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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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n. 1 line, cord, cable, hawser; strand, string: This rope is


too light for mooring the boat. She wore a rope of baroque


pearls. 2 the ropes. the routine, the procedure, one's way


around, the ins and outs; the truth, the (real) situation;


Colloq what's what, the score, Brit the gen: It didn't take her


long to learn the ropes.


--v. 3 tie, bind, lash, hitch, fasten, secure; tether, attach:


Rope these two crates together. The horses were roped to the


post. 4 rope in. attract, draw (in), tempt, entice, lure,


persuade: They are going to use a lottery to rope the customers


in to supporting our cause.


adj. 1 ropey, viscous, stringy, viscid, glutinous,


mucilaginous, gluey, gummy, thready, fibrous, filamentous: The


plastic resin emerging from the vat looks somewhat ropy, like


mozzarella cheese. 2 questionable, inadequate, inferior,


deficient, indifferent, mediocre, substandard, unsatisfactory,


poor, sketchy: Greenwood's plan for increasing profit margins


looks pretty ropy to me. 3 sickly, ill, unwell, hung-over, below


par, out of sorts, Colloq under the weather, poorly, rough, not


up to snuff, off one's feed: I was feeling pretty ropy on


Saturday morning after that do at your place on Friday.


n. platform, stage, dais, podium, stand; pulpit; lectern,


reading-stand: As the crowd hooted and booed, the speaker


descended from the rostrum.


adj. 1 pink, rose-coloured, red, roseate, reddish, pinkish,


cherry, cerise, ruddy, flushed, glowing, blushing, ruby,


rubicund, florid; rose-red: During the skiing holiday, they all


developed healthy rosy complexions. 2 optimistic, promising,


favourable, auspicious, hopeful, encouraging, sunny, bright:


Caldwell has a rosy future ahead of him.



1 decay, decompose, fester, spoil, go bad or off, be


tainted, be ruined, mould, moulder, putrefy; corrode, rust,


disintegrate, deteriorate, crumble or go or fall to pieces:


When the power went off, all the food in the freezer rotted. The

piers holding up the far end of the bridge have all rotted away. 2 waste away, wither away, languish, die, moulder, decline, deteriorate, degenerate, decay, atrophy: Despite repeated appeals for clemency, he's been rotting away in jail all these




--n. 3 decay, decomposition, mould, putrefaction, putrescence,


blight, corrosion, corruption, disintegration, deterioration:


Once the rot has set in, the job of revitalization can be


overwhelming. 4 (stuff and) nonsense, balderdash, rubbish,


bunkum, tommy-rot, twaddle, drivel, hogwash, eyewash, trash,


Colloq claptrap, bunk, boloney or boloney, bosh, malarkey,


moonshine, poppycock, tosh, Slang crap, bull, codswallop, Brit


(a load of (old)) cobblers, Taboo balls, bullshit: He knows


nothing whatsoever about linguistics and is just talking a lot


of rot.


v. 1 turn, revolve, go round, spin, gyrate, pirouette, whirl,


twirl, wheel, pivot, reel: As the gear rotates, its teeth mesh


with those of the other gear, causing it to turn in the opposite


direction. 2 change, exchange, alternate, interchange, switch,


trade places; take turns, Colloq swap or swop: Rotate the


positions of the tyres for more even wear. We rotate the chores


in our family.


n. 1 routine, ritual: He acquired a rote knowledge of the


words, without knowing what they mean. 2 by rote. a by heart,


from memory: He can recite the entire Prologue of Canterbury


Tales by rote. b unthinkingly, automatically, mechanically:


She learned the French dialogue by rote but doesn't understand a


word of it.


adj. 1 rotted, decayed, decomposed, decomposing, putrid,


putrescent, putrescing, mouldy, mouldering, spoilt or spoiled,


mildewed, rancid, fetid or foetid, stale, rank, foul, feculent,


tainted, contaminated, festered, festering, corrupt, bad, off,


turned, overripe, soured, sour: One rotten apple in the barrel


can spoil the rest. The stench of rotten meat filled the room. 2


rotted, rusted, corroded, deteriorating, disintegrating,


crumbling, crumbly, falling to pieces, friable: He stepped on a


spot where the wood was rotten and his foot went right through


the stair. 3 immoral, corrupt, dishonest, deceitful, venal,


shameless, degenerate, villainous, iniquitous, evil, wicked,


vile, debased, base, perverted, depraved, unscrupulous,


unprincipled, amoral, warped, Slang bent: These drug dealers


are rotten at the core. 4 heinous, evil, vile, base, miserable,


despicable, wretched, awful, terrible, horrible, horrific,

nasty, contemptible, filthy, mean, low, Colloq lousy, stinking, low-down, dirty-rotten: Pairing me off with Vera at the dance was a rotten trick. 5 ill, unwell, sick, nauseated, awful; hung-over, Colloq lousy, ropy or ropey, rough: I feel really rotten - maybe it was those mushrooms I ate last night.

