British Library Cataloguing Data
The concise Oxford dictionary of current English.--8th ed.
1. English language--Dictionaries
I. Allen, R. E. (Robert Edward), 1944-423
ISBN 0-19-861243-5 thumb index
ISBN 0-19-861200-1 plain
each adj. & pron. --adj. every one of two or more persons or things,
regarded separately (each person; five in each class). --pron.
each person or thing (each of us; have two books each; cost a
penny each). Ьeach and every every single. each other one
another (used as a compound reciprocal pron. : they hate each
other; they wore each other's hats). each way Brit. (of a bet)
backing a horse etc. for both a win and a place. [OE ‘lc f. WG
(as AYE, ALIKE)]
eager adj. 1 a full of keen desire, enthusiastic. b (of passions
etc.) keen, impatient. 2 keen, impatient, strongly desirous
(eager to learn; eager for news). Ьeager beaver colloq. a very
or excessively diligent person. ЬЬeagerly adv. eagerness n.
[ME f. AF egre, OF aigre keen, ult. f. L acer acris]
eagle n. 1 a any of various large birds of prey of the family
Accipitridae, with keen vision and powerful flight. b a figure
of an eagle, esp. as a symbol of the US, or formerly as a Roman
or French ensign. 2 Golf a score of two strokes under par at
any hole. 3 US a coin worth ten dollars. Ьeagle eye keen
sight, watchfulness. eagle-eyed keen-sighted, watchful. eagle
owl any large owl of the genus Bubo, with long ear tufts. [ME
f. AF egle, OF aigle f. L aquila]
eaglet n. a young eagle.
eagre n. = BORE(3). [17th c.: orig. unkn.]
-ean suffix var. of -AN.
E. & O. E.
abbr. errors and omissions excepted.
ear(1) n. 1 a the organ of hearing and balance in man and vertebrates,
esp. the external part of this. b an organ sensitive to sound
in other animals. 2 the faculty for discriminating sounds (an
ear for music). 3 an ear-shaped thing, esp. the handle of a
jug. 4 listening, attention. Ьall ears listening attentively.
bring about one's ears bring down upon oneself. ear-drops 1
medicinal drops for the ear. 2 hanging earrings. ear lobe the
lower soft pendulous external part of the ear. ear-piercing
loud and shrill. ear-splitting excessively loud. ear-trumpet a
trumpet-shaped device formerly used as a hearing-aid. give ear
to listen to. have a person's ear receive a favourable hearing.
have (or keep) an ear to the ground be alert to rumours or the
trend of opinion. in one ear and out the other heard but
disregarded or quickly forgotten. out on one's ear dismissed
ignominiously. up to one's ears (often foll. by in) colloq.
deeply involved or occupied. ЬЬeared adj. (also in comb.).
earless adj. [OE eare f. Gmc: rel. to L auris, Gk ous]
ear(2) n. the seed-bearing head of a cereal plant. [OE ear f. Gmc]
earache n. a (usu. prolonged) pain in the ear.
earbash v.tr. esp. Austral. sl. talk inordinately to; harangue.
ЬЬearbasher n. earbashing n.
eardrum n. the membrane of the middle ear (= tympanic membrane).
earful n. (pl. -fuls) colloq. 1 a copious or prolonged amount of
talking. 2 a strong reprimand.
earl n. a British nobleman ranking between a marquess and a viscount
(cf. COUNT(2)). ЬEarl Marshal (in the UK) the officer
presiding over the College of Heralds, with ceremonial duties on
various royal occasions. Earl Palatine hist. an earl having
royal authority within his country or domain. ЬЬearldom n. [OE
eorl, of unkn. orig.]
early adj., adv., & n. --adj. & adv. (earlier, earliest) 1 before
the due, usual, or expected time (was early for my appointment;
the train arrived early). 2 a not far on in the day or night,
or in time (early evening; at the earliest opportunity). b
prompt (early payment appreciated; at your earliest
convenience). 3 a not far on in a period, development, or
process of evolution; being the first stage (Early English
architecture; the early Christians; early Spring). b of the
distant past (early man). c not far on in a sequence or serial
order (the early chapters; appears early in the list). 4 a of
childhood, esp. the preschool years (early learning). b (of a
piece of writing, music, etc.) immature, youthful (an early
work). 5 forward in flowering, ripening, etc. (early peaches).
--n. (pl. -ies) (usu. in pl.) an early fruit or vegetable,
esp. potatoes. Ьat the earliest (often placed after a specified
time) not before (will arrive on Monday at the earliest). early
bird colloq. one who arrives, gets up, etc. early. early
closing Brit. the shutting of business premises on the
afternoon of one particular day of the week. early days early
in time for something to happen etc. early grave an untimely or
premature death. early hours the very early morning, usu.
before dawn. early (or earlier) on at an early (or earlier)
stage. early warning advance warning of an imminent (esp.
nuclear) attack. ЬЬearliness n. [orig. as adv., f. OE ‘rlice,
arlice (‘r ERE)]
earmark n. & v. --n. 1 an identifying mark. 2 an owner's mark on the
ear of an animal. --v.tr. 1 set aside (money etc.) for a
special purpose. 2 mark (sheep etc.) with such a mark.
earmuff n. a wrap or cover for the ears, protecting them from cold,
earn v.tr. 1 (also absol.) a (of a person) obtain (income) in the
form of money in return for labour or services (earn a weekly
wage; happy to be earning at last). b (of capital invested)
bring in as interest or profit. 2 a deserve; be entitled to;
obtain as the reward for hard work or merit (have earned a
holiday; earned our admiration; earn one's keep). b incur (a
reproach, reputation, etc.). Ьearned income income derived from
wages etc. (opp. unearned income). [OE earnian f. WG, rel. to
Gmc roots assoc. with reaping]
earner n. 1 a person or thing that earns (often in comb.:
wage-earner). 2 sl. a lucrative job or enterprise.
adj. & n. --adj. ardently or intensely serious; zealous; not
trifling or joking. --n. seriousness. Ьin (or in real) earnest
serious(ly), not joking(ly); with determination. ЬЬearnestly
adv. earnestness n. [OE eornust, eornost (with Gmc cognates):
cf. ON ern vigorous]
n. 1 money paid as an instalment, esp. to confirm a contract
etc. 2 a token or foretaste (in earnest of what is to come).
[ME ernes, prob. var. of erles, arles prob. f. med.L arrhula
(unrecorded) f. arr(h)a pledge]
earnings n.pl. money earned. Ьearnings-related (of benefit, a pension,
etc.) calculated on the basis of past or present income.
earphone n. a device applied to the ear to aid hearing or receive radio
or telephone communications.
earpiece n. the part of a telephone etc. applied to the ear during use.
earplug n. a piece of wax etc. placed in the ear to protect against
cold air, water, or noise.
earring n. a piece of jewellery worn in or on (esp. the lobe of) the
earshot n. the distance over which something can be heard (esp. within
or out of earshot).
earth n. & v. --n. 1 a (also Earth) one of the planets of the solar
system orbiting about the sun between Venus and Mars; the planet
on which we live. b land and sea, as distinct from sky. 2 a
dry land; the ground (fell to earth). b soil, clay, mould. c
bodily matter (earth to earth). 3 Relig. the present abode of
mankind, as distinct from heaven or hell; the world. 4 Brit.
Electr. the connection to the earth as an arbitrary reference
voltage in an electrical circuit. 5 the hole of a badger, fox,
etc. 6 (prec. by the) colloq. a huge amount; everything (cost
the earth; want the earth). --v. 1 tr. (foll. by up) cover
(the roots and lower stems of plants) with heaped-up earth. 2 a
tr. drive (a fox) to its earth. b intr. (of a fox etc.) run to
its earth. 3 tr. Brit. Electr. connect to the earth. Ьcome
back (or down) to earth return to realities. earth-closet a
lavatory with dry earth used to cover excreta. earth-hog (or
-pig) = AARDVARK. earth mother 1 Mythol. a spirit or deity
symbolizing the earth. 2 a sensual and maternal woman.
earth-nut any of various plants, or its edible roundish tuber,
esp.: 1 an umbelliferous woodland plant, Conopodium majus. 2
the peanut. earth sciences the sciences concerned with the
earth or part of it, or its atmosphere (e.g. geology,
oceanography, meteorology). earth-shattering colloq. having a
traumatic or devastating effect. earth-shatteringly colloq.
devastatingly, remarkably. earth tremor see TREMOR n. 3. gone
to earth in hiding. on earth colloq. existing anywhere;
emphatically (the happiest man on earth; looked like nothing on
earth; what on earth?). ЬЬearthward adj. & adv. earthwards
adv. [OE eorthe f. Gmc]
adj. 1 attached to the earth or earthly things. 2 moving
towards the earth.
earthen adj. 1 made of earth. 2 made of baked clay.
n. & adj. --n. pottery, vessels, etc., made of clay fired to a
porous state which can be made impervious to liquids by the use
of a glaze (cf. PORCELAIN). --adj. made of fired clay.
[EARTHEN + WARE(1)]
earthling n. an inhabitant of the earth, esp. as regarded in fiction by
earthly adj. 1 of the earth or human life on earth; terrestrial. 2
(usu. with neg.) colloq. remotely possible or conceivable (is no
earthly use; there wasn't an earthly reason). Ьnot an earthly
colloq. no chance whatever. ЬЬearthliness n.
n. 1 a convulsion of the superficial parts of the earth due to
the release of accumulated stress as a result of faults in
strata or volcanic action. 2 a social etc. disturbance.
n. Astron. 1 the unilluminated portion of a crescent moon
shining faintly because of sunlight reflected from the earth on
to the moon. 2 illumination on the moon's surface caused by
earthstar n. any woodland fungus of the genus Geastrum, esp. G. triplex,
with a spherical spore-containing fruit body surrounded by a
fleshy star-shaped structure.
earthwork n. 1 an artificial bank of earth in fortification or
road-building etc. 2 the process of excavating soil in civil
earthworm n. any of various annelid worms, esp. of the genus Lumbricus or
Allolobophora, living and burrowing in the ground.
earthy adj. (earthier, earthiest) 1 of or like earth or soil. 2
somewhat coarse or crude; unrefined (earthy humour). ЬЬearthily
adv. earthiness n.
earwax n. a yellow waxy secretion produced by the ear, = CERUMEN.
earwig n. & v. --n. 1 any small elongate insect of the order
Dermaptera, with a pair of terminal appendages in the shape of
forceps. 2 US a small centipede. --v.tr. (earwigged,
earwigging) archaic influence (a person) by secret
communication. [OE earwicga f. eare EAR(1) + wicga earwig,
prob. rel. to wiggle: once thought to enter the head through the
ease n. & v. --n. 1 absence of difficulty; facility, effortlessness
(did it with ease). 2 a freedom or relief from pain, anxiety,
or trouble. b freedom from embarrassment or awkwardness. c
freedom or relief from constraint or formality. --v. 1 tr.
relieve from pain or anxiety etc. (often foll. by of : eased my
mind; eased me of the burden). 2 intr. (often foll. by off, up)
a become less painful or burdensome. b relax; begin to take it
easy. c slow down; moderate one's behaviour, habits, etc. 3
tr. joc. rob or extract money etc. from (let me ease you of
your loose change). 4 intr. Meteorol. become less severe (the
wind will ease tonight). 5 a tr. relax; slacken; make a less
tight fit. b tr. & intr. (foll. by through, into, etc.) move or
be moved carefully into place (eased it into the hole). 6 intr.
(often foll. by off) Stock Exch. (of shares etc.) descend in
price or value. Ьat ease 1 free from anxiety or constraint. 2
Mil. a in a relaxed attitude, with the feet apart. b the order
to stand in this way. at one's ease free from embarrassment,
awkwardness, or undue formality. ease away (or down or off)
Naut. slacken (a rope, sail, etc.). ЬЬeaser n. [ME f. AF ese,
OF eise, ult. f. L adjacens ADJACENT]
easel n. 1 a standing frame, usu. of wood, for supporting an artist's
work, a blackboard, etc. 2 an artist's work collectively. [Du.
ezel = G Esel ASS(1)]
easement n. Law a right of way or a similar right over another's land.
[ME f. OF aisement]
easily adv. 1 without difficulty. 2 by far (easily the best). 3 very
probably (it could easily snow).
east n., adj., & adv. --n. 1 a the point of the horizon where the
sun rises at the equinoxes (cardinal point 90ш to the right of
north). b the compass point corresponding to this. c the
direction in which this lies. 2 (usu. the East) a the regions
or countries lying to the east of Europe. b the Communist
States of eastern Europe. 3 the eastern part of a country,
town, etc. 4 (East) Bridge a player occupying the position
designated 'east'. --adj. 1 towards, at, near, or facing east.
2 coming from the east (east wind). --adv. 1 towards, at, or
near the east. 2 (foll. by of) further east than. ЬEast End
the part of London east of the City as far as the River Lea.
East Ender an inhabitant of the East End. East Indiaman hist.
a large ship engaged in trade with the East Indies. East Indies
the islands etc. east of India, esp. the Malay archipelago.
east-north (or -south) -east the direction or compass point
midway between east and north-east (or south-east). to the east
(often foll. by of) in an easterly direction. [OE east- f. Gmc]
eastbound adj. travelling or leading eastwards.
Easter n. 1 (also Easter Day or Sunday) the festival (held on a
variable Sunday in March or April) commemorating Christ's
resurrection. 2 the season in which this occurs, esp. the
weekend from Good Friday to Easter Monday. ЬEaster egg an
artificial usu. chocolate egg given at Easter, esp. to children.
Easter week the week beginning on Easter Sunday. [OE eastre
app. f. Eostre, a goddess associated with spring, f. Gmc]
easterly adj., adv., & n. --adj. & adv. 1 in an eastern position or
direction. 2 (of a wind) blowing from the east. --n. (pl.
-ies) a wind blowing from the east.
eastern adj. 1 of or in the east; inhabiting the east. 2 lying or
directed towards the east. 3 (Eastern) of or in the Far,
Middle, or Near East. ЬEastern Church the Orthodox Church.
Eastern hemisphere the half of the earth containing Europe,
Asia, and Africa. Eastern Time standard time used in eastern
Canada and the US or in eastern Australia. ЬЬeasternmost adj.
[OE easterne (as EAST, -ERN)]
easterner n. a native or inhabitant of the east.
n. the period including Easter.
easting n. Naut. etc. the distance travelled or the angle of longitude
measured eastward from either a defined north-south grid line or
eastward adj., adv., & n. --adj. & adv. (also eastwards) towards the
east. --n. an eastward direction or region. ЬЬeastwardly adj.
easy adj., adv., & int. (easier, easiest) --adj. 1 not difficult;
achieved without great effort. 2 a free from pain, discomfort,
anxiety, etc. b comfortably off, affluent (easy circumstances).
3 free from embarrassment, awkwardness, constraint, etc.;
relaxed and pleasant (an easy manner). 4 compliant, obliging;
easily persuaded (an easy touch). 5 Stock Exch. (of goods,
money on loan, etc.) not much in demand. --adv. with ease; in
an effortless or relaxed manner. --int. go carefully; move
gently. Ьeasy as pie see PIE(1). easy chair a large
comfortable chair, usu. an armchair. easy come easy go colloq.
what is easily got is soon lost or spent. easy does it colloq.
go carefully. easy money money got without effort (esp. of
dubious legality). easy of access easily entered or approached.
easy on the eye (or ear etc.) colloq. pleasant to look at (or
listen to etc.). easy-peasy sl. very simple. Easy Street
colloq. affluence. easy terms payment by instalments. go easy
(foll. by with, on) be sparing or cautious. I'm easy colloq. I
have no preference. of easy virtue (of a woman) sexually
promiscuous. stand easy! Brit. Mil. permission to a squad
standing at ease to relax their attitude further. take it easy
1 proceed gently or carefully. 2 relax; avoid overwork.
ЬЬeasiness n. [ME f. AF ais‚, OF aisi‚ past part. of aisier
easygoing adj. 1 placid and tolerant; relaxed in manner; accepting things
as they are. 2 (of a horse) having an easy gait.
eat v. (past ate; past part. eaten) 1 a tr. take into the mouth,
chew, and swallow (food). b intr. consume food; take a meal. c
tr. devour (eaten by a lion). 2 intr. (foll. by (away) at,
into) a destroy gradually, esp. by corrosion, erosion, disease,
etc. b begin to consume or diminish (resources etc.). 3 tr.
colloq. trouble, vex (what's eating you?). Ьeat dirt see DIRT.
eat one's hat colloq. admit one's surprise in being wrong (only
as a proposition unlikely to be fulfilled : said he would eat
his hat). eat one's heart out suffer from excessive longing or
envy. eat humble pie see HUMBLE. eat out have a meal away from
home, esp. in a restaurant. eat out of a person's hand be
entirely submissive to a person. eat salt with see SALT. eat
up 1 (also absol.) eat or consume completely. 2 use or deal
with rapidly or wastefully (eats up petrol; eats up the miles).
3 encroach upon or annex (eating up the neighbouring States). 4
absorb, preoccupy (eaten up with pride). eat one's words admit
that one was wrong. [OE etan f. Gmc]
eatable adj. & n. --adj. that is in a condition to be eaten (cf.
EDIBLE). --n. (usu. in pl.) food.
eater n. 1 a person who eats (a big eater). 2 Brit. an eating apple
eatery n. US (pl. -ies) colloq. a restaurant or eating-place.
eating adj. 1 suitable for eating (eating apple). 2 used for eating
eats n.pl. colloq. food.
n. an alcohol-based perfume of a kind made orig. at Cologne.
[F, lit. 'water of Cologne']
n. a pale greenish colour. [F, lit. 'water of the Nile' (from
the supposed resemblance)]
n. spirits, esp. brandy. [F, lit. 'water of life']
eaves n.pl. the underside of a projecting roof. [orig. sing., f. OE
efes: prob. rel. to OVER]
eavesdrop v.intr. (-dropped, -dropping) listen secretly to a private
conversation. ЬЬeavesdropper n. [eavesdropper orig. 'one who
listens under walls' prob. f. ON upsardropi (cf. OE yf‘sdryp‘):
eavesdrop by back-form.]
ebb n. & v. --n. 1 the movement of the tide out to sea (also
attrib. : ebb tide). 2 the process of draining away of
flood-water etc. --v.intr. (often foll. by away) 1 (of
tidewater) flow out to sea; recede; drain away. 2 decline; run
low (his life was ebbing away). Ьat a low ebb in a poor
condition or state of decline. ebb and flow a continuing
process of decline and upturn in circumstances. on the ebb in
decline. [OE ebba, ebbian]
ebonite n. = VULCANITE. [EBONY + -ITE(1)]
ebony n. & adj. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 a heavy hard dark wood used for
furniture. 2 any of various trees of the genus Diospyros
producing this. --adj. 1 made of ebony. 2 black like ebony.
[earlier hebeny f. (h)eben(e) = ebon, perh. after ivory]
ebullient disp. adj. 1 exuberant, high-spirited. 2 Chem. boiling.
ЬЬebullience n. ebulliency n. ebulliently adv. [L ebullire
ebullient- bubble out (as E-, bullire boil)]
EC abbr. 1 East Central (London postal district). 2 executive
committee. 3 a European Community. b European Commission.
ecad n. Ecol. an organism modified by its environment. [Gk oikos
house + -AD]
‚cart‚ n. 1 a card-game for two persons in which cards from a player's
hand may be exchanged for others from the pack. 2 a position in
classical ballet with one arm and leg extended. [F, past part.
of ‚carter discard]
Ecce Homo n. Art one of the subjects of the Passion cycle: in Renaissance
painting typically a depiction of Christ wearing the crown of
thorns. [L, = 'behold the man', the words of Pilate to the Jews
after the crowning with thorns (John 19:5)]
eccentric adj. & n. --adj. 1 odd or capricious in behaviour or
appearance; whimsical. 2 a not placed, not having its axis etc.
placed centrally. b (often foll. by to) (of a circle) not
concentric (to another). c (of an orbit) not circular. --n. 1
an eccentric person. 2 Mech. an eccentric contrivance for
changing rotatory into backward-and-forward motion, e.g. the cam
used in an internal-combustion engine. ЬЬeccentrically adv.
eccentricity n. (pl. -ies). [LL eccentricus f. Gk ekkentros
f. ek out of + kentros CENTRE]
Eccles. abbr. Ecclesiastes (Old Testament).
n. a round flat cake made of pastry filled with currants etc.
[Eccles in N. England]
ecclesial adj. of or relating to a Church. [Gk ekklesia assembly, church
f. ekkletos summoned out f. ek out + kaleo call]
n. & adj. --n. a priest or clergyman. --adj. = ECCLESIASTICAL.
ЬЬecclesiasticism n. [F eccl‚siastique or LL ecclesiasticus f.
Gk ekklesiastikos f. ekklesia assembly, church: see ECCLESIAL]
adj. of the Church or the clergy. ЬЬecclesiastically adv.
n. 1 the study of churches, esp. church building and
decoration. 2 theology as applied to the nature and structure
of the Christian Church. ЬЬecclesiological adj. ecclesiologist
n. [Gk ekklesia assembly, church (see ECCLESIAL) + -LOGY]
Ecclus. abbr. Ecclesiasticus (Apocrypha).
eccrine adj. (of a gland, e.g. a sweat gland) secreting without loss of
cell material. [Gk ek out of + krino sift]
ecdysis n. the action of casting off skin or shedding an exoskeleton
etc. [mod.L f. Gk ekdusis f. ekduo put off]
ECG abbr. electrocardiogram.
echelon n. & v. --n. 1 a level or rank in an organization, in society,
etc.; those occupying it (often in pl. : the upper echelons).
2 Mil. a formation of troops, ships, aircraft, etc., in parallel
rows with the end of each row projecting further than the one in
front (in echelon). --v.tr. arrange in an echelon. [F ‚chelon
f. ‚chelle ladder f. L scala]
echeveria n. any succulent plant of the genus Echeveria, native to
Central and S. America. [M. Echeveri, 19th-c. Mex. botanical
echidna n. any of several egg-laying pouch-bearing mammals native to
Australia and New Guinea, with a covering of spines, and having
a long snout and long claws. Also called spiny anteater. [mod.L
f. Gk ekhidna viper]
n. any marine invertebrate of the phylum Echinodermata, usu.
having a spiny skin, e.g. starfish and sea urchins. [ECHINUS +
Gk derma -atos skin]
echinoid n. a sea urchin.
echinus n. 1 any sea urchin of the genus Echinus, including the common
European edible urchin, E. esculentus. 2 Archit. a rounded
moulding below an abacus on a Doric or Ionic capital. [ME f. L
f. Gk ekhinos hedgehog, sea urchin]
echo n. & v. --n. (pl. -oes) 1 a the repetition of a sound by the
reflection of sound waves. b the secondary sound produced. 2 a
reflected radio or radar beam. 3 a close imitation or
repetition of something already done. 4 a person who slavishly
repeats the words or opinions of another. 5 (often in pl.)
circumstances or events reminiscent of or remotely connected
with earlier ones. 6 Bridge etc. a conventional mode of play to
show the number of cards held in the suit led etc. --v. (-oes,
-oed) 1 intr. a (of a place) resound with an echo. b (of a
sound) be repeated; resound. 2 tr. repeat (a sound) by an echo.
3 tr. a repeat (another's words). b imitate the words,
opinions, or actions of (a person). Ьecho chamber an enclosure
with sound-reflecting walls. echo location the location of
objects by reflected sound. echo-sounder sounding apparatus for
determining the depth of the sea beneath a ship by measuring the
time taken for an echo to be received. echo-sounding the use of
an echo-sounder. echo verse a verse form in which a line
repeats the last syllables of the previous line. ЬЬechoer n.
echoless adj. [ME f. OF or L f. Gk ekho, rel. to ekhe a sound]
n. Med. a record produced by echocardiography.
n. Med. the use of ultrasound waves to investigate the action
of the heart. ЬЬechocardiograph n. echocardiographer n.
n. Med. a record produced by echoencephalography.
n. Med. the use of ultrasound waves to investigate
echogram n. a record made by an echo-sounder.
echograph n. a device for automatically recording echograms.
echoic adj. Phonet. (of a word) imitating the sound it represents;
onomatopoeic. ЬЬechoically adv.
echoism n. = ONOMATOPOEIA.
echolalia n. 1 the meaningless repetition of another person's spoken
words. 2 the repetition of speech by a child learning to talk.
[mod.L f. Gk ekho echo + lalia talk]
echovirus n. (also ECHO virus) any of a group of enteroviruses sometimes
causing mild meningitis, encephalitis, etc. [f. enteric
cytopathogenic human orphan (because not originally assignable
to any known disease) + VIRUS]
echt adj. authentic, genuine, typical. [G]
‚clair n. a small elongated cake of choux pastry filled with cream and
iced with chocolate or coffee icing. [F, lit. lightning, flash]
n. archaic an enlightening explanation of something hitherto
inexplicable (e.g. conduct etc.). [F f. ‚claircir clear up]
eclampsia n. a condition involving convulsions leading to coma, occurring
esp. in pregnant women. ЬЬeclamptic adj. [mod.L f. F
eclampsie f. Gk eklampsis sudden development f. eklampo shine
‚clat n. 1 brilliant display; dazzling effect. 2 social distinction;
conspicuous success; universal approbation (with great ‚clat).
[F f. ‚clater burst out]
eclectic adj. & n. --adj. 1 deriving ideas, tastes, style, etc., from
various sources. 2 Philos. & Art selecting one's beliefs etc.
from various sources; attached to no particular school of
philosophy. --n. 1 an eclectic person. 2 a person who
subscribes to an eclectic school of thought. ЬЬeclectically
adv. eclecticism n. [Gk eklektikos f. eklego pick out]
eclipse n. & v. --n. 1 the obscuring of the reflected light from one
celestial body by the passage of another between it and the eye
or between it and its source of illumination. 2 a deprivation
of light or the period of this. 3 a rapid or sudden loss of
importance or prominence, esp. in relation to another or a
newly-arrived person or thing. --v.tr. 1 (of a celestial body)
obscure the light from or to (another). 2 intercept (light,
esp. of a lighthouse). 3 deprive of prominence or importance;
outshine, surpass. Ьin eclipse 1 surpassed; in decline. 2 (of
a bird) having lost its courting plumage. ЬЬeclipser n. [ME f.
OF f. L f. Gk ekleipsis f. ekleipo fail to appear, be eclipsed
f. leipo leave]
ecliptic n. & adj. --n. the sun's apparent path among the stars during
the year. --adj. of an eclipse or the ecliptic. [ME f. L f. Gk
ekleiptikos (as ECLIPSE)]
eclogue n. a short poem, esp. a pastoral dialogue. [L ecloga f. Gk
ekloge selection f. eklego pick out]
eclosion n. the emergence of an insect from a pupa-case or of a larva
from an egg. [F ‚closion f. ‚clore hatch (as EX-(1), L
claudere to close)]
eco- comb. form ecology, ecological.
n. climate considered as an ecological factor.
ecology n. 1 the branch of biology dealing with the relations of
organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. 2
(in full human ecology) the study of the interaction of people
with their environment. ЬЬecological adj. ecologically adv.
ecologist n. [G ™kologie f. Gk oikos house]
Econ. abbr. Economics.
n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) a branch of economics concerned
with the application of mathematical economics to economic data
by the use of statistics. ЬЬeconometric adj. econometrical
adj. econometrician n. econometrist n. [ECONOMY + METRIC]
economic adj. 1 of or relating to economics. 2 maintained for profit;
on a business footing. 3 adequate to repay or recoup
expenditure with some profit (not economic to run buses on
Sunday; an economic rent). 4 practical; considered or studied
with regard to human needs (economic geography). ЬЬeconomically
adv. [ME f. OF economique or L oeconomicus f. Gk oikonomikos
adj. sparing in the use of resources; avoiding waste.
economics n.pl. (treated as sing.) 1 a the science of the production and
distribution of wealth. b the application of this to a
particular subject (the economics of publishing). 2 the
condition of a country etc. as regards material prosperity.
economist n. 1 an expert in or student of economics. 2 a person who
manages financial or economic matters. [Gk oikonomos (as
ECONOMY) + -IST]
economize v.intr. (also -ise) 1 be economical; make economies; reduce
expenditure. 2 (foll. by on) use sparingly; spend less on.
ЬЬeconomization n. economizer n.
economy n. (pl. -ies) 1 a the wealth and resources of a community,
esp. in terms of the production and consumption of goods and
services. b a particular kind of this (a capitalist economy).
c the administration or condition of an economy. 2 a the
careful management of (esp. financial) resources; frugality. b
(often in pl.) an instance of this (made many economies). 3
sparing or careful use (economy of language). 4 (also economy
class) the cheapest class of air travel. 5 (attrib.) (also
economy-size) (of goods) consisting of a large quantity for a
proportionally lower cost. [F ‚conomie or L oeconomia f. Gk
oikonomia household management f. oikos house + nemo manage]
ecosphere n. the region of space including planets where conditions are
such that living things can exist.
‚cossaise n. 1 an energetic dance in duple time. 2 the music for this.
[F, fem. of ‚cossais Scottish]
ecosystem n. a biological community of interacting organisms and their
ecru n. the colour of unbleached linen; light fawn. [F ‚cru
ecstasize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise) throw or go into ecstasies.
ecstasy n. (pl. -ies) 1 an overwhelming feeling of joy or rapture. 2
Psychol. an emotional or religious frenzy or trancelike state.
3 sl. methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a powerful stimulant and
hallucinatory drug (see MDMA). [ME f. OF extasie f. LL extasis
f. Gk ekstasis standing outside oneself f. ek out + histemi to
ecstatic adj. & n. --adj. 1 in a state of ecstasy. 2 very enthusiastic
or excited (was ecstatic about his new job). 3 producing
ecstasy; sublime (an ecstatic embrace). --n. a person subject
to (usu. religious) ecstasy. ЬЬecstatically adv. [F extatique
f. Gk ekstatikos (as ECSTASY)]
ECT abbr. electroconvulsive therapy.
ecto- comb. form outside. [Gk ekto- stem of ektos outside]
ectoblast n. = ECTODERM. ЬЬectoblastic adj.
ectoderm n. Biol. the outermost layer of an animal embryo in early
development. ЬЬectodermal adj.
n. Biol. the production of structures outside the organism.
ЬЬectogenetic adj. ectogenic adj. ectogenous adj. [mod.L (as
ectomorph n. a person with a lean and delicate build of body and large
skin surface in comparison with weight (cf. ENDOMORPH,
MESOMORPH). ЬЬectomorphic adj. ectomorphy n. [ECTO- + Gk
-ectomy comb. form denoting a surgical operation in which a part of the
body is removed (appendectomy). [Gk ektome excision f. ek out
+ temno cut]
ectopic adj. Med. in an abnormal place or position. Ьectopic
pregnancy a pregnancy occurring outside the womb. [mod.L
ectopia f. Gk ektopos out of place]
ectoplasm n. 1 the dense outer layer of the cytoplasm (cf. ENDOPLASM).
2 the supposed viscous substance exuding from the body of a
spiritualistic medium during a trance. ЬЬectoplasmic adj.
ectozoon n. Biol. a parasite that lives on the outside of its host.
ECU abbr. European currency unit.
adj. 1 of or representing the whole Christian world. 2 seeking
or promoting worldwide Christian unity. ЬЬecumenically adv.
[LL oecumenicus f. Gk oikoumenikos of the inhabited earth
n. (also ecumenism) the principle or aim of the unity of
eczema n. inflammation of the skin, with itching and discharge from
blisters. ЬЬeczematous adj. [mod.L f. Gk ekzema -atos f. ek
out + zeo boil]
-ed(1) suffix forming adjectives: 1 from nouns, meaning 'having,
wearing, affected by, etc.' (talented; trousered; diseased). 2
from phrases of adjective and noun (good-humoured;
three-cornered). [OE - ede]
-ed(2) suffix forming: 1 the past tense and past participle of weak
verbs (needed; risked). 2 participial adjectives (escaped
prisoner; a pained look). [OE -ed, -ad, -od]
Edam n. a round Dutch cheese, usu. pale yellow with a red rind.
[Edam in Holland]
edaphic adj. 1 Bot. of the soil. 2 Ecol. produced or influenced by the
soil. [G edaphisch f. Gk edaphos floor]
Edda n. 1 (also Elder Edda, Poetic Edda) a collection of medieval
Icelandic poems on Norse legends. 2 (also Younger Edda, Prose
Edda) a 13th-c. miscellaneous handbook to Icelandic poetry.
[perh. a name in a Norse poem or f. ON ўthr poetry]
eddo n. (pl. -oes) = TARO. [Afr. word]
eddy n. & v. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 a circular movement of water
causing a small whirlpool. 2 a movement of wind, fog, or smoke
resembling this. --v.tr. & intr. (-ies, -ied) whirl round in
eddies. Ьeddy current Electr. a localized current induced in a
conductor by a varying magnetic field. [prob. OE ed- again,
back, perh. of Scand. orig.]
edelweiss n. an Alpine plant, Leontopodium alpinum, with woolly white
bracts around the flower-heads, growing in rocky places. [G f.
edel noble + weiss white]
edema US var. of OEDEMA.
Eden n. (also Garden of Eden) a place or state of great happiness;
paradise (with reference to the abode of Adam and Eve in the
biblical account of the Creation). [ME f. LL f. Gk Eden f. Heb.
' eden, orig. = delight]
edentate adj. & n. --adj. having no or few teeth. --n. any mammal, esp.
of the order Edentata, having no or few teeth, e.g. an anteater
or sloth. [L edentatus (as E-, dens dentis tooth)]
edge n. & v. --n. 1 a boundary line or margin of an area or
surface. 2 a narrow surface of a thin object. 3 the
meeting-line of two surfaces of a solid. 4 a the sharpened side
of the blade of a cutting instrument or weapon. b the sharpness
of this (the knife has lost its edge). 5 the area close to a
steep drop (along the edge of the cliff). 6 anything compared
to an edge, esp. the crest of a ridge. 7 a (as a personal
attribute) incisiveness, excitement. b keenness, excitement
(esp. as an element in an otherwise routine situation). --v. 1
tr. & intr. (often foll. by in, into, out, etc.) move gradually
or furtively towards an objective (edged it into the corner;
they all edged towards the door). 2 tr. a provide with an edge
or border. b form a border to. c trim the edge of. 3 tr.
sharpen (a knife, tool, etc.). 4 tr. Cricket strike (the ball)
with the edge of the bat. Ьhave the edge on (or over) have a
slight advantage over. on edge 1 tense and restless or
irritable. 2 eager, excited. on the edge of almost involved in
or affected by. set a person's teeth on edge (of a taste or
sound) cause an unpleasant nervous sensation. take the edge off
dull, weaken; make less effective or intense. ЬЬedgeless adj.
edger n. [OE ecg f. Gmc]
edgeways adv. (also edgewise) 1 with the edge uppermost or towards the
viewer. 2 edge to edge. Ьget a word in edgeways contribute to
a conversation when the dominant speaker pauses briefly.
edging n. 1 something forming an edge or border, e.g. a fringe or
lace. 2 the process of making an edge. Ьedging-shears shears
for trimming the edges of a lawn.
edible adj. & n. --adj. fit or suitable to be eaten (cf. EATABLE).
--n. (in pl.) food. ЬЬedibility n. [LL edibilis f. edere eat]
edict n. an order proclaimed by authority. ЬЬedictal adj. [ME f. L
edictum f. edicere proclaim]
edifice n. 1 a building, esp. a large imposing one. 2 a complex
organizational or conceptual structure. [ME f. OF f. L
aedificium f. aedis dwelling + - ficium f. facere make]
edify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) (of a circumstance, experience, etc.)
instruct and improve morally or intellectually. ЬЬedification
n. edifying adj. edifyingly adv. [ME f. OF edifier f. L
aedificare (as EDIFICE)]
edit v. & n. --v.tr. (edited, editing) 1 a assemble, prepare, or
modify (written material, esp. the work of another or others)
for publication. b prepare an edition of (an author's work). 2
be in overall charge of the content and arrangement of (a
newspaper, journal, etc.). 3 take extracts from and collate
(films, tape-recordings, etc.) to form a unified sequence. 4 a
prepare (data) for processing by a computer. b alter (a text
entered in a word processor etc.). 5 a reword to correct, or to
alter the emphasis. b (foll. by out) remove (part) from a text
etc. --n. 1 a a piece of editing. b an edited item. 2 a
facility for editing. [F ‚diter (as EDITION): partly a
back-form. f. EDITOR]
edition n. 1 a one of the particular forms in which a literary work
etc. is published (paperback edition; pocket edition). b a
copy of a book in a particular form (a first edition). 2 a
whole number of copies of a book, newspaper, etc., issued at one
time. 3 a particular version or instance of a broadcast, esp.
of a regular programme or feature. 4 a person or thing similar
to or resembling another (a miniature edition of her mother).
[F ‚dition f. L editio -onis f. edere edit- put out (as E-,
n. (pl. editiones principes) the first printed edition of a
book, text, etc. [L]
editor n. 1 a person who edits material for publication or
broadcasting. 2 a person who directs the preparation of a
newspaper or periodical, or a particular section of one (sports
editor). 3 a person who selects or commissions material for
publication. 4 a person who edits film, sound track, etc. 5 a
computer program for modifying data. ЬЬeditorship n. [LL, =
producer (of games), publisher (as EDIT)]
editorial adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or concerned with editing or editors. 2
written or approved by an editor. --n. a newspaper article
written by or on behalf of an editor, esp. one giving an
opinion on a topical issue. ЬЬeditorialist n. editorialize
v.intr. (also -ise). editorially adv.
-edly suffix forming adverbs from verbs, meaning 'in a manner
characterized by performance of or undergoing of the verbal
action' (allegedly; disgustedly; hurriedly).
EDP abbr. electronic data processing.
EDT abbr. US Eastern Daylight Time.
educate v.tr. (also absol.) 1 give intellectual, moral, and social
instruction to (a pupil, esp. a child), esp. as a formal and
prolonged process. 2 provide education for. 3 (often foll. by
in, or to + infin.) train or instruct for a particular purpose.
4 advise; give information to. ЬЬeducable adj. educability n.
educatable adj. educative adj. educator n. [L educare
educat-, rel. to educere EDUCE]
educated adj. 1 having had an education, esp. to a higher level than
average. 2 resulting from a (good) education (an educated
accent). 3 based on experience or study (an educated guess).
education n. 1 the act or process of educating or being educated;
systematic instruction. 2 a particular kind of or stage in
education (further education; a classical education). 3 a
development of character or mental powers. b a stage in or
aspect of this (travel will be an education for you).
ЬЬeducational adj. educationalist n. educationally adv.
educationist n. [F ‚ducation or L educatio (as EDUCATE)]
educe v.tr. 1 bring out or develop from latent or potential
existence; elicit. 2 infer; elicit a principle, number, etc.,
from data. ЬЬeducible adj. eduction n. eductive adj. [ME f.
L educere educt- lead out (as E-, ducere lead)]
Edw. abbr. Edward.
Edwardian adj. & n. --adj. of, characteristic of, or associated with the
reign of King Edward VII (1901-10). --n. a person belonging to
-ee suffix forming nouns denoting: 1 the person affected by the
verbal action (addressee; employee; lessee). 2 a person
concerned with or described as (absentee; bargee; refugee). 3
an object of smaller size (bootee). [from or after AF past
part. in -‚ f. L -atus]
EEC abbr. European Economic Community.
EEG abbr. electroencephalogram.
eel n. 1 any of various snakelike fish, with slender body and
poorly developed fins. 2 a slippery or evasive person or thing.
Ьeel-grass 1 any marine plant of the genus Zostera, with long
ribbon-like leaves. 2 any submerged freshwater plant of the
genus Vallisneria. ЬЬeel-like adj. eely adj. [OE ‘l f. Gmc]
eelpout n. 1 any fish of the family Zoarcidae, with slender body and
dorsal and anal fins meeting to fuse with the tail. Also called
POUT(2). 2 = BURBOT. [OE ‘leputa (as EEL, POUT(2))]
eelworm n. any of various small nematode worms infesting plant roots.
-eer suffix forming: 1 nouns meaning 'person concerned with or
engaged in' (auctioneer; mountaineer; profiteer). 2 verbs
meaning 'be concerned with' (electioneer). [from or after F
-ier f. L -arius: cf. -IER, -ARY(1)]
eerie adj. (eerier, eeriest) gloomy and strange; weird, frightening
(an eerie silence). ЬЬeerily adv. eeriness n. [orig. N.Engl.
and Sc. eri, of obscure orig.: cf. OE earg cowardly]
EETPU abbr. (in the UK) Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications,
and Plumbing Union.
eff v. sl. euphem. 1 tr. & intr. (often foll. by off) = FUCK (in
expletive use). 2 intr. say fuck or similar coarse slang words.
