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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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situation, Colloq pickle, fix, jam: I'm in a real bind because I've invited two girls to the party. 6 Colloq Brit annoyance, irritant, bother, bore, trial, ordeal, irritation, vexation, Colloq pain (in the neck or arse): It was a bit of a bind having to wait three hours at the airport.

birth n. 1 childbirth, delivery, Technical parturition, Old-fashioned confinement: Nicole is expecting the birth of her first baby in early April. 2 origin, creation, emergence, beginning, start, origination: I believe we may be present at the birth of a powerful idea. 3 nativity, origin, extraction; parentage, line, lineage, ancestry, descent, family, blood: She is Scottish by birth. Hortense is of noble birth.

bisexual adj. 1 hermaphrodite or hermaphroditic(al), androgynous: Many of these microscopic animals are bisexual and self-fertilizing.

2 Colloq AC/DC, swinging both ways, Facetious ambisextrous: He was known to have had bisexual relationships.


--n. 3 androgyne, hermaphrodite: Statistics showed that more


women than previously believed were bisexual.


n. 1 morsel, piece, scrap, fragment, shred, particle, grain,


crumb: We didn't have a bit of food in the house. 2 jot,


tittle, whit, scintilla, trace, touch, hint, suggestion,


suspicion, particle, iota, speck, atom: There's not the


slightest bit of evidence to link her with the crime. 3 moment,


minute, second, flash, Colloq two shakes (of a lamb's tail):


I'll be with you in a little bit. 4 piece, share, equity,


segment, portion, part, fraction: He owns a little bit of the




n. 1 shrew, nag, termagant, virago, harpy, fury, spitfire,


scold: That greedy bitch has the house, and now she's suing me


for half my income. 2 whore, prostitute, bawd, harlot,


call-girl, trollop, strumpet, trull, drab, tart, floozie,


streetwalker, Colloq bimbo, pro, US hooker, tramp, hustler,: He


roamed the street every night, ending up with some bitch he


found in a bar.


--v. 3 complain, object, protest, grumble, Colloq gripe: Oh,


stop your bitching and get on with it! 4 bungle, botch, ruin,


spoil: They bitched the job by using too little paint.


v. 1 nip; chew, gnaw: That dog of yours bit a piece out of my


ankle. 2 sting: She was bitten by a mosquito.


--n. 3 mouthful, morsel, scrap, bit, piece, taste; snack, Slang


nosh: The survivors hadn't had a bite of food for three days.


Come round for a bite on Sunday evening before the concert. 4


sting: These mosquito bites itch horribly.


adj. severe, harsh, cutting, piercing, penetrating, keen,


sharp, bitter; cold, wintry, freezing: The biting wind went


right through his thin coat.


adj. 1 harsh, acerbic, acrid, sharp, caustic, mordant: I added


some cream to the sauce to try and make it taste less bitter. 2


unappetizing, distasteful, unsavoury, unpleasant, hard (to


swallow or take), irritating, obnoxious, disagreeable, nasty,


painful, unwelcome, unpalatable: The demand for additional tax


payments was a bitter pill. 3 miserable, grievous, dispiriting,


distressing, cruel, distressful: Dismissal after all those


years in the firm was a bitter experience. 4 resentful,


embittered, rancorous; hateful: Andrew felt bitter at not being


selected as chairman. 5 stinging, cutting, biting, harsh,


reproachful, vicious, acrimonious, virulent; cruel, unkind,


unpleasant, nasty: His bitter denunciation of other candidates


lost him the campaign. 6 sharp, keen, cutting, severe, biting,


cold, wintry, freezing: A bitter gale lashed at the rigging.


n. 1 harshness, acerbity, acrimony, acrimoniousness, bitterness, spleen, Literary gall and wormwood: The bitterness of his opponent's attack was totally uncalled for. 2 animosity, hatred, resentment; hostility, antagonism: She felt bitterness in her heart over the way she had been treated.

bizarre adj. 1 eccentric, unusual, unconventional, extravagant, whimsical, strange, odd, curious, peculiar, queer, offbeat, fantastic, weird, incongruous, deviant, erratic, Slang kinky: The police thought his behaviour somewhat bizarre and invited him down to the station for questioning. 2 grotesque, irregular, nonconformist, nonconforming, outlandish, outr‚, quaint, fantastic, unconventional: His house is a bizarre mixture of baroque and modern design.

