a sham). 3 a trick or fraud (their marriage was a sham). adj not real, pretended. vb (shammed , shamming ) to pretend.
shaman (noun)a priest or medicine man, especially among certain tribes of Native Americans, who is believed to be able to heal and to tell the future by contacting good and evil spirits.
shamanism (noun)the religion of certain peoples who believe in good and evil spirits that can be contacted by a shaman.
shamble (verb)to walk clumsily. Also n.
shambles (noun, plural)a scene of great disorder and confusion (the house was a shambles after the robbery).
shame (noun)a feeling of sorrow for wrongdoing or for the inability to do something; disgrace; a painful feeling of having lost the respect of others. vb to make ashamed, to disgrace.
shamefaced (adjective)showing shame or embarrassment.
shameful (adjective)disgraceful, shocking, bringing or causing shame.
shameless (adjective)not easily made ashamed, bold.
shampoo (verb)to wash and rub the head and hair. n 1 act of shampooing. 2 a preparation used for shampooing (sachets of shampoo).
shamrock (noun)a small plant with three leaves on each stem, the national symbol of Ireland.
shank (noun)1 the leg from the knee to the ankle. 2 the long handle or shaft of certain tools.
shanty (noun)a poorly built hut, a shack.
shantytown (noun)the section of a city where there a many shanties or small, rundown shacks (shantytowns have become part of the urban landscape in many developing countries).
shape (noun)the form or outline of anything (clouds of different shapes). vb 1 to form (shape the sand into a castle). 2 to give a certain shape to (shape his career). in good shape in good condition (the players in his hockey team are all in good shape).
shapeless (adjective)ugly or irregular in shape (she was wearing a shapeless dress).
shapely (adjective)well-formed (shapely legs).
shard (noun)a piece of broken pottery or glass.
share (noun)1 part of a thing belonging to a particular person. 2 one of the equal parts of the money of a company or business, lent by persons who may then receive a part of the profits. 3 the cutting part of a plough. vb 1 to divide among others. 2 to receive a part of.
sharecrop (verb)to work for a share of the crop, especially as a tenant farmer.
shareholder (noun)a person who owns shares in a company or business.
shareware computer software that is provided for free for a limited time, with an option to buy.
sharia, shariah (noun)the religious law of Islam.
shark (noun)1 a large meat-eating fish. 2 (informal) one ready to use unfair means to get as much money as possible (a loan shark).
sharp (adjective)1 having a thin edge for cutting with; having a fine point (a sharp knife). 2 quick and intelligent (a sharp child). 3 hurtful, unkind (a sharp tongue). 4 stinging, keen (a sharp pain). 5 (music) higher than the correct note. 6 rather sour (a sharp taste). n a musical sign to show that a note is to be raised half a tone (#). adv (of time) exactly. n a needle.
sharpen (verb)to make sharp (sharpen knives).
sharper (noun)a person who cheats, especially at cards.
sharpie (noun)a long, narrow, flat-bottomed New England fishing boat with a centerboard and one or two masts, each with a triangular sail.
sharp-tongued (adjective)using severe or harshly critical language.
sharp-witted (adjective)quick and clever.
shatter (verb)1 to break into pieces, to smash (the cups shattered when they were dropped). 2 to put an end to (shatter their hopes).
shatterproof (adjective)that will resist shattering.
shave (verb)1 to cut off hair with a razor (he shaves every morning). 2 to cut strips off the surface (shaving a thin strip from the edge of the door). 3 to pass very close to without touching (the car shaved the wall). n 1 act of shaving, especially the face. 2 a close hair cut. 3 a narrow escape.
shaven (adjective)closely trimmed, shaved.
shaver (noun)a person or instrument that shaves.
shaving (noun)a thin strip cut off the surface (wood shavings).
shawl (noun)a cloth folded and worn loosely over the shoulders, especially by women.
she (pronoun)the woman, girl, female animal, or sometimes the thing referred to as female (as a boat), referred to.
she’llcontraction short form of she will or she shall.
sheafCollective noun for corn (A sheaf of corn) (see list of collective nouns)
sheafCollective noun for wheat (A sheaf of wheat) (see list of collective nouns)
sheaf (noun)(pl sheaves ) a number of things in a bundle (a sheaf of paper/sheaves of wheat).
shear (verb)(pp shorn ) 1 to cut with shears (shear his curls off). 2 to clip the wool from (he made a living shearing sheep). 3 to cut or cause to break (the tree fell and sheared through the telephone line). npl 1 a pair of large scissors. 2 any of a number of large scissor-like tools for cutting hedges, shearing sheep, etc.
shearer (noun)a person who shears (sheep- shearer).
shearing (noun)the action of cutting with shears.
shearling (noun)a sheep whose wool has been cut off only once.
sheath (noun)a close-fitting case or container (he drew the sword from its sheath).
sheathe (verb)to put into a sheath (sheathing the sword).
sheavessee sheaf.
shebang (noun)1 a shack or hut. 2 an affair, business, thing, etc (the whole shebang).
shed1 (verb)(shed, shedding ) 1 to let fall down or off (trees shed their leaves in autumn/snakes shed their skin several times a year). 2 to spread about (the lamps shed a soft light over the street).
shed2 (noun)a hut, a small building used for storage (a garden shed).
sheen (noun)brightness, shininess (the sheen on the polished table).
sheep (noun)(pl sheep) 1 a farm animal valued for its wool and its meat. 2 a person who follows the lead of others without question.
sheepdog (noun)a dog trained to look after and herd sheep.
sheepish (adjective)awkward or embarrassed because of having done something wrong (he looked very sheepish when he was caught telling lies).
sheepskin (noun)the skin of a sheep, especially one dressed with the fleece on itm, as for a coat.
sheer1 (adjective)1 very steep (sheer cliffs). 2 (of material) very fine or transparent (sheer silk). 3 thorough, complete (a sheer accident).
sheer2 (verb)to swerve, to move suddenly in another direction (the car sheered to the right to avoid the truck).
sheet (noun)1 a broad thin piece of anything. 2 a bedcovering of linen, cotton, etc. 3 a broad stretch of water, flame, ice, etc. 4 a rope tied to the lower corner of a sail.
sheik(h) (noun)an Arab chief of a family, tribe, or village.
shekel (noun)1 an ancient Jewish weight or coin. 2 pl (informal) money (have run out of shekels). 3 the unit of currency in Israel.
shelf (noun)(pl shelves ) 1 a board fixed to a wall or fastened in a cupboard, used for placing things on. 2 a ledge, a long flat rock or sandbank.
shell (noun)1 a hard outer covering (a nutshell a seashell). 2 a thick metal case filled with explosive and fired from a gun. vb 1 to take the shell off. 2 to fire shells at (the city shelled by the enemy).
shellac (noun)a type of resin used for making varnish. vb to apply this to something.
shellfish (noun)a fish with a shell covering (shellfish such as mussels).
shelter (noun)1 a place that gives protection from the weather or safety from danger. 2 protection. vb to protect, to go for protection.
shelve (verb)1 to place on a shelf. 2 to put aside for a time. 3 to slope.
shelvessee shelf.
shelving (noun)1 material for shelves. 2 a set of shelves.
shepherd (noun)a person who looks after or herds sheep. f shepherdess vb to guide a flock or group.
shepherd’s pie (noun)a meat pie with a layer of mashed potatoes serving as a top crust.
sherbet (noun)a frozen, fruit-flavored dessert
sherif (noun)a descendant of Mohammed through his daughter Fatima.
sheriff (noun)the chief law officer or judge of a county.
sherry (noun)a Spanish wine (she liked to have a glass of dry sherry before dinner).
shieldCollective noun for icons (A shield of icons) (see list of collective nouns)
shield (noun)1 protection used to intercept blows or missiles. 2 a piece of metal or strong leather held in front of the body to defend it against sword strokes, etc (the knight’s shield). 3 any similar protective device (an eye shield). vb to defend, to protect (put his arm up to shield his eyes from the sun).
shift (verb)1 to change (shift position). 2 to move (shift the blame). 3 to remove, get rid of (stains that are difficult to shift). n 1 a change (a shift of emphasis). 2 a group of workers who carry on a job for a certain time and then hand over to another group. 3 the period during which such a group works. 4 a simple dress or nightgown (a cotton shift).
shifty (adjective)untrustworthy, deceitful (have a shifty appearance).
shiitake (noun)an edible Japanese mushroom.
shimmer (verb)to shine with a flickering light (pavements shimmering in the rain). Also n.
shimmy (noun)a dance popular in the 1920s. vb to shake or wobble, to dance the shimmy.
shin (noun)the front part of the leg below the knee. vb (shinned , shinning ) to climb, gripping with the legs.
shine (verb)(pt, pp shone ) 1 to give off light (street lights shining). 2 to direct a light or lamp (shine the light in their eyes). 3 to polish (shine his shoes). 4 (informal) to be very good at (the student shines at math). n brightness, polish.
shingle (noun)1 a thin, wedge-shaped piece of wood, slate, etc, laid with others in a series of overlapping rows as a covering for roofs and the sides of houses. 2 a woman’s short haircut in which the hair at the back of the head is shaped close to the head.
Shinto (noun)the native religion of Japan.
shiny (adjective)bright, glossy, as if polished (a shiny material). n shininess
ship (noun)a large seagoing boat. vb (shipped , shipping ) 1 to put or take on board ship. 2 to transport by ship or other conveyance (ship the goods to their new home). 3 to go on board a ship.
shipbuilding (noun)the act of making ships.
shipmate (noun)a fellow sailor on the same ship.
shipment (noun)1 the sending of goods by ship. 2 the goods put on board a ship (a shipment of fruit).
shipping (noun)1 all the ships of a port, country, etc. 2 ships in general. 3 the act or business of sending goods.
shipshape (adjective)in good order, neat and tidy (have the house shipshape for his mother’s return).
shipwreck (noun)the loss or destruction of a ship at sea. Also vb.
shipyard (noun)a place where ships are built or repaired.
shire (noun)a British county.
shirk (verb)to avoid (shirk duty). n shirker
shirt (noun)a kind of upper garment (button up his shirt).
shish kebab (noun)a dish consisting of small chunks of meat placed on sticks with vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, then broiled or grilled.
shiva (noun)in Judaism, the mourning period of seven days after someone has died.
shiver (verb)1 to tremble (shivering with cold). 2 to break into small pieces. n 1 a shaking or trembling. 2 a small piece (a shiver of glass).
shivery (adjective)trembling, as with cold or fear.
shoalCollective noun for mackerel (A shoal of mackerel) (see list of collective nouns)
shoalCollective noun for pilchards (A shoal of pilchards) (see list of collective nouns)
shoalCollective noun for shad (A shoal of shad) (see list of collective nouns)
shoal1 (noun)a shallow place in the sea, a sandbank. vb to become shallow.
shoal2 (noun)1 a large number of fish swimming together. 2 (informal) a crowd (shoals of visitors).
shock1 (noun)a mass of long untidy hair (a shock of black hair).
shock2 (noun)1 the sudden violent striking of one thing against another (e.g. in a collision). 2 weakness of body or confusion of mind caused by a violent blow or collision (suffer from shock after an accident). 3 sorrow or a state of upset caused by sudden bad news, etc (the shock at hearing that he had died). 4 an involuntary movement of the body, caused by passing electricity through it. vb 1 to cause sudden pain or sorrow. 2 to horrify, to disgust (shocked by the treatment of his wife).
shocker (noun)a person or thing that shocks.
shocking (adjective)very bad, disgusting, indecent.
shockproof (adjective)able to absorb shock without being damaged (shockproof watch).
shoddy (adjective)cheap, of poor quality (shoddy clothes). n cheap cloth made up from wool clippings and other material. adv shoddily
shoe (noun)1 a covering for the foot (high-heeled shoes). 2 a U-shaped metal plate nailed to the hoof of a horse. vb to fit a horse with shoes.
shoehorn (noun)a curved piece of horn, metal, etc, to help the foot slip easily into a shoe.
shoelace (noun)a length of cord, leather, etc, used for tying a shoe.
shoo (interjection)go away, get out.
shoo-in (noun)(informal) a person who is expected to win easily an election, contest, etc.
shoot (verb)(pt, pp shot ) 1 to fire a bullet from a gun (start shooting). 2 to let fly (shoot an arrow from a bow). 3 to move suddenly or quickly (the child shot across the road). 4 to hit or kill with a bullet from a gun (shoot rabbits). 5 (in games) to kick or hit at goal. 6 to begin to grow (plants shooting up). 7 to make a moving film (a film shot in Los Angeles). n 1 a young branch or bud. 2 a sloping way down which water may flow or objects slide. 3 an outing for shooting and hunting.
shooter (noun)a person or thing that shoots.
shooting (noun)the act of shooting a gun.
shooting gallery (noun)a place where people can safely practice shooting guns at targets.
shooting star (noun)what looks like a moving star, but is really a glowing fragment of a heavenly body flying through space.
shootout (noun)a battle with handguns.
shop (noun)1 a place where goods are sold (a flower shop shopt shop-ing/) to visit shops to buy things (shop for groceries). talk shop to talk about work (she bores everyone by constantly talking shop).
shopkeeper (noun)a person who owns or runs a shop where goods are sold.
shoplifter (noun)a person who steals from the shops he or she is visiting (threaten to prosecute all shoplifters). vb shoplift
shopper (noun)a person who shops.
shore1 (noun)the land beside the sea, a river, lake, etc.
shore2 (noun)a wooden prop or support. vb to prop up or support (shoring up the damaged wall).
shoreline (noun)the edge of a body of water.
shorn (past participle)of shear.
short (adjective)1 not long or tall (a short distance shawrt-lee shawrtz/ trousers reaching not lower than the knees. in short in a few words.
short circuit (noun)the touching of two electric wires so that current passes from one to the other instead of straight on, usually accidental and causing damage.
shortageCollective noun for dwarves (A shortage of dwarves) (see list of collective nouns)
shortage (noun)a lack of, not enough of (a staff shortage/shortage of supplies).
shortbread (noun)a cookie-like cake made of flour, butter, and sugar.
shortcake (noun)a crisp, light cake or biscuit served with fruit and whipped cream as a dessert.
shortcoming (noun)a falling short of what is needed.
shortcut (noun)a quicker way (drivers trying to find a shortcut to avoid the heavy traffic).
shorten (verb)to make less in length or time (shorten the dress/shorten the working day).
shortening (noun)a fat used in dough, pastry, etc.
shorthand (noun)a type of writing, featuring symbols, in which a person can write as fast as a speaker speaks.
short-handed (adjective)not having the number of helpers or workers required (short-handed at the factory).
shorthorn (noun)a breed of cattle with short horns.
short-lived (adjective)living or lasting for a short time only (her pleasure was short-lived).
short-run (adjective)lasting for a short period of time.
shortssee short.
short-sighted (adjective)1 unable to see clearly things that are distant. 2 lacking foresight (it was short-sighted of them not to save for their old age).
shortstop (noun)in baseball, the infielder who plays near second base and often covers second base.
short-tempered (adjective)easily angered (keep the child away from the short-tempered man).
shotCollective noun for pediatricians (A shot of pediatricians) (see list of collective nouns)
shot put (noun)a contest in which a heavy metal ball is thrown as far as possible from the shoulder.
shot1 (noun)1 the firing of a gun, etc (kill the animal with one shot). 2 small lead bullets. 3 a solid metal ball fired from a gun. 4 a person able to shoot (a good shot). 5 (informal) a single attempt at doing something (have another shot at learning to drive). 6 a series of pictures of a scene taken at one time by a camera. 7 (informal) an injection (a flu shot).
shot2 (verb),pt and pp of shoot adj 1 (of material) having threads of a different color interwoven (shot silk). 2 streaked with color. 3 (sl) exhausted.
shotgun (noun)a kind of gun usually used in hunting small animals.
should (verb),pt of shall, used to express duty, what a person is supposed to do (he should be at work today but he has stayed at home).
shoulder (noun)1 the joint connecting an arm, wing, or foreleg to the body. 2 anything jutting out like a shoulder (the shoulder of the highway). vb 1 to push with the shoulder. 2 to put on to the shoulder (shoulder the planks of wood). 3 to bear, to accept, to take on (shoulder responsibilities).
shoulder blade (noun)the broad flat bone of the shoulder.
shoutCollective noun for winners (A shout of winners) (see list of collective nouns)
shout (verb)to utter a loud cry (shout for help). n a loud cry, a call (there was a shout from someone in the audience).
shove (verb)(informal) to push (they kept shoving him out of the way). Also n.
shovel (noun)a spade with a broad blade for lifting earth, gravel, etc. vb (shoveled , shoveling , also shovelled, shovelling [Br]) to move with a shovel (shovel coal).
show (verb)1 to let be seen, to display (she showed them the new dress). 2 to point out (show them the way). 3 to be in sight (a light showing). 4 to prove (it showed how the system worked). n 1 a display. 2 a performance or entertainment (get tickets for the show). 3 a gathering at which flowers, animals, etc, are displayed to the public (the agricultural show).
show business (noun)the world of entertainment, e.g., theater, films, television.
showerCollective noun for bullets (A shower of bullets) (see list of collective nouns)
showerCollective noun for meteorologists (A shower of meteorologists) (see list of collective nouns)
shower (noun)1 a short fall of rain. 2 a great number of things falling or arriving at one time (a shower of arrows). 3 a piece of bathroom equipment that produces a spray of water so that people standing underneath it can wash themselves. vb 1 to give to or let fall on in large numbers. 2 to take a shower.
showerproof (adjective)waterproof against light rain only.
showery (adjective)rainy, marked by many showers (showery weather).
showroom (noun)a room or shop in which things are on display to the public (a furniture showroom).
shrapnel (noun)1 a shell packed with bullets or pieces of metal that are scattered when it explodes. 2 a fragment of the case of a bomb or shell.
shred (verb)(shredded , shredding ) to tear or cut into small pieces (shred paper/shred lettuce). n a scrap, a rag, a piece cut or torn off. n shredder a person or thing that shreds (a shredder at the office for destroying certain documents).
shrew (noun)1 a small mouse-like animal. 2 a bad-tempered or sharp-tongued woman (a shrew of a wife).
shrewd (adjective)clever in practical matters, cunning, good at judging (too shrewd to be deceived by them).
shrewdnessCollective noun for apes (A shrewdness of apes) (see list of collective nouns)
shriek (verb)to scream (shrieking with fright). Also n.
shrift (noun)the confession of sins to a priest. short shrift little mercy.
shrill (adjective)high and piercing in sound (shrill children’s voices).
shrimp (noun)1 a small edible shellfish. 2 (informal) a very small person (her shrimp of a son). vb to fish for shrimps.
shrine (noun)1 a box or tomb containing something connected with a holy person or thing. 2 a place revered because of a connection with a holy person or event.
shrink (verb)1 to make or become smaller (clothes that shrink in the wash). 2 to go back in fear, horror, etc (shrink at the sight of the burglar).
shrinkage (noun)the amount by which something becomes smaller.
shrink-wrap (verb)to wrap in a tough, clear plastic material that shrinks to size when heated.
shrive (verb)(pt shrove or shrived , pp shriven ) (fml or old) to hear the confession and forgive the sins of (priests shriving sinners).
shrivel (verb)(shriveled , shriveling , also shrivelled, shrivelling [Br]) 1 to dry up and become smaller (plants shriveling in the heat). 2 to become wrinkled (skin shriveled from sitting too long in the bath).
shroud (noun)1 a garment or covering for a dead body. 2 pl the set of ropes supporting a mast of a ship. vb 1 to put in a shroud. 2 to cover, to hide (the hills were shrouded in mist).
shrub (noun)a short tree-like bush with a short trunk.
shrubbery (noun)a place where many shrubs are growing close together (children hiding in the shrubbery).
shrug (verb)(shrugged , shrugging ) to raise the shoulders in surprise, doubt, etc (she shrugged in disbelief).
shrunken (adjective)grown smaller, shriveled.
shudderCollective noun for washing machines (A shudder of washing machines) (see list of collective nouns)
shudder (verb)to tremble from fear, etc; to shiver with cold (shudder from the winter chill in the air). Also n.
shuffleCollective noun for bureaucrats (A shuffle of bureaucrats) (see list of collective nouns)
shuffle (verb)1 to make a noise by moving the feet on the ground (people shuffling around in their slippers). 2 to mix cards before giving them out. Also n.
shuffleboard (noun)a game in which disks are pushed along a smooth lane toward numbered areas to get points.
shun (verb)(shunned , shunning ) to avoid, to keep away from (she shuns crowds).
shunpike (noun)a secondary road used to avoid a turnpike or highway.
shunt (verb)1 (of a railway engine or train) to move onto a different track or side line. 2 to move or turn to the side, to turn the other way.
shush (interjection)used to tell another to be quiet.
shut (verb)(shut, shutting ) to close (shut the door/shut the suitcase).
shut-eye (noun)(informal) sleep.
shutout (noun)a game in which one team has not been able to score.
shutter (noun)a covering that can be placed or closed over a window or other opening to keep out light (close the wooden shutters).
shuttleCollective noun for weavers (A shuttle of weavers) (see list of collective nouns)
shuttle (noun)1 the part of a weaving or sewing machine that carries the thread to and fro. 2 a traveling back and forth over an often short route, as by train, bus, airplane, etc. space shuttle an aircraft that can go into space and return to earth.
shuttlecock (noun)a cork rounded at one end and stuck with feathers, used for a ball in badminton.
shy1 (adjective)timid, easily frightened, keeping to oneself in front of others (she was too shy to speak to her parents’ friends). vb to jerk or jump to the side in fear, etc (horses shying). n shyness
shy2 (verb)to throw. n a throw.
sibling (noun)a brother or sister.
sibyl (noun)in ancient times, a prophetess or fortune teller.
sick (adjective)1 ill (too sick to go to work). 2 bringing up food from the stomach by vomiting, about to vomit (always get sick on board a ship). 3 tired of, through having too much (sick of gardening/sick of meatloaf).
sickbed (noun)the bed in which a sick person stays.
sicken (verb)1 to make or become sick (she sickened and died). 2 to disgust (the sight of the dead rabbit sickened her). adj sickening causing sickness or nausea, disgusting or revolting.
sickle (noun)a knife with a curved blade for cutting corn, etc.
sickly (adjective)1 often ill (a sickly child). 2 pale (a sickly complexion). 3 over-sentimental (sickly love songs).
sickness (noun)1 illness. 2 vomiting.
siddur (noun)the Jewish prayer book.
side (noun)1 one of the surfaces of a body, the part of the body between either shoulder and thigh (a pain in her side). 2 edge, border (the side of the lake). 3 slope (the side of the mountain). 4 one of two opposing parties or teams (the home side). adj on, at, or toward the side. vb to support one party against another.
side effect (noun)a negative effect of taking medication.
sideboard (noun)a piece of furniture for storing dishes, cutlery, linen, etc.
sideburns (noun)the hair on a man’s face just in front of the ears, especially when the rest of the beard is shaved.
sidekick (noun)a close friend, a partner.
sideline (noun)an activity carried on in addition to a person’s real job (he serves in a bar as a sideline).
sidelong (adjective)to the side, slanting (a sidelong glance). Also adv.
