Essential Vocabulary

Vocabulary Notes

1. relieve vt 1) to lessen or remove (pain or distress), e.g. The remedy relieved his pain at once. Nothing could relieve her anxiety, to relieve one's feelings to make oneself feel better by using strong language, shedding tears, etc., e.g. She burst out crying and that relieved her feelings. to feel relieved (to hear or at hearing, to see or at the sight of, to know smth.), e.g. They felt relieved to hear that he was safe. Syn. to ease, as to ease the pain of a wound; to ease a person's anxiety. E.g. This medicine will ease the pain quickly. 2) to take another's place on duty, as to relieve a sentry; 3) to take smth. from a person, e.g. Let me relieve you of your bag.

relief n lessening or ending of pain, anxiety, etc., as to sigh with relief; to give (to bring) relief (no relief, some relief) to smb., e.g. The medicine brought (gave) him immediate relief. Tears brought her no relief. What a relief! Syn. comfort, e.g. The news that her son was getting well and strong brought great comfort to her.

2. art n 1) creation of beautiful things, as a work of art; art-lover; art critic; genuine art; pretence of art; graphic art; applied art; folk art; the Fine Arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture), e.g. I am interested in the new trends in art. 2) pi. the Humanities, e.g. History and literature are among the arts. Bachelor (Master) of Arts (a university degree) 3) skill, craft, e.g. The making of such rafts has become a lost art.

artist n a person who practises one of the Fine Arts, esp. painting, as a professional artist, amateur artist, e.g. Reynolds was the most prominent artist of his day.

artistic adj done with skill and good taste, as artistic skill; artistic taste; artistic person, e.g. Gainsborough was essentially an artistic person.

artificial adj 1) not natural, as artificial flowers (light, silk, etc.), e.g. Andrew Manson had to use artificial respiration to revive the baby. 2) not genuine or sincere, e.g. Her smile is so artificial that I don't trust her.

3. draw vt/i 1) to pull or cause to move from one place to another, e.g. Draw your chair nearer to the table. 2) to pull, to take out, e.g. He put his hand in his pocket and drew out a ring. 3) to make smb. talk, especially one who is unwilling to talk, e.g. It's very difficult to draw him out. 4) to attract, e.g. The exhibition is sure to draw crowds. 5) to get; to obtain, e.g. He draws his inspiration from nature. They drew different conclusions from the same facts. 6} to make lines on paper, as to draw well; to draw in pencil; to draw a bunch of flowers, e.g. He drew a picture


of his niece. 1 can draw a map of the area for you. 7) to move or come towards, e.g. The concert season is drawing to a close.

draw n something that attracts attention, e.g. The new play proved a great draw.

drawing n the art of making pictures; a picture, e.g. He attended classes in oil-painting and drawing from the human figure. Turner left a vast mass of work, oil paintings, water-colours and drawings.

4. picture n 1) painting, drawing, sketch, as a picture gallery; in the foreground (background) of the picture, e.g. There is nothing of unusual interest in the subject matter of the picture. Every detail in the picture plays its part in the composition. Syn. piece, as a flower piece, a conversation piece. 2) photograph, e.g. The picture I took of you last week turned out very well. 3) a perfect type, an embodiment, e.g. You look the picture of health. 4) a film, e.g. I like to see a good picture once in a while.

picture vt 1) to make a picture, describe in words, e.g. The novel pictures life in Russia before the Revolution. 2) to imagine, e.g. I can't quite picture you as a teacher.

depict vt to make a picture of, e.g. Perov liked to depict the scenes and types of common life. Syn. represent, portray, e.g. The picture represented two Italian women talking. Turner tried to portray the mood of the sea.

picturesque adj giving vivid impression of nature or reality; romantic, e.g. I wonder who lives in that picturesque cottage over there.

5. paint n, e.g. Constable sometimes used a palette knife to apply the paint instead of a brush.

paint vt/i 1) to put paint on, e.g. They painted the door white. 2) to make a picture by using paint, as to paint from nature, e.g. Ceremonial portraits were painted according to formula. Turner excelled in painting marine subjects. 3) to describe vividly in words, e.g. You are painting the situation too dark.

painter n an artist, as painter of battle-pieces, genre painter, landscape painter, portrait painter

painting n 1) the act, art or occupation of laying on colours, e.g. Painting has become his world. 2) a painted picture, as an oil painting, still-life painting, a collection of paintings, an exquisite piece of painting. Syn. canvas, e.g. An oil-painting caught and held him ... he forgot his awkward walk and came closer to the painting, very close. The beauty faded out of the canvas.