Ьeffing and blinding using coarse slang. [name of the letter F,
as a euphemistic abbr.]
efface v. 1 tr. rub or wipe out (a mark etc.). 2 tr. (in abstract
senses) obliterate; wipe out (effaced it from his memory). 3
tr. utterly surpass; eclipse (success has effaced all previous
attempts). 4 refl. treat or regard oneself as unimportant
(self-effacing). ЬЬeffacement n. [F effacer (as EX-(1), FACE)]
effect n. & v. --n. 1 the result or consequence of an action etc. 2
efficacy (had little effect). 3 an impression produced on a
spectator, hearer, etc. (lights had a pretty effect; my words
had no effect). 4 (in pl.) property, luggage. 5 (in pl.) the
lighting, sound, etc., used to accompany a play, film,
broadcast, etc. 6 Physics a physical phenomenon, usually named
after its discoverer (Doppler effect). 7 the state of being
operative. --v.tr. 1 bring about; accomplish. 2 cause to
exist or occur. Ьbring (or carry) into effect accomplish. for
effect to create an impression. give effect to make operative.
in effect for practical purposes; in reality. take effect
become operative. to the effect that the general substance or
gist being. to that effect having that result or implication.
with effect from coming into operation at or on (a stated time
or day). [ME f. OF effect or L effectus (as EX-(1), facere
effective adj. & n. --adj. 1 having a definite or desired effect. 2
powerful in effect; impressive. 3 a actual; existing in fact
rather than officially or theoretically (took effective control
in their absence). b actually usable; realizable; equivalent in
its effect (effective money; effective demand). 4 coming into
operation (effective as from 1 May). 5 (of manpower) fit for
work or service. --n. a soldier available for service.
ЬЬeffectively adv. effectiveness n. [ME f. L effectivus (as
effector adj. & n. Biol. --adj. acting in response to a stimulus. --n.
an effector organ.
effectual adj. 1 capable of producing the required result or effect;
answering its purpose. 2 valid. ЬЬeffectuality n. effectually
adv. effectualness n. [ME f. med.L effectualis (as EFFECT)]
v.tr. cause to happen; accomplish. ЬЬeffectuation n. [med.L
effectuare (as EFFECT)]
adj. (of a man) feminine in appearance or manner; unmasculine.
ЬЬeffeminacy n. effeminately adv. [ME f. L effeminatus past
part. of effeminare (as EX-(1), femina woman)]
effendi n. (pl. effendis) 1 a man of education or standing in Eastern
Mediterranean or Arab countries. 2 a former title of respect or
courtesy in Turkey. [f. Turk. efendi f. mod. Gk afentes f. Gk
authentes lord, master: see AUTHENTIC]
v.intr. 1 give off bubbles of gas; bubble. 2 (of a person) be
lively or energetic. ЬЬeffervescence n. effervescency n.
effervescent adj. [L effervescere (as EX-(1), fervere be hot)]
effete adj. 1 feeble and incapable. 2 worn out; exhausted of its
essential quality or vitality. ЬЬeffeteness n. [L effetus worn
out by bearing young (as EX-(1), FOETUS)]
adj. (of a thing) producing or sure to produce the desired
effect. ЬЬefficaciously adv. efficaciousness n. efficacy n.
[L efficax (as EFFICIENT)]
n. (pl. -ies) 1 the state or quality of being efficient. 2
Mech. & Physics the ratio of useful work performed to the total
energy expended or heat taken in. Ьefficiency bar a point on a
salary scale requiring evidence of efficiency for further
promotion. [L efficientia (as EFFICIENT)]
efficient adj. 1 productive with minimum waste or effort. 2 (of a
person) capable; acting effectively. Ьefficient cause Philos.
an agent that brings a thing into being or initiates a change.
ЬЬefficiently adv. [ME f. L efficere (as EX-(1), facere make,
effigy n. (pl. -ies) a sculpture or model of a person. Ьin effigy in
the form of a (usu. crude) representation of a person. [L
effigies f. effingere to fashion]
n. & v. --n. a form of massage involving a circular inward
stroking movement made with the palm of the hand, used esp.
during childbirth. --v.intr. massage with a circular stroking
movement. [F f. effleurer to skim]
v.intr. 1 burst out into flower. 2 Chem. a (of a substance)
turn to a fine powder on exposure to air. b (of salts) come to
the surface and crystallize on it. c (of a surface) become
covered with salt particles. ЬЬefflorescence n. efflorescent
adj. [L efflorescere (as EX-(1), florere to bloom f. flos
effluence n. 1 a flowing out (of light, electricity, etc.). 2 that which
flows out. [F effluence or med.L effluentia f. L effluere
efflux- flow out (as EX-(1), fluere flow)]
effluent adj. & n. --adj. flowing forth or out. --n. 1 sewage or
industrial waste discharged into a river, the sea, etc. 2 a
stream or lake flowing from a larger body of water.
effluvium n. (pl. effluvia) an unpleasant or noxious odour or exhaled
substance affecting the lungs or the sense of smell etc. [L (as
efflux n. = EFFLUENCE. ЬЬeffluxion n. [med.L effluxus (as EFFLUENT)]
effort n. 1 strenuous physical or mental exertion. 2 a vigorous or
determined attempt. 3 Mech. a force exerted. 4 colloq. the
result of an attempt; something accomplished (not bad for a
first effort). ЬЬeffortful adj. [F f. OF esforcier ult. f. L
adj. 1 seemingly without effort; natural, easy. 2 requiring no
effort (effortless contemplation). ЬЬeffortlessly adv.
n. (pl. -ies) 1 shameless insolence; impudent audacity (esp.
have the effrontery to). 2 an instance of this. [F effronterie
f. effront‚ ult. f. LL effrons -ontis shameless (as EX-(1),
effuse adj. & v. --adj. Bot. (of an inflorescence etc.) spreading
loosely. --v.tr. 1 pour forth (liquid, light, etc.). 2 give
out (ideas etc.). [ME f. L effusus past part. of effundere
effus- pour out (as EX-(1), fundere pour)]
effusion n. 1 a copious outpouring. 2 usu. derog. an unrestrained flow
of speech or writing. [ME f. OF effusion or L effusio (as
effusive adj. 1 gushing, demonstrative, exuberant (effusive praise). 2
Geol. (of igneous rock) poured out when molten and later
solidified, volcanic. ЬЬeffusively adv. effusiveness n.
EFL abbr. English as a foreign language.
eft n. a newt. [OE efeta, of unkn. orig.]
Efta n. (also EFTA) European Free Trade Association. [abbr.]
egad int. archaic or joc. by God. [prob. orig. a ah + GOD]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or relating to the principle of equal
rights and opportunities for all (an egalitarian society). 2
advocating this principle. --n. a person who advocates or
supports egalitarian principles. ЬЬegalitarianism n. [F
‚galitaire f. ‚gal EQUAL]
egg(1) n. 1 a the spheroidal reproductive body produced by females of
animals such as birds, reptiles, fish, etc., enclosed in a
protective layer and capable of developing into a new
individual. b the egg of the domestic hen, used for food. 2
Biol. the female reproductive cell in animals and plants. 3
colloq. a person or thing qualified in some way (a tough egg).
4 anything resembling or imitating an egg, esp. in shape or
appearance. Ьas sure as eggs is (or are) eggs colloq. without
any doubt. egg-beater 1 a device for beating eggs. 2 US sl. a
helicopter. egg-custard = CUSTARD(1). egg-flip (or -nog) a
drink of alcoholic spirit with beaten egg, milk, etc. eggs (or
egg) and bacon any of various yellow- and orange-shaded plants,
esp. the snapdragon or toadflax. egg-spoon a small spoon for
eating a boiled egg. egg-timer a device for timing the cooking
of an egg. egg-tooth a projection of an embryo bird or reptile
used for breaking out of the shell. egg-white the white of an
egg. have (or put) all one's eggs in one basket colloq. risk
everything on a single venture. with egg on one's face colloq.
made to look foolish. ЬЬeggless adj. eggy adj. (eggier,
eggiest). [ME f. ON, rel. to OE ‘g]
egg(2) v.tr. (foll. by on) urge (egged us on to it; egged them on to
do it). [ME f. ON eggja = EDGE]
eggcup n. a cup for holding a boiled egg.
egger n. (also eggar) any of various large moths of the family
Lasiocampidae, esp. Lasiocampa quercus, with an egg-shaped
cocoon. [prob. f. EGG(1) + -ER(1)]
egghead n. colloq. an intellectual; an expert.
eggplant n. = AUBERGINE.
eggshell n. & adj. --n. 1 the shell of an egg. 2 anything very
fragile. --adj. 1 (of china) thin and fragile. 2 (of paint)
with a slight gloss finish.
eglantine n. sweet-brier. [ME f. F ‚glantine f. OF aiglent ult. f. L
ego n. (pl. -os) 1 Metaphysics a conscious thinking subject. 2
Psychol. the part of the mind that reacts to reality and has a
sense of individuality. 3 self-esteem. Ьego-ideal 1 Psychol.
the part of the mind developed from the ego by an awareness of
social standards. 2 (in general use) idealization of oneself.
ego-trip colloq. activity etc. devoted entirely to one's own
interests or feelings. [L, = I]
adj. 1 centred in the ego. 2 self-centred, egoistic.
ЬЬegocentrically adv. egocentricity n. [EGO + -CENTRIC after
egoism n. 1 an ethical theory that treats self-interest as the
foundation of morality. 2 systematic selfishness. 3
self-opinionatedness. 4 = EGOTISM. ЬЬegoist n. egoistic adj.
egoistical adj. [F ‚go‹sme ult. f. mod.L egoismus (as EGO)]
egomania n. morbid egotism. ЬЬegomaniac n. egomaniacal adj.
egotism n. 1 excessive use of 'I' and 'me'. 2 the practice of talking
about oneself. 3 an exaggerated opinion of oneself. 4
selfishness. ЬЬegotist n. egotistic adj. egotistical adj.
egotistically adv. egotize v.intr. (also -ise). [EGO + -ISM
with intrusive -t-]
egregious adj. 1 outstandingly bad; shocking (egregious folly; an
egregious ass). 2 archaic or joc. remarkable. ЬЬegregiously
adv. egregiousness n. [L egregius illustrious, lit. 'standing
out from the flock' f. grex gregis flock]
egress n. 1 a going out. b the right of going out. 2 an exit; a way
out. 3 Astron. the end of an eclipse or transit. ЬЬegression
n. (in senses 1, 2). [L egressus f. egredi egress- (as E-,
gradi to step)]
egret n. any of various herons of the genus Egretta or Bulbulcus,
usu. having long white feathers in the breeding season. [ME,
var. of AIGRETTE]
Egyptian adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or relating to Egypt in NE Africa. 2 of
or for Egyptian antiquities (e.g. in a museum) (Egyptian room).
--n. 1 a native of ancient or modern Egypt; a national of the
Arab Republic of Egypt. 2 the Hamitic language used in ancient
Egypt until the 3rd c. AD. ЬЬEgyptianize v.tr. (also -ise)
n. the study of the language, history, and culture of ancient
Egypt. ЬЬEgyptologist n.
Eid n. a Muslim week-long festival celebrating the end of the fast
of Ramadan. [Arab. ' id feast]
eider n. 1 (in full eider duck) any of various large northern ducks,
esp. of the genus Somateria. 2 (in full eider-down) small soft
feathers from the breast of the eider duck. [Icel. aethr]
eiderdown n. a quilt stuffed with down (orig. from the eider) or some
other soft material, esp. as the upper layer of bedclothes.
eidetic adj. & n. --adj. Psychol. (of a mental image) having unusual
vividness and detail, as if actually visible. --n. a person
able to see eidetic images. ЬЬeidetically adv. [G eidetisch f.
Gk eidetikos f. eidos form]
eidolon n. (pl. eidolons or eidola) 1 a spectre; a phantom. 2 an
idealized figure. [Gk eidolon: see IDOL]
eigen- comb. form Math. & Physics proper, characteristic. [G eigen
n. (pl. -ies) Math. & Physics one of the natural resonant
frequencies of a system.
n. Math. & Physics that function which under a given operation
generates some multiple of itself.
n. Math. & Physics that value by which an eigenfunction of an
operation is multiplied after the eigenfunction has been
subjected to that operation.
eight n. & adj. --n. 1 one more than seven, or two less than ten;
the product of two units and four units. 2 a symbol for this
(8, viii, VIII). 3 a figure resembling the form of 8. 4 a size
etc. denoted by eight. 5 an eight-oared rowing-boat or its
crew. 6 the time of eight o'clock (is it eight yet?). 7 a card
with eight pips. --adj. that amount to eight. Ьhave one over
the eight sl. get slightly drunk. [OE ehta, eahta]
eighteen n. & adj. --n. 1 one more than seventeen, or eight more than
ten; the product of two units and nine units. 2 a symbol for
this (18, xviii, XVIII). 3 a size etc. denoted by eighteen. 4
a set or team of eighteen individuals. 5 (18) Brit. (of films)
classified as suitable for persons of 18 years and over. --adj.
that amount to eighteen. ЬЬeighteenth adj. & n. [OE ehtatene,
n. = OCTODECIMO.
eightfold adj. & adv. 1 eight times as much or as many. 2 consisting of
eight parts. 3 amounting to eight.
eighth n. & adj. --n. 1 the position in a sequence corresponding to
the number 8 in the sequence 1-8. 2 something occupying this
position. 3 one of eight equal parts of a thing. --adj. that
is the eighth. Ьeighth note esp. US Mus. = QUAVER. ЬЬeighthly
eightsome n. 1 (in full eightsome reel) a lively Scottish reel for eight
dancers. 2 the music for this.
8vo abbr. octavo.
eighty n. & adj. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 the product of eight and ten. 2
a symbol for this (80, lxxx, LXXX). 3 (in pl.) the numbers from
80 to 89, esp. the years of a century or of a person's life.
--adj. that amount to eighty. Ьeighty-first, -second , etc. the
ordinal numbers between eightieth and ninetieth. eighty-one,
-two , etc. the cardinal numbers between eighty and ninety.
ЬЬeightieth adj. & n. eightyfold adj. & adv. [OE -eahtatig (as
einkorn n. a kind of wheat (Triticum monococcum). [G f. ein one +
n. Chem. a transuranic radioactive metallic element produced
artificially from plutonium. °Symb.: Es. [A. Einstein,
Ger.-Amer. physicist d. 1955]
eirenic var. of IRENIC.
eirenicon n. (also irenicon) a proposal made as a means of achieving
peace. [Gk, neut. of eirenikos (adj.) f. eirene peace]
n. (pl. eisteddfods or eisteddfodau) a congress of Welsh
bards; a national or local festival for musical competitions
etc. ЬЬeisteddfodic adj. [Welsh, lit. = session, f. eistedd
either adj., pron., adv., & conj. --adj. & pron. 1 one or the other
of two (either of you can go; you may have either book). 2 each
of two (houses on either side of the road; either will do).
--adv. & conj. 1 as one possibility (is either black or white).
2 as one choice or alternative; which way you will (either come
in or go out). 3 (with neg. or interrog.) a any more than the
other (I didn't like it either; if you do not go, I shall not
either). b moreover (there is no time to lose, either).
Ьeither-or n. an unavoidable choice between alternatives.
--adj. involving such a choice. either way in either case or
event. [OE ‘gther f. Gmc]
ejaculate v. & n. --v.tr. (also absol.) 1 utter suddenly (words esp. of
prayer or other emotion). 2 eject (fluid etc., esp. semen) from
the body. --n. semen that has been ejaculated from the body.
ЬЬejaculation n. ejaculator n. ejaculatory adj. [L ejaculari
to dart (as E-, jaculum javelin)]
eject v.tr. 1 send or drive out precipitately or by force, esp. from
a building or other property; compel to leave. 2 a cause (the
pilot etc.) to be propelled from an aircraft or spacecraft in an
emergency. b (absol.) (of the pilot etc.) be ejected in this
way (they both ejected at 1,000 feet). 3 cause to be removed or
drop out (e.g. a spent cartridge from a gun). 4 dispossess (a
tenant etc.) by legal process. 5 dart forth; emit. ЬЬejective
adj. ejectment n. [L ejicere eject- (as E-, jacere throw)]
ejection n. the act or an instance of ejecting; the process of being
ejected. Ьejection seat = ejector seat.
ejector n. a device for ejecting. Ьejector seat a device for the
automatic ejection of the pilot etc. of an aircraft or
spacecraft in an emergency.
elaborate adj. & v. --adj. 1 carefully or minutely worked out. 2 highly
developed or complicated. --v.tr. 1 a work out or explain in
detail. b (absol.) go into details (I need not elaborate). 2
produce by labour. 3 (of a natural agency) produce (a substance
etc.) from its elements or sources. ЬЬelaborately adv.
elaborateness n. elaboration n. elaborative adj. elaborator
n. [L elaboratus past part. of elaborare (as E-, labor work)]
‚lan n. vivacity, dash. [F f. ‚lancer launch]
eland n. any antelope of the genus Taurotragus, native to Africa,
having spirally twisted horns, esp. the largest of living
antelopes T. derbianus. [Du.,= elk]
n. Zool. any cartilaginous fish of the subclass
Chondrichthyes, e.g. sharks, skates, rays. [mod.L
elasmobranchii f. Gk elasmos beaten metal + bragkhia gills]
n. a large extinct marine reptile with paddle-like limbs and
tough crocodile-like skin. [mod.L f. Gk elasmos beaten metal +
elastic adj. & n. --adj. 1 able to resume its normal bulk or shape
spontaneously after contraction, dilatation, or distortion. 2
springy. 3 (of a person or feelings) buoyant. 4 flexible,
adaptable (elastic conscience). 5 Econ. (of demand) variable
according to price. 6 Physics (of a collision) involving no
decrease of kinetic energy. --n. elastic cord or fabric, usu.
woven with strips of rubber. Ьelastic band = rubber band (see
RUBBER(1)). ЬЬelastically adv. elasticity n. elasticize v.tr.
(also -ise). [mod.L elasticus f. Gk elastikos propulsive f.
adj. (of a fabric) made elastic by weaving with rubber thread.
elastomer n. a natural or synthetic rubber or rubber-like plastic.
ЬЬelastomeric adj. [ELASTIC, after isomer]
elate v. & adj. --v.tr. 1 (esp. as elated adj.) inspirit, stimulate.
2 make proud. --adj. archaic in high spirits; exultant, proud.
ЬЬelatedly adv. elatedness n. elation n. [ME f. L efferre
elater n. a click beetle. [mod.L f. Gk elater driver f. elauno
E-layer n. a layer of the ionosphere able to reflect medium-frequency
radio waves. [E (arbitrary) + LAYER]
elbow n. & v. --n. 1 a the joint between the forearm and the upper
arm. b the part of the sleeve of a garment covering the elbow.
2 an elbow-shaped bend or corner; a short piece of piping bent
through a right angle. --v.tr. (foll. by in, out, aside, etc.)
1 thrust or jostle (a person or oneself). 2 make (one's way) by
thrusting or jostling. Ьat one's elbow close at hand.
elbow-grease colloq. vigorous polishing; hard work. elbow-room
plenty of room to move or work in. give a person the elbow
colloq. send a person away; dismiss or reject a person. out at
elbows 1 (of a coat) worn out. 2 (of a person) ragged, poor.
[OE elboga, elnboga, f. Gmc (as ELL, BOW(1))]
eld n. archaic or poet. 1 old age. 2 olden time. [OE (i)eldu f.
Gmc: cf. OLD]
elder(1) adj. & n. --attrib.adj. (of two indicated persons, esp. when
related) senior; of a greater age (my elder brother). --n.
(often prec. by the) 1 the older or more senior of two indicated
(esp. related) persons (which is the elder?; is my elder by ten
years). 2 (in pl.) a persons of greater age or seniority
(respect your elders). b persons venerable because of age. 3 a
person advanced in life. 4 hist. a member of a senate or
governing body. 5 an official in the early Christian,
Presbyterian, or Mormon Churches. Ьelder brother (pl. elder
brethren) Brit. each of thirteen senior members of Trinity
House. elder hand Cards the first player. elder statesman an
influential experienced person, esp. a politician, of advanced
age. ЬЬeldership n. [OE eldra, rel. to OLD]
elder(2) n. any shrub or tree of the genus Sambucus, with white flowers
and usu. blue-black or red berries. [OE ell‘rn]
n. (pl. -ies) the berry of the elder, esp. common elder
(Sambucus nigra) used for making jelly, wine, etc.
elderly adj. 1 somewhat old. 2 (of a person) past middle age.
eldest adj. & n. --adj. first-born or oldest surviving (member of a
family, son, daughter, etc.). --n. (often prec. by the) the
eldest of three or more indicated (who is the eldest?). Ьeldest
hand Cards the first player. [OE (as ELDER(1))]
eldorado n. (pl. -os) 1 any imaginary country or city abounding in
gold. 2 a place of great abundance. [Sp. el dorado the
n. 1 a sunflower-like plant, Inula helenium, with bitter
aromatic leaves and roots, used in herbal medicine and cookery.
2 an esp. candied sweetmeat flavoured with this. [corrupt. of
med.L enula (for L inula f. Gk helenion) campana (prob. = of the
elect v. & adj. --v.tr. (usu. foll. by to + infin.) 1 choose (the
principles they elected to follow). 2 choose (a person) by vote
(elected a new chairman). 3 Theol. (of God) choose (persons) in
preference to others for salvation. --adj. 1 chosen. 2
select, choice. 3 Theol. chosen by God. 4 (after a noun
designating office) chosen but not yet in office (president
elect). [ME f. L electus past part. of eligere elect- (as E-,
election n. 1 the process of electing or being elected, esp. of members
of a political body. 2 the act or an instance of electing. [ME
f. OF f. L electio -onis (as ELECT)]
v. & n. --v.intr. take part in an election campaign. --n. a
person who electioneers.
elective adj. & n. --adj. 1 a (of an office or its holder) filled or
appointed by election. b (of authority) derived from election.
2 (of a body) having the power to elect. 3 having a tendency to
act on or be concerned with some things rather than others
(elective affinity). 4 (of a course of study) chosen by the
student; optional. 5 (of a surgical operation etc.) optional;
not urgently necessary. --n. US an elective course of study.
ЬЬelectively adv. [F ‚lectif -ive f. LL electivus (as ELECT)]
elector n. 1 a person who has the right of voting to elect an MP etc.
2 (Elector) hist. a German prince entitled to take part in the
election of the Emperor. 3 US a member of an electoral college.
ЬЬelectorship n. [ME f. F ‚lecteur f. L elector (as ELECT)]
electoral adj. relating to or ranking as electors. Ьelectoral college 1
a body of persons representing the States of the US, who cast
votes for the election of the President. 2 a body of electors.
n. 1 a body of electors. 2 Austral. & NZ an area represented
by one member of parliament. 3 hist. the office or territories
of the German Elector.
n. Psychol. a daughter's subconscious sexual attraction to her
father and hostility towards her mother, corresponding to the
Oedipus complex in a son. [Electra in Gk tragedy, who caused
her mother to be murdered for having murdered Electra's father]
electret n. Physics a permanently polarized piece of dielectric
material, analogous to a permanent magnet. [ELECTRICITY +
electric adj. & n. --adj. 1 of, worked by, or charged with electricity;
producing or capable of generating electricity. 2 causing or
charged with sudden and dramatic excitement (the news had an
electric effect; the atmosphere was electric). --n. 1 an
electric light, vehicle, etc. 2 (in pl.) electrical equipment.
Ьelectric blanket a blanket that can be heated electrically by
an internal element. electric blue a steely or brilliant light
blue. electric chair (in the US) an electrified chair used for
capital punishment. electric eel an eel-like freshwater fish,
Electrophorus electricus, native to S. America, that kills its
prey by electric shock. electric eye colloq. a photoelectric
cell operating a relay when the beam of light illuminating it is
obscured. electric fence a fence charged with electricity,
often consisting of one strand. electric field a region of
electrical influence. electric fire an electrically operated
incandescent or convector heater, usu. portable and for
domestic use. electric guitar a guitar with a built-in
electrical sound pick-up rather than a soundbox. electric organ
1 Biol. the organ in some fishes giving an electric shock. 2
Mus. an electrically-operated organ. electric ray any of
several rays which can give an electric shock (see RAY(2)).
electric shaver (or razor) an electrical device for shaving,
with oscillating blades behind a metal guard. electric shock
the effect of a sudden discharge of electricity on a person or
animal, usually with stimulation of the nerves and contraction
of the muscles. electric storm a violent disturbance of the
electrical condition of the atmosphere. ЬЬelectrically adv.
[mod.L electricus f. L electrum f. Gk elektron amber, the
rubbing of which causes electrostatic phenomena]
adj. 1 of or concerned with or of the nature of electricity. 2
operating by electricity. 3 suddenly or dramatically exciting
(the effect was electrical).
n. a person who installs or maintains electrical equipment,
n. 1 a form of energy resulting from the existence of charged
particles (electrons, protons, etc.), either statically as an
accumulation of charge or dynamically as a current. 2 the
branch of physics dealing with electricity. 3 a supply of
electric current for heating, lighting, etc.
electrify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 charge (a body) with electricity. 2
convert (machinery or the place or system employing it) to the
use of electric power. 3 cause dramatic or sudden excitement
in. ЬЬelectrification n. electrifier n.
electro n. & v. --n. (pl. -os) 1 = ELECTROTYPE n. 2 = ELECTROPLATE
n. --v.tr. (-oes, -oed) colloq. 1 = ELECTROTYPE v. 2 =
ELECTROPLATE v. [abbr.]
electro- comb. form Electr. of, relating to, or caused by electricity
(electrocute; electromagnet). [Gk elektron amber: see ELECTRIC]
n. the study of the electrical phenomena of living things.
n. a record of the heartbeat traced by an electrocardiograph.
[G Elektrocardiogramm (as ELECTRO-, CARDIO-, -GRAM)]
n. an instrument recording the electric currents generated by a
person's heartbeat. ЬЬelectrocardiographic adj.
adj. involving electricity as applied to or occurring in
chemistry. ЬЬelectrochemist n. electrochemistry n.
adj. (of a therapy) employing the use of the convulsive
response to the application of electric shocks.
v.tr. 1 kill by electricity (as a form of capital punishment).
2 cause death of by electric shock. ЬЬelectrocution n.
[ELECTRO-, after EXECUTE]
electrode n. a conductor through which electricity enters or leaves an
electrolyte, gas, vacuum, etc. [ELECTRIC + Gk hodos way]
n. dialysis in which electrodes are placed on either side of a
semi-permeable membrane, as used in obtaining pure water from
n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) the branch of mechanics concerned
with electric current applied to motive forces.
n. a record of the brain's activity traced by an
electroencephalograph. [G Elektrenkephalogramm (as ELECTRO-,
n. an instrument recording the electrical activity of the
brain. ЬЬelectroencephalography n.
n. Chem. luminescence produced electrically, esp. by the
application of a voltage. ЬЬelectroluminescent adj.
v.tr. (US -yze) subject to or treat by electrolysis.
ЬЬelectrolyser n. [ELECTROLYSIS after analyse]
n. 1 Chem. the decomposition of a substance by the application
of an electric current. 2 Surgery this process applied to the
destruction of tumours, hair-roots, etc. ЬЬelectrolytic adj.
electrolytical adj. electrolytically adv. [ELECTRO- + -LYSIS]
n. 1 a substance which conducts electricity when molten or in
solution, esp. in an electric cell or battery. 2 a solution of
this. [ELECTRO- + Gk lutos released f. luo loosen]
n. a soft metal core made into a magnet by the passage of
electric current through a coil surrounding it.
adj. having both an electrical and a magnetic character or
properties. Ьelectromagnetic radiation a kind of radiation
including visible light, radio waves, gamma rays, X-rays, etc.,
in which electric and magnetic fields vary simultaneously.
electromagnetic spectrum the range of wavelengths over which
electromagnetic radiation extends. electromagnetic units a
system of units derived primarily from the magnetic properties
of electric currents.
n. 1 the magnetic forces produced by electricity. 2 the study
adj. relating to the application of electricity to mechanical
processes, devices, etc.
n. an instrument for measuring electrical potential without
drawing any current from the circuit. ЬЬelectrometric adj.
adj. producing or tending to produce an electric current.
Ьelectromotive force a force set up in an electric circuit by a
difference in potential.
electron n. a stable elementary particle with a charge of negative
electricity, found in all atoms and acting as the primary
carrier of electricity in solids. Ьelectron beam a stream of
electrons in a gas or vacuum. electron diffraction the
diffraction of a beam of electrons by atoms or molecules, used
for determining crystal structures etc. electron gun a device
for producing a narrow stream of electrons from a heated
cathode. electron lens a device for focusing a stream of
electrons by means of electric or magnetic fields. electron
microscope a microscope with high magnification and resolution,
employing electron beams in place of light and using electron
lenses. electron pair an electron and a positron. electron
spin resonance a spectroscopic method of locating electrons
within the molecules of a paramagnetic substance. °Abbr.: ESR.
[ELECTRIC + -ON]
adj. 1 electrically negative. 2 Chem. (of an element) tending
to acquire electrons.
adj. 1 a produced by or involving the flow of electrons. b of
or relating to electrons or electronics. 2 (of a device) using
electronic components. 3 a (of music) produced by electronic
means and usu. recorded on tape. b (of a musical instrument)
producing sounds by electronic means. Ьelectronic flash a flash
from a gas-discharge tube, used in high-speed photography.
electronic mail messages distributed by electronic means esp.
from one computer system to one or more recipients: also called
EMAIL. ЬЬelectronically adv.
n.pl. (treated as sing.) 1 a branch of physics and technology
concerned with the behaviour and movement of electrons in a
vacuum, gas, semiconductor, etc. 2 the circuits used in this.
n. a unit of energy equal to the work done on an electron in
accelerating it through a potential difference of one volt.
adj. Chem. having an affinity for electrons. ЬЬelectrophile
n. Physics & Chem. the movement of colloidal particles in a
fluid under the influence of an electric field.
ЬЬelectrophoretic adj. [ELECTRO- + Gk phoresis being carried]
n. a device for repeatedly generating static electricity by
induction. [mod.L f. ELECTRO- + Gk -phoros bearing]
v. & n. --v.tr. coat (a utensil etc.) by electrolytic
deposition with chromium, silver, etc. --n. electroplated
articles. ЬЬelectroplater n.
n. Brit. electroconvulsive therapy. [ELECTRO- + APOPLEXY]
adj. 1 electrically positive. 2 Chem. (of an element) tending
to lose electrons.
n. an instrument for detecting and measuring electricity, esp.
as an indication of the ionization of air by radioactivity.
attrib.adj. (of medical treatment) by means of electric shocks.
adj. of electricity at rest. Ьelectrostatic units a system of
units based primarily on the forces between electric charges.
[ELECTRO- + STATIC after hydrostatic]
n.pl. (treated as sing.) the study of electricity at rest.
n. the science of the application of electricity in technology.
ЬЬelectrotechnic adj. electrotechnical adj. electrotechnics n.
n. the treatment of diseases by the use of electricity.
ЬЬelectrotherapeutic adj. electrotherapeutical adj.
adj. relating to heat electrically derived.
v. & n. --v.tr. copy by the electrolytic deposition of copper
on a mould, esp. for printing. --n. a copy so formed.
adj. Chem. linking ions by a bond resulting from electrostatic
attraction. ЬЬelectrovalence n. electrovalency n. [ELECTRO- +
-valent after trivalent etc.]
electrum n. 1 an alloy of silver and gold used in ancient times. 2
native argentiferous gold ore. [ME f. L f. Gk elektron amber,
electuary n. (pl. -ies) medicinal powder etc. mixed with honey or other
sweet substance. [ME f. LL electuarium, prob. f. Gk ekleikton
f. ekleikho lick up]
adj. 1 of or dependent on alms. 2 charitable. 3 gratuitous.
[med.L eleemosynarius f. LL eleemosyna: see ALMS]
elegant adj. 1 graceful in appearance or manner. 2 tasteful, refined.
3 (of a mode of life etc.) of refined luxury. 4 ingeniously
simple and pleasing. 5 US excellent. ЬЬelegance n. elegantly
adv. [F ‚l‚gant or L elegant-, rel. to eligere: see ELECT]
elegiac adj. & n. --adj. 1 (of a metre) used for elegies. 2 mournful.
--n. (in pl.) verses in an elegiac metre. Ьelegiac couplet a
pair of lines consisting of a dactylic hexameter and a
pentameter, esp. in Greek and Latin verse. ЬЬelegiacally adv.
[F ‚l‚giaque or f. LL elegiacus f. Gk elegeiakos: see ELEGY]
elegize v. (also -ise) 1 intr. (often foll. by upon) write an elegy. 2
intr. write in a mournful strain. 3 tr. write an elegy upon.
elegy n. (pl. -ies) 1 a song of lament, esp. for the dead (sometimes
vaguely used of other poems). 2 a poem in elegiac metre. [F
‚l‚gie or L elegia f. Gk elegeia f. elegos mournful poem]
element n. 1 a component part; a contributing factor or thing. 2 Chem.
& Physics any of the hundred or so substances that cannot be
resolved by chemical means into simpler substances. 3 a any of
the four substances (earth, water, air, and fire) in ancient and
medieval philosophy. b any of these as a being's natural abode
or environment. 4 Electr. a resistance wire that heats up in an
electric heater, cooker, etc.; an electrode. 5 (in pl.)
atmospheric agencies, esp. wind and storm. 6 (in pl.) the
rudiments of learning or of a branch of knowledge. 7 (in pl.)
the bread and wine of the Eucharist. 8 Math. & Logic an entity
that is a single member of a set. Ьin (or out of) one's element
in (or out of) one's accustomed or preferred surroundings.
reduced to its elements analysed. [ME f. OF f. L elementum]
elemental adj. & n. --adj. 1 of the four elements. 2 of the powers of
nature (elemental worship). 3 comparable to a force of nature
(elemental grandeur; elemental tumult). 4 uncompounded
(elemental oxygen). 5 essential. --n. an entity or force
thought to be physically manifested by occult means.
ЬЬelementalism n. (in senses 1, 2). [med.L elementalis (as
adj. 1 a dealing with or arising from the simplest facts of a
subject; rudimentary, introductory. b simple. 2 Chem. not
decomposable. Ьelementary particle Physics any of several
subatomic particles supposedly not decomposable into simpler
ones. elementary school a school in which elementary subjects
are taught to young children. ЬЬelementarily adv.
elementariness n. [ME f. L elementarius (as ELEMENT)]
elenchus n. (pl. elenchi) Logic logical refutation. ЬSocratic elenchus
an attempted refutation of an opponent's position by short
question and answer. ЬЬelenctic adj. [L f. Gk elegkhos]
elephant n. (pl. same or elephants) 1 the largest living land animal, of
which two species survive, the larger African (Loxodonta
africana) and the smaller Indian (Elephas maximus), both with a
trunk and long curved ivory tusks. 2 a size of paper (711 x 584
mm). Ьelephant grass any of various tall African grasses, esp.
Pennisetum purpureum. elephant seal = sea elephant. elephant
shrew any small insect-eating mammal of the family
Macroscelididae, native to Africa, having a long snout and long
hind limbs. ЬЬelephantoid adj. [ME olifaunt etc. f. OF oli-,
elefant ult. f. L elephantus, elephans f. Gk elephas -antos
n. gross enlargement of the body, esp. the limbs, due to
lymphatic obstruction esp. by a nematode parasite. [L f. Gk (as
adj. 1 of elephants. 2 a huge. b clumsy, unwieldy
(elephantine movements; elephantine humour). [L elephantinus f.
Gk elephantinos (as ELEPHANT)]
adj. of or relating to Eleusis near Athens. ЬEleusinian
mysteries Gk Hist. the annual celebrations held at ancient
Eleusis in honour of Demeter. [L Eleusinius f. Gk Eleusinios]
elevate v.tr. 1 bring to a higher position. 2 Eccl. hold up (the Host
or the chalice) for adoration. 3 raise, lift (one's eyes etc.).
4 raise the axis of (a gun). 5 raise (a railway etc.) above
ground level. 6 exalt in rank etc. 7 (usu. as elevated adj.)
raise morally or intellectually (elevated style). 8 (as
elevated adj.) colloq. slightly drunk. ЬЬelevatory adj. [L
elevare raise (as E-, levis light)]
elevation n. 1 a the process of elevating or being elevated. b the angle
with the horizontal, esp. of a gun or of the direction of a
heavenly body. c the height above a given level, esp. sea
level. d a high place or position. 2 a a drawing or diagram
made by projection on a vertical plane (cf. PLAN). b a flat
drawing of the front, side, or back of a house etc. 3 Ballet a
the capacity of a dancer to attain height in springing
movements. b the action of tightening the muscles and uplifting
the body. ЬЬelevational adj. (in sense 2). [ME f. OF elevation
or L elevatio: see ELEVATE]
elevator n. 1 a hoisting machine. 2 Aeron. the movable part of a
tailplane for changing the pitch of an aircraft. 3 US a = LIFT
n. 3. b a place for lifting and storing quantities of grain.
4 that which elevates, esp. a muscle that raises a limb. [mod.L
eleven n. & adj. --n. 1 one more than ten; the sum of six units and
five units. 2 a symbol for this (11, xi, XI). 3 a size etc.
denoted by eleven. 4 a set or team of eleven individuals. 5
the time of eleven o'clock (is it eleven yet?). --adj. that
amount to eleven. Ьeleven-plus esp. hist. (in the UK) an
examination taken at the age of 11-12 to determine the type of
secondary school a child should enter. [OE endleofon f. Gmc]
adj. & adv. 1 eleven times as much or as many. 2 consisting of
elevenses n. (usu. in pl.) Brit. colloq. light refreshment, usu. with
tea or coffee, taken about 11 a.m.
eleventh n. & adj. --n. 1 the position in a sequence corresponding to
the number 11 in the sequence 1-11. 2 something occupying this
position. 3 one of eleven equal parts of a thing. 4 Mus. a an
interval or chord spanning an octave and a third in the diatonic
scale. b a note separated from another by this interval.
--adj. that is the eleventh. Ьthe eleventh hour the last
elevon n. Aeron. the movable part of the trailing edge of a delta
wing. [ELEVATOR + AILERON]
elf n. (pl. elves) 1 a mythological being, esp. one that is small
and mischievous. 2 a sprite or little creature. Ьelf-lock a
tangled mass of hair. ЬЬelfish adj. elvish adj. [OE f. Gmc]
elfin adj. & n. --adj. of elves; elflike. --n. archaic a dwarf; a
child. [ELF, perh. infl. by ME elvene genit. pl. of elf, and by
Elphin in Arthurian romance]
elicit v.tr. (elicited, eliciting) 1 draw out, evoke (an admission,
response, etc.). 2 draw forth (what is latent). ЬЬelicitation
n. elicitor n. [L elicere elicit- (as E-, lacere entice)]
elide v.tr. omit (a vowel or syllable) by elision. [L elidere elis-
crush out (as E-, laedere knock)]
eligible adj. 1 (often foll. by for) fit or entitled to be chosen
(eligible for a rebate). 2 desirable or suitable, esp. as a
partner in marriage. ЬЬeligibility n. eligibly adv. [F
‚ligible f. LL eligibilis (as ELECT)]
eliminate v.tr. 1 remove, get rid of. 2 exclude from consideration;
ignore as irrelevant. 3 exclude from further participation in a
competition etc. on defeat. 4 Physiol. discharge (waste
matter). 5 Chem. remove (a simpler substance) from a compound.
6 Algebra remove (a quantity) by combining equations.
ЬЬeliminable adj. elimination n. eliminator n. eliminatory
adj. [L eliminare (as E-, limen liminis threshold)]
elision n. 1 the omission of a vowel or syllable in pronouncing (as in
I'm, let's, e' en). 2 the omission of a passage in a book etc.
[LL elisio (as ELIDE)]
‚lite n. 1 (prec. by the) the best or choice part of a larger body or
group. 2 a select group or class. 3 a size of letter in
typewriting (12 per inch). [F f. past part. of ‚lire f. Rmc:
rel. to ELECT]
‚litism n. 1 advocacy of or reliance on leadership or dominance by a
select group. 2 a sense of belonging to an ‚lite. ЬЬ‚litist n.
elixir n. 1 Alchemy a a preparation supposedly able to change metals
into gold. b (in full elixir of life) a preparation supposedly
able to prolong life indefinitely. c a supposed remedy for all
ills. 2 Pharm. an aromatic solution used as a medicine or
flavouring. [ME f. med.L f. Arab. al-iksir f. al the + iksir
prob. f. Gk xerion powder for drying wounds f. xeros dry]
adj. & n. --adj. of the time of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603)
or of Queen Elizabeth II (1952- ). --n. a person, esp. a
writer, of the time of Queen Elizabeth I or II.
elk n. (pl. same or elks) 1 a large deer, Alces alces, of N. Europe
and Asia, with palmate antlers and a growth of skin hanging from
the neck; a moose. 2 US a wapiti. Ьelk-hound a large
Scandinavian hunting dog with a shaggy coat. [ME, prob. repr.
OE elh, eolh]
ell n. hist. a former measure of length, about 45 inches. [OE
eln, rel. to L ulna: see ULNA]
ellipse n. a regular oval, traced by a point moving in a plane so that
the sum of its distances from two other points is constant, or
resulting when a cone is cut by a plane which does not intersect
the base and makes a smaller angle with the base than the side
of the cone makes (cf. HYPERBOLA). [F f. L ellipsus f. Gk
elleipsis f. elleipo come short f. en in + leipo leave]
ellipsis n. (also ellipse) (pl. ellipses) 1 the omission from a
sentence of words needed to complete the construction or sense.
2 the omission of a sentence at the end of a paragraph. 3 a set
of three dots etc. indicating an omission.
ellipsoid n. a solid of which all the plane sections normal to one axis
are circles and all the other plane sections are ellipses.
elliptic adj. (also elliptical) of, relating to, or having the form of
an ellipse or ellipsis. ЬЬelliptically adv. ellipticity n.
[Gk elleiptikos defective f. elleipo (as ELLIPSE)]
elm n. 1 any tree of the genus Ulmus, esp. U. procera with rough
serrated leaves. 2 (in full elmwood) the wood of the elm.
