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to organize something in a very efficient way, controlling other people very closely
If you run a tight ship, you control an organization or business firmly to maximise performance.
Obama says that he intends to run a tight ship.
She continued to a_ that she was innocent.
to state clearly and firmly that something is true
If someone asserts a fact or belief, they state it firmly. (formal)
Mr. Helm plans to assert that the bill violates the First Amendment.
My application was h_ by the postal strike.
I got h_ by the immigration officer at the airport.
What's the h_?
to delay or block the movement or progress of somebody/something
- To hold up a person or process means to make them late or delay them. ⇒ [v n p]
- Why were you holding everyone up?
We can stay here for as long as our supplies h_.
to last, especially in a difficult situation
- If you hold out for something, you refuse to accept something which you do not think is good enough or large enough, and you continue to demand more. ⇒ [vp + for]
- test of who can hold out the longest
All we got was a c_ no
appearing rude because very few words are used, or because something is done in a very quick way
If you describe someone as curt, you mean that they speak or reply in a brief and rather rude way.
give someone a curt reply
The report is u_ by extensive research.
to support or form the basis of an argument, a claim, etc
If one thing underpins another, it helps the other thing to continue or succeed by supporting and strengthening it. ⇒ [v n] ...
underpin all efforts towards a settlement of the critical situation in
It may at least i_ you against the belief that quitting is necessarily taboo.
to protect a person or an animal from catching a particular disease by injecting them with a mild form of the disease
To inoculate a person or animal means to inject a weak form of a disease into their body as a way of protecting them against the disease.
His dogs were inoculated against rabies.
This will be our o_ and singular obsession until he is either back on Earth or confirmed dead on Mars.
more important than anything else in a particular situation
In a particular situation, the overriding factor is the one that is the most important.
Nothing has c_ to kill me in weeks.
to secretly plan with other people to do something illegal or harmful
If two or more people or groups conspire to do something illegal or harmful, they make a secret agreement to do it.
I had a persecution complex and thought people were conspiring against me.
Just keep things t_ while I'm away.
to keep working slowly without producing or achieving much
- If a person, system, or business is ticking over, they are working steadily, but not producing very much or making much progress. (British)
- The market is at least ticking over.
He was thorough and c_, rather than brilliant.
taking care to do things carefully and correctly
Someone who is conscientious is very careful to do their work properly. ⇒ [+ about]
The doctor is conscientious about giving his patients the best care possible.
For the country's startups, the rapid growth of the software industry has been c_.
to control something; to stop something from increasing or getting worse
To check something, usually something bad, means to stop it from spreading or continuing.
She tied some strips of cloth around the wound to check the bleeding.
Someone is always checking and t_ to ensure that everything will work out just right
to decide to do something; to agree to be responsible for something/somebody
If you take something on or upon yourself, you decide to do it without asking anyone for permission or approval. ⇒ [v n p pron-refl]
He took upon himself the responsibility for protecting her.
For now, he is looking to s_ developers as customers for its new storage service.
to sign a form or contract which says that you agree to do a job or become a soldier; to persuade someone to sign a form or contract like this
If you sign up for an organization or if an organization signs you up, you sign a contract officially agreeing to do a job or course of study.
He saw the song's potential, and persuaded the company to sign her up.
You can g_ the details and concentrate on the executive summary
to avoid talking about something unpleasant or embarrassing by not dealing with it in detail
If you gloss over a problem, a mistake, or an embarrassing moment, you try and make it seem unimportant by ignoring it or by dealing with it very quickly.
gloss over one's mistake
There are deep d_ in the party over the war.
a disagreement or difference in opinion, way of life, etc, especially between members of a society or an organization
A division is a significant distinction or argument between two groups, which causes the two groups to be considered as very different and separate. ⇒ [+ between/among]
The division between the prosperous west and the impoverished east remains.
It'll be a p_ sort of things
done as a duty or habit, without real interest, attention or feeling
A perfunctory action is done quickly and carelessly, and shows a lack of interest in what you are doing.
