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Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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When we first met, she was a bashful young girl of fifteen who


had no notion of her own beauty.


adj. fundamental, essential, key, elementary, underlying,


prime, primary, root; principal, central, focal, vital: He


enrolled for a basic course in Sanskrit. We must reconsider the


basic facts.


n. 1 foundation, base, bottom, heart, footing, principle,


underpinning; infrastructure: The three R's form the basis of


elementary education. Do you think our society still rests on


the basis of the family? 2 essence, main ingredient or


constituent, point of departure: The basis of the discussion is


that the hospitals are understaffed.


n. 1 quantity, lot; amount, volume: Mother baked a huge batch


of bread. 2 set, group, number, quantity, assortment, bunch,


pack, collection: Please sort this batch of cards into


alphabetical order.


v. 1 beat, hit, strike, clout, belabour, pound, pummel or


pommel, pelt, bash, smite, thrash, Colloq wallop, clobber: He


was battered till he was black and blue. 2 bombard, attack,


assault: Battering by the cannons finally breached the wall of


the fort. 3 maltreat, mistreat, ill-treat, abuse; maul, bruise,


harm, mangle, disfigure: The police report an increase in


complaints about battered wives and children.


n. 1 fight, conflict, combat, action, encounter, clash,


engagement, struggle, Donnybrook, fray, Law affray; brawl,


fracas, mˆl‚e or melee; contest; duel, hand-to-hand encounter:


You won the battle, but you lost the war. And now, the battle


between the world champion and the challenger! 2 argument,


dispute, altercation, quarrel, war; contest, competition;


struggle, fight, crusade, campaign: The battle spilt out of the


restaurant and into the street. We are not yet winning the


battle against AIDS.


--v. 3 Usually, battle against. fight, contend or struggle or


fight with or strive against, combat: We must battle against


ignorance at every opportunity.

bauble n. gewgaw, trinket, ornament, trifle, toy, bagatelle,

knick-knack, plaything, kickshaw: Wear your diamonds to the ball, my dear, not those cheap baubles.

bawdy adj. lewd, obscene, taboo, vulgar, dirty, smutty, filthy, coarse, earthy, gross, scatological, rude, lascivious, salacious, indelicate, indecent, indecorous, broad, crude, ribald, risqu‚, suggestive, Rabelaisian, uninhibited,


unrestrained, lusty, Literary lubricious or lubricous:


Afterwards, each of us had to recite a bawdy limerick.


v. 1 shout, bellow, vociferate, roar, yell, trumpet, thunder ,


Colloq holler: Fishwives bawled out their wares continuously,


creating a deafening din. 2 cry, wail, weep, keen, squall,


blubber, whimper; yelp, Colloq yammer: Stop that bawling or


I'll really give you something to cry about! 3 bawl out. scold,


reprimand, upbraid: My father bawled me out because I stayed


out past midnight.

2.2 beach...


beach n. 1 shore, lakeshore, bank, seashore, seaside, lido, strand, coast, margin, Formal littoral: The children wanted to go to the beach and build sandcastles.

--v. 2 ground, run aground, strand; careen: Despite the heavy surf, we finally beached the boat safely.


n. signal, sign, fire, light, bonfire, flare, signal fire, Very

light, rocket; lighthouse, pharos: Beacons blazed at the tops

of the hills to spread the news of the victory. The drunkard's

nose shone like a beacon.


n. 1 timber, scantling, girder, rafter; bar, brace, plank,

board, stud, trestle: Are you sure that these beams will support the weight of the upper storeys? 2 ray, gleam; shaft; pencil: I could just make out his face in the beam of the electric torch.

