The Alternative English Dictionary

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Colourful extracts from Wiktionary. Slang, vulgarities, profanities, slurs, interjections, colloquialisms and more.


catch you on the flip side etymology {{rfe}} This phrase comes from when radio DJs played vinyl records. The disks had two sides -- on a 45 RPM disk, sides A & B. The song that the record company wanted to promote most heavily would go on the A side. So when a DJ played that side, he'd sometimes say, "And now on the flip side...", and play side B, the lesser known track.
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (informal) Goodbye, farewell.
caterpillar {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: caterpiller (archaic) etymology From Middle English catirpel, catirpeller, probably from onf catepelose (Modern French chat + pileux), from ll cattus + pilōsus. pronunciation
  • (RP) /ˈkætəpɪlə(ɹ)/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The larva of a butterfly or moth; leafworm. The bird just ate that green caterpillar.
  2. A vehicle with a caterpillar track; a crawler.
Synonyms: (moth or butterfly larva) leafworm
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A fight between cat. The caterwauling from the catfight in the back yard was awful; I couldn't get to sleep until it was over.
  2. (slang) An acrimonious fighting or bicker, especially between female. Nancy and Sheila got into a catfight when Nancy's boyfriend cheated on her with Sheila.
Synonyms: (acrimonious fight, especially between women) hairpulling contest, (Australia) scragfight
related terms:
  • (acrimonious fight, especially between women) catty
catfish {{slim-wikipedia}}
etymology 1 From cat + fish. Likely so named for its prominent barbel like a cat's whisker.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Any fish of the order Siluriformes, that are mainly found in freshwater, are without scale, and have barbel like whisker around the mouth.
Synonyms: sheat, sheatfish
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (Internet, slang) To create a fake online profile to seduce someone (from the 2010 documentary )
    • {{quote-news }}
    • {{quote-video }}
    • {{seemorecites}}
catfishing etymology Derived from the documentary film about the subject, named "Catfish".
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (internet, psychology, slang) the act of setting up and running a false puppet social networking identity profile for fraudulent or deceptive purposes
related terms:
  • catfish person owning such a false profile
catfucker etymology From cat + fucker.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory, offensive, vulgar) Term of abuse.
cat got someone's tongue
phrase: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic, humorous) Why are you not say anything? Why don't you tell me that secret? Cat got your tongue?
Cath ed
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal, AU) (The office of) Catholic Education
Catholic twins
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. Used other than as an idiom: Catholic, twin
  2. (slang) sibling born within twelve months of each other.
    • The Mane Attraction, page 139, Shelly Laurenston, 2008, ““Aunt Sissy!” a young voice screeched, then Sissy was besieged by five kids who looked barely a year apart. What his mom would call Catholic Twins.”
cathouse Alternative forms: cat-house etymology From cat + house. pronunciation
  • /ˈkathaʊs/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, slang) A brothel.
    • 1946, Mezz Mezzrow & Bernard Wolfe, Really the Blues, Payback Press 1999, p. 5: Do you know how he spent years watching the droopy chicks in cathouses, listening to his cellmates moaning low behind the bars [...]?
Synonyms: See also
  • hot sauce, house cat, housecat, soutache
cat house
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) a brothel
    • George shook himself. He said woodenly, "If I was alone I could live so easy." His voice was monotonous, had no emphasis. "I could get a job an' not have no mess." He stopped. "Go on," said Lennie. "An' when the enda the month come-" "An' when the end of the month came I could take my fifty bucks an' go to a... cat house..." John Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men. Chapter 6
  • hot sauce, house cat, housecat, soutache
catitude etymology {{blend}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) An attitude belonging to or befitting of a cat.
    • 1988, Rita Mae Brown, Bingo, Bantam Dell (2008), ISBN 9780553380408, page 248: I didn't notice Mother until Goodyear leapt up to greet me—and with dirty paws too. Pewter, full of catitude, refused to move aside for Goodyear.
    • 2003, "Cats' Drinking: Is It Smarts Or Snobbery?", The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, California), 5 October 2003: Ally, the alpha cat in my household, has a severe case of catitude. She demands to sit on my lap and leaves as soon as she has altered whatever I was doing.
    • 2004, A. O. Scott, "FILM REVIEW; Not-So-Cuddly Cat: This One Cracks a Mean Whip", The New York Times, 22 July 2004: Like "Garfield," "Catwoman" is really a parody of catitude, offering glib mockery of a domestic species notorious for its pride and hauteur.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
cat lady {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A woman, often elderly, who devotes her time and attention to a domestic cat or cats.
catlicker etymology cat + licker, phonetically similar to Catholic.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (ethnic slur, highly derogatory) A Catholic person
catloaf {{was wotd}} etymology From cat + loaf. pronunciation
  • (US) /kæt.loʊf/
  • (UK) /kæt.ləʊf/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, rare) The loaflike form of a domestic cat sitting with paw and tail tucked underneath the body.
    • 1999, "Ailsa N Murphy", RIP, Silver-The-Cat (on Internet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.fandom) And Gary never got to see him do the full catloaf, where he curled up face-down so that all that stuck out were the tips of his ears. I never got a picture of that, either.
    • 2004, "Franz Bestuchev", catloaf (on Internet newsgroup One must often attend to the tail and ensure it remains tucked and not become flippant, so as to maintain a catloaf of presentable form.
    • Cats, Brigitte Eilert-Overbeck, 2009, “"Catloaf" position with paws and tail tucked under the body: "Please do not disturb!"”, page 47, 0764142844
cat piss
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, idiomatic) Any beverage of low quality.
  • spastic
cats pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /kæts/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of cat
  2. (Internet, shorthand, slang) plural of category
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-third-person singular of cat
  • acts, Acts, cast, scat, TACS, TCAs, TCAS, TSCA
catshit etymology cat + shit
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar, slang) Feline feces
    • 1978, "Eating Your Way To Heaven", Tilt: An Anthology of New England Women's Writing and Art, New Victoria Publishers (1978), page 58: my house is a shambles empty bottles lined up on table, clothes heaped on chairs, here a sock, there a catshit,
    • 2009, Denis Leary, Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, Plume (2009), ISBN 9781440640735, unnumbered page: A cat could give two catshits if you are in a good mood or a bad mood.
    • 2011, Rob Tannenbaum & Craig Marks, I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, Plume (2011), ISBN 9781101524565, unnumbered page: I mean, the catshit was piling up. And when the catshit gets bigger than the cat, you've got to get rid of the cat.
catsicle etymology cat + sicle
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, humorous) A cold or frozen cat.
    • 1995, 21 November, Virtuanna [username], Re: A Pox Upon The Kitten Dumpers,!original/rec.pets.cats/hZ1vkFH9hZI/UMkl2Ra9bhwJ, rec.pets.cats, “He slipped out the back door, and we did not see him for two full days. The temperature dropped dramatically, it was close to freezing those two nights. We figured, too bad, the little bugger had it made, with us, and now he'll be a catsicle or a catsplat in the road...So we gave up on him, and went to the Humane Society, and adopted a bouncing bruiser named Smokey.”
    • 2003, David Bennun, Tick Bite Fever, Random House (2004), ISBN 9780091897437, page 145: 'The cat's gone,' my father said. 'Face it, that cat can hardly stay alive inside the house. She's not coming back. And if you hold the door open much longer, the rest of us will freeze to death too.' 'Poppy!' my stepmother shouted. 'She's frozen now,' I said helpfully. 'She's a catsicle.'
