Chapter 4. Vocabulary Building – Communicative English for Engineers and Professionals


Vocabulary Building

In this unit

The knowledge of words is the gate of scholarship.”


–Edmund Wilson

4.1 Introduction

Words are the building blocks of spoken or written communication. A rich vocabulary is the area of language competence, which is directly related to all the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. When we pass out from college or university, we feel the need to communicate with the world at the personal, social as well as professional level. For this purpose, we have to extend our vocabulary to express ourselves effectively. In addition to this, all the competitive, school and university examinations make a direct test of vocabulary to evaluate a prospective student on the threshold of word knowledge. For these purposes, we have to increase our vocabulary to express ourselves precisely, accurately and fluently. A good stock of words assists us to differentiate between different shades of meaning and between similarly appearing or sounding words. At the same time, it checks repetitions and brings variety to our language. With a good knowledge of words, we are able to understand and interpret written material in the right perspective.

Choice of words depends upon your relationship with the person with whom you are communicating. Here comes your knowledge of formal and informal vocabulary, which serves a very important social and professional function. Avoid using formal words while interacting with friends and relatives, as it will bring in a lot of formality in your relationships. On the other hand, in a formal situation, such as talking to your principal, teacher, colleague or manager, formal words should be preferred to the informal ones. List of technical words given in this chapter, will provide you with examples of words from formal English. Vocabulary of official communication is dealt with in the chapter on “Technical Communication”.

Extension of vocabulary is a gradual process. It cannot be done overnight. The most effective tool is to do an extensive reading and careful listening of English on a day-to-day basis. We should be alert enough to grasp new words—their meaning, context, parts of speech, pronunciation and usage—and make them a part of our system by using them in our communication and interactions.

To make a word a part of your system, study its complete profile. Along with its meaning, pronunciation and usage, study its roots, affixes, synonyms, antonyms, homophones and homonyms. Familiarize yourself with one-word substitutes as well as with the words of common usage. Lists of these elements of vocabulary building have been given under various headings in this chapter.

4.2 Synonyms

To use words appropriately in speech and writing, you should be able to distinguish one word from another with its slight changes in meaning. Synonyms are words that have the same or almost the same meaning but with different shades in different contexts. For example, assist: help/support. The use of synonyms imparts vividness to the expression. One can communicate effectively if one has a good variety of words to use. An antonym is a word opposite in meaning with another. To express contrast between two objects, persons or situations, antonyms are the best options. They can also be formed by using prefixes. For example, partial: impartial, competent: incompetent. A good stock of synonyms and antonyms is essential for an effective language usage. However, while using them you should be careful that the grammatical status of the word does not change. Here are some useful synonyms and antonyms for your ready reference:






























































































































































































































































































































Hard working


















































































































































































































































Choose the word or phrase which is nearest in meaning to the key word:

  1. Lethargy
    1. Serenity
    2. Listlessness
    3. Impassivity
    4. Laxity
  2. Inedible
    1. Unfit for human consumption
    2. Polluted
    3. Vitiated
    4. Eatable
  3. Sadistic
    1. Smart
    2. Malicious
    3. Given to deriving pleasure from inflicting pain on others
    4. Depressed
  4. Amoral
    1. Loving
    2. Immoral
    3. Uninvolved
    4. Highly ethical
  5. Duplicity
    1. Innocence
    2. Cleverness
    3. Double-dealing
    4. Repetition
  6. Coup
    1. Sudden overthrow of a government
    2. Small enclosure
    3. Accident
    4. Clever reply
  7. Concert
    1. Agreement
    2. Beauty
    3. Power
    4. Musical performance
  8. Buoyant
    1. Child-like
    2. Brisk
    3. Sturdy
    4. Light-hearted
  9. Parasite
    1. Disease
    2. A loss of motion
    3. One that clings
    4. Exterminator
  10. Drab
    1. Dull or colourless
    2. To brag
    3. Discouraged
    4. Shabby
  11. Weak
    1. To twist
    2. To emit an unpleasant odour
    3. To inflict
    4. To sweat
  12. Carcass
    1. Mind
    2. Association
    3. Soul
    4. Dead body
  13. Skip
    1. Overlook
    2. Introduce
    3. Insert
    4. Notice
  14. Obscene
    1. Dirty
    2. Fraud
    3. Indecent
    4. Unwanted
  15. Cajole
    1. Scold
    2. Intimidate
    3. Threaten
    4. Persuade

4.3 Antonyms


























































































































































































Hind legs










































































































































































































Feeble, weak




































































































Pick out the word opposite or nearly so in the meaning of the given words:

  1. Accepted
    1. Followed
    2. Noted
    3. Provided
    4. Considered
    5. Rejected
  2. Anger
    1. Party
    2. Happiness
    3. Approval
    4. Considered
    5. Joy
  3. Loved
    1. Refused
    2. Defamed
    3. Distracted
    4. Averted
    5. Hated
  4. Obey
    1. Attract
    2. Disobey
    3. Repel
    4. Diffuse
    5. None
  5. Outwit
    1. Laugh
    2. Victory
    3. Defeat
    4. Win
    5. None
  6. Come
    1. Play
    2. Fast
    3. Go
    4. Got
    5. None
  7. Dull
    1. Pale
    2. Wise
    3. Shining
    4. Colourful
    5. Foolish
  8. Receded
    1. Bloomed
    2. Advanced
    3. Increased
    4. Diminished
    5. Rebuilt
  9. Extrovert
    1. Boaster
    2. Mixer
    3. Introvert
    4. Social
  10. Urban
    1. Rustic
    2. Rural
    3. Civil
    4. Domestic
  11. Militant
    1. Religious
    2. Spiritual
    3. Combative
    4. Impure
  12. Ruthless
    1. Militant
    2. Might
    3. Majestic
    4. Merciful
  13. Latent
    1. Hidden
    2. Forbidding
    3. Obvious
    4. Artificial
  14. Antipathy
    1. Indifference
    2. Willingness
    3. Fondness
    4. Liking
  15. Extravagant
    1. Developing
    2. Wonderful
    3. Disappearing
    4. Economical
    5. Real
  16. Inevitable
    1. Unavoidable
    2. Eatable
    3. Half-baked
    4. Uncertain
    5. Mutilated

4.4 Homophones

The word ‘homophone’ has its origin in the combination of two elements—‘homo’ (same) and ‘phone’ (sound). Thus, the term homophone describes the words that sound the same but have different meanings. For example, the words ‘ate’ and ‘eight’ are pronounced in the same way but both have different meanings. The knowledge of homophones helps the learner check the ambiguity in expression as well as to bring clarity to it. They can also be used to create puns to make language interesting. For example, ‘he died on his birth’—can be interpreted to have a pun on the word ‘berth’ that is a homophone of the word ‘birth.’ However, homophones can be a tricky business, that is, one may find it difficult to know when to use which word. Some common mistakes occur with your/you’re, there/their/they’re, and hear/here. Mastery of homophones requires a lot of practice. You may learn them by making a list, use them in complete sentences or make use of flash cards. These things will definitely help you in understanding tricky homophones accurately. Some of them are given below:

  1. Aid, Aide

    Aid: Help or assistance: We should give aid to the poor.

    Aide: A person who helps: Farida has been working as a doctor’s aide for 5 years.

  2. Airs, Heirs

    Airs: Snobbish and artificial behaviour: Rajeev put on airs at the dinner party just because he had bought a new car.

    Heirs: Successors: Mansi and Gouri are going to be heirs to a large fortune.

  3. Altar, Alter

    Altar: A place of worship: We offered prayers before the altar of the Goddess Durga.

    Alter: To change: You should alter your way of thinking, if you want to succeed.

  4. Artist, Artiste

    Artist: One who practices fine arts: The person who has made this painting is a real artist.

    Artiste: A professional dancer, singer, etc.: Amitabh Bachchan is a famous artiste.

  5. Ascent, Assent

    Ascent: Rise, the way up: The cart began its gradual ascent up the hill.

    Assent: To agree: The director gave his assent to the proposal.

  6. Aural, Oral

    Aural: Connected with hearing and listening: Students should be given some exercises to improve their aural abilities.

    Oral: Spoken, not written: The message was conveyed to us orally.

  7. Aught, Ought

    Aught: Anything: If there is aught I can do for you, please feel free to tell me.

    Ought (to): Should: Children ought to learn their lessons.

  8. Awe, Oar, Or, Ore

    Awe: Feeling of respect and slight fear: ‘It’s really wonderful,’ she whispered in awe.

    Oar: A long pole with a flat blade used for rowing a boat: The sailor pulled as hard as he could on the oars and started rowing the boat.

    Or: Otherwise: ‘Do or die,’ was the slogan given by Gandhiji.

    Ore: Rock, earth, etc. from which a metal can be obtained: Iron ore is mined in Bihar.

  9. Bail, Bale

    Bail: Security: He committed another offence while he was out on bail.

    Bale: A bundle, a parcel: The bales of cotton got damaged in the fire.

  10. Bait, Bate

    Bait: Food put on a hook to catch fish or in nets, traps, etc. to catch animals or birds: Fresh bait was put in the hook to catch fish.

    Bate: Holding (breath) when anxious or excited: We waited with bated breath for the results to be announced.

  11. Baize, Bays

    Baize: Thick woollen cloth usually green, used for covering card, billiard, snooker or pool tables: The peon changed the baize of the snooker table.

    Bays: Part of the sea, or of a large lake, partly surrounded by a wide curve of the land: We saw a magnificent view across the bays.

  12. Bald, Bawled

    Bald: Having little or no hair on the head: He started going bald in his twenties.

    Bawled: Shouted loudly, roared: Sheela bawled at her servant and asked him to clean the table.

  13. Band, Banned

    Band: A group of people doing something together: The band of the musicians played a lovely tune and we all started dancing.

    Banned: Prohibited: Use of mobile phones should be banned in educational institutions.

  14. Bare, Bear

    Bare: Without, naked: One should not go bare footed in the sun.

    Bear: To tolerate: I can’t bear separation from my family.

  15. Barren, Baron

    Barren: Unfruitful, infertile: We cannot grow anything on this barren land.

    Baron: A landlord: People used to respect barons in the middle ages.

  16. Beach, Beech

    Beach: Seashore: Beaches of Goa attract a lot of tourists every year.

    Beech: A kind of tree: Birds have made their nests on the beech tree.

  17. Bean, Been

    Bean: A seed or pod containing seeds: We bought some coffee beans from the market.

    Been: Past participle of ‘be’: I had been to the US to attend a conference.

  18. Beer, Bier

    Beer: A kind of wine: The men took some beer and went to sleep.

    Bier: A frame on which the dead body or the coffin is placed or carried at a funeral:

    At the time of Minister’s funeral, the bier was full of flowers.

  19. Bell, Belle

    Bell: A hollow object shaped like a cup that makes a ringing sound: As soon as the bell rang, children came out of the classes.

    Belle: A beautiful woman: The belle attracted everyone in the party.

  20. Bight, Bite, Byte

    Bight: A long curve in a coast: The bight of Mumbai Marine Drive attracts a lot of tourists.

    Bite: To use teeth to cut into or through something: Don’t go near the dog, it may bite you.

    Byte: A unit of information stored in a computer: A computer’s memory is measured in bytes.

  21. Billed, Build

    Billed: Having the type of bill: The billed amount had a calculation error.

    Build: To make something, especially a building: We have got permission to build two more rooms in our house.

  22. Birth, Berth

    Birth: To be born: It was the study of history that gave birth to the social sciences.

    Berth: Place of sleep in a train: We got our berths reserved in an air-conditioned compartment.

  23. Bloc, Block

    Bloc: Community, Union: The EEC has many countries in its bloc.

    Block: A tall building that contains flats or offices: The post office is three blocks away from the hospital.

  24. Blue, Blew

    Blue: A colour: The girl was wearing a beautiful blue gown.

    Blew: The past tense of the verb ‘blow’: He blew his trumpet to make an announcement.

  25. Boar, Bore

    Boar: A wild pig: We went to the forest to hunt a boar.

    Bore: Past tense of the verb ‘bear’: The widow patiently bore ill temper of the society.

  26. Board, Bored

    Board: A long, thin piece of strong hard material: I’ll write it up on the board.

    Bored: Feeling tired and impatient because you have lost interest: The children quickly got bored with staying indoors and they wanted to go outside.

  27. Boarder, Border

    Boarder: A child who lives at school and goes home for holidays: Boarders have various advantages in this school.

    Border: The place where two countries meet: Indo–Pak border is a sensitive area.

  28. Bold, Bowled

    Bold: Brave and confident: It was a bold step on her part to marry against her parents’ wish.

    Bowled: To throw a ball to the batsman: Zaheer Khan bowled well and took three wickets.

  29. Born, Borne

    Born: Past tense of ‘birth’: Lata Mangeshkar was born in a family with music tradition.

    Borne: Carried: The dried leaves were borne away with a sudden gust of wind.

  30. Bough, Bow

    Bough: Branch of a tree: The boughs of the tree were without any leaves in winter.

    Bow: To bend down: They bowed to the audience to thank them.

  31. Brae, Bray

    Brae: A steep slope or hill: The ball came running down the brae.

    Bray: Cry of a donkey, to talk or laugh in a loud unpleasant voice: Nobody likes braying of a donkey.

  32. Braid, Brayed

    Braid: Thin-coloured rope used to decorate furniture and military uniforms: The general’s uniform was decorated with gold braid.

    Brayed: Past tense of ‘bray’: The villain brayed with laughter to frighten the people.

  33. Bread, Bred

    Bread: A type of food made from flour: Bread and butter is my usual breakfast.

    Bred: Rear, raise: I am born and bred in a cultured family.

  34. Break, Brake

    Break: To destroy: Don’t drop the plate; otherwise it will break into pieces.

    Brake: Device for stopping vehicles: He applied brakes and pulled the car to the side of the road.

  35. Brews, Bruise

    Brews: Make tea, coffee: I like the tea, which is brewed for a few minutes.

    Bruise: A mark that appears on the skin after somebody has fallen, been hit, etc.: She slipped on the floor and badly bruised her face.

  36. Bridal, Bridle

    Bridal: Of a bride: We bought a beautiful bridal dress for our daughter.

    Bridle: The head gear used to control the horse: Use the bridle carefully while riding a horse.

  37. Broach, Brooch

    Broach: Mention, bring up: He was scared to broach the subject of exam results to his father.

    Brooch: Ornament, trinkets: The queen gave a gold brooch to the maid on her wedding.

  38. Bury, Berry

    Bury: To hide something in the ground: They found a treasure buried in the ground.

    Berry: A kind of fruit: Birds feed on nuts and berries in the winter.

  39. But, Butt

    But: Except, save for: I didn’t invite him but he came to attend the function.

    Butt: Interfere (in): No one likes you to butt in his/her personal matters.

  40. Calender, Calendar

    Calender: Press to give finish to a piece of cloth: Calender this dress to make it glossy.

    Calendar: Chart: This is one of the biggest weeks in the academic calendar.

  41. Canvas, Canvass

    Canvas: A rough cloth: He was wearing a canvas hat.

    Canvass: To request for votes: Canvassing before the election has stopped.

  42. Cast, Caste

    Cast: To throw: The setting sun cast an orange glow over the mountains.

    Caste: An exclusive class: Many social problems occur in India due to caste system.

  43. Caught, Court

    Caught: Fixed, trapped: The police have caught the criminals.

    Court: The place where legal trials take place: If you don’t pay your taxes on time, you will have to face court action.

  44. Cease, Seize

    Cease: To stop: The company ceased trading in June.

    Seize: To hold: The boy seized my mobile and disappeared.

  45. Ceiling, Sealing

    Ceiling: Inner roof: The ceiling of the room had a beautiful painting.

    Sealing: Fastening with seal: I sealed the parcel and posted it.

  46. Cell, Sell

    Cell: A room for prisoners in a prison: The prisoners were not at all comfortable in the cell.

    Sell: To offer goods for consumption at a cost: Mrs. Sharma sells paintings at art fairs.

  47. Cemetery, Symmetry

    Cemetery: A burial place: We took the dead body to the cemetery for burial.

    Symmetry: Harmony: The arrangement of paintings in the room needs symmetry.

  48. Censor, Sensor

    Censor: To prohibit free expression: The news reports have been heavily censored.

    Sensor: An electronic receiver: The lights are turned on by a moving sensor.

  49. Cereal, Serial

    Cereal: A food grain: Cereals are eaten in abundance in India.

    Serial: A story in parts: Most of the TV serials have a similar type of story.

  50. Check, Cheque

    Check: To examine something or someone quickly: You should always check your answers before giving your answer sheet to the teacher.

    Cheque: Order for money: I have received a cheque for Rupees 5000/- from the examination department.

  51. Choir, Quire

    Choir: A group of singers: The school choir sang devotional songs on Guru Purab.

    Quire: Four sheets of paper folded to make eight: I bought a quire of paper from the stationery shop.

  52. Cite, Site, Sight

    Cite: To quote: He cited his poor health as the reason for his breakdown.

    Site: A place for building, etc: All the materials are on site so that work can start immediately.

    Sight: View: The lovely sight inspired him to paint a beautiful picture.

  53. Climb, Clime

    Climb: To go up, ascend: It was very cold when we were climbing up.

    Clime: A country with a particular kind of climate: I’m heading for sunnier climes next month.

  54. Colonel, Kernel

    Colonel: An officer of high rank in the army: Mr. Vijay is a retired colonel.

    Kernel: The most important part: The kernel of the fruit is very tasty.

  55. Complacent, Complaisant

    Complacent: Self-satisfied: No one should be complacent about his/her achievements.

    Complaisant: Ready to accept other people’s actions and opinions: A complaisant person can adjust everywhere.

  56. Compliment, Complement

    Compliment: An expression of regard, words of praise: I complimented my son on his fine handling of responsibilities.

    Complement: That which completes: The team needs players who complement one another.

  57. Cord, Chord

    Cord: A string: The books were tied with a string.

    Chord: String of a musical instrument: Give me a long chord; I have to repair the violin.

  58. Counsel, Council

    Counsel: Advice: I was grateful for her wise counsel.

    Council: An assembly: Academic Council of our college takes all important decisions.

  59. Course, Coarse

    Course: Path, direction taken: The rivers change their course with seasons.

    Coarse: Rough: She found their remarks rather coarse and vulgar.

  60. Creak, Creek

    Creak: Squeak or groan: The table creaked and groaned under the weight.

    Creek: A small stream: Children were playing near the creek in the village.

  61. Crew, Cruise

    Crew: Teams, groups: The crew were paid off as soon as the ship docked.

    Cruise: A journey by sea, visiting different places, especially as a holiday/vacation: I’d love to go on a luxury cruise.

  62. Current, Currant

    Current: Existing, present: The Prime Minister is worried about the current anti-government wave.

    Currant: Dried grapes: We got choicest currants from Kashmir.

  63. Cymbal, Symbol

    Cymbal: A musical instrument shaped like a round metal plate: A crash of cymbals disturbed all of us in our studies.

    Symbol: Sign, emblem: A list of symbols used on the map is given in the index.

  64. Dam, Damn

    Dam: Barrier: The dam burst under the weight of water.

    Damn: A curse, to be condemned: That was a damn fool thing to do.

  65. Days, Daze

    Days: Calendar days: He has worked days and nights together.

    Daze: In a confused state: Survivors of the accident were dazed and frightened.

  66. Dependent, Dependant

    Dependent: To depend upon (adjective): Old parents are dependent on their children.

    Dependant: A person who depends upon others (noun): Besides the members of his family, he has several other dependants to take care of.

  67. Desert, Dessert

    Desert: To abandon: People deserted the village after the severe drought.

    Dessert: The sweet course of a meal: Children demanded ice cream for dessert.

  68. Dew, Due

    Dew: Very small drops of water that falls on the ground: The dews were frozen on the ground in winter.

    Due: Owing to: Most of the problems in India occur due to poverty and illiteracy.

  69. Discreet, Discrete

    Discreet: Careful in what you say or do: One should be discreet in official matters.

    Discrete: Distinct, detached: The organisms can be divided into discrete categories.

  70. Dissent, Descent

    Dissent: Disagreement: The bill was passed without dissent from the opposition.

    Descent: A movement downwards: The plane began its descent to Delhi.

  71. Doe, Dough

    Doe: A female deer, rabbit or hare: Children clapped when they saw a doe jumping in the field.

    Dough: A mixture of flour, water, etc. used to make bread, pastry, etc: Add some water and mix it well until the dough is smooth.

  72. Done, Dun

    Done: Finished, completed: Don’t stop until the job is properly done.

    Dun: Greyish-brown in colour: The old man was wearing a dun jacket.

  73. Dose, Doze

    Dose: Of medicine: You have to take two doses a day of this syrup.

    Doze: Light sleep or to feel sleepy: The old woman was dozing in the sun.

  74. Draft, Draught

    Draft: A rough sketch: Prepare a rough draft of the letter before you finalize it.

    Draught: A current of air: I closed the window as there was a draught outside.

  75. Dual, Duel

    Dual: Double: You can’t please anyone with your dual policy.

    Duel: A combat between two persons: He challenged his opponent to a duel and killed him.

  76. Earn, Urn

    Earn: To get something that you deserve: A well-mannered person earns respect of everyone.

    Urn: A tall, decorated container: A beautiful urn is decorated in the drawing room.

  77. Faint, Feint

    Faint: Faded, weak: We heard a faint sound of the puppy.

    Feint: A movement performed with trick and skill: You will be asked to perform some standard feints during your driving test.

  78. Fair, Fare

    Fair: Just: He complains that he was not given a fair hearing.

    Fare: Charge to be paid for a journey: What is the bus fare from Jaipur to Delhi?

  79. Farther, Father

    Farther: At or to a greater distance in space or time: Nothing is farther from truth.

    Father: A male parent: My father is very loving and caring.

  80. Faze, Phase

    Faze: To distress or disturb: He looked as if nothing could faze him.

    Phase: Stage, period: The wedding is the beginning of a new phase in Kinshuk’s life.

  81. Feet, Feat

    Feet: Part of the body: We touch the feet of elders to seek their blessings.

    Feat: Trick, a deed or skill: The clown entertained us by his feats.

  82. Find, Fined

    Find: Get, locate: We were amazed to find that no one was injured in the accident.

