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
RA abbr. 1 a (in the UK) Royal Academy. b (in the UK) Royal
Academician. 2 (in the UK) Royal Artillery. 3 right ascension.
Ra symb. Chem. the element radium.
RAAF abbr. Royal Australian Air Force.
rabbet n. & v. --n. a step-shaped channel etc. cut along the edge or
face or projecting angle of a length of wood etc., usu. to
receive the edge or tongue of another piece. --v.tr.
(rabbeted, rabbeting) 1 join or fix with a rabbet. 2 make a
rabbet in. Ьrabbet plane a plane for cutting a groove along an
edge. [ME f. OF rab(b)at abatement, recess f. rabattre REBATE]
rabbi n. (pl. rabbis) 1 a Jewish scholar or teacher, esp. of the
law. 2 a person appointed as a Jewish religious leader. ЬChief
Rabbi the religious head of the Jewish communities in Britain.
ЬЬrabbinate n. [ME & OE f. eccl.L f. Gk rhabbi f. Heb. rabbЊ
my master f. rab master + pronominal suffix]
adj. of or relating to rabbis, or to Jewish law or teaching.
rabbit n. & v. --n. 1 a any of various burrowing gregarious
plant-eating mammals of the hare family, esp. Oryctolagus
cuniculus, with long ears and a short tail, varying in colour
from brown in the wild to black and white, and kept as a pet or
for meat. b US a hare. c the fur of the rabbit. 2 Brit.
colloq. a poor performer in any sport or game. --v.intr.
(rabbited, rabbiting) 1 hunt rabbits. 2 (often foll. by on,
away) Brit. colloq. talk excessively or pointlessly; chatter
(rabbiting on about his holiday). Ьrabbit punch a short chop
with the edge of the hand to the nape of the neck. rabbit
warren an area in which rabbits have their burrows, or are kept
for meat etc. ЬЬrabbity adj. [ME perh. f. OF: cf. F dial.
rabotte, Walloon robЉte, Flem. robbe]
rabble(1) n. 1 a disorderly crowd; a mob. 2 a contemptible or inferior
set of people. 3 (prec. by the) the lower or disorderly classes
of the populace. Ьrabble-rouser a person who stirs up the
rabble or a crowd of people in agitation for social or political
change. rabble-rousing adj. tending to arouse the emotions of
a crowd. --n. the act or process of doing this. [ME: orig.
rabble(2) n. an iron bar with a bent end for stirring molten metal etc.
[F rѓble f. med.L rotabulum, L rutabulum fire-shovel f. ruere
rut- rake up]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or like Rabelais or his writings. 2
marked by exuberant imagination and language, coarse humour, and
satire. --n. an admirer or student of Rabelais. [F. Rabelais,
Fr. satirist d. 1553]
rabid adj. 1 furious, violent (rabid hate). 2 unreasoning;
headstrong; fanatical (a rabid anarchist). 3 (esp. of a dog)
affected with rabies; mad. 4 of or connected with rabies.
ЬЬrabidity n. rabidly adv. rabidness n. [L rabidus f. rabere
rabies n. a contagious and fatal viral disease esp. of dogs,
transmissible through the saliva to humans etc. and causing
madness and convulsions; hydrophobia. [L f. rabere rave]
RAC abbr. 1 (in the UK) Royal Automobile Club. 2 (in the UK) Royal
raccoon var. of RACOON.
race(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a contest of speed between runners, horses,
vehicles, ships, etc. 2 (in pl.) a series of these for horses,
dogs, etc. at a fixed time on a regular course. 3 a contest
between persons to be first to achieve something. 4 a a strong
or rapid current flowing through a narrow channel in the sea or
a river (a tide race). b the channel of a stream etc. (a
mill-race). 5 each of two grooved rings in a ball-bearing or
roller bearing. 6 Austral. a fenced passageway for drafting
sheep etc. 7 a passageway along which football players etc. run
to enter the field. 8 (in weaving) the channel along which the
shuttle moves. 9 archaic a the course of the sun or moon. b
the course of life (has run his race). --v. 1 intr. take part
in a race. 2 tr. have a race with. 3 tr. try to surpass in
speed. 4 intr. (foll. by with) compete in speed with. 5 tr.
cause (a horse, car, etc.) to race. 6 a intr. go at full or (of
an engine, propeller, the pulse, etc.) excessive speed. b tr.
cause (a person or thing) to do this (raced the bill through the
House). 7 intr. (usu. as racing adj.) follow or take part in
horse-racing (a racing man). Ьnot in the race Austral. sl.
having no chance. race meeting a sequence of horse-races at one
place. racing car a motor car built for racing on a prepared
track. [ME, = running, f. ON r s]
race(2) n. 1 each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct
physical characteristics. 2 a tribe, nation, etc., regarded as
of a distinct ethnic stock. 3 the fact or concept of division
into races (discrimination based on race). 4 a genus, species,
breed, or variety of animals, plants, or micro-organisms. 5 a
group of persons, animals, or plants connected by common
descent. 6 any great division of living creatures (the
feathered race; the four-footed race). 7 descent; kindred (of
noble race; separate in language and race). 8 a class of
persons etc. with some common feature (the race of poets).
Ьrace relations relations between members of different races
usu. in the same country. race riot an outbreak of violence due
to racial antagonism. [F f. It. razza, of unkn. orig.]
race(3) n. a ginger root. [OF rais, raiz f. L radix radicis root]
racecard n. a programme of races.
n. a ground or track for horse-racing.
racegoer n. a person who frequents horse-races.
racehorse n. a horse bred or kept for racing.
racemate n. Chem. a racemic mixture.
raceme n. Bot. a flower cluster with the separate flowers attached by
short equal stalks at equal distances along a central stem (cf.
CYME). [L racemus grape-bunch]
racemic adj. Chem. composed of equal numbers of dextrorotatory and
laevorotatory molecules of a compound. ЬЬracemize v.tr. & intr.
(also -ise). [RACEME + -IC, orig. of tartaric acid in
racemose adj. 1 Bot. in the form of a raceme. 2 Anat. (of a gland etc.)
clustered. [L racemosus (as RACEME)]
racer n. 1 a horse, yacht, bicycle, etc., of a kind used for racing.
2 a circular horizontal rail along which the traversing-platform
of a heavy gun moves. 3 a person or thing that races.
racetrack n. 1 = RACECOURSE. 2 a track for motor-racing.
raceway n. 1 a track or channel along which something runs, esp.: a a
channel for water. b a groove in which ball-bearings run. c a
pipe or tubing enclosing electrical wires. 2 esp. US a a track
for trotting, pacing, or harness racing. b a racecourse.
rachis n. (pl. rachides) 1 Bot. a a stem of grass etc. bearing
flower-stalks at short intervals. b the axis of a compound leaf
or frond. 2 Anat. the vertebral column or the cord from which
it develops. 3 Zool. a feather-shaft, esp. the part bearing the
barbs. ЬЬrachidial adj. [mod.L f. Gk rhakhis spine: the E pl.
-ides is erron.]
rachitis n. rickets. ЬЬrachitic adj. [mod.L f. Gk rhakhitis (as
n. Brit. the exploitation and intimidation of slum tenants by
unscrupulous landlords. [P. Rachman, London landlord of the
racial adj. 1 of or concerning race (racial diversities; racial
minority). 2 on the grounds of or connected with difference in
race (racial discrimination; racial tension). ЬЬracially adv.
racialism n. = RACISM 1. ЬЬracialist n. & adj.
racism n. 1 a a belief in the superiority of a particular race;
prejudice based on this. b antagonism towards other races, esp.
as a result of this. 2 the theory that human abilities etc. are
determined by race. ЬЬracist n. & adj.
rack(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a a framework usu. with rails, bars, hooks,
etc., for holding or storing things. b a frame for holding
animal fodder. 2 a cogged or toothed bar or rail engaging with
a wheel or pinion etc., or using pegs to adjust the position of
something. 3 hist. an instrument of torture stretching the
victim's joints by the turning of rollers to which the wrists
and ankles were tied. --v.tr. 1 (of disease or pain) inflict
suffering on. 2 hist. torture (a person) on the rack. 3 place
in or on a rack. 4 shake violently. 5 injure by straining. 6
oppress (tenants) by exacting excessive rent. 7 exhaust (the
land) by excessive use. Ьon the rack in distress or under
strain. rack one's brains make a great mental effort (racked my
brains for something to say). rack-railway a railway with a
cogged rail between the bearing rails. rack-rent n. 1 a high
rent, annually equalling the full value of the property to which
it relates. 2 an extortionate rent. --v.tr. exact this from (a
tenant) or for (land). rack-renter a tenant paying or a
landlord exacting an extortionate rent. rack-up US achieve (a
score etc.). rack-wheel a cog-wheel. [ME rakke f. MDu., MLG
rak, rek, prob. f. recken stretch]
rack(2) n. destruction ( esp. rack and ruin). [var. of WRACK, WRECK]
rack(3) n. a joint of lamb etc. including the front ribs. [perh. f.
rack(4) v.tr. (often foll. by off) draw off (wine, beer, etc.) from the
lees. [ME f. Prov. arracar f. raca stems and husks of grapes,
rack(5) n. & v. --n. driving clouds. --v.intr. (of clouds) be driven
before the wind. [ME, prob. of Scand. orig.: cf. Norw. and Sw.
dial. rak wreckage etc. f. reka drive]
rack(6) n. & v. --n. a horse's gait between a trot and a canter.
--v.intr. progress in this way.
racket(1) n. (also racquet) 1 a bat with a round or oval frame strung
with catgut, nylon, etc., used in tennis, squash, etc. 2 (in
pl.) a ball game for two or four persons played with rackets in
a plain four-walled court. 3 a snow shoe resembling a racket.
Ьracket-ball a small hard orig. kid-covered ball of cork and
string. racket-press a press for keeping rackets taut and in
shape. racket-tail a S. American humming-bird, Loddigesia
mirabilis, with a racket-shaped tail. [F racquette f. It.
racchetta f. Arab. raha palm of the hand]
racket(2) n. 1 a a disturbance; an uproar; a din. b social excitement;
gaiety. 2 sl. a a scheme for obtaining money or attaining
other ends by fraudulent and often violent means. b a dodge; a
sly game. 3 colloq. an activity; a way of life; a line of
business (starting up a new racket). ЬЬrackety adj. [16th c.:
racketeer n. a person who operates a dishonest business. ЬЬracketeering
racon n. esp. US a radar beacon that can be identified and located
by its response to a radar signal from a ship etc. [radar + bea
raconteur n. (fem. raconteuse) a teller of anecdotes. [F f. raconter
racoon n. (also raccoon) 1 any greyish-brown furry N. American
nocturnal flesh-eating mammal of the genus Procyon, with a bushy
tail and sharp snout. 2 the fur of the racoon. [Algonquian
racquet var. of RACKET(1).
racy adj. (racier, raciest) 1 lively and vigorous in style. 2
risqu‚, suggestive. 3 having characteristic qualities in a high
degree (a racy flavour). ЬЬracily adv. raciness n. [RACE(2) +
rad(1) n. (pl. same) radian. [abbr.]
rad(2) n. sl. a political radical. [abbr.]
rad(3) n. Physics a unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation,
corresponding to the absorption of 0.01 joule per kilogram of
absorbing material. [radiation absorbed dose]
RADA abbr. (in the UK) Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
radar n. 1 a system for detecting the direction, range, or presence
of aircraft, ships, and other (usu. moving) objects, by sending
out pulses of high frequency electromagnetic waves. 2 the
apparatus used for this. Ьradar trap the use of radar to detect
vehicles exceeding a speed limit. [radio detection and ranging]
RADC abbr. (in the UK) Royal Army Dental Corps.
raddle n. & v. --n. red ochre (often used to mark sheep). --v.tr. 1
colour with raddle or too much rouge. 2 (as raddled adj.) worn
out; untidy, unkempt. [var. of RUDDLE]
radial adj. & n. --adj. 1 of, concerning, or in rays. 2 a arranged
like rays or radii; having the position or direction of a
radius. b having spokes or radiating lines. c acting or moving
along lines diverging from a centre. 3 Anat. relating to the
radius (radial artery). 4 (in full radial-ply) (of a vehicle
tyre) having the core fabric layers arranged radially at right
angles to the circumference and the tread strengthened. --n. 1
Anat. the radial nerve or artery. 2 a radial-ply tyre. Ьradial
engine an engine having cylinders arranged along radii. radial
symmetry symmetry occurring about any number of lines or planes
passing through the centre of an organism etc. radial velocity
esp. Astron. the speed of motion along a radial line, esp.
between a star etc. and an observer. ЬЬradially adv. [med.L
radialis (as RADIUS)]
radian n. Geom. a unit of angle, equal to an angle at the centre of a
circle the arc of which is equal in length to the radius.
[RADIUS + -AN]
radiant adj. & n. --adj. 1 emitting rays of light. 2 (of eyes or
looks) beaming with joy or hope or love. 3 (of beauty) splendid
or dazzling. 4 (of light) issuing in rays. 5 operating
radially. 6 extending radially; radiating. --n. 1 the point
or object from which light or heat radiates, esp. in an
electric or gas heater. 2 Astron. a radiant point. Ьradiant
heat heat transmitted by radiation, not by conduction or
convection. radiant heater a heater that works by this method.
radiant point 1 a point from which rays or radii proceed. 2
Astron. the apparent focal point of a meteor shower. ЬЬradiance
n. radiancy n. radiantly adv. [ME f. L radiare (as RADIUS)]
radiate v. & adj. --v. 1 intr. a emit rays of light, heat, or other
electromagnetic waves. b (of light or heat) be emitted in rays.
2 tr. emit (light, heat, or sound) from a centre. 3 tr.
transmit or demonstrate (life, love, joy, etc.) (radiates
happiness). 4 intr. & tr. diverge or cause to diverge or spread
from a centre. 5 tr. (as radiated adj.) with parts arranged in
rays. --adj. having divergent rays or parts radially arranged.
ЬЬradiately adv. radiative adj. [L radiare radiat- (as
radiation n. 1 the act or an instance of radiating; the process of being
radiated. 2 Physics a the emission of energy as electromagnetic
waves or as moving particles. b the energy transmitted in this
way, esp. invisibly. 3 (in full radiation therapy) treatment of
cancer and other diseases using radiation, such as X-rays or
ultraviolet light. Ьradiation chemistry the study of the
chemical effects of radiation on matter. radiation sickness
sickness caused by exposure to radiation, such as X-rays or
gamma rays. ЬЬradiational adj. radiationally adv. [L radiatio
radiator n. 1 a person or thing that radiates. 2 a a device for heating
a room etc., consisting of a metal case through which hot water
or steam circulates. b a usu. portable oil or electric heater
resembling this. 3 an engine-cooling device in a motor vehicle
or aircraft with a large surface for cooling circulating water.
Ьradiator grille a grille at the front of a motor vehicle
allowing air to circulate to the radiator.
radical adj. & n. --adj. 1 of the root or roots; fundamental (a
radical error). 2 far-reaching; thorough; going to the root
(radical change). 3 a advocating thorough reform; holding
extreme political views; revolutionary. b (of a measure etc.)
advanced by or according to principles of this kind. 4 forming
the basis; primary (the radical idea). 5 Math. of the root of a
number or quantity. 6 (of surgery etc.) seeking to ensure the
removal of all diseased tissue. 7 of the roots of words. 8
Mus. belonging to the root of a chord. 9 Bot. of, or springing
direct from, the root. 10 hist. belonging to an extreme section
of the Liberal party. 11 US hist. seeking extreme anti-South
action at the time of the Civil War. --n. 1 a person holding
radical views or belonging to a radical party. 2 Chem. a a
free radical. b an element or atom or a group of these normally
forming part of a compound and remaining unaltered during the
compound's ordinary chemical changes. 3 the root of a word. 4
a fundamental principle; a basis. 5 Math. a a quantity forming
or expressed as the root of another. b a radical sign.
Ьradical sign indicating the square, cube, etc., root of the
number following. ЬЬradicalism n. radicalize v.tr. & intr.
(also -ise). radicalization n. radically adv. radicalness n.
[ME f. LL radicalis f. L radix radicis root]
radicchio n. (pl. -os) a variety of chicory with dark red-coloured
leaves. [It., = chicory]
radices pl. of RADIX.
radicle n. 1 the part of a plant embryo that develops into the primary
root; a rootlet. 2 a rootlike subdivision of a nerve or vein.
ЬЬradicular adj. [L radicula (as RADIX)]
radii pl. of RADIUS.
radio n. & v. --n. (pl. -os) 1 (often attrib.) a the transmission
and reception of sound messages etc. by electromagnetic waves of
radio-frequency (cf. WIRELESS). b an apparatus for receiving,
broadcasting, or transmitting radio signals. c a message sent
or received by radio. 2 a sound broadcasting in general
(prefers the radio). b a broadcasting station or channel (Radio
One). --v. (-oes, -oed) 1 tr. a send (a message) by radio. b
send a message to (a person) by radio. 2 intr. communicate or
broadcast by radio. Ьradio astronomy the branch of astronomy
concerned with the radio-frequency range of the electromagnetic
spectrum. radio cab (or car) a cab or car equipped with a
two-way radio. radio fix the position of an aircraft, ship,
etc., found by radio. radio galaxy a galaxy emitting radiation
in the radio-frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
radio ham see HAM. radio star a small star etc. emitting strong
radio waves. radio telescope a directional aerial system for
collecting and analysing radiation in the radio-frequency range
from stars etc. [short for radio-telegraphy etc.]
radio- comb. form 1 denoting radio or broadcasting. 2 a connected with
radioactivity. b denoting artificially prepared radioisotopes
of elements (radio-caesium). 3 connected with rays or
radiation. 4 Anat. belonging to the radius in conjunction with
some other part (radio-carpal). [RADIUS + -O- or f. RADIO]
adj. of or exhibiting radioactivity. ЬЬradioactively adv.
n. the spontaneous disintegration of atomic nucleii, with the
emission of usu. penetrating radiation or particles.
n. an analysis of a substance based on radiation from a sample.
n. the biology concerned with the effects of radiation on
organisms and the application in biology of radiological
techniques. ЬЬradiobiological adj. radiobiologically adv.
n. a radioactive isotope of carbon. Ьradiocarbon dating =
n. the chemistry of radioactive materials. ЬЬradiochemical
adj. radiochemist n.
adj. (of a model aircraft etc.) controlled from a distance by
n. a natural or artificial radioactive element or isotope.
n. (pl. -ies) the frequency band of telecommunication, ranging
from 10(4)-10(11) or 10(12) Hz.
adj. 1 produced by radioactivity. 2 suitable for broadcasting
by radio. ЬЬradiogenically adv.
n. an instrument for finding direction using radio waves.
radiogram n. 1 Brit. a combined radio and record-player. 2 a picture
obtained by X-rays, gamma rays, etc. 3 a radio-telegram.
[RADIO- + -GRAM, GRAMOPHONE]
n. & v. --n. 1 an instrument recording the intensity of
radiation. 2 = RADIOGRAM 2. --v.tr. obtain a picture of by
X-ray, gamma ray, etc. ЬЬradiographer n. radiographic adj.
radiographically adv. radiography n.
n. the application of radiological techniques in immunology.
n. a radioactive isotope. ЬЬradioisotopic adj.
n. any marine protozoan of the order Radiolaria, having a
siliceous skeleton and radiating pseudopodia. [mod.L radiolaria
f. L radiolus dimin. of RADIUS]
radiology n. the scientific study of X-rays and other high-energy
radiation, esp. as used in medicine. ЬЬradiologic adj.
radiological adj. radiologist n.
n. an instrument for measuring the intensity or force of
radiation. ЬЬradiometry n.
adj. of or relating to the measurement of radioactivity.
Ьradiometric dating a method of dating geological specimens by
determining the relative proportions of the isotopes of a
radioactive element present in a sample.
radionics n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) the study and interpretation of
radiation believed to be emitted from substances, esp. as a form
of diagnosis. [RADIO- + - onics, after ELECTRONICS]
n. a radioactive nuclide.
adj. (also radio-opaque) opaque to X-rays or similar radiation.
ЬЬradiopacity n. [RADIO- + OPAQUE]
adj. of or relating to synthetic sound, esp. music, produced
n. the examination by X-rays etc. of objects opaque to light.
n. a miniature radio transmitter broadcasting information about
pressure, temperature, etc., from various levels of the
atmosphere, carried esp. by balloon. [RADIO- + G Sonde probe]
n. a telegram sent by radio, usu. from a ship to land.
n. telegraphy using radio transmission. ЬЬradio-telegraph n.
n. telephony using radio transmission. ЬЬradio-telephone n.
n. a telex sent usu. from a ship to land.
n. the treatment of disease by X-rays or other forms of
radiation. ЬЬradiotherapeutic adj. radiotherapist n.
radish n. 1 a cruciferous plant, Raphanus sativus, with a fleshy
pungent root. 2 this root, eaten esp. raw in salads etc. [OE
r‘dic f. L radix radicis root]
radium n. Chem. a radioactive metallic element orig. obtained from
pitchblende etc., used esp. in luminous materials and in
radiotherapy. °Symb.: Ra. Ьradium bomb a container holding a
large quantity of radium and used in radiotherapy as a source of
gamma rays. radium emanation = RADON. radium therapy the
treatment of disease by the use of radium. [L radius ray]
radius n. & v. --n. (pl. radii or radiuses) 1 Math. a a straight
line from the centre to the circumference of a circle or sphere.
b a radial line from the focus to any point of a curve. c the
length of the radius of a circle etc. 2 a usu. specified
distance from a centre in all directions (within a radius of 20
miles; has a large radius of action). 3 a the thicker and
shorter of the two bones in the human forearm (cf. ULNA). b
the corresponding bone in a vertebrate's foreleg or a bird's
wing. 4 any of the five arm-like structures of a starfish. 5 a
any of a set of lines diverging from a point like the radii of a
circle. b an object of this kind, e.g. a spoke. 6 a the outer
rim of a composite flower-head, e.g. a daisy. b a radiating
branch of an umbel. --v.tr. give a rounded form to (an edge
etc.). Ьradius vector Math. a variable line drawn from a fixed
point to an orbit or other curve, or to any point as an
indication of the latter's position. [L, = staff, spoke, ray]
radix n. (pl. radices) 1 Math. a number or symbol used as the basis
of a numeration scale (e.g. ten in the decimal system). 2
(usu. foll. by of) a source or origin. [L, = root]
radome n. a dome or other structure, transparent to radio waves,
protecting radar equipment, esp. on the outer surface of an
aircraft. [radar + dome]
radon n. Chem. a gaseous radioactive inert element arising from the
disintegration of radium, and used in radiotherapy. °Symb.: Rn.
[RADIUM after argon etc.]
radula n. (pl. radulae) a filelike structure in molluscs for scraping
off food particles and drawing them into the mouth. ЬЬradular
adj. [L, = scraper f. radere scrape]
RAF abbr. colloq. (in the UK) Royal Air Force.
n. Austral. & NZ colloq. no rules at all, esp. in boxing. [E
dial. corrupt. of refractory]
raffia n. (also raphia) 1 a palm-tree, Raphia ruffia, native to
Madagascar, having very long leaves. 2 the fibre from its
leaves used for making hats, baskets, etc., and for tying plants
raffinate n. Chem. a refined liquid oil produced by solvent extraction
of impurities. [F raffiner + -ATE(1)]
raffle(1) n. & v. --n. a fund-raising lottery with goods as prizes.
--v.tr. (often foll. by off) dispose of by means of a raffle.
[ME, a kind of dice-game, f. OF raf(f)le, of unkn. orig.]
raffle(2) n. 1 rubbish; refuse. 2 lumber; debris. [ME, perh. f. OF ne
rifle, ne rafle nothing at all]
raft(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a flat floating structure of timber or other
materials for conveying persons or things. 2 a lifeboat or
small (often inflatable) boat, esp. for use in emergencies. 3 a
floating accumulation of trees, ice, etc. --v. 1 tr. transport
as or on a raft. 2 tr. cross (water) on a raft. 3 tr. form
into a raft. 4 intr. (often foll. by across) work a raft
(across water etc.). [ME f. ON raptr RAFTER]
raft(2) n. colloq. 1 a large collection. 2 (foll. by of) a crowd.
[raff rubbish, perh. of Scand. orig.]
rafter(1) n. each of the sloping beams forming the framework of a roof.
ЬЬraftered adj. [OE r‘fter, rel. to RAFT(1)]
rafter(2) n. 1 a person who rafts timber. 2 a person who travels by
raftsman n. (pl. -men) a worker on a raft.
rag(1) n. 1 a a torn, frayed, or worn piece of woven material. b one
of the irregular scraps to which cloth etc. is reduced by wear
and tear. 2 (in pl.) old or worn clothes. 3 (collect.) scraps
of cloth used as material for paper, stuffing, etc. 4 derog. a
a newspaper. b a flag, handkerchief, curtain, etc. 5 (usu.
with neg.) the smallest scrap of cloth etc. (not a rag to cover
him). 6 an odd scrap; an irregular piece. 7 a jagged
projection, esp. on metal. Ьin rags 1 much torn. 2 in old torn
clothes. rag-and-bone man Brit. an itinerant dealer in old
clothes, furniture, etc. rag-bag 1 a bag in which scraps of
fabric etc. are kept for use. 2 a miscellaneous collection. 3
sl. a sloppily-dressed woman. rag bolt a bolt with barbs to
keep it tight when it has been driven in. rag book a children's
book made of untearable cloth. rag doll a stuffed doll made of
cloth. rag paper paper made from rags. rag-picker a collector
and seller of rags. rags to riches poverty to affluence. rag
trade colloq. the business of designing, making, and selling
women's clothes. [ME, prob. back-form. f. RAGGED]
rag(2) n. & v. sl. --n. Brit. 1 a fund-raising programme of stunts,
parades, and entertainment organized by students. 2 colloq. a
prank. 3 a a rowdy celebration. b a noisy disorderly scene.
--v. (ragged, ragging) 1 tr. tease; torment; play rough jokes
on. 2 tr. scold; reprove severely. 3 intr. Brit. engage in
rough play; be noisy and riotous. [18th c.: orig. unkn.: cf.
rag(3) n. 1 a large coarse roofing-slate. 2 any of various kinds of
hard coarse sedimentary stone that break into thick slabs. [ME:
orig. unkn., but assoc. with RAG(1)]
rag(4) n. Mus. a ragtime composition or tune. [perh. f. RAGGED: see
raga n. (also rag) Ind. Mus. 1 a pattern of notes used as a basis
for improvisation. 2 a piece using a particular raga. [Skr., =
colour, musical tone]
n. a person in ragged dirty clothes, esp. a child. [prob.
based on RAG(1): cf. 14th-c. ragamoffyn the name of a demon]
rage n. & v. --n. 1 fierce or violent anger. 2 a fit of this (flew
into a rage). 3 the violent action of a natural force (the rage
of the storm). 4 (foll. by for) a a vehement desire or passion.
b a widespread temporary enthusiasm or fashion. 5 poet. poetic,
prophetic, or martial enthusiasm or ardour. 6 sl. a lively
frolic. --v.intr. 1 be full of anger. 2 (often foll. by at,
against) speak furiously or madly; rave. 3 (of wind, battle,
fever, etc.) be violent; be at its height; continue unchecked.
4 Austral. sl. seek enjoyment; go on a spree. Ьall the rage
popular, fashionable. [ME f. OF rager ult. f. L RABIES]
ragee n. (also raggee) a coarse cereal, Eleusine coracana, forming a
staple food in parts of India etc. [Hindi ragi]
ragged adj. 1 (of clothes etc.) torn; frayed. 2 rough; shaggy;
hanging in tufts. 3 (of a person) in ragged clothes. 4 with a
broken or jagged outline or surface. 5 faulty; imperfect. 6
lacking finish, smoothness, or uniformity (ragged rhymes). 7
exhausted (esp. be run ragged). Ьragged robin a pink-flowered
campion, Lychnis flos-cuculi, with tattered petals. ЬЬraggedly
adv. raggedness n. raggedy adj. [ME f. ON roggvathr tufted]
raggee var. of RAGEE.
adj. (also wraggle-taggle) ragged; rambling, straggling. [app.
fanciful var. of RAGTAG]
raglan n. (often attrib.) an overcoat without shoulder seams, the
sleeves running up to the neck. Ьraglan sleeve a sleeve of this
kind. [Lord Raglan, Brit. commander d. 1855]
ragout n. & v. --n. meat in small pieces stewed with vegetables and
highly seasoned. --v.tr. cook (food) in this way . [F rago–t
f. rago–ter revive the taste of]
ragstone n. = RAG(3) 2.
ragtag n. (in full ragtag and bobtail) derog. the rabble or common
people. [earlier tag-rag, tag and rag, f. RAG(1) + TAG(1)]
ragtime n. & adj. --n. music characterized by a syncopated melodic line
and regularly-accented accompaniment, evolved by American Black
musicians in the 1890s and played esp. on the piano. --adj.
sl. disorderly, disreputable, inferior (a ragtime army). [prob.
raguly adj. Heraldry like a row of sawn-off branches. [perh. f.
RAGGED after nebuly]
ragweed n. 1 = RAGWORT. 2 US any plant of the genus Ambrosia, with
ragwort n. any yellow-flowered ragged-leaved plant of the genus
rah int. esp. US colloq. an expression of encouragement,
approval, etc. [shortening of HURRAH]
raid n. & v. --n. 1 a rapid surprise attack, esp.: a by troops,
aircraft, etc. in warfare. b to commit a crime or do harm. 2 a
surprise attack by police etc. to arrest suspected persons or
seize illicit goods. 3 Stock Exch. an attempt to lower prices
by the concerted selling of shares. 4 (foll. by on, upon) a
forceful or insistent attempt to make a person or thing provide
something. --v.tr. 1 make a raid on (a person, place, or
thing). 2 plunder, deplete . ЬЬraider n. [ME, Sc. form of OE
rail(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a level or sloping bar or series of bars: a
used to hang things on. b running along the top of a set of
banisters. c forming part of a fence or barrier as protection
against contact, falling over, etc. 2 a steel bar or continuous
line of bars laid on the ground, usu. as one of a pair forming a
railway track. 3 (often attrib.) a railway (send it by rail;
rail fares). 4 (in pl.) the inside boundary fence of a
racecourse. 5 a horizontal piece in the frame of a panelled
door etc. (cf. STILE(2)). --v.tr. 1 furnish with a rail or
rails. 2 (usu. foll. by in, off) enclose with rails (a small
space was railed off). 3 convey (goods) by rail. Ьoff the
rails disorganized; out of order; deranged. over the rails over
the side of a ship. rail fence esp. US a fence made of posts
and rails. rail gun an electromagnetic projectile launcher used
esp. as an anti-missile weapon. ЬЬrailage n. railless adj.
[ME f. OF reille iron rod f. L regula RULE]
rail(2) v.intr. (often foll. by at, against) complain using abusive
language; rant. ЬЬrailer n. railing n. & adj. [ME f. F
railler f. Prov. ralhar jest, ult. f. L rugire bellow]
rail(3) n. any bird of the family Rallidae, often inhabiting marshes,
esp. the corncrake and water rail. [ME f. ONF raille f. Rmc,
railcar n. a railway vehicle consisting of a single powered coach.
railcard n. Brit. a pass entitling the holder to reduced rail fares.
railhead n. 1 the farthest point reached by a railway under
construction. 2 the point on a railway at which road transport
of goods begins.
railing n. 1 (usu. in pl.) a fence or barrier made of rails. 2 the
material for these.
raillery n. (pl. -ies) 1 good-humoured ridicule; rallying. 2 an
instance of this. [F raillerie (as RAIL(2))]
railman n. (pl. -men) = RAILWAYMAN.
railroad n. & v. --n. esp. US = RAILWAY. --v.tr. 1 (often foll. by
to, into, through, etc.) rush or coerce (a person or thing)
(railroaded me into going too). 2 send (a person) to prison by
means of false evidence.
railway n. 1 a track or set of tracks made of steel rails upon which
goods trucks and passenger trains run. 2 such a system worked
by a single company (Great Western Railway). 3 the organization
and personnel required for its working. 4 a similar set of
tracks for other vehicles etc. Ьrailway-yard the area where
rolling-stock is kept and made up into trains.
n. (pl. -men) a railway employee.
raiment n. archaic clothing. [ME f. obs. arrayment (as ARRAY)]
rain n. & v. --n. 1 a the condensed moisture of the atmosphere
falling visibly in separate drops. b the fall of such drops. 2
(in pl.) a rainfalls. b (prec. by the) the rainy season in
tropical countries. 3 a falling liquid or solid particles or
objects. b the rainlike descent of these. c a large or
overwhelming quantity (a rain of congratulations). --v. 1
intr. (prec. by it as subject) rain falls (it is raining; if it
rains). 2 a intr. fall in showers or like rain (tears rained
down their cheeks; blows rain upon him). b tr. (prec. by it as
subject) send in large quantities (it rained blood; it is
raining invitations). 3 tr. send down like rain; lavishly
bestow (rained benefits on us; rained blows upon him). 4 intr.
(of the sky, the clouds, etc.) send down rain. Ьrain cats and
dogs see CAT. rain check US 1 a ticket given for later use when
a sporting fixture or other outdoor event is interrupted or
postponed by rain. 2 a promise that an offer will be maintained
though deferred. rain-cloud a cloud bringing rain. rain forest
luxuriant tropical forest with heavy rainfall. rain-gauge an
instrument measuring rainfall. rain-making the action of
attempting to increase rainfall by artificial means. rain off
(or US out) (esp. in passive) cause (an event etc.) to be
terminated or cancelled because of rain. rain or shine whether
it rains or not. rain-shadow a region shielded from rain by
mountains etc. rain-wash 1 loose material carried away by rain.
2 the movement of this. rain-worm the common earthworm.
ЬЬrainless adj. raintight adj. [OE regn, ren, regnian f. Gmc]
rainbird n. a bird said to foretell rain by its cry, esp. the green
rainbow n. & adj. --n. 1 an arch of colours (conventionally red,
orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) formed in the sky
(or across a cataract etc.) opposite the sun by reflection,
twofold refraction, and dispersion of the sun's rays in falling
rain or in spray or mist. 2 a similar effect formed by the
moon's rays. --adj. many-coloured. Ьrainbow lorikeet a small
brightly coloured Polynesian parrot, Trichoglossus haematodus.
rainbow trout a large trout, Salmo gairdneri, orig. of the
Pacific coast of N. America. secondary rainbow an additional
arch with the colours in reverse order formed inside or outside
a rainbow by twofold reflection and twofold refraction. [OE
regnboga (as RAIN, BOW(1))]
raincoat n. a waterproof or water-resistant coat.
raindrop n. a single drop of rain. [OE regndropa]
rainfall n. 1 a fall of rain. 2 the quantity of rain falling within a
given area in a given time.
rainproof adj. (esp. of a building, garment, etc.) resistant to
rainstorm n. a storm with heavy rain.
rainwater n. water obtained from collected rain, as distinct from a well
rainy adj. (rainier, rainiest) 1 (of weather, a climate, day, region,
etc.) in or on which rain is falling or much rain usually falls.
2 (of cloud, wind, etc.) laden with or bringing rain. Ьrainy
day a time of special need in the future. ЬЬrainily adv.
raininess n. [OE renig (as RAIN)]
raise v. & n. --v.tr. 1 put or take into a higher position. 2
(often foll. by up) cause to rise or stand up or be vertical;
set upright. 3 increase the amount or value or strength of
(raised their prices). 4 (often foll. by up) construct or build
up. 5 levy or collect or bring together (raise money; raise an
army). 6 cause to be heard or considered (raise a shout; raise
an objection). 7 set going or bring into being; rouse (raise a
protest; raise hopes). 8 bring up; educate. 9 breed or grow
(raise one's own vegetables). 10 promote to a higher rank. 11
(foll. by to) Math. multiply a quantity to a specified power.
12 cause (bread) to rise with yeast. 13 Cards a bet more than
(another player). b increase (a stake). c Bridge make a bid
contracting for more tricks in the same suit as (one's partner);
increase (a bid) in this way. 14 abandon or force an enemy to
abandon (a siege or blockade). 15 remove (a barrier or
embargo). 16 cause (a ghost etc.) to appear (opp. LAY(1) 6b).
17 colloq. find (a person etc. wanted). 18 establish contact
with (a person etc.) by radio or telephone. 19 (usu. as raised
adj.) cause (pastry etc.) to stand without support (a raised
pie). 20 Naut. come in sight of (land, a ship, etc.). 21 make
a nap on (cloth). 22 extract from the earth. --n. 1 Cards an
increase in a stake or bid (cf. sense 13 of v.). 2 esp. US an
increase in salary. Ьraise Cain see CAIN. raised beach Geol.
a beach lying above water level owing to changes since its
formation. raise the devil colloq. make a disturbance. raise
a dust 1 cause turmoil. 2 obscure the truth. raise one's
eyebrows see EYEBROW. raise one's eyes see EYE. raise from the
dead restore to life. raise one's glass to drink the health of.
raise one's hand to make as if to strike (a person). raise
one's hat (often foll. by to) remove it momentarily as a gesture
of courtesy or respect. raise hell colloq. make a disturbance.
raise a laugh cause others to laugh. raise a person's spirits
give him or her new courage or cheerfulness. raise one's voice
speak, esp. louder. raise the wind Brit. procure money for a
purpose. ЬЬraisable adj. [ME f. ON reisa, rel. to REAR(2)]
raisin n. a partially dried grape. ЬЬraisiny adj. [ME f. OF ult. f.
L racemus grape-bunch]
n. (pl. raisons d'€tre pronunc. same) a purpose or reason that
accounts for or justifies or originally caused a thing's
existence. [F, = reason for being]
raj n. (prec. by the) hist. British sovereignty in India. [Hindi
raja n. (also rajah) hist. 1 an Indian king or prince. 2 a petty
dignitary or noble in India. 3 a Malay or Javanese chief.
ЬЬrajaship n. [Hindi raja f. Skr. rajan king]
raja yoga n. a form of yoga intended to achieve control over the mind and
emotions. [Skr. f. rajan king + YOGA]
Rajput n. (also Rajpoot) a member of a Hindu soldier caste claiming
Kshatriya descent. [Hindi rajput f. Skr. rajan king + putr
rake(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a an implement consisting of a pole with a
crossbar toothed like a comb at the end, or with several tines
held together by a crosspiece, for drawing together hay etc. or
smoothing loose soil or gravel. b a wheeled implement for the
same purpose. 2 a similar implement used for other purposes,
e.g. by a croupier drawing in money at a gaming-table. --v. 1
tr. collect or gather or remove with or as with a rake. 2 tr.
make tidy or smooth with a rake (raked it level). 3 intr. use a
rake. 4 tr. & intr. search with or as with a rake, search
thoroughly, ransack. 5 tr. a direct gunfire along (a line)
from end to end. b sweep with the eyes. c (of a window etc.)
have a commanding view of. 6 tr. scratch or scrape. Ьrake in
colloq. amass (profits etc.). rake-off colloq. a commission
or share, esp. in a disreputable deal. rake up (or over) revive
the memory of (past quarrels, grievances, etc.). ЬЬraker n.
[OE raca, racu f. Gmc, partly f. ON raka scrape, rake]
rake(2) n. a dissolute man of fashion. Ьrake's progress a progressive
deterioration, esp. through self-indulgence (the title of a
series of engravings by Hogarth 1735). [short for archaic
rakehell in the same sense]
rake(3) v. & n. --v. 1 tr. & intr. set or be set at a sloping angle.
2 intr. a (of a mast or funnel) incline from the perpendicular
towards the stern. b (of a ship or its bow or stern) project at
the upper part of the bow or stern beyond the keel. --n. 1 a
raking position or build. 2 the amount by which a thing rakes.
3 the slope of the stage or the auditorium in a theatre. 4 the
slope of a seat-back etc. 5 the angle of the edge or face of a
cutting tool. [17th c.: prob. rel. to G ragen project, of unkn.
raki n. (pl. rakis) any of various spirits made in E. Europe and
the Middle East. [Turk. raqi]
rakish(1) adj. of or like a rake (see RAKE(2)); dashing; jaunty.
ЬЬrakishly adv. rakishness n.
rakish(2) adj. (of a ship) smart and fast-looking, seemingly built for
speed and therefore open to suspicion of piracy. [RAKE(3),
assoc. with RAKE(2)]
raku n. a kind of Japanese earthenware, usu. lead-glazed. [Jap.,
rale n. an abnormal rattling sound heard in the auscultation of
unhealthy lungs. [F f. rѓler to rattle]
rall. adv. & adj. & n. = RALLENTANDO. [abbr.]
adv., adj., & n. Mus. --adv. & adj. with a gradual decrease of
speed. --n. (pl. -os or rallentandi) a passage to be
performed in this way. [It.]
ralli car n. (also ralli cart) hist. a light two-wheeled horse-drawn
vehicle for four persons. [Ralli, name of the first purchaser
ralline adj. of the bird-family Rallidae (see RAIL(3)). [mod.L rallus
rally(1) v. & n. --v. (-ies, -ied) 1 tr. & intr. (often foll. by round,
behind, to) bring or come together as support or for
concentrated action. 2 tr. & intr. bring or come together again
after a rout or dispersion. 3 a intr. renew a conflict. b tr.
cause to do this. 4 a tr. revive (courage etc.) by an effort of
will. b tr. rouse (a person or animal) to fresh energy. c
intr. pull oneself together. 5 intr. recover after illness or
prostration or fear, regain health or consciousness, revive. 6
intr. (of share-prices etc.) increase after a fall. --n. (pl.
-ies) 1 an act of reassembling forces or renewing conflict; a
reunion for fresh effort. 2 a recovery of energy after or in
the middle of exhaustion or illness. 3 a mass meeting of
supporters or persons having a common interest. 4 a competition
for motor vehicles, usu. over public roads. 5 (in lawn tennis
etc.) an extended exchange of strokes between players.
Ьrally-cross motor racing over roads and cross-country.
ЬЬrallier n. [F rallier (as RE-, ALLY(1))]
rally(2) v.tr. (-ies, -ied) subject to good-humoured ridicule. [F
railler: see RAIL(2)]
RAM abbr. 1 (in the UK) Royal Academy of Music. 2 Computing
ram n. & v. --n. 1 an uncastrated male sheep, a tup. 2 (the Ram)
the zodiacal sign or constellation Aries. 3 hist. a =
battering ram (see BATTER(1)). b a beak projecting from the bow
of a battleship, for piercing the sides of other ships. c a
battleship with such a beak. 4 the falling weight of a
pile-driving machine. 5 a a hydraulic water-raising or lifting
machine. b the piston of a hydrostatic press. c the plunger of
a force-pump. --v.tr. (rammed, ramming) 1 force or squeeze
into place by pressure. 2 (usu. foll. by down, in, into) beat
down or drive in by heavy blows. 3 (of a ship, vehicle, etc.)
strike violently, crash against. 4 (foll. by against, at, on,
into) dash or violently impel. Ьram home stress forcefully (an
argument, lesson, etc.). ЬЬrammer n. [OE ram(m), perh. rel. to
ON rammr strong]
Ramadan n. (also Ramadhan) the ninth month of the Muslim year, during
which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. [Arab.
ramadan f. ramada be hot; reason for name uncert.]
ramal adj. Bot. of or proceeding from a branch. [L ramus branch]
n. the change of frequency in the scattering of radiation in a
medium, used in spectroscopic analysis. [Sir C. V. Raman, Ind.
physicist d. 1970]
ramble v. & n. --v.intr. 1 walk for pleasure, with or without a
definite route. 2 wander in discourse, talk or write
disconnectedly. --n. a walk taken for pleasure. [prob. f. MDu.
rammelen (of an animal) wander about in sexual excitement,
frequent. of rammen copulate with, rel. to RAM]
rambler n. 1 a person who rambles. 2 a straggling or climbing rose
adj. US colloq. 1 uncontrollably exuberant. 2 unruly.
ЬЬrambunctiously adv. rambunctiousness n. [19th c.: orig.
rambutan n. 1 a red plum-sized prickly fruit. 2 an East Indian tree,
Nephelium lappaceum, that bears this. [Malay rambutan f.
rambut hair, in allusion to its spines]
RAMC abbr. (in the UK) Royal Army Medical Corps.
ramekin n. 1 (in full ramekin case or dish) a small dish for baking and
serving an individual portion of food. 2 food served in such a
dish, esp. a small quantity of cheese baked with breadcrumbs,
eggs, etc. [F ramequin, of LG or Du. orig.]
ramie n. 1 any of various tall East Asian plants of the genus
Boehmeria, esp. B. nivea. 2 a strong fibre obtained from this,
woven into cloth. [Malay rami]
n. 1 the act or an instance of ramifying; the state of being
ramified. 2 a subdivision of a complex structure or process
comparable to a tree's branches. [F f. ramifier: see RAMIFY]
ramify n. (-ies, -ied) 1 intr. form branches or subdivisions or
offshoots, branch out. 2 tr. (usu. in passive) cause to branch
out; arrange in a branching manner. [F ramifier f. med.L
ramificare f. L ramus branch]
ramin n. 1 any Malaysian tree of the genus Gonystylus, esp. G.
bancanus. 2 the light-coloured hardwood obtained from this
ramjet n. a type of jet engine in which air is drawn in and compressed
by the forward motion of the engine.
rammer see RAM.
rammy n. (pl. -ies) Sc. sl. a brawl, a fight (esp. between gangs);
a quarrel. [perh. f. Sc. rammle row, uproar, var. of RAMBLE]
ramose adj. branched; branching. [L ramosus f. ramus branch]
ramp(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a slope or inclined plane, esp. for joining two
levels of ground, floor, etc. 2 movable stairs for entering or
leaving an aircraft. 3 an upward bend in a stair-rail. 4 Brit.
a transverse ridge in a road to control the speed of vehicles.
--v. 1 tr. furnish or build with a ramp. 2 intr. a assume or
be in a threatening posture. b (often foll. by about) storm,
rage, rush. c Heraldry be rampant. 3 intr. Archit. (of a
wall) ascend or descend to a different level. [ME (as verb in
heraldic sense) f. F rampe f. OF ramper creep, crawl]
ramp(2) n. & v. Brit. sl. --n. a swindle or racket, esp. one
conducted by the levying of exorbitant prices. --v. 1 intr.
engage in a ramp. 2 tr. subject (a person etc.) to a ramp.
[16th c.: orig. unkn.]
rampage v. & n. --v.intr. 1 (often foll. by about) rush wildly or
violently about. 2 rage, storm. --n. often wild or violent
behaviour. Ьon the rampage rampaging. ЬЬrampageous adj.
rampager n. [18th c., perh. f. RAMP(1)]
rampant adj. 1 (placed after noun) Heraldry (of an animal) standing on
its left hind foot with its forepaws in the air (lion rampant).
2 unchecked, flourishing excessively (rampant violence). 3
violent or extravagant in action or opinion (rampant theorists).
4 rank, luxuriant. ЬЬrampancy n. rampantly adv. [ME f. OF,
part. of ramper: see RAMP(1)]
rampart n. & v. --n. 1 a a defensive wall with a broad top and usu. a
stone parapet. b a walkway on top of such a wall. 2 a defence
or protection. --v.tr. fortify or protect with or as with a
rampart. [F rempart, rempar f. remparer fortify f. emparer
take possession of, ult. f. L ante before + parare prepare]
rampion n. 1 a bellflower, Campanula rapunculus, with white tuberous
roots used as a salad. 2 any of various plants of the genus
Phyteuma, with clusters of hornlike buds and flowers. [ult. f.
med.L rapuncium, rapontium, prob. f. L rapum RAPE(2)]
ramrod n. 1 a rod for ramming down the charge of a muzzle-loading
firearm. 2 a thing that is very straight or rigid.
adj. (usu. of a house or vehicle) tumbledown, rickety.
[earlier ramshackled past part. of obs. ransackle RANSACK]
ramsons n. (usu. treated as sing.) 1 a broad-leaved garlic, Allium
ursinum, with elongate pungent-smelling bulbous roots. 2 the
root of this, eaten as a relish. [OE hramsan pl. of hramsa wild
garlic, later taken as sing.]
RAN abbr. Royal Australian Navy.
ran past of RUN.
ranch n. & v. --n. 1 a a cattle-breeding establishment esp. in the
US and Canada. b a farm where other animals are bred (mink
ranch). 2 US a single-storey or split-level house. --v.intr.
farm on a ranch. [Sp. rancho group of persons eating together]
rancher n. 1 a person who farms on a ranch. 2 US a modern
ranchero n. (pl. -os) a person who farms or works on a ranch, esp. in
Mexico. [Sp. (as RANCH)]
rancid adj. smelling or tasting like rank stale fat. ЬЬrancidity n.
rancidness n. [L rancidus stinking]
rancour n. (US rancor) inveterate bitterness, malignant hate,
spitefulness. ЬЬrancorous adj. rancorously adv. [ME f. OF f.
LL rancor -oris (as RANCID)]
rand(1) n. 1 the chief monetary unit of South Africa and some
neighbouring countries. 2 S.Afr. a ridge of high ground on
either side of a river. [Afrik., = edge, rel. to RAND(2): sense
1 f. the Rand, gold-field district near Johannesburg]
rand(2) n. a levelling-strip of leather between the heel and sides of a
shoe or boot. [OE f. Gmc]
R & B abbr. (also R. & B.) rhythm and blues.
R & D abbr. (also R. & D.) research and development.
random adj. 1 made, done, etc., without method or conscious choice
(random selection). 2 Statistics a with equal chances for each
item. b given by a random process. 3 (of masonry) with stones
of irregular size and shape. Ьat random without aim or purpose
or principle. random-access Computing (of a memory or file)
having all parts directly accessible, so that it need not read
sequentially. random error Statistics an error in measurement
caused by factors which vary from one measurement to another.
ЬЬrandomize v.tr. (also -ise). randomization n. randomly adv.
randomness n. [ME f. OF randon great speed f. randir gallop]
R and R abbr. (also R. and R.) 1 rescue and resuscitation. 2 rest and
recreation. 3 rock and roll.
randy adj. (randier, randiest) 1 lustful; eager for sexual
gratification. 2 Sc. loud-tongued, boisterous, lusty.
ЬЬrandily adv. randiness n. [perh. f. obs. rand f. obs. Du.
randen, ranten RANT]
ranee n. (also rani) hist. a raja's wife or widow; a Hindu queen.
[Hindi rani = Skr. rajni fem. of rajan king]
rang past of RING(2).
rangatira n. NZ a Maori chief or noble. [Maori]
range n. & v. --n. 1 a the region between limits of variation, esp.
as representing a scope of effective operation (a voice of
astonishing range; the whole range of politics). b such limits.
c a limited scale or series (the range of the thermometer
readings is about 10 degrees). 2 the area included in or
concerned with something. 3 a the distance attainable by a gun
or projectile (the enemy are out of range). b the distance
between a gun or projectile and its objective. 4 a row, series,
line, or tier, esp. of mountains or buildings. 5 a an open or
enclosed area with targets for shooting. b a testing-ground for
military equipment. 6 a a fireplace with ovens and hotplates
for cooking. b US an electric or gas cooker. 7 the area over
which a thing, esp. a plant or animal, is distributed (gives the
ranges of all species). 8 the distance that can be covered by a
vehicle or aircraft without refuelling. 9 the distance between
a camera and the subject to be photographed. 10 the extent of
time covered by a forecast etc. 11 a a large area of open land
for grazing or hunting. b a tract over which one wanders. 12
lie, direction (the range of the strata is east and west). --v.
1 intr. a reach; lie spread out; extend; be found or occur over
a specified district; vary between limits (ages ranging from
twenty to sixty). b run in a line (ranges north and south). 2
tr. (usu. in passive or refl.) place or arrange in a row or
ranks or in a specified situation or order or company (ranged
their troops; ranged themselves with the majority party; trees
ranged in ascending order of height). 3 intr. rove, wander
(ranged through the woods; his thoughts range over past,
present, and future). 4 tr. traverse in all directions (ranging
the woods). 5 Printing a tr. Brit. make (type) lie flush at
the ends of successive lines. b intr. (of type) lie flush. 6
intr. a (often foll. by with) be level. b (foll. by with,
among) rank; find one's right place (ranges with the great
writers). 7 intr. a (of a gun) send a projectile over a
specified distance (ranges over a mile). b (of a projectile)
cover a specified distance. c obtain the range of a target by
adjustment after firing past it or short of it. Ьranging-pole
(or -rod) Surveying a pole or rod for setting a straight line.
[ME f. OF range row, rank f. ranger f. rang RANK(1)]
n. an instrument for estimating the distance of an object, esp.
one to be shot at or photographed.
ranger n. 1 a keeper of a royal or national park, or of a forest. 2 a
member of a body of armed men, esp.: a a mounted soldier. b US
a commando. 3 (Ranger) Brit. a senior Guide. 4 a wanderer.
rangy adj. (rangier, rangiest) (of a person) tall and slim.
rani var. of RANEE.
rank(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a a position in a hierarchy, a grade of
advancement. b a distinct social class, a grade of dignity or
achievement (people of all ranks; in the top rank of
performers). c high social position (persons of rank). d a
place in a scale. 2 a row or line. 3 a single line of soldiers
drawn up abreast. 4 Brit. a place where taxis stand to await
customers. 5 order, array. 6 Chess a row of squares across the
board (cf. FILE(2)). --v. 1 intr. have rank or place (ranks
next to the king). 2 tr. classify, give a certain grade to. 3
tr. arrange (esp. soldiers) in a rank or ranks. 4 US a tr. take
precedence of (a person) in respect to rank. b intr. have the
senior position among the members of a hierarchy etc. Ьbreak
rank fail to remain in line. close ranks maintain solidarity.
keep rank remain in line. other ranks soldiers other than
commissioned officers. rank and fashion high society. rank and
file ordinary undistinguished people (orig. = the ranks). the
ranks the common soldiers, i.e. privates and corporals. rise
from the ranks 1 (of a private or a non-commissioned officer)
receive a commission. 2 (of a self-made man or woman) advance
by one's own exertions. [OF ranc, renc, f. Gmc, rel. to
rank(2) adj. 1 too luxuriant, coarse; choked with or apt to produce
weeds or excessive foliage. 2 a foul-smelling, offensive. b
loathsome, indecent, corrupt. 3 flagrant, virulent, gross,
complete, unmistakable, strongly marked (rank outsider).
ЬЬrankly adv. rankness n. [OE ranc f. Gmc]
ranker n. 1 a soldier in the ranks. 2 a commissioned officer who has
been in the ranks.
ranking n. & adj. --n. ordering by rank; classification. --adj. US
having a high rank or position.
rankle v.intr. 1 (of envy, disappointment, etc., or their cause) cause
persistent annoyance or resentment. 2 archaic (of a wound,
sore, etc.) fester, continue to be painful. [ME (in sense 2) f.
OF rancler f. rancle, draoncle festering sore f. med.L
dranculus, dracunculus dimin. of draco serpent]
ransack v.tr. 1 pillage or plunder (a house, country, etc.). 2
thoroughly search (a place, a receptacle, a person's pockets,
one's conscience, etc.). ЬЬransacker n. [ME f. ON rannsaka f.
rann house + -saka f. soekja seek]
ransom n. & v. --n. 1 a sum of money or other payment demanded or
paid for the release of a prisoner. 2 the liberation of a
prisoner in return for this. --v.tr. 1 buy the freedom or
restoration of; redeem. 2 hold to ransom. 3 release for a
ransom. ЬЬransomer n. (in sense 1 of v.). [ME f. OF
ransoun(er) f. L redemptio -onis REDEMPTION]
rant v. & n. --v. 1 intr. use bombastic language. 2 tr. & intr.
declaim, recite theatrically. 3 tr. & intr. preach noisily.
--n. 1 a piece of ranting, a tirade. 2 empty turgid talk.
ЬЬranter n. rantingly n. [Du. ranten rave]
adj. of or relating to the family Ranunculaceae of flowering
plants, including clematis and delphiniums.
n. (pl. ranunculuses or ranunculi) any plant of the genus
Ranunculus, usu. having bowl-shaped flowers with many stamens
and carpels, including buttercups and crowfoots. [L, orig.
dimin. of rana frog]
RAOC abbr. (in the UK) Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
rap(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a smart slight blow. 2 a knock, a sharp
tapping sound. 3 sl. blame, censure, or punishment. 4 sl. a
conversation. 5 a a rhyming monologue recited rhythmically to
prerecorded music. b (in full rap music) a style of rock music
with a pronounced beat and words recited rather than sung. --v.
(rapped, rapping) 1 tr. strike smartly. 2 intr. knock; make a
sharp tapping sound (rapped on the table). 3 tr. criticize
adversely. 4 intr. sl. talk. Ьbeat the rap US escape
punishment. rap on (or over) the knuckles a reprimand or
reproof. rap out 1 utter (an oath, order, pun, etc.) abruptly
or on the spur of the moment. 2 Spiritualism express (a message
or word) by raps. take the rap suffer the consequences.
ЬЬrapper n. [ME, prob. imit.]
rap(2) n. a small amount, the least bit (don't care a rap). [Ir.
ropaire Irish counterfeit coin]
rapacious adj. grasping, extortionate, predatory. ЬЬrapaciously adv.
rapaciousness n. rapacity n. [L rapax -acis f. rapere snatch]
RAPC abbr. (in the UK) Royal Army Pay Corps.
rape(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a the act of forcing a woman to have sexual
intercourse against her will. b forcible sodomy. 2 (often
foll. by of) violent assault, forcible interference, violation.
3 poet. carrying off (esp. of a woman) by force. 4 an instance
of rape. --v.tr. 1 commit rape on (a person, usu. a woman). 2
violate, assault, pillage. 3 poet. take by force. [ME f. AF
rap(er) f. L rapere seize]
rape(2) n. a plant, Brassica napus, grown as food for sheep and for its
seed, from which oil is made. Also called COLZA, COLE.
Ьrape-cake rape-seed pressed into a flat shape after the
extraction of oil and used as manure or cattle food. rape-oil
an oil made from rape-seed and used as a lubricant and in
foodstuffs. [ME f. L rapum, rapa turnip]
rape(3) n. hist. (in the UK) any of the six ancient divisions of
Sussex. [OE, var. of rap ROPE, with ref. to the fencing-off of
rape(4) n. 1 the refuse of grapes after wine-making, used in making
vinegar. 2 a vessel used in vinegar-making. [F rѓpe, med.L
raphia var. of RAFFIA.
raphide n. a needle-shaped crystal of an irritant substance such as
oxalic acid formed in a plant. [back-form. f. raphides pl. of
raphis f. Gk rhaphis -idos needle]
rapid adj. & n. --adj. (rapider, rapidest) 1 quick, swift. 2 acting
or completed in a short time. 3 (of a slope) descending
steeply. 4 Photog. fast. --n. (usu. in pl.) a steep descent in
a river-bed, with a swift current. Ьrapid eye-movement a type
of jerky movement of the eyes during periods of dreaming.
rapid-fire (attrib.) fired, asked, etc., in quick succession.
rapid transit (attrib.) denoting high-speed urban transport of
passengers. ЬЬrapidity n. rapidly adv. rapidness n. [L
rapidus f. rapere seize]
rapier n. a light slender sword used for thrusting. [prob. f. Du.
rapier or LG rappir, f. F rapiЉre, of unkn. orig.]
rapine n. rhet. plundering, robbery. [ME f. OF or f. L rapina f.
rapist n. a person who commits rape.
rapparee n. hist. a 17th-c. Irish irregular soldier or freebooter.
[Ir. rapaire short pike]
rappee n. a coarse kind of snuff. [F (tabac) rѓp‚ rasped (tobacco)]
rappel n. & v.intr. (rappelled, rappelling; US rappeled, rappeling) =
ABSEIL. [F, = recall, f. rappeler (as RE-, APPEAL)]
rapport n. 1 relationship or communication, esp. when useful and
harmonious (in rapport with; establish a rapport). 2
Spiritualism communication through a medium. [F f. rapporter
(as RE-, AP-, porter f. L portare carry)]
n. a person who prepares an account of the proceedings of a
committee etc. for a higher body. [F (as RAPPORT)]
n. the resumption of harmonious relations, esp. between States.
[F f. rapprocher (as RE-, APPROACH)]
n. archaic or joc. a rascal, scamp, or rogue. [earlier
rascallion, perh. f. RASCAL]
rapt adj. 1 fully absorbed or intent, enraptured (listen with rapt
attention). 2 carried away with feeling or lofty thought. 3
carried away bodily. ЬЬraptly adv. raptness n. [ME f. L
raptus past part. of rapere seize]
raptor n. any bird of prey, e.g. an owl, falcon, etc. [L, = ravisher,
plunderer f. rapere rapt- seize]
raptorial adj. & n. --adj. (of a bird or animal) adapted for seizing
prey; predatory. --n. 1 = RAPTOR. 2 a predatory animal. [L
raptor: see RAPTOR]
rapture n. 1 a ecstatic delight, mental transport. b (in pl.) great
pleasure or enthusiasm or the expression of it. 2 archaic the
act of transporting a person from one place to another. Ьgo
into (or be in) raptures be enthusiastic; talk enthusiastically.
ЬЬrapturous adj. rapturously adv. rapturousness n. [obs. F
rapture or med.L raptura (as RAPT)]
rara avis n. (pl. rarae aves) a rarity; a kind of person or thing rarely
encountered. [L, = rare bird]
rare(1) adj. (rarer, rarest) 1 seldom done or found or occurring,
uncommon, unusual, few and far between. 2 exceptionally good
(had a rare time). 3 of less than the usual density, with only
loosely packed substance (the rare atmosphere of the mountain
tops). Ьrare bird = RARA AVIS. rare earth 1 a lanthanide
element. 2 an oxide of such an element. rare gas = noble gas.
ЬЬrareness n. [ME f. L rarus]
rare(2) adj. (rarer, rarest) (of meat) underdone. [var. of obs. rear
half-cooked (of eggs), f. OE hrer]
rarebit n. = Welsh rabbit. [RARE(1) + BIT(1)]
n. 1 a show or spectacle. 2 a show carried about in a box; a
peep-show. [app. = rare show as pronounced by Savoyard showmen]
rarefy v. (-ies, -ied) 1 tr. & intr. make or become less dense or
solid (rarefied air). 2 tr. purify or refine (a person's nature
etc.). 3 tr. make (an idea etc.) subtle. ЬЬrarefaction n.
rarefactive adj. rarefication n. [ME f. OF rarefier or med.L
rarificare f. L rarefacere f. rarus rare + facere make]
rarely adv. 1 seldom; not often. 2 in an unusual degree;
exceptionally. 3 exceptionally well.
raring adj. (foll. by to + infin.) colloq. enthusiastic, eager
(raring to go). [part. of rare, dial. var. of ROAR or REAR(2)]
rarity n. (pl. -ies) 1 rareness. 2 an uncommon thing, esp. one
valued for being rare. [F raret‚ or L raritas (as RARE(1))]
rascal n. often joc. a dishonest or mischievous person, esp. a child.
ЬЬrascaldom n. rascalism n. rascality n. (pl. -ies).
rascally adj. [ME f. OF rascaille rabble, prob. ult. f. L
radere ras- scrape]
rase var. of RAZE.
rash(1) adj. reckless, impetuous, hasty; acting or done without due
consideration. ЬЬrashly adv. rashness n. [ME, prob. f. OE
r‘sc (unrecorded) f. Gmc]
rash(2) n. 1 an eruption of the skin in spots or patches. 2 (usu.
foll. by of) a sudden widespread phenomenon, esp. of something
unwelcome (a rash of strikes). [18th c.: prob. rel. to OF
ra(s)che eruptive sores, = It. raschia itch]
rasher n. a thin slice of bacon or ham. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
rasp n. & v. --n. a coarse kind of file having separate teeth. --v.
