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Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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shopping mall began to take shape. 4 state, condition, fettle, status, (state of) health, order, trim: When I saw Wayne yesterday, he seemed in very good shape indeed. 5 guise, disguise, form, appearance, likeness, image: Zeus visited Dan„e in the shape of a golden shower, and fathered Perseus on her.

--v. 6 form, fashion, mould, cast, make, model, sculpture, sculpt; cut, carve, hew, hack, trim: Using primitive tools,

they were able to shape the clay into bowls. The topiary shrubs were shaped into the forms of birds. 7 determine, give form to, control, govern, regulate, affect, condition, influence, decree, frame, define,: There are many factors that shape our future.

8 word, express, embody in words, put, formulate, form: Perhaps you could shape your question differently. 9 change, modify, remodel, accommodate, fit, adapt, adjust: The box was shaped especially for this bottle. 10 shape up. a take form, take

shape, develop, evolve, proceed: The plan is shaping up very nicely. b conform, improve, progress, go or move or come along, show improvement, come up to snuff; behave better: Those who cannot shape up will have to ship out.

shapeless adj. 1 amorphous, formless, nebulous, unformed, indefinite, unstructured, vague: Sculptors start with a shapeless mass of clay. 2 unshapely, deformed, misshapen, distorted, twisted, bent, battered: The wreckage was a shapeless tangle of steel and mortar.

shapely adj. curvaceous, comely, well-proportioned, graceful, neat, well turned out, good-looking, pleasing; voluptuous, Colloq sexy: That slinky black dress certainly sets off her shapely figure to advantage.

share n. 1 portion, allotment, division, apportionment, allocation, ration, appropriation, dispensation, allowance, part, due, percentage, interest, dividend, quota, portion, helping, serving, Colloq cut: Each of us is entitled to a share in the profits. We made sure that all participants got their shares. 2 interest, piece, part, stake, equity, slice: Do you own any shares in the stock market? My share in United Telephone is worth twice what I paid for it.

--v. 3 share out, divide up, allot, apportion, allocate, ration, appropriate, share in, split, partition, parcel or deal

or dole out, pay out: Ownership in the company is shared equally among the employees. Let's just take one car, and share the expenses.

sharp adj. 1 acute, keen; razor-sharp, knife-like, knife-edged, sharpened; pointed, needle-sharp: How do you keep the telescope in sharp focus? You need an extremely sharp knife for boning fish. This pencil isn't sharp enough. 2 abrupt, sudden,

precipitous, sheer, vertical, marked: Just round the corner is a sharp dip in the road. There was a sharp rise in prices on the

London Stock Exchange today. 3 keen, keen-witted, keen-minded, sharp-witted, shrewd, intelligent, smart, alert, bright, quick,

agile, astute, clever, on the qui vive, penetrating, observant: Penny has a very sharp mind and a good eye for detail. 4 caustic, bitter, biting, acrid, hot, spicy, pungent, piquant, tangy, harsh, sour, acid, acidulous, tart: That lemon sorbet is a little too sharp for my taste. 5 acid, acidulous, acerbic, vitriolic, acrimonious, cutting, piquant, biting, bitter, unkind, strict, hurtful, spiteful, virulent, sarcastic,

sardonic, trenchant, severe, scathing, malicious, nasty,

malignant, venomous, poisonous: How does one escape the sharp comments of the critics? She was unprepared for the sharp exchange between the guests on her chat show. 6 clever, shrewd, artful, crafty, sly, cunning, foxy, calculating, unscrupulous, dishonest, Colloq sneaky, fly: There is evidence that the stock manipulators were engaged in very sharp practice. 7 high-pitched, shrill, penetrating, piercing, strident, harsh, ear-splitting, loud: Jane gave a sharp cry when she felt the

ice break under her feet. 8 poignant, severe, cutting, intense, sudden, piercing, extreme, acute, fierce: Complaining of a sharp pain in his chest, he fell down. 9 chic, dapper, spruce, stylish, smart, fashionable, dressy, Colloq snappy, natty, classy, nifty, swell, swanky: If you want to see the latest collection of sharp clothes, go to the disco.

