Essential Vocabulary

Vocabulary Notes

1. confide vi/t 1) to feel trust in smb., e.g. I can confide in him. 2) to tell secrets to, e.g. He confided his troubles (secrets, lans, fears) to me.

confidence n 1) strong trust, e.g. I have no confidence in such people


(in his ability, in his opinion). He enjoys everybody's confidence. What she says does not inspire confidence. I shan't betray your confidence. She took me into her confidence. Mind that I'm telling you this in confidence. 2) assurance, belief that one is right or that one will succeed, e.g. He has too much confidence in himself (self-confidence). His lack of confidence is most annoying. His comforting words gave me confidence. 3) secret which is confided to smb. (often in pi.), e.g. I listened to the girl's confidences with a mixed feeling of pity and disapproval.

confident adj 1) sure, e.g. Wewere not confident of success. 2) showing confidence, as a confident manner, smile, voice, tone

confidential adj private or secret, as confidential information, matter, correspondence, voice, etc.

2. point n 1) the sharp end, tip, as the point of a pin (needle, knife, stick, pen, pencil, weapon, tool, etc.) 2) a small dot or a full stop, as 4. 6 (four point six) 3) the essential thing, part, the most important thing in a speech, story, action, etc., e.g. The point is that it is no ordinary case. I don't see your point. You've misled the whole point, to the point relevant(ly) to the subject, as to come (to stick, to be) to the point, e.g. I wish he would come to the point, to speak (to stick, to keep, to be) to the point, e.g. Your answer is not to the point. Ant. to be off the point, e.g. Your answer is off the point, to make a point of doing smth. to regard smth. as essential, eg. He made a point of reading English every day. 4) a single item; to agree (or disagree) on some points, e.g. We disagreed on several points. 5) special quality, as one's weak (strong) point, e.g. Singing is not his strong point. 6) purpose, use, e.g. What's your point in coming? There is no (not much) point in doing that. His remarks lack point. 7) a precise or particular moment, as a turning point in one's life, e.g. At this point (moment) in his reflections he paused. When it came to the point (when the moment for action came), he refused to help, to be on the point of doing smth. to be about to do smth., e:g. He was on the point of leaving. 8) a stage or degree, as the boiling (freezing, melting) point 9) a unit measuring gain or loss, e.g. He scored 23 points. 10) a position from which something is viewed, as a point of view, e.g. My point of view is different.

point vtli 1) to call attention to, e.g. He pointed to a large building. 2) to show (with out), e.g. The teacher pointed out several mistakes in the composition (to the student).

pointless adj without aim or purpose; meaningless, as pointless questions, remarks

3. tempt vt 1) to try to persuade smb. to do smth. wrong, e.g. Nothing would tempt him to give up his job. 2) to arouse a desire, e.g. Your offer does not tempt me .at all. The sight of the omelette did not tempt me. to be tempted to do smth., e.g. I am tempted to accept the offer.

temptation n 1) the act of persuading to do wrong, as the temptation of boys by bad companions 2) that which tempts, e.g. Clever advertisements are temptations to spend money. On such a fine day I really cannot resist the temptation of going out of town.


tempting ad'i arousing a desire, as tempting food, a tempting offer, sight, idea, plan

4. start vi/t 1) to begin to move; to set out; to begin a journey, as to start early (late, at 6' p.m:, etc.); to start on a trip (a journey, an excursion) for the mountains (Leningrad, etc.) 2) to begin to do smth., as to start work (business, conversation); to start working, running, crying 3) to cause, to enable, to begin, e.g. How did the war (the fire, the quarrel) start? 4) to set going, as to start a car (a motor, a newspaper) 5) to make a sudden movement (from pain, shock, etc.), e.g. He started at the noise.

starting-point n a place at which a start is made, e.g. The incident turned out to be a starting-point that set everything afloat.

start n 1) the act of starting, as the start of a race, at the journey's start, e.g. That gave her a start in life, from the start from the very beginning, e.g. Everything went wrong from the start, from start to finish, e.g. This is the whole story from start to finish. 2) a sudden movement caused by pain (shock, etc.), e.g. He sprang up (awoke) with a start. You gave me a start, I must say. by fits and starts irregularly, e.g. Research work cannot be done by fits and starts.

