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(v) to say that something is true or that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved: The defence alleges that Jones was beaten up while in police custody.
(adj) not clear or definite, capable of being understood in more than one way: The wording of the law is highly ambiguous.
(v) to state firmly that something is true: He asserted his innocence.
(adj) saying what is true or what you think, even if this offends or upsets people: It was a frank answer to a blunt question.
(n) a statement in which you proudly tell other people what you or someone connected with you has done or can do, or about something you own, especially in order to make them admire you: For years, their boast was that they were the best club in Europe.
(v) to proudly tell other people about what you or someone connected with you has done or can do, or about something you own, especially in order to make them admire you: He's always boasting of his great sporting achievements.
(n) an explanation that makes something clearer and easier to understand: Please contact us if you require clarification of any of these matters.
(adj) used in informal conversation rather than in writing or formal language: It's a colloquial expression.
(v) to understand something: How could you possibly comprehend the difficulties of my situation?
(v) to tell someone a secret or discuss your private feelings with them: I hope you know that you can always confide in me.
(v) to prove that something is true: The study confirms the findings of earlier research.
(v) to tell someone, usually by writing or telephoning, that something will definitely happen at the time or in the way that has been arranged: The date of the meeting is still to be confirmed.
(n) the general situation in which something happens, which helps explain it: These events are meaningless outside their historical context.
(n) the words surrounding a particular word that help to give it its meaning: In this context, ‘development’ means economic growth.
(v) to say that the opposite of what someone has said is true: He didn't dare contradict his parents.
(v) if one statement, piece of evidence, story, etc contradicts another, they disagree and cannot both be true: Her account of the accident contradicts that of the other driver.
(v) to communicate ideas or feelings indirectly: A good photograph can often convey far more than words.
(v) to give official information or a formal message to someone: Please convey my appreciation to your President.
(v) to announce officially that something is true or happening: Australia declared its support for the agreement.
(v) to criticise someone or something severely in public: American trade policies have been denounced by some European governments.
(v) to give information to people, especially information that was secret: Most of the people interviewed requested that their identity should not be disclosed.
(v) to describe something in a way that makes it seem better, worse, larger, more important, etc than it really is: Don't exaggerate! It wasn't that bad!
(v) to praise someone in order to get something you want, especially in a way that is not sincere: You're trying to flatter me, and it won't work.
(n) the main idea or most important point of something that someone has written or said: I only got the gist of what he was saying.
(n) something that you say to show what you are thinking or feeling, without saying it directly: He seemed so relaxed and gave no hint that anything was wrong.
(n) a useful suggestion or piece of advice: This leaflet is full of handy hints about safety in the home.
(v) to say what you are thinking or feeling in an indirect way: The Prime Minister hinted that the crisis could continue throughout the summer.
(adj) difficult or impossible to read: Clare's handwriting is completely illegible!
(n) a slight idea or small piece of information that tells you that something might exist or be happening: The first inkling that something was wrong came on Wednesday.
(v) to say very firmly that something must happen or be done: You must see a doctor immediately; I insist.
(v) to keep saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you: The school insists that it is doing everything it can to cooperate.
(n) special words and phrases that are only understood by people who do the same kind of work. This word usually shows that you dislike this type of language: Why do doctors use so much medical jargon in front of patients?
(adj) the literal meaning of a word is its most basic meaning: He is clearly not using the word 'dead' in its literal sense.
(n) the saying of something in a way that is not loud or clear enough so that your words are difficult to understand: He started to say something, but all/ could hear was a quiet mumble.
(v) to say something in a way that is not loud or clear enough so that your words are difficult to understand: He mumbled something about not wanting to go to work.
(n) something that is said in a very quiet voice: 'Let's go,' he said in a low murmur.
(n) a quiet continuous sound: There was a low murmur of voices coming from the back of the room.
(v) to say something in a very quiet voice: Frances murmured an apology as she left.
(n) a document signed by many people that asks someone in authority to do something: More than 300 villagers have signed a petition against the building project.
(n) a large notice in a public place, used for advertising something or carried in order to protest against or support something: The Minister was surrounded by placard-waving demonstrators.
(v) to argue or complain about things that are not important: There's no point quibbling about the bill.
(n) a long, loud and angry complaint about something: Dom was on a rant about the cost of eating out.
(v) to complain or talk loudly and angrily for a long time, sometimes saying unreasonable things: Ned paced back and forth, ranting about some imagined injustice.
(v) to talk in an angry and uncontrolled way: The boss was raving about nobody doing any work.
(v) to speak or write in a very enthusiastic way about something or someone: The critics are raving about her performance.
(adj) important and directly connected to what is being discussed or considered: Once we have all the relevant information, we can make a decision.
(n) untidy writing or something written in an untidy way: The address was written in a scribble so I found it hard to read.
(v) to write something quickly and carelessly: Tony scribbled the address on the back of an envelope.
(v) to make marks or drawings with no meaning: A child had scribbled on the book.
(adj) slang words or expressions are very informal and are not considered suitable for more formal situations: In some areas 'scran' is a slang word for food.
(n) words or expressions that are very informal and are not considered suitable for more formal situations: I picked up a lot of army slang while I was doing my military service.
(n) a mistake while speaking: He read well, with only a few small stumbles.
(v) to make a mistake when you are speaking: Children often stumble when reading aloud.
(n) a problem in speaking that causes you to repeat some particular sounds more than you should: When I was small I spoke with a stutter.
(v) to repeat the sounds of words in an uncontrolled way when you speak because you are nervous or have a speech problem: Richard stuttered a reply and sat down, his face red.
(n) a useful suggestion: The booklet gives a lot of useful tips on flower arranging.
(v) to say something: As soon as he'd uttered the words he regretted them.
(v) to make a sound: She uttered a sound somewhere between joy and pain.
(adj) not clear or complete: Some aspects of the law were somewhat vague and ill-defined.