Siderodromophobiafear of trains, railroads or train travel (see list of phobias)
Siderologystudy of iron and its alloys, including steel (see list of branches of science)
Siderophobiafear of stars (see list of phobias)
sideshow (noun)a less important show at a fair, circus, exhibition, etc.
sidetrack (verb)to turn someone away from what he or she was about to do (he was going to study but he got sidetracked).
sidewalk (noun)a footpath at the side of a road.
sideways (adverb)on or toward one side (move sideways).
sidewinder (noun)a North American rattle snake that slithers across the sand sideways.
siding (noun)1 a covering for an outside wall of a building or house. 2 a short railway track off the main line, used for shunting, etc.
siegeCollective noun for herons (A siege of herons) (see list of collective nouns)
siege (noun)surrounding a fort, town, etc, with an army to take it or make its garrison surrender.
sienna (noun)an earthy coloring matter, yellowish brown in the natural state and reddish brown when burnt.
sierra (noun)a range of mountains with pointed peaks.
siesta (noun)a nap or rest taken after the noon meal, especially in Spain and some Latin American countries.
sieve (noun)a container with a net bottom or a bottom full of holes, used for separating small particles of anything from larger pieces. vb to pass through a sieve (sieving flour).
sift (verb)1 to pass through a sieve. 2 to examine closely (sifting the evidence). n sifter sift out to separate good from bad.
sigh (verb)a long, deep, easily heard breath expressing pain, sadness, unreturned love, etc. vb 1 to draw such a breath (sighing with boredom). 2 (lit) to long (for) (sigh for her lost love).
sight (noun)1 the power of seeing (lose her sight). 2 that which is seen (the sight of her in that hat). 3 something worth seeing (the sights of the town). 4 the area within which things can be seen by someone (the children were out of sight). 5 (often pl) a device attached to a gun to make it easier to aim straight. vb to see, to notice. out of sight too far away to be seen.
sighting (noun)an observation of something rare or unusual (a UFO sighting).
sightseeing (noun)going around the places of interest in a town, district, etc. n sightseer
signCollective noun for cymbals (A sign of cymbals) (see list of collective nouns)
sign (noun)1 a mark, movement, gesture, etc, representing an accepted meaning (a sign that she agrees). 2 a mark by which a person or thing can be recognized. 3 a notice to give directions or advertise (shop signs). vb 1 to write a person’s name on (sign an autograph book). 2 to convey meaning by a movement of the head, hands, etc.
sign language (noun)a method of communication using the hands, used especially to communicate with deaf people.
signage (noun)the signs displayed in a particular area.
signal (noun)1 a sign to give information, orders, etc, from a distance (give them a signal to keep quiet). 2 a tool used to give such signs to drivers of railway engines. 3 a message conveyed by such signs. adj notable, important. vb (signaled , signaling , also signalled, signalling [Br]) to make signals to (signal to them to stop). n signaler , also signaller (British spelling)
signatory (noun)a person who has signed an agreement (signatories of the contract).
signature (noun)a person’s name written by him or her self.
significance (noun)meaning, importance (fail to understand the significance of her words).
significant (adjective)full of meaning, important (no significant change in the patient’s condition/significant events).
signify (verb)1 to show by a sign (she signified her agreement by a nod). 2 to mean (what her remark signified). 3 to be important.
signpost (noun)a post indicating the direction and sometimes also the distance to a place (see a signpost to the city).
Sikh (noun)a member of an Indian religion called Sikhism , originally connected with Hinduism, but now based on a belief that there is only one God.
silage (noun)green food for farm animals, kept in a silo.
silence (noun)lack of sound, quietness. vb to cause to be quiet (silencing the children with a look).
silencer (noun)a device for reducing the noise of an engine, gun, etc (the car’s silencer).
silent (adjective)1 making no sound (machines that are virtually silent). 2 not talking, speaking little (they were silent on the journey). 3 with no noise or sound (a silent house).
silhouette (noun)the dark outline and flat shape of an object, especially of a face from the side, as seen with a light behind it.
silica (noun)the dioxide form of silicon (SiO2), a glassy, hard, colorless mineral found as quartz or in agate, etc.
silicon (noun)a chemical element found in rocks and minerals, with symbol Si.
silk (noun)1 the fine thread produced by the silkworm. 2 a soft material woven from this.
silken (adjective)(lit) made of silk.
silkworm (noun)a caterpillar that spins silk thread to enclose its cocoon.
silky (adjective)1 made of silk. 2 soft, smooth (silky hair).
sill (noun)the ledge of stone or wood at the foot of a window.
silly (adjective)foolish, unwise (a silly thing to do).
silo (noun)a tower or pit in which green fodder (grass, etc) is stored until needed as food for animals.
silt (noun)the earth, sand, etc, deposited by a moving river. vb to block or become blocked with silt. adj silty
silver (noun)1 a precious metal of shining white color (jewelry made of silver). 2 coins, dishes, etc, made of silver (the burglar stole the family silver). 3 (old) money. adj made of silver. vb to coat with silver. adj silvery 1 like silver (silvery hair). 2 clear in tone (her silvery voice).
silverware (noun)dishes and utensils made of silver.
Silvologystudy of forests and woodlands (see list of branches of science)
simian (adjective)like a monkey or ape.
similar (adjective)like, resembling (have similar attitudes).
similarity (noun)likeness, resemblance (the similarity of their attitude).
simile (noun)a striking comparison of one thing with another.
simmer (verb)to keep on boiling slowly without boiling over (she left the sauce simmering in the pan on the stove).
simper (verb)to smile in a silly or insincere way (girls simpering at the boys). Also n.
simple (adjective)1 unmixed, without anything added, pure (the simple truth). 2 not complicated (a simple explanation). 3 plain (a simple dress). 4 trusting, innocent, and inexperienced (simple country girls). 5 foolish, easily tricked (simple enough to believe him). n (old) a herb used as medicine.
simplicity (noun)1 easiness. 2 sincerity. 3 plainness. 4 innocence.
simplification (noun)the act of making easier to do or understand.
simplify (verb)to make easier to do or understand (simplified the process).
simply (adverb)1 in a clear way (explained simply). 2 absolutely (simply wonderful). 3 plain (live simply). 4 just, merely (do it simply for the money).
simulate (verb)(formal) to pretend (simulating interest). n simulation
simultaneous (adjective)taking place at the same time (a simultaneous ringing of the two phone lines).
sin (noun)1 a thought, word, or action that breaks the law of God. 2 a wicked act. vb (sinned , sinning ) 1 to do wrong. 2 to commit sin. n sinner
since (preposition)from (a certain time till now). adv ago. (conjunction) 1 from the time that. 2 because.
sincere (adjective)real, genuine, meaning what is said, frank (sincere friends sincere words of thanks).
sincerity (noun)honesty of mind, genuineness.
Sindonologystudy of the shroud of Turin (see list of branches of science)
sinew (noun)a tendon, a tough cord-like substance that joins muscle to bone; muscular power.
sinewy (adjective)strong, tough (sinewy workmen).
sinful (adjective)full of sin, wicked (sinful thoughts).
sing (verb)(pt sang , pp sung ) to make music with the voice, with or without words (singing love songs sing-er/.
singe (verb)to burn slightly, to burn the surface or ends of. Also n.
single (adjective)1 one only, alone (a single sheet of paper/the single cause). 2 unmarried (single people). vb to pick out one (for special attention, etc).
single-handed (adjective)1 having only one hand. 2 using or needing the use of only one hand. 3 without help, done or working alone.
single-minded (adjective)concentrating on one main purpose (single-minded attempts to get a job).
singly (adverb)one by one, one at a time (leave the meeting singly).
singular (adjective)1 (formal) remarkable, unusual, odd, strange (a singular happening). 2 (in grammar) referring to one only (a singular noun).
singularity (noun)1 peculiarity, strangeness. 2 an unusual feature.
singularly (adverb)(formal) strangely, remarkably (she was singularly beautiful).
sinister (adjective)1 evil looking (a sinister stranger). 2 threatening harm or evil (a sinister warning).
Sinistrophobiafear of things to the left or left-handed (see list of phobias)
sink (verb)(pt sank , pp sunk ) 1 to go slowly down (the sun was sinking). 2 to go below the surface of water (the boat sank). 3 to become worse or weaker (the invalid is sinking fast). 4 (of an idea) to be understood gradually (his death has not sunk in yet). 5 to dig (sink a well). 6 to cause to go underwater. n a basin with a drainpipe leading from it, used when washing.
sinker (noun)a weight attached to a fishing line.
sinner (noun)a person who commits a sin.
Sinologystudy of China (see list of branches of science)
Sinophobiafear of Chinese people or Chinese culture (see list of phobias)
sinus (noun)a small hollow in a bone, especially that connecting the nose with the skull (have an infection of the sinuses).
sip (verb)(sipped , sipping ) to drink in small mouthfuls (the little girl sipped her hot drink). Also n.
siphon (noun),also siphon 1 a bent tube for drawing liquids out of one vessel into another. 2 a bottle of aerated water in which the liquid is forced out up a tube by the pressure of the gas.
sir (noun)1 a word of respect used to men. 2 the title given to a knight or baronet.
sire (noun)1 father. 2 male parent of a horse or other animal (the pony’s sire). 3 a title of respect used when addressing a king. vb (of animals) to procreate.
siren (noun)1 a loud horn sounded as a time signal or as a warning of danger (a police patrol car sped past us with its siren wailing/a siren warning of a bombing raid). 2 a mythical creature, half woman, half bird, who by the beauty of her song lured sailors to destruction. 3 an attractive but dangerous woman.
sirloin (noun)the upper part of a loin of beef.
sister (noun)1 a girl or woman born of the same parents as another person. 2 nun. 3 a woman fellow member of the same race, church, profession, etc.
sisterhood (noun)1 the state of being sisters. 2 a society of women, usually carrying out religious or charitable works.
sister-in-law (noun)1 the sister of a husband or wife. 2 the wife of a person’s brother.
sisterly (adjective)like a sister.
sit (verb)(pt, pp sat , sitting ) 1 to take a rest on a seat. 2 to rest upon eggs to hatch them (the hen had been sitting on her eggs for days). 3 (of government, courts, etc) to meet to do business. 4 to rest upon (books sitting on the table). sit up 1 to sit straight. 2 to stay out of bed when it is time to sleep (her parents insisted on sitting up until she came in).
sitar (noun)an Indian stringed instrument with a long neck and gourd-like bottom.
sit-down (noun)a strike in which the strikers stay inside a factory, etc, refusing to leave or to work.
site (noun)the ground on which a building or number of buildings stands or is to stand (the site of the new building). vb to choose a place for.
sit-in (noun)a method of protesting against the government, a business, etc in which people sit in a public place and refuse to leave.
Sitiophobiafear of food or eating (see list of phobias)
Sitologystudy of dietetics (see list of branches of science)
Sitophobiafear of food or eating (see list of phobias)
sitter (noun)1 a person who visits an artist to have his or her portrait done (the artist asked his sitter to keep still). 2 short for babysitter, a person who watches children while parents or guardians are away.
sitting (noun)1 a single uninterrupted meeting. 2 a single visit to an artist doing one’s portrait. 3 the act or position of one that sits.
sitting room (noun)the room in which a family sits when not working; a living room.
situate (verb)to put in a certain place. adj situated placed (their house is situated in a very busy street).
situation (noun)1 a place or position (a house in a lovely situation). 2 (formal) a job (seek a new situation). 3 circumstances (their financial situation).
sit-up (noun)a stomach exercise in which a person lies flat on the back and rises to a sitting position without using the hands.
six (noun)the number 6, coming between five and seven.
sixfold (adjective)having six parts, having six times as much or as many.
sixteen (noun)the number 16, coming between fifteen and seventeen.
sixteenth (adjective)16th, coming after fifteen others. n one of sixteen equal parts.
sixth (adjective)6th, coming after five others. n one of six equal parts.
sixty (noun)the number 60, coming between fifty-nine and sixty-one. adj sixtieth 60th.
sizable (adjective)quite large or bulky (the factory received a sizable order for their goods).
size1 (noun)bigness, bulk. vb to arrange in order according to size (sizing the eggs). size up to form an opinion about (he was good at sizing up the opposition).
size2 (noun)a thin glue used as a varnish on paper, cloth, etc.
sizzle (verb)to make a hissing or spluttering sound, as when frying (sausages sizzling in the pan).
skate1 (noun)a steel blade fastened to a boot to allow a gliding movement on ice. vb to move on skates.
skate2 (noun)a large edible flatfish.
skateboard (noun)a short narrow board on small wheels on which a person stands and moves rapidly or performs jumps and stunts. n skateboarding
skating rink (noun)an area of ice prepared for skating.
skedaddle (verb)(informal) to run off or run away, to leave in a hurry.
skeinCollective noun for goslings (A skein of goslings) (see list of collective nouns)
skeinCollective noun for silk (A skein of silk) (see list of collective nouns)
skeleton (noun)1 the bony framework of a body. 2 an outline of a plot or plan (give a skeleton of the plan to the committee). skeleton in the closet something in a person’s past life that he or she keeps secret for fear of disgrace (newspaper reporters anxious to find a skeleton in the film star’s closet).
skeleton keya key that will open a number of different locks of a similar pattern (the skeleton key held by the hotel manager).
skeleton staffthe least number of people needed to keep a factory, etc, working.
skeptic (adjective) also sceptic (British spelling) a person who doubts things that others believe are true (a skeptic might question whether God exists). adj skeptical , also sceptical (British spelling)
sketch (noun)1 a rough drawing or painting, sometimes to be finished later. 2 an outline or short account (a sketch of their future plans). 3 a short amusing play. vb 1 to make a quick or rough drawing. 2 to give a short account or outline of (sketching out their plans).
sketchbook (noun)a book of drawing paper for making sketches.
sketchy (adjective)incomplete, leaving out details (a sketchy description of their plans).
skew (adjective)slanting, not straight.
skewer (noun)a wooden or metal pin for fastening meat in shape while cooking (meat cooked on skewers).
ski (noun)a long strip of wood, metal, etc, fixed to the feet to allow gliding movements over snow. n skier , skiing vb to glide over snow on skis.
ski plane (noun)an airplane fitted with skis instead of wheels for landing and taking off in the snow.
skid (noun)1 one of a group of objects, such as planks or logs, used to support or elevate a structure or object. 2 a wooden or metal block attached to a chain and placed under a wheel to prevent its turning when descending a steep hill. 3 a sort of runner fixed to the under part of an airplane. 4 the act of skidding. vb (skidded , skidding ) 1 to move sideways on wheels that fail to turn (cars skidding on the ice). 2 to stop turning by placing a block under (a wheel).
skill (noun)ability gained by practice, natural cleverness at doing something (her skill as a pianist was obvious).
skilled (adjective)expert.
skillet (noun)1 a frying pan. 2 (British spelling) small pot with a long handle and legs.
skillful (adjective) also skilful (British spelling) expert, clever (at doing something) (she was a skillful pianist). adv skillfully , also skilfully (British spelling)
skim (verb)(skimmed , skimming ) 1 to remove anything floating on the surface of a liquid (skim the fat off the stew). 2 to pass quickly over the surface of. 3 to read quickly and without attention (skim the headlines).
skim milk (noun),also skimmed milk (British spelling) milk from which the cream has been skimmed.
skimp (verb)to give less than is needed; to give or use sparingly (skimp on the curtain material).
skimpy (adjective)barely or not quite enough (a skimpy dress/skimpy helpings of food).
skin (noun)1 the natural outer covering of animals. 2 a thin layer or covering (the skin on rice pudding). 3 a container made of animal skin. vb (skinned , skinning ) to remove the skin.
skinny (adjective)(informal) very thin (skinny children).
skintight (adjective)clinging closely to the body.
skip1 (verb)(skipped , skipping ) 1 to jump about lightly. 2 to keep on jumping over a rope swung over the head and then under the feet alternately. 3 to miss out something, e.g. to leave out parts of a book when reading it (skip the descriptive parts in the novel). n a light jump.
skip2 (noun)a large open container for collecting and carrying away building materials and other heavy waste.
skip3 (noun)the captain of a curling or bowling team.
skipper (noun)the captain of a ship or team.
skirmish (noun)1 a fight in which the main armies are not engaged. 2 a fight broken off before serious harm is done to either side. vb to fight in small parties.
skirt (noun)1 the part of a garment below the waist (the skirt of the ball dress). 2 a woman’s garment stretching from the waist down. 3 the border or outer edge. vb to pass along the edge or border.
skit (noun)a piece of writing in which persons, events, etc, are imitated in a way that makes fun of them.
skitterCollective noun for golf carts (A skitter of golf carts) (see list of collective nouns)
skittish (adjective)easily excitable (in a skittish mood).
skulkCollective noun for foxes (A skulk of foxes) (see list of collective nouns)
skulkCollective noun for friars (A skulk of friars) (see list of collective nouns)
skulk (verb)to try to keep out of sight for fear or with evil intentions (burglars skulking in the garden watching the empty house).
skull (noun)the bony case that contains the brain.
skullcap (noun)a light, closefitting, brimless cap usually worn indoors.
skunk (noun)1 a black and white animal that sprays a bad-smelling fluid when attacked. 2 (informal) a mean or contemptible person (he was a skunk to betray his friend).
sky (noun)the space around the earth as visible to our eyes.
sky blue (adjective)light blue, azure.
sky box (noun)an elevated room at a sport stadium where the event can be viewed in luxurious surroundings.
sky dive (verb)to jump from a plane and fall for as long as possible without opening a parachute.
skylark (noun)a small bird that sings as it flies upward. vb to play about noisily, to play tricks.
skylight (noun)a window in the roof of a building (the skylight in the attic).
skyline (noun)the horizon.
skyscraper (noun)a very tall building.
skywards (adverb)upward from the earth.
slabCollective noun for morticians (A slab of morticians) (see list of collective nouns)
slab (noun)a large flat piece of anything (a slab of cheese).
slack1 (adjective)1 loose, not tight (a slack waistband). 2 careless, lazy (workers becoming slack under poor management). 3 not busy (their slack time of year). n the loose part of a rope, etc. vb 1 to work lazily or carelessly. 2 to lose speed.
slack2 (noun)coal dust and tiny pieces of coal.
slacken (verb)1 to loosen. 2 to lose force or speed (trains slackening speed). 3 to become less (demand slackening).
slacker (noun)(informal) a person who does not work hard.
slackness (noun)1 looseness (the slackness of the waistband). 2 carelessness.
slacks (noun, plural)loose-fitting pants.
slake (verb)1 to satisfy (thirst). 2 to mix lime with water (when making cement).
slalom (noun)a skiing race downhill over a zigzag course marked by poles.
slam (verb)(slammed , slamming ) to shut or put down noisily (slam the door angrily). n a bang.
slam-dunk (noun)in basketball, a dunk shot in which the ball is slammed through the basket.
slander (noun)an untrue story written or said to injure a person’s character (take them to court on a charge of slander). vb to spread such a story.
slanderous (adjective)harmful to the reputation.
slang (noun)words and phrases in common use but not accepted as good English.
slant (noun)slope (draw a line at a slant). vb 1 to slope or cause to slope. 2 to express or describe something in such a way as to emphasize a certain point or show favor toward a particular point of view.
slap (noun)a blow with the open hand. vb (slapped , slapping ) to strike with the flat of the hand or anything flat.
slapdash (adjective)careless, done in a hurry (slapdash in their attitude to their work). adv carelessly.
slapstick (adjective)causing laughter by silly actions, such as falling down or bumping into things. Also n.
slash (verb)1 to make a sweeping cut at with a knife, etc, to make long cuts in. 2 to reduce sharply (slash prices). n a long cut.
slat (noun)a thin strip of wood, etc.
slateCollective noun for candidates (A slate of candidates) (see list of collective nouns)
slate1 (noun)1 a type of rock that splits easily into thin layers. 2 a shaped piece of slate for covering a roof or for writing on. vb to cover with slate (slating the roof).
slate2 (verb)1 to scold angrily. 2 to criticize severely (a play slated by the critics).
slaughter (noun)1 killing in great numbers. 2 the act of killing. vb 1 to kill in great numbers (slaughter every soldier). 2 to kill for food (slaughter cattle).
slaughterhouse (noun)a place where animals are killed for food.
slave (noun)1 a person who is the property of another person and has to work for him or her. 2 a person who has to do the dirty or unpleasant work. vb to work very hard (slaving away to try to pass the exam).
slave ship (noun)a ship for moving slaves, especially when taking them from Africa to the Americas.
slave trade (noun)the buying and selling of people as slaves.
slaverCollective noun for gluttons (A slaver of gluttons) (see list of collective nouns)
slavery (noun)1 the state of being a slave, the owning or keeping of slaves as a practice. 2 hard, unpleasant, and badly paid work (it was sheer slavery working in the hotel kitchen). 3 lack of all freedom.
slay (verb)(pt slew , pp slain ) to kill.
sleazy (adjective)shabby, morally low. n sleaze
sled (noun),also sledge (British spelling) a vehicle, usually with runners, for sliding through the snow, especially small, steerable ones for children (the children were pulling their sleds up the snow-covered hill). vb to ride on a sled, to carry on a sled.
sledgehammer (noun)a long-handled, heavy hammer usually held with two hands.
sleek (adjective)1 smooth and shiny (sleek hair). 2 well fed and cared for (sleek cats).
sleep (verb)(pt, pp slept) to rest the body, with the eyes shut, unaware of the surroundings. n a complete rest for the body, as at night (we had a good sleep despite the thunderstorm). adv sleepily in a drowsy, sleepy manner.
sleeper (noun)1 a person or animal who is asleep. 2 a long rectangular block that supports railway lines. 3 a coach on a train with bunks for sleeping passengers.
sleeping bag (noun)a large, warmly lined, zippered bag in which a person can sleep, especially outdoors.
sleeping pill (noun)a drug that makes a person sleepy and drowsy, so as to help him or her to sleep (she relies too heavily on sleeping pills).
sleepless (adjective)1 unable to sleep (lie sleepless all night). 2 without sleep (a sleepless night).
sleepover (noun)1 (informal) a party where (usually) children spend the night at a place other than home. Also a slumber party or a pajama party. 2 a night spent by children at a friend’s house.
sleepwalker (noun)a person who walks about in his or her sleep. vb sleepwalk
sleepy (adjective)wanting to sleep, drowsy.
sleet (noun)falling snow mixed with rain or hail. adj sleety
sleeve (noun)1 the part of a garment that covers the arm. 2 a tube or tube-like part fitting over or around another part. 3 a thin paper or plastic cover for protecting something.