1 tr. a scrape with a rasp. b scrape roughly. c (foll. by
off, away) remove by scraping. 2 a intr. make a grating sound.
b tr. say gratingly or hoarsely. 3 tr. grate upon (a person or
a person's feelings), irritate. ЬЬraspingly adv. raspy adj.
[ME f. OF raspe(r) ult. f. WG]
raspberry n. (pl. -ies) 1 a a bramble, Rubus idaeus, having usu. red
berries consisting of numerous drupels on a conical receptacle.
b this berry. 2 any of various red colours. 3 colloq. a a
sound made with the lips expressing dislike, derision, or
disapproval (orig. raspberry tart, rhyming sl. = fart). b a
show of strong disapproval (got a raspberry from the audience).
Ьraspberry-cane a raspberry plant. raspberry vinegar a kind of
syrup made from raspberries. [16th-c. rasp (now dial.) f. obs.
raspis, of unkn. orig., + BERRY]
rasper n. 1 a person or thing that rasps. 2 Hunting a high difficult
Rasta n. & adj. = RASTAFARIAN. [abbr.]
n. & adj. --n. a member of a sect of Jamaican origin regarding
Blacks as a chosen people and the former Emperor Haile Selassie
of Ethiopia (d. 1975, entitled Ras Tafari) as God. --adj. of
or relating to this sect. ЬЬRastafarianism n.
raster n. a pattern of scanning lines for a cathode-ray tube picture.
[G, = screen, f. L rastrum rake f. radere ras- scrape]
rat n. & v. --n. 1 a any of several rodents of the genus Rattus
(brown rat). b any similar rodent (muskrat; water-rat). 2 a
deserter from a party, cause, difficult situation, etc.; a
turncoat (from the superstition that rats desert a sinking
ship). 3 colloq. an unpleasant person. 4 a worker who refuses
to join a strike, or who blacklegs. 5 (in pl.) sl. an
exclamation of contempt, annoyance, etc. --v.intr. (ratted,
ratting) 1 (of a person or dog) hunt or kill rats. 2 colloq.
desert a cause, party, etc. 3 (foll. by on) a betray; let down.
b inform on. Ьrat-catcher a person who rids buildings of rats
etc. rat kangaroo Austral. any of various small ratlike
marsupials of the family Potoroidae, having kangaroo-like hind
limbs for jumping. rat race a fiercely competitive struggle for
position, power, etc. rat's tail a thing shaped like a rat's
tail, e.g. a tapering cylindrical file. rat-tail 1 the
grenadier fish. 2 a horse with a hairless tail. 3 such a tail.
rat-tail (or -tailed) spoon a spoon with a tail-like moulding
from the handle to the back of the bowl. [OE r‘t & OF rat]
rata n. any large tree of the genus Metrosideros, esp. M. robusta
of New Zealand, with crimson flowers and hard red wood. [Maori]
ratable var. of RATEABLE.
ratafia n. 1 a liqueur flavoured with almonds or kernels of peach,
apricot, or cherry. 2 a kind of biscuit similarly flavoured.
[F, perh. rel. to TAFIA]
ratan var. of RATTAN.
rataplan n. & v. --n. a drumming sound. --v. (rataplanned,
rataplanning) 1 tr. play (a tune) on or as on a drum. 2 intr.
make a rataplan. [F: imit.]
ratatat (also rat-a-tat) var. of RAT-TAT.
n. a vegetable dish made of stewed onions, courgettes,
tomatoes, aubergines, and peppers. [F dial.]
ratbag n. sl. an unpleasant or disgusting person.
ratch n. 1 a ratchet. 2 a ratchet-wheel. [perh. f. G Ratsche: cf.
ratchet n. & v. --n. 1 a set of teeth on the edge of a bar or wheel in
which a device engages to ensure motion in one direction only.
2 (in full ratchet-wheel) a wheel with a rim so toothed. --v.
(ratcheted, ratcheting) 1 tr. a provide with a ratchet. b make
into a ratchet. 2 tr. & intr. move as under the control of a
ratchet. [F rochet blunt lance-head, bobbin, ratchet, etc.,
prob. ult. f. Gmc]
rate(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a stated numerical proportion between two sets
of things (the second usu. expressed as unity), esp. as a
measure of amount or degree (moving at a rate of 50 miles per
hour) or as the basis of calculating an amount or value (rate of
taxation). 2 a fixed or appropriate charge or cost or value; a
measure of this (postal rates; the rate for the job). 3
rapidity of movement or change (travelling at a great rate;
prices increasing at a dreadful rate). 4 class or rank
(first-rate). 5 Brit. a an assessment levied by local
authorities at so much per pound of the assessed value of
buildings and land owned or leased. b (in pl.) the amount
payable by this. --v. 1 tr. a estimate the worth or value of
(I do not rate him very highly). b assign a fixed value to (a
coin or metal) in relation to a monetary standard. c assign a
value to (work, the power of a machine, etc.). 2 tr. consider;
regard as (I rate them among my benefactors). 3 intr. (foll. by
as) rank or be rated. 4 tr. Brit. a subject to the payment of
a local rate. b value for the purpose of assessing rates. 5
tr. be worthy of, deserve. 6 tr. Naut. place in a specified
class (cf. RATING(1)). Ьat any rate in any case, whatever
happens. at this (or that) rate if this example is typical or
this assumption is true. rate-capping Brit. the imposition of
an upper limit on the rate leviable by a local authority. [ME
f. OF f. med.L rata f. L pro rata parte or portione according to
the proportional share f. ratus past part. of reri reckon]
rate(2) v.tr. scold angrily. [ME: orig. unkn.]
rate(3) var. of RET.
rateable adj. (also ratable) 1 Brit. liable to payment of rates. 2 able
to be rated or estimated. Ьrateable value the value at which a
house etc. is assessed for payment of rates. ЬЬrateability n.
ratel n. an African and Indian nocturnal flesh-eating burrowing
mammal, Mellivora capensis. Also called honey-badger. [Afrik.,
of unkn. orig.]
ratepayer n. Brit. a person liable to pay rates.
rathe adj. poet. coming, blooming, etc., early in the year or day.
Ьrathe-ripe 1 ripening early. 2 precocious. [OE hr‘th, hr‘d f.
rather adv. 1 (often foll. by than) by preference; for choice (would
rather not go; would rather stay than go). 2 (usu. foll. by
than) more truly; as a more likely alternative (is stupid rather
than honest). 3 more precisely (a book, or rather, a pamphlet).
4 slightly; to some extent; somewhat (became rather drunk; I
rather think you know him). 5 Brit. (as an emphatic response)
indeed, assuredly (Did you like it? - Rather!). Ьhad rather
would rather. [ME f. OE hrathor, compar. of hr‘the (adv.) f.
hr‘th (adj.): see RATHE]
n. US a beer-saloon or restaurant in a basement. [G, =
(restaurant in) town-hall cellar]
ratify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) confirm or accept (an agreement made in
one's name) by formal consent, signature, etc. ЬЬratifiable
adj. ratification n. ratifier n. [ME f. OF ratifier f. med.L
ratificare (as RATE(1))]
rating(1) n. 1 the act or an instance of placing in a rank or class or
assigning a value to. 2 the estimated standing of a person as
regards credit etc. 3 Naut. a Brit. a non-commissioned sailor.
b a person's position or class on a ship's books. 4 Brit. an
amount fixed as a local rate. 5 the relative popularity of a
broadcast programme as determined by the estimated size of the
audience. 6 Naut. any of the classes into which racing yachts
are distributed by tonnage.
rating(2) n. an angry reprimand.
ratio n. (pl. -os) the quantitative relation between two similar
magnitudes determined by the number of times one contains the
other integrally or fractionally (in the ratio of three to two;
the ratios 1:5 and 20:100 are the same). [L (as RATE(1))]
v.intr. literary go through logical processes, reason, esp.
using syllogisms. ЬЬratiocination n. ratiocinative adj.
ratiocinator n. [L ratiocinari (as RATIO)]
ration n. & v. --n. 1 a fixed official allowance of food, clothing,
etc., in a time of shortage. 2 (foll. by of) a single portion
of provisions, fuel, clothing, etc. 3 (usu. in pl.) a fixed
daily allowance of food, esp. in the armed forces (and formerly
of forage for animals). 4 (in pl.) provisions. --v.tr. 1
limit (persons or provisions) to a fixed ration. 2 (usu. foll.
by out) share out (food etc.) in fixed quantities. Ьgiven out
with the rations Mil. sl. awarded without regard to merit.
ration book (or card) a document entitling the holder to a
ration. [F f. It. razione or Sp. raciўn f. L ratio -onis
rational adj. 1 of or based on reasoning or reason. 2 sensible, sane,
moderate; not foolish or absurd or extreme. 3 endowed with
reason, reasoning. 4 rejecting what is unreasonable or cannot
be tested by reason in religion or custom. 5 Math. (of a
quantity or ratio) expressible as a ratio of whole numbers.
Ьrational dress hist. a style of dress adopted by some women in
the late nineteenth century, including bloomers or
knickerbockers. rational horizon see HORIZON 1c. ЬЬrationality
n. rationally adv. [ME f. L rationalis (as RATION)]
rationale n. 1 (often foll. by of) the fundamental reason or logical
basis of anything. 2 a reasoned exposition; a statement of
reasons. [mod.L, neut. of L rationalis: see RATIONAL]
n. 1 Philos. the theory that reason is the foundation of
certainty in knowledge (opp. EMPIRICISM (see EMPIRIC),
SENSATIONALISM). 2 Theol. the practice of treating reason as
the ultimate authority in religion. 3 a belief in reason rather
than religion as a guiding principle in life. ЬЬrationalist n.
rationalistic adj. rationalistically adv.
v. (also -ise) 1 a tr. offer or subconsciously adopt a rational
but specious explanation of (one's behaviour or attitude). b
intr. explain one's behaviour or attitude in this way. 2 tr.
make logical and consistent. 3 tr. make (a business etc.) more
efficient by reorganizing it to reduce or eliminate waste of
labour, time, or materials. 4 tr. (often foll. by away) explain
or explain away rationally. 5 tr. Math. clear of surds. 6
intr. be or act as a rationalist. ЬЬrationalization n.
ratite adj. & n. --adj. (of a bird) having a keelless breastbone, and
unable to fly (opp. CARINATE). --n. a flightless bird, e.g. an
ostrich, emu, cassowary, etc. [L ratis raft]
ratline n. (also ratlin) (usu. in pl.) any of the small lines fastened
across a sailing-ship's shrouds like ladder-rungs. [ME: orig.
ratoon n. & v. --n. a new shoot springing from a root of sugar cane
etc. after cropping. --v.intr. send up ratoons. [Sp. reto¤o
ratsbane n. anything poisonous to rats, esp. a plant.
rattan n. (also ratan) 1 any East Indian climbing palm of the genus
Calamus etc. with long thin jointed pliable stems. 2 a piece of
rattan stem used as a walking stick etc. [earlier rot(t)ang f.
Malay rotan prob. f. raut pare]
rat-tat n. (also rat-tat-tat, ratatat, rat-a-tat) a rapping sound, esp.
of a knocker. [imit.]
ratter n. 1 a dog or other animal that hunts rats. 2 sl. a person who
betrays a cause, party, friend, etc.
rattle v. & n. --v. 1 a intr. give out a rapid succession of short
sharp hard sounds. b tr. make (a chair, window, crockery, etc.)
do this. c intr. cause such sounds by shaking something
(rattled at the door). 2 a intr. move with a rattling noise. b
intr. drive a vehicle or ride or run briskly. c tr. cause to
move quickly (the bill was rattled through Parliament). 3 a tr.
(usu. foll. by off) say or recite rapidly. b intr. (usu. foll.
by on) talk in a lively thoughtless way. 4 tr. colloq.
disconcert, alarm, fluster, make nervous, frighten. --n. 1 a
rattling sound. 2 an instrument or plaything made to rattle
esp. in order to amuse babies or to give an alarm. 3 the set of
horny rings in a rattlesnake's tail. 4 a plant with seeds that
rattle in their cases when ripe (red rattle; yellow rattle). 5
uproar, bustle, noisy gaiety, racket. 6 a a noisy flow of
words. b empty chatter, trivial talk. 7 archaic a lively or
thoughtless incessant talker. Ьrattle the sabre threaten war.
ЬЬrattly adj. [ME, prob. f. MDu. & LG ratelen (imit.)]
rattlebox n. 1 a rattle consisting of a box with objects inside. 2 a
rickety old vehicle etc.
rattler n. 1 a thing that rattles, esp. an old or rickety vehicle. 2
colloq. a rattlesnake. 3 sl. a remarkably good specimen of
n. any of various poisonous American snakes of the family
Viperidae, esp. of the genus Crotalus or Sistrurus, with a
rattling structure of horny rings in its tail.
n. & adj. colloq. --n. a rickety old vehicle etc. --adj.
rattling adj. & adv. --adj. 1 that rattles. 2 brisk, vigorous (a
rattling pace). --adv. remarkably (a rattling good story).
ratty adj. (rattier, rattiest) 1 relating to or infested with rats.
2 colloq. irritable or angry. 3 colloq. wretched, nasty.
ЬЬrattily adv. rattiness n.
raucous adj. harsh-sounding, loud and hoarse. ЬЬraucously adv.
raucousness n. [L raucus]
ravage v. & n. --v.tr. & intr. devastate, plunder. --n. 1 the act or
an instance of ravaging; devastation, damage. 2 (usu. in pl.;
foll. by of) destructive effect (survived the ravages of
winter). ЬЬravager n. [F ravage(r) alt. f. ravine rush of
rave(1) v. & n. --v. 1 intr. talk wildly or furiously in or as in
delirium. 2 intr. (usu. foll. by about, of, over) speak with
rapturous admiration; go into raptures. 3 tr. bring into a
specified state by raving (raved himself hoarse). 4 tr. utter
with ravings (raved their grief). 5 intr. (of the sea, wind,
etc.) howl, roar. 6 tr. & intr. colloq. enjoy oneself freely (
esp. rave it up). --n. 1 (usu. attrib.) colloq. a highly
enthusiastic review of a film, play, etc. (a rave review). 2
sl. an infatuation. 3 (also rave-up) colloq. a lively party. 4
the sound of the wind etc. raving. [ME, prob. f. ONF raver,
rel. to (M)LG reven be senseless, rave]
rave(2) n. 1 a rail of a cart. 2 (in pl.) a permanent or removable
framework added to the sides of a cart to increase its capacity.
[var. of dial. rathe (15th c., of unkn. orig.)]
ravel v. & n. --v. (ravelled, ravelling; US raveled, raveling) 1 tr.
& intr. entangle or become entangled or knotted. 2 tr. confuse
or complicate (a question or problem). 3 intr. fray out. 4 tr.
(often foll. by out) disentangle, unravel, distinguish the
separate threads or subdivisions of. --n. 1 a tangle or knot.
2 a complication. 3 a frayed or loose end. [prob. f. Du.
ravelen tangle, fray out, unweave]
ravelin n. hist. an outwork of fortifications, with two faces forming
a salient angle. [F f. obs. It. ravellino, of unkn. orig.]
ravelling n. a thread from fabric which is frayed or unravelled.
raven(1) n. & adj. --n. a large glossy blue-black crow, Corvus corax,
feeding chiefly on carrion etc., having a hoarse cry. --adj.
glossy black (raven tresses). [OE hr‘fn f. Gmc]
raven(2) v. 1 intr. a plunder. b (foll. by after) seek prey or booty.
c (foll. by about) go plundering. d prowl for prey (ravening
beast). 2 a tr. devour voraciously. b intr. (usu. foll. by
for) have a ravenous appetite. c intr. (often foll. by on) feed
voraciously. [OF raviner ravage ult. f. L rapina RAPINE]
ravenous adj. 1 very hungry, famished. 2 (of hunger, eagerness, etc.,
or of an animal) voracious. 3 rapacious. ЬЬravenously adv.
ravenousness n. [ME f. OF ravineus (as RAVEN(2))]
raver n. 1 colloq. an uninhibited pleasure-loving person. 2 a person
who raves; a madman or madwoman.
ravin n. poet. or rhet. 1 robbery, plundering. 2 the seizing and
devouring of prey. 3 prey. Ьbeast of ravin a beast of prey.
[ME f. OF ravine f. L rapina RAPINE]
ravine n. a deep narrow gorge or cleft. ЬЬravined adj. [F (as
raving n., adj., & adv. --n. (usu. in pl.) wild or delirious talk.
--adj. delirious, frenzied. --adj. & adv. colloq. as an
intensive (a raving beauty; raving mad). ЬЬravingly adv.
ravioli n. small pasta envelopes containing minced meat etc. [It.]
ravish v.tr. 1 commit rape on (a woman). 2 enrapture; fill with
delight. 3 archaic a carry off (a person or thing) by force. b
(of death, circumstances, etc.) take from life or from sight.
ЬЬravisher n. ravishment n. [ME f. OF ravir ult. f. L rapere
raw adj. & n. --adj. 1 (of food) uncooked. 2 in the natural
state; not processed or manufactured (raw sewage). 3 (of
alcoholic spirit) undiluted. 4 (of statistics etc.) not
analysed or processed. 5 (of a person) inexperienced,
untrained; new to an activity (raw recruits). 6 a stripped of
skin; having the flesh exposed. b sensitive to the touch from
having the flesh exposed. 7 (of the atmosphere, day, etc.)
chilly and damp. 8 crude in artistic quality; lacking finish.
9 (of the edge of cloth) without hem or selvage. 10 (of silk)
as reeled from cocoons. 11 (of grain) unmalted. --n. a raw
place on a person's or horse's body. Ьcome the raw prawn
Austral. sl. attempt to deceive. in the raw 1 in its natural
state without mitigation (life in the raw). 2 naked. raw-boned
gaunt and bony. raw deal harsh or unfair treatment. raw
material that from which the process of manufacture makes
products. raw sienna a brownish-yellow ferruginous earth used
as a pigment. raw umber umber in its natural state, dark yellow
in colour. touch on the raw upset (a person) on a sensitive
matter. ЬЬrawish adj. rawly adv. rawness n. [OE hreaw f.
rawhide n. 1 untanned hide. 2 a rope or whip of this.
Rawlplug n. propr. a thin cylindrical plug for holding a screw or nail
in masonry. [Rawlings, name of the engineers who introduced it]
ray(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a single line or narrow beam of light from a
small or distant source. 2 a straight line in which radiation
travels to a given point. 3 (in pl.) radiation of a specified
type (gamma rays; X-rays). 4 a trace or beginning of an
enlightening or cheering influence (a ray of hope). 5 a any of
a set of radiating lines or parts of things. b any of a set of
straight lines passing through one point. 6 the marginal
portion of a composite flower, e.g. a daisy. 7 a a radial
division of a starfish. b each of a set of bones etc.
supporting a fish's fin. --v. 1 intr. (foll. by forth, out)
(of light, thought, emotion, etc.) issue in or as if in rays. 2
intr. & tr. radiate. Ьray gun (esp. in science fiction) a gun
causing injury or damage by the emission of rays. ЬЬrayed adj.
rayless adj. raylet n. [ME f. OF rai f. L radius: see RADIUS]
ray(2) n. a large cartilaginous fish of the order Batoidea, with a
broad flat body, winglike pectoral fins and a long slender tail,
used as food. [ME f. OF raie f. L raia]
ray(3) n. (also re) Mus. 1 (in tonic sol-fa) the second note of a
major scale. 2 the note D in the fixed-doh system. [ME re f. L
resonare: see GAMUT]
rayon n. any of various textile fibres or fabrics made from
cellulose. [arbitrary f. RAY(1)]
raze v.tr. (also rase) 1 completely destroy; tear down (esp. raze
to the ground). 2 erase; scratch out (esp. in abstract senses).
[ME rase = wound slightly f. OF raser shave close ult. f. L
radere ras- scrape]
razor n. & v. --n. an instrument with a sharp blade used in cutting
hair esp. from the skin. --v.tr. 1 use a razor on. 2 shave;
cut down close. Ьrazor-back an animal with a sharp ridged back,
esp. a rorqual. razor-bill an auk, Alca torda, with a
sharp-edged bill. razor-blade a blade used in a razor, esp. a
flat piece of metal with a sharp edge or edges used in a safety
razor. razor-cut a haircut made with a razor. razor- (or
razor's) edge 1 a keen edge. 2 a sharp mountain-ridge. 3 a
critical situation (found themselves on a razor-edge). 4 a
sharp line of division. razor-fish (or -shell) any of various
bivalve molluscs of the family Solenidae, with a shell like the
handle of a cutthroat razor. [ME f. OF rasor (as RAZE)]
razz n. & v. US sl. --n. = RASPBERRY 3. --v.tr. tease, ridicule.
[razzberry, corrupt. of RASPBERRY]
n. (also razzle) sl. 1 a glamorous excitement; bustle. b a
spree. 2 extravagant publicity. [redupl. of DAZZLE]
n. (also razzamatazz) colloq. 1 = RAZZLE-DAZZLE. 2 insincere
actions; humbug. [prob. alt. f. RAZZLE-DAZZLE]
RE abbr. 1 (in the UK) Royal Engineers. 2 religious education.
Re symb. Chem. the element rhenium.
re(1) prep. 1 in the matter of (as the first word in a heading, esp.
of a legal document). 2 colloq. about, concerning. [L, ablat.
of res thing]
re(2) var. of RAY(3).
re- prefix 1 attachable to almost any verb or its derivative,
meaning: a once more; afresh, anew (readjust; renumber). b
back; with return to a previous state (reassemble; reverse). °A
hyphen is normally used when the word begins with e (re-enact),
or to distinguish the compound from a more familiar one-word
form (re-form = form again). 2 (also red- before a vowel, as in
redolent) in verbs and verbal derivatives denoting: a in return;
mutually (react; resemble). b opposition (repel; resist). c
behind or after (relic; remain). d retirement or secrecy
(recluse; reticence). e off, away, down (recede; relegate;
repress). f frequentative or intensive force (redouble; refine;
resplendent). g negative force (recant; reveal). [L re-, red-,
again, back, etc.]
reabsorb v.tr. absorb again. ЬЬreabsorption n.
reaccept v.tr. accept again. ЬЬreacceptance n.
v.tr. accustom again.
reach v. & n. --v. 1 intr. & tr. (often foll. by out) stretch out;
extend. 2 intr. stretch out a limb, the hand, etc.; make a
reaching motion or effort. 3 intr. (often foll. by for) make a
motion or effort to touch or get hold of, or to attain (reached
for his pipe). 4 tr. get as far as; arrive at (reached Lincoln
at lunch-time; your letter reached me today). 5 tr. get to or
attain (a specified point) on a scale (the temperature reached
90ш; the number of applications reached 100). 6 intr. (foll. by
to) attain to; be adequate for (my income will not reach to it).
7 tr. succeed in achieving; attain (have reached agreement). 8
tr. make contact with the hand etc., or by telephone etc. (was
out all day and could not be reached). 9 tr. succeed in
influencing or having the required effect on (could not manage
to reach their audience). 10 tr. hand, pass (reach me that
book). 11 tr. take with an outstretched hand. 12 intr. Naut.
sail with the wind abeam or abaft the beam. --n. 1 the extent
to which a hand etc. can be reached out, influence exerted,
motion carried out, or mental powers used. 2 an act of reaching
out. 3 a continuous extent, esp. a stretch of river between two
bends, or the part of a canal between locks. 4 Naut. a distance
traversed in reaching. Ьout of reach not able to be reached or
attained. reach-me-down ready-made. ЬЬreachable adj. reacher
n. [OE r‘can f. WG]
v.tr. & refl. (usu. foll. by with) make (a person or oneself)
acquainted again. ЬЬreacquaintance n.
reacquire v.tr. acquire anew. ЬЬreacquisition n.
react v. 1 intr. (foll. by to) respond to a stimulus; undergo a
change or show behaviour due to some influence (how did they
react to the news?). 2 intr. (often foll. by against) be
actuated by repulsion to; tend in a reverse or contrary
direction. 3 intr. (often foll. by upon) produce a reciprocal
or responsive effect; act upon the agent (they react upon each
other). 4 intr. (foll. by with) Chem. & Physics (of a substance
or particle) be the cause of activity or interaction with
another (nitrous oxide reacts with the metal). 5 tr. (foll. by
with) Chem. cause (a substance) to react with another. 6 intr.
Mil. make a counter-attack. 7 intr. Stock Exch. (of shares)
fall after rising. [RE- + ACT or med.L reagere react- (as RE-,
L agere do, act)]
re-act v.tr. act (a part) again.
reactance n. Electr. a component of impedance in an AC circuit, due to
capacitance or inductance or both.
reactant n. Chem. a substance that takes part in, and undergoes change
during a reaction.
reaction n. 1 the act or an instance of reacting; a responsive or
reciprocal action. 2 a a responsive feeling (what was your
reaction to the news?). b an immediate or first impression. 3
the occurrence of a (physical or emotional) condition after a
period of its opposite. 4 a bodily response to an external
stimulus, e.g. a drug. 5 a tendency to oppose change or to
advocate return to a former system, esp. in politics. 6 the
interaction of substances undergoing chemical change. 7
propulsion by emitting a jet of particles etc. in the direction
opposite to that of the intended motion. ЬЬreactionist n. &
adj. [REACT + -ION or med.L reactio (as RE-, ACTION)]
adj. & n. --adj. tending to oppose (esp. political) change and
advocate return to a former system. --n. (pl. -ies) a
v.tr. restore to a state of activity; bring into action again.
reactive adj. 1 showing reaction. 2 of or relating to reactance.
reactor n. 1 a person or thing that reacts. 2 (in full nuclear
reactor) an apparatus or structure in which a controlled nuclear
chain reaction releases energy. 3 Electr. a component used to
provide reactance, esp. an inductor. 4 an apparatus for the
chemical reaction of substances. 5 Med. a person who has a
reaction to a drug etc.
read v. & n. --v. (past and past part. read) 1 tr. (also absol.)
reproduce mentally or (often foll. by aloud, out, off, etc.)
vocally the written or printed words of (a book, author, etc.)
by following the symbols with the eyes or fingers. 2 tr.
convert or be able to convert into the intended words or meaning
(written or other symbols or the things expressed in this way).
3 tr. interpret mentally. 4 tr. deduce or declare an (esp.
accurate) interpretation of (read the expression on my face). 5
tr. (often foll. by that + clause) find (a thing) recorded or
stated in print etc. (I read somewhere that you are leaving). 6
tr. interpret (a statement or action) in a certain sense (my
silence is not to be read as consent). 7 tr. (often foll. by
into) assume as intended or deducible from a writer's words;
find (implications) (you read too much into my letter). 8 tr.
bring into a specified state by reading (read myself to sleep).
9 tr. (of a meter or other recording instrument) show (a
specified figure etc.) (the thermometer reads 20ш). 10 intr.
convey meaning in a specified manner when read (it reads
persuasively). 11 intr. sound or affect a hearer or reader as
specified when read (the book reads like a parody). 12 a tr.
study by reading (esp. a subject at university). b intr. carry
out a course of study by reading (is reading for the Bar). 13
tr. (as read adj.) versed in a subject (esp. literature) by
reading (a well-read person; was widely read in law). 14 tr. a
(of a computer) copy or transfer (data). b (foll. by in, out)
enter or extract (data) in an electronic storage device. 15 tr.
a understand or interpret (a person) by hearing words or seeing
signs, gestures, etc. b interpret (cards, a person's hand,
etc.) as a fortune-teller. c interpret (the sky) as an
astrologer or meteorologist. 16 tr. Printing check the
correctness of and emend (a proof). 17 tr. (of an editor or
text) give as the word or words probably used or intended by an
author. --n. 1 a spell of reading. 2 colloq. a book etc. as
regards its readability (is a really good read). Ьread between
the lines look for or find hidden meaning (in a document etc.).
read-in the entry of data in an electronic storage device. read
a person like a book understand a person's motives etc.
read-only memory Computing a memory read at high speed but not
capable of being changed by program instructions. read out 1
read aloud. 2 US expel from a political party etc. read-out
information retrieved from a computer. read up make a special
study of (a subject). read-write Computing capable of reading
existing data and accepting alterations or further input (cf.
read-only memory). [OE r‘dan advise, consider, discern f. Gmc]
readable adj. 1 able to be read; legible. 2 interesting or pleasant to
read. ЬЬreadability n. readableness n. readably adv.
readapt v.intr. & tr. become or cause to become adapted anew.
readdress v.tr. 1 change the address of (a letter or parcel). 2 address
(a problem etc.) anew. 3 speak or write to anew.
reader n. 1 a person who reads or is reading. 2 a book of extracts
for learning, esp. a language. 3 a device for producing an
image that can be read from microfilm etc. 4 Brit. a university
lecturer of the highest grade below professor. 5 a publisher's
employee who reports on submitted manuscripts. 6 a printer's
proof-corrector. 7 a person appointed to read aloud, esp. parts
of a service in a church. 8 a person entitled to use a
particular library. [OE (as READ)]
n. 1 the readers of a newspaper etc. 2 the number or extent of
readily adv. 1 without showing reluctance; willingly. 2 without
reading n. 1 a the act or an instance of reading or perusing (the
reading of the will). b matter to be read (have plenty of
reading with me). c the specified quality of this (it made
exciting reading). 2 (in comb.) used for reading (reading-lamp;
reading-room). 3 literary knowledge (a person of wide reading).
4 an entertainment at which a play, poems, etc., are read
(poetry reading). 5 a figure etc. shown by a meter or other
recording instrument. 6 an interpretation or view taken (what
is your reading of the facts?). 7 an interpretation made (of
drama, music, etc.). 8 each of the successive occasions on
which a bill must be presented to a legislature for acceptance
(see also first reading, second reading, third reading). 9 the
version of a text, or the particular wording, conjectured or
given by an editor etc. Ьreading age reading ability expressed
as the age for which the same ability is calculated as average
(has a reading age of eight). [OE (as READ)]
readjust v.tr. adjust again or to a former state. ЬЬreadjustment n.
readmit v.tr. (readmitted, readmitting) admit again. ЬЬreadmission n.
readopt v.tr. adopt again. ЬЬreadoption n.
ready adj., adv., n., & v. --adj. (readier, readiest) (usu.
predic.) 1 with preparations complete (dinner is ready). 2 in a
fit state (are you ready to go?). 3 willing, inclined, or
resolved (he is always ready to complain; I am ready for
anything). 4 within reach; easily secured (a ready source of
income). 5 fit for immediate use (was ready to hand). 6
immediate, unqualified (found ready acceptance). 7 prompt,
quick, facile (is always ready with excuses; has a ready wit).
8 (foll. by to + infin.) about to do something (a bud just ready
to burst). 9 provided beforehand. --adv. 1 beforehand. 2 so
as not to require doing when the time comes for use (the cases
are ready packed). --n. (pl. -ies) sl. 1 (prec. by the) =
ready money. 2 (in pl.) bank notes. --v.tr. (-ies, -ied) make
ready; prepare. Ьat the ready ready for action. make ready
prepare. ready-made (or -to-wear) (esp. of clothes) made in a
standard size, not to measure. ready-mix (or -mixed) (of
concrete, paint, food, etc.) having some or all of the
constituents already mixed together. ready money 1 actual coin
or notes. 2 payment on the spot. ready reckoner a book or
table listing standard numerical calculations as used esp. in
commerce. ready, steady (or get set), go the usual formula for
starting a race. ЬЬreadiness n. [ME r‘di(g), re(a)di, f. OE
r‘de f. Gmc]
reaffirm v.tr. affirm again. ЬЬreaffirmation n.
v.tr. replant (former forest land) with trees.
reagency n. reactive power or operation.
reagent n. Chem. 1 a substance used to cause a reaction, esp. to
detect another substance. 2 a reactive substance or force.
[RE- + AGENT: cf. REACT]
real(1) adj. & adv. --adj. 1 actually existing as a thing or occurring
in fact. 2 genuine; rightly so called; not artificial or merely
apparent. 3 Law consisting of or relating to immovable property
such as land or houses (real estate) (cf. personal property). 4
appraised by purchasing power; adjusted for changes in the value
of money (real value; income in real terms). 5 Philos. having
an absolute and necessary and not merely contingent existence.
6 Math. (of a quantity) having no imaginary part (see IMAGINARY
2). 7 Optics (of an image etc.) such that light actually passes
through it. --adv. Sc. & US colloq. really, very. Ьfor real
colloq. as a serious or actual concern; in earnest. real ale
beer regarded as brewed in a traditional way, with secondary
fermentation in the cask. real life that lived by actual
people, as distinct from fiction, drama, etc. real live
(attrib.) often joc. actual; not pretended or simulated (a real
live burglar). the real McCoy see MCCOY. real money current
coin or notes; cash. real tennis the original form of tennis
played on an indoor court. the real thing (of an object or
emotion) genuine, not inferior. real time the actual time
during which a process or event occurs. real-time (attrib.)
Computing (of a system) in which the response time is of the
order of milliseconds, e.g. in an airline booking system.
ЬЬrealness n. [AF = OF reel, LL realis f. L res thing]
real(2) n. hist. a former coin and monetary unit of various
Spanish-speaking countries. [Sp., noun use of real (adj.) (as
realgar n. a mineral of arsenic sulphide used as a pigment and in
fireworks. [ME f. med.L f. Arab. rahj al-gar dust of the cave]
realign v.tr. 1 align again. 2 regroup in politics etc. ЬЬrealignment
realism n. 1 the practice of regarding things in their true nature and
dealing with them as they are. 2 fidelity to nature in
representation; the showing of life etc. as it is in fact. 3
Philos. a the doctrine that universals or abstract concepts
have an objective existence (opp. NOMINALISM). b the belief
that matter as an object of perception has real existence.
realistic adj. 1 regarding things as they are; following a policy of
realism. 2 based on facts rather than ideals. ЬЬrealistically
reality n. (pl. -ies) 1 what is real or existent or underlies
appearances. 2 (foll. by of) the real nature of (a thing). 3
real existence; the state of being real. 4 resemblance to an
original (the model was impressive in its reality). Ьin reality
in fact. [med.L realitas or F r‚alit‚ (as REAL(1))]
realize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 (often foll. by that + clause) be fully
aware of; conceive as real. 2 understand clearly. 3 present as
real; make realistic; give apparent reality to (the story was
powerfully realized on stage). 4 convert into actuality;
achieve (realized a childhood dream). 5 a convert into money.
b acquire (profit). c be sold for (a specified price). 6 Mus.
reconstruct (a part) in full from a figured bass. ЬЬrealizable
adj. realizability n. realization n. realizer n.
v.tr. allocate again or differently. ЬЬreallocation n.
reallot v.tr. (reallotted, reallotting) allot again or differently.
really adv. 1 in reality; in fact. 2 positively, assuredly (really
useful). 3 (as a strong affirmative) indeed, I assure you. 4
an expression of mild protest or surprise. 5 (in interrog.)
(expressing disbelief) is that so? (They're musicians. --
realm n. 1 formal esp. Law a kingdom. 2 a sphere or domain (the
realm of imagination). [ME f. OF realme, reaume, f. L regimen
-minis (see REGIMEN): infl. by OF reiel ROYAL]
n. politics based on realities and material needs, rather than
on morals or ideals. [G]
realtor n. US a real-estate agent, esp. (Realtor) a member of the
National Association of Realtors.
realty n. Law real estate (opp. PERSONALTY).
ream(1) n. 1 twenty quires or 500 (formerly 480) sheets of paper (or a
larger number, to allow for waste). 2 (in pl.) a large quantity
of paper or writing (wrote reams about it). [ME rem, rim f. OF
raime etc., ult. f. Arab. rizma bundle]
ream(2) v.tr. 1 widen (a hole in metal etc.) with a borer. 2 turn over
the edge of (a cartridge-case etc.). 3 Naut. open (a seam) for
caulking. 4 US squeeze the juice from (fruit). ЬЬreamer n.
[19th c.: orig. uncert.]
reanimate v.tr. 1 restore to life. 2 restore to activity or liveliness.
reap v.tr. 1 cut or gather (a crop, esp. grain) as a harvest. 2
harvest the crop of (a field etc.). 3 receive as the
consequence of one's own or others' actions. [OE ripan, reopan,
of unkn. orig.]
reaper n. 1 a person who reaps. 2 a machine for reaping. Ьthe Reaper
(or grim Reaper) death personified.
reappear v.intr. appear again or as previously. ЬЬreappearance n.
reapply v.tr. & intr. (-ies, -ied) apply again, esp. submit a further
application (for a position etc.). ЬЬreapplication n.
reappoint v.tr. appoint again to a position previously held.
v.tr. apportion again or differently. ЬЬreapportionment n.
v.tr. appraise or assess again. ЬЬreappraisal n.
rear(1) n. & adj. --n. 1 the back part of anything. 2 the space
behind, or position at the back of, anything (a large house with
a terrace at the rear). 3 the hindmost part of an army or
fleet. 4 colloq. the buttocks. --adj. at the back. Ьbring up
the rear come last. in the rear behind; at the back. rear
admiral a naval officer ranking below vice admiral. rear
commodore a yacht-club officer below vice commodore. rear-lamp
(or -light) a usu. red light at the rear of a vehicle. rear
sight the sight nearest to the stock on a firearm. rear-view
mirror a mirror fixed inside the windscreen of a motor vehicle
enabling the driver to see traffic etc. behind. take in the
rear Mil. attack from behind. [prob. f. (in the) REARWARD or
rear(2) v. 1 tr. a bring up and educate (children). b breed and care
for (animals). c cultivate (crops). 2 intr. (of a horse etc.)
raise itself on its hind legs. 3 tr. a set upright. b build.
c hold upwards (rear one's head). 4 intr. extend to a great
height. ЬЬrearer n. [OE r‘ran f. Gmc]
rearguard n. 1 a body of troops detached to protect the rear, esp. in
retreats. 2 a defensive or conservative element in an
organization etc. Ьrearguard action 1 Mil. an engagement
undertaken by a rearguard. 2 a defensive stand in argument
etc., esp. when losing. [OF rereguarde (as RETRO-, GUARD)]
rearm v.tr. (also absol.) arm again, esp. with improved weapons.
rearmost adj. furthest back.
rearrange v.tr. arrange again in a different way. ЬЬrearrangement n.
rearrest v. & n. --v.tr. arrest again. --n. an instance of rearresting
or being rearrested.
rearward n., adj., & adv. --n. rear, esp. in prepositional phrases (to
the rearward of; in the rearward). --adj. to the rear. --adv.
(also rearwards) towards the rear. [AF rerewarde = REARGUARD]
reascend v.tr. & intr. ascend again or to a former position.
reason n. & v. --n. 1 a motive, cause, or justification (has good
reasons for doing this; there is no reason to be angry). 2 a
fact adduced or serving as this (I can give you my reasons). 3
the intellectual faculty by which conclusions are drawn from
premisses. 4 sanity (has lost his reason). 5 Logic a premiss
of a syllogism, esp. a minor premiss when given after the
conclusion. 6 a faculty transcending the understanding and
providing a priori principles; intuition. 7 sense; sensible
conduct; what is right or practical or practicable; moderation.
--v. 1 intr. form or try to reach conclusions by connected
thought. 2 intr. (foll. by with) use an argument (with a
person) by way of persuasion. 3 tr. (foll. by that + clause)
conclude or assert in argument. 4 tr. (foll. by why, whether,
what + clause) discuss; ask oneself. 5 tr. (foll. by into, out
of) persuade or move by argument (I reasoned them out of their
fears). 6 tr. (foll. by out) think or work out (consequences
etc.). 7 tr. (often as reasoned adj.) express in logical or
argumentative form. 8 tr. embody reason in (an amendment etc.).
Ьby reason of owing to. in (or within) reason within the bounds
of sense or moderation. it stands to reason (often foll. by
that + clause) it is evident or logical. listen to reason be
persuaded to act sensibly. see reason acknowledge the force of
an argument. with reason justifiably. ЬЬreasoner n. reasoning
n. reasonless adj. [ME f. OF reisun, res(o)un, raisoner, ult.
f. L ratio -onis f. reri rat- consider]
adj. 1 having sound judgement; moderate; ready to listen to
reason. 2 in accordance with reason; not absurd. 3 a within
the limits of reason; not greatly less or more than might be
expected. b inexpensive; not extortionate. c tolerable, fair.
4 archaic endowed with the faculty of reason. ЬЬreasonableness
n. reasonably adv. [ME f. OF raisonable (as REASON) after L
v.intr. & tr. assemble again or into a former state.
reassert v.tr. assert again. ЬЬreassertion n.
reassess v.tr. assess again, esp. differently. ЬЬreassessment n.
reassign v.tr. assign again or differently. ЬЬreassignment n.
reassume v.tr. take on oneself or undertake again. ЬЬreassumption n.
reassure v.tr. 1 restore confidence to; dispel the apprehensions of. 2
confirm in an opinion or impression. ЬЬreassurance n.
reassurer n. reassuring adj. reassuringly adv.
reattach v.tr. attach again or in a former position. ЬЬreattachment n.
reattain v.tr. attain again. ЬЬreattainment n.
reattempt v.tr. attempt again, esp. after failure.
R‚aumur adj. expressed in or related to the scale of temperature at
which water freezes at 0ш and boils at 80ш under standard
conditions. ЬR‚aumur scale this scale. [R. de R‚aumur, Fr.
physicist d. 1757]
reave v. (past and past part. reft) archaic 1 tr. a (foll. by of)
forcibly deprive of. b (foll. by away, from) take by force or
carry off. 2 intr. make raids; plunder; = REIVE. [OE reafian
f. Gmc: cf. ROB]
rebate(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a partial refund of money paid. 2 a deduction
from a sum to be paid; a discount. --v.tr. pay back as a
rebate. ЬЬrebatable adj. rebater n. [earlier = diminish: ME
f. OF rabattre (as RE-, ABATE)]
rebate(2) n. & v.tr. = RABBET. [respelling of RABBET, after REBATE(1)]
rebec n. (also rebeck) Mus. a medieval usu. three-stringed
instrument played with a bow. [F rebec var. of OF rebebe rubebe
f. Arab. rabab]
rebel n., adj., & v. --n. 1 a person who fights against, resists, or
refuses allegiance to, the established government. 2 a person
or thing that resists authority or control. --adj. (attrib.) 1
rebellious. 2 of or concerning rebels. 3 in rebellion.
--v.intr. (rebelled, rebelling; US rebeled, rebeling) (usu.
foll. by against) 1 act as a rebel; revolt. 2 feel or display
repugnance. [ME f. OF rebelle, rebeller f. L rebellis (as RE-,
rebellion n. open resistance to authority, esp. organized armed
resistance to an established government. [ME f. OF f. L
rebellio -onis (as REBEL)]
adj. 1 tending to rebel, insubordinate. 2 in rebellion. 3
defying lawful authority. 4 (of a thing) unmanageable,
refractory. ЬЬrebelliously adv. rebelliousness n. [ME f.
REBELLION + -OUS or f. earlier rebellous + -IOUS]
rebid v. & n. --v. also (rebidding; past and past part. rebid)
Cards 1 intr. bid again. 2 tr. bid (a suit) again at a higher
level. --n. 1 the act of rebidding. 2 a bid made in this way.
rebind v.tr. (past and past part. rebound) bind (esp. a book) again
rebirth n. 1 a new incarnation. 2 spiritual enlightenment. 3 a
revival (the rebirth of learning). ЬЬreborn adj.
reboot v.tr. (often absol.) Computing boot up (a system) again.
rebore v. & n. --v.tr. make a new boring in, esp. widen the bore of
(the cylinder in an internal-combustion engine). --n. 1 the
process of doing this. 2 a rebored engine.
v. & n. --v.intr. 1 spring back after action or impact. 2
(foll. by upon) (of an action) have an adverse effect upon (the
doer). --n. 1 the act or an instance of rebounding; recoil. 2
a reaction after a strong emotion. Ьon the rebound while still
recovering from an emotional shock, esp. rejection by a lover.
ЬЬrebounder n. [ME f. OF rebonder, rebondir (as RE-, BOUND(1))]
past and past part. of REBIND.
v. & n. --v.tr. (past rebroadcast or rebroadcasted; past part.
rebroadcast) broadcast again. --n. a repeat broadcast.
rebuff n. & v. --n. 1 a rejection of one who makes advances, proffers
help or sympathy, shows interest or curiosity, makes a request,
etc. 2 a repulse; a snub. --v.tr. give a rebuff to. [obs. F
rebuffe(r) f. It. ribuffo, ribuffare, rabbuffo, rabbuffare (as
RE-, buffo puff)]
rebuild v.tr. (past and past part. rebuilt) build again or
rebuke v. & n. --v.tr. reprove sharply; subject to protest or censure.
--n. 1 the act of rebuking. 2 the process of being rebuked. 3
a reproof. ЬЬrebuker n. rebukingly adv. [ME f. AF & ONF
rebuker (as RE-, OF buchier beat, orig. cut down wood f. busche
rebury v.tr. (-ies, -ied) bury again. ЬЬreburial n.
rebus n. 1 an enigmatic representation of a word (esp. a name), by
pictures etc. suggesting its parts. 2 Heraldry a device
suggesting the name of its bearer. [F r‚bus f. L rebus, ablat.
pl. of res thing]
rebut v.tr. (rebutted, rebutting) 1 refute or disprove (evidence or a
charge). 2 force or turn back; check. ЬЬrebutment n.
rebuttable adj. rebuttal n. [ME f. AF rebuter, OF rebo(u)ter
(as RE-, BUTT(1))]
rebutter n. 1 a refutation. 2 Law a defendant's reply to the
plaintiff's surrejoinder. [AF rebuter (as REBUT)]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 obstinately disobedient. 2 objecting to
restraint. --n. a recalcitrant person. ЬЬrecalcitrance n.
recalcitrantly adv. [L recalcitrare (as RE-, calcitrare kick
out with the heels f. calx calcis heel)]
v.tr. calculate again. ЬЬrecalculation n.
recalesce v.intr. grow hot again (esp. of iron allowed to cool from white
heat, whose temperature rises at a certain point for a short
time). ЬЬrecalescence n. [L recalescere (as RE-, calescere
recall v. & n. --v.tr. 1 summon to return from a place or from a
different occupation, inattention, a digression, etc. 2
recollect, remember. 3 bring back to memory; serve as a
reminder of. 4 revoke or annul (an action or decision). 5
cancel or suspend the appointment of (an official sent overseas
etc.). 6 revive, resuscitate. 7 take back (a gift). --n.
also 1 the act or an instance of recalling, esp. a summons to
come back. 2 the act of remembering. 3 the ability to
remember. 4 the possibility of recalling, esp. in the sense of
revoking (beyond recall). 5 US removal of an elected official
from office. ЬЬrecallable adj.
recant v. 1 tr. withdraw and renounce (a former belief or statement)
as erroneous or heretical. 2 intr. disavow a former opinion,
esp. with a public confession of error. ЬЬrecantation n.
recanter n. [L recantare revoke (as RE-, cantare sing, chant)]
recap v. & n. colloq. --v.tr. & intr. (recapped, recapping)
recapitulate. --n. recapitulation. [abbr.]
v.tr. (also -ise) capitalize (shares etc.) again.
v.tr. 1 go briefly through again; summarize. 2 go over the
main points or headings of. ЬЬrecapitulative adj.
recapitulatory adj. [L recapitulare (as RE-, capitulum
n. 1 the act or an instance of recapitulating. 2 Biol. the
reappearance in embryos of successive type-forms in the
evolutionary line of development. 3 Mus. part of a movement,
esp. in sonata form, in which themes from the exposition are
restated. [ME f. OF recapitulation or LL recapitulatio (as
recapture v. & n. --v.tr. 1 capture again; recover by capture. 2
re-experience (a past emotion etc.). --n. the act or an
instance of recapturing.
recast v. & n. --v.tr. (past and past part. recast) 1 put into a new
form. 2 improve the arrangement of. 3 change the cast of (a
play etc.). --n. 1 the act or an instance of recasting. 2 a
recce n. & v. colloq. --n. a reconnaisance. --v.tr. & intr.
(recced, recceing) reconnoitre. [abbr.]
recd. abbr. received.
recede v.intr. 1 go or shrink back or further off. 2 be left at an
increasing distance by an observer's motion. 3 slope backwards
(a receding chin). 4 decline in force or value. 5 (foll. by
from) withdraw from (an engagement, opinion, etc.). 6 (of a
man's hair) cease to grow at the front, sides, etc. [ME f. L
recedere (as RE-, cedere cess- go)]
re-cede v.tr. cede back to a former owner.
receipt n. & v. --n. 1 the act or an instance of receiving or being
received into one's possession (will pay on receipt of the
goods). 2 a written acknowledgement of this, esp. of the
payment of money. 3 (usu. in pl.) an amount of money etc.
received. 4 archaic a recipe. --v.tr. place a written or
printed receipt on (a bill). [ME receit(e) f. AF & ONF receite,
OF re‡oite, recete f. med.L recepta fem. past part. of L
recipere RECEIVE: -p- inserted after L]
receive v.tr. 1 take or accept (something offered or given) into one's
hands or possession. 2 acquire; be provided with or given (have
received no news; will receive a small fee). 3 accept delivery
of (something sent). 4 have conferred or inflicted on one
(received many honours; received a heavy blow on the head). 5 a
stand the force or weight of. b bear up against; encounter with
opposition. 6 consent to hear (a confession or oath) or
consider (a petition). 7 (also absol.) accept or have dealings
with (stolen property knowing of the theft). 8 admit; consent
or prove able to hold; provide accommodation for (received many
visitors). 9 (of a receptacle) be able to hold (a specified
amount or contents). 10 greet or welcome, esp. in a specified
manner (how did they receive your offer?). 11 entertain as a
guest etc. 12 admit to membership of a society, organization,
etc. 13 be marked more or less permanently with (an impression
etc.). 14 convert (broadcast signals) into sound or pictures.
15 Tennis be the player to whom the server serves (the ball).
16 (often as received adj.) give credit to; accept as
authoritative or true (received opinion). 17 eat or drink (the
Eucharistic bread and wine). Ьbe at (or on) the receiving end
colloq. bear the brunt of something unpleasant. received
pronunciation (or Received Standard) the form of spoken English
based on educated speech in southern England. receiving-order
Brit. an order of a court authorizing a receiver (see RECEIVER
3) to act. ЬЬreceivable adj. [ME f. OF receivre, re‡oivre f. L
recipere recept- (as RE-, capere take)]
receiver n. 1 a person or thing that receives. 2 the part of a machine
or instrument that receives sound, signals, etc. (esp. the part
of a telephone that contains the earpiece). 3 (in full official
receiver) a person appointed by a court to administer the
property of a bankrupt or insane person, or property under
litigation. 4 a radio or television receiving apparatus. 5 a
person who receives stolen goods. 6 Chem. a vessel for
collecting the products of distillation, chromatography, etc.
n. 1 the office of official receiver. 2 the state of being
dealt with by a receiver ( esp. in receivership).
recension n. 1 the revision of a text. 2 a particular form or version of
a text resulting from such revision. [L recensio f. recensere
revise (as RE-, censere review)]
recent adj. & n. --adj. 1 not long past; that happened, appeared,
began to exist, or existed lately. 2 not long established;
lately begun; modern. 3 (Recent) Geol. = HOLOCENE. --n. Geol.
= HOLOCENE. ЬЬrecency n. recently adv. recentness n. [L
recens recentis or F r‚cent]
n. 1 a containing vessel, place, or space. 2 Bot. a the
common base of floral organs. b the part of a leaf or thallus
in some algae where the reproductive organs are situated. [ME
f. OF receptacle or L receptaculum (as RECEPTION)]
reception n. 1 the act or an instance of receiving or the process of
being received, esp. of a person into a place or group. 2 the
manner in which a person or thing is received (got a cool
reception). 3 a social occasion for receiving guests, esp.
after a wedding. 4 a formal or ceremonious welcome. 5 a place
where guests or clients etc. report on arrival at a hotel,
office, etc. 6 a the receiving of broadcast signals. b the
quality of this (we have excellent reception). Ьreception order
an order authorizing the entry of a patient into a mental
hospital. reception room a room available or suitable for
receiving company or visitors. [ME f. OF reception or L
receptio (as RECEIVE)]
n. a person employed in a hotel, office, etc., to receive
guests, clients, etc.
receptive adj. 1 able or quick to receive impressions or ideas. 2
concerned with receiving stimuli etc. ЬЬreceptively adv.
receptiveness n. receptivity n. [F r‚ceptif -ive or med.L
receptivus (as RECEPTION)]
receptor n. (often attrib.) Biol. 1 an organ able to respond to an
external stimulus such as light, heat, or a drug, and transmit a
signal to a sensory nerve. 2 a region of a cell, tissue, etc.,
that responds to a molecule or other substance. [OF receptour
or L receptor (as RECEPTIVE)]
recess n. & v. --n. 1 a space set back in a wall; a niche. 2 (often
in pl.) a remote or secret place (the innermost recesses). 3 a
temporary cessation from work, esp. of Parliament, or US of a
lawcourt or during a school day. 4 Anat. a fold or indentation
in an organ. 5 Geog. a receding part of a mountain chain etc.
--v. 1 tr. make a recess in. 2 tr. place in a recess; set
back. 3 US a intr. take a recess; adjourn. b tr. order a
temporary cessation from the work of (a court etc.). [L
recessus (as RECEDE)]
recession n. 1 a temporary decline in economic activity or prosperity. 2
a receding or withdrawal from a place or point. 3 a receding
part of an object; a recess. ЬЬrecessionary adj. [L recessio
adj. & n. --adj. sung while the clergy and choir withdraw after
a service. --n. a recessional hymn.
recessive adj. 1 tending to recede. 2 Phonet. (of an accent) falling
near the beginning of a word. 3 Genetics (of an inherited
characteristic) appearing in offspring only when not masked by a
dominant characteristic inherited from one parent.
ЬЬrecessively adv. recessiveness n. [RECESS after excessive]
recharge v. & n. --v.tr. 1 charge again. 2 reload. --n. 1 a renewed
charge. 2 material etc. used for this. ЬЬrechargeable adj.
r‚chauff‚ n. 1 a warmed-up dish. 2 a rehash. [F past part. of
r‚chauffer (as RE-, CHAFE)]
recheck v. & n. --v.tr. & intr. check again. --n. a second or
further check or inspection.
recherch‚ adj. 1 carefully sought out; rare or exotic. 2 far-fetched,
obscure. [F, past part. of rechercher (as RE-, chercher seek)]
v.tr. 1 christen again. 2 give a new name to.
n. a person who relapses into crime. ЬЬrecidivism n.
recidivistic adj. [F r‚cidiviste f. r‚cidiver f. med.L
recidivare f. L recidivus f. recidere (as RE-, cadere fall)]
recipe n. 1 a statement of the ingredients and procedure required for
preparing cooked food. 2 an expedient; a device for achieving
something. 3 a medical prescription. [2nd sing. imper. (as
used in prescriptions) of L recipere take, RECEIVE]
recipient n. & adj. --n. a person who receives something. --adj. 1
receiving. 2 receptive. ЬЬrecipiency n. [F r‚cipient f. It.
recipiente or L recipiens f. recipere RECEIVE]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 in return (offered a reciprocal greeting).
2 mutual (their feelings are reciprocal). 3 Gram. (of a
pronoun) expressing mutual action or relation (as in each
other). 4 inversely correspondent; complementary (natural
kindness matched by a reciprocal severity). --n. Math. an
expression or function so related to another that their product
is unity (« is the reciprocal of 2). ЬЬreciprocality n.
reciprocally adv. [L reciprocus ult. f. re- back + pro
v. 1 tr. return or requite (affection etc.). 2 intr. (foll. by
with) offer or give something in return (reciprocated with an
invitation to lunch). 3 tr. give and receive mutually;
interchange. 4 a intr. (of a part of a machine) move backwards
and forwards. b tr. cause to do this. Ьreciprocating engine an
engine using a piston or pistons moving up and down in
cylinders. ЬЬreciprocation n. reciprocator n. [L reciprocare
reciprocat- (as RECIPROCAL)]
n. 1 the condition of being reciprocal. 2 mutual action. 3
give and take, esp. the interchange of privileges between
countries and organizations. [F r‚ciprocit‚ f. r‚ciproque f. L
reciprocus (as RECIPROCATE)]
v.tr. & intr. circulate again, esp. make available for reuse.
recital n. 1 the act or an instance of reciting or being recited. 2
the performance of a programme of music by a solo
instrumentalist or singer or by a small group. 3 (foll. by of)
a detailed account of (connected things or facts); a narrative.
4 Law the part of a legal document that states the facts.
n. 1 the act or an instance of reciting. 2 a thing recited.
[OF recitation or L recitatio (as RECITE)]
n. 1 musical declamation of the kind usual in the narrative and
dialogue parts of opera and oratorio. 2 the words or part given
in this form. [It. recitativo (as RECITE)]
recite v. 1 tr. repeat aloud or declaim (a poem or passage) from
memory, esp. before an audience. 2 intr. give a recitation. 3
tr. mention in order; enumerate. ЬЬreciter n. [ME f. OF
reciter or L recitare (as RE-, CITE)]
reck v. archaic or poet. (only in neg. or interrog.) 1 tr. (foll. by
of) pay heed to; take account of; care about. 2 tr. pay heed
to. 3 intr. (usu. with it as subject) be of importance (it
recks little). [OE reccan, rel. to OHG ruohhen]
reckless adj. disregarding the consequences or danger etc.; lacking
caution; rash. ЬЬrecklessly adv. recklessness n. [OE
recceleas (as RECK)]
reckon v. 1 tr. count or compute by calculation. 2 tr. (foll. by in)
count in or include in computation. 3 tr. (often foll. by as or
to be) consider or regard (reckon him wise; reckon them to be
beyond hope). 4 tr. a (foll. by that + clause) conclude after
calculation; be of the considered opinion. b colloq. (foll. by
to + infin.) expect (reckons to finish by Friday). 5 intr. make
calculations; add up an account or sum. 6 intr. (foll. by on,
upon) rely on, count on, or base plans on. 7 intr. (foll. by
with) a take into account. b settle accounts with. Ьreckon up
1 count up; find the total of. 2 settle accounts. to be
reckoned with of considerable importance; not to be ignored.
[OE (ge)recenian f. WG]
reckoner n. = ready reckoner.
reckoning n. 1 the act or an instance of counting or calculating. 2 a
consideration or opinion. 3 a the settlement of an account. b
an account. Ьday of reckoning the time when something must be
atoned for or avenged.
reclaim v. & n. --v.tr. 1 seek the return of (one's property). 2
claim in return or as a rebate etc. 3 bring under cultivation,
esp. from a state of being under water. 4 a win back or away
from vice or error or a waste condition; reform. b tame,
civilize. --n. the act or an instance of reclaiming; the
process of being reclaimed. ЬЬreclaimable adj. reclaimer n.
reclamation n. [ME f. OF reclamer reclaim- f. L reclamare cry
out against (as RE-, clamare shout)]
v.tr. (-ies, -ied) classify again or differently.
reclinate adj. Bot. bending downwards. [L reclinatus, past part. of
reclinare (as RECLINE)]
recline v. 1 intr. assume or be in a horizontal or leaning position,
esp. in resting. 2 tr. cause to recline or move from the
vertical. ЬЬreclinable adj. [ME f. OE recliner or L reclinare
bend back, recline (as RE-, clinare bend)]
recliner n. 1 a comfortable chair for reclining in. 2 a person who
reclothe v.tr. clothe again or differently.
recluse n. & adj. --n. a person given to or living in seclusion or
isolation, esp. as a religious discipline; a hermit. --adj.
favouring seclusion; solitary. ЬЬreclusion n. reclusive adj.
[ME f. OF reclus recluse past part. of reclure f. L recludere
reclus- (as RE-, claudere shut)]
n. the act or an instance of recognizing or being recognized.
ЬЬrecognitory adj. [L recognitio (as RECOGNIZE)]
n. 1 a bond by which a person undertakes before a court or
magistrate to observe some condition, e.g. to appear when
summoned. 2 a sum pledged as surety for this. [ME f. OF
recon(n)issance (as RE-, COGNIZANCE)]
adj. (usu. foll. by of) 1 showing recognition (of a favour
etc.). 2 conscious or showing consciousness (of something).
recognize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 identify (a person or thing) as already
known; know again. 2 realize or discover the nature of. 3
(foll. by that) realize or admit. 4 acknowledge the existence,
validity, character, or claims of. 5 show appreciation of;
reward. 6 (foll. by as, for) treat or acknowledge. 7 (of a
chairperson etc.) allow (a person) to speak in a debate etc.
ЬЬrecognizable n. recognizability n. recognizably adv.
recognizer n. [OF recon(n)iss- stem of reconnaistre f. L
recognoscere recognit- (as RE-, cognoscere learn)]
recoil v. & n. --v.intr. 1 suddenly move or spring back in fear,
horror, or disgust. 2 shrink mentally in this way. 3 rebound
after an impact. 4 (foll. by on, upon) have an adverse reactive
effect on (the originator). 5 (of a gun) be driven backwards by
its discharge. 6 retreat under an enemy's attack. 7 Physics
(of an atom etc.) move backwards by the conservation of momentum
on emission of a particle. --n. also 1 the act or an instance
of recoiling. 2 the sensation of recoiling. [ME f. OF reculer
(as RE-, L culus buttocks)]
recollect v.tr. 1 remember. 2 succeed in remembering; call to mind. [L
recolligere recollect- (as RE-, COLLECT(1))]
v.tr. 1 collect again. 2 (refl.) recover control of (oneself).
n. 1 the act or power of recollecting. 2 a thing recollected.
3 a a person's memory (to the best of my recollection). b the
time over which memory extends (happened within my
recollection). ЬЬrecollective adj. [F recollection or med.L
recollectio (as RECOLLECT)]
v.tr. (also -ise) colonize again. ЬЬrecolonization n.
recolour v.tr. colour again or differently.
adj. & n. Biol. --adj. (of a gene etc.) formed by
recombination. --n. a recombinant organism or cell.
Ьrecombinant DNA DNA that has been recombined using constituents
from different sources.
n. Biol. the rearrangement, esp. by crossing over in
chromosomes, of nucleic acid molecules forming a new sequence of
the constituent nucleotides.
recombine v.tr. & intr. combine again or differently.
v.tr. & intr. begin again. ЬЬrecommencement n.
recommend v.tr. 1 suggest as fit for some purpose or use. 2 (often foll.
by that + clause or to + infin.) advise as a course of action
etc. (I recommend that you stay where you are). 3 (of
qualities, conduct, etc.) make acceptable or desirable. 4
(foll. by to) commend or entrust (to a person or a person's
care). ЬЬrecommendable adj. recommendation n. recommendatory
adj. recommender n. [ME (in sense 4) f. med.L recommendare (as
recommit v.tr. (recommitted, recommitting) 1 commit again. 2 return (a
bill etc.) to a committee for further consideration.
ЬЬrecommitment n. recommittal n.
v. & n. --v.tr. 1 make amends to (a person) or for (a loss
etc.). 2 requite; reward or punish (a person or action). --n.