--v. 3 radiate, shine; smile radiantly: The door opened and the firelight beamed forth onto the snowdrifts. 'I'm so happy to meet you at last', she beamed.


adj. broad, wide, broad in the beam; big, heavy, chubby,

chunky, fat, obese: She's quite a beamy boat, with

accommodation for eight below. A beamy gentleman sat on my

homburg, squashing it flat.


v. 1 carry, transport, convey, move, take, Colloq tote: She

was borne round the stadium on the shoulders of her team-mates. 2 carry, support, sustain, shoulder, hold up, uphold; suffer, undergo, experience, endure: Looking after her invalid mother while working is a heavy burden to bear. 3 merit, be worthy of, warrant; provoke, invite: Gordon's suggestion bears looking into. 4 stand, abide, tolerate, brook, survive, endure, stand

up to; reconcile oneself to, admit of, Colloq put up with: How can you bear such boring people? His actions will not bear examination. I cannot bear to see you unhappy. 5 have, carry, show, exhibit, display, sustain: The getaway car bore German licence plates. The knight bore the scars of many battles. She bears her grandmother's name. 6 produce, yield, develop, breed, generate, engender; give birth to, spawn, bring forth: Our apple tree did not bear any fruit this year. She bore thirteen children and still had time to write books. 7 entertain,

harbour, wish: He bore her no ill will, despite her accusations. 8 bear on or upon. relate or have relevance or be relevant to or pertain to, touch on or upon, affect, concern, have a bearing on or upon, influence: I don't quite see how your illness bears on which school James attends. 9 bear out. confirm, support, corroborate, substantiate, uphold, back up: The evidence bears out what I said. 10 bear up. a survive,

hold out, stand up, hold up, withstand: Can Alex bear up under the strain of keeping two jobs? b support, cheer, encourage: What hope have you to bear you up? 11 bear with. put up with, be patient with, make allowance(s) for: Please bear with me, I'm sure you'll think it was worth waiting when you see the finished result.

bearable adj. tolerable, supportable, endurable, acceptable, manageable: The heat last summer was made bearable only by frequent dips in the swimming-pool.

bearing n. 1 carriage, deportment, manner, behaviour, conduct, aspect, demeanour, posture, stance, air, attitude, mien, presence:

Lewis's noble bearing makes him noticeable, even in a crowd. 2

sustaining, supporting, endurance, enduring: Thomas Jefferson considered the government of England totally without morality and insolent beyond bearing. 3 aspect; relation, reference, relationship, correlation, pertinence, relevance, connection, relevancy, applicability, application, germaneness, significance: The legal bearing of the case will become obvious in court. It is unclear exactly what bearing your remarks have on the situation. 4 Often, bearings. direction, orientation, (relative) position: The bearing of the lighthouse is now 180ø. Which way is north? - I have lost my bearings entirely.

beast n. 1 animal, creature, being: He loves all the beasts of the field, of the sea, and of the air. 2 brute, savage, animal, monster: I've seen that beast hitting his wife in public.

beastly adj. 1 uncivilized, uncultivated, uncivil, rude, crude, boorish, unrefined, coarse; cruel, inhuman, savage, barbaric, barbarous, bestial, brutal: Priscilla treats Cyril in a beastly


way. 2 abominable, intolerable, offensive, unpleasant, awful,


terrible, ghastly, horrid, disagreeable, horrible, hateful,


execrable; foul, vile, nasty, rotten, dirty, filthy: If this


beastly weather keeps up, the plane may be delayed.


v. 1 strike, pound, bash, smite, batter, pummel or pommel,


belabour, pelt, clout, thrash, give (someone) a thrashing or


beating, drub, manhandle, thump, whack, cane, scourge, whip,


bludgeon, club, cudgel, fustigate; whip, flog, lash , Colloq


clobber, wallop, give (someone) a once-over: At first he


refused to tell them, but then they beat it out of him. 2


defeat, best, worst, win (out) over, vanquish, trounce, rout,


outdo, subdue, overcome, overwhelm, pre-empt; surpass, conquer,


crush, master, US beat out: Can they beat Manchester United for


the cup? He first beat the Danes, then the Russians. 3 throb,


pulsate, palpitate, pound, thump: I could feel my heart beating


against my ribs. 4 Nautical tack: Close-hauled, the sloop was


beating to windward against the howling gale. 5 hammer, forge,


shape, form, fashion, make, mould: They shall beat their swords


into ploughshares. 6 mix, whip, stir, blend: Beat two eggs,


then add the flour and sugar. 7 tread, wear, trample: The


hunters beat a path through the forest. 8 beat it. depart,


leave, abscond, run off or away, Slang US take it on the lam,


lam out of here, US hit the road: You'd better beat it before


the cops come. 9 beat off. drive off or away, rout: We beat

off our attackers, who fled into the forest.

