Interesting vocabulary for the C2 level

insidious: /ɪnˈsɪdiəs/
spreading gradually or without being noticed, but causing serious harm. having harmful effects that happen gradually so you do not notice them for a long time. proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects. Sp. malicioso. E.g. the insidious effects of polluted water supplies. the insidious effects of pollution. sexual harassment is a serious and insidious problem

entrench: (also intrench) /ɪnˈtrentʃ/
entrench something (sometimes disapproving) to establish something very firmly so that it is very difficult to change. Sp. atrincherar. E.g. Sexism is deeply entrenched in our society. entrenched attitudes/interests/opposition This idea had firmly entrenched itself in his consciousness. The government is seeking to entrench property rights in the constitution.
Sp. El gobierno busca atrincherar los derechos a la propiedad en la constitución.

deranged: /dɪˈreɪndʒd/
unable to behave and think normally, especially because of mental illness. Sp. demente, perturbado. E.g.  mentally deranged. a deranged attacker. At first I thought he was deranged. The plan seemed to be the product of a deranged mind. Trump was once described as a deranged dotard.

dotard: /ˈdəʊtəd/ An old person, especially one who has become weak or senile. Sp. chocho. E.g. The gentleman next door had been vilified by Nicholas; rudely stigmatised as a dotard and an idiot

feckless: /ˈfekləs/
having a weak character; not behaving in a responsible way. E.g. Her husband was a charming, but lazy and feckless man. Our company would never hire such a feckless person as Jim. Sp.
Nuestra empresa nunca contrataría a alguien tan inútil como Jim.

biometric: (adj)  /ˌbaɪəʊˈmetrɪk/
using measurements of human features, such as fingers or eyes, in order to identify people. E.g. Biometric systems have several advantages over conventional identification methods. The major biometric methods include face, voice, fingerprint and iris (= the round, coloured part of the eye) recognition. Biometric devices work by matching an individual’s features to those recorded in the device’s memory.

biometrics: the measurement and analysis of unique physical or behavioural characteristics (such as fingerprint or voice patterns) especially as a means of verifying personal identity.

abattoir: /ˈæbətwɑː(r)/  slaughterhouse. A building where animals are killed for food.

spawn: /spɔːn/
1. spawn (something) (of fish, frogs, etc.) to lay eggs.
2. spawn something (often disapproving) to cause something to develop or be produced. to cause something new, or many new things, to grow or start suddenly. E.g. The band's album spawned a string of hit singles. The new economic freedom has spawned hundreds of new small businesses.Her death spawned countless films and books. A great many books and films have spawned from his original story idea.Sp. Muchos libros y películas han desovado de su idea original.
budding: beginning to develop or become successful. E.g. a budding artist/writer. our budding romance. The budding young star is now hot property in Hollywood.
bud: a small lump that grows on a plant and from which a flower, leaf or stem develops. Sp. capullo. E.g. the first buds appearing in spring.
The tree is in bud already.

hands on parenting: .Hands-on parenting can be defined as parents who establishes household culture of rules and expectations for their children and monitor what they do.
hands off parenting: Hands-off parenting can be defined as parents who fail to set rules and monitor their child.
make the grade: to reach the necessary standard; to succeed. E.g. About 10% of trainees fail to make the grade.

offhand: /ˌɒfˈhænd/ not showing much interest in somebody/something. Not friendly, and showing little interest in other people in a way that seems slightly rude. E.g. an offhand manner. He was very offhand with me. I didn't mean to be offhand with her - it's just that I was in such a hurry.

1. subdue
somebody/something  to bring somebody/something under control, especially by using force. Defeat. E.g. Troops were called in to subdue the rebels. The most serious charges relate to the regime’s efforts to subdue insurgents in the northern provinces.

