Saturday, 25 May 2013


aboard adverb , preposition
used when talking about getting onto a ship, aircraft, bus or train
The flight attendant welcomed us aboard.
Welcome aboard flight BA345 to Tokyo.
The train's about to leave. All aboard!
We spent two months aboard ship (= on the ship) .
about preposition CONNECTED WITH
1. on the subject of; connected with
What's that book about?
a film about the Spanish Civil War
We were talking/laughing about Sophie.
He's always (going) on about what a great job he's got.
I'm worried about David.
I really don't know what all the fuss is about.
I wish you'd do something about (= take action to solve the problem of) your bedroom - it's a real mess.
UK informal Could you make me a coffee too while you're about it (= while you are making one for yourself) ?
What didn't you like about the play?
There's something about (= in the character of) her attitude that worries me.
There's something special about him (= in his character) .
"Is that your car?" "Yes, what about it (= why are you asking me) ?" This is sometimes said in an angry or threatening way.
about preposition NO ORDER
2. ( US around ) positioned around a place, often without a clear purpose or order
Their belongings were flung about the room.
about preposition POSITION
3. UK slightly formal in a particular place
Do you have such a thing as a pen about you/your person (= Have you got a pen) ?
above adverb , preposition HIGHER POSITION
1. in or to a higher position than something else
There's a mirror above the washbasin.
He waved the letter excitedly above his head.
She's rented a room above a shop.
Her name comes above mine on the list.
The helicopter was hovering above the building.
It's on the shelf just above your head.
A crack had started to appear just above the light fitting.
above adverb , preposition MORE
2. more than an amount or level
It says on the box it's for children aged three and above.
Rates of pay are above average .
Temperatures rarely rise above zero in winter.
She values her job above her family.
They value their freedom above (and beyond) all else .
above adverb , preposition RANK
4. in a more important or advanced position than someone else
Sally's a grade above me.
above adverb , preposition TOO IMPORTANT
5. too good or important for something
No one is above suspicion in this matter.
He's not above ly ing (= he sometimes lies) to protect himself.
absent preposition US
Absent a detailed plan, the project was doomed from the start.
across adverb , preposition
from one side to the other of something with clear limits, such as an area of land, a road or river
She walked across the field/road.
They're building a new bridge across the river.
When I reached the river, I simply swam across.
across preposition
1. on the opposite side of
The library is just across the road.
across preposition
2. in every part of a particular place or country
Voting took place peacefully across most of the country.
afore adverb , preposition , conjunction old use
before (EARLIER)
after preposition
1. following in time, place or order
Shall we go for a walk after breakfast?
Some people believe in life after death .
Her name came after mine on the list.
There's a good film on the day after tomorrow.
She waited until well after midnight.
US It's a quarter after four.
She just keeps on working, day after day , week after week (= continuously) .
We've had meeting after meeting (= many meetings) to discuss this point.
Jessie seemed very small after (= in comparison with) Michael's children.
After (= Despite) everything I've done for you, is this the way you treat me?
After (= Because of) what she did to me, I'll never trust her again.
The children have to learn to tidy up after themselves (= after they have made things untidy) .
She slammed the door after (= behind) her.
We ran after (= followed) him, but he escaped.
Could you lock up after you (= when you leave) , please?
after preposition
4. typical of or similar to the style of
a painting after Titian
a concerto after Mozart
against preposition OPPOSING
1. in opposition to
She spoke against the decision to close the college.
Fifty people voted against the new proposal.
I'm very much against the idea that it is the woman's job to bring up the child.
Germany are playing against Brazil in the cup final tonight.
She's always rebelled against authority.
She sold the house even though it was against his wishes.
They called a demonstration to protest against proposed job cuts.
Are you for or against my proposal?
Sanctions against the country should be lifted.
Stricter controls will help in the fight against inflation.
Criminal charges will be brought against the driver.
They decided not to take legal action against him.
They were up against a powerful pressure group.
We came up against a lot of problems in the course of building our extension.
The chances/odds against you winning such a competition are enormous.