    • 2006, Nina Malkin, An Unlikely Cat Lady: Feral Adventures in the Backyard Jungle, Globe Pequot (2006), ISBN 9781592289721, page 48: I know for damn sure watching catsicles form outside my kitchen window would drive me out of my mind with guilt.
cattitude etymology From {{blend}}, as being typical of healthy cats
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous) The attitude of a cat.
    • 2011, page [ 64], The Cat Lover's Devotional, M. R. Wells, Connie Fleishauer, Dottie Adams, “It took a lot of Rosie and Ernie to forgive their "bad cattitude" kitty.”
  2. State or feeling of immense superiority, but not arrogance.
cattle {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English catel, from xno catel, from onf (compare French cheptel, Old French chetel, chatel, also English chattel) from Malayalam capitāle, from Latin capitālis, from caput + -alis. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈkæt(ə)l/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}} (usually used as plural)
  1. Domesticated bovine animals (cow, bull, steer etc). Do you want to raise cattle?
  2. Certain other livestock, such as sheep, pig or horse.
    • “Mr. Jos had hired a pair of horses for his open carriage, with which cattle, and the smart London vehicle, he made a very tolerable figure in the drives about Brussels.”, 29
    • Book the First, chapter 2, “The Dover mail was in its usual genial position that the guard suspected the passengers, the passengers suspected one another and the guard, they all suspected everybody else, and the coachman was sure of nothing but the horses; as to which cattle he could with a clear conscience have taken his oath on the two Testaments that they were not fit for the journey.”
  3. (pejorative, figuratively) People who resemble domesticated bovine animals in behavior or destiny.
  4. (obsolete, English law, sometimes countable) chattel goods and cattle
    • , “That then every person so offending and convict, shall for his third offence, forfeit to our Sovereign Lady the Queen, all his goods and cattles, and shall suffer imprisonment during his life.”
    • 1856 , “1684 July. Mistris Dorothy Gray, Adminnestratrix of the Goods and Cattles of Mr Edward Gray, late of Plymouth, deceased, … ”
  5. (uncountable, rare) Used in restricted contexts to refer to the meat derived from cattle.
    • {{ante}} , The Squatting Age in Australia, 1835–1847, Melbourne University Press (1964), page 315: The temptation of a lone white man was too great for any gathering of myall-natives, and sheep-fat and cattle-steak seemed there for the spearing, so that a stockman always ran the risk of attack, especially if his shepherds interfered with the native women.
    • {{ante}} Barry Hannah, “Eating Wife and Friends”, in Airships, Grove Press (1994), ISBN 978-0-8021-3388-5, page 137: “But you cooked a human being and ate him,” say I. “I couldn’t help it,” says she. “I remember the cattle steaks of the old days, the juicy pork, the dripping joints of lamb, the venison.”
    • 1996 April 3, Emmett Jordan, "Re: AR activist arrested for spreading 'Mad Cow' disease in US", in, Usenet: Believe it or not Big Mac is one of the ultra radicals who provide fast food cattle burgers to interstate vehicles who drive all over the place providing scraps for rats, cats, flies, etc, so that the Mad Cow Disease might spread even faster than it would otherwise do.
    • 2005 June 25, "Serge" (username), "Re: WOW!!!! WHALE BURGERS...... McDonalds Don't You Get Any Ideas", in aus.politics and other newsgroups, Usenet: If a particular whale species isn't endangered, then there's not a blind bit of difference between butchering them or cattle. Whale burgers. Cattle difference!
For the animals themselves, "cattle" is normally only used in the plural.
  • I have fifteen cattle.
  • How many cattle?
There is no singular generic word for "cattle", apart from archaic neat. Gendered words such as "bull" and "cow" are normally used for adults, "calf" for the young, etc.
  • There are five cows and a calf in that herd of cattle.
Where the gender is unknown, "cow" is often used (although properly a cow is only an adult female).
  • Is that a cow in the road?
The phrase "head of cattle" may be used without regard for gender.
  • One head of cattle' '
  • He sold 50 head of cattle last year.
Occasionally "cattle" may be found in singular use:
  • First I saw the mandible, which looked a bit like a strange-shaped cattle; then I saw the cervical vertebrae, which looked like horse ("Intact Ottoman 'war camel' found in Austrian cellar", BBC, 2015 April 02)
  • {{seeCites}}
Synonyms: (domesticated bovine animals) neat, Bos (scientific), (people who resemble domesticated bovine animals in behavior or destiny) sheeple (pejorative)
related terms:
  • capital
  • chattel
  • tectal
cattle car
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A car, often a train car or semi-trailer, used to transport cattle.
  2. (slang) a paddy wagon, a van for transport people who have been arrest.
etymology 1 cat + y; in sense “hostility”, see catfight. pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
  • Homophones: caddie, caddy (in some dialects)
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal, of a person or remark) With subtle hostility in an effort to hurt, annoy{{,}} or upset, particularly among women.
  2. (informal) Resembling or characteristic of a cat. a catty smell
Synonyms: (spiteful) bitchy (derogatory), cattish, malicious, nasty, snide, spiteful
related terms:
  • catfight
etymology 2 From Malay kati, from zhx languages, Mandarin: 〈jīn〉
noun: {{head}}
  1. A (unit of) weight used in China, generally standardized as half a kilogram.
    • 2009, Huaiyin Li, Village China Under Socialism and Reform: A Micro-History, 1948-2008, Stanford University Press, ISBN 978-0-8047-5974-8, page 94: To limit team members' consumption, it issued food stamps to the villagers and allowed everyone to eat one catty of rice a day.
    • 1699, Captain William Dampier, A new voyage round the world, Volume 1: 16 Mess, make a Tale, which here is 20 s. English, 5 Tale make a Bancal, a weight so called, and 20 Bancal make a Catty, another weight.
    • 1847, Robert Montgomery Martin, China; Political, Commercial, and Social, Volume 2, James Madden (publisher), page 124: Transparent yellow pieces are the best; the price is from eight to fourteen dollars per catty, according to size and quality.
cattywampus pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) In disarray or disorder; askew. Measure carefully before cutting, or the entire structure will turn out cattywampus.
  2. Not directly across from nor adjacent to. City hall is cattywampus to the post office
Alternative forms: catawampus, kittywampus (slang)
catvertising etymology {{blend}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) advertising that features one or more cat
  • {{seeCites}}
catwalker etymology catwalk + er
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, rare) A fashion model on the catwalk.
Caucasian etymology Caucasus + ian pronunciation
  • [kɔːˈkeɪzɪən]
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{wikipedia}} {{en-adj}}
  1. Of, or relating to the Caucasus region or its people, languages and culture.
  2. (anthropology, archaic) Of a racial classification; pertaining to people having certain phenotypical features such as straight, wavy or curly hair and very light to brown pigmented skin, and originating from Europe, parts of Northern Africa and Western, Central and South Asia.
  3. (US, of a person) White, being a white person: of European descent.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A native or inhabitant of the Caucasus.
  2. (anthropology, archaic) A member of the Caucasian racial classification.
  3. A person of European descent, a white person.
    • {{quote-book }}
  4. (linguistics) A group of languages spoken in the Caucasus area.
