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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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crosses her. Harry was correct in one respect only. 3 merely, simply, barely, at best, at worst, at most, just, purely, not or no more than, not or no greater than: She is only seventeen. I received your note only today. Don't get excited, it's only a small present.

--conj. 4 but, however, on the other hand, on the contrary, contrariwise: The flowers are lovely, only they have no scent.

onset n. 1 attack, assault, onrush, onslaught, charge, strike, hit, raid, storming, sally, sortie: These troops had to bear the brunt of the onset. 2 beginning, start, outset, initiation, inauguration, commencement, inception, dawn, birth, origin, genesis, appearance, debut: We must leave before the onset of

the monsoon season. The sudden onset of a new policy will throw the ministers into a panic.


adj. forward, advancing, progressive, progressing, moving

onward or forward: They resumed their onward march, laying

waste to the countryside as they went.


adv. onward, forwards or forward, ahead, in front, on, forth:

They marched onwards through the dismal valley. From this day onwards afternoon visiting hours will be from two to four o'clock.

15.12 ooze =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-


n. 1 slime, muck, mud, mire, silt, sludge, sediment, slush,


Colloq goo, gunk, guck, Slang US glop, goop: I stepped into the


bog and the ooze rose over the tops of my shoes.


--v. 2 exude, weep, seep, secrete, bleed, leak, drain, trickle;


emit, discharge: Sap continues to ooze from the gash in the



15.13 opacity...


opacity n. 1 opaqueness, darkness, murkiness, dimness, obscurity,

impermeability, impenetrability: The opacity of the lens increases automatically in the presence of sunlight. 2 obscurity, density, impenetrability, unintelligibility, indefiniteness, vagueness, reconditeness, abstruseness, ambiguity, equivocation, mystification: For centuries scientists were unable to penetrate the opacity of the question of what occurred when substances burned. 3 stupidity, dullness, denseness, thickness, obtuseness: A light finally dawned through the thick opacity of his brain.


adj. opaline, iridescent, nacreous, pearly, lustrous: The sea was opalescent in the moonlight.

opaque adj. 1 dark, murky, dim, turbid, muddy, cloudy, obscure, obscured, obfuscated, black, impermeable, impenetrable, clouded, non-transparent, untransparent, non-translucent, hazy, blurred, blurry, smoky: Solar eclipses should be viewed directly only


through special opaque glass. 2 unclear, vague, indefinite,


obscure, unfathomable, unplumbable, baffling, mystifying,


ambiguous, equivocal, impenetrable, cryptic, enigmatic,


puzzling, perplexing, mysterious, elusive, abstruse, arcane,


recondite: Despite years of study, the inscriptions on the tomb


have remained opaque to scholars. 3 unintelligent, dense, thick,


dull, obtuse, stupid, dull-witted, stolid, thickheaded,


dunderheaded, dunderpated, slow, doltish, backward, cloddish:


He was too opaque to notice the jeers of his colleagues.


adj. 1 ajar, gaping, agape, unfastened, unlocked, unbarred,


unbolted, unlatched, unclosed: Come on in - the door is open.


2 yawning, agape, uncovered, revealed, unsealed, exposed, bare:


Her uncle escaped by hiding for three nights in an open grave.


3 unwrapped, unsealed, unfastened: The package was open and the


contents gone. 4 free, accessible, public, available;


obtainable; unrestricted, unobstructed, unencumbered or


unincumbered, unimpeded, unhindered, unhampered, unregulated,


unconditional, unqualified: The parks are open to all. We were


allowed open access to the library stacks. 5 unprotected,


unenclosed, unsheltered, bare; uncovered, exposed: They spent a


week in an open boat before being rescued. The roof can be


retracted, leaving the interior completely open to the sky. 6


unsettled, unagreed, unsigned, unsealed, unclinched,


unestablished, unconcluded, undecided, pending: As far as I am

concerned, the deal is open till the contract is signed. 7 undecided, unsettled, unresolved, debatable, arguable, problematic, moot, US up in the air: Whether they should get married is a question that will remain open until he returns