    Fined: To make somebody pay money as an official punishment: The student was fined for creating indiscipline in the class.

  83. Fir, Fur

    Fir: A kind of tree: Villagers are very particular about protecting the fir trees of the forest.

    Fur: Hair of animals: It was very cold and I wore a fur jacket.

  84. Flaw, Floor

    Flaw: Fault, error: His performance was absolutely flawless.

    Floor: Ground, base: The alterations should give us extra floor space.

  85. Flea, Flee

    Flea: Louse, bug: The dog has fleas, don’t let it come in.

    Flee: Run away: Many refugees have been forced to flee their homeland.

  86. Flew, Flu

    Flew: To move through the air, using wings: A wasp bit me and flew away.

    Flu: An infectious disease like a very bad cold: Swine flu is a dangerous disease.

  87. Flour, Flower

    Flour: Fine powder made from grains: The price of wheat flour has gone up.

    Flower: Blossom: The garden has flowers of different colours.

  88. Forbear, Forebear

    Forbear: To refrain from: We could not forebear laughing when he told us a humorous joke.

    Forebear: An ancestor or forefather: Our forebears made this house years ago.

  89. Foreword, Forward

    Foreword: Introduction of a book written by someone other than the author: The foreword of the book explains how its research is useful for the young learners.

    Forward: Ahead, onward: Paras moved forward slowly in the line at the fee counter.

  90. Fort, Fought

    Fort: A building or buildings built to defend an area against attack: We went to see the Mewar Fort.

    Fought: Struggled: The freedom fighters fought for the independence of the countrymen.

  91. Forth, Fourth

    Forth: Forward, from this point: The commander ordered the soldiers to move forth.

    Fourth: Number between 3 and 5: We are staying on the fourth floor of the building.

  92. Foul, Fowl

    Foul: Dirty and smelling bad: There is a foul smell in the room.

    Fowl: A bird that is kept for its meat and eggs: I do not relish fish or fowl.

  93. Freeze, Frieze

    Freeze: To be very cold: It’s freezing cold, please close the windows.

    Frieze: Wall painting: A frieze collection was displayed beautifully in the exhibition hall.

  94. Gait, Gate

    Gait: Manner of walking: You should walk with a smart gait.

    Gate: Opening, entrance: He pushed open the garden gate.

  95. Gamble, Gambol

    Gamble: A game of chance, stake: We cannot gamble with our career.

    Gambol: To skip about: We all were delighted to see a lamb gamboling in the meadow.

  96. Gays, Gaze

    Gays: Sexually attracted to the people of the same sex: The quality of life for gays has improved over the last two decades.

    Gaze: Fix your eyes on: He sat for hours just gazing into space.

  97. Genes, Jeans

    Genes: Genetic material: Genes are the genetic carriers of characteristics.

    Jeans: Denim, pants: Youngsters love to wear jeans as they find them very comfortable.

  98. Gild, Guild

    Gild: To cover with gold, brightness: The golden light gilded the sea.

    Guild: Association: The Actors’ Guild works for the welfare of the film stars.

  99. Gilt, Guilt

    Gilt: A thin layer of gold used on a surface for decoration: Kushal decorated the birthday greeting card with gilt lettering.

    Guilt: Remorse, blame: We have abundant evidence to prove his guilt.

  100. Great, Grate

    Great: Big, large: Our society accords great importance to the family.

    Grate: To rub food in a grater to cut it into small pieces: Grate the reddish and add it to salad.

  101. Greys, Graze

    Greys: Colour of smoke or ashes, dull: The students were dressed in greys.

    Graze: To eat grass that is growing in a field: The cattle were grazing beside the river.

  102. Hail, Hale

    Hail: To greet or to come from: A voice hailed us from the other side of the street.

    Hale: Sound, healthy: Minnie is hale and hearty enough to run five miles daily.

  103. Hair, Hare

    Hair: Locks: He smoothed his hair and adjusted his tie.

    Hare: An animal like a large rabbit with very strong back legs: The hare and the tortoise were old friends.

  104. Hall, Haul

    Hall: A building or large room for public meetings, meals, concerts, etc.: When he began his speech, the hall was full.

    Haul: To pull something, somebody with a lot of effort: The wagons were hauled by horses.

  105. Hangar, Hanger

    Hangar: Shed, shelter: The aircraft moved out of the hangar.

    Hanger: A curved piece of wood, plastic or wire, with a hook at the top, used to hang clothes on: Put these clothes on the hanger.

  106. Hart, Heart

    Hart: A male deer: Everybody was happy to see a hart in the zoo.

    Heart: The organ in the chest that sends blood around the body: The patient is suffering from a rare heart disease.

  107. Heal, Heel

    Heal: To cure: Injury is not serious, it will heal soon.

    Heel: A part of the foot: He hurt his heel when he was running.

  108. Hear, Here

    Hear: Perceive sound: Did you hear that play on the radio last night?

    Here: To this position or place: Here’s the money I promised you.

  109. He’d, Heed

    He’d: Short form of ‘he had’ or ‘he would’: He’d been here for a long time.

    Heed: Pay attention to: The victims were requesting for help but no one heeded to them.

  110. Heard, Herd

    Herd: A group of animals: Neeru pushed her way through a herd of cows.

    Heard: The past tense of ‘hear’: I heard a strange kind of noise and came out.

  111. Heroin, Heroine

    Heroin: An illicit drug: The boy is addicted to heroin.

    Heroine: The main female character in a story, novel or film: This is heroine-centred film.

  112. Higher, Hire

    Higher: Upper, senior: The case was referred to a higher court.

    Hire: Employ, engage: You should hire a car if you want to visit this area.

  113. Him, Hymn

    Him: Objective form of pronoun ‘he’: We liked him because of his honesty.

    Hymn: A Christian song praising God: The church choir sang hymns in praise of God.

  114. Hoard, Horde

    Hoard: Collect, store: Ants hoard food during the summer and save it for winter.

    Horde: A large group: Hordes of people go shopping on festivals..

  115. Hue, Hew

    Hue: Colour: His face was glowing with a healthy hue.

    Hew: To cut down: The statues were hewn out of solid rock.

  116. Idle, Idol

    Idle: Without work: An idle man’s hands are devil’s tools.

    Idol: Image: Idol of Goddess Durga was kept in the room.

  117. In, Inn

    In: Within, inside: There are six people in the room.

    Inn: A small hotel, usually in the country: We all were tired, so we spent the night in an inn.

  118. Key, Quay

    Key: A specially shaped piece of metal used for locking a door, starting a car, etc., Input. Solution: The key to success is hard work, planning and preparation.

    Quay: A platform in a harbour where boats come in to load, etc.: We were waiting for the ship on the quay.

  119. Knave, Nave

    Knave: A dishonest man or boy: Don’t trust him, he is a knave.

    Nave: The long central part of a church with most of the seats: The nave of the church was practically vacant.

  120. Knead, Need

    Knead: To press and stretch dough, wet clay, etc.: Add some milk to the flour and knead it into dough.

    Need: Require: Children need lots of love and affection.

  121. Knit, Nit

    Knit: Weave: I have knitted this cardigan myself.

    Nit: The egg or young form of a louse: The child’s hair is full of nits.

  122. Knotty, Naughty

    Knotty: Having knots: I can’t use this rope to tie the bundle because it is knotty.

    Naughty: Mischievous: Suresh is a very naughty boy.

  123. Lac, Lack

    Lac: A resinous substance: The tree stem is oozing out lac.

    Lack: Be short of: He could not achieve success because he lacked determination.

  124. Lain, Lane

    Lain: Past participle of ‘lie’ means to remain in a flat position on a surface: The cat has lain fast asleep by the fire.

    Lane: Path, track: We drove along a muddy lane to reach the farmhouse.

  125. Lead, Led

    Lead: The thin black part of a pencil that marks paper: The fishing nets are weighted with lead.

    Led: Influenced or organized by: Eating too much sugar led him to health problems.

  126. Leak, Leek

    Leak: Seep out, disclose: The contents of the report were leaked to the press.

    Leek: A vegetable like a long onion with many layers of wide flat leaves: We all love to cook and eat leeks.

  127. Lessen, Lesson

    Lessen: To decrease or make less: The noise began to lessen after sometime.

    Lesson: Something learnt: We have learnt a new lesson today.

  128. Liar, Lyre

    Liar: Pretender, a person who tells lies: He is nothing but a liar and a fraud.

    Lyre: An ancient musical instrument with strings: In ancient Greek, a singer used to sing in accompaniment of a lyre.

  129. Licence, License

    Licence: An official document that shows that permission is given: Lack of punishment seems to give youngsters licence to break the law.

    License: To give somebody official permission to do, own, or use something: They have licensed the firm to produce the drug.

  130. Lightning, Lightening

    Lightning: Electric flash in the clouds: He was struck by lightning and killed.

    Lightening: Making lighter: The measures will lighten the tax burden on small businesses.

  131. Loan, Lone

    Loan: Anything lent: The bank is happy to loan money to small businesses.

    Lone: Solitary: She was the lone worker in the field.

  132. Made, Maid

    Made: Completed: We all relished home-made sweets.

    Maid: A female servant in a house or hotel: There is a maid to do the housework but she is on leave today.

  133. Mail, Male

    Mail: Letters, packages, etc. sent and delivered: We do our correspondence by mail.

    Male: Related to masculine gender: The male birds are more colourful than the female ones.

  134. Main, Mane

    Main: Chief: Poor housing and unemployment are the main problems in this area.

    Mane: Hair on the neck of a horse or a lion: We all admired the lion’s mane.

  135. Mall, Maul

    Mall: Shopping centre: The drug store has a prime position in the mall.

    Maul: Attack: The attackers mauled the victim and left him bleeding.

  136. Mantel, Mantle

    Mantel: A shelf above a fireplace: A lovely painting was decorated at the mantel.

    Mantle: Responsibility: The vice-president must now take on the mantle of supreme power.

  137. Mare, Mayor

    Mare: A female horse or donkey: The bridegroom selected a healthy and strong mare.

    Mayor: The head of the government of a town or a city: The new theatre was inaugurated by the Mayor.

  138. Marshal, Martial

    Marshal: An officer of high rank in a police or fire department: Air Chief Marshal, Mr. Nehra was the chief guest for the occasion.

    Martial: Connected with fighting or war: The city remains firmly under martial law.

  139. Mask, Masque

    Mask: A covering for part or all of the face: In group dance, children were wearing masks of the cartoon characters.

    Masque: A play written in verse: All the actors played their roles very well in the masque.

  140. Maze, Maize

    Maze: Confusion, jumble: The building is a maze of corridors and stairs.

    Maize: A corn: Maize grows in north India in abundance.

  141. Meddle, Medal

    Meddle: To interfere: Somebody had been meddling with my computer.

    Medal: Award, honour: Abhinav Bindra has won a gold medal in the Olympics.

  142. Meet, Mete, Meat

    Meet: To assemble, get together: We will meet our old friends today.

    Mete: To give somebody a punishment: Severe penalties were meted out by the court.

    Meat: Flesh that may be eaten: Being a nonvegetarian, he loves meat, fish and chicken.

  143. Metal, Mettle

    Metal: A type of solid mineral substance: Lead is one of the heaviest metals.

    Mettle: Courage, spirit: The next game will be a real test of their mettle.

  144. Meter, Metre

    Meter: A device for measuring electricity, gas, water, etc.: The cab driver demanded hundred rupees as the meter of the cab was not working.

    Metre: A unit for measuring length: She came second in the 4 × 100 metres relay race.

  145. Might, Mite

    Might: Power, strength: I used all my might and pushed the rock aside.

    Mite: Very little: The place looked a mite (a little) expensive.

  146. Miner, Minor

    Miner: A person who works in a mine: Coal miners do a very tough job.

    Minor: Insignificant: There may be some minor changes to the schedule.

  147. Mind, Mined

    Mind: Brain, intellect: There were all kinds of thoughts running through my mind.

    Mined: Excavated: They were mining for gold.

  148. Missed, Mist

    Missed: To fail to hit, catch, reach, etc.: I got late because I missed my train.

    Mist: Haze, fog: The hills were shrouded in mist at night.

  149. Morning, Mourning

    Morning: The early part of the day: Early morning mist patches will soon clear.

    Mourning: Sadness that you show and feel on somebody’s death: He was still mourning his brother’s death.

  150. Nay, Neigh

    Nay: Used to emphasize something you have just said by introducing a stronger word or phrase: He is weak, nay he is the weakest one amongst all.

    Neigh: Cry of a horse: The horses were neighing in the stable.

  151. Naught, Nought

    Naught: Nothing: All of our plans came to naught.

    Nought: Zero: A million is written with six noughts.

  152. None, Nun

    None: Not any: We saw several houses but we liked none.

    Nun: Priestess: Mother Teresa was a holy nun.

  153. One, Won

    One: Number 1: This book costs one hundred and fifty rupees.

    Won: To be the most successful in a competition, race, battle, etc.: Britain won five gold medals in athletics.

  154. Packed, Pact

    Packed: Extremely full of people: He packed a bag with a few things and was off.

    Pact: A formal agreement: They have made a pact with each other that they will not speak about their differences in public.

  155. Pain, Pane

    Pain: Ache: I never meant to cause her pain.

    Pane: A single sheet of glass in a window: Ramesh hit a shot and broke the window pane.

  156. Pair, Pare, Pear

    Pair: Two things of the same type: I bought a pair of shoes for the party.

    Pare: To remove the thin outer layer: The lemon was pared of its outer layer.

    Pear: A yellow or green fruit: Cut some pears and add them to custard.

  157. Pale, Pail

    Pale: Whitish complexion: You look pale. Are you OK?

    Pail: A bucket: The servant brought some warm water in a pail.

  158. Pause, Paws

    Pause: Break, gap: The woman spoke almost without pausing for breath.

    Paws: Hand, foot: The cat jumped from the terrace and landed on her paws.

  159. Peace, Piece

    Peace: A sense of calm, absence of war or hostility: She lay back and enjoyed the peace of the summer evening.

    Piece: A part or segment of something: She wrote something on a small piece of paper.

  160. Peak, Peek, Pique

    Peak: The top of a mountain: The peak of the mountain is covered with snow.

    Peek: Peep, peer: I couldn’t resist peeking in the drawer.

    Pique: Annoyed or bitter feelings: When he realized nobody was listening to him, he left in a fit of pique.

  161. Peal, Peel

    Peal: Loud sound: The comic show left us into peals of laughter.

    Peel: To take off the skin: Peel the apple carefully.

  162. Peer, Pier

    Peer: Person who is the same age or social status as you: Children are worried about failing in front of their peers.

    Pier: A long low structure built in a lake, river or the sea and joined to the land at one end: The diver dived into the river from the pier.

  163. Pedal, Peddle

    Pedal: A flat bar on a machine such as a bicycle, car, etc., pushed down with foot to make parts of the machine move or work: She pressed her foot down sharply on the brake pedal.

    Peddle: To try to sell goods by going from place to place: He was arrested by the police as he was trying to peddle illegal drugs.

  164. Pi, Pie

    Pi: The symbol π used in mathematics: The teacher asked the students to find out the value of pi (π).

    Pie: Fruit baked in a dish with pastry on the bottom, sides and top: Decorate the pie with chocolate sauce.

  165. Plain, Plane

    Plain: Simple not showy: The interior of the church was plain and simple.

    Plane: A flat and level surface, a new level, an airplane: The plane took off an hour late.

  166. Pleas, Please

    Pleas: Urgent emotional request: Nobody listened to the pleas of the innocent man.

    Please: To make somebody happy: He’s a difficult man to please.

  167. Plum, Plumb

    Plum: A soft round fruit with smooth red or purple skin: We had plum pudding after dinner.

    Plumb: Understanding something mysterious: She spent her life plumbing the mysteries of the human psyche.

  168. Poll, Pole

    Poll: Voting: A recent poll suggests some surprising changes in public opinion.

    Pole: A long stick: He jumped across the field with the help of a pole.

  169. Pour, Pore

    Pour: To dispense liquid from one container into another: I poured it carefully, still I spilt some.

    Pore: A small opening in skin: Pores are all over our bodies.

  170. Practice, Practise

    Practice: (noun) Do, follow: She’s determined to put her new ideas into practice.

    Practise: (verb) To do regularly: He usually wants to practise English speaking with me.

  171. Pray, Prey

    Pray: To offer prayer to God: She prayed to God for an end to her sufferings.

    Prey: Hunt or kill: The lion attacked and killed its prey.

  172. President, Precedent

    President: One who presides, the head of the country: Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India.

    Precedent: Previous example: There is no precedent for a disaster of this scale in the past.

  173. Principle, Principal

    Principle: Rules, code of conduct: I refused to lie about it as it was against my principles.

    Principal: Chief: Mr. Sharma is the new Principal of our college.

  174. Profit, Prophet

    Profit: The money earned above the expense: The firm made a healthy profit on the deal.

    Prophet: A person who can foretell the future and through whom a divine presence speaks: Prophet Guru Nanak Dev is respected by the people of all the religions.

  175. Rain, Reign, Rein

    Rain: The water that falls from the sky: In India, agriculture depends mainly on rainfall.

    Reign: The rule of a king or a queen: In the field of classical music, he still reigns supreme.

    Rein: Straps of leather used to control and guide a horse: She pulled gently on the reins and the horse started running.

  176. Raise, Raze, Rays

    Raise: To grow: He raised his hand to greet us.

    Raze: To destroy: The village was razed to the ground.

    Rays: A narrow line of light, heat or other energy: The windows were shining in the reflected rays of the setting sun.

  177. Raw, Roar

    Raw: Uncooked: This information is only raw and it needs further clarification.

    Roar: To make a very loud, deep sound: The lion roared deafeningly in the jungle.

  178. Read, Reed

    Read: Understand writing: We should have good reading habits to enhance our knowledge.

    Reed: A tall plant like grass with a hollow stem: The sea shore was covered with reed beds.

  179. Real, Reel

    Real: Actually existing or happening: Politicians seem to be out of touch with the real world. Reel: Roll: We bought reels of magnetic tape.

  180. Reek, Wreak

    Reek: To smell very strongly of something unpleasant: His breath reeked of alcohol.

    Wreak: To do great damage or harm: Their policies would wreak havoc on the economy.

  181. Rest, Wrest

    Rest: Relax: I am very tired, I want some rest.

    Wrest: To take something such as power or control from somebody with great effort: He wrested the gun from my grasp.

  182. Right, Write, Rite

    Right: Correct: It seems only right to warn you of the risk.

    Rite: A ceremony: The last rites for the grandfather were held in the church.

    Write: To express oneself in writing: Write your name at the top of the paper.

  183. Ring, Wring

    Ring: To produce sound: The Principal rang the bell to call the peon.

    Wring: Squeeze: Please wring out the wet towel.

  184. Role, Roll

    Role: A part in a play or movie: Mary is playing the role of a mother in her next movie.

    Roll: To turn over and over: Dinesh rolled the flat tire into the shop.

  185. Road, Rode

    Road: A long path or street to travel on: My house is situated at the main road.

    Rode: Past tense of ‘ride’: A small boy rode on the elephant’s back.

  186. Root, Route

    Root: Basis, origin: Tree roots can cause damage to the buildings.

    Route: Way, direction: The house is not on a bus route.

  187. Rose, Rows

    Rose: A flower with a sweet smell: They presented me a bunch of roses on my birthday.

    Rows: Objects, people arranged in a line: The vegetables were planted in neat rows.

  188. Scene, Seen

    Scene: A place, view: Nobody was present at the scene of the crime.

    Seen: Past tense of the verb ‘see’: I have not seen any horror movies.

  189. Seam, Seem

    Seam: Line of stitching: Her dress split along the seam.

    Seem: To appear: It seems that they know what they are doing.

  190. Sent, Scent, Cent

    Sent: Past tense of ‘send’: I sent him a lovely bouquet on his birthday.

    Scent: Fragrance: The air was filled with the scent of wild flowers.

    Cent: A hundred: A successful career requires hundred percent commitment.

  191. Sew, So, Sow

    Sew: Stitch: Surgeons were able to sew the finger back on.

    So: Therefore: He was very tired so he went to sleep.

    Sow: To plant or spread seeds in or on the ground: The fields around had been sown with rice.

  192. Shear, Sheer

    Shear: To cut off: We shear sheep’s wool in the spring.

    Sheer: Pure, unadulterated: It was a sheer pleasure to watch the cartoon movie.

  193. Soar, Sore

    Soar: Fly: The building soared above us.

    Sore: Causing pain: He is suffering from sore throat.

  194. Sole, Soul

    Sole: Only: The sole motive of the drama was to irritate them.

    Soul: Spirit, essence: There was a feeling of restlessness deep in her soul.

  195. Stair, Stare

    Stair: Step: How many stairs are there up to the second floor?

    Stare: To gaze: I stared blankly at the paper in front of me.

  196. Stalk, Stork

    Stalk: A thin stem: The stalk is without leaves.

    Stork: A large black and white bird: There is a tradition that says that it is storks that bring people their new babies.

  197. Stationary, Stationery

    Stationary: Still and unmoving: The lion was stationary until it attacked a deer.

    Stationery: Refers to writing materials such as paper: Chirag took out his best stationery to

    prepare the invitation card for his birthday.

  198. Steel, Steal

    Steel: A strong hard metal: The photo frame is made of steel.

    Steal: To take something without permission or intention to return: She had to steal food just to stay alive.

  199. Storey, Story

    Storey: Refers to a floor of a building: We stay in a multi-storey building.

    Story: A tale related in speech or writing: Children love listening to stories of fairies and magic.

  200. Straight, Strait

    Straight: No bends or curves: He was too tired to walk straight.

    Strait: A narrow channel connecting two bodies of water: The Bering Strait lies between Alaska and Siberia.

  201. Tare, Tear

    Tare: A plant growing where you do not want it: The garden is full of tare, remove it and plant some grass in its place.

    Tear: To damage something by pulling it apart: The car has taken a lot of wear and tear.

  202. Team, Teem

    Team: Group: The team is not playing very well this season.

    Teem: To abound in: The streets were teeming with tourists.

  203. Their, There, They’re

    Their: Possessive of ‘they’: The boys had finished their games when they came out.

