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Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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bossy adj. overbearing, domineering, dictatorial, tyrannical, despotic, imperious, lordly: Her boyfriend is awfully bossy - and they're not even married yet.


v. bungle, mismanage, spoil, Colloq screw or louse up, blow,

mess up, muck up, make a mess or hash or muddle of; Slang

bollocks or ballocks or US bollix up: Give Gordon an assignment

and he's sure to botch it.


v. 1 annoy, pester, worry, irritate, trouble, hector, harass,

hound, dog, nag, plague, needle, Colloq hassle; Slang US nudge: I wish they'd stop bothering me about paying the telephone bill. 2 trouble (about), fuss (at), make a fuss (about), concern

oneself (with), burden: Too few people are interested in bothering about the welfare of others. 3 confuse, bewilder, perplex, perturb, upset, disconcert, discomfit: She was increasingly bothered by her inability to understand the local language.

--n. 4 trouble, inconvenience: Those pets must be a lot of bother. 5 worry, annoyance, vexation, nuisance, irritation, trouble, effort, disturbance, upset, Slang hassle: Painting the lattice will be more bother than it's worth. 6 dither, flutter, Colloq tizzy, pet, stew, lather, sweat: She seems to have worked herself into quite a bother about something quite insignificant. 7 pest, irritant, nag, nuisance, Colloq pain, pain in the neck or Brit taboo arse or US taboo ass; Slang US nudge: Mother is such a bother, always asking if I wear my galoshes when it rains. 8 disturbance, to-do, ado, commotion, fuss, trouble, disorder, stir, hubbub: We ran into a bit of bother at the pub last night.

bottle n. 1 flask, container; fiasco, decanter: The milkman left two bottles of milk. 2 courage, nerve, manliness, manfulness, grit, backbone, gumption, mettle, pluck, Dutch courage, Slang guts; Colloq spunk, starch, US moxie: He was going to tell her off but lost his bottle at the last minute. 3 the bottle. alcohol, alcoholic drink, spirit(s), liquor, booze, sauce: He's back on the bottle after only two weeks of being on the wagon.

--v. 4 bottle up. a contain, restrain, hold back, control, suppress, repress, hold or keep in check, stifle: All the emotions, bottled up for so long, burst upon him at once, and he

wept pitiably. b trap, cut off, hem in, box in: With the help of the posse, we can bottle up the gang in the canyon.

bottom n. 1 seat, buttocks, rear, behind, rear end, derriŠre, rump, posterior, hindquarters, breech, fundament, gluteus maximus, Colloq backside, butt, prat, Brit bum , US can, duff, keister or keester, hinie; Taboo Brit arse, US ass; Slang US tokus or tochis or tuchis, tushie or tushy or tush: He just sits there

on his bottom, never doing a bit of work. 2 base, foot, foundation, groundwork, substructure, footing, underpinning, fundament: A ditch was dug along the bottom of the wall. 3 basis, foundation, source, origin, cause, heart, nub: We have to get to the bottom of the problem. 4 depths, Davy Jones's locker; bed: The ship sank to the bottom of the sea. 5 at bottom. basically, fundamentally, in the final or last analysis, really, in reality, truly, in truth, essentially: Despite her behaviour at the party, at bottom she is very reserved. 6 Bottoms up! Prosit!, To your (very good) health!, Cheers!, Here's to -!, Skol!: Here's to the whole team - Bottoms up!


adj. unfathomed, unfathomable, abyssal, abysmal, inexhaustible, unlimited, immeasurable, unplumbable: The bottomless ignorance of the man is incredible.

bounce n. 1 bound, leap, hop, recoil, ricochet, rebound: The ball took a bad bounce and the infielder missed it. 2 vitality, energy, verve, zest, vivacity, liveliness, animation, dynamism, life, Colloq pep, zip, go, get-up-and-go: Betty has so much bounce, she is a bit tiring to have around.

--v. 3 bound, rebound, hop; recoil, ricochet: The ball bounced over the wall and into the river.

bound° n. 1 Usually, bounds. boundary, boundary-line, limit(s), extent, border(s), confines: Please try to keep the dogs within the bounds of the estate. Carl's plan is beyond the bounds of common sense.