2. subdue something to calm or control your feelings. Suppress. E.g. Julia had to subdue an urge to stroke his hair.
flippant: showing that you do not take something as seriously as other people think you should. Sp. ligero, frívolo, poco serio. E.g. a flippant answer/attitude. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound flippant. You can’t afford to be flippant about such matters. Sorry, I didn't mean to sound flippant. Sp. perdona, no era mi intención parecer frívolo. Don't be flippant. Sp.deja de decir ligerezas  (frivolidades)
treasure hunt: /ˈtreʒə hʌnt/ a game in which players try to find a hidden prize by answering a series of questions that have been left in different places.

scavenger hunt: /ˈskævɪndʒə hʌnt/ a game in which players have to find various objects.

scavenger: a bird or animal that feeds on dead animals that it has not killed itself.

scavenge: /ˈskævɪndʒ/
1. (of a person, an animal or a bird) to search through waste for things that can be used or eaten. E.g. scavenge something (from something) Much of their furniture was scavenged from other people's garbage. scavenge (through something) (for something) Dogs and foxes scavenged through the trash cans for something to eat.
2. (of animals or birds) to eat dead animals that have been killed by another animal, by a car, etc. E.g. scavenge something Crows scavenge carrion left on the roads. scavenge (on something) Some fish scavenge on dead fish in the wild.

carrion: /ˈkæriən/
the decaying flesh of dead animals. E.g. crows feeding on carrion.

squire: /ˈskwaɪə(r)/
1. (in the past in England) a man of high social status who owned most of the land in a particular country area. Sp. terrateniente. E.g. a country squire.
2. Squire (British English, informal or humorous) used by a man as a friendly way of addressing another man. E.g. What can I get you, Squire?
3. (in the past) a young man who was an assistant to a knight before becoming a knight himself.
Sp. escudero.

fleabag: /ˈfliːbæɡ/
a person who looks poor and does not take care of their appearance
an animal that is in poor condition
a hotel that is cheap and dirty a fleabag motel

1. the behaviour of somebody who is dallying with somebody/something. An interest or involvement in an activity or belief that only lasts for a very short period. E.g. The 1970s witnessed the first of the pop star's dalliances with communism.
It turned out to be his last dalliance with the education system.
a sexual relationship that is not serious
born with a silver spoon in your mouth
(saying) having rich parents

puffy: /ˈpʌfi/
1. (of eyes, faces, etc.) looking swollen (= larger, rounder, etc. than usual). E.g. Her eyes were puffy from crying.
2. (of clouds, etc.) looking soft, round and white.

 Having a body characterized by fleshiness or softness, as from being somewhat overweight. E.g.  He is very flabby around the waist.
sleight of hand: /ˌslaɪt əv ˈhænd/
1. (formal legerdemain /ˈledʒədəmeɪn/) skilful movements of your hand that other people cannot see. Speed and skill of the hand when performing tricks. E.g.  The trick is done simply by sleight of hand. Most of these conjuring tricks depend on sleight of hand.
2.the fact of tricking people in a clever way. Skilful hiding of the truth in order to win an advantage. E.g. Last year's profits were more the result of financial sleight of hand than genuine growth. By some statistical sleight of hand the government has produced figures showing that unemployment has recently fallen.

bedeck something/somebody (with/in something) (literary) to decorate something/somebody with flowers, flags, precious stones, etc. E.g. The entrance hall was bedecked with trees and tropical plants. A flower-bedecked balcony. The subject of the portrait is richly bedecked with jewellery. The room was bedecked with flowers. The people of Costa Rica were bedecked in gold.

great skill at doing something. E.g. academic/sporting prowess. He was complimented on his prowess as an oarsman. Athletic/sporting prowess. He's always boasting about his sexual prowess.
dinosaur: /ˈdaɪnəsɔː(r)/
an animal that lived millions of years ago but is now extinct (= it no longer exists). There were many types of dinosaur, some of which were very large.
(disapproving) a person or thing that is old-fashioned and cannot change in the changing conditions of modern life. An old-fashioned person or thing that people no longer consider to be useful. E.g.This computer's a dinosaur, isn't it?
benefit concert: A benefit concert or charity concert is a type of musical benefit performance featuring musicians, comedians, or other performers that is held for a charitable purpose.