It's against the law (= illegal) to leave children under a certain age alone in the house.
It's against my beliefs/principles to be nice to someone I dislike just because they're in a senior position.
Against all probability (= although it was extremely unlikely) we found ourselves in the same hotel.
I wouldn't dare say anything against him (= criticize him) to his mother!
against preposition TOUCHING
4. next to and touching or being supported by (something)
Why don't we put the bed against the wall?
He loved the feel of her soft hair against his skin.
The rain beat against her face as she struggled through the wind.
The police officer had him up against the wall, both arms behind his back.
She leant against the door.
against preposition TOUCHING
5. in front of or compared to
Paintings look best against a simple white wall.
against preposition OPPOSITE DIRECTION
6. in the opposite direction to
The last part of the course was hard because I was running against the wind.
Commuting is not so bad when you are travelling against the traffic.
against preposition PROTECTION
7. as a protection or defence from the bad effects of
We've insured the car against fire, theft and accident.
The police have to arm themselves against attack.
agin preposition Northern English
The whole world seemed agin him.
alias preposition
used when giving the name that a person is generally known by, after giving their real name
Grace Kelly, alias Princess Grace of Monaco
along preposition DIRECTION
1. from one part of a road, river, etc. to another
a romantic walk along the beach/river
along preposition NEXT TO
2. in a line next to something long
a row of houses along the river
Cars were parked all along the road.
along preposition PARTICULAR PLACE
3. at a particular place on a road, river, etc.
Somewhere along this road there's a garage.
alongside preposition , adverb
next to, or together with
A car pulled up alongside (ours).
The new pill will be used alongside existing medicines.
Most of the staff refused to work alongside the new team.
Britain fought alongside France, Turkey and Sardinia during the Crimean War.
amid preposition ( also amidst ) formal
in the middle of or surrounded by; among
On the floor, amid mounds of books, were two small envelopes.
The new perfume was launched amidst a fanfare of publicity.
among preposition ( also amongst )
1. in the middle of or surrounded by other things
I saw a few familiar faces among the crowd.
Rescue teams searched among the wreckage for survivors.
among preposition ( also amongst )
2. happening as part of a group of people or things
a decision that has caused a lot of anger among women
Relax, you're amongst friends.
Talk about it among yourselves (= Talk to each other about it without me) for a while.
She has worked as an estate agent among other things (= as well as other things) .
anti adjective , preposition informal
opposed to or against a particular thing or person
We've received a lot of anti letters about that newspaper article.
Just because I won't join you, it doesn't mean that I'm anti you.
apropos adverb , preposition formal
used to introduce something which is related to or connected with something that has just been said
I had a letter from Sally yesterday - apropos (of) which, did you send her that article?
Apropos what you said yesterday, I think you made the right decision.
around preposition , adverb ( mainly UK round ) IN THIS DIRECTION
1. in a position or direction surrounding, or in a direction going along the edge of or from one part to another (of)
We sat around the table.
He put his arm around her.
A crowd had gathered around the scene of the accident.
She had a woollen scarf around her neck.
The moon goes around the Earth.
I walked around the side of the building.
As the bus left, she turned around (= so that she was facing in the opposite direction) and waved goodbye to us.
He put the wheel on the right/wrong way around (= facing the right/wrong way) .
The children were dancing around the room.
I spent a year travelling around Africa and the Middle East.
The museum's collection includes works of art from all around the world.
She passed a plate of biscuits around (= from one person to another) .
This virus has been going around (= from one person to another) .
around preposition , adverb ( mainly UK round ) IN THIS PLACE
2. positioned or moving in or near a place, often without a clear direction, purpose or order
He always leaves his clothes lying around (on the floor).
She went into town and spent two hours just walking around.
Let's take the children to the park so they can run around for a bit.
I used to live around (= near) here.
She's never around (= near here) when you need her.
Will you be around next week?
There's a lot of flu around (= a lot of people have it) at the moment.
Mobile phones have been around (= existed) for quite a while.
as preposition
used to describe the purpose or quality of someone or something
She works as a waitress.