Without more money, the movie is unlikely to g_.
to start happening successfully; to make something start happening successfully
Jerry's idea for a school reunion didn't ever get off the ground.
A software company that sells a s_ version of Android.
to make changes to something such as a car or computer, so that it is more powerful or exciting than before
Xiaomi has a_ fended off all three in China
skilfully and well
Ably means skilfully and successfully
He was ably assisted by a number of other members.
The project was d_ as a scandalous waste of public money.
to strongly criticize somebody/something that you think is wrong, illegal, etc
- If you denounce a person or an action, you criticize them severely and publicly because you feel strongly that they are wrong or evil. ⇒ [v n]
- Some 25,000 demonstrators denounced him as a traitor.
An election is a f_, if the outcome has been determined before the voting begins.
a situation or an event that is so unfair or badly organized that it becomes ridiculous
If you describe a situation or event as a farce, you mean that it is so disorganized or ridiculous that you cannot take it seriously. (disapproval)
Many people believe that pro wrestling is nothing more than a farce
They're still h_ some of the minor details
to argue with somebody in order to reach an agreement, especially about the price of something
If you haggle, you argue about something before reaching an agreement, especially about the cost of something that you are buying.
It's intimidating to go into a fancy jewelry store and haggle over the price.
I cleaned the flat, which left me feeling v_.
claiming to behave better or have higher moral standards than other people.
A virtuous person behaves in a moral and correct way.
He was feeling virtuous because he had finished and they hadn't.
Do you have to i_ that music on us?
She i_ her nephew on them for the weekend.
to make somebody/something suffer something unpleasant
To inflict harm or damage on someone or something means to make them suffer it. ⇒ [v n + on]
Don't inflict your unwanted opinions on others ［other people］
I don't want to b_ the point, but it's vital you understand how important this is.
to repeat an idea, argument, etc. many times to emphasize it, especially when it has already been mentioned or understood
- If you say that someone belabours the point, you mean that they keep on talking about it, perhaps in an annoying or boring way. ⇒ [v n]
- I won't belabour the point, for this is a familiar story.
It helps me k_ in my field.
to continue something at the same, usually high, level
If you keep something up, you prevent it from growing less in amount, level, or degree.
Do you still keep up your Spanish?
It doesn't matter how great the contents are. If the explanations are given in English, it'll be like c_
to give or offer valuable things to people who do not understand their value
Such an attempt is like casting pearls before swine.
Small businesses are advised to make adequate p_ against bad debts.
You should make p_ for things going wrong.
preparations that you make for something that might or will happen in the future
- If you make provision for something that might happen or that might need to be done, you make arrangements to deal with it. ⇒ [+ for]
- 準備、設備、対策、用意/ provisions
- Mr King asked if it had ever occurred to her to make provision for her own pension.
He lost confidence and b_ of the deal at the last minute.
to decide that you are no longer going to take part in something that has been agreed
If you back out, you decide not to do something that you previously agreed to do. ⇒ [vp + of]
Madonna backed out of the project after much wrangling.
He knew from her face that his forebodings had been justified.
Foreboding is a strong feeling that something terrible is going to happen.
I have a terrible foreboding that I cannot return from there
Lackluster sales of its high-end Galaxy S6 h_ the company b_.
to prevent the progress or development of somebody/something
To hold someone or something back means to prevent someone from doing something, or to prevent something from happening.
Stagnation in home sales is holding back economic recovery.
Many victims of burglary feel their homes have been d_.
to make something dirty or no longer pure, especially something that people consider important or holy
To defile something that people think is important or holy means to do something to it or say something about it which is offensive. (literary) ⇒ [v n]
- He that touches pitch shall be defiled.
You'd better s_ a notice so everybody gets the word.
send around a document
“At one point, a company even tried to invent a contraption called the TV Stove, which was both a TV and a stove,” she said.
- You can refer to a device or machine as a contraption, especially when it looks strange or you do not know what it is used for.
- a strange contraption called the General Gordon Gas Bath.