--n. 10 stroke, blow: The signal was to be three beats of a

tin cup on the pipes. 11 rhythm, tempo, measure; pulse, throb, stress, pulsation: In boogie-woogie the beat is eight to the bar. 12 course, round, tour, route, circuit, run, path; area, bailiwick: In the old days, it was the bobby on the beat who prevented a lot of crime. As a reporter, my beat is the financial news.

--adj. 13 dead beat, exhausted, spent, drained, worn out, weary, bone-tired, fatigued, fagged: I was really beat after completing the marathon.

beautiful adj. 1 attractive, charming, comely, lovely, good-looking, fair, pretty, alluring, appealing, handsome, radiant, gorgeous, Formal pulchritudinous, Scots bonny; Colloq smashing: She's not only intelligent, she's beautiful. She entered on the arm of

some beautiful youth. 2 excellent, first-rate, unequalled, skilful, admirable, magnificent, well done; superb, spectacular, splendid, marvellous, wonderful, incomparable, superior, elegant, exquisite, pleasant, pleasing, delightful, Colloq smashing: The garage did a beautiful job in tuning the engine. Armand's arranged a beautiful wedding reception for us.


adv. 1 attractively, chicly, fashionably, delightfully, charmingly, splendidly, magnificently, Colloq smashingly: The princess was beautifully dressed in a rose satin ball-gown. 2 admirably, superbly, excellently, wonderfully, marvellously, splendidly, spectacularly, magnificently, Colloq smashingly: Emily played her solo beautifully.

beautify v. adorn, embellish, decorate, ornament, titivate, elaborate, garnish, deck (out), bedeck: The old fa‡ade was removed and the building beautified by refacing it with white marble.

beauty n. 1 loveliness, attractiveness, handsomeness, pulchritude: The beauty of the actress took my breath away. 2 belle, Colloq looker, knockout, dream, dreamboat, stunner: She was one of the great beauties of her day. 3 attraction, strength, advantage,

asset: The beauty of the plan lies in its simplicity.


v. signal, gesture, motion; summon, bid, call: The manager

beckoned to me and I went over to see what he wanted.


v. 1 turn or change or transform into: The princess kissed the

prince, who immediately became a frog. 2 grow or develop or evolve into; mature or ripen into: It's hard to believe that

this dull caterpillar will eventually become a splendid butterfly. 3 enhance, suit, fit, befit, be proper or appropriate

for, behove or US behoove: Moonlight becomes you, It goes with your hair. 4 grace, adorn: Walter was a man who became the dignity of his function as a commissionaire. 5 become of. come of, happen to: What will become of you if you don't go to school?

becoming adj. enhancing, beautifying, seemly; attractive, comely, fetching, chic, stylish, fashionable, tasteful; appropriate, fitting, fit, meet, befitting, proper, suitable: Your new hairdo is most becoming, Frances.

bedlam n. pandemonium, uproar, hubbub, commotion, confusion, tumult, turmoil, furore or US furor, chaos; madhouse: The chancellor's announcement created instant bedlam in the Commons.


adj. soiled, dirty, muddy, muddied, untidy, stained, dishevelled, scruffy, messy; wet, sloppy, soaking or sopping or wringing wet, soaked, drenched, Colloq gungy, US grungy: We took the two bedraggled waifs in out of the pouring rain.

befitting adj. fitting, becoming, due, suitable or suited (to), appropriate (to), apropos, proper (to), seemly (for): He really ought to behave in a manner befitting his position as chairman. This must be done with a befitting sense of awe.

before adv. 1 previously, earlier, already, beforehand; formerly, in the past; once: I have told you before, don't count your chickens. 2 ahead, in advance, in front, in the forefront,

first, in the vanguard, Colloq up front: He let his wife walk before, as he knew the road was mined. 3 ahead, in the future, to come: Before lie the prospects of surrendering or dying.

