Sunday, 8 January 2012

Objective Proficiency p 100. Vocabulary

  • The cutting edge (of something): the newest, most advanced stage in the development of something. Sp. lo más nuevo, lo último. E.g. working at the cutting edge of computer technology.
Ex 1
  • Tight: very strict and firm. E.g. to keep tight control over something. We need tighter security at the airport. 
  • Keep a close eye/watch on somebody/something: to watch somebody/something carefully. E.g. Over the next few months we will keep a close eye on sales.
Ex 2 
  • Lilliputian: /ˌlɪlɪˈpjuːʃn/ extremely small. Diminutive /dɪˈmɪnjətɪv/, tiny. From the land of Lilliput /ˈlɪl ɪ pʌt /, in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, where the people are only 15 cm high. E.g. Even our largest banks look Lilliputian in comparison with European ones.
  • Sculpt: /skʌlpt/ to make figures or objects by carving or shaping wood, stone, clay, metal, etc. E.g. Sculpt something (in something) a display of animals sculpted in ice. Sculpt something (from/out of something) The figures were sculpted from single blocks of marble. 
  • Crystalline: /ˈkrɪstəlaɪn/ made of or similar to crystals. E.g. crystalline structure/rocks.
  • Silicon: /ˈsɪlɪkən/ a chemical element (Si). Silicon exists as a grey solid or as a brown powder and is found in rocks and sand. It is used in making glass and transistors. Sp. Silicio.
  • Etch: to cut lines into a piece of glass, metal, etc. in order to make words or a picture. Sp. grabar. E.g. a glass tankard with his initials etched on it 
  • Tankard: /ˈtæŋkəd/  a large cup with a handle, that is used for drinking beer from.
  • The naked eye: the normal power of your eyes without the help of an instrument. E.g. The planet should be visible with/to the naked eye.
  • Lose sight of somebody/something: to stop considering something; to forget something. E.g. We must not lose sight of our original aim.
  • Nano-: /ˈnænəʊ/ (in nouns and adjectives; used especially in units of measurement) one billionth. E.g. nanosecond.
  • Minuscule: /ˈmɪnəskjuːl/ extremely small. E.g. minuscule handwriting.
  • Tweezers: /ˈtwiːzəz/ (plural) a small tool with two long thin parts joined together at one end, used for picking up very small things or for pulling out hairs. Sp. pinzas. E.g. a pair of tweezers.
  • Pump: a machine that is used to force liquid, gas or air into or out of something. Sp. Bomba. E.g. She washed her face at the pump in front of the inn. (British English) a petrol pump (North American English) a gas pump. A foot/hand pump (= that you work by using your foot or hand). A bicycle pump.
  • Motor: /ˈməʊtə(r)/ a device that uses electricity, petrol/gas, etc. to produce movement and makes a machine, a vehicle, a boat, etc. work. E.g. an electric motor. He started the motor.
  • Lever: /ˈliːvə(r)/ a long piece of wood, metal, etc. used for lifting or opening something by somebody placing one end of it under an object and pushing down on the other end. Sp. palanca. E.g. We had to use a lever to open the window.
  • Valve: /vælv/ a device for controlling the flow of a liquid or gas, letting it move in one direction only.
  • Abound: /əˈbaʊnd/ to exist in great numbers or quantities. Sp. abundar. E.g. Stories about his travels abound. 
  • Jostle: /ˈdʒɒsl/ to push roughly against somebody in a crowd. Sp. empujar. E.g. The visiting president was jostled by angry demonstrators. People were jostling, arguing and complaining.
  • Bond: to join two things firmly together; to join firmly to something else. Sp. Adherirse, unirse. E.g. The atoms bond together to form a molecule. 
  • Intricate: /ˈɪntrɪkət/ having a lot of different parts and small details that fit together. E.g. intricate patterns. An intricate network of loyalties and relationships.
  • Jumble something (together/up) to mix things together in a confused or untidy way. Revolver. E.g. Books, shoes and clothes were jumbled together on the floor. 
  • From scratch: 1 without any previous preparation or knowledge. E.g. I learned German from scratch in six months. He built the orchestra up from scratch. 2 from the very beginning, not using any of the work done earlier. Sp. desde cero. E.g. They decided to dismantle the machine and start again from scratch.
  • Simple-minded: not intelligent; not able to understand how complicated things are. Sp. Ingenuo, simple. E.g. a simple-minded persona. Simple-minded approach.
  • Mindless: done or acting without thought and for no particular reason or purpose.
  • Commute: to travel regularly by bus, train, car, etc. between your place of work and your home.