    There: Refers to a place that is not here: There are four main branches in our college.

    They’re: A contraction for ‘they are’: They’re going to meet him tonight.

  204. Threw, Through

    Threw: Tossed, hurled in the air: She threw the ball up and caught it again.

    Through: From one end or side to the other: The doctor pushed his way through the crowd.

  205. Throne, Thrown

    Throne: The position of being a king or queen: His claims to the throne are baseless.

    Thrown: Past participle of ‘throw’, fling: The problem was suddenly thrown into focus.

  206. Tide, Tied

    Tide: Flood, surge: Everybody is anxious about the rising tide of crime.

    Tied: Fasten with string, rope, etc.: I don’t want to be tied to coming home at a particular time.

  207. Tire, Tyre

    Tire: Exhaust: They soon got tired of the beach and went for a walk.

    Tyre: A thick rubber ring that fits around the edge of a wheel of a car, bicycle, etc.: I found a nail sticking in the tyre.

  208. Vane, Vain, Vein

    Vane: Blade that rotates: A strong wind blew the weather vane off the roof.

    Vain: Fruitless, without result: I knocked loudly at the door but it was in vain.

    Vein: The tubes that carry blood back to the heart: His veins got cut in the accident.

  209. Verses, Versus

    Verses: Lines of poetry: Most of the play is written in verse, but some of it is in prose.

    Versus: In comparison or opposition to: The benefit of individual study versus self-study depends on the individual.

  210. Wail, Whale

    Wail: Cry: There is no point wailing about something that happened so long ago.

    Whale: A large sea animal: A whale was thrashing the water with its tail.

  211. Vale, Veil

    Vale: Valley: From the top of a mountain we saw a vale covered with fog and snow.

    Veil: A covering: The mountain tops were hidden beneath a veil of mist.

  212. Waist, Waste

    Waist: Refers to the narrow area of a human body between the hips and ribs: Her hair hung down her back to the waist.

    Waste: Garbage, use carelessly: Don’t waste your sympathy on him, he does not deserve it.

  213. Wait, Weight

    Wait: Stay, pass the time: We are waiting for the rain to stop to go shopping.

    Weight: Heaviness, load: He staggered a little under the weight of his backpack.

  214. Warn, Worn

    Warn: Caution: The guidebook warns against walking alone at night.

    Worn: Weary: The stone steps were worn and broken.

  215. Wave, Waive

    Wave: To move back and forth: People were waving back at the film star.

    Waive: To give up, not require or ask for: He waived his claims for the property.

  216. Way, Weigh, Whey

    Way: Route: Infectious diseases can be acquired in several ways.

    Weigh: To measure somebody/something in weight: I weighed the benefits of the plan against the risks involved.

    Whey: The thin liquid that is left from sour milk: Whey water is good for digestion.

  217. Wear, Ware, Where

    Wear: To have clothing on: All employees have to wear their name badges.

    Ware(s): An article of merchandise, a product (usually in the plural): He travelled from town to town selling his wares.

    Where: Indicates place or situation: Where did you read that?

  218. Weather, Whether

    Weather: Refers to climate: Bad weather only added to our difficulties.

    Whether: Means “if” and is used only inside sentences: It remains to be seen whether or not this idea can be put into practice.

  219. Which, Witch

    Which: What particular choice: “Which is your favourite book?I asked him.

    Witch: A person who practices magic: It seems that some witch has put a spell on you.

  220. Whither, Wither

    Whither: To what place: They did not know the place whither they were sent.

    Wither: To fade away: The grass withered due to excessive heat.

  221. Wreathe, Wreath

    Wreathe: To encircle, be full of: The mountain tops were wreathed in mist.

    Wreath: Flowers arranged in a circle, garland: The queen laid a wreath at the war memorial.

  222. Yolk, Yoke

    Yolk: The yellow internal part of the egg: Add an egg yolk to bind the mixture together.

    Yoke: Something that represents a bond: We got independence from the British yoke on 15th August, 1947.


Make sentences using the following pairs of words to bring out their differences:

Air-heir; bread-bred; caught-court; cord-chord; discreet-discrete; fir-fur

Great-grate; hanger-hangar; leak-leek; morning-mourning; plum-plumb; rain-rein;

ring-wring; stationary-stationery

4.5 Homonyms

Everyone wants to be better at writing as well as speaking. There is one thing that we all wish to have in common—using words correctly. English language includes quite a few words that have more than one meaning, depending upon the context in which they are used. Such words are called homonyms. In other words, a homonym is a word, which is spelt like another word or is pronounced like it but has a different meaning. For example, the word ‘can’ means ‘be able to’ and ‘to put something in a container.’

  1. Admission:    1. Admitted to some society or class: We have got admission in a reputed college. 2. Acknowledgement of something as true: The minister’s resignation was an admission that she had lied.
  2. Aim:    1. The purpose of doing something: She set out the company’s aims and objectives in her speech. 2. The action or skill of pointing a weapon at somebody/something: The gunman took aim and fired at the lion.
  3. Arm:    1. Wing: The research arm of the company is working efficiently. 2. Upper limb: My left arm is aching badly.
  4. Back:    1. The part of the human body on the opposite side to the chest: He stood with his back to the door. 2. To support somebody: Her parents backed her in her choice of career.
  5. Ball:    1. A round object used for throwing, hitting or kicking in games and sports: You need to hit the ball accurately. 2. A large formal party with dancing: We all are going to the ball tonight.
  6. Band:    1. Group: He persuaded a small band of volunteers to help. 2. A range of radio waves: Short-wave radio uses the 20–50 metre band. 3. A thin flat strip or circle of any material put around things: She wore a simple band of gold on her finger.
  7. Bank:    1. An organization that provides various financial services: She approached the bank for a loan. 2. The side of a river, canal, etc., and the land near it: My house is situated on the north bank of the Ganges. 3. A place where something is stored for use: I donated blood in the blood bank.
  8. Bark:    1. The outer covering of a tree: Deer had stripped the bark off the banyan tree. 2. A loud sound made by a gun or a voice: The dog suddenly started barking at us.
  9. Bat:    1. A mammal: His father was as blind as a bat. 2. To hit a ball with a bat: This batsman bats well on the front foot.
  10. Bear:    1. To tolerate: How can you bear to eat that stuff? 2. An animal: She has been wounded by a bear.
  11. Bill:    1. Statement: I always pay my bills on time. 2. A written suggestion for a new law presented to a country’s parliament: Parliament passed the bill without any amendment.
  12. Bit:    1. A little: These trousers are a bit tight. 2. Past tense of ‘bite’: The mosquitoes bit us all the night.
  13. Block:    1. A group of buildings with streets on all sides: There is a supermarket in the next block. 2. Obstruct: An ugly new building blocked the view from the window. 3. Capital: Write you name in block letters.
  14. Blue:    1. The colour of a clear sky: He was wearing a blue shirt. 2. Sad: Things were going wrong and he was feeling blue all the time.
  15. Box:    1. A container made of wood, cardboard, metal, etc.: I gave my son a box of chocolates. 2. To fight: He won a gold medal in heavy weight boxing.
  16. Bright:    1. Extremely clever: The school has been criticized for failing to encourage bright pupils. 2. Very bright: It was a bright, breezy day.
  17. Broke:    1. Bankrupt: During the recession, thousands of small businesses went broke. 2. Past tense of ‘break’: The cat jumped upon the table and broke the plate.
  18. Bug:    1. Any small insect: Sometimes bugs are used to check the overgrowth of plants. 2. An infectious illness that is usually mild: I picked up a bug in the office.
  19. Burn:    1. To destroy by fire: The farmer burnt the dead leaves to clear the field. 2. To put information on a C. D.: Copy the data from the file and burn it on a C.D.
  20. Cake:    1. A food mixture that is cooked in a round flat shape: We all love chocolate cake. 2. To cover, coat: Take off your shoes, they are caked in mud.
  21. Can:    1. Modal verb: With diligence, discipline and determination everybody can achieve success. 2. A metal container in which food and drink are sold: A variety of canned food for pet dogs is available in the market.
  22. Capital:    1. The most important town or city of a country: Washington is the capital of the USA. 2. A large amount of money invested or used to start a business: Kushal wanted to set up a business with a capital of Rs. 50,00,00,00.
  23. Case:    1. Container, holder: Please put this necklace in a jewellery case. 2. A question to be decided in court: The case was dismissed in the absence of any proof.
  24. Chair:    1. A piece of furniture: She rocked backward and forward in her chair. 2. The person who holds this position: Who’s chairing the meeting today?
  25. Change:    1. To become different: He has changed altogether since joining the army. 2. Coins rather than paper money: Do you have any change for the public phone?
  26. Charge:    1. The amount of money asked for goods/services: Tickets are available free of charge from the bank. 2. Blame: They decided to drop the charges against the newspaper and settle out of court. 3. Responsibility: He took charge of the farm after his father’s death.
  27. Check:    1. To examine something or someone quickly: Check the container for cracks or leaks. 2. To control something from increasing or getting worse: She wanted to tell him the whole truth but she checked herself as it wasn’t the right moment.
  28. Chicken:    1. A large bird that is often reared for its eggs or meat: We ordered butter chicken for dinner. 2. Cowardly: He is a chicken-hearted fellow, he won’t take any risk.
  29. Choke:    1. To block: Rain water choked the drainage. 2. A device that controls the amount of air flowing into the engine of a vehicle: It is difficult to start a two wheeler without a choke in winters.
  30. Class:    1. A group of students who are taught together: The whole class was told to stay back after school. 2. A high level of skill that is impressive: There is a real touch of class about this team.
  31. Club:    1. A group of people who meet together regularly: You have to abide by the rules of the club. 2. One of the four set of cards: I played a club and won the game. 3. Unite: We clubbed together to buy them a new television.
  32. Coast:    1. The land beside or near the sea/ocean: During the vacation we had a trip to the coast. 2. To move quickly and smoothly, without using much power: He coasted through his final exams.
  33. Common:    1. Something shared by two or more: We are working together for a common purpose. 2. Widespread: Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in this country.
  34. Company:    1. A business organization: Company has given Manish a new flat. 2. The fact of being with somebody else: We had a good company for the weekend.
  35. Country:    1. Nation: The whole country will profit from the new economic reforms. 2. Countryside: We all wish to spend our vacation in the country.
  36. Course:    1. Lessons: MBA students have to go on a management training course 2. Direction: Rivers change their course with the seasons.
  37. Crash:    1. Vehicle accident: I had a car crash. 2. Sudden loud noise made by falling or breaking: The tree fell with a great crash.
  38. Cross:    1. A mark on paper: Put a tick if the answer is correct and a cross if it is wrong. 2. A Christian symbol: Remove this gold cross from your neck. 3. To oppose: She is really nice until you cross her.
  39. Cut:    1. Wound, hole: He cut the paper with scissors. 2. To hurt somebody emotionally: His cruel remarks cut her deeply. 3. The shape and style that a piece of clothing has: We were impressed by the elegant cut of her dress.
  40. Dark:    1. With no or very little light: Children fear to go in dark. 2. Hidden and not known about: There are no dark secrets in our family.
  41. Dash:    1. An act of moving suddenly and quickly: He jumped off the bus and made a dash for the nearest bar. 2. A small amount of something that is added: The curtain is adding a dash of decor to the room.
  42. Dawn:    1. Daybreak: We arrived in Sydney as dawn broke. 2. To become easy to understand: When the awful truth dawned upon us, we were shocked.
  43. Deal:    1. To buy and sell a particular product: You can often see people dealing in narcotics openly on the streets. 2. Much, a lot: It took us a great deal of time to finish this project.
  44. Delivery:    1. The way of speaking: The speech was greatly admired because of his wonderful delivery. 2. Giving away: When can we take the delivery of goods?
  45. Descent:    1. A movement downwards: The climbers began their final descent from Mount Everest. Your ancestry: We were surprised to know that our friend was of royal descent.
  46. Desert:    1. To abandon: All his friends and relatives deserted him in hard times. 2. A wasteland: The Thar Desert, in the north covers a huge area.
  47. Dog:    1. An animal: People love to keep dogs as pets. 2. A thing of low quality, a failure: Her last movie was an absolute dog. 3. To follow somebody closely: Storm dogged the footsteps of the tired men.
  48. Dope:    1. A drug that is taken by a person to influence his/her performance in a race or sport: When the athlete failed the dope test, it was obvious that he had taken such drugs. 2. Information or details that are not generally known: My friend asked me to give him the dope on the new officer.
  49. Down:    1. To or at a lower place or position: She bent down to pick up her glove. 2. To finish a drink or eat something quickly: We downed our coffee and left. 3. Sad or depressed: After losing the match, the players were feeling a bit down.
  50. Draw:    1. To make pictures, with a pencil, pen or chalk: The teacher drew the diagram beautifully on the blackboard. 2. A game in which both teams finish with the same number of points: The match ended in a two-all draw. 3. Choosing: The lucky winner of the day was chosen through a draw of lots.
  51. Drain:    1. To make something empty by removing all the liquid: You will need to drain the central heating system before you replace the radiator. 2. A pipe that carries away dirty water or other liquid waste: We called the sweeper to clean the drains. 3. Deplete: Plight of the highly educated people is a huge drain on the country’s resources.
  52. Drum:    1. A musical instrument: As soon as they played the drum, children started dancing. 2. A large container for oil or chemicals: Yesterday my father bought a 50-gallon drum.
  53. Duck:    1. A bird that lives on or near water: The duck’s feathers shed water immediately. 2. A batsman’s score of zero: The batsman was out for a duck. 3. Dodge: For some time he ducked a few blows; then, he started to fight back.
  54. Even:    1. Used to emphasize something unexpected or surprising: He did not even speak a word in his defence. 2. Smooth, level and flat: Spread the sheet on an even surface to draw the picture. 3. Calm, not becoming upset: She has a very even temperament and she does not get disturbed easily.
  55. Fair:    1. Beautiful, white complexioned: My daughter is very tall and fair. 2. Just: This is not fair on your part to cheat small kids in the game.
  56. Fall:    1. Drop down: They were injured by falling rocks. 2. Decrease: Prices continued to fall on the stock market today. 3. Waterfall: The falls upstream are full of salmon.
  57. Fare:    1. Charge to be paid for a journey: What is the plane fare from Delhi to Amritsar? 2. Food provided: We shared our simple fare with our guests.
  58. Feet:    1. Lower part of the legs: His feet were cold with snow. 2. A unit of measurement: The snake I saw was 10-feet long.
  59. Felt:    1. A type of soft, thick cloth made from wool or hair: He wore a big felt hat while dancing. 2. Experienced, sensed: She felt that she was wrong.
  60. Field:    1. An area of land used for growing crops: We camped in a field near the village. 2. A particular subject or activity: This discovery has opened up a new field of research. 3. To catch the ball and throw it back: He fielded the ball very well.
  61. Figure:    1. Numeral: Write your roll number in words not in figures. 2. The shape of a person seen not clearly: A tall dark figure appeared and frightened all of us. 3. Pictures: The results are illustrated in Figure 3. 4. Judge: I could not figure out his bad intention.
  62. Fine:    1. Excellent, very good: I was feeling very fine that morning. 2. To make somebody pay money as an official punishment: She was fined for using her mobile in the class.
  63. Fire:    1. The flames, light and heat: The little lamp set the curtains on fire. 2. Shoot: He threatened to fire if he did not raise his hands. 3. To force somebody to leave their job: Ramesh was fired because he did not follow the instructions of the boss.
  64. Firm:    1. A business or company: We all are working in a US-based firm. 2. Not likely to change: He is a man of firm decesions.
  65. Fit:    1. Healthy: After a good night rest, I am feeling fit. 2. To be the right shape and size: The dress was loose, it didn’t fit me.
  66. Flight:    1. A journey made via air: The next flight from Delhi to Bombay leaves at 5 am. 2. Running away: No valid reasons have been given for the sudden flight of refugees from this area.
  67. Fool:    1. A person who lacks intelligence or judgement: He said that he secured first position; I was fool enough to believe him. 2. A man employed by a king or queen to entertain people: In the past, kings used to employ fools to entertain the court.
  68. Form:    1. Type or a variety: A gentle form of exercise will increase your ability to relax. 2. Document: I have applied on the prescribed application form. 3. The fact that somebody is performing well: Yuvraj is out of form so, he is not performing well these days.
  69. Founder:    1. Creator: Mr. Sharma is the founder member of our institution. 2. To run aground: The boat foundered in the deep storm.
  70. Free:    1. Liberated: The only ambition I have is to lead a happy life and be free. 2. Costing nothing: We are offering a free gift with each copy you buy. 3. Not busy: Keep your weekend free; you have to visit Chandigarh.
  71. Game:    1. Sport: Children were playing a game of basket ball. 2. Secret plan: I don’t want to be a part of his dirty game.
  72. General:    1. Usual: The general opinion is that the show was a success. 2. An officer of very high rank in the army: The Chief Guest for the function was Major General Manish Singh.
  73. Great:    1. Very large: People were arriving in great numbers to attend the ceremony. 2. Very suitable or useful: This gadget is great for grinding food. 3. A very well known and successful person: Sachin Tendulkar has been described as one of the greatest batsmen in the world.
  74. Ground:    1. The solid surface of the earth: I found my shoes lying on the ground. 2. An area of knowledge: He managed to cover a lot of ground in a short talk. 3. Crushed into very small pieces or powder: We bought some grounded seeds from the market.
  75. Hail:    1. To greet or to come from: My mother hails from Mumbai. 2. Balls of ice: Hail and rain stopped us from going out.
  76. Hand:    1. The part of the body: Raise your hand if you know the answer. 2. A sailor on a ship: The captain shouted, “All hands on deck!” 3. To pass or give: She handed a copy of letter to me.
  77. Hard:    1. Firm, stiff: The doctor asked him to sleep on the hard bed. 2. Difficult: It is hard to believe that he has changed his statement. 3. Without sympathy: He said some very hard things to me.
  78. Head:    1. Part of the body: He shook his head in disbelief. 2. Brain: For some reason, she has got it into her head that no one likes her. 3. Pain: I was not feeling well, I really had a bad head this morning. 4. To move in a particular direction: We headed for the classrooms. 5. To lead or be in charge of something: She has been given the responsibility to head the marketing team.
  79. Heart:    1. Part of the body: I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. 2. Feelings, emotions: The story captured the hearts and minds of the young children. 3. One of the four sets of cards: Who has played that king of hearts?
  80. Hide:    1. Conceal: He hides himself away in his study room all day. 2. An animal’s skin: These belts are made from sheep hide.
  81. Hold:    1. Grasp: She was holding the baby in her arms. 2. To keep somebody/something in a particular position: He asked him to hold the door open for the patient. 3. To own or have something: We hold 60% shares of the firm.
  82. Hose:    1. A long tube made of rubber, plastic, etc.: The gardener took out a new hose to water the plants. 2. Trousers, pants worn by men in the past: In old movies heroes used to wear doublet and hose.
  83. Hot:    1. Producing heat: The day was hot and we all were tired. 2. Causing strong feelings: Opposition is getting hotter day by day. 3. New, exciting and very popular: This is one of the hottest news of the day.
  84. Interest:    1. Wanting to know more: Do you have any interest in singing? 2. The extra money that you pay back or receive when you borrow or invest money: The interest we paid was more than the principal amount.
  85. Iron:    1. A metal: The railings are made of iron and steel. 2. To make clothes, etc., smooth by using an iron: I’ll need to iron my suit before I wear it.
  86. Jet:    1. Plane: The jet took off an hour ago. 2. A strong narrow stream of gas, liquid, steam or flame: The pipe burst and jets of water shot across the room. 3. A hard black mineral that can be polished and is used in jewellery: The jewellery was studded with diamonds and jets.
  87. Just:    1. Very recently: He has just left this place. 2. Exactly: She is just like her mother in her dealing with kids. 3. Simply: Just because you are senior to me doesn’t mean you know everything.
  88. Kind:    1. Type: Dresses of this kind are very popular amongst the youngsters. 2. Gentle, friendly and generous: My father is a very kind and helpful person.
  89. Lean:    1. To bend: Don’t lean forwards, you will fall down. 2. Thin: The patient was looking lean and thin.
  90. Leaves:    1. Flat green parts of the trees: The leaves of the tree were loaded with ice and snow. 2. Goes away from a person or a place: The plane leaves for Amritsar at 5 pm.
  91. Left:    1. Opposite of right: The car took a turn towards the left. 2. Past tense of ‘leave’: He has left for home.
  92. Letter:    1. A written or printed sign representing a sound used in speech: There are 26 letters in English alphabet. 2. Correspondence: The letter was written in her usual humorous style.
  93. Lie:    1. Recline: I was not feeling well so I kept lying in the bed. 2. To say or write something that you know is not true: Whatever he told us is nothing but a pack of lies.
  94. Light:    1. Glow from lamp, sun: I can’t read this paper without any light. 2. Not weighing very much: Mobile phones are very light and easy to handle. 3. Start to burn: The room was dark, so I lighted the lamp.
  95. Line:    1. A long thin mark: I drew a thin line across the page. 2. The edge, outline or shape of somebody/something: He marked the line of the shadow with his finger. 3. A particular telephone number: If you hold the line, I’ll see if she is available.
  96. Long:    1. Length, distance: She was wearing a black long coat. He walked down the long corridor. 2. To wish: I had always longed for a successful career.
  97. Lose:    To misplace: I lost my belongings while travelling in a bus. 2. Be defeated: The team did not play well and lost the match.
  98. Lots:    1. Plenty: Lots of spectators were present at the show. 2. Group, set: The first lot participants has arrived. 3. Luck: She was feeling dissatisfied with her lot.
  99. Major:    1. Main: Corruption and illiteracy are major problems in India. 2. Serious: Don’t worry, the breakdown is not major. 3. An officer of fairly high rank in the army: He is a Major in the Indian army.
  100. Man:    1. To work at a place: These telephones lined are manned 24 hours a day by the volunteers. 2. A male person: Ramesh is a good-looking man.
  101. Marks:    1. Grade: I always score good marks in English. 2. Spot: My fingers left marks on the glass.
  102. Match:    1. Game: The match took an interesting turn in the last over. 2. An equal: He is no match for his brother at singing. 3. A small stick used for lighting a fire, cigarette, etc.: Please strike a match and light the fire.
  103. Material:    1. A substance that things can be made from: I have ordered for some building materials. 2. Connected with money, possessions, etc., rather than with the needs of the mind or spirit: We should not be too much concerned about the material needs.
  104. Matter:    1. Substance, stuff: Add some fertilizer to improve the soil. 2. Affair: Nobody likes any interference in his/her personal matters. 3. To be important: It hardly matters whether you like it or not.
  105. May:    1. Perhaps: You may do whatever you like. 2. Fifth month of the year: We will be very busy in the month of May.
  106. Mean:    1. Suggest, imply: What do you mean by favouritism? 2. Not generous: He is very mean with money. 3. Average: Add together all the numbers in a group, and divide the total by the number of numbers to get the mean.
  107. Might:    1. Strength: ‘Might is right’ – is the law of jungle. 2. Probable: There were clouds in the sky, it might rain.
  108. Mine:    1. Belonging to the person writing or speaking: These objects are mine. 2. A deep hole under the ground where minerals such as coal, gold, etc., are dug: He and his brother work in a coal mine.
  109. Mission:    1. Assignment: It was the army’s mission to capture the terrorists. 2. A building or buildings used by a Christian mission: The mission has taken the responsibility of charity.
  110. Miss:    1. To fail to hit: Hurry up or you will miss the bus. 2. Not understood: I completely missed the point. 3. Title, form of address: Miss Teena teaches us English.
  111. Mistake:    1. Error: I made a big mistake by trusting him. 2. Not understanding or judging somebody/something correctly: I mistook him for my old friend.
  112. Mouse:    1. A small animal: The cat often plays with the mouse before the kill. 2. A small device used to control the movement of the cursor on a computer screen: Click on the print icon with the mouse.
  113. Note:    1. A short piece of writing: He sent me a note to meet him at the mall. 2. A short comment on a word or passage in a book: I bought a new grammar book with explanatory notes. 3. A piece of paper money: Do you have a five-rupee note?
  114. Nursery:    1. Nursery school: My little daughter goes to the nursery at church. 2. A place where young plants and trees are grown for sale or for planting somewhere else: I bought a mango tree at the nursery.
  115. Order:    1. Arrangement: Arrange these points in the correct order before you show them to your teacher. 2. Instructions: He gave me an order to do it at once.
  116. Out:    1. Away from: As soon as he opened the box, a frog came out. 2. At the end: They had to apologize for their behaviour before the day was out.
  117. Pack:    1. A group of animals that hunt together: The wolf pack killed the zebra. 2. To put clothes, etc., into a bag in preparation for a trip: Jasmine has packed her suitcase as she has to go home.
  118. Page:    1. Sheet of paper: I drew a line across the page. 2. Summon: Why don’t you have him paged at the airport?
  119. Pants:    1. Trousers: He was wearing a lovely set of pants and pullover. 2. Something you think is of poor quality: I don’t want to see this pants programme.
  120. Park:    1. Recreational area: Children are playing in the park. 2. To leave a vehicle at a particular place for a period of time: A red van was parked in front of the house.
  121. Part:    1. Piece: I spent the early part of my childhood at my grandfather’s place. 2. Leave somebody: He has recently parted from his near and dear ones.
  122. Party:    1. A political organization: Congress and BJP are the two major political parties in India. 2. Social gathering: I threw a splendid party when I excelled in exams.
  123. Peak:    1. Climax: The suspense reached its peak in the last scene. 2. Any narrow and pointed shape, edge, etc.: Mountain peaks are covered with snow.
  124. Peel:    1. To take the skin off fruit, vegetables, etc.: Please peel the carrot and grate it. 2. To remove some or all of your clothes: You are looking tired, why don’t you peel off?
  125. Peer:    1. Person who has the same age or social status as you: She enjoys the respect of her peers. To look closely or carefully at something: He went to the window and peered out.
  126. Perspective:    1. A view from a certain place or position: From this building you can have a spectacular perspective of the valley. 2. A mental outlook: Although Jatin is not very successful in his career, he has a wonderful perspective about his life.
  127. Pin:    1. Fasten: I pinned the identity card on my pocket. 2. To make somebody unable to move by holding or pressing them: The robbers pinned the old lady against a wall and took away the valuables.
  128. Pick:    1. To choose: Please pick up the phone. 2. To allow somebody to get into your vehicle: The bus will pick the passengers outside the railway station.
  129. Place:    1. Position, area: This area will be a good place for building a house. 2. To put: Place this lamp near the window.
  130. Plain:    1. Simple not show: The teacher asked us to write the essay on a plain paper. 2. A large level region: He bought a farm on a great plain to grow rice.
  131. Plane:    1. A flat and level surface, a new level: You should clear your basics to understand the equation of a plane surface in mathematics. 2. An airplane: Amar landed the plane successfully.
  132. Play:    1. To enjoy, rather than work: Children were playing hide and seek. 2. A piece of writing performed by actors in a theatre: Shakespeare’s plays are staged for the students of literature.
  133. Point:    1. Sharp end: The scissors have a sharp point.2. Show with finger: It’s not polite to point someone while taking meal.
  134. Police:    1. An official organization which makes people obey the law and prevents crime: The police have arrested the criminal. 2. Monitor: The organization is policed by its own governing body.
  135. Pour:    1. To dispense liquid from one container into another: My mother poured some juice into the jug. 2. Rain heavily: The match was abandoned as the rain was pouring down.
  136. Print:    1. To publish: The address has been printed at the top of the letter. 2. To make a design on a surface or cloth: They have printed some unique design on the bed sheets.
  137. Quarter:    1. One of the four equal parts: The cinema hall was about three-quarters full. 2. Residence: The soldier’s sleeping quarters were crowded.
  138. Race:    1. Contest: Kushal secured first position in hundred-metre race. 2. A group of people who share the same language, history, culture, etc.: He admired Indians as a hardy and determined race.
  139. Raise:    1. To grow: The farmers raise wheat in these fields. 2. To build: The mason will raise the pillars of the structure by the evening.
  140. Report:    1. Description: I am preparing a report on independence day celebration in the college. 2. Inform: The case of theft was immediately reported to the police.
  141. Rest:    1. The remaining part: I don’t want to continue this job for the rest of my life. 2. Relax: I want to take some rest before I go on a long journey.
  142. Right:    1. Correct: Your answers are absolutely right. 2. Not left: Take a right turn and go straight, you will see a school building.
  143. Rock:    1. The hard, solid material that forms part of the surface of the earth: They have done a special course in rock climbing. 2. A person who is emotionally strong and who you can rely on: My father is my rock; he is always there to support me.
  144. Room:    1. Place to live: Children are studying in their rooms. 2. Empty space that can be used for a particular purpose: There is no room in the bus, let us wait for the next one.
  145. Root:    1. Origin, source: Roots of the banyan tree are very deep. 2. To settle and live in one place: After travelling for a long time, I feel that we should put down our roots somewhere.
  146. Rose:    1. A flower with sweet smell: A rose is a lovely flower with sweet smell. 2. Past tense of ‘rise’: The sun rose from the east and set in the west.
  147. Ruler:    1. A person who rules or governs: King Ashoka was a noble ruler. 2. A straight strip of wood, plastic or metal, marked in centimetres or inches: Draw a straight line with the help of a ruler.
  148. Run:    1. To move very fast: As soon as they saw a lion, they started running. 2. To make a service, course of study, etc.: The institute runs summer courses for B.Tech. students. 3. To travel on a particular route: Ambala to Chandigarh is about an hour run.
  149. Safe:    1. Protected: Most of the people avoid taking risk and they want to keep themselves safe. 2. A strong metal box or cupboard with a lock, used for storing valuable things: Please keep these valuables in the safe.
  150. Saw:    1. To cut something: He accidentally sawed through a cable. 2. Past tense of ‘see’: I saw a beautiful kite flying in the sky.
  151. Scale:    1. The size or extent of something: It was very difficult to understand the full scale of the damage caused by earthquake. 2. A series of musical notes moving upwards or downwards: He is practicing singing on a higher scale. 3. To climb to the top: May we all scale new heights each day!
  152. Seal:    1. Close: Seal the packet well before you post it. 2. A sea animal: Some grey seals were basking on the rocks.
  153. Season:    1. Any of the four main periods of the year: People wear woollen clothes in winter season. 2. To add salt, pepper, etc., to a food to give it more flavour: We added some salt and cheese and seasoned the dish.
  154. Second:    1. Ordinal number: He secured second position in his class. 2. A unit for measuring time: It took her 65 seconds to finish the round. 3. To send an employee to another department, office, etc., to do a different job for a short period of time: Each year two employees are seconded to industry for training.
  155. Set:    1. To put: The waiter set the jug down on the table. 2. To fix something so that others may follow: The firm works on a set standard of ethics and discipline. 3. A group of similar things: I have brought a new set of uniform.
  156. Sharp:    1. With a fine edge or point: The knife is very sharp, use it very carefully. 2. Exactly: The meeting will start at seven o’ clock sharp. 3. Intelligent: My sister is very sharp, she can solve these sums orally.
  157. Shoot:    1. To fire a gun: The orders were given to shoot the criminals at sight. 2. Acute: I had a shooting pain in the stomach. 3. To grow very quickly: My nephew has shot up a lot since I last saw him.
  158. Show:    1. To make something clear: The results show that you have worked hard on this project. 2. A theatre performance such as singing and dancing: We organized a charity show to help the victims of earthquake.
  159. Sign:    1. Indication: His behaviour is rude and he has shown no sign of improvement. 2. Writing name: We got the documents signed before filing them.
  160. Sink:    1. To go under the surface of a liquid or soft substance: The ship sank with all the passengers. 2. Fade: Her voice sank as she became unconscious.
  161. Skip:    1. To move with jumps: The children were skipping happily in the lawn. 2. To leave secretly: The terrorists skipped the country immediately after the blast.
  162. Slip:    1. Slide, fall: I slipped on the ground as it was wet. 2. A small mistake: He sang the song beautifully without any slip. 3. Piece of paper: I noted his address and contact number on a slip of paper.
  163. Smart:    1. Neat and clean: The kids were looking very smart in winter uniforms. 2. Quick, brisk: The thief was struck with a smart crack on his head. 3. To feel upset about a criticism, failure, etc.: The players were smarting from the one-sided defeat.
  164. Sole:    1. Only: The sole purpose of our visit is to encourage the kids. 2. The bottom surface of the foot: The sole of her feet was badly injured after the fall.
  165. Sort:    1. Kind: This sort of problem is due to changing season. 2. To separate things of one type from others: The teacher asked the students to sort out words and phrases.
  166. Sound:    1. Something that you can hear: He came late at night; so, he tried not to make any sound. 2. Give impression: She didn’t sound shocked when I gave her the news.
  167. Space:    1. Empty area: There is no space left on this page. 2. Outside Earth’s atmosphere: Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian woman to go into space.
  168. Spell:    1. Write the letters of a word in correct order: How do you spell your father’s name? 2. A short period of time: She consulted the doctor as she had dizzy spells. 3. Charm: I completely fell under her spell.
  169. Spot:    1. A small mark: Small pox left a big spot on his face. 2. To see or notice a person: I’ve just spotted an error in calculation on this page.
  170. Spring:    1. Name of the season: Many beautiful flowers bloom in spring season. 2. Twisted wire: The lamp spring has become very loose.
  171. Stamp:    1. A small piece of paper with a design on it to stick on an envelope or a package before posting it: I pasted a 10-rupee stamp on the letter before posting it. 2. The sign of a particular quality or person: All his work bears the stamp of authority.
  172. Stand:    1. To be on your feet: She was standing near the gate. 2. Survive the treatment: His heart won’t stand the strain much longer.
  173. Star:    1. In the sky: There were hundreds of stars shining in the sky. 2. Celebrity: Amitabh Bachchan is a superstar of Hindi film industry.
  174. State:    1. Permanent condition: He has gone in a state of shock ever since he has got his results. 2. Part of the country: Punjab is a flourishing state of India. 3. To formally write or say in a careful and clear way: I don’t agree with the facts stated in the report.
  175. Steer:    1. Turn: He steered the boat towards the temple. 2. To take control of a situation and influence the way in which it develops: A good conversationalist steers the conversation in the desired direction.
  176. Stick:    1. Attach, fix: We used glue to stick the broken pieces of the paper together. 2. A thin piece of wood from a tree: We collected dry sticks to light bonfire.
  177. Still:    1. Continuing until a particular point in time: I joined this post in 2005 and I’m still working on it. 2. Calm and quiet: Most of the people feel that time stands still in villages.
  178. Stole:    1. Shawl: The girl was wearing a beautiful stole that matched with the colour of her sari. 2. To take something without permission: Somebody has stolen my purse.
  179. Suit:    1. A set of clothes made of the same cloth: The clown was wearing a loose fitting suit. 2. To be convenient or useful for somebody: Choose the gadget to suit your particular needs.
  180. Swell:    1. Enlarge: Her leg has swollen a lot since she has fallen. 2. Very good, enjoyable, etc.: We had a swell time and we all enjoyed the company of our friends.
  181. Table:    1. A piece of furniture: Food was served to us on the dining table. 2. Facts or numbers arranged in a special order: Table 6 shows how crime rate has increased over the past 20 years. 3. Multiplication: The teacher asked the kids to learn the table of 8.
  182. Tear:    1. Rip, damage: Handle it carefully it may tear very easily. 2. A drop of liquid that comes out of your eye when you cry: His eyes were full of tears when he got the news of his father’s death.
  183. Through:    1. From one end or side to the other: The thief broke into the house through the back door. 2. From the beginning to the end of an activity, a situation or period of time: My grandfather is too tired to sit through the concert.
  184. Too:    1. More than is good, necessary, possible, etc.: Too much of liberty may be dangerous for anyone. 2. Also: After painting the rooms, I’m going to do the kitchen too.
  185. Top:    1. The highest point: She stays on the top floor. 2. The best: Kushal has topped the list of successful students in the examination. 3. A toy: I was so confused that my mind started spinning like a top.
  186. Train:    1. A railway coach: I am going to Delhi by train. 2. Educate: We do our best to train our students in soft skills. 3. A number of people or animals moving in a line: We saw a horse train going towards south. 4. A series of events or actions: The death of his grandfather caused a train of events that led to his marriage.
  187. Trip:    1. Excursion: Our teacher took us to a zoological park for an educational trip. 2. To catch your foot on something and fall or almost fall: Walk carefully or you will trip on the step.
  188. Trunk:    1. The thick main stem of a tree: The trunk of the birch tree was covered with snow in winters. 2. A large metallic box: During summers, we keep our woollens in trunks. 3. The main part of the human body apart from the head, arms and legs: The injuries were found on the trunk of the injured person.
  189. Type:    1. Kind, sort: She can adjust well with all types of people. 2. Letters that are printed or typed: The type of the letter was too small to read.
  190. Up:    1. In a higher position: As we go up, the climate becomes cold. 2. Completely: We ate up all the food during the journey.
  191. Use:    1. Apply: I do not know how to use this software. 2. To take a particular amount of a liquid, substance, etc.: These types of water coolers use a lot of electricity.
  192. Walk:    1. To move or go somewhere on foot: The baby is just learning to walk. 2. To disappear: Lock up your valuables in the cupboard because things seem to walk here.
  193. Watch:    1. Observe: We all watched the show on TV. 2. A type of small clock that you wear on your wrist: It is 6.30 pm by my watch.
  194. Wave:    1. To move back and forth: She waved her hand to say good bye. 2. A swelling in a body of water: The boats were rocking in the waves.
  195. Way:    1. A method, style or manner: This is not the right way to write the answers. 2. A route or road that you take: We had to go a long way before we reached our home.
  196. Weigh:    1. Consider: I weighed the benefits of self-study against group study. 2. To measure somebody/something in weight: He weighed the potatoes on the scales.
  197. Well:    1. Fine: We all are doing well in our studies. 2. Thoroughly and completely: Add some salt to the lemon juice and mix it well. 3. A deep hole in the ground to obtain water: The village women go to the nearby well to bring water.
  198. Whisper:    1. Murmur: Her voice dropped to a whisper and she fainted. 2. Rumour: I have heard whispers that he is leaving.
  199. Will:    1. Determination: If you have a strong will you can do whatever you wish. 2. Auxiliary verb used to refer future: You will have to finish it on time.
  200. Yard:    1. An area outside a building: They were sitting in the yard. 2. A unit for measuring length: The farm spreads over a land of 5000 yards.


