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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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quickly he retracted his remarks when challenged. I waved to them, but they didn't notice me. 2 mind, observe, perceive, discern, see, detect, make out, identify, recognize, Colloq spot: I noticed signs of illness when I visited her.

--n. 3 attention, awareness, consciousness, perception, observation, cognizance: Let me bring to your notice the second paragraph on page six. 4 regard, consideration, respect, observation, attention, note, heed: They have published many books worthy of notice. He considers matters of money beneath his notice. 5 notification, announcement, information, advice; warning, intimation: A notice showing the currency exchange rates is posted in the bank. The company let Corbett go without notice. 6 criticism, critique, review, comment, commentary: The play has enjoyed excellent notices in the London newspapers. 7 give notice. warn, admonish, notify, announce, advise, inform: British Rail gave notice of a curtailment of service to this station. Barry gave notice today of his resignation.


adj. 1 discernible, perceivable, observable, perceptible, recognizable, distinguishable, visible, palpable, manifest, distinct, evident, clear, clear-cut, conspicuous, obvious;

patent, unmistakable or unmistakeable, undisguised, unconcealed: Is the scratch noticeable? Wrinkles around the eyes are one of

the first noticeable signs of ageing. 2 noteworthy, notable, significant, signal, remarkable, important, singular, exceptional, pronounced, distinct, especial, considerable,

major: After the reprimand, there was a noticeable improvement in his work.

notify v. 1 inform, tell, advise, alert, apprise, warn: She notified us that she might come in late today. They wrote to notify shareholders of the new share offer. 2 announce, publish, declare, proclaim, give notice of; intimate, hint: The arrival of the first salmon notified to us the change of season.

notion n. 1 idea, thought, concept, conception, image, impression, general idea, (mental) picture, inkling: She has a pretty good notion of who did it. I haven't the slightest notion of what you are talking about. 2 fancy, whim, crotchet, whimsy, caprice, impulse, inclination, vagary, conceit, quirk, kink: She suddenly took a notion to fly to New York and left.

notoriety n. notoriousness, disrepute, dishonour, disgrace, infamy, shame, discredit, scandal, stain, blot, obloquy, ignominy, opprobrium: The notoriety attending his latest escapades displeased the prime minister.

notorious adj. 1 disreputable, dishonourable, disgraceful, infamous, shameful, shaming, embarrassing, discreditable, scandalous, naughty, flagrant, ignominious, opprobrious: Charles was yet again seen in public with a notorious arms dealer. 2 celebrated, renowned, famous, well-known, fabled, legendary,

memorable: Annie was notorious for riding her horse to victory in every event.


adv. 1 nevertheless, nonetheless, despite that, in spite of

that, yet, anyway: He was refused permission to go but he left notwithstanding.

--prep. 2 despite, in spite of, regardless of, in the face of, against: Notwithstanding his mother's objections, George married Marsha.

--conj. 3 although, though, even though, despite the fact that: The product was almost totally unknown, notwithstanding it had been on the market for years.

nourish v. 1 feed, sustain, support, maintain, keep, provide for, care for, take care of, look after, nurture, nurse: The child seems

to be thriving and well nourished. 2 foster, cherish, nurse, maintain, harbour, keep, nurture, sustain: Iago nourished a terrible hatred for Othello. 3 strengthen, fortify, encourage, promote, stimulate, cultivate, help, advance, aid: These malcontents continue to nourish trouble in the party ranks.


n. food, sustenance, nutriment, nutrition, victuals: You must take nourishment to maintain your strength.

novel adj. 1 new, unusual, unfamiliar, unconventional, fresh, different, original, creative; untested, untried: I have a novel idea for the design of an ultralight aircraft.

--n. 2 story, tale, narrative, romance; novella, novelette, best-seller, Colloq blockbuster: The members of our company board behave like characters out of a novel.

novelty n. 1 originality, newness, uniqueness, freshness, innovativeness: We are enthusiastic about the novelty of the new sales campaign. 2 gimmick, gimcrack, trifle, gewgaw, bauble, knick-knack, toy, trinket, ornament, plaything,

Brummagem, kickshaw: New subscribers receive as a premium some novelty, like a ball-point pen or a cheap clock.

novice n. beginner, neophyte, newcomer, proselyte, tiro or tyro, noviciate or novitiate, learner, amateur, initiate, apprentice, trainee, probationer, fledgling or Brit also fledgeling, US


freshman, Colloq greenhorn, rookie: She is a mere novice at




adv. 1 at present, just now, right now, at the present time or


moment, at this (very) moment or minute or second or instant:


He's in the shower and cannot come to the phone now. 2 these


days, nowadays, today, in these times, at the moment, in this


day and age, under or in the present circumstances or


conditions, in the present climate, things being what they are,


contemporarily, any more, any longer; for the time being, for


the nonce: What makes you say that the minimum wage is enough


to live on now? Selling now might bring the highest price. 3 at


once, immediately, right away, without delay, instantly,


promptly, Chiefly law instanter, Chiefly Brit straight away: I


want you here now - not in five minutes, but now! 4 now and


then or again. occasionally, from time to time, at times, on


occasion, sometimes, sporadically, once in a while, every now


and then or again, randomly, intermittently; infrequently,


seldom, rarely, once in a blue moon: There was a power cut now


and then. He visits his mother only now and then.


