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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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old hand: He is an adept at anything that one does with one's hands.

adequate adj. 1 sufficient, enough, ample; satisfactory, fitting, equal, suitable: Is there language adequate to describe my feelings?

2 passable, fair, fair to middling, middling, average, tolerable, (barely) acceptable, (barely) satisfactory, all right, competent, not (at all) bad, so so , Colloq OK or okay, up to snuff, not that or too bad, no great shakes: The music was good, the band only adequate. 3 equal, suitable, suited,

fitted, up, proper, qualified, competent, good enough: Johnson was unsure that he was adequate to the task at hand.

adjoining adj. neighbouring, contiguous (to), adjacent (to), abutting, bordering, next (to): We have bought the adjoining house. The land adjoining the supermarket is for sale.

adjust v. 1 set right, arrange, settle, harmonize, reconcile, resolve, set or put to rights; arbitrate, mediate; redress, rectify,

correct, patch up: Four were named on each side to adjust their differences. 2 change, alter, modify, regulate, set: After he adjusted the pendulum, the clock kept good time. 3 adapt (to), accommodate (oneself) (to), accustom (oneself) (to); get used (to), acclimatize or acclimate (to), reconcile (oneself) (to):

If she travels a distance east or west, it takes her a few days to adjust to the local time. Army life was very different, but I was able to adjust quickly. 4 put in order, arrange, rearrange, close or fasten or zip or button (up): She adjusted the children's coats and did up their shoes.


n. 1 adjusting, altering, alteration, setting, regulating, regulation, setting or putting right or aright or to rights, correcting, correction, calibrating, calibration; tuning: The adjustment of the clocks is my responsibility. 2 arrangement,

balance, coordination, order, alignment, harmony, harmonization: The inspector requires everything to be in perfect adjustment.


v. 1 administrate, manage, control, run, direct, conduct, superintend, supervise, oversee: The president said that she had administered the department well during her year as its head. 2 execute, carry on, carry out; apply, implement,

prosecute: It is the responsibility of the police to administer the law, not to make it. 3 dispense, supply, furnish, give (out), provide (with), mete out, distribute, deliver, deal, hand

out: Doctors sometimes administer drugs that have side effects.


n. 1 management, direction, conduct, supervision, oversight, superintendence, regulation, charge: Lord Hampden was given administration of her affairs till she came of age. 2 authority, management, US government: The current administration is in favour of a better health programme. 3 dispensation, administering, supplying, furnishing, provision, delivery, distribution, application: The judge is charged with the administration of justice.

admirable adj. wonderful, awe-inspiring, excellent, estimable, splendid, marvellous, superior, first-rate, first-class, of the first

water, great, fine, Colloq top-drawer, ripsnorting, A-1, Brit smashing, magic: His performance in Harper's new play is admirable.


n. wonder, awe; delight, pleasure; esteem, regard, appreciation, respect: She is lost in admiration of her mother's latest painting. Randolph was presented with a gold medal as a token of his colleagues' admiration.

admire v. 1 wonder or marvel (at), delight in: Typically, he most admires people who are wealthy. 2 esteem, regard or respect highly, look up to, revere, idolize, venerate, worship: The queen is one of the most admired people in the country.

admirer n. 1 devotee, aficionado, fan, supporter, enthusiast, adherent, follower Slang groupie: Rock stars always seem to be accompanied by a retinue of admirers. 2 beau, suitor; lover, sweetheart, darling: Scarlett was always surrounded by many admirers.

admission n. 1 access, admittance, entr‚e, entry: The special card gives me admission to the rare book room of the library. 2 reception, acceptance, appointment, institution, induction, installation, investiture: The committee has at last approved the admission

of women into the society. 3 acknowledging, acknowledgement or

acknowledgment, allowing, allowance, admitting, admittance, conceding, concession: The court refuses to consider the admission of testimony taken under duress. 4 acknowledgement, confession, concession, profession, declaration, disclosure, affirmation, concession, divulgence or divulgement, revelation: The police were able to extract an admission of guilt from the suspect. 5 ticket, (entry or entrance) fee, tariff: Admission

is free for senior citizens.

admit v. 1 let in, allow to enter, take or allow in; accept, receive:

I opened the window to admit some air. The harbour is too small to admit even one more ship. 2 allow, permit, grant, brook, tolerate: The governor will admit no delay in the execution of the sentence, and the prisoner will be hanged at dawn. 3 accept, concede, acquiesce, allow, grant, accept, recognize, take cognizance of: Descartes' principle admitted nothing but what his own consciousness obliged him to admit. 4 confess, own, concede, divulge, reveal, acknowledge, declare: She readily admitted to having incited the riot.


n. leave or permission to enter, entry, entering, entrance, access, entr‚e: Admittance to the club is restricted to members.


n. 1 teenager, youth, juvenile, minor, stripling, youngster, US teen, Colloq kid; Slang teeny-bopper: A group of adolescents volunteered to work at the home for the elderly.

