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Отвечая на этот вопрос, нужно определить цель: для чего мне нужен английский язык? Если, к примеру, вы собираетесь сдавать TOEFL...

Глоссарии - Американские идиомы: A

To accept and obey; be willing to follow. A basketball player may know he did not foul, but he must abide by the referee's decision. The members agree to abide by the rules of the club.
, A small amount; some. There's no sugar in the sugar bowl, but you may find a bit in the bag. If the ball had hit the window a bit harder, it would have broken it. — Often used like an adverb. This sweater scratches a bit. — Also used like an adjective before "less", "more". Janet thought she could lose weight by eating a bit less. "Have some more cake?" "Thanks. A bit more won't hurt me." — Often used adverbially after verbs in negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences, sometimes in the form "one bit". "Won't your father be angry?" "No, he won't care a bit." Helen feels like crying, but I'll be surprised if she shows it one bit. — Sometimes used with "little" for emphasis, also in the emphatic form "the least bit". "Wasn't Bob even a little bit sorry he forgot his date?" "No, Bob wasn't the least bit sorry." : . : . : .
A sudden change of course or a decision opposite to what was decided earlier. Her decision to become an actress instead of a dentist was an about face from her original plans.
или To or into complete collapse, defeat, or ruin; to the destruction of a person's plans, hopes, or happiness. They planned to have factories all over the world but the war brought their plans down about their ears. John hoped to go to college and become a great scientist some day, but when his father died he had to get a job, and John's dreams came crashing around his ears. : .
Finally, but later than it should have been; at last. Mother said, "It's about time you got up, Mary." The basketball team won last night. About time.
1) Close to; ready to. — Used with an infinitive. We were about to leave when the snow began. I haven't gone yet, but I'm about to. : . 2) Having a wish or plan to. — Used with an infinitive in negative sentences. Freddy wasn't about to give me any of his ice-cream cone. "Will she come with us?" asked Bill. "She's not about to," answered Mary.
Of first or highest importance; most especially. Children need many things, but above all they need love. : .
Too good to be suspected; not likely to do wrong. The umpire in the game must be above suspicion of supporting one side over the other.
Absent without permission; used mostly in the military. Jack left Fort Sheridan without asking his commanding officer, and was punished for going AWOL.
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, slang Marijuana of an exceptionally high quality. Jack doesn't just smoke pot, he smokes Acapulco gold.
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1) Depending on which; whichever. You may take an oral or written exam according as you prefer. 1) Depending on whether; if. We will play golf or stay home according as the weather is good or bad.
1) So as to match or agree with; so as to be alike in. Many words are pronounced according to the spelling but some are not. The boys were placed in three groups according to height. 2) On the word or authority of. According to the Bible, Adam was the first man.
In accordance with one's conscience or inclinations. Citizens should vote according to their own lights.
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1) An ace given to a player face down so that other players in a card game cannot see it. When the cowboy bet all his money in the poker game he did not know that the gambler had an ace in the hole and would win it from him. 2) Someone or something important that is kept as a surprise until the right time so as to bring victory or success. The football team has a new play that they are keeping as an ace in the hole for the big game. The lawyer's ace in the hole was a secret witness who saw the accident. : .
, A physical or psychological weakness named after the Greek hero Achilles who was invulnerable except for a spot on his heel. John's Achilles' heel is his lack of talent with numbers and math.
, A regular user of LSD on whom the hallucinogenic drug has left a visible effect. The reason John acts so funny is that he is a regular acid head.
, A characteristic kind of rock in which loudness and beat predominate over melody; especially such music as influenced by drug experiences. John is a regular acid rock freak.
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, Sound for covering up unwanted noise, such as music over loudspeakers in a noisy construction area. Let's get out of here — this acoustic perfume is too much for my ears.
To become fond of something; get to like something. Jack acquired a taste for ripe cheeses when he went to France.
1) So that equal amounts of money are bet on the same horse to win a race, to place second, or third. I bet $6 on the white horse across the board. — Often used with hyphens as an adjective. I made an across-the-board bet on the white horse. 2) Including everyone or all, so that all are included. Thе President wanted taxes lowered across the board. — Often used with hyphens as an adjective. Thе workers at the store got an across-the-board pay raise.
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To wield power; act overbearingly; order others around; look down on others. Paul is an inexperienced teacher and he acts high and mighty with his students.
What you do shows your character better and is more important than what you say. — A proverb. John promised to help me, but he didn't. Actions speak louder than words. Joe is very quiet, but actions speak louder than words. He is the best player on the team.
An act or a deed that shows unquestioning belief in someone or something. It was a real act of faith on Mary's part to entrust her jewelry to her younger sister's care.
An occurrence (usually some sort of catastrophe) for which the people affected are not responsible; said of earthquakes, floods, etc. Hurricane Andrew destroyed many houses in Florida, but some types of insurance did not compensate the victims, claiming that the hurricane was an act of God. : .
или To do the things that people expect someone of your age to do, not act as if you were much younger than you are. Mr. O'Brien was playing tag with the children at the party. Then Mrs. O'Brien said, "Henry! Act your age!" and he stopped.
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1) To show an idea, story, or happening by your looks, talk, and movements. He tried to act out a story that he had read. 2) To put into action. All his life he tried to act out his beliefs.
, 1) To behave badly; act rudely or impolitely. The dog acted up as the postman came to the door. 2) To work or run poorly (as a after all machine); skip; miss. Thе car acted up because the spark plugs were dirty.
To make a bad matter worse by adding to its cause; spread trouble, increase anger or other strong feelings by talk or action. By criticizing his son's girl, the father added fuel to the flame of his son's love. Bob was angry with Ted and Ted added fuel to the flame by laughing at him.
1) To hurt someone's feelings after doing him harm. He added insult to injury when he called the man a rat after he had already beaten him up. 2) To make bad trouble worse. We started on a picnic, and first it rained, then to add insult to injury, the car broke down.
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To complete; finish. Mary's first novel promised to be excellent; however, her editor suggested that she should add some finishing touches before accepting it.
1) To come to the correct amount. The numbers wouldn't add up. 2) To make sense; be understandable. His story didn't add up.
1) To make a total of; amount to. The bill added up to $12.95. 2) To mean; result in. The rain, the mosquitoes, and the heat added up to a spoiled vacation.