Make sentences using the following words to bring out their different meanings:

Admission; bank; capital; cross; duck; figure; ground; heart; just; matter; nursery; peer; race; sound; whisper

4.6 Words Often Confused

Using the right word in the right place is a crucial skill in professional and technical communication. However, there are several words that may be confusing because they are similar in form, meaning or pronunciation. Learners of English tend to get confused in their use, as they are different in the shades of their meaning and usages. The words such as alter/altar, amiable/amicable may confuse the user. We must learn the following words, their spellings and usage as they are mistaken frequently:

  1. A lot:    Much, plenty: He had to do a lot of hard work to achieve success.

    Allot:    To give time, task, money, etc., to somebody: You have been allotted three crore rupees for this project.

  2. Ability:    Skill: He has an ability to handle difficult situations.

    Capability:    Capacity: Animals, in the zoo, lose their capability to catch food for themselves.

  3. Abstract:    Substance of a document: Please prepare an abstract of the research paper.

    Extract:    Something that is taken out: This book contains extracts from the speeches of the famous leaders.

  4. Abuse:    Use wrongly: What she did was an abuse of her position as a manager.

    Misuse:    Use incorrectly: He has misused the funds allotted for staff welfare.

  5. Accede: To agree to a request, proposal, etc.: Harish finally acceded to accept the presidency of the company.

    Exceed:    To go beyond, to surpass: Don’t exceed the word limit while writing your composition.

  6. Accept:    To agree to some request, invitation, etc: I have accepted his proposal to start a new showroom in this area.

    Acknowledge:    To recognize: He did not acknowledge that he had said anything wrong.

  7. Accept:    To take, to receive: It was raining heavily; so, I accepted his offer of a lift.

    Except:    Excluding: Every student except Ramesh has done well in exams.

  8. Access:    Approach: Access to the Internet is very easy these days.

    Excess:    To be more than enough: If you eat in excess, your health will be affected.

  9. Accident:    Mishap: Her mother was killed in an accident three years ago.

    Incident:    Occurrence not very important but interesting: My grandmother told us some interesting incidents of her life.

    Event:    A planned public occasion: Sports were the major event of the year in our college.

  10. Accurate:    Correct and true in every detail: Facts and figures, given in records, should be accurate.

    Exact:    Correct and as detailed as possible: Please tell me the exact words he said.

  11. Admission:    The act of accepting somebody into an institution, organization, etc.: Most of the students aspire to take admission in IIT’s and NIT’s.

    Admittance:    Physical entrance: Hundreds of people were unable to gain admittance to the hall.

  12. Admit:    To agree (often unwilling): She has admitted that she was very strict with her students.

    Confess:    Admit (formally): He confessed that he had stolen my purse.

  13. Adopt:    To take up, to make one’s own: All the people adopted different approaches to the problem.

    Adept:    Skilled: He has been very successful on the stage because he is adept in the art of singing.

    Adapt:    To adjust: A wise man adapts his ways according to the circumstances.

  14. Adverse:    Unfavourable: Smoking has an adverse effect on our health.

    Averse:    Unwilling or opposed: Old people are generally averse to any change.

  15. Affect:    To produce a change in somebody, something: (a verb): Every living being will be affected by pollution.

    Effect:    The result (a noun): His smile had a strange effect on me and I forgot my worries.

  16. Affectation:    Exhibit, show: I don’t like things done out of affectation without any sincerity.

    Affecting:    Moving, touching: Tragic stories are full of affecting scenes.

  17. Ago:    Used when a remote event is referred to: I joined this institution long time ago.

    Since:    Used for a point of time: I have been reading this novel since Monday.

  18. Alive:    Not dead: He met with a serious accident and is lucky to be alive.

    Living:    Alive now: Every living creature has to make efforts to reduce pollution.

  19. All together:    Used for people or things treated as a whole: We always had fun when we were all together. To double check this usage, try separating the two words: We all had fun when we were together.

    Altogether:    Completely: He has changed altogether since he has joined army.

  20. Allusion:    Reference to: While talking to him, his boss did not make any allusion to his poor performance.

    Illusion:    Deception: In a desert, there is an illusion of water.

  21. Alone:    Unaccompanied: He prefers to sit alone when he does some important work.

    Lonely:    Feeling alone: I don’t know anyone in this town and sometimes I feel very lonely.

  22. Already:    By now: I did not go to the cinema as I had already seen the film.

    All ready:    Everything completely prepared: Are you all ready to go for a picnic?

  23. Alternate:    Every other, by turns: We have activity periods on alternate days.

    Alternative:    Other choice: You have no alternative but to work hard.

    Choice:    Choosing between two or more: The choice is between reading and writing.

  24. Amiable:    Friendly, good natured and sociable (used for people): Sheela was very amiable and everyone liked her.

    Amicable:    Friendly (used for agreements or relationships): After discussing for a long time, we came to an amicable agreement.

  25. Amoral:    Not following any moral rules: Amoral behaviour of the terrorists cannot be justified.

    Immoral:    Bad, lacking good principles: Stealing is an immoral act.

  26. Amusement:    That occupies free mind: The rich amuse themselves by playing games.

    Recreation:    That refreshes the mind after hard work: Students should play some outdoor games for recreation.

  27. Anonymous:    Unidentified, nameless: I received an anonymous letter yesterday.

    Unanimous:    Fully in agreement: We are all unanimous regarding whom to choose our next president.

  28. Answer:    Something that one writes, says or does in response to questions or situations: You have to write the answers on the sheet provided.

    Reply:    Say or write something as an answer to what one said or an advertisement or a letter: I asked her a question, she only replied with a smile.

  29. Antic:    Tricks: The antics of the juggler amazed us.

    Antique:    Old, ancient: Most of the people love to preserve antique things.

  30. Anticipate:    To expect some trouble or difficulty: The Indian government is anticipating troubles from both Pakistan and China.

