GKNXT Encyclopedia
0 A B C D E
X Y Z #
W (volume 23)
W, w (noun)the twenty-third letter of the alphabet.
wacky (adjective)mad or eccentric.
wadCollective noun for bills (A wad of bills) (see list of collective nouns)
wadCollective noun for money (A wad of money) (see list of collective nouns)
wadCollective noun for notes (A wad of notes) (see list of collective nouns)
wad (noun)1 a lump of soft fibrous material for padding garments, stopping holes, etc. 2 a bundle (a wad of paper money).
wadding (noun)soft material used for padding, etc.
waddle (verb)to walk, rolling from side to side, as a duck (she was so fat she waddled). Also n.
wade (verb)1 to walk through water. 2 to walk slowly and with difficulty. 3 to read through with difficulty.
wader (noun)any long-legged bird that wades in water in search of food.
waders (noun, plural)high waterproof boots worn by fishermen, etc.
wafer (noun)a very thin cake or cracker.
waffle iron (noun)a device with a grid pattern for baking waffles.
waffle1 (noun)a batter cake with a grid pattern, baked in a waffle iron
waffle2 (verb)(informal) to talk in a rambling way (the teacher waffled).
waft (verb)to bear along gently through the air.
wag (verb)(wagged , wagging ) to shake up and down or to and fro (he wagged his finger while giving the children a warning). n 1 a wagging movement. 2 a person who is fond of telling jokes or making amusing comments.
wage (noun)money paid regularly for work done (often pl). vb to carry on (wage war).
wager (noun)a bet. vb to bet.
waggle (verb)to wag.
wagon (noun)1 a four-wheeled vehicle used to carry loads. 2 a four-wheeled toy vehicle or cart, pulled by a long handle.
wagtail (noun)a small bird with a long tail that it wags constantly.
waif (noun)a homeless child or animal.
wailCollective noun for sirens (A wail of sirens) (see list of collective nouns)
wail (verb)to cry aloud in grief or distress (the children wailed when their parents went away). n a loud cry of grief, a moaning cry.
waist (noun)the narrowest part of the human trunk, just below the ribs.
waistcoatsee vest.
wait (verb)1 to stay in a place in the hope or expectation of something happening (wait for the lights to change). 2 to serve at table. n time spent waiting (a wait of five hours).
waiter (noun)a person employed to serve food at table. f waitress
waiting list (noun)a list of people who are waiting for something.
waiting room (noun)a room where people may wait (the doctor’s waiting room).
waitressfemale waiter
waive (verb)to give up, not to insist on (because the lawyer knew they could not afford it, he waived his usual fee).
wakeCollective noun for buzzards (A wake of buzzards) (see list of collective nouns)
wakeCollective noun for vultures (A wake of vultures) (see list of collective nouns)
wake1 (verb)(pt woke , pp woken ) 1 to arouse from sleep (wake the baby with the loud music). 2 to return to full consciousness after sleep (she woke early). n a watch kept over a dead body until the time of burial, sometimes with feasting.
wake2 (noun)the track left on water by a moving ship. in the wake of behind, following.
wakeful (adjective)not sleeping (a wakeful child).
waken (verb)to wake.
walk (verb)1 to advance step by step. 2 to go on foot. n 1 an outing on foot. 2 your manner of walking. 3 a road or path. walk of life your rank or work in life (people in a humble walk of life).
walking stick (noun)a stick carried when walking.
walkover (noun)1 an easy victory (they were so bad that our team had a walkover). 2 a victory granted because there has been no opposition (she had a walkover in the match because her opponent did not turn up).
wall (noun)1 a barrier of stone, brick, etc. 2 one of the sides of a building, room, etc. vb to provide with a wall (the garden was walled in).
wallaby (noun)a small marsupial of the kangaroo family.
wallet (noun)(mostly Br) a man’s flat case for holding money and credit cards. See pocketbook, billfold.
wallflower (noun)1 a sweet-smelling garden flower. 2 a person who is not dancing because he or she has no partner.
wallop (verb)to thrash soundly, to strike heavily. Also n.
wallow (verb)1 to roll about in mud, dirt, etc. 2 to enjoy what is dirty or unpleasant (wallow in his rival’s misfortune).
wallpaper (noun)colored or decorative paper covering the walls of rooms.
walnut (noun)1 a tree whose wood is much used for making furniture. 2 its edible nut.
walrus (noun)a large tusked sea mammal that can live on both land and sea.
waltz (noun)1 a dance for two people. 2 music for such a dance. vb to dance a waltz (dancers waltzing around the room).
wan (adjective)pale, sickly-looking (wan after her long illness). adv wanly n wanness
wand (noun)1 a long thin stick. 2 the rod of a magician or conjurer (waved his magic wand).
wander (verb)1 to go purposelessly from place to place. 2 to lose your way (wander off the path). 3 to talk in a disconnected manner. 4 to go off the point. n wanderer
wane (verb)1 to grow less or smaller. 2 to lose strength or power. on the wane growing less.
wangle (verb)to arrange cleverly or by trickery (try to wangle a ticket for the ballgame).
want (noun)1 need. 2 longing. 3 shortage. 4 poverty. vb 1 to lack. 2 to need. 3 to desire.
wanting (adjective)1 not as good as required (she found his work wanting). 2 lacking (a car wanting a tire). 3 foolish-minded.
wanton (adjective)1 immoral. 2 malicious. n an immoral person.
war (noun)1 a state of fighting and enmity between nations or within a nation. 2 an active campaign against something (the war against racism). vb (warred , warring ) to make war.
warble (verb)to sing, as a bird.
warbler (noun)a songbird.
ward (verb)(with off) 1 to defend oneself against (warded off the blow with his arm). 2 to defeat (an attack) for the time being. n 1 in a hospital, a large room containing several beds. 2 a division of a town for the purposes of local government. 3 a person under the legal care of another until he or she is old enough to manage his or her own affairs (he is the ward of his uncle).
warden (noun)1 a person who guards or helps to protect. 2 the head of a college or hostel.
warder (noun)a guard in a prison. f wardress
wardrobe (noun)1 a cupboard for hanging clothing. 2 all of a person’s clothing (she wanted to get a new spring wardrobe).
ware (noun)articles manufactured out of some material (hardware). npl goods for sale (a flower girl selling her wares).
