Monday, 25 September 2017

Interesting vocabulary for the C2 level



hew: /hjuː/ (hew, hewed/hewn, hewed/hewn) hew something (old-fashioned) to cut something large with a tool. E.g. to hew wood. The stones were hewn by the Incas.

hew something (out of something) (formal) to make or shape something large by cutting roughly. E.g. hewn timber frames. The statues were hewn out of solid rock. They hewed a path through the forest. The cave has been hewn out of the hillside.

pull the wool over somebody’s eyes
(informal) to try to trick somebody; to hide your real actions or intentions from somebody. To deceive sb. E.g. She was pulling the wool over our eyes. He doesn't have any special powers – he's just trying to pull the wool over your eyes

conundrum: /kəˈnʌndrəm/
1. a confusing problem or question that is very difficult to solve. Sp. problema, misterio, enigma. E.g. The role of clouds is one of the big conundrums of climatology.
The proposition has raised a constitutional conundrum. Sp. La propuesta ha generado un problema constitucional.
2. a question, usually involving a trick with words, that you ask for fun. Riddle. Sp. acertijo, adivinanza. Conundrums are nearly impossible to translate. Sp. Los acertijos son casi imposibles de traducir.

spanking: (N) a series of hits on the bottom, given to somebody, especially a child, as a punishment. E.g. to give somebody a spanking. I don't agree with spanking.

spanking: (adv) when you say that something is spanking new, etc. you are emphasizing that it is very new, etc. Very, completely. E.g. a spanking white Rolls-Royce. A spanking new suit. Spanking white sheets.

spanking: (adj) very fast, good or impressive. Very quick. E.g. They raced by at a spanking pace. The horse set off at a spanking pace. We had a spanking time last night.

lull (in something) /lʌl/ a quiet period between times of activity. E.g. a lull in the conversation/ fighting. Just before an attack everything would go quiet but we knew it was just the lull before the storm (= before a time of noise or trouble).

wrought something (formal or literary) (used only in the past tense)(Wrought is an old form of the past tense of work.) caused something to happen, especially a change. Sp. causado, provocado, originado. E.g. This century wrought major changes in our society. The storm wrought havoc in the south. The destruction wrought by the earthquake was unbelievable. Sp. La destrucción causada por el terremoto fue increíble. The destruction that has been wrought by the hurricane is unprecedented.

gazebo: /ɡəˈziːbəʊ/ a small building with open sides in a garden/yard, especially one with a view. a small decorated building or temporary structure, usually in a garden, that can be used for relaxing or entertaining guests. Sp. kiosko. E.g. The ceremony will be held at the gazebo in the center of town.
Sp. La ceremonia tomará lugar en la glorieta que esta en el centro de la ciudad.

pergola: /ˈpɜːɡələ/
an arch in a garden/yard with a frame for plants to grow over and through.

trellis: /ˈtrelɪs/ a light frame made of long narrow pieces of wood that cross each other, used to support climbing plants. A light frame made of bars of wood or metal crossed over each other, attached to a wall for plants to grow up.

furnish
1. furnish something
to put furniture in a house, room, etc. E.g. The room was furnished with antiques.
2. furnish somebody/something with something | furnish something (formal) to supply or provide somebody/something with something; to supply something to somebody. E.g. She furnished him with the facts surrounding the case. Foreign investors furnished most of the capital for the project.


rig something to arrange or influence something in a dishonest way in order to get the result that you want. Fix. E.g. He said the election had been rigged. A commission was appointed to ensure the lottery was not rigged. to rig the market (= to cause an artificial rise or fall in prices, in order to make a profit) a rigged match.

char:
char (something)
to become black by burning; to make something black by burning it. E.g. Grill the peppers until the skin starts to char.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Interesting vocabulary for the C2 level


compliance /kəmˈplaɪəns/ [uncountable] compliance (with something) the practice of obeying rules or requests made by people in authority procedures that must be followed to ensure full compliance with the law Safety measures were carried out in compliance with paragraph 6 of the building regulations.

dawdle: /ˈdɔːdl/ to take a long time to do something or go somewhere Stop dawdling! We're going to be late! + adv./prep. They dawdled along by the river, laughing and talking.

grifter: a person who tricks people into giving them money, etc. Sp. estafador.

accrue something /əˈkruː/ to allow a sum of money or debts to grow over a period of time. Accumulate. E.g. The firm had accrued debts of over $6m.

insidious: spreading gradually or without being noticed, but causing serious harm. E.g. the insidious effects of polluted water supplies. High blood pressure is an insidious condition which has few symptoms.

star-studded: including many famous performers. E.g. a star-studded cast.

drawback: ~ to Bad weather was the main drawback to camping in the far north. | ~ with The one big drawback with the planned scheme was its high cost.

Grateful suggests the idea of showing thanks.
Thankful suggests the idea of feeling relieved that something good has happened.
Take this sentence: the patient was grateful to the surgeon for having done the operation and thankful that it was over and that it had been successful.
We were thankful for the chance to rest
absence:
~ from absence from work

peal: the loud ringing sound of a bell. E.g. a peal of bells rang out

at the stroke of midnight.

12 grapes  (one for each of the twelve chimes)
one for each stroke of midnight

gratitude: ~ for, ~ to/towards I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to the staff for their patience. She was presented with the gift in gratitude for her long service.

responsible: for Who was responsible for the mistake?
black spota place, a situation or an event that is a problem or that causes a lot of problemsan environmental black spotThat corner is a notorious accident black spot (= a lot of accidents happen there).The one black spot on the horizon is that the team’s sponsorship will be reduced next year.


pinnacle of something the most important or successful part of something. E.g. the pinnacle of her career. He spent more than twenty years at the pinnacle of his profession. Formula One is the pinnacle of motor racing. She is at the pinnacle of her profession.

off the top of your head
(informal) just guessing or using your memory, without taking time to think carefully or check the facts. E.g.  I can't remember the name off the top of my head, but I can look it up for you.

the back of beyond
(informal) a place that is a long way from other houses, towns, etc. E.g. We stayed in some farmhouse in the back of beyond.

risk-averse: not willing to do something if it is possible that something bad could happen as a result. E.g. We live in a risk-averse culture. In business you cannot be innovative and risk-averse at the same time.

when it comes to something/to doing something when it is a question of something. E.g. When it comes to getting things done, he's useless.

medic: a medical student or doctor. E.g. Somebody call a medic!

ad hoc: (adv) in a way that is arranged or happens when necessary and is not planned in advance. E.g. The tribunals operated ad hoc and were dissolved when the work was concluded.

ad hoc: (adj) arranged or happening when necessary and not planned in advance. Created or done for a particular purpose as necessary. E.g. an ad hoc meeting to deal with the problem. The meetings will be held on an ad hoc basis.

myriad: an extremely large number of something. E.g. Designs are available in a myriad of colours.