    Forestall:    To take steps to prevent troubles: The Indian government forestalled the evil intentions of Pakistan by sending troops to Kashmir promptly.

  31. Antipathy:    Dislike: Antipathy to manual labour does not help anyone.

    Apathy:    Indifference: Most of the government officers have a general apathy towards work.

  32. Apart:    In pieces, separately: The two houses stood 500 metres apart.

    A part: One section of: I did not feel bad while losing as it was a part of the game.

  33. Apprehend:    To grasp, get a hold on the meaning of a thing: I can apprehend principles of the Theory of Relativity.

    Comprehend:    Understand fully: He cannot comprehend the full implications of his remarks.

  34. Apprise:    Describe: The personal assistant apprised the director of the situation.

    Appraise:    Evaluate: The director must appraise all staff.

  35. Artful:    Cunning, crafty: We were misled by his artful designs.

    Artistic:    Beautiful: I love artistic patterns.

    Artificial:    Not natural: Some states of India have a highly efficient artificial irrigation system.

  36. Aspire:    To desire for: She aspired to pursue a scientific career.

    Expire:    To come to an end: The insurance policy will expire on 31st March.

  37. Assay:    To test, to evaluate: Examination is not a fair assay of a candidate’s knowledge.

    Essay:    A literary composition: The students were asked to write an essay onThe causes of the First World War.’

  38. Assure:    To guarantee: I assured my father that the mistake will not be repeated in future.

    Ensure:    To make sure by double checking: Before leaving for college, we ensured that all the rooms were locked.

    Insure:    To provide insurance: It is wise to get your house insured against flood, fire, or theft.

  39. Attain:    Accomplish, to succeed in getting something after a long effort: Most of the students of this college attainAgrade in their exams.

    Acquire:    To get hold of: She has acquired a good command on spoken English.

  40. Avoid:    Keep away from: The name of the firm was changed to avoid confusion.

    Prevent:    Stop or check someone from doing something: The boundary wall prevents the dogs from getting into the garden.

  41. Award:    Honour: ‘Ashoka Chakrais an award given for bravery in war.

    Reward:    Something given in return: The poor servant was rewarded for his honesty.

  42. Bad:    Evil: We should not do bad things.

    Bed:    I go to bed at 11 p.m.

    Bade:    Ordered, commanded: I bade my servant to clean the room.

  43. Battle:    An armed fight between two armies: The battle of Panipat is very famous in Indian history.

    War:   A series of battles: The government does not want to go to war unless all other alternatives have failed.

    Fight:   A clash between two or more persons: Two boys have been expelled from the college for fighting in the campus.

    Duel:    An armed fight between two persons: In the Middle Ages, it was very common for a knight to challenge the other for a duel.

  44. Beautiful:    Full of beauty (generally used for women): The girls were looking very beautiful in the party.

    Handsome:    Dignified, noble (generally used for men): A handsome boy was called to conduct the show.

  45. Because:    Since, as, for the reason that: They have achieved success because of us.

    Cause:    To make something happen: Illiteracy is the major cause of exploitation.

    Reason:    Explanation: He refused to do it but he didn’t give any reason.

  46. Begin:    Start, a general word used for any action: I begin my day with yoga.

    Commence:    Used for the beginning of some formal, important and dignified programme: The ceremony commenced at 5 a.m.

    Start:    Initiate, used for physical movements: As soon as we got ready, it started raining.

  47. Belief:    A noun: I admire his passionate belief in what he is doing.

    Believe:    A verb: He believes in what he does.

  48. Beside:    Next to: The lamp was kept beside the bed.

    Besides:    Additionally: Besides being a successful businessman, he is a kind-hearted person too.

  49. Between:    Used for two: C comes between A and B in the English alphabet.

    Among:    Used for three or more: I found the letter amongst his papers.

  50. Blank:    Without written or printed words: Give me a blank sheet of paper to write a letter.

    Empty:    Containing or carrying nothing: There was an empty jug in the fridge.

    Vacant:    Not occupied: Several seats are vacant in the hall.

  51. Blunder:    A serious mistake: The teacher blundered in suspending the innocent boy.

    Error:    A minor mistake: I think you have made an error in calculating the amount.

    Mistake:    Something incorrectly done: Leaving school so young was the biggest mistake of my life.

  52. Bold:    Courageous: She is bold enough to face the challenges of life.

    Strong:    Physically powerful: He is strong enough to lift this weight.

  53. Borrow:    To take something on loan: I have borrowed five books from the library.

    Burrow:    A hole, rabbit’s home: The rabbit lives in a burrow.

  54. Bought: Past tense of the verb ‘to buy’: I bought a bungalow last year.

    Brought:    Past tense of the verb ‘to bring’: She brought her friends home to have dinner with them.

  55. Boundary:    Edge, an area of land within a country: The fence marks the boundary between my property and hers.

    Border:    The place where two countries meet: Wagha border in Amritsar separates India and Pakistan.

  56. Canvas:    A rough cloth: He was wearing a canvas hat.

    Canvass:    To request for votes: Party workers are busy canvassing local residents.

  57. Capture (verb): Seize: He was captured by his enemies.

    Captivate (verb): Fascinate: He was captivated by her beauty.

  58. Casual:    Incidental, occasional: He tried to sound casual, but I knew he was worried.

    Causal:    Denoting cause: There is a causal relationship between dirt and disease.

  59. Ceiling:    Inner roof: Children were playing in a large room with a high ceiling.

    Roof:    Upper covering of a house: During the summer season, we sleep on the rooftop.

  60. Centre:    More precise and definite: There was a table in the centre of the room.

    Middle:    Approximately near the centre: They were sitting in the middle of the row.

  61. Ceremonious:    Observing formalities: The chief guest lighted the lamp and inaugurated the show ceremoniously.

    Ceremonial:    Related to a ceremony: We use these articles only on ceremonial occasions.

  62. Chair:    A movable seat for one person: The old man fell asleep in his chair.

    Seat:    A place to sit as found in cinema, train buses, etc.: Those seats in the bus are still vacant.

  63. Check:    To examine something or someone quickly: Check your answer sheet well before handing it in.

    Control:    To manage, direct: The police had no control over the mob.

  64. Childlike:    Like a child, innocent: We all love our teacher because of his child-like simplicity

    Childish:    Immature, foolish: Everybody laughs at him because of his childish behaviour.

  65. Cite:    To quote something as an example: He cited his poor health as the reason for delay in work.

    Quote:    To repeat the exact words of another person: People often quote, ‘Life is meaningless without love.’

  66. Cloth:    Fabric: Clean the surface with a damp cloth.

    Clothes:    Garments, attires: I bought some new clothes for winter.

  67. Coma:    A deep unconscious state: Nobody can meet the patient as he is in coma.

    Comma:    A punctuation mark: A comma is used to separate more than two words in a sentence.

  68. Common:    Something shared by two or more: We all share a common interest in photography.

    Ordinary:    Commonplace, not unusual: This was no ordinary task but we performed it efficiently.

    Mutual:    Reciprocal: The two friends have mutual love and respect for each other.

  69. Comprehensive:    All inclusive: He gave me a comprehensive summary of the poem.

    Comprehensible:    That which can be understood: The book was easily comprehensible to the average reader.

  70. Compulsion:    Pressure to do something due to circumstances: Students demand that there should be no compulsion on them to attend classes.

    Obligation:    Commitment, duty: She is not under any obligation to tell him the truth.

  71. Confident:    To be sure of: He is confident of achieving success.

    Confidant:    One entrusted with secrets: Nitin is my trusted confidant, he knows all my secrets.

  72. Conform:    To be conventional: He refused to conform to the local customs.

    Confirm:    To make sure: I came back to confirm whether the room was locked or not.

  73. Conscience:    Sense of right and wrong: My conscience does not allow me to exploit the weaker ones.

    Conscious:    Mindful, awake and aware: Jasmine was still conscious after banging her head on the wall.

  74. Considerable:    Moderately large: A considerable number of people think that smoking is injurious to health.

    Considerate:    Thoughtful for the feelings of others: My friend was considerate enough to understand my problem.

  75. Contagious:    Diseases that spread through physical contact: Most of the skin diseases are contagious.

    Infectious:    Transmitted by germs through air or water: Jaundice is an infectious disease.

  76. Contemptible:    Deserving hatred: Ramesh is such a contemptible fellow that no one prefers to work with him.

    Contemptuous:    Disdainful, scornful: We all felt hurt when our colleagues gave us a contemptuous look.

  77. Continuous:    Uninterrupted: We could not sleep because of continuous drumming of rain on the window panes.

    Continual:    Repeated with breaks in between: The patient was not well; so, the doctor’s visit to his place became continual.

    Continuation:    The act of carrying: The continuation of this project depends on getting the next instalment.

  78. Convince:    To make one believe something: Manish has convinced me that he has not stolen the book.

    Persuade:    To talk someone into doing something: I persuaded my friend to help me in preparing the report.

  79. Cool:    Opposite of warm: Let us enjoy the cool shade of the mango tree.

    Cold:    Opposite of hot: It was very cold outside; so, we did not go out.

  80. Corpse:    Dead body: After the war, many corpses were lying on the ground.

    Corps:    A division of an army: Every student should have the membership of National Cadet Corps.

    Core:    The innermost part: The hostess welcomed the guest from the core of her heart.

  81. Credible:    Believable: The witness did not give any credible argument in support of his evidence.

    Creditable:    Praiseworthy: It is really creditable for him to attain success under these circumstances.

    Credulous:    One who believes things easily: Mansi is very credulous and she trusts everybody easily.

  82. Crime:    Offence against law: Crime rate is increasing day by day.

    Sin:    Offence against God: It is a sin to torture the poor.

  83. Custom:    Tradition, convention: It is our custom to equate guests with God.

    Costume:    The outfit worn to represent a particular time, event, or culture: She has four costume changes during the play.

  84. Dairy:    A farm where milk and milk products are produced: Tania has grown up on a dairy and she knows how to churn butter.

    Diary:    The daily journal kept: Karan writes in his diary every night.

  85. Damp:    Moist, slightly wet: Don’t sit here, the seat is damp.

    Humid:    Warm and sticky: It is very hot and humid.

  86. Decided:    Certain: It is almost decided that I will not attend the function.

    Decisive:    Final: The decisive shot came from the bat of Sachin Tendulkar.

  87. Defer:    To postpone: The Director has deferred the meeting till Monday.

    Differ:    To disagree: The two friends differ from each other in many respects.

    Deference:    High esteem: The flags were lowered out of deference to the martyrs.

  88. Defy:    Challenge: We should not defy the rules, they are meant for our safety.

    Deify:    Worship, idolize: Heroes are deified by everyone.

  89. Delightful:    Pleasant (to the senses): It was a delightful journey and we all enjoyed it.

    Delicious:    Tasty, mouth-watering: They served us many delicious dishes in dinner.

  90. Deliverance:    Freedom: Oh God! Grant us deliverance from poverty, cruelty and disease.

    Delivery:    The way of speaking: His thoughtful speech was ruined by his poor delivery.

  91. Deny:    Contradict (used for statements): It can’t be denied that we need to devote some more time to solve this problem.

    Refuse:    Turn down (used for actions): He refused to give me his notes.

  92. Device:    An instrument used to perform a task: Nowadays there are several electronic devices to help us.

    Devise:    To plan: You have to devise a plan to finish your work in the given time.

  93. Discriminate:    To point out minute differences: Only an expert can discriminate between the different shades of the same colour.

    Distinguish:    To recognize broad differences: Even a child can distinguish between red and black.

  94. Discussion:    Conversation, dialogue: We arrived at a conclusion after a long discussion.

    Argument:    A quarrel: The boys had an argument with the conductor about the bus fare.

  95. Disease:    Illness: He is suffering from a rare blood disease.

    Decease:    Death: The government decided to give fifty thousand rupees to the family of the deceased.

  96. Divers:    Several: Divers ways were used to overcome the hurdles.

    Diverse:    Unlike: Their views were so diverse that they could not find a solution.

  97. Doubt:    Disbelief (used for statement): I doubt the fact he has stated in the report.

    Suspect:    Not to trust someone (used for persons): Whom do the police suspect in theft?

  98. Draught:    A current of air: There is a draught outside, please close the door.

    Drought:    Want of rain: The whole of north India is suffering from drought due to scanty rainfall.

  99. Drown:    Used for living objects: Three people drowned in the river yesterday.

    Sink:    Used for lifeless objects: The boat sank all of a sudden and all the passengers drowned.

  100. Economic:    Concerning material needs of a person: Economic necessities compelled him to sell his house.

    Economical:    Not wasteful: He is an economical person; he spends his money wisely.

    Economics:    A subject: He is studying economics in the college.

  101. Egoist:    One who believes that man is selfish by nature: He is an egoist because he believes that self-interest governs the actions of a man.

    Egotist:    A self-centred person: Those who are egotist by nature are not liked by anyone.

  102. Elect:    Choose by ballot: Mrs. Sareen has been elected as the new M.L.A. of Ambala.

    Choose:    Select: The board has chosen its new president.

  103. Elemental:    Fundamental: Air, water, earth, and fire are elemental forces.

    Elementary:    Basic: His elementary knowledge of the subject is very weak.

  104. Eligible:    Qualified: Only a postgraduate is eligible to teach in this institution.

    Illegible:    Unreadable: His handwriting is so illegible that no one can understand it.

  105. Elusive:    Mysterious: Pratap is an elusive person, you cannot trust him.

    Illusive:    Deceptive: The hope of controlling terrorism in India proved illusive.

  106. Emerge:    To come out: Many evils emerge from poverty.

    Immerge:    To go down into: He immerged into water and took out the lost ring.

  107. Emigrant:    A person who leaves his native country to settle in another: There are many emigrant workers in USA.

    Immigrant:    A person who moves to a new country: Many immigrants settle in this country every year.

  108. Eminent:    Well known: An eminent scholar presented his research paper at the seminar.

    Imminent:    About to happen: We all waited for an imminent announcement about his resignation.

  109. Empire:    Kingdom: The British Empire ruled India for a long time.

    Umpire:    Referee: Nowadays, players challenge umpire’s decision in a cricket match.

  110. Envelop:    To surround, encircle: Clouds enveloped the mountain tops.

    Envelope:    A cover, a flat container: I wrote a letter and put it in an envelope.

  111. Enviable:    Good and desirable: He is in the enviable position of having two job offers to choose from.

    Envious:    Feeling envy: He saw the envious look in the other boy’s eyes.

  112. Envy:    Painful awareness of the advantages enjoyed by others with the desire to have the same: She felt a pang of envy at the thought of his success.

    Jealousy:    Hostility towards one who is believed to enjoy an advantage: Children often feel jealous when a new baby arrives.

  113. Estimate:    Calculate approximately: We estimated that it will take three weeks to complete this project.

    Estimation:    Opinion: Freedom fighters stand high in the estimation of the world.

  114. Excite:    Motivate, stimulate: The prospect of the new job greatly excited her.

    Incite:    Provoke: They were accused of inciting the workforce to come out on strike.

  115. Excuse:    To apologize for an ordinary offence: Excuse me for coming late.

    Pardon:    To exempt from penalty: The governor pardoned the convict.

    Forgive:    Act of pardoning at personal level: Don’t say anything wrong; otherwise, he will never forgive you.

  116. Exhausting:    Tiring: The journey was exhausting, I need some rest.

    Exhaustive:    Thorough: The notes, our teacher gave us, are quite exhaustive; we don’t need anything else.

  117. Expect:    To wait for: I did not expect to finish it today.

    Hope:    To think with some confidence: I hope to win the first prize in the competition.

  118. Famous:    Well known for being good: Kalidas is a famous Sanskrit poet.

    Notorious:    Well known for being bad: Ramesh Bahadur is a notorious terrorist.

  119. Famous:    Popular: Chetan Bhagat is internationally famous because of his novels.

    Renowned:    Celebrated, distinguished: She is renowned for her patience.

  120. Fatal:    Deadly: Cholera is a fatal disease.

    Fateful:    Decisive, significant: She looked back to that fateful day when she decided to join this firm.

    Fatalist:    One who believes in fate: Nipun is a fatalist; he believes that all the happenings are decided by fate.

  121. Felicity:    Happiness: True felicity results from contentment.

    Facility:    Ease, comfort: The hostels of our college are equipped with every facility.

  122. Floor:    Ground, base: The body was lying on the kitchen floor.

    Flour:    Fine powder made from grains: Wheat flour is used to make bread.

  123. Forceful:    Impressive: Everybody was impressed by his forceful speech.

    Forcible:    Aggressive: The criminal was sent to the jail forcibly.

  124. Formally:    Ceremoniously: The chief guest was formally welcomed by the students.

    Formerly:    Previously: My father is a teacher but formerly he was in military.

  125. Founder:    Creator: Dr. Gupta is the founder member of this trust.

    Flounder:    To struggle to move or get somewhere: She was floundering around in the deep end of the swimming pool.

  126. Freedom:    Independence: In democracy, everybody has freedom of speech.

    Liberty:    Being free from slavery: The slaves were set at liberty.

  127. Get:    Receive something: What present did you get on your birthday?

    Obtain:    Achieve, to get something by making efforts: To obtain the overall score, add up the totals in each column.

  128. Goal:    Aim: Our ultimate goal must be the preservation of the natural resources.

    Gaol:    Jail: The thief who tried to steal the jewels has been put in the gaol.

  129. Ghostly:    Like a ghost: A ghostly figure appeared in the dark.

    Ghastly:    Pale, frightening: The patient looked ghastly as he was very weak.

  130. Godly:    Pious, holy: Guru Nanak Dev is a Godly figure.

    God-like: Like God: Mother Teresa was God-like in her kindness and generosity towards the poor.

  131. Graceful:    Pleasing, charming: Everyone admired her graceful personality.

    Gracious:    Kind: A gracious boss is loved by his subordinates.

  132. Gypsy:    A race of people who move from one place to another and traditionally live in caravans: A gypsy camp has come to settle here for some time.

    Vagabond:    A person who wanders from place to place without settled home or job: Rajesh has passed the whole of his life as a vagabond.

  133. Hanged:    Past tense of ‘hang’, used for executing someone with a rope around the neck: The murderer was hanged.

    Hung:    The past tense of hang (used for other things): Leela’s son never hung up his clothes.

  134. Haste:    Speed in doing something: Don’t write your answers in haste or you will make a number of mistakes.

    Hurry:    Quickness with compulsion: Hurry up or you will be late for your classes.

  135. Haven:    A place for retreat: This island is a safe haven for smugglers.

    Heaven:    Paradise: The joys of heaven are a myth.

  136. Healthy:    One who has good health: A healthy man enjoys the bliss of life.

    Strong:    Physically powerful: He is strong enough to carry this burden.

  137. Historical:    Chronological: You must analyse these events in their historical context.

    Historic:    Notable: Today is a historic occasion for our institution.

  138. Honorary:    To serve without salary: He is working on an honorary post.

    Honourable:    Respectable: Dr. Abdul Kalam is an honourable person.

  139. Human:    Related to mankind: All human beings want love and praise.

    Humane:    Kind: We should be humane in our treatment towards the sufferers.

  140. Humiliation:    Disgrace: She suffered the humiliation of being criticised in public.

    Humility:    Modesty: She did not refuse the task due to her humility.

  141. Idle:    Without work: An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.

    Lazy:    Lethargic (habit): He does not finish his work due to his laziness.

  142. Idle:    Without work: We should not sit idle.

    Idol:    Image: The Hindus believe in idol worship.

    Ideal:    Perfect: This place is ideal for building a shopping complex.

  143. Ill:    Suffering from a disease: I could not attend the meeting as I was ill.

    Sick:    Tired: I felt sick of the dull routine of life.

  144. Immemorial:    That which is beyond time: These costumes have been here in this museum since time immemorial.

    Immortal:    Eternal: Virtues such as kindness, honesty and truthfulness are immortal.

    Immoral:    Not nice, unethical: Telling lies is an immoral act.

  145. Industrious:    Hard working: We have to be industrious to achieve success in our life.

    Industrial:    Related to industry: Industrial Revolution has played an important role in the history of civilization.

  146. Intelligent:    Clever, bright: Anuj is a very intelligent boy.

    Intelligible:    Understandable: This article is readily intelligible to all the students.

  147. Invent:    To create, to originate: Graham Bell invented telephone.

    Discover:    To find out, notice: Columbus discovered America.

  148. Judicial:    Related to a judge or justice: The committee has ordered judicial inquiry against the accident.

    Judicious:    Thoughtful, sensible: We must be judicious while taking important decisions.

  149. Jump:    To leap, to skip: The kids were jumping in the field.

    Pounce:    To attack suddenly: The cat pounced upon the rat.

  150. Kill:    Slay (unintentionally): His brother was killed in a car accident.

    Murder:    Put to death (intentionally): Amir murdered his brother for property.

  151. Kind:    Generous: A kind-hearted person helps everyone.

    Kindly:    Graciously: Mr. Bhargav has kindly consented to inaugurate the function.

  152. Keep:    To put something for a long time: Keep your passport in a safe place.

    Place:    To put something for the time being: A bomb has been placed under the seat in a theatre.

  153. Later:    Afterwards: As we were very tired, we decided to do it later.

    Latter:    Second: Out of the two solutions, the latter one was better.

  154. Lay:    To set, to arrange, to put down: The table was laid for four people.

    Lie:    Remain in a certain place: He kept lying in the bed because he was not feeling well.

  155. Lend:    To give something to someone temporarily: Can you lend me your car this evening?

    Loan:    Something borrowed: Most people get a bank loan to buy a house or to start a business.

    Borrow:    To receive something from someone temporarily: Members can borrow up to 10 books from the library at a time.

  156. Literal:    Usual meaning of a word or a phrase: I am not referring tosmallpeople in the literal sense of the word.

    Literary:    Related to literature: Prem Chand is a literary figure.

  157. Loose:    Not tight: The knot was tight but after sometime it came loose.

    Lose:    To misplace, be defeated: If you don’t play well, you will lose the game.

  158. Lovely:    Beautiful: There were many lovely flowers in the garden.

    Lovable:    Worthy of love: People admire him because of his lovable nature.

  159. Luggage:    A traveller’s trunks, suitcase, etc.: You stay there with the luggage while I find a taxi.

    Baggage:    Traveller’s luggage, tent and provisions, etc. for an army: The army loaded their baggage into the car.