rotund adj. 1 round(ed), circular, orbicular, globular, spherical:


His rotund, cherubic little face simply invited a pinch of the


cheek. 2 full, full-toned, deep, resonant, reverberant,


reverberating, sonorous, rich, round, mellow; pear-shaped: They


thrilled to hear the rotund notes issuing from Caruso's lips as


he sang 'Vesti la Giubba'. 3 chubby, podgy or chiefly US pudgy,


(pleasingly) plump, portly, tubby, heavy, fleshy, corpulent,


stout, fat, obese, overweight, Colloq roly-poly: Jack's rotund


figure was easily recognizable waddling up the street.


n. playboy, womanizer, ladies' man, rake, lecher, Lothario, Don


Juan, Romeo, Casanova, charmer, flirt, libertine, debauchee,


Old-fashioned masher, gay dog, Colloq wolf, lady-killer, dirty


old man, Taboo slang gash-hound: Alistair was quite a rou‚ in


his youth but has settled down since turning 50.


adj. 1 uneven, irregular, coarse, jagged, rugged, bumpy, lumpy,


broken: The next mile or so we slogged over some very rough


terrain. 2 agitated, turbulent, choppy, stormy, storm-tossed,


tempestuous, roiled: We negotiated a very rough patch of water


before sailing into the calm, sheltered bay. 3 brusque, bluff,


curt, short, abrupt, unpleasant, churlish, discourteous,


impolite, rough-spoken, ungracious, surly, disrespectful, rude,


uncouth, loutish, unrefined, uncivil, uncivilized, uncultured,


vulgar, unladylike, ungentlemanly, coarse, ill-mannered,


ill-bred, inconsiderate: Ian can be a bit rough, I know, but


underneath he is a true and loyal friend. 4 tough,


rough-and-tumble, roughneck, rowdy: There are some very rough


characters frequenting that pub. 5 harsh, violent, unfeeling,


unjust, severe, cruel, tough, hard, brutal, extreme; ungentle:


They were subjected to very rough treatment when being


questioned by the police. 6 dirty, obscene, smutty,


pornographic, vulgar, crude, raw, rude: After midnight they


watch the rough shows beamed by satellite from Italy. 7 hard,


tough, Spartan, difficult, arduous, laborious, rugged,


unpleasant: It was pretty rough going with almost no money and


all those expenses. 8 harsh, grating, cacophonous, discordant,

jarring, strident, raucous, rasping, unmusical, inharmonious, gruff, husky: In acknowledgement he made a rough, growling noise. 9 unfinished, incomplete, uncompleted, imperfect, rudimentary, crude, rude, formless, unformed, raw, rough-and-ready, rough-hewn, roughcast, undeveloped, unshaped, unworked, unwrought, unprocessed, unrefined; uncut, unpolished; shapeless, unshaped, undressed: I only saw the sculpture in its rough state and cannot say how it looked when finished. The stones are rough, as they were when taken from the ground. 10 general, approximate, inexact, cursory, quick, hasty, sketchy, vague, hazy; foggy, Colloq ballpark: Can't you give me even a rough idea of how much you want for the house? 11 unfair, unjust, bad, tough; unlucky, unfortunate: We went through a spell of rough luck last year. This is a rough time for

everyone. 12 See rotten, 5, above.

--n. 13 rowdy, tough, hooligan, ruffian, thug, brawler, yahoo, Slang roughneck, Australian larrikin, US mug: Phil will get into trouble if he continues to associate with those roughs at the Lantern. 14 sketch, (rough) draft, mock-up, outline: Let me see roughs of the presentation before the meeting with the client.

--v. 15 rough out or in. sketch, draft, mock-up, outline, mark out, trace, block out: Our escape plan was roughed out by Captain Gallagher. 16 rough up. beat (up), thrash, attack, batter, assault, pummel or pommel, lay on, knock about,

belabour, lambaste, Colloq wallop: Some of the boys roughed him up a bit when they learned that he was an informer.