--adj. 5 contemporary, up to date, modern, stylish,


fashionable, trendy, Colloq in, with it: Advertisers must


appeal to the yuppies of the now generation.

nowadays adv. See now, 2, above.

14.5 nub...



n. 1 projection, protuberance, knob, boss, lump, bump, knop,


protrusion, bulge, node, knot; excrescence, swelling,


tumescence: Press the small nub on the side to open the door.

2 essence, core, heart, nucleus, crux, point, gist, pith, kernel, nucleus, meat, (sum and) substance, main issue, gravamen: Let's get to the nub of the argument.


adj. atomic: He joined the protest march against nuclear



n. core, heart, centre, kernel, pith, focus, nub: We already


have the nucleus of a very good team. The market square was the


nucleus around which many towns were built.


adj. unclothed, undressed, uncovered, au naturel, bare, naked,


in the nude, stark naked, undraped, without a stitch (on),


Colloq in the buff, in the altogether, in one's birthday suit,


Brit starkers, Brit and Australian in the nuddy: A nude man


streaked across the football pitch.


v. 1 jog, poke, elbow, jab, dig, bump, prompt, shove; prod,


push, US encourage: I had to nudge him to stay awake for the


film's thrilling climax.

--n. 2 jog, poke, elbow, jab, dig, bump, shove; prod, push, encouragement: Nigel just needs a nudge in the right direction.

nuisance n. 1 annoyance, inconvenience, trial, ordeal, burden, irritation, irritant, thorn in the flesh or side, difficulty, bother, US bur under the saddle, Colloq pain (in the neck or

rear), headache, hassle, Slang US and Canadian pain in the butt, Taboo slang pain in the Brit arse, or US ass: Having to paint the room again was a terrible nuisance. 2 bore, pest, nag, tease, tormentor or tormenter: James has made a nuisance of himself by telephoning every fifteen minutes.


adj. 1 numbed, benumbed, insensible, insensate, dead, deadened,


without feeling, sensationless, senseless; asleep: My feet are


numb from the cold.

--v. 2 benumb, anaesthetize, drug, deaden, dull, freeze,

paralyse, immobilize, stun: The doctor numbed my hand before removing the wart. Fear numbed her, and she felt nothing as the monster approached.

number n. 1 numeral, integer, figure, digit: The columns of numbers were entered in a neat hand. 2 few, handful, crowd, slew, gang, bunch, party, bevy, covey, troop, company, platoon, swarm, horde, multitude, mob, host, army, mass, hundred, thousand, million, billion; several, many, numbers, legions, US and Canadian slew(s) or slue(s), Colloq loads, tons: A number of

people attended the meeting. An enormous number of viruses could fit on the head of a pin. 3 issue; edition, copy: The fourth

number of the quarterly is published at the end of the year.

--v. 4 count, enumerate, compute, calculate, tally, figure (up), add (up), include, total, tot (up), reckon, sum (up): Who can number the stars?


adj. uncountable, uncounted, countless, innumerable, incalculable, immeasurable, numerous, untold, myriad, infinite: Although seemingly numberless, the number of grains of sand in the universe is calculable.


adj. bridal, matrimonial, wedding, spousal, wedded, marital;

connubial, conjugal, Literary hymeneal: The nuptial

arrangements have been made.


n. 1 angel of mercy, Florence Nightingale, Brit sister: I

awoke to see two nurses bending over me.

--v. 2 care for, look after, tend, attend, minister to, treat; nurture, foster, coddle, baby, pamper, cherish, preserve, keep alive, cultivate, develop: During his illness, she nursed him night and day. We nursed the company along through the first year. 3 wet-nurse, suckle, breast-feed, nourish: Nursing mothers must be careful about what they eat. 4 preserve, harbour, keep alive, nurture, foster: She has nursed a grudge against him for ten years.


adj. healthful, healthy, nutritive, wholesome, life-giving, beneficial, salutary, nourishing, alimentary, nutrimental: Be

sure you eat a nutritious breakfast every day.