  160. Marry:    To wed: Vineet decided to marry a girl of his choice.

    Merry:    Full of joy: It was festival time and we all were busy making merry.

  161. Marital:    Related to marriage: Vasu and Meena are facing marital difficulties.

    Martial:    Refers to war or warriors: Anuj has got a black belt in martial arts.

  162. Mob:    A large gathering of people in a disorderly and uncontrolled manner: The mob was going to storm the building.

    Crowd:    A large gathering of people: Salman Khan left the hotel surrounded by a crowd of journalists.

  163. Momentary:    Short-lived: When results were announced there was a momentary confusion.

    Momentous:    Significant: The decision to devaluate the rupee is momentous.

  164. Monetary:    Financial: Vishal is facing monetary problems these days.

    Monitory:    Giving warning or advice: We should listen to the monitory advice of the elders and teachers.

  165. Nation:    A country considered as an economic or political structure: China is one of the strongest nations of the world.

    Country:    The area a person comes from: Most of the leaders in our country are corrupt.

  166. Negligible:    Not of much value: There was a negligible error in calculation.

    Negligent:    Careless: Don’t be negligent about your duties.

  167. Notable:    Important, worth noting: The town is notable for its ancient harbour.

    Noticeable:    That which can be seen: Marks were noticeably higher for girls than for boys.

  168. Odious:    Horrible: What an odious act!

    Odorous:    Having unpleasant smell: The room is full of odorous gases.

  169. Old:    Not new or young: Rahim is an old man of 60.

    Ancient:    Not modern: Women were not kept in purdah in ancient India.

  170. Overdo:    To exaggerate something: Isha overdoes her makeup and she looks like a clown.

    Overdue:    Something that has missed its deadline: You must pay these overdue bills immediately.

  171. Overtake:    Leave behind, surpass: It’s dangerous to overtake on a bend.

    Takeover:    Taking control of a company by buying its shares: The company’s takeover has lifted its shares in the market.

  172. Patrol:    A party of soldiers or guards: Police patrol visits this place regularly at night.

    Petrol:    A kind of liquid used as fuel in car engines, etc.: There has been an increase in petrol prices.

  173. Personal:    Private, individual: All the travellers should take care of their personal belongings.

    Personnel:    Human resources: Personnel are currently reviewing pay scales.

  174. Perspective:    A mental outlook: Nivedita is only 15-years old but she has a wonderful perspective on life.

    Prospective:    Likely to happen: Children have several prospective opportunities before them.

  175. Possible:    That which is achievable: If possible, please try to help him get a job.

    Probable:    That which is likely to take place: It is probable that the disease is genetic.

  176. Praise:    Compliment, to approve of something: We all are full of praise for the progress he has made.

    Admire:    Esteem, regard: I don’t agree with her, but I admire her for sticking to her principles.

  177. Precede:    To come or go before: The flower girl preceded the bride in the procession.

    Proceed:    To move forward: The MLA and his group proceeded to the guest house for lunch.

  178. Presence:    The state of being near: The presence of our near and dear ones comforts us in the time of sorrow.

    Presents:    Gifts: We received many presents on Diwali.

  179. Propose:    To suggest: He proposed to his friend that they should have an outing.

    Purpose:    Object: The purpose of education is overall development of a child.

  180. Prosecute:    Put on trial: Those who do not follow the traffic rules will be prosecuted.

    Persecute:    Maltreat, harass: Why are the media persecuting him in this way?

  181. Pursue:    Follow: We should pursue our goals with strong determination.

    Persuade:    Influence: I persuaded him to come with me.

  182. Quiet:    Calm, silent: We are supposed to be quiet in hospitals, schools and libraries.

    Quite:    Completely, rather: She was quite alone that Saturday afternoon but she kept herself busy with house keeping.

  183. Remember:    To keep in memory: I remember the days when I was in school.

    Remind:    To help someone remember something: Could you remind me to pay the bill?

    Recollect:    To recall with an effort: As far as I can recollect, she wasn’t there on that occasion.

  184. Respectable:    Deserving respect: Our elders always teach us to be respectable in public.

    Respectful:    Showing respect: We were brought up to be respectful of authority.

    Respective:    Individual: The kids were taken to their respective cabins after the play.

  185. Sale:    The selling of something: Every big sale means a lot of commission for the salesman.

    Sail:    To go in a boat, the material used to catch wind on a boat: The sail fluttered in the wind as the boat sailed across the water.

    Sell:    To offer goods for consumption at a cost: Mrs. Chawla sells her pottery at art fairs.

  186. Sensitive:    Easily and actually affected: He is very sensitive, don’t say anything bad to him.

    Sensible:    Wise, prudent: A sensible person takes every step carefully.

  187. Sever:    To cut through completely: The two countries have severed all diplomatic links.

    Severe:    Strict, hard: The party suffered severe losses during the last election.

  188. Shade:    A place sheltered from the sun: The travellers rested in the shade of the tree.

    Shadow:    The dark spot cast by a body: The shadows lengthened as the sun went down.

  189. Shore:    A beach: We all wish to spend vacation on the shore.

    Sure:    Without doubt: I am sure that we will win the prize.

  190. Sight:    View: The lovely sight inspired him to paint a beautiful picture.

    Vision:    An idea or a picture in your imagination: We have a vision of the world in which there will be no poverty, corruption and war.

  191. Social:    Related to society: We have joined a social club to make new friends.

    Sociable:    Friendly: I’m not feeling very sociable this evening.

  192. Steal:    To take something without permission: Someone has stolen my belongings from the room.

    Rob:    To take property unlawfully: The robbers robbed the travellers of their valuables.

  193. Suit:    A set of clothes: The manager was wearing a nice business suit.

    Suite:    A set of rooms: We rented a three-piece suite with two armchairs and a sofa.

    Soot:    Black substance in smoke: The lamp soot blocked the pipes.

  194. Superficial:    Shallow: He has a very superficial knowledge of the subject.

    Superfluous:    Unnecessary, excess: She gave him a look that made words superfluous.

  195. Tamper:    To meddle: Someone appears to have tampered with the glasses.

    Temper:    Disposition: We should not rely on those who have an unpredictable temper.

  196. Temporary:    Short-lived: I don’t want to apply against a temporary vacancy.

    Temporal:    Worldly, earthly: A ruler has only temporal authority.

  197. Tenor:    Character or meaning of something: I was discouraged by the tenor of his remarks.

    Tenure:    Period of holding the office: The president effected many changes during his tenure.

  198. Travel (v): To change location: My job requires a lot of travelling.

    Trip (n): Used when the travelling distance is short: How was your trip to the amusement park?

    Voyage (n): A long journey by boat: The voyage to South Africa took 6 weeks.

    Journey (n): Travel between two or more points: I got very tired because the journey was very long.

  199. Unity:    The state being joined together to form one unit: India is known for her unity in diversity all over the world.

    Union:    Association: The labourer union has called off the strike but no one is satisfied with the decision.

  200. Urban:    Of the city: The urban population has a lower percentage of voting than the rural one.

    Urbane:    Polite, smooth: Everyone loves him because of his urbane manners.

  201. Unqualified:    Not having sufficient qualification: He is unqualified for the post as he cannot write anything in a systematic manner.

    Disqualified:    Debarred: He was disqualified from military services because of his health problems.

  202. Vacation:    Holiday: During the summer vacation we are planning to attend music classes.

    Vocation:    Profession: She is fortunate that she has found her true vocation in life.

  203. Verbal:    Spoken, unwritten: The company has received both oral and written complaints.

    Verbose:    Full of words: He is a verbose speaker without much substance in his speeches.

  204. Vicious:    Cruel and violent: Police were shocked by the viciousness of the attack.

    Viscous:    Thick and sticky: Honey and tar are viscous material.

  205. Wander (v): To walk aimlessly: She wandered aimlessly around the streets.

    Wonder (v): Consider or question some issue: I was wondering whether you’d like to come to a party.

    Wonder (n): A feeling of surprise and admiration for something beautiful, unusual or unexpected: The pyramids are the real wonder of the world.

  206. Wary:    Distrustful and cautious: The police will need to keep a wary eye on this area of the town.

    Weary:    Tired and worn: After working the whole day, I was very weary.

  207. Were:    Past tense of ‘are’: Mansi and her fiancé were at the ball last weekend.

    We’re: A contraction for ‘we are’: We’re planning to finish this project today.

  208. Wish:    To want something to happen: I wish you all success in your future endeavours.

    Hope:    A feeling of expectation or desire: We hope to finish it today.

  209. Womanish:    Related to a woman, used in a negative sense: People make fun of him because of his womanish habits.

    Womanly:    Related to a woman, used in a good sense: The nurse treated the patients with womanly gentleness and gestures.

  210. Yet:    Up till now (often used in negative and interrogative sentences): We haven’t got the letter yet.

    Still:    Continuing/even now: I wrote to them last month and I’m still waiting for a reply.


Fill in the blanks using suitable words from those given in the brackets:

  1. The noise outside _____my performance. (affected/effected)
  2. She _____her friends home to have dinner with them. (brought/bought)
  3. You should always ____oil, water and tyres before taking your car on a long trip. (check/cheque)
  4. The _____of the book explains how its thesis fits in with current thinking. (foreword/forward)
  5. His poor health _____him for military services. (disqualified/unqualified)
  6. The rich _____ themselves by playing cards. (amuse/recreate)
  7. He _____ her about the quality of the item. (assure/ensure)
  8. Fill the amount of your payment in the _____ space. (empty/blank)
  9. She _____ him on his fine handling of the official work. (complemented/complimented)
  10. A _____ is used to separate more than two words in a sentence. (coma/comma)
  11. He was awarded a gold _____ for securing first rank. (medal/meddle)
  12. I liked only the _____ half of the movie. (latter/later)
  13. I _____ him of my sincere help. (assured/insured)
  14. Kalidas is one of the _____dramatists of India. (eminent/imminent)
  15. The hunter walked two miles _____in the forest and found a dead lion. (further/farther)

4.7 One Word Substitution

Single words often express the ideas of phrases. We should learn them, as they are very useful when we want to put our ideas in brief. Francis Bacon’s old statement, “Brevity is the soul of wit,” is apt even today as conciseness and brevity are the call of modern communication. One-word substitutes help us in summarizing, précis writing and all types of official communication. Listed below are some commonly used one-word substitutes:

  1. A partner in crime ↔ Accomplice
  2. Written declaration made on an oath ↔ Affidavit
  3. A list of things to be discussed at a meeting ↔ Agenda
  4. One who doubts the existence of God ↔ Agnostic/Atheist
  5. One who is a habitual drunkard ↔ Alcoholic
  6. A legal defence by which an accused person tries to show that he was somewhere else when the crime was committed ↔ Alibi
  7. A person who lives in a foreign country ↔ Alien
  8. One who takes part in sports and other activities for enjoyment only ↔ Amateur
  9. A statement that is open to more than one interpretation ↔ Ambiguous
  10. A general pardon of political offender ↔ Amnesty
  11. One who is out to destroy the government ↔ Anarchist
  12. Absence of government ↔ Anarchy
  13. The science of the structure of human body ↔ Anatomy
  14. An instrument used for measuring force of the wind ↔ Anemometer
  15. A medicine which produces insensitivity ↔ Anaesthetic
  16. A book written by an unknown author ↔ Anonymous
  17. The study of man ↔ Anthropology
  18. A medicine used to counteract poison ↔ Antidote
  19. One who studies things of the past ↔ Antiquarian
  20. A substance which kills germs ↔ Antiseptic
  21. An artificial pond or a tank used for keeping live fish, water plants, etc. ↔ Aquarium
  22. A study of ancient things ↔ Archaeology
  23. One who prepares plans for buildings ↔ Architect
  24. A place where government and public records are kept ↔ Archive
  25. A government by the nobility ↔ Aristocracy
  26. A study of stars and planets and their influence on human affairs ↔ Astrology
  27. One who flies a space vehicle ↔ Astronaut
  28. The study of stars ↔ Astronomy
  29. Animals that live in water ↔ Aquatic
  30. Space or room which is immediately below the roof of a house ↔ Attic
  31. Something that can be heard ↔ Audible
  32. A record of one’s life written by oneself ↔ Autobiography
  33. A government by one ↔ Autocracy
  34. The right of self-government ↔ Autonomy
  35. A place for keeping birds ↔ Aviary
  36. An unmarried man ↔ Bachelor
  37. One who is unable to pay off one’s debt ↔ Bankrupt
  38. A building used for lodging soldiers ↔ Barrack
  39. Hastily erected barrier across a street ↔ Barricade
  40. One who is engaged to be married ↔ Betrothed
  41. A great lover of books ↔ Bibliophile
  42. One who can speak two languages ↔ Bilingual
  43. An instrument used by both the eyes to see a distant object in an increased shape ↔ Binocular
  44. A record of one’s life written by somebody else ↔ Biography
  45. A study of plants ↔ Botany
  46. A bunch of flowers ↔ Bouquet
  47. A collection of flags ↔ Bunting
  48. A government by the officials ↔ Bureaucracy
  49. A list which contains dates and days ↔ Calendar
  50. The art of beautiful writing ↔ Calligraphy
  51. One who eats human flesh ↔ Cannibal
  52. The dead body of an animal ↔ Carcass
  53. One who lives on flesh ↔ Carnivorous
  54. A place with gambling tables ↔ Casino
  55. Soldiers on horses ↔ Cavalry
  56. One who is unmarried ↔ Celibate
  57. One who is more than hundred years old ↔ Centenarian
  58. Situation in which everything happens in a confused way ↔ Chaotic
  59. One who mends shoes ↔ Cobbler
  60. People who work together ↔ Colleagues
  61. A person belonging to one’s own country ↔ Compatriot
  62. One who is completely self-satisfied ↔ Complacent
  63. One who sells sweets and pastries ↔ Confectioner
  64. Belonging to an individual from birth ↔ Congenital
  65. One who believes in keeping things and customs as they are ↔ Conservative
  66. A number of stars grouped together ↔ Constellation
  67. Smuggled goods ↔ Contraband
  68. One who lives at the same time ↔ Contemporary
  69. One for whom the world is home ↔ Cosmopolitan
  70. One who easily believes what others say ↔ Credulous
  71. A number of sailors working on a ship ↔ Crew
  72. A war of religion ↔ Crusade
  73. One who questions everything ↔ Cynic
  74. A person who has been appointed or selected to attend or speak at a conference ↔ Delegate
  75. A government by the people ↔ Democracy
  76. A language of a region with its own way ↔ Dialect
  77. Shy, timid unwilling to face a situation ↔ Diffident
  78. A book which contains telephone addresses ↔ Directory
  79. A game in which no one wins ↔ Draw
  80. Extremely dry weather without rainfall ↔ Drought
  81. One who deals in cattle ↔ Drover
  82. A person who is slow in learning ↔ Dunce
  83. One who has strange habits ↔ Eccentric
  84. Something that can be eaten ↔ Edible
  85. One who thinks and talks too much about himself/herself ↔ Egoist
  86. A poem written to mourn the death of someone ↔ Elegy
  87. The most capable part of group, class of society or a country ↔ Elite
  88. The art of effective speaking ↔ Elocution
  89. A book containing information on all branches of knowledge ↔ Encyclopaedia
  90. One who is given to the pleasures of flesh ↔ Epicure
  91. A speech made by the dramatist at the end of the play ↔ Epilogue
  92. Words inscribed on a tomb about the person buried therein ↔ Epitaph
  93. A statement open to more than one interpretations ↔ Equivocal
  94. The act of spying ↔ Espionage
  95. A study of the origin of words ↔ Etymology
  96. To shift people from a place of danger to a safer place ↔ Evacuate
  97. A speech made without preparation ↔ Extempore
  98. Short stories with an element of moral ↔ Fable
  99. One who is not easily pleased ↔ Fastidious
  100. A disease which ends in death ↔ Fatal
  101. One who believes in fate ↔ Fatalist
  102. Animals of a certain region ↔ Fauna
  103. One who champions the rights of women ↔ Feminist
  104. One who is engaged to marry ↔ Fiancé/Fiancée
  105. A person with showy character ↔ Flamboyant
  106. A number of battle ships ↔ Fleet
  107. A number of sheep ↔ Flock
  108. Plants and vegetation of a certain region ↔ Flora
  109. Murder of a brother ↔ Fratricide
  110. Large band of stars encircling the heavens ↔ Galaxy
  111. The study of rocks and soil ↔ Geology
  112. One who eats too much ↔ Glutton
  113. Storehouse of grains ↔ Granary
  114. One who is easily deceived ↔ Gullible
  115. Language that has been very much used ↔ Hackneyed
  116. A cluster of houses in a village ↔ Hamlet
  117. A place for shelter of ships ↔ Harbour
  118. A place for the collection of dried plants ↔ Herbarium
  119. Descending from father to son ↔ Hereditary
  120. One who acts against religion ↔ Heretic
  121. Murder of a human being ↔ Homicide
  122. Words different in meaning but similar in sound ↔ Homophones
  123. Serving without pay ↔ Honorary
  124. One who is sympathetic to mankind ↔ Humanitarian
  125. One who pretends to be what he/she is not ↔ Hypocrite
  126. The house of an Eskimo ↔ Igloo
  127. Something which is unlawful ↔ Illegal
  128. Something which cannot be read ↔ Illegible
  129. One who cannot read or write ↔ Illiterate
  130. One who settles in another country ↔ Immigrant
  131. Free from infection ↔ Immune
  132. Not planned ahead of time ↔ Impromptu
  133. Something which cannot be heard ↔ Inaudible
  134. Not of good omen ↔ Inauspicious
  135. Something that cannot be corrected ↔ Incorrigible
  136. Something that cannot be described ↔ Indescribable
  137. Something that cannot be eaten ↔ Inedible
  138. Something that cannot be avoided ↔ Inevitable
  139. One who does not make mistakes ↔ Infallible
  140. Murder of an infant ↔ Infanticide
  141. The soldiers on foot ↔ Infantry
  142. Liable to catch fire ↔ Inflammable
  143. Something which cannot be imitated ↔ Inimitable
  144. Something which cannot be satisfied ↔ Insatiable
  145. To examine one’s thoughts and feelings ↔ Introspect
  146. Having no force, null and void ↔ Invalid
  147. Something which cannot be conquered ↔ Invincible
  148. A decision that cannot be taken back ↔ Irrevocable
  149. A plan for the route to be followed ↔ Itinerary
  150. A professional rider in horse races ↔ Jockey
  151. One who has an irresistible tendency to steal ↔ Kleptomaniac
  152. A place where food is kept ↔ Larder
  153. A book of account showing debit and credit ↔ Ledger
  154. Something which is lawful ↔ Legal
  155. Something which can be read ↔ Legible
  156. One who compiles a dictionary ↔ Lexicographer
  157. Number of books housed in one building ↔ Library
  158. Pertaining/related to moon ↔ Lunatic
  159. A place where mad men are kept ↔ Lunatic asylum
  160. A speech made for the first time ↔ Maiden
  161. Animals that suckle their young ones ↔ Mammals
  162. A book or a paper written by hand ↔ Manuscript
  163. Killing on a large scale ↔ Massacre
  164. Murder of a mother ↔ Matricide
  165. Negotiating between the opposite parties to settle their dispute ↔ Mediate
  166. Personal reminiscences in a narration form ↔ Memoir
  167. The world in miniature ↔ Microcosm
  168. One who imitates voice and gestures of another person ↔ Mimic
  169. A place where money is coined ↔ Mint
  170. One who hates mankind ↔ Misanthrope
  171. A person who loves money and hates spending it ↔ Miser
  172. A hater of women ↔ Misogynist
  173. A rule by the mob ↔ Mobocracy
  174. A government by a king or a queen ↔ Monarchy
  175. A treatise on a subject ↔ Monograph
  176. A speech delivered by one person ↔ Monologue
  177. Mental derangement confined to one idea ↔ Monomania
  178. Exclusive possession or control of any one thing ↔ Monopoly
  179. A place where dead bodies are kept for identification ↔ Morgue
  180. A place where dead bodies are kept before they are cremated or buried ↔ Mortuary
  181. A place where ancient works are kept ↔ Museum
  182. Favouring one’s friends and relatives ↔ Nepotism
  183. Taking neither side in the dispute, remaining impartial ↔ Neutral
  184. A hollow space in a wall for a statue ↔ Niche
  185. One who is new to a profession ↔ Novice
  186. A word no longer in use ↔ Obsolete
  187. One who is 80-years old ↔ Octogenarian
  188. A government by the few ↔ Oligarchy
  189. Possessing unlimited powers ↔ Omnipotence
  190. One who is all powerful ↔ Omnipotent
  191. One who is present everywhere ↔ Omnipresent
  192. One who knows everything ↔ Omniscient
  193. Flesh- and vegetable-eating animals ↔ Omnivorous
  194. Something through which light cannot pass ↔ Opaque
  195. One who is able to make an eloquent speech ↔ Orator
  196. Curved path of a planet, satellite ↔ Orbit
  197. An authoritative decree or law of the government ↔ Ordinance
  198. A study of birds ↔ Ornithology
  199. The study of mountains ↔ Orology
  200. A place where orphans are housed ↔ Orphanage
  201. One who looks at the bright side of things in life ↔ Optimist
  202. A cure for all diseases ↔ Panacea
  203. Belief of God in nature ↔ Pantheism
  204. One that lives on others ↔ Parasite
  205. A document allowing persons to travel abroad ↔ Passport
  206. Murder of a father ↔ Patricide
  207. One who loves one’s own country ↔ Patriot
  208. One who shows too much concern for small details of learning or teaching ↔ Pedant
  209. One who walks on foot ↔ Pedestrian
  210. A doctor who specializes in the treatment of children ↔ Paediatrician
  211. One who looks at the dark side of things ↔ Pessimist
  212. One who loves mankind ↔ Philanthropist
  213. One who collects postage stamps ↔ Philatelist
  214. The study of languages ↔ Philology
  215. A study of human body ↔ Physiology
  216. Deeply religious ↔ Pious
  217. A writer who steals ideas from another writer ↔ Plagiarist
  218. A government by the rich ↔ Plutocracy
  219. The science of government ↔ Political science
  220. One who knows many languages ↔ Polyglot
  221. Something which can be carried or moved easily ↔ Portable
  222. Occurring after death ↔ Posthumous
  223. Examination of a dead body ↔ Post-mortem
  224. A child of unusual or remarkable talent ↔ Prodigy
  225. A speech made by the dramatist in the beginning of the play ↔ Prologue
  226. A person who preaches religion and is considered to be a messenger of God ↔ Prophet
  227. To write under a different name ↔ Pseudonym
  228. A doctor who specializes in mental illness ↔ Psychiatrist
  229. The study of human mind ↔ Psychology
  230. One who retires from society to live a solitary life ↔ Recluse
  231. Too much official formality ↔ Red tapism
  232. An institution meant for reforming young offenders ↔ Reformatory
  233. Murder of the king ↔ Regicide
  234. A place for improving one’s health ↔ Resort
  235. One who speaks less ↔ Reticent
  236. A person who lives in a countryside far from the humdrum of society ↔ Rustic
  237. One who gets pleasure in others’ trouble or pain ↔ Sadist
  238. A room where idols of God are kept ↔ Sanctorum
  239. A very private room ↔ Sanctum
  240. Bitter or ironic remark, specially one ironically worded ↔ Sarcasm
  241. Person who is made to bear blame due to others ↔ Scapegoat
  242. Someone who knows a lot about the subject ↔ Scholar
  243. One who carves in stones ↔ Sculptor
  244. A state in which all the religions have equal freedom ↔ Secular
  245. A case in which sword is kept ↔ Sheath
  246. A speech made to one self ↔ Soliloquy
  247. One who walks in one’s sleep ↔ Somnambulist
  248. One who talks in one’s sleep ↔ Somniloquist
  249. An older woman who is unmarried and is not likely to get married ↔ Spinster
  250. A sudden rush of a large number of frightened people or animals ↔ Stampede
  251. Social position or rank ↔ Status
  252. One who loads and unloads ships ↔ Stevedore
  253. One who is indifferent to pain and pleasure ↔ Stoic
  254. Murder of self ↔ Suicide
  255. Name shared by all the members of a family ↔ Surname
  256. A person’s last utterance ↔ Swan Song
  257. One who always keeps to himself ↔ Taciturn
  258. One who does not drink wine ↔ Teetotaller
  259. An instrument used to send messages to long distances ↔ Telegraph
  260. An instrument which transmits spoken words to long distances ↔ Telephone
  261. One who believes in God ↔ Theist
  262. Something through which light can partly pass ↔ Translucent
  263. Something through which light can pass ↔ Transparent
  264. One who changes sides ↔ Turncoat
  265. A decision on which all agree ↔ Unanimous
  266. A place where everything is perfect ↔ Utopia
  267. A person who lives a wandering life ↔ Vagabond
  268. To spend life without purpose and initiative ↔ Vegetate
  269. One who is gifted with several talents ↔ Versatile
  270. One who offers one’s services ↔ Volunteer
  271. One who is given to the sensual pleasures of body ↔ Voluptuary
  272. A place where clothes are kept ↔ Wardrobe
  273. A woman whose husband is dead ↔ Widow
  274. A man whose wife is dead ↔ Widower
  275. An unexpected piece of good fortune ↔ Windfall
  276. Highest point in the sky directly above the observer ↔ Zenith
  277. A study of animals ↔ Zoology