--adv. 17 violently, savagely, brutally, brutishly: You'd best not mention Cassie or Henry might cut up rough.


n. 1 boisterousness, rowdiness, rowdyism, violence, brawling, disorderliness, disorderly conduct, ruffianism: The police were called in to quell the rough-house that broke out at the dance.

--v. 2 brawl: If you want to rough-house, do it outside!

roughly adv. 1 approximately, around; about, nearly: The British Museum is roughly in the same direction as Euston. It cost roughly two weeks' wages. Roughly two years later I saw her

again. 2 harshly, unkindly, severely, sternly, unsympathetically, brutally, violently, savagely, inhumanly, mercilessly, unmercifully, ruthlessly, pitilessly, cruelly, heartlessly: The police were accused of dealing too roughly with those suspected of harming a fellow officer. 3 clumsily, rudely, crudely, awkwardly, primitively, inexpertly, amateurishly, maladroitly, heavy-handedly, ineptly, inefficiently, unskilfully, inartistically: This roughly hewn block of local granite is what the council paid a fortune for as 'sculpture'.

round adj. 1 circular; disc-shaped, discoid, disc-like: I prefer a round table to a square one. She made a round motion to demonstrate the shape. 2 ring-shaped, annular, hoop-shaped, hoop-like: The track is oval, not round. 3 spherical, ball-shaped, ball-like, globular, spheroid, spheroidal, globe-shaped, globelike, globate, orb-shaped, orb-like, orbicular: You will never convince me that the earth is round - I know what I see. 4 curved, curvilinear, rounded, arched: The round chisel is used to cut these grooves. 5 exact, precise, complete, entire, full: That makes a round hundred times you

have asked me the same question. 6 approximate, rough, rounded (off or up or down), whole: In round numbers, that makes 40 per cent For and 60 per cent Against. 7 rounded, mellow, full, vibrant, reverberant, reverberating, sonorous, rich,

mellifluous, orotund, pear-shaped: Couldn't you listen forever to those beautiful round tones sung by Fischer-Dieskau? 8 plain, honest, straightforward, direct, unvarnished, unembellished, unelaborated, outspoken, candid, truthful, frank, open, blunt, Colloq upfront: They delivered what they had to say in round, assertive statements. 9 Chiefly Brit return: We made the round trip to Bristol in less than three hours.

--n. 10 circle, disc; ring, hoop, annulus; ball, sphere, globe, orb, bead: The moulding has a repeated pattern of a round alternating with three vertical grooves. 11 cycle, series, sequence, succession, bout, spell: The current round of talks on the economy is expected to last for three days. There was the usual round of parties on New Year's Eve. 12 Often, rounds. beat, route, routine, circuit, course, tour, turn, ambit: The milkman still makes his daily rounds in England. 13 heat, stage, level, turn: After each round in the tournament, the losers are eliminated, reducing the competitors by half. 14

spell, period, run, spate, bout, outburst, burst, volley: Each new acrobat who added to the human pyramid got a round of applause. 15 bullet, cartridge, charge, shell, (single) shot: Each man was given only ten rounds of ammunition.

--v. 16 turn, go (a)round: The car rounded the corner on two wheels. 17 orbit, circumnavigate, go (a)round, circle, encircle: He rounded the earth in the fastest recorded time. 18 round off or out. complete, close, end, bring to an end or completion or a close, finish: Tim suggested we round off the

evening with a rubber of bridge. 19 round up. gather, assemble, muster, draw or pull or get together, collect, herd, marshal, US and Canadian (of cattle or horses) corral, wrangle: The police are rounding up witnesses who might have seen the shooting. More than 10,000 head of cattle have been rounded up for the drive.

--prep. 20 about, around, encircling, enclosing; orbiting: The fence round the site ought to keep out the curious. The new bypass round town ought to reduce local traffic. 21 here and there in, about, around, throughout, all over, everywhere in:

Dad used to smoke and kept dozens of ash trays round the house. 22 about, around, nearby, in the neighbourhood or vicinity or (general) area of: Whenever I want to see you alone, there are always people round you. Just look round you if you don't believe me.

--adv. 23 around, about, in a circle or ring, on all sides: Gather round and I'll tell you a story. Pass the hat round for Harry's farewell party. 24 from beginning to end, from start to finish, through: He now lives in France the year round. 25 in

perimeter or periphery, around: The indoor track is exactly one fifth of a mile round. 26 about, around, in the neighbourhood or vicinity or (general) area: There isn't a soul for miles

round. 27 around, in a circle or circuit, in or by a circular

or circuitous route or path, circuitously: This road goes round to the other side of the lake.


adj. 1 circuitous, circular, indirect, long: We had plenty of time so we came the more scenic, roundabout way. 2 devious, circuitous, evasive, indirect, oblique: If you wanted to borrow

some money, asking me for tax advice was quite a roundabout way

of asking.