15.0 O =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

15.1 oar...



n. 1 paddle, scull: The ancient galleys sometimes had six men


on each oar. 2 oarsman, oarswoman, bencher, sculler, rower,


paddler: With Hanson out because of his back, we'll need a new


oar for tomorrow's race.


n. 1 fertile patch, watering-hole: In the desert, you cannot


always be sure whether you are looking at an oasis or a mirage.


2 haven, refuge, (safe) harbour, sanctuary, retreat, asylum,


resort, sanctum: We escaped to the cottage, a tiny oasis away


from the city's frenetic activity.


n. 1 vow, avowal, pledge, promise, word (of honour), promise,


plight, guarantee or guaranty, warrant or warranty, (sworn)


statement, Archaic troth: She has taken an oath to tell the


whole truth. 2 curse, profanity, blasphemous language or


expression or word, imprecation, malediction, swear-word,


expletive, four-letter word, obscenity, dirty word: The door


slammed on his finger and he muttered a foul oath.

15.2 obedience...


obedience n. compliance, dutifulness, observance, respect, respectfulness, tractability, conformity or conformance, yielding, conformability, adaptability, agreement, agreeability, agreeableness, acquiescence, submissiveness, submission, subservience, docility, passiveness, passivity: The abbot demanded unquestioning obedience with regard to every rule of the monastic order.

obedient adj. compliant, dutiful, duteous, observant, respectful,

tractable, yielding, conformable, adaptable, agreeable, amenable, acquiescent, submissive, subservient, docile, passive, timid, biddable, pliant: Prunella was always an obedient child. All matter and energy is obedient to the laws of physics.

obeisance n. deference, respect, respectfulness, homage, submission, reverence, honour: As she entered the chamber, she made obeisance to the king.


adj. fat, overweight, stout, fleshy, gross, corpulent, heavy,

plump, portly, tubby, pudgy, chubby, paunchy, rotund,

pot-bellied, Rare abdominous: I sat down next to an obese

person who occupied nearly two chairs.


n. corpulence, plumpness, tubbiness, chubbiness, grossness,


embonpoint, rotundity, portliness, paunchiness, size, bulk,


weight, avoirdupois: Risk factors with respect to heart disease


include smoking, bad diet, obesity, and family history of heart




v. 1 comply (with), agree (to), consent (to), submit (to),


abide (by), observe, respect, adhere to, follow, conform (to or


with), acquiesce (to or in), mind, accept, heed, defer to, yield


(to), knuckle under (to), give way (to), surrender (to), succumb


(to), give in (to), truckle to, bow to, bend to, take or accept


orders from: Unfortunately, Ogilvy has obeyed his baser


instincts in making the punishment fit the crime. Everything


must obey the laws of nature. Harold obeys Millie's slightest


whim. 2 discharge, execute, effect, carry out, fulfil, meet,


satisfy, do, perform; serve, act: We obeyed the colonel's


orders to the letter. It is your function to command, mine to



obituary n. necrology, death notice, eulogy, necrologue, Colloq obit: Mark Twain is one of the few people ever to have read his own obituary.

object n. 1 thing, tangible, item; reality, entity, fact, phenomenon:

A number of objects lay on the table. Thoughts may be considered as objects of the imagination. 2 focus, target, butt, aim, destination, quarry, goal: The object of my affection has

married someone else. 3 purpose, end, intention, objective, reason, intent, idea, goal: The object of our visit is to ask

you a few questions.

--v. 4 protest (to or against), interfere (with), raise objections (to), argue (against), oppose, be against, take exception (to), disapprove (of), draw the line (at), complain (about), remonstrate (over or about), take a stand (against),

refuse: I won't object if you want to bring the wine. Would you object to rereading that passage? If they ask me, I cannot object.

objection n. protest, opposition, exception, argument, challenge, interference, demur or demurral or demurrer, question, doubt, disapproval, interference, complaint, remonstration, remonstrance, stand, refusal, dislike, antipathy: The meeting proceeded without further objection from the audience. If you have no objection, I'd like to leave now. The secretary has raised an objection to the method of procedure.

objective adj. 1 fair, impartial, just, judicious, equitable, neutral, disinterested, dispassionate, open-handed, open-minded, detached, unbiased, unprejudiced, unbigoted, even-handed, uncoloured, unjaundiced: How can you be objective about the guilt or innocence of your own child?

