Essential Vocabulary

Vocabulary Notes

1. advantage n 1) smth. useful or helpful, smth. likely to bring success, esp. success in competition with another or others, e.g. The advantages of a good education are great. The shallowness of the seas round the British Isles is in some ways an advantage, to have (gain, win, give smb.) an advantage (over smb.) to have a better position or opportunity, e.g. He has an advantage over other students, he is well-read. to have the advantage of to be in a better position because of smth., as to have the advantage of being modern (being cheap, etc.), e.g. He has the advantage of being young. 2) benefit, profit; to take advantage of smth. to make good use of smth., to profit by smth., as to take advantage of an opportunity (of smb.'s weakness, ignorance, absence, etc.), e.g. Jack took advantage of an opportunity to speak to Gwendolen, to advantage in a way that shows its good points, as to be seen (heard, shown, exhibited) to advantage, e.g. The picture is seen to (better) advantage from a distance. Ant. disadvantage

2. irresistible adj too strong, convincing, delightful, etc. to be resisted as irresistible desires (temptation, fascination), e.g. On this hot day the sea was irresistible.


resist vt 1) to oppose, to use force against in order to prevent the advance (of), as to resist the enemy (attack, authority, police), e.g. The Negro was killed resisting arrest. 2) to be undamaged or unaffected by, as a kind of glass dish that resists heat, e.g. I was resisting a rushing, cold dark current. 3) to try not to yield to, to keep oneself back from, as to resist temptation, e.g. He could resist no longer. She can't resist chocolates. (To resist is often used in the negative.) He couldn't resist her suggestion (will, charm, fascination). One cannot resist doing smth. one cannot keep from doing smth., e.g. She couldn't resist making jokes about his baldness.

resistance n 1) power of resisting, as to break down the enemy's resistance, to make (offer) no (little) resistance 2) opposing force, as wrinkle resistance fabric, e.g. An aircraft has to overcome-the resistance of the air. the line of least resistance direction in which a force meets least opposition, e.g. At the beginning of his career AndrewManson never followed the line of least resistance.

3. constant adj 1) going on all the time; frequently recurring, as constant complaints, e.g. He suffered from constant sleeplessness. 2) firm, faithful, unchanging, as a constant friend, e. g. He has been constant in his devotion to scientific studies. Ant. temporary

constantly adv continuously, frequently, e.g. His name is constantly mentioned in the gossip column.

4. inspire vt 1) to put upliftjng thoughts, feelings or aims into, as to inspire smb. with hope (enthusiasm, confidence), to inspire confidence in smb., e.g. She didn't know of the tenderness she had inspired in me. 2) to fill with creative power, as to inspire smb. to do (write, paint) smth., e.g. The beauty of the landscape inspired him to write a poem.

inspiration n 1) influence(s) arousing creative activity in literature, music, art, etc., e.g. Many poets and artists have drawn their inspiration from nature. 2) person or thing that inspires, e.g. His wife was a constant inspiration to him.

5. reference n 1) (instance of) alluding, e.g. You should make reference to a dictionary. The book is full of references to places that I know well, reference book, reference library 2) a statement about a person's character or abilities, e.g. The clerk has excellent references from former employers. 3) note, direction, etc. telling where certain information may be found, e.g. He dislikes history books that are crowded with references to earlier authorities.

refer, vt/i 1) to send, take, hand over (to smb. or smth.), e.g. I was referred to the manager. 2) to speak of, allude to to apply to, e.g. Don't refer to this matter again, please. Does that remark refer to me? 3) to turn (to), go (to) for information, etc., e.g. The speaker often referred to his notes.

6. spare vt/i 1) to show mercy to smb., to save from pain, harm or misfortune, as to spare smb., spare smb.'s feelings, e.g. Spare her feelings, she is very touchy, to spare smb. smth. to save smb. from smth.,


e.g. To spare you the trouble of rewriting all this, I'll have it typed. not to spare oneself to be severe with oneself, e.g. She never spares herself. 2) to find (time, money, etc. for) by being careful, e.g. We can't spare the time for a holiday at present! Can you spare me a cigarette?

spare adj 1) additional to what is needed, as a spare tyre (wheel), spare parts (time) 2) (of a person) thin, lean, as a tall spare man, a spare figure 3) small in quantity, as a spare meal, on a spare diet

7. frank adj sincere in saying what one really thinks or feels, as to be frank with smb., a frank conversation (look, smile, face, opinion), frank words (criticism), e.g. He was very frank about his business relationship. Syn. sincere (actually feeling)

frankly adv in a frank manner, freely, as to tell you quite frankly ... ; frankly speaking ... , e.g. Frankly speaking I don't like the play at all.

8. admit vt/i 1) to allow a person to enter, e.g. The .woman opened the door and admitted me into the house. Children are not admitted. 2) to accept as a member of. as to be admitted to an institute (school, part), e.g. Only one hundred boys are admitted to the school every year. 3) to have enough space for, e.g. The theatre admits only 200 persons. 4) to acknowledge, confess, accept as true, as to admit one's mistake (fault, that one's wrong), e.g.. You must admit that the task is difficult. Ant. deny, e.g. I deny that the statement is true.

9. admission n 1) allowing to come, go in, being admitted, as admission is free, admission by ticket, price of admission; to apply for admission to an institute (party), e.g. Admission to the school is by examination only. 2) statement admitting smth., as an admission of guilt, e.g. The accused man refused to make an admission of his guilt.

10. display vt 1) to show, esp. spread out or place so that there is no difficulty in seeing, as to display pictures (paintings) in a gallery, museum; to display goods in show-cases, in a shop-window 2) to show signs of having, as to display courage (heroism, anxiety, a contempt for one's feeling, no enthusiasm about smth.)

display n displaying, showing or exhibiting, as a fine display of courage, a display of bad temper, a fashion display, to make a display of one's affection, e.g. There was a fine display of flowers at the exhibition.

11. decent adj 1) proper and suitable, good for a particular time or place, as decent clothes (conditions, marks) 2) modest, not likely to cause people to feel shame, as a decent fellow (conduct, book, film)

decency n the quality of being decent, e.g. He doesn't know the meaning of shame or common decency.

12. discreet adj 1) careful in speech and action, as a discreet answer (person, behaviour), discreet inquiries, e.g. People glanced over at them from their tables whispering with discreet smiles. 2) tactful, e.g. When necessary one should maintain a discreet silence. Ant. indiscreet, as an indiscreet action (step, answer, remark)


discretion n 1) carefulness in speech and action, as to act with discretion, e.g. You must show more discretion in choosing your friends. He had little confidence in her discretion. 2) freedom to act according to one's own judgement, to dp what seems right or best, e.g. Use your discretion. It is within your discretion, you are free to decide. The mother gave her son a shilling to spend at his discretion. Ant. indiscretion

13. indignant adj feeling anger and scorn, as to be indignant with a cruel person, e.g. Mother was indignant with her children as they had cracked her favourite vase. Mr. Brown was indignant at a false accusation of the witness.

indignation n anger caused by cruelty, injustice, etc., as to be full of indignation; to arouse smb.'s indignation; in (with) indignation, e.g. The situation required all her self-control not to say something in indignation.

Word Combinations aind Phrases

in fact  
to be aware of to be engaged to smb.
in public to make inquiries
at any rate to be (down) on a list
to be far from + adj to enter one's name into
to propose to smb. to approve of smth.
to touch on (upon) smth. to clear up a point
to have (some, little, no) experience in smth. at a month's notice


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