--adv. 10 sharply, precisely, exactly, punctually, on the dot, Colloq on the button, US on the nose: Our appointment was for seven o'clock sharp. 11 sharply, suddenly, abruptly: I was pulled up sharp by her mention of the Black Rose. 12 sharply, alertly, attentively, vigilantly, watchfully, carefully: Listen sharp to what I tell you.

sharpen v. hone, grind, strop, whet: Of what use is a knife if you

don't sharpen it periodically?


adj. sharp-sighted, eagle-eyed, hawk-eyed, lynx-eyed, gimlet-eyed, keen-sighted, wide awake, wakeful, watchful, observant, (on the) alert, on the qui vive, wary, circumspect, Argus-eyed, cautious, careful: It takes quite a sharp-eyed person to check the accuracy of these circuits.

sharply adv. 1 severely, sternly, harshly, cuttingly, acerbically, peremptorily, angrily, strictly, firmly: Her teacher sharply rebuked Hilary for smiling. 2 suddenly, quickly, abruptly, precipitously, precipitately: Prices increased sharply for the third day in succession. 3 acutely, distinctly, definitely, definitively: These new cameras automatically remain sharply focused on the object.

shatter v. 1 disintegrate, burst, pulverize, shiver, smash, demolish, break (to smithereens), splinter, fragment, fracture, dash to pieces: If you hadn't caught the vase, it would have shattered into a million pieces. 2 destroy, ruin, devastate, wreck, dash, crush, demolish, torpedo, undermine, blast: Any dreams he might have had of being published were shattered by the rejection letter. 3 upset, disturb, perturb, trouble, unnerve, overcome, overwhelm, crush, devastate, depress, deject, rattle, shake

(up), unsettle, agitate, confound, confuse, stupefy, daze, stun, paralyse, Colloq throw: He was shattered by the news of Mill's death.

shave v. 1 shear (off), cut (off), trim, clip, crop, snip off, remove: He made a mistake in shaving off his beard, as it hid his weak chin. 2 pare, scrape, plane, whittle: If you shave just a hair off this side, it will fit into the hole.

--n. 3 close shave. narrow escape, Colloq narrow or near squeak, US squeaker: That was a close shave! - You almost fell out the window!

shed° n. lean-to, shelter, structure, addition, penthouse, hut, shack, stall, booth, pen, cote, hutch: The tools are in the shed alongside the barn.

shedý v. 1 spill: Much blood has been shed in the name of freedom.

2 shine, spread, scatter, throw, cast, let fall, impart, release, focus, pour forth, let fall, radiate: Can you shed a

little light on a matter that has puzzled me for years? 3 pour or stream or flow or surge or spill (out or forth), discharge,

emanate, emit, drop; exude, ooze, weep: The clouds shed their snow and the world below turned white. Don't shed any tears over me. 4 cast off, doff, drop, abandon; moult, defoliate,

desquamate, peel (off), flake (off): The trees shed their leaves. She rushed into the bathroom, shedding her clothes as she went.

sheen n. shine, gleam, polish, lustre, shininess, burnish, brightness, gloss, glow, glimmer, shimmer, radiance, glint, dazzle: The sheen of the horse's coat glistened in the sunlight.

sheepish adj. 1 timid, withdrawn, passive, docile, obedient, compliant, sheeplike, manipulable, tractable, pliable, meek, amenable: Dashworth might seem sheepish but he doesn't like to be bullied. 2 See shamefaced, above.


adj. 1 steep, precipitous, abrupt, perpendicular, bluff,


vertical: There is a sheer drop of 2000 feet to the valley


below. 2 absolute, unmitigated, unqualified, downright,


out-and-out, unalloyed, unadulterated, pure, unmixed, plain,


simple, rank, total, complete, arrant, thorough, thoroughgoing,


utter: Johnson said that he had got his definition of 'pastern'


wrong out of 'sheer ignorance'. 3 transparent, see-through,


thin, diaphanous, filmy, gauzy, gossamer, translucent, peekaboo:


Kathryn was wearing the sheer nightgown he had given her for her




n. 1 bed-sheet, crib-sheet, fitted sheet, flat sheet, US


contour sheet: How often do you change the sheets on your bed?