ЬЬelmy adj. [OE, rel. to L ulmus]
elocution n. 1 the art of clear and expressive speech, esp. of distinct
pronunciation and articulation. 2 a particular style of
speaking. ЬЬelocutionary adj. elocutionist n. [L elocutio f.
eloqui elocut- speak out (as E-, loqui speak)]
elongate v. & adj. --v. 1 tr. lengthen, prolong. 2 intr. Bot. be of
slender or tapering form. --adj. Bot. & Zool. long in
proportion to width. [LL elongare (as E-, L longus long)]
n. 1 the act or an instance of lengthening; the process of
being lengthened. 2 a part of a line etc. formed by
lengthening. 3 Mech. the amount of extension under stress. 4
Astron. the angular separation of a planet from the sun or of a
satellite from a planet. [ME f. LL elongatio (as ELONGATE)]
elope v.intr. 1 run away to marry secretly, esp. without parental
consent. 2 run away with a lover. ЬЬelopement n. eloper n.
[AF aloper perh. f. a ME form alope, rel. to LEAP]
eloquence n. 1 fluent and effective use of language. 2 rhetoric. [ME f.
OF f. L eloquentia f. eloqui speak out (as E-, loqui speak)]
eloquent adj. 1 possessing or showing eloquence. 2 (often foll. by of)
clearly expressive or indicative. ЬЬeloquently adv. [ME f. OF
f. L eloqui (as ELOQUENCE)]
Elsan n. Brit. propr. a type of transportable chemical lavatory.
[app. f. E. L. Jackson (its manufacturer) + SANITATION]
else adv. 1 (prec. by indef. or interrog. pron.) besides; in
addition (someone else; nowhere else; who else). 2 instead;
other, different (what else could I say?; he did not love her,
but someone else). 3 otherwise; if not (run, (or) else you will
be late). [OE elles, rel. to L alius, Gk allos]
elsewhere adv. in or to some other place. [OE elles hw‘r (as ELSE,
eluant var. of ELUENT.
eluate n. Chem. a solution or gas stream obtained by elution.
[formed as ELUENT]
elucidate v.tr. throw light on; explain. ЬЬelucidation n. elucidative
adj. elucidator n. elucidatory adj. [LL elucidare (as E-,
elude v.tr. 1 escape adroitly from (a danger, difficulty, pursuer,
etc.); dodge. 2 avoid compliance with (a law, request, etc.) or
fulfilment of (an obligation). 3 (of a fact, solution, etc.)
escape from or baffle (a person's memory or understanding).
ЬЬelusion n. elusory adj. [L eludere elus- (as E-, ludere
eluent n. (also eluant) Chem. a fluid used for elution. [L eluere
wash out (as E-, luere lut- wash)]
elusive adj. 1 difficult to find or catch; tending to elude. 2
difficult to remember or recall. 3 (of an answer etc.) avoiding
the point raised; seeking to elude. ЬЬelusively adv.
elute v.tr. Chem. remove (an adsorbed substance) by washing.
ЬЬelution n. [G eluieren (as ELUENT)]
elutriate v.tr. Chem. separate (lighter and heavier particles in a
mixture) by suspension in an upward flow of liquid or gas.
ЬЬelutriation n. [L elutriare elutriat- (as E-, lutriare wash)]
elver n. a young eel. [var. of eel-fare (see FARE) = a brood of
elves pl. of ELF.
elvish see ELF.
Elysium n. 1 (also Elysian Fields) (in Greek mythology) the abode of
the blessed after death. 2 a place or state of ideal happiness.
ЬЬElysian adj. [L f. Gk Elusion (pedion plain)]
elytron n. (pl. elytra) the outer hard usu. brightly coloured
wing-case of a coleopterous insect. [Gk elutron sheath]
em n. Printing 1 a unit for measuring the amount of printed matter
in a line, usually equal to the nominal width of capital M. 2 a
unit of measurement equal to 12 points. Ьem rule (or dash) a
long dash used in punctuation. [name of the letter M]
em- prefix assim. form of EN-(1), EN-(2) before b, p.
'em pron. colloq. them (let 'em all come). [orig. a form of ME
hem, dative and accus. 3rd pers. pl. pron.: now regarded as an
abbr. of THEM]
emaciate v.tr. (esp. as emaciated adj.) make abnormally thin or feeble.
ЬЬemaciation n. [L emaciare emaciat- (as E-, macies leanness)]
email n. (also e-mail) = electronic mail.
emanate v. 1 intr. (usu. foll. by from) (of an idea, rumour, etc.)
issue, originate (from a source). 2 intr. (usu. foll. by from)
(of gas, light, etc.) proceed, issue. 3 tr. emit; send forth.
[L emanare flow out]
emanation n. 1 the act or process of emanating. 2 something that
emanates from a source (esp. of virtues, qualities, etc.). 3
Chem. a radioactive gas formed by radioactive decay.
ЬЬemanative adj. [LL emanatio (as EMANATE)]
v.tr. 1 free from restraint, esp. legal, social, or political.
2 (usu. as emancipated adj.) cause to be less inhibited by moral
or social convention. 3 free from slavery. ЬЬemancipation n.
emancipator n. emancipatory adj. [L emancipare transfer
property (as E-, manus hand + capere take)]
v. & adj. --v.tr. 1 deprive of force or vigour; make feeble or
ineffective. 2 castrate. --adj. 1 deprived of force or
vigour. 2 castrated. 3 effeminate. ЬЬemasculation n.
emasculator n. emasculatory adj. [L emasculatus past part. of
emasculare (as E-, masculus dimin. of mas male)]
embalm v.tr. 1 preserve (a corpse) from decay orig. with spices, now
by means of arterial injection. 2 preserve from oblivion. 3
endue with balmy fragrance. ЬЬembalmer n. embalmment n. [ME
f. OF embaumer (as EN-(1), BALM)]
embank v.tr. shut in or confine (a river etc.) with an artificial
n. an earth or stone bank for keeping back water, or for
carrying a road or railway.
embargo n. & v. --n. (pl. -oes) 1 an order of a State forbidding
foreign ships to enter, or any ships to leave, its ports. 2 an
official suspension of commerce or other activity (be under an
embargo). 3 an impediment. --v.tr. (-oes, -oed) 1 place
(ships, trade, etc.) under embargo. 2 seize (a ship, goods) for
State service. [Sp. f. embargar arrest f. Rmc (as IN-(2),
embark v. 1 tr. & intr. (often foll. by for) put or go on board a ship
or aircraft (to a destination). 2 intr. (foll. by on, upon)
engage in an activity or undertaking. ЬЬembarkation n. (in
sense 1). [F embarquer (as IN-(2), BARK(3))]
embarras de choix
n. (also embarras de richesse(s)) more choices than one needs
or can deal with. [F, = embarrassment of choice, riches]
embarrass v.tr. 1 cause (a person) to feel awkward or self-conscious or
ashamed. 2 (as embarrassed adj.) encumbered with debts. 3
encumber, impede. 4 complicate (a question etc.). 5 perplex.
ЬЬembarrassedly adv. embarrassingly adv. embarrassment n. [F
embarrasser (orig. = hamper) f. Sp. embarazar f. It. imbarrare
bar in (as IN-(2), BAR(1))]
embassy n. (pl. -ies) 1 a the residence or offices of an ambassador.
b the ambassador and staff attached to an embassy. 2 a
deputation or mission to a foreign country. [earlier ambassy f.
OF ambass‚e etc. f. med.L ambasciata f. Rmc (as AMBASSADOR)]
embattle v.tr. 1 a set (an army etc.) in battle array. b fortify
against attack. 2 provide (a building or wall) with
battlements. 3 (as embattled adj.) a prepared or arrayed for
battle. b involved in a conflict or difficult undertaking. c
Heraldry like battlements in form. [ME f. OF embataillier (as
EN-(1), BATTLE): see BATTLEMENT]
embay v.tr. 1 enclose in or as in a bay; shut in. 2 form (a coast)
into bays. ЬЬembayment n.
embed v.tr. (also imbed) (-bedded, -bedding) 1 (esp. as embedded
adj.) fix firmly in a surrounding mass (embedded in concrete).
2 (of a mass) surround so as to fix firmly. 3 place in or as in
a bed. ЬЬembedment n.
embellish v.tr. 1 beautify, adorn. 2 add interest to (a narrative) with
fictitious additions. ЬЬembellisher n. embellishment n. [ME
f. OF embellir (as EN-(1), bel handsome f. L bellus)]
ember(1) n. 1 (usu. in pl.) a small piece of glowing coal or wood in a
dying fire. 2 an almost extinct residue of a past activity,
feeling, etc. [OE ‘myrge f. Gmc]
ember(2) n. (in full ember-goose) = great northern diver. [Norw. emmer]
n.pl. any of the days traditionally reserved for fasting and
prayer in the Christian Church, now associated with ordinations.
[OE ymbren (n.), perh. f. ymbryne period f. ymb about + ryne
embezzle v.tr. (also absol.) divert (money etc.) fraudulently to one's
own use. ЬЬembezzlement n. embezzler n. [AF embesiler (as
EN-(1), OF besillier maltreat, ravage, of unkn. orig.)]
embitter v.tr. 1 arouse bitter feelings in (a person). 2 make more
bitter or painful. 3 render (a person or feelings) hostile.
emblazon v.tr. 1 a portray conspicuously, as on a heraldic shield. b
adorn (a shield) with heraldic devices. 2 adorn brightly and
conspicuously. 3 celebrate, extol. ЬЬemblazonment n.
emblem n. 1 a symbol or representation typifying or identifying an
institution, quality, etc. 2 (foll. by of) (of a person) the
type (the very emblem of courage). 3 a heraldic device or
symbolic object as a distinctive badge. ЬЬemblematic adj.
emblematical adj. emblematically adv. [ME f. L emblema f. Gk
emblema -matos insertion f. emballo throw in (as EN-(1), ballo
v.tr. (also -ise) 1 serve as an emblem of. 2 represent by an
n.pl. Law crops normally harvested annually, regarded as
personal property. [ME f. OF emblaement f. emblaier (as
EN-(1), bl‚ corn)]
embody v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 give a concrete or discernible form to (an
idea, concept, etc.). 2 (of a thing or person) be an expression
of (an idea etc.). 3 express tangibly (courage embodied in
heroic actions). 4 form into a body. 5 include, comprise. 6
provide (a spirit) with bodily form. ЬЬembodiment n.
embolden v.tr. (often foll. by to + infin.) make bold; encourage.
embolism n. an obstruction of any artery by a clot of blood, air-bubble,
etc. [ME, = 'intercalation' f. LL embolismus f. Gk embolismos
f. emballo (as EMBLEM)]
embolus n. (pl. emboli) an object causing an embolism. [L, = piston,
f. Gk embolos peg, stopper]
n. plumpness (of a person). [F en bon point in good condition]
emboss v.tr. 1 carve or mould in relief. 2 form figures etc. so that
they stand out on (a surface). 3 make protuberant. ЬЬembosser
n. embossment n. [ME, f. OF (as EN-(1), BOSS(2))]
n. 1 Mus. a the mode of applying the mouth to the mouthpiece
of a brass or wind instrument. b the mouthpiece of some
instruments. 2 the mouth of a river. 3 the opening of a
valley. [F f. s'emboucher discharge itself by the mouth (as
EN-(1), bouche mouth)]
embowel v.tr. (embowelled, embowelling; US emboweled, emboweling)
archaic = DISEMBOWEL. [OF emboweler f. esboueler (as EX-(1),
embower v.tr. literary enclose as in a bower.
embrace v. & n. --v.tr. 1 a hold (a person) closely in the arms, esp.
as a sign of affection. b (absol., of two people) hold each
other closely. 2 clasp, enclose. 3 accept eagerly (an offer,
opportunity, etc.). 4 adopt (a course of action, doctrine,
cause, etc.). 5 include, comprise. 6 take in with the eye or
mind. --n. an act of embracing; holding in the arms.
ЬЬembraceable adj. embracement n. embracer n. [ME f. OF
embracer, ult. f. L in- IN-(1) + bracchium arm]
n. a branching-out (of the arm of a river etc.). [F
embranchement BRANCH (as EN-(1), BRANCH)]
embrasure n. 1 the bevelling of a wall at the sides of a door or window;
splaying. 2 a small opening in a parapet of a fortified
building, splayed on the inside. ЬЬembrasured adj. [F f.
embraser splay, of unkn. orig.]
embrittle v.tr. make brittle. ЬЬembrittlement n.
n. a liquid used for rubbing on the body to relieve muscular
pain etc. [F embrocation or med.L embrocatio ult. f. Gk
embroider v.tr. 1 (also absol.) a decorate (cloth etc.) with needlework.
b create (a design) in this way. 2 add interest to (a
narrative) with fictitious additions. ЬЬembroiderer n. [ME f.
AF enbrouder (as EN-(1), OF brouder, broisder f. Gmc)]
n. (pl. -ies) 1 the art of embroidering. 2 embroidered work;
a piece of this. 3 unnecessary or extravagant ornament. [ME f.
AF enbrouderie (as EMBROIDER)]
embroil v.tr. 1 (often foll. by with) involve (a person) in conflict or
difficulties. 2 bring (affairs) into a state of confusion.
ЬЬembroilment n. [F embrouiller (as EN-(1), BROIL(2))]
embryo n. (pl. -os) 1 a an unborn or unhatched offspring. b a human
offspring in the first eight weeks from conception. 2 a
rudimentary plant contained in a seed. 3 a thing in a
rudimentary stage. 4 (attrib.) undeveloped, immature. Ьin
embryo undeveloped. ЬЬembryoid adj. embryonal adj. embryonic
adj. embryonically adv. [LL embryo -onis f. Gk embruon foetus
(as EN-(2), bruo swell, grow)]
embryo- comb. form embryo.
n. the formation of an embryo.
n. the study of embryos. ЬЬembryologic adj. embryological
adj. embryologically adv. embryologist n.
embus v. (embused, embusing or embussed, embussing) Mil. 1 tr. put
(men or equipment) into a motor vehicle. 2 intr. board a motor
emcee n. & v. colloq. --n. a master of ceremonies or compЉre.
--v.tr. & intr. (emcees, emceed) compЉre. [the letters MC]
-eme suffix Linguistics forming nouns denoting units of structure
etc. (grapheme; morpheme). [F -Љme unit f. Gk -ema]
emend v.tr. edit (a text etc.) to remove errors and corruptions.
ЬЬemendation n. emendator n. emendatory adj. [ME f. L
emendare (as E-, menda fault)]
emerald n. 1 a bright-green precious stone, a variety of beryl. 2
(also emerald green) the colour of this. ЬEmerald Isle literary
Ireland. ЬЬemeraldine adj. [ME f. OF emeraude, esm-, ult. f.
emerge v.intr. (often foll. by from) 1 come up or out into view, esp.
when formerly concealed. 2 come up out of a liquid. 3 (of
facts, circumstances, etc.) come to light, become known, esp. as
a result of inquiry etc. 4 become recognized or prominent
(emerged as a leading contender). 5 (of a question, difficulty,
etc.) become apparent. 6 survive (an ordeal etc.) with a
specified result (emerged unscathed). ЬЬemergence n. [L
emergere emers- (as E-, mergere dip)]
emergency n. (pl. -ies) 1 a sudden state of danger, conflict, etc.,
requiring immediate action. 2 a a medical condition requiring
immediate treatment. b a patient with such a condition. 3
(attrib.) characterized by or for use in an emergency. 4
Austral. Sport a reserve player. Ьstate of emergency a
condition of danger or disaster affecting a country, esp. with
normal constitutional procedures suspended. [med.L emergentia
emergent adj. 1 becoming apparent; emerging. 2 (of a nation) newly
formed or made independent.
emeritus adj. 1 retired and retaining one's title as an honour (emeritus
professor; professor emeritus). 2 honourably discharged from
service. [L, past part. of emereri (as E-, mereri earn)]
emersion n. 1 the act or an instance of emerging. 2 Astron. the
reappearance of a celestial body after its eclipse or
occultation. [LL emersio (as EMERGE)]
emery n. 1 a coarse rock of corundum and magnetite or haematite used
for polishing metal or other hard materials. 2 (attrib.)
covered with emery. Ьemery-board a strip of thin wood or board
coated with emery or another abrasive, used as a nail-file.
emery-paper cloth or paper covered with emery, used for
polishing or cleaning metals etc. [F ‚meri(l) f. It. smeriglio
ult. f. Gk smuris, smeris polishing powder]
emetic adj. & n. --adj. that causes vomiting. --n. an emetic
medicine. [Gk emetikos f. emeo vomit]
EMF abbr. electromotive force.
-emia US var. of -AEMIA.
emigrant n. & adj. --n. a person who emigrates. --adj. emigrating.
emigrate v. 1 intr. leave one's own country to settle in another. 2 tr.
assist (a person) to emigrate. ЬЬemigration n. emigratory adj.
[L emigrare emigrat- (as E-, migrare depart)]
‚migr‚ n. an emigrant, esp. a political exile. [F, past part. of
eminence n. 1 distinction; recognized superiority. 2 a piece of rising
ground. 3 (Eminence) a title used in addressing or referring to
a cardinal (Your Eminence; His Eminence). 4 an important
person. [L eminentia (as EMINENT)]
n. 1 a person who exercises power or influence without holding
office. 2 a confidential agent. [F, = grey cardinal (see
EMINENCE): orig. applied to Cardinal Richelieu's private
secretary, PЉre Joseph d. 1638]
eminent adj. 1 distinguished, notable. 2 (of qualities) remarkable in
degree. Ьeminent domain sovereign control over all property in
a State, with the right of expropriation. ЬЬeminently adv. [ME
f. L eminere eminent- jut]
emir n. 1 a title of various Muslim rulers. 2 archaic a male
descendant of Muhammad. [F ‚mir f. Arab. ' amir: cf. AMIR]
emirate n. the rank, domain, or reign of an emir.
emissary n. (pl. -ies) a person sent on a special mission (usu.
diplomatic, formerly usu. odious or underhand). [L emissarius
scout, spy (as EMIT)]
emission n. 1 (often foll. by of) the process or an act of emitting. 2
a thing emitted. [L emissio (as EMIT)]
emissive adj. having the power to radiate light, heat, etc.
emit v.tr. (emitted, emitting) 1 a send out (heat, light, vapour,
etc.). b discharge from the body. 2 utter (a cry etc.). [L
emittere emiss- (as E-, mittere send)]
emitter n. that which emits, esp. a region in a transistor producing
carriers of current.
Emmental n. (also Emmenthal) a kind of hard Swiss cheese with many holes
in it, similar to GruyЉre. [G Emmentaler f. Emmental in
emmer n. a kind of wheat, Triticum dicoccum, grown mainly for fodder.
emmet n. archaic or dial. an ant. [OE ‘mete: see ANT]
Emmy n. (pl. -ies) (in the US) a statuette awarded annually to an
outstanding television programme or performer. [perh. f. Immy
= image orthicon tube]
emollient adj. & n. --adj. that softens or soothes the skin. --n. an
emollient agent. ЬЬemollience n. [L emollire (as E-, mollis
emolument n. a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office. [ME f.
OF emolument or L emolumentum, orig. prob. 'payment for
corn-grinding', f. emolere (as E-, molere grind)]
emote v.intr. colloq. show excessive emotion. ЬЬemoter n.
[back-form. f. EMOTION]
emotion n. a strong mental or instinctive feeling such as love or fear.
[earlier = agitation, disturbance of the mind, f. F ‚motion f.
emotional adj. 1 of or relating to the emotions. 2 (of a person) liable
to excessive emotion. 3 expressing or based on emotion (an
emotional appeal). 4 likely to excite emotion (an emotional
issue). ЬЬemotionalism n. emotionalist n. emotionality n.
emotionalize v.tr. (also -ise). emotionally adv.
emotive adj. 1 of or characterized by emotion. 2 tending to excite
emotion. 3 arousing feeling; not purely descriptive.
ЬЬemotively adv. emotiveness n. emotivity n. [L emovere emot-
(as E-, movere move)]
empanel v.tr. (also impanel) (-panelled, -panelling; US -paneled,
-paneling) enrol or enter on a panel (those eligible for jury
service). ЬЬempanelment n. [AF empaneller (as EN-(1), PANEL)]
empathize v. Psychol. 1 intr. (usu. foll. by with) exercise empathy. 2
tr. treat with empathy.
empathy n. Psychol. the power of identifying oneself mentally with
(and so fully comprehending) a person or object of
contemplation. ЬЬempathetic adj. empathetically adv. empathic
adj. empathically adv. empathist n. [transl. G EinfЃhlung f.
ein in + FЃhlung feeling, after Gk empatheia: see SYMPATHY]
empennage n. Aeron. an arrangement of stabilizing surfaces at the tail
of an aircraft. [F f. empenner to feather (an arrow)]
emperor n. 1 the sovereign of an empire. 2 a sovereign of higher rank
than a king. Ьemperor moth a large moth, Saturnia pavonia, of
the silk-moth family, with eye-spots on all four wings. emperor
penguin the largest known penguin, Aptenodytes forsteri, of the
Antarctic. ЬЬemperorship n. [ME f. OF emperere, empereor f. L
imperator -oris f. imperare command]
emphasis n. (pl. emphases) 1 special importance or prominence attached
to a thing, fact, idea, etc. (emphasis on economy). 2 stress
laid on a word or words to indicate special meaning or
importance. 3 vigour or intensity of expression, feeling,
action, etc. 4 prominence, sharpness of contour. [L f. Gk f.
emphaino exhibit (as EN-(2), phaino show)]
emphasize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 bring (a thing, fact, etc.) into special
prominence. 2 lay stress on (a word in speaking).
emphatic adj. 1 (of language, tone, or gesture) forcibly expressive. 2
of words: a bearing the stress. b used to give emphasis. 3
expressing oneself with emphasis. 4 (of an action or process)
forcible, significant. ЬЬemphatically adv. [LL emphaticus f.
Gk emphatikos (as EMPHASIS)]
emphysema n. 1 enlargement of the air sacs of the lungs causing
breathlessness. 2 a swelling caused by the presence of air in
the connective tissues of the body. [LL f. Gk emphusema f.
emphusao puff up]
empire n. 1 an extensive group of States or countries under a single
supreme authority, esp. an emperor. 2 a supreme dominion. b
(often foll. by over) archaic absolute control. 3 a large
commercial organization etc. owned or directed by one person or
group. 4 (the Empire) hist. a the British Empire. b the Holy
Roman Empire. 5 a type or period of government in which the
sovereign is called emperor. 6 (Empire) (attrib.) a denoting a
style of furniture or dress fashionable during the first
(1804-14) or second (1852-70) French Empire. b Brit. denoting
produce from the Commonwealth. Ьempire-builder a person who
deliberately acquires extra territory, authority, etc. esp.
unnecessarily. Empire Day hist. the former name of
Commonwealth Day, orig. 24 May. [ME f. OF f. L imperium rel. to
imperare: see EMPEROR]
empiric adj. & n. --adj. = EMPIRICAL. --n. archaic 1 a person relying
solely on experiment. 2 a quack doctor. ЬЬempiricism n.
empiricist n. [L empiricus f. Gk empeirikos f. empeiria
experience f. empeiros skilled]
empirical adj. 1 based or acting on observation or experiment, not on
theory. 2 Philos. regarding sense-data as valid information. 3
deriving knowledge from experience alone. Ьempirical formula
Chem. a formula showing the constituents of a compound but not
their configuration. ЬЬempirically adv.
n. 1 the act or an instance of putting in position. 2 a
platform or defended position where a gun is placed for firing.
3 situation, position. [F (as EN-(1), PLACE)]
emplane v.intr. & tr. (also enplane) go or put on board an aeroplane.
employ v. & n. --v.tr. 1 use the services of (a person) in return for
payment; keep (a person) in one's service. 2 (often foll. by
for, in, on) use (a thing, time, energy, etc.) esp. to good
effect. 3 (often foll. by in) keep (a person) occupied. --n.
the state of being employed, esp. for wages. Ьin the employ of
employed by. ЬЬemployable adj. employability n. employer n.
[ME f. OF employer ult. f. L implicari be involved f. implicare
enfold: see IMPLICATE]
employee n. (US employe) a person employed for wages or salary, esp. at
n. 1 the act of employing or the state of being employed. 2 a
person's regular trade or profession. Ьemployment agency a
business that finds employers or employees for those seeking
them. employment office (formerly employment exchange) Brit.
any of a number of government offices concerned with advising
and finding work for the unemployed.
empolder var. of IMPOLDER.
emporium n. (pl. emporia or -ums) 1 a large retail store selling a wide
variety of goods. 2 a centre of commerce, a market. [L f. Gk
emporion f. emporos merchant]
empower v.tr. (foll. by to + infin.) 1 authorize, license. 2 give
power to; make able. ЬЬempowerment n.
empress n. 1 the wife or widow of an emperor. 2 a woman emperor. [ME
f. OF emperesse fem. of emperere EMPEROR]
empty adj., v., & n. --adj. (emptier, emptiest) 1 containing
nothing. 2 (of a house etc.) unoccupied or unfurnished. 3 (of
a transport vehicle etc.) without a load, passengers, etc. 4 a
meaningless, hollow, insincere (empty threats; an empty
gesture). b without substance or purpose (an empty existence).
5 colloq. hungry. 6 (foll. by of) devoid, lacking. --v.
(-ies, -ied) 1 tr. a make empty; remove the contents of. b
(foll. by of) deprive of certain contents (emptied the room of
its chairs). 2 tr. (often foll. by into) transfer (the contents
of a container). 3 intr. become empty. 4 intr. (usu. foll. by
into) (of a river) discharge itself (into the sea etc.). --n.
(pl. -ies) colloq. a container (esp. a bottle) left empty of
its contents. Ьempty-handed 1 bringing or taking nothing. 2
having achieved or obtained nothing. empty-headed foolish;
lacking common sense. empty-nester US either of a couple whose
children have grown up and left home. on an empty stomach see
STOMACH. ЬЬemptily adv. emptiness n. [OE ‘mtig, ‘metig f.
empurple v.tr. 1 make purple or red. 2 make angry.
empyema n. a collection of pus in a cavity, esp. in the pleura. [LL f.
Gk empuema f. empueo suppurate (as EN-(2), puon pus)]
empyrean n. & adj. --n. 1 the highest heaven, as the sphere of fire in
ancient cosmology or as the abode of God in early Christianity.
2 the visible heavens. --adj. of the empyrean. ЬЬempyreal adj.
[med.L empyreus f. Gk empurios (as EN-(2), pur fire)]
EMS abbr. European Monetary System.
emu n. a large flightless bird, Dromaius novaehollandiae, native to
Australia, and capable of running at high speed. [earlier emia,
eme f. Port. ema]
e.m.u. abbr. electromagnetic unit(s).
emulate v.tr. 1 try to equal or excel. 2 imitate zealously. 3 rival.
ЬЬemulation n. emulative adj. emulator n. [L aemulari (as
emulous adj. 1 (usu. foll. by of) seeking to emulate. 2 actuated by a
spirit of rivalry. ЬЬemulously adv. [ME f. L aemulus rival]
n. 1 any substance that stabilizes an emulsion, esp. a food
additive used to stabilize processed foods. 2 an apparatus used
for producing an emulsion.
emulsify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) convert into an emulsion. ЬЬemulsifiable
adj. emulsification n.
emulsion n. 1 a fine dispersion of one liquid in another, esp. as paint,
medicine, etc. 2 a mixture of a silver compound suspended in
gelatin etc. for coating plates or films. Ьemulsion paint a
water-thinned paint containing a non-volatile substance, e.g.
synthetic resin, as its binding medium. ЬЬemulsionize v.tr.
(also -ise). emulsive adj. [F ‚mulsion or mod.L emulsio f.
emulgere (as E-, mulgere muls- to milk)]
en n. Printing a unit of measurement equal to half an em. Ьen
rule (or dash) a short dash used in punctuation. [name of the
en-(1) prefix (also em- before b, p) forming verbs, = IN-(1): 1 from
nouns, meaning 'put into or on' (engulf; entrust; embed). 2
from nouns or adjectives, meaning 'bring into the condition of'
(enslave); often with the suffix -en (enlighten). 3 from verbs:
a in the sense 'in, into, on' (enfold). b as an intensive
(entangle). [from or after F en- f. L in-]
en-(2) prefix (also em- before b, p) in, inside (energy; enthusiasm).
-en(1) suffix forming verbs: 1 from adjectives, usu. meaning 'make or
become so or more so' (deepen; fasten; moisten). 2 from nouns
(happen; strengthen). [OE -nian f. Gmc]
-en(2) suffix (also -n) forming adjectives from nouns, meaning: 1 made
or consisting of (often with extended and figurative senses)
(wooden). 2 resembling; of the nature of (golden; silvern).
[OE f. Gmc]
-en(3) suffix (also -n) forming past participles of strong verbs: 1 as
a regular inflection (spoken; sworn). 2 with restricted sense
(drunken). [OE f. Gmc]
-en(4) suffix forming the plural of a few nouns (children; brethren;
oxen). [ME reduction of OE -an]
-en(5) suffix forming diminutives of nouns (chicken; maiden). [OE f.
enable v.tr. 1 (foll. by to + infin.) give (a person etc.) the means
or authority to do something. 2 make possible. 3 esp.
Computing make (a device) operational; switch on. Ьenabling act
1 a statute empowering a person or body to take certain action.
2 US a statute legalizing something otherwise unlawful.
enact v.tr. 1 a (often foll. by that + clause) ordain, decree. b
make (a bill etc.) law. 2 play (a part or scene on stage or in
life). ЬЬenactable adj. enaction n. enactive adj. enactor n.
enactment n. 1 a law enacted. 2 the process of enacting.
enamel n. & v. --n. 1 a glasslike opaque or semi-transparent coating
on metallic or other hard surfaces for ornament or as a
preservative lining. 2 a a smooth hard coating. b a cosmetic
simulating this. 3 the hard glossy natural coating over the
crown of a tooth. 4 painting done in enamel. 5 poet. a smooth
bright surface colouring, verdure, etc. --v.tr. (enamelled,
enamelling; US enameled, enameling) 1 inlay or encrust (a metal
etc.) with enamel. 2 portray (figures etc.) with enamel. 3
archaic adorn with varied colours. Ьenamel paint a paint that
dries to give a smooth hard coat. ЬЬenameller n. enamelwork n.
[ME f. AF enameler, enamailler (as EN-(1), OF esmail f. Gmc)]
n. enamelled kitchenware.
enamour v.tr. (US enamor) (usu. in passive; foll. by of) 1 inspire with
love or liking. 2 charm, delight. [ME f. OF enamourer f.
amourer (as EN-(1), AMOUR)]
enanthema n. Med. an eruption occurring on a mucus-secreting surface
such as the inside of the mouth. [mod.L f. Gk enanthema
eruption (as EN-(1), EXANTHEMA)]
n. Chem. a molecule with a mirror image. ЬЬenantiomeric adj.
[Gk enantios opposite+ -MER]
n. a mirror image; a form (esp. of a crystal structure etc.)
related to another as an object is to its mirror image.
ЬЬenantiomorphic adj. enantiomorphism n. enantiomorphous adj.
[G f. Gk enantios opposite + morphe form]
n. (pl. enarthroses) Anat. a ball-and-socket joint. [Gk f.
enarthros jointed (as EN-(2), arthron joint)]
en bloc adv. in a block; all at the same time; wholesale. [F]
en brosse adj. (of hair) cut short and bristly. [F]
encaenia n. 1 (at Oxford University) an annual celebration in memory of
founders and benefactors. 2 a dedication festival. [L f. Gk
egkainia (as EN-(2), kainos new)]
encage v.tr. confine in or as in a cage.
encamp v.tr. & intr. 1 settle in a military camp. 2 lodge in the open
n. 1 a place where troops etc. are encamped. 2 the process of
setting up a camp.
v.tr. 1 enclose in or as in a capsule. 2 summarize; express
the essential features of. 3 isolate. ЬЬencapsulation n.
[EN-(1) + L capsula CAPSULE]
encase v.tr. (also incase) 1 put into a case. 2 surround as with a
case. ЬЬencasement n.
encash v.tr. Brit. 1 convert (bills etc.) into cash. 2 receive in
the form of cash; realize. ЬЬencashable adj. encashment n.
encaustic adj. & n. --adj. 1 (in painting, ceramics, etc.) using
pigments mixed with hot wax, which are burned in as an inlay. 2
(of bricks and tiles) inlaid with differently coloured clays
burnt in. --n. 1 the art of encaustic painting. 2 a painting
done with this technique. [L encausticus f. Gk egkaustikos (as
-ence suffix forming nouns expressing: 1 a quality or state or an
instance of one (patience; an impertinence). 2 an action
(reference; reminiscence). [from or after F -ence f. L -entia,
-antia (cf. -ANCE) f. pres. part. stem -ent-, -ant-]
enceinte n. & adj. --n. an enclosure, esp. in fortification. --adj.
archaic pregnant. [F, ult. f. L cingere cinct- gird: see
adj. of or relating to the brain. [Gk egkephalos brain (as
EN-(2), kephale head)]
var. of ENKEPHALIN.
n. inflammation of the brain. Ьencephalitis lethargica an
infectious encephalitis caused by a virus, with headache and
drowsiness leading to coma; sleepy sickness. ЬЬencephalitic
comb. form brain. [Gk egkephalos brain]
n. an X-ray photograph of the brain.
n. an instrument for recording the electrical activity of the
n. Anat. the brain.
n. disease of the brain.
enchain v.tr. 1 chain up, fetter. 2 hold fast (the attention,
emotions, etc.). ЬЬenchainment n. [ME f. F enchaЊner ult. f. L
enchant v.tr. 1 charm, delight. 2 bewitch. ЬЬenchantedly adv.
enchanting adj. enchantingly adv. enchantment n. [ME f. F
enchanter f. L incantare (as IN-(2), canere cant- sing)]
enchanter n. (fem. enchantress) a person who enchants, esp. by supposed
use of magic. Ьenchanter's nightshade a small plant, Circaea
lutetiana, with white flowers.
enchase v.tr. 1 (foll. by in) place (a jewel) in a setting. 2 (foll.
by with) set (gold etc.) with gems. 3 inlay with gold etc. 4
adorn with figures in relief. 5 engrave. [ME f. F enchѓsser
(as EN-(1), CHASE(3))]
enchilada n. a tortilla with chilli sauce and usu. a filling, esp. meat.
[Amer. Sp., fem. past part. of enchilar season with chilli]
n. (pl. enchiridions or enchiridia) formal a handbook. [LL f.
Gk egkheiridion (as EN-(2), kheir hand, -idion dimin. suffix)]
encipher v.tr. 1 write (a message etc.) in cipher. 2 convert into coded
form using a cipher. ЬЬencipherment n.
encircle v.tr. 1 (usu. foll. by with) surround, encompass. 2 form a
circle round. ЬЬencirclement n.
encl. abbr. 1 enclosed. 2 enclosure.
en clair adj. & adv. (of a telegram, official message, etc.) in ordinary
language (not in code or cipher). [F, lit. 'in clear']
enclasp v.tr. hold in a clasp or embrace.
enclave n. 1 a portion of territory of one State surrounded by
territory of another or others, as viewed by the surrounding
territory (cf. EXCLAVE). 2 a group of people who are
culturally, intellectually, or socially distinct from those
surrounding them. [F f. enclaver ult. f. L clavis key]
enclitic adj. & n. Gram. --adj. (of a word) pronounced with so little
emphasis that it forms part of the preceding word. --n. such a
word, e.g. not in cannot. ЬЬenclitically adv. [LL encliticus
f. Gk egklitikos (as EN-(2), klino lean)]
enclose v.tr. (also inclose) 1 (often foll. by with, in) a surround
with a wall, fence, etc. b shut in on all sides. 2 fence in
(common land) so as to make it private property. 3 put in a
receptacle (esp. in an envelope together with a letter). 4
(usu. as enclosed adj.) seclude (a religious community) from the
outside world. 5 esp. Math. bound on all sides; contain. 6 hem
in on all sides. [ME f. OF enclos past part. of enclore ult. f.
L includere (as INCLUDE)]
enclosure n. (also inclosure) 1 the act of enclosing, esp. of common
land. 2 Brit. an enclosed space or area, esp. for a special
class of persons at a sporting event. 3 a thing enclosed with a
letter. 4 an enclosing fence etc. [AF & OF (as ENCLOSE)]
encode v.tr. put (a message etc.) into code or cipher. ЬЬencoder n.
encomiast n. 1 the composer of an encomium. 2 a flatterer.
ЬЬencomiastic adj. [Gk egkomiastes (as ENCOMIUM)]
encomium n. (pl. encomiums or encomia) a formal or high-flown
expression of praise. [L f. Gk egkomion (as EN-(2), komos
encompass v.tr. 1 surround or form a circle about, esp. to protect or
attack. 2 contain. ЬЬencompassment n.
encore n., v., & int. --n. 1 a call by an audience or spectators for
the repetition of an item, or for a further item. 2 such an
item. --v.tr. 1 call for the repetition of (an item). 2 call
back (a performer) for this. --int. also again, once more.
[F, = once again]
encounter v. & n. --v.tr. 1 meet by chance or unexpectedly. 2 meet as
an adversary. --n. 1 a meeting by chance. 2 a meeting in
conflict. 3 participation in an encounter group. Ьencounter
group a group of persons seeking psychological benefit through
close contact with one another. [ME f. OF encontrer, encontre
ult. f. L contra against]
encourage v.tr. 1 give courage, confidence, or hope to. 2 (foll. by to +
infin.) urge, advise. 3 stimulate by help, reward, etc. 4
promote or assist (an enterprise, opinion, etc.).
ЬЬencouragement n. encourager n. encouraging adj.
encouragingly adv. [ME f. F encourager (as EN(1), COURAGE)]
encroach v.intr. 1 (foll. by on, upon) intrude, esp. on another's
territory or rights. 2 advance gradually beyond due limits.
ЬЬencroacher n. encroachment n. [ME f. OF encrochier (as
EN-(1), crochier f. croc hook: see CROOK)]
encrust v. (also incrust) 1 tr. cover with a crust. 2 tr. overlay with
an ornamental crust of precious material. 3 intr. form a crust.
ЬЬencrustment n. [F incruster f. L incrustare (as IN-(2),
crustare f. crusta CRUST)]
var. of INCRUSTATION.
encrypt v.tr. 1 convert (data) into code, esp. to prevent unauthorized
access. 2 conceal by this means. ЬЬencryption n. [EN-(1) + Gk
encumber v.tr. 1 be a burden to. 2 hamper, impede. 3 burden (a person
or estate) with debts, esp. mortgages. 4 fill or block (a
place) esp. with lumber. ЬЬencumberment n. [ME f. OF encombrer
block up f. Rmc]
n. 1 a burden. 2 an impediment. 3 a mortgage or other charge
on property. 4 an annoyance. Ьwithout encumbrance having no
children. [ME f. OF encombrance (as ENCUMBER)]
-ency suffix forming nouns denoting a quality (efficiency; fluency) or
state (presidency) but not action (cf. -ENCE). [L -entia (cf.
n. & adj. --n. a papal letter sent to all bishops of the Roman
Catholic Church. --adj. (of a letter) for wide circulation.
[LL encyclicus f. Gk egkuklios (as EN-(2), kuklos circle)]
n. (also encyclopedia) a book, often in several volumes, giving
information on many subjects, or on many aspects of one subject,
usu. arranged alphabetically. [mod.L f. spurious Gk
egkuklopaideia for egkuklios paideia all-round education: cf.
adj. (also encyclopedic) (of knowledge or information)
n. (also encyclopedism) encyclopaedic learning.
n. (also encyclopedist) a person who writes, edits, or
contributes to an encyclopaedia.
encyst v.tr. & intr. Biol. enclose or become enclosed in a cyst.
ЬЬencystation n. encystment n.
end n. & v. --n. 1 a the extreme limit; the point beyond which a
thing does not continue. b an extremity of a line, or of the
greatest dimension of an object. c the furthest point (to the
ends of the earth). 2 the surface bounding a thing at either
extremity; an extreme part (a strip of wood with a nail in one
end). 3 a conclusion, finish (no end to his misery). b the
latter or final part. c death, destruction, downfall (met an
untimely end). d result, outcome. e an ultimate state or
condition. 4 a a thing one seeks to attain; a purpose (will do
anything to achieve his ends; to what end?). b the object for
which a thing exists. 5 a remnant; a piece left over
(cigarette-end). 6 (prec. by the) colloq. the limit of
endurability. 7 the half of a sports pitch or court occupied by
one team or player. 8 the part or share with which a person is
concerned (no problem at my end). 9 Bowls a unit of play in
which play is from one side of the green towards the other. 10
US Football a player at the extremity of a line or team. --v.