  • Overseer: /ˈəʊvəsɪə(r)/ a person whose job is to make sure that other workers do their work. Sp. Supervisor. 
  • Exquisite: /ɪkˈskwɪzɪt/ extremely beautiful or carefully made. E.g. exquisite craftsmanship. Her wedding dress was absolutely exquisite.
  • Flatly: in a way that is very definite and will not be changed. Absolutely. E.g. flatly deny/reject/oppose something. I flatly refused to spend any more time helping him. 
  • Contrived: /kənˈtraɪvd/ planned in advance and not natural or genuine; written or arranged in a way that is not natural or realistic. Sp. artificial. E.g. a contrived situation. The book's happy ending seemed contrived.
  • I beg to differ: used to say politely that you do not agree with something that has just been said. Sp. permitirse disentir. E.g. ‘At least she is good at her job.’ ‘Oh, I beg to differ.’
  • Stride: an improvement in the way something is developing. E.g. We're making great strides in the search for a cure.
  • Goings-on: activities or events that are strange, surprising or dishonest. Cosas raras, chanchullos. E.g. There were some strange goings-on next door last night.
  • Convey: to make ideas, feelings, etc. known to somebody. Communicate. E.g. Colours like red convey a sense of energy and strength.
  • Helix /ˈhiːlɪks/ helices (pl) /ˈhiːlɪsiːz/ a shape like a spiral or a line curved around a cylinder or cone.  
  • Helical: / ˈhelɪkl/ like a helix.
  • Strand: a single thin piece of thread, wire, hair, etc. E.g. a strand of wool. A few strands of dark hair. She wore a single strand of pearls around her neck.
  • Unwind /ˌʌnˈwaɪnd/, unwound, unwound /ˌʌnˈwaʊnd/ to undo something that has been wrapped into a ball or around something. Sp. desenrrollar. E.g. to unwind a ball of string. He unwound his scarf from his neck. The bandage gradually unwound and fell off.  
  • Lay something out: to spread something out so that it can be seen easily or is ready to use. E.g. He laid the map out on the table.
  • Handrail: a long narrow bar that you can hold onto for support, for example when you are going up or down stairs.
  • Rung: one of the bars that forms a step in a ladder. Sp. travesaño. E.g. He put his foot on the bottom rung to keep the ladder steady.
  • Scaffolding: /ˈskæfəldɪŋ/ poles and boards that are joined together to make a structure for workers to stand on when they are working high up on the outside wall of a building. Sp. andamiaje. E.g. The statue is currently surrounded by scaffolding. Scaffolding poles.
  • Adenine: /ˈæd ə niːn /
  • Guanine: /ˈɡwɑːn iːn/
  • Cytosine: /ˈsaɪt əʊ siːn/
  • Thiamine: /ˈθaɪ‿ə miːn/
  • Butt: butt somebody/something to hit or push somebody/something hard with your head.
  • Slot: to put something into a space that is available or designed for it; to fit into such a space. Sp. encajar. E.g. The bed comes in sections which can be quickly slotted together.
  • Snugly: fitting somebody/something closely. Sp. ajustarse. E.g. The lid should fit snugly. 
  • Saw something up (into something): sawed, sawn / sɔːn/ to cut something into pieces with a saw. E.g. We sawed the wood up into logs.
  • Template: /ˈtempleɪt/ a thing that is used as a model for producing other similar examples. Plantilla. E.g. If you need to write a lot of similar letters, set up a template on your computer. In our DNA we all carry a genetic template for the next generation. The director uses his own childhood experiences as a template for the movie. 
  • Stump: the end of something or the part that is left after the main part has been cut, broken off or worn away. E.g. the stump of a pencil
  • Creep in/into something: to begin to happen or affect something. E.g. As she became more tired, errors began to creep into her work.
  • Scramble: to confuse somebody's thoughts, ideas, etc. so that they have no order. Sp. mezclar. E.g. Alcohol seemed to have scrambled his brain.
  • Garbled: /ˈɡɑːbld/ told in a way that confuses the person listening, usually by somebody who is shocked or in a hurry. Confused. Sp. Enrevesado, confuso. E.g. He gave a garbled account of what had happened. There was a garbled message from her on my voicemail.
  • Replicate: to copy something exactly. Replication (n) / ˌreplɪˈkeɪʃn/
  • Minuscule: /ˈmɪnəskjuːl/     
  • Boil something down (to something): to make something, especially information, shorter by leaving out the parts that are not important. Sp. reducir. E.g. The original speech I had written got boiled down to about ten minutes. Boiled down to its essentials (Sp. en resumidas cuentas)





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