Life-saving defibrillators should be made available at more schools and leisure centres in Scotland
- automated external defibrillator (AED)
A defibrillator is a machine that starts the heart beating normally again after a heart attack, by giving it an electric shock
If you live in New York and are invited for a job interview in California, the company may d_ the expenses of your plane ticket and hotel, especially if they really want to hire you.
to give somebody back the money that they have spent on something
If you defray someone's costs or expenses, you give them money which represents the amount that they have spent, for example while they have been doing something for you or acting on your behalf. (formal) ⇒ [v n]
This money will go towards defraying the cost of their trip
That supplier will always a_ you in a pinch
to help somebody by doing what they want
- If you accommodate, you are making an adjustment to suit a particular purpose.
- Make great efforts to accommodate someone's schedule
His teaching methods are i_ but successful.
a person's particular way of behaving, thinking, etc, especially when it is unusual; an unusual feature
If you describe someone's actions or characteristics as idiosyncratic, you mean that they are rather unusual.
a highly idiosyncratic personality.
We'll plan everything very carefully and l_.
the way that some things happen without any cause that you can see or understand
- leave nothing to chance
- If you chance something, you do it even though there is a risk that you may not succeed or that something bad may happen.
- Andy knew the risks. I cannot believe he would have chanced it.
To help meet demand, Toyota began importing RAV4s, supplementing it's Canadian factory, which has been operating f_.
as fast as possible
To move full tilt or at full tilt means to move with as much speed, energy, or force as possible.
As John approached at full tilt he saw a queue of traffic blocking the road.
A big part of the problem is that a lot of potential new e_ are in places where Internet access is patchy at best.
people who visit a website
It's a sad fact that bad news attracts more eyeballs than good news.
They're like Sisyphus pushing his boulder up the hill, only the boulder grows a little bigger with each passing day.
He sighed, thinking of the sisyphean task.
That's a s_ process because customers may quickly grow frustrated with the barebones service and demand more.
A symbiotic relationship is one in which organisms, people, or things exist together in a way that benefits them all.
The two formed a close friendship and a symbiotic working relationship that lasted half a century.
The data have become f_ for a lively debate.
If you say that something is fodder for a particular purpose, you mean that it is useful for that purpose and perhaps nothing else.
The press conference simply provided more fodder for another attack on his character.
My hope is that my message will be judged o_.
without considering any other issues, feelings, etc.
If you judge something or someone on merit or on their merits, your judgment is based on what you notice when you consider them, rather than on things that you know about them from other sources.
Each case is judged on its merits.
S_ 2 months off the delivery time.
to reduce a number by a very small amount
If you shave a small amount off something such as a record, cost, or price, you reduce it by that amount. ⇒ [V n + off/from]
shave hours off the time it takes someone to
Aggressive and h_ women violate unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct.
working or performing with a lot of energy and skill
She was known for her hard-charging work ethic and upbeat attitude.
I was just not mature enough to have made this lifelong decision, and the relationship quickly u_
to start to fail or no longer stay together as a whole
If something such as a plan or system unravels, it breaks up or begins to fail.
His government began to unravel because of a banking scandal.
h_ businessmen scurrying from one crowded office to another.
to annoy or upset somebody by continuously asking them questions or for something
If someone harries you, they keep bothering you or trying to get something from you.
After the usual m_, I encouraged the attendees to help themselves to the buffet
to move around an area without seeming to be going anywhere in particular
When a crowd of people mill around or mill about, they move around within a particular place or area, so that the movement of the whole crowd looks very confused.
Fans were milling around outside the hotel.
They d_ and remained in their seats
to say that you do not agree with something or that you refuse to do something
If you demur, you say that you do not agree with something or will not do something that you have been asked to do. (formal)
I asked her if it hurt? She said demurely, "Not a bit."
One day soon, the j_
- the jig would be up
- The jig is up.
This phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt has a name - the i_ syndrome
a person who pretends to be somebody else in order to trick people
you can only judge if something is good or bad when you have tried it
If you say the proof of the pudding or the proof of the pudding is in the eating, you mean that something new can only be judged to be good or bad after it has been tried or used.
s_ to find a last-minute replacement.
to push, fight or compete with others in order to get or to reach something
If a number of people scramble for something, they compete energetically with each other for it.
The audience scrambled for the exits.
They decided to s_ her interest in the project.
to try to find out from somebody what they think about something, often in an indirect way
If you sound someone out, you question them in order to find out what their opinion is about something.
Tomorrow I'll sound him out on his intention.
If you ever come into possession of a great fortune, watch out for sudden friends who want to f_ you and shower you with presents.
to try to please somebody by praising them or paying them too much attention.
If you say that someone fawns over a powerful or rich person, you disapprove of them because they flatter that person and like to be with him or her. (disapproval)
People fawn over you when you're famous.
This kind of decision cannot ever be made i_.
existing separately from other people, events, etc. when there should be a connection
If something is done in a vacuum, it is not affected by any outside influences or information.
Problems such as this do not occur ［happen］ in a vacuum.
I fantasized about all sorts of r_, but in the end, my best response was to ignore the attacks and do my job.
a reply, especially a quick, critical or amusing one
- A rejoinder usually means a witty comeback.
issue a sharp rejoinder
If you've been trying to break your sugar habit but one day eat several pieces of cake, that's r_.
the process of going back to an earlier or less advanced form or state
When people or things regress, they return to an earlier and less advanced stage of development. (formal)
I sat there h_ until every last molecule of oxygen had been sucked from the room.
to take a long time to make a decision or before you say something
If you hem and haw, or in British English hum and haw, you take a long time to say something because you cannot think of the right words, or because you are not sure what to say.
Marlon hemmed and hawed for hours before agreeing to hire the needed new staff members
Several other newspapers have a_ the idea.
to take something, somebody's ideas, etc. for your own use, especially illegally or without permission
If someone appropriates something which does not belong to them, they take it, usually without the right to do so. (formal)
He was accused of appropriating club funds.
Executives at the top are looking to i_ ruthless execution in themselves and their people as a basic standard.
to gradually make somebody feel, think or behave in a particular way over a period of time.
If you instil an idea or feeling in someone, especially over a period of time, you make them think it or feel it. ⇒ [V n + in/into]
instill a feeling of inferiority
Students do not always progress in a l_ fashion.
going from one thing to another in a single series of stages
A linear process or development is one in which something changes or progresses straight from one stage to another, and has a starting point and an ending point.
increase in a linear fashion
The President's speech was hailed as a c_ gesture toward business.
having the intention or effect of making angry people calm
When you are conciliatory in your actions or behaviour, you show that you are willing to end a disagreement with someone.
make a conciliatory gesture to
I think the only c_ of success is hard work.
an idea, attitude or experience that is shared by all the members of a group
A common denominator is a characteristic or attitude that is shared by all members of a group of people.
They were united through the common denominator of suffering.
There is growing a_ that fighting will begin again.
worry or fear that something unpleasant may happen
Apprehension is a feeling of fear that something bad may happen. (formal)
I tensed every muscle in my body in apprehension.
We made a t_ arrangement to meet on Friday.
not definite or certain because you may want to change it later
Tentative agreements, plans, or arrangements are not definite or certain, but have been made as a first step.
The next round of talks is tentatively scheduled to begin October 21st in Washington.
I had a funny feeling in the p_.
the bottom of the stomach where people say they feel strong feelings, especially fear
If you have a feeling in the pit of your stomach, you have a tight or sick feeling in your stomach, usually because you are afraid or anxious.
He had a sudden sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Do not e_ yourself unnecessarily.
to make a big physical or mental effort
If you exert yourself, you make a great physical or mental effort, or work hard to do something.
In order to be successful he would have to exert himself.
Things could only get better, I r_
to form a judgement about a situation by considering the facts and using your power to think in a logical way
If you reason that something is true, you decide that it is true after thinking carefully about all the facts.