To improvise; interpolate during speech. When the actress forgot her lines during the second act, she had to ad lib in order to keep the show going.
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или A small number (of people or things); some. The dry weather killed most of Mother's flowers, but a few are left. In the store, Mary saw many pretty rings and bracelets, and she wanted to buy a few of them. After the party, we thought that no one would help clean up, but a few couples did. Alice wanted to read a few pages more before she stopped. — Usually "a few" is different in meaning from "few", which emphasizes the negative; "a few" means "some", but "few" means "not many". We thought no one would come to lunch, but a few came. We thought many people would come to lunch, but few came. But sometimes "a few" is used with "only", and then it is negative. We thought many people would come to lunch, but only a few came. — Sometimes used like an adverb. Three students have no seats; we need a few more chairs. If we can set up chairs faster than people come and sit in them, we will soon be a few ahead. — Sometimes used with "very" for emphasis. Uncle Ralph gave away almost all of his sea shells, but he still had a very few left. : . : .
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1) In collision with. The boat ran afoul of a buoy. 2) In or into trouble with. The thief ran afoul of the night watchman. Speeders can expect to fall afoul of the law sometimes.
, Scared of small or imaginary things; very easily frightened; jumpy; nervous. Mrs. Smith won't stay alone in her house at night; she is afraid of her own shadow. Johnny cries whenever he must say hello to an adult; he is afraid of his own shadow.
A genuine friend on whom one can always depend. — A proverb; often shortened to "a friend in need..." When John's house burned down, his neighbor Jim helped him and his family with shelter, food and clothing. John said, "Jim, a friend in need is a friend indeed — this describes you."
Not very well or properly; poorly. He played tennis after a fashion. The roof kept the rain out after a fashion. : .
1) As a change in plans; anyway. — Used with emphasis on "after". Bob thought he couldn't go to the party because he had too much homework, but he went after all. 2) For a good reason that you should remember. — Used with emphasis on "all". Why shouldn't Betsy eat the cake? After all, she baked it.
или , Later, at some time in the future; after a time that is not short and not long. "Dad, will you help me make this model plane?" "After a while, Jimmy, when I finish reading the newspaper." The boys gathered some wood, and in a while, a hot fire was burning. : . : .
, Not during the regular, correct, or usual time; going on or open after the usual hours. The store was cleaned and swept out after hours. The children had a secret after hours party when they were supposed to be in bed.
, Well liked because of agreeing with your own feelings, interests, and ideas; to your liking-agreeable. Used after "man" or some similar word. He likes baseball and good food; he is a man after my own heart. Thanks for agreeing with me about the class party; you're a girl after my own heart. : .
или When a troubling, confusing, or disastrous event is finally over. John invited Tim for dinner, but since Tim's father had just died, he replied, "Thanks. I'd like to come after the dust settles."
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1) Across rather than with the direction of the fibers (as of wood or meat). He sandpapered the wood against the grain. 2) So as to annoy or trouble, or to cause anger or dislike. — Usually follows "go". His coarse and rude ways went against the grain with me. It went against the grain with him to have to listen to her gossip. : .
или 1) As a test of speed or time; in order to beat a speed record or time limit. John ran around the track against time, because there was no one else to race against. 2) As fast as possible; so as to do or finish something before a certain time. It was a race against the clock whether the doctor would get to the accident soon enough to save the injured man. 3) So as to cause delay by using up time. The outlaw talked against time with the sheriff, hoping that his gang would come and rescue him.
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A herbicide used as a defoliant during the Vietnam War, considered by some to cause birth defects and cancer, hence, by extension, an instance of "technological progress pollution". If things continue as they have, we'll all be eating some Agent Orange with our meals.
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To have a good effect on, suit. The meat loaf did not agree with him. The warm, sunny climate agreed with him, and he soon grew strong and healthy.
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1) In a position of advantage or power over. He studies all the time, because he wants to stay ahead of his classmates. 2) In front of; before. The troop leader walked a few feet ahead of the boys. 3) Earlier than; previous to, before. Betty finished her test ahead of the others.
, , 1) In a position of advantage; winning (as in a game or contest); ahead (as by making money or profit); making it easier to win or succeed. The time you spend studying when you are in school will put you ahead of the game in college. After Tom sold his papers, he was $5 ahead of the game. 2) Early; too soon; beforehand. When Ralph came to school an hour early, the janitor said, "You're ahead of the game." John studies his lessons only one day early; if he gets too far ahead of the game, he forgets what he read.
Before the expected time; early. The bus came ahead of time, and Mary was not ready. The new building was finished ahead of time. : .
a , , Extraordinary; very. He made a hell of a shot during the basketball game. Max said seven months was a hell of a time to have to wait for a simple visa. The fall Max took left one hell of a bruise on his knee.
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A trade name, also used informally for a wide-bodied airplane used chiefly as a domestic passenger carrier. Airbuses don't fly overseas, but mainly from coast to coast.
или To talk about your private quarrels or disgraces where others can hear; make public something embarrassing that should be kept secret. Everyone in the school knew that the superintendent and the principal were angry with each other because they aired their dirty linen in public. No one knew that the boys' mother was a drug addict, because the family did not wash its dirty linen in public.
An explosive noise of undetermined origin usually heard in coastal communities and appearing to come from some higher point in elevation. What was that awful noise just now? — I guess it must have been an airquake.
, Air service for regular commuters operating between major cities at not too far a distance, ,, between Boston and New York City; such flights operate without reservation on a frequent schedule. My dad takes the air shuttle from Boston to New York once a week.
In the same way as; like. Billy played ball like a champion today, a la the professional ball players. Joe wanted to shoot an apple off my head a la William Tell. (From French "a la", in the manner of.)
, Guilt, the haunting past, an unforgettable problem. Even though it was an accident, John's father's death has been an albatross around John's neck. : .
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или A small amount (of); some. — Usually "a little" is different in meaning from "little", which emphasizes the negative; "a little" means "some"; but "little" means "not much". We say "We thought that the paper was all gone, but a little was left." But we say, "We thought we still had a bag of flour, but little was left." Also, we say, "Bob was sick yesterday, but he is a little better today." But we say, "Bob was sick yesterday, and he is little better today." Sometimes "a little" is used with "only", and then it is negative. We thought we had a whole bag of flour, but only a little was left. We have used most of the sugar; but a little is left. We did not eat all the cake; we saved a little of it for you. I'm tired; I need a little time to rest. Where is the paper? I need a little more. — Often used like an adverb. Usually the teacher just watched the dancing class, but sometimes she danced a little to show them how. The children wanted to play a little longer. — Sometimes used with "very" for emphasis. The sick girl could not eat anything, but she could drink a very little tea. : . : . : .