1 tr. & intr. bring or come to an end. 2 tr. put an end to;
destroy. 3 intr. (foll. by in) have as its result (will end in
tears). 4 intr. (foll. by by) do or achieve eventually (ended
by marrying an heiress). Ьall ends up completely. at an end
exhausted or completed. at the end of one's tether see TETHER.
come to a bad (or sticky) end meet with ruin or disgrace. come
to an end 1 be completed or finished. 2 become exhausted.
end-around n. US Football an offensive play in which an end
carries the ball round the opposite end. --adj. Computing
involving the transfer of a digit from one end of a register to
the other. end-game the final stage of a game (esp. chess),
when few pieces remain. end it all (or end it) colloq. commit
suicide. end of the road the point at which a hope or endeavour
has to be abandoned. end of the world the cessation of mortal
life. end on with the end facing one, or with the end adjoining
the end of the next object. end-play Bridge a method of play in
the last few tricks to force an opponent to make a
disadvantageous lead. end-point the final stage of a process,
esp. the point at which an effect is observed in titration,
dilution, etc. end-product the final product of manufacture,
radioactive decay, etc. end result final outcome. end run US 1
Football an attempt by the ball-carrier to run round his or her
own end. 2 an evasive tactic esp. in war or politics. end
standard a standard of length in the form of a metal bar or
block with the end faces the standard distance apart.
end-stopped (of verse) having a pause at the end of each line.
end to end with the end of each of a series adjoining the end of
the next. end up reach a specified state, action, or place
eventually (ended up a drunkard; ended up making a fortune).
end-user the person, customer, etc., who is the ultimate user of
a product. in the end finally; after all. keep one's end up do
one's part despite difficulties. make an end of put a stop to.
make ends (or both ends) meet live within one's income. no end
colloq. to a great extent, very much. no end of colloq. much
or many of. on end 1 upright (hair stood on end). 2
continuously (for three weeks on end). put an end to 1 stop (an
activity etc.). 2 abolish, destroy. ЬЬender n. [OE ende,
endian, f. Gmc]
-end suffix forming nouns in the sense 'person or thing to be treated
in a specified way' (dividend; reverend). [L gerundive ending
endanger v.tr. place in danger. Ьendangered species a species in danger
of extinction. ЬЬendangerment n.
endear v.tr. (usu. foll. by to) make dear to or beloved by.
n. 1 an expression of affection. 2 liking, affection.
endeavour v. & n. (US endeavor) --v. 1 tr. (foll. by to + infin.) try
earnestly. 2 intr. (foll. by after) archaic strive. --n.
(often foll. by at, or to + infin.) an earnest attempt. [ME f.
put oneself in DEVOIR]
endemic adj. & n. --adj. regularly or only found among a particular
people or in a certain region. --n. an endemic disease or
plant. ЬЬendemically adv. endemicity n. endemism n. [F
end‚mique or mod.L endemicus f. Gk endemos native (as EN-(2),
demos the people)]
endermic adj. acting on or through the skin. ЬЬendermically adv.
[EN-(2) + Gk derma skin]
ending n. 1 an end or final part, esp. of a story. 2 an inflected
final part of a word. [OE (as END, -ING(1))]
endive n. 1 a curly-leaved plant, Cichorium endivia, used in salads.
2 US a chicory crown. [ME f. OF f. LL endivia ult. f. Gk
endless adj. 1 infinite; without end; eternal. 2 continual, incessant
(tired of their endless complaints). 3 colloq. innumerable. 4
(of a belt, chain, etc.) having the ends joined for continuous
action over wheels etc. Ьendless screw a short length of screw
revolving to turn a cog-wheel. ЬЬendlessly adv. endlessness n.
[OE endeleas (as END, -LESS)]
endmost adj. nearest the end.
endnote n. a note printed at the end of a book or section of a book.
endo- comb. form internal. [Gk endon within]
n. inflammation of the endocardium. ЬЬendocarditic adj.
n. the lining membrane of the heart. [ENDO- + Gk kardia heart]
endocarp n. the innermost layer of the pericarp. ЬЬendocarpic adj.
[ENDO- + PERICARP]
endocrine adj. (of a gland) secreting directly into the blood; ductless.
[ENDO- + Gk krino sift]
n. the study of the structure and physiology of endocrine
glands. ЬЬendocrinological adj. endocrinologist n.
endoderm n. Biol. the innermost layer of an animal embryo in early
development. ЬЬendodermal adj. endodermic adj. [ENDO- + Gk
endogamy n. 1 Anthropol. marrying within the same tribe. 2 Bot.
pollination from the same plant. ЬЬendogamous adj. [ENDO- + Gk
adj. growing or originating from within. ЬЬendogenesis n.
endolymph n. the fluid in the membranous labyrinth of the ear.
n. Anat. the membrane lining the womb. ЬЬendometritis n.
[ENDO- + Gk metra womb]
endomorph n. 1 a person with a soft round build of body and a high
proportion of fat tissue (cf. ECTOMORPH, MESOMORPH). 2
Mineral. a mineral enclosed within another. ЬЬendomorphic adj.
endomorphy n. [ENDO- + Gk morphe form]
n. a parasite that lives on the inside of its host. Also called
endoplasm n. the inner fluid layer of the cytoplasm.
n. Biol. a system of membranes within the cytoplasm of a
eukaryotic cell forming a link between the cell and nuclear
membranes and usu. having ribosomes attached to its surface.
endorphin n. Biochem. any of a group of peptide neurotransmitters
occurring naturally in the brain and having pain-relieving
properties. [F endorphine f. endogЉne endogenous + MORPHINE]
endorse v.tr. (also indorse) 1 a confirm (a statement or opinion). b
declare one's approval of. 2 sign or write on the back of (a
document), esp. the back of (a bill, cheque, etc.) as the payee
or to specify another as payee. 3 write (an explanation or
comment) on the back of a document. 4 Brit. enter details of a
conviction for a motoring offence on (a driving licence).
ЬЬendorsable adj. endorsee n. endorser n. [med.L indorsare
(as IN-(2), L dorsum back)]
n. 1 the act or an instance of endorsing. 2 something with
which a document etc. is endorsed, esp. a signature. 3 a record
in a driving licence of a conviction for a motoring offence.
endoscope n. Surgery an instrument for viewing the internal parts of the
body. ЬЬendoscopic adj. endoscopically adv. endoscopist n.
n. an internal skeleton, as found in vertebrates.
endosperm n. albumen enclosed with the germ in seeds.
endospore n. 1 a spore formed by certain bacteria. 2 the inner coat of a
n. Anat. a layer of cells lining the blood-vessels, heart, and
lymphatic vessels. [ENDO- + Gk thele teat]
adj. occurring or formed with the absorption of heat.
endow v.tr. 1 bequeath or give a permanent income to (a person,
institution, etc.). 2 (esp. as endowed adj.) (usu. foll. by
with) provide (a person) with talent, ability, etc. ЬЬendower
n. [ME f. AF endouer (as EN-(1), OF douer f. L dotare f. dos
endowment n. 1 the act or an instance of endowing. 2 assets, esp.
property or income with which a person or body is endowed. 3
(usu. in pl.) skill, talent, etc., with which a person is
endowed. 4 (attrib.) denoting forms of life insurance involving
payment by the insurer of a fixed sum on a specified date, or on
the death of the insured person if earlier. Ьendowment mortgage
a mortgage linked to endowment insurance of the mortgagor's
life, the capital being paid from the sum insured.
endpaper n. a usu. blank leaf of paper at the beginning and end of a
book, fixed to the inside of the cover.
endue v.tr. (also indue) (foll. by with) invest or provide (a person)
with qualities, powers, etc. [earlier = induct, put on clothes:
ME f. OF enduire f. L inducere lead in, assoc. in sense with L
induere put on (clothes)]
endurance n. 1 the power or habit of enduring (beyond endurance). 2 the
ability to withstand prolonged strain (endurance test). 3 the
act of enduring. [OF f. endurer: see ENDURE]
endure v. 1 tr. undergo (a difficulty, hardship, etc.). 2 tr. a
tolerate (a person) (cannot endure him). b (esp. with neg.;
foll. by to + infin.) bear. 3 intr. remain in existence; last.
4 tr. submit to. ЬЬendurable adj. endurability n. enduringly
adv. [ME f. OF endurer f. L indurare harden (as IN-(2), durus
enduro n. (pl. -os) a long-distance race for motor vehicles, designed
to test endurance.
endways adv. 1 with its end uppermost or foremost or turned towards the
viewer. 2 end to end.
endwise adv. = ENDWAYS.
ENE abbr. east-north-east.
-ene suffix 1 forming names of inhabitants of places (Nazarene). 2
Chem. forming names of unsaturated hydrocarbons containing a
double bond (benzene; ethylene). [from or after Gk -enos]
enema n. (pl. enemas or enemata) 1 the injection of liquid or gas
into the rectum, esp. to expel its contents. 2 a fluid or
syringe used for this. [LL f. Gk enema f. eniemi inject (as
EN-(2), hiemi send)]
enemy n. (pl. -ies) 1 a person or group actively opposing or hostile
to another, or to a cause etc. 2 a a hostile nation or army,
esp. in war. b a member of this. c a hostile ship or aircraft.
3 (usu. foll. by of, to) an adversary or opponent. 4 a thing
that harms or injures. 5 (attrib.) of or belonging to an enemy
(destroyed by enemy action). [ME f. OF enemi f. L inimicus (as
IN-(1), amicus friend)]
energize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 infuse energy into (a person or work). 2
provide energy for the operation of (a device). ЬЬenergizer n.
energumen n. an enthusiast or fanatic. [LL energumenus f. Gk
energoumenos passive part. of energeo: see ENERGETIC]
energy n. (pl. -ies) 1 force, vigour; capacity for activity. 2 (in
pl.) individual powers in use (devote your energies to this). 3
Physics the capacity of matter or radiation to do work. 4 the
means of doing work by utilizing matter or radiation. [F
‚nergie or LL energia f. Gk energeia f. ergon work]
enervate v. & adj. --v.tr. deprive of vigour or vitality. --adj.
enervated. ЬЬenervation n. [L enervatus past part. of enervare
(as E-, nervus sinew)]
adv. 1 in or with one's family. 2 at home. [F, = in family]
n. a person given undue flattery or indulgence. [F, = spoilt
n. a person who causes embarrassment by indiscreet or unruly
behaviour. [F, = terrible child]
enfeeble v.tr. make feeble. ЬЬenfeeblement n. [ME f. OF enfeblir (as
en f€te adv. & predic.adj. holding or ready for a holiday or
celebration. [F, = in festival]
enfetter v.tr. literary 1 bind in or as in fetters. 2 (foll. by to)
enfilade n. & v. --n. gunfire directed along a line from end to end.
--v.tr. direct an enfilade at (troops, a road, etc.). [F f.
enfiler (as EN-(1), fil thread)]
enfold v.tr. (also infold) 1 (usu. foll. by in, with) wrap up;
envelop. 2 clasp, embrace.
enforce v.tr. 1 compel observance of (a law etc.). 2 (foll. by on,
upon) impose (an action, conduct, one's will). 3 persist in (a
demand or argument). ЬЬenforceable adj. enforceability n.
enforcedly adv. enforcer n. [ME f. OF enforcir, -ier ult. f. L
n. the act or an instance of enforcing. Ьenforcement notice
Brit. an official notification to remedy a breach of planning
legislation. [ME f. OF, as ENFORCE + -MENT]
v.tr. 1 give (a person) the right to vote. 2 give (a town)
municipal rights, esp. that of representation in parliament. 3
hist. free (a slave, villein, etc.). ЬЬenfranchisement n. [OF
enfranchir (as EN-(1), franc franche FRANK)]
ENG abbr. electronic news gathering.
engage v. 1 tr. employ or hire (a person). 2 tr. a (usu. in passive)
employ busily; occupy (are you engaged tomorrow?). b hold fast
(a person's attention). 3 tr. (usu. in passive) bind by a
promise, esp. of marriage. 4 tr. (usu. foll. by to + infin.)
bind by a contract. 5 tr. arrange beforehand to occupy (a room,
seat, etc.). 6 (usu. foll. by with) Mech. a tr. interlock
(parts of a gear etc.); cause (a part) to interlock. b intr.
(of a part, gear, etc.) interlock. 7 a intr. (usu. foll. by
with) (of troops etc.) come into battle. b tr. bring (troops)
into battle. c tr. come into battle with (an enemy etc.). 8
intr. take part (engage in politics). 9 intr. (foll. by that +
clause or to + infin.) pledge oneself. 10 tr. (usu. as engaged
adj.) Archit. attach (a column) to a wall. 11 tr. (of fencers
etc.) interlock (weapons). ЬЬengager n. [F engager, rel. to
engag‚ adj. (of a writer etc.) morally committed. [F, past part. of
engager: see ENGAGE]
engaged adj. 1 under a promise to marry. 2 a occupied, busy. b
reserved, booked. 3 Brit. (of a telephone line) unavailable
because already in use. Ьengaged signal (or tone) Brit. a
sound indicating that a telephone line is engaged.
n. 1 the act or state of engaging or being engaged. 2 an
appointment with another person. 3 a betrothal. 4 an encounter
between hostile forces. 5 a moral commitment. Ьengagement ring
a finger-ring given by a man to a woman when they promise to
marry. [F f. engager: see ENGAGE]
engaging adj. attractive, charming. ЬЬengagingly adv. engagingness n.
engender v.tr. 1 give rise to; bring about (a feeling etc.). 2 archaic
beget. [ME f. OF engendrer f. L ingenerare (as IN-(2), generare
engine n. 1 a mechanical contrivance consisting of several parts
working together, esp. as a source of power. 2 a a railway
locomotive. b = fire-engine. c = steam engine. 3 archaic a
machine or instrument, esp. a contrivance used in warfare.
Ьengine-driver the driver of an engine, esp. a railway
locomotive. engine-room a room containing engines (esp. in a
ship). ЬЬengined adj. (also in comb.). engineless adj. [OF
engin f. L ingenium talent, device: cf. INGENIOUS]
engineer n. & v. --n. 1 a person qualified in a branch of engineering,
esp. as a professional. 2 = civil engineer. 3 a person who
makes or is in charge of engines. 4 US an engine-driver. 5 a
person who designs and constructs military works; a soldier
trained for this purpose. 6 (foll. by of) a skilful or artful
contriver. --v. 1 tr. arrange, contrive, or bring about, esp.
artfully. 2 intr. act as an engineer. 3 tr. construct or
manage as an engineer. ЬЬengineership n. [ME f. OF engigneor
f. med.L ingeniator -oris f. ingeniare (as ENGINE)]
n. the application of science to the design, building, and use
of machines, constructions, etc. Ьengineering science
engineering as a field of study.
enginery n. engines and machinery generally.
engird v.tr. surround with or as with a girdle.
engirdle v.tr. engird.
English adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to England or its people or
language. --n. 1 the language of England, now used in many
varieties in the British Isles, the United States, and most
Commonwealth or ex-Commonwealth countries, and often
internationally. 2 (prec. by the; treated as pl.) the people of
England. 3 US Billiards = SIDE n. 10. ЬEnglish bond Building
a bond of brickwork arranged in alternate courses of stretchers
and headers. English horn = COR ANGLAIS. the Queen's (or
King's) English the English language as correctly written or
spoken in Britain. ЬЬEnglishness n. [OE englisc, ‘nglisc (as
n. (pl. -men) a man who is English by birth or descent.
n. (pl. -women) a woman who is English by birth or descent.
engorge v.tr. 1 (in passive) a be crammed. b Med. be congested with
blood. 2 devour greedily. ЬЬengorgement n. [F engorger (as
engraft v.tr. (also ingraft) 1 Bot. (usu. foll. by into, upon) insert
(a scion of one tree into another). 2 (usu. foll. by in)
implant (principles etc.) in a person's mind. 3 (usu. foll. by
into) incorporate permanently. ЬЬengraftment n.
engrail v.tr. (usu. as engrailed adj.) esp. Heraldry indent the edge of;
give a serrated appearance to. [ME f. OF engresler (as EN-(1),
engrain v.tr. 1 implant (a habit, belief, or attitude) ineradicably in
a person (see also INGRAINED). 2 cause (dye etc.) to sink
deeply into a thing. [ME f. OF engrainer dye in grain (en
graine): see GRAIN]
engrained adj. inveterate (see also INGRAINED).
engram n. a memory-trace, a supposed permanent change in the brain
accounting for the existence of memory. ЬЬengrammatic adj. [G
Engramm f. Gk en in + gramma letter of the alphabet]
engrave v.tr. 1 (often foll. by on) inscribe, cut, or carve (a text or
design) on a hard surface. 2 (often foll. by with) inscribe or
ornament (a surface) in this way. 3 cut (a design) as lines on
a metal plate for printing. 4 (often foll. by on) impress
deeply on a person's memory etc. ЬЬengraver n. [EN-(1) +
engraving n. a print made from an engraved plate.
engross v.tr. 1 absorb the attention of; occupy fully (engrossed in
studying). 2 make a fair copy of a legal document. 3 reproduce
(a document etc.) in larger letters or larger format. 4 archaic
monopolize (a conversation etc.). ЬЬengrossing adj. (in sense
1). engrossment n. [ME f. AF engrosser: senses 2 and 3 f. en
in + grosse large writing: senses 1 and 4 f. en gros wholesale]
engulf v.tr. (also ingulf) 1 flow over and swamp; overwhelm. 2
swallow or plunge into a gulf. ЬЬengulfment n.
enhance v.tr. heighten or intensify (qualities, powers, value, etc.);
improve (something already of good quality). ЬЬenhancement n.
enhancer n. [ME f. AF enhauncer, prob. alt. f. OF enhaucier
ult. f. L altus high]
adj. Mus. of or having intervals smaller than a semitone (esp.
such intervals as that between G sharp and A flat, these notes
being made the same in a scale of equal temperament).
ЬЬenharmonically adv. [LL enharmonicus f. Gk enarmonikos (as
EN-(2), harmonia HARMONY)]
enigma n. 1 a puzzling thing or person. 2 a riddle or paradox.
ЬЬenigmatic adj. enigmatical adj. enigmatically adv.
enigmatize v.tr. (also -ise). [L aenigma f. Gk ainigma -matos
f. ainissomai speak allusively f. ainos fable]
n. (also enjambement) Prosody the continuation of a sentence
without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
[F enjambement f. enjamber (as EN-(1), jambe leg)]
enjoin v.tr. 1 a (foll. by to + infin.) command or order (a person).
b (foll. by that + clause) issue instructions. 2 (often foll.
by on) impose or prescribe (an action or conduct). 3 (usu.
foll. by from) Law prohibit (a person) by order. ЬЬenjoinment
n. [ME f. OF enjoindre f. L injungere (as IN-(2), jungere
enjoy v.tr. 1 take delight or pleasure in. 2 have the use or benefit
of. 3 experience (enjoy poor health). Ьenjoy oneself
experience pleasure. ЬЬenjoyer n. enjoyment n. [ME f. OF
enjoier give joy to or enjo‹r enjoy, ult. f. L gaudere rejoice]
enjoyable adj. pleasant; giving enjoyment. ЬЬenjoyability n.
enjoyableness n. enjoyably adv.
n. (also encephalin) Biochem. either of two morphine-like
peptides occurring naturally in the brain and thought to control
levels of pain. [Gk egkephalos brain]
enkindle v.tr. literary 1 a cause (flames) to flare up. b stimulate
(feeling, passion, etc.). 2 inflame with passion.
enlace v.tr. 1 encircle tightly. 2 entwine. 3 enfold. ЬЬenlacement
n. [ME f. OF enlacier ult. f. L laqueus noose]
enlarge v. 1 tr. & intr. make or become larger or wider. 2 a tr.
describe in greater detail. b intr. (usu. foll. by upon)
expatiate. 3 tr. Photog. produce an enlargement of (a
negative). [ME f. OF enlarger (as EN-(1), LARGE)]
n. 1 the act or an instance of enlarging; the state of being
enlarged. 2 Photog. a print that is larger than the negative
from which it is produced.
enlarger n. Photog. an apparatus for enlarging or reducing negatives or
enlighten v.tr. 1 (often foll. by on) instruct or inform (about a
subject). 2 (esp. as enlightened adj.) free from prejudice or
superstition. 3 rhet. or poet. a shed light on (an object). b
give spiritual insight to (a person). ЬЬenlightener n.
n. 1 the act or an instance of enlightening; the state of being
enlightened. 2 (the Enlightenment) the 18th-c. philosophy
emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition.
enlist v. 1 intr. & tr. enrol in the armed services. 2 tr. secure as
a means of help or support. Ьenlisted man US a soldier or
sailor below the rank of officer. ЬЬenlister n. enlistment n.
enliven v.tr. 1 give life or spirit to. 2 make cheerful, brighten (a
picture or scene). ЬЬenlivener n. enlivenment n.
en masse adv. 1 all together. 2 in a mass. [F]
enmesh v.tr. entangle in or as in a net. ЬЬenmeshment n.
enmity n. (pl. -ies) 1 the state of being an enemy. 2 a feeling of
hostility. [ME f. OF enemiti‚ f. Rmc (as ENEMY)]
ennead n. a group of nine. [Gk enneas enneados f. ennea nine]
ennoble v.tr. 1 make (a person) a noble. 2 make noble; elevate.
ЬЬennoblement n. [F ennoblir (as EN-(1), NOBLE)]
ennui n. mental weariness from lack of occupation or interest;
boredom. [F f. L in odio: cf. ODIUM]
enology US var. of OENOLOGY.
enormity n. (pl. -ies) 1 extreme wickedness. 2 an act of extreme
wickedness. 3 a serious error. 4 disp. great size;
enormousness. [ME f. F ‚normit‚ f. L enormitas -tatis f.
enormis (as ENORMOUS)]
enormous adj. very large; huge (enormous animals; an enormous
difference). ЬЬenormously adv. enormousness n. [L enormis (as
E-, norma pattern, standard)]
enosis n. the political union of Cyprus and Greece, as an ideal or
proposal. [mod. Gk enosis f. ena one]
enough adj., n., adv., & int. --adj. as much or as many as required
(we have enough apples; we do not have enough sugar; earned
enough money to buy a house). --n. an amount or quantity that
is enough (we have enough of everything now; enough is as good
as a feast). --adv. 1 to the required degree, adequately (are
you warm enough?). 2 fairly (she sings well enough). 3 very,
quite (you know well enough what I mean; oddly enough). --int.
that is enough (in various senses, esp. to put an end to an
action, thing said, etc.). Ьhave had enough of want no more of;
be satiated with or tired of. [OE genog f. Gmc]
adv. 1 by the way. 2 Chess used with reference to the
permitted capture of an opponent's pawn that has just advanced
two squares in its first move with a pawn that could have taken
it if it had advanced only one square. [F, = in passing]
adv. as a boarder or resident. [F: see PENSION(2)]
enplane var. of EMPLANE.
enprint n. a standard-sized photographic print. [enlarged print]
enquire v. 1 intr. (often foll. by of) seek information; ask a question
(of a person). 2 intr. = INQUIRE. 3 intr. (foll. by after,
for) ask about a person, a person's health, etc. 4 intr. (foll.
by for) ask about the availability of. 5 tr. ask for
information as to (enquired my name; enquired whether we were
coming). ЬЬenquirer n. [ME enquere f. OF enquerre ult. f. L
inquirere (as IN-(2), quaerere quaesit- seek)]
enquiry n. (pl. -ies) 1 the act or an instance of asking or seeking
information. 2 = INQUIRY.
enrage v.tr. (often foll. by at, by, with) make furious. ЬЬenragement
n. [F enrager (as EN-(1), RAGE)]
adv. (usu. foll. by with) in harmony or rapport. [F: see
enrapture v.tr. give intense delight to.
enrich v.tr. 1 make rich or richer. 2 make richer in quality,
flavour, nutritive value, etc. 3 add to the contents of (a
collection, museum, or book). 4 increase the content of an
isotope in (material) esp. enrich uranium with isotope U-235.
ЬЬenrichment n. [ME f. OF enrichir (as EN-(1), RICH)]
enrobe v.intr. put on a robe, vestment, etc.
enrol v. (US enroll) (enrolled, enrolling) 1 intr. enter one's name
on a list, esp. as a commitment to membership. 2 tr. a write
the name of (a person) on a list. b (usu. foll. by in)
incorporate (a person) as a member of a society etc. 3 tr.
hist. enter (a deed etc.) among the rolls of a court of justice.
4 tr. record. ЬЬenrollee n. enroller n. [ME f. OF enroller
(as EN-(1), rolle ROLL)]
enrolment n. (US enrollment) 1 the act or an instance of enrolling; the
state of being enrolled. 2 US the number of persons enrolled,
esp. at a school or college.
en route adv. (usu. foll. by to, for) on the way. [F]
ensconce v.tr. (usu. refl. or in passive) establish or settle
comfortably, safely, or secretly.
ensemble n. 1 a a thing viewed as the sum of its parts. b the general
effect of this. 2 a set of clothes worn together; an outfit. 3
a group of actors, dancers, musicians, etc., performing
together, esp. subsidiary dancers in ballet etc. 4 Mus. a a
concerted passage for an ensemble. b the manner in which this
is performed (good ensemble). 5 Math. a group of systems with
the same constitution but possibly in different states. [F,
ult. f. L insimul (as IN-(2), simul at the same time)]
enshrine v.tr. 1 enclose in or as in a shrine. 2 serve as a shrine for.
3 preserve or cherish. ЬЬenshrinement n.
enshroud v.tr. literary 1 cover with or as with a shroud. 2 cover
completely; hide from view.
ensign n. 1 a a banner or flag, esp. the military or naval flag of a
nation. b Brit. a flag with the union in the corner. 2 a
standard-bearer. 3 a hist. the lowest commissioned infantry
officer. b US the lowest commissioned officer in the navy.
Ьblue ensign the ensign of government departments and formerly
of the naval reserve etc. red ensign the ensign of the merchant
service. white ensign the ensign of the Royal Navy and the
Royal Yacht Squadron. ЬЬensigncy n. [ME f. OF enseigne f. L
insignia: see INSIGNIA]
ensilage n. & v. --n. = SILAGE. --v.tr. treat (fodder) by ensilage. [F
ensile v.tr. 1 put (fodder) into a silo. 2 preserve (fodder) in a
silo. [F ensiler f. Sp. ensilar (as EN-(1), SILO)]
enslave v.tr. make (a person) a slave. ЬЬenslavement n. enslaver n.
ensnare v.tr. catch in or as in a snare; entrap. ЬЬensnarement n.
ensue v.intr. 1 happen afterwards. 2 (often foll. by from, on) occur
as a result. [ME f. OF ensuivre ult. f. L sequi follow]
en suite adv. forming a single unit (bedroom with bathroom en suite).
[F, = in sequence]
ensure v.tr. 1 (often foll. by that + clause) make certain. 2 (usu.
foll. by to, for) secure (a thing for a person etc.). 3 (usu.
foll. by against) make safe. ЬЬensurer n. [ME f. AF enseЃrer
f. OF aseЃrer ASSURE]
enswathe v.tr. bind or wrap in or as in a bandage. ЬЬenswathement n.
ENT abbr. ear, nose, and throat.
-ent suffix 1 forming adjectives denoting attribution of an action
(consequent) or state (existent). 2 forming nouns denoting an
agent (coefficient; president). [from or after F -ent or L
-ent- pres. part. stem of verbs (cf. -ANT)]
n. Archit. the upper part of a classical building supported by
columns or a colonnade, comprising architrave, frieze, and
cornice. [It. intavolatura f. intavolare board up (as IN-(2),
n. a platform supporting a statue, above the dado and base.
[F, f. entabler (as EN-(1), TABLE)]
entail v. & n. --v.tr. 1 necessitate or involve unavoidably (the work
entails much effort). 2 Law bequeath (property etc.) so that it
remains within a family. 3 (usu. foll. by on) bestow (a thing)
inalienably. --n. Law 1 an entailed estate. 2 the succession
to such an estate. ЬЬentailment n. [ME, f. EN-(1) + AF taile
entangle v.tr. 1 cause to get caught in a snare or among obstacles. 2
cause to become tangled. 3 involve in difficulties or illicit
activities. 4 make (a thing) tangled or intricate; complicate.
n. 1 the act or condition of entangling or being entangled. 2
a a thing that entangles. b Mil. an extensive barrier erected
to obstruct an enemy's movements (esp. one made of stakes and
interlaced barbed wire). 3 a compromising (esp. amorous)
entasis n. Archit. a slight convex curve in a column shaft to correct
the visual illusion that straight sides give of curving inwards.
[mod.L f. Gk f. enteino to stretch]
entellus n. = HANUMAN. [name of a Trojan in Virgil's Aeneid]
entente n. 1 = ENTENTE CORDIALE. 2 a group of States in such a
relation. [F, = understanding (as INTENT)]
n. a friendly understanding between States, esp. (often
Entente Cordiale) that reached in 1904 between Britain and
France. [F, = cordial understanding: see ENTENTE]
enter v. 1 a intr. (often foll. by into) go or come in. b tr. go or
come into. c intr. come on stage (as a direction : enter
Macbeth). 2 tr. penetrate; go through (a bullet entered his
chest). 3 tr. (often foll. by up) write (a name, details, etc.)
in a list, book, etc. 4 a intr. register or announce oneself as
a competitor (entered for the long jump). b tr. become a
competitor in (an event). c tr. record the name of (a person
etc.) as a competitor (entered two horses for the Derby). 5 tr.
a become a member of (a society etc.). b enrol as a member or
prospective member of a society, school, etc.; admit or obtain
admission for. 6 tr. make known; present for consideration
(entered a protest). 7 tr. put into an official record. 8
intr. (foll. by into) a engage in (conversation, relations, an
undertaking, etc.). b subscribe to; bind oneself by (an
agreement etc.). c form part of (one's calculations, plans,
etc.). d sympathize with (feelings etc.). 9 intr. (foll. by
on, upon) a begin, undertake; begin to deal with (a subject). b
assume the functions of (an office). c assume possession of
(property). 10 intr. (foll. by up) complete a series of entries
in (account-books etc.). ЬЬenterer n. [ME f. OF entrer f. L
enteric adj. & n. --adj. of the intestines. --n. (in full enteric
fever) typhoid. ЬЬenteritis n. [Gk enterikos (as ENTERO-)]
entero- comb. form intestine. [Gk enteron intestine]
n. (pl. -ies) Surgery a surgical operation in which the small
intestine is brought through the abdominal wall and opened, in
order to bypass the stomach or the colon.
n. (pl. -ies) Surgery the surgical cutting open of the
n. a virus infecting the intestines and sometimes spreading to
other parts of the body, esp. the central nervous system.
n. 1 an undertaking, esp. a bold or difficult one. 2 (as a
personal attribute) readiness to engage in such undertakings
(has no enterprise). 3 a business firm. Ьenterprise zone Brit.
a depressed (usu. urban) area where State incentives such as tax
concessions are designed to encourage investment. ЬЬenterpriser
n. [ME f. OF entreprise fem. past part. of entreprendre var. of
emprendre ult. f. L prendere, prehendere take]
adj. 1 ready to engage in enterprises. 2 resourceful,
imaginative, energetic. ЬЬenterprisingly adv.
entertain v.tr. 1 amuse; occupy agreeably. 2 a receive or treat as a
guest. b (absol.) receive guests (they entertain a great deal).
3 give attention or consideration to (an idea, feeling, or
proposal). [ME f. F entretenir ult. f. L tenere hold]
n. a person who entertains, esp. professionally on stage etc.
adj. amusing, diverting.
n. 1 the act or an instance of entertaining; the process of
being entertained. 2 a public performance or show. 3
diversions or amusements for guests etc. 4 amusement (much to
my entertainment). 5 hospitality.
enthalpy n. Physics the total thermodynamic heat content of a system.
[Gk enthalpo warm in (as EN-(1), thalpo to heat)]
enthrone v.tr. 1 install (a king, bishop, etc.) on a throne, esp.
ceremonially. 2 exalt. ЬЬenthronement n.
enthuse v.intr. & tr. colloq. be or make enthusiastic. [back-form. f.
n. 1 (often foll. by for, about) a strong interest or
admiration. b great eagerness. 2 an object of enthusiasm. 3
archaic extravagant religious emotion. [F enthousiasme or LL
enthusiasmus f. Gk enthousiasmos f. entheos possessed by a god,
inspired (as EN-(2), theos god)]
n. 1 (often foll. by for) a person who is full of enthusiasm.
2 a visionary; a self-deluded person. [F enthousiaste or eccl.L
enthusiastes f. Gk (as ENTHUSIASM)]
adj. having or showing enthusiasm. ЬЬenthusiastically adv.
[Gk enthousiastikos (as ENTHUSIASM)]
enthymeme n. Logic a syllogism in which one premiss is not explicitly
stated. [L enthymema f. Gk enthumema f. enthumeomai consider
(as EN-(2), thumos mind)]
entice v.tr. (often foll. by from, into, or to + infin.) persuade by
the offer of pleasure or reward. ЬЬenticement n. enticer n.
enticingly adv. [ME f. OF enticier prob. f. Rmc]
entire adj. & n. --adj. 1 whole, complete. 2 not broken or decayed.
3 unqualified, absolute (an entire success). 4 in one piece;
continuous. 5 not castrated. 6 Bot. without indentation. 7
pure, unmixed. --n. an uncastrated animal. [ME f. AF enter, OF
entier f. L integer (as IN-(2), tangere touch)]
entirely adv. 1 wholly, completely (the stock is entirely exhausted). 2
solely, exclusively (did it entirely for my benefit).
entirety n. (pl. -ies) 1 completeness. 2 (usu. foll. by of) the sum
total. Ьin its entirety in its complete form; completely. [ME
f. OF entieret‚ f. L integritas -tatis f. integer: see ENTIRE]
entitle v.tr. 1 a (usu. foll. by to) give (a person etc.) a just claim.
b (foll. by to + infin.) give (a person etc.) a right. 2 a give
(a book etc.) the title of. b archaic give (a person) the title
of (entitled him sultan). ЬЬentitlement n. [ME f. AF entitler,
OF entiteler f. LL intitulare (as IN-(2), TITLE)]
entity n. (pl. -ies) 1 a thing with distinct existence, as opposed to
a quality or relation. 2 a thing's existence regarded
distinctly. ЬЬentitative adj. [F entit‚ or med.L entitas f. LL
ento- comb. form within. [Gk entos within]
entomb v.tr. 1 place in or as in a tomb. 2 serve as a tomb for.
ЬЬentombment n. [OF entomber (as EN-(1), TOMB)]
entomo- comb. form insect. [Gk entomos cut up (in neut. = INSECT) f.
EN-(2) + temno cut]
n. the study of the forms and behaviour of insects.
ЬЬentomological adj. entomologist n. [F entomologie or mod.L
entomologia (as ENTOMO-, -LOGY)]
adj. Zool. insect-eating.
adj. Biol. pollinated by insects.
n. Biol. = ENDOPARASITE.
entophyte n. Bot. a plant growing inside a plant or animal.
entourage n. 1 people attending an important person. 2 surroundings. [F
f. entourer surround]
entr'acte n. 1 an interval between two acts of a play. 2 a piece of
music or a dance performed during this. [F f. entre between +
entrails n.pl. 1 the bowels and intestines of a person or animal. 2 the
innermost parts (entrails of the earth). [ME f. OF entrailles
f. med.L intralia alt. f. L interaneus internal f. inter among]
v.intr. & tr. go or put on board a train. ЬЬentrainment n.
v.tr. 1 (of a fluid) carry (particles etc.) along in its flow.
2 drag along. ЬЬentrainment n. [F entraЊner (as EN-(1),
traЊner drag, formed as TRAIN)]
n. enthusiasm, animation. [F]
entrammel v.tr. (entrammelled, entrammelling; US entrammeled,
entrammeling) entangle, hamper.
n. 1 the act or an instance of going or coming in. 2 a door,
passage, etc., by which one enters. 3 right of admission. 4
the coming of an actor on stage. 5 Mus. = ENTRY 8. 6 (foll. by
into, upon) entering into office etc. 7 (in full entrance fee)
a fee paid for admission to a society, club, exhibition, etc.
[OF (as ENTER, -ANCE)]
v.tr. 1 enchant, delight. 2 put into a trance. 3 (often foll.
by with) overwhelm with strong feeling. ЬЬentrancement n.
entrancing adj. entrancingly adv.
entrant n. a person who enters (esp. an examination, profession, etc.).
[F, part. of entrer: see ENTER]
entrap v.tr. (entrapped, entrapping) 1 catch in or as in a trap. 2
(often foll. by into + verbal noun) beguile or trick (a person).
ЬЬentrapper n. [OF entraper (as EN-(1), TRAP(1))]
n. 1 the act or an instance of entrapping; the process of being
entrapped. 2 Law inducement to commit a crime, esp. by the
authorities to secure a prosecution.
entreat v.tr. 1 a (foll. by to + infin. or that + clause) ask (a
person) earnestly. b ask earnestly for (a thing). 2 archaic
treat; act towards (a person). ЬЬentreatingly adv. [ME f. OF
entraiter (as EN-(1), traiter TREAT)]
entreaty n. (pl. -ies) an earnest request; a supplication. [ENTREAT,
entrechat n. a leap in ballet, with one or more crossings of the legs
while in the air. [F f. It. (capriola) intrecciata complicated
entrec“te n. a boned steak cut off the sirloin. [F f. entre between +
entr‚e n. 1 Cookery a Brit. a dish served between the fish and meat
courses. b esp. US the main dish of a meal. 2 the right or
privilege of admission, esp. at Court. [F, = ENTRY]
entremets n. 1 a sweet dish. 2 any light dish served between two
courses. [F f. entre between + mets dish]
entrench v. (also intrench) 1 tr. establish firmly (in a defensible
position, in office, etc.). 2 tr. surround (a post, army, town,
etc.) with a trench as a fortification. 3 tr. apply extra
safeguards to (rights etc. guaranteed by legislation). 4 intr.
entrench oneself. 5 intr. (foll. by upon) encroach, trespass.
Ьentrench oneself adopt a well-defended position.
adv. 1 between you and me. 2 in private. [F, = between
entrep“t n. 1 a warehouse for temporary storage of goods in transit. 2
a commercial centre for import and export, and for collection
and distribution. [F f. entreposer store f. entre- INTER- +
n. 1 a person who undertakes an enterprise or business, with
the chance of profit or loss. 2 a contractor acting as an
intermediary. 3 the person in effective control of a commercial
undertaking. ЬЬentrepreneurial adj. entrepreneurialism n.
(also entrepreneurism). entrepreneurially adv.
entrepreneurship n. [F f. entreprendre undertake: see
entresol n. a low storey between the first and the ground floor; a
mezzanine floor. [F f. entre between + sol ground]
entrism var. of ENTRYISM.
entropy n. 1 Physics a measure of the unavailability of a system's
thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work. 2 Physics a
measure of the disorganization or degradation of the universe.
3 a measure of the rate of transfer of information in a message
etc. ЬЬentropic adj. entropically adv. [G Entropie (as
EN-(2), Gk trope transformation)]
entrust v.tr. (also intrust) 1 (foll. by to) give responsibility for (a
person or a thing) to a person in whom one has confidence. 2
(foll. by with) assign responsibility for a thing to (a person).
entry n. (pl. -ies) 1 a the act or an instance of going or coming
in. b the coming of an actor on stage. c ceremonial entrance.
2 liberty to go or come in. 3 a a place of entrance; a door,
gate, etc. b a lobby. 4 Brit. a passage between buildings. 5
the mouth of a river. 6 a an item entered in a diary, list,
account-book, etc. b the recording of this. 7 a a person or
thing competing in a race, contest, etc. b a list of
competitors. 8 the start or resumption of music for a
particular instrument in an ensemble. 9 Law the act of taking
possession. 10 Bridge a the transfer of the lead to one's
partner's hand. b a card providing this. Ьentry form an
application form for a competition. entry permit an
authorization to enter a particular country etc. [ME f. OF
entree ult. f. L intrare ENTER]
entryism n. (also entrism) infiltration into a political organization to
change or subvert its policies or objectives. ЬЬentrist n.
n. propr. an intercom device at an entrance to a building by
which callers may identify themselves to gain admission.
entwine v.tr. (also intwine) 1 (foll. by with, about, round) twine
together (a thing with or round another). 2 interweave.
enucleate v.tr. Surgery extract (a tumour etc.). ЬЬenucleation n. [L
enucleare (as E-, NUCLEUS)]
E-number n. the letter E followed by a code number, designating food
additives according to EEC directives.
enumerate v.tr. 1 specify (items); mention one by one. 2 count;
establish the number of. ЬЬenumerable adj. enumeration n.
enumerative adj. [L enumerare (as E-, NUMBER)]
n. 1 a person who enumerates. 2 a person employed in
enunciate v.tr. 1 pronounce (words) clearly. 2 express (a proposition or
theory) in definite terms. 3 proclaim. ЬЬenunciation n.
enunciative adj. enunciator n. [L enuntiare (as E-, nuntiare
announce f. nuntius messenger)]
enure v.intr. Law take effect. [var. of INURE]
enuresis n. Med. involuntary urination. ЬЬenuretic adj. & n. [mod.L
f. Gk enoureo urinate in (as EN-(2), ouron urine)]
envelop v.tr. (enveloped, enveloping) 1 (often foll. by in) a wrap up
or cover completely. b make obscure; conceal (was enveloped in
mystery). 2 Mil. completely surround (an enemy). ЬЬenvelopment
n. [ME f. OF envoluper (as EN-(1): cf. DEVELOP)]
envelope n. 1 a folded paper container, usu. with a sealable flap, for a
letter etc. 2 a wrapper or covering. 3 the structure within a
balloon or airship containing the gas. 4 the outer metal or
glass housing of a vacuum tube, electric light, etc. 5 Electr.
a curve joining the successive peaks of a modulated wave. 6
Bot. any enveloping structure esp. the calyx or corolla (or
both). 7 Math. a line or curve tangent to each line or curve of
a given family. [F enveloppe (as ENVELOP)]
envenom v.tr. 1 put poison on or into; make poisonous. 2 infuse venom
or bitterness into (feelings, words, or actions). [ME f. OF
envenimer (as EN-(1), venim VENOM)]
enviable adj. (of a person or thing) exciting or likely to excite envy.
envious adj. (often foll. by of) feeling or showing envy. ЬЬenviously
adv. [ME f. AF envious, OF envieus f. envie ENVY]
environ v.tr. encircle, surround (esp. hostilely or protectively). [ME
f. OF environer f. environ surroundings f. en in + viron
circuit f. virer turn, VEER(1)]
n. 1 physical surroundings and conditions, esp. as affecting
people's lives. 2 conditions or circumstances of living. 3
Ecol. external conditions affecting the growth of plants and
animals. 4 a structure designed to be experienced from inside
as a work of art. ЬЬenvironmental adj. environmentally adv.
n. 1 a person who is concerned with or advocates the protection
of the environment. 2 a person who considers that environment
has the primary influence on the development of a person or
group. ЬЬenvironmentalism n.
environs n.pl. a surrounding district, esp. round an urban area.
envisage v.tr. 1 have a mental picture of (a thing or conditions not yet
existing). 2 contemplate or conceive, esp. as possible or
desirable. 3 archaic a face (danger, facts, etc.). b look in
the face of. ЬЬenvisagement n. [F envisager (as EN-(1),
envision v.tr. envisage, visualize.
envoy(1) n. 1 a messenger or representative, esp. on a diplomatic
mission. 2 (in full envoy extraordinary) a minister
plenipotentiary, ranking below ambassador and above charg‚
d'affaires. ЬЬenvoyship n. [F envoy‚, past part. of envoyer
send f. en voie on the way f. L via]
envoy(2) n. (also envoi) 1 a short stanza concluding a ballade etc. 2
archaic an author's concluding words. [ME f. OF envoi f.
envoyer (as ENVOY(1))]
envy n. & v. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 a feeling of discontented or
resentful longing aroused by another's better fortune etc. 2
the object or ground of this feeling (their house is the envy of
the neighbourhood). --v.tr. (-ies, -ied) feel envy of (a
person, circumstances, etc.) (I envy you your position).