shudder: to shake because you are cold or frightened, or because of a strong feeling. E.g. Just thinking about the accident makes me shudder. shudder with something Alone in the car, she shuddered with fear. shudder at something I shuddered at the thought of all the trouble I'd caused. shudder to do something I shudder to think how much this is all going to cost (= I don't want to think about it because it is too unpleasant).

offset: /ˈɒfset/
to use one cost, payment or situation in order to cancel or reduce the effect of another. offset something Prices have risen in order to offset the increased cost of materials. offset something against something (British English) What expenses can you offset against tax?

put your back into something
to use a lot of effort and energy on a particular task. E.g. You could dig this plot in an afternoon if you really put your back into it.
verruca: /vəˈruːkə/
a small hard lump like a wart on the bottom of the foot, which can be easily spread from person to person. Sp. verruga.
legit: /lɪˈdʒɪt/
legal, or acting according to the law or the rules.
E.g. The business seems legit.

manic: full of activity, excitement and anxiety; behaving in a busy, excited, anxious way. Hectic. E.g. Things are manic in the office at the moment. The performers had a manic energy and enthusiasm.
the rub [singular] (formal or humorous) a problem or difficulty. E.g. The hotel is in the middle of nowhere and there lies the rub. We don't have a car.

waltz: /wɔːls/
a dance in which two people dance together to a regular rhythm; a piece of music for this dance. E.g. to dance a/the waltz. a Strauss waltz.

arcade: (British English also amusement arcade) a place where you can play games on machines which you use coins to operate. E.g. arcade games.

make off: to hurry away, especially in order to escape. E.g. The thieves made off with €700.
hard but easily broken. Sp. frágil. E.g. brittle bones/nails.
scam artist: A person who attempts to defraud others by presenting a fraudulent offer and pretending that it is legitimate; a con artist. Scammer. E.g. The scam artist was jailed for five years.
exonerate somebody (from something) /ɪɡˈzɒnəreɪt/ (formal) to officially state that somebody is not responsible for something that they have been blamed for The police report exonerated Lewis from all charges of corruption. The president cannot be exonerated from responsibility for this problem. The report exonerates the president of any knowledge of the arms deal.
bust: an unexpected visit made by the police in order to arrest people for doing something illegal. Sp. redada. E.g. a drug bust.
sniff at something to show no interest in or respect for something. E.g. He sniffed at my efforts at writing.  The fans sniffed at the choice of new manager for the club. Sp. Los aficionados desecharon la opción de una nueva administración para el club.
predator: /ˈpredətə(r)/
1. an animal that kills and eats other animals Some animals have no natural predators. E.g. the relationship between predator and prey.
2. a person or an organization that uses weaker people for their own advantage. E.g. to protect domestic industry from foreign predators.
get (somebody) off the hook, let somebody off the hook
to free yourself or somebody else from a difficult situation or a punishment. E.g. We cannot let the government off the hook for what it has done. They resent any hint that he will be let off the hook because of his privileged position. She had got Tom off the hook. That way, Charlie would get the money, and she would be off the hook (not punished).
suspended sentence: /səˌspendɪd ˈsentəns/ a punishment given to a criminal in court which means that they will only go to prison if they commit another crime within a particular period of time. E.g. an 18-month suspended sentence for theft.
fiend: /fiːnd/ a very cruel or unpleasant person. Sp. desalmado. E.g. Ben was a fiend who took advantage of his friends. 
make a run for it: To run in order to escape something or to reach a destination quickly, perhaps before a certain time or before something happens. E.g. Our taxi was late picking us up, so we're going to have to make a run for it when we get to the station. I couldn't wait to get out of school, and I made a run for it as soon as the bell rang. Three inmates tried to make a run for it during outdoor exercise today, but they were stopped before they were able to jump the fence. 
estranged: /ɪˈstreɪndʒd/
1. no longer living with your husband or wife. E.g. his estranged wife Emma. She is attempting to contact her estranged husband to break the news. He is being questioned in connection with the death of his estranged wife. She has been estranged from her husband since 1999.  
2. estranged (from somebody) no longer friendly, loyal or in contact with somebody. E.g. He became estranged from his family after the argument. Formerly close friends, they had been estranged from each other for many years. 
swinger: a person who has sex with many different people.
romp: an enjoyable sexual experience that is not serious. E.g. politicians involved in sex romps with call girls.
nightspot: a place people go to for entertainment at night. Nightclub. 
landmark: landmark (in something) an event, a discovery, an invention, etc. that marks an important stage in something. E.g. The ceasefire was seen as a major landmark in the fight against terrorism. A landmark decision/ruling in the courts.
in the wake of somebody/something
coming after or following somebody/something. E.g. There have been demonstrations on the streets in the wake of the recent bomb attack. A group of reporters followed in her wake. The storm left a trail of destruction in its wake. 
busted: caught in the act of doing something wrong and likely to be punished. E.g. You are so busted! 
haulage:  /ˈhɔːlɪdʒ/
the business of transporting goods by road or railway; money charged for this. E.g. the road haulage industry a haulage firm/contractor How much is haulage?
JCB: a powerful vehicle with a long arm for digging and moving earth.
 haul: (N) a large amount of something that has been stolen or that is illegal. Sp. botín. E.g. a haul of weapons. a drugs haul.
lifer: /ˈlaɪfə(r)/
a person who has been sent to prison for their whole life. E.g. There are many more lifers in jail than there used to be.