To have learned something from a mysterious, unknown, or secret source. "Who told you that Dean Smith was resigning?" Peter asked. "A little bird told me," Jim answered.
A person who knows a little about something may think he knows it all and make bad mistakes. — A proverb. John has read a book on driving a car and now he thinks he can drive. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
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Very active; vigorous; full of energy. Grandpa was taken to the hospital with pneumonia, but he was discharged yesterday and is alive and kicking.
, Crowded with; filled with. The lake was alive with fish. The stores were alive with people the Saturday before Christmas.
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или All the time; during the whole time. I knew all along that we would win. I knew right along that Jane would come.
1) At the same time; together. The teacher told the children to talk one at a time; if they all talked at one time, she could not understand them. Bill can play the piano, sing, and lead his orchestra all at once. 2) or Without warning; abruptly; suddenly; unexpectedly. All at once we heard a shot and the soldier fell to the ground. All of a sudden the ship struck a rock. : .
Fully recovered; all well again; no longer painful. — Usually used to or by children. "All better now," he kept repeating to the little girl.
Very nearly; almost. Crows all but destroyed a farmer's field of corn. The hikers were exhausted and all but frozen when they were found.
, Very eager to hear; very attentive. — Used in the predicate. Go ahead with your story; we are all ears. When John told about the circus, the boys were all ears.
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, 1) A stray cat. 2) A person (usually a female) of rather easy-going, or actually loose sexual morals; a promiscuous person. You'll have no problem dating her; she's a regular alley cat.
, Wide-eyed with surprise or curiosity; watching very closely. — Used in the predicate. At the circus the children were all eyes.
Used up; exhausted (said of supplies); done with; over with. We used to travel a lot, but, alas, those days are all gone.
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, Late or irregular times. The boy's mother said he must stop coming home for meals at all hours. He stayed up till all hours of the night to finish his school work.
, Very tired; exhausted. The players were all in after their first afternoon of practice. : .
или , Unpleasant or bad but to be expected; not harder than usual; not unusual. Keeping ants away from a picnic lunch is all in the day's work. When the car had a flat tire, Father said that it was all in a day's work. : .
, The person or thing that you love most. She was all in all to him. Music was his all in all.
или When everything is thought about; in summary; altogether. All in all, it was a pleasant day's cruise. All in all, the pilot of an airplane must have many abilities and years of experience before he can he appointed. : 1) Counting the balls on the green, we have six golf balls in all.
Some time soon, when the time is ripe for an event to take place. "I want to get married, Dad," Mike said. "All in good time, Son," answered his father.
Safely; without damage or harm. John's father was terribly concerned when his son was sent to war as a pilot, but he came home all in one piece.
, Plenty of. People say that Mr. Fox has all kinds of money. When Kathy was sick, she had all kinds of company. : .
, Many different kinds of; all sorts of. In a five-and-ten-cent store you can buy all manner of things.
, 1) At least the amount or number of; fully; no less than. It was all of ten o'clock before they finally started. She must have paid all of $50 for that hat. 2) Showing all the signs of; completely in. — Used with "a". The girls were all of a twitter before the dance. Mother is all of a flutter because of the thunder and lightning. The dog was all of a tremble with cold.
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, With all your strength, power, or determination; to the best of your ability; without holding back. — Usually used in the phrase "go all out". We went all out to win the game. John went all out to finish the job and was very tired afterwards. : .
A great and thorough effort at solving a given problem. The President is making an all-out effort to convince Congress to pass the pending bill on health care.
Total war including civilian casualties as opposed to a war that is limited only to armies. Hitler was waging an all-out war when he invaded Poland.
1) In every part; everywhere. He has a fever and aches all over. I have looked all over for my glasses. : . 2) In every way; completely. She is her mother all over. 3) Coming into very close physical contact, as during a violent fight; wrestling. Before I noticed what happened, he was all over me.
, Finally decided or won; brought to an end; not able to be changed. After Bill's touchdown, the game was all over but the shouting. John and Tom both tried to win Jane, but after John's promotion it was all over but the shouting.
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To provide for; leave room for; give a chance to; permit. She cut the skirt four inches longer to allow for a wide hem. Democracy allows for many differences of opinion.
1) Well enough. The new machine is running all right. 2) I am willing; yes. "Shall we watch television?" "All right." : . 3) Beyond question, certainly. — Used for emphasis and placed after the word it modifies. It's time to leave, all right, but the bus hasn't come.
1) Good enough; correct; suitable. His work is always all right. 2) In good health or spirits; well. "How are you?" "I'm all right." 3) Good. He's an all right guy.
I'm finished with you! That ends it between you and me! — Used by children. All right for you! I'm not playing with you any more!
The same end or goal may be reached by many different ways. — A proverb. "I don't care how you get the answer," said the teacher, "All roads lead to Rome."
Ready to start. "Is the plane ready for take-off?" the bank president asked. "Yes, Sir," the pilot answered. "We're all set."
также , In a state of great emotional upheaval; disturbed; agitated. What are you so shook up about?
Everything is complete and ready for action; it is now all right to proceed. After they wrote out the invitations, it was all systems go for the wedding.
, The only. A hut was all the home he ever had.
Than otherwise; even. — Used to emphasize comparative adjectives, adverbs, and nouns. Opening the windows made it all the hotter. Take a bus instead of walking and get home all the sooner. If you don't eat your dessert, all the more for us.
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The...est; as ... as. — Used with a comparative adjective or adverb and subordinate clause in place of a superlative adjective or adverb. That was all the bigger he grew. Is that all the faster you can go?
или , Understanding well; thinking clearly; not crazy. — Usually used in negative sentences, Joe acted queerly and talked wildly, so we thought he was not all there.
или Something that makes no difference; a choice that you don't care about. If it's all the same to you, I would like to be waited on first. You can get there by car or by bus — it's all one.