It could be used as evidence against him.
The news came as quite a shock to us.
I meant it as a joke.
astride preposition
with a leg on each side of something
She sat proudly astride her new motorbike.
figurative The town lies astride (= on either side of) the River Havel.
at preposition PLACE
1. used to show an exact position or particular place
We'll meet you at the entrance.
That bit at the beginning of the film was brilliant.
She's sitting at the table in the corner.
She was standing at the top of the stairs.
The dog came and lay down at (= next to) my feet.
There's someone at the door (= someone is outside the door and wants to come in) .
We spent the afternoon at a football match.
I'll give you my number at work/home/the office.
I enjoyed my three years at university.
I rang her but she was at lunch (= away from here, eating her lunch) .
at preposition TIME
2. used to show an exact or a particular time
There's a meeting at 2.30 this afternoon.
Are you free at lunchtime?
In theory, women can still have children at the age of 50.
The bells ring at regular intervals through the day.
At no time/point did the company do anything illegal.
I'm busy at the moment (= now) - can you call back later?
It's a shame I wasn't here to meet you - I was in London at the time (= then) .
at preposition DIRECTION
3. towards; in the direction of
She smiled at me.
They waved at us as we drove by.
She aimed at the target.
"Look at me! Look at me!" called the little girl.
He's always shouting at the children.
at preposition CAUSE
4. used to show the cause of something, especially a feeling
We were surprised at the news.
I was quite excited at the prospect.
Why does no one ever laugh at my jokes?
at preposition JUDGMENT
5. used to show the activity in which someone's ability is being judged
I was never very good at sports.
He's very good at getting on with people.
She's hopeless at organizing things.
at preposition EMAIL ADDRESS
6. the @ symbol that joins the name of a person or a department in an organization to a domain name to make an email address
You can email to find out more about this dictionary.
"What's your email address?" "It's dictionary at cambridge dot org."
at preposition AMOUNT
7. used to show a price, temperature, rate, speed, etc.
I'm not going to buy those shoes at $150!
Inflation is running at 5%.
He was driving at 120 mph when the police spotted him.
at preposition AMOUNT
8. ( usually @ ) used in financial records to show the price, rate, etc. of a particular thing or of each of a number of things on a list
at preposition CONDITION
9. used to show a state, condition or continuous activity
a country at war
children at play
atop preposition mainly US
on or at the top of
She sat atop a two-metre high wall.
bar preposition slightly formal
Everyone is leaving the village, bar the very old and ill.
They're the best songwriters of this century, bar none (= no one else is better) .
barring preposition
except or unless a particular thing happens
We should arrive at ten o'clock, barring any (= if there are no) unexpected delays.
before preposition , adverb , conjunction
1. at or during a time earlier than (the thing mentioned)
You should always wash your hands before meals.
Before leav ing he said goodbye to each of them.
She's always up before dawn.
Before he could reach the door, she quickly closed it.
Before we make a decision, does anyone want to say anything else?
She had to give the doorman a tip before (= in order that) he would help her with her suitcases.
before preposition , adverb , conjunction
2. until (the event mentioned)
It was an hour before the police arrived.
before preposition , adverb , conjunction
3. in the past
He said he had never seen her before.
I feel as though I've been here before.
before preposition
1. in front of
The letter K comes before L in the English alphabet.
Many mothers put their children's needs before their own.
We have the whole weekend before us - what shall we do?
He stood up before a whole roomful of people, and asked her to marry him.
before preposition
2. If a place is before another place, you will arrive at it first when you are travelling towards the second place
The bus stop is just before the school.
before preposition
3. To be before someone or a group of people, is to be formally considered or examined by that person or group
The proposal before the committee is that we try and reduce our spending by 10%.
The men appeared before the judge yesterday.
behind preposition , adverb
at the back (of)
Look behind you!
I hung my coat behind the door.