  5. (humorous, bartending) The White Russian, a cocktail consisting of coffee liqueur, vodka, and milk. Apparently originated in the 1998 film .
caul {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: call {{defdate}} etymology From Middle French cale. pronunciation
  • (UK) /kɔːl/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (historical) A style of close-fitting circular cap worn by women in the sixteenth century and later, often made of linen. {{defdate}}
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.vii: Ne spared they to strip her naked all. / Then when they had despoild her tire and call, / Such as she was, their eyes might her behold …
  2. (anatomy, obsolete except in specific senses) A membrane. {{defdate}}
  3. The thin membrane which covers the lower intestines; the omentum. {{defdate}}
  4. The amnion which encloses the foetus before birth, especially that part of it which sometimes shroud a baby’s head at birth (traditionally considered to be good luck). {{defdate}}
    • 1971, Keith Thomas (historian), Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society (2012), page 182: Even in the mid seventeenth century a country gentleman might regard his caul as a treasure to be preserved with great care, and bequeathed to his descendants.
  5. The surface of a press that makes contact with panel product, especially a removable plate or sheet.
  6. (woodworking) A strip or block of wood used to distribute or direct clamping force.
  7. (culinary) Caul fat.
  • ACLU
  • Luca, LUCA
  • UCLA
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) cauliflower
caustic etymology From the Ancient Greek καυστός 〈kaustós〉, via the Latin causticus. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈkɔːstɪk/, /ˈkɒstɪk/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Capable of burn, corroding or destroy organic tissue.
  2. (of language etc.) Sharp, bitter, cutting, biting, and sarcastic in a scathing way.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 8 , “The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again;…. Our table in the dining-room became again the abode of scintillating wit and caustic repartee, Farrar bracing up to his old standard, and the demand for seats in the vicinity rose to an animated competition.”
Synonyms: (capable of destroying tissue): acidic, biting, burning, corrosive, searing, (severe, sharp): bitchy, biting, catty, mordacious, nasty, sarcastic, scathing, sharp, spiteful
quotations: {{rfc}}
  • 1843: "How now!" said Scrooge, caustic and cold as ever. — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
  • 1843: The bargain was not concluded as easily as might have been expected though, for Scadder was caustic and ill-humoured, and cast much unnecessary opposition in the way — Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit
  • 1853: Madame Beck esteemed me learned and blue; Miss Fanshawe, caustic, ironic, and cynical — Charlotte Bronte, Villette
  • 1857:The Secretary and the Assistant-Secretaries would say little caustic things about him to the senior clerks, and seemed somewhat to begrudge him his new honours. — Anthony Trollope, The Three Clerks
  • 1886: this set of worthies, who were only too prone to shut up their emotions with caustic words. — Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • 1930s???: though he came too late / To join the martyrs, there was still a place / Among the tempters for a caustic tongue / / To test the resolution of the young / With tales of the small failings of the great — W.H.Auden, 'The Quest'
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Any substance or means which, applied to animal or other organic tissue, burns, corrodes, or destroys it by chemical action; an escharotic.
  2. (optics, computer graphics) The envelope of reflected or refracted rays of light for a given surface or object.
  3. (mathematics) The envelope of reflected or refracted rays for a given curve.
  4. (informal, chemistry) caustic soda
etymology 1 Middle English, from xno cave, from Latin cava, from cavus, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱówHwos 〈*ḱówHwos〉 (compare Irish cúas, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱówH- 〈*ḱówH-〉 (compare txb , Albanian cup, Ancient Greek κύαρ 〈kýar〉, xcl սոր 〈sor〉, Sanskrit शून्य 〈śūn'ya〉). pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /keɪv/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A large, naturally-occurring cavity formed underground, or in the face of a cliff or a hillside.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, 16 , [ The Mirror and the Lamp] , “The preposterous altruism too!…Resist not evil. It is an insane immolation of self—as bad intrinsically as fakirs stabbing themselves or anchorites warping their spines in caves scarcely large enough for a fair-sized dog.”
    exampleWe found a cave on the mountainside where we could take shelter.
  2. A hole, depression, or gap in earth or rock, whether natural or man-made.
  3. A storage cellar, especially for wine or cheese. exampleThis wine has been aged in our cave for thirty years.
  4. A place of retreat, such as a man cave. exampleMy room was a cozy cave where I could escape from my family.
  5. (caving) A naturally-occurring cavity in bedrock which is large enough to be entered by an adult. exampleIt was not strictly a cave, but a narrow fissure in the rock.
  6. (nuclear physics) A shield area where nuclear experiment can be carried out.
  7. (drilling, uncountable) Debris, particularly broken rock, which falls into a drill hole and interferes with drilling.
  8. (mining) A collapse or cave-in.
  9. (figuratively, also slang) The vagina.
  10. (slang, politics, often "Cave") A group that breaks from a larger political party or faction on a particular issue.
  11. (obsolete) Any hollow place, or part; a cavity.
    • Francis Bacon the cave of the ear
Synonyms: earthhole
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To surrender. He caved under pressure.
  2. To collapse. First the braces buckled, then the roof began to cave, then we ran.
  3. To hollow out or undermine. The levee has been severely caved by the river current.
  4. To engage in the recreational exploration of caves; to spelunk. I have caved from Yugoslavia to Kentucky. Let's go caving this weekend.
  5. (mining) In room-and-pillar mining, to extract a deposit of rock by breaking down a pillar which had been holding it in place. The deposit is caved by knocking out the posts.
  6. (mining, obsolete) To work over tailings to dress small pieces of marketable ore.
  7. (obsolete) To dwell in a cave. {{rfquotek}}
etymology 2 From Latin cavē, second-person singular present active imperative of caveō. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈkeɪvi/
    • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. (British, public school slang) look out!; beware!
  • evac
cave dweller
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Prehistoric human who lived in caves, a caveman or cavewoman
  2. (figuratively, pejorative) One who behaves like a caveman.
  • caveman, cavewoman
caveman {{wikipedia}} etymology From cave + man, based on the supposition that early humans dwelt in caves. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An early human or closely related species, popularly held to reside in cave. The political cartoon showed the politician as a caveman, clubbing the budget depicted as a mammoth.
    • 2006, Harley Pasternak, The 5 Factor Diet, page 15, CAVEMAN DIET The creators of this nutrition plan believe that cavemen and cavewomen were lean and healthy because of the all-natural foods they ate.
    • 2010, Terence A. Shimp, Advertising, Promotion, and Other Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications, Cengage Learning, 8th Edition, page 154, And who could forget those ads that featured sophisticated cavemen who were insulted—in a parody on political correctness—by “insensitive” offenders who implied that some action was “so easy, a caveman could do it.”
    • 2010, Allen A. Debus, Prehistoric Monsters: The Real and Imagined Creatures of the Past That We Love to Fear, page 87, For, in essence, the caveman concept implies the abhorrent—undignified human bestiality and a disquieting association with apelike ancestors. Cavemen have represented Darwin′s repugnant evolutionary ideals and even suggest civilisation′s tenuousness.
  2. (informal, figuratively, pejorative) A brutish or savage person. The football squad was comprised of cavemen who were responsible for trashing many a locker room.
  3. (informal, figuratively, pejorative) A man with old fashioned or backward opinions, particularly with regard to women. Old Sven is a bit of a caveman; he figures giving women the right to vote was a bad idea.
    • 2008, David E. Clarke, Cinderella Meets the Caveman: Stop the Boredom in Your Marriage and Jump, page 159, You think your Caveman is always chasing you for sex. Well, he is.
Synonyms: (early humans or related species) hominid, hominin, neanderthal, troglodyte, (brutish or savage person) boor, lout, savage, thug, troglodyte, (man with regressive opinions) chauvinist
  • cave dweller
coordinate terms:
  • cavewoman
  • man cave
caver etymology From cave + er. pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) A person who explores cave; a spelunker.
  2. (mining, obsolete) One who works the tailing of a mine to extract small pieces of marketable ore.
