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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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He found a seat and waited to be called. 2 focus, base, centre, heart, hub, site, capital, cradle, headquarters, fountain-head: In those days, Paris was the main seat of learning in western Europe. Istanbul was established as the seat of the Turkish empire. 3 membership, position, incumbency: His grandfather held a seat in the House of Commons. 4 bottom, buttocks, posterior(s), rump, hindquarters, fundament, derriŠre, Colloq behind, butt, backside, rear (end), Brit bum, US fanny, tushie, tush, tokus, hinie, Slang tail, Brit arse, US ass: He needs a swift kick in the seat to get him to move. 5 abode, residence,

home, domicile, estate, mansion: The duchess used to spend the summer at her country seat in Norfolk.

--v. 6 hold, accommodate, have room or space or capacity for, contain, sit: The new auditorium will seat more than four thousand. 7 install or instal, enthrone, ensconce, instate, invest, establish, place, swear in: Once Lord Carter has been seated, it will be difficult to get rid of him.


n. accommodation, capacity, space, room: At present, the

auditorium has seating for only 500.


v. withdraw or resign or retire (from), abandon, forsake,

apostasize, break with or away (from), drop or pull out (of), turn one's back to or on, quit, separate from, leave, wash one's

hands of, have nothing further to do with: The City of New York occasionally threatens to secede from the United States.

secession n. withdrawal, seceding, defection, break, breaking, disaffiliation, retirement, separation, splitting off or away, apostasy: The secession of the splinter group was welcomed by virtually all the other members.

secluded adj. 1 private, separate, isolated, lonely, cloistered, sequestered, detached, solitary, retired, eremitic, monastic: He lives a very secluded life on an island in the Outer Hebrides. 2 off the beaten track, out-of-the-way, remote, far-away, far-off, separate, segregated, private: He chose a secluded island in the Outer Hebrides for his vacation.

seclusion n. privacy, private, separation, isolation, loneliness: He prefers to live in complete seclusion.

second° adj. 1 subsequent, following, next: He let the first target go by and aimed for the second one. 2 subordinate, next: If the colonel isn't here, who is the second officer? 3 alternative, second-best: She refuses to settle for second choice. 4 alternate, other: The laundry is picked up and delivered every second Tuesday. His second language is Italian. 5 other, later, younger, newer, more recent: After his first wife died, he took her nurse as his second wife. 6 another, duplicate: The boy is a second Einstein.

--n. 7 defective or imperfect or damaged or faulty or deficient or flawed or impaired or marred or blemished or bruised or inferior merchandise: The prices of these shirts have been reduced because they are seconds. 8 subordinate, assistant, number two, lieutenant, aide-de-camp, man Friday, girl Friday, right hand; understudy, stand-in, substitute, surrogate, double, alternate, backer, supporter; Colloq US gal Friday: Not being ambitious, Helen would prefer to be a second to the person who runs the business.

--v. 9 support, back, aid, help, assist, approve (of), advance, promote, subscribe to, espouse, sponsor, patronize, favour, encourage, go along with: Madam Chairwoman, I would like to second this proposal. 10 transfer, move, assign, shift,

relocate: After the Falklands War, he was seconded to fleet headquarters for a year.

--adv. 11 secondly, in the second place, secondarily, (number) two, b or B: I want to go: first, because it'll be interesting, and second, because Jake'll be there.

secondý n. moment, instant, flash, minute, twinkling or wink or bat (of an eye), split second, Colloq sec, jiffy, two shakes (of a

lamb's tail), Brit tick, half a mo: I'll be with you in a second, as soon as I finish writing this letter.

secondary adj. 1 less important, unimportant, inessential or unessential, non-essential, non-critical, subsidiary, ancillary, minor,

inferior, subordinate: These secondary matters can be dealt with after the important ones. 2 derivative, derived, indirect, second-hand, unoriginal, not original; copied, imitated: His biography of Queen Victoria was based entirely on secondary sources. 3 auxiliary, second-line, backup, extra, reserve,

spare, provisional, supporting, supportive, alternate, alternative: We were forced to rely on our secondary defences after the enemy cavalry broke through.