или , As if the opposite were so; nevertheless; anyway; anyhow; still. Everyone opposed it, but Sally and Bob got married all the same. Mary is deaf, but she takes tap dancing lessons just the same. : .
или , The fashionable or popular thing to do, the fashionable or most popular artist or form of art at a given time. After "The Graduate" Dustin Hoffman was all the rage in the movies. It was all the thing in the late sixties to smoke pot and demonstrate against the war in Vietnam.
1) or During the whole period; through the whole time. Mary went to college in her home town and lived at home all the while. Most of us were surprised to hear that Mary and Tom had been engaged all year, but Sue said she knew it all the time. 2) Without stopping; continuously Most traffic lights work all the time. 3) Very often; many times. Ruth talks about her trip to Europe all the time, and her friends are tired of it.
или 1) From start to finish during the whole distance or time. Jack climbed all the way to the top of the tree. Joe has played the whole way in the football game and it's almost over. 2) In complete agreement; with complete willingness to satisfy. — Often used in the phrase "go all the way with". I go all the way with what George says about Bill. Mary said she was willing to kiss Bill, but that did not mean she was willing to go all the way with him. The bank was willing to lend Mr. Jones money to enlarge his factory but it wasn 't willing to go all the way with his plans to build another in the next town. : .
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, Awkward, especially with your hands; clumsy. Harry tried to fix the chair but he was all thumbs.
, Counting or including everything. Including candy sale profits we have collected $300 all told.
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, Near to certain death or defeat without any more chance or hope. With their ammunition gone the patrol knew that it was all up with them.
All right; very good and correct; very true. — Usually followed by a "but" clause. It's all very well for you to complain but can you do any better? It's all very well if Jane comes with us, but how will she get back home? : .
All socioeconomic groups; all professions and lines of work. A good teacher has to be able to communicate with students from all walks of life. A clever politician doesn't alienate people from any walk of life.
, Entirely confused or wrong; mistaken. When the Wright brothers said they could build a flying machine, people thought they were all wet. If you think I like baseball, you're all wet. : .
Of fine character; especially, very generous and kind-hearted. He's a wonderful brother — all wool and a yard wide.
Too much hard work without time out for play or enjoyment is not good for anyone. — A proverb. Bill's mother told him to stop studying and to go out and play, because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Always; all the time; throughout all seasons of the year. In California the sun shines all year round.
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, Being in a group for the fun or the credit without doing any of the work. He wants no members in his political party who are just along for the ride.
или Elderly; growing old. As Grandfather got on in years, he became quiet and thoughtful. Our dog isn 't very playful because it is getting on in years.
1) At or along the side of. We walked alongside of the river. 2) Together with. I played alongside of Tom on the same team. : . 3) Compared with or to; measured next to. His money doesn't look like much alongside of a millionaire's.
, A large number or amount; very many or very much; lots. I learned a lot in Mr. Smith's class. A lot of our friends are going to the beach this summer. — Often used like an adverb. Ella is a jolly girl; she laughs a lot. Grandfather was very sick last week, but he's a lot better now. You'll have to study a lot harder if you want to pass. — Also used as an adjective with "more", "less", and "fewer". There was a good crowd at the game today, but a lot more will come next week. — Often used with "whole" for emphasis. John has a whole lot of marbles. Jerry is a whole lot taller than he was a year ago. : . : .
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A brain wave, 8-12 cycles per second, associated with a state of relaxation and meditation and, hence, free of anxieties. Try to produce some alpha waves; you will instantly feel a lot better.
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An attorney who specializes in representing victims of traffic accidents. By extension, a lawyer of inferior rank or talent. Don't hire Cohen; he's just another ambulance chaser.
A system of hotel management in which meals are included with the room, as opposed to the European plan that does not include meals. American tourists in Europe sometimes expect that their meals will be included, because they are used to the American plan.
Signify; add up to. John's total income didn't amount to more than a few hundred dollars.
1) An inevitability; a necessity. Visas in many foreign countries are a must. 2) An extremely interesting or memorable event, such as a free concert given by an international celebrity. Alfred Brendel's Beethoven master classes are open to the public and are not to be missed; they're a must.
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1) — And is used between repeated words to show continuation or emphasis. When the children saw the beautiful Christmas tree they looked and looked. Old Mr, Bryan has known Grandfather for years and years, since they were boys. Billy dived to the bottom of the lake again and again, looking for the lost watch. Everyone wished the speaker would stop, but he talked on and on. : . 2) — When "and" is used between words with opposite meaning, it often emphasizes how much you mean. Mr. Jones worked early and late to earn enough to live. The parents hunted high and low for the lost child. : .
And whatever goes with it; and all that means. We don't go out much nowadays, with the new baby and all. Jack's employer provided the tools and all.
, Yes, that is certainly right! — Used for emphatic agreement. "Did you see the game?" "And how!" "Isn't Mary pretty?" "And how she is!" : . : .
или And more of the same kind; and further amounts or things like the ones already mentioned. The costumes were red, pink, blue, purple, yellow, and so forth. : .
Things of a similar nature. I like McDonald's, Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the like. When I go out to the beach flake towels, a mat, suntan lotion, and the like.
And a lot more; and more too. It would cost all the money he had and then some. Talking his way out of this trouble was going to take all his wits and then some.
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, Phencyclidine, an addictive hallucinatory narcotic drug extremely dangerous to the users' health, also called PCP. Mike has gone from grass to angel dust; he will end up in the morgue.
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1) To take responsibility for; assume charge or supervision of. The secret service has to answer for the safety of the President and his family. 2) To say you are sure that (someone) has good character or ability; guarantee: sponsor. When people thought Ray had stolen the money, the principal said, "Ray is no thief. I'll answer for him." 3) Take the blame or punishment for. When Mother found out who ate the cake, Tom had to answer for his mischief.
To fulfill one's destiny in terms of work or profession by doing what one has a talent for. Don answered his calling when he became a chiropractor. Susy answered her calling when she became a violinist.
или , To go to the bathroom to relieve oneself by urinating or defecating. Ted was hiking in the mountains when suddenly he had to answer the call of nature but since there was no bathroom in the woods, he excused himself and disappeared behind the bushes.
To be named; go by a certain name or designation; be accountable. When you walk my dog, please remember that he answers to the name "Caesar." As head of the company she does not have to answer to anyone.