warehouse (noun)a building for storing goods.
warfare (noun)the carrying-on of fighting in war.
warlock (noun)a person who has magical powers (witches and warlocks).
warm (adjective)1 quite hot (warm water). 2 affectionate (a warm greeting). 3 sincere (with warm regards). vb to make or become warm. adv warmly
warm-hearted (adjective)kindly, generous.
warmth (noun)1 gentle heat. 2 excitement. 3 sincerity.
warn (verb)1 to advise against possible danger or error (warned against walking home alone). 2 to tell to be careful (warn the children not to cross the road).
warning (noun)1 advice to be careful. 2 advice that danger or trouble lies ahead.
warp (verb)1 to twist or bend out of shape (warp the metal rod). 2 to become twisted or bent. 3 to spoil the nature or character of (the unhappy childhood warped her). n 1 the lengthwise threads in a loom (a weaving-machine).
warrant (noun)a written document giving the right to do certain things (a warrant for his arrest). vb 1 to give the right or permission to. 2 to be good reason for, to justify (that does not warrant his rudeness) 3 (formal) to be sure (that) (I warrant that he has run away).
warren (noun)many rabbit burrows in one piece of land.
warrior (noun)1 a person who is good at fighting. 2 a soldier.
wart (noun)a hard dry growth on the skin.
wary (adjective)careful, cautious, not rushing into danger (wary of trusting strangers)
was (verb)the past tense of be (he was very happy).
washCollective noun for emotions (A wash of emotions) (see list of collective nouns)
wash (verb)1 to clean with water (wash her hair). 2 to flow against or over (waves washing against the rocks). 3 to carry away (on a rush of liquid) (wash the mud away). 4 to color lightly. n 1 the act of cleaning with water. 2 a washing, the flow or dash of water. 3 a healing liquid. 4 a thin coat of color. wash your hands of to refuse to have anything more to do with. adj washable
washbowl (noun)a large bowl for washing your hands and face.
washer (noun)a ring of metal, rubber, etc, to keep a bolt, etc, firmly in position (top washer).
washing (noun)1 dirty clothing or linen to be washed. 2 clothing newly washed.
washing machine (noun)a machine for washing clothing and linen.
washstand (noun)a table for a basin of water.
wasp (noun)a stinging winged insect, with black and yellow stripes on its body.
waspish (adjective)sharp-tempered, spiteful (a waspish remark).
wastage (noun)that which is lost by waste (the wallpaper wastage when decorating).
waste (verb)1 to fail to put to a useful purpose (waste talent). 2 to spend or use foolishly (waste money). 3 to destroy, to damage. 4 to make or become weaker (muscles wasting without exercise). adj 1 left over (waste product). 2 uncultivated, undeveloped (waste land). n 1 what is left over as useless (industrial waste). 2 useless spending.
waste paper (noun)paper thrown away as useless.
waste pipe (noun)a pipe carrying away dirty water.
wasteful (adjective)spending foolishly or uselessly.
waster , wastrel (noun)(informal) a lazy useless person.
watchCollective noun for nightingales (A watch of nightingales) (see list of collective nouns)
watchCollective noun for Swiss (A watch of Swiss) (see list of collective nouns)
watch (verb)1 to look at or observe with care (watch how he changes the tire). 2 to look at (watch television). 3 to guard (watch the princess). 4 to look after (watch the children). n 1 a guard. 2 a careful look-out. 3 a four-hour spell of duty for half the crew on board a ship. 4 a clock carried in the pocket or on the wrist.
watchdog (noun)1 a dog used to guard a house or other building. 2 a person or group who watch out for wrongdoing, especially by a business firm.
watchful (adjective)keeping a look-out, observant, alert (under her watchful eyes).
watchmaker (noun)a person who makes or repairs watches.
watchman (noun)a man employed to look after a building or site when it is unoccupied (a night watchman).
watchword (noun)1 a word known only to members of a group so that by using it they may be recognized as members (only let them in if they know the watchword). 2 a motto.
water (noun)1 the clear liquid that falls as rain and flows in streams and rivers. 2 a large area of water, as a lake, sea, etc. vb 1 to supply with water. 2 to pour or sprinkle water on (water the garden).
water polo (noun)a ball game for swimmers.
water power (noun)mechanical power got from running water.
watercolor (noun),also watercolour (British spelling) 1 coloring matter to be mixed with water, not oil. 2 a painting in watercolors (a watercolor of the old mill).
watercress (noun)an edible water plant.
waterfall (noun)a stream falling over steep rocks or stones to a lower level.
water-lily (noun)a plant with floating flowers and leaves, found in ponds, etc.
waterlogged (adjective)soaked or filled with water (a waterlogged field).
watermark (noun)the faint trademark on a piece of paper.
watermelon (noun)a large juicy type of melon with red flesh.
waterproof (adjective)able to keep out water, that water cannot pass through (waterproof tents/a waterproof coat). n waterproof cloth.
watershed (noun)1 a ridge or hill separating two river valleys. 2 a point at which events take a different turn (a watershed in the war).
water-ski (noun)a board on which a person can stand and be towed over water by a speedboat. Also vb. n water-skier n water-skiing
waterspout (noun)a column of water sucked up by a whirlwind.
watertight (adjective)so tight that water can pass neither in nor out (a watertight container).
waterworks (noun)an apparatus for supplying water through pipes to a town, etc.
watery (adjective)1 full of water (watery eyes). 2 tasteless, weak, thin (watery soup).
watt (noun)a unit of measurement of electric power. n wattage
wattle (noun)1 a twig. 2 a fence made of twigs woven together. 3 an Australian tree that is the country’s emblem.
waveCollective noun for surfers (A wave of surfers) (see list of collective nouns)
wave (noun)1 a moving ridge of water rising above the surface of the sea and then sinking down again. 2 any movement resembling this (light waves/sound waves). 3 one of several ridges in the hair. 4 a moving of the hand as a signal (a friendly wave). vb 1 to move or make to move up and down or to and fro. 2 to shake in the air as a sign. 3 to put waves in hair. 4 to signal with your hand (the police officer waved me on).
waveband (noun)a band of radio waves between specific limits.
wavelength (noun)the distance in water, air, etc, between the crest of one wave and that of the next.