  • carve
  • crave
cavity etymology From Middle French cavité, from ll cavitas, from Latin cavus, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱówHwos 〈*ḱówHwos〉, from root Proto-Indo-European *ḱówH- 〈*ḱówH-〉 pronunciation
  • /ˈkævɪti/
    • (US) [ˈkʰævɪɾi]
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A hole or hollow depression.
  2. A hollow area within the body (such as the sinus).
  3. (dentistry) A soft area in a decayed tooth.
Synonyms: See also , (dentistry) caries
related terms:
  • cave
  • concave
  • excavate
  • excavation
  • excavator
Cavuto etymology Coined by during an episode of in reference to correspondent
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (neologism, pejorative) A question mark used at the end of an unsubstantiated news headline.
cazh Alternative forms: kazh, kasj, cas, cajj pronunciation
  • /kæʒ/
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Australian, US, colloquial) Casual, laid-back; casually pleasant.
An overwhelmingly spoken-only slang word with no single widely accepted spelling. In Australian slang, it more commonly refers to clothing, whereas in American slang it often refers to people.
initialism: {{rfc-header}} {{head}}
  1. (legal) County Bar Association.
  2. (Australia, banking) . {{defdate}}
  3. Collective bargaining agreement.
  4. (vulgar, slang) Can't be arsed.
  • ABC
  • bac, BAC
  • BCA, B. C. A.
  • cab, CAB
initialism: {{rfc-header}} {{head}}
  1. (Canada, television, radio) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  2. (Japan, television, radio) Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting Company
  3. (medicine) complete blood count
  4. (US) Congressional Black Caucus
  5. (Canada, US, slang) Canadian-born Chinese
  • bcc BCC
CC boy etymology sissy boy
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) An effeminate male homosexual.
Used by the Chinese gay community.
cdesign proponentsist etymology From "cdesign proponentsists", a typographic splicing of design proponents into c[reation]ists, in a 1987 draft for the book Of Pandas and People when, after the US Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism in US state schools was unconstitutional, the terms creationism and creationists were replaced by intelligent design and . pronunciation
  • /ˈkədɪzaɪn prəˈpoʊnəntsɪst/{{quote-video | episode = {{w|Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial}} | title = [[w:Nova (TV series)|Nova]] | medium = Television | network = PBS | season = 35 | date = 2007-11-13}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Internet, slang, pejorative) creationist
    • {{quote-web }}
    • {{quote-web }}
    • {{quote-newsgroup }}
    • {{seemoreCites}}
Synonyms: creationist, creo, creotard (derogatory), IDiot (derogatory)
celeb etymology Shortening of celebrity. pronunciation
  • (UK) /səˈlɛb/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A celebrity; a famous person.
celebrate etymology From Latin celebratus, pp. of celebrare, from celeber. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈsɛl.ɪ.bɹeɪt/, /ˈsɛl.ə.bɹeɪt/
  • {{audio}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To extol or honour in a solemn manner. to celebrate the name of the Most High
  2. (transitive) To honour by rite, by ceremonies of joy and respect, or by refrain from ordinary business; to observe duly; to keep. to celebrate a birthday
  3. (intransitive) To engage in joyful activity in appreciation of an event. I was promoted today at work—let’s celebrate!
    • {{quote-news }}
  4. (transitive) To perform or participate in, as a sacrament or solemn rite; to solemnize; to perform with appropriate rites. to celebrate a marriage
In sense “to conduct ceremonies, to follow a custom”, generally used of festive occasions, such as Christmas and birthday. For more solemn occasions, particularly certain religious holidays (“holy days”) and commemoration, the term observe is used instead, as in “This office will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.” Synonyms: (extol, honour (someone)) fete
related terms:
  • celebrant
  • celebration
  • celebrated
  • celebrator
  • celebratory
  • celebrity
celebretard etymology {{blend}}. Celebrity blogger is credited with coining the term."Excuse me, do you speak Bloglish?", ''The Sunday Times'', 11 January 2009
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, pejorative) A celebrity regarded as foolish or stupid, especially one noted for episodes of unrestrained, self-destructive behavior.
    • 2009, , Hollywood Is Like High School with Money [novel], Grand Central Publishing (2009), ISBN 9780446697194, page 147: Hollywood celebretards Rumer Willis, Vanessa Hudgens, Hania Barton, and Quinn's boy toy, actor/DJ Blake Miller, joined Quinn in sucking down the SoCo and stripping down in the hot tub.
celebrification etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The introduction of celebrity as a factor in some field or discipline.
    • {{quote-news}}
celebrity {{wikipedia}} etymology Borrowing from Old French celebrite (compare French célébrité), from Latin celēbritās. pronunciation
  • (UK) /sᵻˈlɛbɹᵻti/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete) A rite or ceremony. {{defdate}}
  2. (uncountable) Fame, renown; the state of being famous or talked-about. {{defdate}}
  3. A person who has a high degree of recognition by the general population for his or her success or accomplishments; a famous person (). {{defdate}}
Synonyms: (fame) big name, distinction, eminence, renown, (person who has a high degree of recognition) big name, star, (informal) celeb, luminary, notable (noun)
related terms:
  • celebutard
celebrityville Alternative forms: Celebrityville etymology celebrity + ville
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (informal) The notional space inhabited by celebrities.
    • 2001, Dom F. Moraes, The Penguin book of Indian journeys (page 79) Here, the road to celebrityville begins with the elephant. Everyone, almost everyone has an elephant tale to tell; elephant wisdom to disseminate...
    • {{quote-news}}
celebutard etymology {{blend}}."[ New insults for English language]", ''BBC News'', 1 October 2006Ben MacIntyre, ''The Last Word: Tales from the Tip of the Mother Tongue'', Bloomsbury (2010), ISBN 9781408804353, [ page 48] The first documented usage of the term was in a story about published in the on 21 January 2006 ("Paris With a P"), which was followed by the second documented usage of the term in another story about Hilton published in the same paper five days later ("Unedited Paris Not Cute at All"). pronunciation
  • (US) /səˈlɛbjutɑɹd/, /səˈlɛbjətɑɹd/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, pejorative, offensive, slang) A celebrity viewed as unintelligent; especially a celebrity who behave badly in public.
    • 2007, Clayton Neuman, “The Time 100 – Are They Worthy?” in , 17 April Paris Hilton … helped coin the buzzword celebutard, a cross between celebrity and retard. From her sex tapes to having her belongings auctioned on the Web, she seems to totter from one embarrassing moment to another.
    • 2009, Andrea Peyser, “Celebutards: A Pox on All the Celebs and Politicians Gone Wild” in , 25 January [A]t some point between the moment a movie script wanders into the hands of a world-class celebutard such as George Clooney, and the words travel through lilting vocal chords and land on unsuspecting ears, something terrible occurs.
celestial {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: cælestial (archaic), cælestiall (obsolete), celestiall (obsolete), cœlestial (archaic)
etymology 1 From Old French celestial, from Malayalam caelestialis, from Latin caelestis, from caelum.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Relating to heaven in a religious sense. {{rfquotek}}
  2. Relating to the sky or space.
    • Shakespeare The twelve celestial signs.
  3. (Mormonism) Of or pertaining to the highest degree of glory.
    • {{quote-journal }}
    • {{quote-journal }}
Synonyms: (Relating to heaven in a religious sense) divine, heavenly, spiritual
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An inhabitant of heaven.
    • {{quote-book }}
etymology 2 From Celestial Empire, a formerly used name for China.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (obsolete, sometimes, capitalized) A native of China.