--n. 3 merry-go-round, carousel or carrousel, Old-fashioned or dialect whirligig: The children weren't the only ones who

enjoyed themselves on the roundabout. 4 Brit mini-roundabout, US and Canadian rotary, traffic circle: When you come to the roundabout, turn right and keep going till you come to a traffic light.

round-up n. 1 gathering, assembly, rally, collection, herding, US and Canadian (of cattle or horses) corralling, wrangling: The round-up of suspects by the police was focused on the Bournemouth area. 2 summary, synopsis, digest, outline, recapitulation, review, survey, Colloq recap: And now, with a round-up of the news, here is Moira Lawley.

rouse v. 1 arouse, call, waken, awaken, wake (up), get up, arise: I was roused from a deep slumber by a dog's barking. 2 stir (up), arouse, bestir, stimulate, inspirit, animate, invigorate,

electrify, excite, provoke, prompt, goad, prod, galvanize, incite, whet, move, work up, fire up: Bruce's unquenchable enthusiasm roused many to become involved in the campaign.

rousing adj. stimulating, inspiriting, animating, enlivening, energizing, inspiring, invigorating, vitalizing, electrifying; fervent, vigorous, energetic, enthusiastic, spirited, brisk,


lively, animated, Colloq peppy: The huge crowd gave the team a


rousing cheer as they jogged out onto the field.


n. 1 defeat, trouncing, ruin, overthrow, subjugation,


vanquishment, d‚bƒcle, conquest, thrashing, drubbing, beating;


dispersal, retreat, collapse; Colloq licking, hiding, US and


Canadian shellacking: Owing to the government's overwhelming


forces, there was a complete rout of the rebels.


--v. 2 defeat, win (out) over, trounce, ruin, overthrow, bring


down, subjugate, subdue, suppress, vanquish, conquer, overwhelm,


overpower, put to rout or flight, worst, best, trample, overrun,


thrash, trim, whip, drub, beat, crush, batter, smash, shatter,


cut to pieces or ribbons or shreds, destroy, devastate, wipe


out, eliminate, put down, seal the doom or the fate of,


eradicate, obliterate, Colloq lick, wipe the floor with, polish


off, knock off, Hyperbolic sports jargon pulverize, make

mincemeat of, ride roughshod over, demolish, mangle, ravage, mutilate, flatten, squash, topple, lay waste, wreak havoc (up)on, ravage, massacre, murder, exterminate, annihilate, liquidate, smother, stifle, do away with, Slang clobber, do in,

US skunk, Chiefly US and Canadian cream: Queens Park Rangers routed Manchester United 6-0.

route n. 1 way, itinerary, course, direction, path, road, avenue: If you have the time, take the scenic route. John's route to the chairmanship is strewn with his colleagues' corpses.

--v. 2 direct, convey, carry: Goods destined for Cleveland will be routed through Northampton.

routine n. 1 custom, habit, procedure, practice, method, schedule, plan, programme, formula, pattern, way, usage, wont, Colloq chiefly Brit drill: Chalmers has always been a stickler for routine. What's the routine here when you want to order a new chair? 2 act, piece, bit, performance, number, part, Colloq thing, shtick: The fat lady doesn't sing till after Joe Miller finishes his routine.


--adj. 3 customary, habitual, usual, rote, accustomed,familiar,


conventional, regular, ordinary, everyday; programmed, assigned,


designated, scheduled: Her routine responsibilities include


proofreading. 4 boring, tedious, tiresome, unimaginative,


uninteresting; hackneyed, trite, stereotypic(al), clich‚d,


run-of-the-mill, ordinary; unvaried, unvarying, unchanging,


monotonous, uneventful, rote, automatic, mechanical,


perfunctory: He has a routine job on the assembly line.


n. wanderer, bird of passage, itinerant, traveller, rolling


stone, nomad, gypsy, wayfarer, gadabout, sojourner, tourist;


drifter, tramp, vagabond, vagrant, US hobo, bum: He's a born


rover and will never settle down.


n. line, rank, tier, bank, string, series, file: A row of


trees serves as a wind-break along one side of the farm.


n. 1 altercation, argument, dispute, quarrel, disagreement,


squabble, spat, tiff, conflict, fracas, Colloq shouting match,


scrap, falling-out, Brit slanging-match: We had a silly row


about where we should spend the Christmas holidays. 2

commotion, disturbance, clamour, hubbub, racket, din, rumpus, tumult, uproar, brouhaha, fuss, stir, turmoil, hullabaloo;

bedlam, pandemonium, chaos; US foofaraw, Colloq ruckus: There was a tremendous row over the increase in membership fees.