henchman: /ˈhentʃmən/ (pl. henchmen /ˈhentʃmən/)
a faithful supporter of a powerful person, for example a political leader or criminal, who is prepared to use violence or become involved in illegal activities to help that person. E.g. his ruthless henchmen. He sent one of his henchmen with orders to seize the pictures. Then he became aware of Carter’s two henchmen on either side of him.
The candidate's audience consisted only of her henchmen.Sp. La audiencia de la candidata estuvo formada solo por sus partidarios.

a good/great deal much; a lot. E.g. They spent a great deal of money. It took a great deal of time. I'm feeling a good deal better. We see them a great deal (= often).

get round/around to something: to find the time to do something. E.g. I meant to do the ironing but I didn't get round to it. get round/around to doing something I hope to get around to answering your letter next week.

complex: a group of buildings of a similar type together in one place. E.g. a sports complex an industrial complex (= a site with many factories).

pirouette: /ˌpɪruˈet/
a fast turn or spin that a person, especially a ballet dancer, makes on one foot.
E.g. Sandra performed a little pirouette

handstand: a movement in which you balance on your hands and put your legs straight up in the air. E.g. Can you do handstands?

expound: /ɪkˈspaʊnd/ to explain something by talking about it in detail. E.g. expound something (to somebody) He expounded his views on the subject to me at great length. the theory of language expounded by Chomsky. She expounded her theory further in the course of her talk. These ideas were originally expounded by Plato. expound on something We listened as she expounded on the government's new policies.
acclaim: to praise or welcome somebody/something publicly. E.g. acclaim somebody/something a highly/widely acclaimed performance. This book has been widely acclaimed as a modern classic. Mario Vargas Llosa, the internationally acclaimed novelist. acclaim somebody/something as something The work was acclaimed as a masterpiece.
stocky /ˈstɒki/: (of a person) short, with a strong, solid body. E.g. a stocky figure/build.

Everyone involved was sworn to secrecy.

murky: dark and unpleasant because of smoke, fog, etc.  Dark and difficult to see through, especially because of bad light, thick cloud, or dirt in the air or water. (Of a liquid) not clear; dark or dirty with mud or another substance. E.g. a murky night. I couldn't make out the house number in the murky light. She gazed into the murky depths of the water.

murky: describes a situation that is complicated and unpleasant, and about which many facts are not clear. (Of people's actions or character) not clearly known and suspected of not being honest. E.g. He became involved in the murky world of international drug-dealing. I don't want to get into the murky waters of family arguments. The murky world of arms dealing.

muggy: /ˈmʌɡi/ (of weather) warm and damp in an unpleasant way. E.g. a muggy August day.