ЬЬenvier n. [ME f. OF envie f. L invidia f. invidere envy (as
IN-(1), videre see)]
enweave var. of INWEAVE.
enwrap v.tr. (also inwrap) (-wrapped, -wrapping) (often foll. by in)
literary wrap or enfold.
enwreathe v.tr. (also inwreathe) literary surround with or as with a
Enzed n. Austral. & NZ colloq. a popular written form of: 1 New
Zealand. 2 a New Zealander. ЬЬEnzedder n. [pronunc. of NZ]
enzootic adj. & n. --adj. regularly affecting animals in a particular
district or at a particular season (cf. ENDEMIC, EPIZOOTIC).
--n. an enzootic disease. [Gk en in + zoion animal]
enzyme n. Biochem. a protein acting as a catalyst in a specific
biochemical reaction. ЬЬenzymatic adj. enzymic adj.
enzymology n. [G Enzym f. med. Gk enzumos leavened f. Gk en in
+ zume leaven]
Eocene adj. & n. Geol. --adj. of or relating to the second epoch of
the Tertiary period with evidence of an abundance of mammals
including horses, bats, and whales. °Cf. Appendix II. --n.
this epoch or system. [Gk eos dawn + kainos new]
eolian US var. of AEOLIAN.
eolith n. Archaeol. any of various flint objects found in Tertiary
strata and thought to be early artefacts. [Gk eos dawn + lithos
eolithic adj. Archaeol. of the period preceding the palaeolithic age,
thought to include the earliest use of flint tools. [F
‚olithique (as EOLITH)]
eon var. of AEON.
eosin n. a red fluorescent dyestuff used esp. as a stain in optical
microscopy. [Gk eos dawn + -IN]
n. a white blood cell readily stained by eosin.
-eous suffix forming adjectives meaning 'of the nature of' (erroneous;
EP abbr. 1 electroplate. 2 extended-play (gramophone record).
Ep. abbr. Epistle.
ep- prefix form of EPI- before a vowel or h.
e.p. abbr. Chess en passant.
EPA abbr. (in the US) Environmental Protection Agency.
epact n. the number of days by which the solar year exceeds the lunar
year. [F ‚pacte f. LL epactae f. Gk epaktai (hemerai)
intercalated (days) f. epago intercalate (as EPI-, ago bring)]
eparch n. the chief bishop of an eparchy. [Gk eparkhos (as EPI-,
eparchy n. (pl. -ies) a province of the Orthodox Church. [Gk eparkhia
epaulette n. (US epaulet) an ornamental shoulder-piece on a coat, dress,
etc., esp. on a uniform. [F ‚paulette dimin. of ‚paule shoulder
f. L spatula: see SPATULA]
‚p‚e n. a sharp-pointed duelling-sword, used (with the end blunted)
in fencing. ЬЬ‚p‚eist n. [F, = sword, f. OF espee: see SPAY]
n. (also epeirogeny) Geol. the regional uplift of extensive
areas of the earth's crust. ЬЬepeirogenic adj. [Gk epeiros
mainland + -GENESIS, -GENY]
n. (pl. epentheses) the insertion of a letter or sound within
a word, e.g. b in thimble. ЬЬepenthetic adj. [LL f. Gk f.
epentithemi insert (as EPI- + EN-(2) + tithemi place)]
epergne n. an ornament (esp. in branched form) for the centre of a
dinner-table, holding flowers or fruit. [18th c.: perh. a
corrupt. of F ‚pargne saving, economy]
n. (pl. epexegeses) 1 the addition of words to clarify meaning
(e.g. to do in difficult to do). 2 the words added.
ЬЬepexegetic adj. epexegetical adj. epexegetically adv. [Gk
epexegesis (as EPI-, EXEGESIS)]
Eph. abbr. Ephesians (New Testament).
ephebe n. Gk Hist. a young man of 18-20 undergoing military training.
ЬЬephebic adj. [L ephebus f. Gk ephebos (as EPI-, hebe early
ephedra n. any evergreen shrub of the genus Ephedra, with trailing
stems and scalelike leaves. [mod.L f. Gk ephedra sitting upon]
ephedrine n. an alkaloid drug found in some ephedras, causing
constriction of the blood-vessels and widening of the bronchial
passages, used to relieve asthma, etc. [EPHEDRA + -INE(4)]
n. (pl. ephemeras or ephemerae) 1 a an insect living only a
day or a few days. b any insect of the order Ephemeroptera,
e.g. the mayfly. 2 = EPHEMERON. [mod.L f. Gk ephemeros lasting
only a day (as EPI-, hemera day)]
pl. of EPHEMERON 1.
ephemeral adj. 1 lasting or of use for only a short time; transitory. 2
lasting only a day. 3 (of an insect, flower, etc.) lasting a
day or a few days. ЬЬephemerality n. ephemerally adv.
ephemeralness n. [Gk ephemeros: see EPHEMERA]
ephemeris n. (pl. ephemerides) Astron. an astronomical almanac or table
of the predicted positions of celestial bodies. [L f. Gk
ephemeris diary (as EPHEMERAL)]
n. a collector of ephemera.
ephemeron n. 1 (pl. ephemera) (usu. in pl.) a a thing (esp. a printed
item) of short-lived interest or usefulness. b a short-lived
thing. 2 (pl. ephemerons) = EPHEMERA(1) 1. [as EPHEMERA(1)]
ephod n. a Jewish priestly vestment. [ME f. Heb. ' ep“d]
ephor n. Gk Hist. any of five senior magistrates in ancient Sparta.
ЬЬephorate n. [Gk ephoros overseer (as EPI-, horao see)]
epi- prefix (usu. ep- before a vowel or h) 1 upon (epicycle). 2
above (epicotyl). 3 in addition (epiphenomenon). [Gk epi
epiblast n. Biol. the outermost layer of a gastrula etc.; the ectoderm.
[EPI- + -BLAST]
epic n. & adj. --n. 1 a long poem narrating the adventures or deeds
of one or more heroic or legendary figures, e.g. the Iliad,
Paradise Lost. 2 an imaginative work of any form, embodying a
nation's conception of its past history. 3 a book or film based
on an epic narrative or heroic in type or scale. 4 a subject
fit for recital in an epic. --adj. 1 of or like an epic. 2
grand, heroic. ЬЬepical adj. epically adv. [L epicus f. Gk
epikos f. epos word, song]
epicarp n. Bot. the outermost layer of the pericarp. [EPI- + Gk
epicedium n. (pl. epicedia) a funeral ode. ЬЬepicedian adj. [L f. Gk
epikedeion (as EPI-, kedos care)]
epicene adj. & n. --adj. 1 Gram. denoting either sex without change of
gender. 2 of, for, or used by both sexes. 3 having
characteristics of both sexes. 4 having no characteristics of
either sex. 5 effete, effeminate. --n. an epicene person. [ME
f. LL epicoenus f. Gk epikoinos (as EPI-, koinos common)]
epicentre n. (US epicenter) 1 Geol. the point at which an earthquake
reaches the earth's surface. 2 the central point of a
difficulty. ЬЬepicentral adj. [Gk epikentros (adj.) (as EPI-,
adj. (of the sea) over the continental shelf.
epicotyl n. Bot. the region of an embryo or seedling stem above the
epicure n. a person with refined tastes, esp. in food and drink.
ЬЬepicurism n. [med.L epicurus one preferring sensual
enjoyment: see EPICUREAN]
Epicurean n. & adj. --n. 1 a disciple or student of the Greek
philosopher Epicurus (d. 270 BC), who taught that the highest
good is personal happiness. 2 (epicurean) a person devoted to
(esp. sensual) enjoyment. --adj. 1 of or concerning Epicurus
or his ideas. 2 (epicurean) characteristic of an epicurean.
ЬЬEpicureanism n. [F ‚picurien or L epicureus f. Gk epikoureios
f. Epikouros Epicurus]
epicycle n. Geom. a small circle moving round the circumference of a
larger one. ЬЬepicyclic adj. [ME f. OF or LL epicyclus f. Gk
epikuklos (as EPI-, kuklos circle)]
n. Math. a curve traced by a point on the circumference of a
circle rolling on the exterior of another circle.
adj. meant for effect or display, esp. in speaking. [Gk
epideiktikos (as EPI-, deiknumi show)]
epidemic n. & adj. --n. 1 a widespread occurrence of a disease in a
community at a particular time. 2 such a disease. 3 (foll. by
of) a wide prevalence of something usu. undesirable. --adj. in
the nature of an epidemic (cf. ENDEMIC). ЬЬepidemically adv.
[F ‚pid‚mique f. ‚pid‚mie f. LL epidemia f. Gk epidemia
prevalence of disease f. epidemios (adj.) (as EPI-, demos the
n. the study of the incidence and distribution of diseases, and
of their control and prevention. ЬЬepidemiological adj.
epidermis n. 1 the outer cellular layer of the skin. 2 Bot. the outer
layer of cells of leaves, stems, roots, etc. ЬЬepidermal adj.
epidermic adj. epidermoid adj. [LL f. Gk (as EPI-, DERMIS)]
n. an optical projector capable of giving images of both opaque
and transparent objects. [EPI- + DIA- + -SCOPE]
n. (pl. epididymides) Anat. a convoluted duct behind the
testis, along which sperm passes to the vas deferens. [Gk
epididumis (as EPI-, didumoi testicles)]
epidural adj. & n. --adj. 1 Anat. on or around the dura mater. 2 (of
an anaesthetic) introduced into the space around the dura mater
of the spinal cord. --n. an epidural anaesthetic, used esp. in
childbirth to produce loss of sensation below the waist. [EPI-
+ DURA (MATER)]
epifauna n. animals living on the seabed, either attached to animals,
plants, etc., or free-living. [Da. (as EPI-, FAUNA)]
n. (pl. epigastria) Anat. the part of the abdomen immediately
over the stomach. ЬЬepigastric adj. [LL f. Gk epigastrion
(neut. adj.) (as EPI-, gaster belly)]
epigeal adj. Bot. 1 having one or more cotyledons above the ground. 2
growing above the ground. [Gk epigeios (as EPI-, ge earth)]
epigene adj. Geol. produced on the surface of the earth. [F ‚pigЉne
f. Gk epigenes (as EPI-, genes born)]
n. Anat. a flap of cartilage at the root of the tongue, which
is depressed during swallowing to cover the windpipe.
ЬЬepiglottal adj. epiglottic adj. [Gk epiglottis (as EPI-,
epigone n. (pl. epigones or epigoni) one of a later (and less
distinguished) generation. [pl. f. F ‚pigones f. L epigoni f.
Gk epigonoi those born afterwards (as EPI-, root of gignomai be
epigram n. 1 a short poem with a witty ending. 2 a pointed saying. 3
a pointed mode of expression. ЬЬepigrammatic adj.
epigrammatically adv. epigrammatist n. epigrammatize v.tr. &
intr. (also -ise). [F ‚pigramme or L epigramma f. Gk epigramma
-atos (as EPI-, -GRAM)]
epigraph n. an inscription on a statue or coin, at the head of a
chapter, etc. [Gk epigraphe f. epigrapho (as EPI-, grapho
epigraphy n. the study of (esp. ancient) inscriptions. ЬЬepigraphic adj.
epigraphical adj. epigraphically adv. epigraphist n.
epilepsy n. a nervous disorder with convulsions and often loss of
consciousness. [F ‚pilepsie or LL epilepsia f. Gk epilepsia f.
epilambano attack (as EPI-, lambano take)]
epileptic adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to epilepsy. --n. a person
with epilepsy. [F ‚pileptique f. LL epilepticus f. Gk
epileptikos (as EPILEPSY)]
n. (pl. epilimnia) the upper layer of water in a stratified
lake. [EPI- + Gk limnion dimin. of limne lake]
epilogist n. the writer or speaker of an epilogue.
epilogue n. 1 a the concluding part of a literary work. b an appendix.
2 a speech or short poem addressed to the audience by an actor
at the end of a play. 3 Brit. a short piece at the end of a
day's broadcasting (cf. PROLOGUE). [ME f. F ‚pilogue f. L
epilogus f. Gk epilogos (as EPI-, logos speech)]
epimer n. Chem. either of two isomers with different configurations
of atoms about one of several asymmetric carbon atoms present.
ЬЬepimeric adj. epimerism n. [G (as EPI-, -MER)]
epimerize v.tr. (also -ise) Chem. convert (one epimer) into the other.
epinasty n. Bot. a tendency in plant-organs to grow more rapidly on the
upper side. [EPI- + Gk nastos pressed]
n. Biochem. = ADRENALIN. [Gk epi upon + nephros kidney]
epiphany n. (pl. -ies) 1 (Epiphany) a the manifestation of Christ to
the Magi according to the biblical account. b the festival
commemorating this on 6 January. 2 any manifestation of a god
or demigod. ЬЬepiphanic adj. [ME f. Gk epiphaneia
manifestation f. epiphaino reveal (as EPI-, phaino show): sense
1 through OF epiphanie and eccl.L epiphania]
n. (pl. epiphenomena) 1 a secondary symptom, which may occur
simultaneously with a disease etc. but is not regarded as its
cause or result. 2 Psychol. consciousness regarded as a
by-product of brain activity. ЬЬepiphenomenal adj.
epiphysis n. (pl. epiphyses) Anat. 1 the end part of a long bone,
initially growing separately from the shaft. 2 = pineal body.
[mod.L f. Gk epiphusis (as EPI-, phusis growth)]
epiphyte n. a plant growing but not parasitic on another, e.g. a moss.
ЬЬepiphytal adj. epiphytic adj. [EPI- + Gk phuton plant]
n. (pl. -ies) 1 government of a Church by bishops. 2 (prec.
by the) the bishops.
episcopal adj. 1 of a bishop or bishops. 2 (of a Church) constituted on
the principle of government by bishops. ЬEpiscopal Church the
Anglican Church in Scotland and the US, with elected bishops.
ЬЬepiscopalism n. episcopally adv. [ME f. F ‚piscopal or
eccl.L episcopalis f. episcopus BISHOP]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or advocating government of a Church by
bishops. 2 of or belonging to an episcopal Church or
(Episcopalian) the Episcopal Church. --n. 1 an adherent of
episcopacy. 2 (Episcopalian) a member of the Episcopal Church.
n. 1 the office or tenure of a bishop. 2 (prec. by the) the
bishops collectively. [eccl.L episcopatus f. episcopus BISHOP]
episcope n. an optical projector giving images of opaque objects.
adj. Zool. (of coloration, markings, etc.) serving to help
recognition by animals of the same species. [EPI- + Gk sema
n. (pl. -ies) a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina
during childbirth, to aid delivery. [Gk epision pubic region]
episode n. 1 one event or a group of events as part of a sequence. 2
each of the parts of a serial story or broadcast. 3 an incident
or set of incidents in a narrative. 4 an incident that is
distinct but contributes to a whole (a romantic episode in her
life). 5 Mus. a passage containing distinct material or
introducing a new subject. 6 the part between two choric songs
in Greek tragedy. [Gk epeisodion (as EPI- + eisodos entry f.
eis into + hodos way)]
episodic adj. (also episodical) 1 in the nature of an episode. 2
sporadic; occurring at irregular intervals. ЬЬepisodically adv.
epistaxis n. Med. a nosebleed. [mod.L f. Gk (as EPI-, stazo drip)]
epistemic adj. Philos. relating to knowledge or to the degree of its
validation. ЬЬepistemically adv. [Gk episteme knowledge]
n. the theory of knowledge, esp. with regard to its methods and
validation. ЬЬepistemological adj. epistemologically adv.
epistle n. 1 formal or joc. a letter, esp. a long one on a serious
subject. 2 (Epistle) a any of the letters of the apostles in
the New Testament. b an extract from an Epistle read in a
church service. 3 a poem or other literary work in the form of
a letter or series of letters. [ME f. OF f. L epistola f. Gk
epistole f. epistello send news (as EPI-, stello send)]
adj. 1 in the style or form of a letter or letters. 2 of,
carried by, or suited to letters. [F ‚pistolaire or L
epistolaris (as EPISTLE)]
n. the repetition of a word at the end of successive clauses.
[Gk (as EPI-, strophe turning)]
epistyle n. Archit. = ARCHITRAVE. [F ‚pistyle or L epistylium f. Gk
epistulion (as EPI-, stulos pillar)]
epitaph n. words written in memory of a person who has died, esp. as a
tomb inscription. [ME f. OF epitaphe f. L epitaphium f. Gk
epitaphion funeral oration (as EPI-, taphos tomb)]
epitaxy n. Crystallog. the growth of a thin layer on a single-crystal
substrate that determines the lattice-structure of the layer.
ЬЬepitaxial adj. [F ‚pitaxie (as EPI-, Gk taxis arrangement)]
n. (pl. epithalamiums or epithalamia) a song or poem
celebrating a marriage. ЬЬepithalamial adj. epithalamic adj.
[L f. Gk epithalamion (as EPI-, thalamos bridal chamber)]
n. (pl. epitheliums or epithelia) the tissue forming the outer
layer of the body surface and lining many hollow structures.
ЬЬepithelial adj. [mod.L f. EPI- + Gk thele teat]
epithet n. 1 an adjective or other descriptive word expressing a
quality or attribute, esp. used with or as a name. 2 such a
word as a term of abuse. ЬЬepithetic adj. epithetical adj.
epithetically adv. [F ‚pithЉte or L epitheton f. Gk epitheton
f. epitithemi add (as EPI-, tithemi place)]
epitome n. 1 a person or thing embodying a quality, class, etc. 2 a
thing representing another in miniature. 3 a summary of a
written work; an abstract. ЬЬepitomist n. [L f. Gk epitome f.
epitemno abridge (as EPI-, temno cut)]
epitomize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 be a perfect example of (a quality etc.);
typify. 2 make an epitome of (a work). ЬЬepitomization n.
epizoon n. (pl. epizoa) an animal living on another animal. [mod.L
(as EPI-, Gk zoion animal)]
epizootic adj. & n. --adj. (of a disease) temporarily prevalent among
animals (cf. ENZOOTIC). --n. an outbreak of such a disease.
[F ‚pizootique f. ‚pizootie (as EPIZOON)]
EPNS abbr. electroplated nickel silver.
epoch n. 1 a period of history or of a person's life marked by
notable events. 2 the beginning of an era. 3 Geol. a division
of a period, corresponding to a set of strata. Ьepoch-making
remarkable, historic; of major importance. ЬЬepochal adj.
[mod.L epocha f. Gk epokhe stoppage]
epode n. 1 a form of lyric poem written in couplets each of a long
line followed by a shorter one. 2 the third section of an
ancient Greek choral ode or of one division of it. [F ‚pode or
L epodos f. Gk epoidos (as EPI-, ODE)]
eponym n. 1 a person (real or imaginary) after whom a discovery,
invention, place, institution, etc., is named or thought to be
named. 2 the name given. ЬЬeponymous adj. [Gk eponumos (as
EPI-, - onumos f. onoma name)]
EPOS abbr. electronic point-of-sale (of retail outlets recording
epoxide n. Chem. a compound containing an oxygen atom bonded in a
triangular arrangement to two carbon atoms. [EPI- + OXIDE]
epoxy adj. Chem. relating to or derived from an epoxide. Ьepoxy
resin a synthetic thermosetting resin containing epoxy groups.
[EPI- + OXY-(2)]
epsilon n. the fifth letter of the Greek alphabet (E). [ME f. Gk, =
bare E f. psilos bare]
n. a preparation of magnesium sulphate used as a purgative etc.
[Epsom in Surrey, where it was first found occurring naturally]
epyllion n. (pl. epyllia) a miniature epic poem. [Gk epullion dimin.
of epos word, song]
equable adj. 1 even; not varying. 2 uniform and moderate (an equable
climate). 3 (of a person) not easily disturbed or angered.
ЬЬequability n. equably adv. [L aequabilis (as EQUATE)]
equal adj., n., & v. --adj. 1 (often foll. by to, with) the same in
quantity, quality, size, degree, rank, level, etc. 2 evenly
balanced (an equal contest). 3 having the same rights or status
(human beings are essentially equal). 4 uniform in application
or effect. --n. a person or thing equal to another, esp. in
rank, status, or characteristic quality (their treatment of the
subject has no equal; is the equal of any man). --v.tr.
(equalled, equalling; US equaled, equaling) 1 be equal to in
number, quality, etc. 2 achieve something that is equal to (an
achievement) or to the achievement of (a person). Ьbe equal to
have the ability or resources for. equal opportunity (often in
pl.) the opportunity or right to be employed, paid, etc.,
without discrimination on grounds of sex, race, etc. equal (or
equals) sign the symbol =. [ME f. L aequalis f. aequus even]
n. = EGALITARIAN. ЬЬequalitarianism n. [EQUALITY, after
equality n. the state of being equal. [ME f. OF equalit‚ f. L
aequalitas -tatis (as EQUAL)]
equalize v. (also -ise) 1 tr. & intr. make or become equal. 2 intr.
reach one's opponent's score in a game, after being behind.
equalizer n. 1 an equalizing score or goal etc. in a game. 2 sl. a
weapon, esp. a gun. 3 Electr. a connection in a system which
compensates for any undesirable frequency or phase response with
equally adv. 1 in an equal manner (treated them all equally). 2 to an
equal degree (is equally important). °In sense 2 construction
with as (equally as important) is often found, but is disp.).
n. mental composure, evenness of temper, esp. in misfortune.
ЬЬequanimous adj. [L aequanimitas f. aequanimis f. aequus
even + animus mind]
equate v. 1 tr. (usu. foll. by to, with) regard as equal or
equivalent. 2 intr. (foll. by with) a be equal or equivalent
to. b agree or correspond. ЬЬequatable adj. [ME f. L aequare
aequat- f. aequus equal]
equation n. 1 the process of equating or making equal; the state of
being equal. 2 Math. a statement that two mathematical
expressions are equal (indicated by the sign =). 3 Chem. a
formula indicating a chemical reaction by means of symbols for
the elements taking part. Ьequation of the first order, second
order , etc. an equation involving only the first derivative,
second derivative, etc. ЬЬequational adj. [ME f. OF equation
or L aequatio (as EQUATE)]
equator n. 1 an imaginary line round the earth or other body,
equidistant from the poles. 2 Astron. = celestial equator. [ME
f. OF equateur or med.L aequator (as EQUATION)]
adj. of or near the equator. Ьequatorial telescope a telescope
attached to an axis perpendicular to the plane of the equator.
equerry n. (pl. -ies) 1 an officer of the British royal household
attending members of the royal family. 2 hist. an officer of a
prince's or noble's household having charge over the horses.
[earlier esquiry f. OF esquierie company of squires, prince's
stables, f. OF esquier ESQUIRE: perh. assoc. with L equus horse]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or relating to horses and horse-riding.
2 on horseback. --n. (fem. equestrienne) a rider or performer
on horseback. ЬЬequestrianism n. [L equestris f. eques
horseman, knight, f. equus horse]
equi- comb. form equal. [L aequi- f. aequus equal]
adj. having equal angles.
adj. at equal distances. ЬЬequidistantly adv.
adj. having all its sides equal in length.
v. 1 tr. cause (two things) to balance. 2 intr. be in
equilibrium; balance. ЬЬequilibration n. equilibrator n. [LL
aequilibrare aequilibrat- (as EQUI-, libra balance)]
n. an acrobat, esp. on a high rope.
n. (pl. equilibria or equilibriums) 1 a state of physical
balance. 2 a state of mental or emotional equanimity. 3 a
state in which the energy in a system is evenly distributed and
forces, influences, etc., balance each other. [L (as EQUI-,
equine adj. of or like a horse. [L equinus f. equus horse]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 happening at or near the time of an equinox
(equinoctial gales). 2 of or relating to equal day and night.
3 at or near the (terrestrial) equator. --n. (in full
equinoctial line) = celestial equator. Ьequinoctial point the
point at which the ecliptic cuts the celestial equator (twice
each year at an equinox). equinoctial year see YEAR. [ME f. OF
equinoctial or L aequinoctialis (as EQUINOX)]
equinox n. 1 the time or date (twice each year) at which the sun
crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal
length. 2 = equinoctial point. Ьautumn (or autumnal) equinox
about 22 Sept. spring (or vernal) equinox about 20 March. [ME
f. OF equinoxe or med.L equinoxium for L aequinoctium (as EQUI-,
nox noctis night)]
equip v.tr. (equipped, equipping) supply with what is needed.
ЬЬequipper n. [F ‚quiper, prob. f. ON skipa to man (a ship) f.
equipage n. 1 a requisites for an undertaking. b an outfit for a
special purpose. 2 a carriage and horses with attendants. [F
‚quipage (as EQUIP)]
equipment n. 1 the necessary articles, clothing, etc., for a purpose. 2
the process of equipping or being equipped. [F ‚quipement (as
equipoise n. & v. --n. 1 equilibrium; a balanced state. 2 a
counterbalancing thing. --v.tr. counterbalance.
adj. & n. --adj. 1 equal in power, force, etc. 2 practically
equivalent. --n. an equipollent thing. ЬЬequipollence n.
equipollency n. [ME f. OF equipolent f. L aequipollens -entis
of equal value (as EQUI-, pollere be strong)]
adj. & n. Physics --adj. (of a surface or line) having the
potential of a force the same or constant at all its points.
--n. an equipotential line or surface.
adj. Logic equally probable. ЬЬequiprobability n.
equitable adj. 1 fair, just. 2 Law valid in equity as distinct from law.
ЬЬequitableness n. equitably adv. [F ‚quitable (as EQUITY)]
n. the art and practice of horsemanship and horse-riding. [F
‚quitation or L equitatio f. equitare ride a horse f. eques
equitis horseman f. equus horse]
equity n. (pl. -ies) 1 fairness. 2 the application of the principles
of justice to correct or supplement the law. 3 a the value of
the shares issued by a company. b (in pl.) stocks and shares
not bearing fixed interest. 4 the net value of a mortgaged
property after the deduction of charges. 5 (Equity) Brit. the
actors' trade union. [ME f. OF equit‚ f. L aequitas -tatis f.
adj. & n. --adj. 1 (often foll. by to) equal in value, amount,
importance, etc. 2 corresponding. 3 (of words) having the same
meaning. 4 having the same result. 5 Chem. (of a substance)
equal in combining or displacing capacity. --n. 1 an
equivalent thing, amount, word, etc. 2 (in full equivalent
weight) Chem. the weight of a substance that can combine with or
displace one gram of hydrogen or eight grams of oxygen.
ЬЬequivalence n. equivalency n. equivalently adv. [ME f. OF
f. LL aequivalere (as EQUI-, valere be worth)]
equivocal adj. 1 of double or doubtful meaning; ambiguous. 2 of
uncertain nature. 3 (of a person, character, etc.)
questionable, suspect. ЬЬequivocality n. equivocally adv.
equivocalness n. [LL aequivocus (as EQUI-, vocare call)]
v.intr. use ambiguity to conceal the truth. ЬЬequivocation n.
equivocator n. equivocatory adj. [ME f. LL aequivocare (as
equivoque n. (also equivoke) a pun or ambiguity. [ME in the sense
'equivocal' f. OF equivoque or LL aequivocus EQUIVOCAL]
ER abbr. 1 Queen Elizabeth. 2 King Edward. [L Elizabetha Regina,
Er symb. Chem. the element erbium.
er int. expressing hesitation or a pause in speech. [imit.]
-er(1) suffix forming nouns from nouns, adjectives, and many verbs,
denoting: 1 a person, animal, or thing that performs a specified
action or activity (cobbler; lover; executioner; poker;
computer; eye-opener). 2 a person or thing that has a specified
attribute or form (foreigner; four-wheeler; second-rater). 3 a
person concerned with a specified thing or subject (hatter;
geographer). 4 a person belonging to a specified place or group
(villager; New Zealander; sixth-former). [orig. 'one who has to
do with': OE -ere f. Gmc]
-er(2) suffix forming the comparative of adjectives (wider; hotter) and
adverbs (faster). [OE -ra (adj.), -or (adv.) f. Gmc]
-er(3) suffix used in slang formations usu. distorting the root word
(rugger; soccer). [prob. an extension of -ER(1)]
-er(4) suffix forming iterative and frequentative verbs (blunder;
glimmer; twitter). [OE -erian, -rian f. Gmc]
-er(5) suffix 1 forming nouns and adjectives through OF or AF,
corresponding to: a L -aris (sampler) (cf. -AR(1)). b L
-arius, -arium (butler; carpenter; danger). c (through OF
-eЃre) L -atura or (through OF -e”r) L -atorium (see COUNTER(1),
FRITTER(2)). 2 = -OR.
-er(6) suffix esp. Law forming nouns denoting verbal action or a
document effecting this (cesser; disclaimer; misnomer). °The
same ending occurs in dinner and supper. [AF infin. ending of
era n. 1 a system of chronology reckoning from a noteworthy event
(the Christian era). 2 a large distinct period of time, esp.
regarded historically (the pre-Roman era). 3 a date at which an
era begins. 4 Geol. a major division of time. [LL aera number
expressed in figures (pl. of aes aeris money, treated as fem.
eradicate v.tr. root out; destroy completely; get rid of. ЬЬeradicable
adj. eradication n. eradicator n. [ME f. L eradicare tear up
by the roots (as E-, radix -icis root)]
erase v.tr. 1 rub out; obliterate. 2 remove all traces of (erased it
from my memory). 3 remove recorded material from (a magnetic
tape or medium). ЬЬerasable adj. erasure n. [L eradere eras-
(as E-, radere scrape)]
eraser n. a thing that erases, esp. a piece of rubber or plastic used
for removing pencil and ink marks.
erbium n. Chem. a soft silvery metallic element of the lanthanide
series, occurring naturally in apatite and xenotine. °Symb.:
Er. [mod.L f. Ytterby in Sweden]
ere prep. & conj. poet. or archaic before (of time) (ere noon; ere
they come). [OE ‘r f. Gmc]
erect adj. & v. --adj. 1 upright, vertical. 2 (of the penis,
clitoris, or nipples) enlarged and rigid, esp. in sexual
excitement. 3 (of hair) bristling, standing up from the skin.
--v.tr. 1 raise; set upright. 2 build. 3 establish (erect a
theory). ЬЬerectable adj. erectly adv. erectness n. erector
n. [ME f. L erigere erect- set up (as E-, regere direct)]
erectile adj. that can be erected or become erect. Ьerectile tissue
Physiol. animal tissue that is capable of becoming rigid, esp.
with sexual excitement. [F ‚rectile (as ERECT)]
erection n. 1 the act or an instance of erecting; the state of being
erected. 2 a building or structure. 3 Physiol. an enlarged and
erect state of erectile tissue, esp. of the penis. [F ‚rection
or L erectio (as ERECTILE)]
E-region var. of E-LAYER.
eremite n. a hermit or recluse (esp. Christian). ЬЬeremitic adj.
eremitical adj. eremitism n. [ME f. OF, var. of hermite,
erethism n. 1 an excessive sensitivity to stimulation of any part of the
body, esp. the sexual organs. 2 a state of abnormal mental
excitement or irritation. [F ‚r‚thisme f. Gk erethismos f.
erg(1) n. Physics a unit of work or energy, equal to the work done by
a force of one dyne when its point of application moves one
centimetre in the direction of action of the force. [Gk ergon
erg(2) n. (pl. ergs or areg) an area of shifting sand-dunes in the
Sahara. [F f. Arab. ' irj]
ergo adv. therefore. [L]
n. = CALCIFEROL. [ERGOT + CALCIFEROL]
n. the study of the efficiency of persons in their working
environment. ЬЬergonomic adj. ergonomist n. [Gk ergon work:
n. Biochem. a plant sterol that is converted to vitamin D
when irradiated with ultraviolet light. [ERGOT, after
ergot n. 1 a disease of rye and other cereals caused by the fungus
Claviceps purpurea. 2 a this fungus. b the dried
spore-containing structures of this, used as a medicine to aid
childbirth. [F f. OF argot cock's spur, from the appearance
ergotism n. poisoning produced by eating food affected by ergot.
erica n. any shrub or heath of the genus Erica, with small leathery
leaves and bell-like flowers. ЬЬericaceous adj. [L f. Gk
erigeron n. any hardy composite herb of the genus Erigeron, with
daisy-like flowers. [Gk erigeron f. eri early + geron old man,
because some species bear grey down]
Erin n. archaic or poet. Ireland. [Ir.]
Erinys n. (pl. Erinyes) Mythol. a Fury. [Gk]
eristic adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or characterized by disputation. 2 (of
an argument or arguer) aiming at winning rather than at reaching
the truth. --n. 1 the practice of disputation. 2 an exponent
of disputation. ЬЬeristically adv. [Gk eristikos f. erizo
wrangle f. eris strife]
erk n. Brit. sl. 1 a naval rating. 2 an aircraftman. 3 a
disliked person. [20th c.: orig. unkn.]
erl-king n. (in Germanic mythology) a bearded giant or goblin who lures
little children to the land of death. [G Erlk”nig alder-king, a
mistransl. of Da. ellerkonge king of the elves]
ermine n. (pl. same or ermines) 1 the stoat, esp. when in its white
winter fur. 2 its white fur, used as trimming for the robes of
judges, peers, etc. 3 Heraldry a white fur marked with black
spots. ЬЬermined adj. [ME f. OF (h)ermine prob. f. med.L (mus)
Armenius Armenian (mouse)]
ern US var. of ERNE.
-ern suffix forming adjectives (northern). [OE -erne f. Gmc]
erne n. (US ern) poet. a sea eagle. [OE earn f. Gmc]
Ernie n. (in the UK) a device for drawing prize-winning numbers of
Premium Bonds. [initial letters of electronic random number
erode v. 1 tr. & intr. wear away, destroy or be destroyed gradually.
2 tr. Med. (of ulcers etc.) destroy (tissue) little by little.
ЬЬerodible adj. [F ‚roder or L erodere eros- (as E-, rodere
erogenous adj. 1 (esp. of a part of the body) sensitive to sexual
stimulation. 2 giving rise to sexual desire or excitement. [as
EROTIC + -GENOUS]
erosion n. 1 Geol. the wearing away of the earth's surface by the
action of water, wind, etc. 2 the act or an instance of
eroding; the process of being eroded. ЬЬerosional adj. erosive
adj. [F ‚rosion f. L erosio (as ERODE)]
erotic adj. of or causing sexual love, esp. tending to arouse sexual
desire or excitement. ЬЬerotically adv. [F ‚rotique f. Gk
erotikos f. eros erotos sexual love]
erotica n.pl. erotic literature or art.
eroticism n. 1 erotic nature or character. 2 the use of or reponse to
erotic images or stimulation.
erotism n. sexual desire or excitement; eroticism.
eroto- comb. form erotic, eroticism. [Gk eros erotos sexual love]
adj. (also erotogenous) = EROGENOUS.
erotology n. the study of sexual love.
n. 1 excessive or morbid erotic desire. 2 a preoccupation with
sexual passion. ЬЬerotomaniac n.
err v.intr. 1 be mistaken or incorrect. 2 do wrong; sin. Ьerr on
the right side act so that the least harmful of possible errors
is the most likely to occur. err on the side of act with a
specified bias (errs on the side of generosity). [ME f. OF
errer f. L errare stray: rel. to Goth. airzei error, airzjan
errand n. 1 a short journey, esp. on another's behalf, to take a
message, collect goods, etc. 2 the object of such a journey.
Ьerrand of mercy a journey to relieve suffering etc. [OE ‘rende
errant adj. 1 erring; deviating from an accepted standard. 2 literary
or archaic travelling in search of adventure (knight errant).
ЬЬerrancy n. (in sense 1). errantry n. (in sense 2). [ME:
sense 1 formed as ERR: sense 2 f. OF errer ult. f. LL itinerare
f. iter journey]
erratic adj. 1 inconsistently variable in conduct, opinions, etc. 2
uncertain in movement. Ьerratic block Geol. a large rock
carried from a distance by glacial action. ЬЬerratically adv.
[ME f. OF erratique f. L erraticus (as ERR)]
erratum n. (pl. errata) an error in printing or writing, esp. (in
pl.) a list of corrected errors attached to a book etc. [L,
neut. past part. (as ERR)]
erroneous adj. incorrect; arising from error. ЬЬerroneously adv.
erroneousness n. [ME f. OF erroneus or L erroneus f. erro
-onis vagabond (as ERR)]
error n. 1 a mistake. 2 the condition of being wrong in conduct or
judgement (led into error). 3 a wrong opinion or judgement. 4
the amount by which something is incorrect or inaccurate in a
calculation or measurement. ЬЬerrorless adj. [ME f. OF errour
f. L error -oris (as ERR)]
ersatz adj. & n. --adj. substitute, imitation (esp. of inferior
quality). --n. an ersatz thing. [G, = replacement]
Erse adj. & n. --adj. Irish or Highland Gaelic. --n. the Gaelic
language. [early Sc. form of IRISH]
erst adv. archaic formerly; of old. [OE ‘rest superl. of ‘r: see
adj. reddening, blushing. [L erubescere (as E-, rubescere f.
rubere be red)]
n. the act or an instance of belching. [L eructatio f.
eructare (as E-, ructare belch)]
erudite adj. 1 (of a person) learned. 2 (of writing etc.) showing
great learning. ЬЬeruditely adv. erudition n. [ME f. L
eruditus past part. of erudire instruct, train (as E-, rudis
erupt v.intr. 1 break out suddenly or dramatically. 2 (of a volcano)
become active and eject lava etc. 3 a (of a rash, boil, etc.)
appear on the skin. b (of the skin) produce a rash etc. 4 (of
the teeth) break through the gums in normal development.
ЬЬeruption n. eruptive adj. [L erumpere erupt- (as E-, rumpere
-ery suffix forming nouns denoting: 1 a class or kind (greenery;
machinery; citizenry). 2 employment; state or condition
(archery; dentistry; slavery; bravery). 3 a place of work or
cultivation or breeding (brewery; orangery; rookery). 4
behaviour (mimicry). 5 often derog. all that has to do with
(knavery; popery; tomfoolery). [ME, from or after F -erie, -ere
ult. f. L -ario-, -ator]
n. Med. a streptococcal infection producing inflammation and a
deep red colour on the skin, esp. of the face and scalp. [ME f.
L f. Gk erusipelas, perh. rel. to eruthros red + a root pel-
erythema n. a superficial reddening of the skin, usu. in patches.
ЬЬerythemal adj. erythematic adj. [mod.L f. Gk eruthema f.
eruthaino be red f. eruthros red]
erythro- comb. form red. [Gk eruthros red]
n. an immature erythrocyte. [G]
n. a red blood cell, which contains the pigment haemoglobin and
transports oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the tissues.
-es(1) suffix forming plurals of nouns ending in sibilant sounds (such
words in -e dropping the e) (kisses; cases; boxes; churches).
[var. of -S(1)]
-es(2) suffix forming the 3rd person sing. present of verbs ending in
sibilant sounds (such words in -e dropping the e) and ending in
-o (but not -oo) (goes; places; pushes). [var. of -S(2)]
ESA abbr. European Space Agency.
n. a French squadron of aeroplanes. [F]
escalade n. the scaling of fortified walls with ladders, as a military
attack. [F f. Sp. escalada, -ado f. med.L scalare f. scala
escalate v. 1 intr. & tr. increase or develop (usu. rapidly) by stages.
2 tr. cause (an action, activity, or process) to become more
intense. ЬЬescalation n. [back-form. f. ESCALATOR]
escalator n. a moving staircase consisting of a circulating belt forming
steps. [f. the stem of escalade 'climb a wall by ladder' +
n. any evergreen shrub of the genus Escallonia, bearing
rose-red flowers. [Escallon, 18th-c. Sp. traveller]
escallop n. 1 = SCALLOP 1, 2. 2 = ESCALOPE. 3 (in pl.) = SCALLOP 3. 4
Heraldry a scallop shell as a device. [formed as ESCALOPE]
escalope n. a thin slice of meat without any bone, esp. from a leg of
veal. [F (in OF = shell): see SCALLOP]
escapade n. a piece of daring or reckless behaviour. [F f. Prov. or Sp.
escapada (as ESCAPE)]
escape v. & n. --v. 1 intr. (often foll. by from) get free of the
restriction or control of a place, person, etc. 2 intr. (of a
gas, liquid, etc.) leak from a container or pipe etc. 3 intr.
succeed in avoiding danger, punishment, etc.; get off safely. 4
tr. get completely free of (a person, grasp, etc.). 5 tr. avoid
or elude (a commitment, danger, etc.). 6 tr. elude the notice
or memory of (nothing escapes you; the name escaped me). 7 tr.