sleigh (noun)a vehicle on runners drawn by horses or dogs for use in snow; a sled.
sleight (noun)cunning or craft used to trick.
sleight of hand (noun)quickness with the hands, jugglery (admire the magician’s sleight of hand).
slender (adjective)1 slim (a slender figure). 2 thin, scanty, only just enough (of slender means).
sleuthCollective noun for bears (A sleuth of bears) (see list of collective nouns)
sleuth (noun)a detective (the sleuth in the crime story).
slewCollective noun for exterminators (A slew of exterminators) (see list of collective nouns)
slewCollective noun for homework (A slew of homework) (see list of collective nouns)
slew1 (past tense)of slay.
slew2 (noun),also slough (British spelling) a hollow filled with mud; a bog.
slew3 (noun)(informal) a large number, a group.
slice (verb)1 to cut into thin pieces (slicing bread). 2 to strike a ball in a glancing blow that makes it spin. n 1 a thin broad piece cut off (a slice of bread). 2 a flat utensil for serving food (a fish slice).
slick (adjective)1 quick and clever (flip the pancake with a slick movement). 2 smart but not trustworthy (a slick salesman).
slide (verb)(pt, pp slid ) 1 to move smoothly over a surface, as of ice; to slip. 2 to become gradually lower or worse. n 1 a slope or track for sliding on (the children’s slide in the park). 2 a small glass plate with an object to be examined through a microscope or a picture to be shown on a screen (scientists examining bacteria on a slide).
slider (noun)1 a person or thing that slides. 2 in baseball, a pitch with the speed of a fastball and the movement of a curve.
slight (adjective)1 small, lightly built (too slight to push the heavy car). 2 small, not great, not serious (matters of slight importance/a slight problem). n an insult. vb to treat as unimportant, to treat insultingly.
slim (adjective)thin, lightly built, small (slim young women). vb (slimmed , slimming ) to reduce weight by exercises, not eating certain foods, etc (go on a diet to try to slim).
slime (noun)any soft, moist, slippery, sometimes sticky matter.
slimy (adjective)1 covered with slime, slippery. 2 untrustworthy (a slimy character).
sling (verb)(pt, pp slung ) 1 to throw with the outstretched arm (sling a stone in the river). 2 to cause to hang from (a gun slung from his shoulder). n 1 a strap or band used for hurling stones. 2 a bandage hanging from the neck to support an injured arm. 3 a band passed around something to help to lift or support it (a baby sling).
slingshot (noun)a Y-shaped piece of wood, metal, etc, with an elastic band attached to the upper tips for shooting stones, etc.
slink (verb)(pt, pp slunk ) to go away quietly as if ashamed (the dog slunk away after being punished).
slinky (adjective)1 sneaking. 2 graceful in movement.
slip (verb)(slipped , slipping ) 1 to move smoothly along. 2 to go quietly or unseen. 3 to lose footing. 4 to escape (the memory). n 1 the act of slipping. 2 a careless mistake. 3 a narrow piece of paper. 4 a twig. 5 a loose cover (e.g. a pillowcase). 6 a woman’s undergarment or petticoat. 7 a prepared downward slope along which ships can slide into the sea. give the slip to to go away from without being noticed.
slipcase (noun)a box-like container for a book or set of books, open at one end to show the spine(s) of the book(s).
slipcover (noun)a removable, fitted cloth cover for a chair, sofa, etc.
slipknot (noun)a knot that can be moved.
slippage (noun)the act of slipping, the amount of slipping.
slipper (noun)a loose shoe for wearing in the house.
slippery (adjective)1 hard to stand on without sliding or falling (slippery ground). 2 hard to hold without the grip sliding (slippery fish). 3 (informal) untrustworthy (a slippery character).
slipshod (adjective)careless, untidy (the interior decoration was slipshod).
slit (verb)(slitted , slitting ) to make a long cut in (slit the envelope open). n a long narrow cut or opening.
slither (verb)to slide clumsily or without control, to slip or slide on (people slithering on icy pavements/a snake slithering along the ground).
sliver (noun)a thin piece cut off, a splinter (a sliver of cheese).
slob (noun)a sloppy or gross person.
slobber (verb)to let saliva run or fall from the mouth.
slog (verb)(slogged , slogging ) (informal) 1 to hit hard. 2 to work hard (slogging away at his homework). n slogger.
slogan (noun)1 a war cry. 2 a party cry or catchword. 3 an easily memorized saying used to advertise a product or campaign.
sloop (noun)a small sailing boat with one mast.
slop (verb)(slopped , slopping ) to spill through carelessness; to overflow a little at a time. n 1 a puddle of spilled liquid. 2 (usually pl) dirty or waste water. 3 (usually pl) liquid food.
slope (noun)1 a rise or fall from the level. 2 a slant. vb 1 to rise or fall from the level (fields sloping down to the sea). 2 to slant.
sloppy (adjective)(informal) 1 wet, muddy. 2 careless and untidy (sloppy work). 2 foolishly sentimental (sloppy love stories).
sloppy joe (noun)a sandwich made of ground beef mixed with tomato sauce and spices served on a bun.
slosh (verb)to shake a liquid; to apply a liquid; to splash through water.
slot (noun)a narrow opening or hole, especially one made to receive coins (the slot in a parking meter).
sloth (noun)1 laziness. 2 a slow-moving South American animal that lives in trees.
slothful (adjective)very lazy.
slouchCollective noun for models (A slouch of models) (see list of collective nouns)
slouch (verb)to stand, walk, or sit with bent back and head and shoulders sloping inward (slouching in his chair). n a lazy, unhealthy, and improper way of standing and walking. adj slouchy
slough (noun)the cast-off skin of a snake. vb 1 to cast off (snakes sloughing their skin). 2 to throw off (slough off a feeling of depression).
slovenly (adjective)dirty and untidy, very careless (slovenly habits/a slovenly housekeeper).
slow (adjective)1 not quick or fast. 2 taking a long time to do things. 3 not clever (slow pupils). 4 behind the correct time (the clock is slow). vb to go or cause to go less quickly.
sludge (noun)soft, thick mud.
slug1 (noun)a shell-less snail that is harmful to plants.
slug2 (verb)(slugged , slugging ) 1 to shoot. 2 to hit hard. n a small solid metal bullet.
sluggish (adjective)slow-moving (feel sluggish).
slum (noun)part of a town in which poor people live in overcrowded, dirty, and unhealthy houses.
slumberCollective noun for anaesthetists (A slumber of anaesthetists) (see list of collective nouns)
slumberCollective noun for sloths (A slumber of sloths) (see list of collective nouns)
slumber (verb)to sleep. n sleep.
slump (noun)a sudden fall in prices, wages, etc (a slump in house prices). vb 1 to go suddenly down in price, etc. 2 to fall suddenly or heavily (she slumped into a chair).
slur (verb)(slurred , slurring ) 1 to pass over quickly or without attention. 2 to make (sounds) unclear by running them together (a tired man slurring his words). n 1 a bad point in a person’s character or reputation. 2 (music) a curved mark over two or more notes to be played smoothly one after the other.
slurp (verb)to drink or eat noisily.
slush (noun)1 half-melted snow. 2 (informal) foolishly sentimental writing or talk (the slush on some greetings cards). adj slushy
sly (adjective)cunning, tricky, doing things in a secret and untrustworthy way. on the sly secretly.
smack1 (verb)1 to hit with the flat of the hand (mothers smacking children). 2 to part the lips so as to make a sharp noise. n 1 a slap. 2 a loud kiss.
smack2 (noun)a taste, a flavor or suggestion of. vb 1 to taste (of). 2 to remind of, to suggest (the situation smacks of bribery).
smack3 (noun)a small fishing boat with sails.
small (adjective)1 little (small people). 2 not much (small reason to rejoice). n the lower part of the back.
small intestine (noun)the part of the digestive system where nutrients are absorbed from food and passed into the bloodstream.
small talk (noun)conversation about unimportant matters (trying to make small talk with his neighbor).
smallpox (noun)a dangerous infectious disease that leaves little pocks on the skin.
smart (adjective)1 quick, clever (smart pupils/smart thinking). 2 well-dressed (smart wedding guests). vb to feel or cause a quick keen pain (a burn that was smarting).
smarten (verb)to make smart or smarter (told to smarten up his appearance).
smash (verb)to break into pieces (smash crockery). n 1 act of breaking into pieces. 2 the noise caused by breakage. 3 an accident involving one or more vehicles (a motorway smash). 4 a disaster, downfall. smash and grab a theft carried out by smashing a shop window and taking articles behind it.
smearCollective noun for gynaecologists (A smear of gynaecologists) (see list of collective nouns)
smear (verb)1 to spread (something sticky or dirty) over the surface (smear jam over his bread). 2 to smudge, to make or become blurred (smear the lettering). n 1 a dirty mark, a blot. 2 a story intended to harm a person’s good name (a smear campaign). adj smeary
smell (noun)1 the sense that enables animals to become aware of by breathing in through the nose (dogs finding the criminal by smell). 2 scent, odor. vb (pt, pp smelled ) 1 to perceive by smell. 2 to give off an odor. smell a rat to be suspicious.
smelly (adjective)(informal) having an unpleasant odor (smelly socks).
smelt1 (verb)to melt metal out of rock. n smelter
smelt2 (noun)a small edible fish of the salmon family.
smile (verb)1 to show joy, amusement, etc, by an upward movement of the lips. 2 to be favorable (the future smiling on them). n a look of pleasure or amusement. adj smiley
smirk (verb)to smile in a silly or unnatural manner (stand smirking while being photographed). n a smug or scornful smile (a self-satisfied smirk).
smite (verb)(pt smote , pp smitten ) (old or fml) 1 to strike hard. 2 to cause to suffer from (smitten with flu).
smith (noun)a craftsperson who works in metals.
smock (noun)1 a loose overall worn to protect a person’s clothes. 2 a woman’s loose dress.
smog (noun)a smoky fog, pollution.
smoke (noun)the sooty vapor rising from a burning substance (smoke rising from the chimney). vb 1 to give off smoke (fires smoking). 2 to draw in the tobacco smoke from a cigarette, pipe, etc. 3 to preserve in smoke (smoked fish). 4 to drive out by smoke. adj smoky
smoke screen (noun)1 thick clouds of smoke sent out to conceal movements. 2 something intended to conceal activities (his shop was a smoke screen for his drug-smuggling).
smokehouse (noun)a building where meats are smoked to preserve them.
smoker (noun)1 a person who smokes tobacco. 2 a compartment in a train in which smoking is allowed.
smokestack (noun)the chimney of a steamer or factory.
smolder (verb),also smoulder (British spelling) to burn and smoke without flame.
smooth (adjective)1 having an even surface, not rough. 2 free from difficulties (the smooth running of the club). 3 having good yet not pleasing manners. vb to make smooth or level (smooth the rough wooden surface).
smooth-tongued (adjective)able to speak in a very polite or flattering manner.
smorgasbord (noun)a wide variety of tasty foods laid out in a buffet.
smother (verb)to kill by keeping air from.
smudge (noun)a dirty mark, a stain. vb 1 to make a dirty mark on. 2 to make or become blurred or smeared (smudging the painting). adj smudgy
smug (noun)self-satisfied, too pleased with oneself.
smuggle (verb)1 to bring goods into the country secretly, without paying customs duties on them. 2 to bring in or pass secretly (smuggling food into the movies).
smuggler (noun)a person who smuggles goods.
smut (noun)1 a flake of soot. 2 a dirty mark or stain. 3 dirty or indecent talk. adj smutty (object to the comedian’s§ smutty jokes).
snack (noun)a light, quick meal (a midmorning snack) 2 something, such as a piece of fruit, eaten between meals. vb to eat between meals.
snag (noun)1 an unexpected difficulty (their plans hit a snag). 2 a log or tree stump just below the water surface, dangerous to boats. vb to damage or tear something by getting it caught on something. adj snaggy
snail (noun)a slow-moving soft-bodied creature with a shell on its back.
snake (noun)1 a long creature that slithers along the ground with no legs and a scaly skin, a serpent. 2 an untrustworthy or deceitful person (the snake betrayed his friend).
Snakephobiafear of snakes (see list of phobias)
snapCollective noun for photographers (A snap of photographers) (see list of collective nouns)
snap (verb)(snapped , snapping ) 1 to bite or seize suddenly. 2 to break with a sharp sound (twigs snapping as they walked). 3 to speak in a quick, angry manner (mothers snapping at their children). 4 to take a photograph of with a hand camera. n 1 a sudden bite. 2 a short, sharp sound. 3 a lock that springs shut when released. 4 a spell of weather (a cold snap). 5 a card game. 6 a snapshot.
snapdragon (noun)a plant with a showy white, yellow, red, or purple flower.
snappish (adjective)irritable, short-tempered.
snappy (adjective)1 snappish (a snappy remark). 2 (informal) quick (ask for a snappy response).
snapshot (noun)1 a quick shot. 2 a photograph taken with a hand camera.
snare (noun)1 a kind of musical drum. 2 a trap for catching birds or animals, especially one made with a running noose. 3 a temptation (her beauty was a snare). vb to catch by a snare (snaring rabbits).
snarl (verb)1 to growl angrily and show the teeth (dogs snarling). 2 to speak rudely or angrily (an old man snarling at the children). Also n.
snatch (verb)to seize quickly or suddenly. n 1 a sudden seizing. 2 a small part.
sneakCollective noun for weasels (A sneak of weasels) (see list of collective nouns)
sneak (verb)1 to go quietly, as a thief (sneak up the stairs at midnight). 2 to tell of another’s wrongdoing to a person in authority (children sneaking on their friends). 3 to behave meanly. n 1 a telltale. 2 a mean person.
sneaker (noun)a running shoe.
sneaking (adjective)underhand, secret.
sneaky (adjective)mean.
sneer (verb)to show scorn by a look or remark (sneer at his attempts to row the boat). n a mocking smile or remark.
sneeze (verb)to expel air noisily through the nose and mouth in a sudden, explosive action (people with colds sneezing). n the act or sound of sneezing.
snicker (verb)to laugh under the breath or secretly, to giggle nervously or unpleasantly. Also n.
snide (adjective)cutting, slyly mean, nasty.
sniff (verb)1 to breathe noisily inward. 2 to smell (sniff the smell of the sea). n 1 the act or sound of sniffing. 2 a slight smell. sniff at to show scorn for.
sniffle (verb)to sniff repeatedly, as when a person has a cold or the flu. n the sniffles a cold.
sniggersame as snicker.
snip (verb)(snipped , snipping ) to cut as with scissors, to cut off with one sharp movement (snip off a lock of her hair). n 1 the act or sound of scissors closing to cut. 2 a small piece cut off (a snip of the material).
snipe1 (noun)a game bird with a long bill, found in marshy places.
snipe2 (verb)to shoot at from a hiding place. n sniper
snippet (noun)1 a small piece cut off. 2 a short item of news (snippets of gossip).
snivel (verb)(sniveled , sniveling ) 1 to run at the nose. 2 to go on crying or complaining; to whimper (snivel about being cold).
snob (noun)a person who looks down on others because they are less wealthy or of lower rank in society (his former friends accuse him of being a snob). n snobbery adj snobby
snobbish (adjective)behaving like a snob.
snooker (noun)a billiards game in which players have to knock, with a white cue ball, fifteen red and then in order six colored balls into pockets on a table.
snoop (verb)to go about secretly or stealthily to find out something (snooping among her friend’s papers). n snooper
snooty (adjective)(informal) haughty, proud, distant in manner (snooty neighbors who won’t speak to other people).
snooze (noun)(informal) a short, light sleep. vb to take a short nap (snoozing on the plane).
snore (verb)to breathe noisily while asleep, as if grunting. n the noise so made.
snorkel (noun)a tube that extends above the water through which a person can breathe while swimming just below the surface of the water.
snort (verb)to blow air out noisily through the nose (snort with disbelief). Also n.
snot (noun)(informal) the mucus of the nose.
snout (noun)1 the long nose and mouth of an animal (the pig’s snout). 2 the nozzle of a pipe.
snow (noun)vapor frozen in the air and falling in flakes. vb to fall as snow, to cover as with snow. adj snowy
snow line (noun)the level above which snow never melts.
snowball (noun)snow pressed into a hard ball.
snowboard (noun)a long wide board with bindings for the feet on which people slide down slopes. n snowboarding
snowbound (adjective)shut in or blocked off by snow.
snowcap (noun)a cap of snow, as on a mountain.
snowdrift (noun)snow heaped up by the wind to form a bank.
snowdrop (noun)a small white flower that grows in early spring.
snowfall (noun)a falling of snow.
snowflake (noun)a single piece of snow.
snowmobile (noun)a motor vehicle for traveling over snow, usually with steerable runners and tractor treads.
snowplow (noun),also snowplough (British spelling) an implement for clearing snow from roads or railways.
snowshoe (noun)a light, broad frame worn on the feet for walking on snow.
snub (verb)(snubbed , snubbing ) to show dislike or disapproval of a person by taking no notice of or speaking rudely to him or her (they snubbed her when she tried to be friendly to them). n rude lack of notice; an unfriendly act or speech. adj (of a nose) short and turned up.
snuff1 (verb)to sniff powdered tobacco, etc, up the nose. n tobacco powdered for sniffing up the nose.
snuff2 (verb)1 to cut off the burnt part of the wick of a candle. 2 to put out a candle. n snuffer a tool used to put out a candle.
snuffbox (noun)a box for carrying snuff in the pocket.
snuffle (verb)1 to make sniffing noises. 2 to speak through the nose (children with colds snuffling).
snug (adjective)warm and comfortable, cosy (children snug in their beds/a snug room).
snuggle (verb)to lie close for warmth, to settle comfortably (children snuggling under the blankets).
so (adverb)1 in this or that manner (do it so). 2 to that extent (so wet that we stayed in). 3 thus (she was tired and so left the party). 4 very (so happy). (conjunction) therefore (be quiet so I can think).
soak (verb)1 to wet thoroughly. 2 to steep (soak the stained clothing). 3 to suck up (blotting paper soaking up ink).
soap (noun)1 a substance made of oil or fat and certain chemicals, used in washing. 2 short for a soap opera. vb to rub with soap. adj soapy having to do with or containing soap (soapy water).
soap opera (noun)a radio or television drama serial which deals with the day-to-day lives and problems of the same group of characters [originates from the soap-powder-selling sponsors of such shows in the 1950s in the United States].
soapbox (noun)1 a box or crate for soap. 2 a platform used by a person making an informal speech to people on the street.
soarCollective noun for kites (A soar of kites) (see list of collective nouns)
soar (verb)1 to fly upward. 2 to tower up (mountains soaring high above the town).
sob (verb)(sobbed , sobbing ) to draw in the breath noisily when weeping or short of breath. Also n.
sober (adjective)1 not drunk. 2 serious, quiet (a sober person). 3 dark in color (wear sober clothes to the funeral).
sobriety (noun)the state of being sober.
so-called (adjective)given a name or title to which a person has no right (a so-called lady).
soccer (noun)a game played with a round ball by two teams of eleven players on a field with a goal at either end, the ball being moved by kicking; football
Soceraphobiafear of parents-in-law (see list of phobias)
sociable (adjective)fond of company (they are a very sociable couple).
social (adjective)1 having to do with society (social problems). 2 living in an organized group (social creatures).
social science (noun)the study of people living together in groups, families, etc.
social security (noun)a government program that pays money to people who are not working or who are unable to work.
social work (noun)(sometimes cap) any service designed to advance the welfare of the community and the individual through counseling services, health clinics, playgrounds, etc.
socialism (noun)the belief that all means of producing national wealth (e.g. mines, etc) are the property of the community and should be used for the benefit of all. n socialist a person who believes in socialism.
society (noun)1 a group of people living together in a single organized community. 2 a group of people who meet regularly for a special purpose, mixing with other people (a debating society). 3 the wealthy or high-ranking members of a community.
Sociobiologystudy of biological basis of human behaviour (see list of branches of science)
Sociologystudy of society (see list of branches of science)
sociology (noun)the study of the nature, growth, and problems of human society. n sociologist adj sociological
Sociophobiafear of society or social situations (see list of phobias)
sock (noun)a short stocking, a cloth covering of the foot.
socket (noun)a hole or hollow for something to fit into or turn in (an electric socket/an eye socket).
sod (noun)a piece of earth held together by the roots of the grass growing in it.
soda (noun)1 a powder used in washing, baking, etc. 2 soda pop, a sweet, fizzy beverage.
soda water (noun)water containing soda powder and made fizzy by gas.
sodden (adjective)wet through, soaking (their sodden clothes).
sodium (noun)an element found in salt, with chemical symbol Na.
SodomCollective noun for shepherds (A Sodom of shepherds) (see list of collective nouns)
sofa (noun)a couch with a cushioned seat, back, and arms.
sofa bed (noun)a sofa that can be opened into a bed.
soft (adjective)1 not hard (soft cheese). 2 easily reshaped by pressing (a soft substance). 3 not loud (soft music). 4 (of color) not bright. 5 gentle (a soft breeze). 6 not strict (teachers who are too soft). 7 not alcoholic (soft drinks). 8 foolishly kind (Don’t be soft!). adv quietly, gently.
soft drinka nonalcoholic drink, such as lemonade or cola.
softball (noun)a kind of baseball played with underhand pitching, the ball used in this game similar to a baseball but larger.
soften (verb)1 to make or become soft. 2 to become less harsh or angry (her attitude softened). n softener something that softens.
software (noun)the programs used in computers.
soggy (adjective)soft and wet (soggy toast/soggy ground).
soil (noun)the ground, earth, especially that in which plants are grown. vb to dirty, to spoil (the children were told not to soil their clothes in the mud by the river).
solace (verb)to cheer, to comfort. n that which gives cheer or comfort (the widow found her child a solace).
solar (adjective)having to do with the sun (solar power).
solar system (noun)our sun and the planets that move around it.
solarium (noun)a glassed-in porch, roof, etc where people sun themselves, as in treating illness.
sold (past tense)and pp of sell.
solder (noun)a metal alloy that when melted can be used for cementing together pieces of metal. vb to join with solder.
soldier (noun)a person serving in an army. n soldiery a group of soldiers, the profession of being a soldier.
sole1 (noun)the underside of the foot, stocking, or shoe (his boots had leather soles). vb to put a sole on (a shoe).
sole2 (noun)a small flatfish.
sole3 (adjective)only, single (his sole objection). adv solely
solemn (adjective)1 serious in manner or appearance (a solemn child). 2 slow, stately (a solemn meeting).
solemnity (noun)seriousness (the church service was conducted with due solemnity).
sol-fa (noun)the use of the sounds doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah, te in singing the scale. Also adj.
solicit (verb)to ask earnestly or repeatedly (soliciting a loan). n solicitation
solid (adjective)1 not hollow, consisting of hard matter throughout (solid pieces of metal). 2 not liquid or gaseous (solid substances). 3 firm (solid flesh). 4 reliable (a solid citizen). n a body consisting of hard matter throughout.