, To produce the required amount of money in order to close a transaction; to pay what one owes. "I guess I'd better ante up if I want to stay an active member of the Association", Max said.
, Nervous over-activity; restlessness. Jane can not sit still; she has ants in her pants. You have ants in your pants today. Is something wrong?
A rather large number; numbers. — Used when there arc more than several and fewer than many. The parents were invited to see the program, and a number came. We knew the Smiths rattier well; we had visited them a number of times. — Used like an adjective before "less", "more". We have not set up enough folding chairs; we need a number more. : .
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, A large number; many. There are any number of reasons for eating good food. Don't ask George what his excuse is. He can invent any number. : .
, Doing something in a casual, haphazard, or careless way. "John," the teacher said, "you can't just do your homework any old way; you must pay attention to my instructions!"
Any help is welcome in an emergency. — A proverb. The motel we stopped in was nothing to brag about, but we were so exhausted that it was a clear case of any port in a storm.
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Quite the opposite of; far from being. I don't mean he's lazy — anything but! The boys knew they had broken the rules, and they were anything but happy when they were called to the office.
или Nearly. — Used in negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences, often in the negative forms "nothing like" or "nowhere near". It's not anything like as hot today as it was yesterday. Do you think that gold ring is worth anywhere near a hundred dollars? Today's game was nowhere near as exciting as yesterday's game. Studying that lesson should take nothing like two hours.
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или Beside or besides; in addition to. The children hardly see anyone, apart from their parents. Aside from being fun and good exercise, swimming is a very useful skill. : .
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Something or someone that is adored; a cherished person or object. Charles is the apple of his mother's eye. John's first car was the apple of his eye. He was always polishing it.
, Exact orderly arrangement, neatness; tidy arrangement. The house was in apple-pie order. Like a good secretary, she kept the boss's desk in apple-pie order.
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An unfortunate condition; a critical state. While the boss was away, things at the company had come to a pretty pass.
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, In connection with; on the subject of, about; concerning. Apropos of higher tuition, Mr. Black told the boy about the educational loans that banks are offering. Mr. White went to see Mr. Richards apropos of buying a car.
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, An exorbitantly high price that must be paid for something that isn't really worth it. It's true that to get a decent apartment these days in New York you have to pay an arm and a leg.
Having all needed weapons; fully armed. The paratroopers were armed to the teeth.
With your arm under or around another person's arm, especially in close comradeship or friendship. Sally and Joan were laughing and joking together as they walked arm in arm down the street. When they arrived at the party, the partners walked arm in arm to meet the hosts. : .
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также For 24 hours a day continuously all day and all night. The factory operated around the clock until the order was filled. He studied around the clock for his history exam.
That filling station has round-the-clock service.
Soon to come or happen; close by; near at hand. The fortuneteller told Jane that there was an adventure for her just around the corner.
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In lieu of better things; lacking better solutions. "We'll sleep in our sleeping bags as a last resort," John said, "since all the motels are full."
Actually; really; in addition to what has been said; in reference to what was said. — Often used as an interjection. It's not true that I cannot swim; as a matter of fact, I used to work as a lifeguard in Hawaii. Do you think this costs too much? As a matter of fact, I think it is rather cheap.
Said as a remark in a low tone of voice; used in theaters where the actor turns toward the audience as if to "think out loud." During the concert Tim said to his wife as an aside, "The conductor has no idea how to conduct Beethoven."
Generally; customarily. As a rule, the boss arrives at the office about 10 A.M.
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— Used with an adjective or adverb in a comparison or with the effect of a superlative. John is as tall as his father now. I didn't do as badly today as I did yesterday. John's father gave him a hard job and told him to do as well as possible. The sick girl was not hungry, but her mother told her to eat as much as she could. — Also used in the form "so...as" in some sentences, especially negative sentences. This hill isn't nearly so high as the last one we climbed. — Often used in similes (comparisons that are figures of speech). The baby mouse looked as big as a minute. Jim's face was red as a beet after he made the foolish mistake. — Most similes in conventional use are cliches, avoided by careful speakers and writers.
As well as you can; by whatever means are available; in the best way you can. The car broke down in the middle of the night, and he had to get home as best he could. George's foot hurt, but he played the game as best he could. The girl's mother was sick, so the girl got dinner as best she could.
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или 1) To the degree or amount that; according to what, how much, or how far. John did a good job as far as he went, but he did not finish it. So far as the weather is concerned, I do not think it matters. As far as he was concerned, things were going well. 2) To the extent that; within the limit that. He has no brothers so far as I know. : .
или или также While we are talking about it; also; actually. You don't have to worry about the girls. Mary can take care of herself, and as far as that goes, Susan is pretty independent, too. I didn't enjoy the movie, and so far as that is concerned, I never like horror movies. : . : .
A list of things that come next; what is listed next. — Followed by a colon. My grocery list is as follows: bread, butter, meat, eggs, sugar. The names of the members are as follows: John Smith, Mary Webb, Linda Long, Ralph Harper. The route is as follows: From City Hall go south on Main Street to Elm Street, east on Elm to 5th Street, and south on 5th two blocks to the school.
1) In regard to; speaking of; concerning. We have plenty of bread, and as for butter, we have more than enough. 2) Speaking for. Most people like the summer but as for me, I like winter much better. : .
Nearly the same as; almost. She claimed that he as good as promised to marry her. He as good as called me a liar. We'll get to school on time, we're as good as there now. The man who had been shot was as good as dead. — Often used without the first "as" before adjectives. When the car was repaired, it looked good as new.
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или Trustworthy; sure to keep your promise. The coach said he would give the players a day off if they won, and he was as good as his word. We knew she was always good as her word, so we trusted her.
Very unfeeling; cruel, and unsympathetic. Uncle Joe is as hard as nails; although he is a millionaire, he doesn't help his less fortunate relatives.
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, Beside; by the side of. Mary sits aside of her sister on the bus.
или 1) As (he, she, it) would if; in the same way one would if seeing to show. The baby laughed as if he understood what Mother said. The book looked as though it had been out in the rain. The waves dashed on the rocks as if in anger. 2) That. It seems as if you are the first one here.
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Without changes or improvements; with no guarantee or promise of good condition. — Used after the word it modifies. They agree to buy the house as is. He bought an old car as is. : .