(of words etc.) issue unawares from (a person, a person's lips).
--n. 1 the act or an instance of escaping; avoidance of danger,
injury, etc. 2 the state of having escaped (was a narrow
escape). 3 a means of escaping (often attrib. : escape hatch).
4 a leakage of gas etc. 5 a temporary relief from reality or
worry. 6 a garden plant running wild. Ьescape clause Law a
clause specifying the conditions under which a contracting party
is free from an obligation. escape road a road for a vehicle to
turn into if unable to negotiate a bend, descent, etc., safely
(esp. on a racetrack). escape velocity the minimum velocity
needed to escape from the gravitational field of a body. escape
wheel a toothed wheel in the escapement of a watch or clock.
ЬЬescapable adj. escaper n. [ME f. AF, ONF escaper ult. f.
med.L (as EX-(1), cappa cloak)]
escapee n. a person, esp. a prisoner, who has escaped.
n. 1 the part of a clock or watch that connects and regulates
the motive power. 2 the part of the mechanism in a piano that
enables the hammer to fall back immediately it has struck the
string. 3 archaic a means of escape. [F ‚chappement f.
escapism n. the tendency to seek distraction and relief from reality,
esp. in the arts or through fantasy. ЬЬescapist n. & adj.
n. the methods and techniques of escaping from confinement,
esp. as a form of entertainment. ЬЬescapologist n.
escargot n. an edible snail. [F]
n. (also escarp) Geol. a long steep slope at the edge of a
plateau etc. [F escarpement f. escarpe SCARP]
-esce suffix forming verbs, usu. initiating action (effervesce;
fluoresce). [from or after L -escere]
-escent suffix forming adjectives denoting the beginning of a state or
action (effervescent; fluorescent). ЬЬ-escence suffix forming
nouns. [from or after F -escent or L -escent-, pres. part. stem
of verbs in -escere]
n. the part of theology concerned with death and final destiny.
ЬЬeschatological adj. eschatologist n. [Gk eskhatos last +
escheat n. & v. hist. --n. 1 the reversion of property to the State,
or (in feudal law) to a lord, on the owner's dying without legal
heirs. 2 property affected by this. --v. 1 tr. hand over
(property) as an escheat. 2 tr. confiscate. 3 intr. revert by
escheat. [ME f. OF eschete, ult. f. L excidere (as EX-(1),
eschew v.tr. literary avoid; abstain from. ЬЬeschewal n. [ME f. OF
eschiver, ult. f. Gmc: rel. to SHY(1)]
n. any yellow-flowering plant of the genus Eschscholtzia, esp.
the Californian poppy (see POPPY). [J. F. von Eschscholtz, Ger.
botanist d. 1831]
escort n. & v. --n. 1 one or more persons, vehicles, ships, etc.,
accompanying a person, vehicle, etc., esp. for protection or
security or as a mark of rank or status. 2 a person
accompanying a person of the opposite sex socially. --v.tr.
act as an escort to. [F escorte, escorter f. It. scorta fem.
past part. of scorgere conduct]
n. a writing-desk with drawers etc. [F f. L scriptorium
writing-room: see SCRIPTORIUM]
escrow n. & v. Law --n. 1 money, property, or a written bond, kept in
the custody of a third party until a specified condition has
been fulfilled. 2 the status of this (in escrow). --v.tr.
place in escrow. [AF escrowe, OF escroe scrap, scroll, f. med.L
scroda f. Gmc]
escudo n. (pl. -os) the principal monetary unit of Portugal and
Chile. [Sp. & Port. f. L scutum shield]
esculent adj. & n. --adj. fit to eat; edible. --n. an edible substance.
[L esculentus f. esca food]
n. 1 a shield or emblem bearing a coat of arms. 2 the middle
part of a ship's stern where the name is placed. 3 the
protective plate around a keyhole or door-handle.
ЬЬescutcheoned adj. [AF & ONF escuchon ult. f. L scutum shield]
Esd. abbr. Esdras (Apocrypha).
ESE abbr. east-south-east.
-ese suffix forming adjectives and nouns denoting: 1 an inhabitant or
language of a country or city (Japanese; Milanese; Viennese).
°Plural forms are the same. 2 often derog. character or style,
esp. of language (officialese). [OF -eis ult. f. L -ensis]
esker n. (also eskar) Geol. a long ridge of post-glacial gravel in
river valleys. [Ir. eiscir]
Eskimo n. & adj. --n. (pl. same or -os) 1 a member of a people
inhabiting N. Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and E. Siberia. 2 the
language of this people. --adj. of or relating to the Eskimos
or their language. °The term Inuit is preferred by the people
themselves. [Da. f. F Esquimaux (pl.) f. Algonquian]
Esky n. (pl. -ies) Austral. propr. a portable insulated container
for keeping food or drink cool. [prob. f. ESKIMO, with ref. to
their cold climate]
ESN abbr. educationally subnormal.
esophagus US var. of OESOPHAGUS.
esoteric adj. 1 intelligible only to those with special knowledge. 2
(of a belief etc.) intended only for the initiated.
ЬЬesoterical adj. esoterically adv. esotericism n.
esotericist n. [Gk esoterikos f. esotero compar. of eso
ESP abbr. extrasensory perception.
n. a light canvas shoe with a plaited fibre sole. [F f. Prov.
espardillo f. espart ESPARTO]
espalier n. 1 a lattice-work along which the branches of a tree or shrub
are trained to grow flat against a wall etc. 2 a tree or shrub
trained in this way. [F f. It. spalliera f. spalla shoulder]
esparto n. (pl. -os) (in full esparto grass) a coarse grass, Stipa
tenacissima, native to Spain and N. Africa, with tough narrow
leaves, used to make ropes, wickerwork, and good-quality paper.
[Sp. f. L spartum f. Gk sparton rope]
especial adj. 1 notable, exceptional. 2 attributed or belonging chiefly
to one person or thing (your especial charm). [ME f. OF f. L
adv. chiefly; much more than in other cases.
Esperanto n. an artificial universal language devised in 1887, based on
roots common to the chief European languages. ЬЬEsperantist n.
[the pen-name (f. L sperare hope) of its inventor, L. L.
Zamenhof, Polish physician d. 1917]
espial n. 1 the act or an instance of catching sight of or of being
seen. 2 archaic spying. [ME f. OF espiaille f. espier: see
espionage n. the practice of spying or of using spies, esp. by
governments. [F espionnage f. espionner f. espion SPY]
esplanade n. 1 a long open level area for walking on, esp. beside the
sea. 2 a level space separating a fortress from a town. [F f.
Sp. esplanada f. esplanar make level f. L explanare (as
EX-(1), planus level)]
espousal n. 1 (foll. by of) the espousing of a cause etc. 2 archaic a
marriage or betrothal. [ME f. OF espousailles f. L sponsalia
neut. pl. of sponsalis (as ESPOUSE)]
espouse v.tr. 1 adopt or support (a cause, doctrine, etc.). 2 archaic
a (usu. of a man) marry. b (usu. foll. by to) give (a woman) in
marriage. ЬЬespouser n. [ME f. OF espouser f. L sponsare f.
sponsus past part. of spondere betroth]
espresso n. (also expresso) (pl. -os) 1 strong concentrated black
coffee made under steam pressure. 2 a machine for making this.
[It., = pressed out]
esprit n. sprightliness, wit. Ь esprit de corps a feeling of devotion
to and pride in the group one belongs to. esprit de l'escalier
an apt retort or clever remark that comes to mind after the
chance to make it is gone. [F f. L spiritus SPIRIT (+ corps
body, escalier stairs)]
espy v.tr. (-ies, -ied) literary catch sight of; perceive. [ME f.
OF espier: see SPY]
Esq. abbr. Esquire.
-esque suffix forming adjectives meaning 'in the style of' or
'resembling' (romanesque; Schumannesque; statuesque). [F f. It.
-esco f. med.L -iscus]
Esquimau n. (pl. -aux) = ESKIMO. [F]
esquire n. 1 (usu. as abbr. Esq.) Brit. a title appended to a man's
surname when no other form of address is used, esp. as a form of
address for letters. 2 archaic = SQUIRE. [ME f. OF esquier f.
L scutarius shield-bearer f. scutum shield]
ESR abbr. Physics electron spin resonance .
-ess(1) suffix forming nouns denoting females (actress; lioness;
mayoress). [from or after F -esse f. LL -issa f. Gk -issa]
-ess(2) suffix forming abstract nouns from adjectives (duress). [ME f.
F -esse f. L -itia; cf. -ICE]
essay n. & v. --n. 1 a composition, usu. short and in prose, on any
subject. 2 (often foll. by at, in) formal an attempt. --v.tr.
formal attempt, try. ЬЬessayist n. [ME f. ASSAY, assim. to F
essayer ult. f. LL exagium weighing f. exigere weigh: see
essence n. 1 the indispensable quality or element identifying a thing
or determining its character; fundamental nature or inherent
characteristics. 2 a an extract obtained by distillation etc.,
esp. a volatile oil. b a perfume or scent, esp. made from a
plant or animal substance. 3 the constituent of a plant that
determines its chemical properties. 4 an abstract entity; the
reality underlying a phenomenon or all phenomena. Ьin essence
fundamentally. of the essence indispensable, vital. [ME f. OF
f. L essentia f. esse be]
Essene n. a member of an ancient Jewish ascetic sect living
communally. [L pl. Esseni f. Gk pl. Essenoi]
essential adj. & n. --adj. 1 absolutely necessary; indispensable. 2
fundamental, basic. 3 of or constituting the essence of a
person or thing. 4 (of a disease) with no known external
stimulus or cause; idiopathic. --n. (esp. in pl.) a basic or
indispensable element or thing. Ьessential element any of
various elements required by living organisms for normal growth.
essential oil a volatile oil derived from a plant etc. with its
characteristic odour. ЬЬessentiality n. essentially adv.
essentialness n. [ME f. LL essentialis (as ESSENCE)]
EST abbr. 1 US Eastern Standard Time. 2 electro-shock treatment.
-est(1) suffix forming the superlative of adjectives (widest; nicest;
happiest) and adverbs (soonest). [OE -ost-, -ust-, -ast-]
-est(2) suffix (also -st) archaic forming the 2nd person sing. of verbs
(canst; findest; gavest). [OE -est, -ast, -st]
establish v.tr. 1 set up or consolidate (a business, system, etc.) on a
permanent basis. 2 (foll. by in) settle (a person or oneself)
in some capacity. 3 (esp. as established adj.) achieve
permanent acceptance for (a custom, belief, practice,
institution, etc.). 4 validate; place beyond dispute (a fact
etc.). ЬEstablished Church the Church recognized by the State
as the national Church. ЬЬestablisher n. [ME f. OF establir
(stem establiss-) f. L stabilire f. stabilis STABLE(1)]
n. 1 the act or an instance of establishing; the process of
being established. 2 a a business organization or public
institution. b a place of business. c a residence. 3 a the
staff or equipment of an organization. b a household. 4 any
organized body permanently maintained for a purpose. 5 a Church
system organized by law. 6 (the Establishment) a the group in a
society exercising authority or influence, and seen as resisting
change. b any influential or controlling group (the literary
adj. & n. --adj. adhering to or advocating the principle of an
established Church. --n. a person adhering to or advocating
this. ЬЬestablishmentarianism n.
estaminet n. a small French caf‚ etc. selling alcoholic drinks. [F f.
Walloon stamin‚ byre f. stamo a pole for tethering a cow, prob.
f. G Stamm stem]
estate n. 1 a property consisting of an extensive area of land usu.
with a large house. 2 Brit. a modern residential or industrial
area with integrated design or purpose. 3 all of a person's
assets and liabilities, esp. at death. 4 a property where
rubber, tea, grapes, etc., are cultivated. 5 (in full estate of
the realm) an order or class forming (or regarded as) a part of
the body politic. 6 archaic or literary a state or position in
life (the estate of holy matrimony; poor man's estate). 7
colloq. = estate car. Ьestate agent Brit. 1 a person whose
business is the sale or lease of buildings and land on behalf of
others. 2 the steward of an estate. estate car Brit. a car
with the passenger area extended and combined with space for
luggage, usu. with an extra door at the rear. estate duty Brit.
hist. death duty levied on property. °Replaced in 1975 by
capital transfer tax and in 1986 by inheritance tax. the Three
Estates Lords Spiritual (the heads of the Church), Lords
Temporal (the peerage), and the Commons. [ME f. OF estat (as
esteem v. & n. --v.tr. 1 (usu. in passive) have a high regard for;
greatly respect; think favourably of. 2 formal consider, deem
(esteemed it an honour). --n. high regard; respect; favour
(held them in esteem). [ME f. OF estimer f. L aestimare fix the
ester n. Chem. any of a class of organic compounds produced by
replacing the hydrogen of an acid by an alkyl, aryl, etc.
radical, many of which occur naturally as oils and fats.
ЬЬesterify v.tr. (-ies, -ied). [G, prob. f. Essig vinegar +
Esth. abbr. Esther (Old Testament & Apocrypha).
esthete US var. of AESTHETE.
esthetic US var. of AESTHETIC.
estimable adj. worthy of esteem. ЬЬestimably adv. [F f. L aestimabilis
estimate n. & v. --n. 1 an approximate judgement, esp. of cost, value,
size, etc. 2 a price specified as that likely to be charged for
work to be undertaken. --v.tr. (also absol.) 1 form an estimate
or opinion of. 2 (foll. by that + clause) make a rough
calculation. 3 (often foll. by at) form an estimate; adjudge.
4 fix (a price etc.) by estimate. ЬЬestimative adj. estimator
n. [L aestimare aestimat- fix the price of]
n. 1 the process or result of estimating. 2 judgement or
opinion of worth (in my estimation). 3 archaic esteem (hold in
estimation). [ME f. OF estimation or L aestimatio (as
estival US var. of AESTIVAL.
estivate US var. of AESTIVATE.
Estonian n. & adj --n. 1 a a native of Estonia, a Baltic republic of the
USSR. b a person of Estonian descent. 2 the Finno-Ugric
language of Estonia. --adj. of or relating to Estonia or its
people or language.
estop v.tr. (estopped, estopping) (foll. by from) Law bar or
preclude, esp. by estoppel. ЬЬestoppage n. [ME f. AF, OF
estoper f. LL stuppare stop up f. L stuppa tow: cf. STOP,
estoppel n. Law the principle which precludes a person from asserting
something contrary to what is implied by a previous action or
statement of that person or by a previous pertinent judicial
determination. [OF estouppail bung f. estoper (as ESTOP)]
estovers n.pl. hist. necessaries allowed by law to a tenant (esp. fuel,
or wood for repairs). [AF estover, OF estoveir be necessary, f.
L est opus]
estrange v.tr. (usu. in passive; often foll. by from) cause (a person or
group) to turn away in feeling or affection; alienate.
ЬЬestrangement n. [ME f. AF estraunger, OF estranger f. L
extraneare treat as a stranger f. extraneus stranger]
estreat n. & v. Law --n. 1 a copy of a court record of a fine etc. for
use in prosecution. 2 the enforcement of a fine or forfeiture
of a recognizance. --v.tr. enforce the forfeit of (a fine etc.,
esp. surety for bail). [ME f. AF estrete, OF estraite f.
estraire f. L extrahere EXTRACT]
estrogen US var. of OESTROGEN.
US var. of OESTRUS etc.
estuary n. (pl. -ies) a wide tidal mouth of a river. ЬЬestuarine adj.
[L aestuarium tidal channel f. aestus tide]
e.s.u. abbr. electrostatic unit(s).
esurient adj. archaic or joc. 1 hungry. 2 impecunious and greedy.
ЬЬesuriently adv. [L esurire (v.) hunger f. edere es- eat]
ETA(2) n. a Basque separatist movement. [Basque abbr., f. Euzkadi ta
Azkatasuna Basque homeland and liberty]
eta n. the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet (H). [Gk]
et al. abbr. and others. [L et alii, et alia, etc.]
etalon n. Physics a device consisting of two reflecting plates, for
producing interfering light-beams. [F ‚talon standard]
etc. abbr. = ET CETERA.
et cetera adv. & n. (also etcetera) --adv. 1 a and the rest; and similar
things or people. b or similar things or people. 2 and so on.
--n. (in pl.) the usual sundries or extras. [ME f. L]
etch v. & n. --v. 1 a tr. reproduce (a picture etc.) by engraving a
design on a metal plate with acid (esp. to print copies). b tr.
engrave (a plate) in this way. 2 intr. practise this craft. 3
tr. (foll. by on, upon) impress deeply (esp. on the mind). --n.
the action or process of etching. ЬЬetcher n. [Du. etsen f. G
„tzen etch f. OHG azzen cause to eat or to be eaten f. Gmc]
etchant n. a corrosive used in etching.
etching n. 1 a print made from an etched plate. 2 the art of producing
-ete suffix var. of -ET(2).
eternal adj. 1 existing always; without an end or (usu.) beginning in
time. 2 essentially unchanging (eternal truths). 3 colloq.
constant; seeming not to cease (your eternal nagging). Ьthe
Eternal God. Eternal City Rome. eternal triangle a complex of
emotional relationships involving two people of one sex and one
of the other sex. ЬЬeternality n. eternalize v.tr. (also
-ise). eternally adv. eternalness n. eternize v.tr. (also
-ise). [ME f. OF f. LL aeternalis f. L aeternus f. aevum age]
eternity n. (pl. -ies) 1 infinite or unending (esp. future) time. 2
Theol. endless life after death. 3 the state of being eternal.
4 colloq. (often prec. by an) a very long time. 5 (in pl.)
eternal truths. Ьeternity ring a finger-ring set with gems all
round, usu. given as a token of lasting affection. [ME f. OF
eternit‚ f. L aeternitas -tatis f. aeternus: see ETERNAL]
Etesian adj. ЬEtesian winds NW winds blowing each summer in the E.
Mediterranean. [L etesius f. Gk etesios annual f. etos year]
eth n. (also edh) the name of an Old English and Icelandic letter,
= th. [Icel.]
-eth(1) var. of -TH(1).
-eth(2) suffix (also -th) archaic forming the 3rd person sing. present
of verbs (doeth; saith). [OE -eth, -ath, -th]
ethanal n. = ACETALDEHYDE. [ETHANE + ALDEHYDE]
ethane n. Chem. a gaseous hydrocarbon of the alkane series, occurring
in natural gas. °Chem. formula: CH. [ETHER + -ANE(2)]
n. Chem. = ethylene glycol. [ETHANE + DIOL]
ethanol n. Chem. = ALCOHOL 1. [ETHANE + ALCOHOL]
ethene n. Chem. = ETHYLENE. [ETHER + -ENE]
ether n. 1 Chem. a a colourless volatile organic liquid used as an
anaesthetic or solvent. Also called DIETHYL ETHER, ETHOXYETHANE.
°Chem. formula: CHOCH. b any of a class of organic
compounds with a similar structure to this, having an oxygen
joined to two alkyl etc. groups. 2 a clear sky; the upper
regions of air beyond the clouds. 3 hist. a a medium formerly
assumed to permeate space and fill the interstices between
particles of matter. b a medium through which electromagnetic
waves were formerly thought to be transmitted. ЬЬetheric adj.
[ME f. OF ether or L aether f. Gk aither f. root of aitho burn,
ethereal adj. (also etherial) 1 light, airy. 2 highly delicate, esp. in
appearance. 3 heavenly, celestial. 4 Chem. of or relating to
ether. ЬЬethereality n. ethereally adv. [L aethereus, -ius f.
Gk aitherios (as ETHER)]
etherial var. of ETHEREAL.
etherize v.tr. (also -ise) hist. treat or anaesthetize with ether.
ethic n. & adj. --n. a set of moral principles (the Quaker ethic).
--adj. = ETHICAL. [ME f. OF ‚thique or L ethicus f. Gk ethikos
ethical adj. 1 relating to morals, esp. as concerning human conduct. 2
morally correct; honourable. 3 (of a medicine or drug) not
advertised to the general public, and usu. available only on a
doctor's prescription. ЬЬethicality n. ethically adv.
ethics n.pl. (also treated as sing.) 1 the science of morals in human
conduct. 2 a moral principles; rules of conduct. b a set of
these (medical ethics). ЬЬethicist n.
Ethiopian n. & adj. --n. 1 a a native or national of Ethiopia in NE
Africa. b a person of Ethiopian descent. 2 archaic a Black
person. --adj. of or relating to Ethiopia. [Ethiopia f. L
Aethiops f. Gk Aithiops f. aitho burn + ops face]
Ethiopic n. & adj. --n. the Christian liturgical language of Ethiopia.
--adj. of or in this language. [L aethiopicus f. Gk
aithiopikos: see ETHIOPIAN]
ethmoid adj. sievelike. Ьethmoid bone a square bone at the root of the
nose, with many perforations through which the olfactory nerves
pass to the nose. ЬЬethmoidal adj. [Gk ethmoeides f. ethmos
ethnic adj. & n. --adj. 1 a (of a social group) having a common
national or cultural tradition. b (of clothes etc.) resembling
those of a non-European exotic people. 2 denoting origin by
birth or descent rather than nationality (ethnic Turks). 3
relating to race or culture (ethnic group; ethnic origins). 4
archaic pagan, heathen. --n. 1 US a member of an (esp.
minority) ethnic group. 2 (in pl., usu. treated as sing.) =
ETHNOLOGY. Ьethnic minority a (usu. identifiable) group
differentiated from the main population of a community by racial
origin or cultural background. ЬЬethnically adv. ethnicity n.
[ME f. eccl.L ethnicus f. Gk ethnikos heathen f. ethnos nation]
ethnical adj. relating to ethnology.
ethno- comb. form ethnic, ethnological. [Gk ethnos nation]
n. the study of a society's institutions based on examination
of its material attributes. ЬЬethnoarchaeological adj.
adj. evaluating other races and cultures by criteria specific
to one's own. ЬЬethnocentrically adv. ethnocentricity n.
n. the scientific description of races and cultures of mankind.
ЬЬethnographer n. ethnographic adj. ethnographical adj.
ethnology n. the comparative scientific study of human peoples.
ЬЬethnologic adj. ethnological adj. ethnologist n.
n. the study of the music of one or more (esp. non-European)
cultures. ЬЬethnomusicologist n.
ethogram n. Zool. a list of the kinds of behaviour or activity observed
in an animal. [Gk etho- (see ETHOS) + -GRAM]
ethology n. 1 the science of animal behaviour. 2 the science of
character-formation in human behaviour. ЬЬethological adj.
ethologist n. [L ethologia f. Gk ethologia (as ETHOS)]
ethos n. the characteristic spirit or attitudes of a community,
people, or system, or of a literary work etc. [mod.L f. Gk
ethos nature, disposition]
n. Chem. = ETHER 1 a. [ETHER + OXY- + ETHANE]
ethyl n. (attrib.) Chem. the univalent radical derived from ethane
by removal of a hydrogen atom (ethyl alcohol). [G (as ETHER,
ethylene n. Chem. a gaseous hydrocarbon of the alkene series, occurring
in natural gas and used in the manufacture of polythene. Also
called ETHENE. °Chem. formula: CH. Ьethylene glycol
Chem. a colourless viscous hygroscopic liquid used as an
antifreeze and in the manufacture of polyesters. °Chem.
formula: CHO.: also called ETHANEDIOL. ЬЬethylenic
-etic suffix forming adjectives and nouns (ascetic; emetic; genetic;
synthetic). [Gk -etikos or -etikos: cf. -IC]
etiolate v.tr. 1 make (a plant) pale by excluding light. 2 give a
sickly hue to (a person). ЬЬetiolation n. [F ‚tioler f. Norman
F ‚tieuler make into haulm f. ‚teule ult. f. L stipula straw]
etiology US var. of AETIOLOGY.
etiquette n. 1 the conventional rules of social behaviour. 2 a the
customary behaviour of members of a profession towards each
other. b the unwritten code governing this (medical etiquette).
[F ‚tiquette label, etiquette]
n. a broad stiff collar worn outside the coat-collar, esp. of
an Eton jacket.
Etonian n. a past or present member of Eton College in S. England.
n. a short jacket reaching only to the waist, as formerly worn
by pupils of Eton College.
‚trier n. Mountaineering a short rope ladder with a few rungs of wood
or metal. [F, = stirrup]
Etruscan adj. & n. --adj. of ancient Etruria in Italy, esp. its
pre-Roman civilization and physical remains. --n. 1 a native
of Etruria. 2 the language of Etruria. ЬЬEtruscology n. [L
et seq. abbr. (also et seqq.) and the following (pages etc.). [L et
-ette suffix forming nouns meaning: 1 small (kitchenette; cigarette).
2 imitation or substitute (leatherette; flannelette). 3 female
(usherette; suffragette). [from or after OF -ette, fem. of
‚tude n. a short musical composition or exercise, usu. for one
instrument, designed to improve the technique of the player.
[F, = study]
‚tui n. a small case for needles etc. [F ‚tui f. OF estui prison]
-etum suffix forming nouns denoting a collection of trees or other
plants (arboretum; pinetum). [L]
v. (also -ise) 1 tr. give or trace the etymology of. 2 intr.
study etymology. [med.L etymologizare f. L etymologia (as
etymology n. (pl. -ies) 1 a the historically verifiable sources of the
formation of a word and the development of its meaning. b an
account of these. 2 the branch of linguistic science concerned
with etymologies. ЬЬetymological adj. etymologically adv.
etymologist n. [OF ethimologie f. L etymologia f. Gk etumologia
(as ETYMON, -LOGY)]
etymon n. (pl. etyma) the word that gives rise to a derivative or a
borrowed or later form. [L f. Gk etumon (neut. of etumos true),
the literal sense or original form of a word]
n. (also eucalypt) (pl. eucalyptuses or eucalypti or
eucalypts) 1 any tree of the genus Eucalyptus, native to
Australasia, cultivated for its timber and for the oil from its
leaves. 2 (in full eucalyptus oil) this oil used as an
antiseptic etc. [mod.L f. EU- + Gk kaluptos covered f.
kalupto to cover, the unopened flower being protected by a cap]
eucaryote var. of EUKARYOTE.
eucharis n. any bulbous plant of the genus Eucharis, native to S.
America, with white umbellate flowers. [Gk eukharis pleasing
(as EU-, kharis grace)]
Eucharist n. 1 the Christian sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in
which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed. 2 the
consecrated elements, esp. the bread (receive the Eucharist).
ЬЬEucharistic adj. Eucharistical adj. [ME f. OF eucariste,
ult. f. eccl.Gk eukharistia thanksgiving f. Gk eukharistos
grateful (as EU-, kharizomai offer willingly)]
euchre n. & v. --n. an American card-game for two, three, or four
players. --v.tr. 1 (in euchre) gain the advantage over
(another player) when that player fails to take three tricks. 2
deceive, outwit. 3 Austral. exhaust, ruin. [19th c.: orig.
Euclidean adj. of or relating to Euclid, 3rd-c. BC Alexandrian
geometrician, esp. the system of geometry based on his
principles. ЬEuclidean space space for which Euclidean geometry
is valid. [L Euclideus f. Gk Eukleideios]
n. (also eudaemonism) a system of ethics that bases moral
obligation on the likelihood of actions producing happiness.
ЬЬeudemonist n. eudemonistic adj. [Gk eudaimonismos system of
happiness f. eudaimon happy (as EU-, daimon guardian spirit)]
n. Chem. a graduated glass tube in which gases may be
chemically combined by an electric spark, used to measure
changes in volume of gases during chemical reactions.
ЬЬeudiometric adj. eudiometrical adj. eudiometry n. [Gk
eudios clear (weather): orig. used to measure the amount of
oxygen, thought to be greater in clear air]
eugenics n.pl. (also treated as sing.) the science of improving the
(esp. human) population by controlled breeding for desirable
inherited characteristics. ЬЬeugenic adj. eugenically adv.
eugenicist n. eugenist n.
eukaryote n. (also eucaryote) Biol. an organism consisting of a cell or
cells in which the genetic material is contained within a
distinct nucleus (cf. PROKARYOTE). ЬЬeukaryotic adj. [EU- +
KARYO- + - ote as in ZYGOTE]
eulogium n. (pl. eulogia or -ums) = EULOGY. [med.L: see EULOGY]
eulogize v.tr. (also -ise) praise in speech or writing. ЬЬeulogist n.
eulogistic adj. eulogistically adv.
eulogy n. (pl. -ies) 1 a speech or writing in praise of a person. b
an expression of praise. 2 US a funeral oration in praise of a
person. [med.L eulogium f. (app. by confusion with L elogium
epitaph) LL eulogia praise f. Gk]
eunuch n. 1 a castrated man, esp. one formerly employed at an oriental
harem or court. 2 a person lacking effectiveness (political
eunuch). [ME f. L eunuchus f. Gk eunoukhos lit. bedchamber
attendant f. eune bed + second element rel. to ekho hold]
euonymus n. any tree of the genus Euonymus, e.g. the spindle tree. [L
f. Gk euonumos of lucky name (as EU-, onoma name)]
eupeptic adj. of or having good digestion. [Gk eupeptos (as EU-, pepto
euphemism n. 1 a mild or vague expression substituted for one thought to
be too harsh or direct (e.g. pass over for die). 2 the use of
such expressions. ЬЬeuphemist n. euphemistic adj.
euphemistically adv. euphemize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise). [Gk
euphemismos f. euphemos (as EU-, pheme speaking)]
euphonium n. a brass wind instrument of the tuba family. [mod.L f. Gk
euphonos (as EUPHONY)]
euphony n. (pl. -ies) 1 a pleasantness of sound, esp. of a word or
phrase; harmony. b a pleasant sound. 2 the tendency to make a
phonetic change for ease of pronunciation. ЬЬeuphonic adj.
euphonize v.tr. (also -ise). [F euphonie f. LL euphonia f. Gk
euphonia (as EU-, phone sound)]
euphorbia n. any plant of the genus Euphorbia, including spurges. [ME f.
L euphorbea f. Euphorbus, 1st-c. Gk physician]
euphoria n. a feeling of well-being, esp. one based on over-confidence
or over-optimism. ЬЬeuphoric adj. euphorically adv. [Gk f.
euphoros well-bearing (as EU-, phero bear)]
adj. & n. --adj. inducing euphoria. --n. a euphoriant drug.
euphuism n. an affected or high-flown style of writing or speaking.
ЬЬeuphuist n. euphuistic adj. euphuistically adv. [Gk euphues
well endowed by nature: orig. of writing imitating Lyly's
Eurasian adj. & n. --adj. 1 of mixed European and Asian (esp. Indian)
parentage. 2 of Europe and Asia. --n. a Eurasian person.
Euratom n. European Atomic Energy Community. [abbr.]
eureka int. & n. --int. I have found it! (announcing a discovery
etc.). --n. the exultant cry of 'eureka'. [Gk heureka 1st
pers. sing. perfect of heurisko find: attributed to Archimedes]
adj. of or in harmonious proportion (esp. of architecture).
[eurhythmy harmony of proportions f. L eur(h)ythmia f. Gk
eurhuthmia (as EU-, rhuthmos proportion, rhythm)]
n.pl. (also treated as sing.) (US eurythmics) harmony of bodily
movement, esp. as developed with music and dance into a system
Euro- comb. form Europe, European. [abbr.]
euro n. (pl. -os) Austral. a large reddish kangaroo. [Aboriginal]
n. a form of Communism in Western European countries that is
independent of the Soviet Communist Party. ЬЬEurocommunist adj.
Eurocrat n. usu. derog. a bureaucrat in the administration of the
European Economic Community.
n. a dollar held in a bank in Europe.
European adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or in Europe. 2 a descended from
natives of Europe. b originating in or characteristic of
Europe. 3 a happening in or extending over Europe. b
concerning Europe as a whole rather than its individual
countries. 4 of or relating to the European Economic Community.
--n. 1 a a native or inhabitant of Europe. b a person
descended from natives of Europe. c a White person. 2 a person
concerned with European matters. ЬEuropean Economic Community
(or European Community) an economic and political association of
certain European countries as a unit with internal free trade
and common external tariffs. European plan US a system of
charging for a hotel room only without meals. ЬЬEuropeanism n.
Europeanize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise). Europeanization n. [F
europ‚en f. L europaeus f. L Europa f. Gk Europe Europe]
europium n. Chem. a soft silvery metallic element of the lanthanide
series, occurring naturally in small quantities. °Symb.: Eu.
[mod.L f. Europe]
n. a network of European television production administered by
the European Broadcasting Union.
US var. of EURHYTHMICS.
n. Anat. a tube leading from the pharynx to the cavity of the
middle ear and equalizing the pressure on each side of the
eardrum. [L Eustachius = B. Eustachio, It. anatomist d. 1574]
eustasy n. a change in sea level throughout the world caused by
tectonic movements, melting of glaciers, etc. ЬЬeustatic adj.
[back-form. f. G eustatisch (adj.) (as EU-, STATIC)]
eutectic adj. & n. Chem. --adj. (of a mixture, alloy, etc.) having the
lowest freezing-point of any possible proportions of its
constituents. --n. a eutectic mixture. Ьeutectic point (or
temperature) the minimum freezing-point for a eutectic mixture.
[Gk eutektos (as EU-, teko melt)]
n. 1 the bringing about of a gentle and easy death in the case
of incurable and painful disease. 2 such a death. [Gk (as EU-,
eutrophic adj. (of a lake etc.) rich in nutrients and therefore
supporting a dense plant population, which kills animal life by
depriving it of oxygen. ЬЬeutrophicate v.tr. eutrophication n.
eutrophy n. [eutrophy f. Gk eutrophia (as EU-, trepho nourish)]
evacuate v.tr. 1 a remove (people) from a place of danger to stay
elsewhere for the duration of the danger. b empty (a place) in
this way. 2 make empty (a vessel of air etc.). 3 (of troops)
withdraw from (a place). 4 a empty (the bowels or other bodily
organ). b discharge (faeces etc.). ЬЬevacuant n. & adj.
evacuation n. evacuative adj. & n. evacuator n. [L evacuare
(as E-, vacuus empty)]
evacuee n. a person evacuated from a place of danger.
evade v.tr. 1 a escape from, avoid, esp. by guile or trickery. b
avoid doing (one's duty etc.). c avoid answering (a question)
or yielding to (an argument). 2 a fail to pay (tax due). b
defeat the intention of (a law etc.), esp. while complying with
its letter. 3 (of a thing) elude or baffle (a person).
ЬЬevadable adj. evader n. [F ‚vader f. L evadere (as E-,
vadere vas- go)]
evaginate v.tr. Med. & Physiol. turn (a tubular organ) inside out.
ЬЬevagination n. [L evaginare (as E-, vaginare as VAGINA)]
evaluate v.tr. 1 assess, appraise. 2 a find or state the number or
amount of. b find a numerical expression for. ЬЬevaluation n.
evaluative adj. evaluator n. [back-form. f. evaluation f. F
‚valuation f. ‚valuer (as E-, VALUE)]
evanesce v.intr. 1 fade from sight; disappear. 2 become effaced. [L
evanescere (as E-, vanus empty)]
adj. (of an impression or appearance etc.) quickly fading.
ЬЬevanescence n. evanescently adv.
evangel n. 1 archaic a the gospel. b any of the four Gospels. 2 a
basic doctrine or set of principles. 3 US = EVANGELIST. [ME f.
OF evangile f. eccl.L evangelium f. Gk euaggelion good news (as
evangelic adj. = EVANGELICAL.
adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or according to the teaching of the
gospel or the Christian religion. 2 of the Protestant school
maintaining that the doctrine of salvation by faith in the
Atonement is the essence of the gospel. --n. a member of the
evangelical school. ЬЬevangelicalism n. evangelically adv.
[eccl.L evangelicus f. eccl.Gk euaggelikos (as EVANGEL)]
n. 1 the preaching or promulgation of the gospel. 2
n. 1 any of the writers of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark,
Luke, John). 2 a preacher of the gospel. 3 a lay person doing
adj. 1 = EVANGELICAL. 2 of preachers of the gospel. 3 of the
v.tr. (also -ise) 1 (also absol.) preach the gospel to. 2
convert (a person) to Christianity. ЬЬevangelization n.
evangelizer n. [ME f. eccl.L evangelizare f. Gk euaggelizomai
evaporate v. 1 intr. turn from solid or liquid into vapour. 2 intr. &
tr. lose or cause to lose moisture as vapour. 3 intr. & tr.
disappear or cause to disappear (our courage evaporated).
Ьevaporated milk milk concentrated by partial evaporation.
ЬЬevaporable adj. evaporation n. evaporative adj. evaporator
n. [L evaporare (as E-, vaporare as VAPOUR)]
evasion n. 1 the act or a means of evading. 2 a a subterfuge or
prevaricating excuse. b an evasive answer. [ME f. OF f. L
evasio -onis (as EVADE)]
evasive adj. 1 seeking to evade something. 2 not direct in one's
answers etc. 3 enabling or effecting evasion (evasive action).
4 (of a person) tending to evasion; habitually practising
evasion. ЬЬevasively adv. evasiveness n.
eve n. 1 the evening or day before a church festival or any date or
event (Christmas Eve; the eve of the funeral). 2 the time just
before anything (the eve of the election). 3 archaic evening.
[ME, = EVEN(2)]
evection n. Astron. a perturbation of the moon's motion caused by the
sun's attraction. [L evectio (as E-, vehere vect- carry)]
even(1) adj., adv., & v. --adj. (evener, evenest) 1 level; flat and
smooth. 2 a uniform in quality; constant. b equal in number or
amount or value etc. c equally balanced. 3 (usu. foll. by
with) in the same plane or line. 4 (of a person's temper etc.)
equable, calm. 5 a (of a number such as 4, 6) divisible by two
without a remainder. b bearing such a number (no parking on
even dates). c not involving fractions; exact (in even dozens).
--adv. 1 used to invite comparison of the stated assertion,
negation, etc., with an implied one that is less strong or
remarkable (never even opened [let alone read] the letter; does
he even suspect [not to say realize] the danger?; ran even
faster [not just as fast as before]; even if my watch is right
we shall be late [later if it is slow]). 2 used to introduce an
extreme case (even you must realize it; it might even cost
њ100). --v. 1 tr. & intr. (often foll. by up) make or become
even. 2 tr. (often foll. by to) archaic treat as equal or
comparable. Ьeven as at the very moment that. even break
colloq. an equal chance. even chance an equal chance of
success or failure. even money 1 betting odds offering the
gambler the chance of winning the amount he or she staked. 2
equally likely to happen or not (it's even money he'll fail to
arrive). even now 1 now as well as before. 2 at this very
moment. even so 1 notwithstanding that; nevertheless. 2 quite
so. 3 in that case as well as in others. get (or be) even with
have one's revenge on. of even date Law & Commerce of the same
date. on an even keel 1 (of a ship or aircraft) not listing. 2
(of a plan or person) untroubled. ЬЬevenly adv. evenness n.
[OE efen, efne]
even(2) n. poet. evening. [OE ‘fen]
adj. impartial, fair. ЬЬeven-handedly adv. even-handedness n.
evening n. & int. --n. 1 the end part of the day, esp. from about 6
p.m. to bedtime (this evening; during the evening; evening
meal). 2 this time spent in a particular way (had a lively
evening). 3 a time compared with this, esp. the last part of a
person's life. --int. = good evening (see GOOD adj. 14).
Ьevening dress formal dress for evening wear. evening primrose
any plant of the genus Oenothera with pale yellow flowers that
open in the evening. evening star a planet, esp. Venus,
conspicuous in the west after sunset. [OE ‘fnung, rel. to
evens n.pl. Brit. = even money.
evensong n. a service of evening prayer in the Church of England.
[EVEN(2) + SONG]
event n. 1 a thing that happens or takes place, esp. one of
importance. 2 a the fact of a thing's occurring. b a result or
outcome. 3 an item in a sports programme, or the programme as a
whole. 4 Physics a single occurrence of a process, e.g. the
ionization of one atom. 5 something on the result of which
money is staked. Ьat all events (or in any event) whatever
happens. event horizon Astron. the gravitational boundary
enclosing a black hole, from which no light escapes. in the
event as it turns (or turned) out. in the event of if (a
specified thing) happens. in the event that disp. if it
happens that. [L eventus f. evenire event- happen (as E-,
eventful adj. marked by noteworthy events. ЬЬeventfully adv.
eventide n. archaic or poet. = EVENING. Ьeventide home a home for the
elderly, orig. one run by the Salvation Army. [OE ‘fentid (as
eventing n. Brit. participation in equestrian competitions, esp.
dressage and showjumping. [EVENT 3 as in three-day event]
eventless adj. without noteworthy or remarkable events. ЬЬeventlessly
eventual adj. occurring or existing in due course or at last; ultimate.