--v. 2 limit, restrict, confine, delimit, define, circumscribe: The river bounds the property on the east.

boundý n. 1 leap, jump, vault, spring; bounce, hop: With a great

bound, the dog was upon me. 2 by leaps and bounds. See leap, 7, below.

--v. 3 leap, jump, hop, spring, vault, gambol, caper, romp, frolic, bounce, Colloq galumph: The wolfhound came bounding towards me across the meadow.

bound° adj. 1 tied, fast, fixed, fastened, confined, secured: We were bound hand and foot and left in the cave. 2 obliged, obligated, required, constrained, forced, compelled: In the circumstances, Philippa was bound to do as she was told. 3 determined, resolved: Otto is bound to go to the party if Antonia is going.

4 likely, certain, sure, destined, predestined, fated, doomed: He is bound to get the sack if he goes on turning up late. 5

destined, scheduled, booked; headed, directed: We were bound for Cardiff.

boundary n. border(s), limit(s), frontier(s); bound(s), confines, perimeter: If you cross that boundary, you will be safely in Switzerland.

boundless adj. limitless, unbounded, unlimited; illimitable, vast, endless, unending, infinite, immense, enormous, immeasurable, incalculable, measureless, unrestricted, unchecked, inexhaustible, unstoppable, unbridled, uncontrolled, Literary vasty: How can you keep up with a teenager's boundless energy?

bountiful adj. 1 generous, beneficent, munificent, liberal, unsparing, unstinting, charitable, eleemosynary, magnanimous, Literary bounteous: We are grateful to Sir Roger, our most bountiful patron, for endowing this library. 2 ample, abundant, plenteous, plentiful, copious, rich, Literary bounteous: Until the Stock Exchange d‚bƒcle, these shares paid bountiful dividends.

bounty n. 1 generosity, liberality, munificence, charitableness, philanthropy, charity, unselfishness, beneficence, goodness: The poor used to be dependent on the bounty of the local gentry. 2 gift, present, largesse, grant, subsidy, endowment,

subvention: People should be given work and not live off the bounty of the state. 3 reward, award, premium, bonus, gratuity: In America they paid a bounty of œ50 for every dead wolf.

bouquet n. 1 nosegay, posy, bunch, arrangement, spray: I sent her a

bouquet of spring flowers for her birthday. 2 aroma, scent, odour, fragrance, perfume: This '83 burgundy certainly has a fine bouquet. 3 compliment(s), praise, commendation: Mrs Campbell received many bouquets for her performances.

bourgeois adj. 1 middle-class, conventional, philistine, capitalistic, propertied; materialistic, greedy, money-grubbing, money-hungry: The yuppies constitute the modern bourgeois element in society. 2 working-class, proletarian, plebeian: In his bourgeois mind,

he had only his labour to offer.


n. 1 turn, round, time, occasion, spell, period, session: He's


just got over a bout of pneumonia. 2 chance, spree, stint,


opportunity, innings: We had long planned this bout of


shopping. 3 contest, match, boxing-match, prizefight, meet,


set-to, struggle, encounter, engagement; duel: A bout has been


arranged between the heavyweight champion of the world and a


challenger from Puerto Rico.


n. 1 nod; curtsy or curtsey, salaam, kowtow, genuflection,


prostration, obeisance: We all bowed respectfully before the



--v. 2 defer, yield, submit, give in, bend, bow down, capitulate: I bow to your greater knowledge of the subject. 3 bend, incline, lower: The servants bowed their heads when the master entered. 4 weigh down, crush, overload, bend down, burden: Michael was bowed down by the responsibilities of his new family. 5 nod, curtsy or curtsey, salaam, kowtow, genuflect, prostrate oneself, salaam, make obeisance: The natives bowed as the king passed by.


n. interior, insides, depths; heart, centre, core, intestines,

viscera, vitals, belly, gut, Colloq innards, guts: We descended

the shaft into the very bowels of the earth. She hates me, I can

feel it in my bowels.


v. move, trundle, wheel, roll, spin: We saw him in his car,

bowling along at about 40.


n. dish; basin, pan: She brought me a bowl of cereal.


n. 1 case, receptacle, crate, carton, container, casket,


coffer, caddy, chest: She keeps her valuables in a small


tortoise-shell box on the dressing-table.