1 a reward; requital. 2 retribution; satisfaction given for an
injury. [ME f. OF recompense(r) f. LL recompensare (as RE-,
recompose v.tr. compose again or differently.
reconcile v.tr. 1 make friendly again after an estrangement. 2 (usu. in
refl. or passive; foll. by to) make acquiescent or contentedly
submissive to (something disagreeable or unwelcome) (was
reconciled to failure). 3 settle (a quarrel etc.). 4 a
harmonize; make compatible. b show the compatibility of by
argument or in practice (cannot reconcile your views with the
facts). ЬЬreconcilable adj. reconcilability n. reconcilement
n. reconciler n. reconciliation n. reconciliatory adj. [ME
f. OF reconcilier or L reconciliare (as RE-, conciliare
recondite adj. 1 (of a subject or knowledge) abstruse; out of the way;
little known. 2 (of an author or style) dealing in abstruse
knowledge or allusions; obscure. ЬЬreconditely adv.
reconditeness n. [L reconditus (as RE-, conditus past part. of
v.tr. 1 overhaul, refit, renovate. 2 make usable again.
v.tr. configure again or differently. ЬЬreconfiguration n.
reconfirm v.tr. confirm, establish, or ratify anew. ЬЬreconfirmation n.
n. 1 a survey of a region, esp. a military examination to
locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features. 2 a
preliminary survey or inspection. [F (earlier -oissance) f.
stem of reconnaЊtre (as RECONNOITRE)]
reconnect v.tr. connect again. ЬЬreconnection n.
v. & n. (US reconnoiter) --v. 1 tr. make a reconnaissance of
(an area, enemy position, etc.). 2 intr. make a reconnaissance.
--n. a reconnaissance. [obs. F reconnoЊtre f. L recognoscere
reconquer v.tr. conquer again. ЬЬreconquest n.
v.tr. & intr. consider again, esp. for a possible change of
decision. ЬЬreconsideration n.
reconsign v.tr. consign again or differently. ЬЬreconsignment n.
v.tr. & intr. consolidate again. ЬЬreconsolidation n.
v. & tr. 1 build up again from parts; reconstruct. 2
reorganize. 3 restore the previous constitution of (dried food
etc.) by adding water. ЬЬreconstitution n.
v.tr. 1 build or form again. 2 a form a mental or visual
impression of (past events) by assembling the evidence for them.
b re-enact (a crime). 3 reorganize. ЬЬreconstructable adj.
(also reconstructible). reconstruction n. reconstructive adj.
reconvene v.tr. & intr. convene again, esp. (of a meeting etc.) after a
pause in proceedings.
reconvert v.tr. convert back to a former state. ЬЬreconversion n.
record n. & v. --n. 1 a a piece of evidence or information
constituting an (esp. official) account of something that has
occurred, been said, etc. b a document preserving this. 2 the
state of being set down or preserved in writing or some other
permanent form (is a matter of record). 3 a (in full gramophone
record) a thin plastic disc carrying recorded sound in grooves
on each surface, for reproduction by a record-player. b a trace
made on this or some other medium, e.g. magnetic tape. 4 a an
official report of the proceedings and judgement in a court of
justice. b a copy of the pleadings etc. constituting a case to
be decided by a court (see also court of record). 5 a the facts
known about a person's past (has an honourable record of
service). b a list of a person's previous criminal convictions.
6 the best performance (esp. in sport) or most remarkable event
of its kind on record (often attrib.: a record attempt). 7 an
object serving as a memorial of a person or thing; a portrait.
8 Computing a number of related items of information which are
handled as a unit. --v.tr. 1 set down in writing or some other
permanent form for later reference, esp. as an official record.
2 convert (sound, a broadcast, etc.) into permanent form for
later reproduction. 3 establish or constitute a historical or
other record of. Ьbreak (or beat) the record outdo all previous
performances etc. for the record as an official statement etc.
go on record state one's opinion or judgement openly or
officially, so that it is recorded. have a record be known as a
criminal. a matter of record a thing established as a fact by
being recorded. off the record as an unofficial or confidential
statement etc. on record officially recorded; publicly known.
put (or get or set etc.) the record straight correct a
misapprehension. recorded delivery a Post Office service in
which the dispatch and receipt of a letter or parcel are
recorded. recording angel an angel that supposedly registers
each person's good and bad actions. record-player an apparatus
for reproducing sound from gramophone records. ЬЬrecordable
adj. [ME f. OF record remembrance, recorder record, f. L
recordari remember (as RE-, cor cordis heart)]
recorder n. 1 an apparatus for recording, esp. a tape recorder. 2 a a
keeper of records. b a person who makes an official record. 3
Brit. a a barrister or solicitor of at least ten years'
standing, appointed to serve as a part-time judge. b hist. a
judge in certain courts. 4 Mus. a woodwind instrument like a
flute but blown through the end and having a more hollow tone.
ЬЬrecordership n. (in sense 3). [ME f. AF recordour, OF
recordeur & f. RECORD (in obs. sense 'practise a tune')]
recording n. 1 the process by which audio or video signals are recorded
for later reproduction. 2 material or a programme recorded.
recordist n. a person who records sound.
recount v.tr. 1 narrate. 2 tell in detail. [ONF & AF reconter (as
re-count v. & n. --v. tr. count again. --n. a re-counting, esp. of
votes in an election.
recoup v.tr. 1 recover or regain (a loss). 2 compensate or reimburse
for a loss. 3 Law deduct or keep back (part of a sum due).
Ьrecoup oneself recover a loss. ЬЬrecoupable adj. recoupment
n. [F recouper (as RE-, couper cut)]
recourse n. 1 resorting to a possible source of help. 2 a person or
thing resorted to. Ьhave recourse to turn to (a person or
thing) for help. without recourse a formula used by the
endorser of a bill etc. to disclaim responsibility for payment.
[ME f. OF recours f. L recursus (as RE-, COURSE)]
recover v. & n. --v. 1 tr. regain possession or use or control of,
reclaim. 2 intr. return to health or consciousness or to a
normal state or position (have recovered from my illness; the
country never recovered from the war). 3 tr. obtain or secure
(compensation etc.) by legal process. 4 tr. retrieve or make up
for (a loss, setback, etc.). 5 refl. regain composure or
consciousness or control of one's limbs. 6 tr. retrieve
(reusable substances) from industrial waste. --n. the recovery
of a normal position in fencing etc. ЬЬrecoverable adj.
recoverability n. recoverer n. [ME f. AF recoverer, OF
recovrer f. L recuperare RECUPERATE]
re-cover v.tr. 1 cover again. 2 provide (a chair etc.) with a new
recovery n. (pl. -ies) 1 the act or an instance of recovering; the
process of being recovered. 2 Golf a stroke bringing the ball
out of a bunker etc. [ME f. AF recoverie, OF reco(u)vree (as
recreant adj. & n. literary --adj. 1 craven, cowardly. 2 apostate.
--n. 1 a coward. 2 an apostate. ЬЬrecreancy n. recreantly
adv. [ME f. OF, part. of recroire f. med.L (se) recredere yield
in trial by combat (as RE-, credere entrust)]
re-create v.tr. create over again. ЬЬre-creation n.
n. 1 the process or means of refreshing or entertaining
oneself. 2 a pleasurable activity. Ьrecreation-ground public
land for games etc. ЬЬrecreational adj. recreationally adv.
recreative adj. [ME f. OF f. L recreatio -onis f. recreare
create again, renew]
v.intr. make mutual or counter accusations. ЬЬrecrimination n.
recriminative adj. recriminatory adj. [med.L recriminare (as
RE-, criminare accuse f. crimen CRIME)]
recross v.tr. & intr. cross or pass over again.
v.intr. (of a disease or difficulty etc.) break out again, esp.
after a dormant period. ЬЬrecrudescence n. recrudescent adj.
[back-form. f. recrudescent, -ence f. L recrudescere (as RE-,
recruit n. & v. --n. 1 a serviceman or servicewoman newly enlisted and
not yet fully trained. 2 a new member of a society or
organization. 3 a beginner. --v. 1 tr. enlist (a person) as a
recruit. 2 tr. form (an army etc.) by enlisting recruits. 3
intr. get or seek recruits. 4 tr. replenish or reinvigorate
(numbers, strength, etc.). ЬЬrecruitable adj. recruiter n.
recruitment n. [earlier = reinforcement, f. obs. F dial.
recrute ult. f. F recroЊtre increase again f. L recrescere]
v.tr. & intr. (also -ise) crystallize again.
recta pl. of RECTUM.
rectal adj. of or by means of the rectum. ЬЬrectally adv.
rectangle n. a plane figure with four straight sides and four right
angles, esp. one with the adjacent sides unequal. [F rectangle
or med.L rectangulum f. LL rectiangulum f. L rectus straight +
adj. 1 a shaped like a rectangle. b having the base or sides
or section shaped like a rectangle. 2 a placed at right angles.
b having parts or lines placed at right angles. Ьrectangular
coordinates coordinates measured along axes at right angles.
rectangular hyperbola a hyperbola with rectangular asymptotes.
ЬЬrectangularity n. rectangularly adv.
recti pl. of RECTUS.
rectifier n. 1 a person or thing that rectifies. 2 Electr. an electrical
device that allows a current to flow preferentially in one
direction by converting an alternating current into a direct
rectify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 adjust or make right; correct, amend. 2
purify or refine, esp. by repeated distillation. 3 find a
straight line equal in length to (a curve). 4 convert
(alternating current) to direct current. ЬЬrectifiable adj.
rectification n. [ME f. OF rectifier f. med.L rectificare f. L
adj. (also rectilineal) 1 bounded or characterized by straight
lines. 2 in or forming a straight line. ЬЬrectilinearity n.
rectilinearly adv. [LL rectilineus f. L rectus straight + linea
rectitude n. 1 moral uprightness. 2 righteousness. 3 correctness. [ME
f. OF rectitude or LL rectitudo f. L rectus right]
recto n. (pl. -os) 1 the right-hand page of an open book. 2 the
front of a printed leaf of paper or manuscript (opp. VERSO).
[L recto (folio) on the right (leaf)]
rector n. 1 (in the Church of England) the incumbent of a parish where
all tithes formerly passed to the incumbent (cf. VICAR). 2 RC
Ch. a priest in charge of a church or religious institution. 3
a the head of some schools, universities, and colleges. b (in
Scotland) an elected representative of students on a
university's governing body. ЬЬrectorate n. rectorial adj.
rectorship n. [ME f. OF rectour or L rector ruler f. regere
rectory n. (pl. -ies) 1 a rector's house. 2 (in the Church of
England) a rector's benefice. [AF & OF rectorie or med.L
rectoria (as RECTOR)]
rectrix n. (pl. rectrices) a bird's strong tail-feather directing
flight. [L, fem. of rector ruler: see RECTOR]
rectum n. (pl. rectums or recta) the final section of the large
intestine, terminating at the anus. [L rectum (intestinum)
rectus n. (pl. recti) Anat. a straight muscle. [L, = straight]
v. 1 intr. recover from illness, exhaustion, loss, etc. 2 tr.
regain (health, something lost, etc.). ЬЬrecuperable adj.
recuperation n. recuperative adj. recuperator n. [L
recuperare recuperat- recover]
recur v.intr. (recurred, recurring) 1 occur again; be repeated. 2
(of a thought, idea, etc.) come back to one's mind. 3 (foll. by
to) go back in thought or speech. Ьrecurring decimal a decimal
fraction in which the same figures are repeated indefinitely.
[L recurrere recurs- (as RE-, currere run)]
recurrent adj. 1 recurring; happening repeatedly. 2 (of a nerve, vein,
branch, etc.) turning back so as to reverse direction.
ЬЬrecurrence n. recurrently adv.
recursion n. 1 the act or an instance of returning. 2 Math. the repeated
application of a procedure or definition to a previous result to
obtain a series of values. Ьrecursion formula Math. an
expression giving successive terms of a series etc. ЬЬrecursive
adj. [LL recursio (as RECUR)]
recurve v.tr. & intr. bend backwards. ЬЬrecurvate adj. recurvature n.
[L recurvare recurvat- (as RE-, curvare bend)]
recusant n. & adj. --n. a person who refuses submission to an authority
or compliance with a regulation, esp. hist. one who refused to
attend services of the Church of England. --adj. of or being a
recusant. ЬЬrecusance n. recusancy n. [L recusare refuse]
recycle v.tr. return (material) to a previous stage of a cyclic
process, esp. convert (waste) to reusable material.
red adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or near the colour seen at the
least-refracted end of the visible spectrum, of shades ranging
from that of blood to pink or deep orange. 2 flushed in the
face with shame, anger, etc. 3 (of the eyes) bloodshot or
red-rimmed with weeping. 4 (of the hair) reddish-brown, orange,
tawny. 5 involving or having to do with bloodshed, burning,
violence, or revolution. 6 colloq. communist or socialist. 7
(Red) Russian, Soviet (the Red Army). 8 (of wine) made from
dark grapes and coloured by their skins. --n. 1 a red colour
or pigment. 2 red clothes or material (dressed in red). 3
colloq. a communist or socialist. 4 a a red ball, piece, etc.,
in a game or sport. b the player using such pieces. 5 the
debit side of an account (in the red). 6 a red light. Ьred
admiral a butterfly, Vanessa atalanta, with red bands on each
pair of wings. red bark a red kind of cinchona. red biddy
colloq. a mixture of cheap wine and methylated spirits.
red-blooded virile, vigorous. red-bloodedness vigour, spirit.
red card Football a card shown by the referee to a player being
sent off the field. red carpet privileged treatment of an
eminent visitor. red cedar an American juniper, Juniperus
virginiana. red cell (or corpuscle) an erythrocyte. red cent
US the smallest (orig. copper) coin; a trivial sum. Red
Crescent an organization like the Red Cross in Muslim countries.
red cross 1 St George's cross, the national emblem of England.
2 the Christian side in the crusades. Red Cross 1 an
international organization (originally medical) bringing relief
to victims of war or natural disaster. 2 the emblem of this
organization. red deer a deer, Cervus elaphus, with a rich
red-brown summer coat turning dull-brown in winter. red duster
Brit. colloq. = red ensign. red dwarf an old relatively cool
star. red ensign see ENSIGN. red-eye 1 = RUDD. 2 US sl. cheap
whisky. red-faced embarrassed, ashamed. red flag 1 the symbol
of socialist revolution. 2 a warning of danger. red fox a
native British fox, Vulpes vulpes, having a characteristic deep
red or fawn coat. red giant a relatively cool giant star. red
grouse a subspecies of the willow grouse, native to Britain and
familiar as a game-bird. Red Guard hist. a member of a
militant youth movement in China (1966-76). red gum 1 a
teething-rash in children. 2 a a reddish resin. b any of
various kinds of eucalyptus yielding this. red-handed in or
just after the act of committing a crime, doing wrong, etc. red
hat 1 a cardinal's hat. 2 the symbol of a cardinal's office.
red-headed 1 (of a person) having red hair. 2 (of birds etc.)
having a red head. red heat 1 the temperature or state of
something so hot as to emit red light. 2 great excitement. red
herring 1 dried smoked herring. 2 a misleading clue or
distraction (so called from the practice of using the scent of
red herring in training hounds). red-hot 1 heated until red. 2
highly exciting. 3 (of news) fresh; completely new. 4
intensely excited. 5 enraged. red-hot poker any plant of the
genus Kniphofia, with spikes of usually red or yellow flowers.
Red Indian offens. an American Indian. red lead a red form of
lead oxide used as a pigment. red-letter day a day that is
pleasantly noteworthy or memorable (orig. a festival marked in
red on the calendar). red light 1 a signal to stop on a road,
railway, etc. 2 a warning or refusal. red-light district a
district containing many brothels. red man = Red Indian. red
meat meat that is red when raw (e.g. beef or lamb). red mullet
a marine fish, Mullus surmuletus, valued as food. red pepper 1
cayenne pepper. 2 the ripe fruit of the capsicum plant,
Capsicum annuum. red rag something that excites a person's rage
(so called because red is supposed to provoke bulls). red
rattle a pink-flowered marsh plant, Pedicularis palustris. red
roan see ROAN(1). red rose the emblem of Lancashire or the
Lancastrians. red shift the displacement of the spectrum to
longer wavelengths in the light coming from distant galaxies
etc. in recession. red spider any of various mites of the
family Tetranychidae infesting hothouse plants esp. vines. red
squirrel a native British squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris, with
reddish fur. Red Star the emblem of some Communist countries.
red tape excessive bureaucracy or adherence to formalities esp.
in public business. red-water 1 a bacterial disease of calves,
a symptom of which is the passing of reddish urine. 2 a mass of
water made red by pigmented plankton, esp. Gonyanlax
tamarensis. ЬЬreddish adj. reddy adj. redly adv. redness n.
[OE read f. Gmc]
redact v.tr. put into literary form; edit for publication. ЬЬredactor
n. [L redigere redact- (as RE-, agere bring)]
redaction n. 1 preparation for publication. 2 revision, editing,
rearrangement. 3 a new edition. ЬЬredactional adj. [F
r‚daction f. LL redactio (as REDACT)]
redan n. a fieldwork with two faces forming a salient angle. [F f.
redent notching (as RE-, dent tooth)]
redbreast n. colloq. a robin.
redbrick adj. esp. Brit. (of a university) founded relatively
redbud n. any American tree of the genus Cercis, with pale pink
redcap n. 1 Brit. a member of the military police. 2 US a railway
redcoat n. hist. a British soldier (so called from the scarlet uniform
of most regiments).
n. 1 a widely cultivated shrub, Ribes rubrum. 2 a small red
edible berry of this plant.
rede n. & v. archaic --n. advice, counsel. --v.tr. 1 advise. 2
read (a riddle or dream). [OE r‘d f. Gmc, rel. to READ (of
which the verb is a ME var. retained for archaic senses)]
v.tr. decorate again or differently. ЬЬredecoration n.
redeem v.tr. 1 buy back; recover by expenditure of effort or by a
stipulated payment. 2 make a single payment to discharge (a
regular charge or obligation). 3 convert (tokens or bonds etc.)
into goods or cash. 4 (of God or Christ) deliver from sin and
damnation. 5 make up for; be a compensating factor in (has one
redeeming feature). 6 (foll. by from) save from (a defect). 7
refl. save (oneself) from blame. 8 purchase the freedom of (a
person). 9 save (a person's life) by ransom. 10 save or rescue
or reclaim. 11 fulfil (a promise). ЬЬredeemable adj. [ME f.
OF redimer or L redimere redempt- (as RE-, emere buy)]
redeemer n. a person who redeems. Ьthe Redeemer Christ.
redefine v.tr. define again or differently. ЬЬredefinition n.
n. 1 the act or an instance of redeeming; the process of being
redeemed. 2 man's deliverance from sin and damnation. 3 a
thing that redeems. ЬЬredemptive adj. [ME f. OF f. L redemptio
redeploy v.tr. send (troops, workers, etc.) to a new place or task.
redesign v.tr. design again or differently.
v.tr. determine again or differently. ЬЬredetermination n.
redevelop v.tr. develop anew (esp. an urban area, with new buildings).
ЬЬredeveloper n. redevelopment n.
redfish n. 1 a male salmon in the spawning season. 2 a rose-fish.
n. the relaying of broadcast programmes esp. by cable from a
redingote n. a woman's long coat with a cutaway front or a contrasting
piece on the front. [F f. E riding-coat]
v.tr. 1 restore to wholeness or unity. 2 renew or re-establish
in a united or perfect state. ЬЬredintegration n.
redintegrative adj. [ME f. L redintegrare (as RE-, INTEGRATE)]
redirect v.tr. direct again, esp. change the address of (a letter).
v.tr. discover again. ЬЬrediscovery n. (pl. -ies).
v.tr. & intr. dissolve again. ЬЬredissolution n.
disp. v.tr. distribute again or differently. ЬЬredistribution
n. redistributive adj.
redivide v.tr. divide again or differently. ЬЬredivision n.
redivivus adj. (placed after noun) come back to life. [L (as RE-, vivus
redneck n. US often derog. a working-class White in the southern US,
esp. a politically conservative one.
redo v.tr. (3rd sing. present redoes; past redid; past part.
redone) 1 do again or differently. 2 redecorate.
redolent adj. 1 (foll. by of, with) strongly reminiscent or suggestive
or mentally associated. 2 fragrant. 3 having a strong smell;
odorous. ЬЬredolence n. redolently adv. [ME f. OF redolent or
L redolere (as RE-, olere smell)]
redouble v. & n. --v. 1 tr. & intr. make or grow greater or more
intense or numerous; intensify, increase. 2 intr. Bridge
double again a bid already doubled by an opponent. --n. Bridge
the redoubling of a bid. [F redoubler (as RE-, DOUBLE)]
redoubt n. Mil. an outwork or fieldwork usu. square or polygonal and
without flanking defences. [F redoute f. obs. It. ridotta f.
med.L reductus refuge f. past part. of L reducere withdraw (see
REDUCE): -b- after DOUBT (cf. REDOUBTABLE)]
adj. formidable, esp. as an opponent. ЬЬredoubtably adv. [ME
f. OF redoutable f. redouter fear (as RE-, DOUBT)]
redound v.intr. 1 (foll. by to) (of an action etc.) make a great
contribution to (one's credit or advantage etc.). 2 (foll. by
upon, on) come as the final result to; come back or recoil upon.
[ME, orig. = overflow, f. OF redonder f. L redundare surge (as
RE-, unda wave)]
redox n. Chem. (often attrib.) oxidation and reduction. [reduction +
redpoll n. a finch, Acanthis flammea, with a red forehead, similar to a
redraft v.tr. draft (a writing or document) again.
redraw v.tr. (past redrew; past part. redrawn) draw again or
redress v. & n. --v.tr. 1 remedy or rectify (a wrong or grievance
etc.). 2 readjust; set straight again. --n. 1 reparation for
a wrong. 2 (foll. by of) the act or process of redressing (a
grievance etc.). Ьredress the balance restore equality.
ЬЬredressable adj. redressal n. redresser n. (also
redressor). [ME f. OF redresse(r), redrecier (as RE-, DRESS)]
re-dress v.tr. & intr. dress again or differently.
redshank n. either of two sandpipers, Tringa totanus and T. erythropus,
with bright-red legs.
redskin n. colloq. offens. an American Indian.
redstart n. 1 any European red-tailed songbird of the genus Phoenicurus.
2 any of various similar American warblers of the family
Parulidae. [RED + OE steort tail]
reduce v. 1 tr. & intr. make or become smaller or less. 2 tr. (foll.
by to) bring by force or necessity (to some undesirable state or
action) (reduced them to tears; were reduced to begging). 3 tr.
convert to another (esp. simpler) form (reduced it to a powder).
4 tr. convert (a fraction) to the form with the lowest terms. 5
tr. (foll. by to) bring or simplify or adapt by classification
or analysis (the dispute may be reduced to three issues). 6 tr.
make lower in status or rank. 7 tr. lower the price of. 8
intr. lessen one's weight or size. 9 tr. weaken (is in a very
reduced state). 10 tr. impoverish. 11 tr. subdue; bring back
to obedience. 12 Chem. intr. & tr. a combine or cause to
combine with hydrogen. b undergo or cause to undergo addition
of electrons. 13 tr. Chem. convert (oxide etc.) to metal. 14
tr. a (in surgery) restore (a dislocated etc. part) to its
proper position. b remedy (a dislocation etc.) in this way. 15
tr. Photog. make (a negative or print) less dense. 16 tr.
Cookery boil off excess liquid from. Ьreduced circumstances
poverty after relative prosperity. reduce to the ranks demote
(an NCO) to the rank of private. reducing agent Chem. a
substance that brings about reduction by oxidation and losing
electrons. ЬЬreducer n. reducible adj. reducibility n. [ME
in sense 'restore to original or proper position', f. L
reducere reduct- (as RE-, ducere bring)]
reductio ad absurdum
n. a method of proving the falsity of a premiss by showing that
the logical consequence is absurd; an instance of this. [L, =
reduction to the absurd]
reduction n. 1 the act or an instance of reducing; the process of being
reduced. 2 an amount by which prices etc. are reduced. 3 a
reduced copy of a picture etc. 4 an arrangement of an
orchestral score for piano etc. ЬЬreductive adj. [ME f. OF
reduction or L reductio (as REDUCE)]
n. 1 the tendency to or principle of analysing complex things
into simple constituents. 2 often derog. the doctrine that a
system can be fully understood in terms of its isolated parts,
or an idea in terms of simple concepts. ЬЬreductionist n.
redundant adj. 1 superfluous; not needed. 2 that can be omitted without
any loss of significance. 3 (of a person) no longer needed at
work and therefore unemployed. 4 Engin. & Computing (of a
component) not needed but included in case of failure in another
component. ЬЬredundancy n. (pl. -ies). redundantly adv. [L
redundare redundant- (as REDOUND)]
v.tr. 1 make double. 2 repeat. 3 repeat (a letter or syllable
or word) exactly or with a slight change (e.g. hurly-burly,
see-saw). ЬЬreduplication n. reduplicative adj. [LL
reduplicare (as RE-, DUPLICATE)]
redwing n. a thrush, Turdus iliacus, with red underwings showing in
redwood n. 1 an exceptionally large Californian conifer, Sequoia
sempervirens, yielding red wood. 2 any tree yielding red wood.
reebok n. (also rhebok) a small S. African antelope, Pelea capreolus,
with sharp horns. [Du., = roebuck]
reed(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a any of various water or marsh plants with a
firm stem, esp. of the genus Phragmites. b a tall straight
stalk of this. 2 (collect.) reeds growing in a mass or used as
material esp. for thatching. 3 Brit. wheat-straw prepared for
thatching. 4 a pipe of reed or straw. 5 a the vibrating part
of the mouthpiece of some wind instruments, e.g. the oboe and
clarinet, made of reed or other material and producing the
sound. b (esp. in pl.) a reed instrument. 6 a weaver's
comblike implement for separating the threads of the warp and
correctly positioning the weft. 7 (in pl.) a set of
semicylindrical adjacent mouldings like reeds laid together.
--v.tr. 1 thatch with reed. 2 make (straw) into reed. 3 fit
(a musical instrument) with a reed. 4 decorate with a moulding
of reeds. Ьreed bunting a small brown bird, Emberiza
schoeniclus, frequenting reed-beds. reed-mace a tall reedlike
water-plant, Typha latifolia, with straplike leaves and a head
of numerous tiny red-brown flowers. reed-organ a harmonium etc.
with the sound produced by metal reeds. reed-pipe 1 a wind
instrument with sound produced by a reed. 2 an organ-pipe with
a reed. reed-stop a reeded organ-stop. reed-warbler any bird
of the genus Acrocephalus, esp. A. scirpaceus, frequenting
reed-beds. [OE hreod f. WG]
reed(2) n. the fourth stomach of a ruminant; the abomasum. [OE reada]
reedbuck n. an antelope, Redunca redunca, native to W. Africa.
reeded adj. Mus. (of an instrument) having a vibrating reed.
reeding n. Archit. a small semicylindrical moulding or ornamentation
(cf. REED(1) n. 7).
re-edit v.tr. (-edited, -editing) edit again or differently.
reedling n. a bearded tit. [REED(1)]
v.tr. educate again, esp. to change a person's views or
beliefs. ЬЬre-education n.
reedy adj. (reedier, reediest) 1 full of reeds. 2 like a reed, esp.
in weakness or slenderness. 3 (of a voice) like a reed
instrument in tone; not full. ЬЬreediness n.
reef(1) n. 1 a ridge of rock or coral etc. at or near the surface of
the sea. 2 a a lode of ore. b the bedrock surrounding this.
[earlier riff(e) f. MDu., MLG rif, ref, f. ON rif RIB]
reef(2) n. & v. Naut. --n. each of several strips across a sail, for
taking it in or rolling it up to reduce the surface area in a
high wind. --v.tr. 1 take in a reef or reefs of (a sail). 2
shorten (a topmast or a bowsprit). Ьreefing-jacket a thick
close-fitting double-breasted jacket. reef-knot a double knot
made symmetrically to hold securely and cast off easily.
reef-point each of several short pieces of rope attached to a
sail to secure it when reefed. [ME riff, refe f. Du. reef, rif
f. ON rif RIB, in the same sense: cf. REEF(1)]
reefer n. 1 sl. a marijuana cigarette. 2 = reefing-jacket (see
REEF(2)). 3 a a person who reefs. b colloq. a midshipman.
[REEF(2) (in sense 1, = a thing rolled) + -ER(1)]
reek v. & n. --v.intr. (often foll. by of) 1 smell strongly and
unpleasantly. 2 have unpleasant or suspicious associations
(this reeks of corruption). 3 give off smoke or fumes. --n. 1
a foul or stale smell. 2 esp. Sc. smoke. 3 vapour; a visible
exhalation (esp. from a chimney). ЬЬreeky adj. [OE reocan
(v.), rec (n.), f. Gmc]
reel n. & v. --n. 1 a cylindrical device on which thread, silk,
yarn, paper, film, wire, etc., are wound. 2 a quantity of
thread etc. wound on a reel. 3 a device for winding and
unwinding a line as required, esp. in fishing. 4 a revolving
part in various machines. 5 a a lively folk or Scottish dance,
of two or more couples facing each other. b a piece of music
for this. --v. 1 tr. wind (thread, a fishing-line, etc.) on a
reel. 2 tr. (foll. by in, up) draw (fish etc.) in or up by the
use of a reel. 3 intr. stand or walk or run unsteadily. 4
intr. be shaken mentally or physically. 5 intr. rock from side
to side, or swing violently. 6 intr. dance a reel. Ьreel off
say or recite very rapidly and without apparent effort.
ЬЬreeler n. [OE hreol, of unkn. orig.]
re-elect v.tr. elect again, esp. to a further term of office.
ЬЬre-election n. re-eligible adj.
re-embark v.intr. & tr. go or put on board ship again. ЬЬre-embarkation
re-emerge v.intr. emerge again; come back out. ЬЬre-emergence n.
v.tr. place renewed emphasis on. ЬЬre-emphasis n.
re-employ v.tr. employ again. ЬЬre-employment n.
re-enact v.tr. act out (a past event). ЬЬre-enactment n.
re-enlist v.intr. enlist again, esp. in the armed services.
re-enter v.tr. & intr. enter again; go back in. ЬЬre-entrance n.
adj. & n. --adj. 1 esp. Fortification (of an angle) pointing
inwards (opp. SALIENT). 2 Geom. reflex. --n. a re-entrant
re-entry n. (pl. -ies) 1 the act of entering again, esp. (of a
spacecraft, missile, etc.) re-entering the earth's atmosphere.
2 Law an act of retaking or repossession.
re-equip v.tr. & intr. (-equipped, -equipping) provide or be provided
with new equipment.
re-erect v.tr. erect again.
v.tr. establish again or anew. ЬЬre-establishment n.
v.tr. evaluate again or differently. ЬЬre-evaluation n.
reeve(1) n. 1 hist. a the chief magistrate of a town or district. b an
official supervising a landowner's estate. c any of various
minor local officials. 2 Can. the president of a village or
town council. [OE (ge)refa, giroefa]
reeve(2) v.tr. (past rove or reeved) Naut. 1 (usu. foll. by through)
thread (a rope or rod etc.) through a ring or other aperture. 2
pass a rope through (a block etc.). 3 fasten (a rope or block)
in this way. [prob. f. Du. reven REEF(2)]
reeve(3) n. a female ruff (see RUFF(1)). [17th c.: orig. unkn.]
v.tr. examine again or further (esp. a witness after
cross-examination). ЬЬre-examination n.
re-export v. & n. --v.tr. export again (esp. imported goods after
further processing or manufacture). --n. 1 the process of
re-exporting. 2 something re-exported. ЬЬre-exportation n.
ref n. colloq. a referee in sports. [abbr.]
ref. abbr. 1 reference. 2 refer to.
reface v.tr. put a new facing on (a building).
refashion v.tr. fashion again or differently.
refection n. literary 1 refreshment by food or drink (we took refection).
2 a light meal. [ME f. OF f. L refectio -onis f. reficere (as
refectory n. (pl. -ies) a room used for communal meals, esp. in a
monastery or college. Ьrefectory table a long narrow table.
[LL refectorium f. L reficere refresh (as RE-, facere make)]
refer v. (referred, referring) (usu. foll. by to) 1 tr. trace or
ascribe (to a person or thing as a cause or source) (referred
their success to their popularity). 2 tr. consider as belonging
(to a certain date or place or class). 3 tr. send on or direct
(a person, or a question for decision) (the matter was referred
to arbitration; referred him to her previous answer). 4 intr.
make an appeal or have recourse to (some authority or source of
information) (referred to his notes). 5 tr. send (a person) to
a medical specialist etc. 6 tr. (foll. by back to) send (a
proposal etc.) back to (a lower body, court, etc.). 7 intr.
(foll. by to) (of a person speaking) make an allusion or direct
the hearer's attention (decided not to refer to our other
problems). 8 intr. (foll. by to) (of a statement etc.) have a
particular relation; be directed (this paragraph refers to the
events of last year). 9 tr. (foll. by to) interpret (a
statement) as being directed to (a particular context etc.). 10
tr. fail (a candidate in an examination). Ьreferred pain pain
felt in a part of the body other than its actual source. refer
to drawer a banker's note suspending payment of a cheque.
ЬЬreferable adj. referrer n. [ME f. OF referer f. L referre
carry back (as RE-, ferre bring)]
referee n. & v. --n. 1 an umpire esp. in football or boxing. 2 a
person whose opinion or judgement is sought in some connection,
or who is referred to for a decision in a dispute etc. 3 a
person willing to testify to the character of an applicant for
employment etc. --v. (referees, refereed) 1 intr. act as
referee. 2 tr. be the referee of (a game etc.).
reference n. & v. --n. 1 the referring of a matter for decision or
settlement or consideration to some authority. 2 the scope
given to this authority. 3 (foll. by to) a a relation or
respect or correspondence (success seems to have little
reference to merit). b an allusion (made no reference to our
problems). c a direction to a book etc. (or a passage in it)
where information may be found. d a book or passage so cited.
4 a the act of looking up a passage etc. or looking in a book
for information. b the act of referring to a person etc. for
information. 5 a a written testimonial supporting an applicant
for employment etc. b a person giving this. --v.tr. provide (a
book etc.) with references to authorities. Ьreference book a
book intended to be consulted for information on individual
matters rather than read continuously. reference library a
library in which the books are for consultation not loan. with
(or in) reference to regarding; as regards; about. without
reference to not taking account of. ЬЬreferential adj.
n. (pl. referendums or referenda) 1 the process of referring a
political question to the electorate for a direct decision by
general vote. 2 a vote taken by referendum. [L, gerund or
neut. gerundive of referre: see REFER]
referent n. the idea or thing that a word etc. symbolizes. [L referens
referral n. the referring of an individual to an expert or specialist
for advice, esp. the directing of a patient by a GP to a medical
refill v. & n. --v.tr. 1 fill again. 2 provide a new filling for.
--n. 1 a new filling. 2 the material for this. ЬЬrefillable
refine v. 1 tr. free from impurities or defects; purify, clarify. 2
tr. & intr. make or become more polished or elegant or cultured.
3 tr. & intr. make or become more subtle or delicate in thought,
feelings, etc. ЬЬrefinable adj. [RE- + FINE(1) v.]
refined adj. characterized by polish or elegance or subtlety.
n. 1 the act of refining or the process of being refined. 2
fineness of feeling or taste. 3 polish or elegance in behaviour
or manner. 4 an added development or improvement (a car with
several refinements). 5 a piece of subtle reasoning. 6 a fine
distinction. 7 a subtle or ingenious example or display (all
the refinements of reasoning). [REFINE + -MENT, after F
refiner n. a person or firm whose business is to refine crude oil,
metal, sugar, etc.
refinery n. (pl. -ies) a place where oil etc. is refined.
refit v. & n. --v.tr. & intr. (refitted, refitting) make or become
fit or serviceable again (esp. of a ship undergoing renewal and
repairs). --n. the act or an instance of refitting; the
process of being refitted. ЬЬrefitment n.
reflag v.tr. (reflagged, reflagging) change the national registration
of (a ship).
reflate v.tr. cause reflation of (a currency or economy etc.). [RE-
after inflate, deflate]
reflation n. the inflation of a financial system to restore its previous
condition after deflation. [RE- after inflation, deflation]
reflect v. 1 tr. a (of a surface or body) throw back (heat, light,
sound, etc.). b cause to rebound (reflected light). 2 tr. (of
a mirror) show an image of; reproduce to the eye or mind. 3 tr.
correspond in appearance or effect to; have as a cause or source
(their behaviour reflects a wish to succeed). 4 tr. a (of an
action, result, etc.) show or bring (credit, discredit, etc.).
b (absol.; usu. foll. by on, upon) bring discredit on. 5 a
intr. (often foll. by on, upon) meditate on; think about. b tr.
(foll. by that, how, etc. + clause) consider; remind oneself. 6
intr. (usu. foll. by upon, on) make disparaging remarks.
Ьreflecting telescope = REFLECTOR. [ME f. OF reflecter or L
reflectere (as RE-, flectere flex- bend)]
n. (also reflexion) 1 the act or an instance of reflecting; the
process of being reflected. 2 a reflected light, heat, or
colour. b a reflected image. 3 reconsideration (on
reflection). 4 (often foll. by on) discredit or a thing
bringing discredit. 5 (often foll. by on, upon) an idea arising
in the mind; a comment or apophthegm. Ьangle of reflection
Physics the angle made by a reflected ray with a perpendicular
to the reflecting surface. ЬЬreflectional adj. [ME f. OF
reflexion or LL reflexio (as REFLECT), with assim. to reflect]
adj. 1 (of a surface etc.) giving a reflection or image. 2 (of
mental faculties) concerned in reflection or thought. 3 (of a
person or mood etc.) thoughtful; given to meditation.
ЬЬreflectively adv. reflectiveness n.
reflector n. 1 a piece of glass or metal etc. for reflecting light in a
required direction, e.g. a red one on the back of a motor
vehicle or bicycle. 2 a a telescope etc. using a mirror to
produce images. b the mirror itself.
reflet n. lustre or iridescence, esp. on pottery. [F f. It. riflesso
reflex adj. & n. --adj. 1 (of an action) independent of the will, as
an automatic response to the stimulation of a nerve (e.g. a
sneeze). 2 (of an angle) exceeding 180ш. 3 bent backwards. 4
(of light) reflected. 5 (of a thought etc.) introspective;
directed back upon itself or its own operations. 6 (of an
effect or influence) reactive; coming back upon its author or
source. --n. 1 a reflex action. 2 a sign or secondary
manifestation (law is a reflex of public opinion). 3 reflected
light or a reflected image. 4 a word formed by development from
an earlier stage of a language. Ьreflex arc Anat. the sequence
of nerves involved in a reflex action. reflex camera a camera
with a ground-glass focusing screen on which the image is formed
by a combination of lens and mirror, enabling the scene to be
correctly composed and focused. ЬЬreflexly adv. [L reflexus
adj. capable of being reflected. ЬЬreflexibility n.
reflexion Brit. var. of REFLECTION.
reflexive adj. & n. Gram. --adj. 1 (of a word or form) referring back
to the subject of a sentence (esp. of a pronoun, e.g. myself).
2 (of a verb) having a reflexive pronoun as its object (as in to
wash oneself). --n. a reflexive word or form, esp. a pronoun.
ЬЬreflexively adv. reflexiveness n. reflexivity n.
n. 1 a system of massage through reflex points on the feet,
hands, and head, used to relieve tension and treat illness. 2
Psychol. the scientific study of reflexes. ЬЬreflexologist n.
refloat v.tr. set (a stranded ship) afloat again.
refluent adj. flowing back (refluent tide). ЬЬrefluence n. [ME f. L
refluere (as RE-, fluere flow)]
reflux n. & v. --n. 1 a backward flow. 2 Chem. a method of boiling a
liquid so that any vapour is liquefied and returned to the
boiler. --v.tr. & intr. Chem. boil or be boiled under reflux.
refocus v.tr. (refocused, refocusing or refocussed, refocussing) adjust
the focus of (esp. a lens).
reforest v.tr. = REAFFOREST. ЬЬreforestation n.
reforge v.tr. forge again or differently.
reform v. & n. --v. 1 tr. & intr. make or become better by the
removal of faults and errors. 2 tr. abolish or cure (an abuse
or malpractice). 3 tr. US correct (a legal document). 4 tr.
Chem. convert (a straight-chain hydrocarbon) by catalytic
reaction to a branched-chain form for use as petrol. --n. 1
the removal of faults or abuses, esp. of a moral or political or
social kind. 2 an improvement made or suggested. ЬReformed
Church a Church that has accepted the principles of the
Reformation, esp. a Calvinist Church (as distinct from
Lutheran). Reform Judaism a simplified and rationalized form of
Judaism. reform school an institution to which young offenders
are sent to be reformed. ЬЬreformable adj. [ME f. OF reformer
or L reformare (as RE-, FORM)]
re-form v.tr. & intr. form again. ЬЬre-formation n.
reformat v.tr. (reformatted, reformatting) format anew.
n. the act of reforming or process of being reformed, esp. a
radical change for the better in political or religious or
social affairs. Ьthe Reformation hist. a 16th-c. movement for
the reform of abuses in the Roman Church ending in the
establishment of the Reformed and Protestant Churches.
ЬЬReformational adj. [ME f. OF reformation or L reformatio (as
n. the process or an instance of forming or being formed again.
adj. tending or intended to produce reform. [OF reformatif
-ive or med.L reformativus (as REFORM)]
n. & adj. --n. (pl. -ies) US & hist. = reform school. --adj.
reformer n. a person who advocates or brings about (esp. political or
reformism n. a policy of reform rather than abolition or revolution.
v.tr. formulate again or differently. ЬЬreformulation n.
refract v.tr. 1 (of water, air, glass, etc.) deflect (a ray of light
etc.) at a certain angle when it enters obliquely from another
medium. 2 determine the refractive condition of (the eye). [L
refringere refract- (as RE-, frangere break)]
n. the process by which or the extent to which light is
refracted. Ьangle of refraction the angle made by a refracted
ray with the perpendicular to the refracting surface. [F
r‚fraction or LL refractio (as REFRACT)]
adj. of or involving refraction. Ьrefractive index the ratio
of the velocity of light in a vacuum to its velocity in a
n. an instrument for measuring a refractive index.
ЬЬrefractometric adj. refractometry n.
refractor n. 1 a refracting medium or lens. 2 a telescope using a lens
to produce an image.
adj. & n. --adj. 1 stubborn, unmanageable, rebellious. 2 a
(of a wound, disease, etc.) not yielding to treatment. b (of a
person etc.) resistant to infection. 3 (of a substance) hard to
fuse or work. --n. (pl. -ies) a substance especially
resistant to heat, corrosion, etc. ЬЬrefractorily adv.
refractoriness n. [alt. of obs. refractary f. L refractarius
v.intr. (foll. by from) avoid doing (an action) (refrain from
smoking). ЬЬrefrainment n. [ME f. OF refrener f. L refrenare
(as RE-, frenum bridle)]
n. 1 a recurring phrase or number of lines, esp. at the ends of
stanzas. 2 the music accompanying this. [ME f. OF refrain
(earlier refrait) ult. f. L refringere (as RE-, frangere break),
because the refrain 'broke' the sequence]
adj. that can be refracted. ЬЬrefrangibility n. [mod.L
refrangibilis f. refrangere = L refringere: see REFRACT]
refresh v.tr. 1 a (of food, rest, amusement, etc.) give fresh spirit or
vigour to. b (esp. refl.) revive with food, rest, etc.
(refreshed myself with a short sleep). 2 revive or stimulate
(the memory), esp. by consulting the source of one's
information. 3 make cool. [ME f. OF refreschi(e)r f. fres
refresher n. 1 something that refreshes, esp. a drink. 2 Law an extra
fee payable to counsel in a prolonged case. Ьrefresher course a
course reviewing or updating previous studies.
adj. 1 serving to refresh. 2 welcome or stimulating because
sincere or untypical (refreshing innocence). ЬЬrefreshingly
n. 1 the act of refreshing or the process of being refreshed in
mind or body. 2 (usu. in pl.) food or drink that refreshes. 3
something that refreshes or stimulates the mind. [ME f. OF
refreschement (as REFRESH)]
n. & adj. --n. 1 a substance used for refrigeration. 2 Med. a
substance that cools or allays fever. --adj. cooling. [F
r‚frig‚rant or L refrigerant- (as REFRIGERATE)]
v. 1 tr. & intr. make or become cool or cold. 2 tr. subject
(food etc.) to cold in order to freeze or preserve it.
ЬЬrefrigeration n. refrigerative adj. [L refrigerare (as RE-,
frigus frigoris cold)]
n. a cabinet or room in which food etc. is kept cold.
adj. & n. --adj. serving to cool. --n. (pl. -ies) hist. a
cold-water vessel attached to a still for condensing vapour.
[mod.L refrigeratorium (n.), L refrigeratorius (adj.) (as
adj. Physics refracting. ЬЬrefringence n. refringency n. [L
refringere: see REFRACT]
refroze past of REFREEZE.
refrozen past part. of REFREEZE.
reft past part. of REAVE.
refuel v. (refuelled, refuelling; US refueled, refueling) 1 intr.
replenish a fuel supply. 2 tr. supply with more fuel.
refuge n. 1 a shelter from pursuit or danger or trouble. 2 a person
or place etc. offering this. 3 a person, thing, or course
resorted to in difficulties. 4 a traffic island. [ME f. OF f.
L refugium (as RE-, fugere flee)]
refugee n. a person taking refuge, esp. in a foreign country from war
or persecution or natural disaster. [F r‚fugi‚ past part. of
(se) r‚fugier (as REFUGE)]
refund v. & n. --v. tr. (also absol.) 1 pay back (money or expenses).
2 reimburse (a person). --n. 1 an act of refunding. 2 a sum
refunded; a repayment. ЬЬrefundable adj. refunder n. [ME in
sense 'pour back', f. OF refonder or L refundere (as RE-,
fundere pour), later assoc. with FUND]
re-fund v.tr. fund (a debt etc.) again.
refurbish v.tr. 1 brighten up. 2 restore and redecorate.
refurnish v.tr. furnish again or differently.
refusal n. 1 the act or an instance of refusing; the state of being
refused. 2 (in full first refusal) the right or privilege of
deciding to take or leave a thing before it is offered to
refuse(1) v. 1 tr. withhold acceptance of or consent to (refuse an offer;
refuse orders). 2 tr. (often foll. by to + infin.) indicate
unwillingness (I refuse to go; the car refuses to start; I
refuse!). 3 tr. (often with double object) not grant (a
request) made by (a person) (refused me a day off; I could not
refuse them). 4 tr. (also absol.) (of a horse) be unwilling to
jump (a fence etc.). ЬЬrefusable adj. refuser n. [ME f. OF
refuser prob. ult. f. L recusare (see RECUSANT) after refutare
refuse(2) n. items rejected as worthless; waste. [ME, perh. f. OF refus‚
past part. (as REFUSE)]
re-fuse v.tr. fuse again; provide with a new fuse.
refusenik n. a Jew in the Soviet Union who has been refused permission to
emigrate to Israel. [REFUSE(1) + -NIK]
refute v.tr. 1 prove the falsity or error of (a statement etc. or the
person advancing it). 2 rebut or repel by argument. 3 disp.
deny or contradict (without argument). °Often confused in this
sense with repudiate. ЬЬrefutable adj. refutal n. refutation
n. refuter n. [L refutare (as RE-: cf. CONFUTE)]
reg n. colloq. = registration mark. [abbr.]
regain v.tr. obtain possession or use of after loss (regain
consciousness). [F regagner (as RE-, GAIN)]
regal adj. 1 royal; of or by a monarch or monarchs. 2 fit for a
monarch; magnificent. ЬЬregally adv. [ME f. OF regal or L
regalis f. rex regis king]
regale v.tr. 1 entertain lavishly with feasting. 2 (foll. by with)
entertain or divert with (talk etc.). 3 (of beauty, flowers,
etc.) give delight to. ЬЬregalement n. [F r‚galer f. OF gale
regalia n.pl. 1 the insignia of royalty used at coronations. 2 the
insignia of an order or of civic dignity. [med.L, = royal
privileges, f. L neut. pl. of regalis REGAL]
regalism n. the doctrine of a sovereign's ecclesiastical supremacy.
regality n. (pl. -ies) 1 the state of being a king or queen. 2 an
attribute of sovereign power. 3 a royal privilege. [ME f. OF
regalit‚ or med.L regalitas (as REGAL)]
regard v. & n. --v.tr. 1 gaze on steadily (usu. in a specified way)
(regarded them suspiciously). 2 give heed to; take into
account; let one's course be affected by. 3 look upon or
contemplate mentally in a specified way (I regard them kindly; I
regard it as an insult). 4 (of a thing) have relation to; have
some connection with. --n. 1 a gaze; a steady or significant
look. 2 (foll. by to, for) attention or care. 3 (foll. by for)
esteem; kindly feeling; respectful opinion. 4 a respect; a
point attended to (in this regard). 5 (in pl.) an expression of
friendliness in a letter etc.; compliments (sent my best
regards). Ьas regards about, concerning; in respect of. in (or
with) regard to as concerns; in respect of. [ME f. OF regard f.
regarder (as RE-, garder GUARD)]
regardant adj. Heraldry looking backwards. [AF & OF (as REGARD)]
regardful adj. (foll. by of) mindful of; paying attention to.
regarding prep. about, concerning; in respect of.
adj. & adv. --adj. (foll. by of) without regard or
consideration for (regardless of the expense). --adv. without
paying attention (carried on regardless). ЬЬregardlessly adv.
regatta n. a sporting event consisting of a series of boat or yacht
races. [It. (Venetian)]
regd. abbr. registered.
regelate v.intr. freeze again (esp. of pieces of ice etc. frozen
together after temporary thawing of the surfaces). ЬЬregelation
n. [RE- + L gelare freeze]
regency n. (pl. -ies) 1 the office of regent. 2 a commission acting
as regent. 3 a the period of office of a regent or regency
commission. b (Regency) a particular period of a regency, esp.
(in Britain) from 1811 to 1820, and (in France) from 1715 to
1723 (often attrib.: Regency costume). [ME f. med.L regentia
v. & adj. --v. 1 tr. & intr. bring or come into renewed
existence; generate again. 2 tr. improve the moral condition
of. 3 tr. impart new, more vigorous, and spiritually greater
life to (a person or institution etc.). 4 intr. reform oneself.
5 tr. invest with a new and higher spiritual nature. 6 intr. &
tr. Biol. regrow or cause (new tissue) to regrow to replace
lost or injured tissue. 7 tr. & intr. Chem. restore or be
restored to an initial state of reaction or process. --adj. 1
spiritually born again. 2 reformed. ЬЬregeneration n.
regenerative adj. regeneratively adv. regenerator n. [L
regenerare (as RE-, GENERATE)]
regent n. & adj. --n. 1 a person appointed to administer a State
because the monarch is a minor or is absent or incapacitated. 2
US a member of the governing body of a State university. --adj.
(placed after noun) acting as regent (Prince Regent).
Ьregent-bird an Australian bower bird, Sericulus chrysocephalus.
[ME f. OF regent or L regere rule]
v.tr. & intr. germinate again. ЬЬregermination n.
reggae n. a W. Indian style of music with a strongly accented
subsidiary beat. [W.Ind.]
regicide n. 1 a person who kills or takes part in killing a king. 2 the
act of killing a king. ЬЬregicidal adj. [L rex regis king +
regild v.tr. gild again, esp. to renew faded or worn gilding.
regime n. (also r‚gime) 1 a a method or system of government. b
derog. a particular government. 2 a prevailing order or system
of things. 3 the conditions under which a scientific or
industrial process occurs. [F r‚gime (as REGIMEN)]
regimen n. 1 esp. Med. a prescribed course of exercise, way of life,
and diet. 2 archaic a system of government. [L f. regere
regiment n. & v. --n. 1 a a permanent unit of an army usu. commanded by
a colonel and divided into several companies or troops or
batteries and often into two battalions. b an operational unit
of artillery etc. 2 (usu. foll. by of) a large array or number.
3 archaic rule, government. --v.tr. 1 organize (esp.
oppressively) in groups or according to a system. 2 form into a
regiment or regiments. ЬЬregimentation n. [ME (in sense 3) f.
OF f. LL regimentum (as REGIMEN)]
adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to a regiment. --n. (in pl.)
military uniform, esp. of a particular regiment. ЬЬregimentally
Regina n. the reigning queen (following a name or in the titles of
lawsuits, e.g. Regina v. Jones the Crown versus Jones). [L, =
queen f. rex regis king]
region n. 1 an area of land, or division of the earth's surface,
having definable boundaries or characteristics (a mountainous
region; the region between London and the coast). 2 an
administrative district esp. in Scotland. 3 a part of the body
round or near some organ etc. (the lumbar region). 4 a sphere
or realm (the region of metaphysics). 5 a a separate part of
the world or universe. b a layer of the atmosphere or the sea
according to its height or depth. Ьin the region of
approximately. ЬЬregional adj. regionalism n. regionalist n.
& adj. regionalize v.tr. (also -ise). regionally adv. [ME f.
OF f. L regio -onis direction, district f. regere direct]
regisseur n. the director of a theatrical production, esp. a ballet. [F
register n. & v. --n. 1 an official list e.g. of births, marriages, and
deaths, of shipping, of professionally qualified persons, or of
qualified voters in a constituency. 2 a book in which items are
recorded for reference. 3 a device recording speed, force, etc.
4 (in electronic devices) a location in a store of data, used
for a specific purpose and with quick access time. 5 a the
compass of a voice or instrument. b a part of this compass
(lower register). 6 an adjustable plate for widening or
narrowing an opening and regulating a draught, esp. in a
fire-grate. 7 a a set of organ pipes. b a sliding device
controlling this. 8 = cash register (see CASH(1)). 9
Linguistics each of several forms of a language (colloquial,
formal, literary, etc.) usually used in particular
circumstances. 10 Printing the exact correspondence of the
position of printed matter on the two sides of a leaf. 11
Printing & Photog. the correspondence of the position of
colour-components in a printed positive. --v. 1 tr. set down
(a name, fact, etc.) formally; record in writing. 2 tr. make a
mental note of; notice. 3 tr. enter or cause to be entered in a
particular register. 4 tr. entrust (a letter etc.) to a post
office for transmission by registered post. 5 intr. & refl. put
one's name on a register, esp. as an eligible voter or as a
guest in a register kept by a hotel etc. 6 tr. (of an
instrument) record automatically; indicate. 7 a tr. express (an
emotion) facially or by gesture (registered surprise). b intr.
(of an emotion) show in a person's face or gestures. 8 intr.
make an impression on a person's mind (did not register at all).
9 intr. & tr. Printing correspond or cause to correspond
exactly in position. Ьregistered nurse a nurse with a State
certificate of competence. registered post a postal procedure
with special precautions for safety and for compensation in case
of loss. register office Brit. a State office where civil
marriages are conducted and births, marriages, and deaths are
recorded with the issue of certificates. °The name in official
use, and generally preferred to registry office. ЬЬregistrable
adj. [ME & OF regestre, registre or med.L regestrum, registrum,
alt. of regestum f. LL regesta things recorded (as RE-, L gerere
registrar n. 1 an official responsible for keeping a register or official
records. 2 the chief administrative officer in a university. 3
a middle-ranking hospital doctor undergoing training as a
specialist. 4 (in the UK) the judicial and administrative
officer of the High Court etc. ЬRegistrar General a government
official responsible for holding a population census.
ЬЬregistrarship n. [med.L registrarius f. registrum REGISTER]
n. (pl. -ies) the registrar of Cambridge University.
n. the act or an instance of registering; the process of being
registered. Ьregistration mark (or number) a combination of
letters and figures identifying a motor vehicle etc. [obs. F
r‚gistration or med.L registratio (as REGISTRAR)]
registry n. (pl. -ies) 1 a place or office where registers or records
are kept. 2 registration. Ьregistry office = register office.
[obs. registery f. med.L registerium (as REGISTER)]
n. Brit. the holder of a chair founded by a sovereign (esp.
one at Oxford or Cambridge instituted by Henry VIII) or filled
by Crown appointment. [L, = royal, f. rex regis king]
reglaze v.tr. glaze (a window etc.) again.
reglet n. 1 Archit. a narrow strip separating mouldings. 2 Printing a
thin strip of wood or metal separating type. [F r‚glet dimin.
of rЉgle (as RULE)]
regnal adj. of a reign. Ьregnal year a year reckoned from the date or
anniversary of a sovereign's accession. [AL regnalis (as
regolith n. Geol. unconsolidated solid material covering the bedrock of
a planet. [erron. f. Gk rhegos rug, blanket + -LITH]
regorge v. 1 tr. bring up or expel again after swallowing. 2 intr.
gush or flow back from a pit, channel, etc. [F regorger or RE-
regrade v.tr. grade again or differently.
regress v. & n. --v. 1 intr. move backwards, esp. (in abstract senses)
return to a former state. 2 intr. & tr. Psychol. return or
cause to return mentally to a former stage of life, esp. through
hypnosis or mental illness. --n. 1 the act or an instance of
going back. 2 reasoning from effect to cause. [ME (as n.) f. L
regressus f. regredi regress- (as RE-, gradi step)]
n. 1 a backward movement, esp. a return to a former state. 2 a
relapse or reversion. 3 Psychol. a return to an earlier stage
of development, esp. through hypnosis or mental illness. 4
Statistics a measure of the relation between the mean value of
one variable (e.g. output) and corresponding values of other
variables (e.g. time and cost). [L regressio (as REGRESS)]
adj. 1 regressing; characterized by regression. 2 (of a tax)
proportionally greater on lower incomes. ЬЬregressively adv.
regret v. & n. --v.tr. (regretted, regretting) (often foll. by that +
clause) 1 feel or express sorrow or repentance or distress over
(an action or loss etc.) (I regret that I forgot; regretted your
absence). 2 (often foll. by to + infin. or that + clause)
acknowledge with sorrow or remorse (I regret to say that you are
wrong; regretted he would not be attending). --n. 1 a feeling
of sorrow, repentance, disappointment, etc., over an action or
loss etc. 2 (often in pl.) an (esp. polite or formal)
expression of disappointment or sorrow at an occurrence,
inability to comply, etc. (refused with many regrets; heard with
regret of her death). Ьgive (or send) one's regrets formally
decline an invitation. [ME f. OF regreter bewail]
regretful adj. feeling or showing regret. ЬЬregretfully adv.
regroup v.tr. & intr. group or arrange again or differently.
regrow v.intr. & tr. grow again, esp. after an interval. ЬЬregrowth
Regt. abbr. Regiment.
regulable adj. able to be regulated.
regular adj. & n. --adj. 1 conforming to a rule or principle;
systematic. 2 (of a structure or arrangement) harmonious,
symmetrical (regular features). 3 acting or done or recurring
uniformly or calculably in time or manner; habitual, constant,
orderly. 4 conforming to a standard of etiquette or procedure;
correct; according to convention. 5 properly constituted or
qualified; not defective or amateur; pursuing an occupation as
one's main pursuit (cooks as well as a regular cook; has no
regular profession). 6 Gram. (of a noun, verb, etc.) following
the normal type of inflection. 7 colloq. complete, thorough,
absolute (a regular hero). 8 Geom. a (of a figure) having all
sides and all angles equal. b (of a solid) bounded by a number
of equal figures. 9 Eccl. (placed before or after noun) a bound
by religious rule. b belonging to a religious or monastic order
(canon regular). 10 (of forces or troops etc.) relating to or
constituting a permanent professional body (regular soldiers;
regular police force). 11 (of a person) defecating or
menstruating at predictable times. 12 Bot. (of a flower) having
radial symmetry. --n. 1 a regular soldier. 2 colloq. a
regular customer, visitor, etc. 3 Eccl. one of the regular
clergy. 4 colloq. a person permanently employed. Ьkeep regular
hours do the same thing, esp. going to bed and getting up, at
the same time each day. ЬЬregularity n. regularize v.tr.
(also -ise). regularization n. regularly adv. [ME reguler,
regular f. OF reguler f. L regularis f. regula RULE]
regulate v.tr. 1 control by rule. 2 subject to restrictions. 3 adapt
to requirements. 4 alter the speed of (a machine or clock) so
that it may work accurately. ЬЬregulative adj. regulator n.
regulatory adj. [LL regulare regulat- f. L regula RULE]
n. 1 the act or an instance of regulating; the process of being
regulated. 2 a prescribed rule; an authoritative direction. 3
(attrib.) a in accordance with regulations; of the correct type
etc. (the regulation speed; a regulation tie). b colloq. usual
(the regulation soup).
regulo n. (usu. foll. by a numeral) each of the numbers of a scale
denoting temperature in a gas oven (cook at regulo 6). [Regulo,
propr. term for a thermostatic gas oven control]
regulus n. (pl. reguluses or reguli) Chem. 1 the purer or metallic
part of a mineral that separates by sinking on reduction. 2 an
impure metallic product formed during the smelting of various
ores. ЬЬreguline adj. [L, dimin. of rex regis king: orig. of a
metallic form of antimony, so called because of its readiness to
combine with gold]
v. 1 tr. bring (swallowed food) up again to the mouth. 2 tr.
cast or pour out again (required by the exam to regurgitate
facts). 3 intr. be brought up again; gush back.
ЬЬregurgitation n. [med.L regurgitare (as RE-, L gurges
rehab n. colloq. rehabilitation. [abbr.]
v.tr. 1 restore to effectiveness or normal life by training
etc., esp. after imprisonment or illness. 2 restore to former
privileges or reputation or a proper condition.
ЬЬrehabilitation n. rehabilitative adj. [med.L rehabilitare
(as RE-, HABILITATE)]
rehandle v.tr. 1 handle again. 2 give a new form or arrangement to.
rehang v.tr. (past and past part. rehung) hang (esp. a picture or a
curtain) again or differently.
rehash v. & n. --v.tr. put (old material) into a new form without
significant change or improvement. --n. 1 material rehashed.
2 the act or an instance of rehashing.
rehear v.tr. (past and past part. reheard) hear again.
rehearsal n. 1 the act or an instance of rehearsing. 2 a trial
performance or practice of a play, recital, etc.
rehearse v. 1 tr. practise (a play, recital, etc.) for later public
performance. 2 intr. hold a rehearsal. 3 tr. train (a person)
by rehearsal. 4 tr. recite or say over. 5 tr. give a list of;
enumerate. ЬЬrehearser n. [ME f. AF rehearser, OF reherc(i)er,
perh. formed as RE- + hercer to harrow f. herse harrow: see
reheat v. & n. --v.tr. heat again. --n. the process of using the
hot exhaust to burn extra fuel in a jet engine and produce extra
power. ЬЬreheater n.
reheel v.tr. fit (a shoe etc.) with a new heel.
rehoboam n. a wine bottle of about six times the standard size.
[Rehoboam King of Israel (1 Kings 11-14)]
rehouse v.tr. provide with new housing.
rehung past and past part. of REHANG.
rehydrate v. 1 intr. absorb water again after dehydration. 2 tr. add
water to (esp. food) again to restore to a palatable state.
ЬЬrehydratable adj. rehydration n.
Reich n. the former German State, esp. the Third Reich. ЬFirst Reich
the Holy Roman Empire, 962-1806. Second Reich the German Empire
1871-1918. Third Reich the Nazi regime, 1933-45. °Only Third
Reich is normal historical terminology. [G, = empire]
Reichstag n. hist. 1 the main legislature of the German State under the
Second and Third Reichs. 2 the building in which this met. [G]
reify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) convert (a person, abstraction, etc.) into a
thing; materialize. ЬЬreification n. reificatory adj. [L res
thing + -FY]
reign v. & n. --v.intr. 1 hold royal office; be king or queen. 2
prevail; hold sway (confusion reigns). 3 (as reigning adj.) (of
a winner, champion, etc.) currently holding the title etc. --n.
1 sovereignty, rule. 2 the period during which a sovereign
rules. [ME f. OF reigne kingdom f. L regnare f. rex regis
reignite v.tr. & intr. ignite again.