--adj. 2 teenaged, young, youthful, maturing, pubescent; immature, puerile, juvenile: Adolescent growth is often dramatic, a gain of two inches in height being not unusual.

adopt v. 1 take (in), accept, take or accept as one's own: Carol and her husband have adopted two children. 2 take, take up or on or over, embrace, espouse; arrogate, appropriate: All Hugh's ideas are adopted from others - he's never had one of his own.

adorable adj. lovable, beloved, loved, darling, sweet, dear; delightful, appealing, attractive, charming, captivating, fetching: To look at him now, it is hard to imagine what an adorable child he once was.


v. 1 esteem, honour, respect, admire; idolize, dote on: An


entire generation adored the Beatles. 2 worship, venerate,


reverence, revere, exalt; hallow: O! Come let us adore him -


Christ, the Lord! 3 love, be in love with, cherish, fancy,


revere, adulate, Colloq have a crush on, carry the or a torch


for: Katie just adores the captain of the football team at




adj. 1 mature, grown (up), full-grown, matured, of age: Now


that you are adult, you come into a large inheritance.


--n. 2 grown-up: Tiger cubs are cute, but the adults are very




v. falsify, corrupt, alloy, debase, water (down), weaken, dilute, bastardize, contaminate, pollute, taint, Colloq doctor; Slang US cut: Adulterated rape seed oil was found to have caused the deaths of more than 600 people.

advance v. 1 move or put or push or go forward; approach: Man has advanced the frontier of physical science. The battalion advanced towards the fort with guns blazing. 2 further, promote, forward, help, aid, abet, assist, benefit, improve; contribute

to: The terrorists' dynamiting of the school has done nothing

to advance their cause. 3 go or move forward, move (onward), go on, proceed, get ahead: As people advance in life, they acquire what is better than admiration - judgement. 4 hasten,

accelerate, speed: We have advanced the date of our departure from December to October. 5 move up, promote: In less than a year, Mrs Leland has been advanced from supervisor to manager of the production department. 6 prepay, lend: Could you advance me some money till pay-day?

--n. 7 progress, development, progress, forward movement; improvement, betterment; headway: Who has done more for the advance of knowledge? 8 rise, increase, appreciation: Any advance in prices at this time would reduce our sales. 9 prepayment, deposit; loan: I cannot understand why George is always asking for an advance on his allowance. 10 in advance. a beforehand, ahead (of time), before: You will have to make reservations well in advance. b before, in front (of), ahead

(of), beyond: The colonel rode in advance of the cavalry.

advantage n. 1 superiority, upper hand, dominance, edge, head start; sway; Colloq US and New Zealand drop: After a year, the advantage was with the Royalists. His height gives him an advantage at basketball. 2 gain, profit, benefit, interest;

asset, betterment, improvement, advancement; use, usefulness, utility, help, service: I have information that will be of advantage to her. 3 to advantage. better, (more) favourably, advantageously: The dress sets off her figure to advantage.


adj. profitable, worthwhile, gainful, opportune, beneficial, favourable, useful, valuable: The minister signed an advantageous treaty of commerce with Russia.

adventure n. 1 exploit, escapade, danger, peril; affair, undertaking, feat, deed; experience, incident, event, occurrence, happening, episode: We shared many wartime adventures. 2 speculation, hazard, chance, risk, venture, enterprise: I lost a fortune in some of his financial adventures.

--v. 3 venture, hazard, risk, imperil, endanger, jeopardize, threaten: Would you adventure your pension money in such a scheme? 4 dare, wager, bet, gamble, stake, try one's luck, Brit punt: She adventured a whole week's salary on the pools.


n. 1 adventuress, soldier of fortune, swashbuckler, hero, heroine, daredevil; mercenary: Errol Flynn often played the role of the adventurer. 2 adventuress, cheat, swindler, charlatan, trickster, rogue, scoundrel, knave; cad, bounder, philanderer, fortune-hunter, opportunist: That adventuress is just after Nelson's money.


adj. daring, rash, brash, reckless, devil-may-care, bold, foolhardy, hazardous, risky, daredevil, venturesome, adventuresome, temerarious, audacious, bold, intrepid, brave, courageous: She was adventurous enough to sail round the world single-handed.

adversary n. 1 foe, enemy, opponent, antagonist, competitor, rival:

Before beginning to fight, each adversary sized up the other.