--v. 2 crate, encase, package: The candles are boxed in


dozens. 3 box in or up. trap, confine, bottle up, hem in,


enclose, surround; pin down: They have the horses boxed in and


are now driving them into the corral.


v. 1 fight, engage in fisticuffs, spar, battle: When he was in


the army, he boxed for his regiment. 2 strike, buffet, punch,


hit, Colloq slug, sock, whack, thwack, clout, belt, thump,


lambaste, whomp: Every time she heard him swear, she'd box his




--n. 3 blow, buffet, punch, hit, strike, Colloq slug, sock,


whack, thwack, clout, belt, thump, whomp: How would you like a


box on the ear, you young rascal!


n. 1 lad, youth, young man, stripling, youngster, schoolboy,


fellow, urchin, brat, Colloq kid, guy, small fry, little shaver:


There were two girls and five boys in my family. 2 servant,

house-servant, attendant; lackey, slave, Archaic knave, varlet, rogue, wretch, caitiff: Here! Boy! Bring me another gin and tonic. 3 old boy. Brit (public) schoolmate; friend, chum, pal, Archaic old bean, old egg, old crumpet, dear boy; crony: I say, old boy, care for a rubber of bridge? Carruthers wouldn't be where he is now if it weren't for the old-boy network.

boycott v. 1 blacklist, embargo; avoid, refuse, shun, reject, eschew, pass over or by: They are boycotting Fern's Dairy because it won't hire women. The US government is still boycotting cigars from Havana.

--n. 2 embargo, blacklist, blacklisting, ban: A boycott of their products soon forced them to change their policies.

boyish adj. 1 young, youthful, juvenile, adolescent: She liked his boyish good looks. 2 childish, puerile, juvenile, immature: Don't be too hard on them - it was just a boyish prank.

2.6 brace...


brace n. 1 bracket, stiffener, reinforcement, reinforcer, support, buttress, prop, stay, strut, truss: Two steel braces have been installed to steady the columns. 2 drill: He bored three holes in the wood with his brace and auger. 3 clasp, clamp, buckle, fastener, clip, holdfast, catch, coupler, coupling: Another brace will be needed here to strengthen the handle. 4 pair; couple, span, team (of two): A brace of duelling pistols was

sold at auction last week for œ20,000. Her carriage was drawn by a brace of palominos.

--v. 5 steady, reinforce, support, strengthen, prop or shore up: Iron bars are used to brace the arches. 6 brace oneself. steady or gird or prepare oneself; hold or hang on: I braced myself against the likelihood that she would refuse.

bracing adj. invigorating, tonic, stimulating, refreshing, exhilarating, fortifying, restorative: I cannot live in the tropics and need the more bracing climate of the north.

bracket n. 1 support, corbel, console: The mantelpiece rests on a pair of stone brackets. 2 shelf: Her collection of glass

paperweights was arrayed on a bracket in the sitting-room. 3 category, class, set, group, grouping, classification, division, level; order, grade, rank: He comes from an altogether different bracket of society.

--v. 4 classify, rank, group; unite, combine, join, link: I wish you wouldn't bracket her with me - our politics are as different as day and night.

brag v. boast, crow, trumpet, vaunt, strut, swagger, show off, Colloq talk big, blow or toot one's own horn or trumpet, go on about: He's always bragging about what he did in the war.

braggart n. boaster, bragger, braggadocio, windbag, peacock, show-off, Scaramouch or Scaramouche, Slang big-mouth, loud-mouth, gasbag: That braggart William Smith talks about himself incessantly.

braid n. 1 plait: Katrina wore her blond hair in a tightly coiled braid on top of her head. 2 trimming, embroidery, soutache, lace, fillet, band, ribbon: The edges are decorated with narrow braid containing gold thread.