2 leaf, folio, page: He tore a sheet of paper from the


notebook. 3 pane, panel, plate, slab: The desk has a sheet of


glass on top for protection. 4 lamina, lamination, layer,


stratum, veneer, membrane: Plywood is made up of a number of


thin sheets of pressed wood bonded together for strength. 5


area, expanse, stretch, layer, film, coat, coating, covering,


blanket, cover, surface, skin, veneer: The sheet of ice on the


road made driving hazardous. 6 newspaper, journal, paper,


tabloid, gazette, daily, weekly, monthly, Colloq rag: Have you

got a copy of the sheet that published the article about you?

shell n. 1 cartridge, projectile, shot: We huddled in the foxhole as the shells whistled overhead. 2 exterior, outside, fa‡ade, framework, frame, chassis, externals, skeleton, hull: After the earthquake, only the shell of the building was left standing.

--v. 3 shuck, husk, peel, hull, excorticate, decorticate:

Would you mind shelling the peas while I peel the potatoes? 4 fire on or upon, bombard, barrage, attack, bomb, blitz, cannonade, Slang Brit prang: The enemy shelled our position relentlessly. 5 shell out. pay out, give out, disburse, spend, expend, hand over, hand out, Colloq lay out, fork out, dish out, Chiefly US ante up: I had to shell out a month's salary for that suit.

shelter n. 1 protection, cover, refuge, asylum, sanctuary, haven, safety, security: During the hailstorm, we sought shelter in a cave. 2 cover, covering, concealment, screen, umbrella: Under the shelter of a moonless night, they stole quietly past the guards. 3 dwelling-place, habitation, home, dwelling, housing, accommodation: He feels that everyone is entitled to food, clothing, and shelter.

--v. 4 protect, screen, shield, safeguard, guard, keep, secure, harbour: The parapet sheltered the guards from the icy wind. 5 seek or take refuge or shelter, hole up, Colloq lie or lay low: Mike sheltered in a mountain hut until the hue and cry died down.

shelve v. postpone, defer, put off or aside or on ice or on the shelf, pigeon-hole, lay aside, hold in abeyance, US table: We will have to shelve this matter until we have more information.

shepherd v. lead, convoy, escort, conduct, guide, usher, take, pursue: I want you, personally, to shepherd Miss Jones through the plant. As this project requires special care, I shall shepherd

it through personally.


n. password, catchword, catch-phrase, buzz-word, byword, watchword, jargon: As Simon knew none of the shibboleths of teenagers' slang, he remained an outsider to his classmates.

shield n. 1 protection, guard, safeguard, defence, screen, bulwark, shelter: Education is a poor shield against poverty.

--v. 2 protect, guard, safeguard, keep, defend, screen,

shelter: The mother bear will shield the cubs from harm or die in the attempt.

shift v. 1 move, change position; edge, budge, relocate, rearrange, transpose, switch: Shift the picture slightly to the left.

Marla shifted over closer to me on the bench. I almost broke my leg because you shifted the chair as I was about to sit on it. 2 Usually, shift for (oneself). manage, succeed, make do, look after, take care of, get or scrape by or along, fend for

(oneself), make it, paddle one's own canoe: Cyril prefers to live alone and shift for himself. 3 sell, market, move: The object of advertising is to shift merchandise.

--n. 4 hours, stint, schedule; workforce, relay, crew, cadre, staff, workers, squad, team, corps, group, party, gang: I prefer to work the morning shift. The night shift comes on at

1600. 5 change, movement, switch, transfer, swerve, deflection, veer: Owing to a wind shift, it became impossible to manoeuvre among the rocks. 6 smock, chemise, muu-muu; caftan or kaftan: A light cotton shift is the most comfortable thing to wear in such scorching weather.

shiftless adj. unambitious, lazy, indolent, uninspired, unmotivated, idle, lackadaisical, irresponsible, uncaring, unenterprising, aimless, slothful, otiose, ineffective, ne'er-do-well, good-for-nothing, fain‚ant, pococurante: He calls Geoff a shiftless vagabond, virtually a tautology.

shifty adj. tricky, artful, shrewd, canny, cunning, foxy, wily, sharp, devious, slick, evasive, smooth, slippery, scheming, designing, conniving, calculating, underhand(ed), conspiratorial, treacherous, traitorous, deceitful, deceiving, duplicitous, two-faced, Janus-faced, dishonest, crooked, untrustworthy, Colloq bent: The shifty scoundrel gave me a bad cheque and did a moonlight flit.


v. hem and haw, dilly-dally, teeter-totter, see-saw, yo-yo,

vacillate, waver, alternate, fluctuate, dither, falter, tergiversate, Brit haver, hum and haw, Scots swither; delay,

hesitate, dawdle: Stop shilly-shallying and decide whether you want chocolate or strawberry!

shimmer v. 1 shine, gleam, glow, glimmer, glint, glisten, ripple, flicker: The desert shimmered like a lake under the relentless sun.