    • {{quote-book }}
  2. (obsolete, slang) by extension, an East Asian person.
celetoid etymology celebrity + oid
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A person who is famous for a brief time; a short-lived celebrity.
    • 2010, , "My Life as a Celetoid: Reflections on Canadian Idol", Canadian Theatre Review, 29 January 2010: A celetoid is only allowed so much time in the spotlight. Of course, just when you think your life as a celetoid has passed, you end up writing an article about your experience six years later, or you sing a song for a friend at a wedding.
cell pronunciation
  • /sɛl/
  • {{homophones}}
etymology 1 Old English *cella (attested in inflected forms), from Latin cella, later reinforced by xno cel, sele, Old French cele.
noun: {{en-noun}} {{wikipedia}}
  1. A single-room dwelling for a hermit. {{defdate}}
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.6: So, taking them apart into his cell, / He to that point fit speaches gan to frame […].
  2. (now historical) A small monastery or nunnery dependent on a larger religious establishment. {{defdate}}
  3. A small room in a monastery or nunnery accommodating one person. {{defdate}} Gregor Mendel must have spent a good amount of time outside of his cell.
  4. Each of the small hexagonal compartments in a honeycomb. {{defdate}}
  5. (biology, now chiefly botany) Any of various chamber in a tissue or organism having specific functions. {{defdate}}
    • 1858, Asa Gray, Introduction to Structural and Systematic Botany, fifth edition, p. 282: Each of the two cells or lobes of the anther is marked with a lateral line or furrow, running from top to bottom{{nb...}}.
  6. (obsolete) Specifically, any of the supposed compartment of the brain, formerly thought to be the source of specific mental capacities, knowledge, or memories. {{defdate}}
    • 1890, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch.XVI: From cell to cell of his brain crept the one thought; and the wild desire to live, most terrible of all man's appetites, quickened into force each trembling nerve and fibre.
  7. A section or compartment of a larger structure. {{defdate}}
  8. (obsolete, chiefly literary) Any small dwelling; a remote nook, a den. {{defdate}}
    • {{RQ:Flr Mntgn Essays}}, II.12: Thou seest but the order and policie of this little Cell {{transterm}} wherein thou art placed{{nb...}}.
    • 1810, Walter Scott, Lady of the Lake, II: Not long shall honour'd Douglas dwell, / Like hunted stag, in mountain-cell{{nb...}}.
  9. A room in a prison for one or more inmate. {{defdate}} The combatants spent the night in separate cells.
  10. A device which stores electrical power; used either singly or together in batteries; the basic unit of a battery. {{defdate}} This MP3 player runs on 2 AAA cells.
  11. (biology) The basic unit of a living organism, consisting of a quantity of protoplasm surrounded by a cell membrane, which is able to synthesize proteins and replicate itself. {{defdate}}
    • 1999, Paul Brown & Dave King, The Guardian, 15 Feb 1999: An American company has applied to experiment in Britain on Parkinson's disease sufferers by injecting their brains with cells from pigs.
    • 2011, Terence Allen & Graham Cowling, The Cell: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford 2011, p. 3: In multicellular organisms, groups of cells form tissues and tissues come together to form organs.
  12. (meteorology) A small thunderstorm, caused by convection, that forms ahead of a storm front. {{defdate}} There is a powerful storm cell headed our way.
  13. (computing) The minimal unit of a cellular automaton that can change state and has an associated behavior. {{defdate}} The upper right cell always starts with the color green.
  14. (card games) In FreeCell-type games, a space where one card can be placed.
  15. A small group of people forming part of a larger organization, often an outlawed one. {{defdate}} Those three fellows are the local cell of that organization.
  16. (communication) A short, fixed-length packet as in . {{defdate}} Virtual Channel number 5 received 170 cells.
  17. (communication) A region of radio reception that is a part of a larger radio network. I get good reception in my home because it is near a cell tower.
  18. (geometry) A three-dimensional facet of a polytope.
  19. (statistics) The unit in a statistical array (a spreadsheet, for example) where a row and a column intersect.
  20. (architecture) The space between the ribs of a vaulted roof.
  21. (architecture) A cella.
  22. (entomology) An area of an insect wing bounded by veins
In the sense of an electrical device, "cell" is the technically correct name for a single unit of battery-type power storage, whereas a battery is a device comprising multiple of them, though it is often used for simple cells.
  • {{seeCites}}
Synonyms: See also
related terms:
  • cellular
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To place or enclose in a cell.
    • Warner Celled under ground.
{{Webster 1913}}
etymology 2 From cell phone, from cellular phone, from cellular + telephone
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, informal) A cellular phone.
  • Widely used attributively.
cellar Alternative forms: seller (obsolete) pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈsɛlə(ɹ)/
  • (US) /ˈsɛlɚ/
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology 1 From xno celer, Old French celier (modern cellier), from Latin cellārium.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An enclosed underground space, often under a building; used for storage or shelter.
  2. A wine collection, especially when stored in a cellar.
  3. (slang) Last place in a competition.
  4. (historical) A small dish for holding salt.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To store in a cellar.
    • {{quote-news}}
etymology 2 From 15th Century English saler, from Old French salière, from Latin salarius, from Latin sal
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. salt cellar
  • caller
  • recall
cellco etymology {{blend}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A cellular telecommunications company.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) cellmate
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Person with whom one shares a prison cell.
Synonyms: (slang) celly
cell phone {{wikipedia}} {{commons}} Alternative forms: cellphone (mainly US and Canada), cell-phone (mainly US and Canada) etymology English, from cellular, and telephone.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A portable, wireless telephone, which changes antenna connections seamlessly during travel from one radio reception cell to another without losing the party-to-party call connection.
Synonyms: cell, cellular mobile, cellular, cellular telephone, cellular phone, handphone (mainly Asia), mobile (mainly UK and Australia), mobile phone, wireless phone
  • See also
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or resembling a cell or cells.
    • {{quote-magazine}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, informal) A cellular phone (mobile phone).
  • See also
cellular phone
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A mobile phone using cellular technology.
  2. (informal) A mobile phone using any technology (such as PCS).
Synonyms: cell phone, mobile phone, cellular telephone
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) cellmate
cementhead etymology cement + head
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, derogatory) A stubborn stupid person.
cent {{wikipedia}} etymology From Old French cent, from Latin centum, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱm̥tóm 〈*ḱm̥tóm〉. pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{enPR}}, /sɛnt/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{homophones}}
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (money) A subunit of currency equal to one-hundredth of the main unit of currency in many countries. Symbol: ¢.
  2. (informal) A small sum of money. exampleHe blew every last cent.
  3. (money) A subunit of currency equal to one-hundredth of the euro.
  4. (money) A coin having face value of one cent (in either of the above senses).
  5. (music) A hundredth of a half step.
  • Due to the differing plural formats used in European languages, it is common to use the word cent as a plural throughout the Eurozone.
Synonyms: (of a dollar) dollarcent, (of a euro) eurocent, (coin (Canada, US)) penny
related terms: {{rel3}}
abbreviation: {{rfc-header}} {{en-abbr}}
  1. century
Center of the Universe {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (US, slang) a nickname for New York City
related terms:
  • Centre of the Universe
  • Centre of the Universe
Centre of the Universe {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (slang, Canada, derogatory) a nickname for the city of Toronto, due to its self-absorbed haughty attitude
related terms:
  • Center of the Universe
  • Center of the Universe
century {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English centurie, from Old French centurie, from Latin centuria, from centum. The modern use is derived from a shortening of century of years. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈsɛn.tʃə.ɹiː/
  • (US) /ˈsɛn.tʃɚ.i/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A period of 100 consecutive year; often specifically a numbered period with conventional start and end dates, e.g., the twentieth century, which stretches from (strictly) 1901 through 2000, or (informally) 1900 through 1999. The first century AD was from 1 to 100; a yearhundred.