2.4 blab...



Colloq v. broadcast, tattle, babble, betray, reveal, disclose,


divulge, expose: Don't tell Frieda - she'll blab your secrets


all over town.


Colloq n. tell-tale, babbler, chatterer, gossip, Colloq blab, tattle-tale, big-mouth: Oscar is such a blabbermouth that you can't tell him anything you don't want everyone to know.

black adj. 1 jet, jet-black, coal-black, inky, sooty, swart, swarthy, raven, ebony, dusky, Literary ebon, hyacinthine: Her hair was as black as coal. 2 Negro, Negroid, coloured, dark-skinned:

Most of the Black races live near or south of the equator. 3 dark, pitch-black, jet-black, coal-black, Stygian; starless,

moonless: He bundled his coat round himself and walked into the black night. 4 dark, sombre, dusky, gloomy, menacing, glowering, louring or lowering, threatening, funereal: The sky became black with storm clouds. 5 malignant, baleful, baneful, deadly, deathly, sinister, dismal, hateful, disastrous: It was

a black day when he came into my life. 6 bad, foul, iniquitous, wicked, evil, diabolical, infernal, hellish, atrocious, awful, malicious, abominable, outrageous, vicious, villainous, flagitious, vile, disgraceful, unscrupulous, unconscionable, unprincipled, blackguardly, knavish, perfidious, insidious, nefarious, dastardly, treacherous, unspeakable, disgraceful, shameful, scurvy, criminal, felonious: You have told the blackest lies about me. 7 angry, wrathful, furious, frowning, bad-tempered, sulky, resentful, clouded, threatening, glowering: She gave him a black look and he withered in abject fear.

--v. 8 boycott, embargo, blacklist, ban, interdict: Because of the dispute over plumbers' wages, the other building-trades unions have blacked every manufacturer in the business.

blacken v. 1 darken, smudge, begrime: The chimney sweep's face was blackened with soot. 2 slander, libel, asperse, cast aspersions

on, traduce, smear, sully, soil, besmirch, taint, tarnish, defame, revile, malign, vilify, discredit, denigrate: His

article has blackened my reputation.

blackleg n. scab, strikebreaker: Despite the strike, the plant is being operated by blackleg labour.

blackmail n. 1 extortion, ransom, tribute, US graft: Even if you pay the


blackmail, that is no guarantee that he won't demand more later.


--v. 2 extort money from; force, coerce, compel, make: They


had discovered his indiscretions and were blackmailing him. He


blackmailed her into signing the alimony settlement.


n. 1 knife, cutting edge: Don't hold the knife by the blade.


2 Literary sword, rapier, sabre, dagger, poniard, stiletto,


cutlass, bayonet, knife, penknife, jackknife: She plunged the


blade in up to the hilt. 3 leaf, leaflet, frond, shoot: The


blades of grass were flattened where he had walked. 4 Rather


old-fashioned playboy, ladies' man, man about town, fop, dandy:


He was quite a gay blade in his youth.


v. 1 find fault with, censure, criticize, fault; accuse,


charge, indict, condemn, point to, point (the finger) at,


rebuke, reprimand, recriminate, reproach, scold, reprehend,


reprove: Don't blame me if you can't get to school on time. 2


hold responsible, fix (the) responsibility upon or on, put or


place or lay (the) blame on, lay at someone's door, denounce,


incriminate: Why blame Carol for the mess?