Overall: generally; when you consider everything. E.g. Overall, this is a very useful book.

potter: + adv./prep. to do things or move without hurrying, especially when you are doing something that you enjoy and that is not important. Sp. entretenerse, distraerse. E.g. I spent the day pottering around the house.

 
Shoehorn: /ˈʃuːhɔːn/ a curved piece of plastic or metal, used to help your heel slide into a shoe

rumple something to make something untidy or not smooth and neat. E.g. She rumpled his hair playfully. The bed was rumpled where he had slept. A rumpled linen suit

allegiance /əˈliːdʒəns/ a person’s continued support for a political party, religion, ruler, etc. E.g. to switch/transfer/change allegiance. An oath/a vow/a statement of allegiance. People of various party allegiances joined the campaign. Allegiance (to somebody/something). To pledge/swear allegiance. He affirmed his allegiance to the president.

Cajole: /kəˈdʒəʊl/ to make somebody do something by talking to them and being very nice to them. Sp. engatusar, persuadir. E.g. cajole somebody (into something/into doing something) He cajoled me into agreeing to do the work. Cajole something out of somebody I managed to cajole his address out of them. (+ speech) ‘Please say yes,’ she cajoled. Her voice was soft and cajoling.

non-existent: not existing; not real. E.g. a non-existent problem. ‘How's your social life?’ ‘Non-existent, I'm afraid.’ Hospital beds were scarce and medicines were practically non-existent.

concede: /kənˈsiːd/ to admit that something is true, logical, etc. + speech ‘Not bad,’ she conceded grudgingly. concede (that)… He was forced to concede (that) there might be difficulties. concede something I had to concede the logic of this. concede something to somebody He reluctantly conceded the point to me. concede somebody something He reluctantly conceded me the point. it is conceded that… It must be conceded that different judges have different approaches to these cases.

spam: to send the same message to large numbers of Internet users who have not requested the information. E.g. The criminal gang were spamming phishing emails. Some idiot has been spamming my blog with comments. I’ve been spammed.
be out of your depth
  (British English) to be in water that is too deep to stand in with your head above water. E.g. If you can't swim, don't go out of your depth.
  to be unable to understand something because it is too difficult; to be in a situation that you cannot control. E.g. He felt totally out of his depth in his new job

small-time: (often of criminals) not very important or successful. E.g. a small-time crook.

ram: male sheep.

ram something (of a vehicle, a ship, etc.) to drive into or hit another vehicle, ship, etc. with force, sometimes deliberately. E.g. Two passengers were injured when their taxi was rammed from behind by a bus.

ewe: /juː/ a female sheep.

blot something out
1.               to cover or hide something completely. E.g. Clouds blotted out the sun.
2.               to deliberately try to forget an unpleasant memory or thought. E.g. He tried to blot out the image of Helen's sad face. She just wanted to sleep and blot out the terrifying events of the day.
blot your copybook:  to do something to spoil the opinion that other people have of you. E.g. I really blotted my copybook by missing the meeting.

a piece of cake: something that is easy to do. E.g. For him, taking tests is a piece of cake.

detrimental (to somebody/something) (formal) harmful. E.g. the sun’s detrimental effect on skin. The policy will be detrimental to the peace process. This move could be seriously detrimental to the economy. Emissions from the factory are widely suspected of having a detrimental effect on health.

be/stand head and shoulders above somebody/something: to be much better than other people or things. E.g. His performance stood head and shoulders above the rest.

the long and (the) short of it: used when you are telling somebody the essential facts about something or what effect it will have, without explaining all the details. E.g. The long and the short of it is that they are willing to start the work in January.

ill at ease: feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. E.g. I felt ill at ease in such formal clothes.

surly: bad-tempered and rude. E.g. a surly youth. We were served by a very surly waiter.He gave me a surly look.
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Ofcom: (the Office of Communications) an independent organization in the UK that is responsible to Parliament. It was started in 2004 to control standards in radio and television broadcasting and the telecommunications industry, to see that customers are treated fairly and to encourage new communications networks. Since 2011 it has also been responsible for controlling standards in the postal services industry.
specifically: /spəˈsɪfɪkli/ 1. in a detailed and exact way. E.g. I specifically told you not to go near the water! 2. connected with or intended for one particular thing. E.g. only liquid vitamins specifically designed for children. A magazine aimed specifically at working women. 3. used when you want to add more detailed and exact information. Sp. Concretamente. E.g. The newspaper, or more specifically, the editor, was taken to court for publishing the photographs.

convenience /kənˈviːniəns/ 1. the quality of being useful, easy or suitable for somebody. E.g. We have provided seats for the convenience of our customers. For (the sake of) convenience, the two groups have been treated as one in this report. The position of the house combines quietness and convenience. In this resort you can enjoy all the comfort and convenience of modern tourism. 2. something that is useful and can make things easier or quicker to do, or more comfortable. Sp. ventaja. E.g. It was a great convenience to have the school so near. The house had all the modern conveniences (= central heating, etc.) that were unusual at that time.

setting: set of surroundings; the place at which something happens. E.g. a rural/an ideal/a beautiful/an idyllic, etc. setting It was the perfect setting for a wonderful Christmas. People tend to behave differently in different social settings. Flip flops are worn in casual settings.

reportedly: according to what some people say. E.g. The band have reportedly decided to split up. The move, reportedly the President’s idea, has come in for a lot of criticism. Older people reportedly feel wearing flip flops is a sign of laziness.

fancy: 1. unusually complicated, often in an unnecessary way; intended to impress other people. E.g. a kitchen full of fancy gadgets. They added a lot of fancy footwork to the dance. He's always using fancy legal words. 2.
(especially of small things) with a lot of decorations or bright colours. E.g. fancy goods (= things sold as gifts or for decoration) He was the fanciest dresser in the room. 3. expensive or connected with an expensive way of life. E.g. fancy restaurants with fancy prices.
Don't come back with any fancy ideas. Fancy events.

overpronation of the foot: it rolls inwards. Wearing flip flops can cause foot-related problems, such as overpronation and tendonitis.

noticeable: easy to see or notice; clear or definite. E.g. a noticeable improvement. Her scars are hardly noticeable now. The smell stayed noticeable during my ride to work. Noticeable in somebody/something This effect is particularly noticeable in younger patients. noticeable that… It was noticeable that none of the family were present.