--adj. 2 opposed, hostile, antagonistic, competitive: Why does she always take the adversary position in every argument?


n. 1 notice, handbill, blurb, broadside, bill, circular, brochure, poster, placard, classified, commercial, spot

(announcement), US car-card, Colloq ad, plug, Brit advert: The company has placed advertisements in all major media. 2 advertising, promotion; publicity; propaganda, ballyhoo, hoop-la, Colloq hype, beating the drum, US puffery: Advertisement on TV may be very effective, but it is very expensive.

advice n. 1 counsel, guidance, recommendation, suggestion, opinion, view; warning, admonition, Technical par‘nesis: His solicitor's advice is to say nothing. 2 information, news, intelligence, notice, notification; communication: Advice has reached the police that a shipment of arms will leave Dover tonight.

advisable adj. recommendable, expedient, prudent, practical, sensible, sound, seemly, judicious, wise, intelligent, smart, proper, politic: It would be advisable for you to keep out of sight for

a few days.

advise v. 1 counsel, guide, recommend, suggest, commend; caution, admonish, warn; urge, encourage: I advised him to be careful driving at night in that area. 2 tell, announce (to), inform, apprise, register, make known (to), intimate (to), notify: We advised her of our disapproval. The police have advised the defendants of their rights.

adviser n. counsellor, mentor, guide, cicerone, counsel, consultant, confidant(e): The chairman always consults his advisers before making a decision.

advisory adj. 1 consultive, consultative, counselling, hortatory, monitory, admonitory, Technical par‘netic(al): Our firm has been engaged in an advisory capacity on the privatization of the utility companies.

--n. 2 bulletin, notice, warning, admonition, prediction: The

Weather Office has issued a storm advisory for the weekend.

advocate v. 1 support, champion, back, endorse, uphold, recommend, stand behind, second, favour, speak or plead or argue for or in favour

of: Don't you advocate the policies of the Party?

--n. 2 supporter, champion, backer, upholder, second, exponent, proponent, patron, defender, apologist: She is an enthusiastic advocate of free speech. 3 lawyer, counsel; intercessor; Brit barrister, solicitor, US attorney, counselor-at-law: The advocate for the opposition is not in court.

1.4 aesthete...


aesthete n. connoisseur, art-lover, lover of beauty, aesthetician or esthetician, US tastemaker: It was the aesthetes who set the standard for the art purchased by the museum.

aesthetic adj. 1 artistic, tasteful, beautiful; in good, excellent, etc. taste: Daphne always does such aesthetic flower arrangements. 2 sensitive, artistic, refined, discriminating, cultivated:

These paintings might be realistic, but they are an aesthetic disaster.

1.5 affair...


affair n. 1 matter, topic, issue; business, concern, interest, undertaking, activity: These are affairs of state and require the approval of a minister. 2 concern, business, Slang US

beeswax: Who wiped the fingerprints off the weapon is none of your affair. 3 event, business, occurrence, happening, proceeding, incident, operation: Last night's farewell party

was truly a dull affair. 4 Also, affaire. love affair, amour, romance, intrigue, fling, liaison, relationship, affaire d'amour, affaire de coeur: Lady Constance is having an affair with the gamekeeper.

affect° v. 1 attack, act upon, lay hold of, strike: Arthritis has affected his hands and he can no longer play the piano. 2 move,

stir, impress, touch, strike; perturb, upset, trouble, agitate: The sportsman was not affected by all the taunts and jeers. 3 influence, sway, change, transform, modify, alter: Her sudden fame has affected her view of herself.

affectý v. 1 assume, adopt, put on, pretend (to), feign, sham, fake, counterfeit: Charles affects a knowledge of high finance. 2 choose, select; use, wear, adopt: He affected a striped blazer and a boater which he wore at a jaunty angle.


n. 1 affectedness, pretentiousness, artificiality, insincerity, posturing: She behaves with so much affectation that I never can be sure of her real feelings. 2 pretence, simulation, false display, show, front, pose, pretension, fa‡ade; act, airs: Some people's charitable concern for others is mere affectation. Using a long cigarette-holder is one of her many affectations.