--v. 3 plait, intertwine, interlace, weave, twist: At school


we learned how to braid leather laces into a belt.


n. 1 brains, intelligence, intellect, understanding, sense,


thought, imagination, capacity, perspicacity, perceptiveness,


perception, percipience; wisdom, sagacity, wit, discernment,


acumen; knowledge, cognition: Although she's not yet ten, she


has the brain to become a great mathematician. 2 genius,


mastermind, intellectual; leader, planner: Many people regard


Einstein as the greatest brain of the 20th century. Ivor was


clearly the brains of the operation.


n. 1 curb, check, restraint, restriction, constraint, control,


rein: The central bank applied a brake to the upward trend of


the dollar by buying Deutschmarks.


--v. 2 slow, slow up or down, put on or apply the brakes,


reduce speed, decelerate, slacken, hold up: He braked before


the bad curve. She braked the car going down the steep hill.

branch n. 1 offshoot, arm; limb, bough, stem, shoot, twig, sprig: The branches of this tree need trimming. 2 department, section, subsection, division, subdivision, office, part, ramification; affiliate, subsidiary; spin-off: What branch of medicine are

you going to specialize in? The company maintains branches in New York and Melbourne.

--v. 3 ramify, divide, subdivide, diverge; diversify: This

road branches off in three directions. The company will branch out into electronics this year.

brand n. 1 kind, make, type, sort, variety; brand name, manufacturer, maker, trade name, trade mark, label, mark, marque, Chiefly US and Canadian name brand: Which brand of toothpaste do you prefer? Our advertising agency is conducting a survey of brand loyalty.

--v. 2 mark, stamp, identify, tag, label, trade-mark: We sell only branded merchandise in our shops. 3 label, characterize; stigmatize, discredit, disgrace: Because his actions at the front were misinterpreted, Corporal Williams was branded as a coward.

brand-new adj. new, unused, fresh, firsthand, mint, virgin: We bought a brand-new car last week.

brash adj. 1 hasty, rash, impetuous, precipitate, impulsive, headlong, reckless: He may be a brash young man, but I think he's going places. 2 impudent, rude, impertinent, disrespectful, insolent, forward, audacious, brassy, brazen, bold, tactless, undiplomatic, presumptuous, Colloq cheeky, fresh: Her brash behaviour has already landed her in trouble with the headmistress.

brass n. effrontery, gall, nerve, temerity, impudence, insolence, rudeness, Colloq cheek, nerve: He had the brass to turn down a knighthood.

brassy adj. 1 impudent, forward, insolent, saucy, brash, rude, brazen, shameless; coarse, flashy, florid, flamboyant; Colloq cheeky, fresh: Our landlady was a big brassy blonde. 2 harsh,

strident, tinny, grating, dissonant, shrill, loud: She has just the right kind of brassy voice for belting out songs like, 'There's No Business Like Show Business'.

bravado n. boldness, bluster, boasting, braggadocio, swagger, front, self-assurance, Literary rodomontade, gasconade; arrogance, pretentiousness, Colloq machismo, Slang Brit side: With an attempt at bravado, the union leader refused to meet the management representatives.

brave adj. 1 fearless, intrepid, bold, courageous, daring, gallant, stout, stout-hearted, valiant, valorous, stalwart, plucky, staunch, undaunted, dauntless, unafraid, unfearing, indomitable,

heroic, Colloq macho; Slang gutsy: Despite her misgivings about her proposal, she put on a brave face in the boardroom. He was brave to face the enemy alone. 2 fine, handsome, grand, splendid, showy, colourful, spectacular, smart: The colonel made a brave appearance in full Highland regalia.

--v. 3 challenge, defy, dare; brazen (out), face, confront, encounter, meet: We had to brave the elements in the open boat. I had to brave my father at breakfast.

bravery n. daring, courage, valour, heroism, fortitude, fearlessness,

intrepidity, intrepidness, pluck, determination, staunchness, firmness, resoluteness, resolution, indomitability,

stalwartness, Colloq machismo: One has to admire the bravery of a woman who supported suffrage in the early 1900s.

brawl n. 1 fight, mˆl‚e or melee, battle, battle royal, Donnybrook, fray, wrangle, dispute, disorder, brannigan, fracas, row, quarrel, squabble, Colloq punch-up, free-for-all, scrap, ruckus: The police had to be brought in to break up the brawl.