odour: /ˈəʊdə(r)/ a smell, especially one that is unpleasant. E.g. a foul/musty/pungent, etc. odour. The stale odour of cigarette smoke. The offensive odour: It was now three in the afternoon, and the offensive odour had been plaguing the neighbours since 10.30 in the morning. The offending odour: Tight clothing and humidity slow down evaporation and sweat mixes with the bacteria thriving on the skin resulting in an offending odour. (Figurative) The odour of suspicion.
to date: until now. E.g. To date, we have received over 200 replies. The exhibition contains some of his best work to date.
jellyfish (sg=pl) E.g. Jellyfish are swept around the oceans. They come in the summer.
marauding: (of people or animals) going around a place in search of things to steal or people to attack. E.g. marauding wolves. Gangs of marauding youths filled the streets.
mauve: /məʊv/ a pale purple colour. Sp. malva. E.g. The use of mauve in this painting is very striking. The room had hideous mauve curtains.
scar:
1. scar somebody/something (of a wound, etc.) to leave a mark on the skin after it has healed. E.g. His face was badly scarred. This jellyfish can cause severe burns, in some cases scarring their victims.
2. scar somebody (of an unpleasant experience) to leave somebody with a feeling of sadness or mental pain. E.g. The experience left her scarred for life.
3. scar something to spoil the appearance of something. E.g. The hills are scarred by quarries. Battle-scarred buildings.
boom: a floating barrier that is placed across a river or the entrance to a harbour to prevent ships or other objects from coming in or going out. E.g. Cannes has installed booms and nets to stop jellyfish.

Demise: /dɪˈmaɪz/ 1. the end or failure of an institution, an idea, a company, etc. 2. death his imminent/sudden/sad demis
hiatus: /haɪˈeɪtəs/ 1. a pause in activity when nothing happens. E.g. After a five-month hiatus, the talks resumed. The company expects to resume production of the vehicle again after a two-month hiatus. 2. a space, especially in a piece of writing or in a speech, where something is missing.
bamboozle somebody (informal) to confuse somebody, especially by tricking them. E.g. Karpov bamboozled his opponent with a series of brilliant unexpected moves. We all wondered how he had managed to bamboozle his way into such a cushy job.

dabble (in/with something) to take part in a sport, an activity, etc. but not very seriously. E.g. She is a talented musician but is content to just dabble. He dabbles in local politics.

dawdle /ˈdɔːdl/ to take a long time to do something or go somewhere. E.g. Stop dawdling! We're going to be late! + adv./prep. They dawdled along by the river, laughing and talking.

doodle: /ˈduːdl/ to draw lines, shapes, etc., especially when you are bored or thinking about something else I often doodle when I'm on the phone. She had doodled all over her class notes.


make a pig’s ear (out) of something (British English, informal) to do something badly; to make a mess of something. E.g. He's made a real pig's ear of that bookcase he was supposed to be making.


a dog’s breakfast/dinner (British English, informal) a thing that has been done badly. E.g. He's made a real dog's breakfast of these accounts.

rub it in/ rub something in
[no passive] to keep reminding somebody of something they feel embarrassed about and want to forget. To make someone feel worse about something the person already feels embarrassed about. E.g. I know I was stupid; you don't have to rub it in. I know I shouldn’t have paid that much for the poster – don’t rub it in, OK?


lame duck:

1.               a person or an organization that is not very successful and that needs help. E.g. The government should not spend money on helping lame ducks.
2.               (US English, informal) a politician or government whose period of office will soon end and who will not be elected again. E.g. a lame-duck president/administration
3.               truculent: /ˈtrʌkjələnt/ tending to argue or be bad-tempered; slightly aggressive. E.g. ‘What do you want?’ he asked, sounding slightly truculent.

helicopter parent: a parent who pays extremely close attention to their child’s education, problems, etc. and often makes decisions for the child. E.g. Teachers see all this as the behaviour of an overindulged generation, raised by helicopter parents and lacking in resilience.

overindulge: 1. overindulge (in something) to have too much of something nice, especially food or drink. E.g. I wish I hadn’t overindulged so much (= had so much to eat and drink) last night. 2. [transitive] overindulge somebody to give somebody more than is good for them. E.g. His mother overindulged him. It’s not good for children to be overindulged (= always given what they want).

resilience: /rɪˈzɪliəns/ 1. the ability of people or things to feel better quickly after something unpleasant, such as shock, injury, etc. Sp. resistencia. E.g. He showed great courage and resilience in fighting back from a losing position to win the game. She’s a resilient girl – she won’t be unhappy for long. 2. the ability of a substance to return to its original shape after it has been bent, stretched or pressed. Sp. elasticidad. E.g. the natural beauty and resilience of wool.


grifter: a person who tricks people into giving them money, etc. Sp. estafador.

accrue something /əˈkruː/ to allow a sum of money or debts to grow over a period of time. Accumulate. E.g. The firm had accrued debts of over $6m.

insidious: spreading gradually or without being noticed, but causing serious harm. E.g. the insidious effects of polluted water supplies. High blood pressure is an insidious condition which has few symptoms.

star-studded: including many famous performers. E.g. a star-studded cast.

drawback: ~ to Bad weather was the main drawback to camping in the far north. | ~ with The one big drawback with the planned scheme was its high cost.

Grateful suggests the idea of showing thanks.
Thankful suggests the idea of feeling relieved that something good has happened.
Take this sentence: the patient was grateful to the surgeon for having done the operation and thankful that it was over and that it had been successful.
We were thankful for the chance to rest
absence:
~ from absence from work

peal: the loud ringing sound of a bell. E.g. a peal of bells rang out

at the stroke of midnight.

12 grapes  (one for each of the twelve chimes)
one for each stroke of midnight

gratitude: ~ for, ~ to/towards I would like to express my deep sense of gratitude to the staff for their patience. She was presented with the gift in gratitude for her long service.

responsible: for Who was responsible for the mistake?
black spota place, a situation or an event that is a problem or that causes a lot of problemsan environmental black spotThat corner is a notorious accident black spot (= a lot of accidents happen there).The one black spot on the horizon is that the team’s sponsorship will be reduced next year.


pinnacle of something the most important or successful part of something. E.g. the pinnacle of her career. He spent more than twenty years at the pinnacle of his profession. Formula One is the pinnacle of motor racing. She is at the pinnacle of her profession.

off the top of your head
(informal) just guessing or using your memory, without taking time to think carefully or check the facts. E.g.  I can't remember the name off the top of my head, but I can look it up for you.

the back of beyond
(informal) a place that is a long way from other houses, towns, etc. E.g. We stayed in some farmhouse in the back of beyond.

risk-averse: not willing to do something if it is possible that something bad could happen as a result. E.g. We live in a risk-averse culture. In business you cannot be innovative and risk-averse at the same time.

when it comes to something/to doing something when it is a question of something. E.g. When it comes to getting things done, he's useless.

medic: a medical student or doctor. E.g. Somebody call a medic!

ad hoc: (adv) in a way that is arranged or happens when necessary and is not planned in advance. E.g. The tribunals operated ad hoc and were dissolved when the work was concluded.

ad hoc: (adj) arranged or happening when necessary and not planned in advance. Created or done for a particular purpose as necessary. E.g. an ad hoc meeting to deal with the problem. The meetings will be held on an ad hoc basis.

myriad: an extremely large number of something. E.g. Designs are available in a myriad of colours.