--n. 2 target, goal, object, aim, purpose, end (in view), intent, intention, design, aspiration, ambition, hope: If we capture the flag, we shall have gained our objective. My objective is to win the pentathlon.


n. impartiality, fairness, fair-mindedness, equitableness, equitability, even-handedness, neutrality, disinterest, detachment, indifference, dispassion: The jury's objectivity was never in doubt.

obligate n. oblige, pledge, commit, bind; require, compel, constrain, force: I feel deeply obligated to her for her kindness to our children. We are obligated to do what we are told.


n. 1 responsibility, duty, charge, burden, onus; accountability, liability, trust; demand, requirement, compulsion, Literary devoir: It was Frank's obligation to get

the children home safely. Civil servants have an obligation to serve the people. I could never fulfil all my obligations. 2 constraint, requirement, contract, promise, pledge, bond, agreement, covenant: The company is under no obligation to replace a product because the customer dislikes its colour. I am under an obligation to her for introducing us. 3 debt,

liability: Denby may be unable to meet all his obligations.


adj. required, demanded, necessary, requisite, compulsory, mandatory; incumbent; indispensable, essential: Has she been able to meet all the obligatory qualifications?

oblige v. 1 accommodate, indulge, favour, serve, please, cater to, gratify: The hotelier obliged us with every luxury he had to offer. Please oblige us by keeping your dog on a lead. 2 make, require, demand, force, compel, coerce, bind, obligate: What hold has she over you that obliges you to do her housework?

obliged adj. 1 thankful, grateful, appreciative, beholden, indebted, obligated: We are deeply obliged to you for lending us your car. 2 bound, required, compelled, forced, made, obligated: Under the terms of the agreement, I am obliged to repay the debt by May.

obliging adj. accommodating, willing, indulgent, gracious, courteous, civil, considerate, polite, agreeable, amenable, kind, kindly, helpful, friendly, amiable, neighbourly, supportive: It was

very obliging of you to look after my cat while I was gone.

oblique adj. 1 slanting, slanted, sloping, aslant, inclined, diagonal, inclining, angled, angling, canted, canting, banked, banking, cambered, crooked, askew, divergent, diverging, tilted, atilt, tilting: The roof joins the wall at an oblique angle. 2 awry, devious, roundabout, indirect, circuitous, circumlocutionary, evasive, sly, sidelong, offhand, surreptitious, furtive, implied, clandestine, underhand(ed), deceitful, devious,

deceptive, false: She made some oblique comments about the candidate's wife.


v. 1 erase, expunge, rub out, efface, eradicate, wipe out, delete, dele, strike off or out, strike from, rule out,

eliminate, write off: After the scandal, that name was obliterated from the roll of honour. 2 annihilate, destroy, kill, exterminate, wipe out, eliminate, blot out, eradicate,

extirpate: The entrance to the cave was completely obliterated by the explosion.

oblivion n. 1 blankness, blackness, darkness, obscurity, nothingness, nihility, anonymity, extinction, non-existence, void, limbo: The rock band enjoyed brief fame, then sank into oblivion. 2 unawareness, obliviousness, forgetfulness, heedlessness, disregard, unconsciousness, insensibility: I sank back into the sweet oblivion of deep sleep.

oblivious adj. unaware, unconscious, unmindful, disregardful, insensible, insensitive, distant, unconcerned, detached, removed, unfeeling, abstracted, absent-minded, forgetful, Lethean: Many are completely oblivious to the plight of the starving millions in Africa.

obnoxious adj. revolting, repulsive, repugnant, disgusting, offensive, objectionable, fulsome, noisome, vile, repellent, nauseous, nauseating, sickening, foul, noxious, mephitic, unsavoury, execrable, abominable, abhorrent, loathsome, detestable, hateful, odious, scurvy, base, obscene, despicable, awful, terrible, unpalatable, distasteful, unlikeable, unpleasant,

nasty, Colloq chiefly Brit beastly: Mary's obnoxious sister even has obnoxious table manners.

obscene adj. 1 inelegant, improper, rude, impure, unchaste, shameless, shameful, indecent, immodest, off colour, indecorous,

indelicate, risqu‚, vulgar, immoral, degenerate, amoral, dissolute, broad, suggestive, erotic, sensual, ribald, debauched, wanton, loose, libertine, bawdy, blue, scabrous, coarse, dirty, filthy, smutty, pornographic, libidinous, lewd, licentious, lecherous, lustful, goatish, carnal, ruttish, lascivious, filthy, salacious, prurient, disgusting, offensive, repulsive, foul, abominable, vile, loathsome, gross, foul-mouthed, scurrilous, scatological, vile, Literary Cyprian, Paphian, Fescennine, thersitical: In the cinema business, 'adult' and 'obscene' seem to be synonyms. 2 evil, wicked, heinous, atrocious, awful, outrageous, repulsive, shocking, repellent, obnoxious, off-putting, objectionable, beastly, intolerable, insufferable, unpalatable, distasteful, nauseous,

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