Alex led, and I followed along behind.
mainly UK As hard as she tried, she always fell behind the other swimmers in the races.
figurative I knew that behind (= hidden by) her smile was sadness.
behind preposition
responsible for or the cause of
He wondered what was behind his neighbour's sudden friendliness.
Marie Curie was the woman behind enormous changes in the science of chemistry.
below adverb , preposition POSITION
1. in a lower position (than), under
From the top of the skyscraper the cars below us looked like insects.
The author's name was printed below the title.
For further information on this subject, see below (= lower on the page or later in the book) .
The ship's captain went below (= to the lower, covered part of the ship) .
Do you usually wear your skirts above or below the knee?
She has three people working below her (= people to whom she gives orders) .
below adverb , preposition LESS
2. less than a particular amount or level
They have three children below the age of (= younger than) four.
His marks in English have been below average for some time now.
The temperature has fallen below zero/freezing (= cooled to less than zero) recently.
Last night it was eight degrees below (= eight degrees less than zero) .
beneath preposition BELOW
1. in or to a lower position than, under
Jeremy hid the letter beneath a pile of papers.
We huddled together for warmth beneath the blankets.
After weeks at sea, it was wonderful to feel firm ground beneath our feet once more.
Emma was so tired and hungry that her legs were beginning to give way beneath her (= she was about to fall over) .
beneath preposition NOT GOOD ENOUGH
beside preposition
1. at the side of, next to
Come and sit here beside me.
Our school was built right beside a river.
beside preposition
2. compared to another person or thing
Those books seem rather dull beside this one.
besides adverb , preposition
in addition to; also
Do you play any other sports besides football and basketball?
She won't mind your being late - besides, it's hardly your fault.
between preposition , adverb SPACE
1. in or into the space which separates two places, people or objects
The town lies halfway between Rome and Florence.
Standing between the two adults was a small child.
She squeezed between the parked cars and ran out into the road.
A narrow path ran in between the two houses.
between preposition , adverb AMOUNT
2. If something is between two amounts, it is greater than the first amount but smaller than the second
She weighs between 55 and 60 kilograms.
The competition is open to children between six and twelve years of age.
The room was either extremely cold or hot, never anything in between (= in the middle) .
between preposition , adverb TIME
3. ( also in between ) in the period of time which separates two different times or events
You shouldn't eat between meals.
There is a break of ten minutes between classes.
The shop is closed for lunch between 12.30 and 1.30.
In between sobs, he managed to tell them what had happened.
between preposition AMONG
1. among two or more people or things
The money was divided equally between several worthy causes.
We drank two bottles of wine between four of us.
Trade between the two countries (= Their trade with each other) has increased sharply in the past year.
There is a great deal of similarity between Caroline and her mother (= They are very similar) .
You'll have to choose between (= choose either) a holiday or a new washing machine.
She was torn between loyalty to her father and love for her husband (= She could not decide which one to support) .
between preposition AMONG
2. A discussion, argument or game between two or more people or groups of people involves both people or groups
The negotiations between the union and management have broken down.
There has always been a fierce rivalry between the two clubs.
Tonight's game is between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams.
between preposition CONNECTING
3. connecting two or more places, things or people
There is a regular train service between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The survey shows a link between asthma and air pollution.
between preposition CONNECTING
4. from one place to another
He commutes daily between Leeds and Manchester.
between preposition SEPARATING
5. separating two places or things
The wall between East and West Berlin came down in 1989.
The report states that the gap between the rich and the poor has increased dramatically over the past decade.
beyond preposition , adverb FURTHER AWAY
1. further away in the distance (than something)
In the distance, beyond the river, was a small town.
From the top of the hill we could see our house and the woods beyond.
beyond preposition , adverb OUTSIDE A LIMIT
2. outside or after (a stated limit)
Few people live beyond the age of a hundred.
We cannot allow the work to continue beyond the end of the year.
I've got nothing to tell you beyond (= in addition to) what I told you earlier.
The repercussions will be felt throughout the industry and beyond (= in other areas) .
Tonight's performance has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control (= events which we are unable to deal with) .
