Essential Vocabulary

Vocabulary Notes

1. gossip n 1) (uncount.) idle talk, often ill-natured, about persons or events, also what appears in newspapers about people well-known in society, as the gossip column, a gossip writer, e. g. Don't believe all the gossip


your hear. 2) (count.) a person who is fond of talking about other people's affairs, as the town gossips

gossip vi (over smth.) to talk about the affairs of others, to spread rumours, e. g. Aren't you ashamed of gossiping over his affairs?

2. wind [wamd] (wound [waund], wound) vt/i 1) to form into a ball, as to wind (up) wool into a ball; Ant. to unwind; to wind a person round one's finger - to make a person do whatever one wishes him to do, e. g. Ann could always wind Peter round her finger. 2) to make mechanism go, as to wind (up) a watch 3) to go or move in a circular, spiral or crooked way, e. g. The river winds in and out. 4) (up) to bring or come to an end, e, g. It's time he wound up (his speech).

3. peel vt/i 1) to take off the skin, as to peel oranges (apples, potatoes, bananas, etc.); 2) to come off in thin layers or strips, e. g. The skin peels off the nose or face when a person gets sunburnt. The wallpaper is peeling (off).

peel n the outer skin of fruit or vegetables, as orange peel, potato peel; candied peel the peel of oranges, lemons, etc. preserved and coated with sugar

4. scrape vtli 1) to clean thoroughly, to remove, as to scrape paint from a door (greaae from pots and pans, etc.); to scrape all the rust off; to scrape out a saucepan (the ashes from a grate) 2) to rub, or cause smth. to rub, against another surface, e. g. The boy fell and scraped his knee on the gravel. The ship scraped against the rock. His pen scraped over the paper. 3) to collect with effort, usually to scrape up (together), as to scrape together a few pounds 4) to make one's way through, e. g. Huck scraped through the hedge and peeped at the house, to scrape through the examinations to pass them with a moderate success, e. g. The boy managed to scrape through his examinations.

scrape n 1) the act or sound of scraping, as the scrape of chalk on a blackboard 2) a place that has been scraped, e. g. How did you get that bad scrape on your elbow? 3) an awkward or unpleasant situation; to get into scrapes to get into a mess, e. g. The boy is always getting into scrapes because of his lack of discipline.

5. steady adj 1) firmy fixed, not likely to fall, as a steady foundation, to make a chair or table steady, with a steady hand, e. g. The chair is steady enough. Syn. firm, as firm ground, foundation, steps, muscles 2) regular in life, work, etc.; industrious, as a steady person 3) constant, as a steady wind (rain, growth, increase), steady progress

steadily adv in a steady manner, e. g. It has been raining steadily since the morning.

steady vt/i to make or become steady, e. g. With an effort he steadied the boat. The boat soon steadied again.

6. require vt to ask for, to need, as to require extra help; The matter requires great care. He did all that was required of him. Syn. to demand (to ask for with authority, to insist on having), e. g. The policeman demanded his name. The strikers demanded immediate payment.


requirement n thing required, as to fulfil the requirements of the law, to meet the requirements of people, e. g. What are the requirements for entering this institute?

7. mess n (rarely pi.) a state of confusion, dirt or disorder; to be in a mess, e. g. The room was in a mess, to make a mess of smth. to do it badly, e. g. You've made a mess of the job. to get into a mess to get into trouble or into a dirty state, e. g. You'll get into a mess if you are not more careful.

8. crack vt/i 1) to break or cause to break, in such a way, however, that the pieces remain together, e. g. A vase may crack if washed in boiling water. You've cracked the window. 2) to make, or cause a thing to make, a loud noise, as to crack a whip, e. g. His rifle cracked and the deer fell dead, to crack a joke (sl.) to make a somewhat rough joke, e. g. There is no one like him to crack jokes.

crack n an incomplete break, a sharp noise, as a wide (small, loud, sudden) crack, e. g. The walls are covered with cracks. I heard a crack as if of a branch.

9. contribute vt/i 1) to give money, supplies, help, etc. to a common cause, e.g. The development of friendly ties with other countries contributes to mutual understanding of their peoples. Good health contributes to a person's success in work. 2) to write articles or other material for newspapers, magazines, etc., as to contribute articles to a wall-newspaper, to contribute a poem to a magazine

contribution n the act of contributing; that which is contributed, e. g. Montmorency brought a dead water-rat as his contribution to the dinner.

10. spirit n 1) moral condition, tendency, as the spirit of the army, the spirit of the times (age), the spirit of the law, to take smth. in the right (wrong) spirit, to show a proper spirit, e. g. That's the right spirit! He found himself in conflict with the spirit of the time. 2) energy, courage, liveliness, e. g. Put a little more spirit into your work. He spoke with spirit. 3) pi. mood, as to be in high (low) spirits; His spirits rose (fell or sank), to raise smb.'s spirits; out of spirits depressed, unhappy, e. g. You seem to be out of spirits today.

11. mix vt/i 1) to make or prepare by putting together, e. g. Mix the eggs with milk before you fry them. Oil and water will not mix. 2) to mix up to confuse, e. g. Don't mix up these two words. She mixes up these two sounds. 3) to be involved in smth., e. g. I won't be mixed up in this affair.

mixer n one who associates with others in society, e. g. He is a good mixer.

mixed adj 1) not all of one kind, as a mixed school, mixed feelings, e. g. We were a mixed company. 2) confused, as to get mixed, e. g. Everything has got mixed in my head. You are getting mixed.

12. taste n 1) flavour; quality of any substance as perceived by the taste organs,e.g. The doctor prescribed her some pills with a bitter taste.


I don't care for this bread, it has a very bitter taste. I dislike the taste of olives., 2) liking, e. g. You may choose any flowers to your taste here. There is no accounting for tastes. Tastes differ. 3) ability to form judgements in questions of beauty and manners, e. g. The room was furnished in good taste. They say she dresses in poor taste. I was ashamed of you, your jokes were in very bad taste.

taste vt/i 1) to try by eating or drinking; to recognize after taking into the mouth, e. g. There we found some strange meals and made up our minds to taste them all. Can you distinguish types of apples by tasting them? I have a bad cold and cannot taste anything. 2) to have a particular flavour, e.g. This orange tastes bitter. 3) to experience, e. g. There she tasted the joys of privacy.

tasteful adj showing good taste, as a tasteful person, work of art

tasteless adj showing a lack of good taste, as tasteless food, decorations

tasty adj having a pleasant flavour, as a tasty dish

Word Combinations and Phrases

in early June peas, half a pork pie, half a tin of satmon
to put up at some place  
to roam the woods (through the woods, about a place) to stir smth. up
  to add smth. to smth.
to get settled to empty smth. into a pot
odds and ends to thicken the gravy
to be the size of smth. with an earnest and thoughtful air
the rest of the evening  
half a dozen, half a peck of to be on the safe side


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