  2. A unit in ancient Roman army, originally of 100 army soldiers as part of a cohort, later of more varied sizes (but typically containing 60 to 70 or 80) soldiers or other men (guards, police, firemen), commanded by a centurion.
  3. A political division of ancient Rome, meeting in the Centuriate Assembly.
  4. (archaic)  A hundred things; a hundred.
    • {{RQ:RBrtn AntmyMlncly}}, II.4.2.i: 'tis the subject of whole books: I might cite a century of authors pro and con.
  5. (cricket)  A hundred run score either by a single player in one innings, or by two players in a partnership.
  6. (cycling)  A ride 100 kilometres in length.
  7. (US, informal)  A banknote in the denomination of one hundred dollar.
Synonyms: (period of 100 consecutive years) yearhundred (very rare), (Roman army unit) centuria
related terms:
  • centurion
  • {{rank}}
-ception etymology From the 2010 science fiction film Inception, in which a team of people infiltrate the subconscious mind of a man, proceeding through several layers of dreams.
suffix: {{en-suffix}}
  1. (slang) A suffix combined with a noun to indicate a layering, nesting, or recursion of the thing in question.
    • 2012, Timothy Morrise, "Reviewer previews his top picks for fall movie season", University Journal (Southern Utah University), 10 September 2012, page 6: Adapted from David Mitchell's novel of the same name, Cloud Atlas is a story-ception; a post apocalyptic campfire story about a guy watching a movie in which someone reads a novel whose main character follows a series of letters.
    • 2012, Maura Breen, "Latest play presents challenge for actors", Tan & Cardinal (Otterbein University), Volume 94, Issue 5, 26 September 2012, page 4 (image caption): Playception: Each actor must portray a character playing another character.
    • 2013, Kelly Herman, "Footception: A Review", Campus Talk, November 2013, page 9: Seen any horrendous foodceptions you just can't wrap your head around (like pasta burritos)?
    • {{seemoreCites}}
cerebrally challenged
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (humorously, politically correct, euphemistic, of a, person) Of low intelligence; stupid.
cerevisiae etymology From the species epithet of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer's yeast).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or brewer's yeast.
abbreviation: {{rfc-header}} {{head}}
  1. alternative form of cert.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Certificate I bought some gift certs for my family for Christmas.
  2. (informal) A certainty; something guaranteed to happen.
certifiable etymology certify + able
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (of a document) That can, or that must be certified.
  2. (informal, of a person) Mentally ill to such an extent that involuntary institutionalization is appropriate; crazy.
Synonyms: (mentally ill): insane, mad, nuts
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A crazy person.
    • {{quote-news}}
  • rectifiable
cess {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • /sɛs/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Shortened form of assess, spelled by analogy with census and other Latinate words.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, Ireland) An assess tax.
  2. (British, Ireland, informal) Luck
  3. (obsolete) Bound; measure.
    • Shakespeare The poor jade is wrung in the withers out of all cess.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (British, Ireland) To levy a cess.
etymology 2 Possibly from an archaic dialect word meaning "bog".
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (rail transport) The area along either side of a railroad track which is kept at a lower level than the sleeper bottom, in order to provide drainage.
etymology 3 French cesser. See cease.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (obsolete) To cease; to neglect. {{rfquotek}}
{{Webster 1913}}
  • secs
-cha pronunciation
  • (UK) /tʃ(j)ə/, /tʃ(j)æ/
suffix: {{en-suffix}}
  1. (informal, used only after a [t] sound) eye dialect of you, ya
  • Sometimes written as a separate word (cha).
related terms:
  • -ja
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (India) underwear, shorts, especially knickers
  2. (slang) male or female underpants
chaebol {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: jaebol etymology Late 20th century, from Korean 재벌 〈jaebeol〉
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (business, sometimes, pejorative) A large, family-controlled Korean business conglomerate.
chair {{wikipedia}} etymology {{wikipedia}} From Middle French chaire, from Latin cathēdra, from Ancient Greek καθέδρα 〈kathédra〉, from κατά 〈katá〉 + ἕδρα 〈hédra〉. Replaced native stool which now has a specific sense. pronunciation
  • (UK) /tʃɛə(ɹ)/
  • (US) /tʃɛəɹ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An item of furniture used to sit on or in comprising a seat, legs, back, and sometimes arm rests, for use by one person. Compare stool, couch, sofa, settee, loveseat and bench. exampleAll I need to weather a snowstorm is hot coffee, a warm fire, a good book and a comfortable chair.
  2. Chairperson.
    • 1658-9, March 23, Thomas Burton, Diary , “The Chair behaves himself like a Busby amongst so many school-boys…and takes a little too much on him.”
    • {{quote-news}}
    exampleUnder the rules of order adopted by the board, the chair may neither make nor second motions.
  3. (music) The seating position of a particular musician in an orchestra. exampleMy violin teacher used to play first chair with the Boston Pops.
  4. (rail transport) Blocks that support and hold railroad track in position, and similar devices.
  5. (chemistry) One of two possible conformer of cyclohexane rings (the other being boat), shaped roughly like a chair.
  6. (slang, with the) The electric chair. exampleHe killed a cop: he's going to get the chair. exampleThe court will show no mercy; if he gets convicted, it's the chair for him.
  7. A distinguished professorship at a university.
    • {{quote-news}}
  8. An iron block used on railway to support the rail and secure them to the sleeper.
  9. A vehicle for one person; either a sedan borne upon poles, or a two-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse; a gig. {{rfquotek}}
    • Alexander Pope Think what an equipage thou hast in air, / And view with scorn two pages and a chair.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To act as chairperson. Bob will chair tomorrow's meeting.
  2. To carry someone in a seated position upon one's shoulders, especially in celebration or victory
    • 1896, , "To An Athlete Dying Young," in A Shropshire Lad, The time you won your town the race We chaired you through the marketplace.
  3. (Wales, UK) To award a chair to the winning poet at a Welsh eisteddfod. The poet was chaired at the national Eisteddfod.
  • {{rank}}
  • Archi
noun: {{en-plural noun}}
  1. (informal) chairpeople
chair plug
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A person who habitually attend meeting, but makes no active contribution to them
chalk and talk
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative, informal) the traditional method of teaching, consisting mainly of talking and writing on a chalkboard.
-chama {{rfv}} etymology From the Japanese honorific ちゃま 〈chama〉.
suffix: {{en-suffix}}
  1. (childish) honorific suffix
  2. (anime and manga fandom) Appended to a person's name or nickname to convey honour and respect.
chamcha etymology From Hindi चम्चा 〈camcā〉 (spoon, colloquial for a sycophant and hanger-on or lackey).
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) A sycophant and hanger-on or lackey.
    • 1989. Stuart Auerbach. Washington Post. (Mar. 26) “Nehru and His Nation” M J Akbar has been called a chamcha to the Gandhi family, and some of that slavish devotion shows up in his uncritical acceptance of Nehru’s government-dominated economic program and the erosion of the country’s grass roots political structure as a result of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
    • 1994. William Dalrymple City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi (Dec. 1) “Glossary” p. 340: Chamcha Sycophant (lit. ‘spoon’). 1997. Ghulam Nabi Azad. India Today (June 23) p. 13: I have my own standing in the party. I cannot be anybody’s chamcha (stooge).