Solid mechanicsstudy of behaviour of solid materials (see list of branches of science)
solidarity (noun)sameness of interests, complete unity (workers joined by solidarity).
solidify (verb)to make or become solid (water solidified in the pipes).
soliloquy (noun)(formal) a speaking to oneself (the actor’s soliloquy ended the first act).
solitaire (noun)1 a single diamond or other gem set by itself in a ring. 2 a game for one player.
solitary (adjective)1 alone, without companions (solitary travelers/a solitary tree). 2 living or being alone by habit or preference (solitary people). 3 single (I can’t think of a solitary reason). n a person who lives alone and away from others.
solitude (noun)loneliness, being alone, a lonely place.
solo (noun)1 a piece of music for a single performer. 2 a performance by one person (a piano solo). 3 a single person’s unaccompanied flight in an aiplane.
soloist (noun)a solo singer or performer.
solstice (noun)the time when the sun is farthest north (21st June) or south (21st December), giving in the Northern Hemisphere the longest and shortest days respectively.
soluble (adjective)1 able to be melted or dissolved in liquid. 2 (formal) to which an answer or solution can be found (soluble problems). n solubility
solution (noun)1 a liquid containing another substance dissolved in it (a salty solution). 2 the answer to or explanation of a problem, etc (the solution to a crossword puzzle).
solvable (adjective)that can be solved.
solve (verb)to find the right answer to or explanation of (solving the problem/solved the puzzle).
solvent (adjective)1 able to pay your debts (firms that are scarcely solvent). 2 able to dissolve. n a liquid able to dissolve another substance (get some solvent to remove the grease from his shirt).
Somatologystudy of substances (see list of branches of science)
somber (adjective) also sombre (British spelling) dark, gloomy, cheerless (somber colors/in a somber mood).
sombrero (noun)a broad-brimmed felt or straw hat.
some (adjective)a certain number or amount (of). pron 1 certain people (some would not agree). 2 a little (have some). n and pron someone , something
somebody (noun)and pron 1 some person. 2 a person of importance.
somehow (adverb)in some way or other (we’ll get there somehow).
somersault (noun)a leap or roll in which the heels turn completely over the head.
sometime (adjective)(formal) former (his sometime teacher).
sometimes (adverb)now and then.
somewhat (adverb)in some degree, a little (somewhat annoyed).
somewhere (adverb)in some place (they have to live somewhere).
Somniphobiafear of sleep (see list of phobias)
son (noun)a male child.
sonar (noun)a machine that finds objects underwater by reflecting sound waves.
sonata (noun)a piece of music in several movements, usually for a solo instrument.
song (noun)1 words set to music for the voice. 2 the sounds uttered by a bird. 3 a short poem, poetry.
songbird (noun)a bird that sings or a woman who sings.
songbook (noun)a book containing a collection of songs, both the words and the notes.
sonic (adjective)of or having to do with sound.
son-in-law (noun)the man married to a person’s daughter.
sonnet (noun)a poem of fourteen lines, usually following fixed rhyming patterns. n sonneteer a person who writes sonnets.
soon (adverb)1 in a short time (they’ll be here soon). 2 early (it’s too soon to know). 3 willingly (I would just as soon go).
soot (noun)black particles that rise with the smoke from burning matter.
sooth (adjective)true or real, fact.
soothe (verb)to calm, to comfort (soothing the baby/soothe the pain).
sooty (adjective)1 like soot. 2 black (a sooty cat).
Sophiologystudy of ideas (see list of branches of science)
sophisticated (adjective)1 (formal) not natural. 2 having a great deal of experience and wordly wisdom, knowledge of how to dress elegantly, etc. n sophistication vb sophisticate
sophomore (noun)a student in the second year of college or the tenth grade in high school.
Sophophobiafear of learning (see list of phobias)
soporific (adjective)(formal) causing sleep. n a drug that causes sleep.
soppy (adjective)1 wet through. 2 foolishly sentimental (soppy love songs).
soprano (noun)1 the highest female or boy’s singing voice. 2 a singer with such a voice.
sorbet (noun)a tart ice, as of fruit juice, served as a dessert or sometimes between meals.
sorcerer (noun)a person who works magic. f sorceress
sorcery (noun)magic, witchcraft.
sordCollective noun for mallards (A sord of mallards) (see list of collective nouns)
sordid (adjective)mean, dirty, disgusting (a sordid neighborhood/a sordid crime).
sore (adjective)painful, hurtful (sore legs). n a painful cut or growth on the body (people with bed sores).
sorely (adverb)1 very much. 2 painfully.
sorority (noun)a group of women or girls joined together by common interests, for fellowship, etc.
sorrel (noun)1 a plant with sour-tasting leaves. 2 a reddish brown color. 3 a horse of that color.
sorrow (noun)sadness caused by loss or suffering, grief (her sorrow at the death of her friend). vb to mourn, to grieve. adj sorrowful
sorry (adjective)1 feeling pity or regret, sad because of wrongdoing (sorry for what he had done). 2 wretched (a sorry sight).
sort (noun)a kind, class, or set. vb to arrange in classes or sets (sorting the library books). out of sorts not well.
Soteriologystudy of theological salvation (see list of branches of science)
Soteriophobiafear of dependence on others (see list of phobias)
souffléCollective noun for clouds (A soufflé of clouds) (see list of collective nouns)
soufflé (noun)a light dish made from beaten whites of eggs (a cheese soufflé).
soughtpast participle of seek.
soul (noun)1 the spiritual part of a person. 2 (informal) a person (poor souls). 3 a kind of rhythm and blues music.
soul mate (noun)a person with whom a person has a deeply personal relationship.
soulful (adjective)full of feeling (soulful music).
soulless (adjective)1 without soul; without spirit (I thought the actor’s performance was soulless). 2 mean-spirited.
sound1 (adjective)1 healthy (sound in mind and body). 2 strong (sound reasons for going). 3 without serious error or weakness (his work is quite sound). adv completely.
sound2 (noun)1 a noise. 2 that which is heard. vb 1 to make a noise (alarms sounding). 2 to touch or strike so as to cause a noise (sound the dinner bell).
sound3 (noun)a long narrow piece of water between two land masses, a strait. vb 1 to find depth by lowering a lead weight on a cord. 2 to try to discover someone’s opinion by questioning (sound out his views on the new project).
sounderCollective noun for hogs (A sounder of hogs) (see list of collective nouns)
sounderCollective noun for swine (A sounder of swine) (see list of collective nouns)
sounderCollective noun for warthogs (A sounder of warthogs) (see list of collective nouns)
sounderCollective noun for wild boars (A sounder of wild boars) (see list of collective nouns)
soundproof (adjective)that keeps sound from coming through.
soundtrack (noun)the part of a film on which sounds are recorded.
soup (noun)a liquid food made by boiling meat, vegetables, etc together (chicken noodle soup). adj soupy
soupçonCollective noun for chefs (A soupçon of chefs) (see list of collective nouns)
sour (adjective)1 sharp or bitter in taste (the sour taste of lemons). 2 ill-tempered and hard to please (a sour old man complaining about the child’s crying). vb to make sour.
source (noun)1 that from which anything begins. 2 the spring from which a river flows. 3 origin or cause.
sousaphone (noun)a brass instrument of the tuba family.
south (noun)1 one of the main points of the compass, opposite north. adj being in the south, facing south. Also adv. adj southward , southbound
South Pole (noun)the place on earth that is the absolutely farthest south.
southeast (noun)the point midway between south and east. Also adj. adj southeasterly , southeastern , southeastward
southerly (adjective)lying toward or coming from the south (southerly winds).
southern (adjective)in or of the south (the southern part of the country). n Southerner a person living in or coming from the south of any specified region.
Southern Hemisphere (noun)the half of the earth south of the equator.
southernmost (adjective)farthest south.
south-southeast (noun)the direction halfway between south and southeast.
south-southwest (noun)the direction halfway between south and southwest.
southwest (noun)the point midway between south and west. Also adj. adj southwesterly , southwestern , southwestward
souvenir (noun)an object kept to remind a person of another person or past event (a souvenir of their vacation).
sovereign (adjective)above all others, chief. n ruler, a king or queen.
sovereignty (noun)supreme power.
sow1 (noun)a female pig (sows with their piglets).
sow2 (verb)(pp sown ) 1 to scatter (sow seeds). 2 to plant with seeds (sow a new lawn).
soy sauce (noun)a dark, salty sauce made from soybeans and generally used in Chinese and Japanese dishes.
soybean (noun)a type of bean used for making flour or oil, as fodder for cattle, and in food that is free of meat or dairy products, e.g. soy milk.
spa (noun)a place at which natural mineral waters may be drunk for the health, a health resort at a mineral spring.
space (noun)1 the whole extent of the universe not occupied by solid bodies. 2 the distance between one body or object and another. 3 the place occupied by a person or thing. 4 a length of time (in the space of a year). vb to arrange with intervals between (spacing the new trees out across the field).
spacecraft (noun)a vehicle used for space travel.
Spacephobiafear of outer space (see list of phobias)
spaceship (noun)a spacecraft in which people travel (we watched the spaceship being launched).
spacing (noun)the arrangement of spaces.
spacious (adjective)roomy, having or giving more than enough room (spacious cars).
spade (noun)1 a tool with a broad blade, used for digging. 2 pl a suit of playing cards. call a spade a spade to say exactly what a person thinks.
spadework (noun)the hard work needed to start an enterprise (do all the spadework when they opened the office).
spaetzle (noun)egg noodles or dumplings.
spaghetti (noun)long thin tubes of pasta (spaghetti with tomato sauce).
span (noun)1 the distance between the tip of the thumb and the little finger fully extended (about 9 inches [23 cm] in an adult). 2 the spread of an arch. 3 the distance from end to end of a bridge. 4 a space of time (a span of five years). 5 a number of horses or oxen yoked together to draw a cart, etc. vb (spanned , spanning ) 1 to extend from one point in space or time to another (his employment with the company spans ten years). 2 to measure with outstretched fingers.
spangle (noun)a small, glittering metal ornament.
spaniel (noun)a sporting or pet dog with long silky hair and drooping ears.
spank1 (verb)to slap with the hand (she did not believe it was right to spank a child). Also n.
spank2 (verb)to move along quickly (the pony was fairly spanking along the track).
spar1 (noun)1 a long piece of wood. 2 a pole attached to the mast, used for holding sails in position.
spar2 (verb)(sparred , sparring ) to box, to fight with the fists, to argue.
spare (adjective)1 scarce. 2 thin. 3 more than is needed, kept in reserve. vb 1 to let off punishment or suffering, to show mercy to. 2 to do without. 3 to use up slowly and carefully. n an item kept in case another like it gets broken, lost, etc.
spare ribs (noun)a cut of meat, especially pork, consisting of the thin end of the ribs with most of the meat cut away.
spark (noun)1 a tiny piece of burning matter. 2 a tiny flash made by electricity passing from one wire to another. 3 a bright or clever young person. vb to give off sparks. adj sparky
spark plug (noun)a device for causing an electric spark to ignite the gas that drives an engine.
sparkle (verb)1 to throw off sparks, to gleam or shine in flashes, to glitter or glisten. 2 to be lively and intelligent. Also n. n sparkler someone or something that sparkles.
sparrow (noun)a common small bird.
sparse (adjective)1 thinly scattered (sparse vegetation). 2 scanty, scarcely enough. n sparsity
spasm (noun)1 a sudden movement of the body not done on purpose, caused by a tightening of muscles, as in cramp or a fit (a muscle spasm). 2 a feeling or activity that does not last long (a spasm of coughing).
spasmodic (adjective)done occasionally for short periods (spasmodic coughing).
spat (noun)a brief, petty quarrel.
spatial (adjective)(formal) having to do with space (spatial problems).
spatter (verb)to throw or scatter (liquid, mud, etc) in drops, to splash (cars spattering people with mud).
spatula (noun)a broad thin blade used in spreading or scraping plaster, paint, ointment, food, etc (a spatula for turning eggs in the pan).
spawn (noun)the eggs of fish, frogs, etc. vb 1 to produce spawn. 2 to produce, usually in large numbers (the project spawned a lot of new committees).
speak (verb)(pt spoke , pp spoken ) 1 to utter words, to talk (children learning to speak). 2 to make a speech (speak after dinner). 3 to pronounce.
speaker (noun)1 a person who speaks. 2 the presiding officer of a legislative assembly. 3 short for a loudspeaker.
spear (noun)a weapon with a long straight handle and a pointed metal head. vb to pierce with a spear.
spearhead (noun)1 the pointed head of a spear. 2 the leading person in a military attack.
special (adjective)1 having to do with one particular thing, person, or occasion (a special tool for the job). 2 not common or usual, distinctive (a special occasion). n specialty adv specially in a special manner.
specialist (noun)a person who makes a particular study of one subject or of one branch of a subject (a cookery specialist/a specialist in internal medicine).
specialize (verb),also specialise (British spelling) to make a particular study of (usually one subject) (a doctor specializing in skin disorders).
specialty (noun),also speciality (British spelling) 1 a special field of work or study (cosmetic surgery is his specialty). 2 something made or sold only by a certain trader (the specialty of the house).
species (noun)kind, sort, a group of things (e.g. plants, animals) with certain features in common (there are many different species in the zoo).
specific (adjective)1 definite (something specific he wants to ask). 2 exact (specific instructions). 3 particular (a specific tool for the job). n 1 (sometimes pl) a designated quality or thing. 2 any drug used to treat a particular disease.
specification (noun)an exact statement of the details of a piece of work to be done (measurements, materials to be used, etc) (the specifications for the new factory).
specify (verb)to state exactly or in detail.
specimen (noun)a sample, a part taken as an example of the whole (take a blood specimen).
speck (noun)a tiny particle, spot, or stain.
speckle (noun)a small spot on a differently colored background.
speckled (adjective)marked with speckles (the speckled breast of the bird).
specs (noun, plural)1 short for spectacles. 2 short for specifications.
spectacleCollective noun for ophthalmologists (A spectacle of ophthalmologists) (see list of collective nouns)
spectacle (noun)1 something worth looking at, a wonderful or magnificent sight (crowds gathering to see the spectacle of the military parade). 2 pl glasses worn in front of the eyes to assist the eyesight.
spectacular (adjective)1 magnificent, wonderful, or splendid to look at (a spectacular parade). 2 impressive, dramatic (a spectacular change in his appearance).
spectator (noun)a person who looks on. vb spectate to be a spectator at an event.
specter (noun),also spectre (British spelling) a ghost.
spectral (adjective)ghostly (spectral figures).
Spectrologystudy of ghosts (see list of branches of science)
Spectrophobiafear of mirrors (see list of phobias)
Spectroscopystudy of spectra (see list of branches of science)
spectrum (noun)a band of colors, as in a rainbow, produced by passing light through a prism.
speculate (verb)1 to think about, to guess without having the necessary facts (speculating on his reasons for leaving). 2 to buy shares in the hope of selling them later at a profit.
speculation (noun)1 act of speculating. 2 a guess or theory (some speculation that they were getting married).
speculative (adjective)1 risky (a speculative venture). 2 hesitant, uncertain. 3 given to trying to think out the reasons for things (some speculative thinking).
speculator (noun)a person who buys things (especially of uncertain value) in the hope of making a large profit on them.
speech (noun)1 the ability to speak. 2 a talk given in public (an after-dinner speech).
speechless (adjective)unable to speak for love, surprise, fear, etc (speechless with rage).
speed (noun)1 quickness of movement (the speed of the car). 2 haste (move with speed). vb (pt, pp sped ) 1 to go fast. 2 to drive a car, truck, etc, very fast, often illegally fast.
speedboat (noun)a motorboat built for speed.
speedometer (noun)a tool to show how fast a car, motorcycle, etc, is traveling.
speedwell (noun)a plant with small blue flowers.
speedy (adjective)fast, quick-moving (seek a speedy end to the strike).
Speleologystudy and exploration of caves (see list of branches of science)
spell1 (verb)(pt, pp spelt or spelled ) to say or write the letters of a word in order. n speller a person who spells words (a poor speller). n spelling the act of a person who spells.
spell2 (noun)certain words uttered in order to make something happen by magic; a charm, a strange or magical power.
spell3 (noun)1 a length of time (spells of bad weather). 2 a turn at doing work (a spell at digging the garden).
spellbound (adjective)fascinated, made still by wonder or magic. vb spellbind
spell-checker (noun)a computer program that checks a document for misspelled words.
spelling bee (noun)a spelling contest.
spelunker (noun)a person who explores caves as a hobby. n spelunking
spend (verb)(pt, pp spent ) 1 to pay out (money). 2 to use or use up. 3 to pass (time).
spender (noun)a person who spends, especially someone who spends too much.
spendthrift (noun)a person who spends money wastefully and carelessly.
spent (adjective)1 tired out (spent after the day’s work). 2 used up (spent energy).
sperm (noun)a male reproductive cell.
sperm whale (noun)a large toothed whale.
Spermatophobia fear of germs (see list of phobias)
Spermologystudy of seeds (see list of branches of science)
Spermophobiafear of germs (see list of phobias)
spew (verb)1 (informal) to vomit. 2 to come out in a flood (lava spewed out of the volcano).
Sphagnologystudy of peat moss (see list of branches of science)
Spheksophobiafear of wasps (see list of phobias)
sphere (noun)1 a ball. 2 a sun, star, or planet. 3 the extent of a person’s work, knowledge, influence, etc (in the sphere of television).
spherical (adjective)round like a sphere.
sphinx (noun)a winged mythical monster, half woman, half lion.
Sphygmologystudy of the pulse (see list of branches of science)
spice (noun)1 a sharp-tasting substance used to flavor food (add spices to the sauce). 2 something exciting or interesting (add a bit of spice to life). vb to flavor with spice, etc.
spicy (adjective)1 sharp-tasting (spicy food). 2 lively and witty (spicy stories).
spider (noun)an eight-legged creature that spins a web to catch insects for food.
spidery (adjective)like a spider, long and thin like a spider’s legs.
spike (noun)1 a short piece of pointed metal, a large nail (spikes along the top of the wall to keep people out). 2 an ear of corn. 3 many small flowers forming a single head along a stalk. vb 1 to fasten with spikes. 2 to pierce with a spike. 3 to put a gun out of action by driving a spike into it.
spiky (adjective)having spikes, shaped like a spike (the porcupine is spiky).
spillCollective noun for busboys (A spill of busboys) (see list of collective nouns)
spill over (verb)to overflow.
spill1 (verb)(pt, pp spilled or spilt ) to let run out or overflow (spill the tea as she pours it). n 1 a fall. 2 something spilled.
spill2 (noun)a thin strip of wood or twisted paper for lighting cigarettes, candles, etc.
spillage (noun)the thing that is spilled.
spillover (noun)1 the act of spilling over. 2 the excess part of something.
spin (verb)(spun , spinning ) 1 to draw out (wool, cotton, etc) and twist into threads. 2 to turn quickly around one point (she spun round to face him). 3 (informal) to make up (spin a yarn about being attacked). n 1 a short or rapid trip. 2 a dive made by an airplane as it turns around at the same time.
spinach (noun)a vegetable whose leaves are eaten as food.
spinal (adjective)having to do with the spine (spinal injuries).
spinal cord (noun)the thick cord of nerves that runs down the spine.
spindle (noun)in a spinning machine, the bar onto which the newly made thread is wound.
spindly (adjective)very long and thin (spindly legs).
spine (noun)1 the backbone. 2 a pointed spike on an animal or fish. 3 a thorn.
spineless (adjective)1 having no spine. 2 weak, lacking courage or willpower (too spineless to stand up for himself).
spine-tingling (adjective)very moving, thrilling, or terrifying.
spinning (noun)1 the act of making thread or yarn. 2 the act of fishing with a certain kind of rod. adj that spins or is used in spinning.
spinning wheel (noun)a home spinning machine operated by a wheel driven by a pedal.
spinster (noun)1 a woman who spins thread or yarn. 2 a woman who has never been married.
spiny (adjective)full of prickles or thorns (spiny bushes).
spiral (adjective)winding around like the thread of a screw (a spiral staircase). Also n.
spire (noun)a tall tower, tapering to a pointed top.
spirit level (noun)short for level, sense 2.
spirit1 (noun)1 the soul. 2 a ghost. 3 courage, liveliness (sing with spirit). 4 mood (the spirit of the times). 5 the intention (the spirit, not the letter, of the law). vb to carry off in a mysterious way (the documents were spirited away).
spirit2 (noun)any distilled alcoholic liquor, such as brandy, rum, gin.
spirited (adjective)1 lively (a spirited musical performance). 2 showing courage (a spirited defense).
spiritless (adjective)without courage or liveliness.
spiritual (adjective)1 having to do with the soul or spirit (the children’s spiritual welfare). 2 religious, holy. n an American religious song, originating among Afro-Americans in the south of the country in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, combining African and European styles of music.
spiritualism (noun)1 the belief that it is possible to communicate with the souls of the dead through mediums. 2 the belief that the soul or spirit only has real existence. n spiritualist
spirituality (noun)concern with religion and matters of the soul.
spit1 (noun)1 a long metal rod on which meat is roasted over a fire (a pig turning on a spit). 2 a long piece of low land running out into the sea. vb (spitted , spitting ) to put on a spit; to pierce.
spit2 (verb)(spat , spitting ) 1 to blow from the mouth (spit out chewing gum). 2 to blow saliva out of the mouth (he spat on the pavement). n a quantity of saliva put out of the mouth.
spiteCollective noun for prima donnas (A spite of prima donnas) (see list of collective nouns)
spite (noun)ill-feeling against another, a desire to hurt or harm another (she acted out of spite when she broke her sister’s favorite ornament). in spite of without paying attention to (she got the job in spite of her lack of qualifications).
spiteful (adjective)desiring or intended to hurt or harm another (a spiteful person/a spiteful action).
spitfire (noun)a quick-tempered person.