adj. used, old, worn, Colloq hand-me-down: When we were children our parents could only afford to dress us in second-hand clothes. His much-vaunted novels are for the most part based on second-hand ideas.

secrecy n. 1 mystery, concealment, confidentiality, stealth, secretiveness, surreptitiousness, privacy, furtiveness, covertness, clandestineness: Why was there so much secrecy surrounding the publication date of Jennie's book? 2 in secrecy. secretly, mysteriously, confidentially, stealthily, secretively, surreptitiously, privately, furtively, covertly, clandestinely, sneakily: They carry on much of their business in secrecy.

secret adj. 1 concealed, hidden, private, covert, shrouded, clandestine; confidential, covert, quiet, under cover,

secretive, unpublishable, unpublished, Colloq hush-hush: There is a secret passageway leading from the cave to the cove. Keep secret what I shall tell you. She revealed to me her most secret desires. 2 cryptic, private, arcane, mysterious, incomprehensible, esoteric, recondite, abstruse; cryptographic,

encrypted, encoded: We used to communicate by secret code. Did you receive my secret message?

--n. 3 private or confidential matter or affair, mystery: If I tell you my secret will you tell me yours? 4 in secret. privately, confidentially, secretly, on the q.t. or Q.T.; surreptitiously, under cover, by stealth, stealthily, furtively, quietly, on the sly, clandestinely: The office manager told me in secret that John was going to resign. They see one another in secret.

secrete° v. hide, conceal, cache, bury, cloak, shroud, enshroud, camouflage, mask, disguise, Slang stash away: They secreted the haul from the robbery in the cellar of a house in Balham.

secreteý v. yield, excrete, pass, generate, release, ooze, seep, exude, discharge, leak, drip, drop, dribble, trickle, run, drain, emit, give off, emanate, transude, Technical extravasate: The ants

herd aphids for the substance they secrete. The wound will secrete pus for a while.

secretion n. secreting, release, escape, oozing, seeping, seepage, discharge, discharging, leak, leaking, leakage, drip, dripping, drop, dropping, dribbling, trickling, trickle, running, drain, draining, emission, emitting, giving off, exudation, transudation, excretion, excreting, emanation, emanating, generation, Technical extravasation; transudate, excreta, Technical extravasate: The secretion of perspiration may be profuse under such circumstances. The secretion is highly acid in content.

secretive adj. reticent, silent, close-mouthed, taciturn, uncommunicative, reserved, tight-lipped, close, Colloq mum: Robert is very secretive about where he goes every day at lunch-time.

secretly adv. surreptitiously, quietly, privately, covertly, on the q.t. or Q.T., furtively, stealthily, mysteriously, clandestinely, in secret, confidentially, on the sly, slyly, sub rosa, sub

sigillo: I can tell you secretly that she is wanted by the police. Henry secretly rents videotape cartoons to watch at weekends.


n. 1 religious order or group or denomination or body or cult


or persuasion or subdivision: At times it seems as if there are


as many sects as worshippers. 2 school (of thought), faction,


ism, set, clique, cabal: He belonged to a small sect that


promulgated the Ptolemaic cosmogony.

sectarian adj. 1 cultist, cultish, clannish, cliquish, partisan, partial, dogmatic, doctrinaire, factional: They seldom mingle with others, maintaining their sectarian existence. 2 parochial, narrow, narrow-minded, limited, insular, provincial, rigid, fanatic(al), prejudicial, prejudiced, bigoted: Because they refused to consider ideas other than their own, they gradually became more and more sectarian in their views.

--n. 3 adherent, member, sectary, votary, cultist, partisan: They tried to banish Anabaptists, Lutherans, Calvinists, and other sectarians. 4 (true) believer, dogmatist, fanatic, bigot, zealot, extremist, Slang nut, bug, fiend: Some of the

sectarians engage in the ritualistic handling of live rattlesnakes.

section n. 1 part, division, department, branch, sector, group, detachment, segment, portion, subdivision, component, element: Sadler has been assigned to work in the research section. I never read the the sports section in the Sunday papers. Which sections of the country will vote for you? The string section needs practice before tonight's concert. 2 sample, slice, cross-section, fraction: It can be faulty to assume that the characteristics of the whole are necessarily represented in a small section of it. I examined a section of tissue under the microscope. 3 part, stage, segment, portion, leg: The first section of the journey was more comfortable than the last.