Reilly var. of RILEY.
reimburse v.tr. 1 repay (a person who has expended money). 2 repay (a
person's expenses). ЬЬreimbursable adj. reimbursement n.
reimburser n. [RE- + obs. imburse put in a purse f. med.L
imbursare (as IM-, PURSE)]
reimport v. & n. --v.tr. import (goods processed from exported
materials). --n. 1 the act or an instance of reimporting. 2 a
reimported item. ЬЬreimportation n.
reimpose v.tr. impose again, esp. after a lapse. ЬЬreimposition n.
rein n. & v. --n. (in sing. or pl.) 1 a long narrow strap with each
end attached to the bit, used to guide or check a horse etc. in
riding or driving. 2 a similar device used to restrain a young
child. 3 a means of control. --v.tr. 1 check or manage with
reins. 2 (foll. by up, back) pull up or back with reins. 3
(foll. by in) hold in as with reins; restrain. 4 govern,
restrain, control. Ьdraw rein 1 stop one's horse. 2 pull up.
3 abandon an effort. give free rein to remove constraints from;
allow full scope to. keep a tight rein on allow little freedom
to. ЬЬreinless adj. [ME f. OF rene, reigne, earlier resne,
ult. f. L retinere RETAIN]
n. (in some beliefs) the rebirth of a soul in a new body.
ЬЬreincarnate v.tr. reincarnate adj.
v.tr. incorporate afresh. ЬЬreincorporation n.
reindeer n. (pl. same or reindeers) a subarctic deer, Rangifer tarandus,
of which both sexes have large antlers, used domestically for
drawing sledges and as a source of milk, flesh, and hide.
Ьreindeer moss an arctic lichen, Cladonia rangiferina, with
short branched stems growing in clumps. [ME f. ON hreind°ri f.
hreinn reindeer + d°r DEER]
reinfect v.tr. infect again. ЬЬreinfection n.
reinforce v.tr. strengthen or support, esp. with additional personnel or
material or by an increase of numbers or quantity or size etc.
Ьreinforced concrete concrete with metal bars or wire etc.
embedded to increase its tensile strength. ЬЬreinforcer n.
[earlier renforce f. F renforcer]
n. 1 the act or an instance of reinforcing; the process of
being reinforced. 2 a thing that reinforces. 3 (in pl.)
reinforcing personnel or equipment etc.
reinsert v.tr. insert again. ЬЬreinsertion n.
reinstate v.tr. 1 replace in a former position. 2 restore (a person
etc.) to former privileges. ЬЬreinstatement n.
reinsure v.tr. & intr. insure again (esp. of an insurer securing himself
by transferring some or all of the risk to another insurer).
ЬЬreinsurance n. reinsurer n.
v.tr. 1 = REDINTEGRATE. 2 integrate back into society.
reinter v.tr. inter (a corpse) again. ЬЬreinterment n.
v.tr. (reinterpreted, reinterpreting) interpret again or
differently. ЬЬreinterpretation n.
v.tr. introduce again. ЬЬreintroduction n.
reinvest v.tr. invest again (esp. money in other property etc.).
v.tr. impart fresh vigour to. ЬЬreinvigoration n.
reissue v. & n. --v.tr. (reissues, reissued, reissuing) issue again or
in a different form. --n. a new issue, esp. of a previously
reiterate v.tr. say or do again or repeatedly. ЬЬreiteration n.
reiterative adj. [L reiterare (as RE-, ITERATE)]
reive v.intr. esp. Sc. make raids; plunder. ЬЬreiver n. [var. of
reject v. & n. --v.tr. 1 put aside or send back as not to be used or
done or complied with etc. 2 refuse to accept or believe in. 3
rebuff or snub (a person). 4 (of a body or digestive system)
cast up again; vomit, evacuate. 5 Med. show an immune response
to (a transplanted organ or tissue) so that it fails to survive.
--n. a thing or person rejected as unfit or below standard.
ЬЬrejectable adj. rejecter n. (also rejector). rejection n.
rejective adj. [ME f. L rejicere reject- (as RE-, jacere
rejig v.tr. (rejigged, rejigging) 1 re-equip (a factory etc.) for a
new kind of work. 2 rearrange.
rejoice v. 1 intr. feel great joy. 2 intr. (foll. by that + clause or
to + infin.) be glad. 3 intr. (foll. by in, at) take delight.
4 intr. celebrate some event. 5 tr. cause joy to. ЬЬrejoicer
n. rejoicingly adv. [ME f. OF rejoir rejoiss- (as RE-, JOY)]
rejoin(1) v. 1 tr. & intr. join together again; reunite. 2 tr. join (a
companion etc.) again.
rejoin(2) v. 1 tr. say in answer, retort. 2 intr. Law reply to a charge
or pleading in a lawsuit. [ME f. OF rejoindre rejoign- (as RE-,
rejoinder n. 1 what is said in reply. 2 a retort. 3 Law a reply by
rejoining. [AF rejoinder (unrecorded: as REJOIN(2))]
v.tr. make young or as if young again. ЬЬrejuvenation n.
rejuvenator n. [RE- + L juvenis young]
v. 1 intr. become young again. 2 Biol. a intr. (of cells)
gain fresh vitality. b tr. impart fresh vitality to (cells).
ЬЬrejuvenescent adj. rejuvenescence n. [LL rejuvenescere (as
RE-, L juvenis young)]
rekindle v.tr. & intr. kindle again.
-rel suffix with diminutive or derogatory force (cockerel;
scoundrel). [from or after OF -erel(le)]
relabel v.tr. (relabelled, relabelling; US relabeled, relabeling) label
(esp. a commodity) again or differently.
relapse v. & n. --v.intr. (usu. foll. by into) fall back or sink again
(into a worse state after an improvement). --n. also the act
or an instance of relapsing, esp. a deterioration in a patient's
condition after a partial recovery. Ьrelapsing fever a
bacterial infectious disease with recurrent periods of fever.
ЬЬrelapser n. [L relabi relaps- (as RE-, labi slip)]
relate v. 1 tr. narrate or recount (incidents, a story, etc.). 2 tr.
(in passive; often foll. by to) be connected by blood or
marriage. 3 tr. (usu. foll. by to, with) bring into relation
(with one another); establish a connection between (cannot
relate your opinion to my own experience). 4 intr. (foll. by
to) have reference to; concern (see only what relates to
themselves). 5 intr. (foll. by to) bring oneself into relation
to; associate with. ЬЬrelatable adj. [L referre relat- bring
back: see REFER]
related adj. connected, esp. by blood or marriage. ЬЬrelatedness n.
relater n. (also relator) a person who relates something, esp. a story;
relation n. 1 a what one person or thing has to do with another. b the
way in which one person stands or is related to another. c the
existence or effect of a connection, correspondence, contrast,
or feeling prevailing between persons or things, esp. when
qualified in some way (bears no relation to the facts; enjoyed
good relations for many years). 2 a relative; a kinsman or
kinswoman. 3 (in pl.) a (foll. by with) dealings (with others).
b sexual intercourse. 4 = RELATIONSHIP. 5 a narration (his
relation of the events). b a narrative. 6 Law the laying of
information. Ьin relation to as regards. [ME f. OF relation or
L relatio (as RELATE)]
adj. 1 of, belonging to, or characterized by relation. 2
having relation. Ьrelational database Computing a database
structured to recognize the relation of stored items of
n. 1 the fact or state of being related. 2 colloq. a a
connection or association (enjoyed a good working relationship).
b an emotional (esp. sexual) association between two people. 3
a condition or character due to being related. 4 kinship.
relative adj. & n. --adj. 1 considered or having significance in
relation to something else (relative velocity). 2 (foll. by to)
having existence only as perceived or considered by (beauty is
relative to the eye of the beholder). 3 (foll. by to)
proportioned to (something else) (growth is relative to input).
4 implying comparison or contextual relation ('heat' is a
relative word). 5 comparative; compared one with another (their
relative advantages). 6 having mutual relations; corresponding
in some way; related to each other. 7 (foll. by to) having
reference or relating (the facts relative to the issue). 8
involving a different but corresponding idea (the concepts of
husband and wife are relative to each other). 9 Gram. a (of a
word, esp. a pronoun) referring to an expressed or implied
antecedent and attaching a subordinate clause to it, e.g.
which, who. b (of a clause) attached to an antecedent by a
relative word. 10 Mus. (of major and minor keys) having the
same key signature. 11 (of a service rank) corresponding in
grade to another in a different service. 12 pertinent,
relevant; related to the subject (need more relative proof).
--n. 1 a person connected by blood or marriage. 2 a species
related to another by common origin (the apes, man's closest
relatives). 3 Gram. a relative word, esp. a pronoun. 4 Philos.
a relative thing or term. Ьrelative atomic mass the ratio of
the average mass of one atom of an element to one twelfth of the
mass of an atom of carbon-12: also called atomic weight.
relative density Chem. the ratio of the density of a substance
to the density of a standard, usu. water for a liquid or solid,
and air for a gas. relative molecular mass the ratio of the
average mass of one molecule of an element or compound to one
twelfth of the mass of an atom of carbon-12: also called
molecular weight. ЬЬrelatival adj. (in sense 3 of n.).
relatively adv. relativeness n. [ME f. OF relatif -ive or LL
relativus having reference or relation (as RELATE)]
n. the doctrine that knowledge is relative, not absolute.
adj. Physics (of phenomena etc.) accurately described only by
the theory of relativity. ЬЬrelativistically adv.
n. 1 the fact or state of being relative. 2 Physics a (special
theory of relativity) a theory based on the principle that all
motion is relative and that light has constant velocity,
regarding space-time as a four-dimensional continuum, and
modifying previous conceptions of geometry. b (general theory
of relativity) a theory extending this to gravitation and
relator n. 1 var. of RELATER. 2 Law a person who makes a relation (see
RELATION 6). [L (as RELATE)]
relax v. 1 tr. & intr. make or become less stiff or rigid or tense.
2 tr. & intr. make or become less formal or strict (rules were
relaxed). 3 tr. reduce or abate (one's attention, efforts,
etc.). 4 intr. cease work or effort. 5 tr. (as relaxed adj.)
at ease; unperturbed. ЬЬrelaxedly adv. relaxedness n. relaxer
n. [ME f. L relaxare (as RE-, LAX)]
relaxant n. & adj. --n. a drug etc. that relaxes and reduces tension.
--adj. causing relaxation.
n. 1 the act of relaxing or state of being relaxed. 2
recreation or rest, esp. after a period of work. 3 a partial
remission or relaxing of a penalty, duty, etc. 4 a lessening of
severity, precision, etc. 5 Physics the restoration of
equilibrium following disturbance. [L relaxatio (as RELAX)]
relay n. & v. --n. 1 a fresh set of people or horses substituted for
tired ones. 2 a gang of workers, supply of material, etc.,
deployed on the same basis (operated in relays). 3 = relay
race. 4 a device activating changes in an electric circuit etc.
in response to other changes affecting itself. 5 a a device to
receive, reinforce, and transmit a telegraph message, broadcast
programme, etc. b a relayed message or transmission. --v.tr.
1 receive (a message, broadcast, etc.) and transmit it to
others. 2 a arrange in relays. b provide with or replace by
relays. Ьrelay race a race between teams of which each member
in turn covers part of the distance. [ME f. OF relai (n.),
relayer (v.) (as RE-, laier ult. f. L laxare): cf. RELAX]
re-lay v.tr. (past and past part. re-laid) lay again or differently.
relearn v.tr. learn again.
release v. & n. --v.tr. 1 (often foll. by from) set free; liberate,
unfasten. 2 allow to move from a fixed position. 3 a make
(information, a recording, etc.) publicly or generally
available. b issue (a film etc.) for general exhibition. 4 Law
a remit (a debt). b surrender (a right). c make over (property
or money) to another. --n. 1 deliverance or liberation from a
restriction, duty, or difficulty. 2 a handle or catch that
releases part of a mechanism. 3 a document or item of
information made available for publication (press release). 4 a
a film or record etc. that is released. b the act or an
instance of releasing or the process of being released in this
way. 5 Law a the act of releasing (property, money, or a right)
to another. b a document effecting this. ЬЬreleasable adj.
releasee n. (in sense 4 of v.). releaser n. releasor n. (in
sense 4 of v.). [ME f. OF reles (n.), relesser (v.),
relaiss(i)er f. L relaxare: see RELAX]
relegate v.tr. 1 consign or dismiss to an inferior or less important
position; demote. 2 transfer (a sports team) to a lower
division of a league etc. 3 banish or send into exile. 4
(foll. by to) a transfer (a matter) for decision or
implementation. b refer (a person) for information.
ЬЬrelegable adj. relegation n. [L relegare relegat- (as RE-,
relent v.intr. 1 abandon a harsh intention. 2 yield to compassion. 3
relax one's severity; become less stern. [ME f. med.L relentare
(unrecorded), formed as RE- + L lentare bend f. lentus
adj. 1 unrelenting; insistent and uncompromising. 2
continuous; oppressively constant (the pressure was relentless).
ЬЬrelentlessly adv. relentlessness n.
re-let v.tr. (-letting; past and past part. -let) let (a property)
for a further period or to a new tenant.
relevant adj. (often foll. by to) bearing on or having reference to the
matter in hand. ЬЬrelevance n. relevancy n. relevantly adv.
[med.L relevans, part. of L relevare RELIEVE]
reliable adj. 1 that may be relied on. 2 of sound and consistent
character or quality. ЬЬreliability n. reliableness n.
reliance n. 1 (foll. by in, on) trust, confidence (put full reliance in
you). 2 a thing relied upon. ЬЬreliant adj.
relic n. 1 an object interesting because of its age or association.
2 a part of a deceased holy person's body or belongings kept as
an object of reverence. 3 a surviving custom or belief etc.
from a past age. 4 a memento or souvenir. 5 (in pl.) what has
survived destruction or wasting or use. 6 (in pl.) the dead
body or remains of a person. [ME relike, relique, etc. f. OF
relique f. L reliquiae: see RELIQUIAE]
relict n. 1 a a geological or other object surviving in its primitive
form. b an animal or plant known to have existed in the same
form in previous geological ages. 2 (foll. by of) archaic a
widow. [L relinquere relict- leave behind (as RE-, linquere
leave): sense 2 f. OF relicte f. L relicta]
relief n. 1 a the alleviation of or deliverance from pain, distress,
anxiety, etc. b the feeling accompanying such deliverance. 2 a
feature etc. that diversifies monotony or relaxes tension. 3
assistance (esp. financial) given to those in special need or
difficulty (rent relief). 4 a the replacing of a person or
persons on duty by another or others. b a person or persons
replacing others in this way. 5 (usu. attrib.) a thing
supplementing another in some service, esp. an extra vehicle
providing public transport at peak times. 6 a a method of
moulding or carving or stamping in which the design stands out
from the surface, with projections proportioned and more (high
relief) or less (low relief) closely approximating to those of
the objects depicted (cf. ROUND n. 9). b a piece of sculpture
etc. in relief. c a representation of relief given by an
arrangement of line or colour or shading. 7 vividness,
distinctness (brings the facts out in sharp relief). 8 (foll.
by of) the reinforcement (esp. the raising of a siege) of a
place. 9 esp. Law the redress of a hardship or grievance.
Ьrelief map 1 a map indicating hills and valleys by shading etc.
rather than by contour lines alone. 2 a map-model showing
elevations and depressions, usu. on an exaggerated relative
scale. relief printing = LETTERPRESS 2. relief road a road
taking traffic around a congested (esp. urban) area. [ME f AF
relef, OF relief (in sense 6 F relief f. It. rilievo) f.
relever: see RELIEVE]
relieve v.tr. 1 bring or provide aid or assistance to. 2 alleviate or
reduce (pain, suffering, etc.). 3 mitigate the tedium or
monotony of. 4 bring military support for (a besieged place).
5 release (a person) from a duty by acting as or providing a
substitute. 6 (foll. by of) take (a burden or responsibility)
away from (a person). 7 bring into relief; cause to appear
solid or detached. Ьrelieve one's feelings use strong language
or vigorous behaviour when annoyed. relieve oneself urinate or
defecate. ЬЬrelievable adj. reliever n. [ME f. OF relever f.
L relevare (as RE-, levis light)]
relieved predic.adj. freed from anxiety or distress (am very relieved to
hear it). ЬЬrelievedly adv.
relievo n. (also rilievo) (pl. -os) = RELIEF 6. [It. rilievo RELIEF
relight v.tr. light (a fire etc.) again.
religio- comb. form 1 religion. 2 religious.
religion n. 1 the belief in a superhuman controlling power, esp. in a
personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship. 2 the
expression of this in worship. 3 a particular system of faith
and worship. 4 life under monastic vows (the way of religion).
5 a thing that one is devoted to (football is their religion).
Ьfreedom of religion the right to follow whatever religion one
chooses. ЬЬreligionless adj. [ME f. AF religiun, OF religion
f. L religio -onis obligation, bond, reverence]
n. excessive religious zeal. ЬЬreligionist n.
n. the condition of being religious or religiose. [ME f. L
religiositas (as RELIGIOUS)]
religious adj. & n. --adj. 1 devoted to religion; pious, devout. 2 of
or concerned with religion. 3 of or belonging to a monastic
order. 4 scrupulous, conscientious (a religious attention to
detail). --n. (pl. same) a person bound by monastic vows.
ЬЬreligiously adv. religiousness n. [ME f. AF religius, OF
religious f. L religiosus (as RELIGION)]
reline v.tr. renew the lining of (a garment etc.).
v.tr. 1 surrender or resign (a right or possession). 2 give up
or cease from (a habit, plan, belief, etc.). 3 relax hold of
(an object held). ЬЬrelinquishment n. [ME f. OF relinquir f. L
relinquere (as RE-, linquere leave)]
reliquary n. (pl. -ies) esp. Relig. a receptacle for relics. [F
reliquaire (as RELIC)]
reliquiae n.pl. 1 remains. 2 Geol. fossil remains of animals or plants.
[L f. reliquus remaining, formed as RE- + linquere liq- leave]
relish n. & v. --n. 1 (often foll. by for) a great liking or
enjoyment. b keen or pleasurable longing (had no relish for
travelling). 2 a an appetizing flavour. b an attractive
quality (fishing loses its relish in winter). 3 a condiment
eaten with plainer food to add flavour, esp. a piquant sauce,
pickle, etc. 4 (foll. by of) a distinctive taste or tinge.
--v.tr. 1 a get pleasure out of; enjoy greatly. b look forward
to, anticipate with pleasure (did not relish what lay before
her). 2 add relish to. ЬЬrelishable adj. [alt. (with assim.
to -ISH(2)) of obs. reles f. OF reles, relais remainder f.
relaisser: see RELEASE]
relive v.tr. live (an experience etc.) over again, esp. in the
reload v.tr. (also absol.) load (esp. a gun) again.
relocate v. 1 tr. locate in a new place. 2 tr. & intr. move to a new
place (esp. to live or work). ЬЬrelocation n.
reluctant adj. (often foll. by to + infin.) unwilling or disinclined
(most reluctant to agree). ЬЬreluctance n. reluctantly adv.
[L reluctari (as RE-, luctari struggle)]
rely v.intr. (-ies, -ied) (foll. by on, upon) 1 depend on with
confidence or assurance (am relying on your judgement). 2 be
dependent on (relies on her for everything). [ME (earlier
senses 'rally, be a vassal of') f. OF relier bind together f. L
religare (as RE-, ligare bind)]
REM abbr. rapid eye-movement.
rem n. (pl. same) a unit of effective absorbed dose of ionizing
radiation in human tissue, equivalent to one roentgen of X-rays.
[roentgen equivalent man]
remade past and past part. of REMAKE.
remain v.intr. 1 be left over after others or other parts have been
removed or used or dealt with. 2 be in the same place or
condition during further time; continue to exist or stay; be
left behind (remained at home; it will remain cold). 3 (foll.
by compl.) continue to be (remained calm; remains President).
[ME f. OF remain- stressed stem of remanoir or f. OF remaindre
ult. f. L remanere (as RE-, manere stay)]
remainder n. & v. --n. 1 a part remaining or left over. 2 remaining
persons or things. 3 a number left after division or
subtraction. 4 the copies of a book left unsold when demand has
fallen. 5 Law an interest in an estate that becomes effective
in possession only when a prior interest (devised at the same
time) ends. --v.tr. dispose of (a remainder of books) at a
reduced price. [ME (in sense 5) f. AF, = OF remaindre: see
remains n.pl. 1 what remains after other parts have been removed or
used etc. 2 relics of antiquity, esp. of buildings (Roman
remains). 3 a person's body after death. 4 an author's (esp.
unpublished) works left after death.
remake v. & n. --v.tr. (past and past part. remade) make again or
differently. --n. a thing that has been remade, esp. a cinema
reman v.tr. (remanned, remanning) 1 equip (a fleet etc.) with new
personnel. 2 make courageous again.
remand v. & n. --v.tr. return (a prisoner) to custody, esp. to allow
further inquiries to be made. --n. a recommittal to custody.
Ьon remand in custody pending trial. remand centre (in the UK)
an institution to which accused persons are remanded pending
trial. [ME f. LL remandare (as RE-, mandare commit)]
remanent adj. 1 remaining, residual. 2 (of magnetism) remaining after
the magnetizing field has been removed. ЬЬremanence n. [ME f.
L remanere REMAIN]
remark v. & n. --v. 1 tr. (often foll. by that + clause) a say by way
of comment. b take notice of; regard with attention. 2 intr.
(usu. foll. by on, upon) make a comment. --n. 1 a written or
spoken comment; anything said. 2 a the act of noticing or
observing (worthy of remark). b the act of commenting (let it
pass without remark). [F remarque, remarquer (as RE-, MARK(1))]
remarry v.intr. & tr. (-ies, -ied) marry again. ЬЬremarriage n.
remaster v.tr. make a new master of (a recording), esp. to improve the
rematch n. a return match or game.
REME abbr. (in the UK) Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
remeasure v.tr. measure again. ЬЬremeasurement n.
remedial adj. 1 affording or intended as a remedy (remedial therapy). 2
(of teaching) for slow or backward children. ЬЬremedially adv.
[LL remedialis f. L remedium (as REMEDY)]
remedy n. & v. --n. (pl. -ies) (often foll. by for, against) 1 a
medicine or treatment (for a disease etc.). 2 a means of
counteracting or removing anything undesirable. 3 redress;
legal or other reparation. 4 the margin within which coins as
minted may differ from the standard fineness and weight.
--v.tr. (-ies, -ied) rectify; make good. ЬЬremediable adj.
[ME f. AF remedie, OF remede or L remedium (as RE-, mederi
remember v.tr. 1 keep in the memory; not forget. 2 a (also absol.)
bring back into one's thoughts, call to mind (knowledge or
experience etc.). b (often foll. by to + infin. or that +
clause) have in mind (a duty, commitment, etc.) (will you
remember to lock the door?). 3 think of or acknowledge (a
person) in some connection, esp. in making a gift etc. 4
(foll. by to) convey greetings from (one person) to (another)
(remember me to your mother). 5 mention (in prayer). Ьremember
oneself recover one's manners or intentions after a lapse.
ЬЬrememberer n. [ME f. OF remembrer f. LL rememorari (as RE-, L
n. 1 the act of remembering or process of being remembered. 2
a memory or recollection. 3 a keepsake or souvenir. 4 (in pl.)
greetings conveyed through a third person. ЬRemembrance Day 1 =
Remembrance Sunday. 2 hist. Armistice Day. Remembrance Sunday
(in the UK) the Sunday nearest 11 Nov., when those who were
killed in the wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45 are commemorated. [ME
f. OF (as REMEMBER)]
remex n. (pl. remiges) a primary or secondary feather in a bird's
wing. [L, = rower, f. remus oar]
remind v.tr. 1 (foll. by of) cause (a person) to remember or think of.
2 (foll. by to + infin. or that + clause) cause (a person) to
remember (a commitment etc.) (remind them to pay their
reminder n. 1 a thing that reminds, esp. a letter or bill. 2 (often
foll. by of) a memento or souvenir.
remindful adj. (often foll. by of) acting as a reminder; reviving the
reminisce v.intr. indulge in reminiscence. ЬЬreminiscer n. [back-form.
n. 1 the act of remembering things past; the recovery of
knowledge by mental effort. 2 a a past fact or experience that
is remembered. b the process of narrating this. 3 (in pl.) a
collection in literary form of incidents and experiences that a
person remembers. 4 Philos. (esp. in Platonism) the theory of
the recovery of things known to the soul in previous existences.
5 a characteristic of one thing reminding or suggestive of
another. ЬЬreminiscential adj. [LL reminiscentia f. L
adj. 1 (foll. by of) tending to remind one of or suggest. 2
concerned with reminiscence. 3 (of a person) given to
reminiscing. ЬЬreminiscently adv.
remise v. & n. --v.intr. 1 Law surrender or make over (a right or
property). 2 Fencing make a remise. --n. Fencing a second
thrust made after the first has failed. [F f. remis, remise
past part. of remettre put back: cf. REMIT]
remiss adj. careless of duty; lax, negligent. ЬЬremissly adv.
remissness n. [ME f. L remissus past part. of remittere
slacken: see REMIT]
adj. that may be remitted. [F r‚missible or LL remissibilis
remission n. 1 the reduction of a prison sentence on account of good
behaviour. 2 the remitting of a debt or penalty etc. 3 a
diminution of force, effect, or degree (esp. of disease or
pain). 4 (often foll. by of) forgiveness (of sins etc.).
ЬЬremissive adj. [ME f. OF remission or L remissio (as REMIT)]
remit v. & n. --v. (remitted, remitting) 1 tr. cancel or refrain
from exacting or inflicting (a debt or punishment etc.). 2
intr. & tr. abate or slacken; cease or cease from partly or
entirely. 3 tr. send (money etc.) in payment. 4 tr. cause to
be conveyed by post. 5 tr. a (foll. by to) refer (a matter for
decision etc.) to some authority. b Law send back (a case) to a
lower court. 6 tr. a (often foll. by to) postpone or defer. b
(foll. by in, into) send or put back into a previous state. 7
tr. Theol. (usu. of God) pardon (sins etc.). --n. 1 the terms
of reference of a committee etc. 2 an item remitted for
consideration. ЬЬremittable adj. remittal n. remittee n.
remitter n. [ME f. L remittere remiss- (as RE-, mittere send)]
n. 1 money sent, esp. by post, for goods or services or as an
allowance. 2 the act of sending money. Ьremittance man hist.
an emigrant subsisting on remittances from home.
remittent adj. (of a fever) that abates at intervals. [L remittere (as
remix v. & n. --v.tr. mix again. --n. a sound recording that has
remnant n. 1 a small remaining quantity. 2 a piece of cloth etc. left
when the greater part has been used or sold. 3 (foll. by of) a
surviving trace (a remnant of empire). [ME (earlier remenant)
f. OF remenant f. remenoir REMAIN]
remodel v.tr. (remodelled, remodelling; US remodeled, remodeling) 1
model again or differently. 2 reconstruct.
remodify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) modify again. ЬЬremodification n.
remold US var. of REMOULD.
v.tr. (also -ise) restore (a metal etc.) to its former position
as legal tender. ЬЬremonetization n.
n. 1 the act or an instance of remonstrating. 2 an
expostulation or protest. [ME f. obs. F remonstrance or med.L
remonstrantia (as REMONSTRATE)]
v. 1 intr. (foll. by with) make a protest; argue forcibly
(remonstrated with them over the delays). 2 tr. (often foll. by
that + clause) urge protestingly. ЬЬremonstrant adj.
remonstration n. remonstrative adj. remonstrator n. [med.L
remonstrare (as RE-, monstrare show)]
remontant adj. & n. --adj. blooming more than once a year. --n. a
remontant rose. [F f. remonter REMOUNT]
remora n. Zool. any of various marine fish of the family Echeneidae,
which attach themselves by modified sucker-like fins to other
fish and to ships. [L, = hindrance (as RE-, mora delay, from
the former belief that the fish slowed ships down)]
remorse n. 1 deep regret for a wrong committed. 2 compunction; a
compassionate reluctance to inflict pain ( esp. in without
remorse). [ME f. OF remors f. med.L remorsus f. L remordere
remors- vex (as RE-, mordere bite)]
adj. filled with repentance. ЬЬremorsefully adv.
adj. without compassion or compunction. ЬЬremorselessly adv.
v. & n. --v.tr. (also absol.) mortgage again; revise the terms
of an existing mortgage on (a property). --n. a different or
remote adj. (remoter, remotest) 1 far away in place or time. 2 out of
the way; situated away from the main centres of population,
society, etc. 3 distantly related (a remote ancestor). 4
slight, faint ( esp. in not the remotest chance, idea , etc.).
5 (of a person) aloof; not friendly. 6 (foll. by from) widely
different; separate by nature (ideas remote from the subject).
Ьremote control control of a machine or apparatus from a
distance by means of signals transmitted from a radio or
electronic device. remote-controlled (of a machine etc.)
controlled at a distance. ЬЬremotely adv. remoteness n. [ME
f. L remotus (as REMOVE)]
remould v. & n. (US remold) --v.tr. 1 mould again; refashion. 2
re-form the tread of (a tyre). --n. a remoulded tyre.
remount v. & n. --v. 1 a tr. mount (a horse etc.) again. b intr. get
on horseback again. 2 tr. get on to or ascend (a ladder, hill,
etc.) again. 3 tr. provide (a person) with a fresh horse etc.
4 tr. put (a picture) on a fresh mount. --n. 1 a fresh horse
for a rider. 2 a supply of fresh horses for a regiment.
removal n. 1 the act or an instance of removing; the process of being
removed. 2 the transfer of furniture and other contents on
remove v. & n. --v. 1 tr. take off or away from the place or position
occupied (remove the top carefully). 2 tr. a move or take to
another place; change the situation of (will you remove the tea
things?). b get rid of; eliminate (will remove all doubts). 3
tr. cause to be no longer present or available; take away (all
privileges were removed). 4 tr. (often foll. by from) dismiss
(from office). 5 tr. colloq. kill, assassinate. 6 tr. (in
passive; foll. by from) distant or remote in condition (the
country is not far removed from anarchy). 7 tr. (as removed
adj.) (esp. of cousins) separated by a specified number of steps
of descent (a first cousin twice removed = a grandchild of a
first cousin). 8 formal a intr. (usu. foll. by from, to) change
one's home or place of residence. b tr. conduct the removal of.
--n. 1 a degree or remoteness; a distance. 2 a stage in a
gradation; a degree (is several removes from what I expected).
3 Brit. a form or division in some schools. ЬЬremovable adj.
removability n. remover n. (esp. in sense 8b of v.). [ME f. OF
removeir f. L removere remot- (as RE-, movere move)]
v.tr. 1 reward; pay for services rendered. 2 serve as or
provide recompense for (toil etc.) or to (a person).
ЬЬremuneration n. remunerative adj. remuneratory adj. [L
remunerari (as RE-, munus muneris gift)]
n. 1 the revival of art and literature under the influence of
classical models in the 14th-16th c. 2 the period of this. 3
the culture and style of art, architecture, etc. developed
during this era. 4 (renaissance) any similar revival. [F
renaissance (as RE-, F naissance birth f. L nascentia or F
naЊtre naiss- be born f. Rmc: cf. NASCENT)]
renal adj. of or concerning the kidneys. [F r‚nal f. LL renalis f. L
rename v.tr. name again; give a new name to.
n. 1 rebirth; renewal. 2 = RENAISSANCE. [RENASCENT]
renascent adj. springing up anew; being reborn. [L renasci (as RE-,
nasci be born)]
rencontre n. archaic = RENCOUNTER. [F (as RENCOUNTER)]
n. & v. --n. 1 an encounter; a chance meeting. 2 a battle,
skirmish, or duel. --v.tr. encounter; meet by chance. [F
rencontre(r) (as RE-, ENCOUNTER)]
rend v. (past and past part. rent) archaic or rhet. 1 tr. (foll.
by off, from, away, etc.; also absol.) tear or wrench forcibly.
2 tr. & intr. split or divide in pieces or into factions (a
country rent by civil war). 3 tr. cause emotional pain to (the
heart etc.). Ьrend the air sound piercingly. rend one's
garments (or hair) display extreme grief or rage. [OE rendan,
rel. to MLG rende]
render v.tr. 1 cause to be or become; make (rendered us helpless). 2
give or pay (money, service, etc.), esp. in return or as a thing
due (render thanks; rendered good for evil). 3 (often foll. by
to) a give (assistance) (rendered aid to the injured man). b
show (obedience etc.). c do (a service etc.). 4 submit; send
in; present (an account, reason, etc.). 5 a represent or
portray artistically, musically, etc. b act (a role); represent
(a character, idea, etc.) (the dramatist's conception was well
rendered). c Mus. perform; execute. 6 translate (rendered the
poem into French). 7 (often foll. by down) melt down (fat etc.)
esp. to clarify; extract by melting. 8 cover (stone or brick)
with a coat of plaster. 9 archaic a give back; hand over;
deliver, give up, surrender (render to Caesar the things that
are Caesar's). b show (obedience). Ьrender-set v.tr.
(-setting; past and past part. -set) plaster (a wall etc.) with
two coats. --n. a plastering of two coats. --adj. of two
coats. ЬЬrenderer n. [ME f. OF rendre ult. f. L reddere
reddit- (as RE-, dare give)]
rendering n. 1 a the act or an instance of performing music, drama, etc.;
an interpretation or performance (an excellent rendering of the
part). b a translation. 2 a the act or an instance of
plastering stone, brick, etc. b this coating. 3 the act or an
instance of giving, yielding, or surrendering.
n. & v. --n. (pl. same) 1 an agreed or regular meeting-place.
2 a meeting by arrangement. 3 a place appointed for assembling
troops, ships, etc. --v.intr. (rendezvouses; rendezvoused;
rendezvousing) meet at a rendezvous. [F rendez-vous present
yourselves f. rendre: see RENDER]
rendition n. (often foll. by of) 1 an interpretation or rendering of a
dramatic role, piece of music, etc. 2 a visual representation.
[obs. F f. rendre RENDER]
renegade n. & v. --n. 1 a person who deserts a party or principles. 2
an apostate; a person who abandons one religion for another.
--v.intr. be a renegade. [Sp. renegado f. med.L renegatus (as
RE-, L negare deny)]
renegado n. (pl. -oes) archaic = RENEGADE. [Sp. (as RENEGADE)]
renege v. (also renegue) 1 intr. a go back on one's word; change
one's mind; recant. b (foll. by on) go back on (a promise or
undertaking or contract). 2 tr. deny, renounce, abandon (a
person, faith, etc.). 3 intr. Cards revoke. ЬЬreneger n.
reneguer n. [med.L renegare (as RE-, L negare deny)]
v.tr. (also absol.) negotiate again or on different terms.
ЬЬrenegotiable adj. renegotiation n.
renew v.tr. 1 revive; regenerate; make new again; restore to the
original state. 2 reinforce; resupply; replace. 3 repeat or
re-establish, resume after an interruption (renewed our
acquaintance; a renewed attack). 4 get, begin, make, say, give,
etc. anew. 5 (also absol.) grant or be granted a continuation
of or continued validity of (a licence, subscription, lease,
etc.). 6 recover (one's youth, strength, etc.). ЬЬrenewable
adj. renewability n. renewal n. renewer n.
rennet n. 1 curdled milk found in the stomach of an unweaned calf,
used in curdling milk for cheese, junket, etc. 2 a preparation
made from the stomach-membrane of a calf or from certain fungi,
used for the same purpose. [ME, prob. f. an OE form rynet
(unrecorded), rel. to RUN]
rennin n. Biochem. an enzyme secreted into the stomach of unweaned
mammals causing the clotting of milk. [RENNET + -IN]
v.tr. nominate for a further term of office. ЬЬrenomination n.
renounce v. 1 tr. consent formally to abandon; surrender; give up (a
claim, right, possession, etc.). 2 tr. repudiate; refuse to
recognize any longer (renouncing their father's authority). 3
tr. a decline further association or disclaim relationship with
(renounced my former friends). b withdraw from; discontinue;
forsake. 4 intr. Law refuse or resign a right or position esp.
as an heir or trustee. 5 intr. Cards follow with a card of
another suit when having no card of the suit led (cf. REVOKE).
Ьrenounce the world abandon society or material affairs.
ЬЬrenounceable adj. renouncement n. renouncer n. [ME f. OF
renoncer f. L renuntiare (as RE-, nuntiare announce)]
renovate v.tr. 1 restore to good condition; repair. 2 make new again.
ЬЬrenovation n. renovative adj. renovator n. [L renovare (as
RE-, novus new)]
renown n. fame; high distinction; celebrity (a city of great renown).
[ME f. AF ren(o)un, OF renon, renom f. renomer make famous (as
RE-, L nominare NOMINATE)]
renowned adj. famous; celebrated.
rent(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a tenant's periodical payment to an owner or
landlord for the use of land or premises. 2 payment for the use
of a service, equipment, etc. --v. 1 tr. (often foll. by from)
take, occupy, or use at a rent (rented a cottage from the local
farmer). 2 tr. (often foll. by out) let or hire (a thing) for
rent. 3 intr. (foll. by at) be let or hired out at a specified
rate (the land rents at њ100 per month). Ьfor rent US available
to be rented. rent-a- (in comb.) often joc. denoting
availability for hire (rent-a-van; rent-a-crowd). rent-boy a
young male prostitute. rent-free with exemption from rent.
rent-roll the register of a landlord's lands etc. with the rents
due from them; the sum of one's income from rent. [ME f. OF
rente f. Rmc (as RENDER)]
rent(2) n. 1 a large tear in a garment etc. 2 an opening in clouds
etc. 3 a cleft, fissure, or gorge. [obs. rent var. of REND]
rent(3) past and past part. of REND.
rentable adj. 1 available or suitable for renting. 2 giving an adequate
ratio of profit to capital. ЬЬrentability n.
rental n. 1 the amount paid or received as rent. 2 the act of
renting. 3 an income from rents. 4 US a rented house etc.
Ьrental library US a library which rents books for a fee. [ME
f. AF rental or AL rentale (as RENT(1))]
renter n. 1 a person who rents. 2 Cinematog. (in the UK) a person who
distributes cinema films. 3 sl. a male prostitute.
rentier n. a person living on dividends from property, investments,
etc. [F f. rente dividend]
renumber v.tr. change the number or numbers given or allocated to.
n. 1 the act or an instance of renouncing or giving up. 2
self-denial. 3 a document expressing renunciation.
ЬЬrenunciant n. & adj. renunciative adj. renunciatory adj.
[ME f. OF renonciation or LL renuntiatio (as RENOUNCE)]
renvoi n. Law the act or an instance of referring a case, dispute,
etc. to a different jurisdiction. [F f. renvoyer send back]
reoccupy v.tr. (-ies, -ied) occupy again. ЬЬreoccupation n.
reoccur v.intr. (reoccurred, reoccurring) occur again or habitually.
reopen v.tr. & intr. open again.
reorder v. & n. --v.tr. order again. --n. a renewed or repeated order
v.tr. (also -ise) organize differently. ЬЬreorganization n.
reorient v.tr. 1 give a new direction to (ideas etc.); redirect (a
thing). 2 help (a person) find his or her bearings again. 3
change the outlook of (a person). 4 (refl., often foll. by to)
adjust oneself to or come to terms with something.
v.tr. = REORIENT. ЬЬreorientation n.
Rep. abbr. US 1 a Representative in Congress. 2 a Republican.
rep(1) n. colloq. a representative, esp. a commercial traveller.
rep(2) n. colloq. 1 repertory. 2 a repertory theatre or company.
rep(3) n. (also repp) a textile fabric with a corded surface, used in
curtains and upholstery. [F reps, of unkn. orig.]
rep(4) n. US sl. reputation. [abbr.]
repack v.tr. pack again.
repackage v.tr. 1 package again or differently. 2 present in a new form.
v.tr. paginate again; renumber the pages of. ЬЬrepagination n.
repaid past and past part. of REPAY.
repaint v. & n. --v.tr. 1 paint again or differently. 2 restore the
paint or colouring of. --n. 1 the act of repainting. 2 a
repainted thing, esp. a golf ball.
repair(1) v. & n. --v.tr. 1 restore to good condition after damage or
wear. 2 renovate or mend by replacing or fixing parts or by
compensating for loss or exhaustion. 3 set right or make amends
for (loss, wrong, error, etc.). --n. 1 the act or an instance
of restoring to sound condition (in need of repair; closed
during repair). 2 the result of this (the repair is hardly
visible). 3 good or relative condition for working or using
(must be kept in repair; in good repair). ЬЬrepairable adj.
repairer n. [ME f. OF reparer f. L reparare (as RE-, parare
repair(2) v. & n. --v.intr. (foll. by to) resort; have recourse; go often
or in great numbers or for a specific purpose (repaired to
Spain). --n. archaic 1 resort (have repair to). 2 a place of
frequent resort. 3 popularity (a place of great repair). [ME
f. OF repaire(r) f. LL repatriare REPATRIATE]
repairman n. (pl. -men) a man who repairs machinery etc.
repand adj. Bot. with an undulating margin; wavy. [L repandus (as
RE-, pandus bent)]
repaper v.tr. paper (a wall etc.) again.
reparable adj. (of a loss etc.) that can be made good. ЬЬreparability n.
reparably adv. [F f. L reparabilis (as REPAIR(1))]
n. 1 the act or an instance of making amends. 2 a
compensation. b (esp. in pl.) compensation for war damage paid
by the defeated State. 3 the act or an instance of repairing or
being repaired. ЬЬreparative adj. [ME f. OF f. LL reparatio
-onis (as REPAIR)]
repartee n. 1 the practice or faculty of making witty retorts; sharpness
or wit in quick reply. 2 a a witty retort. b witty retorts
collectively. [F repartie fem. past part. of repartir start
again, reply promptly (as RE-, partir PART)]
v.tr. partition again.
repass v.tr. & intr. pass again, esp. on the way back. [ME f. OF
repast n. formal 1 a meal, esp. of a specified kind (a light repast).
2 food and drink supplied for or eaten at a meal. [ME f. OF
repaistre f. LL repascere repast- feed]
repat n. colloq. 1 a repatriate. 2 repatriation. [abbr.]
v. & n. --v. 1 tr. restore (a person) to his or her native
land. 2 intr. return to one's own native land. --n. a person
who has been repatriated. ЬЬrepatriation n. [LL repatriare (as
RE-, L patria native land)]
repay v. (past and past part. repaid) 1 tr. pay back (money). 2 tr.
return (a blow, visit, etc.). 3 tr. make repayment to (a
person). 4 tr. make return for; requite (a service, action,
etc.) (must repay their kindness; the book repays close study).
5 tr. (often foll. by for) give in recompense. 6 intr. make
repayment. ЬЬrepayable adj. repayment n. [OF repaier (as RE-,
repeal v. & n. --v.tr. revoke, rescind, or annul (a law, act of
parliament, etc.). --n. the act or an instance of repealing.
ЬЬrepealable adj. [ME f. AF repeler, OF rapeler (as RE-,
repeat v. & n. --v. 1 tr. say or do over again. 2 tr. recite,
rehearse, report, or reproduce (something from memory) (repeated
a poem). 3 tr. imitate (an action etc.). 4 intr. recur; appear
again, perhaps several times (a repeating pattern). 5 tr. used
for emphasis (am not, repeat not, going). 6 intr. (of food) be
tasted intermittently for some time after being swallowed as a
result of belching or indigestion. 7 intr. (of a watch etc.)
strike the last quarter etc. over again when required. 8 intr.
(of a firearm) fire several shots without reloading. 9 intr.
US illegally vote more than once in an election. --n. 1 a the
act or an instance of repeating. b a thing repeated (often
attrib.: repeat prescription). 2 a repeated broadcast. 3 Mus.
a a passage intended to be repeated. b a mark indicating this.
4 a pattern repeated in wallpaper etc. 5 Commerce a a
consignment similar to a previous one. b an order given for
this; a reorder. Ьrepeating decimal a recurring decimal.
repeat itself recur in the same form. repeat oneself say or do
the same thing over again. ЬЬrepeatable adj. repeatability n.
repeatedly adv. [ME f. OF repeter f. L repetere (as RE-, petere
repeater n. 1 a person or thing that repeats. 2 a firearm which fires
several shots without reloading. 3 a watch or clock which
repeats its last strike when required. 4 a device for the
automatic re-transmission or amplification of an electrically
transmitted message. 5 a signal lamp indicating the state of
another that is invisible.
rep€chage n. (in rowing etc.) an extra contest in which the runners-up in
the eliminating heats compete for a place in the final. [F
rep€cher fish out, rescue]
repel v.tr. (repelled, repelling) 1 drive back; ward off; repulse. 2
refuse admission or approach or acceptance to (repel an
assailant). 3 be repulsive or distasteful to. ЬЬrepeller n.
[ME f. L repellere (as RE-, pellere puls- drive)]
repellent adj. & n. --adj. 1 that repels. 2 disgusting, repulsive.
--n. a substance that repels esp. insects etc. ЬЬrepellence n.
repellency n. repellently adv. [L repellere (as REPEL)]
repent(1) v. 1 intr. (often foll. by of) feel deep sorrow about one's
actions etc. 2 tr. (also absol.) wish one had not done, regret
(one's wrong, omission, etc.); resolve not to continue (a
wrongdoing etc.). 3 refl. (often foll. by of) archaic feel
regret or penitence about (now I repent me). ЬЬrepentance n.
repentant adj. repenter n. [ME f. OF repentir (as RE-, pentir
ult. f. L paenitere)]
repent(2) adj. Bot. creeping, esp. growing along the ground or just
under the surface. [L repere creep]
repeople v.tr. people again; increase the population of.
n. 1 (often foll. by of) an indirect effect or reaction
following an event or action (consider the repercussions of
moving). 2 the recoil after impact. 3 an echo or
reverberation. ЬЬrepercussive adj. [ME f. OF repercussion or L
repercussio (as RE-, PERCUSSION)]
n. 1 a stock of pieces etc. that a company or a performer knows
or is prepared to give. 2 a stock of regularly performed
pieces, regularly used techniques, etc. (went through his
repertoire of excuses). [F r‚pertoire f. LL (as REPERTORY)]
repertory n. (pl. -ies) 1 = REPERTOIRE. 2 the theatrical performance of
various plays for short periods by one company. 3 a a repertory
company. b repertory theatres regarded collectively. 4 a store
or collection, esp. of information, instances, etc. Ьrepertory
company a theatrical company that performs plays from a
repertoire. [LL repertorium f. L reperire repert- find]
repetend n. 1 the recurring figures of a decimal. 2 the recurring word
or phrase; a refrain. [L repetendum (as REPEAT)]
n. 1 a tutor or coach of musicians, esp. opera singers. 2 a
person who supervises ballet rehearsals etc. [F]
n. 1 a the act or an instance of repeating or being repeated.
b the thing repeated. 2 a copy or replica. 3 a piece to be
learned by heart. 4 the ability of a musical instrument to
repeat a note quickly. ЬЬrepetitional adj. repetitionary adj.
[F r‚p‚tition or L repetitio (as REPEAT)]
adj. characterized by repetition, esp. when unnecessary or
tiresome. ЬЬrepetitiously adv. repetitiousness n.
adj. = REPETITIOUS. ЬЬrepetitively adv. repetitiveness n.
rephrase v.tr. express in an alternative way.
repine v.intr. (often foll. by at, against) fret; be discontented.
[RE- + PINE(2), after repent]
repique n. & v. --n. (in piquet) the winning of 30 points on cards
alone before beginning to play. --v. (repiques, repiqued,
repiquing) 1 intr. score repique. 2 tr. score repique against
(another person). [F repic (as RE-, PIQUE(2))]
replace v.tr. 1 put back in place. 2 take the place of; succeed; be
substituted for. 3 find or provide a substitute for. 4 (often
foll. by with, by) fill up the place of. 5 (in passive, often
foll. by by) be succeeded or have one's place filled by another;
be superseded. ЬЬreplaceable adj. replacer n.
n. 1 the act or an instance of replacing or being replaced. 2
a person or thing that takes the place of another.
replan v.tr. (replanned, replanning) plan again or differently.
replant v.tr. 1 transfer (a plant etc.) to a larger pot, a new site,
etc. 2 plant (ground) again; provide with new plants.
replay v. & n. --v.tr. play (a match, recording, etc.) again. --n.
the act or an instance of replaying a match, a recording, or a
recorded incident in a game etc.
replenish v.tr. 1 (often foll. by with) fill up again. 2 renew (a supply
etc.). 3 (as replenished adj.) filled; fully stored or stocked;
full. ЬЬreplenisher n. replenishment n. [ME f. OF replenir
(as RE-, plenir f. plein full f. L plenus)]
replete adj. (often foll. by with) 1 filled or well-supplied with. 2
stuffed; gorged; sated. ЬЬrepleteness n. repletion n. [ME f.
OF replet replete or L repletus past part. of replere (as RE-,
plere plet- fill)]
replevin n. Law 1 the provisional restoration or recovery of distrained
goods pending the outcome of trial and judgement. 2 a writ
granting this. 3 the action arising from this process. [ME f.
AF f. OF replevir (as REPLEVY)]
replevy v.tr. (-ies, -ied) Law recover by replevin. [OF replevir
recover f. Gmc]
replica n. 1 a duplicate of a work made by the original artist. 2 a
facsimile, an exact copy. 3 a copy or model, esp. on a smaller
scale. [It. f. replicare REPLY]
replicate v., adj., & n. --v.tr. 1 repeat (an experiment etc.). 2 make
a replica of. 3 fold back. --adj. Bot. folded back on itself.
--n. Mus. a tone one or more octaves above or below the given
tone. ЬЬreplicable adj. (in sense 1 of v.). replicability n.
(in sense 1 of v.). replicative adj. [L replicare (as RE-,
n. 1 a reply or response, esp. a reply to an answer. 2 Law the
plaintiff's reply to the defendant's plea. 3 a the act or an
instance of copying. b a copy. c the process by which genetic
material or a living organism gives rise to a copy of itself.
[ME f. OF replicacion f. L replicatio -onis (as REPLICATE)]
reply v. & n. --v. (-ies, -ied) 1 intr. (often foll. by to) make an
answer, respond in word or action. 2 tr. say in answer (he
replied, 'Please yourself'). --n. (pl. -ies) 1 the act of
replying (what did they say in reply?). 2 what is replied; a
response. 3 Law = REPLICATION. Ьreply coupon a coupon
exchangeable for stamps in any country for prepaying the reply
to a letter. reply paid 1 hist. (of a telegram) with the cost
of a reply prepaid by the sender. 2 (of an envelope etc.) for
which the addressee undertakes to pay postage. ЬЬreplier n.
[ME f. OF replier f. L (as REPLICATE)]
repoint v.tr. point (esp. brickwork) again.
repolish v.tr. polish again.
v.tr. populate again or increase the population of.
report v. & n. --v. 1 tr. a bring back or give an account of. b
state as fact or news, narrate or describe or repeat, esp. as
an eyewitness or hearer etc. c relate as spoken by another. 2
tr. make an official or formal statement about. 3 tr. (often
foll. by to) name or specify (an offender or offence) (shall
report you for insubordination; reported them to the police). 4
intr. (often foll. by to) present oneself to a person as having
returned or arrived (report to the manager on arrival). 5 tr.
(also absol.) take down word for word or summarize or write a
description of for publication. 6 intr. make or draw up or send
in a report. 7 intr. (often foll. by to) be responsible (to a
superior, supervisor, etc.) (reports directly to the managing
director). 8 tr. Parl. (of a committee chairman) announce that
the committee has dealt with (a bill). 9 intr. (often foll. by
of) give a report to convey that one is well, badly, etc.
impressed (reports well of the prospects). --n. 1 an account
given or opinion formally expressed after investigation or
consideration. 2 a description, summary, or reproduction of a
scene or speech or law case, esp. for newspaper publication or
broadcast. 3 common talk; rumour. 4 the way a person or thing
is spoken of (I hear a good report of you). 5 a periodical
statement on (esp. a school pupil's) work, conduct, etc. 6 the
sound of an explosion. Ьreport back deliver a report to the
person, organization, etc. for whom one acts etc. reported
speech the speaker's words with the changes of person, tense,
etc. usual in reports, e.g. he said that he would go (opp.
direct speech). report progress state what has been done so
far. report stage (in the UK) the debate on a bill in the House
of Commons or House of Lords after it is reported. ЬЬreportable
adj. reportedly adv. [ME f. OF reporter f. L reportare (as
RE-, portare bring)]
reportage n. 1 the describing of events, esp. the reporting of news etc.
for the press and for broadcasting. 2 the typical style of
this. 3 factual presentation in a book etc. [REPORT, after F]
reporter n. 1 a person employed to report news etc. for newspapers or
broadcasts. 2 a person who reports.
adj. US of newspaper reporters. ЬЬreportorially adv.
[REPORTER, after editorial]
repose(1) n. & v. --n. 1 the cessation of activity or excitement or
toil. 2 sleep. 3 a peaceful or quiescent state; stillness;
tranquillity. 4 Art a restful effect; harmonious combination.
5 composure or ease of manner. --v. 1 intr. & refl. lie down
in rest (reposed on a sofa). 2 tr. (often foll. by on) lay
(one's head etc.) to rest (on a pillow etc.). 3 intr. (often
foll. by in, on) lie, be lying or laid, esp. in sleep or death.
4 tr. give rest to; refresh with rest. 5 intr. (foll. by on,
upon) be supported or based on. 6 intr. (foll. by on) (of
memory etc.) dwell on. ЬЬreposal n. reposeful adj.
reposefully adv. reposefulness n. [ME f. OF repos(er) f. LL
repausare (as RE-, pausare PAUSE)]
repose(2) v.tr. (foll. by in) place (trust etc.) in. ЬЬreposal n. [RE-
+ POSE(1) after L reponere reposit-]
v. 1 tr. move or place in a different position. 2 intr. adjust
or alter one's position.
n. (pl. -ies) 1 a place where things are stored or may be
found, esp. a warehouse or museum. 2 a receptacle. 3 (often
foll. by of) a a book, person, etc. regarded as a store of
information etc. b the recipient of confidences or secrets.
[obs. F repositoire or L repositorium (as REPOSE(2))]
repossess v.tr. regain possession of (esp. property or goods on which
repayment of a debt is in arrears). ЬЬrepossession n.
repot v.tr. (repotted, repotting) put (a plant) in another, esp.
repouss‚ adj. & n. --adj. hammered into relief from the reverse side.
--n. ornamental metalwork fashioned in this way. [F, past part.
of repousser (as RE-, pousser PUSH)]
repp var. of REP(3).
repped adj. having a surface like rep.
repr. abbr. 1 represent, represented, etc. 2 reprint, reprinted.
reprehend v.tr. rebuke; blame; find fault with. ЬЬreprehension n. [ME
f. L reprehendere (as RE-, prehendere seize)]
adj. deserving censure or rebuke; blameworthy.
ЬЬreprehensibility n. reprehensibly adv. [LL reprehensibilis
represent v.tr. 1 stand for or correspond to (the comment does not
represent all our views). 2 (often in passive) be a specimen or
example of; exemplify (all types of people were represented in
the audience). 3 act as an embodiment of; symbolize (the
sovereign represents the majesty of the State; numbers are
represented by letters). 4 call up in the mind by description
or portrayal or imagination; place a likeness of before the mind
or senses. 5 serve or be meant as a likeness of. 6 a state by
way of expostulation or persuasion (represented the rashness of
it). b (foll. by to) try to bring (the facts influencing
conduct) home to (represented the risks to his client). 7
(often foll. by as, to be) describe or depict as; declare or
make out (represented them as martyrs; not what you represent it
to be). 8 (foll. by that + clause) allege. 9 show, or play the
part of, on stage. 10 fill the place of; be a substitute or
deputy for; be entitled to act or speak for (the Queen was
represented by the Princess of Wales). 11 be elected as a
member of Parliament, a legislature, etc. by (represents a
rural constituency). ЬЬrepresentable adj. representability n.
[ME f. OF representer or f. L repraesentare (as RE-,
n. 1 the act or an instance of representing or being
represented. 2 a thing (esp. a painting etc.) that represents
another. 3 (esp. in pl.) a statement made by way of allegation
or to convey opinion. [ME f. OF representation or L
repraesentatio (as REPRESENT)]
adj. of representation. Ьrepresentational art art seeking to
portray the physical appearance of a subject.
ЬЬrepresentationalism n. representationalist adj. & n.
n. the doctrine that perceived objects are only a
representation of real external objects. ЬЬrepresentationist n.
adj. & n. --adj. 1 typical of a class or category. 2
containing typical specimens of all or many classes (a
representative sample). 3 a consisting of elected deputies etc.
b based on the representation of a nation etc. by such deputies
(representative government). 4 (foll. by of) serving as a
portrayal or symbol of (representative of their attitude to
work). 5 that presents or can present ideas to the mind
(imagination is a representative faculty). --n. 1 (foll. by
of) a sample, specimen, or typical embodiment or analogue of. 2
a the agent of a person or society. b a commercial traveller.
3 a delegate; a substitute. 4 a deputy in a representative
assembly. 5 (of art) representational. ЬЬrepresentatively adv.
representativeness n. [ME f. OF representatif -ive or med.L
repraesentativus (as REPRESENT)]
repress v.tr. 1 a check; restrain; keep under; quell. b suppress;
prevent from sounding, rioting, or bursting out. 2 Psychol.
actively exclude (an unwelcome thought) from conscious
awareness. 3 (usu. as repressed adj.) subject (a person) to the
suppression of his or her thoughts or impulses. ЬЬrepresser n.
repressible adj. repression n. repressive adj. repressively
adv. repressiveness n. repressor n. [ME f. L reprimere (as
RE-, premere PRESS(1))]
reprice v.tr. price again or differently.
reprieve v. & n. --v.tr. 1 remit, commute, or postpone the execution of
(a condemned person). 2 give respite to. --n. 1 a the act or
an instance of reprieving or being reprieved. b a warrant for
this. 2 respite; a respite or temporary escape. [ME as past
part. repryed f. AF & OF repris past part. of reprendre (as
RE-, prendre f. L prehendere take): 16th-c. -v- unexpl.]
reprimand n. & v. --n. (often foll. by for) an official or sharp rebuke
(for a fault etc.). --v.tr. administer this to. [F
r‚primande(r) f. Sp. reprimenda f. L reprimenda neut. pl.
gerundive of reprimere REPRESS]
reprint v. & n. --v.tr. print again. --n. 1 the act or an instance
of reprinting a book etc. 2 the book etc. reprinted. 3 the
quantity reprinted. ЬЬreprinter n.
reprisal n. 1 an act of retaliation. 2 hist. the forcible seizure of a
foreign subject or his or her goods as an act of retaliation.
[ME (in sense 2) f. AF reprisaille f. med.L reprisalia f.
repraehensalia (as REPREHEND)]
reprise n. 1 a repeated passage in music. 2 a repeated item in a
musical programme. [F, fem. past part. of reprendre (see
repro n. (pl. -os) (often attrib.) a reproduction or copy. [abbr.]
reproach v. & n. --v.tr. 1 express disapproval to (a person) for a
fault etc. 2 scold; rebuke; censure. 3 archaic rebuke (an
offence). --n. 1 a rebuke or censure (heaped reproaches on
them). 2 (often foll. by to) a thing that brings disgrace or
discredit (their behaviour is a reproach to us all). 3 a
disgraced or discredited state (live in reproach and ignominy).
4 (in pl.) RC Ch. a set of antiphons and responses for Good
Friday representing the reproaches of Christ to his people.
Ьabove (or beyond) reproach perfect. ЬЬreproachable adj.
reproacher n. reproachingly adv. [ME f. OF reproche(r) f. Rmc
(as RE-, L prope near)]
adj. full of or expressing reproach. ЬЬreproachfully adv.
reprobate n., adj., & v. --n. 1 an unprincipled person; a person of
highly immoral character. 2 a person who is condemned by God.
--adj. 1 immoral. 2 hardened in sin. --v.tr. 1 express or
feel disapproval of; censure. 2 (of God) condemn; exclude from
salvation. ЬЬreprobation n. [ME f. L reprobare reprobat-
disapprove (as RE-, probare approve)]
reprocess v.tr. process again or differently.
reproduce v. 1 tr. produce a copy or representation of. 2 tr. cause to
be seen or heard etc. again (tried to reproduce the sound
exactly). 3 intr. produce further members of the same species
by natural means. 4 refl. produce offspring (reproduced itself
several times). 5 intr. give a specified quality or result when
copied (reproduces badly in black and white). 6 tr. Biol. form
afresh (a lost part etc. of the body). ЬЬreproducer n.
reproducible adj. reproducibility n. reproducibly adv.
n. 1 the act or an instance of reproducing. 2 a copy of a work
of art, esp. a print or photograph of a painting. 3 (attrib.)
(of furniture etc.) made in imitation of a certain style or of
an earlier period. ЬЬreproductive adj. reproductively adv.
reprogram v.tr. (also reprogramme) (reprogrammed, reprogramming; US
reprogramed, reprograming) program (esp. a computer) again or
differently. ЬЬreprogramable adj. (also reprogrammable).
n. the science and practice of copying documents by
photography, xerography, etc. ЬЬreprographer n. reprographic
adj. reprographically adv. [REPRODUCE + -GRAPHY]
n. 1 blame (a glance of reproof). 2 a rebuke; words expressing
blame. [ME f. OF reprove f. reprover REPROVE]
v.tr. 1 render (a coat etc.) waterproof again. 2 make a fresh
proof of (printed matter etc.).
reprove v.tr. rebuke (a person, a person's conduct, etc.).
ЬЬreprovable adj. reprover n. reprovingly adv. [ME f. OF
reprover f. LL reprobare disapprove: see REPROBATE]
reptant adj. (of a plant or animal) creeping. [L reptare reptant-
frequent. of repere crawl]
reptile n. & adj. --n. 1 any cold-blooded scaly animal of the class
Reptilia, including snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles,
tortoises, etc. 2 a mean, grovelling, or repulsive person.
--adj. 1 (of an animal) creeping. 2 mean, grovelling.
ЬЬreptilian adj. & n. [ME f. LL reptilis f. L repere rept-
republic n. 1 a State in which supreme power is held by the people or
their elected representatives or by an elected or nominated
president, not by a monarch etc. 2 a society with equality
between its members (the literary republic). ЬRepublic Day the
day on which the foundation of a republic is commemorated; in
India 26 January. [F r‚publique f. L respublica f. res concern
+ publicus PUBLIC]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or constituted as a republic. 2
characteristic of a republic. 3 advocating or supporting
republican government. --n. 1 a person advocating or
supporting republican government. 2 (Republican) (in the US) a
member or supporter of the Republican Party. 3 an advocate of a
united Ireland. ЬRepublican Party one of the two main US
political parties, favouring only a moderate degree of central
power (cf. Democratic Party). ЬЬrepublicanism n.
republish v.tr. (also absol.) publish again or in a new edition etc.
repudiate v.tr. 1 a disown; disavow; reject. b refuse dealings with. c
deny. 2 refuse to recognize or obey (authority or a treaty). 3
refuse to discharge (an obligation or debt). 4 (esp. of the
ancients or non-Christians) divorce (one's wife). ЬЬrepudiable
adj. repudiation n. repudiator n. [L repudiare f. repudium
n. (also repugnancy) 1 (usu. foll. by to, against) antipathy;
aversion. 2 (usu. foll. by of, between, to, with) inconsistency
or incompatibility of ideas, statements, etc. [ME (in sense 2)
f. F r‚pugnance or L repugnantia f. repugnare oppose (as RE-,
repugnant adj. 1 (often foll. by to) extremely distasteful. 2 (often
foll. by to) contradictory. 3 (often foll. by with)
incompatible. 4 poet. refractory; resisting. ЬЬrepugnantly
adv. [ME f. F r‚pugnant or L (as REPUGNANCE)]
repulse v. & n. --v.tr. 1 drive back (an attack or attacking enemy) by
force of arms. 2 a rebuff (friendly advances or their maker).
b refuse (a request or offer or its maker). 3 be repulsive to,
repel. 4 foil in controversy. --n. 1 the act or an instance
of repulsing or being repulsed. 2 a rebuff. [L repellere
repuls- drive back (as REPEL)]
repulsion n. 1 aversion; disgust. 2 esp. Physics the force by which
bodies tend to repel each other or increase their mutual
distance (opp. ATTRACTION). [LL repulsio (as REPEL)]
repulsive adj. 1 causing aversion or loathing; loathsome, disgusting. 2
Physics exerting repulsion. 3 archaic (of behaviour etc.) cold,
unsympathetic. ЬЬrepulsively adv. repulsiveness n. [F
r‚pulsif -ive or f. REPULSE]
v. & n. --v.tr. purchase again. --n. the act or an instance of
repurify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) purify again. ЬЬrepurification n.
reputable adj. of good repute; respectable. ЬЬreputably adv. [obs. F or
f. med.L reputabilis (as REPUTE)]
n. 1 what is generally said or believed about a person's or
thing's character or standing (has a reputation for dishonesty).