Overall: generally; when you consider everything. E.g. Overall, this is a very useful book.

potter: + adv./prep. to do things or move without hurrying, especially when you are doing something that you enjoy and that is not important. Sp. entretenerse, distraerse. E.g. I spent the day pottering around the house.


twofer: /ˈtuːfə/ An item or offer that comprises two items but is sold for the price of one. E.g. They are offering a twofer today.

complicit (in/with somebody/something) involved with other people in something wrong or illegal. E.g. Several officers were complicit in the cover-up.

fig leaf: 1. a leaf of a fig tree, traditionally used for covering the sex organs of naked bodies in paintings and on statues. 2. a thing that is used to hide an embarrassing or dishonest fact or situation. E.g. The spokesperson said the information campaign was a fig leaf to hide the most regressive tax in history.

fallout: 1. the radioactive dust in the air after a nuclear explosion. E.g. cancer deaths caused by fallout from weapons testing. 2. the bad results of a situation or an action. Sp. efectos colaterales. E.g. the political fallout of the current crisis.  The political fallout of the revelations has been immense.
disarray: a state of confusion and lack of organization in a situation or a place. E.g. The peace talks broke up in disarray. Our plans were thrown into disarray by her arrival. We’re decorating, so everything’s in complete disarray at home.

plangent: /ˈplændʒənt/ 1. (of sounds) loud, with a strong beat. Sp. resonante. 2.
(of sounds or images) low, deep and expressing sadness. E.g. the plangent tones of the baritone sax.


yay: /jeɪ/ used to show that you are very pleased about something. E.g. I won! Yay!

callback: (N) 1. a telephone call which you make to somebody who has just called you. E.g.
Callers often forget to leave contact information for a callback. 2. an occasion when you are asked to return somewhere, for example for a second interview when you are trying to get a job. E.g. he was one of only twelve applicants to receive a callback.
call back: (V) 1. to telephone somebody again or to telephone somebody who telephoned you earlier E.g. She said she'd call back. I'm waiting for someone to call me back with a price.

take a dim view of somebody/something: to disapprove of somebody/something; to not have a good opinion of somebody/something. E.g.  She took a dim view of my suggestion.


choral: /ˈkɔːrəl/ connected with, written for or sung by a choir (= a group of singers). E.g. choral music.

in-depth: /ˌɪn ˈdep
θ/ very thorough and detailed. E.g. an in-depth discussion/study.


somebody’s pet peeve (North American English) (British English somebody’s pet hate)
something that you particularly dislike. E.g. Weak coffee is one of my pet peeves.

flicker:

  [intransitive] (of a light or a flame) to keep going on and off as it shines or burns. E.g. The lights flickered and went out. The flickering screen of the television
  [intransitive] + adv./prep. (of an emotion, a thought, etc.) to be expressed or appear somewhere for a short time. E.g. Anger flickered in his eyes. A smile flickered across her face.
  [intransitive] to move with small quick movements. E.g. Her eyelids flickered as she slep
outlandish: strange or extremely unusual. E.g. outlandish costumes/ideas. As the show progressed, it got ever more outlandish.
chit-chat: conversation about things that are not important. E.g. We spent the afternoon in idle chit-chat.

hubby: /ˈhʌbi/ husband. E.g. She and her hubby are both doctors. She went out, leaving hubby to put the kids to bed.


swivel (something) (+ adv./prep.) to turn or make something turn around a fixed central point. E.g.
She swivelled the chair around to face them.
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mammoth: /ˈmæməθ/

(N) an animal like a large elephant covered with hair, that lived thousands of years ago and is now extinct.

(Adj) [usually before noun] extremely large. Huge. E.g. a mammoth task. A financial crisis of mammoth proportions. The actress recalls her mammoth journey across Russia.

reminisce (about something/somebody) /ˌremɪˈnɪs/ to think, talk or write about a happy time in your past. E.g. We spent a happy evening reminiscing about the past.
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animosity: /ˌænɪˈmɒsəti/ a strong feeling of opposition, anger or hatred. Hostility. E.g. animosity (toward(s) somebody/something) He felt no animosity towards his critics. Animosity (between A and B) personal animosities between members of the two groups.
wilt (something) 1. if a plant or flower wilts, or something wilts it, it bends towards the ground because of the heat or a lack of water. 2. to become weak or tired or less confident. E.g. The spectators were wilting visibly in the hot sun. He was wilting under the pressure of work.

landslide:1. (also landfall) a mass of earth, rock, etc. that falls down the slope of a mountain or a cliff. E.g. The house was buried beneath a landslide. 2. an election in which one person or party gets very many more votes than the other people or parties. E.g. She was expected to win by a landslide. A landslide victory.


erratic: /ɪˈrætɪk/ not happening at regular times; not following any plan or regular pattern; that you cannot rely on. E.g.  The electricity supply here is quite erratic. She had learnt to live with his sudden changes of mood and erratic behaviour. Mary is a gifted but erratic player (= she does not always play well). Irrigation measures will be necessary in areas of erratic rainfall. Their increasingly erratic policy decisions. "Erratic weather" means weather that is strange for the season and that changes a lot from day to day. Erratic weather patterns. Erratic weather patterns challenge both developed and developing countries.

snap: (adj)made or done quickly and without careful thought or preparation. E.g. It was a snap decision. They held a snap election.


spin, spun, spun: 1. to turn round and round quickly; to make something do this. E.g. The plane was spinning out of control. The dancers spun round and round. We placed our bets and the croupier spun the roulette wheel. 2. to make thread from wool, cotton, silk, etc. by twisting it. E.g. She sat by the window spinning.

croupier /ˈkruːpieɪ/ a person whose job is to be in charge of a gambling table and collect and pay out money, give out cards, etc.


underestimate: 1. underestimate something | underestimate what, how, etc… to think or guess that the amount, cost or size of something is smaller than it really is. E.g. to underestimate the cost of the project. We underestimated the time it would take to get there. The statistics seriously underestimate the number of people affected. 2. underestimate somebody/something to not realize how good, strong, determined, etc. somebody really is Never underestimate your opponent. Their ability should not be underestimated.

overestimate something to estimate something to be larger, better, more important, etc. than it really is. E.g. They overestimated his ability when they promoted him. The importance of these findings cannot be overestimated (= is very great).

undermine something to make something, especially somebody’s confidence or authority, gradually weaker or less effective. E.g. Our confidence in the team has been seriously undermined by their recent defeats. This crisis has undermined his position. Recent changes have undermined teachers’ morale.

backfire (on somebody) to have the opposite effect to the one intended, with bad or dangerous results. E.g. Unfortunately the plan backfired. Her plans to make him jealous backfired on her when he started dating her best friend.