--n. 2 shimmering, shine, gleam, glow, glimmer, glint, gloss,


flicker, light: As Julia slunk up to the microphone, the


spotlight picked up the shimmer from her black satin gown.


v. Usually, shin up. climb, clamber up, scramble up, scale, US


shinny up: The lad shinned up the flag-pole carrying the




v. 1 gleam, glow, shimmer, radiate, beam, glare, flare,


glisten, glitter, coruscate, twinkle, sparkle, scintillate,


glint, flash, flicker: The light of a candle shone from her


window. The stars are shining brightly. I want that brass


polished till it shines. 2 polish, burnish, rub (up or down),


buff, brush, brighten: You'd best shine your shoes before going


for the job interview. 3 excel, surpass, stand out, outshine,


be outstanding or pre-eminent or excellent or prominent or


conspicuous: She had shone at tennis from a very early age, and


first entered Wimbledon when she was twelve.


--n. 4 gleam, glow, shimmer, sparkle, brightness, radiance,


gloss, lustre, sheen, glaze, patina: That shine was achieved


with a little wax and elbow-grease. 5 take a shine to. like, be


attracted to, take a fancy to, fancy: Her Great Dane has taken


a shine to me and likes to sit on my lap.


adj. gleaming, glowing, shimmering, glossy, shimmery, lustrous,


glassy, radiant, bright, beaming, glistening, polished,


burnished, glittering, dazzling, coruscating, twinkling,


sparkling, scintillating, glinting, flashing, flashy,


flickering, lambent, fulgent: She loves riding about in her


shiny new car.


n. 1 vessel, (ocean or passenger) liner, steamer, wind-jammer,


cutter: The statue is dedicated to the men who go down to the

sea in ships.

--v. 2 send, move, ferry, transport, deliver, carry, dispatch or despatch, freight, haul, truck, cart: You need a specialized

company that ships computers and other delicate equipment. 3 ship out. leave, depart, embark, set sail, take off, get out,

quit, Slang scram: You'll ship out if you know what's good for you.

shipshape adj. neat, trim, spotless, orderly, Bristol fashion, spick and span, tidy: Pick up your clothes and make this room shipshape at once!

shirk v. avoid, evade, shun, dodge, get out of, shrink from, Colloq duck (out of), Brit skive, Military Brit scrimshank, US gold brick: Stop shirking your responsibilities and get to work! Is Callum shirking again?

shiver° v. 1 shake, quake, tremble, shudder, quiver: We sat in our wet clothes, shivering in the cold. The old shack shivered in the wind. 2 vibrate, luff, flap, flutter, chatter, rattle, shake,

wallop: The sails shivered violently in the stiff breeze.

--n. 3 shake, quake, tremble, shudder, quiver, thrill, frisson, trembling, tremor, flutter: She gave a little shiver and then snuggled into my arms. 4 the shivers. trembling, shivering, goose-pimples or goose bumps, Colloq the shakes, US the chills: He's had malaria and occasionally gets the shivers. Those horror films give me the shivers.


v. shatter, fragment, splinter, disintegrate, rupture, explode,

implode, smash (to smithereens), crash: The light-bulb fell and

shivered into a million fragments.


v. 1 startle, surprise, stagger, jar, jolt, shake (up), stun,

numb, paralyse, daze, stupefy, dumbfound or dumfound, bowl over, appal, astonish, astound, frighten, scare, petrify, traumatize, horrify, outrage, disgust, nauseate, repel, revolt, sicken,

upset, disquiet, disturb, perturb, discompose, unsettle, Colloq throw, US throw for a loop, flabbergast, give (someone) a turn:

He shocked us when he announced his resignation. We were shocked to learn of the train wreck.