2 the state of being well thought of; distinction;
respectability (have my reputation to think of). 3 (foll. by
of, for + verbal noun) credit or discredit (has the reputation
of driving hard bargains). [ME f. L reputatio (as REPUTE)]
repute n. & v. --n. reputation (known by repute). --v.tr. 1 (as
reputed adj.) (often foll. by to + infin.) be generally
considered or reckoned (is reputed to be the best). 2 (as
reputed adj.) passing as being, but probably not being (his
reputed father). ЬЬreputedly adv. [ME f. OF reputer or L
reputare (as RE-, putare think)]
request n. & v. --n. 1 the act or an instance of asking for something;
a petition (came at his request). 2 a thing asked for. 3 the
state of being sought after; demand (in great request). 4 a
letter etc. asking for a particular record etc. to be played on
a radio programme, often with a personal message. --v.tr. 1
ask to be given or allowed or favoured with (request a hearing;
requests your presence). 2 (foll. by to + infin.) ask a person
to do something (requested her to answer). 3 (foll. by that +
clause) ask that. Ьby (or on) request in response to an
expressed wish. request programme a programme composed of items
requested by the audience. request stop a bus-stop at which a
bus stops only on a passenger's request. ЬЬrequester n. [ME f.
OF requeste(r) ult. f. L requaerere (as REQUIRE)]
requiem n. 1 (Requiem) (also attrib.) chiefly RC Ch. a mass for the
repose of the souls of the dead. 2 Mus. the musical setting for
this. [ME f. accus. of L requies rest, the initial word of the
n. a wish or prayer for the repose of a dead person. [L, = may
he or she rest (in peace)]
require v.tr. 1 need; depend on for success or fulfilment (the work
requires much patience). 2 lay down as an imperative (did all
that was required by law). 3 command; instruct (a person etc.).
4 order; insist on (an action or measure). 5 (often foll. by
of, from, or that + clause) demand (of or from a person) as a
right. 6 wish to have (is there anything else you require?).
ЬЬrequirer n. requirement n. [ME f. OF requere ult. f. L
requirere (as RE-, quaerere seek)]
requisite adj. & n. --adj. required by circumstances; necessary to
success etc. --n. (often foll. by for) a thing needed (for some
purpose). ЬЬrequisitely adv. [ME f. L requisitus past part.
n. & v. --n. 1 an official order laying claim to the use of
property or materials. 2 a formal written demand that some duty
should be performed. 3 being called or put into service.
--v.tr. demand the use or supply of, esp. by requisition order.
Ьunder (or in) requisition being used or applied.
ЬЬrequisitioner n. requisitionist n. [F r‚quisition or L
requisitio (as REQUIRE)]
requite v.tr. 1 make return for (a service). 2 (often foll. by with)
reward or avenge (a favour or injury). 3 (often foll. by for)
make return to (a person). 4 (often foll. by for, with) repay
with good or evil (requite like for like; requite hate with
love). ЬЬrequital n. [RE- + quite var. of QUIT]
reran past of RERUN.
reread v. & n. --v.tr. (past and past part. reread) read again.
--n. an instance of reading again. ЬЬre-readable adj.
reredos n. Eccl. an ornamental screen covering the wall at the back of
an altar. [ME f. AF f. OF areredos f. arere behind + dos back:
v. & n. --v.tr. release (a record, film, etc.) again. --n. a
re-released record, film, etc.
re-route v.tr. (-routeing) send or carry by a different route.
rerun v. & n. --v.tr. (rerunning; past reran; past part. rerun) run
(a race, film, etc.) again. --n. 1 the act or an instance of
rerunning. 2 a film etc. shown again.
resale n. the sale of a thing previously bought. Ьresale price
maintenance a manufacturer's practice of setting a minimum
resale price for goods. ЬЬresalable adj.
resat past and past part. of RESIT.
v.tr. alter the schedule of; replan.
rescind v.tr. abrogate, revoke, cancel. ЬЬrescindable adj.
rescindment n. rescission n. [L rescindere resciss- (as RE-,
rescript n. 1 a Roman emperor's written reply to an appeal for guidance,
esp. on a legal point. 2 RC Ch. the Pope's decision on a
question of doctrine or papal law. 3 an official edict or
announcement. 4 a the act or an instance of rewriting. b the
thing rewritten. [L rescriptum, neut. past part. of rescribere
rescript- (as RE-, scribere write)]
rescue v. & n. --v.tr. (rescues, rescued, rescuing) 1 (often foll. by
from) save or set free or bring away from attack, custody,
danger, or harm. 2 Law a unlawfully liberate (a person). b
forcibly recover (property). --n. the act or an instance of
rescuing or being rescued; deliverance. Ьrescue bid Bridge a
bid made to get one's partner out of a difficult situation.
ЬЬrescuable adj. rescuer n. [ME rescowe f. OF rescoure f. Rmc,
formed as RE- + L excutere (as EX-(1), quatere shake)]
reseal v.tr. seal again. ЬЬresealable adj.
research disp. n. & v. --n. 1 a the systematic investigation into and
study of materials, sources, etc., in order to establish facts
and reach new conclusions. b (usu. in pl.) an endeavour to
discover new or collate old facts etc. by the scientific study
of a subject or by a course of critical investigation. 2
(attrib.) engaged in or intended for research (research
assistant). --v. 1 tr. do research into or for. 2 intr. make
researches. Ьresearch and development (in industry etc.) work
directed towards the innovation, introduction, and improvement
of products and processes. ЬЬresearchable adj. researcher n.
[obs. F recerche (as RE-, SEARCH)]
reseat v.tr. 1 (also refl.) seat (oneself, a person, etc.) again. 2
provide with a fresh seat or seats.
resect v.tr. Surgery 1 cut out part of (a lung etc.). 2 pare down
(bone, cartilage, etc.). ЬЬresection n. resectional adj.
resectionist n. [L resecare resect- (as RE-, secare cut)]
reseda n. 1 any plant of the genus Reseda, with sweet-scented flowers,
e.g. a mignonette. 2 also the pale green colour of mignonette
flowers. [L, perh. f. imper. of resedare assuage, with ref. to
its supposed curative powers]
reselect v.tr. select again or differently. ЬЬreselection n.
resell v.tr. (past and past part. resold) sell (an object etc.) after
n. (often foll. by to, between, of) a likeness or similarity.
ЬЬresemblant adj. [ME f. AF (as RESEMBLE)]
resemble v.tr. be like; have a similarity to, or features in common
with, or the same appearance as. ЬЬresembler n. [ME f. OF
resembler (as RE-, sembler f. L similare f. similis like)]
resent v.tr. show or feel indignation at; be aggrieved by (a
circumstance, action, or person) (we resent being patronized).
[obs. F resentir (as RE-, L sentire feel)]
resentful adj. feeling resentment. ЬЬresentfully adv. resentfulness n.
n. (often foll. by at, of) indignant or bitter feelings; anger.
[It. risentimento or F ressentiment (as RESENT)]
reserpine n. an alkaloid obtained from plants of the genus Rauwolfia,
used as a tranquillizer and in the treatment of hypertension.
[G Reserpin f. mod.L Rauwolfia (f. L. Rauwolf, Ger. botanist d.
n. 1 the act or an instance of reserving or being reserved. 2
a booking (of a room, berth, seat, etc.). 3 the thing booked,
e.g. a room in a hotel. 4 an express or tacit limitation or
exception to an agreement etc. (had reservations about the
plan). 5 Brit. a strip of land between the carriageways of a
road. 6 an area of land reserved for occupation by American
Indians, African Blacks, or Australian Aboriginals, etc. 7 a a
right or interest retained in an estate being conveyed. b the
clause reserving this. 8 Eccl. a the practice of retaining for
some purpose a portion of the Eucharistic elements (esp. the
bread) after celebration. b RC Ch. the power of absolution
reserved to a superior. c RC Ch. the right reserved to the Pope
of nomination to a vacant benefice. [ME f. OF reservation or LL
reservatio (as RESERVE)]
reserve v. & n. --v.tr. 1 postpone, put aside, keep back for a later
occasion or special use. 2 order to be specially retained or
allocated for a particular person or at a particular time. 3
retain or secure, esp. by formal or legal stipulation (reserve
the right to). 4 postpone delivery of (judgement etc.)
(reserved my comments until the end). --n. 1 a thing reserved
for future use; an extra stock or amount (a great reserve of
strength; huge energy reserves). 2 a limitation, qualification,
or exception attached to something (accept your offer without
reserve). 3 a self-restraint; reticence; lack of cordiality
(difficult to overcome his reserve). b (in artistic or literary
expression) absence from exaggeration or ill-proportioned
effects. 4 a company's profit added to capital. 5 (in sing. or
pl.) assets kept readily available as cash or at a central bank,
or as gold or foreign exchange (reserve currency). 6 (in sing.
or pl.) a troops withheld from action to reinforce or protect
others. b forces in addition to the regular army, navy,
airforce, etc., but available in an emergency. 7 a member of
the military reserve. 8 an extra player chosen to be a possible
substitute in a team. 9 a place reserved for special use, esp.
as a habitat for a native tribe or for wildlife (game reserve;
nature reserve). 10 the intentional suppression of the truth
(exercised a certain amount of reserve). 11 (in the decoration
of ceramics or textiles) an area which still has the original
colour of the material or the colour of the background. Ьin
reserve unused and available if required. reserve grade
Austral. a second-grade team. reserve price the lowest
acceptable price stipulated for an item sold at an auction.
with all (or all proper) reserve without endorsing.
ЬЬreservable adj. reserver n. [ME f. OF reserver f. L
reservare (as RE-, servare keep)]
re-serve v.tr. & intr. serve again.
reserved adj. 1 reticent; slow to reveal emotion or opinions;
uncommunicative. 2 a set apart, destined for some use or fate.
b (often foll. by for, to) left by fate for; falling first or
only to. Ьreserved occupation an occupation from which a person
will not be taken for military service. ЬЬreservedly adv.
reservist n. a member of the reserve forces.
reservoir n. 1 a large natural or artificial lake used as a source of
water supply. 2 a any natural or artificial receptacle esp. for
or of fluid. b a place where fluid etc. collects. 3 a part of
a machine etc. holding fluid. 4 (usu. foll. by of) a reserve or
supply esp. of information. [F r‚servoir f. r‚server RESERVE]
reset v.tr. (resetting; past and past part. reset) set (a broken
bone, gems, a mechanical device, etc.) again or differently.
ЬЬresettable adj. resettability n.
resettle v.tr. & intr. settle again. ЬЬresettlement n.
reshape v.tr. shape or form again or differently.
reshuffle v. & n. --v.tr. 1 shuffle (cards) again. 2 interchange the
posts of (government ministers etc.). --n. the act or an
instance of reshuffling.
reside v.intr. 1 (often foll. by at, in, abroad, etc.) (of a person)
have one's home, dwell permanently. 2 (of power, a right, etc.)
rest or be vested in. 3 (of an incumbent official) be in
residence. 4 (foll. by in) (of a quality) be present or
inherent in. [ME, prob. back-form. f. RESIDENT infl. by F
r‚sider or L residere (as RE-, sedere sit)]
residence n. 1 the act or an instance of residing. 2 a the place where a
person resides; an abode. b a mansion; the official house of a
government minister etc. c a house, esp. one of considerable
pretension (returned to their London residence). Ьin residence
dwelling at a specified place, esp. for the performance of
duties or work. [ME f. OF residence or med.L residentia f. L
residere: see RESIDE]
residency n. (pl. -ies) 1 = RESIDENCE 1, 2a. 2 US a period of
specialized medical training; the position of a resident. 3
hist. the official residence of the Governor-General's
representative or other government agent at an Indian native
court; the territory supervised by this official. 4 a
musician's regular engagement at a club etc. 5 a group or
organization of intelligence agents in a foreign country.
resident n. & adj. --n. 1 (often foll. by of) a a permanent inhabitant
(of a town or neighbourhood). b a bird belonging to a species
that does not migrate. 2 a guest in a hotel etc. staying
overnight. 3 hist. a British government agent in any
semi-independent State, esp. the Governor-General's agent at an
Indian native court. 4 US a medical graduate engaged in
specialized practice under supervision in a hospital. 5 an
intelligence agent in a foreign country. --adj. 1 residing; in
residence. 2 a having quarters on the premises of one's work
etc. (resident housekeeper; resident doctor). b working
regularly in a particular place. 3 located in; inherent (powers
of feeling are resident in the nerves). 4 (of birds etc.)
non-migratory. ЬЬresidentship n. (in sense 3 of n.). [ME f. OF
resident or L: see RESIDE]
adj. 1 suitable for or occupied by private houses (residential
area). 2 used as a residence (residential hotel). 3 based on
or connected with residence (the residential qualification for
voters; a residential course of study). ЬЬresidentially adv.
adj. & n. --adj. of, subject to, or requiring, official
residence. --n. (pl. -ies) an ecclesiastic who must
officially reside in a place. [med.L residentiarius (as
residua pl. of RESIDUUM.
residual adj. & n. --adj. 1 remaining; left as a residue or residuum.
2 Math. resulting from subtraction. 3 (in calculation) still
unaccounted for or not eliminated. --n. 1 a quantity left over
or Math. resulting from subtraction. 2 an error in calculation
not accounted for or eliminated. ЬЬresidually adv.
residuary adj. 1 of the residue of an estate (residuary bequest). 2 of
or being a residuum; residual; still remaining.
residue n. 1 what is left over or remains; a remainder; the rest. 2
Law what remains of an estate after the payment of charges,
debts, and bequests. 3 esp. Chem. a residuum. [ME f. OF residu
f. L residuum: see RESIDUUM]
residuum n. (pl. residua) 1 Chem. a substance left after combustion or
evaporation. 2 a remainder or residue. [L, neut. of residuus
remaining f. residere: see RESIDE]
resign v. 1 intr. a (often foll. by from) give up office, one's
employment, etc. (resigned from the Home Office). b (often
foll. by as) retire (resigned as chief executive). 2 tr. (often
foll. by to, into) relinquish; surrender; hand over (a right,
charge, task, etc.). 3 tr. give up (hope etc.). 4 refl. (usu.
foll. by to) a reconcile (oneself, one's mind, etc.) to the
inevitable (have resigned myself to the idea). b surrender
(oneself to another's guidance). 5 intr. Chess etc.
discontinue play and admit defeat. ЬЬresigner n. [ME f. OF
resigner f. L resignare unseal, cancel (as RE-, signare sign,
re-sign v.tr. & intr. sign again.
n. 1 the act or an instance of resigning, esp. from one's job
or office. 2 the document etc. conveying this intention. 3 the
state of being resigned; the uncomplaining endurance of a sorrow
or difficulty. [ME f. OF f. med.L resignatio (as RESIGN)]
resigned adj. (often foll. by to) having resigned oneself; submissive,
acquiescent. ЬЬresignedly adv. resignedness n.
resile v.intr. 1 (of something stretched or compressed) recoil to
resume a former size and shape; spring back. 2 have or show
resilience or recuperative power. 3 (usu. foll. by from)
withdraw from a course of action. [obs. F resilir or L resilire
(as RE-, salire jump)]
resilient adj. 1 (of a substance etc.) recoiling; springing back;
resuming its original shape after bending, stretching,
compression, etc. 2 (of a person) readily recovering from
shock, depression, etc.; buoyant. ЬЬresilience n. resiliency
n. resiliently adv. [L resiliens resilient- (as RESILE)]
resin n. & v. --n. 1 an adhesive inflammable substance insoluble in
water, secreted by some plants, and often extracted by incision,
esp. from fir and pine (cf. GUM(1)). 2 (in full synthetic
resin) a solid or liquid organic compound made by polymerization
etc. and used in plastics etc. --v.tr. (resined, resining) rub
or treat with resin. ЬЬresinate n. resinate v.tr. resinoid
adj. & n. resinous adj. [ME resyn, rosyn f. L resina & med.L
resist v. & n. --v. 1 tr. withstand the action or effect of; repel.
2 tr. stop the course or progress of; prevent from reaching,
penetrating, etc. 3 tr. abstain from (pleasure, temptation,
etc.). 4 tr. strive against; try to impede; refuse to comply
with (resist arrest). 5 intr. offer opposition; refuse to
comply. --n. a protective coating of a resistant substance,
applied esp. to parts of calico that are not to take dye or to
parts of pottery that are not to take glaze or lustre. Ьcannot
(or could not etc.) resist 1 (foll. by verbal noun) feel obliged
or strongly inclined to (cannot resist teasing me about it). 2
is certain to be amused, attracted, etc., by (can't resist
children's clothes). ЬЬresistant adj. resister n. resistible
adj. resistibility n. [ME f. OF resister or L resistere (as
RE-, sistere stop, redupl. of stare stand)]
n. 1 the act or an instance of resisting; refusal to comply. 2
the power of resisting (showed resistance to wear and tear). 3
Biol. the ability to withstand adverse conditions. 4 the
impeding, slowing, or stopping effect exerted by one material
thing on another. 5 Physics a the property of hindering the
conduction of electricity, heat, etc. b the measure of this in
a body. °Symb.: R. 6 a resistor. 7 (in full resistance
movement) a secret organization resisting authority, esp. in an
occupied country. [ME f. F r‚sistance, r‚sistence f. LL
resistentia (as RESIST)]
resistive adj. 1 able to resist. 2 Electr. of or concerning resistance.
n. Electr. a measure of the resisting power of a specified
material to the flow of an electric current.
resistor n. Electr. a device having resistance to the passage of an
resit v. & n. --v.tr. (resitting; past and past part. resat) sit
(an examination) again after failing. --n. 1 the act or an
instance of resitting an examination. 2 an examination held
specifically to enable candidates to resit.
re-site v.tr. place on another site; relocate.
resold past and past part. of RESELL.
resoluble adj. 1 that can be resolved. 2 (foll. by into) analysable. [F
r‚soluble or L resolubilis (as RESOLVE, after soluble)]
adj. that can be dissolved again.
resolute adj. (of a person or a person's mind or action) determined;
decided; firm of purpose; not vacillating. ЬЬresolutely adv.
resoluteness n. [L resolutus past part. of resolvere (see
n. 1 a resolute temper or character; boldness and firmness of
purpose. 2 a thing resolved on; an intention (New Year's
resolutions). 3 a a formal expression of opinion or intention
by a legislative body or public meeting. b the formulation of
this (passed a resolution). 4 (usu. foll. by of) the act or an
instance of solving doubt or a problem or question (towards a
resolution of the difficulty). 5 a separation into components;
decomposition. b the replacing of a single force etc. by two or
more jointly equivalent to it. 6 (foll. by into) analysis;
conversion into another form. 7 Mus. the act or an instance of
causing discord to pass into concord. 8 Physics etc. the
smallest interval measurable by a scientific instrument; the
resolving power. 9 Med. the disappearance of inflammation etc.
without suppuration. 10 Prosody the substitution of two short
syllables for one long. [ME f. L resolutio (as RESOLVE)]
adj. Med. having the power or ability to dissolve.
Ьresolutive condition Law a condition whose fulfilment
terminates a contract etc. [med.L resolutivus (as RESOLVE)]
resolve v. & n. --v. 1 intr. make up one's mind; decide firmly
(resolve to do better). 2 tr. (of circumstances etc.) cause (a
person) to do this (events resolved him to leave). 3 tr. (foll.
by that + clause) (of an assembly or meeting) pass a resolution
by vote (the committee resolved that immediate action should be
taken). 4 intr. & tr. (often foll. by into) separate or cause
to separate into constituent parts; disintegrate; analyse;
dissolve. 5 tr. (of optical or photographic equipment) separate
or distinguish between closely adjacent objects. 6 tr. & intr.
(foll. by into) convert or be converted. 7 tr. & intr. (foll.
by into) reduce by mental analysis into. 8 tr. solve; explain;
clear up; settle (doubt, argument, etc.). 9 tr. & intr. Mus.
convert or be converted into concord. 10 tr. Med. remove
(inflammation etc.) without suppuration. 11 tr. Prosody
replace (a long syllable) by two short syllables. 12 tr. Mech.
replace (a force etc.) by two or more jointly equivalent to it.
--n. 1 a a firm mental decision or intention; a resolution
(made a resolve not to go). b US a formal resolution by a
legislative body or public meeting. 2 resoluteness;
steadfastness. Ьresolving power an instrument's ability to
distinguish very small or very close objects. ЬЬresolvable adj.
resolvability n. resolver n. [ME f. L resolvere resolut- (as
resolved adj. resolute, determined. ЬЬresolvedly adv. resolvedness n.
resolvent adj. & n. esp. Med. --adj. (of a drug, application, substance,
etc.) effecting the resolution of a tumour etc. --n. such a
resonance n. 1 the reinforcement or prolongation of sound by reflection
or synchronous vibration. 2 Mech. a condition in which an
object or system is subjected to an oscillating force having a
frequency close to its own natural frequency. 3 Chem. the
property of a molecule having a structure best represented by
two or more forms rather than a single structural formula. 4
Physics a short-lived elementary particle that is an excited
state of a more stable particle. [OF f. L resonantia echo (as
resonant adj. 1 (of sound) echoing, resounding; continuing to sound;
reinforced or prolonged by reflection or synchronous vibration.
2 (of a body, room, etc.) tending to reinforce or prolong sounds
esp. by synchronous vibration. 3 (often foll. by with) (of a
place) resounding. 4 of or relating to resonance. ЬЬresonantly
adv. [F r‚sonnant or L resonare resonant- (as RE-, sonare
resonate v.intr. produce or show resonance; resound. [L resonare
resonat- (as RESONANT)]
resonator n. Mus. 1 an instrument responding to a single note and used
for detecting it in combinations. 2 an appliance for giving
resonance to sound or other vibrations.
resorb v.tr. absorb again. ЬЬresorbence n. resorbent n. [L
resorbere resorpt- (as RE-, sorbere absorb)]
resorcin n. = RESORCINOL. [RESIN + ORCIN]
n. Chem. a crystalline organic compound usu. made by synthesis
and used in the production of dyes, drugs, resins, etc.
n. 1 the act or an instance of resorbing; the state of being
resorbed. 2 the absorption of tissue within the body.
ЬЬresorptive adj. [RESORB after absorption]
resort n. & v. --n. 1 a place frequented esp. for holidays or for a
specified purpose or quality (seaside resort; health resort). 2
a a thing to which one has recourse; an expedient or measure (a
taxi was our best resort). b (foll. by to) recourse to; use of
(without resort to violence). 3 a tendency to frequent or be
frequented (places of great resort). --v.intr. 1 (foll. by to)
turn to as an expedient (resorted to threats). 2 (foll. by to)
go often or in large numbers to. Ьin the (or as a) last resort
when all else has failed. ЬЬresorter n. [ME f. OF resortir (as
RE-, sortir come or go out)]
re-sort v.tr. sort again or differently.
resound v. 1 intr. (often foll. by with) (of a place) ring or echo (the
hall resounded with laughter). 2 intr. (of a voice, instrument,
sound, etc.) produce echoes; go on sounding; fill the place with
sound. 3 intr. a (of fame, a reputation, etc.) be much talked
of. b (foll. by through) produce a sensation (the call
resounded through Europe). 4 tr. (often foll. by of) proclaim
or repeat loudly (the praises) of a person or thing (resounded
the praises of Greece). 5 tr. (of a place) re-echo (a sound).
[ME f. RE- + SOUND(1) v., after OF resoner or L resonare: see
adj. 1 in senses of RESOUND. 2 unmistakable; emphatic (was a
resounding success). ЬЬresoundingly adv.
resource n. 1 an expedient or device (escape was their only resource).
2 (usu. in pl.) a the means available to achieve an end, fulfil
a function, etc. b a stock or supply that can be drawn on. c
US available assets. 3 (in pl.) a country's collective wealth
or means of defence. 4 a leisure occupation (reading is a great
resource). 5 a skill in devising expedients (a person of great
resource). b practical ingenuity; quick wit (full of resource).
6 archaic the possibility of aid (lost without resource).
Ьone's own resources one's own abilities, ingenuity, etc.
ЬЬresourceful adj. resourcefully adv. resourcefulness n.
resourceless adj. resourcelessness n. [F ressource, ressourse,
fem. past part. of OF dial. resourdre (as RE-, L surgere rise)]
respect n. & v. --n. 1 deferential esteem felt or shown towards a
person or quality. 2 a (foll. by of, for) heed or regard. b
(foll. by to) attention to or consideration of (without respect
to the results). 3 an aspect, detail, particular, etc. (correct
except in this one respect). 4 reference, relation (a morality
that has no respect to religion). 5 (in pl.) a person's polite
messages or attentions (give my respects to your mother).
--v.tr. 1 regard with deference, esteem, or honour. 2 a avoid
interfering with, harming, degrading, insulting, injuring, or
interrupting. b treat with consideration. c refrain from
offending, corrupting, or tempting (a person, a person's
feelings, etc.). Ьin respect of as concerns; with reference to.
in respect that because. with (or with all due) respect a
mollifying formula preceding an expression of one's disagreement
with another's views. ЬЬrespecter n. [ME f. OF respect or L
respectus f. respicere (as RE-, specere look at) or f.
respectare frequent. of respicere]
n. 1 the state of being respectable. 2 those who are
adj. 1 deserving respect. 2 a of fair social standing. b
having the qualities necessary for such standing. 3 honest and
decent in conduct etc. 4 of some merit or importance. 5
tolerable, passable, fairly good or competent (a respectable
try). 6 (of activities, clothes, etc.) presentable; befitting a
respectable person. 7 reasonably good in condition or
appearance. 8 appreciable in number, size, amount, etc. 9
primly conventional. ЬЬrespectably adv.
adj. showing deference (stood at a respectful distance).
ЬЬrespectfully adv. respectfulness n.
prep. with reference or regard to; concerning.
adj. concerning or appropriate to each of several individually;
proper to each (go to your respective places). [F respectif
-ive f. med.L respectivus (as RESPECT)]
adv. for each separately or in turn, and in the order mentioned
(she and I gave њ10 and њ1 respectively).
respell v.tr. (past and past part. respelt or respelled) spell again
or differently, esp. phonetically.
adj. (of air, gas, etc.) able or fit to be breathed. [F
respirable or LL respirabilis (as RESPIRE)]
respirate v.tr. subject to artificial respiration. [back-form. f.
n. 1 a the act or an instance of breathing. b a single
inspiration or expiration; a breath. 2 Biol. in living
organisms, the process involving the release of energy and
carbon dioxide from the oxidation of complex organic substances.
[ME f. F respiration or L respiratio (as RESPIRE)]
n. 1 an apparatus worn over the face to prevent poison gas,
cold air, dust particles, etc., from being inhaled. 2 Med. an
apparatus for maintaining artificial respiration.
respire v. 1 intr. breathe air. 2 intr. inhale and exhale air. 3
intr. (of a plant) carry out respiration. 4 tr. breathe (air
etc.). 5 intr. breathe again; take a breath. 6 intr. get rest
or respite; recover hope or spirit. ЬЬrespiratory adj. [ME f.
OF respirer or f. L respirare (as RE-, spirare breathe)]
respite n. & v. --n. 1 an interval of rest or relief. 2 a delay
permitted before the discharge of an obligation or the suffering
of a penalty. --v.tr. 1 grant respite to; reprieve (a
condemned person). 2 postpone the execution or exaction of (a
sentence, obligation, etc.). 3 give temporary relief from (pain
or care) or to (a sufferer). [ME f. OF respit f. L respectus
adj. brilliant, dazzlingly or gloriously bright.
ЬЬresplendence n. resplendency n. resplendently adv. [ME f. L
resplendere (as RE-, splendere glitter)]
respond v. & n. --v. 1 intr. answer, give a reply. 2 intr. act or
behave in an answering or corresponding manner. 3 intr. (usu.
foll. by to) show sensitiveness to by behaviour or change (does
not respond to kindness). 4 intr. (of a congregation) make
answers to a priest etc. 5 intr. Bridge make a bid on the
basis of a partner's preceding bid. 6 tr. say (something) in
answer. --n. 1 Archit. a half-pillar or half-pier attached to
a wall to support an arch, esp. at the end of an arcade. 2
Eccl. a responsory; a response to a versicle. ЬЬrespondence n.
respondency n. responder n. [ME f. OF respondre answer ult. f.
L respondere respons- answer (as RE-, spondere pledge)]
n. & adj. --n. 1 a defendant, esp. in an appeal or divorce
case. 2 a person who makes an answer or defends an argument
etc. --adj. 1 making answer. 2 (foll. by to) responsive. 3
in the position of defendant.
response n. 1 an answer given in word or act; a reply. 2 a feeling,
movement, change, etc., caused by a stimulus or influence. 3
(often in pl.) Eccl. any part of the liturgy said or sung in
answer to the priest; a responsory. 4 Bridge a bid made in
responding. [ME f. OF respons(e) or L responsum neut. past
part. of respondere RESPOND]
n. (pl. -ies) 1 a (often foll. by for, of) the state or fact
of being responsible (refuses all responsibility for it; will
take the responsibility of doing it). b authority; the ability
to act independently and make decisions (a job with more
responsibility). 2 the person or thing for which one is
responsible (the food is my responsibility). Ьon one's own
responsibility without authorization.
adj. 1 (often foll. by to, for) liable to be called to account
(to a person or for a thing). 2 morally accountable for one's
actions; capable of rational conduct. 3 of good credit,
position, or repute; respectable; evidently trustworthy. 4
(often foll. by for) being the primary cause (a short circuit
was responsible for the power failure). 5 (of a ruler or
government) not autocratic. 6 involving responsibility (a
responsible job). ЬЬresponsibleness n. responsibly adv. [obs.
F f. L respondere: see RESPOND]
adj. 1 (often foll. by to) responding readily (to some
influence). 2 sympathetic; impressionable. 3 a answering. b
by way of answer. 4 (of a liturgy etc.) using responses.
ЬЬresponsively adv. responsiveness n. [F responsif -ive or LL
responsivus (as RESPOND)]
n. (pl. -ies) an anthem said or sung by a soloist and choir
after a lesson. [ME f. LL responsorium (as RESPOND)]
respray v. & n. --v.tr. spray again (esp. to change the colour of the
paint on a vehicle). --n. the act or an instance of
rest(1) v. & n. --v. 1 intr. cease, abstain, or be relieved from
exertion, action, movement, or employment; be tranquil. 2 intr.
be still or asleep, esp. to refresh oneself or recover strength.
3 tr. give relief or repose to; allow to rest (a chair to rest
my legs). 4 intr. (foll. by on, upon, against) lie on; be
supported by; be spread out on; be propped against. 5 intr.
(foll. by on, upon) depend, be based, or rely on. 6 intr.
(foll. by on, upon) (of a look) alight or be steadily directed
on. 7 tr. (foll. by on, upon) place for support or foundation.
8 intr. (of a problem or subject) be left without further
investigation or discussion (let the matter rest). 9 intr. a
lie in death. b (foll. by in) lie buried in (a churchyard
etc.). 10 tr. (as rested adj.) refreshed or reinvigorated by
resting. 11 intr. US conclude the calling of witnesses in a
law case (the prosecution rests). 12 intr. (of land) lie
fallow. 13 intr. (foll. by in) repose trust in (am content to
rest in God). --n. 1 repose or sleep, esp. in bed at night
(get a good night's rest). 2 freedom from or the cessation of
exertion, worry, activity, etc. (give the subject a rest). 3 a
period of resting (take a 15-minute rest). 4 a support or prop
for holding or steadying something. 5 Mus. a an interval of
silence of a specified duration. b the sign denoting this. 6 a
place of resting or abiding, esp. a lodging place or shelter
provided for sailors, cabmen, etc. 7 a pause in elocution. 8 a
caesura in verse. Ьat rest not moving; not agitated or
troubled; dead. be resting Brit. euphem. (of an actor) be out
of work. rest-baulk a ridge left unploughed between furrows.
rest one's case conclude one's argument etc. rest-cure a rest
usu. of some weeks as a medical treatment. rest-day 1 a day
spent in rest. 2 = day of rest. rest (or God rest) his (or
her) soul may God grant his (or her) soul repose. rest-home a
place where old or frail people can be cared for. rest-house
Ind. a house for travellers to rest in. resting-place a place
provided or used for resting. rest mass Physics the mass of a
body when at rest. rest on one's laurels see LAUREL. rest on
one's oars see OAR. rest room esp. US a public lavatory in a
factory, shop, etc. rest up US rest oneself thoroughly. set at
rest settle or relieve (a question, a person's mind, etc.).
ЬЬrester n. [OE r‘st, rest (n.), r‘stan, restan (v.)]
rest(2) n. & v. --n. (prec. by the) 1 the remaining part or parts; the
others; the remainder of some quantity or number (finish what
you can and leave the rest). 2 Brit. Econ. the reserve fund,
esp. of the Bank of England. 3 hist. a rally in tennis.
--v.intr. 1 remain in a specified state (rest assured). 2
(foll. by with) be left in the hands or charge of (the final
arrangements rest with you). Ьand all the rest (or the rest of
it) and all else that might be mentioned; etcetera. for the
rest as regards anything else. [ME f. OF reste rester f. L
restare (as RE-, stare stand)]
restart v. & n. --v.tr. & intr. begin again. --n. a new beginning.
restate v.tr. express again or differently, esp. more clearly or
convincingly. ЬЬrestatement n.
n. public premises where meals or refreshments may be had.
Ьrestaurant car Brit. a dining-car on a train. [F f.
n. a restaurant-keeper. [F (as RESTAURANT)]
restful adj. 1 favourable to quiet or repose. 2 free from disturbing
influences. 3 soothing. ЬЬrestfully adv. restfulness n.
n. any tough-rooted plant of the genus Ononis, native to Europe
and the Mediterranean. [obs. rest (v.) = ARREST (in sense
'stop') + HARROW]
n. 1 (often foll. by of) the act or an instance of restoring a
thing to its proper owner. 2 reparation for an injury ( esp.
make restitution). 3 esp. Theol. the restoration of a thing to
its original state. 4 the resumption of an original shape or
position because of elasticity. ЬЬrestitutive adj. [ME f. OF
restitution or L restitutio f. restituere restitut- restore (as
RE-, statuere establish)]
restive adj. 1 fidgety; restless. 2 (of a horse) refusing to advance,
stubbornly standing still or moving backwards or sideways;
jibbing; refractory. 3 (of a person) unmanageable; rejecting
control. ЬЬrestively adv. restiveness n. [ME f. OF restif
-ive f. Rmc (as REST(2))]
restless adj. 1 finding or affording no rest. 2 uneasy; agitated. 3
constantly in motion, fidgeting, etc. ЬЬrestlessly adv.
restlessness n. [OE restleas (as REST, -LESS)]
restock v.tr. (also absol.) stock again or differently.
n. 1 the act or an instance of restoring or being restored. 2
a model or drawing representing the supposed original form of an
extinct animal, ruined building, etc. 3 a the re-establishment
of a monarch etc. b the period of this. 4 (Restoration) hist.
a (prec. by the) the re-establishment of Charles II as king of
England in 1660. b (often attrib.) the literary period
following this (Restoration comedy). [17th-c. alt. (after
RESTORE) of restauration, ME f. OF restauration or LL
restauratio (as RESTORE)]
adj. & n. --adj. tending to restore health or strength. --n. a
restorative medicine, food, etc. (needs a restorative).
ЬЬrestoratively adv. [ME var. of obs. restaurative f. OF
restauratif -ive (as RESTORE)]
restore v.tr. 1 bring back or attempt to bring back to the original
state by rebuilding, repairing, repainting, emending, etc. 2
bring back to health etc.; cure. 3 give back to the original
owner etc.; make restitution of. 4 reinstate; bring back to
dignity or right. 5 replace; put back; bring back to a former
condition. 6 make a representation of the supposed original
state of (a ruin, extinct animal, etc.). 7 reinstate by
conjecture (missing words in a text, missing pieces, etc.).
ЬЬrestorable adj. restorer n. [ME f. OF restorer f. L
restrain v.tr. 1 (often refl., usu. foll. by from) check or hold in;
keep in check or under control or within bounds. 2 repress;
keep down. 3 confine; imprison. ЬЬrestrainable adj.
restrainer n. [ME f. OF restrei(g)n- stem of restreindre f. L
restringere restrict- (as RE-, stringere tie)]
re-strain v.tr. strain again.
adv. with self-restraint.
restraint n. 1 the act or an instance of restraining or being restrained.
2 a stoppage; a check; a controlling agency or influence. 3 a
self-control; avoidance of excess or exaggeration. b austerity
of literary expression. 4 reserve of manner. 5 confinement,
esp. because of insanity. 6 something which restrains or holds
in check. Ьin restraint of in order to restrain. restraint of
trade action seeking to interfere with free-market conditions.
[ME f. OF restreinte fem. past part. of restreindre: see
restrict v.tr. (often foll. by to, within) 1 confine, bound, limit
(restricted parking; restricted them to five days a week). 2
subject to limitation. 3 withhold from general circulation or
disclosure. Ьrestricted area 1 Brit. an area in which there is
a special speed limit for vehicles. 2 US an area which military
personnel are not allowed to enter. ЬЬrestrictedly adv.
restrictedness n. [L restringere: see RESTRAIN]
n. 1 the act or an instance of restricting; the state of being
restricted. 2 a thing that restricts. 3 a limitation placed on
action. ЬЬrestrictionist adj. & n. [ME f. OF restriction or L
restrictio (as RESTRICT)]
adj. imposing restrictions. Ьrestrictive clause Gram. a
relative clause, usu. without surrounding commas. restrictive
practice Brit. an agreement to limit competition or output in
industry. ЬЬrestrictively adv. restrictiveness n. [ME f. OF
restrictif -ive or med.L restrictivus (as RESTRICT)]
restring v.tr. (past and past part. restrung) 1 fit (a musical
instrument) with new strings. 2 thread (beads etc.) on a new
v.tr. give a new structure to; rebuild; rearrange.
restudy v.tr. (-ies, -ied) study again.
restyle v.tr. 1 reshape; remake in a new style. 2 give a new
designation to (a person or thing).
result n. & v. --n. 1 a consequence, issue, or outcome of something.
2 a satisfactory outcome; a favourable result (gets results). 3
a quantity, formula, etc., obtained by calculation. 4 (in pl.)
a list of scores or winners etc. in an examination or sporting
event. --v.intr. 1 (often foll. by from) arise as the actual
consequence or follow as a logical consequence (from conditions,
causes, etc.). 2 (often foll. by in) have a specified end or
outcome (resulted in a large profit). Ьwithout result in vain;
fruitless. ЬЬresultful adj. resultless adj. [ME f. med.L
resultare f. L (as RE-, saltare frequent. of salire jump)]
resultant adj. & n. --adj. resulting, esp. as the total outcome of more
or less opposed forces. --n. Math. a force etc. equivalent to
two or more acting in different directions at the same point.
resume v. & n. --v. 1 tr. & intr. begin again or continue after an
interruption. 2 tr. & intr. begin to speak, work, or use again;
recommence. 3 tr. get back; take back; recover; reoccupy
(resume one's seat). --n. = RђSUMђ. ЬЬresumable adj. [ME f.
OF resumer or L resumere resumpt- (as RE-, sumere take)]
r‚sum‚ n. 1 a summary. 2 US a curriculum vitae. [F past part. of
r‚sumer (as RESUME)]
n. the act or an instance of resuming (ready for the resumption
of negotiations). ЬЬresumptive adj. [ME f. OF resumption or LL
resumptio (as RESUME)]
adj. (of a leaf etc.) upside down. [L resupinatus past part.
of resupinare bend back: see SUPINE]
resurface v. 1 tr. lay a new surface on (a road etc.). 2 intr. rise or
arise again; turn up again.
resurgent adj. 1 rising or arising again. 2 tending to rise again.
ЬЬresurgence n. [L resurgere resurrect- (as RE-, surgere rise)]
resurrect v. 1 tr. colloq. revive the practice, use, or memory of. 2
tr. take from the grave; exhume. 3 tr. dig up. 4 tr. & intr.
raise or rise from the dead. [back-form. f. RESURRECTION]
n. 1 the act or an instance of rising from the dead. 2
(Resurrection) a Christ's rising from the dead. b the rising of
the dead at the Last Judgement. 3 a revival after disuse,
inactivity, or decay. 4 exhumation. 5 the unearthing of a lost
or forgotten thing; restoration to vogue or memory.
Ьresurrection plant any of various plants, including clubmosses
of the genus Selaginella and the Rose of Jericho, unfolding when
moistened after being dried. ЬЬresurrectional adj. [ME f. OF
f. LL resurrectio -onis (as RESURGENT)]
resurvey v. & n. --v.tr. survey again; reconsider. --n. the act or an
instance of resurveying.
v.tr. & intr. 1 revive from unconsciousness or apparent death.
2 return or restore to vogue, vigour, or vividness.
ЬЬresuscitation n. resuscitative adj. resuscitator n. [L
resuscitare (as RE-, suscitare raise)]
ret v. (also rate) (retted, retting) 1 tr. soften (flax, hemp,
etc.) by soaking or by exposure to moisture. 2 intr. (often as
retted adj.) (of hay etc.) be spoilt by wet or rot. [ME, rel.
ret. abbr. retired; returned.
retable n. 1 a frame enclosing decorated panels above the back of an
altar. 2 a shelf. [F r‚table, retable f. Sp. retablo f. med.L
retrotabulum rear table (as RETRO-, TABLE)]
retail n., adj., adv., & v. --n. the sale of goods in relatively small
quantities to the public, and usu. not for resale (cf.
WHOLESALE). --adj. & adv. by retail; at a retail price (do you
buy wholesale or retail?). --v. also 1 tr. sell (goods) in
retail trade. 2 intr. (often foll. by at, of) (of goods) be
sold in this way (esp. for a specified price) (retails at
њ4.95). 3 tr. recount; relate details of. Ьretail price index
an index of the variation in the prices of retail goods.
ЬЬretailer n. [ME f. OF retaille a piece cut off f. retaillier
(as RE-, TAIL(2))]
retain v.tr. 1 a keep possession of; not lose; continue to have,
practise, or recognize. b not abolish, discard, or alter. 2
keep in one's memory. 3 keep in place; hold fixed. 4 secure
the services of (a person, esp. a barrister) with a preliminary
payment. Ьretaining fee a fee paid to secure a person, service,
etc. retaining wall a wall supporting and confining a mass of
earth or water. ЬЬretainable adj. retainability n. retainment
n. [ME f. AF retei(g)n- f. stem of OF retenir ult. f. L
retinere retent- (as RE-, tenere hold)]
retainer n. 1 a person or thing that retains. 2 Law a fee for retaining
a barrister etc. 3 a hist. a dependant or follower of a person
of rank. b joc. an old and faithful friend or servant ( esp.
old retainer). 4 Brit. a reduced rent paid to retain
accommodation during a period of non-occupancy.
retake v. & n. --v.tr. (past retook; past part. retaken) 1 take
again. 2 recapture. --n. 1 a the act or an instance of
retaking. b a thing retaken, e.g. an examination. 2 a the act
or an instance of filming a scene or recording music etc. again.
b the scene or recording obtained in this way.
retaliate v. 1 intr. repay an injury, insult, etc., in kind; attack in
return; make reprisals. 2 tr. a (usu. foll. by upon) cast (an
accusation) back upon a person. b repay (an injury or insult)
in kind. ЬЬretaliation n. retaliative adj. retaliator n.
retaliatory adj. [L retaliare (as RE-, talis such)]
retard v. & n. --v.tr. 1 make slow or late. 2 delay the progress,
development, arrival, or accomplishment of. --n. retardation.
Ьin retard delayed, in the rear. ЬЬretardant adj. & n.
retardation n. retardative adj. retardatory adj. retarder n.
retardment n. [F retarder f. L retardare (as RE-, tardus slow)]
retardate adj. & n. US --adj. mentally retarded. --n. a mentally
retarded person. [L retardare: see RETARD]
retarded adj. backward in mental or physical development.
retch v. & n. --v.intr. make a motion of vomiting esp. involuntarily
and without effect. --n. such a motion or the sound of it.
[var. of (now dial.) reach f. OE hr‘can spit, ON hr‘kja f. Gmc,
of imit. orig.]
retd. abbr. 1 retired. 2 returned.
rete n. (pl. retia) Anat. an elaborate network or plexus of blood
vessels and nerve cells. [L rete net]
reteach v.tr. (past and past part. retaught) teach again or
retell v.tr. (past and past part. retold) tell again or in a
retention n. 1 a the act or an instance of retaining; the state of being
retained. b the ability to retain things experienced or
learned; memory. 2 Med. the failure to evacuate urine or
another secretion. [ME f. OF retention or L retentio (as
retentive adj. 1 (often foll. by of) tending to retain (moisture etc.).
2 (of memory or a person) not forgetful. 3 Surgery (of a
ligature etc.) serving to keep something in place.
ЬЬretentively adv. retentiveness n. [ME f. OF retentif -ive or
med.L retentivus (as RETAIN)]
retexture v.tr. treat (material, a garment, etc.) so as to restore its
rethink v. & n. --v.tr. (past and past part. rethought) think about
(something) again, esp. with a view to making changes. --n. a
reassessment; a period of rethinking.
retia pl. of RETE.
retiarius n. (pl. retiarii) a Roman gladiator using a net to trap his
opponent. [L f. rete net]
reticence n. 1 the avoidance of saying all one knows or feels, or of
saying more than is necessary; reserve in speech. 2 a
disposition to silence; taciturnity. 3 the act or an instance
of holding back some fact. 4 abstinence from overemphasis in
art. ЬЬreticent adj. reticently adv. [L reticentia f.
reticere (as RE-, tacere be silent)]
reticle n. a network of fine threads or lines in the focal plane of an
optical instrument to help accurate observation. [L reticulum:
reticula pl. of RETICULUM.
v. & adj. --v.tr. & intr. 1 divide or be divided in fact or
appearance into a network. 2 arrange or be arranged in small
squares or with intersecting lines. --adj. reticulated.
ЬЬreticulately adv. reticulation n. [L reticulatus reticulated
reticule n. 1 = RETICLE. 2 usu. hist. a woman's netted or other bag,
esp. with a drawstring, carried or worn to serve the purpose of
a pocket. [F r‚ticule f. L (as RETICULUM)]
reticulum n. (pl. reticula) 1 a netlike structure; a fine network, esp.
of membranes etc. in living organisms. 2 a ruminant's second
stomach. ЬЬreticular adj. reticulose adj. [L, dimin. of rete
retie v.tr. (retying) tie again.
retiform adj. netlike, reticulated. [L rete net + -FORM]
retina n. (pl. retinas, retinae) a layer at the back of the eyeball
sensitive to light, and triggering nerve impulses via the optic
nerve to the brain where the visual image is formed. ЬЬretinal
adj. [ME f. med.L f. L rete net]
retinitis n. inflammation of the retina.
retinol n. a vitamin found in green and yellow vegetables, egg-yolk,
and fish-liver oil, essential for growth and vision in dim
light. Also called vitamin A. [RETINA + -OL(1)]
retinue n. a body of attendants accompanying an important person. [ME
f. OF retenue fem. past part. of retenir RETAIN]
retiral n. esp. Sc. retirement from office etc.
retire v. 1 a intr. leave office or employment, esp. because of age
(retire from the army; retire on a pension). b tr. cause (a
person) to retire from work. 2 intr. withdraw; go away;
retreat. 3 intr. seek seclusion or shelter. 4 intr. go to bed.
5 tr. withdraw (troops). 6 intr. & tr. Cricket (of a batsman)
voluntarily end or be compelled to suspend one's innings
(retired hurt). 7 tr. Econ. withdraw (a bill or note) from
circulation or currency. Ьretire from the world become a
recluse. retire into oneself become uncommunicative or
unsociable. retiring age the age at which most people normally
retire from work. ЬЬretirer n. [F retirer (as RE-, tirer
retired adj. 1 a having retired from employment (a retired teacher). b
relating to a retired person (received retired pay). 2
withdrawn from society or observation; secluded (lives a retired
life). ЬЬretiredness n.
n. 1 a the act or an instance of retiring. b the condition of
having retired. 2 a seclusion or privacy. b a secluded place.
Ьretirement pension Brit. a pension paid by the State to
retired people above a certain age.
retiring adj. shy; fond of seclusion. ЬЬretiringly adv.
retold past and past part. of RETELL.
retook past of RETAKE.
retool v.tr. equip (a factory etc.) with new tools.
retort(1) n. & v. --n. 1 an incisive or witty or angry reply. 2 the
turning of a charge or argument against its originator. 3 a
piece of retaliation. --v. 1 a tr. say by way of a retort. b
intr. make a retort. 2 tr. repay (an insult or attack) in kind.
3 tr. (often foll. by on, upon) return (mischief, a charge,
sarcasm, etc.) to its originator. 4 tr. (often foll. by
against) make (an argument) tell against its user. 5 tr. (as
retorted adj.) recurved; twisted or bent backwards. [L
retorquere retort- (as RE-, torquere twist)]
retort(2) n. & v. --n. 1 a vessel usu. of glass with a long recurved
neck used in distilling liquids. 2 a vessel for heating mercury
for purification, coal to generate gas, or iron and carbon to
make steel. --v.tr. purify (mercury) by heating in a retort.
[F retorte f. med.L retorta fem. past part. of retorquere: see
retortion n. 1 the act or an instance of bending back; the condition of
being bent back. 2 retaliation by a State on the subjects of
another. [RETORT(1), perh. after contortion]
retouch v. & n. --v.tr. improve or repair (a composition, picture,
photographic negative or print, etc.) by fresh touches or
alterations. --n. the act or an instance of retouching.
ЬЬretoucher n. [prob. f. F retoucher (as RE-, TOUCH)]
retrace v.tr. 1 go back over (one's steps etc.). 2 trace back to a
source or beginning. 3 recall the course of in one's memory.
[F retracer (as RE-, TRACE(1))]
retract v. 1 tr. (also absol.) withdraw or revoke (a statement or
undertaking). 2 a tr. & intr. (esp. with ref. to part of the
body) draw or be drawn back or in. b tr. draw (an undercarriage
etc.) into the body of an aircraft. ЬЬretractable adj.
retraction n. retractive adj. [L retrahere or (in sense 1)
retractare (as RE-, trahere tract- draw)]
adj. capable of being retracted. ЬЬretractility n. [RETRACT,
retractor n. 1 a muscle used for retracting. 2 a device for retracting.
retrain v.tr. & intr. train again or further, esp. for new work.
retral adj. Biol. hinder, posterior; at the back. [RETRO- + -AL]
v.tr. translate again, esp. back into the original language.
v.tr. (retransmitted, retransmitting) transmit (esp. radio
signals or broadcast programmes) back again or to a further
distance. ЬЬretransmission n.
retread v. & n. --v.tr. (past retrod; past part. retrodden) 1 tread
(a path etc.) again. 2 put a fresh tread on (a tyre). --n. a
retreat v. & n. --v. 1 a intr. (esp. of military forces) go back,
retire; relinquish a position. b tr. cause to retreat; move
back. 2 intr. (esp. of features) recede; slope back. --n. 1 a
the act or an instance of retreating. b Mil. a signal for this.
2 withdrawal into privacy or security. 3 a place of shelter or
seclusion. 4 a period of seclusion for prayer and meditation.
5 Mil. a bugle-call at sunset. 6 a place for the reception of
the elderly or others in need of care. [ME f. OF retret (n.),
retraiter (v.) f. L retrahere: see RETRACT]
retrench v. 1 a tr. reduce the amount of (costs). b intr. cut down
expenses; introduce economies. 2 tr. shorten or abridge.
ЬЬretrenchment n. [obs. F retrencher (as RE-, TRENCH)]
retrial n. a second or further (judicial) trial.
n. requital usu. for evil done; vengeance. ЬЬretributive adj.
retributory adj. [ME f. LL retributio (as RE-, tribuere tribut-
retrieve v. & n. --v.tr. 1 a regain possession of. b recover by
investigation or effort of memory. 2 a restore to knowledge or
recall to mind. b obtain (information stored in a computer
etc.). 3 (of a dog) find and bring in (killed or wounded game
etc.). 4 (foll. by from) recover or rescue (esp. from a bad
state). 5 restore to a flourishing state; revive. 6 repair or
set right (a loss or error etc.) (managed to retrieve the
situation). --n. the possibility of recovery (beyond retrieve).
ЬЬretrievable adj. retrieval n. [ME f. OF retroeve- stressed
stem of retrover (as RE-, trover find)]
retriever n. 1 a a dog of a breed used for retrieving game. b this
breed. 2 a person who retrieves something.
retro- comb. form 1 denoting action back or in return (retroact;
retroflex). 2 Anat. & Med. denoting location behind. [L retro
retroact v.intr. 1 operate in a backward direction. 2 have a
retrospective effect. 3 react. ЬЬretroaction n.
adj. (esp. of legislation) having retrospective effect.
ЬЬretroactively adv. retroactivity n.
retrocede v. 1 intr. move back; recede. 2 tr. cede back again.
ЬЬretrocedence n. retrocedent adj. retrocession n.
retrocessive adj. [L retrocedere (as RETRO-, cedere cess- go)]
n. the part of a cathedral or large church behind the high
altar. [med.L retrochorus (as RETRO-, CHOIR)]
retrod past of RETREAD.
retrodden past part. of RETREAD.
retrofit v.tr. (-fitted, -fitting) modify (machinery, vehicles, etc.) to
incorporate changes and developments introduced after
manufacture. [RETROACTIVE + REFIT]
n. Astron. 1 the apparent backward motion of a planet in the
zodiac. 2 the apparent motion of a celestial body from east to
west. 3 backward movement of the lunar nodes on the ecliptic.
[LL retrogradatio (as RETRO-, GRADATION)]
adj., n., & v. --adj. 1 directed backwards; retreating. 2
reverting esp. to an inferior state; declining. 3 inverse,
reversed (in retrograde order). 4 Astron. in or showing
retrogradation. --n. a degenerate person. --v.intr. 1 move
backwards; recede, retire. 2 decline, revert. 3 Astron. show
retrogradation. ЬЬretrogradely adv. [ME f. L retrogradus (as
RETRO-, gradus step, gradi walk)]
v.intr. 1 go back; move backwards. 2 deteriorate.
ЬЬretrogressive adj. [RETRO-, after PROGRESS v.]
n. 1 backward or reversed movement. 2 a return to a less
advanced state; a reversal of development; a decline or
deterioration. 3 Astron. = RETROGRADATION. ЬЬretrogressive
adj. [RETRO-, after progression]
retroject v.tr. throw back (usu. opp. PROJECT). [RETRO-, after PROJECT
n. an auxiliary rocket for slowing down a spacecraft etc., e.g.
when re-entering the earth's atmosphere.
retrorse adj. Biol. turned back or down. ЬЬretrorsely adv. [L
retrorsus = retroversus (as RETRO-, versus past part. of vertere
n. 1 (foll. by to) regard or reference to precedent or
authority, or to previous conditions. 2 a survey of past time
or events. Ьin retrospect when looked back on. [RETRO-, after
n. 1 the action of looking back esp. into the past. 2 an
indulgence or engagement in retrospect. [prob. f. retrospect
(v.) (as RETROSPECT)]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 looking back on or dealing with the past.
2 (of an exhibition, recital, etc.) showing an artist's
development over his or her lifetime. 3 (of a statute etc.)
applying to the past as well as the future; retroactive. 4 (of
a view) lying to the rear. --n. a retrospective exhibition,
recital, etc. ЬЬretrospectively adv.
adj. Anat. & Med. behind the breastbone.
retrouss‚ adj. (of the nose) turned up at the tip. [F, past part. of
retrousser tuck up (as RE-, TRUSS)]
retrovert v.tr. 1 turn backwards. 2 Med. (as retroverted adj.) (of the
womb) having a backward inclination. ЬЬretroversion n. [LL
retrovertere (as RETRO-, vertere vers- turn)]
n. Biol. any of a group of RNA viruses which form DNA during
the replication of their RNA. [mod.L f. initial letters of
reverse transcriptase + VIRUS]
retry v.tr. (-ies, -ied) try (a defendant or lawsuit) a second or
further time. ЬЬretrial n.
retsina n. a Greek white wine flavoured with resin. [mod. Gk]
retune v.tr. 1 tune (a musical instrument) again or differently. 2
tune (a radio etc.) to a different frequency.
returf v.tr. provide with new turf.
return v. & n. --v. 1 intr. come or go back. 2 tr. bring or put or
send back to the person or place etc. where originally belonging
or obtained (returned the fish to the river; have you returned
my scissors?). 3 tr. pay back or reciprocate; give in response
(decided not to return the compliment). 4 tr. yield (a profit).
5 tr. say in reply; retort. 6 tr. (in cricket or tennis etc.)
hit or send (the ball) back after receiving it. 7 tr. state or
mention or describe officially, esp. in answer to a writ or
formal demand. 8 tr. (of an electorate) elect as an MP,
government, etc. 9 tr. Cards a lead (a suit) previously led or
bid by a partner. b lead (a suit or card) after taking a trick.
10 tr. Archit. continue (a wall etc.) in a changed direction,
esp. at right angles. --n. 1 the act or an instance of coming
or going back. 2 a the act or an instance of giving or sending
or putting or paying back. b a thing given or sent back. 3 (in
full return ticket) esp. Brit. a ticket for a journey to a
place and back to the starting-point. 4 (in sing. or pl.) a the
proceeds or profit of an undertaking. b the acquisition of
these. 5 a formal report or statement compiled or submitted by
order (an income-tax return). 6 (in full return match or game)
a second match etc. between the same opponents. 7 Electr. a
conductor bringing a current back to its source. 8 Brit. a
sheriff's report on a writ. 9 esp. Brit. a a person's
election as an MP etc. b a returning officer's announcement of
this. 10 Archit. a part receding from the line of the front,
e.g. the side of a house or of a window-opening. Ьby return (of
post) by the next available post in the return direction. in
return as an exchange or reciprocal action. many happy returns
(of the day) a greeting on a birthday. return crease Cricket
each of two lines joining the popping-crease and bowling-crease
at right angles to the bowling-crease and extending beyond it.
returning officer Brit. an official conducting an election in a
constituency and announcing the results. return thanks express
thanks esp. in a grace at meals or in response to a toast or
condolence. ЬЬreturnable adj. returner n. returnless adj.
[ME f. OF returner (as RE-, TURN)]
returnee n. a person who returns home from abroad, esp. after war
retuse adj. esp. Bot. having a broad end with a central depression.
[L retundere retus- (as RE-, tundere beat)]
retying pres. part. of RETIE.
retype v.tr. type again, esp. to correct errors.
reunify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) restore (esp. separated territories) to a
political unity. ЬЬreunification n.
reunion n. 1 a the act or an instance of reuniting. b the condition of
being reunited. 2 a social gathering esp. of people formerly
associated. [F r‚union or AL reunio f. L reunire unite (as RE-,
reunite v.tr. & intr. bring or come back together.
v.tr. upholster anew. ЬЬreupholstery n.
reuse v. & n. --v.tr. use again or more than once. --n. a second
or further use. ЬЬreusable adj.
reutilize v.tr. (also -ise) utilize again or for a different purpose.
Rev. abbr. 1 Reverend. 2 Revelation (New Testament).
rev n. & v. colloq. --n. (in pl.) the number of revolutions of an
engine per minute (running at 3,000 revs). --v. (revved,
revving) 1 intr. (of an engine) revolve; turn over. 2 tr. (also
absol.; often foll. by up) cause (an engine) to run quickly.
Ьrev counter = revolution counter. [abbr.]
v.tr. vaccinate again. ЬЬrevaccination n.
revalue v.tr. (revalues, revalued, revaluing) Econ. give a different
value to, esp. give a higher value to, (a currency) in relation
to other currencies or gold (opp. DEVALUE). ЬЬrevaluation n.
n. Polit. a policy of seeking to retaliate, esp. to recover
lost territory. ЬЬrevanchist n. & adj. [F revanche (as
revarnish v.tr. varnish again.
Revd abbr. Reverend.
reveal(1) v.tr. 1 display or show; allow to appear. 2 (often as
revealing adj.) disclose, divulge, betray (revealed his plans; a
revealing remark). 3 tr. (in refl. or passive) come to sight or
knowledge. 4 Relig. (esp. of God) make known by inspiration or
supernatural means. Ьrevealed religion a religion based on
revelation (opp. natural religion). ЬЬrevealable adj.
revealer n. revealingly adv. [ME f. OF reveler or L revelare
(as RE-, velum veil)]
reveal(2) n. an internal side surface of an opening or recess, esp. of a
doorway or window-aperture. [obs. revale (v.) lower f. OF
revaler f. avaler (as RE-, VAIL)]
reveille n. a military waking-signal sounded in the morning on a bugle
or drums etc. [F r‚veillez imper. pl. of r‚veiller awaken (as
RE-, veiller f. L vigilare keep watch)]
revel v. & n. --v. (revelled, revelling; US reveled, reveling) 1
intr. have a good time; be extravagantly festive. 2 intr.
(foll. by in) take keen delight in. 3 tr. (foll. by away) throw
away (money or time) in revelry. --n. (in sing. or pl.) the act
or an instance of revelling. ЬЬreveller n. revelry n. (pl.
-ies). [ME f. OF reveler riot f. L rebellare REBEL v.]
n. 1 a the act or an instance of revealing, esp. the supposed
disclosure of knowledge to humankind by a divine or supernatural
agency. b knowledge disclosed in this way. 2 a striking
disclosure (it was a revelation to me). 3 (Revelation or
colloq. Revelations) (in full the Revelation of St John the
Divine) the last book of the New Testament, describing visions
of heaven. ЬЬrevelational adj. [ME f. OF revelation or LL
revelatio (as REVEAL(1))]
n. a believer in divine revelation.
adj. serving to reveal, esp. something significant. [L
revelare: see REVEAL(1)]
revenant n. a person who has returned, esp. supposedly from the dead.
[F, pres. part. of revenir: see REVENUE]
revenge n. & v. --n. 1 retaliation for an offence or injury. 2 an act
of retaliation. 3 the desire for this; a vindictive feeling. 4
(in games) a chance to win after an earlier defeat. --v. 1 tr.
(in refl. or passive; often foll. by on, upon) inflict
retaliation for an offence. 2 tr. take revenge for (an
offence). 3 tr. avenge (a person). 4 intr. take vengeance.