5. confuse vt 1) to mistake one thing or person for another; to mix up, as to confuse names (words or persons); to confuse facts (dates), e.g. They look so much alike that I always confuse them. Old people often confuse dates and figures. 2) to make a person feel uncomfortable, e.g. Everybody's attention confused her and she was at a loss for words. Syn. embarrass; to be (feel, seem, get) confused (embarrassed), e.g. He seemed a trifle confused (embarrassed).

confusion n 1) the state of being confused, disorder, as to lie (be, be thrown about) in confusion, e.g. His things lay in confusion on the sofa. His thoughts were in confusion. He remained calm in the confusion of battle. Syn. mess 2) shame, embarrassment, e.g. His confusion was obvious. 3) mistaking one thing for another, as the confusion of sounds, letters.

confusing adj embarrassing, e.g. An examiner must not ask confusing questions (not to put the student out). Don't ask embarrassing questions (not to make one uncomfortable).

confused adj 1) embarrassed, e.g. The girl looked confused. 2) inconsistent or muddled, e.g. His tale (answer) was confused. He was unable to put his confused ideas into shape.

6. drop vtli 1) to allow to fall, as to drop a glass (a handkerchief, etc.); to drop bombs; to drop a letter in a pillar-box (a coin in a slot) 2) to give up, to stop doing smth., as to drop one's work (studies, a habit); to drop smoking, e.g. Let's drop the argument (the subject). 3) (used with many different meanings) as to drop a subject, to drop a person at some place, to drop a line, to drop (smb.) a hint (on smth.), to drop one's voice (eyes), to-drop one's friends, to drop anchor 4) to fall to the ground, to the floor, into smth., as to drop with fatigue, to drop into a chair, to drop on (to) one's knees, to drop dead; leaves (apples,


blossoms) drop, e.g. It was so quiet, you might have heard a pin drop. 5) to become less or smaller or weaker, as the temperature, the wind, one's voice, prices may drop; to drop in to see smb. at some place, e.g. Several friends dropped in to tea. to drop off 1) to go away, become fewer, as one's friends (customers, the doctor's practice) may drop off 2) to fall asleep, e.g. He dropped off during the performance, to drop behind to fall behind, e.g. The two girls dropped behind the rest of the party.

drop n 1) a small round portion of liquid, a small quantity of liquid, as drops of water (perspiration, rain, etc.), to drink smth. to the last drop, take ten drops a day 2) sudden fall, as a sudden (unexpected, sharp, slight) drop in prices (temperature, etc.)

7. mind vt 1) to attend to or take care of, e.g. Mind your own business. Please, mind the baby (the fire). 2) to obey, e.g. The child won't mind his granny. 3) to be careful of, e.g. Mind the step (the dog). Mindl There is a bus coming. Mind the traffic rules. 4) to object to, be afraid of, e.g. "Do you mind my smoking (if I smoke)?" - "I don't mind it a bit. (Yes, I miud it very much)."Would you mind closing the window? Never mind (an answer to an apology).

mind n 1) intellectual faculties, as the great minds of the world; to be in one's right mind, e.g. Lomonosov was one of the greatest minds of the world of his time. Are you in your right mind to say such things? 2) memory or remembrance, as to come to one's mind; to bear in mind, e.g. The incident gradually came to my mind. Bear in mind that you are to be here at six sharp. 3) one's thoughts, opinions, wishes, as to make up one's mind to come to a decision, e.g. I've made up my mind and I'll stick to my decision, to change one's mind, e.g. I won't change my mind whatever is said, to be in two minds to hesitate, e.g. I'm in two minds and can't give you a definite answer now. to speak one's mind to say what one thinks, e g. Don't beat about the bush, speak your mind, to give a person a piece of one's mind to tell him frankly what one thinks of him, e.g. I shall give you a piece of my mind, unpleasant as that may be. to have a (no) mind to to be disposed to, e.g. She had no mind to answer such questions, to have smth. on one's mind to be anxious about smth., e.g. She seemed to have something on her mind and could not concentrate.

minded adj in compounds 'having the kind of mind indicated, as absent-minded, fair-minded, broad-minded, narrow-minded, e.g. She is very absent-minded and always leaves her things behind.

8. practise vt 1) to do regularly, as practise early rising, a method of work; to practise what one preaches, e.g. If only he'd practised what he'd preached! 2) to pursue the profession (of a lawyer or a doctor), as to practise law, medicine, e.g. "It has been long since I practised medicine," said the old man. 3) to do again and again, as to practise tennis, the piano, e.g. She practises the piano for an hour every day.

practice n 1) action as opposed to theory, e.g. The method is rather simple in practice, and very effective, to put into practice to carry out, as to put into practice a theory, a plan, an idea, a suggestion, e.g. The


theory seems right, but we must think of how to put it into practice. 2) systematically repeated action, as much, regular, constant, sufficient practice, e.g. What you need is more practice. Look how precise the movements of the worker are, practice shows, to be in (out of) practice to b.e able (unable) to do smth. well, e.g. I used to be a good chessplayer, but I'm out of practice now. 3) habit or custom, e.g. It was then the practice (or a common practice). After supper Dad went for a walk as was his usual practice. 4) the work of a doctor or a lawyer, e.g. Doctor N has retired from practice. Manson had a large practice. He was a young lawyer with no practice at all.

practitioner n practising doctor or lawyer, e.g. Andrew Manson worked as a general practitioner.

practical adj useful, as practical advice, results, benefit, help, matters, use, application, considerations, difficulties (difficulties in putting smth. into practice), e.g. It's of no practical'use. There were practical difficulties. They used to play practical jokes on each other and neither ever got offended.

practically adv virtually, e.g. Practically everybody was willing to help.