affected adj. 1 unnatural, artificial, specious, stilted, stiff,

studied, awkward, non-natural, contrived, mannered: Dryden found Shakespeare's style stiff and affected. 2 pretended, simulated, hollow, assumed, feigned, fake, faked, false, counterfeit, insincere, spurious, sham, bogus, Colloq phoney or US also phony: The heir's affected grief concealed his secret exultation. 3 pretentious, pompous, high-sounding, mincing, niminy-piminy, Colloq la-di-da orlah-di-dah or la-de-da: Oliver's affected airs were enough to make his classmates detest him. 4 attacked, seized, afflicted, stricken, gripped, touched; diseased, laid hold of: Her affected lungs never quite recovered. 5 afflicted, moved, touched, stirred, distressed, troubled, upset, hurt; influenced, swayed, impressed, struck, played or worked or acted upon: Many affected theatre-goers enjoyed her performances.

affection n. goodwill, (high) regard, liking, fondness, attachment, loving attachment, tenderness, warmth, love: The affection she felt towards her stepchildren was returned many times over.


adj. fond, loving, tender, caring, devoted, doting, warm: She gave her mother an affectionate embrace and boarded the train.


adj. associated; attached, connected, combined, united, joined: For our members' convenience, the club is now affiliated with one that serves meals.

affinity n. 1 relationship, kinship, closeness, alliance, connection or Brit connexion; sympathy, rapport: He felt an affinity with other redheaded people. 2 friendliness, fondness, liking,


leaning, bent, inclination, taste, partiality, attractiveness,


attraction: I have an affinity for the sea.


v. affect, bother, distress, oppress, trouble, torment: Last


winter's intense cold afflicted everyone, but those in the north





n. 1 hardship, misery, misfortune, distress, ordeal, trial,


tribulation, adversity, suffering, woe, pain, grief, distress,


torment, wretchedness: Moses saw the affliction of his people


in Egypt. 2 curse, disease, calamity, catastrophe, disaster,


plague, scourge, tribulation, trouble: He often observed that


greed was the affliction of the middle class.


v. 1 have the means, be able or rich enough, manage, bear the


expense, pay, provide: We cannot afford to send the children to


better schools. 2 give, spare, give up, contribute, donate;


sacrifice: The loss of a single day's work was more than I


could afford. 3 yield, give, supply, produce, provide, furnish,


grant, offer; give forth: May kind heaven afford him


everlasting rest. The poems afford no explanation.


adv. afoul of. entangled with, in trouble with, in conflict


with, at odds with: Barbara fell afoul of the new tax




adj. 1 fearful, frightened, scared, intimidated, apprehensive,


lily-livered, white-livered, terrified, panic-stricken,


faint-hearted, weak-kneed, timid, timorous, nervous, anxious,


jittery, on edge, edgy, jumpy; cowardly, pusillanimous, craven,

Colloq yellow: Don't be afraid, the dog won't bite you. 2 sorry, unhappy, regretful, apologetic, rueful: I'm afraid I cannot help you find a cheap flat in London.

1.6 age...



n. 1 lifetime, duration, length of existence; life-span: The


age of a stag is judged chiefly by its antlers. She was sixteen


years of age. 2 maturity, discretion; majority, adulthood,


seniority: When he comes of age he will inherit millions. 3


period, stage, time: Among these people, both boys and girls


undergo rites of passage at the age of puberty. He is a man of


middle age. 4 long time, aeon or esp. US eon; years: I haven't


seen you for an age! The noise went on for ages. 5 era, epoch,


period, time: The 18th century was known as the Augustan Age in




--v. 6 grow old(er), mature, ripen: O, Matilda, I age too fast


for my years! You must first age the whisky in the barrel, then


bottle it.


adj. old, elderly, superannuated, ancient, age-old, grey,


venerable: The three aged women crouched in their chairs, each


with her own memories.

agency n. means, medium, instrumentality; intervention, intercession, action, intermediation; operation, mechanism, force, power, activity, working(s), energy: Pollen is carried from flower to flower by the agency of certain insects.

agent n. 1 representative, intermediary, go-between, proxy, emissary, delegate, spokesman, spokeswoman, spokesperson, deputy, substitute, surrogate, advocate, emissary, legate, envoy,

factor: Our agent in Tokyo will look after the matter for you. 2 factor, agency, cause, means, force, instrument, power, vehicle, ingredient: The active agent in this cleaner is ammonia.

aggravate v. 1 worsen, intensify, exacerbate, heighten, magnify, increase; inflame: They introduce new problems and aggravate the old ones. 2 exasperate, frustrate; anger, incense,

infuriate; provoke, irritate, nettle, rile, vex, annoy, harass, hector, bother; embitter, rankle, Colloq peeve, needle, get on one's nerves; Slang Brit give (someone) aggro: Threats only serve to aggravate people.

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