--v. 4 cut (up), divide (up), segment, split, cleave, measure out, apportion, allot, allocate: The land was sectioned into four-acre parcels.


adj. worldly, terrestrial, mundane, temporal, material, lay,

laic or laical, non-clerical, non-ecclesiastic(al),

non-spiritual, non-religious, civil, state: Once he had taken

his vows, he put aside secular matters.


adj. 1 safe, shielded, sheltered, protected, immune,

unthreatened, unexposed, unimperilled, snug, cosy: Fiona feels quite secure in her new house. Considering the success of the company, Bill's job looks secure. 2 firm, steady, stable, fixed, fast, moored, anchored, immovable, closed, shut, fastened, locked (up), tight, sound, solid, sturdy, strong: That button

on your jacket doesn't look very secure. Make sure that the house is secure before you go to sleep. 3 reliable, safe, good, profitable, healthy, solid: Telephone shares looked like a secure investment at the time. 4 sure, certain, assured, ensured, definite, inevitable, assumed, evident, obvious, unquestionable, established, probable, easy: With only two minutes left to play, victory seemed secure for Rangers.

--v. 5 obtain, get (hold of), come by, acquire, procure, win; gain, get or take possession of, arrogate: Tim has secured a responsible position at the bank. She always manages to secure

the sympathy of older men. 6 guarantee, underwrite, hypothecate, collateralize: We used our house to secure the loan. 7

protect, shelter, shield, defend, guard, safeguard, preserve:

It seems impossible to secure young children from bullying at school. 8 fasten, make fast, fix, affix, attach, anchor: Secure the cases to the roof-rack with strong rope.

security n. 1 safety, shelter, protection, fastness, refuge, safe keeping, sanctuary, asylum: During the air raids, we retired to the security of the basement. 2 confidence, certainty, surety, assurance, conviction: He has the security of knowing that he is right in this instance. 3 guarantee or guaranty, collateral, deposit, gage, pledge, insurance: What are you going to offer as security for the loan? 4 surveillance, safeguarding, guarding, safe keeping, protection, custody, custodianship, care: What plans does the company have for the security of the office building?

sedate adj. 1 composed, serene, peaceful, calm, tranquil, cool, collected, even-tempered, detached, imperturbable, unruffled, undisturbed, unperturbed, controlled, placid, grave, serious, sober, solemn, Colloq unflappable: Despite all the turmoil round her, Sarah remained quite sedate. 2 dignified, decorous, refined, formal, stiff, staid, proper, strait-laced, prudish,

fussy, prim, conventional, old-fashioned: Donald prefers a sedate waltz to boogying and jiving.

sedative n. 1 narcotic, tranquillizer, opiate, sleeping-pill, soporific, calmative, anodyne, depressant, hypnotic, barbiturate, lenitive, Colloq downer, knock-out drop, Slang Mickey (Finn): The doctor has given him a sedative and he should sleep now.

--adj. 2 narcotic, tranquillizing, relaxing, soothing, calming, allaying, opiate, soporific, sleep-inducing, calmative, anodyne, lenitive, depressing, hypnotic: I found that listening to a recording of surf splashing on a beach has a sedative effect.

sedentary adj. seated, sitting, stationary, fixed, immobile, unmoving, housebound, desk-bound: You should find a more sedentary occupation to follow while you recover. As a writer, I lead a sedentary existence and get little exercise.

sediment n. lees, dregs, deposit, grounds, precipitate, remains, residue, settlings, residuum, detritus: Periodically, the sediment must be cleaned out of the filters.

sedition n. agitation, incitement (to riot), rabble-rousing, fomentation, instigation, firing-up, stirring up, whipping up; mutiny, insurrection, insurgency or insurgence, rebellion; treason, treachery: Because he had organized the strike in the munitions plant during wartime, he was accused of sedition.