As it might be said to be; as if it really were; seemingly. — Used with a statement that might seem silly or unreasonable, to show that it is just a way of saying it. In many ways children live, as it were, in a different world from adults. The sunlight on the icy branches made, as it were, delicate lacy cobwebs from tree to tree. : .
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, To make (something bad) likely to happen to you; bring (something bad) upon yourself. Charles drives fast on worn-out tires; he is asking for trouble. The workman lost his job, but he asked for it by coming to work drunk several times. : .
To ask permission to marry someone. "Sir," John said timidly to Mary's father, "I came to ask for your daughter's hand."
или To want something that you cannot reach or have; try for the impossible. John asked his mother for a hundred dollars today. He's always asking for the moon. : .
1) Asleep when it is one's duty to move a railroad switch for cars to go on the right track. The new man was asleep at the switch and the two trains crashed. 2) Failing to act promptly as expected, not alert to an opportunity. When the ducks flew over, the boy was asleep at the switch and missed his shot.
Probably. As likely as not, he will disappear forever.
или 1) Since; because; considering that. As long as you are going to town anyway, you can do something for me. 2) Provided that; if. You may use the room as you like, so long as you clean it up afterward.
As it happened; by chance; luckily or unluckily. As luck would have it, no one was in the building when the explosion occurred. As luck would have it, there was rain on the day of the picnic.
The same; exactly that. Don't thank me, I would do as much for anyone. Did you lose your way? I thought as much when you were late in coming.
1) or Even though; although. As much as I hate to do it, I must stay home and study tonight. 2) or Just the same as; almost; practically; really. By running away he as much as admitted that he had taken the money. You as much as promised you would help us. The clerk as much as told me that I was a fool. : . 3) : .
At or until (a certain time). I know that as of last week he was still unmarried. As of now we don't know much about Mars.
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Unanimously; together; involving all. The audience arose as one man to applaud the great pianist.
Regarding; concerning; about. You needn't worry as regards the cost of the operation. He was always secretive as regards his family.
Just after; when; immediately after. As soon as the temperature falls to 70, the furnace is turned on. As soon as you finish your job let me know. He will see you as soon as he can.
By the most direct way; along a straight line between two places. It is seven miles to the next town as the crow flies, but it is ten miles by the road, which goes around the mountain.
As the story is told; as one has heard through rumor. As the story goes, Jonathan disappeared when he heard the police were after him.
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1) In connection with; about; regarding. There is no doubt as to his honesty. As to your final grade, that depends on your final examination. : . 2) According to; following; going by. They sorted the eggs as to size and color.
In the usual way; as you usually do or as it usually does. As usual, Tommy forgot to make his bed before he went out to play. Only a week after the fire in the store, it was doing business as usual.
1) In addition; also, too; besides. The book tells about Mark Twain's writings and about his life as well. Tom is captain of the football team and is on the baseball team as well. 2) Without loss and possibly with gain. After the dog ran away, Father thought he might as well sell the dog house. Since he can't win the race, he may as well quit. It's just as well you didn't come yesterday, because we were away.
In addition to; and also; besides. Hiking is good exercise as well as fun. He was my friend as well as my doctor. The book tells about the author's life as well as about his writings.
Up to the present time; so far; yet. We know little as yet about the moon's surface. She has not come as yet.
1) As you like, whatever you like or prefer; as you choose. You may do as you please. 2) Very. — Used after an adjective or adverb often preceded by "as". There was Tinker, sitting there, cheerful as you please. She was dressed for the dance and she looked as pretty as you please.
или или Immediately; suddenly; with one quick or forceful action. The pirates captured the ship and captured a ton of gold at a blow. A thousand men lost their jobs at a stroke when the factory closed. All the prisoners escaped at one stroke. : .
At any time or place, for any reason, or in any degree or manner. — Used for emphasis with certain kinds of words or sentences. 1) Negative It's not at all likely he will come. 2) Limited I can hardly hear you at all. 3) Interrogative Can it be done at all? 4) Conditional She will walk with a limp, if she walks at all. : .
At any expense of time, effort, or money. Regardless of the results. Mr. Jackson intended to save his son's eyesight at all costs. Carl is determined to succeed in his new job at all costs.
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With no regard for danger; at any risk; regardless of the chances you must take. The racer meant to win the 500-mile race at all hazards.
Any time; all the time; at almost any time. The baby cried so much that we were up at all hours trying to calm her down.
In a state of uncertainty; without any idea; puzzled. A good salesman is never at a loss for words. When Don missed the last bus, he was at a loss to know what to do.
Held by an anchor from floating away; anchored. The ship rode at anchor in the harbor.
In any case; anyhow. It isn't much of a car, but at any rate it was not expensive. : .
At a high price due to special circumstances. When his father died, Fred flew to Europe at a premium because he had no chance to buy a less expensive ticket.
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At a particular, pre-specified time. Do we have to eat in this hotel at a set time, or may we come down whenever we want?
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At once; at one time; in one group or unit; together. He checked them off one at a time as they came in. He ran up the steps two at a time. : . They showed up for class three and four at a time.
или In a place where you can no longer run away; unable to go back farther; forced to stand and fight, or face an enemy; cornered. The dog ran the rat into a corner, and there the rat turned at bay. The police chased the thief to a roof, where they held him at bay until more policemen came to help. : .
или 1) Under the best conditions; as the best possibility. A coal miner's job is dirty and dangerous at best. We can't get to New York before ten o'clock at best. : . : . 2) In the most favorable way of looking at something; even saying the best about the thing. The treasurer had at best been careless with the club's money, but most people thought he had been dishonest.
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или 1) Ready or nearby for use, help, or service; on request. Thousands of auto insurance agents all over the country are at the insured person's call, wherever he may travel. 2) At the word of command; at an order or signal. The dog was trained to come at call.
Close by; in proximity. The police officer fired at the fleeing murder suspect at close range.
With opposing meanings or aims; with opposing effect or result; with aims which hinder or get in each other's way. Tom's parents acted at cross purposes in advising him; his father wanted him to become a doctor; but his mother wanted him to become a minister.
или Very near death; dying. He seemed to be at death's door from his illness.
Always arguing and quarreling. Joan and Harry have been at each other's throats so long that they have forgotten how much they used to love one another.