waver (verb)1 to be uncertain, to hesitate (wavering about whether to be good or not). 2 to move unsteadily. 3 to flicker (a candle flame wavering).
wavy (adjective)1 rising and falling in waves (wavy hair). 2 covered with waves.
wax museum , waxworks (noun)a museum where waxworks are exhibited.
wax1 (noun)1 a sticky yellow substance made by bees. 2 any material resembling this. 3 a substance used to seal letters, packets, etc.
wax2 (verb)(old) 1 to grow larger (the moon waxing). 2 to become (wax eloquent).
waxen (adjective)like wax (a waxen skin).
waxwork (noun)the image of a famous person made in wax for showing to the public. n waxworks.
way (noun)1 a track, path, or road (the way of passage). 2 a method of doing something (a new way of teaching). 3 distance traveled (it is a long way to the next village). 4 the route to a place (the way to the station). 5 a custom or habit (have an unpleasant way). have a way with to have such a manner or skill as to handle successfully (he has a way with women). under way in movement (the expansion of the firm is under way). ways and means methods.
wayfarer (noun)a traveler, especially on foot.
waylay (verb)to hide and wait for in order to surprise or attack (they waylaid the enemy).
wayside (noun)fall by the wayside not to continue.
wayward (adjective)fond of having your own way, not heeding the advice or orders of others (wayward children).
we (pronoun) (subjective)refers to the speaker or writer and another person or other people (we went to church).
we’vecontraction we have.
weak (adjective)1 not strong, feeble. 2 giving in too easily to others. 3 not good at (weak at foreign languages). adv weakly
weaken (verb)to make or become weak (she was determined not to go but finally weakened).
weakling (noun)a person who is weak in body or character.
weakly (adjective)not strong, not having good health (weakly children).
weakness (noun)1 lack of strength or determination. 2 a bad point in your character (telling white lies is her major weakness). 3 a foolish liking for (a weakness for ice cream).
weal (noun)a raised mark on the skin caused by a blow from a whip, thin stick, etc.
wealthCollective noun for documents (A wealth of documents) (see list of collective nouns)
wealthCollective noun for information (A wealth of information) (see list of collective nouns)
wealthCollective noun for millionaires (A wealth of millionaires) (see list of collective nouns)
wealth (noun)1 riches (the miser’s great riches). 2 plenty (a wealth of talent).
wealthy (adjective)very rich (wealthy enough not to have to work).
wean (verb)1 to change from feeding (an infant) only on milk to more solid food. 2 to get someone to change his or her habits or desires (wean him from his criminal ways).
weapon (noun)any instrument that can be used in fighting or attack (weapons such as guns and knives).
wear (verb)(pt wore , pp worn ) 1 to have on the body as clothing. 2 to put or stick on your clothing for show (wear a badge). 3 to damage or waste by rubbing or use (the waves wear away at the rocks). n 1 clothing (evening wear). 2 damage caused by rubbing or use. n wearer wear away to become gradually less, to rub or be rubbed away. wear off to become gradually less (the effects of the painkillers wore off). wear on to pass slowly (time is wearing on). wear out 1 to exhaust (worn out by his continual complaining). 2 to make useless by using too often.
wearisome (adjective)tiring, boring (a wearisome journey).
weary (adjective)1 tired by continued effort, exhausted (weary from the long journey). 2 fed up, bored (weary of listening to complaints). adv wearily
weasel (noun)a small, reddish-brown wild animal that eats frogs, mice, birds, etc.
weather (noun)the general conditions of the atmosphere (e.g. sunshine, rain, wind, etc) at any particular time. vb 1 to come safely through (succeeded in weathering the selection process). 2 to be damaged or discolored by the effects of weather (stone weathered with age). make heavy weather of to find difficulty in doing (he made heavy weather of the work). under the weather feeling unwell.
weather vane (noun)a pointer that turns around to show the direction from which the wind is blowing.
weather-beaten (adjective)marred or colored by the effects of the weather.
weave (verb)(pt wove , pp woven ) 1 to form cloth by intertwining threads. 2 to put together sticks, twigs, etc, by interlacing them. 3 to make up (he wove a story about his childhood). n weaver
web (noun)1 cloth made by weaving. 2 the net of fine threads made by a spider. 3 the skin between the toes of water-birds. 3 (sometimes cap) short for the World Wide Web, the Internet. adj webbed
webbing (noun)a narrow band of strong material used for belts, etc.
web-footed (adjective)having skin between the toes.
webpage (noun)a document on the World Wide Web normally accessed by a browser. Also Web page.
website (noun)an Internet location that consists of a number of related documents or files (a website about allergies).
wed (verb)(wed or wedded , wedding ) to marry (he wed his childhood sweetheart).
wedding (noun)a marriage.
wedge (noun)a piece of wood, metal, etc, thick at one end and narrowing to a sharp edge at the other. vb to split open, fix, or fasten with a wedge (wedge the door open).
wedlock (noun)the married state.
Wednesday (noun)the fourth or middle day of the week.
weed (noun)a wild plant growing in a garden or field. vb 1 to clear of weeds (weed the garden). 2 to pull up weeds (pay him to weed).
weeds (noun, plural)the black clothing worn by a widow in mourning.
weedy (adjective)thin and weak-looking (a weedy youth).
week (noun)a period of seven days.
weekday (noun)any day of the week except Sunday and often Saturday.
weekend (noun)the period from the time your work ceases on Friday or Saturday until you begin it again on Monday.
weekly (adjective)happening once a week (a weekly meeting). n a newspaper or magazine published once a week.
weep (verb)(pt, pp wept ) 1 to shed tears, to cry. 2 to mourn (weep for a lost cause). adj weepy
weeping (adjective)1 crying. 2 (of a tree) having drooping branches (a weeping willow).
weevil (noun)a type of beetle that destroys stored grain.
weft (noun)the cross-threads of a piece of cloth.
weigh (verb)1 to measure the heaviness of (weigh the baggage). 2 to raise (anchor). 3 to be of a certain heaviness (she weighs 140 pounds). weigh down to trouble. weigh up to consider carefully. weigh with to seem important to.