hung parliament: In a parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament is an expression used to describe a state of a parliament when no single political party (or bloc of allied /ˈælaɪd/ parties) has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament (legislature).


thunderbolt: a flash of lightning that comes at the same time as the noise of thunder and that hits something. E.g. The news hit them like a thunderbolt (= was very shocking).


vibrant: full of life and energy. E.g. a vibrant city. Thailand is at its most vibrant during the New Year celebrations.

unseeded: not chosen as a seed in a sports competition, especially in tennis. E.g. unseeded players.

seeded: (especially of a tennis player) given a number showing that they are one of the best players in a particular competition. E.g. a seeded player.


seed: (especially in tennis) one of the best players in a competition. The seeds are given a position in a list to try and make sure that they do not play each other in the early parts of the competition. Sp. cabeza de serie. E.g. The top seed won comfortably. the number one seed. she's the number one seed (Sp.es cabeza de serie número uno) she's the first seed (Sp. es la primera cabeza de serie)


exert:
1. exert something to use power or influence to affect somebody/something. E.g He exerted all his authority to make them accept the plan. The moon exerts a force on the earth that causes the tides.
2. exert yourself to make a big physical or mental effort. E.g. In order to be successful he would have to exert himself.


mollycoddle: /ˈmɒlikɒdl/
mollycoddle somebody to protect somebody too much and make their life too comfortable and safe. E.g. She was mollycoddled as a child. You’re not helping the children by mollycoddling them – they have to grow up sometime.

neighbouring: located or living near or next to a place or person. E.g. a neighbouring house. Neighbouring towns. A neighbouring farmer.


smell a rat:
(informal) to suspect that something is wrong about a situation. To have a feeling that something is not as it should be; to have suspicions. Sp. haber gato encerrado. E.g. I smell a rat. This deal is too good to be true.


wake up and smell the coffee
(informal) (usually in orders) used to tell somebody to become aware of what is really happening in a situation, especially when this is something unpleasant. Used to tell someone that they are wrong about a particular situation and must realize what is really happening. Become aware of the realities of a situation, however unpleasant. E.g. ‘keep an eye on your friends, who may be using you—wake up and smell the coffee!’
 

(with) arms akimbo
with your hands on your hips and your elbows pointing away from your body. E.g. He stood, arms akimbo, refusing to move.

not give somebody the time of day
to refuse to speak to somebody because you do not like or respect them. E.g. Since the success of her novel, people shake her hand who once wouldn't have given her the time of day.

insouciant: /ɪnˈsuːsiənt/
not worrying or caring about anything. Nonchalant. Not worrying about or paying attention to possible problems. E.g. his insouciant manner

insouciance: /ɪnˈsuːsiəns/ a relaxed and happy way of behaving without feeling worried or guilty. E.g. I admired his youthful insouciance.

Nonchalant: /ˈnɒnʃələnt/
behaving in a calm and relaxed way; giving the impression that you are not feeling any anxiety. E.g. to appear/look/sound nonchalant. ‘It'll be fine,’ she replied, with a nonchalant shrug.


sideline: 1. sideline somebody to prevent somebody from playing in a team, especially because of an injury. E.g.  The player has been sidelined by a knee injury. 2. sideline somebody to prevent somebody from having an important part in something that other people are doing. E.g. The vice-president is increasingly being sidelined.

sidestep:
1. sidestep something
to avoid answering a question or dealing with a problem. E.g. Did you notice how she neatly sidestepped the question? He sidestepped the issue by saying it was not his responsibility.
2. sidestep (something) to avoid something, for example being hit, by stepping to one side. E.g. He cleverly sidestepped the tackle.

go to the dogs: to get into a very bad state. E.g. This firm's gone to the dogs since the new management took over.

telltale: showing that something exists or has happened. Sp revelador. E.g. telltale clues/marks/signs/sounds. The telltale smell of cigarettes told her that he had been in the room.

reclamar: complain about

upset: (in a competition) a situation in which a person or team beats the person or team that was expected to win. E.g. We had our first major upset when Rogers was taken off with a leg injury. The war veteran came close to pulling a stunning political upset in Ohio this summer.

dexterity: /dekˈsterəti/ skill in using your hands or your mind. E.g. You need manual dexterity to be good at video games. mental/verbal dexterity. She showed her dexterity with a needle and thread.

dexterous:
(also dextrous) /ˈdekstrəs/ skilful with your hands; skilfully done.
E.g. He is a very dexterous surgeon.

pinprick: /ˈpɪnprɪk/ 1. a very small area of something, especially light. E.g.  His eyes narrowed to two small pinpricks. A pinprick in a vast ocean. The darkness was broken by the odd pinprick of light. 2. a very small hole in something, especially one that has been made by a pin The only mark on her was a pinprick left by the injection. 3. something that annoys you even though it is small and unimportant. E.g. Nausea and tiredness were mere pinpricks compared to the emotional pain she was feeling. You have to ignore the pinpricks and just get on with the job.

apex /ˈeɪpeks/ (pl. apexes) the top or highest part of something. Sp. cumbre, cima, vértice. E.g. the apex of the roof/triangle. (figurative) At 37, she'd reached the apex of her career.

honeycomb: a structure of cells with six sides, made by bees for holding their honey and their eggs. Sp. panal. E.g. (fig) The hotel complex was a honeycomb of rooms and courtyards (= there were many small rooms and passages Sp. laberinto).

cow somebody to frighten somebody in order to make them obey you. Intimidate. E.g. She was easily cowed by people in authority.
We won't be cowed by terrorists.
uncowed: showing courage or boldness :  not fearful or repressed. E.g. We're young, confident and uncowed

cladding: a covering of a hard material, used as protection. Material that covers the surface of something and protects it. E.g. The pipes froze because the cladding had fallen off. The plastic cladding is coming off.

combustible: /kəmˈbʌstəbl/ able to begin burning easily. Flammable. E.g. combustible material/gases.

flammable: (also inflammable) that can burn easily. E.g. highly flammable liquids. These materials are highly flammable.

non-flammable: not likely to burn easily. E.g. non-flammable nightwear.

nightwear: a word used by shops/stores for clothes that are worn in bed. E.g.
Our men's nightwear and pyjama range has everything you need for bedtime or lounging, from cotton pyjama sets to dressing gowns, slippers and onesies.
lounge: /laʊndʒ/ to stand, sit or lie in a lazy way. E.g. Several students were lounging around, reading newspapers.

vindicate: /ˈvɪndɪkeɪt/
1. vindicate something to prove that something is true or that you were right to do something, especially when other people had a different opinion. Justify. E.g. I have every confidence that this decision will be fully vindicated. 2. vindicate somebody to prove that somebody is not guilty when they have been accused of doing something wrong or illegal.
E.g. New evidence emerged, vindicating him completely.