close: warm in an uncomfortable way because there does not seem to be enough fresh air. E.g. It’s very close today—I think there’s going to be a storm.
stuffy: /ˈstʌfi/ (of a building, room, etc.) warm in an unpleasant way and without enough fresh air. E.g. a stuffy room It gets very hot and stuffy in here in summer.

newsflash (also flash) a short item of important news that is broadcast on radio or television, often interrupting a programme. E.g. We interrupt this programme to bring you a newsflash. I saw a flash on tv showing the flooding at some of the restaurants.

snap: to break something suddenly with a sharp noise; to be broken in this way. E.g. The storm snapped young trees like matchsticks. Snap the biscuit in two and share it.

spell something (for somebody/something) to have something, usually something bad, as a result; to mean something, usually something bad. E.g. The crop failure spelt disaster for many farmers. This defeat spelt the end of his hopes of winning the title again. 

wintry /ˈwɪntri/ typical of winter; cold. E.g. wintry weather. A wintry landscape. Wintry showers (=of snow). It looks like this wintry weather is here to stay.
A photograph of your uncle's snow-covered Christmas tree farm shows a wintry scene, and a blustery wind on a February morning will feel wintry.

wintry: not friendly. Deliberately unfriendly. Devoid of warmth and cordiality. E.g. a wintry welcome. She gave a wintry smile.
creeper: a plant that grows along the ground, up walls, etc., often winding itself around other plants.

pound: a place where dogs that have been found in the street without their owners are kept until their owners claim them.

emaciated: /ɪˈmeɪʃieɪtɪd/ /ɪˈmeɪsieɪtɪd/ thin and weak, usually because of illness or lack of food. E.g. He was thirty, but looked fifty, with pale skin, hopeless eyes and an emaciated body, covered in sores.
throng: /θrɒŋ/
a crowd of people. E.g. We pushed our way through the throng. He was met by a throng of journalists and photographers.  Monaco builds into the Med to house new throng of super-richThe tax haven has a luxury housing crisis – it doesn’t have enough land for the 2,700 multimillionaires forecast to settle there over the next decade.

in itself
in and of itself

considered separately from other things; in its true nature. Intrinsically, considered alone. E.g. In itself, it's not a difficult problem to solve.
 For example, In and of itself the plan might work, but I doubt that it will be approved.
thud: a sound like the one which is made when a heavy object hits something else. E.g. His head hit the floor with a dull thud. She could hear the thud of her own heartbeat sounding heavily in her ears. She felt her heart give an extra thud. The boot made a dull thud as it hit the ground.
direction: the art of managing or guiding somebody/something. E.g. All work was produced by the students under the direction of John Williams. She was entrusted with the direction of the project.

with bated breath
(formal) feeling very anxious or excited. E.g. We waited with bated breath for the winner to be announced.

old hand (at something/at doing something) a person with a lot of experience and skill in a particular activity. E.g. She's an old hand at dealing with the press.

1. [uncountable] (disapproving) informal talk or stories about other people’s private lives, that may be unkind or not true. E.g. Don't believe all the gossip you hear. Tell me all the latest gossip! The gossip was that he had lost a fortune on the stock exchange. It was common gossip (= everyone said so) that they were having an affair. She's a great one for idle gossip (= she enjoys spreading stories about other people that are probably not true). Do you want to share any gossip, rumour, scandal or intrigue?
2. [countable, usually singular] a conversation about other people and their private lives. E.g. I love a good gossip.
3. [countable] (disapproving) (also gossipmonger) a person who enjoys talking about other people’s private lives. E.g. She's a terrible gossip.

silver bullet (also magic bullet) a fast and effective solution to a serious problem. E.g. Having a mentor is exciting but it's not a silver bullet for success. There is no silver bullet to address growing inequality in the population.

difficulty (in) + ing: E.g. I had considerable difficulty (in) persuading her to leave. I had no difficulty (in) making myself understood. The changes were made with surprisingly little difficulty. He spoke slowly and with great difficulty. We found the house without difficulty. They discussed the difficulty of studying abroad.

actual: used to emphasize something that is real or exists in fact. Sp. real. E.g. What were his actual words? The actual cost was higher than we expected. James looks younger than his wife but in actual fact (= really) he is five years older.