ЬЬrevenger n. [ME f. OF revenger, revencher f. LL revindicare
(as RE-, vindicare lay claim to)]
adj. eager for revenge. ЬЬrevengefully adv. revengefulness n.
revenue n. 1 a income, esp. of a large amount, from any source. b (in
pl.) items constituting this. 2 a State's annual income from
which public expenses are met. 3 the department of the civil
service collecting this. Ьrevenue tax a tax imposed to raise
revenue, rather than to affect trade. [ME f. OF revenu(e) past
part. of revenir f. L revenire return (as RE-, venire come)]
reverb n. Mus. colloq. 1 reverberation. 2 a device to produce this.
v. 1 a intr. (of sound, light, or heat) be returned or echoed
or reflected repeatedly. b tr. return (a sound etc.) in this
way. 2 intr. (of a story, rumour, etc.) be heard much or
repeatedly. Ьreverberating furnace a furnace constructed to
throw heat back on to the substance exposed to it.
ЬЬreverberant adj. reverberantly adv. reverberation n.
reverberative adj. reverberator n. reverberatory adj. [L
reverberare (as RE-, verberare lash f. verbera (pl.) scourge)]
revere v.tr. hold in deep and usu. affectionate or religious respect;
venerate. [F r‚v‚rer or L revereri (as RE-, vereri fear)]
reverence n. & v. --n. 1 a the act of revering or the state of being
revered (hold in reverence; feel reverence for). b the capacity
for revering (lacks reverence). 2 archaic a gesture showing
that one reveres; a bow or curtsy. 3 (Reverence) a title used
of or to some members of the clergy. --v.tr. regard or treat
with reverence. [ME f. OF f. L reverentia (as REVERE)]
reverend adj. & n. --adj. (esp. as the title of a clergyman) deserving
reverence. --n. colloq. a clergyman. ЬMost Reverend the title
of an archbishop or an Irish Roman Catholic bishop. Reverend
Mother the title of the Mother Superior of a convent. Right
Reverend the title of a bishop. Very Reverend the title of a
dean etc. [ME f. OF reverend or L reverendus gerundive of
revereri: see REVERE]
reverent adj. feeling or showing reverence. ЬЬreverently adv. [ME f. L
reverens (as REVERE)]
n. of the nature of, due to, or characterized by reverence.
ЬЬreverentially adv. [med.L reverentialis (as REVERE)]
reverie n. 1 a fit of abstracted musing (was lost in a reverie). 2
archaic a fantastic notion or theory; a delusion. 3 Mus. an
instrumental piece suggesting a dreamy or musing state. [obs. F
resverie f. OF reverie rejoicing, revelry f. rever be
delirious, of unkn. orig.]
revers n. (pl. same) 1 the turned-back edge of a garment revealing the
under-surface. 2 the material on this surface. [F, = REVERSE]
reverse v., adj., & n. --v. 1 tr. turn the other way round or up or
inside out. 2 tr. change to the opposite character or effect
(reversed the decision). 3 intr. & tr. travel or cause to
travel backwards. 4 tr. make (an engine etc.) work in a
contrary direction. 5 tr. revoke or annul (a decree, act,
etc.). 6 intr. (of a dancer, esp. in a waltz) revolve in the
opposite direction. --adj. 1 placed or turned in an opposite
direction or position. 2 opposite or contrary in character or
order; inverted. --n. 1 the opposite or contrary (the reverse
is the case; is the reverse of the truth). 2 the contrary of
the usual manner. 3 an occurrence of misfortune; a disaster,
esp. a defeat in battle (suffered a reverse). 4 reverse gear or
motion. 5 the reverse side of something. 6 a the side of a
coin or medal etc. bearing the secondary design. b this design
(cf. OBVERSE). 7 the verso of a leaf. Ьreverse arms hold a
rifle with the butt upwards. reverse the charges Brit. make
the recipient of a telephone call responsible for payment.
reverse gear a gear used to make a vehicle etc. travel
backwards. reversing light a white light at the rear of a
vehicle operated when the vehicle is in reverse gear. reverse
Polish notation see Polish notation. reverse strata Geol. a
fault in which the overlying side of a mass of rock is displaced
upward in relation to the underlying side. ЬЬreversal n.
reversely adv. reverser n. reversible adj. reversibility n.
reversibly adv. [ME f. OF revers (n.), reverser (v.), f. L
revertere revers- (as RE-, vertere turn)]
reversion n. 1 a the legal right (esp. of the original owner, or his or
her heirs) to possess or succeed to property on the death of the
present possessor. b property to which a person has such a
right. 2 Biol. a return to ancestral type. 3 a return to a
previous state, habit, etc. 4 a sum payable on a person's
death, esp. by way of life insurance. ЬЬreversional adj.
reversionary adj. [ME f. OF reversion or L reversio (as
revert v. 1 intr. (foll. by to) return to a former state, practice,
opinion, etc. 2 intr. (of property, an office, etc.) return by
reversion. 3 intr. fall back into a wild state. 4 tr. turn
(one's eyes or steps) back. ЬЬreverter n. (in sense 2). [ME f.
OF revertir or L revertere (as REVERSE)]
adj. (of property) subject to reversion.
revet v.tr. (revetted, revetting) face (a rampart, wall, etc.) with
masonry, esp. in fortification. [F rev€tir f. OF revestir f. LL
revestire (as RE-, vestire clothe f. vestis)]
revetment n. a retaining wall or facing. [F rev€tement (as REVET)]
review n. & v. --n. 1 a general survey or assessment of a subject or
thing. 2 a retrospect or survey of the past. 3 revision or
reconsideration (is under review). 4 a display and formal
inspection of troops etc. 5 a published account or criticism of
a book, play, etc. 6 a periodical publication with critical
articles on current events, the arts, etc. 7 a second view.
--v.tr. 1 survey or look back on. 2 reconsider or revise. 3
hold a review of (troops etc.). 4 write a review of (a book,
play, etc.). 5 view again. Ьcourt of review a court before
which sentences etc. come for revision. ЬЬreviewable adj.
reviewal n. reviewer n. [obs. F reveue f. revoir (as RE-,
revile v. 1 tr. abuse; criticize abusively. 2 intr. talk abusively;
rail. ЬЬrevilement n. reviler n. reviling n. [ME f. OF
reviler (as RE-, VILE)]
revise v. & n. --v.tr. 1 examine or re-examine and improve or amend
(esp. written or printed matter). 2 consider and alter (an
opinion etc.). 3 (also absol.) Brit. read again (work learnt or
done) to improve one's knowledge, esp. for an examination. --n.
Printing a proof-sheet including corrections made in an earlier
proof. ЬRevised Standard Version a revision in 1946-52 of the
Authorized Version of the Bible. Revised Version a revision in
1881-5 of the Authorized Version of the Bible. ЬЬrevisable adj.
revisal n. reviser n. revisory adj. [F r‚viser look at, or L
revisere (as RE-, visere intensive of videre vis- see)]
revision n. 1 the act or an instance of revising; the process of being
revised. 2 a revised edition or form. ЬЬrevisionary adj. [OF
revision or LL revisio (as REVISE)]
n. often derog. a policy of revision or modification, esp. of
Marxism on evolutionary socialist (rather than revolutionary) or
pluralist principles. ЬЬrevisionist n. & adj.
v.tr. (also -ise) imbue with new life and vitality.
revival n. 1 the act or an instance of reviving; the process of being
revived. 2 a new production of an old play etc. 3 a revived
use of an old practice, custom, etc. 4 a a reawakening of
religious fervour. b a series of evangelistic meetings to
promote this. 5 restoration to bodily or mental vigour or to
life or consciousness.
n. belief in or the promotion of a revival, esp. of religious
fervour. ЬЬrevivalist n. revivalistic adj.
revive v.intr. & tr. 1 come or bring back to consciousness or life or
strength. 2 come or bring back to existence, use, notice, etc.
ЬЬrevivable adj. [ME f. OF revivre or LL revivere (as RE-, L
reviver n. 1 a person or thing that revives. 2 colloq. a stimulating
drink. 3 a preparation used for restoring faded colours etc.
revivify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) restore to animation, activity, vigour, or
life. ЬЬrevivification n. [F revivifier or LL revivificare (as
revoke v. & n. --v. 1 tr. rescind, withdraw, or cancel (a decree or
promise etc.). 2 intr. Cards fail to follow suit when able to
do so. --n. Cards the act of revoking. ЬЬrevocable adj.
revocability n. revocation n. revocatory adj. revoker n. [ME
f. OF revoquer or L revocare (as RE-, vocare call)]
revolt v. & n. --v. 1 intr. a rise in rebellion against authority.
b (as revolted adj.) having revolted. 2 a tr. (often in
passive) affect with strong disgust; nauseate (was revolted by
the thought of it). b intr. (often foll. by at, against) feel
strong disgust. --n. 1 an act of rebelling. 2 a state of
insurrection (in revolt). 3 a sense of loathing. 4 a mood of
protest or defiance. [F r‚volter f. It. rivoltare ult. f. L
revolvere (as REVOLVE)]
revolute adj. Bot. etc. having a rolled-back edge. [L revolutus past
part. of revolvere: see REVOLVE]
n. 1 a the forcible overthrow of a government or social order,
in favour of a new system. b (in Marxism) the replacement of
one ruling class by another; the class struggle which is
expected to lead to political change and the triumph of
communism. 2 any fundamental change or reversal of conditions.
3 the act or an instance of revolving. 4 a motion in orbit or a
circular course or round an axis or centre; rotation. b the
single completion of an orbit or rotation. c the time taken for
this. 5 a cyclic recurrence. Ьrevolution counter a device for
indicating the number or rate of revolutions of an engine etc.
ЬЬrevolutionism n. revolutionist n. [ME f. OF revolution or LL
revolutio (as REVOLVE)]
adj. & n. --adj. 1 involving great and often violent change.
2 of or causing political revolution. 3 (Revolutionary) of or
relating to a particular revolution, esp. the War of American
Independence. --n. (pl. -ies) an instigator or supporter of
v.tr. (also -ise) introduce fundamental change to.
revolve v. 1 intr. & tr. turn or cause to turn round, esp. on an axis;
rotate. 2 intr. move in a circular orbit. 3 tr. ponder (a
problem etc.) in the mind. Ьrevolving credit credit that is
automatically renewed as debts are paid off. revolving door a
door with usu. four partitions turning round a central axis.
ЬЬrevolvable adj. [ME f. L revolvere (as RE-, volvere roll)]
revolver n. a pistol with revolving chambers enabling several shots to
be fired without reloading.
revue n. a theatrical entertainment of a series of short usu.
satirical sketches and songs. [F, = REVIEW n.]
revulsion n. 1 abhorrence; a sense of loathing. 2 a sudden violent
change of feeling. 3 a sudden reaction in taste, fortune,
trade, etc. 4 Med. counterirritation; the treatment of one
disordered organ etc. by acting upon another. [F revulsion or
L revulsio (as RE-, vellere vuls- pull)]
revulsive adj. & n. Med. --adj. producing revulsion. --n. a revulsive
reward n. & v. 1 a a return or recompense for service or merit. b
requital for good or evil; retribution. 2 a sum offered for the
detection of a criminal, the restoration of lost property, etc.
--v.tr. give a reward to (a person) or for (a service etc.).
ЬЬrewardless adj. [ME f. AF, ONF reward = OF reguard REGARD]
rewarding adj. (of an activity etc.) well worth doing; providing
satisfaction. ЬЬrewardingly adv.
rewarewa n. a tall red-flowered tree, Knightia excelsa, of New Zealand.
rewash v.tr. wash again.
reweigh v.tr. weigh again.
rewind v.tr. (past and past part. rewound) wind (a film or tape etc.)
back to the beginning. ЬЬrewinder n.
rewire v.tr. provide (a building etc.) with new wiring. ЬЬrewirable
reword v.tr. change the wording of.
rewound past and past part. of REWIND.
rewrap v.tr. (rewrapped, rewrapping) wrap again or differently.
rewrite v. & n. --v.tr. (past rewrote; past part. rewritten) write
again or differently. --n. 1 the act or an instance of
rewriting. 2 a thing rewritten.
Rex n. the reigning king (following a name or in the titles of
lawsuits, e.g. Rex v. Jones the Crown versus Jones). [L]
Rexine n. propr. an artificial leather used in upholstery,
bookbinding, etc. [20th c.: orig. unkn.]
Reynard n. a fox (esp. as a proper name in stories). [ME f. OF Renart
name of a fox in the Roman de Renart]
n. Physics a quantity indicating the degree of turbulence of
flow past an obstacle etc. [O. Reynolds, Engl. physicist d.
n. the use of a divining-rod, esp. for discovering subterranean
water or mineral ore. [Gk rhabdomanteia f. rhabdos rod: see
adj. stern and incorruptible in judgement. [Rhadamanthus f. L
f. Gk Rhadamanthos, name of a judge in the underworld]
adj. & n. (also Rhaeto-Romanic) --adj. of or in any of the
Romance dialects of SE Switzerland and Tyrol, esp. Romansh and
Ladin. --n. any of these dialects. [L Rhaetus of Rhaetia in
the Alps + ROMANIC]
rhapsode n. a reciter of epic poems, esp. of Homer in ancient Greece.
[Gk rhapsoidos f. rhapto stitch + oide song, ODE]
n. 1 a person who rhapsodizes. 2 = RHAPSODE.
v.intr. (also -ise) talk or write rhapsodies.
rhapsody n. (pl. -ies) 1 an enthusiastic or extravagant utterance or
composition. 2 Mus. a piece of music in one extended movement,
usu. emotional in character. 3 Gk Antiq. an epic poem, or part
of it, of a length for one recitation. ЬЬrhapsodic adj.
rhapsodical adj. (in senses 1, 2). [L rhapsodia f. Gk
rhapsoidia (as RHAPSODE)]
rhatany n. (pl. -ies) 1 either of two American shrubs, Krameria
trianda and K. argentea, having an astringent root when dried.
2 the root of either of these. [mod.L rhatania f. Port.
ratanha, Sp. ratania, f. Quechua rata¤a]
rhea n. any of several S. American flightless birds of the family
Rheidae, like but smaller than an ostrich. [mod.L genus name f.
L f. Gk Rhea mother of Zeus]
rhebok var. of REEBOK.
Rhenish adj. & n. --adj. of the Rhine and the regions adjoining it.
--n. wine from this area. [ME rynis, rynisch etc., f. AF
reneis, OF r(a)inois f. L Rhenanus f. Rhenus Rhine]
rhenium n. Chem. a rare metallic element of the manganese group,
occurring naturally in molybdenum ores and used in the
manufacture of superconducting alloys. °Symb.: Re. [mod.L f. L
rheology n. the science dealing with the flow and deformation of matter.
ЬЬrheological adj. rheologist n. [Gk rheos stream + -LOGY]
rheostat n. Electr. an instrument used to control a current by varying
the resistance. ЬЬrheostatic adj. [Gk rheos stream + -STAT]
rhesus n. (in full rhesus monkey) a small catarrhine monkey, Macaca
mulatta, common in N. India. Ьrhesus baby an infant with a
haemolytic disorder caused by the incompatibility of its own
rhesus-positive blood with its mother's rhesus-negative blood.
rhesus factor an antigen occurring on the red blood cells of
most humans and some other primates (as in the rhesus monkey, in
which it was first observed). rhesus negative lacking the
rhesus factor. rhesus positive having the rhesus factor.
[mod.L, arbitrary use of L Rhesus f. Gk Rhesos, mythical King of
rhetor n. 1 an ancient Greek or Roman teacher or professor of
rhetoric. 2 usu. derog. an orator. [ME f. LL rethor f. L
rhetor f. Gk rhetor]
rhetoric n. 1 the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing. 2
language designed to persuade or impress (often with an
implication of insincerity or exaggeration etc.). [ME f. OF
rethorique f. L rhetorica, -ice f. Gk rhetorike (tekhne) (art)
of rhetoric (as RHETOR)]
adj. 1 expressed with a view to persuasive or impressive
effect; artificial or extravagant in language. 2 of the nature
of rhetoric. 3 a of or relating to the art of rhetoric. b
given to rhetoric; oratorical. Ьrhetorical question a question
asked not for information but to produce an effect, e.g. who
cares? for nobody cares. ЬЬrhetorically adv. [ME f. L
rhetoricus f. Gk rhetorikos (as RHETOR)]
n. 1 an orator. 2 a teacher of rhetoric. 3 a rhetorical
speaker or writer. [ME f. OF rethoricien (as RHETORICAL)]
rheum n. a watery discharge from a mucous membrane, esp. of the eyes
or nose. [ME f. OF reume ult. f. Gk rheuma -atos stream f.
rheumatic adj. & n. --adj. 1 of, relating to, or suffering from
rheumatism. 2 producing or produced by rheumatism. --n. a
person suffering from rheumatism. Ьrheumatic fever a
non-infectious fever with inflammation and pain in the joints.
ЬЬrheumatically adv. rheumaticky adj. colloq. [ME f. OF
reumatique or L rheumaticus f. Gk rheumatikos (as RHEUM)]
n.pl. (treated as sing.; often prec. by the) colloq.
n. any disease marked by inflammation and pain in the joints,
muscles, or fibrous tissue, esp. rheumatoid arthritis. [F
rhumatisme or L rheumatismus f. Gk rheumatismos f. rheumatizo
f. rheuma stream]
adj. having the character of rheumatism. Ьrheumatoid arthritis
a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation and
stiffening of the joints.
n. the study of rheumatic diseases. ЬЬrheumatological adj.
RHG abbr. (in the UK) Royal Horse Guards.
rhinal adj. Anat. of a nostril or the nose. [Gk rhis rhin-: see
n. an imitation diamond. [Rhine, river and region in Germany +
rhinitis n. inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose. [Gk rhis
rhino(1) n. (pl. same or -os) colloq. a rhinoceros. [abbr.]
rhino(2) n. Brit. sl. money. [17th c.: orig. unkn.]
rhino- comb. form Anat. the nose. [Gk rhis rhinos nostril, nose]
n. (pl. same or rhinoceroses) any of various large
thick-skinned plant-eating ungulates of the family
Rhinocerotidae of Africa and S. Asia, with one horn or in some
cases two horns on the nose and plated or folded skin.
Ьrhinoceros bird = ox-pecker. rhinoceros horn a mass of
keratinized fibres, reputed to have medicinal or aphrodisiac
powers. ЬЬrhinocerotic adj. [ME f. L f. Gk rhinokeros (as
RHINO-, keras horn)]
adj. of or relating to the nose and pharynx.
n. plastic surgery of the nose. ЬЬrhinoplastic adj.
rhizo- comb. form Bot. a root. [Gk rhiza root]
rhizocarp n. a plant with a perennial root but stems that wither.
[RHIZO- + Gk karpos fruit]
rhizoid adj. & n. Bot. --adj. rootlike. --n. a root-hair or filament
in mosses, ferns, etc.
rhizome n. an underground rootlike stem bearing both roots and shoots.
[Gk rhizoma f. rhizoo take root (as RHIZO-)]
rhizopod n. any protozoa of the class Rhizopodea, forming rootlike
rho n. the seventeenth letter of the Greek alphabet (P). [Gk]
rhodamine n. Chem. any of various red synthetic dyes used to colour
textiles. [RHODO- + AMINE]
Rhode Island Red
n. an orig. American breed of reddish-black domestic fowl.
n. any of several scholarships awarded annually and tenable at
Oxford University by students from certain Commonwealth
countries, South Africa, the United States, and W. Germany.
ЬЬRhodes Scholar n. [Cecil Rhodes, Brit. statesman d. 1902, who
rhodium n. Chem. a hard white metallic element of the platinum group,
occurring naturally in platinum ores and used in making alloys
and plating jewellery. °Symb.: Rh. [Gk rhodon rose (from the
colour of the solution of its salts)]
n. a mineral form of manganese carbonate occurring in rose-red
crystals. [Gk rhodokhrous rose-coloured]
n. any evergreen shrub of the genus Rhododendron, with large
clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers. [L, = oleander, f. Gk (as
RHODO-, dendron tree)]
rhodopsin n. = visual purple. [Gk rhodon rose + opsis sight]
rhodora n. a N. American pink-flowered shrub, Rhodora canadense.
[mod.L f. L plant-name f. Gk rhodon rose]
rhomb n. = RHOMBUS. ЬЬrhombic adj. [F rhombe or L rhombus]
rhombi pl. of RHOMBUS.
n. (pl. -hedrons or -hedra) 1 a solid bounded by six equal
rhombuses. 2 a crystal in this form. ЬЬrhombohedral adj.
[RHOMBUS, after polyhedron etc.]
rhomboid adj. & n. --adj. (also rhomboidal) having or nearly having the
shape of a rhombus. --n. a quadrilateral of which only the
opposite sides and angles are equal. [F rhombo‹de or LL
rhomboides f. Gk rhomboeides (as RHOMB)]
n. (pl. rhomboidei) Anat. a muscle connecting the
shoulder-blade to the vertebrae. [mod.L rhomboideus RHOMBOID]
rhombus n. (pl. rhombuses or rhombi) Geom. a parallelogram with
oblique angles and equal sides. [L f. Gk rhombos]
RHS abbr. 1 Royal Historical Society. 2 Royal Horticultural
Society. 3 Royal Humane Society.
rhubarb n. 1 a any of various plants of the genus Rheum, esp. R.
rhaponticum, producing long fleshy dark-red leaf-stalks used
cooked as food. b the leaf-stalks of this. 2 a a root of a
Chinese and Tibetan plant of the genus Rheum. b a purgative
made from this. 3 a colloq. a murmurous conversation or noise,
esp. the repetition of the word 'rhubarb' by crowd actors. b
sl. nonsense; worthless stuff. 4 US sl. a heated dispute. [ME
f. OF r(e)ubarbe, shortening of med.L r(h)eubarbarum, alt. (by
assoc. with Gk rheon rhubarb) of rhabarbarum foreign 'rha', ult.
f. Gk rha + barbaros foreign]
rhumb n. Naut. 1 any of the 32 points of the compass. 2 the angle
between two successive compass-points. 3 (in full rhumb-line) a
a line cutting all meridians at the same angle. b the line
followed by a ship sailing in a fixed direction. [F rumb prob.
f. Du. ruim room, assoc. with L rhombus: see RHOMBUS]
rhumba var. of RUMBA.
rhyme n. & v. --n. 1 identity of sound between words or the endings
of words, esp. in verse. 2 (in sing. or pl.) verse having
rhymes. 3 a the use of rhyme. b a poem having rhymes. 4 a
word providing a rhyme. --v. 1 intr. a (of words or lines)
produce a rhyme. b (foll. by with) act as a rhyme (with
another). 2 intr. make or write rhymes; versify. 3 tr. put or
make (a story etc.) into rhyme. 4 tr. (foll. by with) treat (a
word) as rhyming with another. Ьrhyming slang slang that
replaces words by rhyming words or phrases, e.g. stairs by
apples and pears, often with the rhyming element omitted (as in
TITFER). without rhyme or reason lacking discernible sense or
logic. ЬЬrhymeless adj. rhymer n. rhymist n. [ME rime f. OF
rime f. med.L rithmus, rythmus f. L f. Gk rhuthmos RHYTHM]
rhymester n. a writer of (esp. simple) rhymes.
rhyolite n. a fine-grained volcanic rock of granitic composition. [G
Rhyolit f. Gk rhuax lava-stream + lithos stone]
rhythm n. 1 a measured flow of words and phrases in verse or prose
determined by various relations of long and short or accented
and unaccented syllables. 2 the aspect of musical composition
concerned with periodical accent and the duration of notes. 3
Physiol. movement with a regular succession of strong and weak
elements. 4 a regularly recurring sequence of events. 5 Art a
harmonious correlation of parts. Ьrhythm and blues popular
music with a blues theme and a strong rhythm. rhythm method
birth control by avoiding sexual intercourse when ovulation is
likely to occur. rhythm section the part of a dance band or
jazz band mainly supplying rhythm, usu. consisting of piano,
bass, and drums. ЬЬrhythmless adj. [F rhythme or L rhythmus f.
Gk rhuthmos, rel. to rheo flow]
rhythmic adj. (also rhythmical) 1 relating to or characterized by
rhythm. 2 regularly occurring. ЬЬrhythmically adv. [F
rhythmique or L rhythmicus (as RHYTHM)]
n. 1 rhythmical quality or character. 2 the capacity for
maintaining a rhythm.
RI abbr. 1 King and Emperor. 2 Queen and Empress. 3 US Rhode
Island (also in official postal use). 4 Royal Institute or
Institution. [sense 1 f. L rex et imperator: sense 2 f. L
regina et imperatrix]
ria n. Geog. a long narrow inlet formed by the partial submergence
of a river valley. [Sp. rЎa estuary]
rial n. (also riyal) the monetary unit of Iran, equal to 100 dinars.
[Pers. f. Arab. riyal f. Sp. real ROYAL]
rib n. & v. --n. 1 each of the curved bones articulated in pairs
to the spine and protecting the thoracic cavity and its organs.
2 a joint of meat from this part of an animal. 3 a ridge or
long raised piece often of stronger or thicker material across a
surface or through a structure serving to support or strengthen
it. 4 any of a ship's transverse curved timbers forming the
framework of the hull. 5 Knitting a combination of plain and
purl stitches producing a ribbed somewhat elastic fabric. 6
each of the hinged rods supporting the fabric of an umbrella. 7
a vein of a leaf or an insect's wing. 8 Aeron. a structural
member in an aerofoil. --v.tr. (ribbed, ribbing) 1 provide
with ribs; act as the ribs of. 2 colloq. make fun of; tease. 3
mark with ridges. 4 plough with spaces between the furrows.
ЬЬribless adj. [OE rib, ribb f. Gmc]
RIBA abbr. Royal Institute of British Architects.
ribald adj. & n. --adj. (of language or its user) coarsely or
disrespectfully humorous; scurrilous. --n. a user of ribald
language. [ME (earlier sense 'low-born retainer') f. OF
ribau(l)d f. riber pursue licentious pleasures f. Gmc]
ribaldry n. ribald talk or behaviour.
riband n. a ribbon. [ME f. OF riban, prob. f. a Gmc compound of
ribbed adj. having ribs or riblike markings.
ribbing n. 1 ribs or a riblike structure. 2 colloq. the act or an
instance of teasing.
ribbon n. 1 a a narrow strip or band of fabric, used esp. for trimming
or decoration. b material in this form. 2 a ribbon of a
special colour etc. worn to indicate some honour or membership
of a sports team etc. 3 a long narrow strip of anything, e.g.
impregnated material forming the inking agent in a typewriter.
4 (in pl.) ragged strips (torn to ribbons). Ьribbon development
the building of houses along a main road, usu. one leading out
of a town or village. ribbon worm a nemertean. ЬЬribboned adj.
[var. of RIBAND]
n. any of various long slender flat fishes of the family
ribcage n. the wall of bones formed by the ribs round the chest.
n. (also riboflavine) a vitamin of the B complex, found in
liver, milk, and eggs, essential for energy production. Also
called vitamin B. [RIBOSE + L flavus yellow]
n. a nucleic acid yielding ribose on hydrolysis, present in
living cells, esp. in ribosomes where it is involved in protein
synthesis. °Abbr.: RNA. [RIBOSE + NUCLEIC ACID]
ribose n. a sugar found in many nucleosides and in several vitamins
and enzymes. [G, alt. f. Arabinose a related sugar]
ribosome n. Biochem. each of the minute particles consisting of RNA and
associated proteins found in the cytoplasm of living cells,
concerned with the synthesis of proteins. ЬЬribosomal adj.
[RIBONUCLEIC (ACID) + -SOME(3)]
ribwort n. a kind of plantain (see PLANTAIN(1)) with long narrow ribbed
rice n. & v. n. 1 a swamp grass, Oryza sativa, cultivated in
marshes, esp. in Asia. 2 the grains of this, used as cereal
food. --v.tr. US sieve (cooked potatoes etc.) into thin
strings. Ьrice-bowl an area producing much rice. rice-paper
edible paper made from the pith of an oriental tree and used for
painting and in cookery. ЬЬricer n. [ME rys f. OF ris f. It.
riso, ult. f. Gk oruza, of oriental orig.]
ricercar n. (also ricercare) an elaborate contrapuntal instrumental
composition in fugal or canonic style, esp. of the 16th-18th c.
[It., = seek out]
rich adj. 1 having much wealth. 2 (often foll. by in, with)
splendid, costly, elaborate (rich tapestries; rich with lace).
3 valuable (rich offerings). 4 copious, abundant, ample (a rich
harvest; a rich supply of ideas). 5 (often foll. by in, with)
(of soil or a region etc.) abounding in natural resources or
means of production; fertile (rich in nutrients; rich with
vines). 6 (of food or diet) containing much fat or spice etc.
7 (of the mixture in an internal-combustion engine) containing a
high proportion of fuel. 8 (of colour or sound or smell) mellow
and deep, strong and full. 9 a (of an incident or assertion
etc.) highly amusing or ludicrous; outrageous. b (of humour)
earthy. ЬЬrichen v.intr. & tr. richness n. [OE rice f. Gmc f.
Celt., rel. to L rex king: reinforced in ME f. OF riche rich,
powerful, of Gmc orig.]
riches n.pl. abundant means; valuable possessions. [ME richesse f. OF
richeise f. riche RICH, taken as pl.]
richly adv. 1 in a rich way. 2 fully, thoroughly (richly deserves
n. a scale of 0 to 10 for representing the strength of an
earthquake. [C. F. Richter, Amer. seismologist d. 1985]
ricin n. a toxic substance obtained from castor oil beans and causing
gastroenteritis, jaundice, and heart failure. [mod.L ricinus
communis castor oil]
rick(1) n. & v. --n. a stack of hay, corn, etc., built into a regular
shape and usu. thatched. --v.tr. form into a rick or ricks.
[OE hreac, of unkn. orig.]
rick(2) n. & v. (also wrick) --n. a slight sprain or strain. --v.tr.
sprain or strain slightly. [ME wricke f. MLG wricken move
rickets n. (treated as sing. or pl.) a disease of children with
softening of the bones (esp. the spine) and bow-legs, caused by
a deficiency of vitamin D. [17th c.: orig. uncert., but assoc.
by medical writers with Gk rhakhitis RACHITIS]
n. a parasitic micro-organism of the genus Rickettsia causing
typhus and other febrile diseases. ЬЬrickettsial adj. [mod.L
f. H. T. Ricketts, Amer. pathologist d. 1910]
rickety adj. 1 a insecure or shaky in construction; likely to collapse.
b feeble. 2 a suffering from rickets. b resembling or of the
nature of rickets. ЬЬricketiness n. [RICKETS + -Y(1)]
rickey n. (pl. -eys) a drink of spirit (esp. gin), lime-juice, etc.
[20th c.: prob. f. the surname Rickey]
rickrack var. of RICRAC.
rickshaw n. (also ricksha) a light two-wheeled hooded vehicle drawn by
one or more persons. [abbr. of jinricksha, jinrikshaw f. Jap.
jinrikisha f. jin person + riki power + sha vehicle]
ricochet n. & v. --n. 1 the action of a projectile, esp. a shell or
bullet, in rebounding off a surface. 2 a hit made after this.
--v.intr. (ricocheted; ricocheting or ricochetted;
ricochetting) (of a projectile) rebound one or more times from a
surface. [F, of unkn. orig.]
ricotta n. a soft Italian cheese. [It., = recooked, f. L recoquere (as
RE-, coquere cook)]
ricrac n. (also rickrack) a zigzag braided trimming for garments.
[redupl. of RACK(1)]
RICS abbr. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
rictus n. Anat. & Zool. the expanse or gape of a mouth or beak.
ЬЬrictal adj. [L, = open mouth f. ringi rict- to gape]
rid v.tr. (ridding; past and past part. rid or archaic ridded)
(foll. by of) make (a person or place) free of something
unwanted. Ьbe (or get) rid of be freed or relieved of
(something unwanted); dispose of. [ME, earlier = 'clear (land
etc.)' f. ON rythja]
riddance n. the act of getting rid of something. Ьgood riddance welcome
relief from an unwanted person or thing.
ridden past part. of RIDE.
riddle(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a question or statement testing ingenuity in
divining its answer or meaning. 2 a puzzling fact or thing or
person. --v. 1 intr. speak in or propound riddles. 2 tr.
solve or explain (a riddle). ЬЬriddler n. [OE r‘dels, r‘delse
opinion, riddle, rel. to READ]
riddle(2) v. & n. --v.tr. (usu. foll. by with) 1 make many holes in, esp.
with gunshot. 2 (in passive) fill; spread through; permeate
(was riddled with errors). 3 pass through a riddle. --n. a
coarse sieve. [OE hriddel, earlier hrider: cf. hridrian sift]
riddling adj. expressed in riddles; puzzling. ЬЬriddlingly adv.
ride v. & n. --v. (past rode; past part. ridden) 1 tr. travel or
be carried on (a bicycle etc.) or esp. US in (a vehicle). 2
intr. (often foll. by on, in) travel or be conveyed (on a
bicycle or in a vehicle). 3 tr. sit on and control or be
carried by (a horse etc.). 4 intr. (often foll. by on) be
carried (on a horse etc.). 5 tr. be carried or supported by
(the ship rides the waves). 6 tr. a traverse on horseback
etc., ride over or through (ride 50 miles; rode the prairie). b
compete or take part in on horseback etc. (rode a good race). 7
intr. a lie at anchor; float buoyantly. b (of the moon) seem
to float. 8 intr. (foll. by in, on) rest in or on while moving.
9 tr. yield to (a blow) so as to reduce its impact. 10 tr. give
a ride to; cause to ride (rode the child on his back). 11 tr.
(of a rider) cause (a horse etc.) to move forward (rode their
horses at the fence). 12 tr. a (in passive; foll. by by, with)
be oppressed or dominated by; be infested with (was ridden with
guilt). b (as ridden adj.) infested or afflicted (usu. in
comb.: a rat-ridden cellar). 13 intr. (of a thing normally
level or even) project or overlap. 14 tr. mount (a female) in
copulation. 15 tr. US annoy or seek to annoy. --n. 1 an act
or period of travel in a vehicle. 2 a spell of riding on a
horse, bicycle, person's back, etc. 3 a path (esp. through
woods) for riding on. 4 the quality of sensations when riding
(gives a bumpy ride). Ьlet a thing ride leave it alone; let it
take its natural course. ride again reappear, esp. unexpectedly
and reinvigorated. ride down overtake or trample on horseback.
ride for a fall act recklessly risking defeat or failure. ride
herd on see HERD. ride high be elated or successful. ride out
come safely through (a storm etc., or a danger or difficulty).
ride roughshod over see ROUGHSHOD. ride to hounds see HOUND.
ride up (of a garment, carpet, etc.) work or move out of its
proper position. take for a ride colloq. hoax or deceive.
ЬЬridable adj. [OE ridan]
rider n. 1 a person who rides (esp. a horse). 2 a an additional
clause amending or supplementing a document. b Brit. Parl. an
addition or amendment to a bill at its third reading. c a
corollary. d Brit. a recommendation etc. added to a judicial
verdict. 3 Math. a problem arising as a corollary of a theorem
etc. 4 a piece in a machine etc. that surmounts or bridges or
works on or over others. 5 (in pl.) an additional set of
timbers or iron plates strengthening a ship's frame.
ЬЬriderless adj. [OE ridere (as RIDE)]
ridge n. & v. --n. 1 the line of the junction of two surfaces
sloping upwards towards each other (the ridge of a roof). 2 a
long narrow hilltop, mountain range, or watershed. 3 any narrow
elevation across a surface. 4 Meteorol. an elongated region of
high barometric pressure. 5 Agriculture a raised strip of
arable land, usu. one of a set separated by furrows. 6 Hort. a
raised hotbed for melons etc. --v. 1 tr. mark with ridges. 2
tr. Agriculture break up (land) into ridges. 3 tr. Hort.
plant (cucumbers etc.) in ridges. 4 tr. & intr. gather into
ridges. Ьridge-piece (or -tree) a beam along the ridge of a
roof. ridge-pole 1 the horizontal pole of a long tent. 2 =
ridge-piece. ridge-tile a tile used in making a roof-ridge.
ЬЬridgy adj. [OE hrycg f. Gmc]
ridgeway n. a road or track along a ridge.
ridicule n. & v. --n. subjection to derision or mockery. --v.tr. make
fun of; subject to ridicule; laugh at. [F or f. L ridiculum
neut. of ridiculus laughable f. ridere laugh]
adj. 1 deserving or inviting ridicule. 2 unreasonable, absurd.
ЬЬridiculously adv. ridiculousness n. [L ridiculosus (as
riding(1) n. 1 in senses of RIDE v. 2 the practice or skill of riders of
horses. 3 = RIDE n. 3. Ьriding-light (or -lamp) a light shown
by a ship at anchor. riding-school an establishment teaching
skills in horsemanship.
riding(2) n. 1 each of three former administrative divisions (East
Riding, North Riding, West Riding) of Yorkshire. 2 an electoral
division of Canada. [OE thriding (unrecorded) f. ON thrithjungr
third part f. thrithi THIRD: th- was lost owing to the
preceding -t or -th of east etc.]
Riesling n. 1 a kind of dry white wine produced in Germany, Austria, and
elsewhere. 2 the variety of grape from which this is produced.
rife predic.adj. 1 of common occurrence; widespread. 2 (foll. by
with) abounding in; teeming with. ЬЬrifeness n. [OE ryfe prob.
f. ON rЎfr acceptable f. reifa enrich, reifr cheerful]
riff n. & v. --n. a short repeated phrase in jazz etc. --v.intr.
play riffs. [20th c.: abbr. of RIFFLE n.]
riffle v. & n. --v. 1 tr. a turn (pages) in quick succession. b
shuffle (playing-cards) esp. by flexing and combining the two
halves of a pack. 2 intr. (often foll. by through) leaf quickly
(through pages). --n. 1 the act or an instance of riffling. 2
(in gold-washing) a groove or slat set in a trough or sluice to
catch gold particles. 3 US a a shallow part of a stream where
the water flows brokenly. b a patch of waves or ripples on
water. [perh. var. of RUFFLE]
riff-raff n. (often prec. by the) rabble; disreputable or undesirable
persons. [ME riff and raff f. OF rif et raf]
rifle(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a gun with a long rifled barrel, esp. one fired
from shoulder-level. 2 (in pl.) riflemen. --v.tr. make spiral
grooves in (a gun or its barrel or bore) to make a bullet spin.
Ьrifle bird any dark green Australian bird of paradise of the
genus Ptiloris. rifle-range a place for rifle-practice.
rifle-shot 1 the distance coverable by a shot from a rifle. 2 a
shot fired with a rifle. [OF rifler graze, scratch f. Gmc]
rifle(2) v.tr. & (foll. by through) intr. 1 search and rob, esp. of all
that can be found. 2 carry off as booty. [ME f. OF rifler
graze, scratch, plunder f. ODu. riffelen]
rifleman n. (pl. -men) 1 a soldier armed with a rifle. 2 a small
yellow and green New Zealand bird, Acanthisitta chloris.
rifling n. the arrangement of grooves on the inside of a gun's barrel.
rift n. & v. --n. 1 a a crack or split in an object. b an opening
in a cloud etc. 2 a cleft or fissure in earth or rock. 3 a
disagreement; a breach in friendly relations. --v.tr. tear or
burst apart. Ьrift-valley a steep-sided valley formed by
subsidence of the earth's crust between nearly parallel faults.
ЬЬriftless adj. rifty adj. [ME, of Scand. orig.]
rig(1) v. & n. --v.tr. (rigged, rigging) 1 a provide (a sailing ship)
with sails, rigging, etc. b prepare ready for sailing. 2
(often foll. by out, up) fit with clothes or other equipment. 3
(foll. by up) set up hastily or as a makeshift. 4 assemble and
adjust the parts of (an aircraft). --n. 1 the arrangement of
masts, sails, rigging, etc., of a sailing ship. 2 equipment for
a special purpose, e.g. a radio transmitter. 3 = oil rig. 4 a
person's or thing's look as determined by clothing, equipment,
etc., esp. uniform. Ьin full rig colloq. smartly or
ceremonially dressed. rig-out Brit. colloq. an outfit of
clothes. ЬЬrigged adj. (also in comb.). [ME, perh. of Scand.
orig.: cf. Norw. rigga bind or wrap up]
rig(2) v. & n. --v.tr. (rigged, rigging) manage or conduct
fraudulently (they rigged the election). --n. 1 a trick or
dodge. 2 a way of swindling. Ьrig the market cause an
artificial rise or fall in prices. ЬЬrigger n. [19th c.: orig.
rigadoon n. 1 a lively dance in duple or quadruple time for two persons.
2 the music for this. [F rigodon, rigaudon, perh. f. its
rigger n. 1 a person who rigs or who arranges rigging. 2 (of a
rowing-boat) = OUTRIGGER 5a. 3 a ship rigged in a specified
way. 4 a worker on an oil rig.
rigging n. 1 a ship's spars, ropes, etc., supporting and controlling
the sails. 2 the ropes and wires supporting the structure of an
airship or biplane.
right adj., n., v., adv., & int. --adj. 1 (of conduct etc.) just,
morally or socially correct (it is only right to tell you; I
want to do the right thing). 2 true, correct; not mistaken (the
right time; you were right about the weather). 3 less wrong or
not wrong (which is the right way to town?). 4 more or most
suitable or preferable (the right person for the job; along the
right lines). 5 in a sound or normal condition; physically or
mentally healthy; satisfactory (the engine doesn't sound right).
6 a on or towards the side of the human body which corresponds
to the position of east if one regards oneself as facing north.
b on or towards that part of an object which is analogous to a
person's right side or (with opposite sense) which is nearer to
a spectator's right hand. 7 (of a side of fabric etc.) meant
for display or use (turn it right side up). 8 colloq. or
archaic real; properly so called (made a right mess of it; a
right royal welcome). --n. 1 that which is morally or socially
correct or just; fair treatment (often in pl.: the rights and
wrongs of the case). 2 (often foll. by to, or to + infin.) a
justification or fair claim (has no right to speak like that).
3 a thing one may legally or morally claim; the state of being
entitled to a privilege or immunity or authority to act (a right
of reply; human rights). 4 the right-hand part or region or
direction. 5 Boxing a the right hand. b a blow with this. 6
(often Right) Polit. a a group or section favouring
conservatism (orig. the more conservative section of a
continental legislature, seated on the president's right). b
such conservatives collectively. 7 the side of a stage which is
to the right of a person facing the audience. 8 (esp. in
marching) the right foot. 9 the right wing of an army. --v.tr.
1 (often refl.) restore to a proper or straight or vertical
position. 2 a correct (mistakes etc.); set in order. b avenge
(a wrong or a wronged person); make reparation for or to. c
vindicate, justify, rehabilitate. --adv. 1 straight (go right
on). 2 colloq. immediately; without delay (I'll be right back;
do it right now). 3 a (foll. by to, round, through, etc.) all
the way (sank right to the bottom; ran right round the block).
b (foll. by off, out, etc.) completely (came right off its
hinges; am right out of butter). 4 exactly, quite (right in the
middle). 5 justly, properly, correctly, truly, satisfactorily
(did not act right; not holding it right; if I remember right).
6 on or to the right side. 7 archaic very; to the full (am
right glad to hear it; dined right royally). --int. colloq.
expressing agreement or assent. Ьas right as rain perfectly
sound and healthy. at right angles placed to form a right
angle. by right (or rights) if right were done. do right by
act dutifully towards (a person). in one's own right through
one's own position or effort etc. in the right having justice
or truth on one's side. in one's right mind sane; competent to
think and act. of (or as of) right having legal or moral etc.
entitlement. on the right side of 1 in the favour of (a person
etc.). 2 somewhat less than (a specified age). put (or set)
right 1 restore to order, health, etc. 2 correct the mistaken
impression etc. of (a person). put (or set) to rights make
correct or well ordered. right about (or about-turn or
about-face) 1 a right turn continued to face the rear. 2 a
reversal of policy. 3 a hasty retreat. right and left (or
right, left, and centre) on all sides. right angle an angle of
90ш, made by lines meeting with equal angles on either side.
right-angled 1 containing or making a right angle. 2 involving
right angles, not oblique. right arm one's most reliable
helper. right ascension see ASCENSION. right away (or off)
immediately. right bank the bank of a river on the right facing
downstream. right bower see BOWER(3). right field Baseball the
part of the outfield to the right of the batter as he faces the
pitcher. right hand 1 = right-hand man. 2 the most important
position next to a person (stand at God's right hand).
right-hand adj. 1 on or towards the right side of a person or
thing (right-hand drive). 2 done with the right hand
(right-hand blow). 3 (of a screw) = RIGHT-HANDED 4b.
right-hand man an indispensable or chief assistant. Right
Honourable Brit. a title given to certain high officials, e.g.
Privy Counsellors. right-minded (or -thinking) having sound
views and principles. right of search Naut. see SEARCH. right
of way 1 a right established by usage to pass over another's
ground. 2 a path subject to such a right. 3 the right of one
vehicle to proceed before another. right oh! (or ho!) =
RIGHTO. right on! colloq. an expression of strong approval or
encouragement. a right one Brit. colloq. a silly or foolish
person. Right Reverend see REVEREND. right sphere Astron. see
SPHERE. right turn a turn that brings one's front to face as
one's right side did before. right whale any large-headed whale
of the family Balaenidae, rich in whalebone and easily captured.
right wing 1 the right side of a football etc. team on the
field. 2 the conservative section of a political party or
system. right-wing adj. conservative or reactionary.
right-winger a person on the right wing. right you are!
colloq. an exclamation of assent. she's (or she'll be) right
Austral. colloq. that will be all right. too right sl. an
expression of agreement. within one's rights not exceeding
one's authority or entitlement. ЬЬrightable adj. righter n.
rightish adj. rightless adj. rightlessness n. rightness n.
[OE riht (adj.), rihtan (v.), rihte (adv.)]
righten v.tr. make right or correct.
righteous adj. (of a person or conduct) morally right; virtuous,
law-abiding. ЬЬrighteously adv. righteousness n. [OE rihtwis
(as RIGHT n. + -WISE or RIGHT adj. + WISE(2)), assim. to
rightful adj. 1 a (of a person) legitimately entitled to (a position
etc.) (the rightful heir). b (of status or property etc.) that
one is entitled to. 2 (of an action etc.) equitable, fair.
ЬЬrightfully adv. rightfulness n. [OE rihtful (as RIGHT n.)]
adj. 1 using the right hand by preference as more serviceable
than the left. 2 (of a tool etc.) made to be used with the
right hand. 3 (of a blow) struck with the right hand. 4 a
turning to the right; towards the right. b (of a screw)
advanced by turning to the right (clockwise). ЬЬright-handedly
adv. right-handedness n.
n. 1 a right-handed person. 2 a right-handed blow.
rightism n. Polit. the principles or policy of the right. ЬЬrightist
n. & adj.
righto intr. Brit. colloq. expressing agreement or assent.
rightward adv. & adj. --adv. (also rightwards) towards the right.
--adj. going towards or facing the right.
rigid adj. 1 not flexible; that cannot be bent (a rigid frame). 2
(of a person, conduct, etc.) inflexible, unbending, strict,
harsh, punctilious (a rigid disciplinarian; rigid economy).
ЬЬrigidity n. rigidly adv. rigidness n. [F rigide or L
rigidus f. rigere be stiff]
rigidify v.tr. & intr. (-ies, -ied) make or become rigid.
rigmarole n. 1 a lengthy and complicated procedure. 2 a a rambling or
meaningless account or tale. b such talk. [orig. ragman roll
= a catalogue, of unkn. orig.]
rigor(1) n. Med. 1 a sudden feeling of cold with shivering accompanied
by a rise in temperature, preceding a fever etc. 2 rigidity of
the body caused by shock or poisoning etc. [ME f. L f. rigere
rigor(2) US var. of RIGOUR.
n. stiffening of the body after death. [L, = stiffness of
rigorous adj. 1 characterized by or showing rigour; strict, severe. 2
strictly exact or accurate. 3 (of the weather) cold, severe.
ЬЬrigorously adv. rigorousness n. [OF rigorous or LL rigorosus
rigour n. (US rigor) 1 a severity, strictness, harshness. b (in pl.)
harsh measures or conditions. 2 logical exactitude. 3 strict
enforcement of rules etc. (the utmost rigour of the law). 4
austerity of life; puritanical discipline. [ME f. OF rigour f.
L rigor (as RIGOR(1))]
Rig-Veda n. the oldest and principal of the Hindu Vedas (see VEDA).
[Skr. rigveda f. ric praise + veda VEDA]
rile v.tr. 1 colloq. anger, irritate. 2 US make (water) turbulent
or muddy. [var. of ROIL]
Riley n. (also Reilly) Ьthe life of Riley colloq. a carefree
existence. [20th c.: orig. unkn.]
rilievo var. of RELIEVO.
rill n. 1 a small stream. 2 a shallow channel cut in the surface of
soil or rocks by running water. 3 var. of RILLE. [LG ril,
rille n. (also rill) Astron. a cleft or narrow valley on the moon's
surface. [G (as RILL)]
rim n. & v. --n. 1 a a raised edge or border. b a margin or
verge, esp. of something circular. 2 the part of a pair of
spectacles surrounding the lenses. 3 the outer edge of a wheel,
on which the tyre is fitted. 4 a boundary line (the rim of the
horizon). --v.tr. (rimmed, rimming) 1 a provide with a rim. b
be a rim for or to. 2 edge, border. Ьrim-brake a brake acting
on the rim of a wheel. ЬЬrimless adj. rimmed adj. (also in
comb.). [OE rima edge: cf. ON rimi ridge (the only known
rime(1) n. & v. --n. 1 frost, esp. formed from cloud or fog. 2 poet.
hoar-frost. --v.tr. cover with rime. [OE hrim]
rime(2) archaic var. of RHYME.
rimose adj. (also rimous) esp. Bot. full of chinks or fissures. [L
rimosus f. rima chink]
rimu n. NZ a softwood tree, Dacrydium cupressinum, native to New
rimy adj. (rimier, rimiest) frosty; covered with frost.
rind n. & v. --n. 1 the tough outer layer or covering of fruit and
vegetables, cheese, bacon, etc. 2 the bark of a tree or plant.
--v.tr. strip the bark from. ЬЬrinded adj. (also in comb.).
rindless adj. [OE rind(e)]
n. a virulent infectious disease of ruminants (esp. cattle).
[G f. Rinder cattle + Pest PEST]
ring(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a circular band, usu. of precious metal, worn
on a finger as an ornament or a token of marriage or betrothal.
2 a circular band of any material. 3 the rim of a cylindrical
or circular object, or a line or band round it. 4 a mark or
part having the form of a circular band (had rings round his
eyes; smoke rings). 5 = annual ring. 6 a an enclosure for a
circus performance, betting at races, the showing of cattle,
etc. b (prec. by the) bookmakers collectively. c a roped
enclosure for boxing or wrestling. 7 a a group of people or
things arranged in a circle. b such an arrangement. 8 a
combination of traders, bookmakers, spies, politicians, etc.
acting together usu. illicitly for the control of operations or
profit. 9 a circular or spiral course. 10 = gas ring. 11
Astron. a a thin band or disc of particles etc. round a planet.
b a halo round the moon. 12 Archaeol. a circular prehistoric
earthwork usu. of a bank and ditch. 13 Chem. a group of atoms
each bonded to two others in a closed sequence. 14 Math. a set
of elements with two binary operations, addition and
multiplication, the second being distributive over the first and
associative. --v.tr. 1 make or draw a circle round. 2 (often
foll. by round, about, in) encircle or hem in (game or cattle).
3 put a ring on (a bird etc.) or through the nose of (a pig,
bull, etc.). 4 cut (fruit, vegetables, etc.) into rings.
Ьring-binder a loose-leaf binder with ring-shaped clasps that
can be opened to pass through holes in the paper. ring circuit
an electrical circuit serving a number of power points with one
fuse in the supply to the circuit. ring-dove 1 the woodpigeon.
2 the collared dove. ringed plover either of two small plovers,
Charadrius hiaticula and C. dubius. ring finger the finger next
to the little finger, esp. of the left hand, on which the
wedding ring is usu. worn. ring main 1 an electrical supply
serving a series of consumers and returning to the original
source, so that each consumer has an alternative path in the
event of a failure. 2 = ring circuit. ring-neck any of various
ring-necked birds esp. a type of pheasant, Phasianus colchicus,
with a white neck-ring. ring-necked Zool. having a band or
bands of colour round the neck. ring ouzel a thrush, Turdus
torquatus, with a white crescent across its breast. ring-pull
(of a tin) having a ring for pulling to break its seal. ring
road a bypass encircling a town. ring-tailed 1 (of monkeys,
lemurs, racoons, etc.) having a tail ringed in alternate
colours. 2 with the tail curled at the end. run (or make)
rings round colloq. outclass or outwit (another person).
ЬЬringed adj. (also in comb.). ringless adj. [OE hring f. Gmc]
ring(2) v. & n. --v. (past rang; past part. rung) 1 intr. (often
foll. by out etc.) give a clear resonant or vibrating sound of
or as of a bell (a shot rang out; a ringing laugh; the telephone
rang). 2 tr. a make (esp. a bell) ring. b (absol.) call for
service or attention by ringing a bell (you rang, madam?). 3
tr. (also absol.; often foll. by up) Brit. call by telephone
(will ring you on Monday; did you ring?). 4 intr. (usu. foll.
by with, to) (of a place) resound or be permeated with a sound,
or an attribute, e.g. fame (the theatre rang with applause). 5
intr. (of the ears) be filled with a sensation of ringing. 6
tr. a sound (a peal etc.) on bells. b (of a bell) sound (the
hour etc.). 7 tr. (foll. by in, out) usher in or out with
bell-ringing (ring in the May; rang out the Old Year). 8 intr.
(of sentiments etc.) convey a specified impression (words rang
hollow). --n. 1 a ringing sound or tone. 2 a the act of
ringing a bell. b the sound caused by this. 3 colloq. a
telephone call (give me a ring). 4 a specified feeling conveyed
by an utterance (had a melancholy ring). 5 a set of esp. church
bells. Ьring back make a return telephone call to (a person who
has telephoned earlier). ring a bell see BELL(1). ring the
changes (on) see CHANGE. ring down (or up) the curtain 1 cause
the curtain to be lowered or raised. 2 (foll. by on) mark the
end or the beginning of (an enterprise etc.). ring in 1 report
or make contact by telephone. 2 Austral. & NZ sl. substitute
fraudulently. ring in one's ears (or heart etc.) linger in the
memory. ringing tone a sound heard by a telephone caller when
the number dialled is being rung. ring off Brit. end a
telephone call by replacing the receiver. ring true (or false)
convey an impression of truth or falsehood. ring up 1 Brit.
call by telephone. 2 record (an amount etc.) on a cash
register. ЬЬringed adj. (also in comb.). ringer n. ringing
adj. ringingly adv. [OE hringan]
ringbark v.tr. cut a ring in the bark of (a tree) to kill it or retard
its growth and thereby improve fruit production.
ringbolt n. a bolt with a ring attached for fitting a rope to etc.
ringer n. sl. 1 a esp. US an athlete or horse entered in a
competition by fraudulent means, esp. as a substitute. b a
person's double, esp. an imposter. 2 Austral. a the fastest
shearer in a shed. b a stockman or station hand. 3 a person
who rings, esp. a bell-ringer. Ьbe a ringer (or dead ringer)
for resemble (a person) exactly. [RING(2) + -ER(1)]
ringhals n. a large venomous snake, Hemachatus hemachatus, of Southern
Africa, with a white ring or two across the neck. [Afrik.
rinkhals f. ring RING(1) + hals neck]
n. a leading instigator in an illicit or illegal activity.
ringlet n. 1 a curly lock of hair, esp. a long one. 2 a butterfly,
Aphantopus hyperantus, with spots on its wings. ЬЬringleted
adj. ringlety adj.
n. the person directing a circus performance.
ringside n. the area immediately beside a boxing ring or circus ring
etc. (often attrib.: a ringside seat; a ringside view).
ringster n. a person who participates in a political or commercial ring
(see RING(1) n. 8).
ringtail n. 1 a ring-tailed opossum, lemur, or phalanger. 2 a golden
eagle up to its third year. 3 a female hen-harrier.
ringworm n. any of various fungous infections of the skin causing
circular inflamed patches, esp. on a child's scalp.
rink n. 1 an area of natural or artificial ice for skating or the
game of curling etc. 2 an enclosed area for roller-skating. 3
a building containing either of these. 4 Bowls a strip of the
green used for playing a match. 5 a team in bowls or curling.
[ME (orig. Sc.), = jousting-ground: perh. orig. f. OF renc
rinse v. & n. --v.tr. (often foll. by through, out) 1 wash with clean
water. 2 apply liquid to. 3 wash lightly. 4 put (clothes
etc.) through clean water to remove soap or detergent. 5 (foll.
by out, away) clear (impurities) by rinsing. --n. 1 the act or
an instance of rinsing (give it a rinse). 2 a solution for
cleansing the mouth. 3 a dye for the temporary tinting of hair
(a blue rinse). ЬЬrinser n. [ME f. OF rincer, raincier, of
riot n. & v. --n. 1 a a disturbance of the peace by a crowd; an
occurrence of public disorder. b (attrib.) involved in
suppressing riots (riot police; riot shield). 2 uncontrolled
revelry; noisy behaviour. 3 (foll. by of) a lavish display or
enjoyment (a riot of emotion; a riot of colour and sound). 4
colloq. a very amusing thing or person. --v.intr. 1 make or
engage in a riot. 2 live wantonly; revel. Ьread the Riot Act
put a firm stop to insubordination etc.; give a severe warning
(from the name of a former act partly read out to disperse
rioters). run riot 1 throw off all restraint. 2 (of plants)
grow or spread uncontrolled. ЬЬrioter n. riotless adj. [ME f.
OF riote, rioter, rihoter, of unkn. orig.]
riotous adj. 1 marked by or involving rioting. 2 characterized by
wanton conduct. 3 wildly profuse. ЬЬriotously adv.
riotousness n. [ME f. OF (as RIOT)]
RIP abbr. may he or she or they rest in peace. [L requiescat (pl.
requiescant) in pace]
rip(1) v. & n. --v.tr. & intr. (ripped, ripping) 1 tr. tear or cut (a
thing) quickly or forcibly away or apart (ripped out the lining;
ripped the book up). 2 tr. a make (a hole etc.) by ripping. b
make a long tear or cut in. 3 intr. come violently apart;
split. 4 intr. rush along. --n. 1 a long tear or cut. 2 an
act of ripping. Ьlet rip colloq. 1 act or proceed without
restraint. 2 speak violently. 3 not check the speed of or
interfere with (a person or thing). rip-cord a cord for
releasing a parachute from its pack. rip into attack (a person)
verbally. rip off colloq. defraud, steal. rip-off n. colloq.
1 a fraud or swindle. 2 financial exploitation. [ME: orig.
rip(2) n. a stretch of rough water in the sea or in a river, caused by
the meeting of currents. Ьrip current (or tide) 1 a strong
surface current from the shore. 2 a state of conflicting
psychological forces. [18th c.: perh. rel. to RIP(1)]
rip(3) n. 1 a dissolute person. 2 a rascal. 3 a worthless horse.
[perh. f. rep, abbr. of REPROBATE]
riparian adj. & n. esp. Law --adj. of or on a river-bank (riparian
rights). --n. an owner of property on a river-bank. [L
riparius f. ripa bank]
ripe adj. 1 (of grain, fruit, cheese, etc.) ready to be reaped or
picked or eaten. 2 mature; fully developed (ripe in judgement;
a ripe beauty). 3 (of a person's age) advanced. 4 (often foll.
by for) fit or ready (when the time is ripe; land ripe for
development). 5 (of the complexion etc.) red and full like ripe
fruit. ЬЬripely adv. ripeness n. [OE ripe f. WG]
ripen v.tr. & intr. make or become ripe.
ripieno n. (pl. -os or ripieni) Mus. a body of accompanying
instruments in baroque concerto music. [It. (as RE-, pieno
riposte n. & v. --n. 1 a quick sharp reply or retort. 2 a quick
return thrust in fencing. --v.intr. deliver a riposte. [F
ri(s)poste, ri(s)poster f. It. risposta RESPONSE]
ripper n. 1 a person or thing that rips. 2 a murderer who rips the
ripping adj. Brit. archaic colloq. very enjoyable (a ripping good
yarn). ЬЬrippingly adv.
ripple(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a ruffling of the water's surface, a small wave
or series of waves. 2 a gentle lively sound that rises and
falls, e.g. of laughter or applause. 3 a wavy appearance in
hair, material, etc. 4 Electr. a slight variation in the
strength of a current etc. 5 ice-cream with added syrup giving
a coloured ripple effect (raspberry ripple). 6 US a riffle in a
stream. --v. 1 a intr. form ripples; flow in ripples. b tr.
cause to do this. 2 intr. show or sound like ripples. Ьripple
mark a ridge or ridged surface left on sand, mud, or rock by the
action of water or wind. ЬЬripplet n. ripply adj. [17th c.:
ripple(2) n. & v. --n. a toothed implement used to remove seeds from
flax. --v.tr. treat with a ripple. [corresp. to MDu. & MLG
repel(en), OHG riffila, rifilon]
riprap n. US a collection of loose stone as a foundation for a
structure. [redupl. of RAP(1)]
ripsaw n. a coarse saw for sawing wood along the grain.
n. colloq. an energetic, remarkable, or excellent person or
thing. ЬЬripsnorting adj. ripsnortingly adv.
rise v. & n. --v.intr. (past rose; past part. risen) 1 move from a
lower position to a higher one; come or go up. 2 grow, project,
expand, or incline upwards; become higher. 3 (of the sun, moon,
or stars) appear above the horizon. 4 a get up from lying or
sitting or kneeling (rose to their feet; rose from the table).
b get out of bed, esp. in the morning (do you rise early?). 5
recover a standing or vertical position; become erect (rose to
my full height). 6 (of a meeting etc.) cease to sit for
business; adjourn (Parliament rises next week; the court will
rise). 7 reach a higher position or level or amount (the flood
has risen; prices are rising). 8 develop greater intensity,
strength, volume, or pitch (the colour rose in her cheeks; the
wind is rising; their voices rose with excitement). 9 make
progress; reach a higher social position (rose from the ranks).
10 a come to the surface of liquid (bubbles rose from the
bottom; waited for the fish to rise). b (of a person) react to
provocation (rise to the bait). 11 become or be visible above
the surroundings etc., stand prominently (mountains rose to our
right). 12 a (of buildings etc.) undergo construction from the
foundations (office blocks were rising all around). b (of a
tree etc.) grow to a (usu. specified) height. 13 come to life
again (rise from the ashes; risen from the dead). 14 (of dough)
swell by the action of yeast etc. 15 (often foll. by up) cease
to be quiet or submissive; rebel (rise in arms). 16 originate;
have as its source (the river rises in the mountains). 17 (of
wind) start to blow. 18 (of a person's spirits) become
cheerful. 19 (of a barometer) show a higher atmospheric
pressure. 20 (of a horse) rear (rose on its hind legs). 21 (of
a bump, blister, etc.) form. 22 (of the stomach) show nausea.
