inscrutable: /ɪnˈskruːtəbl/ if a person or their expression is inscrutable, it is hard to know what they are thinking or feeling, because they do not show any emotion. E.g. His face remained inscrutable and unsmiling.
integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. E.g. personal/ professional/ artistic integrity. To behave with integrity. A man of great integrity.
endure: /ɪnˈdjʊə(r)/ to continue to exist for a long time. E.g. a success that will endure.
background: the circumstances or past events that help explain why something is how it is; information about these. E.g. the historical background to the war. Background information/ knowledge. The elections are taking place against a background of violence. Can you give me more background on the company?
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, by Edouard Manet
to reduce or get rid of the differences that exist between two things or groups of people. E.g. the media were bridging the gap between government and people. How many times over the years has the music industry played up records bridging the gap between jazz and hip hop?
breakthrough: in which a performer or type of product is successful for the first time, when it is likely to be even more successful in the future. E.g. It was a breakthrough album for the band. Breakthrough technology/ products. An award for the best breakthrough band. The emphasis is on developing breakthrough technology that will lead to new business.
break the mould (of something) /məʊld/ to change what people expect from a situation, especially by acting in a dramatic and original way. E.g. She succeeded in breaking the mould of political leadership.
reassess something to think again about something to decide if you need to change your opinion of it. E.g. After reassessing the situation, she decided to do nothing.
prevailing: existing or most common at a particular time. Current, predominant. E.g. the prevailing economic conditions. The attitude towards science prevailing at the time. The prevailing view seems to be that they will find her guilty.
Henry VII, 29 October 1505, by unknown artist
stunning: extremely attractive or impressive. Beautiful. E.g. You look absolutely stunning! A stunning view of the lake. His performance was simply stunning.
parapet: a low protective wall along the edge of a roof, bridge, or balcony. E.g. she stood on the bridge, leaning over the parapet to watch the water race by.
robe: a long loose outer piece of clothing, especially one worn as a sign of rank or office at a special ceremony. E.g. coronation robes. Cardinals in scarlet robes.
ledge: a narrow flat shelf fixed to a wall, especially one below a window. E.g. She put the vase of flowers on the window ledge.
be on the lookout (for somebody/something)/ keep a lookout (for somebody/ something) (informal) to watch carefully for somebody/ something in order to avoid danger, etc. or in order to find something you want. E.g. The public should be on the lookout for symptoms of the disease.
provenance: /ˈprɒvənəns/ the place that something originally came from. Origin. E.g. All the furniture is of English provenance. There's no proof about the provenance of the painting (= whether it is genuine or not).
stiff: (of a person or their behaviour) not friendly or relaxed. E.g. The speech he made to welcome them was stiff and formal.
remote: (of people or their behaviour) not very friendly or interested in other people. Distant.
shrewd: clever at understanding and making judgements about a situation. Astute. E.g. a shrewd businessman. She is a shrewd judge of character.
wily: /ˈwaɪli/ clever at getting what you want, and willing to trick people. Cunning. Sp. astuto. E.g.
The boss is a wily old fox. He was outwitted by his wily opponent.
outwit somebody/something to defeat somebody/something or gain an advantage over them by doing something clever.
James VI and I, 1618, by Paul Van Somer
buffoon: /bəˈfuːn/ a person who does silly but amusing things.
tactical: carefully planned in order to achieve a particular aim. Strategic. E.g. a tactical decision.
stately: /ˈsteɪtli/ impressive in size, appearance or manner. Majestic.
commission: to officially ask somebody to write, make or create something or to do a task for you. E.g. commission somebody to do something She has been commissioned to write a new national anthem.
regality: /rɪˈɡalɪti/ the state of being a king or queen.
Mr and Mrs Andrews, by Gainsborough
copyist: a person who makes copies of written documents or works of art.
make something of somebody/something to understand the meaning or character of somebody/ something. E.g. What do you make of it all? I can't make anything of this note. I don't know what to make of (= think of) the new manager.
An Old Woman Cooking Eggs, 1618, by Velázquez
veracity: /vəˈræsəti/ the quality of being true; the habit of telling the truth. E.g. They questioned the veracity of her story.
The Rhythm of Life
- Just what the doctor ordered: (humorous) exactly what somebody wants or needs.
- Forebear: a person in your family who lived a long time ago. Ancestor.
- In the hands of somebody, in somebody's hands: being taken care of or controlled by somebody. E.g. The matter is now in the hands of my lawyer. At that time, the castle was in enemy hands.
- Discord: /ˈdɪskɔːd/ disagreement; arguing. E.g. Marital/family discord. A note of discord surfaced during the proceedings.
The Need for Aged Buildings
- In good, bad, etc. repair. In a good, bad, etc. state of repair: in good, etc. condition. E.g. The house is not in good repair.
- Overrun: to fill or spread over an area quickly, especially in large numbers. Invadir. E.g. The house was completely overrun with mice.
- Downturn (in something) a fall in the amount of business that is done; a time when the economy becomes weaker. E.g. a downturn in sales/trade/business. The economic downturn of 2008/2009.
- Uphold: to support something that you think is right and make sure that it continues to exist. Defender. E.g. We have a duty to uphold the law. The regime has been criticized for failing to uphold human rights.
- Enterprise: a company or business. E.g. an enterprise with a turnover of $26 billion. State-owned/public enterprises. Small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Curb something: to control or limit something, especially something bad. E.g. He needs to learn to curb his temper. A range of policies have been introduced aimed at curbing inflation.
- Hamper somebody/something: to prevent somebody from easily doing or achieving something. Hinder. Dificultar. E.g. Our efforts were severely hampered by a lack of money.
- Wear out, wear something out: to become, or make something become, thin or no longer able to be used, usually because it has been used too much. E.g. He wore out two pairs of shoes last year.
- Pull up: come to a halt after driving somewhere. E.g. He pulled up at the traffic lights.
- Ubiquitous: /juːˈbɪkwɪtəs / seeming to be everywhere or in several places at the same time; very common. E.g.The ubiquitous bicycles of university towns. The ubiquitous movie star, Tom Hanks.
- Stumble across/on/upon something/somebody: to discover something/somebody unexpectedly. E.g. Police have stumbled across a huge drugs ring (group). I stumbled across Thompson outside the hotel.
- Set on/upon somebody: to attack somebody suddenly. I opened the gate, and was immediately set on by a large dog. The farmer threatened to set his dogs on us.
- Come on: to begin. E.g. I can feel a cold coming on. I think there's rain coming on.
- Enhance something: to increase or further improve the good quality, value or status of somebody/something. E.g. This is an opportunity to enhance the reputation of the company. The skilled use of make-up to enhance your best features.