--prep. 4 ahead of, in advance of, in front of, forward of: The king indicated that the page should go before him. 5 in

front of; in the presence of: The entire valley was spread out before me. 6 preceding, previous or anterior to, prior to; on the eve of: Before my departure I have to kiss Annie goodbye. 7 in preference to, rather than, sooner than, more willingly than: They said they would die before yielding.

--conj. 8 previous to or preceding the time when: This was a nice place before the day-trippers arrived.


v. 1 entreat, beseech, plead (with), crave, implore, importune,

wheedle, cajole, supplicate (with), pray; ask for, request: She

begged me to stay. 2 solicit, sponge, Colloq cadge, scrounge,

US panhandle: When he was an alcoholic, he used to beg drinks

off everyone.


n. 1 mendicant, supplicant, suppliant, alms-man, sponger,

tramp, vagrant, pauper, Colloq cadger, scrounger, US panhandler: We were approached by beggars on every street corner. 2 fellow, man, person, Colloq chap, guy, bloke: I feel sorry for the poor beggar who lost his wallet at the station.

--v. 3 impoverish; want, challenge, defy, baffle: The misery of those people beggars description.

begin v. 1 start (out or off or in or on), initiate, enter on or upon, set out or about, set out on or upon, Rather formal

commence: We began the journey full of enthusiasm. 2 start (off), inaugurate, originate, open, launch, create, establish, found, set up; go into: We began the company five years ago. 3 arise, start, originate, Rather formal commence: The greatness of the Prussian monarchy begins with Frederick II. The paragraph begins in the middle of the page.

beginning n. 1 start, commencement, outset, onset, inception, dawn, dawning, birth, genesis, origin, creation, day one; origination, source, well-spring: There are several competing theories about the beginning of life on earth. The beginning of the idea can be traced to Galileo. 2 opening, start, inception, commencement: I have plenty of energy at the beginning of the day. The book is good at the beginning, but then it gets boring.

begrudge v. 1 resent, envy, grudge: She doesn't begrudge him his success. 2 give (be)grudgingly or unwillingly or reluctantly,

deny, refuse: He begrudges her the slightest consideration.

beguile v. 1 delude, deceive, cheat, swindle, dupe, fool, mislead, hoodwink, bamboozle, take in: She was easily beguiled by his solicitude. 2 defraud (of), deprive (of), cheat (out of or

into), swindle (out of): Let no man beguile you of your reward. 3 charm, divert, amuse, distract, fascinate, engross, engage, allure: I always meet the most beguiling people at Daphne's parties.


n. on or US in behalf of or on or US in one's behalf. for, as a

representative of, in place of, instead of, in the name of, on

the part of; in the interest of, for the benefit or advantage

of: The lawyer is acting on behalf of the heirs.


v. act, react, function, operate, perform, work, conduct or

deport or comport or bear (oneself); act obediently, act

properly, be good: The boy behaved with great insolence. I wish the children would behave themselves.

behaviour n. conduct, demeanour, deportment, bearing, manners, comportment; action(s): His behaviour in the presence of the royal couple was abominable.


v. decapitate, guillotine, Archaic decollate: Criminals and

enemies of the state were formerly beheaded.


v. see, look at, regard, set or lay eyes on, descry, notice,

note, espy, perceive, discern, remark, view: As we emerged from the gorge, we beheld the mountain looming above us.

beholden adj. obliged, obligated, indebted, grateful, in debt, under (an) obligation: She said that she was beholden to him for everything he had done.