She has always lived beyond her means (= spent more than she has earned) .
beyond preposition , adverb NOT UNDERSTAND
5. informal If something is beyond you, you are unable to understand it
I'm afraid physics is completely beyond me.
but preposition , conjunction
Eventually, all but one of them promised to come to his leaving party.
He's anything but violent (= not violent in any way) .
I'd have crashed the car but for your warning.
This is the last episode but one (= one before the last) of this drama serial.
She's one of those guests who does nothing but complain.
This car has been nothing but trouble - it's always breaking down!
by preposition CAUSE
1. used to show the person or thing that does something
The motorcycle was driven by a tiny bald man.
We were amazed by what she told us.
I'm reading some short stories (written) by Chekhov.
The book was translated by a well-known author.
I felt frightened by the anger in his voice.
by preposition METHOD
2. used to show how something is done
They travelled across Europe by train/car.
She did the decorating (all) by herself (= alone, without help from anyone) .
We went in by (= through) the front door.
Do you wish to be paid in cash or by cheque?
He learned English by listen ing to the radio.
Suddenly, she grabbed him by the arm (= took hold of this part of his body) .
I refuse to live by (= following) their rules.
by preposition NOT LATER THAN
3. not later than; at or before
She had promised to be back by five o'clock.
The application must be in by the 31st to be accepted.
By the time I got to the station the train had already gone.
by preposition MEASUREMENT
4. used to show measurements or amounts
Our office floor space measured twelve metres by ten (= was twelve metres in one direction and ten in the other) .
Their wages were increased by 12%.
Freelance workers are paid by the hour (= for every hour they work) .
These telephones have sold by the thousand.
by preposition DURING
5. during
We travelled by night and rested by day.
by preposition
by preposition
by preposition , adverb
near, at the side of or (in distance or time) past
A small child stood sullenly by her side.
He wanted to keep her close by him always.
The policewoman walked by (= past) them without saying a word.
The years flew by.
c preposition ( also ca )
written abbreviation for circa
circa preposition ( written abbreviation c , also ca ) formal
(used especially with years) approximately
He was born circa 1600.
concerning preposition slightly formal
I've had a letter from the tax authorities concerning my tax payments.
considering preposition , conjunction , adverb
used to mention a particular condition or fact about something, usually a disadvantage
Considering the weather, we got here quite quickly.
She did well to find the way, considering she'd only been there once before.
-cum- preposition
used to join two nouns, showing that a person or thing does two things or has two purposes; combined with
This is my bedroom-cum-study.
despite preposition
1. without taking any notice of or being influenced by; not prevented by
I still enjoyed the week despite the weather.
Despite repeated assurances that the product is safe, many people have stopped buying it.
[ + -ing verb ] He managed to eat a big lunch despite hav ing eaten an enormous breakfast.
despite preposition
down preposition LOWER POSITION
1. in or towards a low or lower position, from a higher one
I slid down the hill.
Aikiko fell down some stairs and broke her wrist.
down preposition ALONG
2. along
We drove down the motorway as far as Bristol.
Her office is down the corridor on the right.
They sailed the boat down the river (= towards the sea) .
down preposition TO
3. UK not standard to
I went down the pub with my mates.
during preposition THROUGH
1. from the beginning to the end of a particular period; throughout
They work during the night and sleep by day.
There were huge advances in aviation technology during World War Two.
during preposition AT SOME TIME IN
2. at some time between the beginning and the end of a period
I woke up several times during the night.
The programme will be shown on television during the weekend.
ere preposition , conjunction literary or old use
I shall be back ere nightfall.
except preposition , conjunction
not including; but not
The museum is open daily except Monday(s).
The government has few options except to keep interest rates high.
It's cool and quiet everywhere except in the kitchen.
Everyone was there except for Sally.
There is nothing to indicate the building's past, except (for) the fireplace.
They look very similar except that one is a little taller.
excepting preposition , conjunction formal
not including
All the people who were on the aircraft have now been identified, excepting one.
excluding preposition
not including
The aircraft carries 461 people excluding the crew and cabin staff.
failing preposition
if that is not possible
Give her a book, or failing that , buy her something to wear.