или или 1) In comfort; without pain or bother. You can't feel at ease with a toothache. 2) or Comfortable in one's mind; relaxed, not troubled. — Often used in the phrase "put at ease" or "put at one's ease." We put Mary at her ease during the thunderstorm by reading her stories. : . : . 3) Standing with your right foot in place and without talking in military ranks. The sergeant gave his men the command "At ease!" : .
Every time; all the time; continually without exception. Because of his drinking, the man was refused a job at every turn.
What one can actually hear, read, or see; literally. John is so honest that you can take his words at face value. This store's advertisements are honest; take them at face value.
Responsible for an error or failure; to blame. The driver who didn't stop at the red light was at fault in the accident. When the engine would not start, the mechanic looked at all the parts to find what was at fault. : .
In the beginning; at the start. The driver didn't see the danger at first. At first the job looked good to Bob, but later it became tiresome. There was a little trouble at first, but things soon were quiet.
When first seen; without careful study. At first blush the offer looked good, but when we studied it, we found things we could not accept.
или или After a first quick look. At first sight, his guess was that the whole trouble between the two men resulted from personalities that did not agree. Tom met Mary at a party, and it was love at first sight.
1) In great detail. Jim told us the story of his life at great length. 2) For a long time. The boring speaker rambled on at great length.
Halfway up or down; referring primarily to flagposts, but may be used jokingly. When a president of the United States dies, all flags are flown at half mast.
также или 1) Easy to reach; nearby. When he writes, he always keeps a dictionary at hand. 2) Coming soon; almost here. Examinations are past and Commencement Day is at hand.
1) In spite of appearances; at bottom; in reality. His manners are rough but he is a kind man at heart. 2) As a serious interest or concern; as an important aim or goal. He has the welfare of the poor at heart.
или 1) In the place where you live or come from. I went to his house, but he was not at home. Americans abroad are protected by the government like Americans at home. 2) Knowing what to do or say; familiar; comfortable. Charles and John enjoy working together because they feel at home with each other. The politician was at home among poor farmers and among rich factory owners. Make the new student feel at home in your school. Would you be at home driving a truck? Jim always lived by a lake, and he is at home in the water. Tom has read many books about missiles and is at home in that subject. : . : . : .
1) In dispute; to be settled by debate, by vote, by battle, or by some other contest. His good name was at issue in the trial. The independence of the United States from England was at issue in the Revolutionary War. : . 2) Not in agreement; in conflict; opposing. His work as a doctor was at issue with other doctors' practice. : .
Busily doing something; active. His rule for success was to keep always at it. The couple who owned the little cleaning shop were at it early and late. Mr. Curtis heard a loud crash in the next apartment — the neighbors were at it again.
или 1) Not kept within walls, fences, or boundaries; free. The killer remained at large for weeks. : . Cattle and sheep roamed at large on the big ranch. 2) In a broad, general way; at length; fully. The superintendent talked at large for an hour about his hopes for a new school building. 3) As a group rather than as individuals; as a whole; taken together. The junior class at large was not interested in a senior yearbook. 4) As a representative of a whole political unit or area rather than one of its parts; from a city rather than one of its wards, or a state rather than one of its districts. He was elected congressman at large. Aldermen are voted for at large.
также After a long time; finally. The war had been long and hard, but now there was peace at last. The boy saved his money until at last he had enough for a bicycle.
1) or At the smallest guess; no fewer than; no less than. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. At least three students are failing in mathematics. Mr. Johnson must weigh 200 pounds at least. : . 2) Whatever else you may say; anyhow; anyway. It was a clumsy move, but at least it saved her from getting hit. She broke her arm, but at least it wasn't the arm she writes with. The Mortons had fun at their picnic yesterday — at least the children did — they played while their parents cooked the food. He's not coming — at least that's what he said. : .
или 1) Not at work; not busy; with free time; at rest. Come and visit us some evening when you're at leisure. 2) or When and how you wish at your convenience; without hurry. John made the model plane at his leisure. You may read the book at your leisure.
1) In detail; fully. You must study the subject at length to understand it. The teacher explained the new lesson at length to the students. 2) In the end; at last; finally. The movie became more and more exciting, until at length people were sitting on the edge of their chairs.
или Free to go somewhere or do something; not shut in or stopped. The police promised to set the man at liberty if he told the names of the other robbers. I am sorry, but I am not at liberty to come to your party. : .
или In a quarrel; in a fight; opposing each other. The two senators had long been at loggerheads on foreign aid. Because of their barking dog, the Morrises lived at loggerheads with their neighbors. : .
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Without a regular job or settled habits; uncertain what to do next; having nothing to do for a while; undecided; unsettled; restless. Feeling at loose ends, I went for a long walk. He had finished college but hadn't found a job yet, so he was at loose ends.
или By the largest or most generous guess; at the upper limit; by the maximum account; not more than; at best; at worst. It was a minor offense at most. He had been gone 15 minutes at the most. Their new house lot is a quarter acre at most.
In conflict or disagreement; opposed. The boy and girl were married a week after they met and soon found themselves at odds about religion. : .
1) Without delay; right now or right then; immediately. Put a burning match next to a piece of paper and it will begin burning at once. Mother called the children to lunch, and Paul came at once, but Brenda stayed in the sand pile a little longer. : или . : .
1) In union or harmony; in agreement or sympathy. Not usually used informally. He felt at one with all the poets who have sung of love. 2) Of the same opinion, in agreement. Husband and wife were at one on everything but money. : .
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или Ready and willing to do whatever someone asks; ready to serve at a moment's notice. A good parent isn't necessarily always at the child's beck and call.
In best form; displaying one's best qualities. Tim is at his best when he has had a long swim before a ballgame. Jane rested before the important meeting because she wanted to be at her best.
или 1) Very close; very near where you live or work. Johnny is very lucky because there's a swimming pool right at his doorstep. Mr. Green can get to work in only a few minutes because the subway is at his door. 2) : .
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Close beside you; nearby. The President rode in an open car with his wife at his elbow. Mary practiced for several years to become a champion swimmer and her mother was always at her elbow to help her. : .
Under your influence or power. She had a dozen men at her feet. Her voice kept audiences at her feet for years. : .
1) Within easy reach; quickly touched; nearby. Seated in the cockpit, the pilot of a plane has many controls at his fingertips. 2) Readily usable as knowledge or skill; familiar. He had several languages at his fingertips. He had the whole design of the machine at his fingertips.