behove v. US behoove; be required of, be incumbent on, be proper of, be fitting of or for, befit; be advisable for, be worthwhile

for, be expeditious for or of, be advantageous to or for, be useful to or for, be beneficial to or for: It behoves you to be respectful to the chairman of the board.

belabour v. thrash, beat, pummel or pommel, buffet, pelt, lambaste: We tried to stop the drover from belabouring the poor horse with a



adj. late; behind time, behindhand, out of date; delayed,

detained: I forgot your birthday, so here's a belated gift.


n. 1 trust, dependence, reliance, confidence, faith, security,

assurance: He retains his belief in the divine right of kings.

2 acceptance, credence; assent: His statements are unworthy of belief. 3 tenet, view, idea, sentiment, conviction, doctrine, dogma, principle(s), axiom, maxim, creed, opinion, persuasion: The belief that there is no God is as definite a creed as the belief in one God or in many gods. 4 intuition, judgement: It is her belief that nuclear energy will eventually prove economical.

believe v. 1 accept, put faith or credence in or into, find credible, find creditable; allow, think, hold, maintain, feel; take it, suppose, assume: He still believes that the moon is made of green cheese. 2 believe in. trust to or in, rely upon or on, have faith or confidence in, put one's trust in, be convinced

of, swear by, credit; have the courage of one's convictions: Do you believe everything you read in the papers? The chairman believes in your ability to carry out the plan. 3 make believe. pretend, suppose, imagine, fancy, conjecture, assume: I used to make believe I was a great detective.

belittle v. diminish, minimize, disparage, slight, decry, detract from, depreciate, trivialize, deprecate, degrade, denigrate, downgrade, de-emphasize, discredit, criticize, derogate; reduce, mitigate, lessen, undervalue, underestimate, underrate,

minimize, Colloq play down, pooh-pooh: He belittles the efforts of others but accomplishes nothing himself.


adj. 1 warring; warlike, militant, warmongering, hawkish, jingoistic, bellicose, martial: The belligerent nations have agreed to discuss an accord. 2 quarrelsome, pugnacious, contentious, disputatious, truculent, aggressive, hostile, combative, antagonistic, bellicose: I cannot see why you have to take such a belligerent attitude towards the chairman.

--n. 3 warring party, antagonist, contestant; warmonger, hawk, jingoist, militant: Our country has refused to sell arms to the

belligerents in the conflict.

bellow v. 1 roar; yell, shout, blare, trumpet, howl, Colloq holler: Father was bellowing that he couldn't find his pipe. The public-address system bellowed out my name.

--n. 2 roar; yell, shout, Colloq holler: The bull gave a bellow and charged.

belong v. 1 be a member (of), be affiliated or associated or connected (with), be attached or bound (to), be a part (of): Does he

belong to the Green party? He didn't want to belong while his wife was a member. 2 have a (proper) place (in), be proper (to): Do you ever get the feeling that you don't belong here? 3 belong to. be owned by, be the property or possession of: That coat belongs to me.

belonging n. association, connection, alliance, relationship, affinity, relation: She says the Church gives her a strong sense of belonging.


n. (personal) property, effects, possessions, goods, things, chattels: He returned home to find all his belongings in the street.

beloved adj. 1 loved, cherished, adored, dear, dearest, darling, precious, treasured; admired, worshipped, revered, esteemed, idolized, respected, esteemed; valued, prized: He denied nothing to his beloved children. She was their beloved queen.

--n. 2 sweetheart, darling, dearest, love; lover, paramour, inamorata or inamorato, Colloq flame: He wrote poems to his beloved.

below adv. 1 lower down, further down, farther down: Please see the explanation given below. The department head could no longer resist the pressures from below. 2 beneath, underneath, under; downstairs, Nautical below-decks, Brit below-stairs: Can you hear someone walking about below? They put the captain in irons below. 3 on earth, here, in this world, under the sun: Man

wants but little here below.