scathing: /ˈskeɪðɪŋ/ criticizing somebody or something very severely in a way that shows no respect. Sp. mordaz. E.g. a scathing attack on the new management. Her father gave her a scathing look. Scathing about somebody/something He was scathing about the government's performance.

malaise: /məˈleɪz/ [uncountable, singular] Sp. malestar.
1. the problems affecting a particular situation or group of people that are difficult to explain or identify. An uncomfortable feeling that something is wrong, especially with society, and that you cannot change the situation. E.g. economic/ financial/ social malaise. The latest crime figures are merely symptomatic of a wider malaise in society. They claim it is a symptom of a deeper and more general malaise in society. We were discussing the roots of the current economic malaise. 2. a general feeling of being ill/sick, unhappy or not satisfied, without signs of any particular problem.
Unease. E.g. a serious malaise among the staff.
 
at variance (with somebody/something)
(formal) disagreeing with or opposing somebody/something. E.g. These conclusions are totally at variance with the evidence. He uttered a string of oaths, so oddly at variance with his usual smooth and civilized manner. A view that is at variance with your own.
bristle with something: to contain a large number of something. E.g. The whole subject bristles with problems. The newspapers bristled with tributes to the general. The airport is bristling with security.
eavesdrop (on somebody/something) to listen secretly to what other people are saying. E.g. We caught him eavesdropping outside the window. They will have the power to eavesdrop more on us.
odd-job man: a man who is paid to do different types of jobs, especially in the house or garden. E.g. Ricardo is an odd-job man.

pad: the place where somebody lives, especially a flat/apartment. E.g. He moved back into his old bachelor pad. Because his 'man-pad' is in a constant state of disorder, Andrew spends most of his time at Diana's place.

bachelor apartment: a small flat/apartment suitable for a person living alone. An apartment consisting of a single large room serving as bedroom and living room, with a separate bathroom.
man cave: A room or other part of a home regarded as a refuge for the man or men of a household. E.g. a man cave equipped with a pool table and pinball machine. His man cave contained a pool table and a karaoke machine.
A manspace is a location in the home dedicated to traditionally masculine interests, such as sports entertainment, electronic gaming, high-tech audiovisual systems and wet bars.
wet bar: a counter with a sink that is used for serving alcoholic drinks at home or in a hotel room.
mindful drinking noun [U]/ˈmaɪnd.fl.drɪŋ.kɪŋ/ the activity of consuming little or no alcohol at social events. E.g. Forget pub crawls – increasing numbers of young people are replacing beer and wine with “mindful drinking” – where abstinence, not alcohol, is all the rage.
small talk: polite conversation about ordinary or unimportant subjects, especially at social occasions. E.g. They made small talk for half an hour. He has no small talk (= is not good at talking politely about unimportant subjects). She was good at making small talk to put guests at their ease.
carrier: /ˈkæriə(r)/ a company that provides a telephone or Internet service. E.g. mobile-phone carriers.
streak: a series of successes or failures, especially in a sport or in gambling. E.g. a streak of good luck. To hit (= have) a winning streak. To be on a winning/losing streak. A lucky/unlucky streak. Three disasters in two weeks! We seem to be going through an unlucky streak.
hapless: not lucky; unfortunate. The hapless victims of exploitation. Often the hapless victims have no warning that the flood is on its way.
last chance saloon: a situation considered to be the last opportunity for success. E.g. This is his last chance saloon as he is not getting any younger.
unsavoury: /ʌnˈseɪvəri/ unpleasant or offensive; not considered morally acceptable. E.g. an unsavoury incident. Her friends are all pretty unsavoury characters.
frolic: /ˈfrɒlɪk/ (frolicking, frolicked) to play and move around in a lively, happy way. E.g. children frolicking on the beach.
life story: the story that somebody tells you about their whole life. E.g. The guy I was sitting next to on the plane insisted on telling me his life story. Newspapers have offered big money to publish her life story.
belter: an exceptional or outstanding example of something. E.g.‘Owen made the goal with a belter of a pass’
be well up in something to know a lot about something. E.g. He's well up in all the latest developments.

raise the roof to produce or make somebody produce a lot of noise in a building, for example by shouting or cheering. E.g. Their cheers raised the roof.
lose the plot (British English, informal) to lose your ability to understand or deal with what is happening. Sp. irse de la olla. E.g. I’m sorry, I’m losing the plot – can you explain again? Tony’s put everything in the wrong place – he’s losing the plot. I can't believe Stuart did that - he must be losing the plot.
high as a kite (informal) behaving in a very excited way, especially because of being strongly affected by alcohol or drugs. E.g. I tried to talk to her after the party, but she was as high as a kite. I was as high as a kite when I heard I'd got the job.
dapper: (of a man) small with a neat appearance and nice clothes. A man who is dapper is small and wears attractive clothes that give him a tidy appearance. E.g. Hercule Poirot is the dapper detective of the Agatha Christie novels.
free-for-all: 1. situation in which there are no rules or controls and everyone acts for their own advantage. E.g. The lowering of trade barriers has led to a free-for-all among exporters. a price-cutting free-for-all. 2. a noisy fight or argument in which a lot of people take part. E.g. Prompt action by prison staff prevented a violent free-for-all. The fight on the basketball court turned into a free-for-all.
it's every man for himself ​something that you say that means that everyone in a particular situation is trying to do what is best for themselves and no one is trying to help anyone else. E.g. It might be a civilized place to shop at other times, but come the January sales, it's every man for himself.
hold your own (against somebody/something) (in something) to remain in a strong position when somebody is attacking you, competing with you, etc. E.g. Business isn't good but we're managing to hold our own. She can hold her own against anybody in an argument. The patient is holding her own although she is still very sick. Suzanne may be young, but she can hold her own in debates with more experienced council members.
spine-tingling: (also spine-chilling) (of an event, a piece of music, etc.) enjoyable because it is very exciting or frightening. Sp. escalofriante. E.g.He told them a spine-chilling ghost story.
show-stopper: a performance that is very impressive and receives a lot of applause from the audience. A performance that is so good that the audience interrupts the show with applause. Anything that is very impressive. E.g. he wants every scene to be a showstopper. The brilliant orange flowers against the bronze-green foliage were a showstopper.
showstopping: E.g. a showstopping performance.
high-flyer (also high-flier) person who has the desire and the ability to be very successful in their job or their studies. E.g. academic high-flyers. She's a high-flyer.
you could hear a pin drop: it was extremely quiet. E.g. The audience was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. You can hear a pin drop when she sings.

make your hair stand on end also make your hair stand up on the back of your neck to shock or to cause you to be very frightened. E.g. Massey's detailed account of the battle made my hair stand on end. I could feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck at the thought of crossing that old bridge. A chilling tale that will make your hair stand on end.