    • 1997. Sudhir Vaishnav. Times of India. (Aug. 24) “A very political exercise” Several hangers-on. They are available aplenty everywhere in the country and are often known in the local market as Chamcha.
    • 1998. P.S. Sharma Times of India (Jan. 17) “In Praise of Chamchagiri” No doubt, the United Kingdom also had their sycophants—toadys, bachhas, jholichuks and hukkabardars—but chamchas of the modern vintage they had none. Chamchas are a breed apart.
    • 2004. Krishnakumar. Midday (Mumbai, India) (Sept. 21) Leaders’ chamchas get lucky”: All three have pulled strings in their respective parties to get Assembly poll tickets for their puppets and close confidants, better known in political parlance as chamchas.
related terms:
  • chamchagiri {{attention}} (meaning spooning or sycophancy)
etymology 1 See champion pronunciation
  • (US) /t͡ʃæmp/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (countable) form of shortened form
etymology 2 Uncertain, probably imitative pronunciation
  • (US) /t͡ʃæmp/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Ireland, uncountable) a meal of mashed potatoes and scallion
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (ambitransitive) to bite or chew, especially noisily or impatiently.
    • Hooker They began … irefully to champ upon the bit.
    • Dryden Foamed and champed the golden bit.
    • 1951, , (1974 publication), part V: “The Merchant Princes”, chapter 13, page 166, ¶ 18 The man beside him placed a cigar between Mallow’s teeth and lit it. He champed on one of his own and said, “You must be overworked. Maybe you need a long rest.”
etymology 3 From champagne by shortening. pronunciation
  • /ʃæmp/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) champagne
    • 1990, Ann Heller, "Prom Nights Often Offer Students Primer On Fine Dining", Dayton Daily News, 6 April 1990: "They're dressed up very elegantly and it's nice they have a glass of champ, even if it's non-alcoholic," Reif says.
    • 2009, (featuring ), "", : We're drinkin' Santana champ, 'cause it's so crisp
    • 2010, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Inheritance, Pan Books (2010), ISBN 9780330513265, unnumbered page: 'Glass of champ?' she called, skipping into the kitchen.
etymology 4 French champ Alternative forms: champe (obsolete?)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (architecture) the field or ground on which carving appears in relief
champagne {{wikipedia}} etymology Borrowing from French champagne. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ʃæmˈpeɪn/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable) A sparkling white wine made from a blend of grapes, especially Chardonnay and pinot, produced in Champagne by the méthode champenoise
  2. (countable) any variety of champagne.
  3. (countable) A glass of champagne.
  4. (informal, and legally incorrect in some jurisdictions) Any sparkling white wine.
  5. A very pale brownish-gold colour, similar to that of champagne. {{color panel}}
Synonyms: (wine) bubbly (informal), champ, (informal) champansky (informal), champers (informal), fizz (informal), shampoo (humorous slang)
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Of a very pale brownish-gold color, similar to that of champagne.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To drink champagne.
    • 1814, Lord Byron We clareted and champagned till two, then supped, and finished with a kind of regency punch composed of Madeira, brandy, and green tea, no real water being admitted therein.
    • 1846, Richard Henry Bonnycastle, Canada and the Canadians in 1846 (page 34) On one occasion, I was at a meeting of the turf in an hotel after the races, where violent discussions and heavy champagning were going on.
  2. (transitive) To ply or treat with champagne.
    • 1989, Bruce Babington, Peter William Evans, Affairs to Remember (page 88) And equally, the central matter of Henry's infidelities has no actual dramatisation, so that we never see him coming out of a stage door with a Follies girl on his arm, or champagning a debutante, let alone entering a boudoir.
champagne socialist {{wikipedia}} etymology Evoking the hypocrisy of drinking champagne, suggesting affluence or upper-class social circles, while professing socialist beliefs.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (pejorative) A person who claims to adhere to socialist ideology but does not act appropriately.
champansky etymology champagne + sky pronunciation {{rfp}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous, informal) Imitation champagne, chiefly Russian in origin.
    • 1964, Eddy Gilmore, After the Cossacks burned down the “Y” Because it's like you, it’s so Russian. I even like the way you Russians say it, champansky.
champers pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈʃæmpə(r)z/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) Champagne (wine).
Synonyms: (informal: Champagne): bubbly, fizz, shampoo
champion {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English, from Old French, from vl *campio, *campionem, from Malayalam campio, from frk *kampijō, from Proto-Germanic *kampijô, from *kampijaną, from *kampaz, from Latin campus. More at kemp. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Someone who has been a winner in a contest. exampleThe defending champion is expected to defeat his challenger.
  2. {{rfex-sense}} Someone who is chosen to represent a group of people in a contest.
  3. Someone who fights for a cause or status. examplechampion of women's suffrage
  4. Someone who fights on another's behalf. examplechampion of the poor
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (attributive) Acting as a champion; that has defeated all one's competitor.
  2. (attributive) Excellent; beyond compare.
  3. (predicative, Ireland, colloquial) Excellent; superb; deserving of high praise. example"That roller coaster was champion," laughed Vinny.
related terms:
  • championship
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (usually, of a cause) to promote, advocate, or act as a champion for
etymology 1 {{clipping}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Internet, informal) An IRC channel.
    • 1997, "Dominic Donegan", Is there a #nethack chan on IRC? (on newsgroup I tried, but I never get anyone in the chan! I don't know how/where to advertise... maybe we should set up a meeting time or something?
etymology 2 From 4chan, a popular imageboard; ultimately from channel.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Internet, informal) An imageboard.
chancre mechanic
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US, military, slang) A medic.
chandelier {{wikipedia}} etymology From French, from Latin candelabrum, from candela; see candle. pronunciation
  • /ʃændəˈlɪə(ɹ)/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A branched, often ornate, lighting fixture suspended from the ceiling
    • 1929, , , Chapter VII, Section vi She opened the drawing-room door in trepidation. Would she find Esther drowned with her head in the goldfish bowl, or hanged from the chandelier by her stay-lace?
  2. (auction) A fictional bidder used to increase the price at an auction. Also called a wall.
    • 2007, Frank Pope, "Dragon Sea: a true tale of treasure, archeology, and greed off the coast of Vietnam", Harcourt Books, p. 306. A mysterious phone bidder was grabbing the pieces that no one else wanted—Mensun suspected this was the auction house "bidding against the chandelier," protecting itself against selling too low.
  3. (obsolete, military) A portable frame used to support temporary wooden fences.
    • 1747, , The Scots Book, volume 9, p. 37. Chandelier. A wooden frame, whereon are laid fascines or faggots, to cover the workmen in making approaches.
    • 1994, Todd A. Shallat, Structures in the Stream: Water, Science, and the Rise of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, University of Texas Press, p. 32. Europeans solved this problem by building a temporary fence with tightly bound sticks ("fascines") stacked into wooden frames ("chandeliers").
related terms: {{top2}}
  • bidding against the chandelier
  • candela
  • candelabrum
  • candid
  • candidate
  • candle
  • candlepower
  • candlestick
  • chandelier bidding
  • chandler
  • chandlery
  • electrolier
changeling etymology From change + ling.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (mythology) In British, Irish and Scandinavian mythology, an infant of a fairy, sprite or troll that the creature has secretly exchanged for a human infant.
  2. (informal, rare) An infant secretly exchanged with another infant; swapling.
  3. (science fiction and fantasy) An organism which can change shape to mimic others.
  4. (obsolete) A simpleton; an idiot. {{rfquotek}}
    • Dryden Changelings and fools of heaven, and thence shut out.