--v. 3 dispute, quarrel, argue, disagree, wrangle, cross swords, have words, bicker, tiff, Colloq scrap, fall out: They

are constantly rowing over something, usually some insignificant detail.

rowdy adj. 1 boisterous, uproarious, disorderly, noisy, loud, obstreperous, unruly: It only takes a couple of rowdy youths to start trouble at a match.

--n. 2 ruffian, tough, hooligan, yahoo, brawler, lout, Brit lager lout, skinhead, Chiefly US and Canadian hoodlum, hood,

Slang Brit bovver boy: The police arrested three of the rowdies involved in last night's fight.

rowdyism n. rowdiness, ruffianism, hooliganism, rough-house, barbarism, troublemaking, brawling, unruliness, boisterousness, Slang Brit bovver: Have you any suggestions about what to do to curb rowdyism at football matches?

royal adj. 1 queenly, kingly, queenlike, kinglike, regal, imperial, sovereign, princely, majestic: The Royal Family usually spend their summer holidays at Balmoral. The establishment proudly boasts royal patronage. 2 grand, splendid, stately, impressive, august, imposing, superior, superb, magnificent, majestic: She arrived at the ball in a royal coach drawn by six white horses.

--n. 3 king, queen, prince, princess, duke, earl, duchess, viscount, viscountess, baron, baroness, noble, nobleman, noblewoman, peer: Her greatest ambition is to meet a royal in the flesh. 4 royals. royalty, nobility, nobles, peerage: He writes the daily column reporting on the activities of the royals.

royalty n. 1 queenship, kingship, royal house or line or family, sovereignty: Royalty does have its privileges, doesn't it? 2 percentage, commission, share, payment, compensation: He receives a royalty every time his song is played or sung commercially, anywhere in the world. 3 nobility, nobles,

peerage, Colloq Brit royals: It is ironic that Americans are more impressed than the British with royalty.

18.6 rub...



v. 1 massage, knead, stroke; scour, scrub, scrape, abrade,


chafe, clean; wipe, smooth, polish, shine, buff, burnish: Rub


my back, would you? - Not there, a little lower down. You are


not supposed to rub those plastic baths with abrasive cleansers.


Before the guests arrived, we rubbed the silver till you could


see yourself in it. 2 rub in or on. apply, smooth, smear,


spread, put: The ache may be relieved a bit if you rub on some


liniment. 3 rub (it or something) in. emphasize, stress, make


an issue of, harp on, reiterate, dwell on, hammer away,


dramatize: It's bad enough that Caroline did better than I did


- you don't have to keep rubbing it in. 4 rub off or out.


expunge, erase, remove, delete, cancel, eliminate, eradicate:


It's a pity, Peter, that you rubbed out the right reply and


wrote in the wrong one. The boys were released on the condition


that they would rub the graffiti off the wall. 5 rub off (on).


affect, be transferred (to), be communicated or transmitted


(to), be passed on or along (to), be imparted to: Your mother


and I had hoped that some of our love of music might have rubbed


off on you. 6 rub out. murder, kill, execute, slay: The


Godfather ordered all witnesses to be rubbed out. 7 rub


shoulders with. rub elbows with, associate with, socialize with,


mix with, fraternize with, keep company with, consort with,


Colloq US run or pal or chum around with: Since getting his


knighthood Charles no longer rubs shoulders with the likes of


us. 8 rub (someone) (up) the wrong way. annoy, irritate, irk,


anger, provoke, go against the grain, Colloq bug, get under


one's or someone's skin, peeve: I don't know what it is about


Underbridge, but every time we meet he manages to rub me up the


wrong way.


--n. 9 wipe, stroke, rubbing: You will have to give that stain


a good rub to make it come out. 10 massage, rub-down: After


exercising, Jane always has an alcohol rub. 11 the rub. the or


a catch or hitch or snag or hindrance or set-back, the or an


obstacle or impediment, the or a difficulty or problem or


trouble: The only rub I can see is that Warren may not agree to

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