on board: giving your support to an idea or a project. E.g. We must get more sponsors on board. You need to bring the whole staff on board. It’s good to have you on board (= working with us) for this project.

unconscionable: /ʌnˈkɒnʃənəbl/ 1. (of an action, etc.) so bad, immoral, etc. that it should make you feel ashamed. Sp. Inadmissible. E.g. It would be unconscionable for her to keep the money. 2. (often humorous) too great, large, long, etc. Excessive. E.g. You take an unconscionable amount of time getting dressed!
account for somebody/ account for something: to know where somebody/something is or what has happened to them, especially after an accident. E.g. All passengers have now been accounted for. Three files cannot be accounted for. Many people have not been accounted for.
cast/run an eye/your eyes over something: to look at or examine something quickly. E.g. Could you just run your eyes over this report?

fingertip search: 1. A search using one’s fingertips. 2. A systematic and meticulous examination of a crime scene for evidence, conducted by multiple police officers or other enlisted personnel. E.g. It requires painstaking fingertip search.

painstaking: needing a lot of care, effort and attention to detail. Thorough. E.g. painstaking research. The event had been planned with painstaking attention to detail.

engulf somebody/something to surround or to cover somebody/something completely. E.g. He was engulfed by a crowd of reporters. The vehicle was engulfed in flames.

inferno: a very large dangerous fire that is out of control. E.g. a blazing/raging inferno. The flames quickly turned the house into a raging inferno. Three men managed to escape from the inferno.

destitute: 1. without money, food and the other things necessary for life. E.g. When he died, his family was left completely destitute. 2. the destitute noun [plural] people who are destitute. 3. destitute of something (formal) lacking something. E.g. They seem destitute of ordinary human feelings.


 
smoulder: /ˈsməʊldə(r)/ 1. to burn slowly without a flame. E.g. The bonfire was still smouldering the next day. A smouldering cigarette. (figurative) The feud smouldered on for years. The smouldering carcass /ˈkɑːkəs/ burns. 2. (formal) to be filled with a strong emotion that you do not fully express. E.g. smoulder (with something) His eyes smouldered with anger. smoulder (in something) Anger smouldered in his eyes.
sobering /ˈsəʊbərɪŋ/ making you feel serious and think carefully. E.g. a sobering effect/experience/thought, etc. It is sobering to realize that this is not a new problem.
stay put
(informal) if somebody/something stays put, they continue to be in the place where they are or where they have been put. E.g. He chose to stay put while the rest of us toured the area.
tourniquet /ˈtʊənɪkeɪ/ a piece of cloth, etc. that is tied tightly around an arm or a leg to stop the loss of blood from a wound. E.g. Apply a tight tourniquet above the wound. I used a belt as a tourniquet.
your heart goes out to somebody
used to say that you feel a lot of sympathy for somebody. E.g. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims.
blaze: to burn brightly and strongly. E.g. A huge fire was blazing in the fireplace. Within minutes the whole building was blazing. He rushed back into the blazing house.
fall on deaf ears
to be ignored or not noticed by other people. E.g. Her advice fell on deaf ears.
grit: the courage and determination that makes it possible for somebody to continue doing something difficult or unpleasant. E.g. He’s got a lot of grit.
ides /aɪdz/ (pl) the middle day of the month in the ancient Roman system, from which other days were calculated. E.g. the ides of March. She was born on the ides of March. From Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, 1601. 'Beware the Ides of March' is the soothsayer's (/ˈsuːθseɪə(r)/ Sp. Adivino) message to Julius Caesar, warning of his death.
lumbering /ˈlʌmbərɪŋ/ moving in a slow, heavy and awkward way. E.g. a lumbering dinosaur. In the distance, we could see a herd of elephants lumbering across the plain.
sitting duck: (also sitting target) a person or thing that is easy to attack. E.g. Its location makes the island a sitting duck for attackers. When somebody's got a lot of money and the rest of the world knows about it, they're sitting targets for scams. The children were like sitting ducks and had no way to protect themselves.
abject: terrible and without hope. The state of being extremely unhappy, poor, unsuccessful, etc. Sp. Lamentable. E.g. abject poverty/misery/failure. They live in abject poverty. This policy has turned out to be an abject failure.
flounder: 1. (+ speech) to struggle to know what to say or do or how to continue with something. To feel confused and not know what to say or do next. E.g. His abrupt change of subject left her floundering helplessly. Maureen floundered, trying to think of a response. 2. to have a lot of problems and to be in danger of failing completely. E.g. At that time the industry was floundering. The new democracy there continues to flounder. The country’s economy is floundering and the future is uncertain. 3. (+ adv./prep.) to struggle to move or get somewhere in water, mud, etc. E.g. She was floundering around in the deep end of the swimming pool. A man came floundering through the snow towards us.
profligate: /ˈprɒflɪɡət/ using money, time, materials, etc. in a careless way. Sp. derrochador, despilfarrador. E.g. profligate spending the profligate use of resources The opposition criticized the government’s profligate spending plans. The report dismisses claims that the US is profligate in its use of energy. She is well-known for her profligate spending habits.