from abroad. 8 unscheduled, unbooked, unspoken for, unreserved, uncommitted, free, unpromised: The doctor has an hour open at noon on Friday. 9 clear, unobstructed, wide open, uncluttered, roomy, spacious, extensive, expansive; treeless, uncrowded, unfenced, unenclosed; ice-free, navigable, unblocked, passable: We travelled through open country for days. In the spring the shipping lanes will again be open. 10 available, unfilled,

vacant, untaken: There are not many jobs open in this part of the country. 11 receptive, open-minded, flexible, amenable, persuasible or persuadable, pliant, willing, responsive: The

management is open to suggestions for improving its products and services. 12 exposed, public, well-known, widely known, unconcealed: That they are living together is an open secret.

13 evident, obvious, conspicuous, manifest, clear, unconcealed, unequivocal, plain, palpable, apparent, patent, downright, out and out, blatant, flagrant, glaring, brazen: He operates with open disregard for the law. 14 generous, liberal, charitable, unreserved, open-handed, liberal, munificent, magnanimous, big-hearted, beneficent, bounteous, unselfish, unstinting, humanitarian, altruistic: They are quite open when it comes to giving to charity. 15 unreserved, candid, frank, outspoken, straightforward, forthright, direct, honest, sincere, guileless, artless, fair: He found it difficult to be open with his wife.

16 free, unrestrained, unconstrained, uninhibited, unreserved, unrestricted: They have an open marriage, each aware of the other's affairs. 17 unfolded, extended, spread (out), outstretched, outspread: She ran into my open arms. 18 liable, subject, susceptible, exposed, inclined, predisposed, disposed: These fraudulent shipping documents may well leave the captain open to prosecution for barratry. 19 unprotected, undefended, unfortified, exposed: With the invaders at the gates, Paris was declared an open city.

--v. 20 begin, start, initiate, commence, get under way, inaugurate, launch, put in or into operation, activate, get going, set in motion; establish, set up; Colloq get or start the ball rolling, get or put the show on the road, kick off: The minister opened the proceedings with an interminable speech.

Jeremy is planning to open a restaurant in Pebble Lane. The show

opens in Manchester next week. 21 unlock, unbar, unlatch, unbolt, unfasten; uncover; uncork, unseal; undo, untie, unwrap; pull out: Open the door. Open the box. Open the bottle. Open your present. He opened the drawer. 22 unblock, clear, unobstruct, unclog, unstop: They had to dig up the yard to open the drain. The new law has opened the way for increased exports. 23 disclose, unveil, uncover, expose, display, show, exhibit, reveal, divulge, bring to light, communicate, bring out, unbosom, explain, present, announce, release, publish, air, make

known, advertise: The wonders of the language were opened to me by my first dictionary. 24 expand, spread (out), stretch out,

open up or out, unfurl, extend: The flag opened to the breeze. 25 present, offer, furnish, provide, afford, yield, reveal, uncover, raise, contribute, introduce: Expansion of technology opens new business opportunities every day.

opening n. 1 break, breach, rent, rift, cleft, crack, crevice, fissure, cranny, chink, pit, gap, split, slit, slot, aperture, hole,

orifice, separation: Flowers grew from openings in the wall. 2 opportunity, chance, occasion, toe-hold, foothold, Colloq break, toe or foot in the door, Brit look-in: I was waiting for an appropriate opening to make my presentation. 3 job, position, opportunity, vacancy: Is there likely to be an opening in the

art department of your company? 4 beginning, commencement, start, birth, origin, outset, onset, inauguration, launch, send-off, initiation, presentation, debut; vernissage, US start-off, start-up: The opening of the autumn social season

was marked by Malcolm's birthday party. Aren't you going to the opening at the museum tonight?