--n. 3 censure, criticism, reproof, rebuke, recrimination, disapproval, disapprobation, reproach, objurgation, condemnation, reprehension: The cyclist put the blame for the accident on me. 4 culpability, responsibility; guilt, Slang

rap: Why should you take the blame for something that Donald did?

blameless adj. faultless, guiltless, innocent, irreproachable, unimpeachable: Hugh has led a blameless life.

bland adj. 1 gentle, soothing, smooth, mild, suave, urbane, cool, unruffled, calm, composed, unemotional, nonchalant, insouciant: His reaction to the news of the invasion was bland indifference. 2 insipid, boring, dull, uninteresting, ennuyant, tasteless,

Colloq US plain vanilla; Slang US blah: The play is a bland

mixture of clich‚s embedded in a tired plot.

blank adj. 1 empty, plain, bare: I stared at the blank paper, unable

to write even my name. 2 unornamented, unadorned, undecorated, void: Whenever Irena sees a blank wall she feels compelled to hang a painting on it. 3 vacant, empty: The actor's mind went completely blank

--he had forgotten his lines. 4 passive, impassive, expressionless, emotionless, vacuous, mindless, unexpressive: He gave us a blank look when asked about the missing rare stamps. 5 disconcerted, discomfited, nonplussed, confused, helpless, resourceless, perplexed, dazed, bewildered: The two old men looked at each other with blank and horror-stricken faces. 6 unrelieved, stark, sheer, utter, pure, unmixed, absolute, unqualified: Jack faced the blank prospect of solitary confinement.

--n. 7 space; line, box: Please fill in the blanks on the

form. 8 nothing, zero, nil; void, emptiness: I asked her when the baby was coming, but I drew a blank.

blare v. 1 blast, bellow, trumpet, ring, boom, thunder, roar, bray; resound, echo, reverberate, resonate: Everyone in the neighbourhood can hear your hi-fi blaring.

--n. 2 blast, bellow, ring, roar, boom, noise, sound, clamour: The games began with a blare of trumpets.

blas‚ adj. 1 bored, jaded, weary, unimpressed, ennuy‚: Her blas‚ attitude does little to endear her at job interviews. 2 indifferent, cool, superior, supercilious, sophisticated, unmoved, nonchalant, emotionless, phlegmatic, apathetic, pococurante, carefree, light-hearted, insouciant: His blas‚ behaviour hides his basic feelings of insecurity.

blaspheme v. 1 curse, swear, imprecate, execrate, profane, damn: They were denounced for blaspheming against God. 2 abuse, malign, calumniate, defame, disparage, revile, put down, decry, deprecate, depreciate, belittle: The ungrateful wretches blaspheme the charitable soul who would help them.


adj. profane, impious, irreverent, disrespectful, sacrilegious, irreligious, sinful, wicked, evil, iniquitous: He was excommunicated for his blasphemous writings.

blast n. 1 blow, gust, wind, gale: The door opened and a blast of icy air made us shiver. 2 blare, sound, noise, racket, din, bellow, roar; boom: At the trumpet-blast thousands of Goths descended screaming on the camp. 3 explosion, burst, eruption, discharge; detonation: A blast of dynamite levelled all the houses in the vicinity. 4 (at or in) full blast. fully, at full

tilt, at the maximum, completely, thoroughly, entirely, maximally, Slang with no holds barred, US to the max: The factory was going full blast before the strike.

--v. 5 blow up, explode, dynamite, demolish, destroy, ruin, waste, lay waste, shatter, devastate: The pillbox was blasted out of existence by our guns. 6 defame, discredit, denounce, criticize, attack; ruin, destroy: The candidate has been

blasted by the press. 7 curse, damn: The minister continued to blast the proposal till the legislature dropped it.

blatant adj. 1 obvious, flagrant, palpable, obtrusive, arrant, shameless, unashamed, brazen, overt, glaring: Those hooligans have shown a blatant disregard for the law. 2 noisy, clamorous, loud, bellowing, strident, vociferous, rowdy, boisterous, obstreperous, uproarious: The blatant radical faction insists

on making itself heard.

blaze n. 1 flame, fire, holocaust, inferno, conflagration: The fuel barrels exploded, feeding the blaze. 2 outburst, eruption, flare-up: Her speech fanned the Lower House into a blaze of resentment. 3 light, brightness, brilliance, brilliancy, glow: The blaze of lamps lit up the whole square.

--v. 4 burn, flare up, flame: In a few minutes the logs were blazing merrily. 5 blaze away (at). fire, shoot, open fire,

blast; bombard, shell: The enemy appeared, and we just blazed away at them.

bleach v. 1 whiten, lighten, fade, blanch, blench, Technical etiolate: My jeans are all bleached by the sun.