Splanchnologystudy of the entrails or viscera (see list of branches of science)
splashCollective noun for puddles (A splash of puddles) (see list of collective nouns)
splash (verb)to throw or scatter drops of mud or liquid onto (splash bath oil into the water/the car splashed rainwater all over her new shoes). n 1 act of splashing. 2 the sound made by a body striking water. 3 a spot of mud or liquid (splashes on her white dress).
splashback (noun)a sheet of glass, plastic, etc, attached to a wall above a basin or kitchen worktop to protect the wall against splashing.
splashdown (noun)a spacecraft’s soft landing in the sea.
splat (noun)a wet, slapping sound.
splatter (noun)spatter or splash. Also vb.
splay (verb)to slope or turn outwards. adj (of feet) turned outwards and flat.
spleen (noun)1 an organ near the stomach that helps purify the blood. 2 ill-temper, gloom (vent his spleen on his colleagues).
splendid (adjective)1 bright, shining, brilliant (a splendid palace). 2 excellent (a splendid performance).
splendor (noun),also splendour (British spelling) brightness; magnificence.
splice (verb)1 to join the ends of two ropes together by interweaving their strands. 2 to fit one piece of wood into another so as to join them. n a joint so made.
splint (noun)a piece of wood to keep a broken bone in position (the ambulance driver put a splint on the injured man’s leg).
splinter (noun)a very thin sharp-edged or pointed piece of glass, wood, metal, etc, broken off a larger piece. vb to break into small pieces (the shop window splintered).
splitCollective noun for debtors (A split of debtors) (see list of collective nouns)
split (verb)(split, splitting ) 1 to cut or break from end to end. 2 to separate into parts or smaller groups (split the class into teams). n 1 a long break or crack (a split in the wood). 2 a division (a split in the committee). 3 pl the trick of going down upright on the ground with the legs spread out at each side at right angles to the body.
splurgeCollective noun for sponsors (A splurge of sponsors) (see list of collective nouns)
splurge (noun)a bout of extravagant or unrestrained spending of money, often by way of treating oneself. vb to spend money extravagantly.
splutter (verb)1 to utter confused, indistinct sounds (spluttering in rage). 2 to make a spitting noise (the candle spluttered). Also n.
spoil (verb)(pt, pp spoiled or spoilt ) 1 to make or become useless or unpleasant (food spoiling in the heat/spoil his chances of getting the job). 2 to rob, to plunder. 3 to harm someone’s character by always allowing him or her his or her own way (spoil the children). n things stolen or taken by force.
spoiler (noun)a person or thing that spoils.
spoilsport (noun)a person who spoils the pleasure of others.
spoke (noun)one of the bars running from the hub to the rim of a wheel.
spokesman , spokeswoman , spokesperson (noun)a person who speaks for others (the workers elected a spokesperson to talk to management).
sponge (noun)1 a type of sea animal. 2 a kind of light, absorbent washcloth made from or to be like the soft frame of a sponge (a child’s sponge in the shape of a bear). 3 one who lives on the money or favors of another. vb 1 to wipe with a sponge. 2 to live on the money or favors of another (sponging on his friends).
spongecake (noun) (British spelling)see angel food cake.
Spongologystudy of sponges (see list of branches of science)
spongy (adjective)soft and absorbent; soft, squishy.
sponsor (noun)1 a person who introduces someone or something and takes responsibility for it (the sponsor of a new law). 2 a business that pays for an event, show, etc, in return for advertising. 3 a person who agrees to pay someone money for charity if he or she completes a specified activity. 4 a godfather or godmother. vb 1 to put forward and support (sponsor the new bill). 2 act as a sponsor (a soft-drinks firm sponsoring the football match/sponsor the child in a charity swim).
spontaneous (adjective)1 done willingly. 2 not caused by an outside agency. 3 done without previous thought. n spontaneity
spoof (noun)1 a humorous imitation of a serious book, film, etc. 2 a prank.
spook (noun)(informal) a ghost.
spooky (adjective)of, like, or suggesting a spook; eerie; easily fearful.
spool (noun)a reel on which thread, film, etc, may be wound.
spoon (noun)1 a domestic tool consisting of a shallow bowl and a handle, used in cooking, eating, or feeding. 2 a wooden golf club. vb to lift or scoop with a spoon.
spoonful (noun)the amount that a spoon contains.
spore (noun)the seed of a flowerless plant.
sport (noun)1 outdoor or athletic indoor games in which certain rules are obeyed (children interested in sport). 2 one of these games (sports such as football and swimming). 3 (formal) something done for fun or amusement (hunt the deer for sport). 4 (formal) a person fond of fun or amusement. vb to play, to have fun.
sporting (adjective)1 fond of sports. 2 used in sport (sporting equipment). 3 fair minded and generous, especially in sports (it was sporting of him to admit the ball was out).
sportsman , sportswoman , sportsperson (noun)1 a person who takes part in a sport. 2 a person who likes to see every person or group given an equal chance of success. adj sportsman-like
sportsmanship (noun)the spirit of fair play.
sportswear (noun)the clothing made for and worn while playing sports.
spot (noun)1 a small mark, stain, or blot (a black spot on her new dress). 2 a tiny piece. 3 the exact place where something happened (X marks the spot). 4 a pimple. vb (spotted , spotting ) 1 to stain. 2 to see or catch sight of.
spotless (adjective)unmarked, very clean (a spotless floor).
spotlight (noun)a strong beam of light shone on a particular person or place.
spotty (adjective)1 covered with spots. 2 irregular, uneven.
spouse (noun)a husband or wife.
spout (noun)1 a long tube sticking out from a pot, jug, pipe, etc, through which liquid can flow (the spout of the teapot). 2 a jet or gush of liquid. vb 1 to gush or make to gush in a jet. 2 (informal) to talk at length (spouting on about his vacation).
sprain (noun)the painful twisting of a joint in the body, causing damage to muscles or ligaments. vb to twist a joint in such a way (sprain her ankle).
sprawlCollective noun for malls (A sprawl of malls) (see list of collective nouns)
sprawl (verb)1 to sit or lie with the limbs spread out awkwardly. 2 to be spread out untidily (towns sprawled along the seashore).
spray1 (noun)1 a twig or stem with several leaves or flowers growing out from it (a spray of cherry blossom). 2 an arrangement of flowers (a bridal spray).
spray2 (noun)1 a cloud of small drops of liquid moving through the air. 2 liquid to be sprayed under pressure. 3 a can or container holding this. vb to sprinkle with fine drops of liquid (sprayed the roses with insecticide).
spreadCollective noun for nymphomaniacs (A spread of nymphomaniacs) (see list of collective nouns)
spreadCollective noun for sticklebacks (A spread of sticklebacks) (see list of collective nouns)
spread (verb)(pt, pp spread) 1 to lay out over an area (spread butter on bread). 2 to grow bigger, so covering more space (towns spreading rapidly). 3 to make or become more widely known or believed (spread the information). 4 to affect more people (the disease is spreading). n 1 an area covered, extent. 2 a good meal, a feast (she always has a great spread at Christmas).
spreader (noun)a person or thing that spreads.
spreadsheet (noun)a computer program that organizes information.
spree (noun)a bout of over-indulgence, especially in terms of drinking or spending a lot of money (a shopping spree).
sprigCollective noun for vegetarians (A sprig of vegetarians) (see list of collective nouns)
sprig (noun)1 a small shoot or twig (a sprig of cherry blossom). 2 a small nail without a head.
sprightly (adjective)lively (people sprightly for their age). n sprightliness
springCollective noun for teals (A spring of teals) (see list of collective nouns)
spring (verb)(pt sprang , pp sprung ) 1 to jump. 2 to flow up from under the ground. 3 to be caused by (his lack of confidence sprang from his unhappy childhood). 4 to suddenly appear or or develop. 5 to cause (a mine) to explode. n 1 a jump. 2 a piece or coil of metal that after being compressed returns to its earlier shape or position. 3 water flowing up from under the ground (hot springs). 4 the season following winter when plants begin to grow again. spring a leak to have a hole through which water can come in. spring a surprise to give a surprise.
spring tidethe high tide at the time of a new moon and a full moon.
springboard (noun)a springy board for jumping or diving from (the springboard at the swimming pool).
spring-cleaning (noun)a thorough cleaning of the entire house, as is sometimes done in the spring.
springtime (noun)the season of spring.
springy (adjective)1 having elasticity, having a light bounciness. 2 light on the feet.
sprinkle (verb)to scatter in small drops or tiny pieces (sprinkling water on flowers).
sprinkler (noun)a person or thing that sprinkles (the sprinkler waters the lawn).
sprinklingCollective noun for gardeners (A sprinkling of gardeners) (see list of collective nouns)
sprinkling (noun)a very small number or quantity (a sprinkling of snow).
sprint (verb)to run as fast as possible for a short distance. n 1 a short foot race. 2 a short fast run (a sprint for the bus).
sprite (noun)an elf or fairy.
spritzer (noun)a drink made of wine and soda water.
sprout (verb)to begin to grow, to bud (bulbs sprouting). n a young plant, a shoot of a plant.
spruce1 (adjective)neat, smart and tidy (look spruce for his job interview).
spruce2 (noun)a type of fir tree, valued for its white timber.
spume (noun)froth, foam.
spunk (noun)(informal) courage, spirit, liveliness. adj spunky
spur (noun)1 a pointed instrument or spiked wheel attached to a horserider’s heel and dug into the horse’s side to make it move more quickly. 2 anything that urges on to greater effort (the promise of a good job acted as a spur to his studying). 3 the sharp point on the back of the legs of certain birds. 4 a ridge or line of hills running out at an angle from a larger hill or hills. vb (spurred , spurring ) 1 to prick with a spur. 2 to urge to greater effort. on the spur of the moment without previous thought; on impulse.
spurious (adjective)false (a spurious interest in her opinions).
spurn (verb)1 to push away, as with the foot. 2 to refuse with scorn (spurn their offers of help).
spurt (verb)to burst out in a jet. n 1 a gush of liquid. 2 a special effort. 3 a sudden short burst of extra speed (put on a spurt at the end of a race).
sputter (verb)1 to spit when speaking. 2 to throw out small drops of liquid. 3 to make spitting and hissing noises (sausages sputtering in the pan).
spy (noun)1 a person who tries to obtain secret information about a country on behalf of an enemy country. 2 a person who tries to find out another’s secrets (an industrial spy). vb 1 to catch sight of (she spied her friend in the distance). 2 to act as a spy.
spyglass (noun)a small telescope.
squabble (verb)to quarrel noisily over unimportant matters (children squabbling over their toys). Also n.
squad (noun)a small party of soldiers or workers.
squadronCollective noun for cavalry (A squadron of cavalry) (see list of collective nouns)
squadron (noun)1 a group of warships under the one commander. 2 a group of twelve airplanes commanded by a squadron leader. 3 a unit of cavalry.
squalid (adjective)dirty and unpleasant, wretched (squalid living conditions).
squall (verb)to scream loudly (kept awake by a cat squalling). n 1 a loud scream. 2 a sudden violent gust of wind; a brief, violent windstorm.
squally (adjective)gusty, stormy and windy (squally weather).
squalor (noun),also squalour (British spelling) excessive dirt, filth, the condition of being squalid.
squander (verb)to spend wastefully, to use up needlessly (squander her savings).
square (adjective)1 having four equal sides and four right angles. 2 forming a right angle. 3 just, fair (a square deal). 4 even, equal (the two teams are now square). n 1 a square figure. 2 an open space in a town with buildings on its four sides (a war monument in the town square). 3 the number obtained when a number is multiplied by itself. 4 an L- or T-shaped instrument for drawing right angles. vb 1 to make square. 2 to pay money due. 3 to bribe. 4 to multiply (a number) by itself. 5 to agree with.
square dance (noun)a lively dance with various steps, figures, etc, in which the couples are grouped in a particular form.
square root (noun)the number that must be multiplied by itself to obtain a given number (2 is the square root of 4).
squashCollective noun for sermons (A squash of sermons) (see list of collective nouns)
squash1 (verb)1 to crush, to press or squeeze into pulp (squash fruit). 2 to speak sharply or rudely to someone to silence him or her (the speaker squashed the people who were shouting criticisms). n 1 a crowd, a crush. 2 a indoor game similar to tennis played with a rubber ball.
squash2 (noun)a fruit of the gourd family eated as a vegetable (butternut squash).
squat (verb)(squatted , squatting ) 1 to sit down on the heels. 2 to make one’s home on a piece of land or in a building to which one has no legal right. adj short and broad.
squatter (noun)a person who settles on land or in a building without the legal right to do so.
squawk (verb)to utter a harsh cry (parrots squawking). Also n.
squeak (verb)to utter a short, high-pitched sound (mice squeaking). Also n.
squealCollective noun for nieces (A squeal of nieces) (see list of collective nouns)
squeal (verb)to cry with a sharp shrill voice. Also n.
squeamish (adjective)1 easily made sick, feeling sick (squeamish at the sight of blood). 2 easily shocked or upset.
squeeze (verb)1 to press from more than one side (squeezing oranges). 2 to hug. 3 to push through a narrow space (squeeze into the crowded hall). n 1 the act of squeezing. 2 a hug. 3 a tight fit.
squeezebox (noun)an accordion or concertina.
squelch (verb)to make a sucking noise, as when walking over sodden ground (squelch up the muddy road in boots). Also n.
squib (noun)a small firework.
squid (noun)a cuttlefish, a long slender sea creatures with eights arms and two tentacles.
squintCollective noun for proofreaders (A squint of proofreaders) (see list of collective nouns)
squint (verb)1 to look or peer with the eyes partly closed, as when the light is too strong. 2 to look sideways without turning the head. 3 to be cross-eyed. n 1 the act of looking with the eyes partly closed. 2 eyes looking in different directions. 3 (informal) a quick look (take a squint at the papers on the boss’s desk).
squire (noun)(old) a person who accompanied and helped a knight.
squirm (verb)to wriggle about, to move by wriggling (fish squirming in the nets/squirm with embarrassment).
squirrel (noun)a small bushy-tailed animal living in trees.
squirt (verb)to force or be forced out in a thin, fast stream (squirt water on the dry clothes). n 1 a jet. 2 an instrument for throwing out a jet of liquid.
squish (verb)to squash. n the sound of something being squashed.
squishy (adjective)making a squishing sound.
stab (verb)(stabbed , stabbing ) to wound with a pointed weapon. n 1 a wound made with a pointed weapon. 2 a thrust with a dagger or pointed knife (kill him with one stab). 3 a sharp feeling (a stab of pain/a stab of fear).
stability (noun)steadiness, security.
stabilize (verb),also stabilise (British spelling) to make firm or steady. n stabilizer also stabiliser (British spelling) a thing that makes something firm or steady.
stableCollective noun for prostitutes (A stable of prostitutes) (see list of collective nouns)
stable1 (noun)a building or shelter for horses, cattle, etc. vb to keep in a stable.
stable2 (adjective)1 firm, secure, not easily moved, upset, or changed (stable shelves stable institutions). 2 likely to behave reasonably (he’s not very stable).
stablemate (noun)any of the horses sharing a stable.
stabling (noun)buildings available as stables.
staccato (adjective)(music) , having each note sounded clearly and distinctly. Also n.
stackCollective noun for newspapers (A stack of newspapers) (see list of collective nouns)
stack (noun)1 a large orderly pile of hay, wood, papers, etc. 2 a group of chimneys built in together. 3 a very tall chimney. vb to pile together.
stadium (noun)(pl stadia or stadiums ) a large ground for sports and athletics.
staffCollective noun for employees (A staff of employees) (see list of collective nouns)
staffCollective noun for teachers (A staff of teachers) (see list of collective nouns)
staff (noun)1 a stick or rod used as a support. 2 a stick as a sign of office. 3 the set of five parallel lines on and between which musical notes are written. 4 a group of officers chosen to assist a general. 5 any body of employees (the office staff). vb to provide with workers or employees (an office staffed mainly by women).
staff officer (noun)a member of a general’s staff.
stag (noun)a male red deer.
stage (noun)1 a raised platform for actors, performers, speakers, etc. 2 the theatre (she went on the stage). 3 a halting place. 4 the distance that may be traveled after paying a certain fare. 5 a certain point in development or progress (stages in the production process). vb to produce (a play) on a stage (staging Hamlet).
stage fright (noun)the nervousness felt on appearing on the stage in public.
stagecoach (noun)formerly, a horse-drawn coach providing a regular service for passengers.
stagger (verb)1 to walk unsteadily, to lurch to the side, to reel. 2 to amaze. 3 to arrange breaks, vacations, etc, so that they do not begin and end at the same times as those of others (stagger the staff’s lunch hours so that there are always people in the office). adj staggering
stagnant (adjective)1 not flowing and often dirty (stagnant water). 2 not developing or growing, inactive (a production process that remains stagnant).
stagnate (verb)1 to cease to flow. 2 to cease to develop or make progress. 3 to become dull. n stagnation
staid (adjective)serious, steady, unwilling to move with the times.
stain (verb)1 to make dirty (stain their hands). 2 to change the color of (stain the table dark brown). 3 to make marks of a different color on. 4 to spoil, to disgrace (stain her reputation). n 1 a dirty mark or discoloration that cannot be removed. 2 a paint or dye. 3 disgrace.
stained glass (noun)colored glass, held together by lead strips, used for church windows, decorations, lamp shades, etc.
stainless (adjective)1 not easily stained or rusted. 2 without fault or disgrace (a stainless reputation).
stair , staircase , stairway (noun)a series of connected steps, usually with a railing, leading from one place to another on a different level (a dramatic spiral staircase led to the ballroom).
stairwell (noun)a vertical shaft in a building that contains a staircase.
stake1 (noun)1 a stout piece of wood pointed at one end for driving into the ground. 2 formerly, the post to which was tied a person condemned to death by burning. vb to mark with stakes.
stake2 (noun)the amount of money, or anything else of value, bet or risked. vb to bet (money), to risk. at stake able to be lost.
stalactite (noun)a mass of mineral matter hanging like an icicle from the roof of a cave (caused by dripping water that gradually deposits the mineral).
stalagmite (noun)a mass of mineral matter rising like a spike from the floor of a cave (caused by the drips of water coming off of the cave roof or of a stalactite).
stale (adjective)1 not fresh (stale bread). 2 not new (stale news). 3 uninteresting (a stale piece of writing).
stalemate (noun)1 in chess, a position from which neither player can win. 2 a situation or argument in which neither side can gain an advantage over the other (management and workers reached a stalemate on the subject of wages).
stalkCollective noun for foresters (A stalk of foresters) (see list of collective nouns)
stalk1 (noun)1 the stem of a plant. 2 a tall chimney. adj stalky
stalk2 (verb)1 to walk holding oneself stiffly upright (stalk out of the room in anger). 2 to approach an animal quietly and without being seen when hunting it (stalking stags) 3 to follow someone around, often someone famous, regularly, and annoy or frighten him stock-ing stock-er/.
stall (noun)1 a division of a stable in which one animal is kept. 2 a counter on which goods are laid out for sale. 3 a small, sometimes temporary, shop set up in an open place. 4 a ground-floor seat in a theater. 5 a seat in the choir of a church. vb 1 (of an airplane) to lose speed and get out of control. 2 (of a motor car engine) to stop working (the car stalled at the traffic lights). 3 to avoid giving a direct answer (the politician stalled when he was asked about unemployment).
stallion (noun)a male horse, especially one kept for breeding.
stamen (noun)one of the little pollen-bearing stalks in the middle of a flower.
stamina (noun)staying power, ability to endure (he does not have the stamina to have a full-time job).
stammer (verb)to have difficulty in uttering the sounds at the beginning of words, sometimes attempting them several times before succeeding. n such difficulty in speaking.
stamp (verb)1 to strike the foot forcefully or noisily downwards. 2 to print a mark on (have his passport stamped). 3 to put a postage stamp on. n 1 a forceful or noisy downward movement of the foot. 2 a mark or paper affixed to a letter or package to show that postage has been paid. 3 a mark consisting of letters, numbers, a pattern, etc, printed on paper, cloth, coins, etc. 4 a machine for making such a mark.
stampedeCollective noun for philatelists (A stampede of philatelists) (see list of collective nouns)
stampede (noun)a sudden panic-stricken rush of many people or animals. vb to take sudden flight (the buffaloes stampeded/people stampeding to get free tickets).
stance (noun)the way a person or animal stands.
standCollective noun for flamingos (A stand of flamingos) (see list of collective nouns)
stand (verb)(pt, pp stood ) 1 to be upright on the feet, legs, or end (boys standing in the corner). 2 to rise up (she stood and left). 3 to set upright (stand the tables up). 4 to stop moving. 5 to stay motionless. 6 to be in a certain place (a house standing on the river bank). 7 to bear, to put up with (unable to stand the loud noise). 8 to become a candidate for election. n 1 a halt. 2 a small table, rack, etc, on which things may be placed or hung. 3 a structure with seats arranged in tiers for spectators (the stands at the football game). 4 a base or support on which an object may be placed upright (a stand for the statue). 5 resistance to an attack (take a stand against the enemy/take a stand against racism). stand by to support, to be ready to help (stood by their friend). stand down to withdraw. stand fast to remain firm. stand out 1 to be prominent or noticeable (the new building stands out in the old square). 2 to refuse to give in (stand out for a better deal). stand up to get to the feet. stand up for to defend. stand up to to resist.
standard (noun)1 a fixed measure. 2 an average level of accomplishment with which other work is compared (work below standard). 3 an upright post, etc, used for support. adj 1 fixed. 2 fixed by rule. 3 usual. 4 standing upright.
standardize (verb),also standardise (British spelling) to see that all things are made or done in the same way (standardizing the testing system in schools).
standby (noun)a person or thing that can always be depended on and ready to be put into service when needed.
standing (noun)rank, position, reputation (her standing in the community). adj 1 upright (standing stones). 2 not flowing (standing water). 3 permanent, fixed (a standing joke).
standpoint (noun)a point of view (from the average person’s standpoint).
standstill (noun)a stoppage (work at the factory is at a standstill).
stanza (noun)in poetry, a number of lines arranged in a certain pattern that is repeated throughout the poem.
staple (noun)1 a U-shaped nail or pin. 2 a principal product or article of trade. 3 a main item (the staples of her diet). adj chief, principal.
stapler (noun)a tool used to drive staples into papers, wood, etc to bind them or attach them.
star (noun)1 a heavenly body seen as a twinkling point of light in the night sky. 2 any object like a twinkling star in shape. 3 an asterisk (*). 4 a leading actor or actress. vb (starred , starring ) to have the leading part in a play, etc (star in the new film). adj starry full of stars; like stars (a starry sky).
starboard (noun)the right-hand side of a ship as one faces the bows. Also adj.
starch (noun)1 a vegetable substance found in potatoes, cereals, etc. 2 a white powder mixed with water and used to make cloth stiff.
starchy (adjective)1 containing starch. 2 stiff with starch (starchy collars). 3 stiff or unfriendly in manner (her grandmother is rather starchy).
stardom (noun)fame as an entertainer, sportsman, etc.
stardust (noun)a cluster of stars too far away to be seen separately with the naked eye.
stare (verb)to look at fixedly, to look at with wide-open eyes (staring at him in amazement). Also n.
starfish (noun)a star-shaped sea creature.
stark (adjective)1 bare or simple, often in a severe way (the stark landscape/the stark truth). 2 utter, complete (stark idiocy). adv completely.
starless (adjective)with no stars visible (a starless night).
starlet (noun)1 a small star. 2 a young actress being promoted as a future star.
starlight (noun)the light given off by stars.
starling (noun)a bird, with black-brown feathers, of the crow family.
start (verb)1 to begin (start working/start to work). 2 to set in motion (start a new business). 3 to jump or make a sudden movement (start in alarm at the eerie sound). n 1 a beginning (at the start of the working day). 2 a sudden sharp movement (give a start at the noise). 3 the distance certain runners are allowed to start a race in front of the others.
starter (noun)1 a device for starting a motor engine. 2 a person who gives the signal to begin. 3 a person who takes part in a race.
startle (verb)to frighten, to give a sudden surprise to (animals startled by the sudden noise).
starve (verb)1 to die of hunger, to suffer greatly from hunger. 2 to keep without food. 3 to suffer for want of something necessary (children starved of affection). n starvation
Stasiologystudy of political parties (see list of branches of science)
Stasiphobiafear of standing or walking (see list of phobias)
stateCollective noun for princes (A state of princes) (see list of collective nouns)
state (noun)1 condition, circumstances, situation (the state of the house/the state of the housing market). 2 the people of a country organized under a form of government. 3 the governmental institutions of a country. 4 (formal) pomp or ceremonious display. adj 1 having to do with the government. 2 public. vb 1 to say as a fact. 2 to put clearly into words, spoken or written.
stately (adjective)dignified, grand in manner or behavior.
statement (noun)1 a clear spoken or written account of facts (an official statement about the president’s illness). 2 an account of money due or held (a bank statement).
state-of-the-art (adjective)using the most modern, advanced methods (using state-of-the-art computing equipment)
statesman , stateswoman (noun)1 a person skilled in the art of government. 2 a person who has held high political office.
static (adjective)motionless, at rest (static electricity).