openly adv. 1 brazenly, brashly, flagrantly, unabashedly, unashamedly, unreservedly, boldly, audaciously, flauntingly: She has openly defied the direct orders of her employer. 2 frankly,

unreservedly, plainly, forthrightly, candidly, directly,

outright, freely, outspokenly: The man admitted openly that he had stolen the plans for the missile.

operable adj. workable, practicable, serviceable, usable, functional, fit, operational, in working order or condition: Aircraft engines that rely on oxygen for burning fuel are not operable where the air is too thin.

operate v. 1 go, run, perform; work, function, serve, act: This watch

operates even under water. The drug operates to reduce blood pressure. 2 manage, run, direct, conduct, control, carry on,

ply, manipulate, handle; US drive: Katherine has been operating as an antiques dealer for years. It is unsafe to operate this machinery without goggles.

operation n. 1 function, functioning, working, running, performance, action, motion, movement: The operation of the internal combustion engine is very simple. 2 manipulation, handling, direction, running, control, management, managing; manoeuvring: The operation of the aircraft is under the control of the

captain. 3 undertaking, enterprise, venture, project, affair, deal, procedure, proceeding, (day-to-day) business, transaction: Who will be in charge of the operation while the president is abroad? 4 Often, operations. action, manoeuvre, mission, task, campaign, exercise: The generals directed military operations from positions close to enemy lines. 5 in or into operation. functioning, operative, in effect, in force, operating, operational, functional, effective, efficacious: Is the factory

in operation yet? The new regulations went into operation last week.

operative adj. 1 See operation, 5, above.

--n. 2 worker, hand, employee; craftsman, craftswoman, artisan, mechanic, machinist: We hired two more lathe operatives today. 3 private detective, (private) investigator, Colloq private eye, sleuth, Brit sleuth-hound, US P.I., gumshoe, Slang (private) dick, US shamus, eye: Our operatives reported that Jones had

been seen in the company of a known enemy agent. 4 espionage or intelligence agent, counter-espionage or counter-intelligence agent, spy, counter-spy, undercover agent or man, (FBI or CIA)

agent, US G-man, Colloq US company man, member of the firm: We had an operative at the top level of the NKVD.

operator n. 1 (bus or taxi or train) driver; worker, operative, manipulator, practitioner: These operators are required to take safety courses. 2 director, administrator, manager, supervisor, superintendent: Shaughnessey is the operator of a roofing business in Tring. 3 machinator, faker, fraud, manipulator, manoeuvrer, Colloq finagler, wise guy, Slang smooth or slick operator, smoothie, wheeler-dealer, big-shot, big-time operator, Chiefly US and Canadian big wheel: Claude is a cunning operator

who always gets what he goes after.

opinion n. 1 belief, judgement, thought, sentiment, (point of) view, viewpoint, conviction, way of thinking, perception, idea, impression, notion, conception, theory, id‚e re‡u; mind: It is my opinion that sickness benefits ought to be increased. In her opinion all men are chauvinists. 2 evaluation, estimation, estimate, appraisal, appreciation, impression: Myra has a very low opinion of Ray's taste in architecture.


adj. 1 stubborn, pigheaded, obstinate, doctrinaire, inflexible, dogmatic, single-minded, cocksure, obdurate, dictatorial, dogged, mulish, bull-headed, overbearing: Felix is too opinionated to change his mind even if he knows he is wrong. 2 prejudiced, biased, bigoted, one-sided, jaundiced, coloured, partial, partisan: You can count on Joan for an opinionated view of social values.

opponent n. antagonist, adversary, disputant, contestant, competitor, contender, rival, foe, enemy; the opposition: He may be my opponent in the chess competition, but we are the best of friends.

opportune adj. 1 favourable, advantageous, auspicious, good, felicitous, happy, propitious, beneficial, helpful, fortunate, lucky,

profitable: As I need money, and you have it to invest, our meeting is most opportune. 2 timely, well-timed, seasonable, apt, appropriate, germane, pertinent, convenient, fitting, suitable, becoming: If this is not an opportune time to bring up the matter of the money you owe me, just say so.