weight (noun)1 heaviness (measure the weight of the load). 2 a piece of metal, etc, of known heaviness, used in finding how heavy another object is or in fitness training. 3 importance, influence (her opinion does not carry much weight). 4 a heavy load. adj weightless n weightlessness
weight training (noun)a kind of fitness training involving the use of light weights.
weightlifting (noun)the sport of lifting heavy weights.
weighty (adjective)1 heavy (a weighty load). 2 important, deserving careful consideration (weighty matters).
weir (noun)a barrier built across a stream to make the water approaching it deeper.
weird (adjective)1 odd, very strange (she looks weird in that outfit). 2 strange, eerie, unearthly (a weird scream). adv weirdly n weirdness
welcome (adjective)1 pleasing. 2 allowed to use or take at any time. n a kindly greeting or reception. vb 1 to greet kindly (welcome the guests). 2 to receive or hear with pleasure (welcome the news). make welcome to make (a guest) feel at home.
weld (verb)to join two pieces of metal by heating them and hammering them together. n welder
welfare (noun)1 happiness, success. 2 health, good living conditions (the department concerned with the welfare of the community). 3 payments provided by the government for those in need.
well1 (adverb)1 in a good way or style (she does her job well). 2 thoroughly (examine the house well before buying). 3 rightly (you may well apologize). 4 with approval (speak well of him). adj 1 in good health. 2 all right. as well as in addition to.
well2 (noun)1 a spring of water. 2 a hole in the ground from which water can be drawn. 3 a pit made in the ground to reach oil. 4 a fountain. vb 1 to come up as from a spring. 2 to gush out (tears welling from her eyes).
well-being (noun)success, happiness (only interested in his wife’s well-being).
well-informed (adjective)having much knowledge.
well-known (adjective)famous (well-known actors).
well-nigh (adverb)(old or fml) almost (it was well-nigh impossible to take him seriously).
well-off (adjective)rich.
well-read (adjective)having read much.
well-spoken (adjective)always pronouncing clearly with a pleasing accent.
well-wisher (noun)a friendly supporter (well-wishers giving donations to charity).
well-worn (adjective)much worn, much used (well-worn phrases).
welter (noun)a confused mass, disorder (a welter of useless information).
welterweight (noun)a boxer between middleweight and heavyweight.
wench (noun)(old) a young woman.
wend (verb)(old) to go, to make (your way).
were (verb)the form of the verb be in the past tense used with “we” “they” or with plural nouns.
west (noun)one of the four principal points of the compass, the direction in which the sun sets.
westerly (adjective)from or toward the west (a westerly wind).
western (adjective)in or from the west. n a movie, usually about cowboys and Native Americans, set in the west of North America during the nineteenth or early twentieth century.
westward (adverb)toward the west.
wet (adjective)1 covered or soaked with water or other liquid (get wet standing in the rain at the bus-stop). 2 not dry, moist. 3 rainy (a wet day). n rainy weather. vb (wet or wetted , wetting ) to make wet. n wetness
whack (verb)(informal) to strike sharply, to beat severely (he whacked the carpet with the beater). n 1 a blow (a whack on the head). 2 a share (I want my fair whack). 3 an attempt (have a whack at this quiz)
whale (noun)a large sea mammal. vb to hunt whales. n whaling
whalebone (noun)an elastic horny substance got from the jaw of a whale.
whaler (noun)a ship engaged in whale hunting.
wharf (noun)(pl wharfs or wharves ) a platform or quay at which ships are loaded and unloaded.
what (adjective)and pron used to ask for information about someone or something (what dress should I wear?/what is your favorite movie?)
whatever (pronoun)no matter what, any thing concerned.
whatnot (noun)an object not easily described or defined (buy a few whatnots for her vacation).
wheat (noun)the grain from which bread flour is obtained.
wheat bread (noun)bread made with white and wholewheat flour.
wheaten (adjective)made from wheat (wheaten bread).
wheedle (verb)to try to please a person in order to get him or her to do something; to coax (he tried to wheedle more money out of his father).
wheelCollective noun for potters (A wheel of potters) (see list of collective nouns)
wheel (noun)a round frame, often strengthened by spokes, turning on an axis. vb 1 to move on wheels. 2 to turn like a wheel. 3 to change direction by a wheeling movement when marching in line.
wheelbarrow (noun)a handcart, usually with one wheel, two legs, and handles.
wheelchair (noun)a chair with wheels for people who are unable to walk.
wheelwright (noun)a maker of wheels and carts.
wheezeCollective noun for joggers (A wheeze of joggers) (see list of collective nouns)
wheeze (verb)to breathe with a hoarse or hissing sound (she is asthmatic and wheezes badly). Also n. adj wheezy
when (adverb)and (conjunction) at what or which time.
whence (adverb)and (conjunction) from what place.
whenever , whensoever (adverb)and (conjunction) at no matter what time.
where (adverb)and (conjunction) at, to, or in what place.
whereabouts (noun)the place you are in (the police want to know the accused’s whereabouts).
whereas(conjunction) since, although.
whereby (adverb)and (conjunction) by which.
wherefore (adverb)and (conjunction) for which or what reason.
whereupon (adverb)after which.
wherever (adverb)and (conjunction) at, to, or in whatever place.
whet (verb)1 to sharpen. 2 to make (a desire) more strongly felt (whet their appetites).
whether (conjunction) if. pron which of two.
whey (noun)the watery part of the milk, separated from the curd.
which (adjective)and pron what particular (person or thing) (which picture do you prefer?).
whiff (noun)1 a puff of air or smoke. 2 a quick or slight smell (think she smelt a whiff of gas). vb 1 to puff. 2 to smell.
while (conjunction) also whilst (British spelling)during the time that (while we were inside, it was pouring with rain). n a space of time. vb to pass (time) in pleasure or leisure (while away the afternoon reading).
whim (noun)a sudden strange desire or idea, a passing fancy.
whimper (verb)to cry brokenly, to whine (the child was whimpering in his cot). Also n.
whimsical (adjective)full of whims, odd, unusual, fantastic.
whimsy (noun)whim (she went to the shore for the day on a sudden whimsy). n whimsicality adv whimsically
whine (noun)a long cry of complaint, a wail. vb 1 to utter a sad or complaining cry (dogs whining). 2 to speak in a complaining voice (whine about her misfortune).
whinny (noun)the high-pitched cry of a horse. Also vb.