Staticsstudy of bodies and forces in equilibrium (see list of branches of science)
station (noun)1 (old) position, rank (his station in life). 2 a regular stopping place for trains, buses, etc. 3 a headquarters from which a public service is operated (fire station, police station). vb to put in or send to a certain place.
station wagon (noun)an automobile with a large storage area where the trunk would usually be.
stationary (adjective)fixed, not moving (stationary traffic).
stationer (noun)a person who sells stationery.
stationery (noun)paper, pens, and all other writing materials (a shop selling stationery).
statistician (noun)a person who makes up or studies statistics.
statistics (noun)1 the science of turning facts into figures and then classifying them. 2 the study of figures to deduce facts. 3 figures giving information about something (unemployment statistics).
statue (noun)the carved or moulded figure of a person or animal in stone, etc (a statue of the famous writer in the town square).
statuesque (adjective)1 like a statue. 2 of a woman, large and beautiful.
statuette (noun)a small statue.
stature (noun)1 height of the body. 2 importance, reputation (a writer gaining in stature).
status (noun)rank, social position.
status quo (noun)an unchanged state of affairs (wish to return to the status quo after the changes).
status symbol (noun)a possession that seems to mark a higher social position.
statute (noun)a law.
statutory (adjective)required by law or statute (the statutory conditions of employment).
staunch1 (adjective)loyal, firm, reliable (staunch followers of the president).
staunch2 , stanch (verb)to stop blood flowing from a cut, etc (apply a tourniquet to staunch the blood).
Staurophobiafear of crosses or the crucifix (see list of phobias)
stave (noun)1 one of the strips of wood forming the sides of a barrel. 2 the set of five parallel lines on and between which musical notes are written. 3 a verse of a song, a stanza. vb to break inward. stave off to keep away, to put off.
stay (verb)1 to remain (stay calm). 2 to live in a place for a time (stayed in New York for a few years). 3 (formal) to delay, to stop (stay the execution). n 1 time spent in a place. 2 a delay. 3 one of the ropes supporting the mast in its upright position.
steadfast (adjective)loyal, firm, unmoving.
steady (adjective)1 firm (hold the ladder steady). 2 not easily changing (steady temperatures). 3 regular (steady work). 4 reliable, sensible (steady workers). n steadiness
steak (noun)a slice of meat or fish for cooking (tuna steak).
steakhouse (noun)a restaurant that specializes in beef steaks.
steal (verb)(pt stole , pp stolen ) 1 to take what belongs to another. 2 to move slowly and quietly (steal upstairs late at night).
stealth (noun)1 secrecy. 2 acting quietly or slyly so as not to be seen or heard.
stealthy (adjective)quiet, sly, secretive (stealthy footsteps).
steamCollective noun for turds (A steam of turds) (see list of collective nouns)
steam (noun)the vapor of hot liquid, especially water. vb 1 to give off steam. 2 to cook in steam (steam vegetables). 3 to move driven by steam power (a ship steamed into harbor). adj steamy of or like stam, covered or filled with steam.
steam engine (noun)an engine driven by steam power.
steamboat , steamer , steamship (noun)a ship driven by steam power.
steamroller (noun)a steam-driven vehicle with wide, heavy wheels, used for flattening road surfaces.
steed (noun)(old) a horse.
steel (noun)1 an alloy consisting of iron hardened by carbon. 2 a steel bar on which knives may be sharpened. adj made of steel. vb to harden, to strengthen (steeling herself to sack the boy).
steely (adjective)hard, unsympathetic (a steely gaze).
steep1 (adjective)having a rapid slope up or down (steep cliffs). n a cliff or precipice. vb steepen to become more steep.
steep2 (verb)to soak, to leave in water for a time (steep stained clothes).
steeple (noun)a tall church tower, sometimes tapering to a point.
steeplechase (noun)a cross-country race over obstacles for horses or runners.
steeplejack (noun)a person who climbs steeples, tall chimneys, etc, to repair them.
steer1 (noun)a young ox.
steer2 (verb)to keep a moving object pointed in the right direction; to guide or control (steer the car/steer the conversation).
stegosaurus (noun)a kind of dinosaur that has a small head and bony plates and sharp spikes down the backbone.
stellar (adjective)having to do with the stars.
Stellar astronomystudy of stars, their origins, and their evolution. (see list of branches of science)
stellular (adjective)shaped like a star; covered with small stars or star-like spots.
stem1 (noun)1 the trunk of a tree, the stalk of a flower, leaf, etc. 2 the very front part of a ship. 3 the main unchanging part of a word, prefixes and suffixes left out. adj stemmed referring to objects that have a stem; a stem-like object, such as a goblet.
stem2 (verb)(stemmed , stemming ) to check, to delay, to stop (something) flowing (stem the flow of blood).
Stemmatologystudy of relationships between text (see list of branches of science)
stenchCollective noun for skunks (A stench of skunks) (see list of collective nouns)
stenchCollective noun for zombies (A stench of zombies) (see list of collective nouns)
stench (noun)a foul smell (the stench from the sewer).
stencil (noun)1 a thin plate or card with a design cut through it so that patterned markings can be painted or printed on a surface beneath. 2 a waxed paper from which copies of typewritten material can be printed. vb (stenciled , stenciling ) to make a design or copy by using a stencil.
Stenophobiafear of narrow things or places (see list of phobias)
step (noun)1 a pace taken by one foot. 2 the distance covered by such a pace. 3 a footprint. 4 the sound of a footfall (hear steps on the stair). 5 a complete series of steps in a dance. 6 one of a series of rungs or small graded platforms that allow a person to climb or walk from one level to another (the steps of a ladder). 7 pl a flight of stairs. 8 pl a stepladder. vb (stepped , stepping ) to walk. out of step 1 out of time with others in performing a regular movement. 2 behaving or thinking differently from others (older workers are out of step with the ideas of the young people). step out to move boldly or quickly forward. step up to increase (step up the interest payments on the loan). take steps to take action.
stepchild (noun)the child of a husband or wife by a previous marriage. Also stepdaughter , stepfather , stepmother , stepson , stepfamily
stepladder (noun)a portable self-supporting ladder.
steppe (noun)in Russia or Asia, a vast treeless uncultivated plain.
stereo (noun)a device used to play music in stereoscopic sound. Also adj.
stereoscopic sound (noun)sound relayed from two transmitters so that it seems to come from an area and not any one point.
stereotype (noun)1 a metal plate on which type is reproduced so that it may be reprinted over and over again. 2 an idea, image, etc, that has become fixed and unchanging.
stereotyped (adjective)fixed and unchanging (actors worried about becoming stereotyped by playing the same kind of role too often).
sterile (adjective)1 bearing no fruit or children, barren. 2 germ-free (sterile operating theaters). n sterility
sterilize (verb),also sterilise (British spelling) 1 to make sterile. 2 to get rid of germs (by boiling, etc).
sterling (adjective)genuine, of worth.
stern1 (adjective)severe, strict, harsh.
stern2 (noun)the back part of a ship.
sternum (noun)a thin, flat bone to which most of the ribs are attached in the front of the chest.
stethoscope (noun)an instrument by means of which a person can listen to the sound of another’s breathing or heartbeats.
stew (verb)to boil slowly in little liquid in a closed vessel. n 1 stewed meat and vegetables. 2 (informal) a state of anxiety (in a stew about the exams). adj stewed cooked by stewing.
steward (noun)1 a person paid to manage another’s land or property. 2 a manservant on a ship or airplane. 3 an official at a concert, race, meeting, show, etc. f stewardess
stick1 (verb)(pt, pp stuck ) 1 to pierce or stab (stick a marshmallow on the skewer). 2 to fasten or be fastened to, as with glue (stick pictures on a piece of cardboard). 3 to be unable to move (cars stuck in the mud).
stick2 (noun)1 a rod, a long, thin piece of wood, especially one carried when walking. 2 something shaped like a stick (a stick of butter).
stickball (noun)a game like baseball played by children in city streets with stick, such as a broom handle, and soft rubber ball.
sticker (noun)a person or think that sticks.
stickle (verb)to raise objections or make difficulties, especially in a stubborn manner and usually about small things.
stickler (noun)a person who is fussy about details or unimportant matters (a stickler for the school rules).
sticky (adjective)1 smeared with glue, etc, for fixing to other things (sticky paper). 2 tending to fasten on by sticking. 3 (informal) difficult (a sticky situation).
stiff (adjective)1 hard to bend. 2 firm. 3 unable to move easily (feel stiff after the exercise). 4 cold and severe in manner.
stiffen (verb)to make or become stiff.
stifle (verb)1 to smother, to choke, to cut off the air supply. 2 to prevent from expressing (stifle the child’s natural talent). 3 to keep down by force (stifle a laugh).
stifling (adjective)oppressively hot; stuffy.
stigma (noun)(pl stigmas ) 1 a mark of shame or disgrace (the stigma of having been in prison). 2 the part of a flower that receives the pollen. 3 (pl stigmata ) marks like those of the wounds on Jesus’s body.
stigmatic (adjective)of, like, or having a stigma.
stigmatize (verb),also stigmatise (British spelling) to blame as being shameful or disgraceful (stigmatized as cowardly).
stile (noun)a set of steps over a fence or wall.
stiletto (noun)1 a small dagger. 2 a small, sharp tool used for making small holes in cloth.
still life (noun)(pl still lifes ) 1 nonliving objects (e.g. fruit, ornaments, etc) as subjects for painting. 2 paintings of such objects.
still1 (adjective)1 at rest, motionless (still water). 2 calm, silent. n a single photograph out of a series taken by a moving camera. vb to make still. adv 1 even so (he is old—still he wants to go on working). 2 up to this moment (they are still fighting).
still2 (noun)a device for distilling spirits, or making alcoholic drinks (a whiskey still).
stillbirth (noun)the birth of a stillborn baby.
stillborn (adjective)born dead (stillborn babies).
stilt (noun)one of a pair of poles with footrests so that a person can walk some height above the ground (the clown walked on stilts).
stilted (adjective)1 unnatural or pompous in manner. 2 awkwardly expressed (stilted English).
stimulant (noun)something that increases energy for a time (coffee is a stimulant). Also adj.
stimulate (verb)1 to rouse or make more alert, active, etc (stimulating her into learning to paint). 2 to stir up, cause (the teacher stimulated a discussion on the arts). adj stimulating
stimulus (noun)(pl stimuli ) something that arouses a person’s feelings or excites a person to action (the athletics competition acted as a stimulus and he began to practice running).
sting (noun)1 a sharp-pointed defensive organ of certain animals or insects by means of which they can inject poison into an attacker. 2 in plants, a hair containing poison. 3 the pain caused by a sting (a wasp sting). 4 any sharp pain. vb (pt, pp stung ). 1 to pierce or wound with a sting. 2 to pierce painfully with a sharp point. 3 to drive or provoke (a person) to act (stung into making an angry reply).
stinger (noun)a person or thing that stings.
stingray (noun)a kind of flat fish that has a long, whip-like tale that can sting its enemies.
stingy (adjective)mean, unwilling to spend or give money.
stink (verb)(pt stank or stunk , pp stunk) to give an unpleasant smell. n an unpleasant smell (the stink of rotten meat).
stint (verb)to give or allow only a small amount of (stinted on materials). n limit, a set amount of work.
stipple (verb)to paint or draw in very small dots instead of lines.
stipulate (verb)to lay down conditions in advance (stipulating the terms of her employment in writing).
stipulation (noun)conditions demanded as part of an agreement.
stir (verb)(stirred , stirring ) 1 to move or set in motion (stir the sauce). 2 to arouse (stir up hatred). n excitement, noisy movement, a sensation (their divorce caused quite a stir).
stir-fry (verb)to fry very quickly in a wok with a little oil while stirring constantly. n a dish prepared this way.
stirring (adjective)rousing, exciting (a stirring song).
stirrup (noun)a metal foot support hung from the saddle for a horse-rider.
stitchCollective noun for surgeons (A stitch of surgeons) (see list of collective nouns)
stitch (noun)1 a single complete movement of the needle in knitting, sewing, etc. 2 a sharp pain in the side as a result of running, etc. vb to join by stitches (the nurse stitched his head wound).
stockCollective noun for portfolio managers (A stock of portfolio managers) (see list of collective nouns)
stock (noun)1 the main stem of a plant, the trunk of a tree. 2 the wooden handle of a gun. 3 a band of cloth worn around the neck, sometimes also covering the shirt front. 4 the families from which a person is descended. 5 goods kept for selling (have a varied stock of candies). 6 shares in a business. 7 the animals of a farm. 8 liquid in which bones, vegetables, etc, have been boiled. 9 a sweet-smelling garden flower. 10 pl (old) a frame with holes for the hands and feet into which lawbreakers could be fastened for punishment. 11 pl the wooden frame on which a ship rests while being built. adj always in use or ready for use. vb to provide with necessary goods; to keep a store of (stock greetings cards). take stock 1 to list and check goods. 2 to consider all the aspects of a situation (take stock of his future prospects).
stock car (noun)a normal car adapted for racing.
stock exchange , stock market (noun)a place where shares are bought and sold.
stockade (noun)a fence of strong posts built for defense.
stockbroker (noun)a person who buys and sells shares in business companies on behalf of others.
stockholder (noun)a person owning stock in a given company.
stocking (noun)a close-fitting covering for the foot and leg.
stockpile (noun)a supply of goods for use in case of a shortage.
stocktaking (noun)the checking of all the goods held in a shop or store (undertake a stocktaking at the end of the month).
stocky (adjective)short and broad (a stocky man).
stodgy (adjective)1 dull (a stodgy piece of writing). 2 (of food) heavy or hard to digest.
stoic (noun)a person who accepts good and bad, pleasure and pain without excitement or complaint. adj stoical n stoicism
Stoichiologystudy of elements of animal tissues (see list of branches of science)
stoke (verb)to put fuel on a fire.
stole1 (noun)1 a long scarf worn around the shoulders by women (she was wearing a fur stole over her evening dress). 2 a band of cloth worn around the neck by a clergyman during services.
stole2 (past tense)of steal.
stolen (past participle)of steal. Also adj.
stomach (noun)1 the bag-like bodily organ that receives and digests food. 2 courage (not have the stomach for battle). vb to bear with, to put up with (she could not stomach how the animals were treated).
Stomatologystudy of the mouth (see list of branches of science)
stomp (noun)a jazz tune with a lively rhythm and a strong beat. vb to dance to this music.
stone (noun)1 a hard mass of rock. 2 a piece of rock, a pebble. 3 the hard center of some fruits (cherry stones). 4 a piece of hard matter that forms in the body in certain diseases (kidney stones). 5 a precious stone or gem. 6 in the imperial system, a unit of weight made up of 14 lbs (she was more than a stone overweight). adj made of stone. vb 1 to throw stones at. 2 to remove the stones from (fruit) (stoning the cherries). leave no stone unturned to do everything possible (the police left no stone unturned in their search for the missing child).
Stone Age (noun)an early period in history during which humans made tools, weapons, etc, of stone.
stonemason (noun)a person who cuts stone to shape and uses it to make walls, buildings, etc.
stoneware (noun)a coarse pottery with a glazed finish.
stonewashed (adjective)(of material) washed with rough stones to cause fading and make softer.
stonework (noun)1 any building or part of a structure made of stone (they needed some stonemasons to repair the church’s stonework). 2 the art or process of working in stone, as in masonry or jewelry.
stony (adjective)1 like stone. 2 covered with stones (a stony beach). 3 hard, unsympathetic (a stony silence).
stood (past tense)and pp of stand.
stooge (noun)1 a person made a fool of (a comedian’s stooge). 2 a person who does unpleasant work for another; a person who takes the blame due to others.
stool (noun)a low, backless seat.
stoop (verb)1 to bend forward and downward. 2 to agree to do something unworthy, to give in (he refused to stoop to lying). n a downward bending of the head and shoulders.
stop (verb)(stopped , stopping ) 1 to cease or prevent from moving or doing something (the security guard tried to stop people from entering the building). 2 to come or bring to a standstill. 3 to block or close up (stop the hole in the pipe). n 1 a pause. 2 a place where a bus, etc, halts to pick up passengers. 3 one of the knobs controlling the flow of air in the pipes of an organ, so regulating the sounds produced.
stopper (noun)something closing a small hole (e.g. in the neck of a wine bottle).
stopwatch (noun)a watch, used for timing events, that can be started or stopped at will (use a stopwatch to time the race).
storage (noun)1 the putting of goods in warehouses, etc, until they are required (before they left to work overseas he organized the storage of their furniture). 2 the charge for storing goods.
storeCollective noun for gypsies (A store of gypsies) (see list of collective nouns)
store (noun)1 a large quantity. 2 a supply of goods that can be drawn on when necessary. 3 a room or building where such goods are kept. 4 a shop selling many different kinds of articles (a department store). vb 1 to keep for future use (storing her summer clothes in the attic). 2 to put in warehouses, etc. set store by to regard as valuable.
Storiologystudy of folk tales (see list of branches of science)
stork (noun)a white wading bird of the heron family, with long legs and bill.
stormCollective noun for paratroopers (A storm of paratroopers) (see list of collective nouns)
storm (noun)1 a spell of very bad weather (e.g. rain, wind, snow, etc). 2 a display of violent emotion; public anger. vb 1 to make a sudden violent attack on a defended place (the enemy storming the castle). 2 to rage (he was storming about the damage to his car). take by storm to capture by a sudden violent attack.
stormy (adjective)1 of, like, or troubled by storms. 2 violent, marked by angry feelings (a stormy reaction to his defeat).
story1 (noun)1 an account of events, real or imagined. 2 (informal) a lie (she felt sure that his account of the event was just a story).
story2 (noun),also storey (British spelling) a level of a building (five-story building).
storyboard (noun)a large board on which a series of sketches of shots or scenes are arranged for outlining the action of a film, video, etc.
storybook (noun)a book of stories, especially those for children.
storyteller (noun)a person who tells stories.
stout (adjective)1 strong or thick (a stout stick). 2 fat (so stout that he was breathless walking along the road). 3 brave (a stout attempt). n a strong dark beer.
stove (noun)a closed-in fireplace or metal device for warming a room, cooking, etc.
stow (verb)to put away, to pack tightly (stow the luggage in the trunk of the car).
stowaway (noun)a person who hides on a ship, etc, so as to travel without paying the fare.
straddle (verb)1 to spread the legs wide apart. 2 to sit or stand with a leg on either side of.
straggle (verb)1 to move in a random and widely scattered formation. 2 to fall behind the main body.
straggler (noun)a person who wanders from the main body.
straggly (adjective)spread out in an irregular way.
straight (adjective)1 not curving or crooked. 2 honest. adv directly, at once. vb straighten to make straight (straighten the bedclothes).
straightaway (adverb)at once.
straightforward (adjective)1 simple, easy to understand. 2 honest (a straightforward person).
strain1 (verb)1 to stretch tightly (a dress straining at the seams). 2 to make the utmost effort. 3 to harm by trying to do too much with (strain themselves by pushing the cart). 4 to put in a sieve to draw liquid off (strain the sauce). n 1 violent effort. 2 harm caused to muscles, etc, by straining them. 3 manner or style of speaking or writing. 4 a tune.
strain2 (noun)1 breed, stock (a strain of plant). 2 an element of character (a family with an artistic strain). 3 a tune.
strained (adjective)1 stretched too far. 2 not natural (a strained relationship).
strainer (noun)a small sieve or filter (a metal strainer).
strait (noun)1 a narrow strip of water between two land masses. 2 pl distress, difficulties.
strait-jacket (noun)a strong, tightly fitting garment that can be laced onto violent persons to make them helpless or to people with a back injury for support.
strait-laced (adjective)having strict rules of behavior for oneself and others.
strand1 (noun)(formal) the shore. vb to run aground. adj stranded left helpless without money, friends, etc (she found herself stranded with nowhere to stay).
strand2 (noun)1 one of the threads of a rope or string. 2 a single length of hair, wool, etc.
strange (adjective)1 unusual, odd (strange animals). 2 unfamiliar (strange to the job). 3 peculiar, uncomfortable, unwell (feel strange).
strangeness (noun)the state or quality of being strange.
stranger (noun)1 a person previously unknown. 2 a new arrival to a place, town, etc. 3 a person who is unfamilar with or ignorant of something (a stranger to the truth).
strangle (verb)to kill by pressing the throat tightly, to choke.
strap (noun)1 a narrow band of leather or other material (a strap around the suitcase). 2 a leather belt. vb (strapped , strapping ) 1 to fasten with a strap (strap the load on the donkey). 2 to beat with a strap.
strapless (adjective)having no strap (strapless dress).
strapping (adjective)tall and strong (strapping athletes).
strataplural of stratum.
stratagem (noun)a trick intended to deceive (a stratagem to get into the house unnoticed).
strategic(al) (adjective)having to do with strategy.
strategist (noun)a person skilled in strategy.
strategize (verb),also strategise (British spelling) to plan a strategy.
strategy (noun)1 the art of dealing with a situation in such a way as to gain from it the greatest advantage possible (the strategy required to get the council to agree to the building of the new road). 2 in war, the planning of a campaign.
stratify (verb)to form into or set out in layers. n stratification
Stratigraphystudy of geological layers or strata (see list of branches of science)
stratosphere (noun)a layer of the earth’s atmosphere (5–10 miles up) in which temperature does not become lower as a person goes higher.
stratum (noun)(pl strata ) 1 a layer of rock, earth, etc, forming part of the earth’s surface. 2 a level (a stratum of society).