seditious adj. rebellious, mutinous, revolutionary, insurgent, inflammatory, rabble-rousing, insurrectionist, insurrectionary, refractory, subversive, treacherous, dissident, disloyal, turncoat, unfaithful: One seditious action on the part of the colonists was to dump tea into the harbour at Boston, Massachusetts.

seduce v. 1 lure, entice, attract, allure, tempt, mislead, beguile, deceive, decoy, draw on, charm, captivate, vamp, entrap, ensnare, trap, Colloq sweet-talk: He was seduced into giving her his life's savings. 2 dishonour, ruin, corrupt, lead

astray, defile, debauch, deflower, violate, ravish: How many girls have been seduced in the name of undying love?

seducer n. See also seductress, below. rake, libertine, rou‚, playboy, lady-killer, lecher, debauchee, debaucher, lover, cicisbeo, Don Juan, Lothario, Casanova, Colloq wolf: She can't really be going out with that wretched seducer!

seductive adj. alluring, attractive, tempting, tantalizing, enticing, inviting, seducing, enchanting, entrancing, bewitching, fascinating, flirtatious, coquettish, captivating, beguiling, provocative, siren, irresistible, winning, appealing, prepossessing, Colloq sexy: He was lured into the whirl of the financial world by the seductive five-letter word - money. Never had Helena looked more seductive than on that night in Rio.


n. See also seducer, above. temptress, siren, femme fatale, enchantress, Circe, Lorelei, Jezebel, vamp: That clever seductress will soon have him eating out of her hand.


v. 1 perceive, note, notice, mark, spot, watch, witness,


recognize, behold, discern, distinguish, observe, look at,


regard, sight, catch sight of, descry, espy, spy, make out, look


upon, view, glimpse, catch a glimpse of, Slang get a load of, US

glom: I saw him buy a bottle of whisky. We saw two yellow-bellied sapsuckers in one day! Can you see the sea from your suite? Did you see the Houses of Parliament when you were in London? 2 understand, comprehend, apprehend, perceive, appreciate, fathom, grasp, take in, realize, know, be aware or conscious of, get the idea or meaning of, Colloq dig, get, get

the drift or the hang of: I see what you are saying, but I don't agree. After her speech, I saw Gladys in a new light. 3 foresee, foretell, imagine, envisage, envision, visualize, picture, divine, conceive (of), dream of, conjure up, accept: I

can see a day when warming from the greenhouse effect will make the sea level rise. Ted said he can't see you as a married man.

4 determine, ascertain, find out, investigate, discover, learn: See if the bakery has any macaroons. I'll see what she thinks. 5 Often, see to it. ensure, assure, make sure or certain, mind, be vigilant: It's cold outside, so see that you dress warmly.

6 accompany, escort, show, lead, conduct, usher, take, convoy, bring, walk, drive: I was seeing Nellie home from a soir‚e at Aunt Dinah's. 7 go out with, socialize with, keep company with, consort with, associate with; court, woo; Colloq go steady with, Chiefly US date: Are you still seeing that boy you met at the school dance? 8 make up one's mind, think over, mull over, consider, ponder (on or over), contemplate, decide, reflect

(on), meditate (on or over or about), ruminate (on or over), brood over: Mother said she'd see whether I could go. Then I asked father, and he said he'd see. 9 receive, meet (with), talk or speak with, confer with, consult (with), have a word with, sit down with, visit with, interview; welcome, greet: The ambassador will see you now. 10 undergo, experience, go through, endure, survive: He saw service overseas during the war. 11 help, aid, assist, support, finance, pay the way for; guide, shepherd: She saw three children through university without anyone's help. 12 see about. a see to, attend to, look after, take care or charge of, look to, organize, manage, do, undertake, sort out; think about, consider, give some thought to, pay attention or heed to: Could you please see about

feeding the horses while I am away? I asked Martin and he said he'd see about it. b investigate, study, probe, look into, make enquiries or inquiries, enquire or inquire about: The teacher said she would see about letting us out early before the

holiday. 13 see off. bid adieu or bon voyage: We went to the airport to see them off. 14 see through. a penetrate, detect, perceive, Slang be wise to: She saw through your subterfuge at


once. b see (something) through. persevere, persist, manage,


survive, last, ride out, Colloq stick out: Once you start on


something, I wish you'd see it through. c see (someone)


through. provide with help or aid or assistance, help, aid,


assist, last: We'll give you enough money to see you through.