Give one-word substitutes for the following expressions:

  1. That which cannot be explained
  2. One who thinks only of oneself
  3. An exact copy
  4. A word or law no longer in use
  5. One who possesses many talents or gifts
  6. One who always looks at the dark side of life
  7. The collection and study of stamps
  8. That which cannot be avoided
  9. A doctor who specializes in the diseases of the children
  10. Those who work in the same organization
  11. A statement open to more than one interpretation
  12. Belonging to an individual from birth
  13. A person who walks on foot
  14. One who walks in sleep
  15. Government by the officials
  16. One who is present everywhere

4.8 Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Oxford dictionary defines an idiom as a group of words whose implied meaning is different from the meaning of the individual words. ‘The couple has three children but Amit is an apple of their eyes,’ refers to the fact that out of the three children Amit is their favourite. We can see that an apple of one’s eye is a group of words whose meaning has nothing to do with that of the individual words. Idioms are an indispensable part of English language. An idiomatic language is always better equipped to communicate as it lends charm and expression to a routine language. Idioms and phrases are language specific and also vary from culture to culture. However, excessive use of idioms may not be advisable as it makes the language showy and may give an impression that the speaker wants to impress the listener.

4.8.1 Some Commonly Used Idioms

  1. A bed of roses:    A comfortable position.
  2. A bed of thorns:    An uncomfortable position.
  3. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush:    Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more.
  4. A bird’s eye view:    A brief general view.
  5. A blessing in disguise:    Something good that isn’t recognized at first.
  6. A bolt from the blue:    Any calamity that overtakes somebody suddenly.
  7. A chicken-hearted fellow:    A timid person.
  8. Achilles heel:    A point of vulnerability.
  9. A doubting Thomas:    A skeptic who needs physical or personal evidence to believe something.
  10. A drop in the bucket:    A very small part of something.
  11. A fair weather friend:    One who betrays in difficulty.
  12. A fish out of water:    A person in uncomfortable surroundings.
  13. A fool and his money are easily parted:    It is easy for a foolish person to lose his/her money.
  14. A hen-pecked husband:    A person servile to his wife.
  15. A leopard can’t change his spots:    You cannot change what you are.
  16. A penny saved is a penny earned:    Saving money little by little.
  17. A picture paints a thousand words:    A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.
  18. A piece of cake:    A task that can be accomplished very easily.
  19. A red letter day:    An important day.
  20. A slap on the wrist:    A very mild punishment.
  21. A snake in grass:    A deceitful person.
  22. A taste of your own medicine:    When you are ill-treated the same way you ill-treat others.
  23. At loggerheads:    Engaged in a head-on dispute.
  24. Actions speak louder than words:    It’s better to do something in reality than just talk about it.
  25. Add fuel to the fire:    To do something to make a bad situation even worse than it is.
  26. Against the clock:    To do something fast to finish it before a particular time.
  27. All bark and no bite:    Someone is threatening or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight.
  28. All Greek to me:    Meaningless and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or understand any of the Greek languages.
  29. All in the same boat:    When everyone is facing the same challenges.
  30. An axe to grind:    To have a dispute with someone.
  31. An apple of someone’s eye:    Someone who is cherished above all others.
  32. As high as a kite:    Anything that is high up in the sky.
  33. At the drop of a hat:    Willing to do something immediately.
  34. Back-seat driver:    People who criticize from the sidelines, much like someone giving unwanted advice from the back seat of a vehicle to the driver.
  35. Back to square one:    Having to start all over again.
  36. Beat a dead horse:    To force an issue that has already ended.
  37. Beating about the bush:    Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.
  38. Between a rock and a hard place:    Stuck between two very bad options.
  39. Bite off more than you can chew:    To take on a task that is way to big.
  40. Bite your tongue:    To avoid talking.
  41. Black sheep:    A person who is considered a disgrace to a family.
  42. Blood is thicker than water:    The family bond is closer than anything else.
  43. Blow one’s own horn:    To praise your own abilities and achievements.
  44. Blue moon:    A rare event or occurrence.
  45. Break the ice:    To remove the tension, hesitation at the first meeting or at the opening of a party, etc.
  46. Burn the midnight oil:    To stay awake late at night to work or to study.
  47. By hook or by crook:    By whatever means possible, fair or unfair.
  48. Carry a torch:    To be infatuated with.
  49. Chew someone out:    To scold someone verbally.
  50. Chip on his shoulder:    Angry today about something that occurred in the past.
  51. Chip off the old block:    People who closely resemble their parents in some way or the other.
  52. Clean slate:    To make a new start by clearing records.
  53. Cock and bull story:    An unbelievable tale.
  54. Crocodile tears:    Pretending to be sad, in an attempt to manipulate the situation.
  55. Cross your fingers:    To hope that something happens the way you want it to.
  56. Cry over spilt milk:    When you complain about a loss from the past.
  57. Cry wolf:    Intentionally raise a false alarm.
  58. Curiosity killed the cat:    Being inquisitive can lead you into a dangerous situation.
  59. Dark horse:    One who was previously unknown and is now prominent.
  60. Devil’s advocate:    Someone who takes a position for the sake of argument without believing in that particular side of the argument.
  61. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch:    Don’t rely on something until you are sure of it.
  62. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:    Do not put all your resources in one possibility.
  63. Drastic times call for drastic measures:    When you are extremely desperate you need to take extremely desperate actions.
  64. Draw the line:    To set a limit, as of accepted behaviour.
  65. Drink like a fish:    To drink very heavily.
  66. Drive someone up the wall:    To irritate and/or annoy very much.
  67. Dropping like flies:    A large number of people either falling ill or dying.
  68. Every cloud has a silver lining:    Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.
  69. Everything but the kitchen sinks:    Almost everything and anything has been included.
  70. Eye for eye:    Revenge.
  71. Feather in one’s hat:    An accomplishment a person can be proud of.
  72. Field day:    An enjoyable day or circumstance.
  73. Finding your feet:    To become more comfortable in whatever you are doing.
  74. Fixed in your ways:    Not willing to change from your normal way of doing something.
  75. Flash in the pan:    Something that looks promising in the beginning but fails to deliver anything in the end.
  76. Flesh and blood:    Material of which people are made of, or it can refer to someone’s family.
  77. Fools’ gold:    A worthless rock that resembles real gold.
  78. From pillar to post:    From one place or thing to another.
  79. From rags to riches:    To go from being very poor to being very wealthy.
  80. Fuddy-duddy:    An old-fashioned and foolish type of person.
  81. Get over it:    To move beyond something that is bothering you.
  82. Get up on the wrong side of the bed:    Someone who has a horrible day.
  83. Give him the slip:    To get away from, to escape.
  84. Go down like a lead balloon:    To be received badly by an audience.
  85. Go out on a limb:    Put yourself in a tough position to support someone/something.
  86. Go the extra mile:    Making extra efforts for the task at hand.
  87. Good Samaritan:    Someone who helps others when they are in need with no thought of a reward.
  88. Great minds think alike:    Intelligent people think like each other.
  89. Green room:    The waiting room, especially for those who are about to go on stage, a TV or radio.
  90. Gut feeling:    A personal intuition that something may not be right.
  91. Haste makes waste:    Quickly doing things results in a poor ending.
  92. Hat trick:    Three scores made continuously without break in a sport, such as three wickets in cricket or three soccer goals.
  93. Have a finger in every pie:    To be involved in a lot of different activities and have influence over them.
  94. He lost his head:    Angry and overcome by emotions.
  95. Head over heels:    Very excited and/or joyful, especially when in love.
  96. Hell in a hand basket:    Deteriorating and headed for complete disaster.
  97. Hit below the belt:    An unfair or cruel remark.
  98. Hit the books:    To study, especially for a test or exam.
  99. Hit the nail on the head:    Do something exactly right or say something exactly right.
  100. Hold your horses:    Be patient.
  101. Icing on the cake:    Something extra that is added to an already good situation.
  102. Idle hands are the devil’s tools:    You are more likely to get into trouble if you have nothing to do.
  103. If it’s not one thing, it’s another:    When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another.
  104. In the heat of the moment:    Overwhelmed by what is happening in the moment.
  105. It takes two to tango:    A two-person conflict where both people are at fault.
  106. It’s a small world:    You frequently see the same people in different places.
  107. It’s anyone’s call:    A competition where the outcome is difficult to judge or predict.
  108. Jack of all trades master of none:    Someone good at many things but excellent at nothing.
  109. Keep an eye on somebody:    You should watch a person carefully.
  110. Keep body and soul together:    To earn a sufficient amount of money to keep yourself alive.
  111. Keep your chin up:    To remain joyful in a tough situation.
  112. Kitty-corner:    Diagonally across, sometimes called Catty-Corner as well.
  113. Knee jerk reaction:    A quick and automatic response.
  114. Knock on wood:    Knuckle tapping on wood to avoid some bad luck.
  115. Know the ropes:    To understand the details.
  116. Last but not the least:    An introduction phrase to let the audience know that the last person mentioned is no less important than those introduced before him/her.
  117. Lend me your ear:    To politely ask for someone’s full attention.
  118. Let bygones be bygones:    To forget about a disagreement or argument.
  119. Let sleeping dogs lie:    To avoid restarting a conflict.
  120. Let the cat out of the bag:    To share a secret that wasn’t supposed to be shared.
  121. Level-playing field:    A fair competition where no side has an advantage.
  122. Like a chicken with its head cut off:    To act in a frenzied manner.
  123. Liquor someone up:    To get someone drunk.
  124. Loose cannon:    Someone who is unpredictable and can cause damage if not kept in check.
  125. Maiden speech:    The first speech made by a person.
  126. Make no bones about:    To state a fact so there are no doubts or objections.
  127. Mumbo jumbo:    Nonsense or meaningless speech.
  128. Nest egg:    Savings set aside for future use.
  129. Never bite the hand that feeds you:    Don’t hurt anyone who helps you.
  130. New kid on the block:    Someone new to the group or area.
  131. No dice:    Not to accept a proposition.
  132. No room to swing a cat:    An unusually small or confined space.
  133. Not playing with a full deck:    Someone who lacks intelligence.
  134. Off on the wrong foot:    Getting a bad start on a relationship or task.
  135. Off the hook:    No longer have to deal with a tough situation.
  136. Off the record:    Something said in confidence that the one speaking doesn’t want attributed to him/her.
  137. On pins and needles:    Anxious or nervous, especially in anticipation of something.
  138. On the fence:    Undecided.
  139. On the same page:    When multiple people all agree on the same thing.
  140. Out of the blue:    Something that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs.
  141. Out on a limb:    When people put themselves in a risky situation.
  142. Out on the town:    To enjoy yourself by going out.
  143. Over the top:    Highly excessive.
  144. Pass the buck:    Avoid responsibility by giving it to someone else.
  145. Pedal to the metal:    To go full speed, especially while driving a vehicle.
  146. Peeping Tom:    Someone who observes people in the nude or sexually active people, mainly for his own gratification.
  147. Pick up your ears:    To listen very carefully.
  148. Pig out:    To eat a lot and eat it quickly.
  149. Pipe down:    To shut up or be quiet.
  150. Pour oil on troubled waters:    To calm a disturbance.
  151. Practice makes perfect:    By constantly practicing, you will become better.
  152. Pull the plug:    To stop something. To bring something to an end.
  153. Pulling your leg:    Tricking someone as a joke.
  154. Put a sock in it:    To tell noisy person or a group to be quiet.
  155. Queer the pitch:    Destroy or ruin a plan.
  156. Raining cats and dogs:    A very loud and noisy rain storm.
  157. Read between the lines:    To pay attention to what is implied in writing or speech.
  158. Ring fencing:    To protect a particular sum of money by putting restrictions on its use.
  159. Rise and shine:    Time to get out of bed and get ready for work/school.
  160. Rome was not built in one day:    If you want something to be completed properly, then it is going to take time.
  161. Rule of thumb:    A rough estimate.
  162. Run out of steam:    To be completely out of energy.
  163. Saved by the bell:    Saved at the last possible moment.
  164. Scapegoat:    Someone else who takes the blame.
  165. Show your true colours:    To reveal your true intentions, personality or behaviour.
  166. Sick as a dog:    To be very sick (with the flu or a cold).
  167. Sitting shotgun:    Riding in the front passenger seat of a car.
  168. Sixth sense:    Intuition; a special ability to know something without using any of the five senses.
  169. Smell a rat:    To detect someone in the group who is betraying others.
  170. Smell something fishy:    Detecting something isn’t right and there might be a reason for it.
  171. Southpaw:    Someone who is left handed.
  172. Spitting image:    The exact likeness or kind.
  173. Start from scratch:    To do it all over again from the beginning.
  174. Strike while the iron is hot:    Act quickly when the opportunity is still available.
  175. The ball is in your court:    It is your decision this time.
  176. The best of both worlds:    There are two choices and you have them both.
  177. The bigger they are the harder they fall:    While the bigger and stronger opponent might be a lot more difficult to beat.
  178. The last straw:    When one small burden after another creates an unbearable situation, the last straw is the last small burden that one can take.
  179. The whole nine yards:    Everything.
  180. Third times a charm:    After no success the first two times, the third try is a lucky one.
  181. Tie the knot:    To get married.
  182. To be in one’s good books:    To be favoured.
  183. To build castles in the air:    Imaginary projects.
  184. To call a spade a spade:    To be plain and outspoken.
  185. To carry the day:    To be victorious.
  186. To eat humble pie:    To have to apologize.
  187. To pay lip service:    To pretend to be faithful.
  188. To steal someone’s thunder:    To take the credit for something someone else did.
  189. To the backbone:    Thoroughly.
  190. Tongue and cheek:    Humour, not to be taken seriously.
  191. To nip in the bud:    To put a stop to a thing in the beginning.
  192. Turn a blind eye:    Refuse to acknowledge something you know is real or legitimate.
  193. Under the weather:    Feeling ill or sick.
  194. Up a blind alley:    Going down a course of action that leads to a bad outcome.
  195. Use your loaf:    Use your head. Think smart.
  196. Variety is the spice of life:    The more experiences you try the more exciting life can be.
  197. Wag the dog:    A diversion away from something of greater importance.
  198. Water under the bridge:    Anything from the past that isn’t significant or important anymore.
  199. Wear your heart on your sleeve:    To openly and freely express your emotions.
  200. When pigs fly:    Something that will never ever happen.
  201. Wild and woolly:    Uncultured and without laws.
  202. Wine and dine:    When somebody is treated to an expensive meal.
  203. Without a doubt:    For certain.
  204. X marks the spot:    A phrase that is said when someone finds something he/she has been looking for.
  205. You are what you eat:    To stay healthy you must eat healthy food.
  206. You can’t judge a book by its cover:    Decisions shouldn’t be made primarily on appearance.
  207. Your guess is as good as mine:    I have no idea.
  208. Young Turk:    An insurgent person trying to take control of a situation.
  209. Zero tolerance:    The policy of applying laws very strictly so that people are punished even for mild offences.

4.8.2 Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are verbal compounds with a grammatical structure of verb + preposition and/ or adverbs. They form a fixed group of words with an idiomatic meaning. They are expressions (also known as verbal idioms) whose real meaning cannot be detected from that of the constituent words. Like idioms, phrasal verbs are widely used in English and they make our expression rich and fresh. Phrasal verbs are better suited to informal speech. You would complain about your friend who has not kept his/her promise by saying, “He has backed out at the last moment.” On the other hand if you are a buyer, you would better express the similar idea formally to a supplier who has not supplied the ordered goods by writing, “we are sorry to say that you have not fulfilled your commitment.”

4.8.3 Some Common Phrasal Verbs

  1. Abide by:    Respect or obey the law, a decision, a rule
  2. Account for:    Explain, give a reason
  3. Add up:    Make sense, seem reasonable
  4. Agree with:    Have the same opinion as somebody else.
  5. Allow for:    Take advantage of something (an opportunity)
  6. Answer back:    Reply rudely
  7. Apply for:    Make a formal request for something (job, permit, loan, etc.)
  8. Avail (oneself) of:    Take into consideration, include in a calculation
  9. Back away:    Move backwards, in fear or dislike
  10. Back down:    Withdraw, concede defeat
  11. Blow up:    Explode; be destroyed by an explosion
  12. Back up:    Give support or encouragement; make a copy of (file, program, etc.)
  13. Black out:    Faint, lose consciousness
  14. Block off:    Separate using a barrier
  15. Boil down to:    Be summarized as
  16. Break down:    Go out of order, cease to function; lose control of one’s emotions
  17. Break out:    Start suddenly
  18. Break into:    Enter by force
  19. Bump into:    Meet by accident or unexpectedly
  20. Burn out:    Stop (something) working; become exhausted from overworking
  21. Butt in (on something):    Interrupt impolitely
  22. Call back:    Return a phone call
  23. Call off:    Cancel
  24. Call on/upon something:    Formally invite or request
  25. Calm down:    Become more relaxed, less angry or upset
  26. Carry on:    Continue
  27. Carry out:    Do something as specified (a plan, an order, a threat); perform or conduct (test, experiment)
  28. Check in:    Register at a hotel or airport
  29. Check out:    Pay one’s bill and leave (a hotel); investigate
  30. Clam up:    Refuse to speak
  31. Close down:    Stop operating (company, restaurant, cinema)
  32. Come across:    Find by chance; appear
  33. Come forward:    Present oneself
  34. Conk out:    Stop working; stop or fall asleep from exhaustion
  35. Come up against:    Be faced with or opposed by
  36. Count on:    rely or depend on (for help)
  37. Cross out:    Remove by drawing a line through
  38. Cut down on:    Reduce in number or size
  39. Cut out:    Remove using scissors; stop doing something
  40. Deal with:    Handle, take care of (problem, situation)
  41. Die down:    Calm down, become less strong
  42. Dress up:    Wear elegant clothes; disguise oneself
  43. Do without:    Manage without
  44. Drag on:    Last longer than expected
  45. Draw up:    Write (contract, agreement, document)
  46. Drop in:    Visit, usually on the way somewhere
  47. Drop out:    Leave school without finishing
  48. Drop off:    Deliver someone or something; fall asleep
  49. Ease off:    Reduce, become less severe or slow down (pain, traffic, work)
  50. Even out:    Eliminate differences of opinion; become level or regular
  51. Fall through:    Fail; doesn’t happen
  52. Figure out:    Understand, find the answer
  53. Fill out:    Complete (a form/an application)
  54. Find out:    Discover or obtain information
  55. Focus on:    Understand; find a solution
  56. Figure out:    Concentrate on something
  57. Get at:    Imply
  58. Get away:    Escape
  59. Get back at:    To get revenge on somebody
  60. Get in:    Enter
  61. Get into (+noun):    Manage to cope or to survive
  62. Get off:    Leave (bus, train, plane); remove
  63. Get on:    Board (bus, train, plane)
  64. Get on with (something):    Continue to do; make progress
  65. Get out:    Leave
  66. Get on (well) with (somebody):    Have a good relationship with
  67. Get out of:    Avoid doing something
  68. Get over:    Recover from (illness, disappointment)
  69. Give up:    Stop doing something
  70. Get rid of:    Eliminate
  71. Get together:    Meet each other
  72. Get up:    Rise, leave bed
  73. Go through:    Experience
  74. Grow up:    Spend one’s childhood; develop; become an adult
  75. Hand in:    Distribute
  76. Hand out:    Submit (report, homework)
  77. Hang out:    Spend time in a particular place, or with a group of friends
  78. Hang up:    End a phone conversation
  79. Hit at:    Aim a blow at
  80. Hit back:    Retaliate; reply to an attack
  81. Hit on/upon:    Find unexpectedly or by inspiration
  82. Hold on:    Wait; grip tightly
  83. Hurry up:    Be quick, act speedily
  84. Iron out:    Resolve by discussion, eliminate differences
  85. Join in:    Participate
  86. Join up:    Engage in, become a member of, meet and unite with
  87. Jot down:    Take quick notes
  88. Keep on:    Continue doing something
  89. Keep up with:    Stay at the same level as someone or something
  90. Kick off:    Begin, start
  91. Leave out:    Omit, not mention
  92. Let down:    Disappoint
  93. Look after:    Take care of
  94. Look ahead:    Think of the future
  95. Look down on:    Consider as inferior
  96. Look on:    Be a spectator at an event
  97. Look for:    Try to find something
  98. Look forward to:    Await or anticipate with pleasure
  99. Look up to:    Admire
  100. Make fun of:    Laugh at/ make jokes about
  101. Make up:    Invent (excuse, story)
  102. Mix up:    Mistake one thing or person for another
  103. Move in:    Arrive in a new home or office
  104. Move out:    Leave your home/office for another one.
  105. Nod off:    Fall asleep
  106. Note down:    Write something
  107. Opt out:    Leave a system or decide not to participate
  108. Own up:    Admit or confess something
  109. Pass away:    Die
  110. Pass out:    Faint
  111. Pay back:    Reimburse
  112. Put off:    Postpone, arrange at a later date
  113. Put on:    Turn on, switch on
  114. Put out:    Extinguish
  115. Put up:    Accommodate, give somebody a bed
  116. Pick up:    Collect somebody
  117. Point out:    Indicate/direct attention to something
  118. Rely on:    Count on, depend on, trust
  119. Rule out:    Eliminate
  120. Run away:    Escape from a place or suddenly leave
  121. Run into:    Meet by accident or unexpectedly (also: bump into)
  122. Run out of:    Have no more of something.
  123. Set off:    Start a journey
  124. Set up:    Start a business
  125. Shop around:    Compare prices
  126. Show off:    Brag or want to be admired
  127. Show up:    Appear/arrive
  128. Stick up for:    Defend
  129. Take after:    Resemble, in appearance or character
  130. Take care of:    Look after
  131. Take off:    Leave the ground
  132. Take on:    Hire or engage staff
  133. Tell off:    Reprimand/criticize severely
  134. Think over:    Consider
  135. Try on:    Wear something to see if it suits or fits
  136. Turn down:    Refuse
  137. Use up:    Finish a product (so that there’s none left)
  138. Vouch for:    Express confidence in, or guarantee something
  139. Watch out:    Be careful
  140. Wear out:    (1) Become unusable (2) Become very tired
  141. Work out:    (1) Do physical exercise (2) Find a solution or calculate something
  142. Wipe off:    Clean (board, table)