ЬЬeventually adv. [as EVENT, after actual]
n. (pl. -ies) a possible event or outcome.
eventuate v.intr. formal 1 turn out in a specified way as the result. 2
(often foll. by in) result. ЬЬeventuation n. [as EVENT, after
ever adv. 1 at all times; always (ever hopeful; ever after). 2 at
any time (have you ever been to Paris?; nothing ever happens; as
good as ever). 3 as an emphatic word: a in any way; at all (how
ever did you do it?; when will they ever learn?). b (prec. by
as) in any manner possible (be as quick as ever you can). 4 (in
comb.) constantly (ever-present; ever-recurring). 5 (foll. by
so, such) Brit. colloq. very; very much (is ever so easy; was
ever such a nice man; thanks ever so). 6 (foll. by compar.)
constantly, increasingly (grew ever larger). Ьdid you ever?
colloq. did you ever hear or see the like? ever since
throughout the period since. for ever 1 for all future time. 2
colloq. for a long time (cf. FOREVER). [OE ‘fre]
evergreen adj. & n. --adj. 1 always green or fresh. 2 (of a plant)
retaining green leaves throughout the year. --n. an evergreen
plant (cf. DECIDUOUS).
adj. & n. --adj. 1 lasting for ever. 2 lasting for a long
time, esp. so as to become unwelcome. 3 (of flowers) keeping
their shape and colour when dried. --n. 1 eternity. 2 =
IMMORTELLE. ЬЬeverlastingly adv. everlastingness n.
evermore adv. for ever; always.
evert v.tr. Physiol. turn (an organ etc.) outwards or inside out.
ЬЬeversion n. [L evertere (as E-, vertere vers- turn)]
every adj. 1 each single (heard every word; watched her every
movement). 2 each at a specified interval in a series (take
every third one; comes every four days). 3 all possible; the
utmost degree of (there is every prospect of success). Ьevery
bit as colloq. (in comparisons) quite as (every bit as good).
every now and again (or now and then) from time to time. every
one each one (see also EVERYONE). every other each second in a
series (every other day). every so often at intervals;
occasionally. every time colloq. 1 without exception. 2
without hesitation. every which way US colloq. 1 in all
directions. 2 in a disorderly manner. [OE ‘fre ‘lc ever each]
everybody pron. every person.
everyday adj. 1 occurring every day. 2 suitable for or used on ordinary
days. 3 commonplace, usual.
Everyman n. the ordinary or typical human being; the 'man in the
street'. [the principal character in a 15th-c. morality play]
everyone pron. every person; everybody.
pron. 1 all things; all the things of a group or class. 2
colloq. a great deal (gave me everything). 3 an essential
consideration (speed is everything). Ьhave everything colloq.
possess all the desired attributes etc.
adv. 1 in every place. 2 colloq. in many places.
evict v.tr. expel (a tenant) from a property by legal process.
ЬЬeviction n. evictor n. [L evincere evict- (as E-, vincere
evidence n. & v. --n. 1 (often foll. by for, of) the available facts,
circumstances, etc. supporting or otherwise a belief,
proposition, etc., or indicating whether or not a thing is true
or valid. 2 Law a information given personally or drawn from a
document etc. and tending to prove a fact or proposition. b
statements or proofs admissible as testimony in a lawcourt. 3
clearness, obviousness. --v.tr. be evidence of; attest. Ьcall
in evidence Law summon (a person) as a witness. in evidence
noticeable, conspicuous. Queen's (or King's or State's)
evidence Law evidence for the prosecution given by a participant
in or accomplice to the crime at issue. [ME f. OF f. L
evidentia (as EVIDENT)]
evident adj. 1 plain or obvious (visually or intellectually); manifest.
2 seeming, apparent (his evident anxiety). [ME f. OF evident or
L evidere evident- (as E-, videre see)]
adj. of or providing evidence. ЬЬevidentially adv.
adj. = EVIDENTIAL.
evidently adv. 1 as shown by evidence. 2 seemingly; as it appears (was
evidently unwilling to go).
evil adj. & n. --adj. 1 morally bad; wicked. 2 harmful or tending
to harm, esp. intentionally or characteristically. 3
disagreeable or unpleasant (has an evil temper). 4 unlucky;
causing misfortune (evil days). --n. 1 an evil thing; an
instance of something evil. 2 evil quality; wickedness, harm.
Ьevil eye a gaze or stare superstitiously believed to be able to
cause material harm. speak evil of slander. ЬЬevilly adv.
evilness n. [OE yfel f. Gmc]
evince v.tr. 1 indicate or make evident. 2 show that one has (a
quality). ЬЬevincible adj. evincive adj. [L evincere: see
v.tr. formal 1 disembowel. 2 empty or deprive of essential
contents. ЬЬevisceration n. [L eviscerare eviscerat- (as E-,
evocative adj. tending to evoke (esp. feelings or memories).
ЬЬevocatively adv. evocativeness n.
evoke v.tr. 1 inspire or draw forth (memories, feelings, a response,
etc.). 2 summon (a supposed spirit from the dead). ЬЬevocation
n. evoker n. [L evocare (as E-, vocare call)]
evolute n. (in full evolute curve) Math. a curve which is the locus of
the centres of curvature of another curve that is its involute.
[L evolutus past part. (as EVOLVE)]
evolution n. 1 gradual development, esp. from a simple to a more complex
form. 2 a process by which species develop from earlier forms,
as an explanation of their origins. 3 the appearance or
presentation of events etc. in due succession (the evolution of
the plot). 4 a change in the disposition of troops or ships. 5
the giving off or evolving of gas, heat, etc. 6 an opening out.
7 the unfolding of a curve. 8 Math. the extraction of a root
from any given power (cf. INVOLUTION). ЬЬevolutional adj.
evolutionally adv. evolutionary adj. evolutionarily adv. [L
evolutio unrolling (as EVOLVE)]
n. a person who believes in evolution as explaining the origin
of species. ЬЬevolutionism n. evolutionistic adj.
evolve v. 1 intr. & tr. develop gradually by a natural process. 2 tr.
work out or devise (a theory, plan, etc.). 3 intr. & tr.
unfold; open out. 4 tr. give off (gas, heat, etc.).
ЬЬevolvable adj. evolvement n. [L evolvere evolut- (as E-,
evzone n. a member of a select Greek infantry regiment. [mod. Gk
euzonos f. Gk, = dressed for exercise (as EU-, zone belt)]
ex(1) prep. 1 (of goods) sold from (ex-works). 2 (of stocks or
shares) without, excluding. [L, = out of]
ex(2) n. colloq. a former husband or wife. [absol. use of EX-(1) 2]
ex-(1) prefix (also e- before some consonants, ef- before f) 1 forming
verbs meaning: a out, forth (exclude; exit). b upward (extol).
c thoroughly (excruciate). d bring into a state (exasperate).
e remove or free from (expatriate; exonerate). 2 forming nouns
from titles of office, status, etc., meaning 'formerly'
(ex-convict; ex-president; ex-wife). [L f. ex out of]
ex-(2) prefix out (exodus). [Gk f. ex out of]
exa- comb. form denoting a factor of 10(18). [perh. f. HEXA-]
v.tr. 1 make (pain, anger, etc.) worse. 2 irritate (a person).
ЬЬexacerbation n. [L exacerbare (as EX-(1), acerbus bitter)]
exact adj. & v. --adj. 1 accurate; correct in all details (an exact
description). 2 a precise. b (of a person) tending to
precision. --v.tr. (often foll. by from, of) 1 demand and
enforce payment of (money, fees, etc.) from a person. 2 a
demand; insist on. b (of circumstances) require urgently.
Ьexact science a science admitting of absolute or quantitative
precision. ЬЬexactable adj. exactitude n. exactness n.
exactor n. [L exigere exact- (as EX-(1), agere drive)]
exacting adj. 1 making great demands. 2 calling for much effort.
ЬЬexactingly adv. exactingness n.
exaction n. 1 the act or an instance of exacting; the process of being
exacted. 2 a an illegal or exorbitant demand; an extortion. b
a sum or thing exacted. [ME f. L exactio (as EXACT)]
exactly adv. 1 accurately, precisely; in an exact manner (worked it out
exactly). 2 in exact terms (exactly when did it happen?). 3
(said in reply) quite so; I quite agree. Ьnot exactly colloq.
1 by no means. 2 not precisely.
v.tr. 1 (also absol.) give an impression of (a thing), esp. in
speech or writing, that makes it seem larger or greater etc.
than it really is. 2 enlarge or alter beyond normal or due
proportions (spoke with exaggerated politeness).
ЬЬexaggeratedly adv. exaggeratingly adv. exaggeration n.
exaggerative adj. exaggerator n. [L exaggerare (as EX-(1),
aggerare heap up f. agger heap)]
exalt v.tr. 1 raise in rank or power etc. 2 praise highly. 3 (usu.
as exalted adj.) make lofty or noble (exalted aims; an exalted
style). ЬЬexaltedly adv. exaltedness n. exalter n. [ME f. L
exaltare (as EX-(1), altus high)]
n. 1 the act or an instance of exalting; the state of being
exalted. 2 elation; rapturous emotion. [ME f. OF exaltation or
LL exaltatio (as EXALT)]
exam n. = EXAMINATION 3.
n. 1 the act or an instance of examining; the state of being
examined. 2 a detailed inspection. 3 the testing of the
proficiency or knowledge of students or other candidates for a
qualification by oral or written questions. 4 an instance of
examining or being examined medically. 5 Law the formal
questioning of the accused or of a witness in court.
Ьexamination paper 1 the printed questions in an examination. 2
a candidate's set of answers. ЬЬexaminational adj. [ME f. OF
f. L examinatio -onis (as EXAMINE)]
examine v. 1 tr. inquire into the nature or condition etc. of. 2 tr.
look closely or analytically at. 3 tr. test the proficiency of,
esp. by examination (see EXAMINATION 3). 4 tr. check the health
of (a patient) by inspection or experiment. 5 tr. Law formally
question (the accused or a witness) in court. 6 intr. (foll. by
into) inquire. ЬЬexaminable adj. examinee n. examiner n. [ME
f. OF examiner f. L examinare weigh, test f. examen tongue of a
balance, ult. f. exigere examine, weigh: see EXACT]
example n. & v. --n. 1 a thing characteristic of its kind or
illustrating a general rule. 2 a person, thing, or piece of
conduct, regarded in terms of its fitness to be imitated (must
set him an example; you are a bad example). 3 a circumstance or
treatment seen as a warning to others; a person so treated
(shall make an example of you). 4 a problem or exercise
designed to illustrate a rule. --v.tr. (usu. in passive) serve
as an example of. Ьfor example by way of illustration. [ME f.
OF f. L exemplum (as EXEMPT)]
exanthema n. Med. a skin rash accompanying any eruptive disease or
fever. [LL f. Gk exanthema eruption f. exantheo (as EX-(2),
exarch n. in the Orthodox Church, a bishop lower in rank than a
patriarch and having jurisdiction wider than the metropolitan of
a diocese. ЬЬexarchate n. [eccl.L f. Gk exarkhos (as EX-(2),
v.tr. 1 (often as exasperated adj. or exasperating adj.)
irritate intensely. 2 make (a pain, ill feeling, etc.) worse.
ЬЬexasperatedly adv. exasperatingly adv. exasperation n. [L
exasperare exasperat- (as EX-(1), asper rough)]
adj. & adv. with full authority (esp. of a papal pronouncement,
implying infallibility as doctrinally defined). [L, = from the
excavate v.tr. 1 a make (a hole or channel) by digging. b dig out
material from (the ground). 2 reveal or extract by digging. 3
(also absol.) Archaeol. dig systematically into the ground to
explore (a site). ЬЬexcavation n. excavator n. [L excavare
(as EX-(1), cavus hollow)]
exceed v.tr. 1 (often foll. by by an amount) be more or greater than
(in number, extent, etc.). 2 go beyond or do more than is
warranted by (a set limit, esp. of one's instructions or
rights). 3 surpass, excel (a person or achievement). [ME f. OF
exceder f. L excedere (as EX-(1), cedere cess- go)]
exceeding adj. & adv. --adj. 1 surpassing in amount or degree. 2
pre-eminent. --adv. archaic = EXCEEDINGLY 2.
adv. 1 very; to a great extent. 2 surpassingly, pre-eminently.
excel v. (excelled, excelling) (often foll. by in, at) 1 tr. be
superior to. 2 intr. be pre-eminent or the most outstanding
(excels at games). Ьexcel oneself surpass one's previous
performance. [ME f. L excellere (as EX-(1), celsus lofty)]
n. 1 the state of excelling; surpassing merit or quality. 2
the activity etc. in which a person excels. [ME f. OF
excellence or L excellentia (as EXCEL)]
n. (pl. -ies) (usu. prec. by Your, His, Her, Their) a title
used in addressing or referring to certain high officials, e.g.
ambassadors and governors, and (in some countries) senior Church
dignitaries. [ME f. L excellentia (as EXCEL)]
excellent adj. extremely good; pre-eminent. ЬЬexcellently adv. [ME f.
OF (as EXCEL)]
excelsior int. & n. --int. higher, outstanding (esp. as a motto or trade
mark). --n. soft wood shavings used for stuffing, packing, etc.
[L, compar. of excelsus lofty]
excentric var. of ECCENTRIC (in technical senses).
except v., prep., & conj. --v.tr. (often as excepted adj. placed
after object) exclude from a general statement, condition, etc.
(excepted him from the amnesty; present company excepted).
--prep. (often foll. by for) not including; other than (all
failed except him; all here except for John; is all right except
that it is too long). --conj. archaic unless (except he be
born again). [ME f. L excipere except- (as EX-(1), capere
exception n. 1 the act or an instance of excepting; the state of being
excepted (made an exception in my case). 2 a thing that has
been or will be excepted. 3 an instance that does not follow a
rule. Ьtake exception (often foll. by to) object; be resentful
(about). with the exception of except; not including. [ME f.
OF f. L exceptio -onis (as EXCEPT)]
adj. open to objection. ЬЬexceptionably adv.
adj. 1 forming an exception. 2 unusual; not typical
(exceptional circumstances). 3 unusually good; outstanding.
ЬЬexceptionality n. exceptionally adv.
excerpt n. & v. --n. a short extract from a book, film, piece of
music, etc. --v.tr. (also absol.) 1 take an excerpt or
excerpts from (a book etc.). 2 take (an extract) from a book
etc. ЬЬexcerptible adj. excerption n. [L excerpere excerpt-
(as EX-(1), carpere pluck)]
excess n. & adj. --n. 1 the state or an instance of exceeding. 2 the
amount by which one quantity or number exceeds another. 3
exceeding of a proper or permitted limit. 4 a the overstepping
of the accepted limits of moderation, esp. intemperance in
eating or drinking. b (in pl.) outrageous or immoderate
behaviour. 5 an extreme or improper degree or extent (an excess
of cruelty). 6 part of an insurance claim to be paid by the
insured, esp. by prior agreement. --attrib.adj. usu. 1 that
exceeds a limited or prescribed amount (excess weight). 2
required as extra payment (excess postage). Ьexcess baggage (or
luggage) that exceeding a weight allowance and liable to an
extra charge. in (or to) excess exceeding the proper amount or
degree. in excess of more than; exceeding. [ME f. OF exces f.
L excessus (as EXCEED)]
excessive adj. 1 too much or too great. 2 more than what is normal or
necessary. ЬЬexcessively adv. excessiveness n.
exchange n. & v. --n. 1 the act or an instance of giving one thing and
receiving another in its place. 2 a the giving of money for its
equivalent in the money of the same or another country. b the
fee or percentage charged for this. 3 the central telephone
office of a district, where connections are effected. 4 a place
where merchants, bankers, etc. gather to transact business. 5 a
an office where certain information is given or a service
provided, usu. involving two parties. b an employment office.
6 a system of settling debts between persons (esp. in different
countries) without the use of money, by bills of exchange (see
BILL(1)). 7 a a short conversation, esp. a disagreement or
quarrel. b a sequence of letters between correspondents. 8
Chess the capture of an important piece (esp. a rook) by one
player at the loss of a minor piece to the opposing player. 9
(attrib.) forming part of an exchange, e.g. of personnel between
institutions (an exchange student). --v. 1 tr. (often foll. by
for) give or receive (one thing) in place of another. 2 tr.
give and receive as equivalents (e.g. things or people, blows,
information, etc.); give one and receive another of. 3 intr.
(often foll. by with) make an exchange. Ьexchange rate the
value of one currency in terms of another. in exchange (often
foll. by for) as a thing exchanged (for). ЬЬexchangeable adj.
exchangeability n. exchanger n. [ME f. OF eschangier f. Rmc
(as EX-(1), CHANGE)]
exchequer n. 1 Brit. the former government department in charge of
national revenue. °Its functions now belong to the Treasury,
although the name formally survives, esp. in the title
Chancellor of the Exchequer. 2 a royal or national treasury. 3
the money of a private individual or group. [ME f. AF escheker,
OF eschequier f. med.L scaccarium chessboard (its orig. sense,
with ref. to keeping accounts on a chequered cloth)]
excise(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a a duty or tax levied on goods and commodities
produced or sold within the country of origin. b a tax levied
on certain licences. 2 Brit. a former government office
collecting excise. °Now the Board of Customs and Excise.
--v.tr. 1 charge excise on (goods). 2 force (a person) to pay
excise. [MDu. excijs, accijs, perh. f. Rmc: rel. to CENSUS]
excise(2) v.tr. 1 remove (a passage of a book etc.). 2 cut out (an organ
etc.) by surgery. ЬЬexcision n. [L excidere excis- (as EX-(1),
exciseman n. (pl. -men) Brit. hist. an officer responsible for
collecting excise duty.
excitable adj. 1 (esp. of a person) easily excited. 2 (of an organism,
tissue, etc.) responding to a stimulus, or susceptible to
stimulation. ЬЬexcitability n. excitably adv.
n. 1 a the act or an instance of exciting. b the state of
being excited; excitement. 2 the action of an organism, tissue,
etc., resulting from stimulation. 3 Electr. a the process of
applying current to the winding of an electromagnet to produce a
magnetic field. b the process of applying a signal voltage to
the control electrode of an electron tube or the base of a
transistor. 4 Physics the process in which an atom etc.
acquires a higher energy state.
excite v.tr. 1 a rouse the feelings or emotions of (a person). b
bring into play; rouse up (feelings, faculties, etc.). c arouse
sexually. 2 provoke; bring about (an action or active
condition). 3 promote the activity of (an organism, tissue,
etc.) by stimulus. 4 Electr. a cause (a current) to flow in
the winding of an electromagnet. b supply a signal. 5 Physics
a cause the emission of (a spectrum). b cause (a substance) to
emit radiation. c put (an atom etc.) into a state of higher
energy. ЬЬexcitant adj. & n. excitative adj. excitatory adj.
excitedly adv. excitedness n. excitement n. exciter n. (esp.
in senses 4, 5). [ME f. OF exciter or L excitare frequent. of
exciere (as EX-(1), ciere set in motion)]
exciting adj. arousing great interest or enthusiasm. ЬЬexcitingly adv.
exciton n. Physics a combination of an electron with a hole in a
crystalline solid. [EXCITATION + -ON]
exclaim v. 1 intr. cry out suddenly, esp. in anger, surprise, pain,
etc. 2 tr. (foll. by that) utter by exclaiming. [F exclamer or
L exclamare (as EX-(1): cf. CLAIM)]
n. 1 the act or an instance of exclaiming. 2 words exclaimed;
a strong sudden cry. Ьexclamation mark (US point) a punctuation
mark (!) indicating an exclamation. [ME f. OF exclamation or L
exclamatio (as EXCLAIM)]
adj. of or serving as an exclamation.
exclave n. a portion of territory of one State completely surrounded by
territory of another or others, as viewed by the home territory
(cf. ENCLAVE). [EX-(1) + ENCLAVE]
exclosure n. Forestry etc. an area from which unwanted animals are
excluded. [EX-(1) + ENCLOSURE]
exclude v.tr. 1 shut or keep out (a person or thing) from a place,
group, privilege, etc. 2 expel and shut out. 3 remove from
consideration (no theory can be excluded). 4 prevent the
occurrence of; make impossible (excluded all doubt). Ьexcluded
middle Logic the principle that of two contradictory
propositions one must be true. ЬЬexcludable adj. excluder n.
[ME f. L excludere exclus- (as EX-(1), claudere shut)]
exclusion n. the act or an instance of excluding; the state of being
excluded. Ьexclusion order Brit. an official order preventing
a person (esp. a suspected terrorist) from entering the UK.
exclusion principle Physics see PAULI EXCLUSION PRINCIPLE. to
the exclusion of so as to exclude. ЬЬexclusionary adj. [L
exclusio (as EXCLUDE)]
adj. & n. --adj. favouring exclusion, esp. from rights or
privileges. --n. a person favouring exclusion.
exclusive adj. & n. --adj. 1 excluding other things. 2 (predic.; foll.
by of) not including; except for. 3 tending to exclude others,
esp. socially; select. 4 catering for few or select customers;
high-class. 5 a (of a commodity) not obtainable elsewhere. b
(of a newspaper article) not published elsewhere. 6 (predic.;
foll. by to) restricted or limited to; existing or available
only in. 7 (of terms etc.) excluding all but what is specified.
8 employed or followed or held to the exclusion of all else (my
exclusive occupation; exclusive rights). --n. an article or
story published by only one newspaper or periodical. ЬExclusive
Brethren a more exclusive section of the Plymouth Brethren.
ЬЬexclusively adv. exclusiveness n. exclusivity n. [med.L
exclusivus (as EXCLUDE)]
v., adj., & n. Eccl. --v.tr. officially exclude (a person)
from participation in the sacraments, or from formal communion
with the Church. --adj. excommunicated. --n. an
excommunicated person. ЬЬexcommunication n. excommunicative
adj. excommunicator n. excommunicatory adj. [L excommunicare
-atus (as EX-(1), communis COMMON)]
ex-con n. colloq. an ex-convict; a former inmate of a prison.
excoriate v.tr. 1 a remove part of the skin of (a person etc.) by
abrasion. b strip or peel off (skin). 2 censure severely.
ЬЬexcoriation n. [L excoriare excoriat- (as EX-(1), corium
excrement n. (in sing. or pl.) faeces. ЬЬexcremental adj. [F excr‚ment
or L excrementum (as EXCRETE)]
n. 1 an abnormal or morbid outgrowth on the body or a plant. 2
an ugly addition. ЬЬexcrescent adj. excrescential adj. [L
excrescentia (as EX-(1), crescere grow)]
excreta n.pl. waste discharged from the body, esp. faeces and urine.
[L neut. pl.: see EXCRETE]
excrete v.tr. (of an animal or plant) separate and expel waste matter
as a result of metabolism. ЬЬexcreter n. excretion n.
excretive adj. excretory adj. [L excernere excret- (as EX-(1),
v.tr. (esp. as excruciating adj.) torment acutely (a person's
senses); torture mentally. ЬЬexcruciatingly adv. excruciation
n. [L excruciare excruciat- (as EX-(1), cruciare torment f.
crux crucis cross)]
exculpate v.tr. formal 1 free from blame. 2 (foll. by from) clear (a
person) of a charge. ЬЬexculpation n. exculpatory adj. [med.L
exculpare exculpat- (as EX-(1), culpa blame)]
excursion n. 1 a short journey or ramble for pleasure, with return to the
starting-point. 2 a digression. 3 Astron. a deviation from a
regular path. 4 archaic a sortie (see ALARUM). ЬЬexcursional
adj. excursionary adj. excursionist n. [L excursio f.
excurrere excurs- (as EX-(1), currere run)]
excursive adj. digressive; diverse. ЬЬexcursively adv. excursiveness n.
excursus n. 1 a detailed discussion of a special point in a book, usu.
in an appendix. 2 a digression in a narrative. [L, verbal noun
formed as EXCURSION]
excuse v. & n. --v.tr. 1 attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a
person, act, or fault). 2 (of a fact or circumstance) serve in
mitigation of (a person or act). 3 obtain exemption for (a
person or oneself). 4 (foll. by from) release (a person) from a
duty etc. (excused from supervision duties). 5 overlook or
forgive (a fault or offence). 6 (foll. by for) forgive (a
person) for a fault. 7 not insist upon (what is due). 8 refl.
apologize for leaving. --n. 1 a reason put forward to mitigate
or justify an offence, fault, etc. 2 an apology (made my
excuses). 3 (foll. by for) a poor or inadequate example of.
Ьbe excused be allowed to leave a room etc., e.g. to go to the
lavatory. excuse me a polite apology for lack of ceremony, for
an interruption etc., or for disagreeing. excuse-me a dance in
which dancers may interrupt other pairs to change partners.
ЬЬexcusable adj. excusably adv. excusatory adj. [ME f. OF
escuser f. L excusare (as EX-(1), causa CAUSE, accusation)]
adj. Brit. not listed in a telephone directory, at the wish of
ex div. abbr. ex dividend.
adj. & adv. (of stocks or shares) not including the next
exeat n. Brit. permission granted to a student by a college for
temporary absence or permission granted to a priest by a bishop
to move to another diocese. [L, 3rd sing. pres. subjunctive of
exire go out (as EX-(1), ire go)]
exec n. an executive. [abbr.]
execrable adj. abominable, detestable. ЬЬexecrably adv. [ME f. OF f. L
execrabilis (as EXECRATE)]
execrate v. 1 tr. express or feel abhorrence for. 2 tr. curse (a person
or thing). 3 intr. utter curses. ЬЬexecration n. execrative
adj. execratory adj. [L exsecrare (as EX-(1), sacrare devote
f. sacer sacred, accursed)]
executant n. formal 1 a performer, esp. of music. 2 one who carries
something into effect. [F ex‚cutant pres. part. (as EXECUTE)]
execute v.tr. 1 a carry out a sentence of death on (a condemned
person). b kill as a political act. 2 carry into effect,
perform (a plan, duty, command, operation, etc.). 3 a carry out
a design for (a product of art or skill). b perform (a musical
composition, dance, etc.). 4 make (a legal instrument) valid by
signing, sealing, etc. 5 put into effect (a judicial sentence,
the terms of a will, etc.). ЬЬexecutable adj. [ME f. OF
executer f. med.L executare f. L exsequi exsecut- (as EX-(1),
execution n. 1 the carrying out of a sentence of death. 2 the act or an
instance of carrying out or performing something. 3 technique
or style of performance in the arts, esp. music. 4 a seizure of
the property or person of a debtor in default of payment. b a
judicial writ enforcing a judgement. ЬЬexecutionary adj. [ME
f. OF f. L executio -onis (as EXECUTE)]
n. an official who carries out a sentence of death.
executive n. & adj. --n. 1 a person or body with managerial or
administrative responsibility in a business organization etc.; a
senior businessman. 2 a branch of a government or organization
concerned with executing laws, agreements, etc., or with other
administration or management. --adj. 1 concerned with
executing laws, agreements, etc., or with other administration
or management. 2 relating to or having the function of
executing. Ьexecutive session US a usu. private meeting of a
legislative body for executive business. ЬЬexecutively adv.
[med.L executivus (as EXECUTE)]
executor n. (fem. executrix) a person appointed by a testator to carry
out the terms of his or her will. Ьliterary executor a person
entrusted with a writer's papers, unpublished works, etc.
ЬЬexecutorial adj. executorship n. executory adj. [ME f. AF
executor, -our f. L executor -oris (as EXECUTE)]
exegesis n. (pl. exegeses) critical explanation of a text, esp. of
Scripture. ЬЬexegete n. exegetic adj. exegetical adj.
exegetist n. [Gk exegesis f. exegeomai interpret (as EX-(2),
exemplar n. 1 a model or pattern. 2 a typical instance of a class of
things. 3 a parallel instance. [ME f. OF exemplaire f. LL
exemplarium (as EXAMPLE)]
exemplary adj. 1 fit to be imitated; outstandingly good. 2 a serving as
a warning. b Law (of damages) exceeding the amount needed for
simple compensation. 3 illustrative, representative.
ЬЬexemplarily adv. exemplariness n. [LL exemplaris (as
exemplify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 illustrate by example. 2 be an example
of. 3 Law make an attested copy of (a document) under an
official seal. ЬЬexemplification n. [ME f. med.L exemplificare
exemplum n. (pl. exempla) an example or model, esp. a moralizing or
illustrative story. [L: see EXAMPLE]
exempt adj., n., & v. --adj. 1 free from an obligation or liability
etc. imposed on others. 2 (foll. by from) not liable to. --n.
1 a person who is exempt, esp. from payment of tax. 2 Brit. =
EXON. --v.tr. (foll. by from) free from an obligation, esp. one
imposed on others. ЬЬexemption n. [ME f. L exemptus past part.
of eximere exempt- (as EX-(1), emere take)]
exequies n.pl. formal funeral rites. [ME f. OF f. L exsequiae (as
EX-(1), sequi follow)]
exercise n. & v. --n. 1 activity requiring physical effort, done esp.
as training or to sustain or improve health. 2 mental or
spiritual activity, esp. as practice to develop a skill. 3
(often in pl.) a particular task or set of tasks devised as
exercise, practice in a technique, etc. 4 a the use or
application of a mental faculty, right, etc. b practice of an
ability, quality, etc. 5 (often in pl.) military drill or
manoeuvres. 6 (foll. by in) a process directed at or concerned
with something specified (was an exercise in public relations).
--v. 1 tr. use or apply (a faculty, right, influence,
restraint, etc.). 2 tr. perform (a function). 3 a intr. take
(esp. physical) exercise; do exercises. b tr. provide (an
animal) with exercise. c tr. train (a person). 4 tr. a tax
the powers of. b perplex, worry. Ьexercise book 1 a book
containing exercises. 2 a book for writing school work, notes,
etc., in. ЬЬexercisable adj. exerciser n. [ME f. OF exercice
f. L exercitium f. exercere exercit- keep at work (as EX-(1),
exergue n. 1 a small space usu. on the reverse of a coin or medal,
below the principal device. 2 an inscription on this space. [F
f. med.L exergum f. Gk ex- (as EX-(2)) + ergon work]
exert v.tr. 1 exercise, bring to bear (a quality, force, influence,
etc.). 2 refl. (often foll. by for, or to + infin.) use one's
efforts or endeavours; strive. ЬЬexertion n. [L exserere
exsert- put forth (as EX-(1), serere bind)]
exeunt v.intr. (as a stage direction) (actors) leave the stage. Ь
exeunt omnes all leave the stage. [L, = they go out: 3rd pl.
pres. of exire go out: see EXIT]
v.tr. (also absol.) withdraw (troops, spies, etc.)
surreptitiously, esp. from danger. ЬЬexfiltration n.
exfoliate v.intr. 1 (of bone, the skin, a mineral, etc.) come off in
scales or layers. 2 (of a tree) throw off layers of bark.
ЬЬexfoliation n. exfoliative adj. [LL exfoliare exfoliat- (as
EX-(1), folium leaf)]
ex gratia adv. & adj. --adv. as a favour rather than from an (esp. legal)
obligation. --adj. granted on this basis. [L, = from favour]
n. 1 a an expiration of air. b a puff of breath. 2 a mist,
vapour. 3 an emanation or effluvium. [ME f. L exhalatio (as
exhale v. 1 tr. breathe out (esp. air or smoke) from the lungs. 2 tr.
& intr. give off or be given off in vapour. ЬЬexhalable adj.
[ME f. OF exhaler f. L exhalare (as EX-(1), halare breathe)]
exhaust v. & n. --v.tr. 1 consume or use up the whole of. 2 (often as
exhausted adj. or exhausting adj.) use up the strength or
resources of; tire out. 3 study or expound on (a subject)
completely. 4 (often foll. by of) empty (a vessel etc.) of its
contents. --n. 1 a waste gases etc. expelled from an engine
after combustion. b (also exhaust-pipe) the pipe or system by
which these are expelled. c the process of expulsion of these
gases. 2 a the production of an outward current of air by the
creation of a partial vacuum. b an apparatus for this.
ЬЬexhauster n. exhaustible adj. exhaustibility n. exhaustibly
adv. [L exhaurire exhaust- (as EX-(1), haurire draw (water),
n. 1 the act or an instance of exhausting; the state of being
exhausted. 2 a total loss of strength. 3 the process of
establishing a conclusion by eliminating alternatives. [LL
exhaustio (as EXHAUST)]
adj. 1 thorough, comprehensive. 2 tending to exhaust a
subject. ЬЬexhaustively adv. exhaustiveness n.
exhibit v. & n. --v.tr. (exhibited, exhibiting) 1 show or reveal
publicly (for amusement, in competition, etc.). 2 a show,
display. b manifest (a quality). 3 submit for consideration.
--n. 1 a thing or collection of things forming part or all of
an exhibition. 2 a document or other item or object produced in
a lawcourt as evidence. ЬЬexhibitory adj. [L exhibere exhibit-
(as EX-(1), habere hold)]
n. 1 a display (esp. public) of works of art, industrial
products, etc. 2 the act or an instance of exhibiting; the
state of being exhibited. 3 Brit. a scholarship, esp. from the
funds of a school, college, etc. Ьmake an exhibition of oneself
behave so as to appear ridiculous or foolish. [ME f. OF f. LL
exhibitio -onis (as EXHIBIT)]
n. Brit. a student who has been awarded an exhibition.
n. 1 a tendency towards display or extravagant behaviour. 2
Psychol. a mental condition characterized by the compulsion to
display one's genitals indecently in public. ЬЬexhibitionist n.
exhibitionistic adj. exhibitionistically adv.
exhibitor n. a person who provides an item or items for an exhibition.
v.tr. (often as exhilarating adj. or exhilarated adj.) affect
with great liveliness or joy; raise the spirits of.
ЬЬexhilarant adj. & n. exhilaratingly adv. exhilaration n.
exhilarative adj. [L exhilarare (as EX-(1), hilaris cheerful)]
exhort v.tr. (often foll. by to + infin.) urge or advise strongly or
earnestly. ЬЬexhortative adj. exhortatory adj. exhorter n.
[ME f. OF exhorter or L exhortari (as EX-(1), hortari exhort)]
n. 1 the act or an instance of exhorting; the state of being
exhorted. 2 a formal or liturgical address. [ME f. OF
exhortation or L exhortatio (as EXHORT)]
exhume v.tr. dig out, unearth (esp. a buried corpse). ЬЬexhumation n.
[F exhumer f. med.L exhumare (as EX-(1), humus ground)]
adv. according to the hypothesis proposed. [mod.L]
exigency n. (pl. -ies) (also exigence) 1 an urgent need or demand. 2
an emergency. [F exigence & LL exigentia (as EXIGENT)]
exigent adj. 1 requiring much; exacting. 2 urgent, pressing. [ME f. L
exiguous adj. scanty, small. ЬЬexiguity n. exiguously adv.
exiguousness n. [L exiguus scanty f. exigere weigh exactly:
exile n. & v. --n. 1 expulsion, or the state of being expelled, from
one's native land or (internal exile) native town etc. 2 long
absence abroad, esp. enforced. 3 a person expelled or long
absent from his or her native country. 4 (the Exile) the
captivity of the Jews in Babylon in the 6th c. BC. --v.tr.
(foll. by from) officially expel (a person) from his or her
native country or town etc. ЬЬexilic adj. (esp. in sense 4 of
n.). [ME f. OF exil, exiler f. L exilium banishment]
exist v.intr. 1 have a place as part of objective reality. 2 a have
being under specified conditions. b (foll. by as) exist in the
form of. 3 (of circumstances etc.) occur; be found. 4 live
with no pleasure under adverse conditions (felt he was merely
existing). 5 continue in being; maintain life (can hardly exist
on this salary). 6 be alive, live. [prob. back-form. f.
EXISTENCE; cf. LL existere]
existence n. 1 the fact or condition of being or existing. 2 the manner
of one's existing or living, esp. under adverse conditions (a
wretched existence). 3 an existing thing. 4 all that exists.
[ME f. OF existence or LL existentia f. L exsistere (as EX-(1),
existent adj. existing, actual, current.
adj. 1 of or relating to existence. 2 Logic (of a proposition
etc.) affirming or implying the existence of a thing. 3 Philos.
concerned with existence, esp. with human existence as viewed by
existentialism. ЬЬexistentially adv. [LL existentialis (as
n. a philosophical theory emphasizing the existence of the
individual person as a free and responsible agent determining
his or her own development. ЬЬexistentialist n. [G
Existentialismus (as EXISTENTIAL)]
exit n. & v. --n. 1 a passage or door by which to leave a room,
building, etc. 2 a the act of going out. b the right to go
out. 3 a place where vehicles can leave a motorway or major
road. 4 the departure of an actor from the stage. 5 death.
--v.intr. (exited, exiting) 1 go out of a room, building, etc.
2 (as a stage direction) (an actor) leaves the stage (exit
Macbeth). 3 die. Ьexit permit (or visa etc.) authorization to
leave a particular country. [L, 3rd sing. pres. of exire go out
(as EX-(1), ire go): cf. L exitus going out]
ex-libris n. (pl. same) a usu. decorated bookplate or label bearing the
owner's name, pasted into the front of a book. [L ex libris
among the books of]
ex nihilo adv. out of nothing (creation ex nihilo). [L]
exo- comb. form external. [Gk exo outside]
n. the study of life outside the earth. ЬЬexobiologist n.
Exocet n. propr. a short-range guided missile used esp. in sea
warfare. [F exocet flying fish]
exocrine adj. (of a gland) secreting through a duct (cf. ENDOCRINE).
[EXO- + Gk krino sift]
Exod. abbr. Exodus (Old Testament).
exoderm n. Biol. = ECTODERM.
exodus n. 1 a mass departure of people (esp. emigrants). 2 (Exodus)
Bibl. a the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. b the book
of the Old Testament relating this. [eccl.L f. Gk exodos (as
EX-(2), hodos way)]
adv. & adj. by virtue of one's office or status. [L]
exogamy n. 1 Anthropol. marriage of a man outside his own tribe. 2
Biol. the fusion of reproductive cells from distantly related or
unrelated individuals. ЬЬexogamous adj.
exogenous adj. Biol. growing or originating from outside. ЬЬexogenously
exon n. Brit. each of the four officers acting as commanders of the
Yeomen of the Guard. [repr. F pronunc. of EXEMPT]
exonerate v.tr. (often foll. by from) 1 free or declare free from blame
etc. 2 release from a duty etc. ЬЬexoneration n. exonerative
adj. [L exonerare exonerat- (as EX-(1), onus, oneris burden)]
n. (also exophthalmus, exophthalmia) Med. abnormal protrusion
of the eyeball. ЬЬexophthalmic adj. [mod.L f. Gk exophthalmos
having prominent eyes (as EX-(2), ophthalmos eye)]
exoplasm n. Biol. = ECTOPLASM.
exor. abbr. executor.
adj. (of a price, demand, etc.) grossly excessive.
ЬЬexorbitance n. exorbitantly adv. [LL exorbitare (as EX-(1),
exorcize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 expel (a supposed evil spirit) by
invocation or by use of a holy name. 2 (often foll. by of) free
(a person or place) of a supposed evil spirit. ЬЬexorcism n.
exorcist n. exorcization n. [F exorciser or eccl.L exorcizare
f. Gk exorkizo (as EX-(2), horkos oath)]
exordium n. (pl. exordiums or exordia) the beginning or introductory
part, esp. of a discourse or treatise. ЬЬexordial adj.
exordially adv. [L f. exordiri (as EX-(1), ordiri begin)]
n. a rigid external covering for the body in certain animals,
esp. arthropods, providing support and protection.
exosphere n. the layer of atmosphere furthest from the earth.
adj. (also exothermal) esp. Chem. occurring or formed with the
evolution of heat. ЬЬexothermally adv. exothermically adv.
exotic adj. & n. --adj. 1 introduced from or originating in a foreign
(esp. tropical) country (exotic fruits). 2 attractively or
remarkably strange or unusual; bizarre. 3 (of a fuel, metal,
etc.) of a kind newly brought into use. --n. an exotic person
or thing. Ьexotic dancer a striptease dancer. ЬЬexotically
adv. exoticism n. [L exoticus f. Gk exotikos f. exo outside]
exotica n.pl. remarkably strange or rare objects. [L, neut. pl. of
exoticus: see EXOTIC]
expand v. 1 tr. & intr. increase in size or bulk or importance. 2
intr. (often foll. by on) give a fuller description or account.
3 intr. become more genial or effusive; discard one's reserve.
4 tr. set or write out in full (something condensed or
abbreviated). 5 tr. & intr. spread out flat. Ьexpanded metal
sheet metal slit and stretched into a mesh, used to reinforce
concrete and other brittle materials. ЬЬexpandable adj.
expander n. expansible adj. expansibility n. [ME f. L
expandere expans- spread out (as EX-(1), pandere spread)]
expanse n. 1 a wide continuous area or extent of land, space, etc. 2
an amount of expansion. [mod.L expansum neut. past part. (as
expansile adj. 1 of expansion. 2 capable of expansion.
expansion n. 1 the act or an instance of expanding; the state of being
expanded. 2 enlargement of the scale or scope of (esp.
commercial) operations. 3 increase in the amount of a State's
territory or area of control. 4 an increase in the volume of
fuel etc. on combustion in the cylinder of an engine.
ЬЬexpansionary adj. expansionism n. expansionist n.
expansionistic adj. (all in senses 2, 3). [LL expansio (as
expansive adj. 1 able or tending to expand. 2 extensive, wide-ranging.
3 (of a person, feelings, or speech) effusive, open.
ЬЬexpansively adv. expansiveness n. expansivity n.
ex parte adj. & adv. Law in the interests of one side only or of an
interested outside party. [L]
expat n. & adj. colloq. = EXPATRIATE. [abbr.]
expatiate v.intr. (usu. foll. by on, upon) speak or write at length or in
detail. ЬЬexpatiation n. expatiatory adj. [L exspatiari
digress (as EX-(1), spatium SPACE)]
adj., n., & v. --adj. 1 living abroad, esp. for a long period.