--n. 2 whitener, chlorine: Add a little bleach to the laundry.

bleak adj. 1 cheerless, dreary, depressing, dismal, gloomy, sombre, melancholy, sad, unhappy, mournful: 1940 was one of the bleakest periods in British history. 2 cold, chilly, raw,

bitter: The days were getting shorter, and the bleak winter was setting in. 3 barren, bare, exposed, windswept, desolate: How depressing the bleak landscape of the Russian steppes can be in winter!

blemish v. 1 deface, mar, scar, impair, disfigure: They did nothing to blemish the beauty of the landscape. 2 tarnish, stain, sully, spoil, mar, flaw, harm, damage, scar, injure, bruise, besmirch:

She has blemished my reputation by spreading those stories about me.

--n. 3 disfigurement, scar, mark, impairment, stain, smear, blot; defect, flaw, error, fault, imperfection, error, erratum: Her complexion was entirely without blemish.

blend v. 1 mix, mingle, combine, meld, commingle, intermingle: The Latakia is blended with the Virginia to produce a fine smoking tobacco. 2 shade, grade, gradate, graduate, merge, coalesce,

fuse, unite: Note how the pink sky and the tinted clouds blend in this Turner painting.

--n. 3 mixture, mix, combination, mingling, meld, commingling, intermingling: His humour is a fine blend of the sardonic with slapstick.

bless v. 1 consecrate, hallow, sanctify; extol, glorify, praise, revere, adore: God bless this ship and all who sail in her.

Bless the Lord. 2 give, make happy or fortunate, endow, favour, furnish, provide, supply, grace: She is blessed with one of the most beautiful soprano voices that I have ever heard.

blessing n. 1 benediction, prayer, consecration: Each spring the vicar officiated at the blessing of the fleet. 2 boon, favour, advantage, good fortune, godsend, luck, profit, gain, help,

asset, gift, bounty: Hot, sunny days are a blessing for wine growers.

blight n. 1 affliction, disease, plague, infestation, pestilence, scourge: The crops were visited with a blight that lasted seven

years. 2 misfortune, curse, trouble, woe, calamity: Genius may suffer an untimely blight.

--v. 3 afflict, infest, plague, scourge; wither, mar, taint,

blast: Central Africa has been blighted by famine after famine.

blind adj. 1 sightless, eyeless, unsighted, purblind, stone-blind: He has been blind from birth. 2 imperceptive, slow, insensitive, thick, dense, obtuse, stupid, weak-minded,

dull-witted, slow-witted, dim-witted, Colloq Brit gormless: How blind some parents are! There's another case of the blind

leading the blind. 3 indiscriminate, undiscriminating, heedless, reckless, rash, impetuous, inconsiderate, unreasoning, mindless, senseless, thoughtless, unthinking, irrational, delusional: He did her bidding with the blind obedience of a dog. 4 blind to. unaware or unconscious of, impervious or insensible to, unaffected or untouched or unmoved by: The critics were blind to her merits as a novelist till many years had passed.

--v. 5 deceive, blindfold, blinker; bamboozle, hoodwink, fool: Wolsey could not blind himself to the true condition of the church. How jealousy blinds people! 6 conceal, hide, eclipse, overshadow; dazzle, blindfold: The bright lights of the city blinded our view of the airport runway. Her beauty blinded him to her greed.

--n. 7 shade, curtain, screen, cover, shutter(s), awning: The sun is too bright - please draw the blind. 8 pretence, pretext, front, cover, smokescreen, stratagem, subterfuge, ruse, trick, deception, Colloq dodge; Slang scam: The plumbing service is merely a blind for getting into houses to rob them.


adv. recklessly, heedlessly, deludedly, indiscriminately,

rashly, impetuously, irrationally, thoughtlessly, mindlessly,

senselessly, unthinkingly: Despite his parents' warnings, he

went blindly on, till one day he was arrested.


v. 1 wink, flicker, Technical nictitate: She blinked in the

strong light. 2 twinkle, flicker, gleam, glimmer, shimmer, flash, sparkle, scintillate, coruscate: A billion stars blinked in the wintry sky. 3 flinch, wince, shrink, quail, blench, recoil, start, move: She didn't even blink when she had the injection. 4 blink at. wink at, ignore, overlook, disregard:

That inspector has been known to blink at health violations.

