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31 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
to make sth less severe
(ease): to alleviate suffering A number of measures were taken to alleviate the problem.
inherent (in sb/sth)
that is a basic or permanent part of sb/sth and that cannot be removed: the difficulties inherent in a study of this type Violence is inherent in our society. an inherent weakness in the design of the machine
feelings of hatred and a desire to hurt other people, especially because you think that sb has done sth unfair to you: There was rancor in his voice. They divorced with remarkably little rancor. She learned to accept criticism without rancor.
pry (into sth)
to try to find out information about other people's private lives in a way that is annoying or rude: I'm sick of you prying into my personal life! I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry. She tried to keep the children away from the prying eyes of the world's media.
1 an aspect of sb's personality or behavior that is a little strange: Everyone has their own little quirks and mannerisms. his quirks of humour / taste
1 feeling that everything is moving and that you are going to fall (dizzy): When I looked down from the top floor, I felt giddy.
2 making you feel as if you were about to fall: The kids were pushing the roundabout at a giddy speed. (figurative) the giddy heights of success
shell out (for sth)
to pay a lot of money for sth
1 soft material that is placed inside sth to make it more comfortable or to change its shape: The shoes have thick padding at the ankle to offer greater support. The actor's were made rounder for the part using cotton wool padding.
2 words that are used to make a speech, piece of writing, etc. longer, but that do not contain any interesting information: Some of the quotations are useful, others are little more than padding.
an event that may or may not happen (possibility): We must consider all possible contingencies. to make contingency plans (= plans for what to do if a particular event happens or does not happen) a contingency fund (= to pay for sth that might happen in the future)
hold sth back
1 to not tell sb sth they want or need to know: to hold back information I think he's holding something back. I'm sure he knows more than he admits.
2 to stop yourself from expressing how you really feel: She just managed to hold back her anger. He bravely held back his tears.
1 if sth goes awry, it does not happen in the way that was planned: All my plans for the party had gone awry.
2 not in the right position (untidy): She rushed out, her hair awry.
1 to enjoy the full taste or flavor of sth, especially by eating or drinking it slowly: He ate his meal slowly, savoring every mouthful. She took a sip of wine, savoring the fine vintage.
2 to enjoy a feeling or an experience thoroughly(relish): I wanted to savour every moment. He sat for a few moments, savoring the memory to the full.
scathing (about sb/sth)
criticizing sb or sth very severely: a scathing attack on the new management He was scathing about the government's performance. Her father gave her a scathing look.
hold sb/sth back
1 to prevent sb/sth from moving forward or crossing sth: The police were unable to hold back the crowd. The dam was not strong enough to hold back the flood waters.
2 to prevent the progress or development of sb/sth: Do you think that mixed ability classes hold back the better students? We are determined that nothing should hold back the peace talks.
1 expensive or noticeable in a way that is intended to impress people: ostentatious gold jewellery
2 behaving in a way that is meant to impress people by showing how rich, important, etc. you are
3 (of an action) done in a very obvious way so that people will notice it: He gave an ostentatious yawn.
appalled (at sth)
feeling or showing horror or disgust at sth unpleasant or wrong: an appalled expression / silence We watched appalled as the child ran in front of the car. They were appalled at the waste of recyclable material.
fudge (on) sth
to avoid giving clear and accurate information, or a clear answer: I asked how long he was staying, but he fudged the answer. Politicians are often very clever at fudging the issue.
to shock sb very much: The brutality of the crime has appalled the public. The idea of sharing a room appalled her. The thought of having to do it all again appals me. It appalled me that they could simply ignore the problem.
a sudden wish to do or have sth, especially when it is sth unusual or unnecessary: He was forced to pander to her every whim. My duties seem to change daily at the whim of the boss.
1 (of an arrangement, agreement, etc.) not definite or certain because you may want to change it later: We made a tentative arrangement to meet again next Friday. He reached some tentative conclusions about the possible cause of the accident.
2 not behaving or done with confidence (hesitant): a tentative smile / nod / greeting Her English is correct but tentative. I'm taking the first tentative steps towards fitness.
1 not intended to offend or upset anyone: It seemed a perfectly innocuous remark.
2 not harmful or dangerous: an innocuous substance
a list of cases to be dealt with in a particular court of law
a feeling of great happiness and excitement: She felt a great sense of elation as she started on the journey.
grievance (against sb)
something that you think is unfair and that you complain or protest about: Parents were invited to air their grievances (= express them) at the meeting. He had been nursing a grievance against his boss for months. Does the company have a formal grievance procedure (= a way of telling sb your complaints at work)? These interviews aim to deal with individual grievances.
resort to sth to make use of sth, especially sth bad, as a means of achieving sth, often because there is no other possible solution: They felt obliged to resort to violence. We may have to resort to using untrained staff. There are hopes that the conflict can be resolved without resort to violence.
2 the first / last / final ~ the first or last course of action that you should or can take in a particular situation: Strike action should be regarded as a last resort, when all attempts to negotiate have failed. In the last resort (= at the most basic level) what really moves us is our personal convictions.

hold back (from doing sth),
hold sb back (from doing sth)
to hesitate or to make sb hesitate to act or speak: She held back, not knowing how to break the terrible news. I wanted to tell him the truth, but something held me back.

a piece of advice: Here are some pointers on how to go about the writing task.
(pick up a few pointers)
construe sth (as sth)
to understand the meaning of a word, a sentence, or an action in a particular way: He considered how the remark was to be construed. Her words could hardly be construed as an apology.
string sb along
to allow sb to believe sth that is not true, for example that you love them, intend to help them, etc: She has no intention of giving you a divorce; she's just stringing you along.
abut (-tt-) ~ (on / onto sth)
(of land or a building) to be next to sth or to have one side touching the side of sth: His land abuts onto a road.
a difficult or unpleasant situation, especially one where it is difficult to know what to do: the club's financial predicament I'm in a terrible predicament.