Appointments are available on the 2nd and the 6th of this month but failing either of those, we could fit you in on the 15th.
following preposition
The weeks following the riots were extremely tense.
Following the dinner, there will be a dance.
for preposition INTENDED FOR
1. intended to be given to
There's a phone message for you.
I'd better buy something for the new baby.
There's a prize for the fastest three runners in each category.
for preposition PURPOSE
2. having the purpose of
There's a sign there saying 'boats for hire'.
This pool is for the use of hotel residents only.
I'm sorry, the books are not for sale.
They've invited us round for dinner on Saturday.
Everyone in the office is contributing money for his leaving present.
I need some money for tonight.
Which vitamins should you take for (= in order to cure) skin problems?
Put those clothes in a pile for wash ing (= so that they can be washed) .
for preposition BECAUSE OF
3. because of or as a result of something
I'm feeling all the better for my holiday.
"How are you?" "Fine, and all the better for see ing you!"
She did fifteen years in prison for murder.
I don't eat meat for various reasons.
I couldn't see for the tears in my eyes.
The things you do for love!
He's widely disliked in the company for his arrogance.
She couldn't talk for cough ing (= she was coughing too much to talk) .
Scotland is famous for its spectacular countryside.
He's best remembered for his novels.
I didn't dare say anything for fear of (= because I was frightened of) offending him.
for preposition TIME/DISTANCE
5. used to show an amount of time or distance
We walked for miles.
She's out of the office for a few days next week.
I'm just going to bed for an hour or so.
I haven't played tennis for years.
for preposition OCCASION
6. on the occasion of or at the time of
What did you buy him for Christmas?
I'd like an appointment with the doctor for some time this week.
We're having a party for Jim's 60th birthday.
I've booked a table at the restaurant for nine o'clock.
for preposition COMPARING
7. used for comparing one thing with others of the same type
She's very mature for her age.
For every two people in favour of the law there are three against.
The summer has been quite hot for England.
It was a difficult decision, especially for a child.
For a man of his wealth he's not exactly generous.
for preposition SUPPORT
8. in support of or in agreement with
I voted for the Greens at the last election.
Those voting for the motion, 96, and those voting against, 54.
So let's hear some applause for these talented young performers.
Who's for (= Who wants to play) tennis?
for preposition IN RELATION TO
10. in relation to someone or something
Her feelings for him had changed.
He felt nothing but contempt for her.
I've got a lot of admiration for people who do that sort of work.
He's quite good-looking but he's a bit too short for me.
The ice-cream was a little bit sweet for me.
That jacket looks a bit big for you.
Jackie's already left and, as for me, I'm going at the end of the month.
Luckily for me (= I was lucky) , I already had another job when the redundancies were announced.
How are you doing for money/time (= have you got enough money/time) ?
for preposition PAYMENT
12. (getting) in exchange
How much did you pay for your glasses?
I've sponsored her £1 for every mile that she runs.
She sold the house for quite a lot of money.
They've said they'll repair my car for £300.
for preposition REPRESENTING
13. being employed by or representing a company, country, etc
She works for a charity.
He used to swim for his country when he was younger.
for preposition TOWARDS
14. towards; in the direction of
They looked as if they were heading for the train station.
Just follow signs for the town centre.
This time tomorrow we'll be setting off for the States.
It says this train is for (= going to stop at) Birmingham and Coventry only.
for preposition MEANING
15. showing meaning
What's the Spanish word for 'vegetarian'?
What does the 'M.J.' stand for? Maria Jose?
for preposition TO GET
16. in order to get or achieve
I hate waiting for public transport.
I had to run for the bus.
Did you send off for details of the competition?
I've applied for a job with another computer company.
for preposition DUTY
17. the duty or responsibility of
As to whether you should marry him - that's for you to decide.
It's not for me to tell her what she should do with her life.
As to how many she invites, it's not really for me to say.
for preposition IN TROUBLE

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