handicap: /ˈhændikæp/
1. (becoming old-fashioned, sometimes offensive) a permanent physical or mental condition that makes it difficult or impossible to use a particular part of your body or mind. Disability. E.g. Despite her handicap, Jane is able to hold down a full-time job. mental/physical/visual handicap.
something that makes it difficult for somebody to do something. Obstacle. E.g. Not speaking the language proved to be a bigger handicap than I'd imagined. In a job like this, lack of experience is no real handicap.

handicapped: (becoming old-fashioned, sometimes offensive)
not able to use part of your body or your mind because it has been damaged or does not work normally. This word is now considered offensive by many people, who prefer to say someone is disabled or has a disability. E.g. What's the best way of improving theatre access for people who are physically handicapped?

the handicapped: people who cannot use part of their body or mind because it has been damaged or does not work normally. This word is now considered offensive by many people, who prefer to say disabled people or people with disabilities.
packed lunch: a meal of sandwiches, fruit, etc. that is prepared at home and eaten at school, work, etc.

boxed lunch: a meal of sandwiches, fruit, etc. that you take to school, work, etc. in a box.

lunchbox: a box in which your lunch can be carried to work, school, etc.

a far cry from something
a very different experience from something. E.g. All this luxury was a far cry from the poverty of his childhood.

greenery: /ˈɡriːnəri/
attractive green leaves and plants. E.g. The room was decorated with flowers and greenery.

take somebody under your wing
to take care of and help somebody who has less experience of something than you. E.g. I was a little bit lonely at the time and she took me under her wing.

holster: /ˈhəʊlstə(r)/
a leather case worn on a belt or on a narrow piece of leather under the arm, used for carrying a small gun. E.g. took the gun out of its holster.

slide, slid, slid:
1. to move easily over a smooth or wet surface; to make something move in this way. E.g. We slid down the grassy slope. The drawers slide in and out easily.
2. to move quickly and quietly, for example in order not to be noticed; to make something move in this way. E.g. He slid into bed. She slid out while no one was looking.

masterclass: lesson, especially in music, given by a famous expert to very skilled students.

hook, line and sinker
completely. E.g. What I said was not true, but he fell for it (= believed it) hook, line and sinker.

the order of the day: characteristic or predominant. E.g. Pessimism seems to be the order of the day round here. 
Sp. El pesimismo parece que está a la orden del día por aquí. Wasteful government spending seems to be the order of the day.
unearth something to find or discover something by chance or after searching for it. E.g. I unearthed my old diaries when we moved house. The newspaper has unearthed some disturbing facts. In this talk we will unearth Scotland's rich history, language and culture. 
a person who likes a particular sport, activity or subject very much and knows a lot about it. E.g. a ballet aficionado/an aficionado of ballet. This coffee is regarded by aficionados as one of the world’s finest. He’s an aficionado of the history of the game. Jazz aficionados gathered at the Hollywood Bowl last night for a tribute concert.
brag: talk boastfully. Sp. alardear, presumir. E.g. I don't want to be friends with someone who always brags.
contemptible: /kənˈtemptəbl/ not deserving any respect at all. Despicable. Sp. despreciable. E.g. contemptible behaviour. I could never marry such a contemptible person.
contemptuous: /kənˈtemptʃuəs/ feeling or showing that you have no respect for somebody/something. Scornful. Sp. desdeñoso. E.g. She gave him a contemptuous look. The company has shown a contemptuous disregard for Henry’s complaints. contemptuous of somebody/something He was contemptuous of everything I did.
haughty: /ˈhɔːti/
behaving in an unfriendly way towards other people because you think that you are better than them. Arrogant. E.g. a haughty face/look/manner.  He replied with haughty disdain. She threw him a look of haughty disdain.
turquoise: /ˈtɜːkwɔɪz/
greenish-blue in colour. E.g. a turquoise dress.
snare: (a snare is literally a trap) a situation which seems attractive but is unpleasant and difficult to escape from. E.g. City life can be full of snares for young people.