unyielding /ʌnˈjiːldɪŋ/ 1. if a person is unyielding, they are not easily influenced and they are unlikely to change their mind. Inflexible. Completely unwilling to change a decision, opinion, demand, etc. Very strict and severe. Sp. Que no cede. E.g. Korea is unyielding in its demands for a new treaty. Her expression was hard and unyielding. Her unyielding faith. He had an unyielding belief. The authorities proved unyielding on one crucial opposition demand. His unyielding attitude on this subject was that since he had done it, so could everyone. 2. unable to bend or be penetrated under pressure; hard. E.g. trees so unyielding that they broke in the harsh north winds. The troopers had to build roads through those unyielding mountains. He sat on the edge of an unyielding armchair, a cup of tea in his hand.
trooper: a soldier of low rank in the part of an army that uses tanks or horses. E.g. He was a cavalry trooper before being injured at the battle of Corunna.
cough /kɒf/
cough up/ cough something up (informal) to give something, especially money, unwillingly. E.g. Steve finally coughed up the money he owed us.
cough something (up) to force something out of your throat or lungs by coughing. E.g. Sometimes she coughed (up) blood.
onanism /ˈəʊnənɪzəm/ 1. Masturbation. 2. coitus interruptus (/ˌkɔɪtəs ɪntəˈrʌptəs/ an act of sexual intercourse in which the man removes his penis from the woman’s body before he ejaculates, in order to prevent the woman from becoming pregnant).
succinctly: /səkˈsɪŋktli/ using only a few words that state something clearly. Concisely. E.g. You put that very succinctly.
providential: happening exactly when needed but without being planned. E.g. a providential opportunity. A providential event.
providentially: /ˌprɒvɪˈdenʃəli/ in a way that is lucky because it happens at the right time but without being planned. E.g. However, her ordeal came to an end somewhat providentially.
redraw something to make changes to something such as the borders of a country or region, a plan, an arrangement, etc. E.g. After the war the map of Europe was redrawn. To redraw the boundaries between male and female roles in the home.
slight: small and thin in size. E.g. a slight woman. He was of slight build. She was smaller and slighter than I had imagined.
earthy: concerned with the body, sex , etc. in an open and direct way that some people find rude or embarrassing. Sp. grosero. E.g. He has an earthy sense of humour. 2 like or relating to earth. E.g. an earthy smell/taste.
despotism:  /ˈdespətɪzəm/ E.g. After years of despotism, the country is now moving towards democracy.
despot: /ˈdespɒt/ a person, especially a ruler, who has unlimited power over other people, and often uses it unfairly and cruelly. E.g. déspota. E.g. an evil despot. The king was regarded as having been an enlightened despot (= one who tries to use his/her power in a good way).
despotic /ˈspɒtɪk/ connected with or typical of a ruler with great power, especially one who uses it in a cruel way. E.g. despotic power/rule. A despotic government/regime.
communiqué: /kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪ/ an official statement or report, especially to newspapers. E.g. The leaders attending the conference have issued a joint communiqué.
bickering: the activity of arguing about things that are not important. Sp. riñas, discusiones. E.g. I wish they would stop their constant bickering.
bicker (about/over something) to argue about things that are not important. E.g. The children are always bickering about something or other. Whenever the phone rings they bicker over who must answer it.
in and of itself considering it alone. Without considering anything else. E.g. The idea in and of itself is not bad, but the side issues introduce many difficulties. Her action, in and of itself, caused us no problem. Any step we can take to end the conflict and save lives is important in and of itself. Usage notes: sometimes used in the form in and of themselves: Lower interest rates in and of themselves don't mean much for stock prices. In and of itself the plan might work, but I doubt that it will be approved. It is also put simply as in itself: this account may be true in itself.
 
jamboree: /ˌdʒæmbəˈriː/ a large party or celebration. E.g. the movie industry’s annual jamboree at Cannes.

Be Mr Late Better Than Late Mr: In this case, being "Mr. Late" means that you are habitually late. In other words, you are late so often that it may as well be your name. Being "late Mr." means that you are dead. For example, someone might refer to "the late Mr. Smith" if they were talking about someone named Smith who died recently.
turf: 1. short grass and the surface layer of soil that is held together by its roots. 2. the place where somebody lives and/or works, especially when they think of it as their own. Sp. territorio. He feels more confident on home turf. Judges feel that the courtroom is their private turf. The gymnastics team won the championship on their home turf.

up your game / raise your game: to make an effort to improve the way that you do something. E.g. They're going to have to raise their game if they want to stay in the Premiership this season.

anathema: /əˈnæ
θəmə/ a thing or an idea which you hate because it is the opposite of what you believe. E.g. Racial prejudice is (an) anathema to me.

deadlocked: in a state of complete failure to reach agreement or settle an argument. E.g.  Despite months of discussion the negotiations remained deadlocked. The jury is deadlocked.

mistrial: 1. a trial that is not considered valid because of a mistake in the way it has been conducted. 2. a trial in which the jury cannot reach a decision.

press: the type or amount of reports that newspapers write about somebody/something E.g.The airline has had a bad press recently (= journalists have written unpleasant things about it). The demonstration got very little press. Get bad press.

rub your hands: To experience or display pleased anticipation, self-satisfaction, or glee. They must be rubbing their hands in glee. Shareholders in the massively profitable business must be rubbing their hands in glee. Their political opponents will be rubbing their hands with glee.

unsung: not praised or famous but deserving to be. E.g. the unsung heroes of the war

a flash in the pan
a sudden success that lasts only a short time and is not likely to be repeated. Something that happened only once or for a short time and was not repeated. E.g. He needed to prove that his success was not just a flash in the pan. Sadly, their success was just a flash in the pan.

at the top of the agenda: E.g. For the government, education is now at the top of the agenda (= most important).

run out of steam
(informal) to lose energy and enthusiasm and stop doing something, or do it less well. E.g. The peace talks seem to have run out of steam.
inadvertently: /ˌɪnədˈvɜːtəntli/ by accident; without intending to. Unintentionally. E.g. We had inadvertently left without paying the bill.
what is black and white and read all over?
Newspapers
mind over matter
the use of the power of your mind to deal with physical problems. E.g. He said that keeping running in spite of the pain was just a question of mind over matter. Do you believe that healing is a question of mind over matter? He announced what he called "the ultimate test of mind over matter" - a woman walking over hot coals.

obliterate: /əˈblɪtəreɪt/
obliterate something to remove all signs of something, either by destroying or covering it completely. E.g. The building was completely obliterated by the bomb. The snow had obliterated their footprints. Everything that happened that night was obliterated from his memory.

early to bed and early to rise (makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise): said to emphasize that someone who gets enough sleep and starts work early in the day will have a successful life.

disquieting: causing worry and unhappiness. E.g. Everything about her seemed perfect apart form one disquieting fact. The disquieting situation between these two neighbouring countries looks as if it will continue. He found her letter disquieting.

poised: /pɔɪzd/ completely ready for something or to do something. E.g. poised for something The economy is poised for recovery. Poised to do something The British team is poised to win the title. Kate is poised to become the highest-paid supermodel in the fashion world. The UK is poised to come out of Europe.

beggar belief/description
to be too extreme, shocking, etc. to believe/describe. E.g. It beggars belief how things could have got this bad.

spate of something a large number of things, which are usually unpleasant, that happen suddenly within a short period of time. E.g. The bombing was the latest in a spate of terrorist attacks. A recent spate of killings/thefts.

desensitize:
/ˌdiːˈsensətaɪz/ (also -ise) 1. desensitize somebody/something (to something) to make somebody/something less aware of something, especially a problem or something bad, by making them become used to it. E.g. People are increasingly becoming desensitized to violence on television. Doctors and medical researchers have to become desensitised in order to do their jobs. 2. desensitize somebody/something (specialist) to treat somebody/something so that they will stop being sensitive to physical or chemical changes, or to a particular substance. E.g. There is no effective serum to desensitize people who are allergic to fleas.

cut your teeth on something
to do something that gives you your first experience of a particular type of work. E.g. She cut her teeth on local radio. Actors who cut their teeth on low-budget films. She cut her political teeth on student debates. She cut her teeth on a local newspaper before landing a job on a national daily.

foray (into something) an attempt to become involved in a different activity or profession. E.g. the company’s first foray into the computer market.

execrable: /ˈeksɪkrəbl/ very bad. E.g. execrable poetry. It was execrable. An execrable performance.