--n. 1 an act or manner or amount of rising. 2 an upward slope
or hill or movement (a rise in the road; the house stood on a
rise; the rise and fall of the waves). 3 an increase in sound
or pitch. 4 a an increase in amount, extent, etc. (a rise in
unemployment). b Brit. an increase in salary, wages, etc. 5 an
increase in status or power. 6 social, commercial, or political
advancement; upward progress. 7 the movement of fish to the
surface. 8 origin. 9 a the vertical height of a step, arch,
incline, etc. b = RISER 2. Ьget (or take) a rise out of
colloq. provoke an emotional reaction from (a person), esp. by
teasing. on the rise on the increase. rise above 1 be superior
to (petty feelings etc.). 2 show dignity or strength in the
face of (difficulty, poor conditions, etc.). rise and shine
(usu. as imper.) colloq. get out of bed smartly; wake up. rise
in the world attain a higher social position. rise to develop
powers equal to (an occasion). rise with the sun (or lark) get
up early in the morning. [OE risan f. Gmc]
riser n. 1 a person who rises esp. from bed (an early riser). 2 a
vertical section between the treads of a staircase. 3 a
vertical pipe for the flow of liquid or gas.
rishi n. (pl. rishis) a Hindu sage or saint. [Skr. risi]
risible adj. 1 laughable, ludicrous. 2 inclined to laugh. 3 Anat.
relating to laughter (risible nerves). ЬЬrisibility n. risibly
adv. [LL risibilis f. L ridere ris- laugh]
rising adj. & n. --adj. 1 going up; getting higher. 2 increasing
(rising costs). 3 advancing to maturity or high standing (the
rising generation; a rising young lawyer). 4 approaching a
specified age (the rising fives). 5 (of ground) sloping
upwards. --n. a revolt or insurrection. Ьrising damp moisture
absorbed from the ground into a wall.
risk n. & v. --n. 1 a chance or possibility of danger, loss,
injury, or other adverse consequences (a health risk; a risk of
fire). 2 a person or thing causing a risk or regarded in
relation to risk (is a poor risk). --v.tr. 1 expose to risk.
2 accept the chance of (could not risk getting wet). 3 venture
on. Ьat risk exposed to danger. at one's (own) risk accepting
responsibility, agreeing to make no claims. at the risk of with
the possibility of (an adverse consequence). put at risk expose
to danger. risk capital money put up for speculative business
investment. risk one's neck put one's own life in danger. run
a (or the) risk (often foll. by of) expose oneself to danger or
loss etc. take (or run) a risk chance the possibility of danger
etc. [F risque, risquer f. It. risco danger, riscare run into
n. hist. a movement for the unification and independence of
Italy (achieved in 1870). [It., = resurrection]
risotto n. (pl. -os) an Italian dish of rice cooked in stock with
meat, onions, etc. [It.]
risqu‚ adj. (of a story etc.) slightly indecent or liable to shock.
[F, past part. of risquer RISK]
rissole n. a compressed mixture of meat and spices, coated in
breadcrumbs and fried. [F f. OF ruissole, roussole ult. f. LL
russeolus reddish f. L russus red]
rit. abbr. Mus. ritardando.
adv. & n. Mus. (pl. -os or ritardandi) = RALLENTANDO. [It.]
rite n. 1 a religious or solemn observance or act (burial rites). 2
an action or procedure required or usual in this. 3 a body of
customary observances characteristic of a Church or a part of it
(the Latin rite). Ьrite of passage (often in pl.) a ritual or
event marking a stage of a person's advance through life, e.g.
marriage. ЬЬriteless adj. [ME f. OF rit, rite or L ritus (esp.
ritenuto adv. & n. Mus. --adv. with immediate reduction of speed. --n.
(pl. -os or ritenuti) a passage played in this way. [It.]
n. Mus. (pl. -os or ritornelli) a short instrumental refrain,
interlude, etc., in a vocal work. [It., dimin. of ritorno
ritual n. & adj. --n. 1 a prescribed order of performing rites. 2 a
procedure regularly followed. --adj. of or done as a ritual or
rites (ritual murder). ЬЬritualize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise).
ritualization n. (also -isation). ritually adv. [L ritualis
ritualism n. the regular or excessive practice of ritual. ЬЬritualist n.
ritualistic adj. ritualistically adv.
ritzy adj. (ritzier, ritziest) colloq. 1 high-class, luxurious. 2
ostentatiously smart. ЬЬritzily adv. ritziness n. [Ritz, the
name of luxury hotels f. C. Ritz, Swiss hotel-owner d. 1918]
rival n. & v. --n. 1 a person competing with another for the same
objective. 2 a person or thing that equals another in quality.
3 (attrib.) being a rival or rivals (a rival firm). --v.tr.
(rivalled, rivalling; US rivaled, rivaling) 1 be the rival of or
comparable to. 2 seem or claim to be as good as. [L rivalis,
orig. = using the same stream, f. rivus stream]
rivalry n. (pl. -ies) the state or an instance of being rivals;
rive v. (past rived; past part. riven) archaic or poet. 1 tr.
split or tear apart violently. 2 a tr. split (wood or stone).
b intr. be split. [ME f. ON rЎfa]
river n. 1 a copious natural stream of water flowing in a channel to
the sea or a lake etc. 2 a copious flow (a river of lava;
rivers of blood). 3 (attrib.) (in the names of animals, plants,
etc.) living in or associated with the river. Ьriver blindness
a tropical disease of the skin caused by a parasitic worm, the
larvae of which can migrate into the eye and cause blindness.
river capture the diversion of the upper headwaters of a
mountain stream into a more powerful one. sell down the river
colloq. betray or let down. ЬЬrivered adj. (also in comb.).
riverless adj. [ME f. AF river, rivere, OF riviere river or
river-bank ult. f. L riparius f. ripa bank]
riverine adj. of or on a river or river-bank; riparian.
riverside n. the ground along a river-bank.
rivet n. & v. --n. a nail or bolt for holding together metal plates
etc., its headless end being beaten out or pressed down when in
place. --v.tr. (riveted, riveting) 1 a join or fasten with
rivets. b beat out or press down the end of (a nail or bolt).
c fix; make immovable. 2 a (foll. by on, upon) direct intently
(one's eyes or attention etc.). b (esp. as riveting adj.)
engross (a person or the attention). ЬЬriveter n. [ME f. OF f.
river clench, of unkn. orig.]
riviera n. a coastal region with a subtropical climate, vegetation,
etc., esp. that of SE France and NW Italy. [It., = sea-shore]
riviЉre n. a gem necklace, esp. of more than one string. [F, = RIVER]
rivulet n. a small stream. [obs. riveret f. F, dimin. of riviЉre
RIVER, perh. after It. rivoletto dimin. of rivolo dimin. of
rivo f. L rivus stream]
roach(1) n. (pl. same) a small freshwater fish, esp. Rutilus rutilus,
allied to the carp. [ME f. OF roc(h)e, of unkn. orig.]
roach(2) n. 1 US colloq. a cockroach. 2 sl. the butt of a marijuana
roach(3) n. Naut. an upward curve in the foot of a square sail. [18th
c.: orig. unkn.]
road(1) n. 1 a a path or way with a specially prepared surface, used by
vehicles, pedestrians, etc. b the part of this used by vehicles
(don't step in the road). 2 one's way or route (our road took
us through unexplored territory). 3 an underground passage in a
mine. 4 US a railway. 5 (usu. in pl.) a partly sheltered piece
of water near the shore in which ships can ride at anchor. Ьby
road using transport along roads. get out of the (or my etc.)
road colloq. cease to obstruct a person. in the (or my etc.)
road colloq. obstructing a person or thing. one for the road
colloq. a final (esp. alcoholic) drink before departure. on
the road travelling, esp. as a firm's representative, itinerant
performer, or vagrant. road fund Brit. hist. a fund for the
construction and maintenance of roads and bridges. road fund
licence Brit. a disc displayed on a vehicle certifying payment
of road tax. road-hog colloq. a reckless or inconsiderate
road-user, esp. a motorist. road-holding the capacity of a
moving vehicle to remain stable when cornering at high speeds
etc. road-house an inn or club on a major road. road hump =
sleeping policeman (see SLEEP). road-manager the organizer and
supervisor of a musicians' tour. road-map a map showing the
roads of a country or area. road-metal broken stone used in
road-making or for railway ballast. road sense a person's
capacity for safe behaviour on the road, esp. in traffic. road
show 1 a a performance given by a touring company, esp. a group
of pop musicians. b a company giving such performances. 2 a
radio or television programme done on location. road sign a
sign giving information or instructions to road users. road tax
a periodic tax payable on road vehicles. road test a test of
the performance of a vehicle on the road. road-test v.tr. test
(a vehicle) on the road. the road to the way of getting to or
achieving (the road to London; the road to ruin). road train a
large lorry pulling one or more trailers. rule of the road the
custom or law regulating which side of the road is to be taken
by vehicles (also riders or ships) meeting or passing each
other. take the road set out. ЬЬroadless adj. [OE rad f.
road(2) v.tr. (also absol.) (of a dog) follow up (a game-bird) by the
scent of its trail. [19th c.: orig. unkn.]
roadbed n. 1 the foundation structure of a railway. 2 the material
laid down to form a road. 3 US the part of a road on which
roadblock n. a barrier or barricade on a road, esp. one set up by the
authorities to stop and examine traffic.
roadie n. colloq. an assistant employed by a touring band of
musicians to erect and maintain equipment.
roadman n. (pl. -men) a man employed to repair or maintain roads.
n. a motor vehicle with a heavy roller, used in road-making.
n. a bird of Mexican and US deserts, Geococcyx californianus,
related to the cuckoo, and a poor flier but fast runner.
roadside n. the strip of land beside a road.
roadstead n. = ROAD(1) 5. [ROAD(1) + stead in obs. sense 'place']
roadster n. 1 an open car without rear seats. 2 a horse or bicycle for
use on the road.
roadway n. 1 a road. 2 = ROAD(1) 1b. 3 the part of a bridge or
railway used for traffic.
roadwork n. 1 (in pl.) the construction or repair of roads, or other
work involving digging up a road surface. 2 athletic exercise
or training involving running on roads.
adj. 1 fit to be used on the road. 2 (of a person) fit to
travel. ЬЬroadworthiness n.
roam v. & n. --v. 1 intr. ramble, wander. 2 tr. travel
unsystematically over, through, or about. --n. an act of
roaming; a ramble. ЬЬroamer n. [ME: orig. unkn.]
roan(1) adj. & n. --adj. (of an animal, esp. a horse or cow) having a
coat of which the prevailing colour is thickly interspersed with
hairs of another colour, esp. bay or sorrel or chestnut mixed
with white or grey. --n. a roan animal. Ьblue roan adj. black
mixed with white. --n. a blue roan animal. red roan adj. bay
mixed with white or grey. --n. a red roan animal. strawberry
roan adj. chestnut mixed with white or grey. --n. a strawberry
roan animal. [OF, of unkn. orig.]
roan(2) n. soft sheepskin leather used in bookbinding as a substitute
for morocco. [ME, perh. f. Roan, old name of Rouen in N.
roar n. & v. --n. 1 a loud deep hoarse sound, as made by a lion, a
person in pain or rage or excitement, thunder, a loud engine,
etc. 2 a loud laugh. --v. 1 intr. a utter or make a roar. b
utter loud laughter. c (of a horse) make a loud noise in
breathing as a symptom of disease. 2 intr. travel in a vehicle
at high speed, esp. with the engine roaring. 3 tr. (often foll.
by out) say, sing, or utter (words, an oath, etc.) in a loud
tone. ЬЬroarer n. [OE rarian, of imit. orig.]
roaring adj. in senses of ROAR v. Ьroaring drunk very drunk and noisy.
roaring forties stormy ocean tracts between lat. 40ш and 50ш S.
roaring trade (or business) very brisk trade or business.
roaring twenties the decade of the 1920s (with ref. to its
postwar buoyancy). ЬЬroaringly adv.
roast v., adj., & n. --v. 1 tr. a cook (food, esp. meat) in an oven
or by exposure to open heat. b heat (coffee beans) before
grinding. 2 tr. heat (the ore of metal) in a furnace. 3 tr. a
expose (a torture victim) to fire or great heat. b tr. & refl.
expose (oneself or part of oneself) to warmth. 4 tr. criticize
severely, denounce. 5 intr. undergo roasting. --attrib.adj.
(of meat or a potato, chestnut, etc.) roasted. --n. 1 a roast
meat. b a dish of this. c a piece of meat for roasting. 2 the
process of roasting. 3 US a party where roasted food is eaten.
[ME f. OF rost, rostir, f. Gmc]
roaster n. 1 a person or thing that roasts. 2 a an oven or dish for
roasting food in. b an ore-roasting furnace. c a
coffee-roasting apparatus. 3 something fit for roasting, e.g. a
fowl, a potato, etc.
roasting adj. & n. --adj. very hot. --n. 1 in senses of ROAST v. 2 a
severe criticism or denunciation.
rob v.tr. (robbed, robbing) (often foll. by of) 1 take unlawfully
from, esp. by force or threat of force (robbed the safe; robbed
her of her jewels). 2 deprive of what is due or normal (was
robbed of my sleep). 3 (absol.) commit robbery. Ьrob Peter to
pay Paul take away from one to give to another, discharge one
debt by incurring another. [ME f. OF rob(b)er f. Gmc: cf.
robber n. a person who commits robbery. Ьrobber baron 1 a plundering
feudal lord. 2 an unscrupulous plutocrat. [ME f. AF & OF (as
robbery n. (pl. -ies) 1 a the act or process of robbing, esp. with
force or threat of force. b an instance of this. 2 excessive
financial demand or cost (set us back њ20 - it was sheer
robbery). [ME f. OF roberie (as ROB)]
robe n. & v. --n. 1 a long loose outer garment. 2 esp. US a
dressing-gown. 3 a baby's outer garment esp. at a christening.
4 (often in pl.) a long outer garment worn as an indication of
the wearer's rank, office, profession, etc.; a gown or vestment.
5 US a blanket or wrap of fur. --v. 1 tr. clothe (a person) in
a robe; dress. 2 intr. put on one's robes or vestments. [ME f.
OF f. Gmc (as ROB, orig. sense 'booty')]
robin n. 1 (also robin redbreast) a small brown European bird,
Erithacus rubecula, the adult of which has a red throat and
breast. 2 US a red-breasted thrush, Turdus migratorius. 3 a
bird similar in appearance etc. to either of these. ЬRobin Hood
(with ref. to the legend of the medieval forest outlaw) a person
who acts illegally or unfavourably towards the rich for the
benefit of the poor. [ME f. OF, familiar var. of the name
robinia n. any N. American tree or shrub of the genus Robinia, e.g. a
locust tree or false acacia. [mod.L, f. J. Robin, 17th-c.
roborant adj. & n. Med. --adj. strengthening. --n. a strengthening
drug. [L roborare f. robur -oris strength]
robot n. 1 a machine with a human appearance or functioning like a
human. 2 a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of
actions automatically. 3 a person who works mechanically and
efficiently but insensitively. 4 S.Afr. an automatic
traffic-signal. ЬЬrobotic adj. robotize v.tr. (also -ise).
[Czech (in K. C.apek'.s play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)
1920), f. robota forced labour]
robotics n.pl. the study of robots; the art or science of their design
robust adj. (robuster, robustest) 1 (of a person, animal, or thing)
strong and sturdy, esp. in physique or construction. 2 (of
exercise, discipline, etc.) vigorous, requiring strength. 3 (of
intellect or mental attitude) straightforward, not given to nor
confused by subtleties. 4 (of a statement, reply, etc.) bold,
firm, unyielding. 5 (of wine etc.) full-bodied. ЬЬrobustly
adv. robustness n. [F robuste or L robustus firm and hard f.
robus, robur oak, strength]
ROC abbr. (in the UK) Royal Observer Corps.
roc n. a gigantic bird of Eastern legend. [Sp. rocho ult. f. Arab
rocaille n. 1 an 18th-c. style of ornamentation based on rock and shell
motifs. 2 a rococo style. [F f. roc (as ROCK(1))]
rocambole n. an alliaceous plant, Allium scorodoprasum, with a
garlic-like bulb used for seasoning. [F f. G Rockenbolle]
n. Geol. a small bare outcrop of rock shaped by glacial
erosion. [F, = fleecy rock]
rochet n. a vestment resembling a surplice, used chiefly by bishops
and abbots. [ME f. OF, dimin. f. Gmc]
rock(1) n. 1 a the hard material of the earth's crust, exposed on the
surface or underlying the soil. b a similar material on other
planets. 2 Geol. any natural material, hard or soft (e.g.
clay), consisting of one or more minerals. 3 a a mass of rock
projecting and forming a hill, cliff, reef, etc. b (the Rock)
Gibraltar. 4 a large detached stone. 5 US a stone of any size.
6 a firm and dependable support or protection. 7 a source of
danger or destruction. 8 Brit. a hard usu. cylindrical stick of
confectionery made from sugar with flavouring esp. of
peppermint. 9 (in pl.) US sl. money. 10 sl. a precious stone,
esp. a diamond. 11 sl. a solid form of cocaine. 12 (in pl.)
coarse sl. the testicles. Ьget one's rocks off coarse sl. 1
achieve sexual satisfaction. 2 obtain enjoyment. on the rocks
colloq. 1 short of money. 2 broken down. 3 (of a drink)
served undiluted with ice-cubes. rock-bed a base of rock or a
rocky bottom. rock-bottom adj. (of prices etc.) the very
lowest. --n. the very lowest level. rock-bound (of a coast)
rocky and inaccessible. rock-cake a small currant cake with a
hard rough surface. rock-candy US = sense 8 of n. rock cress =
ARABIS. rock-crystal transparent colourless quartz usu. in
hexagonal prisms. rock-dove a wild dove, Columba livia,
frequenting rocks, supposed ancestor of the domestic pigeon.
rock-face a vertical surface of natural rock. rock-fish a
rock-frequenting goby, bass, wrasse, catfish, etc. rock-garden
an artifical mound or bank of earth and stones planted with
rock-plants etc.; a garden in which rockeries are the chief
feature. rock-pigeon = rock-dove. rock-pipit a species of
pipit, Anthus spinoletta, frequenting rocky shores. rock-plant
any plant growing on or among rocks. rock python any large
snake of the family Boidae, esp. the African python Python
sebae. rock-rabbit any of several species of hyrax. rock rose
any plant of the genus Cistus, Helianthemum, etc., with
rose-like flowers. rock-salmon 1 any of several fishes, esp.
Brit. (as a commercial name) the catfish and dogfish. 2 US an
amberjack. rock-salt common salt as a solid mineral. rock-wool
inorganic material made into matted fibre esp. for insulation or
soundproofing. ЬЬrockless adj. rocklet n. rocklike adj. [ME
f. OF ro(c)que, roche, med.L rocca, of unkn. orig.]
rock(2) v. & n. --v. 1 tr. move gently to and fro in or as if in a
cradle; set or maintain such motion (rock him to sleep; the ship
was rocked by the waves). 2 intr. be or continue in such motion
(sat rocking in his chair; the ship was rocking on the waves).
3 a intr. sway from side to side; shake, oscillate, reel (the
house rocks). b tr. cause to do this (an earthquake rocked the
house). 4 tr. distress, perturb. 5 intr. dance to or play rock
music. --n. 1 a rocking movement (gave the chair a rock). 2 a
spell of rocking (had a rock in his chair). 3 a = rock and
roll. b any of a variety of types of modern popular music with
a rocking or swinging beat, derived from rock and roll. Ьrock
and (or rock 'n') roll a type of popular dance-music originating
in the 1950s, characterized by a heavy beat and simple melodies,
often with a blues element. rock and (or rock 'n') roller a
devotee of rock and roll. rock the boat colloq. disturb the
equilibrium of a situation. rocking-chair a chair mounted on
rockers or springs for gently rocking in. rocking-horse a model
of a horse on rockers or springs for a child to rock on.
rocking-stone a poised boulder easily rocked. rock-shaft a
shaft that oscillates about an axis without making complete
revolutions. [OE roccian, prob. f. Gmc]
n. a type of popular music combining elements of rock and roll
and hill-billy music. [blend of rock and roll and hill-billy]
rockburst n. a sudden rupture or collapse of highly stressed rock in a
rocker n. 1 a person or thing that rocks. 2 a curved bar or similar
support, on which something can rock. 3 a rocking-chair. 4
Brit. a young devotee of rock music, characteristically
associated with leather clothing and motor cycles. 5 a skate
with a highly curved blade. 6 a switch constructed on a pivot
mechanism operating between the 'on' and 'off' positions. 7 any
rocking device forming part of a mechanism. Ьoff one's rocker
rockery n. (pl. -ies) a heaped arrangement of rough stones with soil
between them for growing rock-plants on.
rocket(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a cylindrical projectile that can be propelled
to a great height or distance by combustion of its contents,
used esp. as a firework or signal. 2 an engine using a similar
principle but not dependent on air intake for its operation. 3
a rocket-propelled missile, spacecraft, etc. 4 Brit. sl. a
severe reprimand. --v. (rocketed, rocketing) 1 tr. bombard
with rockets. 2 intr. a move rapidly upwards or away. b
increase rapidly (prices rocketed). [F roquette f. It.
rochetto dimin. of rocca ROCK(2), with ref. to its cylindrical
rocket(2) n. 1 (also sweet rocket) any of various fast-growing plants,
esp. of the genus Hesperis or Sisymbrium. 2 a cruciferous
annual plant, Eruca sativa, grown for salad. Ьwall-rocket a
yellow-flowered weed, Diplotaxis muralis, emitting a foul smell
when crushed. yellow rocket winter cress. [F roquette f. It.
rochetta, ruchetta dimin. of ruca f. L eruca downy-stemmed
rocketeer n. 1 a discharger of rockets. 2 a rocket expert or enthusiast.
rocketry n. the science or practice of rocket propulsion.
rockfall n. 1 a descent of loose rocks. 2 a mass of fallen rock.
n. a small penguin, Eudyptes crestatus, of the Antarctic and
New Zealand, with a crest of feathers on the forehead.
rockling n. any of various small marine fish of the cod family, esp. of
the genus Ciliata and Rhinomenus, found in pools among rocks.
rocky(1) adj. & n. --adj. (rockier, rockiest) 1 of or like rock. 2
full of or abounding in rock or rocks (a rocky shore). --n.
(the Rockies) the Rocky Mountains in western N. America.
rococo adj. & n. --adj. 1 of a late baroque style of decoration
prevalent in 18th-c. continental Europe, with asymmetrical
patterns involving scroll-work, shell motifs, etc. 2 (of
literature, music, architecture, and the decorative arts) highly
ornamented, florid. --n. the rococo style. [F, joc. alt. f.
rod n. 1 a slender straight bar esp. of wood or metal. 2 this as a
symbol of office. 3 a a stick or bundle of twigs used in caning
or flogging. b (prec. by the) the use of this. 4 a =
fishing-rod. b an angler using a rod. 5 a a slender straight
round stick growing as a shoot on a tree. b this when cut. 6
(as a measure) a perch or square perch (see PERCH(1)). 7 US sl.
= hot rod. 8 US sl. a pistol or revolver. 9 Anat. any of
numerous rod-shaped structures in the eye, detecting dim light.
Ьmake a rod for one's own back act in a way that will bring one
trouble later. ЬЬrodless adj. rodlet n. rodlike adj. [OE
rodd, prob. rel. to ON rudda club]
rode(1) past of RIDE.
rode(2) v.intr. 1 (of wildfowl) fly landwards in the evening. 2 (of
woodcock) fly in the evening during the breeding season. [18th
c.: orig. unkn.]
rodent n. & adj. --n. any mammal of the order Rodentia with strong
incisors and no canine teeth, e.g. rat, mouse, squirrel, beaver,
porcupine. --adj. 1 of the order Rodentia. 2 gnawing (esp.
Med. of slow-growing ulcers). Ьrodent officer Brit. an
official dealing with rodent pests. ЬЬrodential adj. [L rodere
n. a poison used to kill rodents.
rodeo n. (pl. -os) 1 an exhibition or entertainment involving
cowboys' skills in handling animals. 2 an exhibition of other
skills, e.g. in motor cycling. 3 a a round-up of cattle on a
ranch for branding etc. b an enclosure for this. [Sp. f.
rodear go round ult. f. L rotare ROTATE(1)]
rodham n. a raised bank in the Fen district of E. Anglia, formed on
the bed of a dry river-course. [20th c.: orig. uncert.]
n., adj., & v. --n. 1 boastful or bragging talk or behaviour.
2 an instance of this. --adj. boastful or bragging. --v.intr.
brag, talk boastfully. [F f. obs. It. rodomontada f. F
rodomont & It. rodomonte f. the name of a boastful character in
the Orlando epics]
roe(1) n. 1 (also hard roe) the mass of eggs in a female fish's ovary.
2 (also soft roe) the milt of a male fish. Ьroe-stone oolite.
ЬЬroed adj. (also in comb.). [ME row(e), rough, f. MLG, MDu.
roge(n), OHG rogo, rogan, ON hrogn]
roe(2) n. (pl. same or roes) (also roe-deer) a small European and
Asian deer, Capreolus capreolus. [OE ra(ha)]
roebuck n. a male roe.
roentgen n. a unit of ionizing radiation, the amount producing one
electrostatic unit of positive or negative ionic charge in one
cubic centimetre of air under standard conditions. Ьroentgen
rays X-rays. [W. C. R”ntgen, Ger. physicist d. 1923,
discoverer of X-rays]
n. photography using X-rays.
n. = RADIOLOGY.
rogation n. (usu. in pl.) Eccl. a solemn supplication consisting of the
litany of the saints chanted on the three days before Ascension
day. ЬRogation Days the three days before Ascension Day.
Rogation Sunday the Sunday preceding these. ЬЬrogational adj.
[ME f. L rogatio f. rogare ask]
roger int. & v. --int. 1 your message has been received and
understood (used in radio communication etc.). 2 sl. I agree.
--v. coarse sl. 1 intr. have sexual intercourse. 2 tr. have
sexual intercourse with (a woman). [the name Roger, code for R]
rogue n. & v. --n. 1 a dishonest or unprincipled person. 2 joc. a
mischievous person, esp. a child. 3 (usu. attrib.) a a wild
animal driven away or living apart from the herd and of fierce
temper (rogue elephant). b a stray, irresponsible, or
undisciplined person or thing (rogue trader). 4 an inferior or
defective specimen among many acceptable ones. --v.tr. remove
rogues (sense 4 of n.) from. Ьrogues' gallery a collection of
photographs of known criminals etc., used for identification of
suspects. [16th-c. cant word: orig. unkn.]
roguery n. (pl. -ies) conduct or an action characteristic of rogues.
roguish adj. 1 playfully mischievous. 2 characteristic of rogues.
ЬЬroguishly adv. roguishness n.
roil v.tr. 1 make (a liquid) turbid by agitating it. 2 US = RILE 1.
[perh. f. OF ruiler mix mortar f. LL regulare regulate]
roister v.intr. (esp. as roistering adj.) revel noisily; be uproarious.
ЬЬroisterer n. roistering n. roisterous adj. [obs. roister
roisterer f. F rustre ruffian var. of ruste f. L rusticus
Roland n. Ьa Roland for an Oliver 1 an effective retort. 2 a
well-balanced combat or exchange. [name of the legendary nephew
of Charlemagne celebrated with his comrade Oliver in the Chanson
role n. (also r“le) 1 an actor's part in a play, film, etc. 2 a
person's or thing's characteristic or expected function (the
role of the tape recorder in language-learning). Ьrole model a
person looked to by others as an example in a particular role.
role-playing an exercise in which participants act the part of
another character, used in psychotherapy, language-teaching,
etc. [F r“le and obs. F roule, rolle, = ROLL n.]
roll v. & n. --v. 1 a intr. move or go in some direction by turning
over and over on an axis (the ball rolled under the table; a
barrel started rolling). b tr. cause to do this (rolled the
barrel into the cellar). 2 tr. make revolve between two
surfaces (rolled the clay between his palms). 3 a intr. (foll.
by along, by, etc.) move or advance on or (of time etc.) as if
on wheels etc. (the bus rolled past; the pram rolled off the
pavement; the years rolled by). b tr. cause to do this (rolled
the tea trolley into the kitchen). c intr. (of a person) be
conveyed in a vehicle (the farmer rolled by on his tractor). 4
a tr. turn over and over on itself to form a more or less
cylindrical or spherical shape (rolled a newspaper). b tr. make
by forming material into a cylinder or ball (rolled a cigarette;
rolled a huge snowball). c tr. accumulate into a mass (rolled
the dough into a ball). d intr. (foll. by into) make a
specified shape of itself (the hedgehog rolled into a ball). 5
tr. flatten or form by passing a roller etc. over or by passing
between rollers (roll the lawn; roll pastry; roll thin foil). 6
intr. & tr. change or cause to change direction by rotatory
movement (his eyes rolled; he rolled his eyes). 7 intr. a
wallow, turn about in a fluid or a loose medium (the dog rolled
in the dust). b (of a horse etc.) lie on its back and kick
about, esp. in an attempt to dislodge its rider. 8 intr. a (of
a moving ship, aircraft, or vehicle) sway to and fro on an axis
parallel to the direction of motion. b walk with an unsteady
swaying gait (they rolled out of the pub). 9 a intr. undulate,
show or go with an undulating surface or motion (rolling hills;
rolling mist; the waves roll in). b tr. carry or propel with
such motion (the river rolls its waters to the sea). 10 a intr.
(of machinery) start functioning or moving (the cameras rolled;
the train began to roll). b tr. cause (machinery) to do this.
11 intr. & tr. sound or utter with a vibratory or trilling
effect (words rolled off his tongue; thunder rolled in the
distance; he rolls his rs). 12 US sl. a tr. overturn (a car
etc.). b intr. (of a car etc.) overturn. 13 tr. US throw
(dice). 14 tr. sl. rob (esp. a helpless victim). --n. 1 a
rolling motion or gait; undulation (the roll of the hills). 2 a
a spell of rolling (a roll in the mud). b a gymnastic exercise
in which the body is rolled into a tucked position and turned in
a forward or backward circle. c (esp. a roll in the hay)
colloq. an act of sexual intercourse or erotic fondling. 3 the
continuous rhythmic sound of thunder or a drum. 4 Aeron. a
complete revolution of an aircraft about its longitudinal axis.
5 a a cylinder formed by turning flexible material over and over
on itself without folding (a roll of carpet; a roll of
wallpaper). b a filled cake or pastry of similar form (fig
roll; sausage roll). 6 a a small portion of bread individually
baked. b this with a specified filling (ham roll). 7 a more or
less cylindrical or semicylindrical straight or curved mass of
something (rolls of fat; a roll of hair). 8 a an official list
or register (the electoral roll). b the total numbers on this
(the schools' rolls have fallen). c a document, esp. an
official record, in scroll form. 9 a cylinder or roller, esp.
to shape metal in a rolling-mill. 10 Archit. a a moulding of
convex section. b a spiral scroll of an Ionic capital. 11 US &
Austral. money, esp. as banknotes rolled together. Ьbe rolling
colloq. be very rich. be rolling in colloq. have plenty of
(esp. money). on a roll US sl. experiencing a bout of success
or progress; engaged in a period of intense activity. roll back
US cause (esp. prices) to decrease. roll-back n. a reduction
(esp. in price). roll bar an overhead metal bar strengthening
the frame of a vehicle (esp. in racing) and protecting the
occupants if the vehicle overturns. roll-call a process of
calling out a list of names to establish who is present. rolled
gold gold in the form of a thin coating applied to a baser metal
by rolling. rolled into one combined in one person or thing.
rolled oats oats that have been husked and crushed. roll in
arrive in great numbers or quantity. rolling barrage = creeping
barrage. rolling drunk swaying or staggering from drunkenness.
rolling-mill a machine or factory for rolling metal into shape.
rolling-pin a cylinder for rolling out pastry, dough, etc.
rolling-stock 1 the locomotives, carriages, or other vehicles,
used on a railway. 2 US the road vehicles of a company.
rolling stone a person who is unwilling to settle for long in
one place. rolling strike industrial action through a series of
limited strikes by consecutive groups. roll-neck (of a garment)
having a high loosely turned-over neck. roll of honour a list
of those honoured, esp. the dead in war. roll on v.tr. 1 put
on or apply by rolling. 2 (in imper.) colloq. (of a time, in
eager expectation) come quickly (roll on Friday!). roll-on
(attrib.) (of deodorant etc.) applied by means of a rotating
ball in the neck of the container. --n. a light elastic corset.
roll-on roll-off (of a ship, a method of transport, etc.) in
which vehicles are driven directly on at the start of the voyage
and off at the end of it. roll over 1 send (a person) sprawling
or rolling. 2 Econ. finance the repayment of (maturing stock
etc.) by an issue of new stock. roll-over n. 1 Econ. the
extension or transfer of a debt or other financial relationship.
2 colloq. the overturning of a vehicle etc. roll-top desk a
desk with a flexible cover sliding in curved grooves. roll up 1
colloq. arrive in a vehicle; appear on the scene. 2 make into
or form a roll. 3 Mil. drive the flank of (an enemy line) back
and round so that the line is shortened or surrounded. roll-up
(or roll-your-own) n. a hand-rolled cigarette. roll up one's
sleeves see SLEEVE. strike off the rolls debar (esp. a
solicitor) from practising after dishonesty etc. ЬЬrollable
adj. [ME f. OF rol(l)er, rouler, ro(u)lle f. L rotulus dimin.
of rota wheel]
rollaway adj. US (of a bed etc.) that can be removed on wheels or
roller n. 1 a a hard revolving cylinder for smoothing the ground,
spreading ink or paint, crushing or stamping, rolling up cloth
on, hanging a towel on, etc., used alone or as a rotating part
of a machine. b a cylinder for diminishing friction when moving
a heavy object. 2 a small cylinder on which hair is rolled for
setting. 3 a long swelling wave. 4 (also roller bandage) a
long surgical bandage rolled up for convenient application. 5 a
kind of tumbler-pigeon. 6 a any brilliantly plumaged bird of
the family Coraciidae, with characteristic tumbling
display-flight. b a breed of canary with a trilling song.
Ьroller bearing a bearing like a ball-bearing but with small
cylinders instead of balls. roller-coaster n. a switchback at
a fair etc. --adj. that goes up and down, or changes, suddenly
and repeatedly. --v.intr. (or roller-coast) go up and down or
change in this way. roller-skate see SKATE(1). roller-skater a
person who roller-skates. roller towel a towel with the ends
joined, hung on a roller.
n. a ball-point pen using thinner ink than other ball-points.
rollick v. & n. --v.intr. (esp. as rollicking adj.) be jovial or
exuberant, indulge in high spirits, revel. --n. 1 exuberant
gaiety. 2 a spree or escapade. [19th-c., prob. dial.: perh. f.
ROMP + FROLIC]
rollmop n. a rolled uncooked pickled herring fillet. [G Rollmops]
roly-poly n. & adj. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 (also roly-poly pudding) a
pudding made of a strip of suet pastry covered with jam etc.,
formed into a roll, and boiled or baked. 2 US a tumbler toy. 3
Austral. a bushy plant, esp. Salsola kali, that breaks off and
is rolled by the wind. --adj. (usu. of a child) podgy, plump.
[prob. formed on ROLL]
ROM n. Computing read-only memory. [abbr.]
Rom n. (pl. Roma) a male gypsy. [Romany, = man, husband]
Rom. abbr. Romans (New Testament).
rom. abbr. roman (type).
Romaic n. & adj. --n. the vernacular language of modern Greece.
--adj. of or relating to this language. [Gk Rhomaikos Roman
(used esp. of the Eastern Empire)]
romaine n. US a cos lettuce. [F, fem. of romain (as ROMAN)]
romaji n. a system of Romanized spelling used to transliterate
Roman adj. & n. --adj. 1 a of ancient Rome or its territory or
people. b archaic of its language. 2 of medieval or modern
Rome. 3 of papal Rome, esp. = ROMAN CATHOLIC. 4 of a kind
ascribed to the early Romans (Roman honesty; Roman virtue). 5
surviving from a period of Roman rule (Roman road). 6 (roman)
(of type) of a plain upright kind used in ordinary print. 7 (of
the alphabet etc.) based on the ancient Roman system with
letters A-Z. --n. 1 a a citizen of the ancient Roman Republic
or Empire. b a soldier of the Roman Empire. 2 a citizen of
modern Rome. 3 = ROMAN CATHOLIC. 4 (roman) roman type. 5 (in
pl.) the Christians of ancient Rome. ЬHoly Roman Empire the
Western part of the Roman Empire as revived by Charlemagne in
800. Roman candle a firework discharging a series of flaming
coloured balls and sparks. Roman Empire hist. that established
by Augustus in 27 BC and divided by Theodosius in AD 395 into
the Western or Latin and Eastern or Greek Empire. Roman holiday
enjoyment derived from others' discomfiture. Roman law the
law-code developed by the ancient Romans and forming the basis
of many modern codes. Roman nose one with a high bridge; an
aquiline nose. roman numeral any of the Roman letters
representing numbers: I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D =
500, M = 1000. [ME f. OF Romain (n. & adj.) f. L Romanus f.
n. (pl. romans-…-clef pronunc. same) a novel in which real
persons or events appear with invented names. [F, = novel with
adj. & n. --adj. of the part of the Christian Church
acknowledging the Pope as its head. --n. a member of this
Church. ЬЬRoman Catholicism n. [17th-c. transl. L (Ecclesia)
Romana Catholica (et Apostolica), app. orig. as a conciliatory
term: see ROMAN, CATHOLIC]
romance n., adj., & v. --n. also disp. 1 an atmosphere or tendency
characterized by a sense of remoteness from or idealization of
everyday life. 2 a a prevailing sense of wonder or mystery
surrounding the mutual attraction in a love affair. b
sentimental or idealized love. c a love affair. 3 a a literary
genre with romantic love or highly imaginative unrealistic
episodes forming the central theme. b a work of this genre. 4
a medieval tale, usu. in verse, of some hero of chivalry, of the
kind common in the Romance languages. 5 a exaggeration or
picturesque falsehood. b an instance of this. 6 (Romance) the
languages descended from Latin regarded collectively. 7 Mus. a
short informal piece. --adj. (Romance) of any of the languages
descended from Latin (French, Italian, Spanish, etc.). --v. 1
intr. exaggerate or distort the truth, esp. fantastically. 2
tr. court, woo. [ME f. OF romanz, -ans, -ance, ult. f. L
romancer n. 1 a writer of romances, esp. in the medieval period. 2 a
liar who resorts to fantasy.
n. & adj. --n. a style of architecture prevalent in Europe c.
900-1200, with massive vaulting and round arches (cf. NORMAN).
--adj. of the Romanesque style of architecture. [F f. roman
n. (pl. romans-fleuves pronunc. same) 1 a novel featuring the
leisurely description of the lives of members of a family etc.
2 a sequence of self-contained novels. [F, = river novel]
Romanian n. & adj. (also Rumanian) --n. 1 a a native or national of
Romania in E. Europe. b a person of Romanian descent. 2 the
language of Romania. --adj. of or relating to Romania or its
people or language.
Romanic n. & adj. --n. = ROMANCE n. 6. --adj. 1 a of or relating to
Romance. b Romance-speaking. 2 descended from the ancient
Romans or inheriting aspects of their social or political life.
[L Romanicus (as ROMAN)]
Romanism n. Roman Catholicism.
Romanist n. 1 a student of Roman history or law or of the Romance
languages. 2 a a supporter of Roman Catholicism. b a Roman
Catholic. [mod.L Romanista (as ROMAN)]
romanize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 make Roman or Roman Catholic in character.
2 put into the Roman alphabet or into roman type.
Romano n. a strong-tasting hard cheese, orig. made in Italy . [It.,=
Romano- comb. form Roman; Roman and (Romano-British).
Romansh n. & adj. (also Rumansh) --n. the Rhaeto-Romanic dialects, esp.
as spoken in the Swiss canton of Grisons. --adj. of these
dialects. [Romansh Ruman(t)sch, Roman(t)sch f. med.L romanice
(adv.) (as ROMANCE)]
romantic adj. & n. --adj. 1 of, characterized by, or suggestive of an
idealized, sentimental, or fantastic view of reality; remote
from experience (a romantic picture; a romantic setting). 2
inclined towards or suggestive of romance in love (a romantic
woman; a romantic evening; romantic words). 3 (of a person)
imaginative, visionary, idealistic. 4 a (of style in art,
music, etc.) concerned more with feeling and emotion than with
form and aesthetic qualities; preferring grandeur or
picturesqueness to finish and proportion. b (also Romantic) of
or relating to the 18th-19th-c. romantic movement or style in
the European arts. 5 (of a project etc.) unpractical,
fantastic. --n. 1 a romantic person. 2 a romanticist.
ЬЬromantically adv. [romant tale of chivalry etc. f. OF f.
n. (also Romanticism) adherence to a romantic style in art,
n. (also Romanticist) a writer or artist of the romantic school.
v. (also -ise) 1 tr. a make or render romantic or unreal (a
romanticized account of war). b describe or portray in a
romantic fashion. 2 intr. indulge in romantic thoughts or
actions. ЬЬromanticization n.
Romany n. & adj. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 a Gypsy. 2 the Indo-European
language of the Gypsies. --adj. 1 of or concerning Gypsies. 2
of the Romany language. [Romany Romani fem. and pl. of Romano
Romeo n. (pl. -os) a passionate male lover or seducer. [the hero of
Shakesp. Romeo and Juliet]
Romish adj. usu. derog. Roman Catholic.
romneya n. any shrub of the genus Romneya, bearing poppy-like flowers.
[T. Romney Robinson, Brit. astronomer d. 1882]
romp v. & n. --v.intr. 1 play about roughly and energetically. 2
(foll. by along, past, etc.) colloq. proceed without effort.
--n. a spell of romping or boisterous play. Ьromp in (or home)
colloq. finish as the easy winner. ЬЬrompingly adv. rompy
adj. (rompier, rompiest). [perh. var. of RAMP(1)]
romper n. (usu. in pl.) (also romper suit) a young child's one-piece
garment covering legs and trunk.
rondavel n. S.Afr. 1 a round tribal hut usu. with a thatched conical
roof. 2 a similar building, esp. as a holiday cottage, or as an
outbuilding on a farm etc. [Afrik. rondawel]
ronde n. 1 a dance in which the dancers move in a circle. 2 a course
of talk, activity, etc. [F, fem. of rond ROUND adj.]
rondeau n. (pl. rondeaux pronunc. same or) a poem of ten or thirteen
lines with only two rhymes throughout and with the opening words
used twice as a refrain. [F, earlier rondel: see RONDEL]
rondel n. a rondeau, esp. one of special form. [ME f. OF f. rond
ROUND: cf. ROUNDEL]
rondo n. (pl. -os) Mus. a form with a recurring leading theme,
often found in the final movement of a sonata or concerto etc.
[It. f. F rondeau: see RONDEAU]
rone n. Sc. a gutter for carrying off rain from a roof.
ronin n. hist. (in feudal Japan) a lordless wandering samurai; an
r”ntgen etc. var. of ROENTGEN etc.
roo n. (also 'roo) Austral. colloq. a kangaroo. [abbr.]
rood n. 1 a crucifix, esp. one raised on a screen or beam at the
entrance to the chancel. 2 a quarter of an acre. Ьrood-loft a
gallery on top of a rood-screen. rood-screen a wooden or stone
carved screen separating nave and chancel. [OE rod]
roof n. & v. --n. (pl. roofs or disp. rooves) 1 a the upper
covering of a building, usu. supported by its walls. b the top
of a covered vehicle. c the top inner surface of an oven,
refrigerator, etc. 2 the overhead rock in a cave or mine etc.
3 the branches or the sky etc. overhead. 4 (of prices etc.) the
upper limit or ceiling. --v.tr. 1 (often foll. by in, over)
cover with or as with a roof. 2 be the roof of. Ьgo through
the roof colloq. (of prices etc.) reach extreme or unexpected
heights. hit (or go through or raise) the roof colloq. become
very angry. roof-garden a garden on the flat roof of a
building. roof of the mouth the palate. a roof over one's head
somewhere to live. roof-rack a framework for carrying luggage
etc. on the roof of a vehicle. roof-tree the ridge-piece of a
roof. under one roof in the same building. under a person's
roof in a person's house (esp. with ref. to hospitality).
ЬЬroofed adj. (also in comb.). roofless adj. [OE hrof]
roofage n. the expanse of a roof or roofs.
roofer n. a person who constructs or repairs roofs.
roofing n. 1 material for constructing a roof. 2 the process of
constructing a roof or roofs.
roofscape n. a scene or view of roofs.
rooftop n. 1 the outer surface of a roof. 2 (esp. in pl.) the level of
rooibos n. S.Afr. 1 an evergreen shrub of the genus Aspalathus, with
leaves used to make tea. 2 a shrub or small tree, Combretum
apiculatum, with spikes of scented yellow flowers. [Afrik., =
rooinek n. S.Afr. sl. offens. a British or English-speaking South
African. [Afrik., = red-neck]
rook(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a black European and Asiatic bird, Corvus
frugilegus, of the crow family, nesting in colonies in
tree-tops. 2 a sharper, esp. at dice or cards; a person who
lives off inexperienced gamblers etc. --v.tr. 1 charge (a
customer) extortionately. 2 win money from (a person) at cards
etc. esp. by swindling. [OE hroc]
rook(2) n. a chess piece with its top in the shape of a battlement.
[ME f. OF roc(k) ult. f. Arab. rukk, orig. sense uncert.]
rookery n. (pl. -ies) 1 a a colony of rooks. b a clump of trees
having rooks' nests. 2 a colony of sea birds (esp. penguins) or
rookie n. sl. 1 a new recruit, esp. in the army or police. 2 US a
new member of a sports team. [corrupt. of recruit, after
room n. & v. --n. 1 a space that is or might be occupied by
something; capaciousness or ability to accommodate contents (it
takes up too much room; there is plenty of room; we have no room
here for idlers). b space in or on (houseroom; shelf-room). 2
a a part of a building enclosed by walls or partitions, floor
and ceiling. b (in pl.) a set of these occupied by a person or
family; apartments or lodgings. c persons present in a room
(the room fell silent). 3 (in comb.) a room or area for a
specified purpose (auction-room). 4 (foll. by for, or to +
infin.) opportunity or scope (room to improve things; no room
for dispute). --v.intr. US have a room or rooms; lodge, board.
Ьmake room (often foll. by for) clear a space (for a person or
thing) by removal of others; make way, yield place. not (or no)
room to swing a cat a very confined space. rooming-house a
lodging house. room-mate a person occupying the same room as
another. room service (in a hotel etc.) service of food or
drink taken to a guest's room. ЬЬ-roomed adj. (in comb.).
roomful n. (pl. -fuls). [OE rum f. Gmc]
roomer n. US a lodger occupying a room or rooms without board.
roomette n. US 1 a private single compartment in a sleeping-car. 2 a
small bedroom for letting.
roomie n. US colloq. a room-mate.
roomy adj. (roomier, roomiest) having much room, spacious. ЬЬroomily
adv. roominess n.
roost(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a branch or other support on which a bird
perches, esp. a place where birds regularly settle to sleep. 2
a place offering temporary sleeping-accommodation. --v. 1
intr. a (of a bird) settle for rest or sleep. b (of a person)
stay for the night. 2 tr. provide with a sleeping-place. Ьcome
home to roost (of a scheme etc.) recoil unfavourably upon the
originator. [OE hrost]
roost(2) n. a tidal race in the Orkneys and Shetlands. [ON r”st]
rooster n. esp. US a domestic cock.
root(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a the part of a plant normally below the
ground, attaching it to the earth and conveying nourishment to
it from the soil. b (in pl.) such a part divided into branches
or fibres. c the corresponding organ of an epiphyte; the part
attaching ivy to its support. d the permanent underground stock
of a plant. e any small plant with a root for transplanting. 2
a any plant, e.g. a turnip or carrot, with an edible root. b
such a root. 3 (in pl.) the sources of or reasons for one's
long-standing emotional attachment to a place, community, etc.
4 a the embedded part of a bodily organ or structure, e.g. hair,
tooth, nail, etc. b the part of a thing attaching it to a
greater or more fundamental whole. c (in pl.) the base of a
mountain etc. 5 a the basic cause, source, or origin (love of
money is the root of all evil; has its roots in the distant
past). b (attrib.) (of an idea etc.) from which the rest
originated. 6 the basis of something, its means of continuance
or growth (has its root(s) in selfishness; has no root in the
nature of things). 7 the essential substance or nature of
something (get to the root of things). 8 Math. a a number or
quantity that when multiplied by itself a usu. specified number
of times gives a specified number or quantity (the cube root of
eight is two). b a square root. c a value of an unknown
quantity satisfying a given equation. 9 Philol. any ultimate
unanalysable element of language; a basis, not necessarily
surviving as a word in itself, on which words are made by the
addition of prefixes or suffixes or by other modification. 10
Mus. the fundamental note of a chord. 11 Bibl. a scion, an
offshoot (there shall be a root of Jesse). 12 Austral. & NZ
coarse sl. a an act of sexual intercourse. b a (female) sexual
partner. --v. 1 a intr. take root or grow roots. b tr. cause
to do this (take care to root them firmly). 2 tr. a fix
firmly; establish (fear rooted him to the spot). b (as rooted
adj.) firmly established (her affection was deeply rooted;
rooted objection to). 3 tr. (usu. foll. by out, up) drag or dig
up by the roots. 4 tr. Austral. coarse sl. a have sexual
intercourse with (a woman). b exhaust, frustrate. Ьpull up by
the roots 1 uproot. 2 eradicate, destroy. put down roots 1
begin to draw nourishment from the soil. 2 become settled or
established. root and branch thorough(ly), radical(ly). root
beer US an effervescent drink made from an extract of roots.
root-mean-square Math. the square root of the arithmetic mean
of the squares of a set of values. root out find and get rid
of. root sign Math. = radical sign. strike at the root (or
roots) of set about destroying. strike (or take) root 1 begin
to grow and draw nourishment from the soil. 2 become fixed or
established. ЬЬrootage n. rootedness n. rootless adj.
rootlet n. rootlike adj. rooty adj. [OE rot f. ON rўt, rel.
to WORT & L radix: see RADIX]
root(2) v. 1 a intr. (of an animal, esp. a pig) turn up the ground with
the snout, beak, etc., in search of food. b tr. (foll. by up)
turn up (the ground) by rooting. 2 a intr. (foll. by around,
in, etc.) rummage. b tr. (foll. by out or up) find or extract
by rummaging. 3 intr. (foll. by for) US sl. encourage by
applause or support. ЬЬrooter n. (in sense 3). [earlier wroot
f. OE wrotan & ON rўta: rel. to OE wrot snout]
rootle v.intr. & tr. Brit. = ROOT(2) 1, 2. [ROOT(2)]
rootstock n. 1 a rhizome. 2 a plant into which a graft is inserted. 3 a
primary form from which offshoots have arisen.
rooves see ROOF.
rope n. & v. --n. 1 a stout cord made by twisting together strands
of hemp, sisal, flax, cotton, nylon, wire, or similar material.
b a piece of this. c US a lasso. 2 (foll. by of) a quantity of
onions, ova, or pearls strung together. 3 (in pl., prec. by
the) a the conditions in some sphere of action (know the ropes;
show a person the ropes). b the ropes enclosing a boxing- or
wrestling-ring or cricket ground. 4 (prec. by the) a a halter
for hanging a person. b execution by hanging. --v. 1 tr.
fasten, secure, or catch with rope. 2 tr. (usu. foll. by off,
in) enclose (a space) with rope. 3 Mountaineering a tr. connect
(a party) with a rope; attach (a person) to a rope. b (absol.)
put on a rope. c intr. (foll. by down, up) climb down or up
using a rope. Ьgive a person plenty of rope (or enough rope to
hang himself or herself) give a person enough freedom of action
to bring about his or her own downfall. on the rope
Mountaineering roped together. on the ropes 1 Boxing forced
against the ropes by the opponent's attack. 2 near defeat.
rope in persuade to take part. rope into persuade to take part
in (was roped into doing the washing-up). rope-ladder two long
ropes connected by short crosspieces, used as a ladder.
rope-moulding a moulding cut spirally in imitation of
rope-strands. rope of sand delusive security. rope's end hist.
a short piece of rope used to flog (formerly, esp. a sailor)
with. rope-walk a long piece of ground where ropes are made.
rope-walker a performer on a tightrope. rope-walking the action
of performing on a tightrope. rope-yard a rope-making
establishment. rope-yarn 1 material obtained by unpicking
rope-strands, or used for making them. 2 a piece of this. 3 a
mere trifle. [OE rap f. Gmc]
ropeable adj. (also ropable) 1 capable of being roped. 2 Austral. & NZ
n. skill in rope-walking or climbing with ropes.
ropeway n. a cable railway.
roping n. a set or arrangement of ropes.
ropy adj. (also ropey) (ropier, ropiest) 1 Brit. colloq. poor in
quality. 2 (of wine, bread, etc.) forming viscous or gelatinous
threads. 3 like a rope. ЬЬropily adv. ropiness n.
roque n. US croquet played on a hard court surrounded by a bank.
[alt. form of ROQUET]
Roquefort n. propr. 1 a soft blue cheese made from ewes' milk. 2 a
salad-dressing made of this. [Roquefort in S. France]
roquet v. & n. Croquet --v. (roqueted, roqueting) 1 tr. a cause
one's ball to strike (another ball). b (of a ball) strike
(another). 2 intr. strike another ball thus. --n. an instance
of roqueting. [app. arbitr. f. CROQUET v., orig. used in the
ro-ro adj. roll-on roll-off. [abbr.]
rorqual n. any of various whales of the family Balaenopteridae esp.
Balaenoptera musculus, having a dorsal fin. Also called
fin-back, fin whale. [F f. Norw. rнyrkval f. OIcel. reythr
the specific name + hvalr WHALE(1)]
n. Psychol. a type of personality test in which a standard set
of ink-blots is presented one by one to the subject, who is
asked to describe what they suggest or resemble. [H.
Rorschach, Swiss psychiatrist d. 1922]
rort n. Austral. sl. 1 a trick, a fraud; a dishonest practice. 2
a wild party. [back-form. f. RORTY]
rosace n. 1 a rose-window. 2 a rose-shaped ornament or design. [F f.
L rosaceus: see ROSACEOUS]
rosaceous adj. Bot. of the large plant family Rosaceae, which includes
the rose. [L rosaceus f. rosa rose]
rosaline n. a variety of fine needlepoint or pillow lace. [prob. F]
n. 1 a an organic base derived from aniline. b a red dye
obtained from this. 2 fuchsine. [ROSE(1) + ANILINE]
rosarian n. a person who cultivates roses, esp. professionally. [L
rosarium n. a rose-garden. [L (as ROSARY)]
rosary n. (pl. -ies) 1 RC Ch. a a form of devotion in which five (or
fifteen) decades of Hail Marys are repeated, each decade
preceded by an Our Father and followed by a Glory Be. b a
string of 55 (or 165) beads for keeping count in this. c a book
containing this devotion. 2 a similar form of bead-string used
in other religions. 3 a rose-garden or rose-bed. [ME f. L
rosarium rose-garden, neut. of rosarius (as ROSE(1))]
roscoe n. US sl. a gun, esp. a pistol or revolver. [the name Roscoe]
rose(1) n., adj., & v. --n. 1 any prickly bush or shrub of the genus
Rosa, bearing usu. fragrant flowers generally of a red, pink,
yellow, or white colour. 2 this flower. 3 any flowering plant
resembling this (Christmas rose; rock rose). 4 a a light
crimson colour, pink. b (usu. in pl.) a rosy complexion (roses
in her cheeks). 5 a a representation of the flower in heraldry
or decoration (esp. as the national emblem of England). b a
rose-shaped design, e.g. on a compass card or on the sound-hole
of a lute etc. 6 the sprinkling-nozzle of a watering-can or
hose. 7 a circular mounting on a ceiling through which the
wiring of an electric light passes. 8 a a rose diamond. b a
rose-window. 9 (in pl.) used in various phrases to express
favourable circumstances, ease, success, etc. (roses all the
way; everything's roses). 10 an excellent person or thing, esp.
a beautiful woman (English rose; rose between two thorns; not
the rose but near it). --adj. = rose-coloured 1. --v.tr. (esp.
as rosed adj.) make (one's face, a snow-slope, etc.) rosy.
Ьrose-apple 1 a tropical tree of the genus Eugenia, cultivated
for its foliage and fragrant fruit. 2 this fruit. rose-bush a
rose plant. rose-chafer a green or copper-coloured beetle,
Cetonia aurata, frequenting roses. rose-colour the colour of a
pale red rose, warm pink. rose-coloured 1 of rose-colour. 2
optimistic, sanguine, cheerful (takes rose-coloured views).
rose comb a flat fleshy comb of a fowl. rose-cut cut as a rose
diamond. rose diamond a hemispherical diamond with the curved
part cut in triangular facets. rose-engine an appendage to a
lathe for engraving curved patterns. rose-fish a bright red
food fish, Sebastes marinus, of the N. Atlantic. rose geranium
a pink-flowered sweet-scented pelargonium, Pelargonium
graveolus. rose-hip = HIP(2). rose-leaf (pl. -leaves) 1 a
petal of a rose. 2 a leaf of a rose. rose madder a pale pink
pigment. rose-mallow = HIBISCUS. rose nail a nail with a head
shaped like a rose diamond. rose of Jericho a resurrection
plant, Anastatica hierochuntica. rose of Sharon 1 a species of
hypericum, Hypericum calycinum, with dense foliage and
golden-yellow flowers: also called AARON'S BEARD. 2 Bibl. a
flowering plant of unknown identity. rose-pink = rose-colour,
rose-coloured. rose-point a point lace with a design of roses.
rose-red adj. red like a rose, rose-coloured. --n. this
colour. rose-root a yellow-flowered plant, Rhodiola rosea, with
roots smelling like a rose when dried or bruised. rose-tinted =
rose-coloured. rose-tree a rose plant, esp. a standard rose.
rose-water perfume made from roses. rose-window a circular
window, usu. with roselike or spokelike tracery. see through
rose-coloured (or -tinted ) spectacles regard (circumstances
etc.) with unfounded favour or optimism. under the rose in
confidence; under pledge of secrecy. Wars of the Roses hist.
the 15th-c. civil wars between Yorkists with a white rose as an
emblem and Lancastrians with a red rose. ЬЬroseless adj.
roselike adj. [ME f. OE rose f. L rosa]
rose(2) past of RISE.
ros‚ n. any light pink wine, coloured by only brief contact with red
grape-skins. [F, = pink]
roseate adj. 1 = rose-coloured (see ROSE(1)). 2 having a partly pink
plumage (roseate spoonbill; roseate tern). [L roseus rosy (as
rosebay n. an oleander, rhododendron, or willow-herb.
rosebowl n. a bowl for displaying cut roses.
rosebud n. 1 a bud of a rose. 2 a pretty young woman.
rosella n. 1 any brightly coloured Australian parakeet of the genus
Platycercus. 2 Austral. an easily-shorn sheep. [corrupt. of
Rosehill, NSW, where the bird was first found]
n. the art of painting wooden furniture etc. with flower
motifs. [Norw., = rose painting]
rosemary n. an evergreen fragrant shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, with
leaves used as a culinary herb, in perfumery, etc., and taken as
an emblem of remembrance. [ME, earlier rosmarine ult. f. L ros
marinus f. ros dew + marinus MARINE, with assim. to ROSE(1) and
Mary name of the Virgin]
roseola n. 1 a rosy rash in measles and similar diseases. 2 a mild
febrile disease of infants. ЬЬroseolar adj. roseolous adj.
[mod. var. of RUBEOLA f. L roseus rose-coloured]
rosery n. (pl. -ies) a rose-garden.
n. a key to previously unattainable understanding. [a stone
found near Rosetta in Egypt, with a trilingual inscription of
the 2nd c. BC in Egyptian hieroglyphs, demotic, and Greek,
important in the decipherment of hieroglyphs]
rosette n. 1 a rose-shaped ornament made usu. of ribbon and worn esp.
as a supporter's badge, or as an award or the symbol of an award
in a competition, esp. by a prizewinning animal. 2 Archit. a a
carved or moulded ornament resembling or representing a rose. b
a rose-window. 3 an object or symbol or arrangement of parts
resembling a rose. 4 Biol. a a roselike cluster of parts. b
markings resembling a rose. 5 a rose diamond. ЬЬrosetted adj.
[F dimin. of rose ROSE(1)]
rosewood n. any of several fragrant close-grained woods used in making
n. (also Rosh Hashanah) the Jewish New Year. [Heb., =
beginning (lit. 'head') of the year]
Roshi n. (pl. Roshis) the spiritual leader of a community of Zen
Buddhist monks. [Jap.]
n. & adj. --n. 1 hist. a member of a 17th-18th-c. society
devoted to the study of metaphysical and mystical lore (said to
have been founded in 1484 by Christian Rosenkreuz). 2 a member
of any of several later organizations deriving from this.
--adj. of or relating to the Rosicrucians. ЬЬRosicrucianism n.
[mod.L rosa crucis (or crux), as Latinization of G Rosenkreuz]
rosin n. & v. --n. resin, esp. the solid residue after distillation
of oil of turpentine from crude turpentine. --v.tr. (rosined,
rosining) 1 rub (esp. the bow of a violin etc.) with rosin. 2
smear or seal up with rosin. ЬЬrosiny adj. [ME, alt. f.
rosolio n. (also rosoglio) (pl. -os) a sweet cordial of spirits,
sugar, and flavouring. [It., f. mod.L ros solis dew of the sun]
RoSPA abbr. (in the UK) Royal Society for the Prevention of
roster n. & v. --n. a list or plan showing turns of duty or leave for
individuals or groups esp. of a military force. --v.tr. place
on a roster. [Du. rooster list, orig. gridiron f. roosten
ROAST, with ref. to its parallel lines]
rostra pl. of ROSTRUM.
rostral adj. 1 Zool. & Bot. of or on the rostrum. 2 Anat. a nearer
the hypophysial area in the early embryo. b nearer the region
of the nose and mouth in post-embryonic life. 3 (of a column
etc.) adorned with the beaks of ancient war-galleys or with
representations of these. ЬЬrostrally adv.
rostrated adj. 1 Zool. & Bot. having or ending in a rostrum. 2 = ROSTRAL
3. [L rostratus (as ROSTRUM)]
rostrum n. (pl. rostra or rostrums) 1 a a platform for public
speaking. b a conductor's platform facing the orchestra. c a
similar platform for other purposes, e.g. for supporting a film
or television camera. 2 Zool. & Bot. a beak, stiff snout, or
beaklike part, esp. of an insect or arachnid. 3 Rom. Antiq. the
beak of a war-galley. ЬЬ(all in sense 2) rostrate adj.
rostriferous adj. rostriform adj. [L, = beak f. rodere ros-
gnaw: orig. rostra (pl., in sense 1a) in the Roman forum
adorned with beaks of captured galleys]
rosy adj. (rosier, rosiest) 1 coloured like a pink or red rose (esp.
of the complexion as indicating good health, of a blush, wine,
the sky, light, etc.). 2 optimistic, hopeful, cheerful (a rosy
future; a rosy attitude to life). ЬЬrosily adv. rosiness n.
rot v., n., & int. --v. (rotted, rotting) 1 intr. a (of animal or
vegetable matter) lose its original form by the chemical action
of bacteria, fungi, etc.; decay. b (foll. by off, away) crumble
or drop from a stem etc. through decomposition. 2 intr. a (of
society, institutions, etc.) gradually perish from lack of
vigour or use. b (of a prisoner etc.) waste away (left to rot
in prison); (of a person) languish. 3 tr. cause to rot, make
rotten. 4 tr. Brit. sl. tease, abuse, denigrate. 5 intr.