whip (noun)a cord attached to a stick for beating or driving animals. vb (whipped , whipping ) 1 to strike with a whip (whip the wrongdoers). 2 to beat eggs, cream, etc, into a froth (whip the mixture). 3 to take or move (something) quickly (she whipped her apron off).
whiplashCollective noun for potholes (A whiplash of potholes) (see list of collective nouns)
whippet (noun)a small slender dog like a greyhound.
whippoorwill (noun)a nightjar with spotted brown feathers and a loud call.
whir , whirr (verb)(whirred , whirring ) to move through the air or spin with a buzzing or clicking sound (the propellers whirred). Also n.
whirl (verb)to move quickly around and around, to spin quickly (the dancers whirl around the dance floor). n a quick round-and-round movement; confusion (her news left me in a whirl).
whirlpool (noun)a current of water turning around and around with a circular motion.
whirlwind (noun)a violent wind blowing around and around in a circle.
whisk (verb)1 to knock or brush with a quick light movement. 2 to beat lightly into a froth (whisk the eggs). 3 to take off with a quick movement (whisked her apron off). n 1 a quick or jerky movement. 2 an implement for beating eggs, etc (an electric whisk). 3 a small broom. 4 a bunch of hair, twigs, etc, for brushing away flies, dust, etc.
whisker (noun)1 the stiff hairs growing on the cheeks of men. 2 the stiff hairs growing above the mouth of certain animals (the cat’s whiskers).
whiskey (noun)a strong alcoholic drink made in Ireland or North America from barley, rye, etc.
whisky (noun)(British) a strong alcoholic drink made in Scotland from barley.
whisperCollective noun for snipe (A whisper of snipe) (see list of collective nouns)
whisper (verb)1 to speak very softly, using the breath instead of the voice. 2 to rustle (silk skirts whispering as she walked). n 1 a very soft voice. 2 what is whispered (he heard her whispers). 3 a rumor (there is a whisper that he embezzled money).
whist (noun)a game of cards for four persons.
whistle (verb)1 to make a high, shrill sound with the lips or a special instrument. 2 to play a tune by whistling. n 1 a shrill sound made with the lips or a special instrument. 2 an instrument that makes a whistling sound when blown (the referee blew his whistle).
whit (noun)a tiny piece (not a whit of truth in his statement).
white (adjective)1 of the color of clean snow or milk. 2 pale (her illness has made her look rather white). 3 having a pale skin. Also n.
White House (noun)the official residence, and office of power, of the President of the United States of America.
white lie (noun)a small lie told for what is believed to be a good reason.
whiten (verb)to make or become white (buy something to whiten the sheets).
whitewash (noun)a mixture of lime or chalk and water used for painting walls, etc, white. vb 1 to paint with whitewash (whitewash the walls of the house). 2 to try to make what is wrong appear blameless, to try to make a guilty person seem innocent (they tried to whitewash the crime).
whither (adverb)and (conjunction) to which or what place.
whiting (noun)a small edible sea fish.
whittle (verb)1 to pare off short strips with a knife. 2 to make smaller or thinner (whittle the budget). 3 to cut down or reduce a little at a time (the bills are whittling away at our budget).
whiz , whizz (verb)(whizzed , whizzing ) to make a hissing or swishing sound when moving through the air (children whizzing down our road on roller skates). Also n.
whizzkid (noun)(informal) a young person who is exceptionally successful at something, often in business (the financial world is full of whizzkids).
who (pronoun)which person (the man who died).
whoever (pronoun)no matter who, any person concerned.
whole (adjective)1 complete, entire (tired of the whole affair). 2 unharmed (escape whole from the accident). n the total, all.
wholefood (noun)food which has not been refined or processed very much and which does not contain artificial substances.
wholehearted (adjective)enthusiastic, keen (give the cause his wholehearted support). adv wholeheartedly
wholemealsee wholewheat.
wholesale (noun)the selling of goods in large quantities to those who will re-sell them to others. adj on a large scale (wholesale slaughter). n wholesaler
wholesome (adjective)1 having a good effect on health (wholesome food). 2 healthy, morally healthy (a wholesome young girl).
wholewheat (adjective) also wholemeal (British spelling)of flour or bread, made from the complete grain of wheat, including the husk.
wholly (adverb)completely (not wholly committed).
whom (pronoun)the form of “who” used when the object of a sentence or following a preposition (to whom are you referring?).
whoopCollective noun for chimpanzees (A whoop of chimpanzees) (see list of collective nouns)
whoop (noun)a loud shout. vb to make a whoop (whooping with joy).
whooping cough (noun)a disease, chiefly of children, with long fits of coughing, during which the breath is taken in again with a gasping sound.
whorl (noun)1 a ring of leaves around a stem. 2 one turn of a spiral shell.
whose (pronoun)belonging to whom (whose is this sweater?).
why (adverb)and (conjunction) for what reason.
wick (noun)the thread in a candle; in an oil-lamp or oil heater, the band of cloth that draws up the oil and is burned to give light.
wicked (adjective)bad, sinful, evil (wicked people). adv wickedly n wickedness
wicker (noun)a willow twig. adj made of willow twigs woven together.
wickerwork (noun)basket-work.
wicket (noun)a small gate, a small door in or near a larger one.
wide (adjective)broad, extending far in all directions. adv 1 missing the target by passing beside it (shoot wide). 2 fully (wide awake). adv widely
widen (verb)to make or become wide (widen the garden).
widespread (adjective)occurring or found far and wide (a widespread belief).
widow (noun)a woman whose husband is dead.
widower (noun)a man whose wife is dead.
width (noun)breadth (measure the width of the room).
wield (verb)1 to use with the hands (wield a knife in self-defense). 2 to use or put into practice (wield power).
wiener (noun)a frankfurter sausage.
wife (noun)(pl wives ) a married woman.
wifely (adjective)like a wife (wifely affection).
wig (noun)an artificial covering of hair for the head (he wore a wig to cover his baldness).
wiggle (verb)to wag, to shake from side to side (wiggling her hips as she walked).
wigwam (noun)the hut or tent of a Native American.
wild (adjective)1 not tamed or civilized. 2 not cultivated (a wild stretch of countryside). 3 savage. 4 uncontrolled (wild passions). 5 very excited (crowds growing wild at the arrival of the pop star). n a desert area, an area unaltered by man. adv wildly.