2 expelled from one's country; exiled. --n. an expatriate
person. --v.tr. 1 expel or remove (a person) from his or her
native country. 2 refl. withdraw (oneself) from one's
citizenship or allegiance. ЬЬexpatriation n. [med.L expatriare
(as EX-(1), patria native country)]
expect v.tr. 1 (often foll. by to + infin., or that + clause) a regard
as likely; assume as a future event or occurrence. b (often
foll. by of) look for as appropriate or one's due (from a
person) (I expect cooperation; expect you to be here; expected
better of you). 2 colloq. (often foll. by that + clause) think,
suppose (I expect we'll be on time). 3 be shortly to have (a
baby) (is expecting twins). Ьbe expecting colloq. be pregnant.
ЬЬexpectable adj. [L exspectare (as EX-(1), spectare look,
frequent. of specere see)]
n. (pl. -ies) 1 a state of expectation. 2 a prospect, esp. of
future possession. 3 (foll. by of) a prospective chance. [L
exspectantia, exp- (as EXPECT)]
expectant adj. & n. --adj. 1 (often foll. by of) expecting. 2 having
the expectation of possession, status, etc. 3 expecting a baby
(said of the mother or father). --n. 1 one who expects. 2 a
candidate for office etc. ЬЬexpectantly adv.
n. 1 the act or an instance of expecting or looking forward. 2
something expected or hoped for. 3 (foll. by of) the
probability of an event. 4 (in pl.) one's prospects of
inheritance. [L expectatio (as EXPECT)]
adj. & n. --adj. causing the coughing out of phlegm etc. --n.
an expectorant medicine.
v.tr. (also absol.) cough or spit out (phlegm etc.) from the
chest or lungs. ЬЬexpectoration n. expectorator n. [L
expectorare expectorat- (as EX-(1), pectus -oris breast)]
expedient adj. & n. --adj. 1 advantageous; advisable on practical rather
than moral grounds. 2 suitable, appropriate. --n. a means of
attaining an end; a resource. ЬЬexpedience n. expediency n.
expediently adv. [ME f. L expedire: see EXPEDITE]
expedite v.tr. 1 assist the progress of; hasten (an action, process,
etc.). 2 accomplish (business) quickly. ЬЬexpediter n. [L
expedire expedit- extricate, put in order (as EX-(1), pes pedis
n. 1 a journey or voyage for a particular purpose, esp.
exploration, scientific research, or war. 2 the personnel or
ships etc. undertaking this. 3 promptness, speed.
ЬЬexpeditionist n. [ME f. OF f. L expeditio -onis (as
adj. of or used in an expedition, esp. military.
adj. 1 acting or done with speed and efficiency. 2 suited for
speedy performance. ЬЬexpeditiously adv. expeditiousness n.
[EXPEDITION + -OUS]
expel v.tr. (expelled, expelling) (often foll. by from) 1 deprive (a
person) of the membership of or involvement in (a school,
society, etc.). 2 force out or eject (a thing from its
container etc.). 3 order or force to leave a building etc.
ЬЬexpellable adj. expellee n. expellent adj. expeller n. [ME
f. L expellere expuls- (as EX-(1), pellere drive)]
expend v.tr. spend or use up (money, time, etc.). [ME f. L expendere
expens- (as EX-(1), pendere weigh)]
adj. 1 that may be sacrificed or dispensed with, esp. to
achieve a purpose. 2 a not regarded as worth preserving or
saving. b unimportant, insignificant. 3 not normally reused.
ЬЬexpendability n. expendably adv.
n. 1 the process or an instance of spending or using up. 2 a
thing (esp. a sum of money) expended. [EXPEND, after obs.
expenditor officer in charge of expenditure, f. med.L f.
expenditus irreg. past part. of L expendere]
expense n. 1 cost incurred; payment of money. 2 (usu. in pl.) a costs
incurred in doing a particular job etc. (will pay your
expenses). b an amount paid to reimburse this (offered me њ40
per day expenses). 3 a thing that is a cause of much expense
(the house is a real expense to run). Ьat the expense of so as
to cause loss or damage or discredit to. expense account a list
of an employee's expenses payable by the employer. [ME f. AF,
alt. of OF espense f. LL expensa (money) spent, past part. of L
expensive adj. 1 costing much. 2 making a high charge. 3 causing much
expense (has expensive tastes). ЬЬexpensively adv.
n. & v. --n. 1 actual observation of or practical acquaintance
with facts or events. 2 knowledge or skill resulting from this.
3 a an event regarded as affecting one (an unpleasant
experience). b the fact or process of being so affected (learnt
by experience). --v.tr. 1 have experience of; undergo. 2 feel
or be affected by (an emotion etc.). ЬЬexperienceable adj. [ME
f. OF f. L experientia f. experiri expert- try]
adj. 1 having had much experience. 2 skilled from experience
(an experienced driver).
adj. involving or based on experience. Ьexperiential
philosophy a philosophy that treats all knowledge as based on
experience. ЬЬexperientialism n. experientialist n.
n. & v. --n. 1 a procedure adopted on the chance of its
succeeding, for testing a hypothesis etc., or to demonstrate a
known fact. 2 (foll. by of) a test or trial of. --v.intr.
(often foll. by on, with) make an experiment. ЬЬexperimentation
n. experimenter n. [ME f. OF experiment or L experimentum (as
adj. 1 based on or making use of experiment (experimental
psychology). 2 a used in experiments. b serving or resulting
from (esp. incomplete) experiment; tentative, provisional. 3
based on experience, not on authority or conjecture.
ЬЬexperimentalism n. experimentalist n. experimentalize
v.intr. (also -ise). experimentally adv. [ME f. med.L
experimentalis (as EXPERIMENT)]
expert adj. & n. --adj. 1 (often foll. by at, in) having special
knowledge or skill in a subject. 2 involving or resulting from
this (expert evidence; an expert piece of work). --n. (often
foll. by at, in) a person having special knowledge or skill.
ЬЬexpertly adv. expertness n. [ME f. OF f. L expertus past
part. of experiri: see EXPERIENCE]
expertise n. expert skill, knowledge, or judgement. [F (as EXPERT)]
expertize v. (also -ise) 1 intr. give an expert opinion. 2 tr. give an
expert opinion concerning.
expiate v.tr. 1 pay the penalty for (wrongdoing). 2 make amends for.
ЬЬexpiable adj. expiatory adj. expiation n. expiator n. [L
expiare expiat- (as EX-(1), pius devout)]
expire v. 1 intr. (of a period of time, validity, etc.) come to an
end. 2 intr. (of a document, authorization, etc.) cease to be
valid; become void. 3 intr. (of a person) die. 4 tr. (usu.
foll. by from; also absol.) exhale (air etc.) from the lungs.
ЬЬexpiratory adj. (in sense 4). [ME f. OF expirer f. L
exspirare (as EX-(1), spirare breathe)]
expiry n. 1 the end of the validity or duration of something. 2
explain v.tr. 1 make clear or intelligible with detailed information
etc. (also absol. : let me explain). 2 (foll. by that +
clause) say by way of explanation. 3 account for (one's conduct
etc.). Ьexplain away minimize the significance of (a difficulty
or mistake) by explanation. explain oneself 1 make one's
meaning clear. 2 give an account of one's motives or conduct.
ЬЬexplainable adj. explainer n. [L explanare (as EX-(1),
planus flat, assim. to PLAIN(1))]
n. 1 the act or an instance of explaining. 2 a statement or
circumstance that explains something. 3 a declaration made with
a view to mutual understanding or reconciliation. [ME f. L
explanatio (as EXPLAIN)]
adj. serving or intended to serve to explain. ЬЬexplanatorily
adv. [LL explanatorius (as EXPLAIN)]
explant v. & n. Biol. --v.tr. transfer (living cells, tissues, or
organs) from animals or plants to a nutrient medium. --n. a
piece of explanted tissue etc. ЬЬexplantation n. [mod.L
explantare (as EX-(1), plantare PLANT)]
expletive n. & adj. --n. 1 an oath, swear-word, or other expression,
used in an exclamation. 2 a word used to fill out a sentence
etc., esp. in verse. --adj. serving to fill out (esp. a
sentence, line of verse, etc.). [LL expletivus (as EX-(1),
plere plet- fill)]
adj. that can be explained.
explicate v.tr. 1 develop the meaning or implication of (an idea,
principle, etc.). 2 make clear, explain (esp. a literary text).
ЬЬexplication n. explicative adj. explicator n. explicatory
adj. [L explicare explicat- unfold (as EX-(1), plicare plicat-
or plicit- fold)]
explicit adj. 1 expressly stated, leaving nothing merely implied; stated
in detail. 2 (of knowledge, a notion, etc.) definite, clear. 3
(of a person, book, etc.) expressing views unreservedly;
outspoken. ЬЬexplicitly adv. explicitness n. [F explicite or
L explicitus (as EXPLICATE)]
explode v. 1 a intr. (of gas, gunpowder, a bomb, a boiler, etc.) expand
suddenly with a loud noise owing to a release of internal
energy. b tr. cause (a bomb etc.) to explode. 2 intr. give
vent suddenly to emotion, esp. anger. 3 intr. (of a population
etc.) increase suddenly or rapidly. 4 tr. show (a theory etc.)
to be false or baseless. 5 tr. (as exploded adj.) (of a drawing
etc.) showing the components of a mechanism as if separated by
an explosion but in the normal relative positions. ЬЬexploder
n. [earliest in sense 4: L explodere hiss off the stage (as
EX-(1), plodere plos- = plaudere clap)]
exploit n. & v. --n. a bold or daring feat. --v.tr. 1 make use of (a
resource etc.); derive benefit from. 2 usu. derog. utilize or
take advantage of (esp. a person) for one's own ends.
ЬЬexploitable adj. exploitation n. exploitative adj.
exploiter n. exploitive adj. [ME f. OF esploit, exploiter ult.
f. L explicare: see EXPLICATE]
n. 1 an act or instance of exploring. 2 the process of
exploring. ЬЬexplorational adj.
adj. 1 (of discussion etc.) preliminary, serving to establish
procedure etc. 2 of or concerning exploration or investigation
explore v.tr. 1 travel extensively through (a country etc.) in order to
learn or discover about it. 2 inquire into; investigate
thoroughly. 3 Surgery examine (a part of the body) in detail.
ЬЬexplorative adj. [F explorer f. L explorare]
explorer n. a traveller into undiscovered or uninvestigated territory,
esp. to get scientific information.
explosion n. 1 the act or an instance of exploding. 2 a loud noise
caused by something exploding. 3 a a sudden outburst of noise.
b a sudden outbreak of feeling, esp. anger. 4 a rapid or sudden
increase, esp. of population. [L explosio scornful rejection
explosive adj. & n. --adj. 1 able or tending or likely to explode. 2
likely to cause a violent outburst etc.; (of a situation etc.)
dangerously tense. --n. an explosive substance. ЬЬexplosively
adv. explosiveness n.
Expo n. (also expo) (pl. -os) a large international exhibition.
[abbr. of EXPOSITION 4]
exponent n. & adj. --n. 1 a person who favours or promotes an idea etc.
2 a representative or practitioner of an activity, profession,
etc. 3 a person who explains or interprets something. 4 an
executant (of music etc.). 5 a type or representative. 6 Math.
a raised symbol or expression beside a numeral indicating how
many times it is to be multiplied by itself (e.g. 2(3) = 2 x 2 x
2). --adj. that sets forth or interprets. [L exponere (as
EX-(1), ponere posit- put)]
adj. 1 Math. of or indicated by a mathematical exponent. 2 (of
an increase etc.) more and more rapid. Ьexponential function
Math. a function which increases as a quantity raised to a
power determined by the variable on which the function depends.
exponential growth Biol. a form of population growth in which
the rate of growth is related to the number of individuals
present. [F exponentiel (as EXPONENT)]
export v. & n. --v.tr. send out (goods or services) esp. for sale in
another country. --n. 1 the process of exporting. 2 a an
exported article or service. b (in pl.) an amount exported
(exports exceeded њ50m.). 3 (attrib.) suitable for export, esp.
of better quality. Ьexport reject an article sold in its
country of manufacture, as being below the standard for export.
ЬЬexportable adj. exportability n. exportation n. exporter n.
[L exportare (as EX-(1), portare carry)]
expose v.tr. 1 leave uncovered or unprotected, esp. from the weather.
2 (foll. by to) cause to be liable to or in danger of (was
exposed to great danger). 3 (as exposed adj.) a (foll. by to)
open to; unprotected from (exposed to the east). b vulnerable,
risky. 4 Photog. subject (a film) to light, esp. by operation
of a camera. 5 reveal the identity or fact of (esp. a person or
thing disapproved of or guilty of crime etc.). 6 disclose; make
public. 7 exhibit, display. 8 put up for sale. Ьexpose
oneself display one's body, esp. the genitals, publicly and
indecently. ЬЬexposer n. [ME f. OF exposer after L exponere:
see EXPONENT, POSE(1)]
expos‚ n. 1 an orderly statement of facts. 2 the act or an instance
of revealing something discreditable. [F, past part. of exposer
n. 1 an explanatory statement or account. 2 an explanation or
commentary. 3 Mus. the part of a movement, esp. in sonata form,
in which the principal themes are first presented. 4 a large
public exhibition. 5 archaic exposure. ЬЬexpositional adj.
expositive adj. [ME f. OF exposition, or L expositio (as
expositor n. an expounder or interpreter. ЬЬexpository adj.
ex post facto
adj. & adv. with retrospective action or force. [L ex
postfacto in the light of subsequent events]
v.intr. (often foll. by with a person) make a protest;
remonstrate earnestly. ЬЬexpostulation n. expostulatory adj.
[L expostulare expostulat- (as EX-(1), postulare demand)]
exposure n. (foll. by to) 1 the act or condition of exposing or being
exposed (to air, cold, danger, etc.). 2 the condition of being
exposed to the elements, esp. in severe conditions (died from
exposure). 3 the revelation of an identity or fact, esp. when
concealed or likely to find disapproval. 4 Photog. a the
action of exposing a film etc. to the light. b the duration of
this action. c the area of film etc. affected by it. 5 an
aspect or outlook (has a fine southern exposure). Ьexposure
meter Photog. a device for measuring the strength of the light
to determine the correct duration of exposure. [EXPOSE after
expound v.tr. 1 set out in detail (a doctrine etc.). 2 explain or
interpret (esp. Scripture). ЬЬexpounder n. [ME f. OF espondre
v.tr. 1 represent or make known (thought, feelings, etc.) in
words or by gestures, conduct, etc. 2 refl. say what one thinks
or means. 3 esp. Math. represent by symbols. 4 squeeze out
(liquid or air). ЬЬexpresser n. expressible adj. [ME f. OF
expresser f. Rmc (as EX-(1), PRESS(1))]
adj., adv., n., & v. --adj. 1 operating at high speed. 2 also
a definitely stated, not merely implied. b archaic (of a
likeness) exact. 3 a done, made, or sent for a special purpose.
b (of messages or goods) delivered by a special messenger or
service. --adv. 1 at high speed. 2 by express messenger or
train. --n. 1 a an express train or messenger. b an express
rifle. 2 US a company undertaking the transport of parcels etc.
--v.tr. send by express messenger or delivery. Ьexpress rifle a
rifle that discharges a bullet at high speed. express train a
fast train, stopping at few intermediate stations. ЬЬexpressly
adv. (in sense 2 of adj.). [ME f. OF expres f. L expressus
distinctly shown, past part. of exprimere (as EX-(1), premere
n. 1 the act or an instance of expressing. 2 a word or phrase
expressed. 3 Math. a collection of symbols expressing a
quantity. 4 a person's facial appearance or intonation of
voice, esp. as indicating feeling. 5 depiction of feeling,
movement, etc., in art. 6 conveying of feeling in the
performance of a piece of music. Ьexpression-mark Mus. a sign
or word indicating the required manner of performance.
ЬЬexpressional adj. expressionless adj. expressionlessly adv.
expressionlessness n. [ME f. OF expression or L expressio f.
exprimere: see EXPRESS(1)]
n. a style of painting, music, drama, etc., in which an artist
or writer seeks to express emotional experience rather than
impressions of the external world. ЬЬexpressionist n. & adj.
expressionistic adj. expressionistically adv.
adj. 1 full of expression (an expressive look). 2 (foll. by
of) serving to express (words expressive of contempt).
ЬЬexpressively adv. expressiveness n. expressivity n. [ME f.
F expressif -ive or med.L expressivus (as EXPRESSION)]
expresso var. of ESPRESSO.
n. US an urban motorway.
v.tr. 1 (esp. of the State) take away (property) from its
owner. 2 (foll. by from) dispossess. ЬЬexpropriation n.
expropriator n. [med.L expropriare expropriat- (as EX-(1),
proprium property: see PROPER)]
expulsion n. the act or an instance of expelling; the process of being
expelled. ЬЬexpulsive adj. [ME f. L expulsio (as EXPEL)]
expunge v.tr. (foll. by from) erase, remove (esp. a passage from a book
or a name from a list). ЬЬexpunction n. expunger n. [L
expungere expunct- (as EX-(1), pungere prick)]
expurgate v.tr. 1 remove matter thought to be objectionable from (a book
etc.). 2 remove (such matter). ЬЬexpurgation n. expurgator n.
expurgatorial adj. expurgatory adj. [L expurgare expurgat- (as
EX-(1), purgare cleanse)]
exquisite adj. & n. --adj. 1 extremely beautiful or delicate. 2 acute;
keenly felt (exquisite pleasure). 3 keen; highly sensitive or
discriminating (exquisite taste). --n. a person of refined
(esp. affected) tastes. ЬЬexquisitely adv. exquisiteness n.
[ME f. L exquirere exquisit- (as EX-(1), quaerere seek)]
Med. v.tr. drain of blood. ЬЬexsanguination n. [L
exsanguinatus (as EX-(1), sanguis -inis blood)]
exsert v.tr. Biol. put forth. [L exserere: see EXERT]
adj. 1 having formerly been a member of the armed forces. 2
relating to former servicemen and -women.
n. (pl. -men) a former member of the armed forces.
n. (pl. -women) a former woman member of the armed forces.
adv. by the absence of contrary evidence. [L, = from silence]
ext. abbr. 1 exterior. 2 external.
extant adj. (esp. of a document etc.) still existing, surviving. [L
exstare exstant- (as EX-(1), stare stand)]
adj. spoken or done without preparation. ЬЬextemporaneously
adv. extemporaneousness n.
adj. = EXTEMPORANEOUS. ЬЬextemporarily adv. extemporariness
extempore adj. & adv. 1 without preparation. 2 offhand. [L ex tempore
on the spur of the moment, lit. out of the time f. tempus time]
v.tr. (also -ise) (also absol.) compose or produce (music, a
speech, etc.) without preparation; improvise. ЬЬextemporization
extend v. 1 tr. & intr. lengthen or make larger in space or time. 2
tr. stretch or lay out at full length. 3 intr. & tr. (foll. by
to, over) reach or be or make continuous over a certain area. 4
intr. (foll. by to) have a certain scope (the permit does not
extend to camping). 5 tr. offer or accord (an invitation,
hospitality, kindness, etc.). 6 tr. (usu. refl. or in passive)
tax the powers of (an athlete, horse, etc.) to the utmost.
Ьextended family a family including relatives living near.
extended-play (of a gramophone record) playing for longer than
most singles, usu. at 45 r.p.m. ЬЬextendable adj.
extendability n. extendible adj. extendibility n. extensible
adj. extensibility n. [ME f. L extendere extens- or extent-
stretch out (as EX-(1), tendere stretch)]
extender n. 1 a person or thing that extends. 2 a substance added to
paint, ink, glue, etc., to dilute its colour or increase its
extensile adj. capable of being stretched out or protruded.
extension n. 1 the act or an instance of extending; the process of being
extended. 2 prolongation; enlargement. 3 a part enlarging or
added on to a main structure or building. 4 an additional part
of anything. 5 a a subsidiary telephone on the same line as the
main one. b its number. 6 a an additional period of time, esp.
extending allowance for a project etc. b permission for the
sale of alcoholic drinks until later than usual, granted to
licensed premises on special occasions. 7 extramural
instruction by a university or college (extension course). 8
extent, range. 9 Logic a group of things denoted by a term.
ЬЬextensional adj. [ME f. LL extensio (as EXTEND)]
extensive adj. 1 covering a large area in space or time. 2 having a wide
scope; far-reaching, comprehensive (an extensive knowledge of
music). 3 Agriculture involving cultivation from a large area,
with a minimum of special resources (cf. INTENSIVE).
ЬЬextensively adv. extensiveness n. [F extensif -ive or LL
extensivus (as EXTENSION)]
n. 1 an instrument for measuring deformation of metal under
stress. 2 an instrument using such deformation to record
elastic strains in other materials. [L extensus (as EXTEND) +
extensor n. (in full extensor muscle) Anat. a muscle that extends or
straightens out part of the body (cf. FLEXOR). [mod.L (as
extent n. 1 the space over which a thing extends. 2 the width or
limits of application; scope (to a great extent; to the full
extent of their power). [ME f. AF extente f. med.L extenta past
part. of L extendere: see EXTEND]
extenuate v.tr. (often as extenuating adj.) lessen the seeming seriousness
of (guilt or an offence) by reference to some mitigating factor.
ЬЬextenuatingly adv. extenuation n. extenuatory adj. [L
extenuare extenuat- (as EX-(1), tenuis thin)]
exterior adj. & n. --adj. 1 a of or on the outer side (opp. INTERIOR).
b (foll. by to) situated on the outside of (a building etc.). c
coming from outside. 2 Cinematog. outdoor. --n. 1 the outward
aspect or surface of a building etc. 2 the outward or apparent
behaviour or demeanour of a person. 3 Cinematog. an outdoor
scene. Ьexterior angle the angle between the side of a
rectilinear figure and the adjacent side extended outward.
ЬЬexteriority n. exteriorize v.tr. (also -ise). exteriorly
adv. [L, compar. of exterus outside]
v.tr. 1 destroy utterly (esp. something living). 2 get rid of;
eliminate (a pest, disease, etc.). ЬЬextermination n.
exterminator n. exterminatory adj. [L exterminare exterminat-
(as EX-(1), terminus boundary)]
external adj. & n. --adj. 1 a of or situated on the outside or visible
part (opp. INTERNAL). b coming or derived from the outside or
an outside source. 2 relating to a country's foreign affairs.
3 outside the conscious subject (the external world). 4 (of
medicine etc.) for use on the outside of the body. 5 for or
concerning students taking the examinations of a university
without attending it. --n. (in pl.) 1 the outward features or
aspect. 2 external circumstances. 3 inessentials. Ьexternal
evidence evidence derived from a source independent of the thing
discussed. ЬЬexternality n. (pl. -ies). externally adv.
[med.L f. L externus f. exterus outside]
v.tr. (also -ise) give or attribute external existence to.
adj. Biol. relating to stimuli produced outside an organism.
[irreg. f. L externus exterior + RECEPTIVE]
adj. = EXTRATERRITORIAL. ЬЬexterritoriality n.
extinct adj. 1 (of a family, class, or species) that has died out. 2 a
(of fire etc.) no longer burning. b (of a volcano) that no
longer erupts. 3 (of life, hope, etc.) terminated, quenched. 4
(of an office etc.) obsolete. 5 (of a title of nobility) having
no qualified claimant. [ME f. L exstinguere exstinct- (as
EX-(1), stinguere quench)]
n. 1 the act of making extinct; the state of being or process
of becoming extinct. 2 the act of extinguishing; the state of
being extinguished. 3 total destruction or annihilation. 4 the
wiping out of a debt. 5 Physics a reduction in the intensity of
radiation by absorption, scattering, etc. ЬЬextinctive adj. [L
extinctio (as EXTINCT)]
v.tr. 1 cause (a flame, light, etc.) to die out; put out. 2
make extinct; annihilate, destroy (a programme to extinguish
disease). 3 put an end to; terminate; obscure utterly (a
feeling, quality, etc.). 4 a abolish; wipe out (a debt). b Law
render void. 5 colloq. reduce to silence (the argument
extinguished the opposition). ЬЬextinguishable adj.
extinguishment n. [irreg. f. L extinguere (as EXTINCT): cf.
n. a person or thing that extinguishes, esp. = fire
extirpate v.tr. root out; destroy completely. ЬЬextirpation n.
extirpator n. [L exstirpare exstirpat- (as EX-(1), stirps
extol v.tr. (extolled, extolling) praise enthusiastically.
ЬЬextoller n. extolment n. [L extollere (as EX-(1), tollere
extort v.tr. obtain by force, threats, persistent demands, etc.
ЬЬextorter n. extortive adj. [L extorquere extort- (as EX-(1),
extortion n. 1 the act or an instance of extorting, esp. money. 2
illegal exaction. ЬЬextortioner n. extortionist n. [ME f. LL
extortio (as EXTORT)]
adj. 1 (of a price etc.) exorbitant. 2 using or given to
extortion (extortionate methods). ЬЬextortionately adv.
extra adj., adv., & n. --adj. additional; more than is usual or
necessary or expected. --adv. 1 more than usually. 2
additionally (was charged extra). --n. 1 an extra thing. 2 a
thing for which an extra charge is made. 3 a person engaged
temporarily to fill out a scene in a film or play, esp. as one
of a crowd. 4 a special issue of a newspaper etc. 5 Cricket a
run scored other than from a hit with the bat. Ьextra cover
Cricket 1 a fielding position on a line between cover-point and
mid-off, but beyond these. 2 a fielder at this position. extra
size outsize. extra time Sport a further period of play at the
end of a match when the scores are equal. [prob. a shortening
extra- comb. form 1 outside, beyond (extragalactic). 2 beyond the
scope of (extracurricular). [med.L f. L extra outside]
adj. situated or taking place outside a cell or cells.
extract v. & n. --v.tr. 1 remove or take out, esp. by effort or force
(anything firmly rooted). 2 obtain (money, an admission, etc.)
with difficulty or against a person's will. 3 obtain (a natural
resource) from the earth. 4 select or reproduce for quotation
or performance (a passage of writing, music, etc.). 5 obtain
(juice etc.) by suction, pressure, distillation, etc. 6 derive
(pleasure etc.). 7 Math. find (the root of a number). 8
archaic deduce (a principle etc.). --n. 1 a short passage
taken from a book, piece of music, etc.; an excerpt. 2 a
preparation containing the active principle of a substance in
concentrated form (malt extract). ЬЬextractable adj.
extractability n. [L extrahere extract- (as EX-(1), trahere
n. 1 the act or an instance of extracting; the process of being
extracted. 2 the removal of a tooth. 3 origin, lineage,
descent (of Indian extraction). [ME f. F f. LL extractio -onis
adj. of or involving extraction, esp. extensive extracting of
natural resources without provision for their renewal.
extractor n. 1 a person or machine that extracts. 2 (attrib.) (of a
device) that extracts bad air etc. or ventilates a room
(extractor fan; extractor hood).
adj. (of a subject of study) not included in the normal
adj. 1 liable to extradition. 2 (of a crime) warranting
extradite v.tr. hand over (a person accused or convicted of a crime) to
the foreign State etc. in which the crime was committed.
n. 1 the extraditing of a person accused or convicted of a
crime. 2 Psychol. the localizing of a sensation at a distance
from the centre of sensation.
extrados n. Archit. the upper or outer curve of an arch (opp.
INTRADOS). [EXTRA- + dos back f. L dorsum]
adj. occurring or existing outside the Galaxy.
adj. 1 not legally authorized. 2 (of a confession) not made in
court. ЬЬextrajudicially adv.
adj. (esp. of sexual relations) occurring outside marriage.
adj. outside or beyond the physical world.
adj. & n. --adj. 1 taught or conducted off the premises of a
university, college, or school. 2 additional to normal teaching
or studies, esp. for non-resident students. 3 outside the walls
or boundaries of a town or city. --n. an extramural lesson,
course, etc. ЬЬextramurally adv. [L extra muros outside the
adj. 1 of external origin. 2 (often foll. by to) a separate
from the object to which it is attached etc. b external to;
irrelevant or unrelated to. ЬЬextraneously adv. extraneousness
n. [L extraneus]
adj. 1 unusual or remarkable; out of the usual course. 2
unusually great (an extraordinary talent). 3 a (of an official
etc.) additional; specially employed (envoy extraordinary). b
(of a meeting) specially convened. ЬЬextraordinarily adv.
extraordinariness n. [L extraordinarius f. extra ordinem
outside the usual order]
v.tr. (also absol.) 1 Math. & Philos. a calculate
approximately from known values, data, etc. (others which lie
outside the range of those known). b calculate on the basis of
(known facts) to estimate unknown facts, esp. extend (a curve)
on a graph. 2 infer more widely from a limited range of known
facts. ЬЬextrapolation n. extrapolative adj. extrapolator n.
[EXTRA- + INTERPOLATE]
adj. regarded as derived by means other than the known senses,
e.g. by telepathy, clairvoyance, etc. Ьextrasensory perception
a person's supposed faculty of perceiving by such means.
adj. & n. --adj. 1 outside the earth or its atmosphere. 2 (in
science fiction) from outer space. --n. (in science fiction) a
being from outer space.
adj. 1 situated or (of laws etc.) valid outside a country's
territory. 2 (of an ambassador etc.) free from the jurisdiction
of the territory of residence. ЬЬextraterritoriality n. [L
extra territorium outside the territory]
n. 1 excessive spending or use of resources; being extravagant.
2 an instance or item of this. ЬЬextravagancy n. (pl. -ies).
[F (as EXTRAVAGANT)]
adj. 1 spending (esp. money) excessively; immoderate or
wasteful in use of resources. 2 exorbitant; costing much. 3
exceeding normal restraint or sense; unreasonable, absurd
(extravagant claims). ЬЬextravagantly adv. [ME f. med.L
extravagari (as EXTRA-, vagari wander)]
n. 1 a fanciful literary, musical, or dramatic composition. 2
a spectacular theatrical or television production, esp. of
light entertainment. [It. estravaganza extravagance]
v. 1 tr. force out (a fluid, esp. blood) from its proper
vessel. 2 intr. (of blood, lava, etc.) flow out.
ЬЬextravasation n. [L extra outside + vas vessel]
adj. outside a vehicle, esp. a spacecraft.
extrema pl. of EXTREMUM.
extreme adj. & n. --adj. 1 reaching a high or the highest degree;
exceedingly great or intense (extreme old age; in extreme
danger). 2 a severe, stringent; lacking restraint or moderation
(take extreme measures; an extreme reaction). b (of a person,
opinion, etc.) going to great lengths; advocating immoderate
measures. 3 outermost; furthest from the centre; situated at
either end (the extreme edge). 4 Polit. on the far left or
right of a party. 5 utmost; last. --n. 1 (often in pl.) one
or other of two things as remote or as different as possible. 2
a thing at either end of anything. 3 the highest degree of
anything. 4 Math. the first or the last term of a ratio or
series. 5 Logic the subject or predicate in a proposition; the
major or the minor term in a syllogism. Ьextreme unction the
last rites in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. go to
extremes take an extreme course of action. go to the other
extreme take a diametrically opposite course of action. in the
extreme to an extreme degree. ЬЬextremely adv. extremeness n.
[ME f. OF f. L extremus superl. of exterus outward]
extremist n. (also attrib.) a person who holds extreme or fanatical
political or religious views and esp. resorts to or advocates
extreme action. ЬЬextremism n.
extremity n. (pl. -ies) 1 the extreme point; the very end. 2 (in pl.)
the hands and feet. 3 a condition of extreme adversity or
difficulty. [ME f. OF extremit‚ or L extremitas (as EXTREME)]
extremum n. (pl. extremums or extrema) Math. the maximum or minimum
value of a function. ЬЬextremal adj. [L, neut. of extremus
extricate v.tr. (often foll. by from) free or disentangle from a
constraint or difficulty. ЬЬextricable adj. extrication n. [L
extricare extricat- (as EX-(1), tricae perplexities)]
extrinsic adj. 1 not inherent or intrinsic; not essential (opp.
INTRINSIC). 2 (often foll. by to) extraneous; lying outside;
not belonging (to). 3 originating or operating from without.
ЬЬextrinsically adv. [LL extrinsicus outward f. L extrinsecus
(adv.) f. exter outside + secus beside]
extrovert n. & adj. --n. 1 Psychol. a person predominantly concerned
with external things or objective considerations. 2 an outgoing
or sociable person. --adj. typical or characteristic of an
extrovert. ЬЬextroversion n. extroverted adj. [extro- =
EXTRA- (after intro-) + L vertere turn]
extrude v.tr. 1 (foll. by from) thrust or force out. 2 shape metal,
plastics, etc. by forcing them through a die. ЬЬextrusion n.
extrusile adj. extrusive adj. [L extrudere extrus- (as EX-(1),
exuberant adj. 1 lively, high-spirited. 2 (of a plant etc.) prolific;
growing copiously. 3 (of feelings etc.) abounding, lavish,
effusive. ЬЬexuberance n. exuberantly adv. [F exub‚rant f. L
exuberare (as EX-(1), uberare be fruitful f. uber fertile)]
exuberate v.intr. be exuberant.
exude v. 1 tr. & intr. (of a liquid, moisture, etc.) escape or cause
to escape gradually; ooze out; give off. 2 tr. emit (a smell).
3 tr. display (an emotion etc.) freely or abundantly (exuded
displeasure). ЬЬexudate n. exudation n. exudative adj. [L
exsudare (as EX-(1), sudare sweat)]
exult v.intr. (often foll. by at, in, over, or to + infin.) 1 be
greatly joyful. 2 (often foll. by over) have a feeling of
triumph (over a person). ЬЬexultancy n. exultation n.
exultant adj. exultantly adv. exultingly adv. [L exsultare
(as EX-(1), saltare frequent. of salire salt- leap)]
exurb n. a district outside a city or town, esp. a prosperous area
beyond the suburbs. ЬЬexurban adj. exurbanite n. [L ex out of
+ urbs city, or back-form. f. exurban (as EX-(1) + URBAN, after
exurbia n. the exurbs collectively; the region beyond the suburbs.
[EX-(1), after suburbia]
exuviae n.pl. (also treated as sing.) an animal's cast skin or
covering. ЬЬexuvial adj. [L, = animal's skins, spoils of the
enemy, f. exuere divest oneself of]
exuviate v.tr. shed (a skin etc.). ЬЬexuviation n.
ex voto n. (pl. -os) an offering made in pursuance of a vow. [L, =
out of a vow]
eyas n. a young hawk, esp. one taken from the nest for training in
falconry. [orig. nyas f. F niais ult. f. L nidus nest: for
loss of n- cf. ADDER]
eye n. & v. --n. 1 a the organ of sight in man and other animals.
b the light-detecting organ in some invertebrates. 2 the eye
characterized by the colour of the iris (has blue eyes). 3 the
region round the eye (eyes red from weeping). 4 a glass or
plastic ball serving as an artificial eye (his eye fell out). 5
(in sing. or pl.) sight; the faculty of sight (demonstrate to
the eye; need perfect eyes to be a pilot). 6 a particular
visual faculty or talent; visual appreciation (a straight eye;
cast an expert eye over). 7 (in sing. or pl.) a look, gaze, or
glance, esp. as indicating the disposition of the viewer (a
friendly eye). 8 mental awareness; consciousness. 9 a person
or animal etc. that sees on behalf of another. 10 a = electric
eye. b = private eye. 11 a thing like an eye, esp.: a a spot
on a peacock's tail (cf. EYELET n. 3). b the leaf bud of a
potato. 12 the centre of something circular, e.g. a flower or
target. 13 the relatively calm region at the centre of a storm
or hurricane. 14 an aperture in an implement, esp. a needle,
for the insertion of something, e.g. thread. 15 a ring or loop
for a bolt or hook etc. to pass through. --v.tr. (eyes, eyed,
eyeing or eying) watch or observe closely, esp. admiringly or
with curiosity or suspicion. Ьall eyes 1 watching intently. 2
general attention (all eyes were on us). before one's (or one's
very) eyes right in front of one. do a person in the eye
colloq. defraud or thwart a person. eye-bolt a bolt or bar
with an eye at the end for a hook etc. eye-catching colloq.
striking, attractive. eye contact looking directly into another
person's eyes. an eye for an eye retaliation in kind (Exodus
21:24). eye language the process of communication by the
expression of the eyes. eye-level the level seen by the eyes
looking horizontally (eye-level grill). eye-liner a cosmetic
applied as a line round the eye. eye mask 1 a covering of soft
material saturated with a lotion for refreshing the eyes. 2 a
covering for the eyes. eye-opener colloq. 1 an enlightening
experience; an unexpected revelation. 2 US an alcoholic drink
taken on waking up. eye-rhyme a correspondence of words in
spelling but not in pronunciation (e.g. love and move). eyes
front (or left or right) Mil. a command to turn the head in the
direction stated. eye-shade a device to protect the eyes, esp.
from strong light. eye-shadow a coloured cosmetic applied to
the skin round the eyes. eye-spot 1 a a light-sensitive area on
the bodies of some invertebrate animals, e.g. flatworms,
starfish, etc.; an ocellus. b Bot. an area of light-sensitive
pigment found in some algae etc. 2 any of several fungus
diseases of plants characterized by yellowish oval spots on the
leaves and stems. eye-stalk Zool. a movable stalk carrying the
eye, esp. in crabs, shrimps, etc. eye strain fatigue of the
(internal or external) muscles of the eye. eye-tooth a canine
tooth just under or next to the eye, esp. in the upper jaw.
eye-worm a nematode worm, Loa loa, parasitic on man and other
primates in Central and West Africa. get (or keep) one's eye in
Sport accustom oneself (or keep oneself accustomed) to the
conditions of play so as to judge speed, distance, etc. have an
eye for be capable of perceiving or appreciating. have one's
eye on wish or plan to procure. have eyes for be interested in;
wish to acquire. have an eye to have as one's objective;
prudently consider. hit a person in the eye (or between the
eyes) colloq. be very obvious or impressive. keep an eye on 1
pay attention to. 2 look after; take care of. keep an eye open
(or out) (often foll. by for) watch carefully. keep one's eyes
open (or peeled or skinned) watch out; be on the alert. lower
one's eyes look modestly or sheepishly down or away. make eyes
(or sheep's eyes) (foll. by at) look amorously or flirtatiously
at. my (or all my) eye sl. nonsense. one in the eye (foll. by
for) a disappointment or setback. open a person's eyes be
enlightening or revealing to a person. raise one's eyes look
upwards. see eye to eye (often foll. by with) be in full
agreement. set eyes on catch sight of. take one's eyes off
(usu. in neg.) stop watching; stop paying attention to. under
the eye of under the supervision or observation of. up to the
(or one's) eyes in 1 deeply engaged or involved in; inundated
with (up to the eyes in work). 2 to the utmost limit (mortgaged
up to the eyes). with one's eyes open deliberately; with full
awareness. with one's eyes shut (or closed) 1 easily; with
little effort. 2 without awareness; unobservant (goes around
with his eyes shut). with an eye to with a view to; prudently
considering. with a friendly (or jealous etc.) eye with a
feeling of friendship, jealousy, etc. with one eye on directing
one's attention partly to. with one eye shut colloq. easily;
with little effort (could do this with one eye shut). ЬЬeyed
adj. (also in comb.). eyeless adj. [OE eage f. Gmc]
eyeball n. & v. --n. the ball of the eye within the lids and socket.
--v. US sl. 1 tr. look or stare at. 2 intr. look or stare.
Ьeyeball to eyeball colloq. confronting closely. to (or up to)
the eyeballs colloq. completely (permeated, soaked, etc.).
eyebath n. (also eyecup) a small glass or vessel for applying lotion
etc. to the eye.
eyeblack n. = MASCARA.
eyebright n. any plant of the genus Euphrasia, formerly used as a remedy
for weak eyes.
eyebrow n. the line of hair growing on the ridge above the eye-socket.
Ьraise one's eyebrows show surprise, disbelief, or mild
eyeful n. (pl. -fuls) colloq. 1 a long steady look. 2 a visually
striking person or thing. 3 anything thrown or blown into the
eyeglass n. 1 a a lens for correcting or assisting defective sight. b
(in pl.) a pair of these held in the hand or kept in position on
the nose by means of a frame or a spring. 2 a small glass
vessel for applying lotion etc. to the eye.
eyehole n. a hole to look through.
eyelash n. each of the hairs growing on the edges of the eyelids. Ьby
an eyelash by a very small margin.
eyelet n. & v. --n. 1 a small hole in paper, leather, cloth, etc.,
for string or rope etc. to pass through. 2 a metal ring
reinforcement for this. 3 a small eye, esp. the ocellus on a
butterfly's wing (cf. EYE n. 11a). 4 a form of decoration in
embroidery. 5 a small hole for observation, shooting through,
etc. --v.tr. (eyeleted, eyeleting) provide with eyelets. [ME
f. OF oillet dimin. of oil eye f. L oculus]
eyelid n. the upper or lower fold of skin closing to cover the eye.
eyepiece n. the lens or lenses to which the eye is applied at the end of
a microscope, telescope, etc.
eyeshot n. seeing-distance (out of eyeshot).
eyesight n. the faculty or power of seeing.
eyesore n. a visually offensive or ugly thing, esp. a building.
Eyetie n. & adj. sl. offens. Italian. [joc. pronunc. of Italian]
eyewash n. 1 lotion for the eye. 2 sl. nonsense, bunkum; pretentious
or insincere talk.
n. a person who has personally seen a thing done or happen and
can give evidence of it.
eyot var. of AIT.
eyra n. Zool. a red form of jaguarundi. [Tupi (e)irara]
eyrie n. (also aerie) 1 a nest of a bird of prey, esp. an eagle,
built high up. 2 a house etc. perched high up. [med.L aeria,
aerea, etc., prob. f. OF aire lair ult. f. L agrum piece of