Brit. sl. joke. --n. 1 the process or state of rotting. 2
sl. nonsense; an absurd or foolish statement, argument, or
proposal. 3 a sudden series of (usu. unaccountable) failures; a
rapid decline in standards etc. (a rot set in; we must try to
stop the rot). 4 (often prec. by the) a virulent liver-disease
of sheep. --int. expressing incredulity or ridicule. Ьrot-gut
sl. cheap harmful alcoholic liquor. [OE rotian (v.): (n.) ME,
perh. f. Scand.: cf. Icel., Norw. rot]
rota n. 1 esp. Brit. a list of persons acting, or duties to be
done, in rotation; a roster. 2 (Rota) RC Ch. the supreme
ecclesiastical and secular court. [L, = wheel]
Rotarian n. & adj. --n. a member of Rotary. --adj. of Rotary. [ROTARY
rotary adj. & n. --adj. acting by rotation (rotary drill; rotary
pump). --n. (pl. -ies) 1 a rotary machine. 2 US a traffic
roundabout. 3 (Rotary) (in full Rotary International) a
worldwide charitable society of businessmen, orig. named from
members entertaining in rotation. ЬRotary club a local branch
of Rotary. rotary-wing (of an aircraft) deriving lift from
rotary aerofoils. [med.L rotarius (as ROTA)]
rotate(1) v. 1 intr. & tr. move round an axis or centre, revolve. 2 a
tr. take or arrange in rotation. b intr. act or take place in
rotation (the chairmanship will rotate). ЬЬrotatable adj.
rotative adj. rotatory adj. [L rotare f. rota wheel]
rotate(2) adj. Bot. wheel-shaped. [formed as ROTA]
rotation n. 1 the act or an instance of rotating or being rotated. 2 a
recurrence; a recurrent series or period; a regular succession
of various members of a group in office etc. 3 a system of
growing different crops in regular order to avoid exhausting the
soil. ЬЬrotational adj. rotationally adv. [L rotatio]
rotator n. 1 a machine or device for causing something to rotate. 2
Anat. a muscle that rotates a limb etc. 3 a revolving apparatus
or part. [L (as ROTATE(1))]
Rotavator n. (also Rotovator) propr. a machine with a rotating blade for
breaking up or tilling the soil. ЬЬrotavate v.tr. [ROTARY +
rote n. (usu. prec. by by) mechanical or habitual repetition (with
ref. to acquiring knowledge). [ME: orig. unkn.]
rotenone n. a toxic crystalline substance obtained from the roots of
derris and other plants, used as an insecticide. [Jap. rotenon
f. roten derris]
rotifer n. any minute aquatic animal of the phylum Rotifera, with
rotatory organs used in swimming and feeding. [mod.L rotiferus
f. L rota wheel + -fer bearing]
n. 1 a restaurant etc. where meat is roasted or barbecued. 2 a
cooking appliance with a rotating spit for roasting and
barbecuing meat. [F r“tisserie (as ROAST)]
n. 1 a printing system using a rotary press with intaglio
cylinders, usu. running at high speed. 2 a sheet etc. printed
with this system. [G Rotogravur (name of a company) assim. to
rotor n. 1 a rotary part of a machine, esp. in the distributor of an
internal-combustion engine. 2 a set of radiating aerofoils
round a hub on a helicopter, providing lift when rotated.
[irreg. for ROTATOR]
Rotovator var. of ROTAVATOR.
rotten adj. (rottener, rottenest) 1 rotting or rotted; falling to
pieces or liable to break or tear from age or use. 2 morally,
socially, or politically corrupt. 3 sl. a disagreeable,
unpleasant (had a rotten time). b (of a plan etc.) ill-advised,
unsatisfactory (a rotten idea). c disagreeably ill (feel rotten
today). Ьrotten borough hist. (before 1832) an English borough
able to elect an MP though having very few voters. rotten-stone
decomposed siliceous limestone used as a powder for polishing
metals. ЬЬrottenly adv. rottenness n. [ME f. ON rotinn, rel.
to ROT, RET]
rotter n. esp. Brit. sl. an objectionable, unpleasant, or
reprehensible person. [ROT]
n. 1 a dog of a tall black-and-tan breed. 2 this breed. [G f.
Rottweil in SW Germany]
rotund adj. 1 a circular, round. b (of a person) large and plump,
podgy. 2 (of speech, literary style, etc.) sonorous,
grandiloquent. ЬЬrotundity n. rotundly adv. [L rotundus f.
rotunda n. 1 a building with a circular ground-plan, esp. one with a
dome. 2 a circular hall or room. [earlier rotonda f. It.
rotonda (camera) round (chamber), fem. of rotondo round (as
rouble n. (also ruble) the chief monetary unit of the USSR. [F f.
rou‚ n. a debauchee, esp. an elderly one; a rake. [F, past part. of
rouer break on wheel, = one deserving this]
rouge n. & v. --n. 1 a red powder or cream used for colouring the
cheeks. 2 powdered ferric oxide etc. as a polishing agent esp.
for metal. --v. 1 tr. colour with rouge. 2 intr. a apply
rouge to one's cheeks. b become red, blush. Ьrouge-et-noir a
gambling game using a table with red and black marks, on which
players place stakes. [F, = red, f. L rubeus, rel. to RED]
rough adj., adv., n., & v. --adj. 1 a having an uneven or irregular
surface, not smooth or level or polished. b Tennis applied to
the side of a racket from which the twisted gut projects. 2 (of
ground, country, etc.) having many bumps, obstacles, etc. 3 a
hairy, shaggy. b (of cloth) coarse in texture. 4 a (of a
person or behaviour) not mild or quiet or gentle; boisterous,
unrestrained (rough manners; rough play). b (of language etc.)
coarse, indelicate. c (of wine etc.) sharp or harsh in taste.
5 (of the sea, weather, etc.) violent, stormy. 6 disorderly,
riotous (a rough part of town). 7 harsh, insensitive,
inconsiderate (rough words; rough treatment). 8 a unpleasant,
severe, demanding (had a rough time). b unfortunate,
unreasonable, undeserved (had rough luck). c (foll. by on) hard
or unfair towards. 9 lacking finish, elaboration, comfort, etc.
(rough lodgings; a rough welcome). 10 incomplete, rudimentary
(a rough attempt; a rough makeshift). 11 a inexact,
approximate, preliminary (a rough estimate; a rough sketch). b
(of stationery etc.) for use in writing rough notes etc. 12
colloq. a ill, unwell (am feeling rough). b depressed,
dejected. --adv. in a rough manner (the land should be ploughed
rough; play rough). --n. 1 (usu. prec. by the) a hard part or
aspect of life; hardship (take the rough with the smooth). 2
rough ground (over rough and smooth). 3 a rough or violent
person (met a bunch of roughs). 4 Golf rough ground off the
fairway between tee and green. 5 an unfinished or provisional
or natural state (have written it in rough; shaped from the
rough). 6 (prec. by the) the general way or tendency (is true
in the rough). --v.tr. 1 (foll. by up) ruffle (feathers, hair,
etc.) by rubbing against the grain. 2 a (foll. by out) shape or
plan roughly. b (foll. by in) sketch roughly. 3 give the first
shaping to (a gun, lens, etc.). Ьrough-and-ready rough or crude
but effective; not elaborate or over-particular.
rough-and-tumble adj. irregular, scrambling, disorderly. --n.
a haphazard fight; a scuffle. rough breathing see BREATHING.
rough coat a first coat of plaster applied to a surface. rough
copy 1 a first or original draft. 2 a copy of a picture etc.
showing only the essential features. rough deal hard or unfair
treatment. rough diamond 1 an uncut diamond. 2 a person of
good nature but rough manners. rough-dry (-dries, -dried) dry
(clothes) without ironing. the rough edge (or side) of one's
tongue severe or harsh words. rough-handle treat or handle
roughly. rough-hew (past part. -hewed or -hewn) shape out
roughly; give crude form to. rough-hewn uncouth, unrefined.
rough house sl. a disturbance or row; boisterous play.
rough-house v. sl. 1 tr. handle (a person) roughly. 2 intr.
make a disturbance; act violently. rough it do without basic
comforts. rough justice 1 treatment that is approximately fair.
2 treatment that is not at all fair. rough passage 1 a crossing
over rough sea. 2 a difficult time or experience. rough ride a
difficult time or experience. rough-rider a person who breaks
in or can ride unbroken horses. rough stuff colloq. boisterous
or violent behaviour. rough tongue a habit of rudeness in
speaking. rough trade sl. a tough or sadistic element among
male homosexuals. rough up sl. treat (a person) with violence;
attack violently. rough work 1 preliminary or provisional work.
2 colloq. violence. 3 a task requiring the use of force. sleep
rough sleep outdoors, or not in a proper bed. ЬЬroughness n.
[OE ruh f. WG]
roughage n. 1 coarse material with a high fibre content, the part of
food which stimulates digestion. 2 coarse fodder. [ROUGH +
roughcast n., adj., & v. --n. plaster of lime and gravel, used on outside
walls. --adj. 1 (of a wall etc.) coated with roughcast. 2 (of
a plan etc.) roughly formed, preliminary. --v.tr. (past and
past part. -cast) 1 coat (a wall) with roughcast. 2 prepare (a
plan, essay, etc.) in outline.
roughen v.tr. & intr. make or become rough.
roughie n. dial. sl. 1 a rough; a hooligan. 2 Austral. a an
outsider. b an unfair or unreasonable act.
roughish adj. somewhat rough.
roughly adv. 1 in a rough manner. 2 approximately (roughly 20 people
attended). Ьroughly speaking in an approximate sense (it is,
roughly speaking, a square).
roughneck n. colloq. 1 a rough or rowdy person. 2 a worker on an oil
roughshod adj. (of a horse) having shoes with nail-heads projecting to
prevent slipping. Ьride roughshod over treat inconsiderately or
roughy n. (pl. -ies) Austral. & NZ a fish, Arripis georgianus, of the
perch family. [perh. f. ROUGH]
roulade n. 1 a dish cooked or served in the shape of a roll, esp. a
rolled piece of meat or sponge with a filling. 2 a florid
passage of runs etc. in solo vocal music, usu. sung to one
syllable. [F f. rouler to roll]
rouleau n. (pl. rouleaux or rouleaus) 1 a cylindrical packet of coins.
2 a coil or roll of ribbon etc., esp. as trimming. [F f. r“le
roulette n. 1 a gambling game using a table in which a ball is dropped
on to a revolving wheel with numbered compartments, players
betting on the number at which the ball comes to rest. 2 Math.
a curve generated by a point on a curve rolling on another. 3 a
a revolving toothed wheel used in engraving. b a similar wheel
for making perforations between postage stamps in a sheet.
ЬЬrouletted adj. (in sense 3b). [F, dimin. of rouelle f. LL
rotella dimin. of L rota wheel]
round adj., n., adv., prep., & v. --adj. 1 shaped like or
approximately like a circle, sphere, or cylinder; having a
convex or circular outline or surface; curved, not angular. 2
done with or involving circular motion. 3 a entire, continuous,
complete (a round dozen); fully expressed or developed; all
together, not broken or defective or scanty. b (of a sum of
money) considerable. 4 genuine, candid, outspoken; (of a
statement etc.) categorical, unmistakable. 5 (usu. attrib.)
(of a number) expressed for convenience or as an estimate in
fewer significant numerals or with a fraction removed (spent
њ297.32, or in round figures њ300). 6 a (of a style) flowing.
b (of a voice) not harsh. 7 Phonet. (of a vowel) pronounced
with rounded lips. --n. 1 a round object or form. 2 a a
revolving motion, a circular or recurring course (the earth in
its yearly round). b a regular recurring series of activities
or functions (one's daily round; a continuous round of
pleasure). c a recurring succession or series of meetings for
discussion etc. (a new round of talks on disarmament). 3 a a
fixed route on which things are regularly delivered (milk
round). b a route or sequence by which people or things are
regularly supervised or inspected (a watchman's round; a
doctor's rounds). 4 an allowance of something distributed or
measured out, esp.: a a single provision of drinks etc. to each
member of a group. b ammunition to fire one shot; the act of
firing this. 5 a a slice across a loaf of bread. b a sandwich
made from whole slices of bread. c a thick disc of beef cut
from the haunch as a joint. 6 each of a set or series, a
sequence of actions by each member of a group in turn, esp. a
one spell of play in a game etc. b one stage in a competition.
7 Golf the playing of all the holes in a course once. 8 Archery
a fixed number of arrows shot from a fixed distance. 9 (the
round) a form of sculpture in which the figure stands clear of
any ground (cf. RELIEF 6a). 10 Mus. a canon for three or more
unaccompanied voices singing at the same pitch or in octaves.
11 (in pl.) Mil. a a watch that goes round inspecting sentries.
b a circuit made by this. 12 a rung of a ladder. 13 (foll. by
of) the circumference, bounds, or extent of (in all the round of
Nature). --adv. 1 with circular motion (wheels go round). 2
with return to the starting-point or an earlier state (summer
soon comes round). 3 a with rotation, or change to an opposite
position (he turned round to look). b with change to an
opposite opinion etc. (they were angry but I soon won them
round). 4 to, at, or affecting all or many points of a
circumference or an area or the members of a company etc. (tea
was then handed round; may I look round?). 5 in every direction
from a centre or within a radius (spread destruction round;
everyone for a mile round). 6 by a circuitous way (will you
jump over or go round?; go a long way round). 7 a to a person's
house etc. (ask him round; will be round soon). b to a more
prominent or convenient position (brought the car round). 8
measuring a (specified distance) in girth. --prep. 1 so as to
encircle or enclose (tour round the world; has a blanket round
him). 2 at or to points on the circumference of (sat round the
table). 3 with successive visits to (hawks them round the
caf‚s). 4 in various directions from or with regard to (towns
round Birmingham; shells bursting round them). 5 having as an
axis of revolution or as a central point (turns round its centre
of gravity; write a book round an event). 6 a so as to double
or pass in a curved course (go round the corner). b having
passed in this way (be round the corner). c in the position
that would result from this (find them round the corner). 7 so
as to come close from various sides but not into contact. --v.
1 a tr. give a round shape to. b intr. assume a round shape. 2
tr. double or pass round (a corner, cape, etc.). 3 tr. express
(a number) in a less exact but more convenient form (also foll.
by down when the number is decreased and up when it is
increased). 4 tr. pronounce (a vowel) with rounded lips. Ьgo
the round (or rounds) (of news etc.) be passed on from person to
person. in the round 1 with all features shown; all things
considered. 2 Theatr. with the audience round at least three
sides of the stage. 3 (of sculpture) with all sides shown; not
in relief. make the round of go round. make (or go) one's
rounds take a customary route for inspection etc. round about 1
in a ring (about); all round; on all sides (of). 2 with a
change to an opposite position. 3 approximately (cost round
about њ50). round and round several times round. round-arm
Cricket (of bowling) with the arm swung horizontally. round the
bend see BEND(1). round brackets brackets of the form ().
round dance 1 a dance in which couples move in circles round the
ballroom. 2 a dance in which the dancers form one large circle.
round down see sense 3 of v. round off (or out) 1 bring to a
complete or symmetrical or well-ordered state. 2 smooth out;
blunt the corners or angles of. round on a person make a sudden
verbal attack on or unexpected retort to a person. round out =
round off 1. round peg in a square hole = square peg in a round
hole (see PEG). round robin 1 a petition esp. with signatures
written in a circle to conceal the order of writing. 2 US a
tournament in which each competitor plays in turn against every
other. round-shouldered with shoulders bent forward so that the
back is rounded. Round Table (in allusion to that at which King
Arthur and his knights sat so that none should have precedence)
1 an international charitable association which holds
discussions, debates, etc., and undertakes community service. 2
(round table) an assembly for discussion, esp. at a conference
(often attrib.: round-table talks). round trip a trip to one or
more places and back again (esp. by a circular route). round
the twist see TWIST. round up collect or bring together, esp.
by going round (see also sense 3 of v.). round-up n. 1 a
systematic rounding up of people or things. 2 a summary; a
r‚sum‚ of facts or events. ЬЬroundish adj. roundness n. [ME
f. OF ro(u)nd- stem of ro(o)nt, reont f. L rotundus ROTUND]
n. & adj. --n. 1 Brit. a road junction at which traffic moves
in one direction round a central island. 2 Brit. a a large
revolving device in a playground, for children to ride on. b =
MERRY-GO-ROUND 1. --adj. circuitous, circumlocutory, indirect.
roundel n. 1 a small disc, esp. a decorative medallion. 2 a circular
identifying mark painted on military aircraft, esp. the red,
white, and blue of the RAF. 3 a poem of eleven lines in three
stanzas. [ME f. OF rondel(le) (as ROUND)]
roundelay n. a short simple song with a refrain. [F rondelet (as
RONDEL), with assim. to LAY(3) or virelay]
rounder n. 1 (in pl.; treated as sing.) a game with a bat and ball in
which players after hitting the ball run through a round of
bases. 2 a complete run of a player through all the bases as a
unit of scoring in rounders.
Roundhead n. hist. a member of the Parliamentary party in the English
Civil War. [f. their custom of wearing the hair cut short]
n. 1 a circular repair-shed for railway locomotives, built
round a turntable. 2 sl. a a blow given with a wide sweep of
the arm. b US Baseball a pitch made with a sweeping sidearm
motion. 3 hist. a prison; a place of detention. 4 Naut. a
cabin or set of cabins on the after part of the quarterdeck,
esp. on a sailing-ship.
roundly adv. 1 bluntly, in plain language, severely (was roundly
criticized; told them roundly that he refused). 2 in a
thoroughgoing manner (go roundly to work). 3 in a circular way
(swells out roundly).
roundsman n. (pl. -men) 1 Brit. a tradesman's employee going round
delivering and taking orders. 2 US a police officer in charge
of a patrol. 3 Austral. a journalist covering a specified
subject (political roundsman).
roundworm n. a worm, esp. a nematode, with a rounded body.
roup(1) n. & v. Sc. & N.Engl. --n. an auction. --v.tr. sell by
auction. [ME 'to shout', of Scand. orig.]
roup(2) n. an infectious poultry-disease, esp. of the respiratory
tract. ЬЬroupy adj. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
rouse v. 1 a tr. (often foll. by from, out of) bring out of sleep,
wake. b intr. (often foll. by up) cease to sleep, wake up. 2
(often foll. by up) a tr. stir up, make active or excited,
startle out of inactivity or confidence or carelessness (roused
them from their complacency; was roused to protest). b intr.
become active. 3 tr. provoke to anger (is terrible when
roused). 4 tr. evoke (feelings). 5 tr. (usu. foll. by in, out,
up) Naut. haul vigorously. 6 tr. startle (game) from a lair or
cover. 7 tr. stir (liquid, esp. beer while brewing). Ьrouse
oneself overcome one's indolence. ЬЬrousable adj. rouser n.
[orig. as a hawking and hunting term, so prob. f. AF: orig.
n. Austral. & NZ an unskilled labourer or odd jobber, esp. on a
rousing adj. 1 exciting, stirring (a rousing cheer; a rousing song). 2
(of a fire) blazing strongly. ЬЬrousingly adv.
roust v.tr. 1 (often foll. by up, out) a rouse, stir up. b root out.
2 US sl. jostle, harass, rough up. Ьroust around rummage.
[perh. alt. of ROUSE]
n. 1 a labourer on an oil rig. 2 an unskilled or casual
labourer. 3 US a dock labourer or deck hand. 4 Austral. =
rout(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a disorderly retreat of defeated troops. 2 a
an assemblage or company esp. of revellers or rioters. b Law an
assemblage of three or more persons who have made a move towards
committing an illegal act. 3 riot, tumult, disturbance,
clamour, fuss. 4 Brit. archaic a large evening party or
reception. --v.tr. put to rout. Ьput to rout put to flight,
defeat utterly. [ME f. AF rute, OF route ult. f. L ruptus
rout(2) v. 1 intr. & tr. = ROOT(2). 2 tr. cut a groove, or any pattern
not extending to the edges, in (a wooden or metal surface).
Ьrout out force or fetch out of bed or from a house or
hiding-place. [var. of ROOT(2)]
route Mil. also n. & v. --n. 1 a way or course taken (esp.
regularly) in getting from a starting-point to a destination. 2
US a round travelled in delivering, selling, or collecting
goods. 3 Mil. archaic marching orders. --v.tr. (routeing)
send or forward or direct to be sent by a particular route.
Ьroute man US = ROUNDSMAN 1. route march a training-march for
troops. [ME f. OF r(o)ute road ult. f. L ruptus broken]
router n. a type of plane with two handles used in routing.
routine n., adj., & v. --n. 1 a regular course or procedure, an
unvarying performance of certain acts. 2 a set sequence in a
performance, esp. a dance, comedy act, etc. 3 Computing a
sequence of instructions for performing a task. --adj. 1
performed as part of a routine (routine duties). 2 of a
customary or standard kind. --v.tr. organize according to a
routine. ЬЬroutinely adv. [F (as ROUTE)]
routinism n. the prevalence of routine. ЬЬroutinist n. & adj.
routinize v.tr. (also -ise) subject to a routine; make into a matter of
routine. ЬЬroutinization n.
roux n. (pl. same) a mixture of fat (esp. butter) and flour used in
making sauces etc. [F, = browned (butter): see RUSSET]
rove(1) v. & n. --v. 1 intr. wander without a settled destination,
roam, ramble. 2 intr. (of eyes) look in changing directions. 3
tr. wander over or through. --n. an act of roving (on the
rove). Ьrove-beetle any long-bodied beetle of the family
Staphylinidae, usu. found in decaying animal and vegetable
matter. roving commission authority given to a person or
persons conducting an inquiry to travel as may be necessary.
roving eye a tendency to ogle or towards infidelity. [ME, orig.
a term in archery = shoot at a casual mark with the range not
determined, perh. f. dial. rave stray, prob. of Scand. orig.]
rove(2) past of REEVE(2).
rove(3) n. & v. --n. a sliver of cotton, wool, etc., drawn out and
slightly twisted. --v.tr. form into roves. [18th c.: orig.
rove(4) n. a small metal plate or ring for a rivet to pass through and
be clenched over, esp. in boat-building. [ON rў, with
rover(1) n. 1 a roving person; a wanderer. 2 Croquet a a ball that has
passed all the hoops but not pegged out. b a player whose ball
is a rover. 3 Archery a a mark chosen at undetermined range. b
a mark for long-distance shooting. 4 (Rover) Brit. a senior
Scout. °Now called Venture Scout.
rover(2) n. a sea robber, a pirate. [ME f. MLG, MDu. rover f. roven
rob, rel. to REAVE]
rover(3) n. a person or machine that makes roves of fibre.
row(1) n. 1 a number of persons or things in a more or less straight
line. 2 a line of seats across a theatre etc. (in the front
row). 3 a street with a continuous line of houses along one or
each side. 4 a line of plants in a field or garden. 5 a
horizontal line of entries in a table etc. Ьa hard row to hoe a
difficult task. in a row 1 forming a row. 2 colloq. in
succession (two Sundays in a row). row-house US a terrace
house. [ME raw, row, f. OE f. Gmc]
row(2) v. & n. --v. 1 tr. propel (a boat) with oars. 2 tr. convey (a
passenger) in a boat in this way. 3 intr. propel a boat in this
way. 4 tr. make (a stroke) or achieve (a rate of striking) in
rowing. 5 tr. compete in (a race) by rowing. 6 tr. row a race
with. --n. 1 a spell of rowing. 2 an excursion in a
rowing-boat. Ьrow-boat US = rowing-boat. row down overtake in
a rowing, esp. bumping, race. rowing-boat Brit. a small boat
propelled by oars. rowing-machine a device for exercising the
muscles used in rowing. row out exhaust by rowing (the crew
were completely rowed out at the finish). row over complete the
course of a boat race with little effort, owing to the absence
or inferiority of competitors. ЬЬrower n. [OE rowan f. Gmc,
rel. to RUDDER, L remus oar]
row(3) n. & v. colloq. --n. 1 a loud noise or commotion. 2 a fierce
quarrel or dispute. 3 a a severe reprimand. b the condition of
being reprimanded (shall get into a row). --v. 1 intr. make or
engage in a row. 2 tr. reprimand. Ьmake (or kick up) a row 1
raise a noise. 2 make a vigorous protest. [18th-c. sl.: orig.
rowan n. (in full rowan-tree) 1 Sc. & N.Engl. the mountain ash. 2 US
a similar tree, Sorbus americana, native to America. 3 (in full
rowan-berry) the scarlet berry of either of these trees.
[Scand., corresp. to Norw. rogn, raun, Icel. reynir]
rowdy adj. & n. --adj. (rowdier, rowdiest) noisy and disorderly.
--n. (pl. -ies) a rowdy person. ЬЬrowdily adv. rowdiness n.
rowdyism n. [19th-c. US, orig. = lawless backwoodsman: orig.
rowel n. & v. --n. 1 a spiked revolving disc at the end of a spur.
2 a circular piece of leather etc. with a hole in the centre
inserted between a horse's skin and flesh to discharge an
exudate. --v.tr. (rowelled, rowelling; US roweled, roweling) 1
urge with a rowel. 2 insert a rowel in. [ME f. OF roel(e) f.
LL rotella dimin. of L rota wheel]
rowen n. (in sing. or pl.) US a second growth of grass, an aftermath.
[ME f. OF regain (as GAIN)]
rowlock n. a device on a boat's gunwale, esp. a pair of thole-pins,
serving as a fulcrum for an oar and keeping it in place. [alt.
of earlier OARLOCK, after ROW(2)]
n. Brit. hist. a type of lodging-house for poor men,
providing better conditions than a common lodging-house. [Lord
Rowton, English social reformer d. 1903]
royal adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or suited to or worthy of a king or
queen. 2 in the service or under the patronage of a king or
queen. 3 belonging to the king or queen (the royal hands; the
royal anger). 4 of the family of a king or queen. 5 kingly,
majestic, stately, splendid. 6 on a great scale, of exceptional
size or quality, first-rate (gave us royal entertainment; in
royal spirits; had a royal time). --n. 1 colloq. a member of
the royal family. 2 a royal sail or mast. 3 a royal stag. 4 a
size of paper, about 620 x 500 mm (25 x 20 in.). 5 (the Royals)
the Royal Marines. ЬRoyal Air Force the British air force.
royal assent see ASSENT. royal blue Brit. a deep vivid blue.
Royal British Legion a national association of ex-members of the
armed forces, founded in 1921. royal burgh hist. (in Scotland)
a burgh holding a charter from the Crown. Royal Commission see
COMMISSION. royal duke see DUKE. Royal Engineers the
engineering branch of the British army. royal family the family
to which a sovereign belongs. royal fern a fern, Osmunda
regalis, with huge spreading fronds. royal flush see FLUSH(3).
royal icing a hard white icing made from icing sugar and
egg-whites. Royal Institution a British society founded in 1799
for the diffusion of scientific knowledge. royal jelly a
substance secreted by honey-bee workers and fed by them to
future queen bees. Royal Marine a British marine (see MARINE n.
2). royal mast a mast above a topgallant mast. Royal Navy the
British navy. royal oak a sprig of oak worn on 29 May to
commemorate the restoration of Charles II (1660), who hid in an
oak after the battle of Worcester (1651). royal plural the
first person plural 'we' used by a single person. royal road to
way of attaining without trouble. royal sail a sail above a
topgallant sail. Royal Society (in full Royal Society of
London) a society founded in 1662 to promote scientific
discussion. royal stag a stag with a head of 12 or more points.
royal standard a banner bearing royal heraldic arms. royal
tennis real tennis. Royal Victorian Chain (in the UK) an order
founded by Edward VII in 1902 and conferred by the sovereign on
special occasions. Royal Victorian Order (in the UK) an order
founded by Queen Victoria in 1896 and conferred usu. for great
service rendered to the sovereign. royal warrant a warrant
authorizing a tradesperson to supply goods to a specified royal
person. ЬЬroyally adv. [ME f. OF roial f. L regalis REGAL]
royalist n. 1 a a supporter of monarchy. b hist. a supporter of the
royal side in the English Civil War. 2 US a reactionary, esp. a
reactionary business tycoon. ЬЬroyalism n.
royalty n. (pl. -ies) 1 the office or dignity or power of a king or
queen, sovereignty. 2 a royal persons. b a member of a royal
family. 3 a sum paid to a patentee for the use of a patent or
to an author etc. for each copy of a book etc. sold or for each
public performance of a work. 4 a a royal right (now esp. over
minerals) granted by the sovereign to an individual or
corporation. b a payment made by a producer of minerals, oil,
or natural gas to the owner of the site or of the mineral rights
over it. [ME f. OF roialt‚ (as ROYAL)]
rozzer n. Brit. sl. a policeman. [19th c.: orig. unkn.]
rub(1) v. & n. --v. (rubbed, rubbing) 1 tr. move one's hand or
another object with firm pressure over the surface of. 2 tr.
(usu. foll. by against, in, on, over) apply (one's hand etc.) in
this way. 3 tr. clean or polish or make dry or bare by rubbing.
4 tr. (often foll. by over) apply (polish, ointment, etc.) by
rubbing. 5 tr. (foll. by in, into, through) use rubbing to make
(a substance) go into or through something. 6 tr. (often foll.
by together) move or slide (objects) against each other. 7
intr. (foll. by against, on) move with contact or friction. 8
tr. chafe or make sore by rubbing. 9 intr. (of cloth, skin,
etc.) become frayed or worn or sore or bare with friction. 10
tr. reproduce the design of (a sepulchral brass or a stone) by
rubbing paper laid on it with heelball or coloured chalk etc.
11 tr. (foll. by to) reduce to powder etc. by rubbing. 12 intr.
Bowls (of a bowl) be slowed or diverted by the unevenness of the
ground. --n. 1 a spell or an instance of rubbing (give it a
rub). 2 a an impediment or difficulty (there's the rub). b
Bowls an inequality of the ground impeding or diverting a bowl;
the diversion or hindering of a bowl by this. Ьrub along
colloq. cope or manage without undue difficulty. rub down dry
or smooth or clean by rubbing. rub-down n. an instance of
rubbing down. rub elbows with US = rub shoulders with. rub
one's hands rub one's hands together usu. in sign of keen
satisfaction, or for warmth. rub it in (or rub a person's nose
in it) emphasize or repeat an embarrassing fact etc. rub noses
rub one's nose against another's in greeting. rub off 1 (usu.
foll. by on) be transferred by contact, be transmitted (some of
his attitudes have rubbed off on me). 2 remove by rubbing. rub
of (or on) the green Golf an accidental interference with the
course or position of a ball. rub on colloq. = rub along. rub
out 1 erase with a rubber. 2 esp. US sl. kill, eliminate. rub
shoulders with associate or come into contact with (another
person). rub up 1 polish (a tarnished object). 2 brush up (a
subject or one's memory). 3 mix (pigment etc.) into paste by
rubbing. rub-up n. the act or an instance of rubbing up. rub
up the wrong way irritate or repel as by stroking a cat against
the lie of its fur. [ME rubben, perh. f. LG rubben, of unkn.
rub(2) n. = RUBBER(2). [abbr.]
rubato adj. & n. Mus. --n. (pl. -os or rubati) the temporary
disregarding of strict tempo. --adj. performed with a flexible
tempo. [It., = robbed]
rubber(1) n. 1 a tough elastic polymeric substance made from the latex of
plants or synthetically. 2 esp. Brit. a piece of this or
another substance for erasing pencil or ink marks. 3 colloq. a
condom. 4 (in pl.) US galoshes. 5 a person who rubs; a masseur
or masseuse. 6 a an implement used for rubbing. b part of a
machine operating by rubbing. Ьrubber band a loop of rubber for
holding papers etc. together. rubber plant 1 an evergreen
plant, Ficus elastica, with dark-green shiny leaves, often
cultivated as a house-plant. 2 (also rubber tree) any of
various tropical trees yielding latex, esp. Hevea brasiliensis.
rubber solution a liquid drying to a rubber-like material, used
esp. as an adhesive in mending rubber articles. rubber stamp 1
a device for inking and imprinting on a surface. 2 a a person
who mechanically copies or agrees to others' actions. b an
indication of such agreement. rubber-stamp v.tr. approve
automatically without proper consideration. ЬЬrubbery adj.
rubberiness n. [RUB(1) + -ER(1), from its early use to rub out
rubber(2) n. 1 a match of three or five successive games between the same
sides or persons at whist, bridge, cricket, lawn tennis, etc. 2
(prec. by the) a the act of winning two games in a rubber. b a
third game when each side has won one. [orig. unkn.: used as a
term in bowls from c. 1600]
rubberize v.tr. (also -ise) treat or coat with rubber.
n. & v. colloq. --n. a person who stares inquisitively or
stupidly. --v.intr. act in this way.
rubbing n. 1 in senses of RUB(1) v. 2 an impression or copy made by
rubbing (see RUB(1) v. 10).
rubbish n. & v. --n. esp. Brit. 1 waste material; debris, refuse,
litter. 2 worthless material or articles; trash. 3 (often as
int.) absurd ideas or suggestions; nonsense. --v.tr. colloq.
1 criticize severely. 2 reject as worthless. ЬЬrubbishy adj.
[ME f. AF rubbous etc., perh. f. RUBBLE]
rubble n. 1 waste or rough fragments of stone or brick etc. 2 pieces
of undressed stone used, esp. as filling-in, for walls. 3 Geol.
loose angular stones etc. as the covering of some rocks. 4
water-worn stones. ЬЬrubbly adj. [ME robyl, rubel, of uncert.
orig.: cf. OF robe spoils]
rube n. US colloq. a country bumpkin. [abbr. of the name Reuben]
rubefy v.tr. (also rubify) (-ies, -ied) 1 make red. 2 Med. (of a
counterirritant) stimulate (the skin etc.) to redness.
ЬЬrubefacient adj. & n. rubefaction n. [ME f. OF rubifier,
rubefier f. med.L rubificare f. L rubefacere f. rubeus red]
rubella n. Med. an acute infectious virus disease with a red rash;
German measles. [mod.L, neut. pl. of L rubellus reddish]
rubellite n. a red variety of tourmaline. [L rubellus reddish]
rubeola n. Med. measles. [med.L f. L rubeus red]
Rubicon n. 1 a boundary which once crossed betokens irrevocable
commitment; a point of no return. 2 (rubicon) the act of
winning a game in piquet before an opponent has scored 100.
[the ancient name of a stream forming the boundary of Julius
Caesar's province and crossed by him in 49 BC as the start of a
war with Pompey]
rubicund adj. (of a face, complexion, or person in these respects)
ruddy, high-coloured. ЬЬrubicundity n. [F rubicond or L
rubicundus f. rubere be red]
rubidium n. Chem. a soft silvery element occurring naturally in various
minerals and as the radioactive isotope rubidium-87. °Symb.:
Rb. [L rubidus red (with ref. to its spectral lines)]
n. a puzzle in which the aim is to restore the faces of a
composite cube to single colours by rotating layers of
constituent smaller cubes. [E. Rubik, its Hung. inventor]
ruble var. of ROUBLE.
rubric n. 1 a direction for the conduct of divine service inserted in
a liturgical book. 2 a heading or passage in red or special
lettering. 3 explanatory words. 4 an established custom.
ЬЬrubrical adj. [ME f. OF rubrique, rubrice or L rubrica
(terra) red (earth or ochre) as writing-material, rel. to rubeus
rubricate v.tr. 1 mark with red; print or write in red. 2 provide with
rubrics. ЬЬrubrication n. rubricator n. [L rubricare f.
rubrica: see RUBRIC]
ruby n., adj., & v. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 a rare precious stone
consisting of corundum with a colour varying from deep crimson
or purple to pale rose. 2 a glowing purple-tinged red colour.
--adj. of this colour. --v.tr. (-ies, -ied) dye or tinge
ruby-colour. Ьruby glass glass coloured with oxides of copper,
iron, lead, tin, etc. ruby-tail a wasp, Chrysis ignita, with a
ruby-coloured hinder part. ruby wedding the fortieth
anniversary of a wedding. [ME f. OF rubi f. med.L rubinus
(lapis) red (stone), rel. to L rubeus red]
RUC abbr. Royal Ulster Constabulary.
ruche n. a frill or gathering of lace etc. as a trimming. ЬЬruched
adj. ruching n. [F f. med.L rusca tree-bark, of Celt. orig.]
ruck(1) n. 1 (prec. by the) the main body of competitors not likely to
overtake the leaders. 2 an undistinguished crowd of persons or
things. 3 Rugby Football a loose scrum with the ball on the
ground. 4 Austral. Rules a group of three mobile players. [ME,
= stack of fuel, heap, rick: app. Scand., = Norw. ruka in the
ruck(2) v. & n. --v.tr. & intr. (often foll. by up) make or become
creased or wrinkled. --n. a crease or wrinkle. [ON hrukka]
ruckle v. & n. Brit. = RUCK(2).
rucksack n. a bag slung by straps from both shoulders and resting on the
back. [G f. rucken dial. var. of RЃcken back + Sack SACK(1)]
ruckus n. esp. US a row or commotion. [cf. RUCTION, RUMPUS]
ruction n. colloq. 1 a disturbance or tumult. 2 (in pl.) unpleasant
arguments or reactions. [19th c.: orig. unkn.]
rudaceous adj. (of rock) composed of fragments of relatively large size.
[L rudus rubble]
rudbeckia n. a composite garden plant of the genus Rudbeckia, native to
N. America. [mod.L f. O. Rudbeck, Sw. botanist d. 1740]
rudd n. (pl. same) a freshwater fish, Scardinius erythrophthalmus,
resembling a roach and having red fins. [app. rel. to rud red
colour f. OE rudu, rel. to RED]
rudder n. 1 a a flat piece hinged vertically to the stern of a ship
for steering. b a vertical aerofoil pivoted from the tailplane
of an aircraft, for controlling its horizontal movement. 2 a
guiding principle etc. ЬЬrudderless adj. [OE rother f. WG
rothra- f. the stem of ROW(2)]
ruddle n. & v. --n. a red ochre, esp. of a kind used for marking
sheep. --v.tr. mark or colour with or as with ruddle. [rel. to
obs. rud: see RUDD]
ruddock n. dial. the robin redbreast. [OE rudduc (as RUDDLE)]
ruddy adj. & v. --adj. (ruddier, ruddiest) 1 a (of a person or
complexion) freshly or healthily red. b (of health, youth,
etc.) marked by this. 2 reddish. 3 Brit. colloq. bloody,
damnable. --v.tr. & intr. (-ies, -ied) make or grow ruddy.
ЬЬruddily adv. ruddiness n. [OE rudig (as RUDD)]
rude adj. 1 (of a person, remark, etc.) impolite or offensive. 2
roughly made or done; lacking subtlety or accuracy (a rude
plough). 3 primitive or uneducated (rude chaos; rude
simplicity). 4 abrupt, sudden, startling, violent (a rude
awakening; a rude reminder). 5 colloq. indecent, lewd (a rude
joke). 6 vigorous or hearty (rude health). Ьbe rude to speak
impolitely to; insult. ЬЬrudely adv. rudeness n. rudery n.
rudish adj. [ME f. OF f. L rudis unwrought]
ruderal adj. & n. --adj. (of a plant) growing on or in rubbish or
rubble. --n. a ruderal plant. [mod.L ruderalis f. L rudera pl.
of rudus rubble]
rudiment n. 1 (in pl.) the elements or first principles of a subject. 2
(in pl.) an imperfect beginning of something undeveloped or yet
to develop. 3 a part or organ imperfectly developed as being
vestigial or having no function (e.g. the breast in males). [F
rudiment or L rudimentum (as RUDE, after elementum ELEMENT)]
rue(1) v. & n. --v.tr. (rues, rued, rueing or ruing) repent of;
bitterly feel the consequences of; wish to be undone or
non-existent (esp. rue the day). --n. archaic 1 repentance;
dejection at some occurrence. 2 compassion or pity. [OE hreow,
rue(2) n. a perennial evergreen shrub, Ruta graveolens, with bitter
strong-scented leaves formerly used in medicine. [ME f. OF f. L
ruta f. Gk rhute]
rueful adj. expressing sorrow, genuine or humorously affected.
ЬЬruefully adv. ruefulness n. [ME, f. RUE(1)]
rufescent adj. Zool. etc. reddish. ЬЬrufescence n. [L rufescere f.
ruff(1) n. 1 a projecting starched frill worn round the neck esp. in
the 16th c. 2 a projecting or conspicuously coloured ring of
feathers or hair round a bird's or animal's neck. 3 a domestic
pigeon like a jacobin. 4 (fem. reeve) a wading bird,
Philomachus pugnax, of which the male has a ruff and ear-tufts
in the breeding season. ЬЬrufflike adj. [perh. f. ruff =
ruff(2) n. (also ruffe) any of various fish, esp. a perch-like
freshwater fish, Gymnocephalus cernua, found in European lakes
and rivers. [ME, prob. f. ROUGH]
ruff(3) v. & n. --v.intr. & tr. trump at cards. --n. an act of
ruffing. [orig. the name of a card-game: f. OF roffle, rouffle,
= It. ronfa (perh. alt. of trionfo TRUMP(1))]
ruffian n. a violent lawless person. ЬЬruffianism n. ruffianly adv.
[F ruf(f)ian f. It. ruffiano, perh. f. dial. rofia scurf]
ruffle v. & n. --v. 1 tr. disturb the smoothness or tranquillity of.
2 tr. upset the calmness of (a person). 3 tr. gather (lace
etc.) into a ruffle. 4 tr. (often foll. by up) (of a bird)
erect (its feathers) in anger, display, etc. 5 intr. undergo
ruffling. 6 intr. lose smoothness or calmness. --n. 1 an
ornamental gathered or goffered frill of lace etc. worn at the
opening of a garment esp. round the wrist, breast, or neck. 2
perturbation, bustle. 3 a rippling effect on water. 4 the ruff
of a bird etc. (see RUFF(1) 2). 5 Mil. a vibrating drum-beat.
[ME: orig. unkn.]
rufous adj. (esp. of animals) reddish-brown. [L rufus red, reddish]
rug n. 1 a floor-mat of shaggy material or thick pile. 2 a thick
woollen coverlet or wrap. Ьpull the rug from under deprive of
support; weaken, unsettle. [prob. f. Scand.: cf. Norw. dial.
rugga coverlet, Sw. rugg ruffled hair: rel. to RAG(1)]
Rugby n. (in full Rugby football) a team game played with an oval ball
that may be kicked, carried, and passed from hand to hand.
ЬRugby League partly professional Rugby football with teams of
13. Rugby Union amateur Rugby football with teams of 15.
[Rugby School in S. England, where it was first played]
rugged adj. 1 (of ground or terrain) having a rough uneven surface. 2
(of features) strongly marked; irregular in outline. 3 a
unpolished; lacking gentleness or refinement (rugged grandeur).
b harsh in sound. c austere, unbending (rugged honesty). d
involving hardship (a rugged life). 4 (esp. of a machine)
robust, sturdy. ЬЬruggedly adv. ruggedness n. [ME, prob. f.
Scand.: cf. RUG, and Sw. rugga, roughen]
rugger n. Brit. colloq. Rugby football.
rugose adj. esp. Biol. wrinkled, corrugated. ЬЬrugosely adv.
rugosity n. [L rugosus f. ruga wrinkle]
ruin n. & v. --n. 1 a destroyed or wrecked state. 2 a person's or
thing's downfall or elimination (the ruin of my hopes). 3 a the
complete loss of one's property or position (bring to ruin). b
a person who has suffered ruin. 4 (in sing. or pl.) the remains
of a building etc. that has suffered ruin (an old ruin; ancient
ruins). 5 a cause of ruin (will be the ruin of us). --v. 1
tr. a bring to ruin (your extravagance has ruined me). b
utterly impair or wreck (the rain ruined my hat). 2 tr. (esp.
as ruined adj.) reduce to ruins. 3 intr. poet. fall headlong
or with a crash. Ьin ruins 1 in a state of ruin. 2 completely
wrecked (their hopes were in ruins). [ME f. OF ruine f. L ruina
f. ruere fall]
ruination n. 1 the act of bringing to ruin. 2 the act of ruining or the
state of being ruined. [obs. ruinate (as RUIN)]
ruinous adj. 1 bringing ruin; disastrous (at ruinous expense). 2 in
ruins; dilapidated. ЬЬruinously adv. ruinousness n. [ME f. L
ruinosus (as RUIN)]
rule n. & v. --n. 1 a principle to which an action conforms or is
required to conform. 2 a prevailing custom or standard; the
normal state of things. 3 government or dominion (under British
rule; the rule of law). 4 a graduated straight measure used in
carpentry etc.; a ruler. 5 Printing a a thin strip of metal for
separating headings, columns, etc. b a thin line or dash. 6 a
code of discipline of a religious order. 7 Law an order made by
a judge or court with reference to a particular case only. 8
(Rules) Austral. = Australian Rules. --v. 1 tr. exercise
decisive influence over; keep under control. 2 tr. & (foll. by
over) intr. have sovereign control of (rules over a vast
kingdom). 3 tr. (often foll. by that + clause) pronounce
authoritatively (was ruled out of order). 4 tr. a make
parallel lines across (paper). b make (a straight line) with a
ruler etc. 5 intr. (of prices or goods etc. in regard to price
or quality etc.) have a specified general level; be for the
most part (the market ruled high). 6 tr. (in passive; foll. by
by) consent to follow (advice etc.); be guided by. Ьas a rule
usually; more often than not. by rule in a regulation manner;
mechanically. rule of the road see ROAD(1). rule of three a
method of finding a number in the same ratio to one given as
exists between two others given. rule of thumb a rule for
general guidance, based on experience or practice rather than
theory. rule out exclude; pronounce irrelevant or ineligible.
rule the roost (or roast) be in control. run the rule over
examine cursorily for correctness or adequacy. ЬЬruleless adj.
[ME f. OF reule, reuler f. LL regulare f. L regula straight
ruler n. 1 a person exercising government or dominion. 2 a straight
usu. graduated strip or cylinder of wood, metal, etc., used to
draw lines or measure distance. ЬЬrulership n.
ruling n. & adj. --n. an authoritative decision or announcement.
--adj. prevailing; currently in force (ruling prices). Ьruling
passion a motive that habitually directs one's actions.
rum(1) n. 1 a spirit distilled from sugar-cane residues or molasses.
2 US intoxicating liquor. Ьrum baba see BABA. [17th c.: perh.
abbr. of contemporary forms rumbullion, rumbustion, of unkn.
rum(2) adj. Brit. colloq. 1 odd, strange, queer. 2 difficult,
dangerous. Ьrum go (or start) colloq. a surprising occurrence
or unforeseen turn of affairs. ЬЬrumly adv. rumness n.
[16th-c. cant, orig. = fine, spirited, perh. var. of ROM]
Rumanian var. of ROMANIAN.
Rumansh var. of ROMANSH.
rumba n. & v. (also rhumba) --n. 1 a Cuban Negro dance. 2 a a
ballroom dance imitative of this. b the music for it. --v.tr.
(rumbas, rumbaed or rumba'd, rumbaing) dance the rumba. [Amer.
rumble v. & n. --v. 1 intr. make a continuous deep resonant sound as
of distant thunder. 2 intr. (foll. by along, by, past, etc.)
(of a person or vehicle) move with a rumbling noise. 3 tr.
(often foll. by out) utter or say with a rumbling sound. 4 tr.
Brit. sl. find out about (esp. something illicit). --n. 1 a
rumbling sound. 2 US sl. a street-fight between gangs. Ьrumble
seat US an uncovered folding seat in the rear of a motor car.
ЬЬrumbler n. [ME romble, prob. f. MDu. rommelen, rummelen
adj. colloq. boisterous, noisy, uproarious. ЬЬrumbustiously
adv. rumbustiousness n. [prob. var. of robustious boisterous,
rumen n. (pl. rumens or rumina) the first stomach of a ruminant, in
which food, esp. cellulose, is partly digested by bacteria. [L
rumen ruminis throat]
ruminant n. & adj. --n. an animal that chews the cud regurgitated from
its rumen. --adj. 1 of or belonging to ruminants. 2
contemplative; given to or engaged in meditation. [L ruminari
ruminant- (as RUMEN)]
ruminate v. 1 tr. & (foll. by over, on, etc.) intr. meditate, ponder. 2
intr. (of ruminants) chew the cud. ЬЬrumination n. ruminative
adj. ruminatively adv. ruminator n.
rummage v. & n. --v. 1 tr. & (foll. by in, through, among) intr.
search, esp. untidily and unsystematically. 2 tr. (foll. by
out, up) find among other things. 3 tr. (foll. by about)
disarrange; make untidy in searching. --n. 1 an instance of
rummaging. 2 things found by rummaging; a miscellaneous
accumulation. Ьrummage sale esp. US a jumble sale. ЬЬrummager
n. [earlier as noun in obs. sense 'arranging of casks etc. in a
hold': OF arrumage f. arrumer stow (as AD-, run ship's hold f.
MDu. ruim ROOM)]
rummer n. a large drinking-glass. [rel. to Du. roemer, LG r”mer f.
roemen praise, boast]
rummy(1) n. a card-game played usu. with two packs, in which the players
try to form sets and sequences of cards. [20th c.: orig. unkn.]
rummy(2) adj. Brit. colloq. = RUM(2).
rumour n. & v. (US rumor) --n. 1 general talk or hearsay of doubtful
accuracy. 2 (often foll. by of, or that + clause) a current but
unverified statement or assertion (heard a rumour that you are
leaving). --v.tr. (usu. in passive) report by way of rumour (it
is rumoured that you are leaving; you are rumoured to be
leaving). [ME f. OF rumur, rumor f. L rumor -oris noise]
rump n. 1 the hind part of a mammal, esp. the buttocks. 2 a a small
or contemptible remnant of a parliament or similar body. b (the
Rump) hist. the remnant of the English Long Parliament 1648-53
or after its restoration in 1659. Ьrump steak a cut of beef
from the rump. ЬЬrumpless adj. [ME, prob. f. Scand.]
rumple v.tr. & intr. make or become creased or ruffled. ЬЬrumply adj.
[obs. rumple (n.) f. MDu. rompel f. rompe wrinkle]
rumpus n. colloq. a disturbance, brawl, row, or uproar. Ьrumpus room
US a room in the basement of a house for games and play. [18th
c.: prob. fanciful]
run v. & n. --v. (running; past ran; past part. run) 1 intr. go
with quick steps on alternate feet, never having both or all
feet on the ground at the same time. 2 intr. flee, abscond. 3
intr. go or travel hurriedly, briefly, etc. 4 intr. a advance
by or as by rolling or on wheels, or smoothly or easily. b be
in action or operation (left the engine running). 5 intr. be
current or operative; have duration (the lease runs for 99
years). 6 intr. (of a bus, train, etc.) travel or be travelling
on its route (the train is running late). 7 intr. (of a play,
exhibition, etc.) be staged or presented (is now running at the
Apollo). 8 intr. extend; have a course or order or tendency
(the road runs by the coast; prices are running high). 9 a
intr. compete in a race. b intr. finish a race in a specified
position. c tr. compete in (a race). 10 intr. (often foll. by
for) seek election (ran for president). 11 a intr. (of a liquid
etc. or its container) flow or be wet; drip. b tr. flow with.
12 tr. a cause (water etc.) to flow. b fill (a bath) with
water. 13 intr. spread rapidly or beyond the proper place (ink
ran over the table; a shiver ran down my spine). 14 intr.
Cricket (of a batsman) run from one wicket to the other in
scoring a run. 15 tr. traverse or make one's way through or
over (a course, race, or distance). 16 tr. perform (an errand).
17 tr. publish (an article etc.) in a newspaper or magazine. 18
a tr. cause (a machine or vehicle etc.) to operate. b intr. (of
a mechanism or component etc.) move or work freely. 19 tr.
direct or manage (a business etc.). 20 tr. own and use (a
vehicle) regularly. 21 tr. take (a person) for a journey in a
vehicle (shall I run you to the shops?). 22 tr. cause to run or
go in a specified way (ran the car into a tree). 23 tr. enter
(a horse etc.) for a race. 24 tr. smuggle (guns etc.). 25 tr.
chase or hunt. 26 tr. allow (an account) to accumulate for a
time before paying. 27 intr. Naut. (of a ship etc.) go
straight and fast. 28 intr. (of salmon) go up river from the
sea. 29 intr. (of a colour in a fabric) spread from the dyed
parts. 30 a intr. (of a thought, the eye, the memory, etc.)
pass in a transitory or cursory way (ideas ran through my mind).
b tr. cause (one's eye) to look cursorily (ran my eye down the
page). 31 intr. (of hosiery) ladder. 32 intr. (of a candle)
gutter. 33 intr. (of an orifice, esp. the eyes or nose) exude
liquid matter. 34 tr. sew (fabric) loosely or hastily with
running stitches. 35 tr. turn (cattle etc.) out to graze. --n.
1 an act or spell of running. 2 a short trip or excursion, esp.
for pleasure. 3 a distance travelled. 4 a general tendency of
development or movement. 5 a rapid motion. 6 a regular route.
7 a continuous or long stretch or spell or course (a metre's run
of wiring; had a run of bad luck). 8 (often foll. by on) a a
high general demand (for a commodity, currency, etc.) (a run on
the dollar). b a sudden demand for repayment by a large number
of customers of (a bank). 9 a quantity produced in one period
of production (a print run). 10 a general or average type or
class (not typical of the general run). 11 a Cricket a point
scored by the batsmen each running to the other's wicket, or an
equivalent point awarded for some other reason. b Baseball a
point scored usu. by the batter returning to the plate after
touching the other bases. 12 (foll. by of) free use of or
access to (had the run of the house). 13 a an animal's regular
track. b an enclosure for fowls. c a range of pasture. 14 a
ladder in hosiery. 15 Mus. a rapid scale passage. 16 a class
or line of goods. 17 a batch or drove of animals born or reared
together. 18 a shoal of fish in motion. 19 a trough for water
to run in. 20 US a small stream or brook. 21 a a single
journey, esp. by an aircraft. b (of an aircraft) a flight on a
straight and even course at a constant speed before or while
dropping bombs. c an offensive military operation. Ьat a (or
the) run running. on the run 1 escaping, running away. 2
hurrying about from place to place. run about 1 bustle; hurry
from one person or place to another. 2 (esp. of children) play
or wander without restraint. run across 1 happen to meet. 2
(foll. by to) make a brief journey or a flying visit (to a
place). run after 1 pursue with attentions; seek the society
of. 2 give much time to (a pursuit etc.). 3 pursue at a run.
run against happen to meet. run along colloq. depart. run
around 1 Brit. take from place to place by car etc. 2 deceive
or evade repeatedly. 3 (often foll. by with) sl. engage in
sexual relations (esp. casually or illicitly). run-around n.
(esp. in phr. give a person the run-around) deceit or evasion.
run at attack by charging or rushing. run away 1 get away by
running; flee, abscond. 2 elope. 3 (of a horse) bolt. run
away with 1 carry off (a person, stolen property, etc.). 2 win
(a prize) easily. 3 accept (a notion) hastily. 4 (of expense
etc.) consume (money etc.). 5 (of a horse) bolt with (a rider,
a carriage or its occupants). run a blockade see BLOCKADE. run
down 1 knock down or collide with. 2 reduce the strength or
numbers of (resources). 3 (of an unwound clock etc.) stop. 4
(of a person or a person's health) become feeble from overwork
or underfeeding. 5 discover after a search. 6 disparage.
run-down n. 1 a reduction in numbers. 2 a detailed analysis.
--adj. 1 decayed after prosperity. 2 enfeebled through
overwork etc. run dry cease to flow, be exhausted. run for it
seek safety by fleeing. a run (or a good run) for one's money 1
vigorous competition. 2 pleasure derived from an activity. run
foul of collide or become entangled with (another vessel etc.).
run the gauntlet see GAUNTLET(2). run a person hard (or close)
press a person severely in a race or competition, or in
comparative merit. run high 1 (of the sea) have a strong
current with a high tide. 2 (of feelings) be strong. run in 1
run (a new engine or vehicle) carefully in the early stages. 2
colloq. arrest. 3 (of a combatant) rush to close quarters. 4
incur (a debt). run-in n. 1 the approach to an action or
event. 2 a quarrel. run in the family (of a trait) be common
in the members of a family. run into 1 collide with. 2
encounter. 3 reach as many as (a specified figure). 4 fall
into (a practice, absurdity, etc.). 5 be continuous or coalesce
with. run into the ground colloq. bring (a person) to
exhaustion etc. run it fine see FINE(1). run its course follow
its natural progress; be left to itself. run low (or short)
become depleted, have too little (our tea ran short; we ran
short of tea). run off 1 flee. 2 produce (copies etc.) on a
machine. 3 decide (a race or other contest) after a series of
heats or in the event of a tie. 4 flow or cause to flow away.
5 write or recite fluently. 6 digress suddenly. run-off n. 1
an additional competition, election, race, etc., after a tie. 2
an amount of rainfall that is carried off an area by streams and
rivers. 3 NZ a separate area of land where young animals etc.
are kept. run off one's feet very busy. run-of-the-mill
ordinary, undistinguished. run on 1 (of written characters) be
joined together. 2 continue in operation. 3 elapse. 4 speak
volubly. 5 talk incessantly. 6 Printing continue on the same
line as the preceding matter. run out 1 come to an end; become
used up. 2 (foll. by of) exhaust one's stock of. 3 put down
the wicket of (a batsman who is running). 4 escape from a
containing vessel. 5 (of rope) pass out; be paid out. 6 jut
out. 7 come out of a contest in a specified position etc. or
complete a required score etc. (they ran out worthy winners). 8
complete (a race). 9 advance (a gun etc.) so as to project. 10
exhaust oneself by running. run-out n. the dismissal of a
batsman by being run out. run out on colloq. desert (a
person). run over 1 overflow. 2 study or repeat quickly. 3
(of a vehicle or its driver) pass over, knock down or crush. 4
touch (the notes of a piano etc.) in quick succession. 5 (often
foll. by to) go quickly by a brief journey or for a flying
visit. run ragged exhaust (a person). run rings round see
RING(1). run riot see RIOT. run a (or the) risk see RISK. run
the show colloq. dominate in an undertaking etc. run a
temperature be feverish. run through 1 examine or rehearse
briefly. 2 peruse. 3 deal successively with. 4 consume (an
estate etc.) by reckless or quick spending. 5 traverse. 6
pervade. 7 pierce with a sword etc. 8 draw a line through
(written words). run-through n. 1 a rehearsal. 2 a brief
survey. run to 1 have the money or ability for. 2 reach (an
amount or number). 3 (of a person) show a tendency to (runs to
fat). 4 a be enough for (some expense or undertaking). b have
the resources or capacity for. 5 fall into (ruin). run to
earth 1 Hunting chase to its lair. 2 discover after a long
search. run to meet anticipate (one's troubles etc.). run to
seed see SEED. run up 1 accumulate (a debt etc.) quickly. 2
build or make hurriedly. 3 raise (a flag). 4 grow quickly. 5
rise in price. 6 (foll. by to) amount to. 7 force (a rival
bidder) to bid higher. 8 add up (a column of figures). 9
(foll. by to) go quickly by a brief journey or for a flying
visit. run-up n. 1 (often foll. by to) the period preceding an
important event. 2 Golf a low approach shot. run up against
meet with (a difficulty or difficulties). run upon (of a
person's thoughts etc.) be engrossed by; dwell upon. run wild
grow or stray unchecked or undisciplined or untrained.
ЬЬrunnable adj. [OE rinnan]
runabout n. a light car or aircraft.
runaway n. 1 a fugitive. 2 an animal or vehicle that is running out of
control. 3 (attrib.) a that is running away or out of control
(runaway inflation; had a runaway success). b done or performed
after running away (a runaway wedding).
n. a fork curved like a spoon, with three broad prongs, one
edged. [nonsense word used by E. Lear, Engl. humorist d. 1888,
perh. after rouncival large pea]
runcinate adj. Bot. (of a leaf) saw-toothed, with lobes pointing towards
the base. [mod.L runcinatus f. L runcina PLANE(2) (formerly
taken to mean saw)]
rune n. 1 any of the letters of the earliest Germanic alphabet used
by Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons from about the 3rd c. and
formed by modifying Roman or Greek characters to suit carving.
2 a similar mark of mysterious or magic significance. 3 a
Finnish poem or a division of it. Ьrune-staff 1 a magic wand
inscribed with runes. 2 a runic calendar. ЬЬrunic adj. [ON
rЈn (only in pl. rЈnar) magic sign, rel. to OE run]
rung(1) n. 1 each of the horizontal supports of a ladder. 2 a
strengthening crosspiece in the structure of a chair etc.
ЬЬrunged adj. rungless adj. [OE hrung]
rung(2) past part. of RING(2).
runlet n. a small stream.
runnel n. 1 a brook or rill. 2 a gutter. [later form (assim. to RUN)
of rinel f. OE rynel (as RUN)]
runner n. 1 a person who runs, esp. in a race. 2 a a creeping
plant-stem that can take root. b a twining plant. 3 a rod or
groove or blade on which a thing slides. 4 a sliding ring on a
rod etc. 5 a messenger, scout, collector, or agent for a bank
etc.; a tout. 6 hist. a police officer. 7 a running bird. 8 a
a smuggler. b = blockade-runner. 9 a revolving millstone. 10
Naut. a rope in a single block with one end round a tackle-block
and the other having a hook. 11 (in full runner bean) Brit. a
twining bean plant, Phaseolus multiflorus, with red flowers and
long green seed pods. Also called scarlet runner. 12 each of
the long pieces on the underside of a sledge etc. that forms
the contact in sliding. 13 a roller for moving a heavy article.
14 a long narrow ornamental cloth or rug. Ьdo a runner sl.
leave hastily; flee. runner-up (pl. runners-up or runner-ups)
the competitor or team taking second place.
running n. & adj. --n. 1 the action of runners in a race etc. 2 the
way a race etc. proceeds. --adj. 1 continuing on an
essentially continuous basis though changing in detail (a
running battle). 2 consecutive; one after another (three days
running). 3 done with a run (a running jump). Ьin (or out of)
the running (of a competitor) with a good (or poor) chance of
winning. make (or take up) the running take the lead; set the
pace. running account a current account. running-board a
footboard on either side of a vehicle. running commentary an
oral description of events as they occur. running fire
successive shots from a line of troops etc. running gear the
moving or running parts of a machine, esp. the wheels and
suspension of a vehicle. running hand writing in which the pen
etc. is not lifted after each letter. running head (or
headline) a heading printed at the top of a number of
consecutive pages of a book etc. running knot a knot that slips
along the rope etc. and changes the size of a noose. running
light 1 = navigation light. 2 each of a small set of lights on
a motor vehicle that remain illuminated while the vehicle is
running. running mate US 1 a candidate for a secondary position
in an election. 2 a horse entered in a race in order to set the
pace for another horse from the same stable which is intended to
win. running repairs minor or temporary repairs etc. to
machinery while in use. running rope a rope that is freely
movable through a pulley etc. running sore a suppurating sore.
running stitch 1 a line of small non-overlapping stitches for
gathering etc. 2 one of these stitches. running water water
flowing in a stream or from a tap etc. take a running jump
(esp. as int.) sl. go away.
runny adj. (runnier, runniest) 1 tending to run or flow. 2
runt n. 1 a small pig, esp. the smallest in a litter. 2 a weakling;
an undersized person. 3 a large domestic pigeon. 4 a small ox
or cow, esp. of various Scottish Highland or Welsh breeds.
ЬЬrunty adj. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
runway n. 1 a specially prepared surface along which aircraft take off
and land. 2 a trail to an animals' watering-place. 3 an
incline down which logs are slid. 4 a raised gangway in a
theatre, fashion display, etc.
rupee n. the chief monetary unit of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,
Nepal, Mauritius, and the Seychelles. [Hind. rupiyah f. Skr.