wildcat (noun)1 a fierce wild animal of the cat family. 2 a fierce person. adj foolish, reckless, risky (a wildcat strike).
wildebeest (noun)a gnu.
wilderness (noun)a desert, an uncultivated or uninhabited area (the place is a wilderness since it was bombed).
wildfire (noun)spread like wildfire to spread very quickly.
wild-goose chase (noun)an undertaking that cannot possibly succeed.
wildlife (noun)animals, birds, and insects, and sometimes plants, which live in their natural environment (damaging the forest wildlife).
wile (noun)a trick (use her wiles to get her own way).
will (noun)1 your power to make decisions or choices, self-control (believe in freedom of the will). 2 desire (done against her will). 3 a written document made by a person to say what is to be done with his or her property after death. vb 1 to desire (we are willing her to win). 2 to leave property to others by a signed will.
willful (adjective) also wilful (British spelling)always wanting your own way; done deliberately. adv willfully , also wilfully (British spelling)
willing (adjective)ready, eager (willing helpers). adv willingly
willow (noun)a tree with slender, easily bent branches.
willowy (adjective)1 easily bent. 2 slender, graceful (a willowy figure).
willpower (noun)determination to control what you do.
wilt (verb)1 to droop (plants wilting). 2 to lose freshness or vigor (people wilting in the heat).
wily (adjective)cunning (a wily plan).
wimple (noun)(old) a headdress, fitting closely around the face, worn by nuns.
win (verb)(won , winning ) 1 to be successful in a match or contest, to be victorious (he is bound to win against the younger player). 2 to obtain in a competition (win a prize). n 1 a success. 2 a victory. n winner
wince (verb)1 to make a quick movement back because of pain or fear. 2 to twist the face from pain (she winced as the dentist touched her sore tooth).
winch (noun)1 a handle for turning a wheel. 2 a device for moving a heavy object by winding a rope attached to it around a drum or wheel, so drawing the object up or along.
wind instrument (noun)a musical instrument, such as the flute, played by blowing into it.
wind1 (noun)1 air moving. 2 a current of air, a breeze or gale. 3 breath. vb (pt, pp winded ) to put out of breath by a blow in the stomach (the boxer was winded and fell).
wind2 (verb)(pt, pp wound ) 1 to twist. 2 to coil. 3 to gather up by turning. 4 to follow a twisting course (the path winding up the mountain). wind up 1 to turn a handle to tighten a spring in a machine. 2 to bring to an end (wind up the firm). 3 (informal) to irritate.
windbag (noun)(informal) a person who talks too much (bored listening to the old windbag).
windfall (noun)1 fruit blown down (gather windfalls in the orchard). 2 a piece of unexpected luck, an unexpected gift of money.
windmill (noun)a mill with sails driven by wind.
window (noun)an opening in the wall of a house, etc, to let in light (usually filled with a sheet of glass) (bay windows).
windpipe (noun)the air passage from the mouth to the lungs.
windshield (noun)the glass panel at the front of a motor car that acts as a shield (a windshield shattered by a pebble).
windsurfing (noun)a sport involving moving along the surface of the sea or a stretch of water while standing on a board with a sail attached to it. n windsurfer
windward (noun)the direction from which the wind is blowing. Also adj.
windy (adjective)open to the winds, breezy, gusty (a windy day/a windy stretch of countryside).
wine (noun)an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of grapes.
wing (noun)1 the limb with the help of which birds, insects, etc, fly. 2 a side part or extension of a building, stage, etc (one wing of the building was burnt down). 3 the supporting parts of an airplane. 4 the side part of an army when drawn up for battle. vb 1 to fly (swallows winging their way south). 2 to wound in the wing or arm. adj winged adj wingless on the wing in flight.
wink (verb)1 to shut and open one eyelid with a quick movement. 2 to flicker, to twinkle (lights winking). 3 (formal) (usually with at) to pretend not to see (wink at her son’s misdeeds). n 1 the act of winking. 2 a hint given by winking. forty winks a nap, a short sleep.
winning (adjective)1 successful (a winning formation). 2 charming (winning manners). npl winnings money that you have won.
winnow (verb)to separate the grain from the chaff by a draft of air.
winsome (adjective)(formal) attractive, pleasant.
winter (noun)the coldest season of the year. vb to spend the winter (wintering in Florida).
wintry (adjective)like winter; cold, stormy, or snowy (wintry weather).
wipe (verb)to clean or dry by gentle rubbing (wipe the table). n a rub intended to clean or dry. wipe out to destroy, to cause to cease to exist (an entire city wiped out by the war).
wiper (noun)a device for wiping rain from a car windshield (a windshield wiper).
wire (noun)a thread or cord of metal. vbto provide with wire or wires. n wiring.
wiry (adjective)thin but muscular (the boxer did not look strong but he had a wiry build).
wisdomCollective noun for grandparents (A wisdom of grandparents) (see list of collective nouns)
wisdom (noun)1 the ability to make good use of your knowledge and experience. 2 good sense.
wisdom tooth (noun)a back tooth that grows when you are a young adult.
wise (adjective)1 having or showing wisdom (a wise man). 2 sensible (a wise decision).
wish (verb)to have a desire, to want (to do), to long. n 1 a desire. 2 the thing wanted.
wishful thinking (noun)something believed in spite of the facts because you want it to be true (she said she was going to the Caribbean but it was only wishful thinking).
wishy-washy (adjective)weak and pale, feeble (too wishy-washy to defend herself).
wisp (noun)a small bundle of straw, hay, etc (wisps of hair). adj wispy
wistful (adjective)thoughtful, longing (she looked wistful as the other children left on vacation). adv wistfully
wit (noun)1 the ability to say things shortly, neatly, and cleverly, often in a way that makes them amusing. 2 a person who has this ability. 3 intelligence, understanding. at one’s wit’s end so worried that you do not know what to do next. to wit namely, that is to say.
witch (noun)1 a woman believed to have magical powers granted by the devil. 2 an ugly old woman.
witchcraft (noun)magic performed with the aid of the devil.
witch-doctor (noun)among certain African tribes, a man believed to be able to control evil spirits and cure illness by magic, herbal remedies, etc.