6. colour n 1) as bright (dark, rich, cool, warm, dull, faded) colours, e.g. The dancers wore tight-fitting dresses of richly glowing colours; colour scheme combination of colours, e.g. Gainsborough's pictures are painted in clear and transparent tone, in a colour scheme where blue and green predominate. 2) materials used by painters, e.g. Turner constantly used water colour for immediate studies from nature, to paint smth. in (dark) bright colours to describe smth. (un)favourably, e.g. The headmaster painted the school's future in bright colours. 3) the red or pink in the cheeks, e.g. She has very little colour today, off colour not feeling well; in low spirits, e.g. He's been feeling rather off colour lately.


colour vt/i 1) to become coloured, e.g. The leaves have begun to colour. 2) (fig.) to change in some way, to make a description more exciting, e.g. News is often coloured in bourgeois newspapers.

coloured adj having colour, as cream-coloured, flesh-coloured; a coloured print; a multicoloured handkerchief, e.g. I'll make myself one white and one coloured dress for the summer. When they were wet the pebbles were multicoloured and beautiful.

colourless adj without colour; pale; (fig.) without interest or character, os a colourless story (person). Ant. colourful.

colouring n style in which the thing is coloured, as gaudy (subtle) colouring, e.g. His drawing is good but his colouring is poor.

colourist n an artist whose works are characterized by beauty of colour, e.g. As a colourist Gainsborough had few rivals among English painters.

7. doubt n uncertainty of mind; lack of certainty; a state of uncertainty, e.g. There is (there can be) no (not much, some, great, slight) doubt about it. I have no (not much, little, not the slightest) doubt that he will come. I have doubts as to his intentions, no doubt certainly, e.g. She will no doubt cope with the work.

doubt vt/i to be uncertain, as to doubt the truth of smth. (the facts, smb.'s ability to do smth., etc.), e.g. Do you doubt his honesty? to doubt if (whether) smth. is correct (true, wrong, smb. will do smth.), e.g. I doubt whether he will come, not to doubt that, e.g. I don't doubt that he will come. Do you doubt that he will come?

doubtful adj uncertain; not definite; hesitating, e.g. The weather looks very doubtful. He's a doubtful character, to be (feel) doubtful as to, e.g. I'm doubtful as to what I ought to do.

8. select vt to pick out, esp. for its superior qualities, as to select a gift (a suitable person, the best singers, the most typical cases, the best samples, etc.), e.g. They selected a site for the monument. Syn. choose, pick, e.g. The small girl chose the biggest apple in the dish. I picked this way because it was the shortest.

selection n choice; a collection of specially chosen examples, as natural (artificial) selection; selections from Shakespeare (Russian composers, etc.); poetry, prose selections, г good selection of paintings (goods, etc.), e.g. This department store has a good selection of hats.

9. size n degree of largeness or smallness, e.g. It was about the size of a pea-nut. 2) one of a series of numbered classes, e.g. "What size shoes (gloves, collar) do you wear?"-"Size 36 shoes." I want a hat a size smaller (larger). They bought him a coat a size (two sizes) too large (small) for him.

-sized adj (in compounds) having a certain size, as medium-sized; а life-sized portrait, e.g. I want medium-sized pajamas.

10. dream n 1) thoughts or images passing through the mind during sleep, as to have bad dreams, to awake from a dream, e.g. I had a funny dream last night. 2) something imagined, e.g. She had dreams of being an actress.


dream vi 1) to imagine, fancy, e.g. Don't waste time dreaming. I never dreamt of suspecting him. 2) to have dreams, see in a dream, e.g. He often dreams.

dreamy adj given to reverie, fanciful, vague, as dreamy eyes, e.g. Jon lay listening to the dreamy music.

dreamer n one who dreams; one who has impractical ideas or plans

11. effort n trying hard, as a heroic (tremendous, last, strong, great, desperate, etc.) effort; continued (constant, vain) efforts, e.g. It was a great effort for me to control myself. That job will take all your effort, to do smth. with an effort (without effort), e.g. He collected himself with an effort. He lifted the box without effort, to make an (every, no) effort, e.g. I will make every (no) effort to help him. to cost smb. much effort to do smth., e.g. It cost me much effort of will to give up tobacco, to spare neither effort nor expense, e.g. The Soviet Government spares neither effort nor expense to solve the housing problem in our country.

Word Combinations and Phrases

to be in good (bad) shape to exhibit smth. in a show
at a great sacrifice to one's health a mature artist
to take up art (painting) to become a laughing stock
to avert a disaster to be accepted for the show
a box of water colours an inconspicuous place
a tube of oils to blush to the top of one's ears
to send smth. to the cleaner's the close of the exhibition
to become involved in smth. to award a prize (a medal)
to execute a picture (a statue)  


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