--n. 2 trauma, stupor, paralysis, prostration, breakdown, collapse, nervous exhaustion: He is in a state of shock after the accident. 3 surprise, thunderbolt, bolt from the blue, bombshell, revelation, shocker, eye-opener, jolt: It came as a shock to learn whom I had been talking to so casually. The death of her husband was a terrible shock. 4 tingle, jolt, impact: You'll get a nasty shock if you touch those wires.

shocking adj. 1 surprising, astounding, astonishing, amazing, striking, stupefying, numbing, sudden, unexpected, electrifying,

startling, Colloq mind-boggling, mind-blowing: It was shocking to see the way the neighbourhood had deteriorated. 2 disgusting, revolting, nauseating, nauseous, sickening, repulsive, abominable, hideous, horrible, horrifying, horrific, horrid, foul, loathsome, abhorrent, ghastly, hideous, unspeakable, dreadful, distressing, outrageous, appalling, monstrous, scandalous: The conditions in the concentration camps were shocking.

shoddy adj. shabby, tatty, inferior, poor, rubbishy, cheap, pinchbeck,


meretricious, tawdry, gaudy, Brummagem, plastic, artificial,


tinsel, tinselly, second-rate, trashy, junky, Colloq crappy,


cheapjack, tacky, US chintzy: They can't get away for long with


selling such shoddy merchandise.


interjection. 1 Scat!, Go away!, Away with you!, Be off!, Get


out!, Begone!, Colloq Get lost!, Beat it!, Scram!: I shouted


'Shoo!' and the chickens scattered.


--v. 2 Often, shoo away or off. scare off, frighten away, drive


away, force to leave: She shoos away anyone who disturbs her


while she is painting.

shoot v. 1 scoot, dart, whisk, speed, bolt, run, race, rush, flash, fly, dash, hurtle, streak, scuttle, bound, leap, spring, Colloq zip, whiz: The instant the baby cried out, its mother shot over to protect it. 2 discharge, fire, open fire; let fly, launch, propel, project, fling, hurl, throw, toss: Don't shoot till you see the whites of their eyes! With all his strength he shot the arrow into the beast's neck. 3 wound, hurt, harm, injure; kill, slay, assassinate, execute, Slang fill or pump full of lead, plug, blast, zap, knock off, snuff (out): He insulted her, so she shot him. He's to be shot at sunrise. 4 sprout, germinate,

burgeon, flourish, grow, spring up, mushroom, develop: Owing to the perfect weather, the corn shot up very quickly.

--n. 5 sprout, stem, bud, branch, offshoot, slip, scion, sucker: If you want fruit, the new shoots have to be pinched back.

shop n. 1 store, boutique, department store: Would you stop at the shop and buy some lettuce? 2 workshop, machine shop: Henry gained experience in operating a lathe at my father's shop.

--v. 3 betray, inform on or against, Slang peach on, rat on, snitch on, blow the whistle on: The police persuaded Luke to shop his accomplices in exchange for a lighter sentence. 4 shop for. buy, purchase, seek, look for, research: I've been shopping for a new dishwasher.

short adj. 1 small, little, slight, petite, diminutive, wee, tiny,

elfin, minuscule; midget, dwarfish, squat, dumpy, runty, stubby, stunted, Colloq pint-sized, knee-high to a grasshopper, sawn-off: Did you know that Queen Victoria was quite short? 2 shortened, brief, concise, compressed, compendious, compact, pocket, US vest-pocket; abbreviated, abridged, cut: A short version of the book was published in paperback. 3 laconic, terse, succinct, pithy, sententious, epigrammatic: He made a few short remarks that were very much to the point. 4 abrupt, curt, terse, sharp, blunt, bluff, brusque, sharp, offhand,

gruff, testy, snappish, discourteous, uncivil, impolite: It is unnecessary to be so short with the staff. 5 direct, straight, straightforward, short and sweet: In reply to your request for permission to leave early, the short answer is 'No'. 6 Usually, short of. deficient (in), lacking (in), needful (of), wanting, inadequate, shy (of), low (on): The hotel is short of clean linen because the laundry failed to deliver. 7 brief, limited; transitory, temporary, short-lived, momentary, quick, transient: HQ had a short life but a happy one. I'll just make a short stop in here and will join you in a moment. 8 impecunious, straitened, pinched, underfunded, poor, penniless, deficient: I'm a bit short today and wonder if you could lend me some money? 9 in short supply. rare, scarce, scanty, unplentiful, meagre, sparse, Colloq chiefly Brit thin on the ground: Good editors are in short supply these days. 10 short of. before, failing, excluding, exclusive of, barring, eliminating,