with (preposition)1 in the company of (come with me). 2 having (the girl with red hair).
withdraw (verb)1 to draw or pull back, to retreat. 2 to take back (something said) as not meant (withdraw his apology). 3 to take money, etc, from your bank (withdrew money from his bank account). n withdrawal
withdrawn (adjective)shy or unfriendly.
wither (verb)to make or become dry and faded, to shrivel, to rot away (flowers withering without water).
withering (adjective)1 drying, fading. 2 hurtful, sarcastic (a withering reply).
withers (noun, plural)the ridge between the shoulder blades of a horse.
withhold (verb)to refuse to grant or give, to keep back (withhold information).
within (preposition)inside. adv 1 indoors. 2 inwardly.
without (preposition)not having.
withstand (verb)to resist, to oppose.
witless (adjective)(formal) foolish, stupid.
witness (noun)1 a person who sees an event taking place. 2 a person who tells in a court of law what took place on an occasion at which he or she was present. 3 (formal) evidence pointing to the truth. vb 1 to see happening (witnessed the accident). 2 to sign a document to confirm that another has signed it in your presence (witness the signature on the agreement). bear witness to give evidence.
witticism (noun)a clever or humorous saying, shortly and neatly expressed.
wittingly (adverb)with knowledge or understanding of what you are doing (he did not wittingly hurt her).
witty (adjective)able to say clever things briefly and often amusingly (a witty after-dinner speech). adv wittily
wivesplural of wife.
wizard (noun)1 a man who claims magical powers. 2 a conjurer.
wizardry (noun)1 magic. 2 great skill.
wizened (adjective)dried up and wrinkled (a wizened old lady).
wobble (verb)to sway from side to side, move unsteadily (cyclists wobbling along the street). Also n.
wobbly (adjective)unsteady (a wobbly table).
woe (noun)(formal) grief, sorrow, misery (tell a tale of woe).
woebegone (adjective)(formal) full of sorrow or grief (she felt woebegone when they left).
woeful (adjective)1 sad. 2 deplorably bad (a woeful lack of understanding). adv woefully
wok (noun)a large bowl-shaped cooking pan used for stir-frying.
woke (past tense)of wake.
wolf (noun)(pl wolves ) a fierce wild animal of the dog family. vb to eat greedily.
woman (noun)(pl women ) a grown-up female human being.
womanhood (noun)the state or qualities of a woman (the age at which girls reach womanhood).
womanish (adjective)1 having the qualities of a woman. 2 unmanly.
womankind , womenfolk (noun)women in general.
womanly (adjective)having the good qualities of a woman, gentle.
womb (noun)the female organ in which the young are kept and fed until birth.
wombat (noun)a pouched Australian animal, like a small bear.
womenplural of woman.
women’s movement (noun)a movement whose aim is to improve the position of women in society and obtain equality with men.
won (past tense)of win.
won’tcontraction will not.
wonder (noun)1 great surprise or astonishment (look at the sight with wonder). 2 anything giving rise to such feelings, a marvel or miracle (the wonders of the world). vb 1 to think about the reasons for something (wonder why he behaved like that). 2 to feel surprise or astonishment.
wonderful (adjective)very surprising, extraordinary (a wonderful gift wun-der-fu-lee/.
wonderment (noun)surprise, astonishment.
wondrous (adjective)(old) wonderful.
wont (noun)custom, habit. adj accustomed.
woo (verb)to make love to, to seek to marry. n wooer
wood (noun)1 a large collection of growing trees (the pine wood below the hill). 2 the hard substance of which the trunks and branches of trees are made.
woodchuck (noun)a North American animal with brown fur that lives underground and hibernates in winter. Also called groundhog.
woodcut (noun)a print made from a picture carved on wood.
wooded (adjective)covered with trees or woods (wooded areas).
wooden (adjective)1 made of wood. 2 dull, lacking feeling (wooden acting).
woodland (noun)country covered with trees or woods.
woodpecker (noun)a bird that taps holes in trees with its long pointed beak and takes out insects from them with its tongue.
woodwind instrument (noun)a wind instrument usually made of wood, such as the clarinet.
woodwork (noun)1 the art of making objects out of wood (take classes in woodwork). 2 objects so made.
woodworm (noun)a grub that eats its way into wood and destroys it.
woody (adjective)1 made of wood. 2 covered with woods (a woody area).
woof (noun)the sound that a dog makes when it barks.
wool (noun)1 the soft, wavy hair covering the body of certain animals (e.g. sheep, goats, etc). 2 thread or cloth made from wool (knit a sweater with wool).
woolen (adjective)made of wool (woolen sweaters). Also n.
wooly (adjective)1 covered with wool. 2 like wool.
word (noun)1 a sound or group of sounds expressing an idea. 2 a message, information (send him word about his wife’s health). 3 a promise (he gave his word that he would be there). vb to express in words. have words with to quarrel with. word for word in exactly the same words as those used before.
word processor (noun)a computer system used for writing, editing and printing documents.
wording (noun)the way that something is expressed in words.
word-perfect (adjective)able to say without an error the words of something learnt (actors who were not word-perfect).
wordy (adjective)using more words than are necessary (a wordy letter).
wore (past tense)of wear.
work (noun)1 effort (put a lot of work into the project). 2 a task, tasks (bring work home from the office). 3 that which you do for a living (she is at work seven hours a day). 4 a book, picture, piece of music, etc. vb 1 to labor, to toil (they really worked at getting the house ready). 2 to be in a job. 3 to make to do work (to work the servants hard). 4 to have the desired effect or result (the painkillers did not work). 5 to cause, to bring about. 6 to give shape to (work the clay into a pot). npl works 1 a factory. 2 the parts of a machine that make it go. work up to excite.
workable (adjective)that can be done or used (a workable plan).
worker (noun)1 a person who works (the factory workers). 2 an insect (e.g. a bee) that does all the work.
workforce (noun)the number of people who work in a particular firm, place, industry, etc.
workmanship 1 skill of a worker. 2 the quality of a piece of work.
work-out (noun)a session of physical exercise or training (regular work-outs at the gym keep her fit). vb work out
workshop (noun)a building or room in which work is carried on (mending the radio in the workshop).
world (noun)1 the earth on which we live. 2 any planet or star. 3 the universe and all created things. 4 all human beings. 5 any sphere of activity, study, etc (the world of science). 6 a great amount (a world of difference).