15 see to. See 12(a), above.


n. 1 grain, spore, kernel, pit, tuber, bulb, corm, Technical


ovum, ovule, embryo, egg, germ: Add water and the seeds will


soon germinate. 2 origin, source, cause, root, provocation,


reason, basis, grounds; motive, motivation, motivating factor:


The seeds of suspicion were sown by the continuous police


presence in the neighbourhood. 3 offspring, children, progeny,


young, issue, descendants, heirs, successors: Yea, and verily I


say unto you that his seed shall populate the earth. 4 go or run


to seed. run down, become dilapidated or worn out or shabby,


decay, go downhill, decline, degenerate, deteriorate, go to rack


and ruin, Colloq go to pot: If he doesn't start to look after


it, the entire place will go to seed.


--v. 5 scatter, sow, distribute: Don't walk on the freshly


seeded lawn.

seedy adj. 1 shabby, dilapidated, worn (out), decayed, deteriorated, run-down, broken-down, mangy, grubby, decaying, tatty, scruffy, squalid, sleazy, Colloq ratty: They live in a seedy little

shack on the other side of town. 2 tired, weary, wearied, run-down, worn out, unwell, out of sorts, ailing, ill, sickly, Colloq poorly, under the weather, off one's feed: I begged off at dinner time because I was feeling a bit seedy.

seeing conjunction. in view of (the fact that), whereas, in (the)


light of, inasmuch as, since, considering: Seeing that you are


here, you might as well tell her yourself.


v. 1 look (for), search (for), hunt (for), go or be after,


quest after, pursue: They are seeking a really good site for a


grand luxury hotel. Seek and ye shall find. 2 hope, aim,


aspire, try, essay, endeavour, undertake: They are seeking to


recruit members for the new party. 3 ask for, request, beg,


solicit, invite; demand: He sought her help and she refused



seem v. appear, look (as if or non-standard in US like), sound, feel, have (all) the hallmarks or earmarks of, give every indication or appearance of: He seems all right to me. She seems to have forgotten her key again. It seems as if I've never been away at all. He seemed frightened.

seeming adj. apparent, evident, ostensible, outward, superficial, surface, assumed, feigned, pretended, false, so-called, alleged, specious, purported, professed: She was shocked by his seeming indifference to her problems.

seemingly adv. apparently, evidently, ostensibly, outwardly, superficially, falsely, allegedly, speciously, purportedly, professedly, on the face of it, possibly, feasibly, conceivably, plausibly, believably: The purpose of this seemingly honest confession was to throw the detectives off the scent.

seemly adj. 1 proper, fitting, appropriate, becoming, suited, suitable, fit, befitting, apt, comme il faut, right, apropos,


apposite, characteristic, meet, reasonable, sensible: You can


count on Felix to do the seemly thing in such cases. 2 decent,


decorous, proper, dignified, genteel, gentlemanly, ladylike,


diplomatic, discreet, prudent, politic: She behaved in a seemly


manner, in keeping with what was expected of a princess.


n. soothsayer, fortune-teller, sibyl, oracle, prophet,


prophetess, augur, vaticinator, prophesier, clairvoyant,


psychic, crystal-gazer, star-gazer: The seer foretold a grave


famine and much suffering in the land.

see-saw n. 1 teeter: The children were playing on the see-saw.

--v. 2 teeter, totter, waver, vary, vacillate, oscillate, alternate, fluctuate, swing, switch: He couldn't make up his mind and kept see-sawing between staying and going.

seethe v. 1 boil, stew, simmer, foam: In the kitchen, a large pot of stew seethed on the stove. 2 stew, simmer, foam (at the mouth), fume, smoulder, burn, rage, rant, rave, become livid or feverish, be in ferment, be furious or incensed, Colloq blow one's stack or top, carry on, take on, get hot under the collar, get red in the face, get all steamed up: The ball sailed

through Mr Griffiths' new greenhouse and he came out seething

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