straw (noun)1 the dried stalks of corn, etc (lay straw for the cattle to lie on). 2 one such stalk or something resembling it (suck lemonade through a straw). 3 something of no worth (not worth a straw).
strawberry (noun)1 a wild or garden plant. 2 the juicy red fruit it bears.
stray (verb)to wander, to lose the way (find the animal that had strayed). adj 1 lost, off the right path (stray animals). 2 occasional (stray flowers in the wood). n a lost or wandering person, animal, or thing.
streakCollective noun for tigers (A streak of tigers) (see list of collective nouns)
streak (noun)1 a long, narrow mark or stain, a stripe, a narrow band (streaks of red in the sky). 2 part of a person’s character (a streak of nastiness). vb to mark with streaks.
streaky (adjective)consisting of or marked with streaks (streaky hair/streaky bacon).
streamCollective noun for minnows (A stream of minnows) (see list of collective nouns)
streamCollective noun for urologists (A stream of urologists) (see list of collective nouns)
stream (noun)1 a current of any liquid or gas. 2 a small river. 3 a succession of people moving in one direction (a stream of people leaving the office). vb 1 to move in a stream. 2 to flow freely.
streamer (noun)1 a long narrow flag. 2 a narrow strip of ribbon or colored paper for flying in the wind (streamers flying from the bus window).
streamline (verb)1 to build so as to offer minimum resistance to air or water. 2 to make more efficient.
street (noun)a public road lined with buildings in a city or town.
streetcar (noun),also tram, tramcar (British spelling) a large coach or car on rails for the public to use.
streetlight (noun)a light mounted on a tall pole used to light up a street.
streetwise (adjective)knowing how to keep out of trouble.
strength (noun)1 bodily power (not have the strength to lift the load). 2 might, force. 3 the number of persons of a class, army, etc, present or on the roll (when the staff is at full strength).
strengthen (verb)to make or become stronger (strengthen the wall/strengthen our case).
strenuous (adjective)requiring much energy (a strenuous task).
stress (verb)1 to point out the importance of. 2 to emphasize with the voice (stress the second syllable of the word). n 1 importance (put some stress on the cost of the project). 2 strain, pressure (not coping with the stress of the job). 3 the special emphasis given to particular syllables, words, etc, when speaking.
stressed , stressed-out (adjective)tired, nervous, or depressed as a result of overwork, problems, etc.
stretch (verb)1 to make or become longer or broader by pulling. 2 to draw out to the fullest extent (stretch muscles after exercise). 3 to reach out (stretch out for the salt). 4 to exaggerate, to make seem more important, bigger, etc, than in reality. n a large expanse of land or water (a stretch of farmland).
stretcher (noun)a light frame for carrying a sick or wounded person.
stretchy (adjective)that can be stretched.
strew (verb)(pp strewn ) to scatter about, to spread at intervals over (the little bridesmaid strewed flowers in the bride’s path).
stricken (adjective)affected by (stricken with a fatal illness).
strict (adjective)1 severe. 2 demanding that others obey the rules (a strict teacher).
stricture (noun)1 blame, unfavorable criticism of a person. 2 limit (strictures on their freedom).
stride (verb)(pt strode ) to walk with long steps. n a long step.
strident (adjective)loud and harsh in sound (strident voices).
strife (noun)open disagreement, arguing, fighting.
strike (verb)(pt, pp struck ) 1 to hit (he struck his opponent). 2 (of a clock) to sound the hours or quarters. 3 to stop work to try to make employers grant better pay or conditions. 4 to come suddenly to mind (it struck me that they were late). 5 to make and stamp (a coin or medal). 6 to take down (a flag or tent). 7 to light (a match) by rubbing. 8 to come upon by chance (strike a bad patch). n a stopping of work.
striking (adjective)attracting attention because of being fine or unusual (a striking dress/she was a very striking woman).
stringCollective noun for beads (A string of beads) (see list of collective nouns)
stringCollective noun for jobs (A string of jobs) (see list of collective nouns)
stringCollective noun for pearls (A string of pearls) (see list of collective nouns)
stringCollective noun for ponies (A string of ponies) (see list of collective nouns)
stringCollective noun for racehorses (A string of racehorses) (see list of collective nouns)
stringCollective noun for violinists (A string of violinists) (see list of collective nouns)
string (noun)1 a cord or strong thread. 2 the cord or wire of a musical instrument. 3 a number of persons or things, one following the other (a string of applicants for the job). vb 1 to put on a string. 2 to put a string into (a musical instrument).
string bean (noun)a long, thin, green, edible bean pod.
stringent (adjective)1 severe, strict, laying down exact rules to be obeyed (stringent measures). 2 marked by severe lack of money or by firm control (stringent financial conditions). n stringency
stringy (adjective)1 like string (stringy beans). 2 thin and muscular (stringy arms).
strip (verb)(stripped , stripping ) 1 to pull off the outer covering. 2 to undress (they stripped to swim). 3 to take everything from (strip the room of everything valuable). n a long, narrow piece.
stripe (noun)1 a band or streak of different color from those on either side of it (a pattern of blue and white stripes). 2 kind, sort, type (a man of a certain stripe). adj stripy , striped marked with stripes.
strive (verb)(pt strove or strived , pp striven ) to try as hard as possible, to struggle (strive to reach the top).
strobe light (noun)a light that gives off very bright, rapid flashes.
stroganoff (adjective)cooked with sour cream, onions, mushrooms, etc (beef stroganoff).
stroke1 (noun)1 a blow. 2 a sudden turn of luck, good or bad. 3 a sudden attack of illness, especially one affecting the brain. 4 a line made by a pen, pencil, etc. 5 one sound from a bell (at the stroke of ten). 6 the oarsman in a boat with whom the others keep time when rowing.
stroke2 (verb)to rub gently with the hand in one direction (stroking the cat’s fur).
stroll (verb)to walk in a leisurely way (stroll along the path). n a short leisurely walk.
stroller (noun)1 a person who strolls. 2 a baby carriage.
strong (adjective)1 powerful (a strong influence). 2 healthy (children getting strong after their illness). 3 possessing bodily power (a strong man).
stronghold (noun)1 a fort. 2 a place difficult to capture by attack.
structure (noun)1 a building. 2 anything consisting of parts put together according to a plan. 3 the way in which a thing is put together (the structure of the organization). adj structural
strudel (noun)a kind of pastry made of a very thin sheet of double covered with fillings and then rolled and baked.
struggle (verb)1 to try hard. 2 to fight. n 1 a hard effort (put up a struggle). 2 a fight.
strum (verb)(strummed , strumming ) 1 to play a tune carelessly. 2 to play on a stringed instrument by plucking the strings (strum on a guitar).
strut1 (verb)(strutted , strutting ) to walk stiffly, as if trying to look important (the bully was strutting around the playground). Also n.
strut2 (noun)a supporting bar; a prop or support.
strychnine (noun)a highly poisonous drug.
stub (noun)1 a short piece left when the rest is cut off or used up. 2 the retained section of a ticket, etc. vb (stubbed , stubbing ) to strike (the toes) against something by accident (I stubbed my toe on the table leg).
stubble (noun)1 the stumps of the corn stalks left in the ground after reaping. 2 the short bristly hairs that grow after a person has shaved.
stubborn (adjective)unwilling to change point of view, not ready to give in.
stubby (adjective)short and broad, short and thick (stubby fingers).
studCollective noun for mares (A stud of mares) (see list of collective nouns)
studCollective noun for poker players (A stud of poker players) (see list of collective nouns)
stud1 (noun)1 a nail with a large head or knob. 2 a fastener with a head at each end for linking two buttonholes (collar stubs). 3 one of the supporting wooden beams in a wall. vb (studded , studding ) 1 to decorate with many small ornaments. 2 to cover with (a dress studded with sequins). adj studded covered with studs (studded belt).
stud2 (noun)1 a number of horses kept for breeding. 2 the place where they are kept.
student (noun)a person who studies; a person who goes to school (university students).
studied (adjective)done with care, deliberate (with studied politeness).
studio (noun)1 the room in which a painter, sculptor, photographer, etc, works. 2 a building in which films are made. 3 a place in which records are made or a room from which programs are broadcast.
studious (adjective)of, given to, or engaged in study (studious pupils).
study (verb)1 to read about or look at to obtain knowledge (studied local history). 2 to examine closely, to think deeply about (studying the evidence). n 1 the obtaining of information, especially by reading. 2 a subject studied. 3 an office, a room set aside for reading and learning (the professor’s study). 4 a work of art done to improve a person’s skill.
stuff (noun)1 the material or substance of which something is made. 2 anything said, done, written, composed, etc. 3 cloth (clothes of hard-wearing stuff). vb 1 to fill full or tightly. 2 to fill something hollow with another material.
stuffing (noun)1 material used to stuff something hollow (stuffing for cushions). 2 a mixture of breadcrumbs, seasoning, etc, put inside chickens, etc, when cooking (turkey stuffing).
stuffy (adjective)hot and airless (a stuffy room).
stumble (verb)1 to trip and nearly fall (stumbling over an uneven piece of road). 2 to make an error, to do wrong. 3 to come upon by chance (stumble upon the solution). n a trip, a false step when walking, nearly causing a person to fall.
stump (noun)1 the part of a tree left above ground when the rest is cut down. 2 the part of a limb left after the rest has been amputated. vb 1 to walk heavily (she stumped out of the room angrily). 2 to ask someone a question that he or she is unable to answer.
stumpy (adjective)short and thick, short and broad (stumpy fingers).
stun (verb)(stunned , stunning ) 1 to knock senseless. 2 to amaze (stunned by the changes in the city center). n stunner (informal) a person or thing that stuns. adj stunning extremely attractive.
stunt1 (verb)to prevent the full growth of (plants stunted because of frost).
stunt2 (noun)1 a trick to display special skill or daring. 2 anything done to attract attention or gain publicity (a publicity stunt for their new product).
stunted (adjective)undersized.
stupefaction (noun)(formal) amazement.
stupefy (verb)1 to make stupid, to make the senses less acute (stupefied by the drug). 2 to amaze.
stupendous (adjective)extraordinary, so large or powerful that it amazes.
stupid (adjective)foolish, not intelligent, slow to understand. n stupidity
stupor (noun)temporary inability to think clearly, confusion of mind (in a stupor because he just woke up).
sturdy (adjective)strong, well-built (sturdy children).
sturgeon (noun)a large fish from whose eggs caviar is made.
stutter (verb)to speak with difficulty, to repeat the first sound of a word several times before saying the whole word. n a stammer.
sty1 (noun)an enclosure or pen in which pigs are kept.
sty2, stye (noun)a swelling on the edge of the eyelid.
Stygiophobia fear of hell (see list of phobias)
style (noun)1 manner of doing anything (her style of teaching). 2 a way of writing, painting, etc, by which works of art can be recognized as the work of a particular artist, school, or period (discuss the style of the writer in the essay). 3 a fashion (the style of the 1920s). 4 elegance (dress with style).
stylish (adjective)well-dressed, smart, fashionable.
stylist (noun)a person who designs, creates, or advises on current styles of clothing, hair, etc.
stylistic (adjective)having to do with style.
stylistics (noun)the study of style as a way of figuring out meaning.
stylize (verb),also stylise (British spelling) to make part of one particular style.
Stylometrystudy of literature by means of statistical analysis (see list of branches of science)
suave (adjective)agreeable in manner, especially in an insincere way. n suavity
sub-prefix under, below.
subconscious (adjective)not fully aware of what one is doing (a subconscious hatred of his father). n mental processes that go on without a person being fully aware of them.
subdivide (verb)to divide into smaller parts or groups. n subdivision
subdue (verb)to conquer, to force to be tame or obedient.
subdued (adjective)not bright, not loud (subdued lighting).
subject (adjective)1 ruled by another. 2 liable to (subject to colds). n 1 a person who owes loyalty to a ruler or government. 2 that about which something is said or written (he was the subject of the newspaper article). 3 something studied (she studied French among other subjects at school). 4 in a clause or sentence, the word with which the verb agrees grammatically. vb 1 to bring under the power of. 2 to expose to (subject them to ridicule).
subjection (noun)control, the state of being under another’s rule or power.
subjective (adjective)having to do with a person’s own ideas and feelings rather than with objects outside (a subjective judgment).
sublet (verb)to rent to another what one is already paying rent for (while she was working abroad, she sublet her flat to a friend). Also n.
sublime (adjective)noble, awe-inspiring, grand, lofty.
subliminal (adjective)not quite at a conscious level (TV commercials with subliminal messages).
sublimity (noun)greatness of feeling or expression.
submarine (noun)a ship that can travel under the surface of the sea (the submarine surfaced long before it reached its berth). adj under the surface of the sea.
Submechanophobiafear of submerged objects (see list of phobias)
submerge (verb)to put or sink under water. n submergence
submersion (noun)the act of putting or sinking under water.
submission (noun)1 surrender, obedience, the act of giving in or yielding. 2 a proposal or opinion (their submission was rejected).
submissive (adjective)willing to accept orders, ready to give in without fighting back (the young wolf was submissive in the presence of the adult wolves). adv submissively.
submit (verb)(submitted , submitting ) 1 to give in (submit to the enemy). 2 to put forward for consideration (submit a claim for expenses).
subordinate (adjective)1 less important (subordinate issues). 2 of lower rank. n a person who is lower in rank, a person who is working under the orders of another. vb 1 to place in a lower rank, to put under the command of. 2 to regard as less important. n subordination
subpoena (noun)an order to appear as a witness in a court of law.
subscribe (verb)1 to sign the name under. 2 to agree with (unable to subscribe to his views). 3 to give or promise to give money to a fund or collection (subscribing to a children’s charity). 4 to give money to receive a weekly, monthly, etc, magazine, newspaper, etc (subscribe to Time magazine). n subscriber
subscription (noun)1 a signature. 2 a sum of money given to a fund, collection, magazine, newspaper, etc.
subsequent (adjective)following, later (on subsequent occasions).
subservient (adjective)ready to do all one is told to gain favor (subservient members of staff).
subside (verb)1 to sink gradually down (buildings subsiding). 2 to become less, to disappear gradually (the wind subsided).
subsidence (noun)a gradual sinking down, especially of land.
subsidiary (adjective)of less importance (subsidiary issues).
subsidize (verb),also subsidise (British spelling) to pay a subsidy to (subsidizing the children’s theater).
subsidy (noun)money paid by the government to certain groups, trades, etc, to enable them to provide the public with necessary services without losing money (subsidies for renovating old houses).
subsist (verb)to live or exist, to have the means of living (subsisting on very little money).
subsistence (noun)existence, being; that which is necessary to support life (food, clothing, shelter).
substance (noun)1 the material of which a thing is made (a waterproof substance). 2 that which really exists (not what is imagined). 3 the chief ideas in a speech or written work. 4 (formal) wealth (a man of substance).
substantial (adjective)1 really existing. 2 solid. 3 fairly large or important (a substantial improvement).
substantiate (verb)to prove the truth of (substantiating his claim to the truth).
substitute (verb)to put in place of (substituting tofu for meat). n a person or thing put in the place of another (the teacher had a substitute yesterday). Also adj (substitute teacher). n substitution
subterranean (adjective)underground (subterranean caves).
subtitle (noun)1 a second, less important, title of a book. 2 explanatory comments, etc, printed on silent or foreign-language films.
subtle (adjective)1 cunning, clever, not obvious (he succeeded in persuading her by subtle means). 2 difficult to understand completely (a subtle difference). 3 faint or delicate (subtle colors).
subtletyCollective noun for designers (A subtlety of designers) (see list of collective nouns)
subtletyCollective noun for sergeants (A subtlety of sergeants) (see list of collective nouns)
subtlety (noun)1 skill, cleverness. 2 refinement.
subtract (verb)to take (one number) from another. n subtraction
suburb (noun)an outlying part of a city. adj suburban
subversive (adjective)intended or likely to overthrow or destroy; directed against the government, management, organization, etc (a subversive section of the club).
subvert (verb)(formal) to overthrow, to try to destroy (try to subvert the government). n subversion
subway (noun)1 an underground passage (use the subway to get across the busy road). 2 an underground railway.
succeed (verb)1 to do what a person has attempted or desired to do (succeeded in climbing the mountain). 2 to come after, to follow in order and take the place of (the president who succeeded George Washington/he succeeded his father as chairman).
success (noun)1 the doing of what a person has attempted or desired to do. 2 a favorable result or outcome. 3 a person or thing that does as well as was hoped or expected. adj successful
succession (noun)1 a number of persons or things following one another in order (a succession of people were interviewed for the post). 2 the order in which people may inherit a title when it becomes available.
successive (adjective)coming in order, following one after another (on successive occasions).
successor (noun)a person who comes after or takes the place of another (the president’s successor).
succinct (adjective)short and to the point, concise (a succinct account of the meeting).
succor (verb),also succour (British spelling) (formal) to help when in difficulty. n aid, help (give succor to the injured).
succotash (noun)a dish of lima beans and kernels of corn cooked together.
succulent (adjective)juicy (succulent peaches).
succumb (verb)1 to give way to, to be overcome. 2 to die.
such (adjective)1 of a like kind or degree, similar. 2 so extreme, so much, so great, etc (happy with such praise). adv to so great a degree (such good news).
suck (verb)1 to draw into or in with the mouth (suck juice from a straw). 2 to draw the liquid from the mouth or something in it with the tongue (suck sweets). Also n.
sucker (noun)1 a person or thing that sucks. 2 (informal) a foolish or gullible person.
suckle (verb)1 to give milk from the breast (sows suckling their piglets). 2 to suck milk from the breast.
suckling (noun)a baby or animal still feeding from its mother’s breast.
suction (noun)the act of sucking; the drawing up of a fluid into a tube, etc, by expelling the air so that the fluid fills where the air once was.
sudden (adjective)happening without warning, unexpected, hurried (there was a sudden change in the weather).
suds (noun, plural)the froth on soapy water. adj sudsy
sue (verb)1 to bring a case against in a court of law (sue him for slander). 2 (formal) to beg for (suing for mercy).
suede (noun)a soft kind of leather that is brushed and buffed so that it has a soft, furry feel to it. Also adj.
suet (noun)hard fatty tissue around the kidneys of cattle and sheep, used in cooking (she makes a delicious beef suet pudding).
suffer (verb)1 to undergo pain or great anxiety (families suffering during the strike). 2 to experience or undergo (suffer defeat). 3 to put up with (she was prepared to suffer the noise for a few minutes). n suffering the bearing of pain, distress, etc.
suffice (verb)(formal) to be enough (a little will suffice).
sufficiency (noun)a big enough supply.
sufficient (adjective)enough (not sufficient money to buy food).
suffix (noun)a syllable added to the end of a word (e.g. -ness, -ly) to change its use or meaning.
suffocate (verb)1 to choke for lack of air (people suffocating in the heat). 2 to kill by preventing from breathing. n suffocation
suffocationCollective noun for aunts (A suffocation of aunts) (see list of collective nouns)
suffrage (noun)(formal) the right to vote in elections. n suffragist a person who believes in giving people the right to vote.
suffragette (noun)in the nineteenth century, a woman who claimed and obtained the right for women to vote (Susan B Anthony was a suffragette).
suffuse (verb)(formal) to spread over (a blush suffusing her cheeks). n suffusion
sugar (noun)a sweet substance manufactured from sugar cane, beets, etc. vb 1 to sweeten with sugar (sugared the strawberries) 2 to try to make more acceptable (try to sugar the insult). adj sugary
sugar beet (noun)a plant with a root from which sugar is obtained.
sugar cane (noun)a tall, stiff reed from which sugar is obtained.
sugarcoat (verb)1 to cover or coat with sugar. 2 to make something unpleasant not seem so bad.
suggest (verb)1 to put forward (suggest some improvements). 2 to hint (she thought that he was suggesting that she was a liar). 3 to cause an idea to come into the mind (a perfume suggesting roses).
suggestion (noun)1 a proposal. 2 a hint.
suggestive (adjective)1 putting ideas into the mind (suggestive of Victorian times). 2 rather indecent (suggestive remarks about her appearance).
suicide (noun)1 the killing of oneself on purpose. 2 a person who kills himself or herself on purpose (the police found the suicide). adj suicidal
Suicidologystudy of suicide (see list of branches of science)
suit (verb)1 to please or satisfy (it suits him to go). 2 to go well with. 3 to look nice on (a dress that suits her). n 1 a set of clothes of the same material (a business suit). 2 attentions paid to a lady with the intention of marrying her. 3 one of the four sets (hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds) in a pack of playing cards. follow suit 1 to play a card from the same suit. 2 to do the same as or follow the example of another (he left and she followed suit).
suitable (adjective)what is wanted for the purpose, fitting the occasion (suitable clothes for the job).
suitcase (noun)a traveling bag for clothes.
suiteCollective noun for furniture (A suite of furniture) (see list of collective nouns)
suiteCollective noun for rooms (A suite of rooms) (see list of collective nouns)
suite (noun)1 a set of rooms or furniture (the bedroom suite). 2 all the attendants who wait upon a certain person. 3 a series of connected pieces of music. 4 a group of connected rooms (they booked the bridal suite in the hotel).
suitor (noun)1 a person making a request or asking for a favor. 2 a man paying attention to a lady with the intention of marrying her.
sulfate (noun),also sulphate (British spelling) a salt of sulfuric acid.
sulfur (noun),also sulphur (British spelling) a yellow non-metallic element.
sulfuric (adjective) also sulphuric (British spelling)having to do with or containing sulfur.
sulfurous (adjective) also sulphurous (British spelling) having to do with or like sulfur.
sulk (verb)to behave in an ill-humored, unfriendly way, to refuse to speak to others because of ill-temper (she sulked when she didn’t get her own way).
sulky (adjective)ill-natured, not mixing with others because of ill-humor (sulky because he didn’t get his own way).
sullen (adjective)ill-natured, silently bad-tempered, gloomy, sad.
sultana (noun)1 a small white, seedless grape. 2 the dried fruit of this grape used in cakes, etc.
sultry (adjective)very hot and close (sultry weather).
sumCollective noun for adders (A sum of adders) (see list of collective nouns)
sum (noun)1 the answer obtained by adding several numbers together. 2 the total or entire amount, especially of money (the sum gathered for the charity). 3 a problem in arithmetic. vb (summed , summing ) to add up. sum up to summarize.
summarize (verb),also summarise (British spelling) to give a brief account of the main points (summarizing the discussion of the committee).
summary (noun)a brief account of the main points (summaries of their speeches). adj 1 short. 2 done quickly or by a short method (their summary dismissal of him).
summation (noun)the act or process of summing up or of finding a total.
summer (noun)the warmest season of the year, generally June, July, and August in the northern hemisphere. adj summery of or like summer.
summit (noun)1 the highest point, the top. 2 a meeting of the heads of government, or other high-ranking officials, of several countries to discuss matters of great importance (a summit on the pollution of the environment).
summon (verb)1 to call upon to appear before an official (summoned by the court). 2 to call upon to do something (he summoned all his strength).
summons (noun)an order to appear for trial by a court of law. vb to present with such on order.
sumo wrestling (noun)a Japanese form of wrestling, performed by very large men. n sumo wrestler.
sump (noun)a hole or hollow in which liquid collects (e.g. an oil sump in an engine).
sumptuous (adjective)splendid, very expensive, luxurious (a sumptuous palace).
sun (noun)1 (often cap) the heavenly body that gives light and heat to the earth and other planets in the same system. 2 the warmth or light given by the sun.
sunbathe (verb)to lie out in the sun.
sunblock (noun)a preparation (usually a cream or a lotion) applied to the skin to prevent sunburn.
sunburn (noun)a reddening of the skin’s color caused by exposure to the sun. Also vb.
sundae (noun)ice cream served with fruit, nuts, syrup, etc.