  5. (obsolete) One apt to change; a waverer.
    • Shakespeare Fickle changelings.
Synonyms: (fairy's child) oaf (obsolete), (being that can change shape) shape-shifter, (a child exchanged for another) swapling
change one's mind
verb: {{head}}
  1. (idiomatic) To decide differently than one had decided before. She started up the stairs, changed her mind, and turned to go back down.
    • 2006 Baggs, Amanda, Changes in Self-Awareness Over Time, Disclaimer on Assumptions, May 2006: So don’t necessarily assume that something has changed if I appear to have changed my mind, sometimes my mind is all that’s changed.
related terms:
  • change someone's mind
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (automotive, slang) Having a vehicle's height reduced by lowering the body with respect to the frame rails.
    • 1958, Charles Beaumont and William F. Nolan, Omnibus of Speed: An Introduction to the World of Motor Sport, Putnam, page 183: He later bought a '33 Ford coupe, chopped and channeled it and installed a Mercury engine.
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of channel
channel stopper
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A television broadcast that causes the viewer to stop flipping through channels with their remote control and watch it, usually a blockbuster, sleeper hit, cult classic or broadcast containing celebrities.
Channel Tunnel {{wikipedia}}
proper noun: the Channel Tunnel
  1. The man-made tunnel under the English Channel joining England and France.
Synonyms: Chunnel (colloquial), Eurotunnel
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. initialism of congenital high airway obstruction syndrome
  2. (slang) initialism of can't have anyone over syndrome
chap pronunciation
  • /tʃæp/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 Shortened from chapman in 16th century English.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (dated, outside, UK and Australia) A man, a fellow. exampleWho’s that chap over there?
  2. (UK, dialectal) A customer, a buyer.
    • Steele If you want to sell, here is your chap.
  3. (Southern US) A child.
Synonyms: See also
  • Pennsylvania German: Tschaepp
etymology 2 Related to chip.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) Of the skin, to split or flake due to cold weather or dryness.
  2. (transitive) To cause to open in slits or chinks; to split; to cause the skin of to crack or become rough.
    • Blackmore Then would unbalanced heat licentious reign, / Crack the dry hill, and chap the russet plain.
    • Lyly Nor winter's blast chap her fair face.
  3. (Scotland, northern England) To strike, knock.
    • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, page 35: The door was shut into my class. I had to chap it and then Miss Rankine came and opened it and gived me an angry look [...].
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A cleft, crack, or chink, as in the surface of the earth, or in the skin.
  2. (obsolete) A division; a breach, as in a party.
    • T. Fuller Many clefts and chaps in our council board.
  3. (Scotland) A blow; a rap.
etymology 3 From Northern English chafts.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (archaic) The jaw (often in plural).
    • 1610, , by Shakespeare This wide-chapp'd rascal—would thou might'st lie drowning / The washing of ten tides!
    • Cowley His chaps were all besmeared with crimson blood.
    • Shakespeare He unseamed him from the nave to the chaps.
  2. One of the jaws or cheeks of a vice, etc.
  • CHPA
chaperon {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: chaperone etymology From French chaperon, from Middle French, "head covering", from chape
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An adult who accompanies or supervise one or more young, unmarried men or women during social occasions, usually with the specific intent of preventing some types of social or sexual interactions or illegal behavior.
  2. A hood, especially, an ornamental or official hood.
    • Howell His head and face covered with a chaperon, out of which there are but two holes to look through.
  3. A device placed on the forehead of horse which draw the hearse in pompous funeral.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. to accompany, to escort
  2. to mother
  • Cape Horn, carphone
chapess etymology chap + ess
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, informal) A female chap; a woman.
    • 1990, Samuel Gorley Putt, Wings of a Man's Life My friends are the undergraduates, chaps and chapesses, and as long as I can pour good wine down their gullets and listen into the small hours...
    • 2005, James Hawes, Speak for England naturally, we simply couldn't afford to have chaps and chapesses tying the knot and then not having babies after all that fuss.
    • 2006, Mark Simpson, Saint Morrissey Those revered as saints are usually very peculiar chaps and chapesses who succeeded in refusing life just short of actually killing themselves...
  • Generally only used in the phrase chaps and chapesses.
chappy etymology chap + y
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British, informal) A chap; a fellow.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Full of chap; cleft; gaping; open.
  2. (of skin, rare, perhaps archaic) Chapped, dry.
    • 1939, in National Health Review, Volumes 7–9, page 220: The application was followed at once by terrible pain in the wound; furthermore, there appeared a dry and chappy tongue, intolerable thirst, colics, cramplike contractions of the legs and back, and a weak and irregular pulse.
{{Webster 1913}}
character {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English caracter, from Old French caractere, from Latin character, from Ancient Greek χαρακτήρ 〈charaktḗr〉, from χαράσσω 〈charássō〉. pronunciation
  • /ˈkʰæɹɨktɚ/, /ˈkʰɛɹɨktɚ/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A being involve in the action of a story.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 1 , “The stories did not seem to me to touch life. […] They left me with the impression of a well-delivered stereopticon lecture, with characters about as life-like as the shadows on the screen, and whisking on and off, at the mercy of the operator.”
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. A distinguish feature; characteristic.
  3. A complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person or a group.
    • Motley a man of … thoroughly subservient character
    • 1898, Winston Churchill (novelist) , The Celebrity, 3 , “Now all this was very fine, but not at all in keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had come to conceive it. The idea that adulation ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came very near to saying so.”
    exampleA study of the suspect's character and his cast iron alibi ruled him out.
  4. Strength of mind; resolution; independence; individuality; moral strength. He has a great deal of character. example"You may not like to eat liver," said Calvin's father, "but it builds character."
  5. A unique or extraordinary individual; a person characterized by peculiar or notable traits, especially charisma. Julius Caesar is a great historical character. exampleThat bloke is such a character.
  6. A written or printed symbol, or letter.
    • Holder It were much to be wished that there were throughout the world but one sort of character for each letter to express it to the eye.
  7. Style of writing or printing; handwriting; the particular form of letters used by a person or people. an inscription in the Runic character
    • Shakespeare You know the character to be your brother's?
  8. (computing) One of the basic elements making up a text file or string: a code representing a printing character or a control character.
  9. (informal) A person or individual, especially one who is unknown or raises suspicions. exampleWe saw a shady character slinking out of the office with some papers.
  10. (mathematics) A complex number representing an element of a finite Abelian group.
  11. Quality, position, rank, or capacity; quality or conduct with respect to a certain office or duty. in the miserable character of a slave in his character as a magistrate
  12. (dated) The estimate, individual or general, put upon a person or thing; reputation. a man's character for truth and veracity Her actions give her a bad character.
    • Addison This subterraneous passage is much mended since Seneca gave so bad a character of it.
  13. (dated) A reference given to a servant, attesting to his/her behaviour, competence, etc.
A comparison of character and reputation: It would be well if character and reputation were used distinctively. In truth, character is what a person is; reputation is what he is supposed to be. Character is in himself, reputation is in the minds of others. Character is injured by temptations, and by wrongdoing; reputation by slanders, and libels. Character endures throughout defamation in every form, but perishes when there is a voluntary transgression; reputation may last through numerous transgressions, but be destroyed by a single, and even an unfounded, accusation or aspersion.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (obsolete) To write (using characters); To describe
  • {{rank}}
charidee etymology From the pronunciation of "charity."
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, humorous) Conspicuous charity, especially as part of a TV promotion, or of an otherwise pointless exercise.

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