9. odd adj 1) (of numbers) not even, e.g. 1, 3, 5 are odd numbers. 2) used of one of a pair when the other is missing, as an odd shoe or glove 3) used of one or more members of a set when separated from the rest, as two odd volumes of an encyclopaedia 4) extra, over, as thirty odd years, fifty.and some odd miles 5) occasional, not regular, as odd jobs 6) strange, not ordinary, surprising, as an odd person (way, manner; look, appearance, behaviour), e.g. How odd!

Note: strange, odd and queer are synonyms; strange means out of the natural order of things; odd refers to what one does not ordinarily see and is surprised at; queer implies some doubt as whether all is well, e.g. a queer feeling, a queer affair.

oddly adv in an odd manner; oddly enough strange to say, e.g. Oddly enough, she did not turn up at the party.

odds n pi the chances in favour, e.g. The odds are against us. odds and ends remnants, e.g. What's to be done with all these odds and ends of the paper?

10. concern n 1) that in which one is interested, e.g. It's no concern of mine. It's my own concern. What concern is it of yours? 2) anxiety, vvorry, as the teacher's concern over the pupil's progress

concern vt 1) to have to do with, e.g. That doesn't concern you at all. As far as I'm concerned ... . He is said to be concerned in this affair. (He is said to be mixed in this affair.) 2) to be busy with, interest oneself in, e.g. Don't concern yourself with other people's affairs. I'm not concerned with details. 3) to take trouble about, e.g. Lord Illing-worth had never been concerned about his son.

concerned adj anxious, e.g. He has a very concerned look. Ant. unconcerned

concerning prep about, regarding, e.g. Montmorency manifested great curiosity concerning the kettle.


11. fee n 1) a payment made or asked for special professional services, as a doctor's or a lawyer's fee, e.g. I asked the lawyer what his fee was. Syn. salary(s), wages pl

Note: Salary is a fixed periodical payment to a person employed in other than manual or mechanical work, e.g. Not long ago there was an increase in the salary of the Soviet teachers. Wages are pai'd to manual labourers, e.g. Skilled workers receive high wages in the Soviet Union.

2) money paid by students to educational institutions, as tuition fees, e.g. Tuition fees are high in most capitalist countries.

12. sympathy n a fellow-feeling, a feeling of pity, as to arouse (show, express) sympathy, e.g. You have my sympathies. I have no sympathy with (for) idle people. I feel some sympathy for her, she is unhappy.

sympathize vt to be interested in and approve of, e.g. I sympathize with you (your ambition to be a writer). •

sympathetic adj 1) quick to understand and share other people's feelings, e.g. A good doctor is always sympathetic. Ant. unsympathetic 2) having or showing kind feelings towards others, e.g. I felt grateful to her for her sympathetic words.

sympathetically adv'kindly, e.g. She smiled sympathetically.

13. to fail vilt 1) not to succeed, e.g. My attempt has failed. I tried to convince him, but failed. The maize failed that year. 2) not to pass, as to fail in mathematics, in an exam 3) to break down, to die away, to let down, e.g. His courage failed him. His heart failed him. His sight (health) was beginning to fail him. I'll never fail you. Words failed me. 4) to neglect, omit, e.g. He never fails to write to his mother. Don't fail to let me know. I fail to see your meaning. I could not fail to perceive who she was.

failure n 1) lack of success, e.g. Success came after many failures. His efforts ended in failure. 2) a person who fails, e.g. She was a complete failure as an actress.


Word Combinations and Phrases

to alter manners (habits, points of view, plans, one's way of living, a dress) to be littered with books (papers, lumber, etc.)
a ring at the bell (a knock at the door) to have not the least notion (of smth.)
to remind smb. of smth. to reach out (up, down) for smth.
a dim recollection to have a fancy for smth.
to keep body and soul together to be (feel, make oneself) at home somewhere
to drive up to a house (come up to the door) shabby clothes (house, man, street)
  to exchange smth. (for smth.)


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