--v. 2 fight, wrangle; row, quarrel, squabble, Colloq scrap: The two brothers always seem to be brawling.


n. muscle(s), strength, robustness, brawniness, might, power,

Colloq huskiness: It must take a lot of brawn to lift those



adj. muscular, strong, tough, robust, mighty, powerful, burly,

strapping, beefy, hefty, bulky, Colloq husky: That brawny fellow tossing the caber is my brother.

brazen adj. brassy, shameless, barefaced, brash, outspoken, forward, immodest, unashamed, audacious, candid, open, unabashed, brazen-faced; rude, impudent, impertinent, insolent, saucy, Colloq cheeky, fresh, US sassy: That's the last time I'll let

that brazen hussy near my husband!

breach n. 1 break, violation, infraction, disobedience, non-observance, infringement, contravention: Their failure to comply with paragraph 3 is a clear breach of our contract. 2 break, rift, gulf, split, break-up, separation, rupture,

severance, schism, split, alienation, estrangement: There seems to be no way to heal the breach between them. 3 gap, fissure, crack, split, hole, opening; chasm: Their cannon opened a breach in the castle wall.

--v. 4 rupture; break through, invade: The sea has breached

the dyke. Someone breached the security measures set up for the missile design.

breadth n. 1 width, wideness, broadness, beam, span, spread, thickness: The breadth of the cloth is 54in. 2 extent, magnitude, degree, amount, scope, expanse, range, area, depth, detail: I like the

breadth of coverage of the six o'clock news. 3 liberality, largeness, catholicity, latitude: Great breadth of vision was exhibited in the conference papers.

break v. 1 break apart or up or asunder, fracture, rupture, break into bits, come apart, shatter, shiver, crack, crash, splinter, fragment, split, burst, explode, Colloq bust: The ball flew over the fence and broke my neighbour's window. She fell and broke her wrist. 2 reveal, announce, disclose, divulge, tell, make public: Break the news to him gently. 3 relax, ease up, improve, ameliorate, change for the better: When will this spell of wet weather break? 4 demolish, smash, destroy, crush, ruin, defeat, foil, frustrate: The power of the dictator was finally broken. 5 ruin, bankrupt: He's the man that broke the bank at Monte Carlo. 6 weary, exhaust, wear out, weaken, debilitate: Twenty years in the chain-gang had broken him completely. 7 crush, overcome; cow, cripple, demoralize, weaken, undermine, discourage: The divorce has broken her spirit. 8 break in, tame, discipline, train, condition: I used

to break horses for a living. 9 violate, transgress, disobey, contravene, defy, infringe, fail to observe, ignore, disregard, flout: If you break the law, you'll regret it. They broke the contract. 10 break off, discontinue, interrupt, sever, cut off; give up, suspend, disrupt: We broke relations with Spain after the incident. It is very difficult to break a habit of a

lifetime. The narrative breaks at this point, to be taken up later. 11 break up, divide, disperse, scatter: The rain is over and the clouds are breaking. 12 break loose or away or forth, separate from, break out (of), escape (from), depart (from): The ship broke from its moorings during the storm. 13 break forth, burst forth; emerge or come out suddenly: The storm broke in all its fury. After a little while, the sun broke

through. 14 demote, Colloq bust: He was broken from sergeant to private. 15 break away. leave, depart, separate (oneself): A small group broke away from the established church to worship as they saw fit. 16 break down. a demolish, destroy: All right,

men, let's break down that wall. b decompose, break up;

analyse: The carbon dioxide molecules and water are broken down by photosynthesis. c collapse, give way, disintegrate, be

crushed, be prostrated: His health has broken down completely. 17 break ground. initiate, begin, commence, found, set up, establish, inaugurate, be innovative, innovate, Colloq break the ice, take the plunge, start the ball rolling: Laser printers