Close behind; as a constant follower or companion. The boy got tired of having his little brother at his heels all day. John ran by the finish line with Ned at his heels. Bad luck followed at his heels all his life.
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1) Ready to serve or help you; prepared to obey your wish or command; subject to your orders. He placed himself completely at the President's service. "Now I am at your service," the dentist told the next patient. 2) Available for your use; at your disposal. He put a car and chauffeur at the visitor's service.
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или Having no ideas as to how to meet a difficulty or solve a problem; feeling puzzled after having used up all of your ideas or resources; not knowing what to do; puzzled. He had approached every friend and acquaintance for help in vain, and now he was at his wit's end. The designer was at his wit's end: he had tried out wings of many different kinds but none would fly. : .
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1) In the same moment; together. Let's start the dance again all at one time. Mr. Reed's bills came all at one time and he could not pay them. : . 2) At a certain time in the past; years ago. At one time people thought that Minnesota was not a good place to live. At one time most school teachers were men, but today there are more women than men.
Making a special effort. At pains to make a good impression, she was prompt for her appointment.
At this time; now. It took a long time to get started, but at present the road is half finished. At present the house is empty, but next week a family will move in.
With no order, plan, or purpose; in a mixed-up, or thoughtless way. He opened the letters at random. His clothes were scattered about the room at random.
или 1) On an ocean voyage; on a journey by ship. They had first met at sea. 2) Out on the ocean; away from land. By the second day the ship was well out at sea. Charles had visited a ship in dock, but he had never been on a ship at sea.
Not knowing what to do; bewildered; confused; lost. The job was new to him, and for a few days he was at sea. When his friends talked about chemistry, Don was at sea, because he did not study chemistry. : .
или 1) The first time the person or thing is seen; as soon as the person or thing is seen. First graders learn to read many words on sight. Mary had seen many pictures of Grandfather, so she knew him on sight. : . 2) On demand, on asking the first time. The money order was payable at sight.
Not in order; in confusion; in a mess. He apologized because his wife was away and the house was at sixes and sevens. Our teacher had just moved to a new classroom, and she was still at sixes and sevens. After the captain of the team broke his leg, the other players were at sixes and sevens.
At (some) time during an activity; at (some) point. At that stage of the game, our team was doing so poorly that we were ready to give up. It's hard to know what will happen at this stage of the game. At what stage of the game did the man leave?
Depending, like a bet, on the outcome of something uncertain; in a position to be lost or gained. The team played hard because the championship of the state was at stake. The farmers were more anxious for rain than the people in the city because they had more at stake. : .
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Ready to start fighting; very much opposed to each; other hostile; quarreling. The dog's barking kept the Browns at swords' points with their neighbors for months. The mayor and the reporter were always at swords' points.
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, 1) As it is; at that point; without more talk or waiting. Ted was not quite satisfied with his haircut but let it go at that. 2) In addition; also. Bill's seat mate on the plane was a girl and a pretty one at that. 3) After all; in spite of all; anyway. The book was hard to understand, but at that Jack enjoyed it. : .
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, 1) Without waiting; immediately; promptly. If you need a babysitter quickly, call Mary, because she can come at the drop of a hat. : . 2) Whenever you have a chance; with very little cause or urging. At the drop of a hat, he would tell the story of the canal he wanted to build. He was quarrelsome and ready to fight at the drop of a hat.
At the last possible time. Aunt Mathilda got married at the eleventh hour; after all, she was already 49 years old.
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или In the power of; subject to the will and wishes of; without defense against. The champion had the other boxer at his mercy. The picnic was at the mercy of the weather. The small grocer was at the mercy of people he owed money to.
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At the start; at the beginning. "You'll live in the cheaper barracks at the outset; later you can move into the better cabins," the camp director said to the new boys.
Maximally; at the utmost. This old house can cost no more than $40,000 at the outside.
Very near to; almost at or in. When Mary broke her favorite bracelet, she was at the point of tears. The boy hurt in the accident lay at the point of death for a week, then he got well. : .
Ready for use. The sailor stood at the bow, harpoon at the ready, as the boat neared the whale.
1) In the same moment; together. The two runners reached the finish line at the same time. : . 2) In spite of that fact; even though; however; but; nevertheless. John did pass the test; at the same time, he didn't know the subject very well.
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или At a meal; at the dinner table. The telephone call came while they were all at table.
или , 1) Almost spoken; at the point of being said. It was at the tip of my tongue to tell him, when the phone rang. John had a rude answer on the tip of his tongue, but he remembered his manners just in time. 2) Almost remembered; at the point where one can almost say it but cannot because it is forgotten. I have his name on the tip of my tongue.
или As loud as you can; with the greatest possible sound; very loudly. He was singing at the top of his voice. He shouted at the top of his lungs.
или At a speed like this or that; with progress like this or that. John's father said that if John kept going at that rate he would never finish cutting the grass. So Johnny has a whole dollar! At this rate he'll be a millionaire. "Three 100's in the last four tests! At this rate you'll soon be teaching the subject," Tom said to Mary.
Not often; not regularly; not every day; not every week; occasionally; sometimes. At times Tom's mother lets him hold the baby. You can certainly be exasperating, at times! We have pie for dinner at times. : .
As you like; as you please or choose freely. Little Bobby is allowed to wander at will in the neighborhood. With an air conditioner you can enjoy comfortable temperatures at will.
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Busy at a job; doing work. The teacher was soon hard at work correcting that day's test. Jim is at work on his car.
или 1) Under the worst conditions; as the worst possibility. When Don was caught cheating in the examination he thought that at worst he would get a scolding. : . : . 2) In the least favorable view, to say the worst about a thing. The treasurer had certainly not stolen any of the club's money; at worst, he had forgotten to write down some of the things he had spent money for.
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, A successful professional or business woman who, due to her success in a masculine profession, doesn't care about the women's liberation movement or the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Hermione is a regular Aunt Tom, she'll never vote for the ERA.
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Adolescence; awkwardness during adolescence. Sue used to be an "ugly duckling" when she was at the awkward age, but today she is a glamorous fashion model.
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, Something to gain for yourself: a selfish reason. In praising movies for classroom use he has an ax to grind; he sells motion picture equipment. When Charles told the teacher he saw Arthur copying his homework from Jim, he had an ax to grind; Arthur would not let Charles copy from him.

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