Make sentences with the following idioms:

  1. Clean slate
    Dark horse
    A blessing in disguise
    Achilles heel
    A penny saved is a penny earned
    At loggerheads
    Break the ice
    Every cloud has a silver lining
    From pillar to post
    Gut feeling
  2. Make sentences with the following phrases:
    Break down
    Come across
    Ease off
    Kick off
    Look forward to
    Move in
    Pass out
    Put out
    Rule out
    Take after

4.9 Technical Terms

Technical vocabulary is a special feature of communication that includes words of specialized terminologies, formal words and expressions and scientific vocabulary. These terms are indispensable parts of various types of formal and technical communication. Hence, their knowledge and usage is necessary to make our written and oral interaction effective.

4.9.1 Some Commonly Used Technical Terms

  1. Absolute pressure transducer:    A transducer that measures pressure in relation to zero pressure.
  2. Absolute pressure:    Gage pressure plus atmospheric pressure.
  3. Absolute zero:    Temperature at which thermal energy is at a minimum. Defined as 0 Kelvin.
  4. Absorption :    In physiology: a process by which nutrients move from the lower digestive tract (small and large intestine or colon) into the blood stream to be utilized by the body.
  5. AC:    Alternating current; an electric current that reverses its direction at regularly recurring intervals.
  6. Acceleration:    A change in the velocity of a body or particle with respect to time.
  7. Accelerometer:    A device which converts the effects of mechanical motion into an electrical signal that is proportional to the acceleration value of the motion.
  8. Acoustics:    The degree of sound.
  9. Adapter:    A mechanism or device for attaching non-mating parts.
  10. ADC:    Analogue-to-digital converter: An electronic device which converts analogue signals to an equivalent digital form.
  11. Address:    The label or number identifying the memory location where a unit of information is stored.
  12. Adult stem cell:    A specialized cell that is needed for growth, wound healing and tissue regeneration.
  13. Alphanumeric:    A character set that contains both letters and digits.
  14. Ambient compensation:    The design of an instrument such that changes in ambient temperature do not affect the readings of the instrument.
  15. Amino Acid:    Building block of proteins and enzymes.
  16. Ammeter:    An instrument used to measure current.
  17. Ampere (amp):    A unit used to define the rate of flow of electricity (current) in a circuit; units are one coulomb (6.28 × 1018 electrons) per second.
  18. Amplifier:    A device which draws power from a source other than the input signal and which produces as an output an enlarged reproduction of the essential features of its input.
  19. Amplitude:    A measurement of the distance from the highest to the lowest excursion of motion, as in the case of mechanical body in oscillation or the peak-to-peak swing of an electrical waveform.
  20. Amplitude span:    The y-axis range of a graphic display of data in either the time or frequency domain.
  21. Analogue output:    A voltage or current signal that is a continuous function of the measured parameter.
  22. Anemometer:    An instrument for measuring and/or indicating the velocity of air flow.
  23. Anion:    A negatively charged ion (Cl, NO3, S2 etc.)
  24. ANSI:    American National Standards Institute.
  25. Application program:    A computer program that accomplishes specific tasks, such as word processing.
  26. ASME:    American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  27. Assembler:    A program that translates assembly language instructions into machine language instructions.
  28. ASTM:    American Society for Testing and Materials.
  29. ATC:    Automatic temperature compensation.
  30. Atom:    The smallest unit of matter as recognized by chemical properties of molecules.
  31. Auto-zero:    An automatic internal correction for offsets and/or drift at zero voltage input.
  32. AWG:    American Wire Gage.
  33. Axis of Rotation (Spin Axis):    The axis of rotation (spin axis) is that straight line about which a body rotates.
  34. Backup:    A system, device, file or facility that can be used as an alternative in the case of a malfunction, loss of data or electricity failure.
  35. Bacteria :    Single-cell organisms and most prevalent form of life on the Earth.
  36. Bandwidth:    A symmetrical region around the set point in which proportional control occurs.
  37. Bile:    The digestive juice released from liver (stored in gall bladder) into the digestive tract to help solubilize and absorb fat soluble nutrients.
  38. Biodegradable:    A property of molecules or chemicals that refers to their usefulness as food because they can be metabolized (metabolism) by organism.
  39. Biodiversity:    The collective richness and variety of all forms of life—bacteria, archaea, eukarya and associated viruses.
  40. Bioelectricity:    The term bioelectricity refers to the use of charged molecules and elements (= ions) in biological systems.
  41. Biotechnology:    Application in biology to manipulate the structure and function of biological systems into forms not found in nature.
  42. Bulb (Liquid-in-glass thermometer):    The area at the tip of a liquid-in-glass thermometer containing the liquid reservoir.
  43. Byte:    A unit of information stored in a computer.
  44. Carbohydrates:    Biochemical name for sugar-containing molecules including single sugar (monosaccharides) such as glucose and galactose.
  45. Carbon:    The element that defines the chemical properties of all life.
  46. Calorie (Cal):    A unit for measuring how much energy food will produce.
  47. Calibration:    The process of adjusting an instrument or compiling a deviation chart so that its reading can be correlated to the actual value being measured.
  48. Calorie:    The quantity of thermal energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by 1 °C.
  49. Cation:    A positively charged ion (Na+, H+).
  50. Cavitation:    The boiling of a liquid caused by a decrease in pressure rather than an increase in temperature.
  51. Cell:    Smallest unit of life (single-cell organism or bacteria) or unit of higher organisms, that is, multicellular organisms.
  52. Celsius (centrigrade):    A temperature scale defined by 0 °C at the ice point and 100 °C at boiling point of water at sea level.
  53. Center of gravity (Mass Centre):    The point in an object at which its weight is considered to act.
  54. Centripetal force:    A force exerted on an object moving in a circular path which is exerted inward towards the centre of rotation.
  55. Cholesterol:    Important lipid found only in animals. Chronically high concentration of cholesterol in blood results in insoluble deposits that can clog arteries and restrict blood flow contributing to heart problems.
  56. Chromosome:    The physical unit of genetic material in a cell.
  57. Clone, cloning:    A clone is a genetic copy of a parent cell or organism.
  58. Conduction:    The conveying of electrical energy or heat through or by means of a conductor.
  59. Convection:    1. The circulatory motion that occurs in a fluid at a non-uniform temperature owing to the variation of its density and the action of gravity. 2. The transfer of heat by this automatic circulation of fluid.
  60. Coulomb:    A measurement of the quantity of electrical charge, usually expressed as pico coulomb (10–12 coulombs).
  61. Current:    The rate of flow of electricity.
  62. Database:    A large amount of data stored in a well-organized manner. A database management system (DBMS) is a program that allows access to the information.
  63. DC:    Direct current; an electric current flowing in one direction only and substantially constant in value.
  64. DNA:    Short for deoxyribonucleic acid; makes up the genetic component of each cell.
  65. Ecosystem:    A specific characteristic biological system in a location or area with a unique mix of living organisms and physical consistency such as minerals, soil and air.
  66. Electrolyte:    Any substance which, when in solution will conduct an electric current. Acids, bases and salts are common electrolytes.
  67. Electron:    Subatomic particle carrying a negative electric charge in atoms or molecules.
  68. Element:    An atom with a unique number of protons (atomic number). There are 102 different elements and some additional synthetic elements that are not found in nature.
  69. Endothermic:    Absorbs heat. A process is said to be endothermic when it absorbs heat.
  70. Enzyme:    A protein (complex) that catalyzes a chemical reaction in a living cell.
  71. Evolution, theory of:    The theory of evolution as initially formulated by Charles Darwin in 1859 is the central theory of biology. All processes that enable life are the result of the process of evolution over a period estimated to be more than 3 billion years.
  72. Fatty acids:    Most common form of lipids found in all cells.
  73. Flow:    Travel of liquids or gases in response to a force (i.e., pressure or gravity).
  74. Frequency:    The number of cycles over a specified time period over which an event occurs.
  75. Gene:    A gene is an hereditary unit of an organism that cannot be partitioned any further into smaller units; it is made of DNA.
  76. Glucose:    The major carbohydrate in starch and fruit sugar. The latter is also known as sucrose and contains fructose with every glucose molecule.
  77. Galvanometer:    An instrument that measures small electrical currents by means of deflecting magnetic coils.
  78. Hardware:    The electrical, mechanical and electromechanical equipment and parts associated with a computing system, as opposed to its firmware or software.
  79. Haemoglobin:    A protein that binds and transports molecular oxygen in animals.
  80. Hormones:    Messenger substances synthesized in the body and secreted by the endocrine glands. Hormones regulate the digestive system, growth, hunger, thirst, blood glucose and cholesterol levels, fat burning and storage, absorption and excretion, internal clocks such as day and night cycles, menstrual cycles and sex drive.
  81. Hypothesis:    A testable idea that can be proved right or wrong with study and experiments.
  82. Immunology:    Immunology is the science of molecular self-defence of organisms against infections.
  83. Infrared:    An area in the electromagnetic spectrum extending beyond red light. It is the form of radiation used for making non-contact temperature measurements.
  84. Insulin:    A protein hormone that regulates the use of glucose after a carbohydrate rich meal.
  85. Inorganic:    Compounds that do not contain carbon, such as minerals and water.
  86. Ions:    Positively or negatively charged molecules.
  87. Joule:    The modern unit in physics for energy, used in place of calorie. 1 cal equals 4.184 J.
  88. Kilowatt (kw):    Equivalent to 1000 watts.
  89. Kilowatt hour (kwh):    1000 watthours. Kilovolt amperes (kva): 1000 volt amps.
  90. Kinetic energy:    Energy associated with mass in motion.
  91. Latent heat:    The quantity of heat absorbed or released by a substance undergoing a change of state.
  92. Lipid:    A lipid is a water-insoluble (hydrophobic) substance and is the name of a large class of structurally and functionally diverse molecules.
  93. Melting point:    The temperature at which a substance transforms from a solid phase to a liquid phase.
  94. Mica:    A transparent mineral used as window material in high-temperature ovens.
  95. Microcomputer:    A computer, which is physically small. It can fit on top of or under a desk.
  96. Modem:    A device that transforms digital signals into audio tones for transmission over telephone lines and does the reverse for reception.
  97. Metabolism, metabolic:    The totality of all chemical processes in cells and all living organisms.
  98. Molecule:    A chemically unique aggregate of at least two atoms (see also elements).
  99. Nanotechnology:    A technology that creates small materials at the scale of molecules by manipulating single atoms. The name nano comes from the size of molecules which is measured in nanometers.
  100. Natural selection:    The process described by Darwin’s theory of evolution that favours certain genotypes and disfavours others.
  101. Nutrient:    Molecules that can be used by cells or living organism to extract energy through metabolic processes.
  102. Organic:    Compounds that contain carbon, such as vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, but not minerals.
  103. Pharmacology:    Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their interactions with the human body (A branch of medicine).
  104. Phenotype:    The characteristic of a species or of an individual of a species that is inherited from generation to generation.
  105. Protein:    Proteins are macromolecules made from 20 different types of amino acids. It is very useful for body building.
  106. Read only memory (ROM):    Memory that contains fixed data. The computer can read the data, but cannot change it in any way.
  107. Quantum mechanics:    The physical theory of the composition and behaviour of atoms and subatomic particles; explains the duality of light as wave and particle, the existence of chemical bonds and radioactivity.
  108. Software:    Generally, programs loaded into a computer from external mass storage but also extended to include operating systems and documentation.
  109. Species:    A group of organisms (individuals) that can interbreed and reproduce with each other.
  110. Specific gravity:    The ratio of mass of any material to the mass of the same volume of pure water at 4°C.
  111. Specific heat:    The ratio of thermal energy required to raise the temperature of a body by 1° to the thermal energy required to raise an equal mass of water by 1°.
  112. Spectrum:    The resolving of overall vibration into amplitude components as a function of frequency.
  113. Statistics:    The mathematical procedure to describe probabilities and the random or non-random distribution of matter or occurrence of events.
  114. Stomata:    The pore openings underneath plant leaves that can open and close according to the metabolic needs of the plant. They are the ports for exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide gas for photosynthesis, but also release excess water into the air.
  115. Telecommunication:    Synonym for data communication. The transmission of information from one point to another.
  116. Thermal conductivity:    The property of a material to conduct heat in the form of thermal energy.
  117. Thermodynamics:    The physical theory of heat and energy distribution in the universe.
  118. Ultraviolet:    That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum below blue light (380 nanometers).
  119. UV Radiation:    Ultraviolet radiation, an invisible, high-energy component of sunlight, can cause skin damage including cancer.
  120. Vacuum:    A state when pressure is much less than atmospheric pressure.
  121. Velocity:    The time rate of change of displacement.
  122. Virus:    Smallest of all organisms and often not considered alive because they strictly depend on a cellular host organism (bacteria, plant, animal) to reproduce. Viruses have no metabolism of their own and depend on passive carriers to transport them around.
  123. Voltage:    An electrical potential, which can be measured in volts.
  124. Voltmeter:    An instrument used to measure voltage.
  125. X-chromosome:    One of the two sex chromosomes in higher organisms that defines the gender of the adult. In almost all sexually reproducing organisms, the X-chromosome defines female characteristics.
  126. Y-chromosome:    One of the two sex chromosomes in higher organisms that defines the gender of the adult. In almost all sexually reproducing organisms, the Y-chromosome defines male characteristics.

4.9.2 Foreign Expressions

Some non-English terminologies, borrowed from foreign languages such as Greek, Latin, French, etc., are used in formal English communications in their original form. The following are some of such expressions:

  1. Ad hoc:    Temporary
  2. Ad antiquo:    Since ancient times
  3. Ad infinitum:    Forever
  4. Ad interim:    In between
  5. Alma mater:    The place where one is educated
  6. Alumni:    Pass out students of an institution
  7. Alter ego:    Friend who is very close
  8. Ad verbum:    Exactly same word for word
  9. Agent provocateurs:    Plotters and culprits working from behind the curtain
  10. Au courant:    Up to date
  11. Bona fide:    Genuine, real or legal; not false
  12. Bon vivant:    A person who lives luxuriously
  13. Carpe diem:    ‘Seize the day’: enjoy the present and do not worry about the future
  14. Coup d’état:    A sudden, illegal and often violent, change of government
  15. Carte blanche:    Full liberty to do something
  16. Charge d’affaires:    An official who takes the place of an ambassador in a foreign country when he or she is away
  17. De jure:    By legal act
  18. De facto:    In reality
  19. De novo:    A new beginning
  20. Dramatis personae:    Characters of a drama
  21. En route:    On the way
  22. Enfant terrible:    An outrageously outspoken or bold person
  23. Ex officio:    By virtue of one’s post
  24. Ex parte:    One-sided decision
  25. Ex post facto:    After the fact, retroactively
  26. Fait accompli:    Something that has already happened or been done and that you cannot change
  27. Ipso facto:    In reality
  28. In camera:    Away from public eyes, secret
  29. Laissez faire:    The policy of allowing private businesses to develop without government control
  30. Lingua franca:    Language of the common man
  31. Locus standi:    Right to take part in something
  32. Mala fide:    Bad, criminal intentions
  33. Magnum opus:    The best product, work, etc.
  34. Mano a mano:    Hand to hand: competition between two people when they try to out do each other.
  35. Modus operandi:    The style of working
  36. Par excellence:    Of a high quality
  37. Per capita:    Related to an individual
  38. Per se:    By itself
  39. Prima facie:    Something that at first seems to be true, may be proved false later
  40. Subjudice:    Under consideration, it is still being discussed in court
  41. Ultra vires:    Beyond your legal power or authority
  42. Viva-voce:    Oral test
  43. Vis-à-vis:    Compared with, in relation with
  44. Tete-e-tete:    Informal or private conversation between two people
  45. Sine die:    For an indefinite time
  46. Sine qua non:    Something that is essential before you can achieve something else
  47. Sang froid:    The ability to remain calm in a difficult or dangerous situation
  48. Status quo:    The current or existing state of affairs

4.9.3 Group Names

  1. Ants: A colony
  2. Arrows:    A sheaf
  3. Bats:    A cloud
  4. Bees/flies:    A swarm or hive
  5. Bells:    A peal
  6. Birds/stairs:    A flock, flight
  7. Camels:    A train
  8. Cattle/deer/goats:    A herd or drove
  9. Cotton/wool:    A ball
  10. Devils:    A legion
  11. Directors/trustees:    A board
  12. Elephants:    A herd
  13. Fish:    A shoal or school
  14. Flowers:    A garland or wreath or bouquet
  15. Followers:    A retinue
  16. Fruits:    A bunch
  17. Girls/ladies:    A bevy
  18. Goods:    A consignment or stock
  19. Grapes/keys:    A bunch
  20. Grass:    A tuft
  21. Hair:    A lock
  22. Hounds/playing cards:    A pack
  23. Island:    A group
  24. Lectures:    A series or course
  25. Merchants/pilgrims/travellers:    A caravan
  26. Mountains:    A chain
  27. Musicians:    A band
  28. Natives:    A tribe
  29. People:    An assembly or crowd or multitude or throng
  30. Persons:    A group
  31. Pigs/pups:    A litter
  32. Players:    A team
  33. Quails:    A bevy
  34. Rain/arrows:    A shower
  35. Rioters:    A mob
  36. Robbers/thieves/prisoners:    A gang
  37. Rooms:    A suite
  38. Sailors:    A crew
  39. Scouts:    A troop
  40. Ships:    A fleet
  41. Shoes:    A pair
  42. Shots/bullets/stones/arrows:    A volley
  43. Singers:    A choir
  44. Soldiers:    An army or regiment or troop
  45. Spiders:    A cluster
  46. Stamps/coins:    A collection
  47. Stars:    A cluster/constellation
  48. Sticks/hay:    A bundle
  49. Stones/ruins:    A heap
  50. Students:    A class
  51. Tourists:    A flock
  52. Trees:    A clump or grove
  53. Wagons:    A train
  54. Whale/dolphins:    A school or pod
  55. Wolf:    A pack
  56. Worshippers:    A congregation
  57. Years:    A century

4.9.4. The ‘Logies’ of Day-to-day Use

  1. Cardiology:    The study of the heart
  2. Conchology:    The study of shells
  3. Cosmology:    The study of the universe
  4. Dermatology:    The study of the skin
  5. Entomology:    The study of insects
  6. Etymology:    The study of the origin of words
  7. Graphology:    The study of handwriting
  8. Haematology:    The study of blood
  9. Histology:    The study of the tissues
  10. Horology:    The science of measuring time.
  11. Meteorology:    The study of weather
  12. Neurology:    The study of the nervous system
  13. Oenology:    The study of wine
  14. Oncology:    The study of cancer and tumours
  15. Ophthalmology:    The study of the eyes
  16. Ornithology:    The study of birds
  17. Osteology:    The study of the bones
  18. Pharmacology:    The study of medical drugs
  19. Seismology:    The study of earthquakes
  20. Sinology:    The study of China