--n. 5 wink, flicker: He switched the cards in the blink of an eye. 6 on the blink. Colloq out of order, broken, in disrepair, not working or operating, not operational, Slang US out of whack, on the fritz: The fridge is on the blink again.

bliss n. happiness, blitheness, gladness, joy, blessedness, delight, felicity, glee, enjoyment, pleasure, joyousness, cheer, exhilaration, gaiety, blissfulness, rapture, ecstasy: The bliss

of our honeymoon has remained with us throughout our marriage.

blithe adj. 1 blissful, happy, cheerful, joyous, merry, light-hearted, well-pleased, delighted, gay, joyful, elated, jubilant: His

spirit was blithe and his heart unquenchable. 2 happy-go-lucky, insouciant, heedless, carefree, unconcerned, blas‚, casual, detached, indifferent, uncaring, careless: She goes through

life with a blithe disregard for the feelings of others.

bloated adj. swollen, distended, fully, puffy; puffed up, overgrown, inflated, pompous: He felt bloated after the enormous banquet.


That bloated, conceited, self-important petty official had the


gall to refuse me a visa.


n. gob, gobbet, globule, drop, droplet, bit, gout, lump, dab,


Colloq glob, Chiefly US and Canadian smidgen or smidgin:


There's a blob of jelly on your tie.


n. 1 piece, chunk, hunk, lump, slab; stump; brick, cube: The


figure is carved out of a solid block of stone. 2 bar,


obstacle, obstruction, hindrance, stumbling-block, deterrent,


impediment, barrier: Her arrival should be no block to your




--v. 3 obstruct, close off, barricade; bar, shut off; hinder,


hamper, balk, impede, prevent: Entry to the playing field was


blocked by the police. 4 block out. a rough out, design,


outline, sketch, lay out, plan: The colonel blocked out a


strategy for our escape. b mask, screen, blank (out), erase,


eliminate, exclude, blot out, deny: She has blocked out that


part of her life from her mind. 5 block (up). stuff (up),


congest, clog, Colloq Brit bung up: My nose is all blocked up


because of this awful cold.

bloodshed n. slaughter, carnage, butchery, killing, murder, blood-letting; violence; genocide: Let's settle this peaceably and avoid bloodshed.


n. leech, extortionist, extortioner, blackmailer; parasite, barnacle, Colloq sponge, freeloader, scrounge, scrounger; Slang US moocher: He's nothing but a bloodsucker, always demanding more and more money.


adj. murderous, homicidal, savage, feral, cruel, ruthless, pitiless, vicious, brutal, sadistic, ferocious, fierce, Formal sanguinary, Literary fell: Bloodthirsty pirates had slaughtered the whole crew.


n. 1 stain, spot, mark, smudge, blotch, blemish, disfigurement,


smear, smirch, scar, Colloq splodge or US also splotch: An ink


blot covered the date of the document. There are a few blots on


his record from his time in the army.


--v. 2 stain, spot, spatter, smudge, mark, blur: You have


blotted these pages where you wrote with a fountain-pen. 3 blot


one's copybook. err, destroy or ruin or mar or spoil one's


reputation, commit an indiscretion, transgress, sin: She's


certainly blotted her copybook by having an affair with that


subaltern. 4 blot out. a obscure, conceal, cover (up), hide,


eclipse, dim: The clouds blotted out the sun for a few minutes.


b obliterate, destroy, erase, demolish, efface, annihilate,


delete, rub or wipe out: He subconsciously blotted out all


memory of the accident.

blow° v. 1 breathe, puff, exhale; expel: If the crystals turn green when you blow into the tube, it means that you've had too much to drink. Blow some air into the balloon. 2 waft, puff, whistle, whine, blast: An icy wind blew through the cracks in the windows. 3 Colloq bungle, botch, make a mess of, muff, mismanage, Colloq screw up, mess up, fluff, bugger up, Taboo fuck up: It was my last chance to win and I blew it. 4 Colloq spend, lavish, squander, waste, throw out or away: She blew hundreds on that dress and now she won't wear it. 5 short-circuit, burn out: All the fuses blew when I turned on

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