World Wide Web (noun)the Internet network that stretches across the world. abbreviation WWW.
worldly (adjective)1 having to do with this world or life (worldly pleasures). 2 interested only in the things of this life (worldly people).
worldwide (adjective)spread throughout or found everywhere in the world (a worldwide organization).
wormCollective noun for robins (A worm of robins) (see list of collective nouns)
worm (noun)1 a small backbone-less creeping animal. 2 the thread of a screw. 3 (informal) a despicable person (he is an absolute worm). vb 1 to wriggle or crawl along. 2 to do something slowly and secretly (worm his way into her favor). 3 to persuade someone to tell by persistent questioning (worm the truth out of her).
worn (past participle)of wear. adj showing signs of wear (worn furniture).
worn-out (adjective)1 exhausted. 2 overused or worn.
worry (verb)1 to feel anxiety (she worries when the children are late). 2 to trouble, to vex (the child’s behavior worries her). 3 to tear with the teeth (the dog worrying a bone). n 1 anxiety, trouble. 2 a cause of anxiety.
worse (adjective)more bad, less good, more sick. adv more badly.
worsen (verb)to make or become worse (interference would only worsen the situation).
worshipCollective noun for writers (A worship of writers) (see list of collective nouns)
worship (noun)1 prayers and praise offered to God. 2 a religious service. 3 great love or reverence for. vb (worshiped , worshiping , also worshipped , worshipping (British spelling) 1 to pray to. 2 to honor greatly. 3 to join in a religious service (the congregation worships every Sunday). n worshiper
worst (adjective)most bad or sick. adv most badly. n the greatest evil or ill possible. vb to defeat (he was worsted by his opponent).
worth (adjective)1 equal in value to (a vase worth $200). 2 deserving of (a movie worth seeing). 3 having such-and-such an amount of money or property (he’s worth millions). n 1 value (the painting’s worth is incalculable). 2 price ($20 worth of gas). 3 merit, excellence (he proved his worth by going).
worthless (adjective)of no use or value. n worthlessness
worthwhile (adjective)profitable, repaying the money, work, etc, expended (a worthwhile job).
worthy (adjective)deserving, deserving respect (worthy of respect/a worthy cause).
would (past tense)of will.
would-be (adjective)wishing to be, intending (a would-be doctor).
wound (noun)a hurt, cut, or bruise, an injury. vb 1 to injure, to cause a wound to (wounded in battle). 2 to hurt the feelings of (wounded by his nasty remarks).
wound (past tense)and pp of wind. wound-up over-excited (she was wound-up before the job interview).
wraith (noun)(formal) a ghost.
wrangle (verb)to quarrel, to argue angrily (wrangle over their father’s will). n a quarrel, a dispute. n wrangler
wrap (verb)(wrapped , wrapping ) to fold paper, cloth etc around so as to cover (wrap presents). n 1 a shawl, a loose cloak. 2 a sandwich consisting of some kind of rolled-up thin bread with a filling inside. n wrapping.
wrapper (noun)a cover for books, etc.
wrath (noun)great anger, rage.
wrathful (adjective)very angry.
wreak (verb)to carry out, to put into effect (the storm wreaked havoc on the houses near the coast).
wreath (noun)1 flowers, leaves, etc, woven together to form a ring or a crown (she hung up their Christmas wreath). 2 a curling or spiral cloud.
wreathe (verb)to put a wreath on or around.
wreck (noun)1 destruction, especially of a ship at sea. 2 a ruin. 3 the remains of a ship destroyed by the sea (the divers explored the wreck for quite a while). 4 a person weakened by ill health or a bad lifestyle. vb to ruin, to destroy.
wreckage (noun)the broken parts of a wrecked ship.
wren (noun)a very small songbird.
wrench (noun)1 a violent twist. 2 the sorrow caused by parting from or giving away (it was such a wrench when her parents moved away). 3 a tool for gripping and turning nuts, bolts, etc. vb 1 to give a sudden twist or pull. 2 to sprain.
wrest (verb)(formal) to twist, to pull violently from.
wrestle (verb)1 to struggle with another by gripping and trying to throw down. 2 to try hard to solve.
wrestler (noun)a person who wrestles for sport (he loved to watch the wrestlers on TV).
wretch (noun)1 a very unfortunate or miserable person. 2 a wicked or worthless person.
wretched (adjective)1 miserable. 2 worthless.
wriggle (verb)1 to twist from side to side. 2 to move with a wriggling movement. Also n. adj wriggly
wring (verb)(pt, pp wrung ) 1 to squeeze hard, to twist tightly. 2 to get by pressure or persuasion (he managed to wring the truth out of her).
wringer (noun)(old) a machine for squeezing the water out of clothing.
wrinkle (noun)a fold or furrow in the skin, or in a cloth, etc (she was always looking for wrinkles on her face). vb to make wrinkles in.
wrist (noun)the joint between the hand and the arm.
wristwatch (noun)a watch attached to a band worn around the wrist.
writ (noun)a written order from a law court to do or not to do certain acts.
write (verb)(pt wrote , pp written ) 1 to make marks standing for sounds, letters, or words on paper, etc, with a pen or pencil. 2 to make up stories, poems, etc, for publication. 3 to write a letter to.
writer (noun)1 an author. 2 a person who writes.
writhe (verb)to twist and turn the body about (the wounded man lay writhing on the ground).
writing paper (noun)paper for writing letters on.
writings (noun, plural)the written works of an author.
wrong (adjective)1 not correct, false. 2 incorrect in your opinion, etc. 3 not good, not morally right, evil. vb 1 to treat unjustly. 2 to do harm to. n 1 an injustice. 2 harm. adv wrongly
wrongdoer (noun)a criminal, a sinner. n wrongdoing
wrongful (adjective)1 unjust. 2 criminal, wrong. adv wrongfully
wrought (adjective)(old) beaten and rolled into shape. wrought iron hammered iron. Also adj.
wry (adjective)1 twisted, turned to one side. 2 slightly mocking (she gave a wry smile). adv wryly n wryness
wunchCollective noun for bankers (A wunch of bankers) (see list of collective nouns)
WWWabbreviation for World Wide Web.
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