adj. expedient, selfish, taking advantage, exploitive or exploitative, unprincipled, Machiavellian, opportunist: Don't you agree that it was opportunistic of him to inform on his own brother for a reward?


n. chance, occasion, opening, possibility, moment, time, Slang break: She has taken advantage of every opportunity to vilify her ex-employers.

oppose v. 1 resist, counter, object (to), defy, take a stand against, withstand, resist, combat, contest, attack, counter-attack, fight, grapple with, contend with or against: If it comes to that, we must oppose force with force. 2 check, bar, obstruct, block, hinder, impede, stop, slow, curb, restrain, inhibit, interfere with, restrict, prevent, obviate, preclude, thwart, foil, frustrate: Labour seeks to oppose the privatization of industry. 3 match, offset, counterbalance, contrast, pit or set against, play off (against), set off: What can they call upon to oppose the power of the Devil?

opposed adj. Often, opposed to. against, in opposition (to), opposing, in conflict (with), antipathetic, conflicting, contrary (to), at variance (with), antithetical (to), hostile (to), inimical (to), opposite (to), contrasting: Harvey is among those opposed to abortion. All those who are opposed to the motion raise your hands.

opposing adj. opposite, conflicting, contrary, antithetical, antagonistic, antipathetic, hostile, inimical, contrasting, rival, contradictory, incompatible, irreconcilable, dissident,

discrepant: Those with opposing views will be heard from later.

opposite adj. 1 facing, vis-…-vis, en face: The sniper was on the roof of the building opposite. 2 opposing, conflicting, contrary, contrasting, contradictory, antithetical, differing, different, divergent, diverse, antagonistic, inconsistent, irreconcilable: William and his wife hold diametrically opposite political views.

--n. 3 reverse, converse, contrary, antithesis: Whatever you tell teenagers to do, their first reaction is to do the



n. 1 hostility, antagonism, unfriendliness, resistance, counteraction, disapproval, objection, conflict, defiance, contrast, antipathy, adversity, Colloq flak: There is strong opposition to plans for an amusement arcade. 2 competition, opponent, adversary, competitor, antagonist, enemy, foe, rival, other side: We must overcome the opposition in order to win. 3 in opposition. competing, competitive, antagonistic, hostile, conflicting, in conflict, antithetic(al), opposed, at daggers

drawn, in deadly embrace: Although they agree on some points, the parties are in opposition on others.

oppress v. 1 burden, afflict, trouble, weigh down, overload, encumber, wear (down), press, weary, overburden, overwhelm, Brit pressurize, US pressure: He was oppressed by the heavy burden of responsibility. 2 crush, repress, put down, suppress, subjugate, tyrannize (over), subdue, overpower, enslave, persecute, maltreat, abuse, harry, harass, trample underfoot,

ride roughshod over: The Russian serfs had been oppressed for centuries before they finally rose up against tyranny.


n. repression, suppression, subjugation, subjection, tyranny, despotism, enslavement, persecution, maltreatment, abuse, torment, torture, hardship, injury, pain, anguish, injustice:

People who have not known oppression cannot imagine the agonies suffered by the oppressed who once were free.


adj. 1 burdensome, overpowering, overwhelming, onerous, heavy, cumbersome, exhausting, racking, unbearable, intolerable, agonizing, unendurable, harsh, brutal, severe, tyrannical, repressive; dispiriting, depressing, disheartening,

discouraging, grievous, distressing, dolorous, miserable, harrowing, wretched: The conquerors resorted to oppressive measures to keep the people subjugated. 2 suffocating, stifling, stuffy, close, airless, unventilated, uncomfortable: The atmosphere in the tiny cell quickly became oppressive, and a couple of people fainted.

oppressor n. bully, tyrant, taskmaster, taskmistress, despot, autocrat, persecutor, slave-driver, dictator, overlord, iron hand, scourge, tormentor, torturer, intimidator: The citizens finally banded together and overthrew their oppressors.


adj. sanguine, positive, cheerful, buoyant, bright, hopeful, expectant, confident, bullish, idealistic, Pollyannaish: We have every reason to be optimistic that the venture will succeed.

optimum n. 1 best, finest, most favourable, ideal, perfection, model,

paragon, exemplar: In all work, the optimum is difficult to achieve.

