Flashcards in Random Deck (78)
1 : to make a picture of : depict
2 a : to describe in words
b : to play the role of : enact
the author portrays her characters with lifelike vividness
traditionally, European authors portrayed the natives as wise and noble
a landscape that portrays the scenery near the town where the painter grew up
: very good, useful, or attractive
: very good : very attractive : fine
Other forms: nif·ti·er; nif·ti·est
likely to wobble
a wobbly ladder/table
I've been in bed with flu and my legs are still feeling all wobbly.
"Look, I've got a wobbly tooth," said my little daughter, proudly.
humorous I'm trying to tone up my wobbly bits (= fat areas of the body) generally.
Of a nation or racial group of people
The factory's workforce reflects the ethnic mix from which it draws its labour.
Conflicts between the different ethnic groups in the country exploded into civil war.
The murder of a whole group of people, especially a whole nation, race or a religious group.
A genocidal regime.
an indistinct shape/sound/recollection
be versed in sth
be versed in sth
› to know a lot about a particular subject or be experienced in a particular skill
I'm not sufficiently versed in computers to understand what you're saying.
causing harm or damage
These chemicals have a detrimental effect/impact on the environment.
Their decision could be detrimental to the future of the company.
the embodiment of sth
› someone or something that represents a quality or an idea exactly
He was the embodiment of the English gentleman.
She was portrayed in the papers as the embodiment of evil.
preen / make tidy
(of a bird) to clean and arrange its feathers using its beak
› disapproving to spend time making yourself look attractive
Roald always spends ages preening (himself) before he goes out.
directly and certainly
She refused to come down squarely on either side of the argument.
She punched him square on the jaw.
Her respiration was slow and difficult.
The diaphragm is the principal muscle of respiration.
She was suffering from fatigue and a stress-related illness.
› specialized weakness in something, such as a metal part or structure, often caused by repeated bending
The crash was caused by metal fatigue in one of the propeller blades.
to pretend to feel something, usually an emotion
You know how everyone feigns surprise when you tell them how old you are.
She responded to his remarks with feigned amusement.
money that is paid to someone in exchange for something that has been lost or damaged or for some problem
She received £40 000 in compensation for a lost eye.
You should claim/seek compensation.
a compensation claim
able to be made, done or achieved
With the extra resources, the scheme now seems feasible.
[+ to infinitive] It may be feasible to clone human beings, but is it ethical?
› possible or reasonable
It's quite feasible (that) we'll get the money.
expecting to be obeyed immediately and without asking questions
He started issuing peremptory instructions.
She was highly critical of the insensitive and peremptory way in which the cases had been handled.
"Now," he said peremptorily, "Step forward and state your name."
strong difference of opinion on a particular subject; disagreement, especially about an official suggestion or plan or a popular belief
When the time came to approve the proposal, there were one or two voices of dissent.
perverse / perversely / perversity
strange and not what most people would expect or enjoy
Jack was being perverse and refusing to agree with anything we said.
She took a perverse pleasure in hearing that her sister was getting divorced.
The best way to understand this book is to start, perversely, at the end.
perversity noun [C or U]
The author of the book seems to be obsessed with sexual perversity and death.
(of a person or a business) to be or become successful, especially financially
A lot of microchip manufacturing companies prospered at that time.
(especially of a person or their expression) not showing emotions or thoughts and therefore very difficult to understand or get to know
an inscrutable face/expression/smile
She smiled inscrutably.
a feeling of hate and continuing anger about something in the past
They cheated me, but I feel no rancour towards/against them.
rancorous adjective formal
a rancorous dispute
a short statement, especially one expressing advice or a general truth
He followed the famous American dictum, 'Don't get mad, get even'.
a figment of sb's imagination
› something which seems real but is not
Was it just a figment of my imagination or did I hear John's voice in the other room?
an official, formal or long letter
She sent a ten-page missive to the council, detailing her objections.
proficient / proficiency
skilled and experienced
a proficient swimmer
She's proficient in two languages.
It takes a couple of years of regular driving before you become proficient at it.
able to do something well
a competent secretary/horse-rider/cook
I wouldn't say he was brilliant but he is competent at his job.
→ Opposite incompetent
I thought she played the role very competently.
in large amounts; more than enough
They drank copious amounts of wine.
He took copious notes during the lecture.
We ate and drank copiously at the party.
extremely silly or with no real meaning or importance
He's always making inane remarks.
There are too many inane quiz shows on television these days.
He grinned inanely.
inanity noun [C or U]
His speech was full of inanities that were meant to be funny.
I was amazed at the inanity of her comments.