I reasoned that changing my diet would lower my cholesterol level.
RadioShack needed a new a_ and soon found one: cell phones
a person or thing that gives somebody a feeling of safety
(US) An anchor is the main store in a mall or shopping center.
A clothing store is to be a key anchor in a new development planned on the vacant lot.
They could flood mailboxes with c_ offering specials on batteries.
a printed letter, notice or advertisement that is sent to a large number of people at the same time
A circular is an official letter or advertisement that is sent to a large number of people at the same time.
The company will dispatch a circular to its shareholders giving details of the takeover.
His iPhone had n_ any needs for 13 of the 15 products being sold.
stop something from having any effect
If one thing negates another, it causes that other thing to lose the effect or value that it had. (formal)
These weaknesses negated his otherwise progressive attitude towards the staff.
Information will be released strictly on a n_ basis.
with people being told only the things they need to know when they need to know them, and no more than that
on a need-to-know basis
We do a lot of h_ with our clients
providing someone with guidance, assistance, encouragement or aid and support to lessen anxiety
An example of hand holding is a providing information and answering questions to help a new employee.
Warmest regards is too e_.
showing much or too much emotion.
If you describe someone as effusive, you mean that they express pleasure, gratitude, or approval in a very enthusiastic way.
Change the e_ mindset of bureaucrats
Feeling better than other people because of being part of an elite
Elitist systems, practices, or ideas favour the most powerful, rich, or talented people within a group, place, or society. (disapproval)
He was an elitist who had no time for the masses.
Others have called it charmless, p_, impersonal, or abrupt.
not strong or bright, and therefore not attractive
You can describe something such as a performance or book as pallid if it is weak or not at all exciting.
a pallid sky
The railway companies have p_ their timetables (= there are fewer trains).
to make something smaller by removing parts; to cut out parts of something.
If you prune something, you cut out all the parts that you do not need.
Prune out any unnecessary details.
T_ a best onto the end of an email can read as archaic, like a mom-style voice mail.
to add something to something that already exists, especially in a careless way
If you say that something is tacked on to something else, you think that it is added in a hurry and in an unsatisfactory way.
The poems were tacked on at the end of the book.
Don't be d_ into thinking that we are out of danger yet.
to make somebody believe something that is not true
To delude someone into thinking something means to make them believe what is not true.
elevision deludes you into thinking you have experienced reality, when you haven't.
Several students were l_ around, reading newspapers.
to stand, sit or lie in a lazy way
If you lounge somewhere, you sit or lie there in a relaxed or lazy way.
They ate and drank and lounged in the shade.
Paying a premium price for early and late cane would also help s_ the production schedule.
to make something smooth
If you smooth something, you move your hands over its surface to make it smooth and flat.
smooth out imbalances in the costs
Nidec's CEO says motivation not s_ was key to building one of Japan's most profitable companies.
You’ll have to use all your smarts to figure this one out.
American companies using at least some form of digital price tags from s_ to family department store.
people or things that are considered unimportant compared to somebody/something else
Small fry is used to refer to someone or something that is considered to be unimportant.
People like us are small fry to such a large business.
They are taking u_ advantage of the situation.
more than you think is reasonable or necessary
If you describe something bad as undue, you mean that it is greater or more extreme than you think is reasonable or appropriate.
We did not want to put any undue pressure on them.
The car is in p_ condition.
fresh and clean, as if new
Pristine things are extremely clean or new. (formal)
Now the house is in pristine condition.
Most often we p_ when faced with something we do not want to do.
to delay doing something that you should do, usually because you do not want to do it
If you procrastinate, you keep leaving things you should do until later, often because you do not want to do them.
procrastinate about a big challenge
It was hard to believe she was ill, she was p_.
something that is done to trick or cheat people
If you put on a way of behaving, you behave in a way that is not natural to you or that does not express your real feelings
just a put-on
He had been h_ a new thriller just for the occasion.
not do something immediately
If you hold off a challenge in a race or competition, you do not allow someone to pass you.
hold off on a trip to the bathroom