--adj. 2 best, finest, most favourable, ideal, perfect, choicest, optimal, first-rate, first-class, sterling, prime, capital, excellent, exceptional, superlative, extraordinary,

unique, peerless, unequalled, unexcelled, unsurpassed: These instruments keep the chamber at the optimum temperature. After months of training, Guy is in optimum condition to win the marathon.

option n. 1 choice, selection, alternative, recourse, opportunity, way out: There are fewer employment options open to the uneducated. 2 choice, privilege, election, opportunity, chance: Investors

pay for the option to buy at a fixed figure if the price of the shares goes up.

optional adj. voluntary, discretionary or discretional, elective, facultative, free, spontaneous, uncoerced, unforced, non-compulsory, uncompulsory, non-mandatory, unmandatory, non-requisite, unrequisite: Life insurance is optional for

those who have our hospitalization policy.

opulent adj. 1 wealthy, affluent, rich, prosperous, well-to-do, well off, comfortable, Colloq flush, well-heeled, loaded, rolling in it, made of money, in clover, on Easy Street, Brit on velvet, US


in velvet, in the chips: Timothy was fortunate in having met


and wed an opulent widow. 2 luxurious, lavish, sumptuous: That


poor little rich girl was raised in the most opulent of


surroundings. 3 abundant, copious, bountiful, plentiful,


prolific, profuse, plenteous: We enjoyed a most opulent harvest


this year.


n. work, composition, production, oeuvre, creation; magnum


opus: Her most important opus will be performed at the Albert


Hall next week.

15.14 oracle...


oracle n. 1 prophet, sibyl, seer, soothsayer, augur, fortune-teller, diviner, prognosticator, US reader (and adviser or advisor),

Cassandra, Nostradamus; authority, guru, mastermind, mentor, wizard: He insists on consulting his oracle before making any final decision. 2 prophecy, augury, prediction, divination, advice, prognostication, answer, message, divine utterance: According to the oracle, the travellers would survive the perils of the journey.


adj. spoken, said, verbal, uttered, voiced, vocal, vocalized,

enunciated, pronounced, articulated, word-of-mouth, viva voce:

Tomorrow James must make an oral presentation of his plan to the

entire staff.


n. speech, declaration, address, lecture, recitation,

discourse, monologue, declamation; valedictory, eulogy, homily, panegyric; Colloq spiel: Bentley delivered a long oration on

the future of the economy.

oratory n. public speaking, speech-making, eloquence, rhetoric, way with words, command of the language, fluency, glibness,


grandiloquence, magniloquence, declamation; elocution, diction,


enunciation, articulation, address; Colloq gift of the gab: The


crowds who thronged to hear Churchill's oratory were seldom




n. sphere, ball, globe: The golden orb of the sun sank into


the sea.


n. 1 circuit, course, path, track, revolution, circle, round,


cycle: The earth's orbit round the sun is elliptical.


--v. 2 revolve, go round, circle, encircle, turn: The earth


orbits the sun in a year. Electrons orbit the nucleus of an




n. trial, test, tribulation(s), hardship, affliction,


trouble(s), suffering, distress, anguish, nightmare, misery,


grief, misfortune, adversity, tragedy, disaster: She never


fully recovered from her ordeal at the hands of the kidnappers.


n. 1 organization, arrangement, grouping, disposition, form,


structure, categorization, systematization or systemization,


classification, codification, disposal, layout, array, sequence,


Colloq set-up: The order of the library is of crucial

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