Thursday, March 31, 2016

Under the radar

Under the radar - doing something without other people noticing.

Example - "We're keeping our relationship under the radar because we don't want her father to know about us yet"

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Mishmash - a confused mixture.

Example - "The painting was just a mishmash of colours and abstract shapes as far as we could tell"

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Under the sun

Under the sun - on earth; in existence.

Example - "They exchanged views on every subject under the sun"

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Monday, March 28, 2016

To pine for

To pine for - to long or grieve intensely for someone or something.

Example - "Many teachers pine for the days when students were better behaved"

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Formidable - inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable.

Example - "He had to fight a formidable adversary"

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Vested interest

Vested interest - a personal reason for involvement in an undertaking or situation, especially an expectation of financial or other gain.

Example - "Banks have a vested interest in the growth of their customers"

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To raise one's hackles

To raise one's hackles - to annoy someone.

Example - "Jim could raise her hackles quickly, but she enjoyed being with him anyway"

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doubting Thomas

Doubting Thomas - a person who is skeptical and refuses to believe something without proof.

Example - "I was a real doubting Thomas. I didn't believe the stuff would work"

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To pick up/take up the slack

To pick up/take up the slack - to do the work that someone else has stopped doing but still needs to be done.

Example - "If Sue gets a job, Mark will have to take up the slack at home"

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Pandora's box

Pandora's box - a source of extensive but unforeseen troubles or problems.

Example - "The senate investigation turned out to be a Pandora's box for the administration"

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Can of worms

Can of worms - a situation that causes a lot of problems for you when you start to deal with it.

Example - "When you brought that up, you opened a whole new can of worms"

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Indefatigable - persisting tirelessly.

Example - "She's an indefatigable defender of human rights"

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To gel

To gel - to come together, to unite, to combine.

Example - "The new players have gelled very well with the rest of the team"

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To press/push one's luck

To press/push one's luck - to try too hard to get a particular result and risk losing what you have achieved.

Example - "She's agreed to help on Saturday, but I think I'd be pushing my luck if I asked her to be here the whole weekend"

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Out-and-out - complete or in every way.

Example - "That's an out and out lie!"

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To lead somebody up the garden path

To lead somebody up the garden path - to deceive someone.

Example - "We were led up the garden path about the cost of the building work - it turned out really expensive."

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Ethos - the guiding beliefs of a person, group or organization.

Example - "The are working to keep a democratic ethos alive in the community"

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To worship the ground somebody walks on

To worship the ground somebody walks on - to love and admire someone very much.

Example - "She always admired her Linguistics professor. In fact, she worshiped the ground he walked on"

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Callous - showing or having an insensitive and cruel disregard for others.

Example - "His callous comments about the murder made me shiver"

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On the warpath

On the warpath - very angry.

Example - "The boss is on the warpath again. Watch out!"

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To ream someone out

To ream someone out - to tell someone off severely because you strongly disapprove of their behaviour.

Example - "The boss reamed them out for sleeping on the job"

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Hazing rituals

Hazing rituals - activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group.

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Against one's better judgement

Against one's better judgement - if you do something against your better judgement, you do it although you think it is wrong.

Example - "I lent him the money against my better judgement"

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One shallow does not make a summer

One shallow does not make a summer

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To propound

To propound - to suggest to a person or a group of people to consider.

Example - "Her new book expands upon the theory propounded in her first book"

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Latitude - how much freedom you have in making choices.

Example - "He allowed his children considerable latitude in how they spent their money"

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Specious - superficially plausible but actually wrong.

Example - "Your argument is largely specious"

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Whirlpool - a situation in which you lose control of what is happening, usually in an unpleasant way.

Example - "She endured a whirlpool of conflicting emotions last year"

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Squeaker - something achieved by a narrow margin.

Example - "In the last presidential elections, she won in a squeaker"

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Monday, March 21, 2016


Swathe - a long strip or large area especially of land.

Example - "Huge swathes of rain-forest are being cleared for farming and mining"

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Watch somebody or something with an eagle eye

Watch somebody or something with an eagle eye - to watch someone or something very closely.

Example - "The teacher was watching the children with an eagle eye, making sure they behaved themselves"

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At a rate of knots

At a rate of knots - very quickly.

Example - "She did her homework at a rate of knots so she could go out with her friends"

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Bonhomie /ˈbɒnəmiː/ - a feeling of friendliness among a group of people.

Example - "I was amazed by the bonhomie of strangers singing together around the campfire last night"

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To speak volumes

To speak volumes - to express something very clearly without the use of words.

Example - "She said very little but her face spoke volumes"

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To run the gauntlet

To run the gauntlet - to have to deal with a lot of people who are criticizing or attacking you.

Example - "Every day they had to run the gauntlet of hostile journalists on their way to school"

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To look in on

To look in on - to visit someone briefly.

Example - "The doctor said he'd look in on you tomorrow"

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Ineffectual - not producing the desired effect.

Example - "She was neglectful and ineffectual as a parent"

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Qualm - a feeling of doubt or uncertainty about whether you are doing the right thing.

Example - "She accepted their offer without a qualm"

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To wig out

To wig out - to go completely wild.

Example - "One more drink and he will wig out"

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To end something on a high note

To end something on a high note - to finish, complete or leave (something) at a successful, impressive or climactic point.

Example - "I know we've had quite a few losses this season, but let's win this game and end on a high note"

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Friday, March 18, 2016


Truism - a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning.

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Tautological - characterized by repetition and excessive wordiness.

Example - "His works cover nearly 40 volumes, often obscure, often tautological, and with no great distinction of style"

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Incommunicado - not able, wanting or allowed to communicate with other people.

Example - "The suspects were separated and detained incommunicado"

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To proliferate

To proliferate - to increase rapidly in number; to multiply.

Example - "Science fiction magazines proliferated in the 1920s"

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pecking order

Pecking orderthe way in which people or things in a group or organization are placed in a series of levels with different importance or status, a social hierarchy.

Example - "As an assistant manager, he was pretty low in the company's pecking order."

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Slack-jawed - a person with the mouth in an open position and the jaw hanging loosely, especially as indicating bewilderment or astonishment.

Example - "She left us all slack-jawed with her news"

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Monday, March 14, 2016


Inconspicuous - not clearly visible or attracting attention.

Example - "Their headquarters was an inconspicuous red-brick building"

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To bask

To bask - to take great pleasure or satisfaction.

Example - "Britons can now finally bask in the sunshine"

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Fancy-free - not emotionally involved with or committed to anyone.

Example - "His recent divorce meant that he was footloose and fancy-free"

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Flummoxed - perplexed.

Example- "He became flummoxed and speechless"

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