Sunday (noun)the first day of the week.
sundial (noun)an instrument that tells the time by casting the shadow of an indicator on a face marked with the hours.
sun-dried (adjective)dried by the sun (sun-dried tomatoes).
sunflower (noun)a tall plant with a large yellow flower.
sunglasses (noun)tinted glasses to shade the eyes from the brightness of the sun.
sunlight (noun)the light of the sun. adj sunlit
sunny (adjective)1 brightly lit by the sun. 2 cheerful, happy (a sunny nature).
sunrise (noun)the appearance of the sun above the horizon in the morning.
sunscreensee sunblock.
sunset (noun)the disappearance of the sun below the horizon in the evening.
sunshine (noun)1 the light or warmth of the sun. 2 cheerfulness (the sunshine of her nature).
sunstroke (noun)heatstroke caused by the effect of prolonged exposure to strong sunlight on the body.
suntan (noun)a darkening of the skin caused by the sun.
sunward (adjective)facing the sun.
sup (verb)(supped , supping ) 1 (old) to take supper. 2 to eat or drink in small mouthfuls. n a small mouthful.
super-prefix above, over.
super (adjective)outstanding, great, wonderful.
superb (adjective)magnificent, excellent (a superb performance).
supercilious (adjective)1 over-proud, having a scornful manner, looking down on others (a supercilious young woman). 2 disdainful, scornful (a supercilious look).
superficial (adjective)1 on the surface (superficial wounds). 2 not deeply felt or thought about (a superficial knowledge). 3 shallow, incapable of deep thought or feeling (a superficial person). n superficiality
superfluityCollective noun for nuns (A superfluity of nuns) (see list of collective nouns)
superfluityCollective noun for similes (A superfluity of similes) (see list of collective nouns)
superfluous (adjective)more than enough, unnecessary (his advice was superfluous). n superfluity
superhero (noun)an all-powerful hero of a kind found in comic books.
superhuman (adjective)more than human, extraordinary, divine (make a superhuman effort).
superimpose (verb)to lay on top of something else (superimposing one photograph on another).
superintend (verb)to supervise, manage.
superintendent (noun)1 one who superintends. 2 a person in charge of a department, group, school, etc.
superior (adjective)1 higher in rank (his superior officer). 2 better (a superior player). n 1 a person higher in rank. 2 a person better than others (he is his brother’s superior on the football field). 3 the head of a monastery or convent. n superiority
superlative (adjective)1 excellent, above all others in quality (a superlative musical performance). 2 expressing the highest degree (best is the superlative degree of good).
superman (noun)a man of extraordinary powers, the imagined perfect human being of the future.
supermarket (noun)a large shop selling (usually by self service) food and household goods.
supernatural (adjective)1 not to be explained by natural causes (supernatural forces). 2 caused by direct divine intervention in human affairs.
supernova (noun)an exploding star giving off millions of times more light than the sun.
supersede (verb)to take the place of, to put another in the place of (some hobbies have been superseded by television viewing).
supersonic (adjective)faster than sound (Concorde was a supersonic passenger aircraft).
superstition (noun)1 a tendency to believe that certain human beings or objects have more than natural powers. 2 belief in magic, luck, etc (the superstition that black cats are unlucky). adj superstitious
supervise (verb)1 to watch others to see that they do their work properly (supervising the students doing homework). 2 to be in charge of (supervised the dress department). n supervision n supervisor
supper (noun)a light evening meal.
supple (adjective)1 (formal) easily bent. 2 bending or moving easily and gracefully (supple gymnasts).
supplement (noun)1 something added to make up what is lacking (she always took vitamin supplements in winter). 2 an addition. vb to make additions to.
supplementary (adjective)given in addition, given to make up what is lacking (supplementary income).
suppliant (adjective)(formal) begging for as a favor. n (formal) a person humbly asking for a favor.
supply (verb)to provide what is needed (supplied food for the party). n 1 a store of what is needed. 2 pl stores (supplies were sent up to the base camp).
support (verb)1 to help to hold up (many struts supported the bridge). 2 to give help or encouragement to (support the cause). 3 to provide the necessities of life for (support a family). 4 to put up with (unable to support the noise of the machinery). n 1 a prop. 2 assistance, encouragement. 3 a person or thing that supports. adj supportive
supporter (noun)a person who helps or encourages (supporters of the president’s cause).
suppose (verb)1 to believe to be true without sure evidence (we suppose that he is honest). 2 to imagine. 3 to think probable (I suppose she has gone home). adv supposedly according to what is, was, or may be supposed.
supposition (noun)1 a guess. 2 something taken as true or imagined.
suppress (verb)1 to put down, to crush (suppress the rebellion). 2 to prevent from being known (they suppressed information about the accident). n suppression
suppressant (noun)something, especially a drug, that suppresses an action, condition, etc (cough suppressant).
Supramolecular chemistrystudy of the chemistry of assembled molecular sub-units (see list of branches of science)
supremacist (noun)a person who believes that one group is superior to others.
supremacy (noun)the highest power or authority.
supreme (adjective)1 highest in power or authority. 2 greatest (supreme happiness).
sura (noun)any of the main chapters in the Koran.
surcharge (noun)an extra charge (a surcharge for taxis ordered after midnight).
sure (adjective)1 certain (I’m sure he’ll come). 2 convinced of (sure of her own ability). 3 unfailing (a sure remedy).
surely (adverb)without doubt.
surf (noun)the foamy water caused by waves breaking on a sloping shore.
surface (noun)1 the outside or top part of anything. 2 outside appearance (she seems happy on the surface but I know that inside she is really unhappy). vb to rise to the surface (divers surfacing).
surfboardsee surfing.
surfeit (noun)too much of anything (there was a surfeit of rich food at the party). vb to overfeed.
surfing (noun)1 the sport of riding on the crest of large waves while standing on a long, narrow board with a rounded or pointed front end, called a surfboard 2 the act of moving from site to site on the Internet looking for something interesting. vb surf
surge (noun)the rising of a wave; the up-and-down movement of the surface of the sea. vb to rise, to well up, as a wave.
surgeon (noun)a doctor skilled in surgery.
surgery (noun)1 the art or science of curing disease by cutting the body open to fix whatever is wrong (the surgeon removed the patient’s appendix). 2 a place where a doctor sees patients.
surgical (adjective)having to do with surgery (surgical treatment).
Suriphobiafear of mice (see list of phobias)
surly (adjective)gloomy and ill-humored. n surliness
surname (noun)a person’s family name.
surpass (verb)to do better than (his performance surpassed that of the others).
surpassing (adjective)excellent.
surplus (noun)the amount by which anything is more than is required (a surplus of apples that autumn).
surprise (noun)1 the feeling caused by what is sudden or unexpected. 2 a sudden or unexpected event, gift, piece of news, etc (it was a surprise when she arrived). vb 1 to come upon when not expected. 2 to take unawares, to startle, to astonish (surprising the enemy). adj surprising
surreal (adjective)bizarre, strange, of or related to surrealism.
surrealism (noun)an artistic style that focuses on the unconscious mind, dreams, and fantastic, irrational subject material. adj surrealistic
surrender (verb)1 to stop fighting and accept the enemy’s terms, to give up. 2 to hand over (have to surrender his passport at the border). Also n.
surrey (noun)a light, four-wheeled carriage of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
surrogate (noun)1 a substitute. 2 a woman who, by agreement, has the baby of another woman who cannot for some reason bear the child. Also adj. n surrogacy the fact or condition of being a surrogate.
surround (verb)to go, put, or be on all sides of (trees surrounded the house).
surroundings (noun, plural)the objects or country around a person or place (live in beautiful surroundings).
surveillance (noun)a careful watch (he was under police surveillance).
survey (verb)1 to look over. 2 to look at carefully. 3 to measure an area of land and make a plan of it. n 1 a general view. 2 the measuring of a piece of land. 3 a plan made of a piece of land.
surveyor (noun)a person who surveys land.
survival (noun)1 act of surviving. 2 a person or thing that has lived on from a past age. survival of the fittest the belief that only those kinds of plants, animals, etc, live on that have been able to adapt to their surroundings.
survivalist (noun)a person who is determined to survive.
survive (verb)1 to live on after (she survived her husband). 2 to continue to live or exist (several were killed but she survived).
survivor (noun)a person who has lived on, especially after a disaster (survivors of the plane crash).
susceptible (adjective)easily influenced or affected by (susceptible to colds su-sep-ti-bi-li-tee/.
sushi (noun)a Japanese dish of small cakes of cold rice served with raw or cooked fish, vegetables, etc.
suspect (verb)1 to think something is the case but have no proof (I suspect that he is leaving). 2 to mistrust, to doubt the truth of. 3 to believe to be guilty (suspect him of murder). n a person who is suspected. adj doubtful, not worthy of trust.
suspend (verb)1 to hang from (hooks suspended from the roof). 2 to cause to stop for a time (sales of the product have been suspended).
suspenders (noun, plural)1 elastic straps for holding up pants. 2 an elastic strap attached to a belt or corset having a fastener at the end, for holding up women’s stockings.
suspense (noun)uncertainty or anxiety about what may happen in the future (the suspense of waiting for exam results).
suspension (noun)the state of being suspended.
suspension bridge (noun)a bridge suspended by chains or steel ropes from towers or arches.
suspicion (noun)a feeling of doubt or mistrust.
suspicious (adjective)doubtful, mistrustful (suspicious about his neighbor’s activities).
sustain (verb)1 to keep up, to support (sustain the weight of the statue). 2 to give strength to (sustained by a good meal). 3 to keep in existence over a long period (sustain his interest). 4 to undergo (sustain damage). adj sustainable able to be sustained.
sustenance (noun)food, nourishment.
suteCollective noun for bloodhounds (A sute of bloodhounds) (see list of collective nouns)
suture (noun)1 the act of joining together as by sewing. 2 something, such as thread, used to stitch together two bodily surfaces. vb to join together by sewing.
SUVabbreviation for Sport Utility Vehicle a vehicle the size of a truck that can be driven off-road.
svelte (adjective)slender and graceful, polished, sophisticated.
swab (noun)1 a pad of cotton (sometimes round a stick) used for cleansing wounds, applying medicines, etc. 2 a mop for cleaning decks, etc. vb (swabbed , swabbing ) to clean with a swab.
swagger (verb)to walk proudly; to behave boastfully (the bully swaggered down the road). Also n.
swallow1 (verb)1 to draw down the throat and into the stomach (swallow pills). 2 to enclose in the middle of something bigger (villages swallowed up by the growing city). 3 to believe without question (did not swallow the story). n the act of swallowing.
swallow2 (noun)a small bird with long wings and a forked tail.
swami (noun)a Hindu title of respect, especially for a religious leader.
swamp (noun)wet, marshy ground. vb 1 to flood. 2 to overwhelm by great numbers or strength (swamped by letters of application).
swampy (adjective)soft and wet, marshy.
swan (noun)a long-necked bird of the duck family.
swank (noun)a stylish display of dress, behavior, etc. adj swanky
swap (verb)(swapped , swapping ) to exchange (one thing for another) (the children are swapping model cars).
swarmCollective noun for bees (A swarm of bees) (see list of collective nouns)
swarmCollective noun for earthquakes (A swarm of earthquakes) (see list of collective nouns)
swarmCollective noun for eels (A swarm of eels) (see list of collective nouns)
swarmCollective noun for flies (A swarm of flies) (see list of collective nouns)
swarmCollective noun for insects (A swarm of insects) (see list of collective nouns)
swarmCollective noun for suitors (A swarm of suitors) (see list of collective nouns)
swarm (noun)1 a large number of insects (e.g. bees) moving as a group. 2 a large closely packed crowd (swarms of people going to the sales). vb 1 to come together in large numbers. 2 (of bees, etc) to leave the hive in a body.
swarthy (adjective)dark-skinned.
swash (noun)a body of swift, dashing water; the splashing of water or the sound of this.
swastika (noun)an ancient symbol of a cross with four equal arms each bent at right angles. Found throughout history but during the twentieth century it was used to symbolize Nazi Germany and Nazi beliefs.
swat (verb)(swatted , swatting ) to hit sharply, to crush (swat the flies).
swatch (noun)a sample piece of cloth.
swathe (verb)to wrap up in bandages or clothing. n swathe or swath.
sway (verb)1 to move with a rocking motion from side to side or backward and forward (trees swaying in the wind). 2 to rule, to have influence over (he’s easily swayed). n 1 a rocking movement. 2 control, rule.
swear (verb)(pt swore , pp sworn ) 1 to promise to tell the truth. 2 to declare something is true. 3 to use bad words or bad language, to use words that are considered offensive and socially unacceptable.
sweat (noun)1 the moisture that oozes from the body when it is overheated, perspiration. 2 the process of sweating. vb 1 to perspire. 2 (informal) to work long and hard (sweat to pass the exams). 3 (informal) to fret and worry.
sweater (noun)a heavy close-fitting knitted woolen outer garment for the upper body; a close-fitting garment put on over the head (wear a warm sweater over his shirt).
sweaty (adjective)(informal) damp with perspiration (sweaty feet).
sweep (verb)(pt, pp swept ) 1 to clean with a brush or broom (sweep the floor). 2 to move along swiftly and smoothly (the waves swept toward the shore/panic swept through the crowd). 3 to remove with an extensive or curving movement (sweep the papers into the drawer). n 1 an extensive or curving movement. 2 a quick look over. 3 a person who cleans chimneys. sweep the board to win everything offered or at stake.
sweeping (adjective)1 wide, extensive (sweeping changes). 2 without reservations, indiscriminate (a sweeping statement).
sweet (adjective)1 tasting like honey or sugar (sweet fruit). 2 having a pleasing smell (the sweet smell of roses). 3 pleasing to the senses (sweet music). 4 gentle and likeable (she’s a sweet old lady). 5 pretty (a sweet dress). n 1 a candy. 2 a dessert. adv sweetly have a sweet tooth to like eating sweet-tasting things.
sweet pea (noun)a garden plant with sweet-smelling flowers.
sweet potato (noun)a plant whose orange-colored root is used as a vegetable.
sweeten (verb)to make or become sweet (sweeten the pudding with honey). n sweetener a thing that makes something sweet. n sweetening the process of making something sweet.
sweetheart (noun)a person dearly loved, a lover.
sweetnessCollective noun for sopranos (A sweetness of sopranos) (see list of collective nouns)
swell (verb)(pp swollen ) 1 to grow larger (the lump is swelling). 2 to make or become louder (the music swelled). 3 to bulge out (with stomach swelling). 4 (of the sea) to rise and fall in large waves that do not break. n 1 movement of the sea in large waves that do not break. 2 (informal) a very well-dressed person.
swelling (noun)a lump raised for a time on the body by a bruise, infected cut, etc (a swelling on her neck).
swelterCollective noun for blankets (A swelter of blankets) (see list of collective nouns)
swelter (verb)to be very hot, to be uncomfortable because of great heat (tourists sweltering in high temperatures). adj sweltering
swerve (verb)to turn or move suddenly to one side (the driver swerved to avoid the dog). Also n.
swift (adjective)quick-moving, speedy.
swig (verb)(swigged , swigging ) (informal) to drink in large mouthfuls. n (informal) a large mouthful (a swig of water).
swim (verb)(swam , swimming , pp swum ) 1 to move through the water by moving the arms and legs. 2 to float in or on the top of (a stew swimming with fat). 3 to be dizzy (with head swimming). n act of swimming. n swimmer in the swim knowing what is going on, knowing important people.
swimmingly (adverb)smoothly, with great success (everything went swimmingly).
swimsuit (noun)a bathing suit; a garment worn for swimming.
swimwear (noun)garments worn for swimming.
swindle (verb)to cheat. n a deception intended to cheat people, a fraud (the cheap holiday offer was a swindle).
swindler (noun)a cheat, a person who tricks people out of money.
swine (noun)(pl swine) 1 a pig. 2 (informal) a nasty person.
swing (verb)(pt, pp swung ) 1 to move to and fro, especially when suspended from above (children swinging from a branch). 2 to whirl around (dancers swinging). 3 to turn around when at anchor. 4 to walk quickly with a swaying movement (swing along the promenade). n 1 a seat suspended by ropes, etc, on which a person can swing to and fro (the swings in the park). 2 a swinging movement. 3 a type of jazz music. 4 a long-range blow given with a curved arm. in full swing in progress (the party was in full swing).
swinging (adjective)1 moving to and fro. 2 done with a swing. 3 (informal) lively, fashionable.
swipe (verb)1 to hit hard with a swinging movement (swipe the mosquito). 2 to pass (a swipe card) through an electronic reader. 3 (informal) to steal. n a sweeping blow.
swipe card (noun)a small plastic card with coded information which is passed through an electronic device which reads this information.
swirlCollective noun for paisleys (A swirl of paisleys) (see list of collective nouns)
swirl (verb)to flow or move with a circular motion (her skirt swirled). n a circular motion of water.
swish (noun)the sound made by a light or thin object moving through the air (the swish of her skirt). vb to move through the air with a swish. adj smart and expensive (a swish hotel).
switch (noun)1 an easily bent stick. 2 a small lever for turning on and off electric current (the light switch). vb 1 to hit with a switch. 2 to turn electric current on or off. 3 to change suddenly (switch courses).
switchboard (noun)a board at which connection can be made between one telephone line and another.
swivel (noun)a ring that turns freely around a stable pin. vb (swiveled , swiveling , also swivelled, swivelling [Br]) to turn around, as on a swivel.
swoon (verb)to faint. n a fainting turn.
swoop (verb)1 to fly down upon with a sudden swift movement (hawks swooping). 2 to come upon swiftly and suddenly (the police swooped on the smugglers in a dawn raid). n 1 a sudden downward rush. 2 a sudden attack.
sword (noun)a weapon with a long blade and sharp point for cutting or thrusting.
swordfish (noun)a large fish whose upper jaw sticks out and comes to a point like a sword.
sycamore (noun)a large tree, of the same family as the maple and fig tree.
sycophant (noun)a person who flatters another to gain his or her favor. adj sycophantic
syllable (noun)a part of a word or a word containing one vowel sound. adj syllabic
syllabus (noun)a plan for a course of study, giving subjects to be studied, times of classes, etc.
symbol (noun)1 an emblem or sign made to stand for or represent something else (Ag is the symbol for silver). 2 a sign that all recognize as bearing a certain meaning (the symbol of peace is an olive branch).
symbolic (adjective)standing for or representing something else. adv symbolically
symbolism (noun)the use of symbols.
symbolize (verb),also symbolise (British spelling) to stand as a sign for (an olive branch symbolizing peace).
Symbologystudy of symbols (see list of branches of science)
Symbolophobiafear of symbolism (see list of phobias)
symmetrical (adjective)1 having a balanced or regular design (symmetrical patterns). 2 graceful because the parts are in pleasing proportion to each other and to the whole.
Symmetrophobiafear of symmetry (see list of phobias)
symmetry (noun)1 sameness between the two halves of a design. 2 a pleasing similarity or contrast between parts, beauty resulting from graceful proportions.
sympathetic (adjective)showing or feeling understanding or pity.
sympathize (verb),also sympathise (British spelling) 1 to feel with and for another. 2 to be in agreement with.
sympathy (noun)1 understanding of the sorrow or distress of another, pity. 2 agreement with the opinion of another (in sympathy with his views on the environment).
symphony (noun)1 a piece of music written for a full orchestra. 2 (lit) a pleasant unison of sounds, colors, etc. adj symphonic
symptom (noun)1 a sign or mark by which something can be recognized. 2 one of the signs by which a doctor is able to recognize the disease affecting a patient. adj symptomatic
Symptomatologystudy of symptoms of illness (see list of branches of science)
synagogue (noun)a place where Jewish people go to worship.
synapseCollective noun for neurologists (A synapse of neurologists) (see list of collective nouns)
synchronize (verb),also synchronise (British spelling) 1 to happen or cause to happen at the same time (synchronize our plans). 2 to set to exactly the same time (synchronizing watches).
syncopate (verb)to change the rhythm of music by beginning or ending notes slightly sooner or later than expected. n syncopation
syndicateCollective noun for capitalists (A syndicate of capitalists) (see list of collective nouns)
syndicate (noun)1 a group of persons or companies who are working together for business reasons or financial gain. vb 1 to join together in a syndicate. 2 to sell for publication in more than one journal, newspaper, etc (syndicating his column across the United States).
syndrome (noun)a number of symptoms occurring together making a specific disease or condition.
Synecologystudy of ecological communities (see list of branches of science)
Synecticsstudy of processes of invention (see list of branches of science)
Syngenesophobiafear of relatives (see list of phobias)
synonym (noun)a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word.
synonymous (adjective)having the same meaning.
synopsis (noun)a summary; a short account of the main happenings or ideas in a book.
Syntaxstudy of sentence structure (see list of branches of science)
syntax (noun)the putting of words in a sentence in order and in the correct relation to each other. adj syntactic(al)
synthesis (noun)the putting together of parts to make a whole.
synthetic (adjective)made or put together by artificial means, not naturally (synthetic materials).
Syphilologystudy of syphilis (see list of branches of science)
Syphilophobiafear of syphilis (see list of phobias)
syphonsee siphon.
syringe (noun)a tube filled with a piston by means of which fluid can be drawn up or squirted out. vb to squirt or spray with a syringe.
syrup (noun)1 any thick, sweet-tasting liquid (he loved maple syrup on his pancakes). 2 the thick liquid obtained when refining cane sugar (she loved bread and butter with syrup).
system (noun)1 a method by which a number of parts of different kinds are made to work together as a unified whole (the nervous system the solar system). 2 a regular method of doing things (he has no system in working). 3 a plan (a system for winning the lottery).
systematic (adjective)methodical, arranged in an orderly or reasonable manner, following a pre-arranged plan.
Systematicsstudy of the diversification of living forms, both past and present (see list of branches of science)
systematize (verb),also systematise (British spelling) to reduce to a system.
Systematologystudy of systems (see list of branches of science)
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